In Defense of the Warrior-Princess

Last Wednesday, Kat gave us a post titled “Why I Decided to Stop Being a ‘Tough Girl’ and Just Be Me“, a thought-provoking piece on femininity.

I passionately disagree with it.

Let me break it down here.

In her post, Kat referenced this quote by actress Zoey Deschanel:

This idea- that women were or are pressured to be “men”- isn’t a new one. Plenty of folks have made the same observation and there is absolutely truth to that. In fact, we’ve even managed to turn it into a trope at this point, the “warrior-princess”. Continue reading

Why The Internet Hates Sports

Look, I’m well aware that this post would have been more effective had it been posted a week ago before NFL Super Bowl XLIX. I don’t control current events, however, and as soon as I saw that Michelle Obama had a “wardrobe malfunction” while visiting Saudi Arabia I knew I had to cover it [no pun intended]. So imagine, if you will, that we’re in the days leading up to the most-watched sporting event in America. People are already beginning to build the foundations of their dozen-layer dips and comic artists are churning out strips like the following Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

The joke being, hahaha, “geeks” [whatever that term even means anymore] don’t like sports! Not only do they not like sports, they don’t understand them! The concept of other people being excited about people physically competing against each other is completely illogical in their minds. Moss of The IT Crowd is a man who beat every record on the British gameshow Countdown and here is how he views [European] football:

Series 4, Episode 2

Continue reading

The Rise (or Return?) of the Post-Secularist

Last week, my news feed blew up with a surprising announcement: the “Post-Seculars” have arrived.

Before I get into what exactly that’s supposed to mean, let’s deal with the source of this news.  This new classification of human being comes to us from an article published in the American Sociological Review, and is based on data collected from the General Social Survey (GSS), a biennial survey of American households that, among other things, asks respondents about their attitudes regarding religion and the sciences, as well as general familiarity with facts about the latter.

Now, that’s about as much background as you’ll get from your standard internet source, but fortunately for you I’m a nerd, so I read the actual paper (with skimming.  I’m not a robot).  Basically, participants in the GSS were asked a lot of questions like: “does science increase opportunities for the next generation,” “should science receive more government funding,” “is the Bible the actual word of God,” etc.  Yes, the religion portion is absurdly Judeo-Christian-biased, but they tried to cover more ground with some personal rankings of general religiosity.  In addition, the participants were asked to answer some questions to test scientific knowledge, like: “does radioactivity occur naturally?”

Our sociologist friends found that 43% of participants adhered to what they refer to in the article as the “traditional” perspective (religiously focused with little to no understanding of/appreciation for science) and 36% could be labelled as “Moderns” (the opposite of Traditionals).  The remaining 21 percent were something in between.

But not “in-between” like Richard Dawkins playing dress-up with Papal robes.

Continue reading

Writers’ Roundtable Interview: Stew, Old Friend and New CWR!

EVAN: I have a dream. That one day this blog will rise up and establish a regular schedule. From that point on each weekday will have its own writer, and all five will be equal. Today, friends, we grow one step closer to that dream becoming a reality.

Joining us officially as of this week is Stew, who both Gordon and I attended college with. He’s also left a grand total of 47 comments on this blog, so you know he is a person with thoughts to share and things to say. Honestly, I could go on, so let’s just start things off already.

Similar to our introduction of Kat two years ago [has it really been that long?] each of the CWR regulars will be asking Stew four questions apiece, ending with the chance for him to throw a couple of his own at each of us. Considering that she knows him the least well, and not for any chivalrous reasons…

KAT: My first question for you is, what makes you want to write for the blog?

EVAN: Wow, Kat, way to take my first question. And now I regret my decision.

STEW: Too slow, Evan.

KAT: Sorry, but you guys wanted me to go first, so…

STEW: Well, I’ve been a pretty avid reader of CWR since it first started. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of topics that you guys cover. But I’ve been harassing Evan to cover more science-y topics for ages now, and apparently this is the best way to make that happen.

