No More Happy Endings

bbadrect011-460x3071People expect too much from series finales, I think. That being said, the Breaking Bad finale did a perfect job of what it needed to do. It let us see all of the characters one more time with a few exceptions and gave them an appropriate send off. Some of the things I would have liked to have known were never revealed, but they were minor things at best.

I have mixed feelings about the ending because in reality I only just started watching about a month ago and I caught up and watched the ending all in that span. It’s hard to take in that a show so awesome only lasted a month for me. I was never spoiled on anything, never really discussed too much of the show with anyone until the near end of it all. I didn’t get that full experience of being a part of the show as it happened and being right down there in the trenches with everyone.

And I am sad to see it go because of that. But I’m happy that it went out on top and didn’t drag on past it’s prime, like Dexter.

I won’t say too much about the ending here, because I am sure there are some who haven’t seen it and I am sure that there is enough commentary out there fro those that have, but I am happy to have run into a show as great as Breaking Bad.

Deflection? Well that’s original.

6029a059-48a2-4426-8fc3-0f16b0aa5380-bestSizeAvailableWhen asked why people were more upset by the bad representation of women in Grand Theft Auto V gaming journalist Jeff Gerstmann said:

Because one of those arguments actually requires people to play the game.

Brilliant Gerstmann! But the two issues are not interconnected and the issue of gratuitous violence (which can have a place in games) and sexism aren’t even linked. The thing that’s asked is why aren’t there every women in GTA games that do much more besides stab you in the back, strip, or whore themselves out on various corners. To a small degree, there will be characters represented in a more positive light, though even they might be horrible bastards. They’re at least likeable in their own way. Hell, I can’t think of a woman that had a personality besides fuck toy or enemy other than Michelle in the fourth game. And the fourth game was pretty abysmal.

This game had three protagonists so the old argument that they couldn’t have put a woman in the role because of the effect on sales is somewhat diminished. If they didn’t want to for artistic reasons I can respect that and even if I couldn’t it’s their choice.

But it’s people’s right to be critical of the products we spend almost seventy dollars on. When we ask a question it shouldn’t be shrugged off.

And when people pose a question it shouldn’t be deflected away from. This is a common thing when you bring up inequality of any sort. If you say “Women have it bad when it comes to X.”

Someone will inevitably respond that “Well they have it better than the women in the Middle East” or “They have it better than most other places in the world.”

Sorry, that doesn’t cut it for me. If we push issues of inequality back because they’re not big enough issues and there’s something more important out there when we could discuss and deal it’s just deflection. And there’s no reason not to discuss this. The people saying this kind of thing will never accept that there is a time to discuss it.

Besides, the last time I checked morality didn’t grade on a fucking curve. Just because we’re ahead of a country run by sexist religious zealots doesn’t automatically mean we can stop working.

All is Fair in Internet Retribution?

Screen-Shot-2013-09-25-at-5.44.35-PMIn a recent blog post self-published author Quin Woodward Pu spoke about dating a guy who backed out on her and taking her revenge on the guy. The short story version is that she had a few good dates, the guy was in the process of asking her out on the next one and then suddenly told her he wasn’t interested out of the blue. She flipped out and texted his boss about how he used a company phone for sexting (with her) in an attempt to get back at him. The guy was polite in his refusal to continue seeing her, she was the asshole in this situation.

Pu and several other women operate a blog where they post as a team and while the blog had some following the internet exploded onto the site after this post went viral and some even took to the page’s belonging to her two books to attack her through reviews.

I’m kind of curious what others think about this because while she was clearly wrong and is clearly a pretty horrible person are the racial attacks and jokes pertaining to her weight really just okay? Is that kind of thing ever ‘okay’?

This site warning people not to date her in the area popped up, which I can say isn’t a bad idea. The girl is an asshole. But the sexist language used in a lot of the comments pertaining to her are pretty bad. As is the racial shit. Pu has been called fat and referred to as overweight. I saw a poster call her a heifer.  

There’s a picture of her above for reference. She’s normal looking. That’s not fat people. I mean putting what she did aside, she’s actually attractive. It just also sounds like she might be crazy. I wouldn’t have a problem with this kind of behavior as much, but it seems like whenever women do anything wrong people are much quicker to have a go at their looks. I know I’ve slipped into it before, but I’m a cold hearted bastard and you should do as I say not as I do.

Plus I never called anyone an “uppity chinky cunt” that’s just a bit too far across the line. I’ve got no problem with Internet retribution. But I wonder how we would have reacted had the genders been reversed? It seems like we’ve got a real need in this society to see women get “put in their place.”

Writing A Character Who Might Be a Bit Sexist And Have a Superiority Complex

So this is proving to be a bit of a heartache for me. My main character from the Keep Austin deviousSafe series (her name this week is Lissette, that’s subject to change as it has over and over an over) might have a bit of an issue with how she views women…and men…let’s just call it people in general. Here’s an excerpt from early in the narrative.

This is happening because I followed them up here; earlier this month he’d cut the funding from a research project Mom was working on. I was so sure that these late night meetings had something to do with it. At first, I checked into the people he was associated with. Mom made me promise I wasn’t going to make this a thing. Pike’s habits and disappearances at certain times of the month suggested Lycanthropy. I tailed him a few times. And then a few turned into many. You’d be shocked how much free time I have after school.

