Michael Savage.

July 22, 2008

Short version: Michael Savage has an opinion on autism: “I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’” Oh, and instead of apologizing, he whines about being taken out of context.

Longer version here.

Ugh, Betty.

October 10, 2007

If you haven’t watched Monday’s Heroes, and you haven’t been reading the online comics, you might want to go catch up.  Here’s an image of my Heroes-crush Peter Petrelli for some quality spoiler space:

powers_peter_stops_taser.jpg

So, we learn that Sylar didn’t bite it at the end of the first season, and the person who is nursing him back to health is Candice, the illusionist/shapechanger from the Company.  Now, I hated her in season one.  The character is just not at all likable.  I suppose, with her working with Linderman and the Company, it’s not all that surprising that she’d pretty intolerable.

Then came her backstory, and my annoyance switched from the present-day character to whoever wrote her past.  I guess it’s both Tim Kring, for the hints that have been dropped in the show (and her final scene as an overweight brunette at Sylar’s feet Monday night) and Joe Casey, who wrote the “Betty” arc for the graphic novel online.

Candice was once a fat, pimply goth girl named Betty.  The perfect, perky, beautiful cheerleaders (who think AP classes are for squares) and the handsome, football-playing, testosterone-filled boys in her class were mean to her and her awkward, pimply goth friend Ren.  Betty gets revenge on a football player, the rest of the team takes it out on Ren, Betty accidentally sends Ren into cardiac arrest revealing her newfound powers and plotting revenge, la la la.  In the end, she stops short of pulling a Carrie and just leaves everyone at the homecoming game freaked out while she strikes off on her new life as thin, pretty Candice.

I understand that comics and hour-long television shows are going to rely heavily on stereotypes.  Can we call the cheerleader/goth themes archetypes yet, or are they still too recent?

During the first season, I rolled my eyes at the portrayal of Claire as the one cheerleader on the squad who was a decent human being, but I let it go.  This season’s episodes with the mean ol’ cheerleaders bullying Martha made me grit my teeth, too, but again, I decided to just deal with it and let them tell the story.

Then, yesterday, while watching the episode online (I missed it Monday night), I had to go back and make sure they hadn’t just filmed Missy Peregrym at a bad angle.  I’d forgotten about an exchange between Candice and Micah during “Landslide”:

Michah: I have a cousin who eats like you. He’s huge.
Candice:  So am I.

After finishing the episode, I went and read the comics, since I haven’t seen them since last season ended.  And lo, the Betty arc. 

I guess it struck a harder nerve because I identify more with the kind of person they’re stereotyping than I did with the cheerleaders.  I was (and let’s be honest, I still am) the overweight, nerdy, slightly goth girl.  I was never quite brave enough to dress like Death (except on Halloween), but I wore my share of black and read far too many vampire novels. 

I realize that there are kids out there like that, who angst it up and believe that The Necronomicon is real.  (Ia! Ia!)  When I went to New Orleans the first time, we went on the Rev. Zombie’s Vampire Tour and the “real vampire” who walked along with us gave me his website and contact info afterwards (because I answered a lot of the tour guide’s questions, I guess.  I was wearing a white blouse and a flowered skirt; I hardly resembling a bloodsucking fiend at all).  He seemed to believe that he was Vlad II Dracula reincarnated, and that the Camarilla truly existed.

So, believe me, I know they’re out there.

What bothers me most about the Betty story, though, was that they did go for the obvious cliche.  I suppose, with her being a minor enough character, they don’t really have to put all that much time and thought into it.   Yet, the story so far has been pretty solid.  Of course they’re going to use sterotypes, but there have been some pretty good twists on them, too. 

Reducing Candice down to “fat girl who used to be picked on” was a missed opportunity.  She could have simply been average-looking.  Kring et. al might have taken a page out of Neil Gaiman’s book and looked at Nuala the fairy.  Hell, Candice could have been a man – now, there’s a plot twist for you (but likely not one that they’d want to explore in prime time, maybe.)

Anyway, yet another two-fold finger:  to the writers for making me overanalyze AND for their lazy storytelling.

Mooninite!

BSG Cast

Pretend you area a soulless Hollywood suit that works for the SciFi channel and feeds on crushed dreams. If I was to ask you “what’s your most valuable IP right now?” You’d probably answer “Battlestar Galactica, no question about it.” I of course, being a rabid fan of the show would pester you with questions and humiliate myself for a chance to visit the studio or get any BSG schwag. I would even sell my brother for a chance to be in the presence of Katee Sackhoff or Grace Park (Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace and Lt. Sharon “Boomer” Valeri respectively). After you had witnessed this sad spectacle you’d think to yourself “Boy, did we make the right decision by completely fucking with the show’s fanbase by turning the 20 episodes of Season 4, the show’s last, into two half seasons spanning two years. These suckers will do anything and endure it all for this show I have no respect for even though it’s the only original production that the channel can be proud of. Life is grand!”

If actors Jamie Bamber and Aaron Douglas (Capt. Lee “Apollo” Adama and “Chief” Tyrol, respectively) are to be believed in what they revealed during a Q&A session at DragonCon this is precisely what the plan is right now. I know the show has messed (or tried to, as some* may argue) with the audience before, but I would be truly shocked if this was a prank. I really want to think it is, or that they will come to their senses by either a) Logical Thought, or b) Reaction to angry fanbase, I honestly don’t care which it is.

We already have to wait well over a year in between Season 3 and the upcoming fourth season to have to suffer another year of waiting just because they want to drag the show so that they can milk it a bit more before it goes on syndication.

Even though I am forever indebted to you for giving Ron Moore the chance to put together this awesometasticular show; this callous, greedy, fucking stupid, thoughtless action has won you the coveted finger.

Kid Finger

*Don’t ask that smartass OfficerGleason about the “surprise/plot twist” at the very end of Season 3. He won’t shut up about how he called it before the frakkin original BSG came out. Nothing but communist lies.