this is such a wonderful feel good film

things about the livestreamed episode that got me feelin some type of way

1. justin basically never being not laughing

2. Brothers On A Comfy Couch (also included in package: one (1) shoulder lean)

3. “this is not a tarantula i don’t know if –"  "then why’d you BRING IT mark” and in general just griffin clinging to justin's sleeve throughout that entire segment

4. griffin and justin being 10x more excited than travis that he conquered his fear, also the McElroy Cluster of Support and Calming Voices 

5. spaghetti by the pool. ok.

6. the fact that they write off travis hitting justin as an awkward unscripted unprofessional thing and then for the rest of the episode physically cannot stop bringing it up

7. even the mayor of huntington west virginia thinks justin is adorable

8. eight legs of justice

9. alex by the way ended up being absolutely incredible. she gave no fucks whatsoever even when faced by three strangers filming her for their tv show telling her to get a tarantula she basically looked at them and said point-blank to their faces “no” and i wanna be her

10. griffin mcelroy speaking to A Teen: “it’s good ta go, boi”

11. just in general this episode was the first thing to make me feel alive in months and btw for ppl wondering if it holds up with folks who aren’t familiar with mbmbam i sent it to 3 of my heretofore uninitiated friends and they all loved it and want more and also have gone and followed the ranchos facebook page as well, completely unprompted

barnhouseeffect  asked:

Hello there. I was wondering how you feel about raccoon actor exploitation in films such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Pocahontas. It's like sure, they are getting good roles but are they being fairly compensated? What are the work conditions like? Are there good dumpsters on set for them to snack on? I really respect your opinion and hope you can shed some light on this for me.

Raccoons in major motion pictures like this are well taken care of and well compensated! A statute passed years ago says that any raccoon on set must be provided with at LEAST three trashcans per day of work, and they always get first dibs on any leftover or unwanted food. This is in addition to above-average pay for their services. Look at these happy little guys (all stars):

In all seriousness, raccoons on sets as models or actors are generally well taken care of and treated with respect to minimize stress. Movies typically go through a rescue/rehabilitation service like this one and the raccoons are socialized with their co-actors and taken good care of, like any other exotic animal on set. Here’s Oreo, the model for Rocket Raccoon, who I’ve heard is very well-behaved and good friends with his voice actor:

LAT Festival of Books

Last weekend was the second time I had the privilege to attend the LA Times Festival of Books. It’s a free event, and if you’re someone who likes to read it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet other readers and a lot of your favorite authors! 

But that’s not what this post is about, the one thing that I felt most acutely at the festival is something that had been nagging at me for the last few months; It had been one full calendar year (and a little more) since I decided to leave the film industry and pursue writing. 

My family has been talking to me lately and wondering what I’m doing. A lot of people don’t really understand why I took the leap and decided to do this thing that I’m not particularly trained or necessarily good at doing. I know that my family will support me no matter what, but I can feel their confusion. I know it comes from a place of caring and that all they wish to do is to see me happy. They wonder what I do with my days. Without a steady paycheck to prove that I’m a productive member of society, it seems that some days I’m just in some kind of crisis that they can’t see or understand. 

I’m not in crisis however, lately there have been some questions and some struggles, but I don’t feel like I’m ready to throw in the towel yet. 

I was lucky enough to be able to sit in on a graphic novels for Young Adults panel at the festival, where Faith Erin Hicks, Matt Phelan and Cecil Castellucci. It was one of the most engaging and entertaining panels of the day. Aside from discussions about craft, one of the questions from the audience was “What was the hardest part of working in Graphic Novels?” And Faith said “The first four years of terror.” 

When she said “Four Years” suddenly I didn’t feel so much like I was behind in some way. I have been hustling my ass off all year, and yes, most people cannot see a lot of what I’m doing, but I know that I’m investing and building something. I had been feeling like I SHOULD have more by now, I SHOULD have sold my novel, I SHOULD have sold a screenplay, but instead I was assured by her words that I’m okay, that I’ll be okay and nothing that’s worth doing comes easy or fast. 

