Friday, March 21, 2008

Dammit, Kalinara

I was feeling open-minded and relaxed this week, so I let Kalinara talk me into watching a show she recommended.  An old British show called Sapphire and Steel.  And now I'm freaking addicted.  I'll probably have to track down the radio recordings too.

Damn her!

(Steel is freaking awesome, though.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Okay, I'll be the one to say it.

I've been reading a lot of griping about Wonder Woman #18, so I thoguht I'd chime in with my opinion: I liked it.

Not only that, I like Tom Tresser. Sure, he's no Steve, but he's cute. And he can be awesome when used properly. He's clever, funny, and skilled. I liked him under Heinebrg, I like him under Simone. I don't like him when he's written by Piccoult, but I don't like anyone as written by Piccoult. Fortunately, Piccoult's not writing him anymore. Simone is. I'm going to pretend Piccoult's run didn't happen, just like I do for Diana.

Also, does nobody realize what Simone just did? Amazon customs. She is fleshing out Amazon society in a way that's not just rehashed Athens customs. The Amazons had their own city-state in Ancient Greece, which means they had their own festivals and traditions and stories. Simone may be the first writer since Perez to start tossing this in there.

Plus, Wonder Woman has decided to court him. That's cool as shit, and pro-active. Just like Diana should be in a romantic situation. It's not like where she had a little-girl crush on Superman, or was the unwitting object of Ed, Micah or Mike's affections. She's an active participant. She's not dainty flower waiting to be picked. She's pursuing a relationship with a guy she thinks is hot.

It's okay that she made a joke about bowling. I drag my dates to the comic book store, but we also do stuff they like. That's part of dating. You try different things together, see if you can deal with the other person's world.

I like the joke about American courtship rituals, because that proves this is not the lifeless, humorless Diana entering a stiff, awkward romance like in Eric Luke or Phil Jiminez's runs. She's relaxed and playful and comfortable. The piece of personality that Perez took away when he removed Steve Trevor is coming back. The maturity and sensuality of the Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman, modernized to shed the "hard to get" social norms of those bygone decades whil still keeping her playful charm, is slowly returning. The icy distance between Wonder Woman and mortals is disappearing. We're getting Diana back.

Now, I love Steve. I still think we need a way to bring him back as her love interest. But announcing that she's courting Tom doesn't mean she's going to marry this character. Means she's exploring a little. Means she's opening as a person. Sure, not all female characters need romantic interests. But celibacy would make no sense for a follower of Aphrodite, after all. Remember, the warmth and caring in her heart? Not a gift from Demeter or Hestia. That's from Aphrodite, a sex goddess. Diana's connecting with a piece of herself here, and if things work out she'll get to connect with a piece of Tom.

And of course Tom's not good enough for her. She's friggin' Wonder Woman. No man in comics is good enough for her (which is probably why they got rid of Steve to begin with). That's no reason she shouldn't shop around. That's no reason a natural part of her life should be closed off except for a once-every-two-or-three-years short story about sexual tension with Superman, Batman or Aquaman.

Even if the objection is that he's not good enough for her because he's not an A-lister, that's silly. It's good that the most powerful woman in comics isn't spending all her time trying to find a match in status and power. Superman is married to a mortal woman. Diana's being like her male counterparts, and going for a guy she enjoys being around.

I'm sure we'll still have lots of action in the series. Gail Simone is writing her. A little romance does not a sappy love story make. Diana flirting with a guy does not mean she's not a kickass warrior.

And again, I like Nemesis. I enjoyed Wonder Woman #18. I think Gail Simone did a good job. I look forward to the rest of this story. And I am not ashamed!

And I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Alzhiemer's Research Charity Drive

Terry Pratchett, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, has given half a million pounds (about one million dollars) to Alzhiemer's research foundations. There's a charity drive on challenging his fans to collectively match his donation.

Match it For Pratchett

Look, it's kind of hard for me to come up with words to push this. There's a lot worthwhile places to put a spare couple bucks. This one, though, is pretty important to me. My Great-Grandmother had Alzheimer's, and I got to see just how devastating this illness is at a very young age. And honestly, it scares me more than anything else that happens when you grow up. I had relatives with Diabetes, heart problems, cancer, arthritis and a host of illnesses. I had one grandmother who constantly advised me never to get old. But none of that, even the stuff keeping people in their bed constantly seemed to me to be as horrible as Alzheimer's. Her daughter, a woman who had spent a good deal of time traveling the world before her mother got ill, stayed with her to take care of her. We went over her house regularly. It was where all the family gatherings were. She didn't usually seem to recognize us. There was one Halloween when she had no candy, and we came there to trick or treat. So she went to give us some of those chalky Canadian mints she kept around. I was young, and we'd just had a long lecture on safe trick-or-treating, and I said I wasn't supposed to take something unwrapped. I'll never forget her posture, I hadn't realized I'd said something wrong but it was clear I had. She seemed to not have caught up with the conversation. We were talking more around her than to her. It was how it always was there, though, but this was the first time she seemed self-conscious about it to me. I still feel guilty about that.

And I remember when I got older and snuck upstairs in my Great-Grandmother's house I once found a room full of paintings. Pretty nature scenes, mostly, in those ornate golden wood frames. A few of them weren't finished. It turned out she'd painted not only them, but a picture that had been hanging in our living room as long as I could remember. I'd always been a kid who loved drawing and writing and making up stories, and I had trouble with the art so I was very impressed with her talent. That was the saddest thing of all, I think. Having had so much talent before. And now not recognizing her grandkids.

Alzheimer's is scarier than death. Consider a donation, or at least spreading the word.