Sunday, August 2, 2009

Twilight at Comic-Con: The Feminization of Fantasy

I half expect a South Park Episode to come out any day now, based on the tween girl explosions over vampires and fantasy: "Reading is Gay." Fantasy, a realm formerly associated with nerdy males and authors like Robert E. Howard ("Conan the Cimmerian") or H Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines, Allan Quatermain), or Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan, John Carter of Mars), is now thoroughly the province of tween girls. Not only did the Twilight fans (including Twilight Moms) take over Comic-Con, but even lesser works such as "the Vampire Diaries" far overshadow conventional fantasy in sales and attention.

This marks another, mostly male sphere, that is now switched to a mostly female sphere. However, the problem for publishers, writers, and the entertainment industry at large is that males will simply withdraw from something so absolutely, and irrevocably female. Making fantasy a tough sell once the tween fad runs out (as mega-stars Leif Erickson and Scott Baio). Which means in an extended recession/depression, the regular income streams that male readers used to give fantasy publishers simply won't be there any more. As males consider fantasy just another female-gay ghetto, and tween girls inevitably grow up, and move on to the next fad. The cultural damage, both to girls views about men and male behavior, and the erosion of the male-heroic fantasy, are far worse than the commercial impact, of course.


Part of the problem is structural. Female editors, agents, and publishing executives only want female writers, catering to female readers, writing female subjects because that is all they know (female editors, agents, and publishing execs are of course clueless about what men and boys want to read). Because the market for tween girl fantasy, for now, is lucrative. Catering to fantasies about powerful, "sexy" girls and women who have several super-powered, supernatural male beings competing for their favors. A look at the audiences for say, the Harry Potter premiere, can tell a careful observer why these themes are so remunerative: see here, or here, or here.

Even Disney does not get it. "the Kid Whisperer" as focus group guru Kelly Pena styles herself, is not the person I'd bet on to discover what sort of entertainment boys like. The quote from the article says it all:

While Disney XD is aimed at boys and their fathers, it is also intended to include girls. “The days of the Honeycomb Hideout, where girls can’t come in, have long passed,” said Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide.


Of course boys need their separate spheres of entertainment. Anything intended to include girls will have boys abandoning it in haste. As you get inevitably, entertainment and attitudes that are far too "girly" for boys to enjoy. Boys have different needs when it comes to stories and entertainment, simply making "Lizzy McGuire" a guy won't cut it, note Disney's increases have come mainly from girls attracted by the marketing push to Disney XD.

There's no denying that girls and women have disposable income. That it's wise to target them. But relying almost exclusively on women and girls for entertainment customers means that men and boys are driven out of the marketplace by "girly" emphasis on emotions, masculine behavior men and boys find distasteful, particularly competition over women and girls, and men and their expected behavior and status no male could ever approach, or want to approach.

TV, over the decades, starting in the 1970's, most likely, has become a female (and gay) wasteland. So too, most movies excluding big action-adventure comic book and similar type movies. Men don't watch TV, for the most part, and have abandoned everything but the Michael Bay extravaganza at the multiplex. This means increased reliance on "hits" instead of steady, money-making films that can be produced by formula, as Hollywood did in it's Golden Age: Gangster pictures, Westerns, Romances, Family films, broad comedies, and the like.

Then of course, there is the impact the Twilight fans had at traditionally male, nerdy, Comic-con. Negative reaction here (there were also complaints about how the Twilight fans disrupted the other events staged at the same time). Video below:



The website Dlisted had an account of the Twilight Moms showing up at Comic-Con here. Below are the Twilight Fans at Comic-Con:


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General reaction by long-time male fans attending Comic-Con was not positive. Though some did not feel it was all that bad. Check the link for the sign saying Twilight ruined Comic-Con. That was not uncommon reportedly at the site.

You can see this in the marketplace. For example, "Vampire Diaries: the Awakening and the Struggle" by L. J. Smith had a ranking of #277 in books (overall), and #1 in Books > Teens > Series, #11 in Books > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Love & Romance, and #15 in Books > Children's Books > Literature > Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Horror > Spine-Chilling Horror.

