It’s May 25th, aka the real Star Wars Day. 34 years ago today, Star Wars was born into theaters. Crazy shit, man: But will the day bring something other than your standard birthday celebration? Let’s hope.
Star Wars fans have started the ‘We Are Jedi’ project to help raise funds for those affected by the last month’s destructive earthquake and tsunami. The fruits of the first project – a limited-edition t-shirt – are now available for order.
They have Lucasfilm’s blessing, and proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross.
HBO’s adaption of Game of Thrones premieres tonight amid a new storm of controversy about women and fantasy. What could possibly have soiled the premiere of what is probably the biggest fantasy literature event of the year? (Well, the biggest one that doesn’t involve boy wizards and horcruxes, anyway.) Why, yet more false assumptions about women and what they watch and read, of course!
It was all sparked by Ginia Bellafante’s New York Times review. Behold this bit of ‘wisdom:’
The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.
Uh-huh. There’s plenty one can say to this, but since I am the absolute last fantasy-loving female in the blogosphere to address it, here are a few selected responses:
The reality check. Emily of The Discriminating Fangirl responds to many of Bellafante’s misconceptions. Key quote: “…How can the show require MENSA-member viewers and be too stupid/silly for HBO?”
The feminist. Sarah Louise of Bleeding Cool takes on the gender normative tone of the review. Key quote: “The main thing I find shocking about all these sweeping remarks is the fact that the piece was written by a woman. Aren’t we all supposed to be in this thing together?”
The ally. Alan Kistler wonders where the actual review was in his Newsarama Op-ed. Key quote: “We didn’t get an informed opinion on the show. In fact, in her whole review, the story premise is barely touched on and not one character, plot point or scene is mentioned. ”
The snarky: Annalee Newitz of io9 asked (with spoilers) why would men want to watch Game of Thrones? Key quote: “Who but a woman would even be able to keep all those Stark children’s names straight, let alone all the other people connected to the Stark family?”
The full package. Amy Ratcliffe of Geek with Curves talks about what she really wants to see in the series. Key quote: “I’m not tuning into the television show to see sex either. I won’t lie – I’m not unhappy about seeing Jason Momoa shirtless as Khal Drogo, but that isn’t the primary reason I’m watching. I want to see Westeros on screen.”
The author. George R. R. Martin breaks his own rules to say something about the review. Key quote: “…if I am writing ‘boy fiction,’ who are all those boys with breasts who keep turning up by the hundreds at my signings and readings?”
And naturally, amid all this? A Today piece on how ladies power viewership for SF/F TV. How long must we have to harp on this before the Ginia Bellafantes of the world catch on?
UPDATE: Bellafonte responds. What does she take from this? ‘People on the internet are mean?’ So much facepalm.
I’ve been hanging around fandom a long time. But now, every year brings less and less Star Wars that actually appeals to me. The Old Republic? Not a gamer. The saga in 3-D? Meh. Novels focused on brand-new characters? That’s what the rest of the SF/F section is for. The Clone Wars? No thanks.
And there are so many news blogs out there right now, run by young, fresh names and faces. You don’t need us anymore.
So what’s left that really excites us about Star Wars? Why are we still here? What is the deep dark secret of Club Jade? Continue reading
A survey by the Birmingham Science City finds that “over a fifth of adults” surveyed believe lightsabers are real. Nearly a quarter believe that humans can be teleported, 50% believe that memory-erasing technology (ala Men in Black) exist, and more than 40% believe in hoverboards. Remember them from Back to the Future Part II? Granted, we can probably blame Robert Zemeckis himself for that one. Science fiction, what have you wrought?
Many of the points being made by Dan Abrams and Susana Polo as they seek to launch a site for female geeks are true: The audience is underserved. On the other hand… They’re calling it TheMarySue.com.
She explained by phone that the name of the site is an ironic twist on the Mary Sue character in fan fiction. A Mary Sue is typically a beautiful female character who represents a standard of perfection that’s impossible to live up to.
“I feel that that is a very familiar concept to women in the geek world,” Polo said. “Women in the sciences often feel that they must be twice as competent as their male counterparts to get to the same regard. If society expects us to be a Mary Sue, well, we can certainly try, but in the meantime we’d like to giggle while pointing out the hypocrisy of the whole thing.”
I can see what she’s trying to say about the name, but mostly it just makes me wince. (And that’s not even going into the term being so overused that it’s practically lost all meaning as a defining term.) Thoughts, ladies?
I’m beyond sick of the ‘California Girls’* filks, but y’all are sure to get a kick out of this. (And how can you not love Seth Green in the Snoop Dogg role?) Already seen? Bonnie interviews Team Unicorn.
* Yes, I know that’s not how Katy Perry spells it. I guess they don’t have spell check in Candyland.