Fellow straight men everywhere, remember to lock your doors tonight. With today’s ruling by the Supreme Court making marriage equality the law of the United States, those of us who have been following the right’s arguments against gay marriage now get to witness the accuracy of their predictions of the aftermath.
I for one totally expect the first roving band of homosexuals, marching down each and every block, kicking in the doors of any and all straight men to abduct and gay marry them against their will, about 20 minutes after sunset. Once all the straight men in America have been forcibly gay married it will be time for the real fun to begin. Before this time next Friday, I am sure the first quad-lawyer marriage will have been performed. (Shout out to those of us who actually listen to Supreme Court oral arguments, who are the only people to get that joke. Well, and faithful watchers of the Rachael Maddow Show as well I guess, but that’s cheating.) Once the four-way attorney nuptials take place, it will just be a matter of time, perched at the summit of a steep incline that happens to be carpeted with countless Slip’N Slides , until the premonitions of the right come true. What will the first slip down the slope actually be? Will it be the touching love between a man and his dog, now legalized as marriage? Farmer and sheep? Priest and altar boy? Stoner and bong? Porn addict and right hand? Lannister and Lannister?
Pop some popcorn, lock the doors up tight if there are any straight men in your abode, and let’s watch Nero fiddle his way through Sodom in the wake of the Supreme Court officially ending the golden age of Godly Merika, forcing God’s hand of protection from the US to a true God fearing, queer hating nation, Russia. I am sure the airports are flooded with Christians fleeing state persecution, seeking safety in Putin’s warm embrace. Godspeed.
Attention: All those who are against marriage equality.
I’m making fun of you. I’m making fun of your inability to understand what the words “consenting adults” have to do with relationships and marriage, not just for same sex but for any possible pairing. I’m making fun of your persecution complex, and your absurd beliefs that being forced to provide any women you employee with slut pill coverage, possibly bake a cake for someone who’s bedroom antics offend you, or actually do your job if you happen to be a court clerk or magistrate somehow equals religious persecution. (Which would be rich even if there wasn’t legitimate religious persecution taking place somewhere on the planet. Since we live in a world where people really do get killed for believing in the wrong invisible friend, your persecution act crosses the line from amusing to offensive.) I’m making fun of you because you spent decades fighting to discriminate against people only because the stuff they do in the bedroom either makes you sick or makes you really, really, really horny, but since you can’t admit that because OMGZ TehGheyS! you instead pretend it makes you sick. Seriously. Chances are next to certain that whatever any two anti-marriage equality bigots do in the bedroom would make me a bit queasy, but you don’t see me trying to stop bigot marriage, do you?
Why am I telling you that I am making fun of you when anyone with half a working brain cell would have realized the intent of my post? Have you seen the legal arguments your side used against marriage equality? They’re so bad that no one with half a working brain cell would ever think of using them in a kangaroo court, let alone at the Supreme Court. You see my dilemma. Once I assume any possible reader of this post possesses a working brain cell, I find my post quoted on Breitbart as “biting criticism of the Courts ‘legislating from the bench,’ including several chilling predictions for the future of the new America.”
A fair question. Isn’t the point of adapting a book for either the silver screen or television to tell the story told in the book? I am not suggesting that you can’t make changes due to time constraints, complexity issues, economy of character needs, or even just flat out massaging of the story, but if you are setting out to tell a story that is fundamentally different from the source material, with characters who share little other than the name and physical descriptions of their source counterparts, why not just make an all original production?
Perhaps I am being a bit hyperbolic. Let me try a different method.
It is magically the past, and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is all the rage. Any adaptation is going to have critics, and Jackson’s was no different, especially when it came to his decision to cut Tom Bombadil from the films. While there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the most pure of the book purists, most viewers didn’t miss him one bit. To be frank, Bombadil is bit of a strange character who comes out of left field, disrupts the flow of the story, and disappears never to be heard from again. He is a piece of world building, and when working with the written word, you have much more room to include things just for flavor. The films are long. Even as well done as they are, their length becomes noticeable while watching, and none of the three could really afford to be much longer.
