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Kishi

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So, something blew up at work. No dojo time. Bah.

 

Which isn't the same as no training. Went to the gym where I did S&S, skipped rope, and shadowboxed. I hoped I'd get to spend some time on the bags - despite what I've said earlier - but they were all taken, so no bagwork for me. Oh well.

 

Bit of a change up on tonight's plans. Instead of BSG, I'm going off to the cinema to see Battle Angel Alita with some friends. It'll be at the Alamo, so lots of good food and drink. I'll have to live with that I guess. :)

 

 

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16 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Good job getting some training in despite work explosions.

 

I mean. Gotta do what I can, yeah? Just because I can't get what I want, it doesn't mean I shouldn't get something.

 

14 hours ago, Teirin said:

Have fun!  Let us know what you think of that one too.

 

Look out below!

 

-

 

So. Wednesday.

 

Training-wise, quiet. Nothing was planned, so nothing was done. Instead, went off to see Battle Angel Alita at the Alamo. I was able to eat vegan options there and they were tasty. Which was a pleasant surprise; score another one for the Alamo!

 

So how was the film?

 

Well, it's not perfect. Rodriguez's strengths are on display in terms of making a spectacle, but it's got a lot of Cameron's weaknesses in terms of characters and relationships. You have a lot of characters who feel flat or who only serve one narrative purpose. You could see this back in Avatar, Cameron's last film, where you had certain characters who were hinted as building up to something except for it to be resolved offscreen. It makes the emotional payoffs the film goes for feel super cheap, and I wish they wouldn't do that.

 

BAA was like that too. There were a lot of moments between characters where I wished that the film would slow down and explore, maybe broaden or deepen their relationships, and they didn't. As a result, when they went for heavy character moments, they felt... cheap, unearned, like they were checking off boxes, and there were a couple points where characters made some really dumb decisions that felt like they were made simply for the sake of the plot. Mind you, I'm probably kind of biased at this point, as I've been reading/studying The Dresden Files, and Butcher's character work is really strong in that; it's very much in contrast.

 

Also mind that it's not the cast's fault. Rosa Salazar killed it as Alita, and Christoph Waltz was the right man to play Ido-sensei. Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali were both quite good in their roles too. Keean Johnson had the weakest character, which is unfortunate because he wasn't a bad actor but couldn't really wring enough out of the role to sell me as a romantic lead. See earlier about checking boxes.

 

That being said, you don't go to Cameron/Rodriguez for character work. You go for action and set pieces, and boy howdy did this deliver. The film is way more colorful than the original anime - think post-apocalypse favela - and the action/fight scenes are superb. And what really surprised me about this was just how true the film was to the spirit of the anime and the manga before it, something that western adaptations of eastern works really struggle with. I mean, look at the recent Ghost in the Shell film; they nailed the aesthetic, but GitS is about questioning the nature of humanity in an age of high technology, and my understanding is that they couldn't hit the mark on that one in the film. BAA by contrast is a relatively simple action/adventure story, and while the film certainly doesn't transcend the weaknesses of the source material it also doesn't miss its mark.

 

It's the kind of film that needed to be made in order to convince studio execs that anime could survive adaptation in the West, and given that it's been greenlit for a sequel already, I'd say mission accomplished.

 

So, final verdict: take it for what it is, don't expect it to be what it isn't, and you'll like it just fine.

 

Anyway. Macros were a bust, so fasting today. Have two gi with me - one for kyokushin if I'm out in time, and one for BJJ if I don't. Let's make of today what we can.

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Okay, let's get this thing caught up!

 

I didn't wind up getting out in time. I made BJJ, and that wasn't a bad time by any means! The Professor is out, but his blue belt is in, and we were able to get good practice. He guided me to a submission on a more-skilled white belt, which was fun to get to.

 

But I still didn't make it where I told myself I would.

 

Getting down to bed on time just hasn't been a priority in the way that it should be. That's on me. I haven't been disciplined about this in the way that I know I need to be to get this done. So, I've been getting down late, and that leads to a whole cascade of problems as the day goes on.

 

It's probably time for me to place some serious blocks on content intake at night, because that's the big thing that holds me back. It's way more interesting to watch videos on striking and grappling than it is to go to sleep, especially when I remind myself that no matter how early I go, I'll still wake up an hour before my alarm no matter how early it is, and I'll just be proceeding with a handicap.

 

Need to get over that.

 

So that was Thursday into the night. Did headstand work afterward and that was cool.

 

Friday, I took off because my birthday was on Sunday, and while every day off on this job means a week's worth of catch-up, I figured it was okay. I don't mean to sound tired/jaded/cynical but I've been at this long enough to know that no matter how hard I kill myself to get this all in order, it's never going to get there. So I took Friday for a dr's appointment and for getting my driver's license renewed, things that had to be done that I find I struggle to make time for. And they represented a good excuse for something that, truth be told, I wanted to do anyway. :)

 

The plan afterward was to kind of mosey and meander my way toward getting things done, but I was informed that we had been pushed to an earlier hour for kali over at the other school so I wound up with a lot of wasted time before going to the gym. Proceeded to kill it there - finally got my sets and reps right on deck squats, so now I can add more reps. Core stuff happened like it needed to.

 

Kali afterward was good. It wound up being one of those freeflowing meet and train type deals. The owner of the other school likes what we do but he doesn't think this timeslot is working and he doesn't think that his students are receptive to ongoing training. So, it looks like we're going to shift over to a seminar once every month on the first Tuesday of each month, starting in April. We got into some long talks over how to teach this stuff, which I personally found fascinating and constructive. I'm really, really stoked about our plans to add some "aliveness" to the drills to see what happens; the dude has armor and good helmets for this kind of thing and I can't wait to see what comes out when we try to bridge our pedagogies.

