Geek Talk · Rambles

What’s all this garbage about Rose Tico being worse than Jar Jar?


Apparently, Rose’s haters think she’s worse than Jar Jar…because they don’t like her. Or, well, because they think she was useless to the plot.

Now, I don’t make a habit of prodding through the rants of the toxic people that used to be fans of Star Wars (I think it’s safe to say used to be since so many of them have decided they are no longer supporting the franchise after The Last Jedi), but with what happened to Rose’s actress recently, I found myself curious to see how the actual conservative fans of Star Wars were feeling.

The long and short of it is that most didn’t really care about Rose (other than her cheesy dialogue) and heaped most of their hate on Admiral Holdor because she’s clearly a purple haired feminist “icon.” (Though I don’t know any feminists who actually liked her that much considering she mommed the mission into failure.) It was refreshing, and a huge relief, to see a lot of them also condemn the behavior of the people who will no doubt become their face for years to come. Anyway, in combing through the dirty backside of the internet, I came across a debate that, well, makes no sense to me:

People were debating if Rose Tico was worse than Jar Jar Binks.

Now, I could waste some of my free storage space to link a picture of Jar Jar for everyone, but I don’t need to deal with those nightmares. So I won’t.

I had been aware that people were worried the porgs would be like Ewoks or Jar Jar, and, apparently, some people still felt that way because clearly anything that exists just to sell toys must be pure evil. But after the movie ended and most people agreed ‘yeah, they were alright’ I thought the ‘what will be the next Jar Jar’ discussion had been settled with ‘nothing could be worse than Jar Jar.’

(For anyone who questions this: porgs get less than 5 minutes of screen time, do not interfere with the plot in any way, and have adorable designs. They enrich the world they exist in like the swamp creatures enrich Dagobah and they give Chewie something to do besides standing creepily in a corner. They’re fine. They don’t even come close to Ewoks. Plus, their toys are actually cute.)

It seems that a subset of now anti-fans have decided that because they don’t like Rose, she is the new Jar Jar. Well, they define it as her being entirely useless. Which, I can get. She could easily have been replaced in this film with another character, or not been there at all. I read somewhere that it was originally supposed to be a Poe and Finn mission, but the writers decided the boys got on too well (which totally had nothing to do with the popularity of their slash ship I’m sure) and decided to split them up with foils. Those became Rose and Admiral Holdor. I don’t know if this is true, but I do wish we’d gotten the original story without the two ladies. Not that I dislike Rose, I’m glad we have her. (And I’m glad Holdor will not be returning, though, again, I don’t hate her.) Poe and Finn just work really well together and I think their subplots would’ve been less, well, boring, if they’d been together.

There was also the argument that her cheesy dialogue might be worse and I can’t even finish that sentence. Jar Jar’s dialogue was purposefully infantile to attempt to get a cheap laugh. As Qui-Gon put it, ‘the ability to speak does not make [one] intelligent.’ Jar Jar can barely function. But that’s not why I hate him. If he was merely dumb and useless, that would be one thing.

Jar Jar Binks actively destroyed the plot of the prequel trilogy. There’s a reason the Sith Lord Jar Jar theory is so popular, and that’s because it’s believable on pretty much every level. In Attack of the Clones, Jar Jar granted emergency powers to Palpatine. With those powers, Palpatine easily formed the Empire.

Rose is better than him because, at worst, she’s useless to the overall story. I’d even say she has a slightly positive impact since she encourages Finn to actually commit to being a rebel without doing some huge thing that causes things to fall apart. Sure, some stuff she does doesn’t make sense and other stuff can be very cheesy, and apparently saving the animals is some huge liberal propaganda moment (though if a pro-animal abuse stance is the ship you want to go down on, there are a lot bigger problems at work here). Overall, Rose has no negative effect on the rebels or the cause. In fact, when you’re severely outnumbered (like, millions to a couple dozen outnumbered), having a cheesy cheerleader can be really beneficial at keeping people focused on the cause and not ready to just jump out a space hatch because all hope is lost forever.

I like her gusto, but overall, I’m lukewarm on Rose. Which is a far cry better than how I feel about Jar Jar.

For full disclosure, I should also note that I’m withholding final judgement on The Last Jedi until we see the pay off of the next film since most of what happened in this movie was set up for what, I hope, is to come. If they just chuck everything that this movie set up out the window like The Last Jedi chucked a lot of what The Force Awakens set up, I’m not going to be pleased. But, for now, I’m kind of lukewarm on pretty much everything. Except BB-8. BB-8 is my favorite droid and I love it. Oh, well, I also don’t hate porgs. Clearly. They’re adorable and I want one.

As for Solo, I didn’t go see it because I’d just spent all my movie budget on Infinity War and Deadpool 2. Plus, of all the concepts I’ve seen pitched, Solo has the least draw. We already know who Han becomes, we know where his life goes, and, at this point, we also already know how he dies. It could be a really fun movie (though I’ve seen that they obsessed over telling ‘this is how Han got/became ___’ mini-stories in the movie) but when choosing between which of the three big movies that dropped to go see, I had to go see the more important ones. I think it failed for all those reasons, and not because the anti-fans got their way (though it is funny to see them celebrate the failure of a movie that’s basically everything they wanted). If Solo had been released in December, I would’ve gone to see it. It just wasn’t that important to go see it right now. I will also grant there may be a little fatigue — while I’d readily go see three Marvel movies in one year, they’re all about very different characters and aspects of that universe and they give us vastly different settings.

Star Wars, sure, gives us tons of different planets, but they’re all one-hat planets (all ice, or all desert, or all rainforest) and there’s only two types of ships: the polished Empire type ships, and the more janky everyman and rebel ships. Woo. Plus, every movie has dealt with the same war, to one extent or another (the prequels show us how it started, Rogue One shows us the beginning of its’ downfall, Solo shows us some of life during the war for non-rebels, the originals showed us the actual downfall, and the new trio is showing it’s aftermath).

Marvel movies mostly take place on one planet and still manage to make most movies feel like they’re taking place worlds apart. Black Panther’s Wakanda is different from Spiderman’s NYC is different from Iron Man’s rich man life is different from…well, you get the idea. Even Avengers NYC feels different from Spiderman’s NYC. Even if they all end the same way (heroes win, villains lose – Infinity War notwithstanding), there’s different villains and different stories and different personalities and there’s freaking color. Sorry, but the bright colors of the MCU really do count for a lot in a world where movies seem to be competeing to be the most visually bland thing to date. It’s not ‘realistic’ to be washed out. Star Wars is good on that front, too, because the colors, while mostly whites, blacks, and browns (with some oranges), are at least very bright. It’s just more interesting on the eyes, and for the mind, to have variation.

