ShadowedVenus

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  • in reply to: Sci-Fi TV/Films that are so bad they’re good #68683
    ShadowedVenus
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    Many episodes of Blakes 7 and the old Star Trek series are definitely to be appreciated for their so-bad-that-it’s-good factor as well as their truly so-good-that-it’s-great! moments. what about that Blake’s 7 epsiode Gambit where Avon and Villa shrink Orac so they can win a fortune at chess in a world where everyone seems to be wearing the costumes from Blackadder the Third with some silver plastic and face paint hurriedly stuck on them? or the one with the giant brain and the face painted guys who wanted to watch Dayna and Tarrant have sex? or the epsiode of Star Trek with the giant space amoeba? Or Khan?!
    Return of the Bee Women sounds AMAZING! Truly crap TV!

    in reply to: Political Ravings of Intolerance #68583
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Sgt draino, I didn’t say that no intelligent people were religious, I said that religion is a load of self-contradictory BS. I do in fact know at least one very intelligent person who is Christian, but I think that within organised religion, there does come a certain point at which one is programmed to shut your brain off and respond with the ethical equivilent of an ansaphone message – “You must have faith”. That certainly is what happens to my friend. We regularly debate religion and various ethics, and though she is intelligent, well-informed and largely very open-minded, there comes a certain point beyond which she always becomes unwilling to debate, and the ansaphone message comes on. I attended a repressively Christan school as a child, and so I saw this process of teaching children to switch off at a certain point first hand. Basically, what I mean is that part of the standard definition of a human being concerns our intelligence and ability to think for ourselves, and a believe that orgainsied religion exists as a aeries of memes that suppress these processes in favour of creating a mental climate in which they flourish. The results of this can be witnessed in history – think the Spanish Inquisition, the Witch Burnings, the long-ranging and socially-acceptaed torture of women. Therefore, I think that using these memes as the basis of justice in a democratic judicial system is stupid, especially compared to using secular (not neccessarily aetheistic ideals. Aetheism is about denying the existence of deities, secularism merely does not concern itself with religion) principles widely agreed on by highly educated people of many schools of thought. These are always up for review, and people have the right to protest etc, and thus give their input, they do not descend from the sky engraved on tablets of stone.
    By the way, you may not mean it to, but your post does come over as having some rather homophobic overtones. Why exactly would homosexual relationships be easier to fake for tax breaks etc than heterosexual ones? And your implication that homosexuality is on a par with paedophilia is disturbing. One is between consenting adults, the other is abusive. And your slippery slope theory is illogical. In that case, what is so wholesome about heterosexual sex? I have friends of many sexualities, and, as far as I can tell, what I do with my boyfriend is largely very similar to what all of them do with their signifigant others, if they love each other. I have also had friends in abusive herterosexual relationships which I can assure were far from wholesome or healthy. Are you taking the line that sex should be conducted principally for reproductive purposes or it is verging on immoral? I certainly do not engage in it for that – quite the opposite in fact, pregnancy would be a disaster for me.

    in reply to: A Personal Thanks To All Sadgeezers At Sadgeezer.com. #68581
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Thanx. I feel the same way…

    in reply to: Let’s talk weird movies! #68580
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Cool, SidheCafe, I wrote an analysis of Prospero’s Books too, along with Forbidden Planet(! and isn’t that a great movie?) on the director’s use of framing in relation to how it is used in The Tempest and its criticism. Logan, I’m really annoyed I haven’t been able to see The Red Lantern it’s supposed to be one of the classics didn’t the director bring out Springtime in a Small Town recently? I tried to see it but my local UGC only did daytime showings and it was in the middle of my exams. What does everyone think of Donnie Darko? I thought it was exceptional, though from the previews I’d expected it to be funner and less existential, so I enjoyed it even more on second viewing when I’d kind of readjusted my brain to it. Memento was classic – it made me want to see Irreversible. I also really loved Goodbye Lenin! hollywood could (and has, I suppose) learn(ed) much from independent and non-US cinema. And I saw La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc in my film studies class. I was completely bowled over.

