Recommends: A Trailer For Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever

Content Note: Ableist Language, Including R-Word

I kind of want to like this. (Content Note: video. Contains the R-word.)

Explanation here.

I want to like it because it showcases that a lot of the Unfortunate Implications we bring up here on the blog aren't necessarily unfortunate in the singleton case, but they're terribly unfortunate in the constant repetition without meaningful variety.

It's probably okay, once in awhile, for a white protagonist to fight with the Native American metaphor against the American military metaphor, but not when that's pretty much all that ever seems to happen and the Native American metaphor people disproportionately worship the protagonist for hir aid.

It's probably okay, once in awhile, for a white protagonist to defend the legal rights of a humble black man, but not when that's pretty much all that ever seems to happen and fiction continually invisibles marginalized people from the hard-fought battles for freedom and speech that they earned themselves, frequently with little-to-no help from their white neighbors who, then as now, often still practice racism.

I don't like that it contains the R-word, which is really not (in my opinion) appropriate even in a spoof about how people with disabilities are appropriated by movie makers in an attempt to help the neurotypical protagonist Learn A Lesson before the person with disabilities is hastily shoved off-stage because nobody really wants them around after the lesson is learned, amiright? I mean, I appreciate the point being made, but I don't appreciate the language.

But I've already made that point about Cracked in the past, so.

RECOMMENDS! What have you been processing, and has it made you weep Academy Award winning tears?


Loquat said...

I must use tough love to help this Latin American teenager believe in himself!

In other news, Avatar: Legend of Korra's season finale was overly rushed, with Korra's Avatar-breakthrough being especially badly written, and also I'm trying to come up with a short story for this Sorcerers & Secretaries project. I'm trying to use merfolk in some way, hopefully to explore some of the issues that arise when an aquatic civilization meets industrializing land-dwellers, but the main characters and plot aren't really coming together for me.

Ana Mardoll said...

Oooooooooh. I would love that. I've often found that to be intriguing -- I had SO hoped the sequel to The Little Mermaid would explore that, but it didn't at all. But, yeah, you can see some trade being possible since the Merpeople can get at things the Humans can't, and probably vice-versa (though what could a Human make that a Merperson would want? Must think on that more) but the interactions seem limited in a lot of ways since they can't really do an exchange program!

Will Wildman said...

Depends a lot on the capacities of the merpeople - what are their environmental tolerances? how deep can they dive? Do they have major predators or other concerns? What does a mermish natural disaster look like, given that they can probably swim deep enough to not care about storms and earthquakes and fires? (Actually, what is a tsunami like if you're in part of the ocean where it passes through?) Do they have serious concerns about unexpected algae blooms or shifts in water pH?

Considering the extremely high conductivity of their environment, they're going to have had a hell of a time trying to smelt/forge metals, and I can't begin to imagine how tough it would be for them to develop electronics. Any kind of modern tech might be of interest to them if it could be waterproofed. Why shouldn't merpeople all want mp3 players and high-powered flashlights? Being able to see where you're going when you a few thousand fathoms deep and taking music with you are awesome. (This assumes they don't already have magical equivalents to every device - if they do, then you've got to decide whether tech ever has advantages over magic.)

Additionally, how well do merpeople do on land? Are they able to snake around at all, or are they basically immobile? How quickly do they dry out? If it's harsh enough, then to them, exploring the surface would be like humans exploring the ocean, and we'd be able to do plenty of exchanges in both directions.

It's definitely in human interests to be on good terms with merpeople, for the sake of ocean travel and water supply and not having them aim their shark cannons at us. (The sharks wear reverse scuba suits, so they're fine.)

Loquat said...

I feel like cooked foods, as a luxury good merfolk could come up to the surface for, would be a big part of it. There's really not much you can do to zazz up your food underwater - the only heat sources strong enough to cook with are those boiling vents, which aren't exactly safe to get close to, and it's nearly impossible to make any kind of liquid sauce or dressing without losing it to the surrounding water. About all you can do is find varieties of raw fish and seaweed that taste good together. So, imagine a merperson sitting on a dock, enjoying some crispy fried chicken. Or clam chowder. Or ice cream. Food would totally be big business, and a flashpoint for merfolk culture wars.

Then there are plastics - metals may corrode in seawater, but there are plenty of varieties of plastic that would work reasonably well. This I haven't put as much thought into - I don't know what durable goods merfolk would find useful until I figure out how they live and what they do.

Ana Mardoll said...

Food! What a delightful idea! And so rarely explored in literature, given American beliefs that food is evil and DEATHFATS etc.

Loquat said...

For my story, I'm currently setting it in this world idea I've been kicking around for a while, where most of the classic Tolkienesque fantasy races exist and magic has been gradually fading ever since their equivalent of the Renaissance. So now it's the early 20th century, and magic is pretty well gone - some people try to maintain the old ways, but all the showy spells like Fireball don't work anymore and things like Control Weather are only getting the sort of vague sometimes-they-work-sometimes-they-don't results they get in the real world. Some cultures, most notably the elves, are claiming their magic still works and eschewing technology, but for the most part everyone's either industrialized or gotten conquered by an industrialized power. Which puts the merfolk in a unique position, as their environment makes most forms of industry impossible but also protects them from most of the advanced weapons of the industrialized nations.