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Rambles

On the sad state of romance in the MCU, and why I’m still holding out hope.

So, I never really thought about the state of everyone’s love lives in the MCU…until I started seeing a bunch of articles ranking couples and found out that I had a very strong reaction to those lists. The was even at least one rebuttal article fighting for the much, much stronger non-romantic relationships. Well, not officially romantic. I’ve noticed the way Cap looks at Bucky too, you know.

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And by ‘how he looks at Bucky’ I mean ‘with actual emotions.’ Or with literally any emotion.  MCU Cap and Sharon just have no chemistry…not to mention epic levels of ick.

In all honesty, I don’t really ship most official MCU couples. I’m not a huge shipper in general because ships in movies tend to just flat out stink (even, and sometimes especially, in movies that are specifically romances). So usually I just, well, ignore that stuff. It is what it is, it does what it does, and 90% of the time it’s fine enough as something that just happens in all movies (because gods and goddesses forbid we have a movie that doesn’t have romance shoehorned in somewhere).

That’s not to say I’m not a shipper and I don’t enjoy any romances. I’ve just come to expect that 95% of all romance in movies and on TV is going to be just ok at best because, well, they are. Most romance exists because it was mandated or because it’s just expected. Hero swings hammer a few times, gets girl. Though I can’t blame Jane for that one. If Chris Hemsworth came in all Thor-ing around near me I’d probably swoon at first, too. Still, the best thing to happen to MCU Thor and Jane is that Jane dumped Thor. Jane definitely had potential, but it was squandered in just painting by the same boring numbers that most romances follow. Hero heroes, gets girl. Girl is then the worst part of the sequel because the writer’s don’t know what to do with her because she only existed to be a love interest instead of as her own character. Sure, she had traits. She had a job. She was, technically, a person, with or without Thor. But as a character she only existed to be a love interest.

That tends to be the biggest and easiest line to draw. Does the character serve any other purpose to the story? If no, then the romance isn’t going to turn out well. Ok, it might turn out ok in the movie, but odds are very good it’s going to be boring. Characters that only exist to be a romantic interest are boring. Even actual romances understand this. Well, the good ones do.

Take Pepper. She’s Tony’s love interest, but she’s also starts off as his handler and later becomes the CEO of his company. In both of these positions, she’s shown to have a life beyond Tony. When he misbehaves, she kicks him out of her office. Her office as the CEO of company that bears his name. She’s also a voice of reason (that he doesn’t listen to, and ends up in bad situations because of it).

In Iron Man, I wasn’t on board with their relationship. But by the end of Iron Man 3, I was. What changed in between was Pepper becoming a character in her own rights.

Now, that isn’t to say someone who exists as just a love interest can’t be interesting. Clint’s wife barely even has any lines, but they have three kids to prove their love. She exists literally only to give Clint’s pretty much unaddressed self another dimension – in this case, a family. Perhaps it’s because the movies give us so little on him in general, but she’s interesting because she’s the wife of an Avenger. The wife that he kept hidden from literally everyone, save from the ones from S.H.E.I.L.D. who set them up with their little hide-away. I have so many questions about their family because they gave a very under-utilized character another aspect, but they also weren’t so over used.

For the other half of the under-utilized Avengers, the best thing to happen to Nat in the romantic realm was the ‘this is awkward’ line from Sam. I don’t see a lot of people discussing that line, but I immediately assumed that it meant Nat was dating Sam now. Apparently that might not be the case. Granted, that sweet sadness of the recording on the Quinjet made me at least not hate the possibility of Bruce and Nat. And they do both have pasts they want to put behind them. Well, Bruce has a second half he want(ed) to put behind him. I can dig that. It wasn’t well executed in the MCU, but I can dig it.

What I can’t dig, or forgive, is Sharon. I don’t hate Sharon. She’s a decent character. But why the hell did the writers have to make her kiss Steve. Two days (maybe a few more, maybe even less) after Peggy died. I don’t even care that she’s Peggy’s niece and that’s a layer of discomfort. What makes me mad is that it was two days after she died. Have some freaking respect!

There’s actually a ton about Steve and Sharon that makes me mad, beyond just the sheer disrespect of the scene. The lack of chemistry (though I’m sure the actors tried), and they lack any kind of development. These two are the epitome of ‘we did it because it’s comic canon.’ These two brought Civil War to a screeching, painful halt for a second. That kiss also screamed of desperation. Since, you know, Steve x Bucky is probably the most popular ship of the fandom.

 

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I would give anything for someone that looks at me the way Bucky and Steve look at each other.

There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because there’s no one better to ship Steve with. Well, in the MCU there kind of isn’t (and for all you Steve x Tony or whoever else shippers, I only mean canonically to the movies). But beyond that, Steve and Bucky have probably the best relationship, in canon, of pretty much everyone I can think of off the top of my head. There’s a lot of characters and a lot of combinations, but they’re the first one that comes to mind when I think ‘what relationship do I want in my life?’ I’m talking all kinds of relationships.

Steve literally gave up his entire persona for Bucky. Now, given that Steve is the epitome of a boy scout that’s not really that big of a deal, but he did break with his friends, risked the trust of the world, and become a criminal (in more ways than just not signing those accords – he harbored and fought for a wanted ‘ciminal’ after all). For Bucky. If it had been most other people, I’m sure he would’ve at least tried to find another option, but given Bucky’s history there really wasn’t a choice. And Bucky was worth that sacrifice. On the flip side, Bucky cared so much for Steve that their friendship shook him from his brainwashing. They are also both men out of time – that is, men who were born in one era then ‘woken up’ in another one. No one else alive can relate to them the way they can relate to each other.

Now take all of that and put it in the hands of passionate fans who aren’t being pushed and pulled and prodded to try and maximize profits. They also don’t have a time limit, not that they’d need one. When the muse hits, it’s easy to write. Anyone who’s ever gotten lost in their writing is familiar with that. And these two offer a lot to convince the muses to pay the fans a visit. Every time they’re on screen together there’s new material to add to the angsty love-fest.

Is it any wonder that they’re the OTP of the MCU?

I know, because Marvel is obsessed with that Chinese money, they’re never going to give us something as blatent as Captain America dating a man in the movies proper. And…I kind of don’t want them to. Especially since we’re very likely at the end of Steve Rogers. He’s consistently being pegged as most likely to die before the adventures with the infinity stones are over. Or to finish things. Whichever comes first.

Despite the sadness of the first era of the Avengers coming to a close, I do have a lot of hope for the future. They’ve been trying new things in their most recent phase, and I’ve liked everything except Sharon. That’s because all the relationships have been beginnings. They’ve taken the time to establish friendship and comraderie between the characters, like Steve and Bucky have. Well, not nearly as deep, but I’m a lot more ready for Peter and MJ (c’mon, there’s no way that’s not happening) than I would’ve been if they’d just been smashed together. And Peter and Liz was such a believable crush, not to mention great development for him. He chose his duty over his teenage boyness.