 

Cool deal.

 

Saturday, went out to D&D. And I made a really boneheaded mistake which led to things going really, really wrong. We were trying to sneak into a manor, and I forgot that my character had Thief's Tools for picking locks. Instead, we went to all the trouble of sneaking to the door... and I proceeded to bust it open with a crowbar. It was loud, tipped off the guards, and we couldn't get rid of enough night patrol before they managed to call for enough guards to make this really, really bad beyond what we could recover. So we wound up having to run, which in turn set us all back.

 

Nobody blames me but me. That's enough for me. Still, it was a good lesson - I changed my notes to reflect my inventory, and if I hadn't been hypervigilant about what was on my character sheet, I couldn't have pulled off some of my sweet moves which ultimately helped us get out. Also, my brother is a nicer DM-san than he lets on to be; he's harsh, but he tends to find ways for us to progress and move forward.

 

Went to Kali afterward, and got to see some of the hand to hand stuff. Got to see him mess up a Thai-fighter's clinch, which was amazing. I'd heard he could do it, but I'd never really seen it against a specialist, and I think he was resisting. So I mean. Holy crap. I found myself grinning like an idiot after that as we practiced.

 

Sunday I turned 33. I never know how to comport myself for this kind of thing - on the one hand, I want to be acknowledged, but on the other it feels... petty? Childish to ask? Add in that I'm not big on parties and, well, you get a situation where you're not sure if anyone's going to care enough to remember, or if they remember and they just don't know what to do about it or what. Because I do want to be acknowledged, you know?

 

But it turned out pretty great, actually! My sci-fi friends messaged me and were like, "Dude, it's your birthday?" And I was like, "Yeah, it's okay, I didn't tell anyone." And they were like, "Dude, do you have any plans?" And I was like, "No," beyond getting punched in the face. And they were like "Dude, we're gonna cook you some effin' steak, man." And I was like, "... well, then!"

 

Also, thank you to @Tanktimus the Encourager and @Teirin for writing on my wall. Thanks guys. :) Because I'm not big on big gestures, but I am big on being remembered.

 

But yeah, I did upper body stuff where I finally, finally crushed the push up plateau. After that, went off to hang with friends and eat steak and thank people for remembering me.

 

Monday wound up being quieter than usual. In addition to being a rest day, the game got called on account of Rule #1. So I got home in time to get some chores done that needed doing and got down earlier. There's a non-zero chance I make kyokushin tonight. I also stayed late working last night so I can burn a little extra time today to get out early if I've got to. :D

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20 hours ago, Teirin said:

*hugs* and Good luck!

 

6 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Sounds like you got a lot done regardless of any wasted time. And happy belated birthday!

 

Thank you both!

 

*

 

So! Made it out to kyokushin! It was a sparring class, so we wound up fighting a lot. Went over a lot of timing and kicking drills, which is good because in this ruleset, you can't punch people in the face. You have to kick them instead.

 

So I did. Because I'm a good kohai. :D Although, it got kind of hairy when we put on headgear to allow those kicks. Definitely threw me back to facepunching, and while everyone was real chill about it, that's not something that's fair to them.

 

Funny moment came when one of the senpai tried to correct me on my kicking. He made them worse. I was amused, especially when he tried to correct me on swinging my arms for roundhouse, made my roundhouse weaker, and then proceeded to swing his arm the rest of the night. I thought it would be gauche to call him out on it (which I mean, I've got basis for it. Everybody swings their arms on roundhouse. Thai fighters do it. Kickboxers do it. Kyokushin fighters do it. I don't understand why World Oyama doesn't beyond a misplaced loyalty to form, but then, that's kind of been my beef with 'traditional' styles for a while [side note: why do we call karate a traditional style when Muay Thai is older and way less so? Probably it has to do with the traditions working their way into techniques, whereas with Muay Thai, the traditions inform dress and composure outside of fighting, but not in. IDK, it just bugs me]).

 

I considered it to be something that I had to put up with while I was on the mats, which is something I've had to do before, back at the home dojo in Queens. But I had to wash the taste out of my mouth, so I went to the gym, did S&S, skipped rope, and then practiced roundhouses as the Good Lord intended. A young man stepped up to me as I was practicing and gave me some pointers. And it wasn't anything I hadn't heard before, but something clicked in what he said and I found myself throwing awesome roundhouses afterward.

 

The key, incidentally, is that you want to have your hips open up as much as you can and get as much swing as you possibly can. So you have to swing the hip at the same time that you pivot on your bottom foot. These two pieces are connected - your pivot affects your hip, and the violence with which you flip your hip affects your pivot. Ideally, you want to go from a forward facing foot to a backward facing foot; this essentially indicates a high degree of power and violence, which is quite useful in a striking art.

 

Generally, I find I can get my foot to 90 degrees, but something about what this guy said got me to 170-180 degrees even on my less strong side. Which was not something I expected to find going into the gym.

 

It was really cool to find something like that. :)

 

Anyway. Today is a rest day. Should be some sci fi tonight, and... yeah.

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17 hours ago, Mistr said:

Happy Belated Birthday!

 

I'm glad your friends noticed and fed you steak. :D 

 

Me too. It meant more to me than I thought it would. :')

 

*

 

Wednesday was as restful as I thought it'd be. I stayed late to get caught up on some work, which led to some additional lateness, but that's what happens sometimes. Afterward was good company and good scifi.

 

No kyokushin tonight. I'm going out to lunch with a friend, and that's going to mean a longer lunch break than I normally take, which means working late, which means getting out too late.