The Editorial Review is:

Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her.

Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

L. J. Smith has written more than two dozen books for children and young adults. She lives in the Bay Area of California, but is happiest in a little cabin near Point Reyes National Park, which has lots of trees, lots of animals, lots of beaches to walk on, and lots of places to hike.


Meanwhile, fantasy writer Glen Cook, who is at least a prolific a writer as Smith, has one of his latest novels, at #56,323 in Books.

The editorial review for "Cruel Zinc Melodies" is:

"Garrett's newest visitors are a pack of lovelies led by his main squeeze Tinnie Tate and her friend, Alyx Weider, the spoiled daughter of the largest brewer in town. Her father needs Garrett's help-his workers are being attacked by everything from giant insects to ghosts. Garrett takes the case. After all, working for the Weiders means free beer. But it also means serious danger."


Clearly, if you are a publisher, you'd rather have the Vampire Diaries than Cruel Zinc Melodies. But there is a catch. Smith's older books do not sell very well, Witchlight is ranked #2,913,969 in Books, while Sweet Silver Blues by Cook, an older title, is ranked #232,307 in Books, an order of magnitude better than Smith.

Vampires are a fad. The very fact that all those tween girls are screaming their lungs out at Comic-Con, means that six years from now the whole concept will be as dead as Lonely Werewolf Girl (sales rank #315,308 in Books) and Hanson.

In the meantime, however, publishers and entertainment houses will have convinced men and boys that "reading is gay" and moreover, fantasy is a place where tween girls and their moms scream over tween girl idols. Not anything for them. The cost of all that tween girl money today is no male money in years to come in the fantasy genre.

The result will be even more young girls with rather skewed and unhealthy ideas about men, male behavior, and greater contempt for "beta males" who don't measure up to the standards of fantasy. Many but not all the type that would not generate much male attention on their own (clearly some attractive girls like the stories):


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We will see more ordinary men and boys, as a result further alienated and disconnected from ordinary women and girls. Religion in decline, particularly church attendance, and harried single mothers, amplify the effect that popular culture has in teaching girls and boys how "correct" relationships are formed, and what the image of the opposite sex should look like in behavior and dynamics. Twilight is perhaps the most single hideous conception yet perpetrated on the American public.

For boys, Twilight paints a deeply offensive model of masculinity, one that almost none of them can reach, and one that runs counter to every tale of masculine heroics from the Odyssey to Beowulf, to say Indiana Jones. The traditional values of protection, self-sacrifice, honor, duty, loyalty, and so on which are rewarded, are inverted into a bleak and bitter parody that boys (and men) know that they can never reach. Captain America and Superman may be beyond copying as far as actual abilities, but men acting like those characters in terms of basic behavior in daily life is a net plus, and in fact Western Society has depended on it (which is why it's told those stories, over and over again, from 1200 BC or so with the Odyssey). This male behavior, which is deeply Western, pre-dates Christianity (see Beowulf) though it is compatible with it, unsurprising considering how Greek-humanist Christianity really is, and is unique to the West. No other culture tells these stories of male self-sacrifice that in the end wins the girl, over and over and over again. Men don't act like Edward Cullen in the West, at least that is not many Middle Class White Men. Most don't want to. Still.

Edward Cullen wins the girl in Twilight by being the most dominant and controlling male in Bella's life. Superman wins Lois Lane by being ... mostly Clark Kent, the mild mannered reporter. Lois herself is independent, and while lacking powers has opinions and a mind to match her beauty. This is the male heroic model that worked, that built Western Civilization, and males resent it's overthrow by the female-tween fantasies of Twilight and other vampire-fantasy fads. Lois is desirable because she's winnable, and winnable by more than just superpowers and wealth and power, otherwise Lex Luthor would have married her. Her very independence and intelligence make her winnable, by Clark Kent not Superman, and it means she stays won. Clark does not have to constantly mate-guard her like Cullen does Bella.