Then we have Black Panther. T’Challa and Nakia didn’t get a lot of development as a pairing, but they did get a lot of development as people.

There’s also probably my favorite one, because I didn’t see it as a ship at all. It makes it onto most rankings and there’s even a whole article welcoming the lovely lady into the ‘MCU Romantic Interest club,’ but…I saw it as just a really amazing friendship. That used to be a relationship. I’m talking about. Doctor Stephen Strange and Christine. In the movie, there is never motions towards a relationship, there is no forced lip kissing (though there is some very believable hugging and one cheek kiss), and Infinity War seems to show that Strange is kind of too busy, or at least too caught up with his new job, for a relationship of that sort.

I love it. I know a lot of people didn’t see it that way because they’re conditioned to see the female character beside the leading male as his romantic interest, but I truly hope that they’re just kept as good friends in any future movies he gets to be in. I also hope we get to see her again. She’s kind of an everyday hero and it’s good to get a few of those inbetween all the super world-saving sorts.

Or, well, there’s also the galaxy saving sorts.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten our inter-galactic planet-defeating guardians. There’s only one relationship there, and there’s a reason I saved it for last.

Peter Quill and Gamora are my favorite couple out of all the canon MCU relationships. Why? Because Peter Quill doesn’t just ‘get the girl’ for saving the day. He’s a bratty manchild and he has a long way to go (and he’s also come a long way since his first appearance, let’s give him credit where it’s due), and that’s one of the biggest turn offs in the known universe. But Gamora loves him. He, along with the rest of the Guardians, are her found family. The beings that actually, truly love her, and not in the abusive way that Thanos loved her.

 

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The Guardians movies did an amazing job of building these two up for the inevitable I love you point. Then Infinity War went and burst the bubble and it felt waaaaay too soon.

In retrospect, I don’t mind it. It happened in the scene where Gamora was begging Peter to kill her after all. And he agreed.

So, yeah. They’re still my faves. Infinity War and all.

Granted, that could change, depending on where the MCU goes from here. Is anyone else rooting for Peter (Parker) and Shuri or is that just me? (Did anyone else find out Shuri was supposed to be a teenager after seeing Black Panther, or was that just me too?)

 

Rambles · Uncategorized

So, you hate Star Lord now.

So, if you didn’t hate Peter Quill before, you definitely hate him now. If you hated him before, well, Infinity War just drove the nail in deeper.

Isn’t he just the worst? Because of him, Thanos won and made Peter feel not so good and made Tony cry and took Steve’s boyfriend and made Okoye scream and – And it’s all Star Lord’s fault. They were literally right there! If he’d just waited five more seconds. Just five more seconds. That’s it!

And…well, let’s be real, we knew he didn’t have the fortitude to keep it together. Really, if Mantis had just kept her mouth shut, or if Nebula had grabbed him. She was standing right there after all, but all she did was avert her eyes!

Or what about Dr. Strange? He just handed the time stone over! Sure, without it Thanos could do plenty of damage, but with it he snapped his fingers! And don’t get me started on Team Cap, waiting soooo long to deal with the Soul stone – or how freaking absolutely useless Vision was throughout the whole movie? C’mon, you’re supposed to be the combination of Jarvis, an infinity stone, and a botched attempt at peace in our time. You gotta have more power than that.

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“Peace in our times” – if peace means “easily knocked down and incapacitated from what is basically just a flesh wound for you.”

Oh, but how about Tony. If he’d just turned that stupid space ship around, they never would’ve been on Titan in the first place. They would’ve had the full force of all the Avengers, Wakanda, possibly the rest of Earths’ militaries, and two of the stones in their defense.

But, really, it was all Thor’s fault, wasn’t it? If he’d just gone for the head. But noooo he needed his revenge. Of course, he wouldn’t have needed to get revenge if Loki hadn’t been so stupid. Seriously, God of Mischief, you tried to shank Thanos? You know better!

If we want to get nit-picky, we could even get mad at Hulk. No, not Bruce. Specifically Hulk. “We have a Hulk!” – who is apparently easily traumatized when someone beats him. At least when times got tough our afraid-of-losing-control Bruce Banner put on a freaking Iron Man suit and kicked some butt while Hulky dearest was crying in his corner of the mind.

Actually, it’s probably easier to count the people who didn’t make some sort mistake that contributed to the snap. Bruce Banner put on his Avenger pants and brought his best to the fight. Peter Parker is also one, maybe. Who knows what would’ve happened if he’d listened to Tony and stayed on Earth though? There’s also, uhm…….Rocket? Rocket was pretty on point. He even got to be the emotional center for Thor. Point is, there were a lot of mistakes that led to Thanos winning. So why did we all flock to hating just Star Lord?

I admit it, when Okoye screamed was when I lost it, and in that moment I blamed Quill for my pain, just as many others clearly did. It didn’t matter that the logic in my mind was yelling ‘they have another movie! There’s a Spiderman 2! A Black Panther 2! They will return!!!’ Okoye screamed. Okoye. Yes yes I know for most people it was “I don’t feel so good” that got them, but for some reason Okoye was what got me.

It’s also probably not super fair to say we’re just hating Star Lord. People very quickly caught on to Thor’s little revenge mistake (and it didn’t hurt that Joe Russo told people to blame Thor). But there’s still a lot of jokes and rants that were made first, alongside a lot of people who are still more mad at Quill than Thor.

Through, Thor had kind of been simmering throughout this movie. For those who didn’t see Ragnarok, spoilers. But if you saw Infinity War you’ve already been spoiled a bit – Asgard went kabloom. No, that’s an understatement. Thor’s dad died in front of his eyes and his here-there-to unknown big sister came and destroyed his best friend (Mjolnir, obviously) and dumped him, albeit accidentally, on a planet where he was literally dragged into slavery by one of his own people. This all happened very much in short order, so he didn’t have time to deal with any of those emotions before he was forced into gladiatorial battle for his freedom. Oh, and his annoying little brother was watching all of this next to his captor. Then, when he did finally get free, he found out that all of his friends (the living, breathing kind) had been slaughtered and his people were probably going to be killed very soon too, so still no time to mourn while he has to go be a king. Except being a king turned out to mean blow up your childhood home. Well, apparently your home for the last 1,500 years. That’s a bit more than childhood. Sure, he made nice with Loki, so there’s that…except no. All those people he saved in blowing up his home, including Loki, well, they die.

