phoenix64: Fraser and rubber ducks, text: ye olde rubber ducks of subtext (ds rubber ducks of subtext)

So I'm rereading a Hulk story called "The Last Titan" (which actually began its life as a prose story, but in this case I'm reading the graphic adaptation) and it's been almost the end of the world for a while now, with no one left alive but Hulk and Banner. Banner figures he's about two hundred years old, and he's tired and lonely and he wants to die, but Hulk refuses to die. Hulk's rationale for this is that if he dies, all those people who tried to destroy him, be they supervillains or General Ross or Banner himself, "wins".

I have some issues with forgiveness and letting go. So yeah, that was interesting.
phoenix64: Starbuck with text: Never Surrender (bsg starbuck never surrender)
I've been thinking about depression a lot lately. OK, I'm pretty much thinking about it all the time in the way anyone with a chronic condition would, but recently I've been thinking about things I feel like writing down. Surely one of the joys of medication changes, whee!

A little while ago I saw someone mentioning the links between depression and creativity again. This crops up pretty frequently with some people insisting their creativity has been greatly enhanced by their depression and some people insisting that depression sucks their creative potential dry.

To me this illustrates what I think is one of the biggest misconceptions about depression, even shared by some of the people who suffer from it: that depression is just one thing, that it is only a single set of symptoms and that everyone who suffers from depression suffers in the same way. That's just not accurate.

Depression can mean periods of crippling sadness, but it can also result in uncontrollable strong emotions of a wide variety, or the inability to feel any strong emotions. It can affect the same person differently at different times. It can affect people differently depending on whether or not they suffer chronic depression, how severe their depression is, at what point in there life they first experience it, or a variety of other factors.

Even understanding the basics of this I still need to reassess from time to time. When my doctor would ask about my energy levels I would tell her they were fine, but the truth was I was only thinking in terms of physical energy. What I was having difficulty identifying was that I was suffering from a kind of mental fatigue that among other things made it hard for me to make choices, to put myself in situations that would involve interacting with other people, or even at times to read a book. Even after I had a suspicion of what was going on I kept forgetting to talk to my doctor about it, which began to make me feel like I was in a science fiction story (or an episode of House) where I was possessed by some parasite that would do whatever it took to keep from being dislodged. It also might have been related to my deep-seated problems with asking for help that requires medication, or my tendency to think of these kinds of symptoms as shameful personal faults, but I think it mostly pointed to one of the really frustrating aspects of depression, that it can be so difficult to identify the precise nature of your problem while you are still experiencing it.

Thankfully I was able to be open enough with my doctor about how much trouble I was in that she was able to point out to me that I was in trouble. As I mentioned earlier, this has involved a change in medication that at the moment seems to be very helpful. But I do wonder how long that will last, and how long it will be next time before I'm able to say that I need more help.
phoenix64: Stop making me think, I'm believing over here (DF quote I'm believing over here)
Huh. It seems I may have expressed an unpopular fannish opinion, but the truth is the more I think about it the more I'm not sure I'm right anyway.

Not everything in fandom is for everyone, to put it mildly. There's stuff out there that some people would find disturbing and upsetting but by and large the majority of (the sane people in) fandom will fight against the idea that it shouldn't exist. I'm absolutely one of those people. I used to have a mostly non-fannish personal LJ and one of the reasons I abandoned it for this one full-time was my frustration with the lack of support for fandom from the other people I associated with on that journal when LJ was giving fandom a hard time. Someone's creative expression might make my skin crawl, it might make my stomach turn, it might make me cry angrily, but I am highly unlikely to argue that it shouldn't exist.

But what about when it's the source material that's problematic? Does that deserve the same tolerance?

I guess I haven't really run into this issue before. The only instance I can think of that would have been widely known would have been Spike's attempted rape of Buffy and I wasn't hanging around the general fannish community at the time. Did that get used fannishly in a way that upset people? Because that's the issue that came up for me: the eroticizing of a situation where someone was being victimized. The victimization aspect wasn't being eroticized, it was just ignored.

Keeping in mind that I normally occupy a pretty small corner of fandom, mostly populated by people that are like me in age range and general background. I mention it because I think part of what prompted me to say something was that I knew much of the audience in this case was much younger. I suspect I may be a little maternally concerned (which is a strange place for me to be, I'm just saying). But am I guilty of not respecting people's ability to treat fantasy and reality differently? Or is it justified that I be concerned that people aren't recognizing what's wrong with the source material?

I don't know, I'm just curious what other people think. I'm not convinced that I'm always right and I'd certainly like the opportunity to form a more considered opinion, whether or not it's the same as the one I'm currently holding.

*ahem* Thank you.
phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
I am really loving the Marvel Noir series. I haven't been picking up the original runs but I have the collected editions of Spiderman Noir and X-Men Noir and Wolverine Noir should be shipping soon. I'm also really looking forward to Daredevil Noir next month. So far the stories have been fantastic with their commitment to the period and the art has been top-notch, and (as long as I'm paying Amazon prices, damn me) I don't mind paying for the hardbacks.

I'll tell you though, X-Men Noir had some bite to it. A lot of the story concerned eugenics and the related ideas that people can be born bad and can have "bad blood". It's incredibly appropriate for recasting an X-Men story during that time period but still unpleasant to read about. It can be easy to forget how prevalent those attitudes were during that time period, even with J.K. Rowling reminding us. A lot of people believed it and it led to a lot of horrible things being considered acceptable. The sad truth is that too many people still believe it.

I was horrified several years ago to read an interview with Dean Koontz in which he made it very clear that he believed aberrant behavior was solely a factor of genetics, with environment playing no role whatsoever. His rationale for this is that he was horribly abused by his father and it had no ill effects on him, though he and his wife decided not to have children because according to him these things tend to skip a generation. I feel more pity towards him than anger, but I can't help but wonder about the attitudes he's influencing through his writing. I mean, what's the point of getting children out of bad situations if it's not going to make any difference? What's the point in addressing abuse or poverty or drug use or any of those things if if won't change anything?

Science has given us a better understanding of the fact that genetics does in fact play a role, but it's more in terms of vulnerability, a stronger likelihood that an abusive environment will have a disastrous result. As we tend to hear pretty often these days, genetics loads the gun but environment pulls the trigger. Or as one scientist studying the brain development of abused children put it, it's not surprising that some abused children become serial killers; what's surprising is that they all don't.

I believe very strongly that if we could guarantee that every child was loved and safe we'd solve a lot more problems than most people realize. Is that an impossible task? Most certainly. But that doesn't mean it should be an impossible goal.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (dS buddies)
There's a scene in due South where Fraser mentions that the word "Eskimo" is considered derogatory. That is not the whole truth. To indigenous people in Canada it is in fact considered a negative term. However, on my side of the Alaska/Canada border there are quite a few people who self-identify as Eskimo. There are indigenous people in other parts of the world who self-identify as Eskimo, and there are indigenous people in other parts of the world who would consider it an insult.

Nobody knows who you are until you tell them. Nobody gets to define you except you. Nobody's truth is the only truth that matters.

OK, honesty time: the due South reference was a bit of a cheat. Fraser is actually talking about Eskimo Pies, comparing the usage (quite correctly) to the Atlanta Braves and the like. But I couldn't resist. Forgive me?


phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)

November 2014



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