Study Study Study

So, exams are real soon.

So, I’m studying.

So, here’s a song that is quite good and also good for those who are studying.

So, enjoy it!

Also here’s Green Lantern if he were in Yo Gabba Gabba:

Hopefully they'll include this in the new movie.

 

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You reap what you sow:

My top search results (the things people are searching for when they find my blog):

january jones wiki, was thomas cromwell gay?, x men first class fanfiction slash, they fucked up magneto, “thomas cromwell” “littlefinger”.

0_O

 

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Reboot: Barbara Gordon

The big deal about Barbara Gordon becoming Batgirl again is that since 1988, she’s been paralyzed. Shot by the Joker through the spine, in Alan Moore’s seminal The Killing Joke:

Now say that comics can't make you wince.

I have a problem with Babs going back to Batgirl: not only is she an adult now (she ain’t no girl!), but there’s simply no need to change her. She does so much how she is now and we have a current Batgirl? It seems like Babs is being brought back to boost sales because she’s the Batgirl “everyone remembers”. Well, why the heck can she not be Oracle (her current identity as the DCU’s essential information service and ace computer hacker) and be remembered for that? Man, I just don’t know.

I was going to rant more in this post.

I was going to say how I disagree quite strongly of DC somehow (which is a problem in itself) getting practically their only disabled character to run, jump, and be Batgirl again. I was going to say how I thought it robbed her of an important part of her character, how her struggle with being paralysed had helped not only define her character, but make her someone unique and special. How she showed that even a disabled person can become a Superhero.

But then this summed it up:

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Green Lantern Rocks

I really like Green Lantern.

I’ll do a bigger post on that some other time but it basically boils down to Sci Fi love, some cool messages about overcoming fear, and he’s just a great fun character. Also he has a ring that allows him to create hard light constructs based on his imagination. Win!

There’s also a song about him from a bang called Kirby Krackle. I think it’s awesome.

(The video isn’t a bad summary of the GL universe and ideas, btw. The song hook “Ring Capacity” refers to the fact that the ring’s have a power charge that drains over time. It must be charged at least once every 24 hrs or at need by saying the Green Lantern Oath “In brightest day…”well, you heard it.)

 

Also THESE:

 

For any occasion.

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X-Men First Class: Gold Star!

So X-Men first class was brilliant.

I mean, totally.

Seriously.

Myself (quite the fan), my girlfriend (partial to X-Men and James McAvoy) and one of my mates (never seen an X-Men film) all went to see it. All three of us really, really loved it. It was a perfect mix of 60’s style action (Magneto: Nazi Hunter needs to happen!), social subtext (read: Mutants are every marginalized group ever), a dab of philosophy, and great dialogue and characters (pulled off by mostly great performances though Janurary Jones’ Emma Frost was not what I wanted it to be). In short, go see it.

I’ll now discuss what was at the heart of the film for me. As most people have grasped, the idealogical debate between Professor X and Magneto is essentially “they will accept us” vs “they’ll kill us because we are different”. An important factor in this is that Magneto also has Jewish heritage and had his entire family, loved ones, everything that was dear to him, extinguished in the Holocaust. So he basically has a first hand experience as to what happens when people become afraid of a certain group. And he’s determined that it should never happen again, and rightly so. The great thing about this is that although Magneto is that he’s not as bad as the film’s villain Sebastian Shaw (WW III anyone?) – he only wants to save his people.

[SPOILERS] There is a great bit later in the film when the X-Men are shot at by many, many, missiles. Magneto, using  his powers, stops the missiles. He hesitates whether to launch them back. Prof X pleads with him not to kill the men in the ships as they are “only good men following orders”. When Magneto turns to Prof X and says “I’ve was once at the mercy of men following orders. Never again.” Prof X does not have a reply, and neither do we. Hell, I still can’t decide who’s right in my mind.

 

Let’s think on that, shall we?

 

In the meantime:

 

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Reboot: #1

Well hi everyone!

Been a while since I’ve posted (again, essays! You remember Thomas?) but here’s another one to keep you salivating.

So in case you don’t know (and I don’t blame you) DC (one of the two major American comics publishers along with Marvel) are doing a pseudo reboot of the DC Universe. For those unaware, all the DC books share a universe together which can make for some great crossovers and events (like the Justice League) and some really awful plotting just to make it all barely coherent. DC is going to be renumbering (for non comic personal comics are given a # number each issue) all their comics back to #1. For some, like Batman and Detective Comics (DC’s namesake), this will be the first time ever they’ve had a #1 printed since their inception. So, pretty big deal.

Now, the idea is to obviously pull in new readers in to what is perceived as an industry that is kind of stagnating and also very unaccessible for new readers. With a whole slew of #1’s on the table, DC will ideally be able to grab many new readers. I’m totally for grabbing new readers. I want more people to enjoy the stories I love. And I think cleaning the continuity is most likely needed, and is a very good media stunt to pull attention. There are, however a few things that are causing me worry and/or irritation.

1. 52 #1 books will be created, but same time next year will we see 52 #13 books? We’d better. An idea is one thing, follow through is another.

