REMINDER THAT LAIKA’S FIRST FILM SOLELY PRODUCED BY THEIR STUDIO HAD TWO FEMALE CHARACTERS AS THEIR ANTAGONIST AND PROTAGONIST WHO, BY SOME FORM OF DEVIL MAGIC, HAVE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FACES
REMINDER THAT LAIKA’S SECOND FILM NOT ONLY CONSISTED OF A CAST WITH FOUR CENTRAL FEMALE CHARACTERS BUT INCLUDED AN ENTIRE TOWN OF DIVERSE CITIZENS OF VARYING RACE, GENDER, AND AGE. LIKE A NORMAL TOWN HAS.
REMINDER THAT LAIKA’S THIRD FILM FEATURED SAME SEX COUPLES IN THEIR TEASER TRAILER
REMINDER THAT THIS IS ALL STOP-MOTION SO EVERY CHARACTER WAS DESIGNED, MODELED, SCULPTED, RIGGED, AND EVEN HAD TINY CLOTHES SEWED FOR THEM.
also reminder that they make chump change compared to disney who whines and cries that in all their years of experience they can’t handle the prospect of animating a girl with a face different than the rest and that it’s “too hard” because only females can express such a wide range of emotions that it makes them difficult to animate
if a studio with 20-30 years of experience can manage this then SURELY an established studio with NEAR 100 YEARS of experience can maybe, just maybe, include a female that ISN’T a part of their formula
His body isn’t even cold yet and the New York times has already put out a shameful article declaring Nelson Mandela to be an “icon of peaceful resistance”. News outlets around the Western world are hurrying to publish obituaries that celebrate his electoral victory while erasing the protracted and fierce guerrilla struggle that he and his party were forced to fight in order to make that victory possible. Don’t let racist, imperialist liberalism co-opt the legacy of another radical. Nelson Mandela used peaceful means when he could, and violent means when he couldn’t. For this, during his life they called him a terrorist, and after his death they’ll call him a pacifist — all to neutralize the revolutionary potential of his legacy, and the lessons to be drawn from it.
he’ll say “are you married?” we’ll say “wow those are pretty invasive questions for a snowman”
I feel this is the perfect segue for me to tell this story. For the first 22 years of my life (I am 24 at this time), I didn’t know what a parson was. I thought “Parson Brown” was just a man’s name. And so when it got to this part in “Winter Wonderland”:
In the meadow we can build a snowman, Then pretend that he is Parson Brown He’ll say: Are you married? We’ll say: No man, But you can do the job When you’re in town
All throughout my entire childhood, tweenhood, teenhood, and early adulthood, I thought these horny ladies were building a snowman named Parson Brown, who must’ve been some kind of local hunk everyone had the hots for, and they were pretending to have sex with him in a meadow. I thought “do the job” was a sex thing and it was okay because none of them were married, which was very decent of Local Hunk Parson Brown in Snowman Form to ask them. Last year Sarah told me what a parson was and explained the real meaning of the lyrics, but it’s still really hard for me to buy. Like, really? REALLY? THESE WOMEN AREN’T HAVING SEX WITH A REAL DOLL SNOWMAN THEY MADE IN A FIELD BECAUSE THEY’RE UNWED AND TURNED ON AND IT WAS LIKE THE 1930S? I don’t know, my version makes more sense and has more intrigue.
…I’m kind of sad that I’ve now googled what a ‘parson’ actually was.
In regards to recent post about women's body image and self-esteem: I totally agree with you, but I think there is a distinction here. I think your brother is right. As a man, I don't necessarily have a ruler out when I look at women seeing exactly how skinny or curvaceous they are. I think it's important to put blame where blame is due: corporate and social forces. (Most) men aren't the ones putting women up against this singular body image type, they're being duped too, but not like wmn
Did you read the comic? There aren’t any men in it.
The slightly longer answer: That story you used to tell yourself, about the awesome girl who was totally pretty and everyone liked her and she maybe had magic powers and also like fifteen skills that you wished you did and also her hair never did that, you know, THAT THING your hair always does? And she was in your favorite fictional (or real person fictional) world, and all the characters or people that you loved the most loved her, and she married them or solved their problems or saved them or made them awesome food or held them when they cried? That story was a Mary Sue story, and that girl was a Mary Sue. Sometimes people write those stories down and post them. (AND THAT IS FINE.) Often the stories have limited appeal beyond the author and maybe her friends. (BUT THAT IS ALSO FINE.)
The “Sorry, you kind of touched a nerve” answer: While we can all identify our own Mary Sues, even if we’ve never written them down, people tend to spend a lot of time figuring out if other people have maybe written a Mary Sue, and checking every female character for potential Mary Sueism. In fandom times of old, the letters “OC” (original character) in a story header were a giant flag that meant Potential Bad Story Here, and the letters “OFC” (original female character) were translated as Guaranteed Bad Story Here. So people mostly stopped putting original female characters in their fan fiction.
But that couldn’t stop the inexorable progression of the Mary Sue Hunt. Canon female characters in fan fiction became the focus of intense scrutiny. Is this character being, perhaps, idealized? Is she better than she should be?
