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Strong Female Characters

Time to talk about Strong Female Characters again. I actually saw that shortened to SFC. Time to talk about SFC's again. Why? Because there is a blow-up about a remake of a kid's cartoon and everyone is on about "Teela and the Masters of the Universe" and a couple of people have pointed out an element of the story that does seem rather odd as it's described: Does anyone care about spoilers? Prince Adam dies. According to what people are saying, Teela's "take away" on this is the need to berate his parents, fresh in their grief at the loss of their only child, that no one told her that he was He Man. She has a tantrum and leaves. She stays mad. She resists the call to be a hero when the universe is going to be destroyed. Later she treats Prince Adam badly. Or so I'm hearing. Tell me I've heard wrong. But the charge that her response when finding out that she'd been kept in the dark is self-absorbed, that tracks with the current tre
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Call Me Mary Sue

 Call me Mary Sue. Writers have all heard of a Mary Sue.  In truth, these days even non-writers have probably heard of a Mary Sue. In short, a Mary Sue is a character who doesn't have to try very hard.  She is talented and loved by all without having paid her dues.  Mary Sue might be an orphan, but she's secretly a princess.  She's unusual and beautiful. She seems to inspire love and loyalty for no reason. She never faces the possibility of failure when it comes to the stakes of the story. And it's a fine line. One of my favorite novels, Perilous Waif by E. William Brown, seems to be a deliberate send up of the idea of a Mary Sue, complete with the violet eyes, the orphan condition, the inexplicable love and loyalty, and the secret princess. Everything. And yet, the character works because she makes mistakes that have weight and you know that she may fail at the stakes of the story at any point.  So the definition of a Mary Sue is not just being overpowered or uncritica

I got interviewed by Mike Acerra

 This was fun and interesting.  Thinking with Mike Episode 13 A woman of STEAM Julie Pascal

What Cancel Culture is NOT

  Maybe we should talk about what cancel culture isn't. It's not a boycott.  It's not deciding to no longer go to a business. It's not giving a bad review for bad service. It generally involves two things. First, the offense is a matter of opinion. Second, secondary or even tertiary targets are threatened. Cancellation does not need to be successful, and often with very famous and wealthy people it is not successful. But it serves as a warning to vulnerable people who are not in a position to weather that kind of attack. The goal is terroristic in that it's about forcing social behavior in people who are not currently the subject of the attack. The message is always, this could happen to you. And the tactic invariably includes seeking out vulnerable people to threaten in order to put pressure on businesses or on the target of the attack. So it works like this: JK Rowling is invulnerable. But they can try, right? So what they do is they find out who works for the pub

Claret cup cactus

 

Long Overdue Chickens

 My blog description says "with chickens!" but it's been a long time since I posted any chicken pictures. So here are some roosters. 

Do you have better things to do?

 

The War on Work

  This comic is far more calm than I feel. Lets be real.  If I won the lottery I'd sit on my butt, preferably on a beach, and hire other people to do my work for me. Wait, hire other people to do my work for me?  But isn't "work" bad?  Isn't work a lie created by Capitalism? We only work because we've been lied to and told that we have to work. We only work because someone lied to us and told us that we needed things. So I'd hire other people to DO MY WORK?  Yes.  Because I'll still need to eat.  I'll still need to have a roof over my head. I'll still make a mess just by living and it will have to be cleaned up.   Because not working just means that someone else has to do that work for you. You're an adult and presumably at least somewhat able bodied and more or less mentally stable. You get to decide what you need and how to define success.  You get to decide how much "stuff" you need beyond a roof, clothes and food. You decide i