enforcer theme

Disadvantaged WoC, Should I add Racial dynamics?

Hi, and thanks for all your hard work and patience!

My MC competes in mage tournaments in a fictional/fantasy world. I want her to be…not quite an underdog, but with less advantages than her rival. Is this a bad/racist reason to make my MC a POC and her rival White? Not necessarily to enforce a theme or make a racial metaphor, but it seems like this dynamic would be more meaningful (for lack of a better word) than if it were the other way around or if they were both the same race. And if I do it this way, should racial themes or issues be more prominent in the story than if they were the same race?

(I asked this before and asked to remain anonymous, but Colette says the ask didn’t go through and suggested I submit without my name instead…I don’t know if I’m anonymous or not, so if this isn’t anonymous can you make it so that it is? Thanks!)

Though i’m curious as to what advantages she lacks as opposed to her rival and why, if they are not issues related to systemic and/or blatant racism, then I can’t see why race would come up as an issue in this situation. The Woman of Color’s rival happening to be white does not necessarily make it a “racial” issue either, unless, again you, the writer, thoughtfully decide to make it one.

If the story is not About Racism, or have significant themes of racial or systemic disadvantage, then the inclusion of certain racism would feel out of place. I think this post illustrates this well and also poses questions to ask yourself when considering adding a larger race dynamic: Racism as a Plot Device  + Explaining Racism without Sounding Preachy 

Reminder: A general question results in a general answer. You did not specify race or her disadvantages. There are nuances, and we’re much more helpful when race and/or ethnicity is defined in questions.

~Mod Colette

anonymous asked:

I was so close to killing someone at college today, they said that all songs should be in english for eurovision. Like hello eurovision is a celebration of the varied european culture which can be sensed in the songs' undertones. Like Fuck you and your privileged sense that everyone should speak english. And I honestly wish more songs would be sang in native languages of the said country, maybe they can enforce that as a theme one year.

pls dont kill someone and yes I agree

vimeo

Exploring the comparison between Storyboard and film, my research into Storyboarding helps enforce the themes and continuation of conflict through narrative. Identifying how the storyboard illustrates the narratives actions through it’s most simplistic interpretations. Highlighting the key functions which drive the development and evolution of the story, setting up key components such as, Shot type, transition and tone of the scene. 

Michael Ploog’s, interpretation of Storyboarding demonstrated the influence and potential of depicting narrative through frames. Using watercolor and oil based paints, to explore the location and setting. His exploration of storyboards, highlighted the prominent conceptual themes and tones that director John Carpenter, incorporated throughout his finalised film.

Comparing both Storyboard and finished scene, we can convey how the impact of singular frames, can denote the key functions of a shot. Identifying how tension and conflict can be illustrated through the use of drawing. Michael Ploog distinguished how the use of facial expression can denote the tone of a scene, giving a wider depth of character and emotion to his audience.

Throughout his depiction of action, Michael explores the key functions within a shot. With the lack of lighting, tone and shading. Michael identifies the prominence of props and environment to enforce the themes of a character. Identifying the raw emotion and stress depicted through his work, his use of aggressive stroke of line, emphasizes the emotions of character within the scene to convey a heightened scene of impact upon the audience. 

In comparison to the finalised renditions of each scene, we can denote how each shot has both influenced and evolved the utility of the film, denoting the change of emotion and dialogue. Ploogs rendition of “The Thing” consistently evolved throughout his storyboard, identifying how the practicality of the time, best suited the effects and evolution of the character. Yet best illustrated the development and power of “The Thing” through identifying key shots and angles to denote domination within the composed frame. 

Throughout the use of Michael Ploog’s storyboards, viewers are able to easily denote the various character functions throughout the narrative. Identified through Vladimir Propp’s psychology and perspective of film. Through the use of shape, function and motion, we are able to identify the typical forms of character, we expect to see within film. Enforced by the use of angle and appearance of character, I am able to connote the various roles depicted through his actions. 

Denoting a Hero, Villain, Dispatched and False Hero, throughout my own investigation, I hope to highlight how I can challenge this form of perspective. Blurring the lines between Hero and Villain to create empathy and character through conflict. 

