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Let’s Play Star Trek Online KDF Episode 20


Let’s Play Star Trek Online Klingon Defense Force.  In this episode, we run around and gather information about the Sword of Khaless.  And we talk to Worf.

Let’s Play list for the Federation side: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBJ7GuCnERhAaRFmyfhJgC9WBtgoEfdoM

WordPress site: https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/

Tumblr:  http://timholtorf.tumblr.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimHoltorf

As I go through the series, you can give me suggestions for what gear to get, so leave that in the comments.

This material is used under fair use laws, there is no profit made from this and all copyrights are held by their original owners. Star Trek and all likenesses are copyright Paramount Pictures.  Star Trek Online is a licensed product of Cryptic Studios.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in video, Zodiviews

 

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On story and writing – Part Four: Is Mad Max Fury Road a feminist action movie?


We haven’t seen a Mad Max film since the mid 80’s when the titular character was played by Mel Gibson.  Now, that role  is taken up by Tom Hardy, but I’d argue that the real stars of Mad Max Fury Road were the women of the film, in particular Charlize Theron’s character of Imperator Furiosa.  Here’s her IMDB description.

Furiosa is an Imperator, a war leader in Immortan Joe‘s fanatical army. Her left arm was severed above the elbow, so she wears a makeshift prosthetic limb. As an Imperator she is issued a sacred steering wheel fetish that allows her to drive and command a war wagon. In the beginning of the movie she is seen as so loyal and capable that her War Boy crew follows her unquestioningly when she radically deviates from Immortan Joe’s orders.

Furiosa was kidnapped by the forces of The Citadel when she was a child. She was a member of The Vuvalini – a matriarchal tribe of the Clan of Many Mothers that dwelled in The Green Place. Furiosa believes this is her only chance to return to her people and a better life. She helps the Wives to escape from Immortan Joe – partly because she believes they should be free and mostly because it will hurt and anger him.

She may have been the catalyst of the Wives’ desire to leave. The heretical motto “Who Killed The World?” the Wives chant is a feminist doctrine that blames men for the shape of the post-apocalyptic world – something Immortan Joe would never have allowed. Furiosa might have been taught it as a child and passed it on to them.

Furiosa drives the War Rig, a Tatra T815 18-Wheeler Truck. It has a powered retractable plow blade in front. The cab is extended by adding the back half of a 1940s Chevrolet Fleetmaster sedan that has “suicide doors” that are back-hinged and swing backward rather than front-hinged and swing forward. It pulls a large water tanker and an articulated fuel pod that holds 3,000 gallons of guzzoline. The cab has a left-side skeleton arm painted on the upper part of the driver’s side door – indicating that it is Furiosa’s personal vehicle.

This seems to really be getting under the skin of MRAs who call Mad Max an American classic (even though it’s Australian) and Mad Max would never take orders from anyone, in particular a woman.  Even though Mel Gibson’s character in all the other movies did in fact take order from other people, including Tina Turner’s character in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

By no means is Mad Max: Fury Road a threat to men’s sensitivities.  I’m often bored with parts of action movies because they are the same thing all the time.  Watching Fury Road though, I was not bored at all.  A lot of the same devices were used that you’d expect in an action movie, but they were used in ways very different than you’d expect.  You’d expect the primary leader to be the male, working to save everyone else, but It’s Theron’s character who is take charge.  Overall, Furiosa is a pretty badass character.  She has a definite goal in mind and she rarely detracts from it at all.

This isn’t so much a review of the movie as it is a commentary on the way the story is being told.  But as far as a review goes, this movie was an excellent action movie.  It was new, different, and very exciting to watch.  Yes, a lot of the same plot devices used in this film have been used in other films, but the way they were used was important.  Had this movie not had Furiosa as such an integral part of the film, along with the Wives, that without her this film would not be the same.

Make no mistake, Mad Max Fury Road still has high octane, explosions, car chases, the cars themselves, hand to hand battles, shooting and all the other pieces that make a great action movie.  But it’s also got a lot more that make it even better.

Even with all of that, there is still a glaring problem with this movie.  With all of the women that were seen, this movie failed one of the most simplest of tests created.  It failed the Bechdel Test.  With the large number of women involved in the film, there was not one conversation that was had between any of the women.  Having said that, it can be argued that it did pass the Mako Mori Test.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Fun, Life, randomness

 

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Let’s Play Star Trek Online Episode 42


Let’s play Star Trek Online.  Part three of Coliseum.  To escape, we must cross the harsh desert of Nopada and reach Slamek’s downed ship in order to find some way of escape.

Let’s Play Star Trek Online Klingon Defense Force: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBJ7GuCnERhDiDGIEIHcgier3B-ap3G84

WordPress site: https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/

Tumblr:  http://timholtorf.tumblr.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimHoltorf

As I go through the series, you can give me suggestions for what gear to get, so leave that in the comments.

This material is used under fair use laws, there is no profit made from this and all copyrights are held by their original owners. Star Trek and all likenesses are copyright Paramount Pictures.  Star Trek Online is a licensed product of Cryptic Studios.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in video, Zodiviews

 

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On story and writing – Part Three: The case for Miles Morales


Lots of comments have been tossed around regarding this version of Spider-man.  How it’s caving to political correctness.  How it’s filling a quota.  How it’s giving into SJWs (as though that was an evil all encompassing term).