As for merfolk on land, I'm taking the Australian Lungfish as a model - they prefer to live underwater, they're capable of breathing air, and they can survive out of water for several days if their skin is kept moist. (Fun fact - Australian lungfish are the only lungfish that can live underwater! African and South American lungfish are primarily air-breathers, and can't get adequate oxygen from their gills alone.) So there wouldn't be lots of day-to-day interaction between humans and merfolk except in cities with lots of canals, like Venice, and accordingly any place with a significant mer presence is likely to have at least one such town to facilitate trade and interaction.

Loquat said...

Oh, also - if a mer-safe airplane can be perfected, merpeople might have a significant advantage in air combat since they're accustomed to the idea of moving and fighting in 3 dimensions.

JonathanPelikan said...

It's my birthday today, so I'm chilling up with the parents; in fact, we're most of the way through Star Wars Episode 4, the first of the movies ever made. A lovely, lovely movie, and my greater understanding of writing and tropes only helps me enjoy the classic movie better.

Trying to get some writing done, as well, keeping up the somewhat brisk pace I've been setting the past two weeks with my fanfic. Still no progress on the novel project, really. Chapter Nine on the fanfic is up to about 3,500 words, although a lot of them are really turrible and I'm more in the 'rush through and get the framework laid so we can start working the details and polishing stuff' mode.

Protagonist is being raised to fight The Forces of Darkness(TM) and Sacrifice Himself For The Greater Good, etc, being a member of a noble house and a general. He and his friends are trying to keep their country together despite factional struggles, and so when rebellion breaks out, he volunteers to lead a force out to the boonies and stomp it down quickly before it spreads and leaves the strongest country on the continent vulnerable, either to its bitter rivals or to Evil Forces.

He gets there, though, and meets a Mysterious Adviser to the rebels who points out that they have reasons for rising up (feudal oppression, taxation, poverty, desolation, the king has outlawed these practices but is distant and allows local governments a free hand to beat the peasantry, etc.). She actually strikes a deal with him to avoid a full-scale confrontation; a one-on-one duel, and the loser surrenders their entire force to the winner. It's a reckless thing to do, but he gets the upper hand by a fluke, wins, and thus offers a pardon to the rebels and orders them to disband and head home, taking the adviser back to the capital as an envoy to present their grievances to the nobility.

This is a masterstroke of a victory, very popular in the provinces, but the most powerful of the Dukes was rather hoping things had gone differently, in a set-an-example sort of way, and so very soon things start to fall apart for our hero and his friends. A false arrest, breaking out, leading most of his regiment into desertion and being chased every step of the way by his childhood friend, another general bent on recapturing him and 'curing him of his madness' etc... fun times.

I swear, it's overloaded on fanservice to the gills, its budget was tiny, and the gameplay grinds my face into the dust, but there's a reason I started writing fanfic for Record of Agarest War in the first place. Potential in the storylines and characters, laying around like open veins of ore.

"I was raised fully prepared to face down a darkness that emerges from the corners of the world to consume every living thing; I was raised to fight armies of monsters and fulfill my destiny as my father before me, but after everything that's happened, now I understand... darkness can rest in our own hearts, as well. We should have been looking to our leaders instead of focusing outwards and watching for external threats."

chris the cynic said...

Sort of forgot that I usually make sure Stealing Commas is up to date with all the story fragments I've posted on disqus when one of these posts comes along. So I also wrote:

A Strong Delusion: At the dealership, which is a continuation of an idea that I abandoned ages ago in which the reason business as usual takes place throughout the tribulation is that people have been placed under the strong delusion of the title, and thus don't notice it. They still see the children, they still see the raptured people, they don't see the mushroom clouds.

And, Some responses to Edward in Chapter 9 which consists of three things Edward actually says in Twilight, and the things a different Bella might have said in response.

Lily said...

Content warning: depression/anxiety.

Even though I have an upset stomach today, I've been reading Anna Karenina for the first time and it's awesome. I'm a huge fan of Joe Wright's movies and period movies in general, so I'm preparing for the movie release in November. Tolstoy's style and density really appeals to me.

Also, I've been rewatching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind--one of my favorite movies. It keeps my depression/anxiety away a little bit, though I've been a nervous wreck lately because Prozac makes me feel emotionally flat. :/


Amaryllis said...

Isn't it cool, when you get around to reading a "great work" and and you find that it really is great, for you personally.

I, on the other hand, have just failed dismally at reading Nadine Gordimer's Burger's Daughter.. I'm sure it's a wonderful novel, a classic of 20th-century literature, it won the Nobel Prize presumably for a reason-- but I just couldn't concentrate on it. Maybe some other month when I'm less distracted.

I hope you're feeling better.

Happy Birthday, JonathanPelikan!

depizan said...

Happy Birthday!