But what if Jackson made some much more substantial changes to the story? What if he decided that bringing Gandalf back in the second film was too cheesy, and kept his “Fly, you fools” moment as his last in the films? And what if they decided that when Frodo got stung, Frodo was d-e-a-d dead. And Aragorn never pretended to be Strider, because who does that? Oh, and Éowyn was forced to marry Wormtongue and he raped her while Théoden watched, and the point of the scene wasn’t what it did mentally or physically to Éowyn, but all about its affects on Théoden? Oh, Oh, OH!!!! And it isn’t Éowyn who kills the Witch-King during the climatic battle either! Instead, it is a 11 year old boy named Olly. Cause they will never see that coming. Peter will just seed it through out the series with Aragorn and Olly nodding knowingly at each other during every scene.
I want to admit that feeling the overwhelming rage of book snobbery is a weird feeling for me. After all, Game of Thrones (yes, that’s what this post is about.) is how I found the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which has become without doubt my favorite series of novels. I started watching the show late in the second season, and had finished all the books by the start of the third season, and for the entirety of the third and fourth seasons, as I completed multiple re-reads of the series and finished all the supplemental writings on Westeros Martin had released, I defended the changes Dan and David, the showrunners (D&D), had made, often rolling my eyes at the next idiotic book snob complaint to come down the road. (Seriously, you are going to bitch that Littlefinger didn’t say “Only Cat!” when he pushed Lysa out the Moondoor? Seriously?)
I also admit that this season kind of frightened me. Seasons 3 and 4 were adapted from A Storm of Swords, a book that is chock full of climatic moments and devastating plot twists. While some characters (Sansa) had actually finished their written plots in the novels by the end of season 4, season 5 was still being set up to adapt two huge novels; novels much more slow paced than the previous one, with layer upon layer of intricate plotting. I argue that it is impossible to fully grasp the combined work that is A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons on the first read through. There is just too much going on that lies on the periphery, things the POV characters witness but never fully grasp. Perhaps this is why so many seem to feel these books are the weakest of the series, while others (myself included) feel they are the best part of the series. No matter your opinion on the books, however, after taking on a book per season for the first two, then splitting book three into two seasons, D&D were setting a mighty task for themselves by adapting the next two books into one season.
Casting news in the off season did nothing to end my fears. No Greyjoys meant the removal of one plotline (which according to next seasons casting news, may be back in some form or the other), no Griffs meant the death of another, and no Arianne and the leak that Jaime and Bronn would be going to Dorne meant that plot was also receiving a major reshuffle. Also, the recasting of Myrcella personally left a bad taste in my mouth, since I thought the job Aimee Richardson did in season 1 and 2 was excellent. And yet I still anticipated the start of the fifth season like a fucking kid waiting for Christmas. I actually subscribed to HBO this year for it.
And now, here I am, ten weeks later, having just watched a……
I don’t even know what to call it. Let me be clear. I have no idea how I would have felt about this season if I never read the books. Being a book reader is a perspective I can not turn off, no matter how much I may like to at certain times. There are some things I am fairly certain would be major issues without any book knowledge. I can not see anyone saying the time spent in Dorne this year was time well spent, and I think having Sansa’s character arc going from innocent child who believes the songs—-abused betrothed to the King—-unwilling wife of Tyrion who treats her decent yet still under threat from Cersei and Joff——being whisked away to safety——reclaiming her identity and finally becoming a player!!!——raped, locked in a room, ready to die was a bit (to say the very least) ham-fisted.
Once you add in book knowledge, or more specifically, love of the source material, it just gets so much worse. Take Jaime and Brienne for example. Here is a brief take on their story line in the novels during this time. Due to serious friction in their twincest relationship, the Queen Regent sends her brother through the Riverlands to bring the last rebels into the King’s Peace, while Brienne also sets off through the Riverlands on her quest to find and protect Sansa Stark. Brienne first meets some travelers, then finds Podrick Payne following her and the join together. Jaime enlists Ser Ilyn Payne (tongueless, remember) to join him as his sparring/drinking partner. Brienne meets some people from her past, a knight who she detests and Samwell Tarly’s dad. Jaime visits a place from his past, Harrenhal, and begins doling out justice. Brienne follows a lead in her quest and instead finds three former Brave Companions from her recent past. She is forced to kill the three, the first people she kills apparently in her life, something that she herself had wondered if she would be able to do, that her trainer doubted she could. It is a huge emotional moment for her, as well as a kicking fight scene. The knight she detests shows up at the end, joining their little crew. Jaime is killing time avoiding Riverrun, because he is trying to keep his oaths now, and he made an oath not to take up arms against the Tullys. Instead he goes to Darry to visit the new Lord of Darry, his cousin (and Cersei’s sex boy) Lancel Lannister. Lancel has changed a bit, going full on religious fanatic, hair shirt and all. He tells Jaime all about his sins, and his plans to renounce his lordship, set aside his wife and become a knight sworn to the Seven. Jaime is left disillusioned in his relationship with Cersei. The Brienne crew visit the Quiet Isle and we see a different view of the Faith than the fanatical one in King’s Landing. The Elder Brother tells Brienne much of the way the wars and violence affect the lives of men, explaining that he was a man of violence until he “died” in battle and found his way to the Quiet Island to begin his second life. Huge moment for Brienne as she tells her whole story to the Elder Brother. In the background of this location is a new recruit on the Island, The Gravedigger, who is very possibly Sandor Clegane, who “died” in violence, and has started his second life on the Island. Jaime heads off to Riverrun, facing the problem of dealing with the siege forces comprised of loyal Westerners, recent enemies who just bent the knee, and selfish, poorly disciplined Freys and getting the castle to surrender, hopefully without a great loss of life on any side, preferably without having to break his oath about fighting Tullys.