    in reply to: Let’s talk weird movies! #68503
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Wicker Man! Great movie, though I belong to a pagan circle and many people there are continually pissed off about it becuase they say it perpetuates all those prejudiced myths put out by Julius Ceasar that christianity’s been perpetuating ever since!
    I’ve always been a fan of offbeat movies though since I started doing film studies at uni I’ve watched far better and weirder films than I’ve ever seen before! Blade Runner might be mainstream but it’s still weird, and a tribute to Philip K. Dick. Beautiful! Donnie Darko was fantastic, as was the remake of Solaris (I would never have beleived that George Clooney could actually act!) though not quite as weird as the original! I’ve only seen one Peter Greenaway, Prospero’s Books, which is exceptional, like watching some of the Sandman. I love the Japanese movie Afterlife, and the French movies Amelie and Delicatessan, all for completely different reasons! I thought Wings of Desire was also incredible, and I was really pissed off that I missed the sequel focusing on the blonde angel who did not fall on early hours Channel 4 recently. If you were a fan, there is a Swedish film set in Depression-era US coming out soon which I think you’ll like – I saw the previews. It is a dreamlike film about a poverty-stricken small town which has been bought by people who are damming a river for a power station that will flood the town. The people who refuse to sell are forcibly evicted and the misfits and strays are left to drown. A young orphaned boy, delierious with TB, is one of these. Much of the movie shows his subjective visions/halllucinations of conversations with a band of offbeat androgenous supernatural beings who may be angels, with very weird names. The most sympathetic one is played by Daryl Hannah, who has been searching for her partner for all of the time since the beginning of the universe. She thinks he may be the boy. I can’t remember the name of the film, but it was a one-word title and I think it was the name of the ton. It looked a bit like the sort of dream you could have if you were in bed with the flu and fell half-asleep after watching Road to perdition and an episode of American Gothic.

    in reply to: Political Ravings of Intolerance #68502
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    I personally have always believed in the complete seperation of church and state. It really annoys me that countries such as the US and the UK define themselves as ‘Christian ‘ countries. What the hell does that mean?! They are states with citizens of many faiths. I reme,ber one of the Dune books (I think it was ‘Heretics of Dune’ but don’t quote me on that!) who defined the union of church and state as the ultimate evil, a state where crimes become sins. And that was one of the Benr Gesserit talking for Deity’s sake!
    One thing that particularly pisses me off is the argument that religion (and for that read Christianity) should be taught in schools ‘to give children a moral foundation’. What sactimnious evangelical crap! As someone of undefined at best religious faith I consider myself a moral human being. I use my brain to decide what is moral rather than simply accepting self-contradictory BS (‘Thou shalt not kill, unless we tell you to’). And, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who refrains from comitting crimes because they fear divine punnishment is not a moral person, they are just cowardly!
    As far as I’m concerned, anything should be accepted by a state unless it damages or hurts someone. Marriage should be defined by the people involved, if they are above the legally-defined age of responsibility. Homosexual, incestuous or group marriages would all be fine, but bestial or paedophiliac marriages would not be.

    in reply to: Harry Potters for nerds #68501
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Actually, you said “most”.
    Pedantic? Moi?!