It was surprising how often she was better than she should be.
I mean, it’s one thing if we write John Sheppard being brilliant and solving a Millennium Problem while being extra super badass and a sharpshooter and extremely hot and having a troubled past and also he can play the piano and small children love him and he rides a horse. It’s one thing if we write Stiles as a badass motherfucker who can hack and do MMA and make small explosive devices and he saves everyone, and also it turns out he’s a surprisingly sexually skilled virgin, and also there’s this scene where he wears skintight leather and he has two boot knives. It is fine to write those things. (AND IT IS.) You could give Sheppard’s horse a telepathic soulbond with him and have Stiles elected president of universe (because he is awesome), and you’d still potentially have a significant and delighted readership. (WHICH IS ALSO FINE. Who doesn’t sometimes like a President Awesome with a Psychic Horse story? Give Sidney Crosby a psychic horse and you’ve got my click.) That’s just having fun and extrapolating from the canon. (Or, in the case of the telepathic soulbonding horse, it’s a crossover. From real actual published original fiction. And people call us strange.)
But if a female character does one of those things in fan fiction, she’s declared a potential Mary Sue. It’s out of character, it’s over the top, it’s wish fulfillment (as if there’s something wrong with wish fulfillment), it’s a self-insert. And that. That is less fine with me.
And the Mary Sue Problem is not limited to fan fiction. Turns out Mary Sues are also surprisingly prevalent in the canon itself! A tiny sample of the female characters I have heard described as Mary Sues:
Basically, think of any female character who gets more than eighteen lines, from any popular canon. Someone has called her a Mary Sue. Because she’s competent, because she’s smart, because she’s talented. Because she can do stuff, or because she tries to. Because she loves someone, or because someone loves her. Because she thinks she’s interesting. Because the author thinks we should care about her.
Mary Sue, in short, has become another way of dismissing female characters. Of telling women that we can’t be awesome. Of drawing the line between people who do (dudes) and people who are done to (ladies). Yet another entry in the long list of All the Unacceptable Female Characters. Yet another way of viciously scrutinizing every woman, real or imaginary, and either finding her excessively flawed (and therefore terrible) or excessively without flaw (and therefore terrible).
And also, of course, if the author of the Mary Sue story is a fan fiction writer, we make fun of her.
Which is why my actual definition of the term Mary Sue is: it’s a phrase that is useful for describing a certain common tendency in fan fiction that, taken to an extreme, is often pretty repetitive and uninteresting (but not, let me note, actually criminal or anything). Unfortunately, it has, over time, warped into a tool for knocking down ladies who write, and also other ladies, so I’m trying to learn not to use it any more. (But that is hard. Because see above about usefulness. Almost everyone has dreamed up at least one or two of these, and it’s so nice to have a name for them!)
~shout out to the people you know in the real world who have inevitably found your tumblr and not told your secrets and just like quietly watch from afar and don’t bring it up in real life y’all are stars~
Dear fanfic writers, fanartists, vidders, giffers, meta-writers, and pretty much all other fandomers:
You’re not pirates or thieves and you’re not stealing anything when you create transformative works.
We know you probably already knew that, or at least you’ve been told that, but it’s always nice when a federal judge says it (in a roundabout sort of way).
In a case involving the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hotfile, the judge told the MPAA that they can’t say the alleged infringements were piracy or theft, or that the uploads were stealing content. As Torrentfreak posted, Hotfile “asked the court to prevent the MPAA from using ‘pejorative’ terms including piracy, theft and stealing”. The case involves the uploads of entire show/film/music files, and if the court thinks that piracy, theft and stealing are too pejorative to apply to that kind of infringement, then it’s definitely too pejorative to apply to transformative works.
Here’s a bit from the court’s ruling:
“In the present case, there is no evidence that the Defendants (or Hotfile’s founders) are ‘pirates’ or ‘thieves,’ nor is there evidence that they were ‘stealing’ or engaged in ‘piracy’ or ‘theft.’ Even if the Defendants had been found to have directly infringed on the Plaintiffs’ copyrights, such derogatory terms would add nothing to the Plaintiffs’ case, but would serve to improperly inflame the jury.”
Case law in the US develops when lawyers argue by analogy, so it’s now possible to look to this case, and link to it, when someone calls creative fanders pirates or thieves or says they are engaged in stealing or theft. If file-sharing isn’t any of those things, how could creating a transformative work be?
We are very interested to see what sorts of euphamisms the MPAA and their witnesses come up with - but we also hope they just say “copyright infringement” a lot.
Alright, scholarly/scientific denizens of Tumblr. Perhaps you can answer me a thing.
I am writing about a small, isolated population — it started out as five or six thousand people but they quickly began killing each other off, until the population stabilized around one thousand. It’s been sixty years. The culture is clannish, fwiw, and distrust of non-family is high. I’m thinking by this point marriage of first cousins has become not just acceptable but necessary. Is that a valid assumption? Would you be seeing effects of inbreeding yet? The main characters are grandchildren of that original thousand, now starting families of their own.
