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Today is a cutlass day - Tactical Ninja

Jun. 7th, 2013

09:17 am - Today is a cutlass day

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So the YoT's been doing circus classes as well. He wanted to do something to improve his overall strength, flexibility and fitness, and so far he's done 5 weeks of classes. They've covered adagio, juggling, balance stuff, static trapeze, and last night, tissu. He's discovered that he's got really good balance but his flexibility is.. challenged? Basically, when he started, he could only get as far as his knees when attempting to touch his toes.

I'm told this happens when you grow fast. He grew from 5'7" to 6'6" over three years. So yeah, all his tendons and stuff are still trying to catch up with his bones. Anyway, after 5 weeks, he can now reach halfway down his shins. That's pretty good progress I reckon. When I mentioned this to DoomBoy, he pointed out that a lot of men can't sit with their legs at 90 degrees to their back. I was kind of shocked at this - I'd thought that was a basic level of flexibility that pretty much everyone had.

Anyway, that did put yesterday's whinge somewhat into perspective for me. I'm aware that I'm trying to do things that plenty of people don't even contemplate. And as one of my fellow class members (incidentally, two of whom are named Oleg wtf?) said, the goalposts are always moving. First you want to touch your toes, then you want to do a perfect pike, next thing you know you're going for a double backward somersault. And I'm lucky enough to have a level of health, strength and flexibility that allows me to consider these things as possible if I try hard enough. But I reserve the right to occasionally get disheartened because I work really fucking hard at this, and lack of progress is just as frustrating whether you're trying to improve basic fitness or do advanced gymnastics. Also, I'm surrounded by people who can do these things. Comparisons suck, but there you go - the bar for me is 'can press to handstand'. And I'm below it.

Meanwhile, we've been watching Game of Thrones. Who hasn't, right? I'm not about to do spoilers because that'd be mean, but I'm enjoying the continuation of the series. I like the believability of the world that's been built, and there are enough interesting characters and story arcs to keep my mind occupied. Also, dragons. Duh. But.. I don't think I'd like the author if I were to meet him. The glee with which he insults his female characters is .. fricking hair-raising, actually. I'm aware that the world he's created is misogynistic. I'm also aware that the series passes the Bechdel test and that many of the main female characters are strong and exercise power in their own way. That's awesome - but last night we watched the Red Wedding episode, and for me it was just wall-to-wall misogynistic behaviour towards women. There wasn't a story arc that didn't involve the insulting, denigration, threatening, violence towards, or objectification of a woman - and in most cases, the women passively accepting it. It was cringeworthy, and while the storylines justify it, as I said above it's the gleeful way in which the viewer is sprayed with it that bothers me.

I won't stop watching because hey, good story. But yeah, there's enough blood, guts and sex, enough morally grey areas, to make the series edgy already, and it seems the author (and creators of the series) like their misogyny just a little too much. Just saying. But.. DRAGONS!

Also as an aside, I just finished the first book in the Wheel of Time series. Seems there are a lot of themes from that world that have found their way into Dragon Age. Hmm..

Finally, fibre artists, knitters, crocheters and folks who like string! You should check these out. They are pretty, they are cheap, and the money will go to a good cause. Also, the lady who made them is cool. Yup. Buy eeeeeet....

Comments:

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From:m_danson
Date:June 6th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
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So far I've avoided Game of Thrones, books and shows. It just isn't where my head is at so it hasn't enticed me. I'll probably be 10 years behind everyone else.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 6th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
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I've been like that about Dr Who. I watched the season with Christopher Eccleston, but sort of dropped off watching after David Tennant took over. Apparently this ruins my geek cred or something.
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From:m_danson
Date:June 6th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
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Ha. Me too. Some of my friends have been trying hard to get me to watch it but I've been... meh. I like reading plot and character descriptions from the show but somehow the show itself hasn't grabbed me. It's on my "I'll read the fanfic and memes but not the source material" list.
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From:siobhan63
Date:June 6th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
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Sure, GoT is misogynistic but shit, life was back in the middle ages (OK, so it's not set in the real middle ages, but he did largely base it on real events from English history, which I've never studied, so have no real clue). Ironically, it doesn't bother me in GoT (probably because it's fantastical) whereas I CANNOT watch Mad Men because of the inherent sexism that existed in the 60s. Probably because it's too real for me, and having experienced shit like that first hand during the 70s and 80s (and even in the 90s when I worked for the Japanese), no thank you, don't need that shit in a TV show that I'm suppose to watch for my own enjoyment.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 6th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I get that the world is written like that in an attempt to be a realistic society, and the way they're cruel to Tyrion Lannister reflects that it's not just women who suffer in that society.