One thing that did frustrate me slightly about Flashpoint was that we weren’t provided with a concrete reason why Joe was depressed and why Iris and Wally were estranged from him. I was going to assume they were holding off on explaining the premise behind their damaged relationship for next week’s episode, given the revelation that Iris and Joe are still not on speaking terms, but then I remembered that Flashpoint as a whole is supposed to represent the original timeline and events that were meant to happen had Thawne never killed Nora. Barry was going to meet Iris at some point and marry her, and he was going to eventually become The Flash (which kind of confuses me about why they were making a big deal about him losing his speed. His loss of memory I understand, but the threat of timeline permanency because of Barry’s loss of speed is kind of a plot hole: even if Barry did lose his speed, he is still eventually destined to become The Flash. But I guess they were right in that he was going to forget he ever was The Flash in another timeline, but I digress).

Remember how Iris told a comatose Barry that he made the Wests a family and gave her a home again? I think in the original timeline (now represented by Flashpoint) where Barry doesn’t go live with the Wests, Joe falls into a depressed state because of this, because of whatever was going on in the West household during Iris’s childhood when it was just her and Joe. We now know that what Iris was referring to when she said that her home wasn’t a home was her mother’s absence and the whole addiction storyline with Francine etc. So in Flashpoint, I guess we are supposed to assume that Iris and Joe have this tense relationship because of Francine’s absence and the fact that Barry wasn’t there to make the Wests a family again. And I’m guessing the reason Iris and Wally are so close is because she eventually discovered him when she was older and they reconnected, because Francine’s departure and secret birth to Wally all happened when Iris was six and therefore before Nora was killed, so all of that still should have been intact in Flashpoint, meaning Iris still didn’t meet Wally or know he even existed she until she was older, whenever that was.

I don’t particularly like the social implications of this, that the Wests cannot be a healthy, wholesome family unless Barry is present, but it seems to be a continuously enforced theme. I guess in any particular timeline, either the Allens thrive or the Wests do. But I do understand that the producers always emphasize the special relationship between Barry and the Wests and have centered the entire show on the importance of this family unit to Barry. I think that’s the message and lesson they are trying to hone in on: that Barry and the Wests are always meant to be a family together.

I hope this makes at least a shred of sense. And I do hope that this Joe and Iris story arc doesn’t lead way to plot holes or inconsistencies. Most of all, I hope it gives Francine and Iris some justice.

Honestly a really good way to have improved Frozen would’ve been to trade Kristoff’s character with that of the Little Robber Girl from the original Snow Queen. Not only would she served the purpose of the character (she knows her way around the mountains and such, not to mention she has a pet reindeer), but would also enforce the theme that true love just doesn’t come from romantic relationships ect. ect. It would also end the movie with Anna getting what she’s always wanted: a friend. Also, this would mean that she wouldn’t go headfirst into a romantic relationship with a man about one or two days right after the first man she ever met, fell in love with, and planned to marry tried to kill her and her sister, which is unrealistic and just simply lazy writing. 

the john painting, its meaning according to its location

ASiP

When John first goes to Baker St, the painting I like to call the, ‘John Painting’, is introduced to us thusly.  

It’s exactly behind John so we can see the clear parallel.  To me, this painting already being in Sherlock’s life is a kind of foreshadowing of him falling for John.  Here’s a painting of a man that he already finds beautiful enough to prominently display in his home.  It is the only portrait in his flat. 

In this episode we see that the painting is displayed in the bookshelf on the left hand side of the fireplace.

TBB

This is the first shot of Baker St we see in this episode,

Where the John painting used to there is now a television.

Our first view of the John Painting is here,

Immediately after Sherlock says, 'take my card’.  A gesture of his love and trust, even this early on.  

For importance of money in relation to courtship in TBB, see,

http://just-sort-of-happened.tumblr.com/post/93960632655/money-and-courtship

And in the tableau that Sherlock has created for John’s arrival.  He fixes his suit and sits himself casually here to wait for John.  With his bull and John painting behind him.

