I'll be honest, I haven't paid much attention to Andrew W.K., like, ever. I'd seen some of his statuses liked or shared by friends and they usually resonated well. But Becca thought it might be good for me to attend his lecture Monday on the Power of Partying. I was indifferent to the idea, especially as I'd be going without her, and a significant portion of me preferred the idea of staying home over going out to the Grog Shop and being in a crowd. But I'm trying to be better about doing things that I initially don't want to. And as usual Becca was right. Turns out I've been trying to follow the same philosophy as him though I hadn't put into into words the same way.
Like Andrew, it's very easy for me to be negative. Like so damn easy - depression and anxiety and low self esteem and just the ease with which I can tear myself apart mean any positivity and hopefulness you see from me has been the result of a conscious effort. Thankfully I want to care about people and be empathetic so I have motivation to move past my negativity, but it's still often hardest to be understanding, forgiving, and supportive of myself.
The point is that what I've been trying to do for myself, and have been trying to be more active at doing for others, is to remind us that the point of life is to live it, and to inspire us to find what brings us joy. Some joys are silly, some are deep, some are ones we keep for ourselves, and others we share with whomever we can. But joy is valid, no matter how pointless or stupid it may seem, because the point of our joys is to give us the strength to deal with the pains and struggles of life. Because this isn't about hiding away from the world, it's about living in it, and helping others to be able to do the same.
I was tagged by a friend to list ten random things I like. It's a good excuse for more positivity.
1) Becca. No, really, how can she not be the first item listed? I could do a list just about her because she is the single best thing to happen to me in my entire life.
2) Hugs. And hey, besides the human contact there's a physiological basis to chest compression bringing feelings of comfort. (Probably also ties into why I like corsets and latex, they're clothing that give you hug!)
3) An increase in fun comics featuring (and often created by) women, POC, and queer individuals. Squirrel Girl, Ms Marvel, Patsy Walker: Hellcat, Lumberjanes, Goldie Vance, Kim & Kim... the list is just getting longer and longer and I love it.
4) An increase in the celebration and expression of diversity in the upcoming generation. The news often frames it as whining about feelings, but that's how your generation was portrayed as you grew up, and your parents' generation, and your parents' parents' generation, and so on. That's how progress works, each subsequent generation feeling that things can and should be better.
5) Characters. When it comes to stories it's the interesting, multi-faceted characters that win me over. You can have a cliched or nigh incomprehensible plot but if the characters pull me in then I'm there 100%. Characterization is why I fell in love with Transformers (and loathe the Bay movies so much). The toys all had individual bios, and while they talked about their abilities they also highlighted their unique personalities. Thundercracker isn't just a robot that turns into a jet, he's a guy who's not committed to the Decepticon cause and is mainly there because that's the side in the war his friends took. Trailbreaker doesn't just turn into a truck and project forcefields, he tries to act as team cheerleader by offering support and encouragement while at the same time he feels like a burden on his team because of his inefficient over-consumption of fuel.
6) Craftily woven long form storytelling. I'm talking about little offhand comments or background things that turn out to be majorly significant years later. I'm so delighted to see an author showing that depth and forethought that it makes me squee. James Roberts on Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is a king of this, everything is significant either to revealing insight into the character or as a plot development down the road.
7) Functional art. Art, anything deserving of being called art, does something more than simply exist. But some things take another step. Architecture and fashion are some of the best examples of things which are at their best when they are emotionally evocative, communicate something from the creator, and function as what they are meant to be. Transformers toys (you knew I wasn't done with them) are miraculous feats of artistic engineering. And the illustrations in comic books aren't just snapshots, they need to construct a narrative flow. So many other examples exist, they all delight me.
8) Empathy. It is the key to our humanity. How sad are those people without empathy? To say nothing of how they ruin the world, without empathy how can they know or appreciate being loved? Any positive societal progress is made by empathy uniting us to move forward.
9) Feeling cute. One might even say kawaii. I don't get to feel that way too often but I'm working on it. I'm trying to be me.
10) Helping people feel good about themselves. Those times I can get out of the clouds in my own head and brighten someone's day are when all's right with the world.
So I finally saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. First viewing of it was the extended edition, no less!
But somehow I missed the scene where Lex exposed Batman to Scarecrow's fear gas, which is the only explanation I can come up with for his hallucinations and downright stupid behavior.
And I also missed Glorious Godfrey whispering in Lex's ear like a modern day Wormtongue, because that would be a good explanation for Lex going from intelligent manipulator to crazy pants before he even gets exposed to the Kryptonian data download (which also occurred offscreen but was at least implied).
Seriously, with how unskillfully they laboriously hammered on some of the points over and over again they could have cut those back and given some more character motivation. And a "Bat Max" dream sequence is not character motivation, BTW, when it has no origin within the story and contains elements that Batman doesn't know about yet (Para-Demons).
There was just simply not enough Wonder Woman to save us from the sludge of toxic masculinity that was being splattered across the screen.
It's not without some redeeming factors. It's certainly far better than Green Lantern (but then again few things aren't better than GL). The visuals were quite good. The casting was really good (for the most part). I could have done with more Junkie XL and less Hans Zimmer on the score (I am so exhausted by Zimmer now, for reals). And like I said, if I pretend Batman was exposed to fear gas and Lex was manipulated all along by agents of Darkseid then sure, I can accept the plot too.
But using Zod to create Doomsday is just a waste of storytelling potential and tragically shortsighted writing. Use the big brute Kryptonian soldier and save Zod for a later resurrection where he can actually be interesting, you know, like Zod should be. He was one of the best parts of Man of Steel and he's been unceremoniously dumped into being a plot device ex machina.