 

Normally, I'd do BJJ, but I'm looking ahead to this weekend, and time's going to be at something of a premium. By dint of a series of coincidences, I have three separate friends who have invited me to see Capt. Marvel. I'm stoked enough to see it three times, and I like these friends, so I feel like it's a good trade. But I'm looking at the logistics of it, and it's going to work out to being Friday evening with dinner at 18:15, Saturday afternoon at 14:45, and Saturday night at 19:00. So what I'm thinking I'm going to do instead is I'm going to work to close of the building tonight and stack some hours like I did on Monday, so that I can get out super-early tomorrow. From there, I do what I normally do when life gets in the way - sacrifice mat time in the name of strength, because strength and conditioning too are skills and forms of self defense against systemic opponents like a sedentary lifestyle and old age.

 

So with all that said, looks like tonight is a general practice night. Handstands, skipping rope, bagwork, shadowrolling. Might even hop on the treadmill if I can before deadline tonight.

 

I took weight and measurement beforehand. Weight's down, body fat percentage is down, but AI is down too. Body, y tho. It's interesting, because I took a look at the NF guide to counting calories and realized that even accounting for his guidelines, I was still undereating for where maintenance should be. So I threw an extra hundred-or-so calories on the furnace and my body's doing its thing where it drops 10 lbs before it puts 'em back on. Or, maybe it's the fact that I'm getting up every half hour to do some bodyweight squats and just adding on to that NEAT. Maybe.

 

Speaking of, time to do some squats...

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1 hour ago, Teirin said:

Three times in 2 days may be slightly excessive?  I hope you love it!

 

Well, there's only one way to find out, isn't there? :D

 

1 hour ago, Teirin said:

You worry me when you under-eat.

 

I worry me too. I didn't know that I was; I thought that with as well as my body was maintaining that I was where I needed to be. I'm trying to avoid that noise now.

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Not much to report on last night's training except it all happened about as I figured it would. Handstand progression work went off like a charm. I did some kata and shadowrolled. I ran out of time to skip rope, but I decided to use up some of the remainder to hit the bag and see if I could duplicate the roundhouses. It's gonna take some work, but it can be done. Lotta little details I need to get right. Videotaping myself helps, as mortifying as it is, but it's good to see what it feels like when I'm getting it right versus getting it wrong. For better or for worse, I have to feel the technique being done right and then I have to chase and work to duplicate that feeling.

 

Got some dinner in me and got down a bit later than I meant to but still early enough to be up early enough to get to work early enough to make what happen I want to. It's so nice when a plan comes together. :)

 

Today's docket will be as much training as I can get done. Legz and abz. I plan to play around with a finisher concept where I work lighter variants of heavy movement to failure if I'm struggling with the heavier in work set. So, what I mean is, let's take push ups. I do those, but I struggle to get my sets and reps. At the end of the session, I bang out a long set of incline push ups to the point of failure/fatigue. Just that one long set, tho; afterward, I'm done. Just to try to get a little extra volume in and see if that helps.

 

Otherwise, yeah. That, then clean up after, then food and film.

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So the plan did what plans do and fell apart in the end, but that's what makes life interesting. :D:D:D

 

I wound up getting out of work early, but later than I needed to. I got to the gym and pushed the pace as far as getting things done. Did a pretty good job, actually; rocked out my deck squats and aced the side lever progressions, meaning I get to skip a step whose integrated mobility is annoying to put up with. Yay. :)

 

I got home to find that the dinner plans that had been made were scrapped in favor of something earlier. I figured I'd meet them there and wasn't going to worry about dinner since I had food I could eat with me on the way. They decided to call me on my way out there and get a dinner order from me anyway. It was nice of them to try, but it was raining and rush hour and nobody was driving well, and when I tried to get off the phone so I could focus on getting there safely they tried to keep me on to get an order out of me. I got snappish with them for that, which made things a little awkward, but they should have taken me at my word when I told them that I was on the road and genuinely didn't care what they ordered. Maybe if I'd told them I had food already? Maybe it's my fault. Maybe that's arrogant of me, though. I dunno.

 

Anyway, got to the restaurant, salved egos and had a good time. Went out to see Captain Marvel afterward.

 

And how was it?

 

Well.

 

I mean.

 

It was good. It wasn't great, but it was good enough. Cast was good; I don't blame them. Brie Larson's an Academy Award winner, and you got Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg. Ben Mendelsohn delivered a strong performance; I'd argue it's probably his strongest, or at least it's the strongest I've ever seen, and Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau was just. Wow. She packed a punch.

 

The problem, I think, probably stems from too many writers and all of them concerned with Making A Statement with Carol Danvers. About 10 different writers touched this thing at some point or other, and as a result there's not really a clear sense of voice. Carol vacillates between stoic and snarky in a way that really doesn't work - she wound up coming across more as a Mary Sue in my first watching of it, and as a character, she's really not likeable.

 

Now, before you decide to pillory me for this, let me explain: I don't mind unlikeable protagonists. I really don't. I've consumed media where I didn't like the lead character and couldn't wait to see their comeuppance. But the problem is, Marvel by now has a very distinct formula for the origin stories: flawed but likeable protagonist runs up hard against their limits and has to find their heroism within themselves. Carol Danvers doesn't really have any flaws, and therefore as a character never really has to undergo any change.