8

I think I feel like this is a good place to- Scream? Feel free. Or just to think. The stage can be a wonderful partner in the process of self-discovery. You seem comfortable up there. I do?

Why Moonlight Deserves Best Picture Over La La Land

After getting a recent message from Tumblr user @fewger and reading a bunch of Oscar-related articles, I have discovered that I hold the semi-unpopular opinion that Moonlight deserves Best Picture over La La Land.  So, I feel obligated to go to bat on this, so let’s have a chat, y’all.

The debate between La La Land and Moonlight brings me back a year to last year’s Grammy Awards, where the Album of the Year award was given to Taylor Swift’s 1989 over Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, a move that shocked many.  One hand, you had a collection of pretty well made pop tunes that can make even the most Swift-cynical person, like myself, tap their toes.  1989 was a fun album with a lot of celebrity gossip theories and some admittedly great songs.  On the other hand, there was the magnum opus that is To Pimp a Butterfly, which blended together modern and older styles and used some daring techniques to paint a poetic, detailed picture of growing up in places like Compton while struggling with race, mental illness, and self-identity.  In this album, Lamar provided a glimpse into a lifestyle that many of us will never ever experience or truly understand and was unafraid of showing the ambiguous morality of this life.

My, this is all starting to sound a little familiar, hm?

The thing is, it’s true that La La Land is a feat of filmmaking. Honestly, just getting the green light, producers, and the big budget it had was a huge task in and of itself.  As it is, the musical numbers are impeccably executed, from cinematography to choreography to music and lyrics, and it’s damn charming to boot.  I genuinely love and enjoy this film, and God knows I don’t like to knock Chazelle, whose previous feature, Whiplash, was an intensely personal experience for me.  However, what La La Land accomplishes, it does with a pretty decent budget, whereas Moonlight accomplishes more with next to nothing. Hell, even the musical moments of Moonlight have as much, if not more, impact than many in La La Land, from the “Every N—– is a Star” opening (just another element it shares with Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly) to the heart-wrenching impact of “Hello Stranger” to the haunting moments created by the chopped-and-screwed score.

Now, let’s hit the two biggest, most noticeable (even to an untrained eye) elements of filmmaking: performances and story.  Moonlight shines brighter in both.

In La La Land, Gosling and Stone have both achieved quite a bit.  They’ve learned to dance in all sorts of styles, sing, and even, for Gosling, learned piano from scratch.  These aren’t easy tasks, I’ll grant you, but when you look at the actual acting performance that marries these elements to the characters, it’s just not very exciting stuff.  Gosling and Stone have great onscreen chemistry, but these characters aren’t a departure for them.  Stone is basically playing a slightly different version of herself, while Gosling is just great at being Gosling.  (And this is in no way me throwing shade at Ryan Gosling; the man is a damn delightful actor with incredible comic timing.  I genuinely love his work.)  So, there’s not a real acting challenge here, just a bunch of side challenges.  However, this is the kind of performance for which the Academy goes crazy, where transformation is achieved through a means that is not really acting.

Meanwhile, Moonlight is built on a foundation of superb, nuanced performances from a cast of smaller parts.  There are beautiful character interpretations from Ali, Monaé, Harris, Holland, and the three Chirons (Hibbert, Sanders, and Rhodes).  These actors are directed superbly by Jenkins, so much so that none of the actors playing Chiron ever met before or during filming to discuss the character, but still play him with an uncanny similarity. It’s ingenious directing, and the actors’ work is transformative, moving, and worthy of reward.  However, most of them, except Ali, will go without.

Now, we come to story, which we all know if the most crucial element of a movie.  Without a good story, it’s not going anywhere.  And it’s definitely where Moonlight proves its importance over La La Land.