But Miles Morales plays a bigger role than any of that.  Miles Morales reflects the 21st Century.  He is the mirror on the real world.  He also acts as a new and different way to tell stories.

Let’s face it, there’s a large number of straight, white, millionaire superheroes that exist in the comic book universe.  From Tony Stark to Bruce Wayne to Oliver Queen.  Yes, Peter Parker was a different type of character in that he was always trying to make ends meet, but he still held two of the three identifying factors of the atypical superhero archetype.  Miles is a break from that.

How a poor white man views the world, how he reacts to it and how he is challenged to overcome obstacles is very different from how a poor black man deals with similar things.  Even more so when that man is a black Latino.  By giving Miles the Spider-suit, you’ve just opened up a new world of story telling.

It also brings about something very new and exciting, in that it passes the torch, so to speak.  Sure, it could be passed onto May Parker, so we could have Spider-Gril, but why not pass on the torch to Miles as well.  There’s nothing saying there can’t be a Spider-man and a Spider-girl web swinging through New York City.  After all, there’s over 30 million people that live there.

Comic books have reached a dry run, thanks in part to the fact that you can only tell the same type of story so many times before it gets very old very fast.  When you have a new character like Miles, those stories seem different because suddenly it’s a completely different person viewing the situation.  Much in the same way that Kamala Khan is now Mz. Marvel.

The usual comments detracting this move only prove one thing.  We are not in a post racial society if there are still people saying that a black man can’t be Spider-man.  Even if the detraction starts with “I’m not racist, but…” then chances are the detractor more than likely is racist.

Denying a character like Miles denies a new type of story telling.  And nobody wins when that happens.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Fun, Life, randomness

 

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Let’s Play Star Trek Online Episode 41


Let’s Play Star Trek Online!  Part 2 of the Coliseum mission.  We’ve been captured, and we are being forced to fight in some sort of arena matches.

Let’s Play Star Trek Online Klingon Defense Force: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBJ7GuCnERhDiDGIEIHcgier3B-ap3G84

WordPress site: https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/

Tumblr:  http://timholtorf.tumblr.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimHoltorf

As I go through the series, you can give me suggestions for what gear to get, so leave that in the comments.

This material is used under fair use laws, there is no profit made from this and all copyrights are held by their original owners. Star Trek and all likenesses are copyright Paramount Pictures.  Star Trek Online is a licensed product of Cryptic Studios.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in video, Zodiviews

 

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On story and writing – Part Two: are we really gonna use rape again?


Trigger warning; discussions of rape ahead.

Game of Thrones has been a roller coaster that has been discussed not only for the narrative of the different characters involved in the overall story, but also for the themes used to tell the story.  With any property, there’s good and there’s bad.  One could go into the various knocks on the lack of use of people of colour in the series, but I’m focusing on one thing in this write up.

Whenever we write, we are often tempted to use tropes as a plot device.  We can’t help it, really.  What’s a trope?  Well, a literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.  Sometimes the use of tropes can be done to great effect, other times they are just over used and boring.  Too often, the latter is the case.

In the case of Game of Thrones, and as suggested by the image above, Sansa Stark, the writers of the show have opted to use rape as a narrative device.  I won’t argue that rape can’t be used for a narrative device, but the way in which this particular device was use was actually handled really poorly.  Sansa Stark’s rape was used to progress the story of Theon.  To show his pain as he was forced to watch Sansa’s rape.  We don’t get any reaction from Sansa or any aftermath as to how it affects her or how it progresses her story.

Based on the narrative created, the most important person in the room was Theon.  That’s what was conveyed at the time.  The most important person in the room should have been Sansa, and how this act was going to progress her story.

I’ll pause here because it needs to be said that if anyone really wishes to defend the scene, be careful.  Because you may end up looking like you’re defending rape.

It seems that the use of rape was merely used because the writers of the show were running out of ideas.  Which is very interesting if you look at the source material, which is George R. R. Martin’s books.

You know who is raped in the show?  Sansa Stark.  You know who isn’t raped in the books?  Sansa Stark.  Changing the narrative of the source material often has good results.  Look at the Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Hobbit movies.  Peter Jackson made all sorts of changes and made just as good a product on screen as Tolkien did in the books.

And amazingly, Peter Jackson did it without adding a rape scene.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in randomness, Life, Fun

 

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Let’s Play Star Trek Online Episode 40


Let’s Play Star Trek Online!  We talk directly with Obisek and now we enter the Coliseum.  This mission is split into three parts, this is part one.

Let’s Play Star Trek Online Klingon Defense Force: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBJ7GuCnERhDiDGIEIHcgier3B-ap3G84

WordPress site: https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/

Tumblr:  http://timholtorf.tumblr.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimHoltorf

As I go through the series, you can give me suggestions for what gear to get, so leave that in the comments.

This material is used under fair use laws, there is no profit made from this and all copyrights are held by their original owners. Star Trek and all likenesses are copyright Paramount Pictures.  Star Trek Online is a licensed product of Cryptic Studios.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in video, Zodiviews

 

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