And it all happens kind of quietly. Thor hasn’t really had an emotion that even resembled about it throughout either of the movies, up until it looks like he might cry a little with Rocket. That’s really in character for Thor – he hasn’t really shown sadness at all throughout the movies, though, apparently, he has used it for fashion inspiration.

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There’s something about a stoic man quietly wearing his feelings that vibes with us in a way that a broken manchild screaming and making a scene just doesn’t. So when Thor went in for his revenge, I was rooting for him to get it. Not actively of course. But I wasn’t expecting Thanos to survive it. In retrospect, Thor clearly was. Thanos was right, he should’ve aimed for the head. As long as Thanos still had movement in his arm, he could go through with his plan. Thor knew this, and he missed on purpose. For his people, for his friends, and for his brother. So he could look into Thanos’ eyes and get his revenge. That was his way of mourning them. Every part of that moment is so somber and so sad.

It’s literally the exact opposite of Quill’s outburst and interruption of the almost successful fight that he’d just put his all into alongside Iron Man’s third of the movie. Star Lord had been fighting with them for several minutes before they got Thanos tied down, and they were right there, and he lost it and took their victory away. Thor…actively surrendered his. But quietly.

Ok, that was a lot about Thor, and there’s a lot of other characters to get through. So! Let’s go through the rest quickly here:

Hulk. I haven’t seen anyone blame Hulk, even though we can technically factor him in. He is stronger than the other humans and he’s just spent the last two years as a gladiator. Which could have made him stronger, or it could’ve made him complacent. After all, he did win every battle. We technically never really see him fail, up until Thanos thrashes him. And Thanos did thrash him. Poor Hulk, he was clearly traumatized. Well, that was why I’m not mad at him. I feel so bad for our green monster. Most other people seem to have been amused, which would also contribute as to why they aren’t blaming him. Plus, he wasn’t there, so he he couldn’t make a mistake. (Even though his not being there is what I’m counting as a contributing factor.)

Team Cap. Just the whole lot of them. Sure, it’s super sentimental we don’t let someone die without trying. I give Wanda a complete pass, since it can’t be easy being told you have to kill the man you’re in love with, though there have been a few arguments that she should’ve joined in the battle sooner. Besides that, these guys are easy to pass over in general. Thanos got the Time stone, so it literally wouldn’t matter when they shattered it. Unless they ground it into dust and scattered it’s ashes throughout the galaxy – and I mean went particle by particle sending it off in different directions (or, maybe just tossed it’s ashes into the sun), Thanos would’ve eventually put it back together anyway. Hell, even if they did toss it’s ashes into the sun he may still have found a way to put it back together. The Time stone does manipulate literal time after all. And oh we will get to that Time stone.

Vision and Loki. I put them together because they seem to have faced the same issue: Writing. Most people who do notice their oddities in this movie seem to be blaming the writers for failing these characters. Loki was also killed in the first ten minutes and Vision also kind of blended into the background a bit with so much happening to and around him but he didn’t interact much with it, spending half of his screen time on his back. There’s also that strong undercurrent of believers in the best Disney Prince having actually tricked us all (again) and that he had a bigger plan. Or maybe he just escaped. Though there are those leaked pictures from the next movie…

Mantis. It seems that she literally can’t help but shout out the emotions that she’s receiving from the person she’s got her hands on, apparently? Even if she doesn’t have that quirk, then it’s still clear that Ego didn’t raise her to have enough social knowledge to know that’s a bad idea. Mantis is still very much a child, regardless of how old she is, because she hasn’t spent a lot of time socializing with beings that aren’t Ego. Well, at least beings that aren’t Ego and weren’t killed by Ego. Her shortcoming in this regard is actually is more wrapped up in complaints about how she’s been written overall than in regards to her place in this story.

Nebula. No one seems to have actually realized that she was just standing there. Those who did note it are mad at her. So…this one depends on how much people actually paid attention. But, also, like Thor, it was quiet. She was very quiet about it and she didn’t actually get in the middle of a near-success.

Tony. Ah, Tony. His potential mistake came a long time before it’s payoff, and I think that’s the main reason most people don’t think of it. His choice to go to Titan came right about the end of the first act or beginning of the second act, and the fight with Thanos was in the third act. He literally took the Time stone straight to Thanos. Sure, he had the goal of stopping things then and there, but turning back, which was his initial plan, was always going to be the better option. On Earth, yes there would be more people in danger, but there would also be more people who could fight, and plenty more people he knew could fight. Even if he was reluctant to call Steve, Steve does exist. Bucky is a similar super soldier, and there’s Wanda and Vision and Black Panther and Ant Man and Hawkeye (even if they didn’t show up and probably weren’t even called, Tony might’ve called them) and…well, it’s a long list. A lot of people to protect the Time stone together. And the Soul stone. They could’ve protected both at once. Though that is also a fault, with two stones side-by-side, and they didn’t know that was pointless anyway. Thor hadn’t shown up yet to say ‘oh yeah he got the stone that lets him portal around the galaxy at will.’ Anyway you slice it, though, it’s a bad idea to just take an Infinity Stone straight to the guy who’s collecting them.

Lastly, Doctor Strange. I told you we’d get back to that Time stone. After Quill and Thor, he’s the third most hated on character by the end of the movie. The reason he isn’t the top hated is probably because he flat out told us that there’s one ‘winning’ timeline, and after that point it only makes sense that he’d follow that timeline as closely as possible. This even explains why he didn’t just chop Thanos’ arm off like we’re shown early in the movie can easily be done. He comes in with his built in ‘don’t hate the player, hate the game!’ argument as he blows away in the wind of Titan. I’m still mad at him though.

So…with all those mistakes, why is Quill the one we flock to? And why not, as Chris Pratt noted, just directly blame Thanos for what Thanos did?

Well, that last question is easy. Thanos is the bad guy. Bad guys are gonna do bad things. Thanos did exactly what we expected of him. But we also expected the heroes to stop him, and they didn’t. And the loudest, most literally in-your-face of them was Quill. The gauntlet was almost off, if he’d just stayed back for five more seconds it all would’ve been over. Thanos would’ve lost.

I know I’m still have…frustrated feelings towards Quill. (They were right there!) But I also sincerely appreciate him in this moment. He’s so human in all the best ways, but that also means he’s human in the worst ways. 

Quill promised Gamora he would kill her if it came to it, and he hesitated in the moment but he was actually going to do it, but then it didn’t work. So he failed her. Then Thanos took her and killed her while he was trying to save her and Thanos got the very thing she was trying to prevent him from getting. So Quill double failed her.