For girls, Twilight teaches them to be passive, eschew education and a career, forget a traditional family with a traditional husband who while not "sexy and dangerous" is faithful and loving, and sacrifice warm, loving, and emotionally intimate relations based on the mind as well as raw sexual desire, for pure adrenaline based excitement. Twilight explicitly teaches girls to abandon their minds and intellect for their emotions and lusts. In short, a how-to for girls to enter into inevitably abusive and emotionally destructive bad-boy relationships, in the desire to "change" and control a powerful, dangerous man.

But even more destructive is the myth that a girl can be seventeen forever. That age will not take it's toll on beauty and male attention, that a woman can be free of adult responsibility and duty, including that of family and career and earnings and compromises that human beings must always make, in favor of an adolescence that never ends.

That is the true horror story of the feminization of fantasy. A more horrible story than H.P. Lovecrafts Cthulhu could possibly imagine.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great job again Whiskey. My question would be where then do you see boys/men's attention/entertainment dollars going? As a result of the SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy) takeover where can men go to see positive role models and examples of masculine behavior?

I ranted about this over @ www.gentlemanscorner.net . Blew my wad on production and gearing up for more. I do think they need to be funnier and campier. I think people watching them don't realize whether I'm serious or being tongue-in-cheek.

All the best and keep up the good work!

boarwild

Anonymous said...

"While Disney XD is aimed at boys and their fathers, it is also intended to include girls. “The days of the Honeycomb Hideout, where girls can’t come in, have long passed,” said Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide."

Rich Ross is, of course, gay:

http://out.com/exclusives.asp?id=23590

Anonymous said...

Let's get straight to the point here:

Women instinctively hate Western society. They hate the fact that beta nerds like Bill Gates and Barack Obama accrue all the status and power. It creates a ton of cognitive dissonance for them.

They would much prefer a primitive society where all the status and power is concentrated in the most aggressive, violent, physically dominant man. That's why they are so attracted to Marxism. If everyone, theoretically, had the same money, power, and status, there would be no disincentive to fucking alpha thugs.

Fundamentally, I don't think women care much about the overall standard of living. What bothers them is the conflict between choosing wealth and power or an alpha stud. I'm pretty sure the destruction of beta-male-refuge Comic-Con is something they'll celebrate, along with the destruction of the comics industry, which confers status upon beta authors.

Anonymous said...

OT:

"The Goode Family" (SWPL-bashing Mike Judge show) is apparently getting snuffed out by ABC.

All of the full episodes have been removed from Hulu and the ABC web site.

Jeff Burton said...

Couple of points:

A) I had read a lot of fantasy as a teenager and nothing since. I came across an article by Orson Scott Card recommending some contemporary fantasy and decided to pick up a couple. The first one had an endorsement by "Romantic Times Book Reviews". Fits your thesis, but my reaction was "huh?" BGW, it was crap and after googling a bit I realized it was just Card plugging a fellow Mormon's work.

B) I have five sons, the oldest of whom are teenagers so I interact with a fair number of teenage girls. Some of these encounters evolve into informal "focus groups" in which I try to figure out what makes them tick. The subject of Twilight comes up a lot and your worst fears are regularly confirmed. I've had girls tell me that boys should read Twilight in order to better understand girls and (presumably) to be able to behave like the males in the book.

Whiskey said...

Interesting about the Goode Family Anon. I expected it.

Other Anon -- I don't think women like the primitivism, that seems to be a more male fantasy, because hunter-gatherers are very "flat." A hunter-gather society is dominated by the fundamental aspect of food being very scarce and requiring lots of cooperation to get, and equal sharing. Even the mightiest hunter can and will have bad luck, while an inept one might have a great day a the fish weir. Hunter Gather societies as documented both by Nicholas Wade ("Before the Dawn") and Thomas Keeley ("War Before Civilization") tend to be tribal, flat, no real hierarchy, and concerned nearly all the time with getting something to eat. If you have ever seen those Survivor Man episodes on TV with Les Stroud, or the Bear Grills episodes on Discovery, you'll see what I mean. Hunting and fishing requires very "nerdy" attributes -- intimate and abstract reasoning about where animals can be found, what their habits are, their relative levels of spookiness/wariness, other predators about, when they can be found, quirky habits, levels of aggression, and other dangers (such as rutting and territorial moose, big animals if provoked quite capable of killing a person).