I’m going to end the recap there, because it is getting long and I think you get the point. Though the two characters do not meet until the very end of A Dance with Dragons, their stories are linked, with both characters learning about nearby plot developments through others eyes, and separately visiting places that echo with their shared past. A few of my favorite chapters in the series are POV chapters from these two characters during these missions. I think some of it is George’s best writing.
And even after writing all of that, if D&D really felt scrapping the book storyline and sending Jaime to Dorne was the right thing to do, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, until after I witnessed what they put in its place.
I really don’t know. Over 8 million people tuned in for the finale, so even though the season has been getting flayed by critics and it doesn’t seem like a rash statement to say that this was the worst season of Game of Thrones by far, it was still a huge success for HBO.
So other than Jaime and Brienne, what problems did I have with the adaptation to move me into full book snob rage mode? How much time do you have? For book fans who are similarly disgusted I urge you to stop on over at both The Cultural Vacuum and GoT G&M, two sites that offer up rather hilarious insight into the differences between show and books while definitely pulling no punches. It really is worth a visit, I promise.
I just really don’t get it. I understand that some changes will have to be made in any adaptation, but this is now barely even the same story. I know that very few people have any interest in this, so I will cut it off now, but damn….
Online reactions to the McKinney video featuring Officer David Eric Casebolt’s debut match on national television versus the 15 year old jobber girl mainly broke… Excuse me? Wait, this video is from real life, not an episode of “Attitude Era” WWE Raw sports entertainment? Seriously?
Online reaction to the McKinney video featuring Officer… This isn’t a clip from a movie about segregation in the deep south during the sixties? This story actually happened in the real world? Damn, that’s depressing.
Online reaction to the McKinney video…. blah blah blah, you’ve all seen the video, and if you’ve been paying any attention to the response you know it breaks down into those who think the police acted reasonably and those who seriously can not fucking believe anyone thinks the police acted reasonably. As with any similar case, many of those defending the police use multiple variations of “I’m not a racist,…but,” and many regrettable social media posts are created, destined to live forever online no matter how soon after the delete command is given. What makes this latest entry into the latter category so interesting is that she sounds like she was totally aware of just how offensive people were going to find her post before making the post.
(Thanks to Salon which is where I found the pic.)
I mean,she closes out her post by acknowledging the backlash the post is going to cause. What the hell was she thinking? Was she expecting everyone on her feed to push back from the keyboard, pause for a moment, and then break out into a slow clap in her honor, overwhelmed to the point of tears by her bravery as she stood up to the liberal media and the P.C. thought police by simply writing what all her friends (yes* they are all white, but not because she’s a racist, it is only due to her only being around white people to befriend! Totes not her fault!) were already thinking anyway, and then hitting “post?” And that anyone she offended would be drowned out by the sea of people who, once given courage by her Martin Luther King-like example, would rise up, rushing to hit the “like” button on her post and add their own comment, preferably something like “Exactly what I was thinking, Karen!”, “What a breathtakingly eloquent way of posting that genius opinion, Karen!”, or “Women who express views similar to Karen’s who have the courage to hit “post” like Karen are hot, just not quite as hot as Karen who turns me on to an insane point.”
