Benabik's Musings

Random Things From Here and There

338,120 notes

ankewehner:


badgal2:

dzolamboto:

oregonfairy:


The tallest statue in the world, Ushiku Daibutsu.

this always gives me chills


Insane.

Always reblog

What are the third and last statues?


The chart is from Wikipedia: List of statues by height.  The caption reads:


Approximate heights of various notable statues:
1. Spring Temple Buddha 153 m (incl. 25 m pedestal and 20 m throne)
2. Statue of Liberty 93 m (incl. 47 m pedestal)
3. The Motherland Calls 91 m (excl. plinth)
4. Christ the Redeemer 39.6 m (incl. 9.5 m pedestal)
5. Statue of David 5.17 m (excl. 2.5 m plinth)

(Google image search is your friend.)

ankewehner:

badgal2:

dzolamboto:

oregonfairy:

The tallest statue in the world, Ushiku Daibutsu.

this always gives me chills

Insane.

Always reblog

What are the third and last statues?

The chart is from Wikipedia: List of statues by height. The caption reads:

Approximate heights of various notable statues:
1. Spring Temple Buddha 153 m (incl. 25 m pedestal and 20 m throne)
2. Statue of Liberty 93 m (incl. 47 m pedestal)
3. The Motherland Calls 91 m (excl. plinth)
4. Christ the Redeemer 39.6 m (incl. 9.5 m pedestal)
5. Statue of David 5.17 m (excl. 2.5 m plinth)

(Google image search is your friend.)

(via aldersprig)

192 notes

A question: Creation, self-esteem, and the urge to run your own work down

dduane:

image

(via anartificialaspidistra:)

Hi Diane, I’ve been a fan for a long time. Read the YW books, Wounded Sky, and eventually the Door Into… books staring when I was a kid back in the 80s. Someday I’ll take a picture of the Hello Kitty notebook I owned circa 1984 where I wrote both Ed the shark’s name and Sherlock Holmes’ name surrounded by hearts. I was totally willing to marry either one of them. ;D

Anyway, when I started looking for more Sherlock stories after the BBC show premiered I got into reading fanfic, and eventually the amazing art on Tumblr. It was great to see someone whose books I’d always loved was right in there as a fan too.

Reading someone’s tags today, I noticed the latest example of something that makes my heart hurt a little every time I see it. The art (it was a short Sherlock comic strip) was great! Well laid out, engagingly drawn, funny, entertaining, etc. But the artist’s tags were all about how terrible it was. How she couldn’t write, how she couldn’t draw, etc. I know how hard it is to put your work (of any kind) out there and just let it speak for itself, but the prevalence of young girls making something amazing and then sharing it by saying “here’s this thing I did. It’s probably terrible,” just kills me. I can’t count how many posts I’ve seen people tag or comment that their art or they themselves are “trash”. I mean, I get that they’re self deprecating for comic effect, but…

I don’t know. Maybe learning to not put down your work before someone else gets a chance to is just something that has to be grown out of, but I also wonder if more of us older women should be saying something. I’d love to see girls say “here’s this thing I made [full stop]” if it still seems too hard to say “here’s this thing I made; I’m proud of it.” Just not tearing themselves down would make a world of difference, I think.

I guess I’m just curious if you have any thoughts to add. Thanks again for writing such enjoyable stories and building such cool worlds! May you live long and prosper.

First of all: thanks. :) It’s always nice to know I’m getting the job done.

Re the self-esteem problem as regards talking about one’s work: I see a lot of this from girl creators too. (Yet also from the boys, until they gradually knuckle under or get pushed under the surface of the whole patriarchal never-say-anything-that-might-make-you-seem-weak crap, and get it institutionalized out of them.)

Part of the problem is that the creation of art (or indeed anything else useful) is unnerving business, because you’re essentially making the invisible visible: making something out of nothing — and even that phrase is culturally loaded. (“Don’t make something out of nothing!”: a classic putdown for overreaction.) Yet making Something out of Nothing is also, as it happens, what Gods do. (The classic western-culture version of this: Deity moves over the surface of the empty void, says, “Hmm. Light…” and bang! Light.) 