 

"But what about Captain America! Dude's like Jesus with abs. He has no flaws either and everyone looooves him." Well, so about that. The compelling problem with Capt. America is that his goodness is actually treated like a flaw. His unflinching devotion to his sense of right and wrong gets him in way over his head all the time, and his single-mindedness leads to him being an emotionally stunted pipsqueak at the start of the film. He doesn't date, and we don't get the impression of him having many friends beyond Bucky Barnes. Even after he gets the serum, he still retains those problems, and there's a real sense of a delayed adolescence about him, of some gawky kid who's come into his growth spurt and doesn't really know how to handle it.

 

We really don't get that with Danvers. Her big flaw winds up being, "I'm not awesome enough because you won't let me be." And that's not a very compelling flaw. Of course, if the character is meant as a stand-in for all women and is attempting to address the overarching patriarchy then, sure, okay. But that means that Captain Marvel is more interested in wearing its propagandist roots on its sleeve rather than telling a good story. Consequentially, that doesn't make for a compelling character; it just means that the writers chose to subsume the character for the sake of messaging.

 

And like I said, I blame the writers. They couldn't find a way to make the character good enough on her own, so they chose to pay lip service to the formula, hyped the fact that she's the first Marvel superheroine after 20 films (so you better like her and get in formation or else) and let that be enough. I think Danvers could have been good as a kind of Malcolm Reynolds anti-hero type, someone who learns that the fascistic system she was serving was not truly just and decides to carve her own path while having to reckon with and atone for her part in facilitating it.

 

But we didn't get that.

 

And is it enough? Well, like I said. Good movie, but not great. But for better or for worse, it's gonna have to be good enough, because Captain Marvel's probably going to wind up leading the Avengers after Endgame. It's canon now. Perhaps a better writer will make her better; time will have to tell.

 

Anyway. I've been thinking on it for a while, because I do feel that the film warrants critique, but I also feel like a lot of the fan criticisms aren't really being given in good faith. I think there's been a strong negative reaction as a result of fanboys losing their shit, and I don't think the film deserves that.

 

Saturday was taken up with watching the film twice more to get a sense of it and also to spend time with my friends. Ultimately didn't wind up getting any time to train. Made up for it on Sunday with a triple feature - strength work, boxing, and BJJ. Strength work stalled, although I think it was because I ate enough on Saturday to be carrying some excess weight.

 

If my notes are anything to go on, it means that my attempts to gather further volume aren't translating directly to added reps in my work sets. Need to refigure this a little bit. FWIW, I'm not getting weaker for all that I'm stalled here; push ups in kyokushin and in boxing class are a breeze. I just wonder if maybe I need to reintroduce the Convict Conditioning progressions again, see about getting a lot of volume on easier variations. That seemed to help last time.

 

/rant

 

Rest day and gaming today. And blessed deload, which is awesome.

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4 hours ago, Kishi said:

Her big flaw winds up being, "I'm not awesome enough because you won't let me be." And that's not a very compelling flaw. Of course, if the character is meant as a stand-in for all women and is attempting to address the overarching patriarchy then, sure, okay. But that means that Captain Marvel is more interested in wearing its propagandist roots on its sleeve rather than telling a good story. Consequentially, that doesn't make for a compelling character; it just means that the writers chose to subsume the character for the sake of messaging.

 

I loved this movie and respectfully disagree with your critique. I wouldn't consider this to be a character flaw. I would say it's more of a plot point and based on the real experiences of women. A lot of women have been told that they can't do things because of their gender and they're forced to be less than, etc. This is exactly what happened with Carol and Yon-Rogg. He knows what she's capable of and he deliberately handicaps her so he can keep her (and her power) under his control (and then of course there are the flashbacks of the harassment she and Maria Rambeau faced as pilots). So really, this story is just a reflection of reality. Maybe they could have done it in a more subtle way, but honestly, I don't know how they could have, and I think they did a pretty good job. 

 

Part of what might be off-putting about Carol's personality is that she's mostly defined by other people and the way other people see her, so she never gets a real sense of herself. (The Kree told her she was a Kree soldier, so that's who she became, for example, because she didn't have any memories to give her a sense of self.) It took time for her to sort all that out (a little too long in my opinion, but the payoff at the end was worth it). This story was more about a woman finding her true identity and realizing her true potential than anything else. 

 

5 hours ago, Kishi said:

I think Danvers could have been good as a kind of Malcolm Reynolds anti-hero type, someone who learns that the fascistic system she was serving was not truly just and decides to carve her own path while having to reckon with and atone for her part in facilitating it.

 

But we didn't get that.

 

Actually, we did partially get this, it just wasn't the main focus of the story (she frees the Skrulls in the end and takes them to a safe homeland, and she promises retribution against the Kree for everything they've done to her and to the Skrulls, but unfortunately we have to assume this happens off screen, since we skip ahead 15 to 20 years for Avengers Endgame). It was a smaller part and maybe that's what you didn't like about it? I'm assuming if and when they do a sequel then this plot point will play a bigger role, but again, that was never the sole focus of the story, although I think it ties into it quite nicely. 

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

He doesn't date, and we don't get the impression of him having many friends beyond Bucky Barnes. Even after he gets the serum, he still retains those problems, and there's a real sense of a delayed adolescence about him, of some gawky kid who's come into his growth spurt and doesn't really know how to handle it.

 

One, why is not dating a flaw? Two, he and Tony seem to be pretty good friends all things considered, (and of course Falcon, his real name escapes me) and three, why does he have to have a ton of friends? Why isn't a few good enough, and why would only having one or two friends be considered a flaw? I myself don't really see these as problems. He's not an overly gregarious or outgoing character like, say, Tony Stark. He's very reserved, so these quirks would make sense for his personality. And I wouldn't say adolescence so much as a naivete. He sees the good in people and wants to believe in people (although this could be considered a good or bad thing, depending on the situation).  