However, I don't think it's necessary to focus as much on the disempowerment of women as they do in order to get that realism across - and that's my objection. The writer, and the show's creators, seem to enjoy putting as much of that in as possible, in as offensive a way as possible.

Oddly, while Mad Men still makes me go *gnng* at it, it bothers me less - even though the sexism in there is more familiar. I don't pretend to understand the difference.
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From:siobhan63
Date:June 6th, 2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
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It's weird how people react to things. Mad Men hits too close to home for me, so I can't watch it (same with The Office - never found that the least bit funny because I've worked in majorly dysfunctional workplaces), but GoT is completely unreal so I just accept it as is.

We were watching a rerun of that British classic, Yes Minister some weeks back, an episode where the Minister wanted to try to get more women into the civil service, much to Sir Humphrey's dismay. So there were many lines about why women weren't suitable for positions of power, etc., and I found it really funny, because it was so dated, but my husband just started RAGING at the TV and we had to turn it off! He was completely offended by the program, didn't see anything funny about it at all.

Similarly, my sister will not watch anything with violence in it, while that never bothers me at all because I know it's fake. But I can't stand real violence - won't even watch boxing matches, because that's real.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 6th, 2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
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I think maybe for me the difference is that with Mad Men, they seem to be trying to present an accurate representation of the early 60s, and while the sexism is both horrible and frequent, it's not over the top. It is realistic and that's a bit ouchy, but the producers of the show don't appear to be throwing it in gratuitously. Whereas with GoT, it's almost as if they are trying to rub our noses in it, going "Hey, look what we can get away with in the name of entertainment!" and it makes me grind my teeth.

It is weird what bothers some people and not others, eh? Personally, I'm less bothered by sex than by violence, in almost complete turnaround from what the censors seem to think I should be bothered by. But what really gets me is coercion. That shit makes me ill, and I've walked out of movies before because of it.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 6th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
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One of the things I enjoyed about Mass Effect was that some of the companion quests didn't involve fighting. And while I know a bunch of people objected to it and I haven't personally tried it, I also liked that they gave the player the option of a 'fighting lite' style game in ME3 that focused more on story development than combat. To be fair, they also offered a combat-heavy option that cut out a lot of the story. You'd think that'd please everyone, but there were some self-described 'hardcore' gamers out there who thought that offering a low-combat option somehow detracted from it's credibility as a 'real' game.

Those people can kiss my arse. In a totally non-violent way.
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From:rivet
Date:June 6th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
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I only made it about 3-4 episodes into GoT. It was simply too rapey for me. Likewise Mad Men--creepy Stepford wife norms. I think I'm just to sensitive to this stuff to watch it for entertainment.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 6th, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
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I'm kind of of the view that if I stopped watching anything that I notice that kind of thing in, my choices would be very limited. I try very hard to not do that to myself, and sometimes it's a mental battle because ideally I'd live in a world where I wouldn't have to constantly compromise my principles in order to enjoy media.

I think where that line is, and what they are willing to tolerate for the sake of the other things they enjoy in media, probably varies between people quite a bit.
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From:meathiel
Date:June 7th, 2013 07:15 am (UTC)
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I haven't watched S3 of GoT yet ... had to finish Doctor Who S7 first ... ;-)
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From:siobhan63
Date:June 8th, 2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
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Did you know that George R R Martin blogs here on livejournal? http://grrm.livejournal.com/
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From:tatjna
Date:June 9th, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
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I didn't! Thanks for the headsup. ;-)
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From:fushia_darkness
Date:June 16th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
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The dragons are the only reason I watch that series.
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