I swear, it's overloaded on fanservice to the gills, its budget was tiny, and the gameplay grinds my face into the dust, but there's a reason I started writing fanfic for Record of Agarest War in the first place. Potential in the storylines and characters, laying around like open veins of ore.

I'm beginning to think that fanfic sprouts out of the problems in a work that, nonetheless, is somehow appealing. Hell, I started writing SW:TOR fanfic after griping to a friend that the good people on both sides of the conflict ought to team up and do good, since both governments are screwed up all to heck.

Your fanfic sounds many times more epic than what I write, though. Sounds like it'll be a good read, too, if you end up posting it somewhere.

JonathanPelikan said...

Thank you both. ^-^ Had a lovely, relaxing day. A bit understated, but hey. There was cake.

I'd definitely agree that, at least for me personally, a lot of my fanfic-urges are about 'I will change or fix this thing and make it better in some way' or just 'this has potential... if it was executed differently. let's try that!' TOR really should have made me write more, but I don't know, I guess my energies were already going in dozens of direction at once. I did grow especially fond of all my characters before I decided to leave BiowEAre behind me for good.

The fic I was describing is in fact posted at I try not to plug my stuff every single week but siiiiiince there was legitimate cause this time:

Since I didn't exactly adhere to a strict understanding of 'chronological order' and 'timelines' when I wrote these, sort of, chapter three's a good place to get on if you know very little about the series in question. It's basically where I write the opening scene of the game, and it sets the stage for all that is to come after it for quite some time.

Lily said...

I didn't like Beloved and that won the Nobel Prize, I think.


cjmr said...

Beloved won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. I didn't like it much, either.

Lily said...

I love to read and I found it very hard to follow; it was confusing so I didn't have any emotional investment.


Timothy (TRiG) said...

I'm sure tupperwear would be useful to merpeople.


Lonespark said...

I just finished reading Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories. It rocked my face off, but not as hard as the second volume, which I read first. They are both amazing and I recommend them highly.

I have just started reading Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell. Back to the space-caribbean! Aliens and colonialism and multi-dimensional, dynamic POC characters kicking SPAAAACE! (I can haz signed hardcopy, too, which is nice, although I guess it's because I couldn't get a paperback off Amazon due to some kind of publishing dispute.)

The other book I am reading is Shades of Faith: Minority Voices in Paganism. It is unbelievably awesome, and I totally want to read all the authors' other works...

depizan said...

Sounds like a good place to start, all right. *adds to reading list*

chris the cynic said...

I appreciate the point being made, but I don't appreciate the language.

Today's Sinfest seems topical. (Content note: misogynistic language) And proposes a less than perfect motive behind such things.

Rakka said...

Loquat, wouldn't it be quite simple to make a mer-safe airplane? It would just need a tank with oxygenation system, and a way to keep the controls from getting leaked through so plastics would need to be invented first. I think the water would also be helpful againgst sudden high G's, but I may be wrong in that. Every second mecha-containing fic seems to have an undying love for liquid impact dampeners in cockpit.

I'm considering a fantasy world with an empire shaped after China and later Inca-ish style of government. There's heavy bureucracy system and a feudal one that overlap, and the tax collectors are the ones who notice that the producion of some goods, and a local/global changes to climate are affecting the production of necessities in some regions, so we have a group of heroic tax collectors who set out a (possibly multi-generation) plan to get people with Correct Opinions (that unless the government takes care of people there'll be rebellions and civil wars and We Don't Want That) to right positions to change the way things are run and actually plan for consistant rather than maximised growth. And this would be a backdrop to several separate stories. (There are two other continents in the world, one at north pole and other at rougly opposite of the empire, loosely connected to the northern one by a peninsula. Because I wants Viking equivalents!)

Ana Mardoll said...

I'm fascinated by the pictures. You say they were good, though, huh? Maybe I should try...

Brin Bellway said...

(Possibly I should not have posted it on a Tuesday. It vanished off the Current Comments rather quickly.)

chris the cynic said...

You could wait until next week's recommends thread and then repost as something from the week leading up to said thread.

Brin Bellway said...

The thing that made me wonder if it didn't have sufficient exposure is that you hadn't responded, since you and Ana were the ones who expressed interest in pictures. (I might take your suggestion anyway.)

chris the cynic said...

Oh. Sorry. I simply hadn't figured out any appropriate words.

I should respond to things anyway, given that that's what I want of others. (See me telling people to comment on my blog.)

Brin Bellway said...

I simply hadn't figured out any appropriate words.

I thought that's what the "like" button is for.

(See me telling people to comment on my blog.)

And on that note, time to go watch episode 4 of .hack//Sign. At this rate you should see me popping up on those posts in about a month, though there's a pretty big error bar on that number.

chris the cynic said...

Well I just got to the halfway point in Episode 3 so expect me to be where you are (finished three, not yet started four) in *runs numbers* also about a month. (I calculate an average of 63.6 days per episode.)

Be aware that the error bar has the potential to be as big as the prediction.

I look forward to your posts.


And you are correct about the like button, quite often I seem to forget it exists. I read who liked what, but when it comes to liking things myself I often don't think of it.

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