He’s also had a history of being rather immature, even though he’s grown, because a pretty cruddy childhood that included the watching his mom die (and he even refused to hold her hand as she did so!), guilt, and then abuse at the hands of people he saw as his abductors who then raised him is more than enough to stunt development. Yeah, Yondu cared about him, clearly a lot, but that doesn’t excuse how terrified he was as a kid. He definitely took some of those ‘jokes’ completely seriously. And when was the last time someone told him that they loved him? Besides Gamora. Oh yeah, Gamora had also just told him that she loved him. That had happened.

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Let’s see you keep your cool after all that.

So bundle all that up and, well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be in character for him to do anything but punch Thanos in the face.

The immaturity is a reason why he’s hard to like most of the time, but it’s also what makes him great. I especially love how his temper tantrums are responded to correctly, with people being mad at him when he acts up, making it clear that while the hero is immature, his immaturity isn’t heroic. The same thing happens here.

Marvel characters are all quite flawed, emotional beings. That’s kind of what Marvel is famous for – writing characters that are mostly mirrors of us, but with powers. Take Tony, our next closest character on the immaturity level. At least, at his outset. He was a playboy and he didn’t care who died from his inventions as long as he got all the monies. Actually, it seemed he cared a lot more for the attention, which is somehow even worse (he didn’t care who suffered as long as the whole world was watching him sounds kind of, well, familiar). Then, once he was past that phase, he still got drunk and half destroyed his house fighting with his bestie. And he’s come so far, but he’s also very aware of who he was at all times, with his mistakes constantly jumping up in his face (hence why he was such a huge advocate for signing in Civil War). Those accords were very clearly a bad idea, and it looks like the MCU wants us to see them as bad too given how the military attempted to tell Rhodey no only for him to say screw you, welcome back to the Avengers, Cap. But they made Tony feel that there was a safety on whatever was spiraling, so he signed them.

Bruce is afraid of himself, Thor is bottling all his loss and apparently braiding it into his hair so he doesn’t have to let it out, Cap didn’t have the guts to be honest with Tony about what happened to the Starks. Scott is a criminal trying to be good but keeps ending up on the wrong side of the law (and, yes, it’s not always because the law is right, but he’s still been in jail the most). Peter Parker wants to impress Tony and as such almost gets a lot of people killed (or at least wet with a lot of property damage) trying to prove himself. Everyone makes huge mistakes because they can’t handle their emotions. They just do it more quietly. And, well, at less inopportune times. Dropping a country out of the sky or even just New York are bad things, but they aren’t half the galaxy is now dust bad. And what Quill did definitely tops all of their mistakes combined. But he is human, and he is in an absolutely insane situation, and he just lost the first person to love him since he was a child…well, the first person who loved him and didn’t abuse him in that love.

Yondu is his own topic.

Rambles · Uncategorized

The Steadfast Determination of Thanos

So, most people have noticed a flaw in Thanos’ plan.

When you have unlimited power to alter time, space, and the literal fabric of the universe, why is your endgame goal to destroy half of it? You literally have the power to double everything. Not enough food? Double it. Not enough shelter? Double it. Not enough space? Double it! Or infinity-ise it. They are the infinity stones after all. It’s right in the name.

Comics Thanos didn’t have this problem. Comics Thanos was doing it because he wanted to get laid. Ok, I know it’s more complicated than that – he was absolutely infatuated with someone who really couldn’t care less about him and wanted to be worthy of their love. I don’t like that trope in any of it’s forms. It’s annoying, and it can be boiled down to “he wanted someone, they didn’t want him back. So he did a stupid.”

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Pro-tip: If someone doesn’t want you to begin with, grand gestures won’t change that. They’ll probably hate you more.

Despite how much I hate the reasoning, it was, at least, without gaping holes. People do ridiculous things when they’re sure they’re in love, after all. Men especially are kind of famous for doing stupid things to impress women, even when the woman has made it clear that nothing they could possibly do will make them want to get with that man.  Check out any current discussion on incels (that’s not written by incels) to get the gist of it. I’m not saying the writers changed it because of the incel stuff, especially since the incel discussions started rising after they’d wrapped on filming, but I am going to say it’s probably better that they didn’t drag Death into the MCU given all that’s going on. It’s just a bit of good luck on their part.

I’d wager that the more likely reason they didn’t go with the ‘Thanos madly in love with Death plot’ is just because it’s too messy for the MCU. The MCU has an advantage over other movie franchises in that theres so many different characters that it could keep pumping out movies til it’s long surpassed James Bond, but it also has the disadvantage that it does have to keep these stories contained to 3 hour bites (give or take on the time). They have to be able to both at least somewhat stand alone, or maybe work as a two-parter, and work together as a growing ensemble. That’s not easy on the big screen. That’s not even easy on the small screen. And Death, well, she’d make things messy in that regard.

These are things that could definitely change in the future, of course, but I’m really glad they aren’t going there right now. I like the current level of stuff going on. It’s a lot, but not too much to function.

So, instead of infatuated to the point of committing genocide to impress a lady Thanos, we get ‘I’m your REAL Jesus’ Thanos. And I like this Thanos. I think he’s a stronger character for it. I also don’t think that the complaint everyone’s had is necessarily a plot hole. Or, at least, it doesn’t have to be. Whether or not the writer’s thought of it, well, that’s why this is a fan theory.

See, while I know making everything infinite is a possibility, I never questioned Thanos’s logic and follow-through within the movie and I never expected him to diverge from his plan.

That plan, in short, is to wipe out half of life in the galaxy as the ultimate way to stop overpopulation. Well, half of certain kinds of life, it seems? Since wiping out half of all plant and food-source life would kind of defeat the purpose, unless it was just a space issue. Plus there’s the matter of the populations he already destroyed parts of. Given that Drax was dusted, it seems that he included them in that group. Or maybe he just specifically chose Drax even though it was supposed to be random. It does seem like he specifically spared Tony after all – so maybe Drax was the trade? Since Dr. Strange could’ve been randomly spared or dusted since he was part of Earth’s population. But I digress. (Though can I digress for just one more second – what if he accidentally dusted someone who was transporting a bomb that is now going to crash and blow up a much larger portion of the population than intended? Does he even care? There’s so many more questions that warrant more discussion than ‘why didn’t Thanos just infinity everything?’)

We know that Thanos has been doing his ’round them up and kill half’ shtick for at least since before Gamora was a toddler, and long enough before he adopted her to raise an army that adhered to his cause. So, at least two decades. It’s clear he’s been doing it for longer but for actual countable years, at least 20. We know he’s only started gathering Infinity Stones within the last one to two, after he got that gauntlet of his, which he got because Loki slacked at his job. Well, the job he stole from his adopted daddy, but it was still his job while he was there and he slacked on it. Technically we don’t know when exactly Thanos took the Power Stone, but it was definitely after Guardians of the Galaxy, and most likely after Volume 2 since there’s no mention of Xandar being half-slaughtered in that movie (and, given what he did to the Asgardians, he definitely didn’t stop with his full time job just because he had a side hustle now). So, basically, there was a rather large span of time between his decision to be his version of a savior and his chasing down of the stones.