It's Agricultural and Pastoral societies that put an emphasis on social control and patronage dominance, the "Big Man" or Prince, King, Dear Leader, and the like (yes Marxism is another version of Kingship and nobility) where technical excellence is irrelevant and the ability to seize control and dole out patronage resources are paramount.

Women do have a strong preference for that sort of thing, see the Disney Princesses of pop-tart or animated variety. There's nothing wrong with it as long as it's not out of hand and moderated by a social network and controls that remind women and girls it's just a fantasy.

Did not know Rich Ross was gay. Well, that's pretty illustrative. How well a Gay executive can reach boys is questionable at best, I think.

ironrailsironweights said...

Vampires are oh-so-trendy right now, witness the popularity of Twilight, but it remains to be seen whether the trend has any staying power. My reasoned guess is that within a year or two the tween market will have moved onto something else and vampires will be totally last year.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Whiskey-

I wrote the three 1:52 to 2:37 anon comments.

Re: Rich Ross

Based on his statement, I immediately assumed that he was gay. I just typed "rich ross disney gay" into Google to confirm it. Only a homo man would be incapable of understanding (or hostile to) the need for hetero-male-only spaces.

Re: Primitive/H-G Societies

When I said "primitive", I didn't intend to point toward any particular paradigm in human history. My intended implication was that a society which catered to the basest of female impulses would necessarily be "primitive" in its values.

Re: The Goode Family

I don't watch much ABC, but based on what I know about the network's treatment (summer launch, bad timeslot) of this show I also thought that they intended to let it die it from the get-go. What upset me about pulling it off the web is that it reeks of murder rather than just neglect. I find it almost impossible to believe that anyone was losing money by letting the episodes (with ads, which I gladly endured) be delivered on the internet. Which means that the network execs went out of their way, sacrificing revenue, to kill a show they didn't like for ideological reasons.

Whiskey said...

Exactly Anon -- sacrificing internet revenue to feed their ideological biases.

Metatron said...

Re-"I half expect a South Park Episode to come out any day now, based on the tween girl explosions over vampires and fantasy:"

It already has, Season 12, ep 14 - ungroundable

Anonymous said...

In a milder form, I agree with your ideas re: Twilight. I'm not a fan; they're horrific.
Seriously, curiously, have you actually read them? the 4 of them?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Heh, you want some pissed off folks, try the geek *girls* from ComiCon.

Let's just say that if I ever get to make it to the show, I'm going to make DANG sure I'm in costume so I don't get mistaken for these annoying tweets!

(To be fair, though, Cruel Zinc Melodies is kinda old-ish, starts off rather slow and is deep in the series-- might explain why it's not as high of a seller.)

My only hope is that David Weber will get a chance to go back to his fantasy series with the War God's Champion-- maybe by using the "hook" that one of the champs is a woman. Hey, silver lining....

Have you read Mercedes Lackey's (non-Luna) stuff? Where would you put it on the geek rankings? (I'd put the one with the horses as a better written, earlier version of Twilight; her urban fantasies are a bit more enjoyable as sf/fant instead of "girl" books.)

Anonymous said...

Male geeks have migrated heavily to anime.

The female characters in anime act considerably more feminine than American girls do.

This may lead to a generation of male geek who consider Asian women to be more sexually desirable than white women.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

"May"?
My husband had Asian Fever so bad that I didn't even consider trying to date him before he asked me out. ^.^ Didn't stop him from finding a good geek girl who looks more like a hobbit than a lovely Anime gal. Same pattern holds for the other geeks I know who are into anime and have solid relationships.
(which, come to think of it, means "are married"-- it's always to a woman geek that shares a couple of fandoms)

That said, Clamp-- an (at least mostly) woman manga/anime company-- has some dang fine anime that's accessible to girl geeks without being big on emasculating men. (Guessing the Twilight gals wouldn't go for the fan subed versions, and given that voice-over anime tends to bite the wax tadpole.)

