eumelia: (little dream - observing)
A few days ago I posted this:

Pick a character I've written and I will explain the top five ideas/concepts/etc I keep in mind while writing that character that I believe are essential to accurately depicting them.

I got some requests :) All of which are detailed under their respective cuts. If you want more, don't hesitate to ask!

Magneto )

Steve McGarrett )

Grace Williams )

Danny Williams )

Kono Kalakaua )

I had a very hard time picking out only five things for each character, as they each contain multitudes, and I have so much more to say about each of them.
eumelia: (cahoots)
As [livejournal.com profile] etrangere said in someone else's post about this subject: "ironic icon is ironic" with regards to the icon adorning this post.

Making the rounds in the X-Men:First Class fandom is a fanart with the captions:
Charles as a British Airborne Medic
Erik as a German SS Officer [...]


Uh, yeah.

You can view the fanart and the artist's explanation as to their motivation in drawing it here.
ETA: Unsurprisingly, the artist has locked their post. Screenshot, because this shit should not be covered up.

ETA: Reading this person's replies to some of the critical comments on their work makes it clear that they have no idea that what they did was problematic. So, if you're going to read the comments, be prepared for more fail.

In the post the artist goes on to say that when they posted the fanart on tumblr they were butchered in the comments, and that if anyone hates the idea of Erik in an SS Officer uniform we should assume that he's undercover.
(Emphasis mine)

Well, thanks for clearing that up! That makes the entire thing absolutely okay and not questionable at all!

Ahem.

Look, the whole thing is in bad taste, for a variety of reasons. For me, the idea of putting a Jewish man in a Nazi uniform and telling anyone who may be offended by it to pretend he's a not actually a Nazi, is grossly insensitive.

There is a history, it's dark and fucked up, it has an aftermath that is hardly spoken outside of Europe and outside of specific communities that may or may not have remained in Europe after the second world war.

What the artist does in their post is an attempt to cover their own ass. They knew, very well, that they were posting a contentious piece of work, which, once posted is open to criticism and the aforementioned contention.

I don't want to pretend that Erik is in an SS Officer's uniform for "good reason". There is, in fact, no "good" reason. No matter how you construe the scenario, Erik in a Nazi uniform is a fucked up notion. No matter what "AU" you imagine that creates a sequence of events which leads to the logical conclusion of Erik wearing a Nazi uniform, it is still a reflection of a history and a reality that happened.

The fetishising of Nazism is a kink which can (ETA: with a great many disclaims and qualifications, if you ask me) be filed under "your kink is not my kink and that's okay". There is still a social and historical context which is open for discussion when fanworks start dabbling in this history which still affects me as a gay Jewish person to a degree that is at times hard to describe.

Not to mention that this dabbling shows how much disregard they have for the subject, the history and the people who are still affected by the fact that the second world war's ramifications are still felt throughout the world.
eumelia: (brilliant)
For the past month, I've written more fiction that I have in the past three years. Perhaps more, I recall the romantic sci-fi novel I wrote when I was 13 and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fanfic Role Play my friend and I co-authored at the time.

Good times.

But over the past month I've written a 18K of an X-Men: First Class and am in the middle of writing a truly challenging Hawaii Five-0 fic, which is being cheerleaded, beta'd and hand-held as it is going along, because it is also the fic that will probably be going on-line soon enough.

It is challenging not only because of the subject matter (which has a huge potential of fail and will probably require fresh eyes of a certain perspective to tell me whether I stuck my foot so deep in my mouth is has come out of my ass), but because I'm writing to readers.

I want people to read me.

This is evident by the fact that I have a public blog and it has been going strong for nearly six years.
Sure it's petered here and there, but at this point, it's because I'm writing fic and writing takes time. I actually hope I manage to finish the first draft at least my mid-week next week because then I have to focus on my academic writing. Of which I still have 12K words to write out!

Oy.

My cheerleader/beta/hand-holder has told me more than once that I'm improving, that I'm learning and that I take criticism very well.

Well, once you've spend four years looking at the Red Pentm telling you where you went wrong, why, you tend to not view it as a personal failing, but rather as a challenge to prove that Red Pentm that you will do better every time.

So, yeah, I'm becoming awesome under tutelage.

And even if the fic that is teaching me to become a better writer has to be shelved due to fail, it will still probably be a seminal work for me.

So, here's to hoping my Hawaii Five-0 mojo doesn't destroy me!
eumelia: (Default)
That's what I see when I encounter a 100x100 icon of Erik's tattoo.