The John painting is now immediately next to Sherlock’s desk and the bull. Symbolism of the bull includes sex and virility.  I’ve always thought of the bull in his flat as one of the elephants in the room for Sherlock: his repressed sexual urges.  To place the painting next to himself is a romantic gesture representing that John is now and will always be on his mind.  In TBB is the first time we are introduced to the idea that Sherlock “doesn’t notice” when John leaves.  

“I said, 'would you pass me a pen’.”

'When?’

“About an hour ago”.

'Didn’t notice I’d gone, did you?’

This to John means that he doesn’t notice him one way or another but it actually means that John is so ever-present in his mind that his inner monologue continues to revolve around him, even when he’s not around.  

TGG

In the beginning of TGG we see Sherlock has painted a happy face on the wall at Baker St and is now shooting at it.  

For meaning of happy face, see,

http://just-sort-of-happened.tumblr.com/post/96168901040/happy-face-as-tbb-cypher

He’s angry with John but the John painting is still on the wall near the bull.  Next to his desk area.

We see John put away his gun and the John painting is still in its special place, next to the, 'symphony of illumination’, as I like to call Sherlock’s multilamp set up on the desk.  In case we needed more symbolism: the John painting is now positioned in an area with an excessive number of lamps.

At the end of TGG, we will see a breakthrough for them in the form of John offering to die for Sherlock and himself and John deciding to die together in other to defeat Moriarty.

SiB

First shot of Baker St, we’re immediately shown that the John painting has moved,

John writing on the illumination/Sherlock side of the desk.  

The John painting no longer in its new location.  Why?  I think because it’s been replaced by the happy face cypher as a statement of Sherlock’s love.  Now, that the happy face is there, he can return the painting to its old location.  It’s old location, however, was one of the 'ideal’, i.e. the place he had chosen for this beautiful man, before John was even in the picture.  This way John can remain as the ideal with his chair next to the John painting, as a clear parallel and the happy face with express his love.

This is the first we will see of the painting, right above John’s shoulder,

HoB

Two skulls, two Johns. we are specifically shown the location of the tv and the John painting since John’s chair is turned as if to watch tv,

TRF

John with painting above him, complaining of this new tabloid nickname,

TEH

We can see that while Mycroft is in John’s chair playing operation, he is not shown from his right hand side with the John painting in the back.  Their establishing shots are out of focus and their dialogue is shot in over the shoulder closeups.  We only see the John painting once Mycrofts leaves John’s chair.

This shows that the John painting is a symbol of John, it’s not shown in relation to Mycroft while in John’s chair.

TSoT

First shot of John painting in relation to the morning tea that Sherlock hadn’t realised he’d been taken for granted for god’s knows how long,

like his feelings for John.

HLV

The first we see of the John painting is after they come back to Baker St.  We have the scene with Anderson and drug search, conflict with Mycroft, Janine coming out the bedroom and only after all that happens, as Janine is leaving, we get to see it,

We see it triangulating with Sherlock and Janine, enforcing the theme of John’s jealousy, here.

And the John painting in its starring role:  The Stag Night.  I would’ve never noticed its role as John if I hadn’t seen that scene.

John will show it to us, in case we haven’t noticed,

anonymous asked:

I think we are going to get confirmation of Beth's death this next episode, for 2 reasons: 1. Morgan's following in the footsteps of Team Family and might get to Grady & 2. We will see graves and be surprised by who's in them. I want Beth alive, but.

You know, at this point I would take it?

If she’s really dead, then that’s exactly what should happen.

But.

Well.

Here’s the thing, I’ve been thinking a lot about effective story telling this last year, and one thing I keep coming back to is that in effective story telling you create questions and expectations in the minds of your readers and then you answer the questions, either making or breaking expectations in the process.

Leaving any ambiguity with regards to Beth, at all, is just ineffective, so I agree that there’s a question there that needs to be answered for some of us. 