Going to go a little overboard with my explanation here, because this is helping me study for my Genetics final next week.
Let’s assume for a moment that by “effects of inbreeding,” we mean autosomal recessive diseases—that is, those diseases for which you need two copies of the same allele of a gene to have said disease. In the normal human population, most deleterious recessive alleles show up with a fairly low frequency—less than one in 300, less than 1/700, less than 1/1,000, and so on. From the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (p^2 + 2pq + q^2, where p is the frequency of the dominant allele and q is the frequency of the recessive allele), the estimated frequencies of people affected by these autosomal recessive diseases = q^2. So if an AR disease allele typically shows up with a frequency of 1/300, that means it affects approximately 1 in 90,000 people (the most common AR metabolic diseases have frequencies around 1/20,000). Hence the rarity of these conditions in a non-inbreeding population of adequate size.
When inbreeding (technically referred to as “consanguinity”) comes in, that’s where things get interesting.
Let’s say someone (F0 generation) is affected by this disease. We’ll assume that it doesn’t affect their ability to procreate, either biologically or socially. The chances that their kids (F1 generation) will be carriers (will have one copy of the allele) are 100%. The chances that their kids’ kids (F2) will have the allele are 50% for each kid. Now let’s say two non sibling members of the F2 generation get have a kid together (F3). The chance of each of them passing on the disease allele, assuming they have it, is 50% for each of them. So the probability that their kid will have the disease is (1/2)^4 = 1/16. That’s way higher than 1/20,000!
What if the F0 generation doesn’t contain someone who has the disease, but does contain a carrier? Well, then the chance of their kids (F1) being carriers is 50% per kid, and the chance of their grandchildren (F2) being carriers is 25% for each child. If two of these grandchildren then procreate (F3), the chance the child will be affected (have two copies of the disease allele) is 1/4 * 1/2 * 1/4 * 1/2 = 1/64—again, way higher than 1/20,000.
In case it helps, I drew these scenarios out on my iPad:
In short, the chances that you’ll see the results of inbreeding from first cousins marrying are pretty high, but there is a bit of a dependence on your source population. This is part of why populations that were isolated/put a large emphasis on marrying within a certain group (the canonical example is Ashkenazi Jews) tend to have large frequencies of what might otherwise be rare diseases; one person had a disease/had a mutation in their germline (usually inherited in a dominant fashion, if a spontaneous mutation), and instead of getting diluted by being mixed with other alleles from other populations, the disease allele(s) from this person perpetuated through inbreeding.
Also, not quite inbreeding, but: if you have fewer people of breeding age and you’re trying to repopulate/simply produce enough children for your society to survive, chances are that you’re going to extend people’s reproductive windows as long as possible, meaning you’ll have more parents older than 35 at conception, leading to a much higher frequency of birth defects. Achondroplasia (dwarfism), for example, increases in frequency with paternal age; birth defects involving too many (3) or too few (1) copies of a chromosome (e.g., Downs syndrome, Turner syndrome) increase in frequency with maternal age.
P.S. I didn’t deal with X-linked diseases (e.g., hemophilia, many metabolic diseases), because those are more complicated, or with dominant traits with incomplete penetrance (e.g., many cancers). If there are questions about these, or anything else I’ve mentioned here, I’m happy to answer them. You will be helping me study. *grins*
ETA: Forgot to label the carrier children in case 1. Edited version, below:
“This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong.
I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.
I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in your mind.
Here’s the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There’s a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase.
It didn’t look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.
Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There’s nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.
You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know… But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn’t do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?
In the end I thought, nothing for it, I’ll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, that settled him. But it hadn’t because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie.
Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice …” I mean, it doesn’t really work.
We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away.
Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back. A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.
The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who’s had the same exact story, only he doesn’t have the punch line.”—Douglas Adams (via sexhaver)
But despite Hollywood’s near-complete refusal to acknowledge it, ancient Rome was the original melting pot. See, back then, color and prejudice weren’t linked — unlike racism and stupidity today. Rome even had at least two African emperors, Severus and Macrinus. Rome was unique in the ancient world for its inclusive citizenship. In the past, a city-state like Sparta might have conquered a people and enslaved or slaughtered them all. Rome, on the other hand, blew ancient people’s minds by assimilating or even naturalizing the conquered. The ancient Romans didn’t even force conquered peoples to give up their own languages or customs.
The important thing for the Romans was that people followed the law, paid taxes, and, oh yeah, fought in the Roman army. The Romans were no dummies: Little old Rome was never going to be able to populate the world it conquered, let alone defend it, so absorbing other peoples like a giant legionary sponge was the only way to keep enough bodies in the military and on its farms. Rome enrolled northwest Africans, Moors, Gauls, Celts, Jews — pretty much anyone who could swing a sword or throw a spear — which is how an Ethiopian soldier could find himself fighting in Britain (maybe that’s why every film Roman speaks with a British accent).
There are no exact numbers on ancient Roman diversity, but given Rome’s constant contact with Africa and the Near East, the coliseum we asked you to imagine earlier should look more like Ellis Island and less like a Dave Matthews Band concert.