La La Land is about a couple of privileged dreamers in Los Angeles who sacrifice relationships for their goals. Let’s be honest, guys: this isn’t at all original.  I can think of many films, shows, songs, other musicals, even musicals within other musicals, etc. etc. with a pretty dang similar, if not identical, concept behind them.  And yeah, we’re all dreamers, and yeah, we can all find something relatable in the wonderful feeling this film conveys of wanting to fulfill your dreams.  However, the self-centered, self-praising nature of this film makes it an easy choice for Hollywood people, whose egos demand to be stroked and whose backs need to be patted.  Meanwhile, Moonlight brings a cinematic voice to a kind of person we rarely see onscreen.  We watch him grow, learn, lash out, hide himself away, and, finally, accept and, in doing so, love.  It’s a gorgeous tale that resonates deeply with anyone who’s struggled with who they are, and Chiron is a vulnerable character within many of us can find something of ourselves.

Someone once said that all cinema is, at its core, about identity.  Moonlight has a way of opening the audiences’ hearts and touching them where they’re most vulnerable.  Its story is strikingly universal.  On the flipside, La La Land, while perfectly executed, resonates with a very specific group of people.  Moonlight is original, singular, impossible to categorize.

La La Land is for some; Moonlight is for all.

That’s why Moonlight should win Best Picture.

triforce06  asked:

Do you have any good recommendations for old comics? I would love to get into them but honestly I have no idea where to start.

The Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four was the towering achievement of the 1960s and my favorite comic of all time. Their current shabby treatment by their parent company is inexcusable; Marvel was built by Fantastic Four. FF is my favorite comic ever because it is “hot” and “cold” at the same time, a balancing act that is hard to do in science fiction. It has far out scifi adventures like shrinking to explore a world inside an atom or fighting Galactus the World Devourer, or a villain as melodramatic as Doctor Doom…but we believe in it because of how grounded it is in a real world, with wisecracking, warm characters we like. Every FF story ends in some far out way, but we believe it because of how it starts with something everyday, like the Thing buying hot dogs in Central Park while walking with his girlfriend. It’s like Stan discovered the formula for Coca-Cola; it’s very, very, very hard to tell a bad Fantastic Four story. Sure, FF is great, but it gets ultra-great starting around issue 43, and has an unbroken string of the greatest stories ever for 40 issues: the Coming of Galactus, the introduction of the Black Panther, the introduction of the Inhumans, Doctor Doom stealing the Silver Surfer’s powers (what a shocker that was).

Joe Kubert’s Enemy Ace comic is maybe the best war book ever written, about an honorable German flying ace in World War I. Hans von Hammer had noble and chivalrous instincts: he saluted enemies even after he killed them, and refused to shootan unarmed foe. He once befriended a wolf in the Black Forest, because the both of them were killers, and that wolf was his only real friend. He was the ultimate example of how war shapes even decent men into killers.

Russ Manning’s Magnus Robot Fighter is a crackerjack action-scifi comic that has aged better, not worse since the 1960s, because it’s all about the terror of a society that is overmechanized and under surveillance, where you hate machines but also need them and can’t get rid of them. The fully detailed, realized science fiction world of North Am is what makes it so interesting. Magnus is the Defiant Man in a screwy world; I wonder why John Carpenter never took an interest in making Magnus Robot Fighter as a movie, it would so fit his sensibilities.

If you ask guys who were around for it what they like about Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar, you get the same answer if you asked a wired little kid why they like sugar and caffeine. It was one of the first and best of the “creator owned, adult scifi comics” to come around in the early 1980s, with Vance Dreadstar leading rebels against an Empire. There’s also some bizarre Moorcock inspired mysticism at work. Best of all, Dreadstar is now widely available and reprinted; you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Speaking of adult oriented scifi comics, check out Alan Zelenetz’s Alien Legion. It’s about a futuristic French Foreign Legion made up of convicts, drifters, cutthroats, and criminals from across the known planets. The Legionnaires are expendable and are often sent on suicide missions, political objectives are often at odds with military ones, and a lot of them talk about desertion at times.