There was an even longer span of time when you also factor that he’d come up with this solution while Titan was still…alright. It was green, it’s wheels-of-tech-stuff were still in the sky. They were trying to find solutions because their planet was too over-populated to feed and care for everyone, and that was when Thanos came up with his brilliant plan. To halve the population of his own planet. His own people.

They didn’t listen, and they were destroyed. Everything he knew, everything he cared about. All rubble now, all dead.

So he set off around the galaxy to enact his plan by force, and, as far as he seems to be aware (as far as we know), his plan has been working. He tells Gamora that her people are happy now, and that no babies are starving to death. From where he stands, his plan has worked. And, when people didn’t listen to him, they perished. So his plan is necessary.

Yes, when a sane person takes a moment to think ‘how can we solve the overpopulation problem,’ we can come u p with a number of solutions that don’t involve mass murder, especially when given the powers to make adjustments to the very fabric of the universe. There’s also the possibility of addressing these civilizations before they reach that point. Though, there’s also the chance that he also tried that, depending on how long he’s been doing this. I mean, just take a look at humanity. We’re literally destroying our planet at every turn, and all our best minds are telling us to knock it off, and yet we refuse. America right now has a president that wants to undo any and all progress that’s been made towards taking better care of the planet. Whether you believe in Climate Change or not, ruining your soil isn’t going to be good for growing food and it’s hard to raise healthy kids when your water supplies are filled with lead.

Thanos is determined not to let other races meet the fate of his own. He has decided that he’s the hero everyone in his galaxy needs, even if they don’t deserve him (or even remotely want him). And Thanos has proof, in his own eyes, that what he’s doing will fix all overpopulation problems. After all, you can’t exactly ignore half of your population being murdered by a giant purple alien and his army, and that alien calling himself a savior? Oh that has to be fun, dealing with the religious zealots afterwards.

You know that saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?

Thanos’ system has been working for him. Why should he try something different? Something untested, something that could result in all these planets turning out like his own planet at some point? Or maybe even cause something worse to happen.

This isn’t a defense of Thanos. Thanos is a dick. Thanos needs to go down and I can’t wait to see everyone end him. You do not get to kill the best Disney Prince (maybe…most likely…ok, I mean c’mon guys this isn’t the first time someone has physically ‘killed’ Loki and Thor’s only mostly sure he’s actually dead this time) and dust the most adorable Spiderman we’ve ever had.

I’m just analyzing Thanos as a thinking, feeling. fallible being. He has a trackrecord of reasons to stick to his plan, and absolutely no proof that something new will work. His lack of considering alternatives isn’t a plot hole – it’s a character trait. It’s who Thanos is. He’s decided that he’s a savior, and he knows what’s best.

Rambles · Uncategorized

With so many movies coming out recently, journalists are somehow surprised that Solo isn’t doing as well as expected.

So…I’m not going to see Solo. Not while it’s in theaters at least. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it, that doesn’t mean I hate it and want it to burn. I don’t despise the current Star Wars universe and I didn’t even hate Canto Bite! Blasphemous, I know. And don’t get me wrong, I could’ve done without it and there were probably a lot of better things they could’ve done instead, but I didn’t hate it.

No, I’m not going to see Solo because I’ve already blown my movie budget for this season. I’ve got a life outside of movies and more interesting things calling my name so it takes a really important or eye catching movie for me to drop $12.00 for a single ticket (that’s about the average cost in my area, though you can find cheaper theaters if you also want to further sacrifice comfort) and devote upwards of 3 hours of my time to sitting in a not usually that comfortable seat surrounded by sometimes outright obnoxious other people. Granted, sometimes the other people are why I go to the movies. Way back when the first set of Spiderman movies were coming out, I went with my friends to see Spiderman 3 and when Peter hit Mary Jane, which was definitely a very serious moment, one lady screamed very loudly. I don’t blame her, it was a shocking moment. Between the tension and her scream and how absurd the movie had been building up to that moment, the entire theater broke out laughing. It was great. You wouldn’t get that at home.

Most of the people I’ve talked to and comments I’ve seen have echoed my feelings about Solo. It’s not mandatory for the main story so it’s gonna be skipped at the theaters. We literally just had Infinity War, which is mandatory for the MCU going forward, and Deadpool 2, which is Deadpool. Technically you don’t need it to understand any other larger universe, despite his many stabs at other franchises, but it’s Deadpool. We’re gonna have wait until Deadpool 3 to get another good R rated movie. Of the three movies that came out in quick succession, Solo is the least important and most skippable. It also had the misfortune of coming last of the three.

Basically, the studio made a really bad choice releasing it over Memorial Day weekend of this particular year. We broke.

Yet, for some reason, there’s rumblings of ‘franchise fatigue.’

Simply, the idea is that people are, somehow, tired of either this specific franchise or big franchises overall. This seems to stem a bit from how tired critics seem to be of the big franchises and…I’m not entirely sure where else. Sure, there have been people saying they’re over the franchise stuff for years, that’s never going to change. But audiences have made it quite clear that they, overall, aren’t over giant franchises. Infinity War and Deadpool 2 were huge successes. I’ll also throw in Black Panther – it’s not a giant pin in it’s franchise, but it is a franchise movie. It’s more of a Solo to its overall franchise than it is a Last Jedi, and look how well it did! (It’s also one of the best movies in the entire MCU on it’s own rights so I don’t know if it’s fair to compare Black Panther and Solo at all, but in the overall set of movies they are in similar places – you don’t need Black Panther to understand the whole MCU.)

So, if it’s not franchises overall, then it’s gotta be Star Wars that people are tired of. Which I’m also pretty sure isn’t true. Everyone seems to be excited for the next big Star Wars movie. There is the factor that Solo isn’t a major movie, and, as I noted before, it’s just something that us broke folk will catch when it’s on Netflix or comes to Red Box. If you’re invested in Star Wars but just blew all your money, didn’t have much money to begin with, or have plans for the summer, or really just had to make the choice between putting gas in your car and going to the movies, then Solo is going to be skipped. You don’t need to see it to keep up with the ongoing Star Wars universe. It’s a prequel that takes place before movies that have been out for decades.

There’s also talk about how people are still coping with the loss of Luke Skywalker and how The Last Jedi came out too recently. There hasn’t been enough detox from it to warrant an un-related movie. If the last part of Rey’s trilogy was coming out, it’d probably do well. I also think Ant-Man and the Wasp will do fairly well because people want to know why they were AWOL in Infinity War…and there are plenty of people waiting to see if they dustify in the end credits. Solo doesn’t even have that going for it, being a prequel and all. Maybe a Rey backstory would’ve done better since Rey is at least relevant to the current storyline. Han isn’t even alive anymore!

