A Photo for Friday

“Crimson Column”

Crimson Column

“Crimson Column”

February 18, 2024

Pike Road, AL

FILED UNDER: Photo for Friday, Photography
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Huh, I’ve never seen that apparition before.

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    Beam me up, Scotty

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  3. Kathy says:

    I’m sure that’s what Z’ha’dum looked like before it became a barren wasteland.

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  4. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Whoa. Stunning.

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  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    A rant on doing the right thing, stupidly.

    The Annennberg Center says DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) in film is actually regressing. I am not surprised. Indeed, I predicted it. Is this an inevitable result of the patriarchy? No. Is it racist? No. The cause, as is so often the case in this world, is stupidity. Doing good, but doing it so poorly you subvert your own cause.

    Challenged to have more female-led stories, Hollywood’s reaction was to simply gender-swap characters in genres that had never, and will never, attract large numbers of women. Stupid. In order to big-up their new female leads they belittled male co-leads. Stupid. Racial diversity was handled a bit better, IMO, for the excellent reason that Black men tend to like the same stuff as White men. Women do not like the same stuff as men of any color.

    A very interesting case in point was Bros, which came out a year or so ago. It is a gay rom-com. Which no one watched, including gay men. 100% predictable, because gay men are men and men don’t watch rom-coms unless dragged there by a woman, just as women don’t go to superhero movies unless dragged there by a guy.

    Is there a solution? Yes. Stop gender-swapping, it does not work. If you want a female-led action/adventure movie, take a look at Atomic Blonde. Or Mad Max Fury Road. Or Aliens. In each case you have a well-defined, grounded-in-reality female character who does not need to belittle male characters, but rather exists in her own space as a legit character with actual human characteristics to include: making mistakes, sometimes losing, re-training, learning and improving. You know, just like a male character might. Or a character, period.

    Instead Hollywood did the easy and stupid thing: the ‘girl boss’, the ‘Mary Sue’, who has ALL the virtues, NONE of the weaknesses, CANNOT lose a fight against a male character, is NEVER wrong, and certainly never NEEDS anything from a male. This is not how stories work. This is stupidity that anyone with any grasp of story-telling could have told them, was not gonna work. And boy, did it not work.

    Hunger Games, which for reasons of professional jealousy I have to pretend not to respect, did not have Katniss show up on Day One able to punch out Mike Tyson and invent entirely new technologies in her dorm room. She had a pre-existing skill with archery, and an in-world reason for having that skill. Her male co-leads were not simps, they were her equals. At times she was (gasp!) helped my male characters. At times male characters (horror!) outperformed her. It’s not that hard to figure out how to do it, Suzanne Collins used to be in Hollywood, before she started writing books. She probably could have explained the basics of story-telling, for the slow kids in the executive suites.

    Katniss is not the only example. Buffy in,Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Xena, in Xena: Warrior Princess. The Bride in Kill Bill. Ripley in Alien(s). Sarah Conner in Terminator movies. Tris in Divergent. Or our girl Rachel, in Animorphs.. Or my girls Dekka and Lana and Brianna in Gone. None of the creators above were geniuses. Nor were they all women. What they all have in common is competent story-telling that serves the cause of DEI while also making money. Which is the relevant metric.

    I don’t know whether it’s a dearth of writing talent, or the larger system crushing writing talent under the mouse shoe of oppression, but Jesus H., Hollywood has pissed away hundreds of millions, maybe billions of dollars, pursuing this utterly stupid approach, and is now in full retreat on DEI. Good cause, poorly executed, subverts good cause. It’s not enough to have your heart in the right place, you still have to do the work.

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  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    WTF?

    I did not post this here. It’s supposed to be in the forum.

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  7. @Michael Reynolds: Probably just clicked on the wrong “Friday” post. Easy enough to do.

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  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    You’re implying that I made a mistake? Inconceivable.

    But on topic: cool sky beam. Thor should be along soon.

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  9. gVOR10 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: No, under Hollywood rules it would have to be Hela.

    My understanding is that Heimdall is black in the movies not because of DEI per se, but to distance the movies from the white nationalists who adopt Norse mythology.

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  10. Franklin says:

    Just wow!

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  11. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    lol … btw …
    I very much enjoyed Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron was very very good. She was every bit as good in this action thriller as Matt Damon was in the Bourne stuff.

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  12. @OzarkHillbilly: I have never seen anything like it, either. I have no idea what would cause the sunset to manifest like that.

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