Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fantasy, superheroes, vs chick flick death porn

See previous rant.

The "death porn chic" is PC, but there is an alternative: Hope.

Which is why I am a Tolkien geek. When he was criticized for writing escapist literature, he pointed out that there is a difference between the escape of a prisoner and the desertion of a coward.

one of the problems of depression is that the depressed person only sees one part of the story, and thinks it is reality. When you treat them with cognitive therapy, you teach them to reframe the story: To know there are different ways to see the experience, to know others went through such things, and of course, to reframe your life story.

You know, when I was a teen ager, I was supposed to read all these teenaged girl angst stuff, but I rarely did. Heck, I was a math/science smart girl, and hated by the Buffy types. Ah, but I had a brother and lots of male friends, so as a geek saw the world differently, so that having a new dress or being "popular" didn't mean as much to me as getting a good grade so I could get a scholarship to college.

so no, I didn't read stuff about poor me being bullied for being a geek.

Instead I read biographies, usually of successful women, or sci fi (this was before fantasy got popular).

Elizabeth Blackwell didn't have vapors when they guys objected to her. Florence Nightingale didn't go in the corner and cry when she was yelled out. And a lot of lady saints had guts.

but I also was able to read the sci fi books my brother brought home from the library.

Heinlein's later fiction gets a bit strange, but his juvenile novels did have strong women characters.

Heinlein's Podkayne didn't kill herself from teenaged angst; Peewee could fly a spaceship, and Mother Thing showed one could be a hard assed interplanetary investigator and still be sympathetic to "cubs".

Luckily, there are a lot of such stories out there nowadays to give hope to teengers.

I mean, you think you had it bad? What about Katnis?

My brother's daughter is a Harry Potter geek.

My boys were into StarWars. Luke was the farmboy turned hero... and used his fighting skills to save the universe.

For boys, there was always the Marvel Universe. and now, unlike 50 yaers ago, one can find strong feminine female heroes outside of Heinlein.

I introduced my granddaughter to Percy Jackson. Rick Riordan wrote the story because his kid was an awkward ADHD type, and he wanted a story where the hero was ADHD and always getting into trouble in the film.

My granddaughter loves Annabeth; me, I sort of prefer Hazel who has a lot of family problems, but tries to do the right thing, (or Leo, the tinkerer who always finds a way to fix things... sort of like what we docs do). And of course, there is the very strange intovert Nico who  actually saves the earth at the end of series one, and then realizes he is gay in series two.

I have been downloading TV series for my granddaughter: a lot of the Korean Dramas have supernatural elements (for example, Strong women is super strong but loves a guy and thinks she has to be weak to be loved) And then there is LemonySnicket and similar books made into mini series.

one hint: The new Anne of Green gables is ugly... photographically ugly I mean, at least so far, (I only saw part one). The characters are less sympathetic than the classic miniseries and in several places changed from the book so it would be more pc (anne says she can work as well as a boy? In 1890 farming? Reality check please).  Stick to the older miniseries.

my adopted sons loved the older mini series because it is about adoption. (they also like Pinocchio).

why? because it mirrored their struggles.

Anne was a partial fantasy character, being wonderful and happy to find she is loved despite her faults, and who spreads love all over. One suspects it was the author rewriting the story of her difficult childhood, being brought up by a dour grandmother.

one is reminded of the wonderful film Saving Mr Banks, where Walt Disney tells Mrs. Travers what they are actually doing in their books:

Walt Disney: George Banks and all he stands for will be saved. Maybe not in life, but in imagination. Because that's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.

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