So creation routinely frightens those who who do it — because the actual process of mastery of art takes a long time, and in the meanwhile you may frequently feel like you’re riding the tiger, only half in control, while your grip on the tiger’s ears is always threatening to slip. And creation frightens more badly those who don’t do it (not that you’ll ever easily get them to admit that), because they see you making Something out of Nothing and that’s not normal. Everybody gets a little freaked as a result, and it’s probably no surprise that the responses to the act of creation by both creators and spectators can get skewed — reactions based on fear not routinely being the healthiest ones.

(Adding a cut here, since more discussion and a brief how-to course in auctorial esteem lies below. Also, “pieces of shit”…)

Read More

Excellent advice for creators of all kinds.

1 note

Sci-Fi Writers Predicted the Ukraine Conflict and Now They’re Fighting It

Authors who wrote about a future revolution in the Ukraine now helping to organize a revolution in Ukraine. How strange.

20 notes

deathchrist2000 asked: Other M

froborr:

osupergirl:

thebibliomancer:

osupergirl:

freznosravingrants:

philsandifer:

osupergirl:

The game that singlehandedly caused me to lose faith in Nintendo, Yoshio Sakamoto and the overwhelming majority of the Internet critic culture at the time. It also caused me to stop liking Metroid for…Well, I’m just starting to get over it right now, so I’ll let that speak for itself.

It is obviously (at least to me), a misogynistic nightmare. It is sexism of the most rote and banal kind, positing that all women are destined to be and dream of being mothers and need to be subservient to their fathersXhusbands, and as such comes out of extremely conservative Japanese attitudes towards gender roles.

The allegation that it is character assassination of Samus is, tragically, a more dubious claim. Sakamoto was one of Metroid’s original creative figures, and absolutely all of his hateful and reactionary tendencies are plainly obvious in every other game he was heavily involved with. That would be, for the uninitiated, Metroid II: The Return of Samus, Metroid Fusion, Metroid Zero Mission and, though nobody wants to admit it, Super Metroid.

Super Metroid is, in fact, blatantly about motherhood: Notice how every boss Samus fights has two forms, the first of which resembles a miniature “child” version of the second, the family of Etechoons and Dachoras you can rescue, the more prominent role of Mother Brain when compared to the first game and Samus being rescued by her “child” in the climax. It is, in point of fact, heteronormative garbage.

So, while Other M was ethically reprehensible, it wasn’t actually bad in ways the series hadn’t been before, the only difference this time was themuch more noticeable degree to which it was bad. Had people read Super Metroid more closely, and perhaps not let their memories of being awestruck children marveling at the admittedly quite technically impressive achievement that game was cloud their judgment, we might be seeing the same backlash against Super Metroid we now see against Metroid: Other M.

(This is the other thing about Other M: It’s also shit from a mechanical gameplay and production value perspective, which no other Metroid game had been up to that point, and that helped accentuate what was wrong with the rest of the game. It doesn’t have Super Metroid's lustre and classic status to distract people from its moral problems.)

But then after all that I still say I’m a fan of Metroid and Samus. Well…I’m actually not so sure about that any more. Though I appreciate the “Metroidvania” style, do still like the first game and quite enjoy certain ROM hacks of it and Super Metroid, I think what I really am is a Metroid Prime fan. Which is, of course, a side series produced by an entirely separate team from the one that did all the other Metroid games. And Retro Studios, who did the Metroid Prime series, was of course overseen by Shigeru Miyamoto during its development, and Shigeru Miyamoto is one of my idols.

Small wonder I like it as much as I do.

Without wanting to disagree with the larger argument, I’m puzzled by the critique of Super Metroid here, as I can’t see how, under this argument, one can construct a narrative that is about motherhood (a perfectly real and valid concept worth writing about) but is not “heteronormative garbage.” Which seems like a problem, to say the least.

I know Canada abolished the penny, but two cents; Other M ain’t bad for the whole “the baby” nonsense (although Samus suddenly caring about a hatchling she gave up for scientific research is something). It’s bad for belittling Samus. Going out of its way to create scenarios, gameplay mechanics, and lord knows how many other decisions to make Samus… ineffectual.

Super Metroid does none of this, though admittedly I’d have to think more about this “motherhood” business. In light of Other M, I mean.