    in reply to: Remembering 9/11 #68500
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    I’ve certainly always been with the Manics on this “ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedaytheworldwouldfallapart”…

    in reply to: Shows NOT Sci-Fi #68499
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    I just came back from holiday having not watched any Tv for a week so I spent the entire day today watching very old tapes of DS9 which I dug out of the back of a cupboard somewhere and I’m now feeling very depressed. I taped them off the TV so they included the adverts and all and in just four GREAT episodes from early 1999 there were adverts for 4the season Buffy, 1st season Angel (which later series never lived up to) ER when Mark Green was still in it, Babylon 5, and a whole host of other shows I really loved. At the moment, there is just about nothing. I feel bereft. Since Buffy ended, there is no good new cult TV on any more. Waah!
    Non sci-fi TV favourites? Hmm, tricky…Well, the aformentioned ER, (though I do really miss Mark, and I don’t know why they decided to make Luka such an asshole last season), I really love offbeat Brit comedy, so Coupling, Spaced, Black Books, and the ever-classic Blackadders and Father Ted, M*A*S*H*, 24, and a bunch of BBC classic miniseries like Pride and Prejudice, Testament of Youth (again starring Peter Woodward, if anyone’s interested) Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and Anna Karenina. In general, though, my best friend and I are so bored with current TV that we’ve ended up writing a series of our own – a very black comedy drama where almost the entire cast end up mentally ill at some point – and are currently trying to pitch it to channel 4. So I guess that did some good. Otherwise, I like history and science documentaries, and I’m a film student, so I watch a lot of them!

    in reply to: Y Is Better Than X – A Futuristic Children’s Book. #68498
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Depending on which society you’re specifically talking about, I don’t know about the legality of the situation but the problem is that many children are encouraged to bear arms now

    in reply to: X Is Better Than Y – A Futuristic Children’s Book. #68463
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Nice book. Maybe a little plagaristic of Ray Bradbury in style, but certainly not in content – that guy wouldn’t know feminism if it bit him in the ass! I think Star Trek did quite a few episodes where they played with matriarchies, and they were all terrible, especially the one in the first series of the Next Generation where the planetary matriarch looks like a character from Veronica’s Closet and immediatly falls for Riker. Urrgh! I think Star Trek is in general too much of a boy’s toys show to do feminsim at all realistically, or even well (I’d always rather have well than realistic!)

    in reply to: Fatguy Is A White Man. #68169
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    You know, the race thing aside, your daughter will end up looking like you. When I was a kid, everyone told me that I was the spitting image of my dad and my brother was the spitting image of my mum, but low and behold, these days, it tends to be the other way round. Be sure your genes will find you out…
    Though maybe not. One of my friends is adopted, but even though people would comment on her darker hair and skin as a child, nowadays they tell her she looks really like her mum. I don’t know what any of this proves, but anyway, congratulations on your sprog!

    in reply to: Remembering 9/11 #68168
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    By the way, Fatguy, I posted before reading your post. Having read it, the stuff I said about not being poltical looks like smug whitebread crap. I didn’t get spat on because of what I look like. I’m sorry.

    in reply to: Blairs "Ministry of Truth" remind anyone of B5? #68167
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Perhaps Blair’s been watching B5 for tips. I wouldn’t put it past Tommy Sheridan to try and break away from Westminster to set up an independent state either. (My apologies to non-Scots, who probably have no idea what I’m talking about). The problem is, i’m pretty sure Tommy dosen’t have a Vorlon inside of him, despite some of the cryptic things he says (more likely to be overexposure to UV in my opinion!) Pity.

