The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Archive for November, 2010

Posted by Matt on November 20, 2010

This is great; it’s every edition of the university I am currently attending’s yearbook, which ran for almost 60 years. After spending 4 months working at museum, I really am starting to appreciate local history like this a lot more; we all go through the phase, especially when you live in a smaller city like Brandon, where you think it would be more interesting anywhere but where you are. And while I’m not advocating the idea that Brandon, Manitoba (pop. 41,511) is secretly the hippest place in the country, there’s always got to be something there worth seeing.

So with this stuff now online, you can now see 6 decades as they appeared in the second largest city in Manitoba, and how all the kids used to dress and pose for pictures that are now viewable on the Internet.

And yes, we at the newspaper are currently trying to do the same thing for our history. The thing is 100 years old, after all.

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Posted by Matt on November 18, 2010

You know what archetype in fiction is really boring now? Serial killers.

A lot of creators just seem to think that making your antagonist a serial killer (or sometimes your protagonist) will automatically add weight. It’s especially bad in the case of antagonists, and ESPECIALLY in the case of antagonists in genre fiction. It doesn’t feel wrong for some crime fiction to still utilize them, although it’s still usually to the same effect: our bad guy is a BAD GUY holy shit (serial rapists are slowly replacing them, though). But in the case of something like a superhero comic? It feels overplayed and dull.

Every new villain now seems to be a serial killer, or almost one. Some older villains have been retroactively turned into serial killers. And you know what? In a genre that allows you to literally do anything, this just lacks scope. There as a time when mad scientists trying to steal all the diamonds in the city or take over space with robots was considered cliche. Now I want them back, because at least you didn’t automatically know what they were going to do.

That’s one of the problems I have with serial killers as antagonists: they are completely predictable. Let’s take a look at a prominent example: The Joker. The Joker started off as more of a traditional detective fiction killer, than drifted to become more or less a themed criminal, and today has basically gone through various phases of absolutely insanity (and overuse). It makes sense for the character to be made scary, because scary clowns are classic, and it’s a nice dynamic to have the good guy base his theme around something feared and his archenemy based on something benign. But while some may feel that The Joker is only scary if he’s a homicidal maniac who has caused more deaths than all the world wars combined, that’s not really true. In fact, what makes Joker scary is that he’s unpredictable. You never know if his gun is real, or whether he’ll rob all the party supplies stores in Gotham or fill the reservoir with poison. Only he gets his own jokes. Once you make him a crazy guy who will off you in seconds, he just loses what makes him frightening, and just turns him in another killer psycho in make up.

This is a problem that seems to have afflicted most of Batman’s villains, homogenizing them to the point of tedium. I was relieved to hear that the new Nolan Batman movie would not The Riddler, because I knew what direction they’d take him, being all dark and ‘realistic’ and all. The Riddler isn’t a villain I would see being a murderer at all; I think he works a lot better as a big-time thief. That may seem even smaller scale, but it’s good to pit the hero against different kinds of challenges, instead of just making them all essentially interchangeable, except maybe they use different kinds of knives or whatever.

All I’m asking for is a little variety in MOs, and therefor a little variety in the kinds of stories being told. Not everything needs to be gore porn, so you can stop with the serial killers now.

Posted in Comix, Nobody Cares, Observations | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Perverts Ruin Everything

Posted by Matt on November 13, 2010

Here’s the proof, from my good friend Dr. Charles McVety of the Institute of Canadian Values, who keeps sending me things for some reason:

Leaders Pledge to Stop Bill C-389 From Exposing Our Children to Perverts

For Immediate Release
Toronto, ON
November 10, 2010

Private Member’s Bill C-389 – An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression) is on the verge of becoming law. If passed, it will add these terms to the list of identifiable groups listed in sections 318 and 718.2(a)(i) of the criminal code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. The new criminal code would make it a crime to speak or discriminate against gender identity and gender expression. These two conditions are self identified with no proof so anyone at anytime can claim to be another gender.

Dr. Charles McVety, President of the Institute for Canadian Values states “Somehow this ridiculous Bill C-389 has succeeded through two votes in Parliament and has now passed a 30 minute committee hearing. If it passes third reading and the Senate our children will be exposed to perverts entering girls bathrooms, change rooms and even showers claiming transgender discrimination. The penalty for “discriminating” against them will be up to two years in prison. We are working with leaders across Canada and vow to protect our children.

McVety goes on to say “in addition this Bill would make gender identity and gender expression mandatory teaching in all schools in Canada under the principle that the law is a teacher. Earlier this year Premier McGuinty scrapped such teaching in the Ontario Sex Education Curriculum but now the federal parliament is attempting to re-insert this onerous material by law. We don’t understand how a Conservative Government would allow this to happen under its watch.”

How could Stephen Harper let our children learn about gender identity and gender expression, as if they are things that exist!

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Posted by Matt on November 10, 2010

“Some say a lack of evidence is an argument against the existence of the creature”

Thanks, Monster Quest.

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