Contra Mozilla

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Some Links About Story

A few quick links about story and story-telling, mostly science fiction. The first come from Ace of Spades, who is talking about the sense-of-wonder which should be included in any good science fiction (or fantasy) story. This, in the context of the Godzilla remake:
I'm always wondering to myself: Where, when they were writing the script, did they expect a 10 year old boy (or the 10 year old boy in all of us, including in women) to go, "Wowww...!!!"
The only Wow factor they're offering CGI Cartoon shit happening faster and bigger.
This reminds me of why Metallica stopped playing speed metal. They realized that the competition in speed metal had simply become unidimensional -- it was simply to play things faster, and then faster, and then faster still, and then, when that got boring, to try playing things even faster.
What is the endpoint of that, they wondered? Is that a competition worth winning?
CGI hasn't had the effect of liberating filmmakers' imaginations -- it has had quite the opposite effect. CGI promises, they think, a guaranteed payoff: We'll just make our cartoons bigger, louder, and faster than they were last time, with more pixels and more texture-shading, and there you go. Art has been made.
But Bigger, Louder, Faster is a creative ditch just like speed metal's Faster Faster Faster....

And I don't care about Godzilla at all. I'm not a child. I don't care about giant monsters knocking about cities. I've seen this before.
In the last ten years, I've seen this kind of thing about 35 times now.
And blog favorite John C Wright continues his discussion of strong female characters, also in the context of science fiction and fantasy. I forget how many of these I linked the last time, so here's part 5, and here's part 6. Part 6 is especially worth the read. Instead of quoting some passages which are representative of the whole, I give these two nuggets from part 6:
"More truth is held in the pages of trashy romance novels than in all the worthless books penned by college professors."
"I read with some skeptical bitterness that when neurologists first started publicly admitting that there were neurochemical differences in brain structure between males and females, Gloria Steinem said that social conditioning could overcome this innate genetic predilections. I understand that the Left also says that homosexual attraction is caused by innate genetic predilections, but that to use any form of social conditioning to overcome such predilections is illegal in California. Consistency is not the strong suit of the Left."
Indeed. Here is a more representative passage:
The story logic requires that if a superheroine falls for a guy, he has to be virile and potent in relation to her, in some way her superior, so that she has something she thinks is sexy to admire and adore; and likewise she, even if she is physically stronger and shows directness and leadership and cooks outdoors and has great clumps of underarm hair and in every way is masculine and manly, she has to be shown as devoted, because fidelity is what sexually attracts men to women.
The old cliché of rescuing a damsel in distress is based on the idea that a woman rescued from danger by a man will be devoted to him, because ingratitude in such life or death situations was unthinkable, particularly for an admirable female lead.
Again, the logic of Political Correctness requires that men and women not be complementary because the concept of complementary strengths and weakness is not a concept that Political Correctness can admit, lest it be destroyed. The concept of complementary virtues undermines the concept of envy, and Political Correctness is nothing but politicized fury based on politicized envy. We can define Political Correctness as the attempt to express fury and envy via radical changes to legal and social institutions.

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