    in reply to: Harry Potters for nerds #68166
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Okay not trying to get too academic on this (I’m at uni so used to using this sort of language a lot). All I meant was that it is really typical for heroes of popular SFF esp ‘quest’ novels to be male. This literary form has its roots in bardic tales where the subject was typically male and the object female, such as Tristan and Iseult or most of the Tales of King Arthur and his Knights. I read many of these growing up and much as I enjoyed them it annoyed me that any female reading them would have to become male-identifed while reading it to enjoy them. I’m not saying that no one should ever make their protagonists male, I’m saying that it annoys me that authors very typically do. And where did you get that stats saying that most of JK Rowlings readers are male? I have read plenty of newspaper articles about it applying equally to girls and boys, references to adult readers have always been to just that, and not to ‘men readers’, and, anecdotally, I know equal numbers of adults of both sexes who enjoy the books. You may also be interested to know that when George lucas originally proposed the idea that was to become Star Wars, the ‘Luke Skywalker’ character was actually a woman called Starkiller. The studio refused to approve the idea unless he changed the sex of his protagonist because 1) a female protagonist would alienate the propsed target audience 2) a female protagonist just isn’t ‘sexy’ 3) they felt a woman on a quest to fight evil was unconvincing.
    nursewhen, I’m not at all surprised re the JK Rowling incident it’s similar to the one Edith nesbit encountered when publishing children’s books of similar themes. Though admittedly that was in 1905 and it would be nice to think things have moved on a bit since then. I didn’t know there was supposed to be a prejudice about female authors being unable to write convincing male characters I actually thought it was supposed to be the other way round, because women are supposed to be ‘intuitive’.
    I really enjoyed the Order of the Phoenix I thought the dark tone was generally convincingly nasty. I really liked the blood pen incident that was just so genuinely sick! I had some teachers at school which often thought up things of a similar flavour, like punnishing someone with a weak stomach by ordering them to empty the classroom bin at the school tip. And to be sure to scrape out the bottom. And if they hadn’t cleaned it out thoroughly, sending them back to do it in the middle of the tip. While they watched. And smiled.

    in reply to: Remembering 9/11 #68164
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    I’m not an American so I know some of you might think I have no right to post on this forum. But I do remember that day, and, to be honest, i feel as involved as you guys do, because I watched the tragedy unfold minute by minute on BBC News 24.
    It sounds terrible to say this but at the actual time the first plane hit the Twin Towers, I was with in bed with my boyfriend. I was really happy. I didn’t know anything until I walked home from his house. It was the most beautiful afternoon. I walked into my house and my mum had the TV on, and it was like walking right into a cold rupture of the world. I just remember being transfixed, stunned, like someone had hit me. The really horrible thing was that all the time I was watching it some part of me was thinking “This isn’t real this is just like a movie”. After a while I thought “Well, this is it. This is the end. We’re all going to die”. It didn’t seem possible for there to be an attack on America and not have it be World War III. You know, the thing you spent half your childhood having nightmares about. I remember texting all my friends. I felt like I was never going to see any of them again. I didn’t want to say goodbye, but I just wanted a last moment of contact with them. I phoned my boyfriend. I wanted to see him again so much. I sat glued to the TV for hours. I saw the same footage over and over again until it felt burned into my eyes. The worst bit was the same footage they showed over and over again from the ground. They talked to two people, a man with a baseball cap and a woman with brown hair. I would recognize those people if I saw them today on the street. In the beginning, I cried when I saw the people on stretchers being carried past the camera, but later, I was too tired to cry for anthing.
    I can never admire anyone more than the firefighters who went into those buildings after they started coming down. They were brave, but most of all they were compassionate. They didn’t do it to be heroes, they did it because people needed them. I can think of no higher praise.
    At that time, I really thought that was the end of everything. But now it’s two years later, and we’re all still here. I’m not going to say anything political here, because by now if we don’t know that there is nothing worse than talking politics over the bodies of the dead, then were certainly haven’t learned anything from the last century. All I can say is, I am so so sorry for everyone who died, everyone who suffered, and for everyone who lost people. I don’t generally pray, but I pray for all of them to find healing.