As it turned out he wasn’t a were-creature. But there was definitely something going on.

I’d rather endure this than get caught. My pride couldn’t bear it. This is, like, my go to drug. I’m a super-special-awesome-stalker. I will stalk the shit out of you. I’m a high school aged girl. We tend to nurture our stalking skills. Usually, that’s also when we work on our charm or our looks. So, when I “accidentally run into you” in the hallway for the third time I’ve missed a button or figured out how to tell a funny joke in the interim. And you do that little laugh and lean in close and notice the smell of the perfume (that I practically trashed around in a tub of). Then the stalking becomes dating.

Boys don’t always figure these things out how to nurture their looks or their charm. So, sometimes later in life stalking becomes kidnapping which usually becomes twenty-five to life.

I burn through a good chunk of this Facebook game before I finally hear his breathing growing shallow. The desk thuds against the wall with an awkward cadence and finally they fall silent. I use the phone’s front camera to get a look at them; the woman has her back to me and is slipping her underwear on under a dress.

She’s fun to write, but no doubt this kind of thing could upset some people. Not that I really care for the most part. It seems that some people make it their professional career at being upset over small stuff.

But this is the early basis for Lissette’s character. You’re introduced to her thought process right here and that’s what I love about just this chunk of writing. And it might have to be trimmed down some in the future, but I don’t want to write the weak willed roll over and take it protagonists that I see so many books. I want the snarky girl who’s a little bit mean, but capable and smart. And possibly crazy.

How Complex Are We Really?

uniqueI’ve always been kind of unnerved by someone figuring me out in a short time. It’s nothing to do with remaining mysterious to seem interesting or impressive. There’s just something kind of saddening to me about the idea that I’m not as complicated as I would like to think.

This is a bit of a dumb thing to say when you consider how many people there are on the planet and how many of them are similar to other people. There’s only so many ways that you could be. Sure there are an infinite number of ways to mix different traits, personality types and preferences, but how unique does that really make you.

A few weeks ago something that I thought I had been keeping secret was blatantly called out by another friend while we were riding home rowdy and drunk in a car driven by a friend. I denied it in the moment, but I was shocked too. How much of ourselves do we put out there without even knowing it and what can we really do to control it?

Writing these newest characters has been a hard fight for me. In comparison to my old cast I’ve spent so little time with them.  At times I don’t know how much should be visible about them. What should they be thinking when they do this? What would a person like her or him think in this situation?

In building characters I want them to be surprising and genuine, but not at the expense of them being believable. I will go to my grave saying that this is where First Person differs so hard from even Third Person limited. You’re demonstrating that the character isn’t just how they see themselves or how they’re seen by others, you’re showing both things. When you describe a characters feelings the audience should be able to figure out how they feel about themselves and how others might feel about them, even if the character doesn’t know it.

That’s a hard skill to master when it comes to writing.

The Glory of Outlines

outline-slideI’ve never been the kind of writer to use outlines when it comes to my writing. This isn’t to say that I think using or not using them are things that are inherently good or bad. When it comes to me, they don’t seem natural. It’s harder for me to format and make an outline that comes out to be more than a longish synopsis and that’s really what I have in my head as it stands most of the time.

I mention all of this because I am starting to think that the issues that I am having with writing are probably traceable back to the fact that I don’t put the plan down into words the way so many others do.

On the character side of things I have a pretty tight group of protagonists, but there really needs to be more than that for this to be what I want it to be. I had a series of short stories planned out under the Keep Austin Safe label and the one that I eventually went with is probably the most complex of all of them to tell because it involves more page count than the other ideas and more characters taking up more of the page space.

The problem I was having writing in first person has passed only to be replaced by the problem of not feeling like I am writing the right story. The idea has shifted so far from the little joke story idea that it was conceived as.

And the strangest thing is that as I was writing that last paragraph, the one you just read, I actually figured out how to fix one of the major issues that I was having with the story. I’m off to handle that now.

Want to Know What Entitlement Looks Like?

yale-picks-up-some-shares-of-jp-morgan-chaseThis video kind of pissed me off. I don’t know where this girl gets off thinking that the best schools in the country should accept someone who hasn’t been trying the hardest in all the aspects that they look at.

The stupidest thing about all of this is she blames so many things that are totally in her control and then she claims that it’s a rat race. High school students need to realize that the real world isn’t going to treat them like a special little snow flake and coddle them and scoop them up and make them into the person they’re supposed to be. Colleges look for a whole person, someone who has diverse interests as well as a great academic background and experience helping the community.

I know this video is a few months old and maybe I missed the outrage on this, but I read something a few days ago and this kind of triggered in my head because of it. A piece in Huffington Post talked about a lot of the issue with young people in today’s workforce is that they don’t understand working to get somewhere. They think that when they come out of college with any kind of degree and get their dream job they’re owed the best salary possible and that their life should just be sitting back and working with ease.

That attitude does nothing to help us and the sooner we shake it, the better.