Obviously, a lot of people see a headshot as definitive death, but really observant people saw ambiguity in the way it went down. We have a question. It needs to be satisfied. In the narrative, or it doesn’t count. WoG could give us an answer, but that doesn’t make for effective story telling at all. The opposite actually. Leaning on WoG to answer the questions your narrative created is on it’s face bad writing. Sorry. I know some people really like this culture of audience and creator interaction, but there are some aspects of it that are just straight up problematic and that’s a big one.

Anyway. That question about Beth is there, and it’s actually being emphasized and enforced by the themes on S6 and the references to her that keep cropping up.

I still hope the answer is that she survived. I still think that’s what makes sense, more so now than it would have last season, because frankly, leaving a Schrödinger’s cat question hanging in the air for THIS long just to be like “haha j/k she’s dead” is sort of. well. stupid.

But, you could be right. They could even try to make it work in the story, but I feel like it would fall pretty flat. Still, for me, it’s preferable to j u s t   k n o w at this point.

In order of personal preference, 1 being most preferred and 3 being “holy-hell-just-WHY-ARE-YOU-DOING-THIS-TO-ME?” this is how I feel:

1. Beth is alive. Yay.

2. Beth is dead, but here’s what all the references to her meant and why they are important to the current story arc, and how Grady is still relevant, at least thematically to the on-going story. Sorry to leave you hanging for a whole season lol.

3. What question? There’s no question. Stop noticing all the low-key references we are intentionally putting in this show to remind you of Beth, but here’s twelve more.

American Horror Story: Coven

I want you to keep in mind that this was written in retrospect of the winter finale and all episodes prior in American Horror Story Coven. This has nothing to do with the remaining four episodes and as such a lot of these problems can change, but for being more than halfway through the season, it has become prevalent that I address the issues surrounding this season.

Oh, and spoilers I guess.

Let me start off by saying that I like this season. But that seems to be the problem. I like it enough, but I don’t enjoy it. Already eight hours/episodes in and nothing is happening. Looking back to previous episodes, I noticed a lot of the things they’ve included are either forced and rushed or serve no purpose to the grand scheme of the story. The narrative is extremely disappointing and confusing that I can’t tell whom or what we’re supposed to care about. Another aspect I can’t quite get a grasp on is the so-called “Witchcraft” they use in the show. The writers don’t flesh out the supernatural ingredients very well or set limitations to the mystical elements. Lastly the characters are bland or not given enough screen-time which represent how this season put too much on its plate before even fleshing out the basics of its characters.

The Characters.

The characters this season are meandering and fall incredibly flat while the only one given any real layers is Fiona. However, that comes off as a bit of a bias for Jessica Lange by the writers/producers, in all honesty. Not to say she didn’t earn that spot, as previous seasons can attest to that. However, the amount of plot-centric significance and depth given to her character is extremely disproportionate when compared to the rest of the all-star cast this season. It just feels as though the producers want Jessica to be their de-facto star and don’t leave a lot of room for another actor’s potential.

A character given the shaft this season seems to be Marie Laveau, Angela Bassett’s character. If Marie is going to be one of the season’s main antagonists, we should probably know a little bit more about her and her feud with Fiona and the Coven than we do. She falls as a one-dimensional character whose only purpose is to intimidate and antagonize the white women. But what’s the real motivation for that? Beside the historical grudge between the two factions (slavery and all) we don’t understand her motivations other than Fiona baiting her for immortality. In fact, we don’t get to understand anybody’s motives from the voodoo side. We don’t sit down with them as characters and see their points of view. In the winter finale as Hank (Oh I’ll get to him later) massacres the voodoo tribe, there’s this pretentious feeling I get from the writers by killing off black people because they’re the minority always identifiable with oppression and that killing off characters we never got to sympathize with is going to make us sad for them. I get that the show is trying to get us to side with the coven, but the story needs to have a good identification with the “antagonists” (as they’re made out to be). But even so, the audience’s insight on the coven so far has made it clear that half of those characters are too despicable in their own right without dealing with the voodoo.