Basically, it seems to be boiling down to really bad timing, and the studio had no excuse for that. Considering Disney owns them, and they just dropped Infinity War, and they had to have known Deadpool 2 was popping out this season as well. With two franchises that big, they shouldn’t have tried to compete, especially with an off-the-main-story movie. They should’ve waited a few months and released it in November or December like all the other recent Star Wars movies. We’d be out of blockbuster season and in need of a good, solid movie to take us through the holidays. And this time we know at least a few characters survive the ending so it’s definitely better for the season than Rogue One was.

Rambles

The Bold Type: Starting on Episode Two

Over my last few posts and definitely on Twitter I’ve been hinting at how down I’ve been feeling lately. There’s a lot of things that play into this – dissatisfaction with my current job (not hate mind you, I’m just not feeling satisfied), post college loneliness, and, most recently, some problems have come up with my family that I’m struggling to keep from destroying me. I don’t like feeling down. So I’ve started trying to do things that I wouldn’t normally do. I started going to a game group on meetups on Friday nights (best decision I’ve made in a long time). I joined the local library, as I mentioned in my last post, and checked out some books that were recommendations on recommendations on Goodreads. And I’ve been spending more time with my roommate.

My roommate who loves TV. I’d more or less given up on TV for the most part a couple years ago. Sure, I keep up with Modern Family. Yes, I’ve been watching How to Get Away With Murder. Other than that nothing has really caught my attention. Well, live action shows. My love for cartoons shines through my blog I’m sure. Live action, though, has just been so boring to me. Most nights we just end up watching Friends, and we’ve been planning what we’ll watch next. Until today. He didn’t feel like watching Friends, so he put on this show he’s been needing to catch up on.

The Bold Type…Episode 2. We rewound to the pilot after, but I technically started with episode 2. If you don’t start on the pilot, at this point you’ll be fine. And I completely recommend checking out this show.

Three girls in New York. Already a standard, right? They look my age but have to be making 2-3 times what I make and have much better positions than I feel allowed to dream of right now. Long story short I expected to feel bad about this show. Especially because five years ago I wanted what they have. I still wouldn’t be opposed to their current jobs. Especially Jane’s.

Don’t get me wrong – these are pretty, young people (mostly) who have unrealistically amazing lives. But they work really hard for what they have and are deeply invested in their work. It’s actually great seeing people living their dreams. In the third episode Sutton goes all in to get a job she wants. Dangerously, of course. But you know they are always telling us about how we have to take risks to get our dreams. I’m finally coming around to my ‘chase your dreams’ self again and while I haven’t had any fortune so far, these guys definitely give me something to hope for.

Top things I love:

Frank, open discussion on lesbianism. And questioning sexuality…as an adult.And sexuality in general. It definitely has been doing a better job than Sex and the City did. There’s definitely a Sex and the City-esque vibe at times too, though I suppose that’s unavoidable when one third of your main cast is all about her writing and she’s writing at a magazine that’s essentially Cosmo.

More things I love –

  • Adena. I love Adena. I want someone like Adena in my life.
  • As someone who loves looking at beautiful things I love the fashion in this show. A lot of the time it’s fine art on moving bodies.
  • There’s a lot of powerful women in this show. Women who look out for each other and help each other succeed. Women who aren’t getting into cat fights over boys. Women who are dreaming, hoping, and succeeding. Women who have relationships with men but whose story isn’t written by the men.

Some general comments:

Jane is kind of incredibly lucky. Her boss wants her to do well and is willing to put in the effort to help her do well. Going back to the pilot just reinforced this – Jane is a new writer and is falling short, so boss lady pulls her for a meeting to get her to break out of her need to please. Or, well, to find out if she’s going to be a risk taker or a safe writer. And then keeps encouraging her through the following episodes. And her boss doesn’t care that she and her friends are hanging out in the fashion closet after work. Seriously. Jane. I want your job. Please. Please tell me your secrets. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my boss. She does root for us too, she just doesn’t have the leeway that Jacqueline does since she’s not top boss.)

Actually all of them have great-looking jobs right now. I know these are TV jobs but they have so much freedom to go after things they’re passionate about – like chasing after the photographer. During the day. I assume during work hours.

But I’ve gone on and on about their jobs. There’s so many topics they’ve addressed in the first three episodes of this show that are things we’ve needed to have addressed. Some things, yes, have been poked at periodically already (such as sexuality), but there’s others that we don’t have addressed as often and certainly aren’t talked about in such a realistic way. Things like harassment on Twitter. Something tons of people go through – something most of those people are brushed off for having an issue with. Hint: The characters take this seriously. When a character is doxxed the show doesn’t tell her she’s just being sensitive and they give solid advice for her to get through it (and the show also quietly gives advice that’s not outright spoken – like blocking the trolls and engaging with the people who are supporting you). It probably helps that she has her company behind her. Most people don’t have that. A lot of people are on their own once these things happen.

…I really want their boss. Actually, let me add that now as an amendment to the jobs discussion above: Bosses all over this country need to study and learn from Jacqueline on what it means to be a good boss. Taking care of your employees doesn’t mean you’re pandering or that the work quality is going to suffer. It’s actually probably going to significantly improve because those employees will know they can rely on you and trust in you.

Ok. I swear. No more about their jobs. Let’s switch gears to something completely different.

It may be too soon to make judgement calls on the relationships in this show. So far it’s been a great look at various types. One girl has a great thing going on with one of her seniors – it’s dangerous and could ruin her but they seem to really care for each other. He encourages her to follow her dreams and keeps an ear out on other positions in the company as to how they’re going. When she asks for actual dates he asks her out on a date. I know something is bound to go wrong at some point but so far they’re beautiful.

The other two are a bit more exploratory. One is just starting a relationship, specifically with someone she was sure she didn’t like previously, and the other is the one that’s questioning her sexuality since someone in the first episode threw her for a loop. I am rooting for her. Even if they don’t get together as a couple their dynamics are amazing and so real to me. Granted I was in sixth grade when I got thrown for that loop, but I suppressed it and avoided the topic until I was an adult. Seeing a strong adult character questioning herself really kind of makes the kid in me feel good. It heals some old emotional injuries.

There’s a lot of sex ingrained in the plot. It’s not usually explicitly talked about and when it is it tends to come up in natural ways. Not that someone who’s a sex article writer wouldn’t have natural excuses to write sex columns…Sorry. Sex and the City was just so forced for me that watching any show try to talk about sex becomes a bit uncomfortable. Until this show. Being Fictional Cosmo, Scarlet is going to have sex talk and of these three episodes, only one has focused on that aspect as one of it’s three plots. That being the plot for the writer being given an assignment to write something about orgasms. I loved her take on it too, but I will let you watch that for yourself. Her other assignments were pitches she made, one being about dealing with exs and the other being a focus on a politician she admires.