    in reply to: Movie vs. the Mini Series #68122
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    I’m afraid I’m solidly behind the Lynch film all the way here. I think I would have to be purely in terms of the acting – I thought all the performances in the film were exceptional and all the ones in the miniseries were dire. I was hugely impressed by just about everyone in the film, but special mentions have to go to Jurgen Prochnow as Duke Leto (all his other English language films are crap, but his German ones rock!), Francesca Annis as Jessica, Kyle McLauchlan as Paul, the guy who played Dr Yueh (I can’t believe he can act that well after seeing him in Quantum Leap!) and of course Brad Dourif as Piter DeVries . In the miniseries, I was esp disappointed with William Hurt, becasue I really admired him in several other films (and he would be one of my choices to play Vimes, should they ever make a Discworld film!) esp The Accidental Tourist and Children of a Lesser God, but I thought in this he was lacklustre and unconvincing, a symptom of the larger malaise regarding acting in this miniseries. Also, the film may not have had space to depict the Dune universe in the detail it deserved (the last half-hour is disappointingly fast) but I think that it captures the atmosphere of the books perfectly. It is insane, mystical, beautiful, cruel, and yes, OTT. I don’t think in this context that is the fatal criticism that it’s often used as – how can a story be epic and Messianic without being OTT? The mysticsm esp was perfect, and the minseries handled that very badly – Paul’s visions came out like a bad acid trip, and were wayy too obviously CGI .The miniseries was generic, dull and conventional – very typical of US TV. And the film is full of images that burn their way onto your hindbrain and stay with you for years, accompanied by one of the most perfect and haunting film scores I’ve ever heard – I so can’t believe that was Toto! The special effects may have been more up-to-date in the miniseries, and i have to admit, I thought their Guild Navigator was cool, but it doesn’t make up for a generally lacklustre production with bad acting and dull scripts.

    in reply to: Harry Potters for nerds #68087
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    The most remarkable thing about about the Harry Potter books is the hype surrounding them, true. They are nonetheless very entertaining and deal with dark subjects, with some glimpses of a scarred world emerging from the more childish concerns, and there is at times a real air of menace, (which so far in my opinions has not transferred to the terrible films at all). As far as i’m concerned, anything that gets kids reading things with deeper mythological themes and in the SFF genre is all to the good ( it might make them a bit more open-minded about it when they grow up, for one thing). The only sad thing about the hype is that much better children’s books in simliar genres have been largely ignored or are regarded by kids as Harry Potter rip-offs, e.g. just about anything by Diana Winn Jones, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Alan Garner’s novels esp Elidor, the Narnia series, The Hobbit. I would consider these all far deeper, darker, more beautiful and better-written than J.K. Rowling’s works, and most of them as works of literature rather than simple entertainment. They mean something beyond the immediate narrative It also bothers me that despite being a woman, Rowling has chosen not to challenge any of the sex-linked prejudices commonly bound up esp in the more simple works of the the SFF genres and made her hero on his quest a boy. And don’t throw Hermione at me, she is at best a sidekick who can help Harry by her acceptably feminine academic prowess.

    in reply to: Survey: Your Favourite AND Least Favourite Sci-Fi Shows #68086
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    ok

    1. Babylon 5 (including Crusade)/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    2. The hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    3. The Prisoner/Ultraviolet
    4. Deep Space Nine/Blake’s Seven
    5. Angel
    6. Farscape
    7. The X-Files
    8. ghormenghast (a miniseries)
    9. Lexx
    10. Star Trek; the Next Generation/Twin Peaks

    So I have three miniseries of great genius, and am I the only one who thinks a second series of Ultraviolet should have been made?
    Both No. 1s, the Prisoner and Blake’s 7 have FANTASTIC finales, surreal, beautiful, completely unexpected or just gorgeously tragic, and sadly i have included 2 members of the Star Trek franchise, though the 10th is mainly for Picard/Data, and DS9 because it was genuinely funny and at least tried to be complex rather than just relocating 50s Westerns to space.