Star Brand by Jim Shooter is maybe the only comic that ever did anything interesting with the dead end idea, what would a superhero look like in the real world? It’s a comedy about how we never live up to our potential. When the hero comes back to earth from space, he finds he gets incredibly lost and can’t find his hometown. When he tries to stop a hostage crisis, he realizes that even with powers, he wonders what he could really do that wouldn’t make things worse or escalate the situation. It’s the people that make it worth it: our hero has conflicted feelings about two women, one a single mom, and the other is a girl that loves him, but so much that it doesn’t feel healthy.

Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer is a great retro comic, but the selling point is something that never entirely made it into the film adaptation: it’s all about the sex appeal of good looking girls. I once asked an art teacher of mine what it would take to make a living as an artist, and he told me, “draw good looking girls. If you can, you will never be out of work.” Well, Dave Stevens could, and he’d still be doing it today if not for his tragic passing.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to cry a lot (”sad is happy for deep people”), check out Strikeforce: Morituri, an early 80s comic with a fascinating premise. In order to fight off an alien invasion, a means of giving people superpeople is created, but it has a horrible cost: it gives you only a year to live. It’s all about mortality, nobility, and sacrifice and is really melancholic. Essentially, every single character has a terminal illness. 

Enneagram Asshole Archetypes

@humanarchetypehouse - I’m reposting them, because they’re hard to access.

5-1-2 Combos: The Insufferable Know-It-All. They think they know everything there is to know about everything, and they cannot contain their urges to share their knowledge with absolutely everyone. They correct people over the tiniest mistakes with no concern for any self-consciousness this may cause and then act disingenuously confused when others get upset.

5-1-3 Combos: The Neurotic Over-Achiever. These are the students who cry over getting a B+ or not being the best at their extracurricular activity of choice. They tend not to do very well outside of school unless they get to become doctors. Even then, they usually end up overly competitive and have hollow social and family lives.

5-1-4 Combos: The Ivory-Tower Prophet. Think they have a perfect vision of what’s best for the world based on nothing but untested theory and fantastical introspection. Needs to actually get out and talk to people in order to actually refine their ideals, but they are often unwilling to because that might involve admitting they are wrong or dealing with people they consider less than them.

5-8-2 Combos: The Armchair Shrink. Read a Psych 101 textbook once and now thinks they are qualified to give drive-by diagnoses and overly impersonal life advice. Tends to be very overbearing about it and generally refuses to listen to further information from their “patients”, particularly if it goes against their assumptions.

5-8-3 Combos: The Cult Leader. Has some bizarre philosophy that they propagate using hollow social influence and brutal aggression. Speaks in pyramid-scheme language and literally never shuts up until you are brow-beaten into submission because your own mind intimidated itself trying to figure out what the hell they were trying to say.

5-8-4 Combos: The Self-Important Jerk. Like the Cult Leader, but lazier and with fewer social skills. Turns their nose up at any preferences or modes of living other than their own and resents anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with them 100%. They’re very bossy, but their instructions are often terse and unclear, and to make matters worse, they just get mad at you when you tell them to explain because they’re over-sensitive about being misunderstood.

5-9-2 Combos: The Unsolicited Mediator. They hate conflict, but they can’t stand to stay out of it, either. If you’re having a dispute with somebody, expect them to show up spouting inappropriate objectivity and some sterile, by-the-book advice about using I-statements and whatnot. This is actually pretty effective in resolving the disputes, but not in the way they want it to - instead of being mad at the person you were initially disputing with, now you are both mad at The Unsolicited Mediator and must unite against the common enemy.

5-9-3 Combos: The Amoral Monster. Not much seems to bother them, which is nice at first until you realize their “tolerance” stems from the fact that they have no sensibilities to offend. They lack conviction and will use flimsy, pulled-out-of-ass logic to dodge responsibilities and defend their selfish decisions.

5-9-4 Combos: The Pretentious Hippie. The most reclusive of all the archetypes. You aren’t good enough to be their friend, so don’t even try. You’re not on their level and you harsh their vibes, man. They tend to be very unhappy unless they’re living in a sustainable homestead in the middle of nowhere. Bitches about how the Internet is destroying our minds but spends most of their time online anyway.