The most baffling characters in this season appear to be Hank and Madame LaLaurie. While Marie Laveau was given the one character trait to define her overall personality, Madame LaLaurie was given so many shades and layers of depth. I find it a bit insulting that the show made us sympathize with an immortal racist yet never took the time to understand Laveau’s character. Honestly, its just a matter of why LaLaurie is important to the plot anymore. Yes, Fiona dug her up and used her as a catalyst to instigate the war between the coven and the voodoo, but after that she just falls… under no significance to anything going on. And as for Hank, we get one episode of character arc for him. Oh sure, he’s been involved with the season in the occasional episode. We understand his involvement with the voodoo and his overall goals. But really, Hank’s character development was unapologetically rushed in his last episode. Was it supposed to make us identify him as a tragic character? A character who never wanted to harm witches in the first place but fell to wanting to impress his father. The audience is going to need much more insight than just that episode. If it counts for anything, we all knew his character was either gonna eat it or be problematic form the start.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the axman. That is exactly how relevant he is to the season. How was he a spirit trapped in the house and how was he able to operate back in the living world? But more importantly, why is he even in the show in the first place? To add to Fiona’s struggle. The character is more of a plot-devise.

The Atmosphere is Disappointingly Mismanaged.

The setting of season two’s Asylum established its own style of unhinged horror its first few episodes before moving ahead with ideas that made for a lot of bold and interesting moves for narrative storytelling in a television show. Season one’s Murder House established a unique concoction of poetic horror that coupled a supernatural element with the ordinary struggles of human nature.

This season strayed away from the horror aspect, as Ryan Murphy stated the nature of this season was meant to be a more evil-glamour style. Deriving from that, the way I saw this season playing out was deciding whether it wanted to be a profound yet enigmatic, philosophical struggle or a complete roller-coaster, fantastical journey that still hit beats of confronting oppression, empowerment, family, and heritage. As evidenced with these past episodes, this season derived more from the latter of the ultimatum.

That’s all well and good but that still doesn’t excuse the poor plot and thematic writing. The themes defining this season are a cluttered mess. You want to talk about horrible mothers? Madame LaLaurie and Fiona are good examples of that theme. We don’t need the hot neighbor boy subplot to hammer that theme into our throat with his overly-religious abusive mother. What relation does that have with anything going on with the main problems at hand? Just that it enforces the bad mom theme.

I suppose this paragraph is more of my own nitpick, but, there isn’t much magic being committed. I don’t mean performing magic at all, but the fact that it isn’t that much impressive or used to the full extent as it should. This is especially befuddling given that Fiona is the supreme who has all the powers. What are all the powers? I don’t know but she has all the powers. I’ve already addressed the girls’ powers themselves earlier but that point does reiterate this section. As for the voodoo faction, what have they been doing that makes them so deadly? Besides raising the dead and attacking the coven mansion, they never enacted any magic of their own. Well, maybe on Hank, when they used voodoo on him but I should note that in that same episode all it took for him to massacre that side was just to walk in the front door with a gun. But for the rest, they’ve only been depicted working at the salon, as if they’ve got better more humble occupations to keep rather than waging a war, which only Marie Laveau seems to be the only one interested in.

Now we get to the central theme revolving around this season; oppression (Which can involve feminism or not, depending if you see that as its own theme). And of course with oppression you get empowerment, which has been stated to be another aspect of this season by the producers. More specifically female empowerment, delving into a feminist-fueled drive appropriate for its cast of mainly all women. However, this proves to be problematic as there is nothing being done to empower these women other than just giving them powers. Just giving women power is not feminism. Understanding that empowerment is more than women in positions of power, and the strength deriving from given powers to overcome traditional obstacles is empowerment. In Coven all we get are women hissing and bickering with each other for hours without focusing on the real enemy. But then again, who are the real enemies? The witch-hunters? We only ever saw them in the winter finale and they never seemed to have a presence other than Hank going about doing stuff but even then he wasn’t supposed to be committing them.

This season wants something to say about women and black people but doesn’t have the social or political prowess to identify what it is they’re trying to get at with these oppressed groups. To emphasize its themes, irrelevant plot points are introduced that do nothing to the overall grand scheme of the plot except to force or hammy what this season is trying to say about anything. 