What tattoo?

The tattoo on his forearm, that was stamped (with needles and ink) on him when he and his family were sent to a concentration camp from a ghetto.

I know screen caps create the illusion of having no context. But the movie uses its first twenty minutes to ensure that we know that Erik has not forgiven the Nazis (human and not) for what they did to him and his family.

I mention this, because I feel it needs to be said that the Nazis marked people entering the camp (Jewish and not) as a way to keep them demoralised, without control and, I'll say it again, dehumanised.

An icon of that number, is a fetish of the aforementioned dehumanisation. What we are seeing on screen happened, in history, in real life, to millions of people.

Erik is fictional, what happened to him is not.

The number tattoo, being reduced to a number, actually happened.

People who went through and survived are still alive.

It is inappropriate to use that number on an icon as a way to present the character is an objectified manner and yes, that is what icons do and that is what they are for.

When we see Erik's tattoo, which is exactly twice, it is in the context of bringing down Nazis, because it is evidence to what was done to him, to Jews, to Gypsies, to homosexual men and women, to anyone the Nazis deemed subhuman and sent to die in a camp designed to kill.

That is what that number means.
eumelia: (erik and his hat)
So, like, I know I'm the party-pooper when it comes to the fun of Fandom.

I know I'm Waldorf to someone else's Statler (or vice versa), but I am irked.

It irks me when things like this are received with a *squee* and nary a side eye.

As per the link, there was a panel at SDCC on X-Men and the subject of LGBT themes came up. Zack Stentz, who was involved in writing X-Men: First Class is quoted:
[...]
Stentz basically confirmed Erik/Charles (he called First Class, “the tragic romance of Charles and Erik”) and went on to describe how if certain events/personal ideologies/chosen paths hadn’t forced them apart, Erik and Charles would most certainly be together. According to him, it’s one of those “they’re meant for each other, but fate refuses to let them stay together” situations.


That's nice.

Really it is.

About as nice as being told Professor Dumbledore was gay, two years (if IIRC) after he died.

The fandom went wild, as did I at the time, until I thought about the implications of outing him post-mortem.

And this, oh, the tragic love story of two men who have never ever in the canon shown any kind of evidence beyond subtext that we need to look for, that they loved each other in a way that went deeper than friendship, or even brotherhood.

That quote, right there, that feels like pandering. It feels like fan service. It feels like, there was a big loaf of bread somewhere when it came to who got the benefit of being represented in an honest way in a genre movie.

I don't want to have to have the "Word of God" confirm subtext they put in there so that they could be implicit, rather than explicit, about character development and desire. I don't want a panel at SDCC to tell me that the margins of the text are slightly wider than they were before.

I don't want to be happy about the fact that a movie filled with plausible deniability is a vindication of queer readings in a film, chock full of code and subtext that exists to make the aforementioned deniability hold strong.

The most we can say is "thank god no one is running for the hills due to queer implication" and no it doesn't really matter what the sexuality of the creators are - what matters is what is conveyed and while what is conveyed in the movie is brilliant, this is not a movie that has queer people in it. It is a movie that has queer themes and implications running through it.

Nuance is fun, ambiguity is one of my favourite things. But not at the cost of real, actual, honest to god, LGBT representation.

When am I getting my Batwoman movie?! Oh, never? Thought so. Is Northstar ever going to be something other than a gay Canadian Speedster? No, oh well.

Apollo? Mignighter? Maybe on HBO or Showtime? Yeah, maybe.

Crossposts: http://eumelia.livejournal.com/547114.html
eumelia: (fangirl)
This seems a bit of a silly reason to break radio silence - but man, I have to say my piece. My life is so freakin' hectic at the moment, but fandom is a place of rest of relaxation - so what if I'm a *squee*-harsher.

I'm in the midst of writing a fic in the universe of "X-Men: First Class". I am slogging through it because I have a kink for being as historically accurate as possible when it comes to the portrayal of characters - yes, I do love "Mad Men". I haven't finished it yet, but I will.

This post contains very slight spoilers for "X-Men:First Class", you were warned.

The fandom for this movie is very sweet, I must say. Everyone is *squeeing*, there are fanmixes galore and the well, these young versions of Magneto and Professor X are very pretty indeed. It helps that the actors seem to enjoy fan service and go out of their way to cater to the subtextual narrative that is on everyone's mind.

And really, it is on everyone's mind. And article that came out yesterday titled Magneto and Professor X Had Sex at the Movies This Summer - Did You See It?, in which the author goes on to lay wide open that which slashers see on an almost automatic level - the homoeroticism as homosexual - the emotional ties as romantic feelings.