6-1-2 Combos: The Sanctimonious Sap-Addict. They talk as if they live in a Hallmark card, chain e-mail, or cheesy coming-of-age film. They probably feel really guilty about dumb things, and then you start wondering if you should, too. They tend to be religious and intolerant of those who don’t share their views or ways of life. Thankfully the ways they tend to show this intolerance are pretty harmless - panicking and crying. Nobody can stand to listen to them because, despite the motivational tone of their messages, they make everyone around them feel awful for not being as wholesome as they are.

6-1-3 Combos: The Thought Police. Similar to The Cipher (6-9-3 Combos), but more prone to forcing their boringness on others. While the Cipher avoids personality clashes by either blending in with or withdrawing from those with different priorities, those of the Thought Police archetype wage a crusade against them by asserting the moral superiority of their way of life. They have convinced themselves they are perfect so to avoid the emotional pain of having to re-evaluate their lives, but in order to maintain this illusion, they must live in an echo chamber. Don’t put them in the same room as the 6-1-2, it’s not a pretty sight.

6-1-4 Combos: The Ball of Self Hatred. Nobody wants to listen to these people, no matter how good their ideas might be, because they can’t even listen to themselves - even when they want to. They certainly have minds of their own, unfortunately, they don’t tend to use them unless it’s convenient (Spoiler Alert: it rarely is.) They ruin their own lives by repressing positive emotions, ruminating on wrongdoings (both theirs and those of others), and being unable to trust or feel good about anything unless it is completely beyond criticism.

6-8-2 Combos: The Overbearing Meddler. Anything they wouldn’t do is a bad idea that you need to be scared and bullied out of. This also goes for many things they WOULD do, because they are hypocrites. They say it’s for your own good, but they wouldn’t know the first thing about that if it bit them on the nose because they live with their heads in their asses. They tend to have plenty of their own issues, which they chronically avoid by micromanaging others. More projection than a cinema multiplex.

6-8-3 Combos: The Overworked Grouch. These are people who cannot wind down for the life of them. This tendency would generally not affect anyone other than themselves, but it does because they get mad at other people for relaxing. They see others’ satisfaction with less as an affront because it means that maybe all their overwork was for nothing, but instead of giving relaxation a chance, they choose to act like arrogant dicks in hopes that others will change to suit them instead.

6-8-4 Combos: The Extremist. Fiercely and belligerently loyal to a set of beliefs that no one else shares. Believes their pet issue (frequently something that directly affects them) to be the center of the universe and ridicules opposing viewpoints. They might be nice to you if you agree with everything they say, but even then, they probably won’t - you come second to the crusade.

6-9-2 Combos: The Martyr. No will or interests of their own. Gives their entire life up for the sake of an individual or a group - and it’s usually a dysfunctional one. They don’t even complain if they aren’t appreciated or thanked (they don’t expect it), but Heaven forbid there comes a time when they are no longer needed. They will plunge into depression and impotent rage as they search desperately for another object of their overly-submissive affections.

6-9-3 Combos: The Cipher. Your next-door neighbor who thinks the street you live on is the center of the universe. It’s not completely certain that people of this archetype actually have personalities or if their attitudes and behavior are just absorbed from their surroundings and upbringing. They may be rigidly set in their ways or they may be a perpetually-shifting chameleon (depending on the order of the numbers) - there isn’t much in between, but either way, they’re unbelievably boring.

6-9-4 Combos: The Special Snowflake. They at least try to be interesting, if only on a superficial level, but can’t keep it up for very long. They might seem endearingly quirky until you meet the people they hang out with, who are all pretty much just like them. To their credit, they’re usually pleasant enough company in that they couldn’t be cruel if they tried (though they are plenty judgmental in their thinking), but their flakiness and squirrely behavior usually prove too annoying for anyone to really keep them around for long.