The Pacing.

Because of these forced plot-points, the pacing of this season suffers greatly as a result. There are episodes in which nothing is happening to get both its plot and audience curiosity moving. This season so desperately tries to reinforce an established status quo for these witches without ever moving the plot along. It comes off as though they’re stalling for climactic plots twists while everything else becomes filler or needless build-up. The rise of the new Supreme is a dragging plot detail that is obviously going to be left for the last few episodes. Although I don’t see exactly why the Supreme is so important to the coven. Clearly it operates perfectly well without the need of one, as evidenced with Fiona having been away for so long at the start of the season. Leaving this purposely vague makes it more difficult to understand the logic of anything going on with its drama.

The war between the coven and the voodoo cabal is mystifying. Characters are either saying “We are at war!” or “There’s a war coming!” which emphasizes the general vagueness of how things operate in the magic world. The oppressed groups of women and blacks do nothing but threaten and circle around one another endlessly claiming “A war is coming!”, “You better be prepared!”, and “I’m gonna get you soon!” yet nothing is being done. The writers stretch out the buildup to the war without ever giving us any motivation to why these factions are mad at each other. It can’t be labeled a turf war because what does anybody gain from that? None of these characters seem interest in claiming anything and are just fearing for their lives. This shouldn’t even be labeled a war at all, as I don’t see how one side made up of schoolgirls goes against another side who only have one real magically gifted person. But what forces this war plot to a crawl are the distractions of Kyle and Zoe’s relationship and the crazy religious neighbor. None of this gives any meaning to the season or its significance to the backdrop of witchcraft, which leads me to…

The Scarlet Witch Problem. 

I thought the show, being called Coven and being about witches, would have more focus understanding the ideology of what it meant to be a witch, honestly. Addressing this show’s notion of witches themselves, the way their powers are projected don’t seem to make them magical at all. They’re born with powers from the start, fair enough, but the way the producers play out these powers don’t seem to be very supernatural-like? Some are borderline Jedi powers. In fact, some of the girls’ innate powers seem almost too specific and eyebrow-raising to be believably fantastical. How exactly is one a human voodoo doll on its own? Or the power to kill men with your vagina? Maybe that’s the “magical” part this season, I suppose, since the nature of these powers are a bit convoluted. Witchcraft is made out to be a hidden ability innate with only certain members of society. The witches in the show operate like X-Men. They’re witches, but only due to biological purposes and the only safe haven for this race is an Academy that helps them hone their unique and specific abilities. The fact of the matter is, the inner workings of how witches operate and what exact supernatural talents they possess are far too unclear for the audience to understand the whole concept.

The laws and limits of the show’s magical universe are too vague.

How exactly does the Academy operate? What are the social and political structures of this witching world? There clearly is some form of structure as evidenced with the establishment of a council of witchcraft. But even so, what does the council do? What are they in charge of? You’d think that Myrtle killing the other two members of the council would lead to some repercussions on something. 

And I must ask you, what does the Supreme really do? Besides being a figurehead for power, the coven apparently is dependent on one to stay with them and hold their hands the entire time. Even on the verge of war Fiona has done nothing with all her powers given to her. You could write that off as being something of a character quirk for her as she’s only there to benefit herself, but remember that Marie Laveau challenged her and tried to intimidate Fiona. And Fiona is not one to take to submission so easily. But what is she really doing? I suppose her magic in this show is written as a deus ex machina. The great and powerful Fiona managed to fix Kyle’s brain. The all powerful Fiona can spit in water and control men who drink it while also able to implode their heads.

As for the remaining questions, how is Kyle somehow the only one unable to speak of all the people brought back to life? Why is Spalding able to remain as a spirit and can help Fiona? How do witch hunters operate? What are the importance of spells if witches can operate without them?

I’m not trying to offend anybody who loves this season. I just can’t sit idly by while my favorite show is falling to disarray. This coven needs a supreme critique and I’ll gladly step up if it means salvaging what little else there is in terms of quality.