Worth pointing out that the main characters of anime seldom look Asian to any degree-- Naruto has the highest number I can think of, off the top of my head, and that's mostly if you discount funky hair colors.

Whiskey said...

I've read about halfway through one book (Twilight) at the bookstore. Terrible. Makes Tom Clancy (I tried reading Red October, only made it halfway through) look like Tolstoy.

Jason said...

It occurs to me that if this is a culture war, it's Napoleon in Russia all over again. It takes a lot of money and effort for the French to advance into Russian territory, and almost nothing for the Russians to retreat. All the French win are empty towns containing nothing to eat.

I'm not worried about the future of boys. Any cardboard box can become the next "He-Man Woman Haters Club". And when the girls get there, all they find is another empty box.

But I'm afraid the consequences will be as disastrous for the girls as it was for Napoleon.

Grim said...

Jason said:

I'm not worried about the future of boys. Any cardboard box can become the next "He-Man Woman Haters Club". And when the girls get there, all they find is another empty box.


You should be. Men are almost out of males dominated spaces. We already lost all our real life role models and now all we have left our fictional ones. The day men tell women to go fuck themselves and take the life boats off the titanic is the day our civilization comes to an end.

Our lives will consist of men killing men in all hopes of Female favor. While the women indulge themselves and spend 1500 years of capital men built.

Jason said...

Any place men go is a male-dominated space.

Men abandoning feminized forms of institutional media may spell the end of media. But most media was of marginal value anyway. I'll miss some of it, but it's no great loss. Men still exist, and they're still doing the stuff men do.

Lawful Neutral said...

I have some insight into this one, because I've seen exactly the same thing happen in a subculture I enjoy, and in the long run I doubt it will be as big a problem as you fear, Whiskey.

In the 1990's, a little game called 'Vampire: The Masquerade' hit it big and brought many more women and girls into pen-and-paper roleplaying games than had been seen before. 'Vampire' professed to be about character, mood, interpersonal drama, and introspection, as opposed to the combat and map-exploration of traditional 'Dungeons and Dragons.' D&D's then-publisher, TSR, tried to ape 'Vampire' by constantly haranguing its players about the unsuitability of juvenile "hack-and-slash" or "dungeon crawl" gaming (the very style of play that made D&D a huge hit!). Open any roleplaying book or magazine from the mid-'90s and you will find pages of advocacy for 'story' and 'character,' and bottomless scorn for the combat-heavy traditional mode.

At this time, I was a lad, and my friends and I were just getting into the hobby; naturally we tried to put all this advice and instruction into practice. We generally found the experience mediocre at best, and nearly unbearable at worst. The only session of 'Vampire' I ever enjoyed was based on a group of heavily-armed but heavily-outclassed humans rooting out a nest of vampires; it was a classic "dungeon crawl" in vampire drag.

To make a long story short, TSR lost money hand-over-fist. It was bought out and the new company brought D&D back to its roots (or at least part of the way). White Wolf, 'Vampire's' publisher, is still around, but it's nowhere near the juggernaut it was. My gaming group eventually realized that despite being told we shouldn't, we liked to prioritize combat and exploration over characters and relationships.

The floodwaters will recede, and yes, the landscape will be changed, but you won't be knee-deep in this nonsense forever.

Anonymous said...

"Which means that the network execs went out of their way, sacrificing revenue, to kill a show they didn't like for ideological reasons"

The powers that be have a history of doing this to Mike Judge. Just look at what happened to "Idioacracy"

Tschafer

Anonymous said...

"'Vampire' professed to be about character, mood, interpersonal drama, and introspection, as opposed to the combat and map-exploration of traditional 'Dungeons and Dragons.'"

Yeah, I remember that. I read through the main Vampire book and the tone seemed to be "only an immature degenerate would use rules and dice to determine the outcome of a situation, but here are some rules you can use if/when you find it necessary to go that route".