7-1-2 Combos: The Wack-tivist. Thinks they’re hot stuff because they’ve helped out in a bunch of Third World countries. That’s great, of course, but it would be a lot better if they could shut up about it for five minutes. Excessively smug about all the different charity groups they participate in through their church and/or university while you just wonder where the hell they find the time and what you’re doing wrong with your life.

7-1-3 Combos: The Tweaker. Okay, so they may or may not actually use speed, but one thing is for sure; this archetype never sleeps. Ever. They have a full time job and several different hobbies, clubs, and volunteer groups, and they feel the need to excel and gain recognition within all of them. They are always on the go, but unlike the Overworked Grouch (6-8-3 Combos), they’re eerily chipper about it. In fact, they’re very sad when there’s nothing to do, because then they are forced to think about their feelings, which they are notoriously bad at. And it should be obvious how they feel about being bad at anything (Hint: it isn’t positively).

7-1-4 Combos: The Fanatic. A obnoxious mass of scatterbrained and stubborn behavior. Has their own personal brand of ethics and spirituality, which tends to involve a lot of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. They at least practice what they preach, so that’s one good thing about them - unfortunately, they don’t ever really talk much about anything else. They just find a million different ways and contexts in which to talk about it.

7-8-2 Combos: The Bootstraps Idealist. Like the Overbearing Meddler (6-8-2 Combos), but with an extra dose of irresponsibility. They think the answer to all your problems is for you to do extremely difficult or extravagant things without considering whether or not you have the time or resources. Often refuses to acknowledge health issues (both mental and physical), as well. Any reason why you can’t do the things they are telling you to do is because of your lack of positive attitude instead of actual reality. Usually has more than a few terrible habits, but will try and fool you into thinking they have all their ducks in a row by giving faux motivational speeches.

7-8-3 Combos: The Inconsiderate Douche. It doesn’t really get any worse than this. Loud, obnoxious, and hopelessly shallow, a person of this archetype may seem very popular, but their circle of friends is a revolving door because they just won’t stop screwing people over for the sake of their ambitions or disregarding their feelings. Stay far, far away.

7-8-4 Combos: The Conspiracy Theorist. Being paranoid and accusing the government of hiding all kinds of scary, exciting things from us is fun for them. Imagining that there is at least one conspiracy that targets them personally is even more fun. What they don’t understand is that it isn’t as much fun for everyone around them. If you tell them you don’t believe them or even that you’re just sick of hearing about it, they flip their lid and go off about how you’re an idiot and just want to remain ignorant.

7-9-2 Combos: The Walking New-Age Store. This complete knob of an archetype has a saying or quote for everything, but never really seems to think critically about or have anything of their own to add to the words they are repeating. Hardly anyone has the heart to tell them how canned-corny and downright unhelpful they are, because they just seem so blissful and earnest. It would be like popping a hot air balloon, on every possible level.

7-9-3 Combos: The Goldfish. Completely without any self-awareness, this archetype flits perpetually from one superficial interest to the next. Unsurprisingly, they find very little satisfaction from anything, no matter how enthusiastically they may dive into it. The creepiest part about this is that they are so numb and hollow, they barely even notice how unsatisfied they are - they’ve fooled themselves into believing this is a happy existence.

7-9-4 Combos: The Entitled Vagabond. Goes on long road trips for no real reason, couch-surfing all the way. Quite possibly has no permanent address or bank account, and they are okay with this. Does a lot of odd jobs and possibly illegal things; has never had an actual job in their life, because it just isn’t their style, man. They’re actually not too insufferable as long as you don’t expect much from them and don’t mind their mooching. Unfortunately, whatever positivity they may bring to your life will be short-lived; as soon as they pick up and leave (which they will), they will all but forget you even exist.