 

Anyway, just food for thought. :) 

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[insert response to Kishi Apologizes For His Opinion Pt. 58 here]

 

Let me put it this way. Had I watched a decade of films to be brake-checked by hypocritical political activism I would be one unhappy human right about now, but I haven't, so this is just kinda amusing to witness. Kind of surprised the SJWs are not combusting over Larson being cast vs a black actress, but then I suppose the intersectionality seating chart might have gotten some revisions lately.

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43 minutes ago, Urgan said:

[insert response to Kishi Apologizes For His Opinion Pt. 58 here]

 

Isn't it nice to know that some things just don't change? XD

 

12 hours ago, Jupiter said:

I loved this movie and respectfully disagree with your critique.

 

That's a completely fair thing to do. I dunno if you've noticed, but I have a tendency to not be right about things, and I need to be checked on that. So, we're cool. :)

 

12 hours ago, Jupiter said:

I wouldn't consider this to be a character flaw. I would say it's more of a plot point and based on the real experiences of women. A lot of women have been told that they can't do things because of their gender and they're forced to be less than, etc. This is exactly what happened with Carol and Yon-Rogg. He knows what she's capable of and he deliberately handicaps her so he can keep her (and her power) under his control (and then of course there are the flashbacks of the harassment she and Maria Rambeau faced as pilots). So really, this story is just a reflection of reality. Maybe they could have done it in a more subtle way, but honestly, I don't know how they could have, and I think they did a pretty good job.

 

Well, in that case, it kind of proves my earlier point about her being a Sue, then, right? I did take it as being representative of the real experiences of women, but if you assign that as a plot point rather than a character flaw, then what does she have? Danvers is essentially a snarky blank slate who we're told disobeys orders and then proceeds to do whatever she's told because she's told to. She's very good at her job and while she's wrong sometimes, it's never in a way that forces her to change and adapt and grow as a person. Which was a conscious decision on the writer's part. Because they cared about Danvers as a propaganda piece rather than Danvers as a person.

 

To be clear, that's a perfectly good way to reflect the reality that women have experienced. But that's not equivalent with good character work.

 

13 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Part of what might be off-putting about Carol's personality is that she's mostly defined by other people and the way other people see her, so she never gets a real sense of herself. (The Kree told her she was a Kree soldier, so that's who she became, for example, because she didn't have any memories to give her a sense of self.) It took time for her to sort all that out (a little too long in my opinion, but the payoff at the end was worth it). This story was more about a woman finding her true identity and realizing her true potential than anything else. 

 

Well, see, I agree with you there. I think that's where the fix is. She doesn't have an identity, so she latches onto what she's been given, and that latching on is where the conflict could have been.

 

Let me paint a different picture: Danvers goes to the Supreme Intelligence, a cultivated Kree superweapon, grateful for what she's been given and hungry to prove her worth after 6 years of molding and shaping. She's told of the Skrull threat - the Skrulls are attempting to infiltrate and groom the leadership of a free planet not under Kree control in preparation for subjugation. That planet is C-53.

 

So she accepts her mission, without thinking about it, because she's been indoctrinated with the Kree propaganda that says that they're the good guys and they represent freedom for all the peoples of the galaxy. She's been on missions, she's done what she's told, and she's only ever seen the good. She's transported along with her handlers to C-53. And she finds this world with all these problems - as Minn-erva says, it's a real shithole. And it's the Skrull's fault. But in the course of the story, she finds out that yes, the Skrulls did in fact infiltrate, and have been infiltrating since the Cold War. They're the ones in fact who kept it from going hot and have been working in the shadows to try to make this place a home for the refugees of the Skrull-Kree wars.

 

Mar-vell figures into this in that she was the last agent sent here; she wound up "going native" and was determined to find a way to get the Skrulls out of there if the Kree ever came after her. Which they did; cue Danvers getting her powers.

 

And Danvers is a good person. She's forced to accept that 'bad' people can do good things and that the Skrulls prevented the deaths of billions of sentient lives, and then she learns that hers was one of them. This in turn forces her to confront her programming and to accept that she was programmed, that she was a cog in a fascist imperial machine, but that she has so much power and she doesn't have to be.

 

That gives her a character arc and doesn't even sacrifice the feminist empowerment themes.

 

13 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Actually, we did partially get this, it just wasn't the main focus of the story (she frees the Skrulls in the end and takes them to a safe homeland, and she promises retribution against the Kree for everything they've done to her and to the Skrulls, but unfortunately we have to assume this happens off screen, since we skip ahead 15 to 20 years for Avengers Endgame). It was a smaller part and maybe that's what you didn't like about it? I'm assuming if and when they do a sequel then this plot point will play a bigger role, but again, that was never the sole focus of the story, although I think it ties into it quite nicely. 

 

I agree, and that's my point. The main focus of the story was not Danvers as a person, it was Danvers as a prop for a message.

 

14 hours ago, Jupiter said:

One, why is not dating a flaw? Two, he and Tony seem to be pretty good friends all things considered, (and of course Falcon, his real name escapes me) and three, why does he have to have a ton of friends? Why isn't a few good enough, and why would only having one or two friends be considered a flaw? I myself don't really see these as problems. He's not an overly gregarious or outgoing character like, say, Tony Stark. He's very reserved, so these quirks would make sense for his personality. And I wouldn't say adolescence so much as a naivete. He sees the good in people and wants to believe in people (although this could be considered a good or bad thing, depending on the situation).

