Saturday, March 29, 2014

Peter Pan

I first read J. M. Barrie's novel while I was writing Dirty Little Secret, my epic Arrested Development fic. Those who read it will know that Gob's got strong opinions about Peter Pan, and the author's psychological issues about family. I do personally think the novel is a lot darker than the Disney animated film. For one thing, Barrie lists "murder" among the mundane things that kids keep in their crowded imaginations, and Peter Pan is described as rather selfish and sadistic in the book. He starves the Lost Boys so that they'll fit into the tree holes, and apparently he kills some boys now and then. He also forgets friends and enemies alike, especially after he kills them. He is much more callous and less heroic in the book than in the cartoon. Peter Pan lets people get into danger, and then saves them at the last minute to show off how clever he is. It's not because he actually knows about moral right and wrong. He can be quite a vicious kid, and Barrie comments often that the other children are cruel and thoughtless too, including the Darlings who blithely stay in Neverland for what seems like months, not worried at all about their parents. It's certainly much longer than the few nights that are depicted in the films.


I recently caught up on the Cosmos episodes so far. I liked the episode on evolution where Neil told the story of how wolves turned into dogs. Glad he included the part of "self-selection" and the wolves choosing to domesticate humans (much like cats have trained humans to be their servants). I've said before that I don't understand why creationists insist that apes shouldn't be around anymore if humans descended from them. Dogs clearly descended from wolves, and yet both species exist today.

Then Neil contrasted how polar bears evolved from brown bears (grizzlies) through natural selection, and he rebutted the Intelligent Design argument that the human eye is too perfect to be randomly created. Anybody who wears glasses or contacts can tell you that the eye is not perfect at all, and human eyesight is very poor compared to other animals' eyes, like those of raptors or fish. Humans don't have the best sense of smell, sense of hearing, and plenty of other stuff. It's only our brains that helped us dominate the planet, when physically speaking we're pretty disadvantaged and underpowered. Not that creationists will listen to Neil, of course, but perhaps there are some rational folks who can be reached by this show. Plus science doesn't have to be incompatible with religion. Some scientists are religious, but they know that their faith can't and shouldn't be proved. Religion is personal and shouldn't be publicly argued or shoved onto other people at the expense of education.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Well it's almost April already, and I haven't been blogging much. Still trying to write, and I started reading the first Bess Crawford mystery, A Duty to the Dead. Not bad so far, though I hope the mystery solution won't be as disappointing as the other book I read in January.

I'm disappointed but not surprised that the Appeals Court upheld the Texas anti-abortion law. Nothing I can do about it but keep sending money to Wendy Davis to turn Texas blue. I'll have to remember to vote in the run-off elections soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Veronica Mars

I haven't watched the TV show in years, so I was glad that the movie provided backstory for newbies. I still didn't remember certain characters like Gia, but I managed to get a lot of the in-jokes, and I enjoyed the movie. The dialogue was great, and I appreciated that the mystery wasn't some stupid serial-killer trope. It was great hearing the snarky banter with all of Veronica's friends and getting to appreciate her relationship with her dad again. The dark class-war stuff reminded me how dystopian the fictional Neptune is. It's odd that Rob Thomas mentions Chinatown when he discusses a possible sequel movie. To me, it's already Chinatown, with the privileged classes buying their way, while the heroes fight corruption and forces beyond their control. I do hope the movie succeeds enough to continue. I wouldn't mind a Veronica Mars franchise. Perhaps there will be another quasi-crossover with more Arrested Development actors appearing in it.

In the mean time, I'm debating whether to see the next Captain America movie for Black Widow. Seeing her do more might be good, but I'm worried they might revert her character to how she was in Iron Man 2, when she was mostly used for sexual innuendo and catsuit fighting. I saw a couple of Black Widow action figures at the toy store, and was disappointed in how her boobs were emphasized; I guess I shouldn't have expected any better. I want some real character depth, and I don't like comic book movies purely for comic books. I skipped the latest Thor, Spiderman, and Superman films without interest. They say that Wonder Woman will make an appearance in the Batman-Superman thing, but they could easily screw her up. She could be more like Catwoman or a damsel in distress than a Greek warrior with grace and brains and courage. They might make her crippled by stupid emotional issues, or make her part of a pointless love triangle. Why can't she have her own movie? Her own show again?

Oh well. It's just dumb entertainment to take my mind off horrible politics and the dystopia that we do actually live in.