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a frog the size of texas

May 13th, 2009

09:56 am - Huh

I just got a spam mail aimed at vampires. At least I assume so from the title, as I am not about to open it:

Your woman will be shocked by your fang's astonishing progress.
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10:44 am - Thinky thoughts

So one of the books I'm reading right now* is a Wolverine tie-in novel titled Violent Tendencies. And I'm not enjoying it, particularly, because there's not enough Wolverine in it, and as I was brushing my teeth this morning, I was trying to pin down why this and the Cable & Deadpool series, which I've been reading off and on over the past few days don't work for me the same way equally implausible manga do.

I think may be down to a difference in earnestness: for sure the Wolverine novel spends way too long explaining how it's possible for these new (throwaway) Weapon-X-type super-soldiers to work. The scene I just read features one named Blowtorch who just torched most of a mountainside while trying to catch Wolverine, and his handler explains in excruciatingly great detail to another viewpoint character how they grafted cow stomachs onto his lungs so that he had a great capacity for inhaling air, how he generated flammable gasses, how these structures in his throat provide the spark, how he has these bony spiky structures that shoot nitrogen to immediately douse the flames, and so on. All it did was explain to me how stupidly improbable that was. They would have been better off just saying "Dude, he breathes fire."

Rurouni Kenshin did much the same thing with a character, minus the extinguishing ability, just by saying "Yeah, he's got an oil-bag in his stomach with the nozzle in his mouth and he replaced his front teeth with flint to cause sparks but that doesn't really matter LET'S GET ON WITH THE BOOM."

Cable & Deadpool has Cable setting himself up as a Jesus figure, which ought to be howlingly hysterical, but it's not working even as a crack-filled thing for me, because ... I can't pin it down exactly. Somehow I'm not carried along with the crack** as much as I ought to be, and spend way too much time going "Er, so if Cable was in telepathic contact with everyone on the planet and they all agree they want him to bring peace, how come none of the world leaders and the characters we see in S.H.I.E.L.D. and the like agree?" and wondering about the logistics of his manufactured island paradise.

In Saiyuki, for example, it took me a very long time to start wondering about Sanzo's gold card, which assumes an advanced technological framework which isn't in evidence, and even though I can see the inconsistencies and holes in the worldbuilding, they're never enough to stop me from getting into the story. Perhaps because Minekura doesn't bother to explain them - I can accept the gold card as a running joke without thinking about the consequences that it really ought to have, but if she started throwing out some sort of handwavium about how there's a direct spiritual connection to the temple that's footing the bill (and occasionally getting angry at how much he spends) or whatever, then I'd be thrown out of the story.

It's not about the degree of overpowerdness, either: I'd throw any of the characters in Samurai Deeper Kyo up against Marvel characters, because they're all equally ridiculously overpowered. But SDK works better than Marvel for me on that level.

It may also be that Marvel, for the most part, pays lip-service to being science fiction, with the need for associated explanations in an attempt to fit into the world of physics and chemistry, while SDK just gleefully assumes it's all magic spiritual power and gets on with the damn job of being entertaining.

Hrm. I don't really have any conclusions, just a bunch of disjointed thoughts at the moment.

--

* What? I never have fewer than five books going at once. XD

** Although I appreciate things like Deadpool not being hire-able by anyone (because they all think he tried to kill Cable BEFORE HE RESURRECTED AS A RAPIDLY-GROWING CHILD FROM AN ALTERNATE DIMENSION RAISED BY MR SINISTER AND THAT WAS ABOUT THE ONLY PART THAT WORKED ON THE PROPER LEVEL IT OUGHT FOR ME) so Cable's sneaking around and hiring Deadpool without him knowing it's Cable doing it so he can feel useful.
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12:03 pm - Lunchtime reading...

Junior Homemaking, 1958, to be used in 7th-9th grades.

Caption of a photograph of a young blonde woman in a diaphanous gown, sitting in front of a roaring fireplace and brushing her hair with a thoughtful yet distant expression on her face:
Daydreaming of what the future holds is important. It can be the foundation on which the serious business of accomplishment is based. Unless daydreaming is so used, it is a waste of time.



Junior Homemaking, you are cordially invited to bite Mello's fabulous ass.

12:23 pm - A few pages later...

...in Junior Homemaking:
Young girls dream of what the future will hold for them. They dream of being actresses, models, airline hostesses, private secretaries, nurses, and, always, of being wives. All of these vocations are glamorous. Those people who have been successful in them are well-groomed, clean, attractive persons. Teen-age is not too early to prepare for making these dreams come true.
There are so many ways I could go with commentary here, and I keep typing things and deleting them. So I'll just leave it at that.


(ETA: Except that, maybe, with the other thread on my journal today of comics and manga, perhaps you should tell me what you're dreaming of being and what steps you're taking to pursue that, because we know daydreaming of anything else is a waste of time. Perhaps today I shall be a glamorous international spy, and I shall start right away on making my catsuit.)

04:55 pm - A quiz!

Managing Livingtime, from 1964, is trying to convince you why managing your "livingtime" is essential. From page 20:
The baby may need food, clean clothing, and a bath all at the same time. Meanwhile, the husband's lunch should be packed, a button sewn on his coat, and the paper boy may be at the back door!
Let's see ... handwaving away the fact that I don't have a baby, have never taken care of one, and am not married ... the order of jobs for the baby depends on what sort of mess it is: if they've managed to remove their diaper and smear it all over themselves or have some sort of icky type of dirt, then bath first, otherwise feed them first, bath and new clothes afterwards. Husband can pack his own damn lunch if I'm busy with the baby, or buy it, and if he's incapable of sewing a button on himself it can wait until he comes home from work because he won't die from not having a button on his coat for a day. If he has the sort of job where his appearance is vital to his success, well, it's past time that he's learned to do any minor repairs that may pop up during the day, isn't it? The paper boy is at the back door, which in this day and age means he's trespassing and my husband can run him off while I'm dealing with the baby.

09:19 pm - THE BURNING BUSH

Remember that recipe I posted a few posts back, from the 1950s home ec book? The one called Burning Bush?

I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE NOW.

But you'll first have to suffer through a couple of funny pictures of my cat and a bento.

Cut for photosCollapse )
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