    in reply to: Babylon 5 versus Deep Space 9 #67779
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    No comparison. Babylon 5 was a REAL show. It was dark, it was intelligent, and it had fantastic character upon fantastic character – Londo and G’Kar, esp the latter, for whom no praise is too great, Delenn, a realisitically feminine character who didn’t have to be aggressive all the time to be deeply cool and successful, but who could be really tough and strong when necessary, Marcus, who was cool, sexy, funny and really, really sweet, Lyta, Vir, Ivanova, Garibaldi, Bester, Byron, and especially Lennier.DS9 tried hard, and is the only one of the vast Star Trek franchise which remains even vaguely watchable for anyone who doesn’t enjoy an anodyne saga of what is obviously a metaphor for the USA imposing its values on the ignorant rest of the universe (as Enterprise OH SO CLEARLY is!), but it still suffers from the classic ST faults of pedestriansim and being unable to let it’s central characters get too nasty. A good example is the episode where Major Kira thinks she is actually a Cardassian. Of course it is revealed by the end of the episode that she actually has just been surgically altered. On Babylon 5, she would have really been one. One of B5’s greatest stregnths is that just about every one of the central characters has done something that just about everyone in the audience will disagree with, but always made their reasons for doing so understandable. DS9 played with this, but the only character it ever had as good as B5 was Garak, who was never really a central character, and even he got a bit nice by the end. It also played with Gul Dukat nicely for a few seasons, but eventaully give up a nice moral conumdrum for a pantomime villain who made a literal deal with the devil. The only down point i can ever really make about b% is its occasional pro-militarism, and the corniness of the dialgoue in scenes with the military. I mean, all of GROPOS!

    in reply to: ‘Time-traveler’ Busted For Insider Trading #67778
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Have to agree with you there, it’s probably crap, but how cool if it wasn’t?! Did it mention if the guy had any ID in the name he’s using, and if he has any vaccination scars? Sadly, though, the AIDS vaccine thing probably proves he’s a fake. I mean, if someone was going to travel back to this time period, it seems to me perfectly plausible they would do a bit of minimum research on it and round about it, so he could concievably know the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, but the AIDS vaccine?! Gimme a break! If you went back to the mid 19th century, would you be able to offer them the secret of all current vaccines? Including manufacturing and storing them? Not bloody likely! And if you were someone, a doctor etc, are you likely to be so poor you’d be enough of a scaff to go back in time and cheap the entire time period?

    in reply to: Poll: Want to live forever? #67715
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    This discussion is WAAYYY too undefined! Does it mean how long would I personally like to live, or how long I think is the optimum human lifespan? Personally, re optimum human lifetime, I think about 200 years sounds about right, but I’d have to be able to change the aging rate. I’d like people to age roughly 50 years in 200, with adolescenece between about ages 12-16 going at the current rate (because, oh my transcendent beings, who’d want that to last any longer than it has too?!) and a sudden deteroration into physical deteroraition aged about 198 – people may have to age, but it is unfair the large % of life people ahve to spend very physically decrepit. People would be stuck dealing with the enviromental changes their lifestyles caused, people would still be at peak fertility when they were actually at an age when they had sufficient emotional maturity to raise children and had hopefully had a life of their own and attained some wisdom in the mean time, hopefully people would be allowed to spend a bit of that extended childhood actually learning about life on their own terms through play and voluntary learning before being shoehorned into other people’s ideas of who they should be through the educational system, and schools would hopefully not be the current breeding grounds for torment, suppression of the induvidual and cliquishness that they currently are.
    However, if we’re talking purely how long I’d personally like to live in an otherwise unchanged world, I really really don’t know. It really depends what the future of the 21st and later centuries will be like. Imagine having been born about 1880 and aging very slowly into the present day. You would have been 34 when WW1 broke out, and your entire social system crumbled around you. Would you have been able to keep your sanity dealing with the total revision of the world since then? If the future sees such radical social and technological changes as the recent past has, i’m not sure how old I’d want to get. Imagine being the same as i am now in a world devastated by terrorism attacks, or where the entire world’s sociaety has adopted religious fundamatalsim, or where everyone has computers implanted in their brains at birth and is hyperintelligent. However, if someone offered me a treatment to keep me ‘young into my 120s right now, I’d probably accept it. I’m weak that way. I don’t mind ageing, but it seems unfair how young you have to do it!

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