We tried to keep an atmosphere of creativity/comedy/role-playing/problem solving in our games, but we really delighted in tinkering with our home brewed hodge-podge of systems and universes. We expressed our creativity through constantly refining and breaking the rules rather than obliterating them and playing pure make-believe.

I always thought it was strange how paper-and-pencil games were more stigmatized than frat-boy video games like GTA or Halo or even MMORPGs. It's a much healthier mode of play - emphasizing the mind over the thumbs, being fundamentally verbal and social, emphasizing long-term relationships and thinking ahead. I'm not saying that I don't understand why the stigma is there, I just don't think that it's rationally justifiable.

"The powers that be have a history of doing this to Mike Judge. Just look at what happened to "Idiocracy""

Good lord, tell me about it. The film was on Comedy Central last night and has become a regular part of the rotation. It seems to be on the same path to cult-hit status as Office Space. When I think about it, I feel like the minority advocates who complain about "predatory lending"... Why can't Judge find a studio that actually wants to get the most out of his work? Surely, not everyone is so blinded by their isms that they'll turn away the undervalued Judge.

Obviously, there are fewer viable media entities than there are banks. But I can't understand why Judge seems to get so consistently shafted by the established media. Are they throwing him "offers he can't refuse" just so they can suppress his work? Hard to believe. Why didn't Fox, of all networks, pick up his new show to replace his incredibly consistent old show? While they give Seth McDouchebag a 3rd show!

Why is a man with such a consistently successful track record always treated as an unknown commodity? It's almost enough to make one into a conspiracy theorist.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Why is a man with such a consistently successful track record always treated as an unknown commodity? It's almost enough to make one into a conspiracy theorist.

No conspiracy needed-- whose work makes a lot of sue-happy morons who can't tell the difference between disagreeing with them and being evil go absolutely bonkers with a need to destroy?

Who gets accused of racism for going on what folks can do, and who gets away with calling minorities on the other side race traitors?

Shoot, doesn't take a genius to know that it's safer to spit on a Marine than a PETA-head-- the Marine has too much honor and dignity to beat the @#$# out of you, but the PETA guy will bury you in nuisance lawsuits.

Oekedulleke said...

And some people wonder why I prefer to play video games, and dont watch any tv or read any fiction books anymore.

PC games are the only place where I can enjoy a pure male fantasy world like warhammer 40K, where even the 'good guys' aren't above comitting a little genocide in the name of the greater good.

Oh and did I mention ? 'There is only war'

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*snort* Dude, you need to pick up the books! My husband has a pile knee-tall of Warhammer books, both flavors.

To @#$# depressing for my taste, although I did get through that vampire lady book.

Look for Dan Abnett-- my husband and brother both swear by him.

Oekedulleke said...

Perhaps I should :-)

I never played the tabletop games, so I came straight from the Dawn of war series. Its been loads of fun to read about the different races on all the wiki's and sites dedicated to the universe.

As for it being depressing, guess its just my taste. When it comes to manga, I also prefer some dark cyberpunk :-)

feeblemind said...

This may be off topic, Whiskey, but an anecdote: Some years ago I asked a Catholic woman if the Catholic Church should allow women to be priests. She said no. I was a little surprised and asked why? She replied that it was her experience in organizations, that when women were unhappy with the job men were doing and stepped into help, men inevitably leave and women are left doing all the work. Her thinking was that if women became priests, men would become even less involved with the Church than they already were. It was an interesting thought. Not long after that I happened to hit a Sunday morning sermon on the radio, saying essentially the same thing, it dovetailed with the line, "A man shall serve the Lord and a wife shall serve her husband." but the gist of it was that there is such a thing as men's work and women should not intrude. I wish I could tell you what part of scripture they were quoting but I can't. The point of the story I think is that there does indeed need to be a 'Honeycomb Hideout' for men, and that if you impose women on men in certain circumstances, the men will simply leave the women to their own devices. I was quite surprised to see this recognized in the Bible. Anyway, I probably made that clear as mud. My two cents on the post.

demosophist said...