They vary her tale. Though relationships and sex are an ongoing undercurrent for her. She starts out dealing with her ex and then flows into a relationship which is just starting up so far. Not so much sex but they do stumble on each other because she’s concerned about sex and says something awkward in an elevator riiiight when the doors open. Cliche, but still fun.

This story is girl-centric. No surprise. All the major characters are female. There’s a couple of supporting men and I did mention that two of the girls are in relationships with men. I’ve already mentioned it twice but it’s about a magazine that’s based on Cosmo, so lots of fashion and girl talk. Now I know boys can’t be boxed up in a one size-fits-all type of show but I also know that a lot of boys avoid girl shows like they avoid chick flicks. But unlike your average chick flick this girl show has substance that I really hope men will notice and watch and not pigeonhole themselves right out of this show. And for everyone else who’s already ok with these shows – give this one a chance. Watch it. So far this show feels so good and does so well with handling great subjects and from the looks of things it’s only going to get better.

Rambles

Reading. Post-School.

Aside from my hopes of going to graduate school, I’m pretty much done with school now. That’s an uncomfortable feeling for me on its own since school is all I’ve ever known. Literally. We throw toddlers at school and they don’t emerge until their 20s these days. If then. I mean, anyone in my age group is already familiar with the ‘ten years of experience or masters degree’ for supposedly entry level jobs problem.

I really don’t want to get into that mess though. Instead I’ll focus on another sad fact I’ve realized this year: Reading as an adult is super hard. When I was a kid I could blow through five to seven books a week. I don’t mean little kid books either – I was reading chapter books younger than the teachers seemed to be pushing them. Alongside the easy little books, of course. I was killer during reading contests at school.

Then, like so many avid readers, I followed the path of reading less for pleasure and more and more for classes. In high school it wasn’t really an issue. About the only book I didn’t like or find easy to understand was Catcher in the Rye. Get all your hate out now, I still don’t like that book. I recognize it’s great and you are welcome to like it. I don’t. Anyway, when books are easy there’s room to wiggle around and check out other stuff. Plus there was always a lot of down time because I was that nerdy kid that finished tests early. In college there was a fair bit less time and a lot more books that weren’t particularly easy. Plus there wasn’t exactly spare money to buy books. I mean there was a library but I definitely always had an excuse not to go.

I guess I just never had to go out of my way to really seek out books. They had always just been there. When we went shopping there were the books, and I could grab one and take it home. The school library was nestled right between my English, History, and Math classes. I didn’t have to go off my usual path to find a book. As soon as I was presented with a challenge I crumpled. Don’t get me wrong – I did find a lot of books during college that I loved. I still have a bunch of them on my shelves now. But I became even lazier about books.

It’s almost like I’ve forgotten how to find the good ones. I know I’ve become pickier, and I know a lot of the stuff I used to like doesn’t even catch my eye anymore. I also know that there’s a personal level of struggle. A full time job I don’t really like, a social life I have to really work for if I want to have anyone to talk to at all let alone find anyone to potentially date, all those darn adult responsibilities like grocery shopping and waiting at the DMV. Technically I guess there’s time at the DMV. If I have a book to read.

I bought a whole bunch of books last year, then promptly didn’t read them. Most of them proved to be a bit heavier than I could handle (such as stories dealing with depression). I still want to read them. But now still is not a good time for those kinds of books. Actually those books are probably an even worse idea now than they were last year.

So now I’ve been a bit stuck in a new place – hunting around for books that spark my interest, even remotely, and hoping that I’ll find it in myself to read them. Part of my tactic has been joining Goodreads and going back through books I used to like and trying to branch from there and hoping something will re-ignite. While I do remember why I loved them and can still appreciate those feelings, I think I’ve changed too much now Though there are a few books that came up as recommended on those which look promising. They just aren’t available at my local library. So I went to the next level of recommendations to find a few that were. These ones weren’t quite as intriguing but pickiness is part of the problem.

Writers need to read. They need to know their genre and they need to learn from the pool of other writers. What worked, what didn’t. What sparks the imagination and makes the reader hope for more. Writers are readers who took it to the next level.

I have checked out four books from my library. It gives me both some free reading material and a deadline to read them by (August 8th at this moment). Right now I’m finding it intensely difficult. It’s been five days and I’ve read a third of the first book. Most of that reading happened in the last 24 hours. This is a start. In between that reading I’ve also managed to do my job, write a little, go to a local game night meet-up (which I super recommend – meetups are great for finding things that are going on so you don’t have to put in the effort of planning something out yourself, especially when you feel completely drained), and dealing regularly with all the emotional baggage I’m dealing with but am not going to be sharing with the public. Oh, plus the exhaustion. So much exhaustion. Great for those days when you know you need to sleep but there’s not enough hours to get everything done.

The point I want to get at, I suppose, is that we need to keep trying to read. Make a stop at the library, find something that seems interesting, give it a try. Please also don’t get mad at yourself for being a busy adult. I played that role for several months there and there’s certainly a lot of shame that goes around the internet for aspiring writers who don’t read, but have a bit of sympathy for yourself. We, at least in America, are set up on an 8-8-8 schedule. 8 hours for work, 8 hours for ‘play’ (which includes lunch breaks at work as well as time commuting to and from work), and 8 hours for sleep. Plus two days off on the weekend if we’re fortunate. In between all that we still have to take care of our basic needs as well as spend a bunch of time preparing food – if we’re trying to be healthy that is – and squeeze in that social time I mentioned above to help prevent total insanity. And, oh, we still have to be writing. Don’t forget writing, all you hopeful writers out there. Or hopeful editors, proofreaders, professionals of any sort. Writing can boost just about any career because it can put your name out there in great ways.

I don’t have the answer for how to squeeze in reading. Most of the time these last two years my main reading sources were short news articles or listicles or something that could easily be squeezed into 15 or fewer minutes a day. I’m hoping that these varying experiments of mine will yield some results. If they do, I will write a part 2 sharing them with you. But in the meantime you should try experimenting too. Read a chapter a day. Pick up an old classic you loved and re-read it. Pick up a new book you’ve been dying to try. Definitely spend some time going through Goodreads and making a list for yourself of everything that sounds interesting. Even if it’s a book written for a different age group. I personally really want to read the How to Train Your Dragon books one to see how truly different they are from the movies and two to see first hand if they’re something my nieces and nephews might enjoy.

Enjoy yourself. Reading is supposed to be a good thing for enjoyment, not a chore.