EVAN: Favourite Lovecraft-themed alcoholic beverage?

STEW: Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale, both because it is delicious, and because I don’t think anything else fits the category.

GORDON: Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?

STEW: Nah, I love sitting on the fence.

KAT: Would you consider yourself a feminist and/or feminist ally?

STEW: Absolutely!

KAT: I feel a little bit like we are browbeating you right now, haha.

EVAN: If his brow makes it out in one piece we will have failed in our mission.

STEW: Generally, brows should be in two pieces anyway. Mine is no exception. Continue reading

Ms. Marvel, #11: A Comic Book Review

msmarvel11As predicted in my last review, this issue does in fact feature the downfall of the villainous Inventor. What I did not foresee, however, is how Alphona would be bringing his A-game when it came to illustrating our shapeshifting heroine’s triumph over evil. Seriously, there are some jaw-droppingly beautiful splash pages featured here.

For the most part my recaps of Ms. Marvel are exactly that, short summaries of what went down in addition to some exploration of any themes therein, so I feel it only fair to take a few paragraphs to focus on the art itself. To begin with, a “splash page” is:

“a page in the comic book where there are no other panels and the character or scene fills the entire page of the comic book.”

Issue #11 features three such pages, which would be more than overdoing it according to J. Caleb Mozzocco, one of my favourite comic book journalists. The reason for that being when you only have twenty-ish pages of comic [21 in this case, including the recap page] having one of them taken up by a single panel can make it feel like you’re not getting enough bang for your buck. Rest assured that that could not be further from the truth in this case-

tightsqueeze

While the entire page is indeed taken up by a single illustration there’s a strong sense of movement, with readers being able to trace Kamala’s journey through the innards of the deathbot with ease. The word boxes help to anchor a start and end point, and the intricacy of the gears as well as her cartoonish contortions keep you from turning the page even after you’ve finished reading the words. I could go on praising Alphona’s work, though, so as to the actual narrative- Continue reading

Why I Decided to Stop Being a “Tough Girl” and Just Be Me

I used to cry a lot as a kid. A lot. I had all the feels and I didn’t know what to do with them. 

I was also a pretty uncoordinated kid. I mean, nothing spectacular (I only broke a couple bones), but enough to make me suck at the only thing that mattered in elementary school: winning stuff. Being stuck as “it” for hours at a time in grounders or tag really gets the spirit low, so, as you might expect, I spent a lot of recesses crying.

My mom loves to tell this one story from back when she worked at my school. She had been helping a friend of mine with her homework one day and when this friend became frustrated she had reminded her that “Some people are good at spelling, some people are good at sports, etc. Everyone has something that they are good at, and everybody has something we need to work on.”

Later that day, I came dead last in a race (my mom likes to emphasize this part when she tells the story, often repeating herself with “and I mean dead last“). Anyways, after coming dead last in this race I retreated to a distance to cry my eyes out. This same friend of mine came over and put her arm around me. Then she started to tell me “You know Katherine, some people are good at spelling, some people are good at sports…”

You get the gist of it. I used to cry a lot. Then, one day on the playground, a kid called me a “cry-baby”. I don’t remember who it was, but I remember clenching my fists and swearing to myself “I will never cry again!” Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E10 “And the Move-In Meltdown”: A TV Review

moveinmeltdown

Speaking of “meltdowns” I totally had the best melt for dinner [not a grilled cheese, as some may incorrectly call them]. It had cheese, obviously, as well as homemade guacamole and spinach. The second also had kimchi [I should mention I actually ate two of them]. Now that my prose-version of Instagram is over, I suppose we should move along to the episode itself-

Now last week’s review was pretty short and sweet, but I mentioned, as I have many times before, that this is a show that focuses a little too closely on its titular characters. Max and Caroline are the headlining act for sure, but every other member of the cast appears to be relegated to bit players at best. This episode appears to be the writers’ room forcing me to eat my words. Continue reading