Me: LEGO BATMAN IS SO GOOD! And the way it handles the whole BatJokes thing is wonderful. They’re so gay and happy to hate each other and they CALLED it a relationship which is important because this film is all about unusual family dynamics. So you get the surrogate father rather than the birth father, the adopted son rather than the birth son and the not-really-a-love-interest instead of a sibling. AND THEN you get the villain who completes you instead of the silver screen romance. It all works and everyone is happy and learns to accept their feelings for each other and that the feelings they have for these people are real and valid. It’s a really lovely film about unconventional family building that places the relationship between two men in the slot reserved for the love story, and a declaration of hate where there should be a declaration of love. The reason that there isn’t a moment where Batman and The Joker are declared ‘boyfriends’ is because this film isn’t going about things in a by the book matter, but that doesn’t stop them being each other’s romantic partner in the context of the film. 

Discourse Me: But The Joker is one of the most obvious examples of queer coded villains in all of comics and associating queerness with evil like that is hella homophobic. You can’t deny that The Joker was more into Batman than Batman was into The Joker for most of Lego Batman and indeed, has made several passes at him in the comics and you can’t argue that this film does much to deconstruct that. The best you can say is that when Batman does admit his feelings for The Joker he doesn’t become a depraved villain and so queerness isn’t directly tied to evil, but it’s still kinda…there. Oh yeah and the filmmakers didn’t actually have the balls to say that they were in love and plenty of people are going to view how BatJokes are portrayed by Lego as a joke rather than a serious relationship and you are grasping at straws rather than appreciating genuine representation.  

Me: Shut the fuck up and have some fun jesus christ. 

theguardian.com
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman review – nice dramatic narratives, but where’s the nihilism?
With its chatty gods and gentle giants, Gaiman’s good-natured version of the mythos lacks brutal tragedy at its heart
By Ursula K Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin, one of my favorite writers, reviews the new Neil Gaimen interpretation of “Norse Mythology” and gives it an honestly brutal treatment.

“For the Norse myths, we really have no original, only interpretations. Most of the material was first written down by a single monk a century or more after Christianity had outlawed and supplanted the “heathen” religion of northern Europe. Later came scholarly attempts to translate and present the stories so as to glimpse what the lost original versions may have been.

Then came use of elements of the mythos in drama and opera, free adaptations for modern readers, and the appearance of increasingly familiar tropes in books for young children, cartoons, graphic presentations, animated films, and so on. A luxuriant growth indeed from the few, fragile stems of medieval manuscripts, one of which lay hidden for several centuries in a barn in Iceland.

Their survival is remarkable, for the Norse tales are about as un-Christian as you can get: no all-powerful creator deity, no human virtue rewarded but courage in battle, and on the Last Day, no salvation for anybody. Their fascination for us may be this near-nihilism: a world created essentially by nobody out of nothing, an existence of endless warfare and the rivalry of brutal, dishonest powers, ending in defeat for all. In contrast, the classical myths retold to us through centuries of splendid verbal and visual art can seem pallid. The stark cruelty and essential hopelessness of the Norse stories suits the artistic taste of the last century, our hunger for darkness.”
….
“Gaiman plays down the extreme strangeness of some of the material and defuses its bleakness by a degree of self-satire. There is a good deal of humour in the stories, the kind most children like – seeing a braggart take a pratfall, watching the cunning little fellow outwit the big dumb bully. Gaiman handles this splendidly. Yet I wonder if he tries too hard to tame something intractably feral, to domesticate a troll.”
…..
“What finally left me feeling dissatisfied is, paradoxically, the pleasant, ingratiating way in which he tells it. These gods are not only mortal, they’re a bit banal. They talk a great deal, in a conversational tone that descends sometimes to smart-ass repartee. This chattiness will be familiar to an audience accustomed to animated film and graphic narrative, which have grown heavy with dialogue, and in which disrespect is generally treated as a virtue. But it trivialises, and I felt sometimes that this vigorous, robust, good-natured version of the mythos gives us everything but the very essence of it, the heart.”

Does this make sense? | 04 (m)

pairing: min yoongi x reader, college! yoongi

genre/warnings: some type of fluff I guess, smut, drama, angst

words: 10,257

summary: you meet the mysterious Yoongi at a house party and no matter how uninterested you tell yourself that you are, you can’t say no to him. Can you end up changing his playboy ways, or will you just end up getting hurt?

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