2.  Are we going to have the same problem in 10 years? Is this the cycle of the comics industry?

3. Dick Grayson will no longer be Batman. This will get its own post.

4. Barbara Gordon will return as Batgirl. This will get its own post.

5. The shake up of creative teams on the current books might land good, but also quite bad. Also, current stories?

 

I think my basic worry is that all this new interest and hype created by the onslaught of #1 issues will be wasted, and in a few years the DC universe will be back to how it was, and we’ll have lost the numbering of books (no Detective Comics #900!) and the current state of the Universe for nothing but a boost in sales in a short area.

Additionally, I think that this whole “people only get into #1 issues” approach is really flawed. When I got into comics (not that long ago) I did the following.

1. I started with the most critically acclaimed graphic novels I had heard of (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Long Halloween), and read those.

2. I then proceeded to buy more books that I thought were interesting.

3. I then heard about Batman Inc. starting up, and got on board with that. It was a convenient starting point, and I hoped on board started getting most of the Batman books.

4. With Green Lantern I bought the back catalog to bring me up to date with the current numbering, and then started picking that up.

5. With lots of Marvel books like X-Men, X-Force, and Iron Man I just grabbed the most recent issue and dived in.

 

Basically what I’m saying is this: people who want to get into comics, who want to enjoy them, will make the effort. And they’ll continue to stick with those books if they enjoy them, and move around if they don’t.  Those people that don’t experiment will not get into comics, but it is unlikely that they would have anyway. Hence renumbering the issues all to #1 will be of some use…but when all the #2’s come out, how many people will pick them up? Not those who only got for #1. You’ve got to have strong writing and characters to pull people to the books. For sure, promote the comics that have movies coming out (like X-Men, Green Lantern) but…yeah. Long story short: people who want comics will go for them, no matter what. People who don’t…won’t care. I guess some of this comes from me saying “I did it, so can you” approach, but I mean if people want to find out what to get into and when, that’s what comic book stores are for, and the staff that they employ.

I’m cautiously optimistic for this reboot. Just.

That being said, Hitler has some points:

 

 

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The Fantastic Mr Cromwell

Ohai guys!

So, at the moment I’m doing an essay on Thomas Cromwell, 3000 words, due in a week and I’m just starting now. I should be able to do it, no sweat.

For those of you who don’t know Thomas Cromwell was Henry VIII’s Chief Minister and served him 1532-1540. Cromwell was notable for personally using his position and power to help move the English Reformation into high gear and was a protestant at a time wear there where not many at all. (Not to be confused with Sir Thomas Moore who was a Catholic, both Cromwell’s predecessor as Chief Minister and sharer of his eventual fate: beheaded by a king who was not very happy.) Cromwell was an interesting guy (hence my essay) and I’m trying to look at his motivations in the English Reformation. What was the actual extent of Thomas Cromwell’s construction and implementation of the English Reformation, and to what degree was this motivated by his personal politics and religion? He and Anne Boleyn were both Protestants, but also political enemies; one would think them natural allies. More and more questions, I’ll let you know the answers when I find them. What happened to him was as so (to quote Wikipedia (always wanted to say that)): “He fell from Henry’s favour after arranging the King’s marriage to a German princess, Anne of Cleves, which turned out to be a disaster. He was subjected to a bill of attainder and executed for treason and heresy on Tower Hill on 28 July 1540. The king later expressed regret at having lost his great minister.”

I’m sure Thomas felt lots better after Henry was sorry his friend was gone. Awww.

But he normally looks so happy, how would you tell?

(Incidentally James Frain, who plays Cromwell in The Tudors TV, shows up in True Blood as a Vampire named Franklin. I mean I know Cromwell was beheaded, but still. He was a cunning fellow: I don’t doubt he had arranged some Vampire hoodoo to help him out.)

Thus confirming fears of Catholics and Papists worldwide.

So in my course of looking for stuff on Cromwell  I thought “Why not find a documentary on Youtube? Or just abit for The Tudors to inspire me?”. And what did I find?

Well this:

And this:

Yep. A music video devoted to Cromwell using…symphonic metal or something, and a slash fic video with him and Henry VIII (for the uninformed Urban Dictionary describes Slash Fic as: “the portrayal of a perceived homosexual relationship between two lead characters in a popular continuity. It is for this reason that Slash Fiction is ambiguous with Kirk/Spock, Tidus/Auron, or Cloud/Sephiroth fiction. Apparently, there is also Harry Potter Slash fiction. *Is disgusted.* It is suspected that this is called “slash” fiction because it sexually mutilates the entire framework of the continuity.”).

Yeah, that. But with The Tudors. Do people even know that these characters are based on real historical figures? Straight to the point: why would you WANT slash fic between Henry and Cromwell? WHY? I just don’t understand. [Side note: Henry introduced a buggery law making it very much illegal for gay men to do what they would to other consenting men. OF COURSE HE LOVES CROMWELL]

A small search in google to “Cromwell Slash Fic” revealed a great treasure trove of The Tudors FanFic. WHY, good people, WHY? As a student of history I’m actually more galled at the notion that Anne Bolelyn and Cromwell where romantic…I…I just… I might be able to pull a 3000 word essay on Cromwell and the English Reformation, but I couldn’t muster 1000 words to understand THIS. O_o It can’t get any weirder than fan fiction based on a romanticized soap based on history. Could not get any weirder.

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