I haven't ever heard of Twilight, but figure it must be the time when the light "twies and evenuwawy succeeds in suwenduwing to dawkness".

I tried to watch an episode of "The Goode Family" on fancast awhile ago, but ABC insists on installing it's proprietary software, which never seems to work on my system, so I pretty much gave up on the Fancast ABC stuff.

At least *Kings* had the virtue of being male-skewed, which was probably more a legacy of the original material than the dramatization. Faced with the necessity of turning "David" into a PC character in the next season they probably just gave up. Couldn't squeeze the plot into the stereotype, butterflies or no butterflies.

Lawful Neutral said...

I don't understand all the love for 'Idiocracy;' I was pretty underwhelmed by it. Yes, the movie had a few funny moments, but it can't hold a candle to 'Office Space,' or even 'King of the Hill.'

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Repackaged Malthus is always popular with folks who don't like how society is heading-- which, going off of history, is 90% of the folks who think themselves bright....

(Isn't there a bit of tablet from old Athens bemoaning Kids These Days?)

It had some decent funnies, and made a few points-- would've been more entertaining if I wasn't already familiar with the philosophy.

Anonymous said...

"Vampires are oh-so-trendy right now."

We are about to enter the fifth decade in which I've heard this line. Vampire movies became especially popular in the 1960s (Hammer), followed by vampire RPGs, vampire CCGs, vampire TV shows (Buffy was an ginormous hit), and, now finally, vampire movies again. Every decade the audience for vampire entertainment has grown.

Anonymous said...

"(Isn't there a bit of tablet from old Athens bemoaning Kids These Days?)"

Yeah, I think I saw that too, somewhere.

I think I also remember that the Greeks degenerated and were overtaken and all their smart folk taken captive as slaves to another empire.

Yeah, you are right

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

428 B.C.

The Greek philosopher Plato (428-347) who would study under Socrates (d-399) is born this year. Plato like Socrates complained about the youth. What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them? Old Andrew says these sayings "are not genuine, although they are widely quoted".


Roman conquest of Greece didn't get started until 200 BC.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Can I just say I was following you until about a third of the way in. At that point, I started chuckling to myself. Whiskey, and all of the commenters...you are all delving way too far into this. Listen, as with all fads, this will fade. No worries! You will once again have your precious "boy's club" back.

Anonymous said...

I may be A nerd, but I didn't vote for Obama because he's not A real nerd. He's A communist who released convicted minority felons, panders to women, and the poor for votes, and welcomes illegal immigrants.

Plus, the fact that Rich Ross is gay totally explains why Disney Channel is such A girly network these days. A guy like Ross would never appreciate A rich scottish duck who goes on adventures, or good quality animation made with A pencil.

Anonymous said...

It is not smart business to try to meld all your consumers into one please-able group, where the idea of 'unisex' dominates the decision process on what to publish. Certainly one can point out that more women buy fiction (if it has romance in it somewhere) but excluding the male market entirely for an immediate buck strikes me as beyond far-sighted. My father was the one to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy to us around the campfire, and science fiction novels by Lewis and Asimov, two genres of literature that my mother--by and large--had no interest in.

In other words, my father fostered an interest in us to branch out what type of books we read to sci-fi and--to a degree--fantasy.

Looking at the type of books in the latter category these days (like Twilight) I would not allow my children to read them, mostly due to the overuse of a dramatic, angst-ridden focus on sex and relationships, especially at an age (tweens) when they are ill-equipped to handle such things, but would feel "pushed" into it by the popularity of the series.

On our eBook site my husband and I write separate books for separate audiences... a thing fueled not by personal bias, but by consumer statistics: the adventure fiction and humor/autobiography books are largely purchased by men; the romance fiction and historical fiction are only purchased by women. And, that's OK. The two sexes are different by nature--which is also OK--so it stands to reason that one genre may appeal more to women, while most men search for something else to read than sappy romances or sparkly vampire misadventures.

Articles like this make me want to re-read the entire Hornblower series...

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prostirutas said...

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