It feels nice to have that reading acknowledged by the mainstream. Really it does. The queer and racial narratives of X-Men has existed since they began being published back in the Silver Age's Hey Day of the early 60's. Back then, it was much more subtle and the clues were there to find if you knew how to crack at that code.

Nowadays it seems as though the actors are given carte blanche to play as gay as possible... without any acknowledgement of the fact.
I see it in "White Collar", I see it in "Sherlock" by Moffat and "Sherlock Holmes" by Ritchie and now in "X-Men: First Class".
The queer is part of the narrative, by virtue of many of the main/title characters being set apart from other characters who view them as different and differentiated.
Neal from "White Collar" is outside the law.
Sherlock Holmes is outside human thought.
The mutants are beyond humanity itself.

A queer reading is practically mandatory, but in the way homosexuality is constructed in the media today, plausible deniability, in which the straight viewers reside, is built in.
Homosexual desire is hinted at, allegorised or played up for fan service rather than be showen (rahter than told, no one needs to "say" they are "gay". Okay!?) as genuine desire between people in a mainstream cinematic or television event.

The clues in "X-Men: First Class" can be read, as I mentioned, if you know the code.
"I thought I was alone", Erik says to Charles. So did the majority of queers until they met someone else like them later in life.
The tears the two men share, it is a heart wrenching scene, in which the pleasure of using their powers with each other (their so-called deviancy) and together is palpable.
On their so-called "Divorce" on the beach (a term I find extremely distasteful, considering the state of same-sex marriage around the world, the happy News from NYS notwithstanding, and especially considering the idea of queer sexuality being framed into the structure of marriage), they cry and embrace, but do not kiss, which would have happened between a man and a woman.

It being 1962, that makes sense, because public displays of affection between two men was highly ill advised when not in a specific queer place.
Edited to Add: And it's not as though it's that safe for us these days (these of so progressive days) either. Or that specific queer places are in fact safer than most. they're not (link may be triggering). I'm somewhat shocked at myself for neglecting to say this, but I'll blame it on being focused on media rather than experience.

But the subtext that is being brought to the surface all the time, because it is being played up off-screen by James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender (much like Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law two years ago) gives the illusion that queer representation in mainstream blockbusters is actually on the rise, when all it is, is badly concealed *wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more* titillation of the idea of gayness.

Say no more indeed.
God forbid that instead of the phallic chess pieces between them, we saw an actual erotic embrace with a PG-13 appropriate fade to black.

But who needs actual gay superheroes?

Oh, and I hated the article linked above.

Yes, that was sarcasm. Now, I'm going back to fixing the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's gonna be a gas!
eumelia: (get a job)
I'm at the Library and we just came back from a pretty useless anti-missile exercise.

Let me tell you, if we are bombed at some point, I'm running outside and making sure that if I die, at least it's in the fresh air.

The Library is going to be undergoing renovations starting next month or so. Thus, what I had hoped would be a relaxing time at my third job (seeing as working at the Pharmacy and being a Nanny allow me no time in which I can do nothing), is pretty much shot.

Hauling crumbling dissertations in over flowing carts is not a relaxing time. Especially not considering my cart actually fell over due to the weight of all those books. Lucky for me, they all fell in a straight line and kept their order. That would have been a nightmare.

In what little spare time that I have, seeing as most of the time if I'm not working, I'm studying, I am world building an "X-Men: First Class" fix it. I loved that movie. A lot. But there was so much wrong in it, in so many ways.

Darwin Lives! And Angel isn't a Sociopath (seriously, wtf?).

Fandom has, and quite correctly, exploded. I like that I'm seeing a huge overlap between "Inception" authors and "X-Men: First Class" authors. That really is lovely.

Fandom has, incorrectly, decided that the Holocaust is the be all and end all of Erik Lehnsherr. Fandom, please stop. Fandom has also, incorrectly, decided that Charles is super-sensitive, fuzzy and empathetic. Fandom, what movie were you watching.
Fandom is also using Raven is a sex doll. Please stop, Mystique would kick your asses for this and not bother to learn your name while she steals your identity. I know this is BB!Mystique - but she's nobody's sex toy!

All of the above is a gross generalisation of course, but these are trends that I'm seeing.

Hopefully, I will have something to show for my fix-it soon. Would there be anyone willing to beta me? And kick my ass for encouragement?
Thanks in advance!

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eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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