 

Not dating is not the flaw. The flaw is his single-minded devotion to his sense of duty. It drives him toward something and drives people away from him, and he himself admits as much. When he and Peg are chatting in the car on the way to the infusion she points out that he has no clue how to talk to women. He admits as much because he couldn't find the right partner. Because he couldn't find someone who shared his ideals or his dedication to them. It's cost him something in terms of his ability to connect to people.

 

It comes up as a problem for him constantly. It's a wedge between he and Tony in the first Avengers film and by Civil War it drives them apart because of his refusal to sign on to the registration act, as his sense of duty has shifted from "My nation, right or wrong," to "Justice," albeit as he sees it.

 

I mean you said so yourself. He does have a few good friends, but you notice that he only really makes them in the context of the mission. He makes friends with the Avengers and with Thor, Nat, Hawkeye, and Falcon in particular because they've been caught up with him on the mission. We get a glimpse of his off-the-job relationships in Winter Soldier, but even then he can't really cultivate them. "What's the matter? Too scared, too nervous?" "Too busy."

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

Let me put it this way. Had I watched a decade of films to be brake-checked by hypocritical political activism I would be one unhappy human right about now, but I haven't, so this is just kinda amusing to witness. Kind of surprised the SJWs are not combusting over Larson being cast vs a black actress, but then I suppose the intersectionality seating chart might have gotten some revisions lately.

 

I mean, I don't mind SJW bullshit in my stories. It's been there since the beginning. Just do it right. :P As it is, this is a cynical exploitation of identity politics by our capitalist media overlords, and it bugs me, so.

 

*

 

Monday wound up being quiet, but the ongoing pattern of me staying up too late continued.

 

Fortunately, I'm really ahead of the work for this week, so I might just cut out early and go train anyway. Depends on how good I can make it look.

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4 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Isn't it nice to know that some things just don't change? XD

 

In these uncertain times, there are at least three things we can be sure about. Death, taxes, and...

 

3 minutes ago, Kishi said:

I mean, I don't mind SJW bullshit in my stories. It's been there since the beginning. Just do it right. :P As it is, this is a cynical exploitation of identity politics by our capitalist media overlords, and it bugs me, so.

 

There's a joke in here somewhere comparing entertainment lately to the news, but I just can't find it. I think the people who make these movies are the kind of people who heart Hugo Chavez yet for some strange reason still live here, yes? If so I cannot relate to their way of processing information about our world.

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2 hours ago, Urgan said:

There's a joke in here somewhere comparing entertainment lately to the news, but I just can't find it. I think the people who make these movies are the kind of people who heart Hugo Chavez yet for some strange reason still live here, yes? If so I cannot relate to their way of processing information about our world.

 

Well, bearing in mind that my reading of Marx is woefully incomplete, I'd say that these aren't the kind of people who heart Chavez. These people are probably what would be termed haute bourgeoisie, that is, upper middle class and higher. They aren't quite capitalists - they don't own the means of production, those belong to Disney - but they do work at the behest of the capitalists to extend their cultural reach and in so doing to acquire even more capital.

 

In any event, concern with certain aspects of social justice does not a socialist make. The distinction, as I understand it, is this: a SJW views things through the lens of a certain oppressed identity, whether that oppression be on the basis of sex, gender identity, race, or any number of intersections of the above; whereas a socialist views all of these things as aspects of economic oppression by the ruling class, fomented to keep the proletariat engaged in and distracted by constant low-level conflict so that they can never see their exploitation for what it is or unify to solve it.

 

Which I'm sure is a gross oversimplification that misses lots of details and doesn't give anyone on that spectrum near enough credit, and oh wow am I not qualified to make an in-depth defense of all this. But to bring it back to your point, it seems to me that a movie championing SJW values probably wouldn't get made if the capitalists didn't think they couldn't make money off of it.

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22 hours ago, Jupiter said:

He's very reserved, so these quirks would make sense for his personality. 

 

I think @Jupiter notes something really interesting about Cap. All those tend to be hallmarks of introverts and contrary to popular belief, introverts often make the best leaders. In ‘Good to Great’ (highly recommended reading), a study was done of corporations that changed course and dominated their marketplace. The majority of the time, a CEO with a personality almost exactly like the MCU version of Captain America, was at the helm. Many retained a lot of these habits/quirks even when achieving responsibilities and success of near mythic proportions. We’re talking Fortune 500 CEOs that drive Honda’s, fed cows, etc. not to escape corporate pressure, but because that was their norm, leading companies was the out of place thing to them, but they did it with focused duty and humility. Interestingly they all typically went through some big challenge (similar to Cap in his WWII exploits) before achieving what’s noted in the book as Level 5 leadership.

 

Adding more food for thought to the discussion buffet. :D 

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I finally read through all the Captian Marvel stuff after finally seeing it yesterday. I enjoyed the heck out of that movie. It was a lot of fun. I thought it was well done and I enjoyed Larson's Danvers. I thought she was well written and portrayed. The overcoming sexism bit was in there, but to me it was a movie about a person learning that falling doesn't make you weak, and getting up every time you fall is what makes you strong. I thought that was a far stronger message. The movie did address that Danvers and Rambeau faced and were not defeated by sexism. The cockpit joke was a bit much but having lived through the 90's I know there were plenty of self-absorbed men who would certainly have made that kind of joke.

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18 hours ago, Kishi said:

Well, bearing in mind that my reading of Marx is woefully incomplete, I'd say that these aren't the kind of people who heart Chavez. These people are probably what would be termed haute bourgeoisie, that is, upper middle class and higher. They aren't quite capitalists - they don't own the means of production, those belong to Disney - but they do work at the behest of the capitalists to extend their cultural reach and in so doing to acquire even more capital.