Was this just another case in the long line of poor social media judgement cases? Was it career suicide? An attempt to become Sean Hannity’s latest Culture War Warrior? As an elementary school teacher, you knew she was fired once this hit the media. (I mean, do anything even semi-controversial online as a teacher and see how long you stay employed.) People are invariably going to come to her defense now using a poor understanding of the First Amendment just as they defended Donald Sterling. (Sorry people. Is the government at her door arresting her for her speech? Ordering her never to say it again? Censoring her post? Blocking access? No? First Amendment saved!) I will admit that I am personally a bit put off by a person losing their job over something they posted on Facebook, especially as someone who makes a habit of posting semi-controversial material fairly regularly. But, that being said, in this case the profession in question is “teacher to nine year olds,” which does have a different set of standards than your average manufacturing job. At the minimum, Karen Fitzgibbons displayed a stunning lack of good judgement, a characteristic that is quite desirable in teachers. Her “apology” does nothing to earn her any sympathy either:
First, to anyone, of any race, that I have offended, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intent. I let my emotions get the best of me, and instead of taking a deep breath, vented in an inappropriate way. I am truly sorry……….
I can, and will, use this situation as a real world example of how emotions and words can cause hurt to others. I am ashamed of my post. As I look back and reflect, I see how hurtful those words sounded. It is my hope that my sincere apology will be accepted.
Is that indeed your hope?
It almost never fails that in the aftermath of an incident such as this one, the person in question seems legitimately shocked that their sincere “not-ology” isn’t enough to make it all go away, and I think this case perfectly illustrates the reason why. Karen, in this example, is making a very sincere apology, and I am not being sarcastic there. The very fact of her sincerity can often lead to indignation when her apology is greeted with many rolling eyes. “Dammit, what do these people want, I’m trying to apologize. Maybe race wouldn’t be such an issue if some people didn’t hold onto grudges so long.” Which just feeds back into her preconceived notions about the differences between her people and their people, resulting in the prejudice being reinforced rather than a lesson being learned. Why?
Because she is apologizing for the wrong thing entirely, either intentionally due to unwillingness to change the underlying belief, or unintentionally for some arcane reason. She isn’t apologizing for thinking that maybe segregation is a good idea that needs to return, she’s apologizing for letting us know that she is thinking that maybe segregation is a good idea that needs to return. She’s apologizing for the action, not the underlying opinion that caused the action. Yes the post is racist as all hell and she should apologize for making it, but much more offensive is the actual thoughts (if you can call them that) contained in her post. You know, the opinion that black people are all high school flunk outs with absentee parents who need to be kept separate to protect the innocent whites? The thought that returning to the days of forced segregation may be an idea worth thinking about again?
Seriously, we know you are sorry you made the post and offended people. You lost your damn job, of course you are sorry, just as I am sure the officer in question is quite sorry he decided to go all MMA takedown on a bikini clad teenager. After putting that much foot in mouth, no apology is going to make everything go back to normal. The box done been opened. Can’t just shove it all back inside, close the lid and pretend. But just once I would like to see an apology like this, which wouldn’t make it all better but would at least be apologizing for the right thing:
Recently I posted a picture and made a comment that exposed the fact that I hold some pretty archaic views on race and that I am guilty of joining into a “us versus them” cultural narrative that is poisonous to improved racial harmony. During my previous life these ideas were introduced to me and they took hold as part of my worldview, through forces working both conscious and unconscious. My recent post served to reveal to the world that I had these constructs on race as part of what made me who I was. And after seeing the responses flooding in to my inbox, and realizing the possible real world effects my post could have on my life, it is very tempting to be sorry only that I let people see that side of me, that my mistake was in hitting “post,” and not in the very ideas that caused me to consider segregation as a possible solution for modern day race relations. I wish to apologize to everyone, not for making the post I made, for it shown the light of day on this dark part of my mind. I wish to apologize for holding such hurtful and bigoted beliefs in the first place, and have decided to work to change this fault in my worldview through education, introspection, and conscious effort. I hope you all can eventually forgive my ignorance as I strive to become a better person and to truly see all people as my brothers and sisters, regardless of accidents of birth such as color, religion, and social class.
Just once. Seriously, it isn’t hard. It probably wouldn’t have saved her job, but it would at least show that she realized the real problem isn’t the world finding out that she’s a racist, its being a racist in the first place.
* Just wanted to point out that I have absolutely no idea what the make up of Karen’s Facebook, or real life for that matter, friends list looks like. It was an assumption made to make the joke work. Just saving myself the angry “Just so you know, Karen has three people of African American heritage among the 176 people on her Facebook friends list. You need to double check your facts before unfairly slandering people” replies.