@Phil

I actually have some thoughts about the connection between motherhood and heteronormativity, but I’d rather not launch into a public debate I’m fairly certain you and I will come down on opposite and irreconcilable sides of. What I will say is this: It’s perfectly possible to tell a heteronormative story about motherhood even if one accepts the concepts are not intrinsically linked. And, the fact remains we have to read Super Metroid in the context of Yoshio Sakamoto’s positionality, who absolutely *does* have a reactionary and conservative conception of motherhood.

@frezno

This is, of course, correct. Though I maintain my stance on Super Metroid and still think Other M is pretty bad on the baby front too. Both stories are “The Child”-style paeans to the supposed innate biological drive of women to be mothers, nurturers and protectors.

I’m new to the critical game but is there any mileage in the fact that Samus seems to display no desire to behave the traditional ‘mothering’ role, dropping off ZE BABY with scientists to do science to and then taking off to seek a new bounty. When ze baby is kidnapped, she goes after it but fails to rescue it. Ze baby dies and its hard to say in the context of the game at the time that the universe wasn’t better off for it. Also, Samus goes around shooting motherhood in the face - both the mother-named Mother Brain and the Draygon which had mini-versions of it watching Samus matricide.

I don’t quite get the argument, I suppose. After Samus fails to save the Metroid but still kills Mother Brain, she escapes the inevitable explosion and triumphant music declares that “the operation was completed successfully.” Samus has failed to save the baby metroid, her surrogate child figure. The game doesn’t hold this against her. The last metroid is not in captivity, it is dead. The galaxy is at peace.

Super Metroid has a motherhood theme (more of one than I noticed before actually!) but the things that are actually acting as mothers are monsters (or friendly aliens that nearly let their families get dissolved in acid lava and were hanging around on a death world for some reason, demonstrating poor decision making skills).

Samus was acting as a bounty hunter instead of a mother at the beginning of a game. As a result, Ridley was able to steal the metroid and abscond. But Samus arrives before that happens and no matter what, Ridley takes the metroid and absconds. Even if she had been around and acting as a mother, the metroid would have gotten kidnapped. So these bad things aren’t because Samus neglected the mother role. These bad things just are (and because she ditched all that gear she found on SR-388).

Sorry if I’m missing something or lots of somethings. I agree that the Metroid Primes are great.

@ thebibliomancer

That’s a wonderful redemptive reading of Super Metroid. I wish I could agree that this was the intent, but I don’t think that it was. See, I think the game *does* hold this against her. I think it wants to depict all this as a tragedy and that Samus, through forsaking her natural and proper role as a mother and appropriating the rightfully masculine role of bounty hunter and protagonist, has brought widespread death and destruction on the galaxy. I think it wants to compare Samus to the monsters that she guns down, and show us how wrong it was for her to do that because they were mothers just like her and that how through doing this, *she’s* monstrous. This is why the baby dies, because its mother abandoned it. “Think of the children”, as it were.

This does not, of course, mean that this is the reading we’re forced to afford it. The point of detournement and radical criticism is that we have the power and the prerogative to redeem and reclaim things like this from the forces of hegemony. If that’s what you took away from Super Metroid, that’s fantastic and I strongly encourage you to keep reading it that way, because we desperately need more people showing how shared texts can be mobilized for material social progress.

It’s just that I personally can’t think of the game without being reminded of its retrograde connotations anymore. But that’s my own failing, I suppose.

This is just through and through an excellent discussion by all parties.

I have seen a lot of discussion of Super Metroid from a game design perspective, but rarely as a narrative with a political agenda—which, of course, as a work made by human beings with a temporal dimension it necessarily is.

I think both the redemptive and negative readings make strong points. In the end, both are true, though on an emotional level my response is “Fuck that conservative asswipe’s intent, I’m going with the redemptive.” Generally, I believe both approaches have social value; negative readings point out flaws in our cultural products and therefore society; redemptive readings increase the supply of good art.

It’s too bad the Other M doesn’t have such a reading available, but it really, really doesn’t. It is shit on every conceivable level, an absolute clusterfuck of a game that is exhibit A for why Miyamoto is a household name and Sakamoto never will be.