 

I don't think Hollywood could be considered anything but upper class given all the movie-goer money they have floating around to pay talent to continue working for them. They are exactly the kind of people who profess their love of socialism and dictators ironically because they can afford to by virtue of the money they have made here. Danny Glover, Michael Moore, Jim Carey, and Jamie Foxx are just a few who do. Don't make the mistake of assuming people with money by extension have the intellectual horsepower to act in their own best interest--this particular cadre of humans are not exactly the brightest. For one thing, they hired an actress who decided to tell somewhere between 30 and 50% of potential domestic audience she is not interested in having their business when she didn't even have to do that because Wonder Woman seemed to do just fine.

 

18 hours ago, Kishi said:

In any event, concern with certain aspects of social justice does not a socialist make. The distinction, as I understand it, is this: a SJW views things through the lens of a certain oppressed identity, whether that oppression be on the basis of sex, gender identity, race, or any number of intersections of the above; whereas a socialist views all of these things as aspects of economic oppression by the ruling class, fomented to keep the proletariat engaged in and distracted by constant low-level conflict so that they can never see their exploitation for what it is or unify to solve it.

 

Are you mansplaining my victimhood to me?? Bahahaha just kidding, I'm not a victim. I am well aware that they are not literally the same; however, they do both come down to the idea of seizing something--power and/or money typically--from someone else because Oppression. People who support the social movement might be persuaded to the political movement since their line of reasoning go hand-in-hand with a slight change in the explanation of the cause of the suffering, although the one does not necessarily have to lead to the other because you can have problems with our system without wanting to just destroy it.

I have serious problems with both social-esque ideologies and the current perversion of the free market, enough to write a book--but I won't because it's been done before and with a lot more footnotes. The nut of the thing is both views demand a belief that human nature can be fundamentally altered by means of controlling what is allowed to be said and done from an external source (spoiler: it doesn't end well). It all boils down to control and what about our nature vs South America, Asia, or large parts of Africa that socialism will go any better for us? I can't imagine anything. Social justice sure has a lot to say on that subject, I think. Which confuses me why one would want to bolster an oppressive government further to the point of having a say in every facet of our existence....

 

18 hours ago, Kishi said:

Which I'm sure is a gross oversimplification that misses lots of details and doesn't give anyone on that spectrum near enough credit, and oh wow am I not qualified to make an in-depth defense of all this. But to bring it back to your point, it seems to me that a movie championing SJW values probably wouldn't get made if the capitalists didn't think they couldn't make money off of it.

 

My point was more that Hollywood isn't necessarily so very in touch with reality. But, well. Yes. That is the goal of the thing and if you are interested in seeing an End Game or some other spin-off movie after this one has been made, you should hope it manages to do so. Otherwise people will be fired and Star Wars things can go on hiatus while Disney figures out what went wrong, if they can. 

 

tl;dr you can call me your capitalist friend lol. 

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18 hours ago, Jupiter said:

I'll come back and comment later but I love the discussions that pop up on this thread. Definitely fascinating. 

 

Right? That's what makes this place fun. :)

 

15 hours ago, ReturnOfTheDad said:

 

I think @Jupiter notes something really interesting about Cap. All those tend to be hallmarks of introverts and contrary to popular belief, introverts often make the best leaders. In ‘Good to Great’ (highly recommended reading), a study was done of corporations that changed course and dominated their marketplace. The majority of the time, a CEO with a personality almost exactly like the MCU version of Captain America, was at the helm. Many retained a lot of these habits/quirks even when achieving responsibilities and success of near mythic proportions. We’re talking Fortune 500 CEOs that drive Honda’s, fed cows, etc. not to escape corporate pressure, but because that was their norm, leading companies was the out of place thing to them, but they did it with focused duty and humility. Interestingly they all typically went through some big challenge (similar to Cap in his WWII exploits) before achieving what’s noted in the book as Level 5 leadership.

 

Adding more food for thought to the discussion buffet. :D 

 

Well, as someone who skews introverted more often than not, that's good to hear. :)

 

That being said, I don't really view his introversion as a flaw. It's a character trait, and certainly not the thing that's getting in the way of him living his best life.

 

3 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I finally read through all the Captian Marvel stuff after finally seeing it yesterday. I enjoyed the heck out of that movie. It was a lot of fun. I thought it was well done and I enjoyed Larson's Danvers. I thought she was well written and portrayed. The overcoming sexism bit was in there, but to me it was a movie about a person learning that falling doesn't make you weak, and getting up every time you fall is what makes you strong. I thought that was a far stronger message. The movie did address that Danvers and Rambeau faced and were not defeated by sexism. The cockpit joke was a bit much but having lived through the 90's I know there were plenty of self-absorbed men who would certainly have made that kind of joke.

 

Yeah, I wish I'd had the foresight to edit this for spoilers, and I'm sorry for my part in that. -_-

 

But yeah, man. Like I've been saying. I thought it was a good movie. It's serviceable in the canon and certainly not the worst film. But that doesn't make it a great film, and it certainly doesn't place it beyond critique. I'm not against the portrayal of sexism (and I thought the cockpit joke was actually pretty spot on as a thing that she would have dealt with), and I'm not against an empowering message about falling down 7 times to stand up 8.

 

At the same time, I really don't like it when a movie decides that its message is so important that it can sub in a sermon instead of a story. And I think that's what happened here. They executed the formula and dressed the film up in enough 90s nostalgia to cover for it, but they sacrificed story and character to get their point across, and that's lazy storytelling.

 

Let me offer some food for thought: just because something is propaganda, it doesn't follow that 1) it's bad, or 2) it's untrue. I just think that they could have said more true things if they'd executed better on story and character. That's all. I like movies, not marching orders.

 

2 hours ago, Urgan said:

I don't think Hollywood could be considered anything but upper class given all the movie-goer money they have floating around to pay talent to continue working for them. They are exactly the kind of people who profess their love of socialism and dictators ironically because they can afford to by virtue of the money they have made here. Danny Glover, Michael Moore, Jim Carey, and Jamie Foxx are just a few who do. Don't make the mistake of assuming people with money by extension have the intellectual horsepower to act in their own best interest--this particular cadre of humans are not exactly the brightest. For one thing, they hired an actress who decided to tell somewhere between 30 and 50% of potential domestic audience she is not interested in having their business when she didn't even have to do that because Wonder Woman seemed to do just fine.

 

Eh. I'm not convinced that capitalist dictators are much better except at covering up their messes. Given 20 years and a competent historian, even the good guys come out looking... not.

 

That being said, let me point out that Larson's probably pretty keen on the idea that the market for superhero movies has changed somewhat. They don't have to appeal to a nerdcore audience anymore that skews heavily male. Last I'd heard, fandom was overwhelmingly female (although I can't point to a study for that, so ymmv) and she may just be bluntly recognizing a fact of the market now rather than alienating anyone.

 

2 hours ago, Urgan said:

Are you mansplaining my victimhood to me?? Bahahaha just kidding, I'm not a victim. I am well aware that they are not literally the same; however, they do both come down to the idea of seizing something--power and/or money typically--from someone else because Oppression. People who support the social movement might be persuaded to the political movement since their line of reasoning go hand-in-hand with a slight change in the explanation of the cause of the suffering, although the one does not necessarily have to lead to the other because you can have problems with our system without wanting to just destroy it.

 

So no joke, I've been feeling like the sweating man in the meme with two buttons and like I'm in danger of mansplaining mansplaining. I've been working so. Hard. To not be That Guy and to not fall for that trope.

 

That being said, I'm not certain I understand the difference. The capitalists seize power and money from the proletariat by forcing them to sell their labor at a fraction of its value; they just happen to be way better at dressing it up as something to be praised than as something that keeps us in our place. You can call it seizure of power/capital if you want, and it's not inaccurate, but it's power/capital that was taken from us in the first place, so.

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

I have serious problems with both social-esque ideologies and the current perversion of the free market, enough to write a book--but I won't because it's been done before and with a lot more footnotes. The nut of the thing is both views demand a belief that human nature can be fundamentally altered by means of controlling what is allowed to be said and done from an external source (spoiler: it doesn't end well). It all boils down to control and what about our nature vs South America, Asia, or large parts of Africa that socialism will go any better for us? I can't imagine anything. Social justice sure has a lot to say on that subject, I think. Which confuses me why one would want to bolster an oppressive government further to the point of having a say in every facet of our existence....

 

I can empathize with that. I think people who think we have a truly free market are kidding themselves, and that if we had a free market things would look very different. But we don't, because it's not in the interests of the core players of the market for it to be so.

 

To your broader point here, though, it seems to me that the distinction is one of who makes the decision regarding who controls us. I mean, to take China as an example: China does have a strong authoritarian streak. Their social media is big on the idea of "social credit" and is totally used as a control on its populace. And we're sketched about that, and I think we should be. At the same time, though, over here we have Amazon developing facial recognition technology which is being eyed by law enforcement for surveillance purposes and Facebook tracking our movements via our voluntary check-ins and monitoring our content. If it's not the same thing, it's damned close, and it does beg the question as to why our way is so much better. At least the Chinese people got to have a vote for their situation; reportedly, it's very popular, and that popularity doesn't appear coerced. Is it because we can buy stuff from the people who want to control us?

 

3 hours ago, Urgan said:

My point was more that Hollywood isn't necessarily so very in touch with reality. But, well. Yes. That is the goal of the thing and if you are interested in seeing an End Game or some other spin-off movie after this one has been made, you should hope it manages to do so. Otherwise people will be fired and Star Wars things can go on hiatus while Disney figures out what went wrong, if they can.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't mind some slowdown to make good movies, but at the same time I do kind of feel for them. Shoot, I'm stoked for Endgame next month, so it's not like their business model doesn't work. :D

 

tl;dr only if you don't mind being friends with a budding socialist. :)

 

*

 

Work got in the way because of course it did.

 

I took a good hard look at how I'm managing my time and have made the necessary adjustments. Or rather, I've made adjustments; one can only hope they were the necessary ones.

 

In the meantime, kicked off deload with lighter S&S, skipped rope, shadow-komi'd, and worked the bag for a while. Was surprised to find that bagwork really wasn't the problem I thought it was because I was able to get back and start cooking at the usual time that I do such things. The real kicker was that I had a lot of food to cook and to eat. The cooking wasn't even the hardest part; it was the eating so much food that was. Apparently a dry cup of rice, a can of beans, some eggs, 2-3 cups of veggies, and a meatless patty is a lot of effing food to eat.

 

Wish I'd known that sooner.

 

So I've made the decision to go back to breakfasts, just to make the calories easier to eat. Since I'm aiming to maintain, the Thrive guidelines of GB will pretty much inform the pattern. Now that I have a good idea of what maintenance looks like, it should be no trouble, although I did eff up a little today when I realized that the food I wanted to pack for lunch had gone off and had to improvise on the way to work.

 

Oh well. It's not a perfect world. But I'm actually really confident that this will help.

 

Anyway. Rest day today. Will start back on CC's push up progressions tonight. After beer and sci fi. Because I make good decisions, yes I do.

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