Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

Thank You, Carrie Fisher

leia-bowie

TODAY’S BREW: Herbal tea because of flu-like symptoms and hot head.

By Julie

We’ve lost Princess Leia.

Side note: 2016, get the fuck out of my house.

Leia and Carrie Fisher are one in the same and completely their own to me. This is the fusion of two incredible women that taught me a lot of things at a very young age:

  • You can make big-ass mistakes and still be strong.
  • Princesses can have a blaster without having stolen it from a man.
  • Princesses can wear pants.
  • Pretty and powerful are not mutually exclusive.
  • A sense of humor can get you through just about anything.
  • carrie-quotes
  • Be honest. Never ashamed. Talk about who you are. Own it.
  • Women don’t need to be paralyzed by their upbringing or questions around it.
  • Strength is in the eye of the beholder
  • “Leia is way cooler than Luke, Jedi or not.” –me, my entire life
  • Princesses/women don’t have to be soft spoken and sweet.
  • Save yourself. Nobody needs to do it for you.
  • Nobody has to be just one thing. Leia held every hat she could get her hands on.
  • Gold bikini or not, she could still choke a bitch.
  • It’s cool to be the only little girl with her dad in the movie theater for a “boys’ movie.”
  • There are no boys’ movies. There is no “boys'” anything.

 

She was a general, but she was still royalty to me.

And she is one with the Force now.

debbie-and-carrie

Now her unbelievably glamorous, talented, hilarious, shining mother, Debbie Reynolds passed away just the day after her daughter, her last words being, “I want to be with Carrie.” I take more comfort in that than I thought I could. Thank you both for adding to the definition of strong.

 

ARTISTS ARE LOUDMOUTHS. OWN IT. By Julie

TODAY’S BREW: Trader Joe’s Gingerbread AND I AIN’T TRADING THIS COFFEE, JOE.

By Julie

So 2016 was a cloven hooved kick in the ass, and the election has all of us praying for death, I get it.

And I commend every artist out there that’s stuck to creating when everything looks so bleak. So uncertain. Lots of authors have spoken out about this recently, and it’s because we know we have voices that are heard, and voices we CAN’T SHUT THE FUCK UP.

What I want to say here is that yes, artists–and I speak to authors in particular because that’s what I know bestest–have a responsibility. We need to speak out, we need to be the loudasses, but not so everyone knows our political opinions, but because the act of speaking out is one that we can support best.

EVERYBODY NEEDS TO SPEAK OUT AND SPEAK UP. Authors are the masters of this because our heads and hearts are so full that it just spills out onto the page and onto our families at Thanksgiving.

An author’s duty is not to splay their opinions out, necessarily. I mean they’re important, and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to identify with and feel united with our favorite authors. But the author’s job when times are tough and the world feels beaten, is to exemplify that having a voice–no matter what it’s saying–is important. Is needed. It’s what creates society, and takes societies down, and changes things. Saying something changes things. That’s what I stand for. That’s what I feel my job is as an author. To move forward, say what I need to say and stand behind it, and encourage the world to be brave that same way. That’s my job.

And what I REALLY want to say is that your work does not have to have political undertones. It does not have to echo what society is today. It does not have to be built on fear or mass opinion. It isn’t what you say that always matters, it’s that you said it.

Sure, I’ve wondered if my work should have more society-reflected themes, undertones that speak of the real world. Maybe they will one day. I’ll let the book make the call. As of now, my work does have all the undertones and themes that any self-respecting English major’s work should have, and they’re important. To me. And they speak of things that II hold close, that make a difference in the individual, like not letting anyone or anything decide your fate for you. (Seems pretty relevant after all, doesn’t it?) THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS focuses heavily on not limiting yourself to being one thing, not only being what others see you or expect you to be.

We’ve made such progress with the LGBT community, women are making such headway, racism continues to be an eternal fight, and individuality and value is so highly focused upon in our country right now. And we now face oh, a guy who thinks conversion therapy–something actually used on GODDAMN AMERICAN HORROR STORY A FEW SEASONS BACK–is an option. We have Nazis and KKK members openly supporting our president-elect. And that same man treats women like property, degrades and debases them continually, and will be the person to shape a generation.

Everyone has an opinion on these things. Everyone is afraid. Speak out about your political views and your fears, if that’s what helps you. It will help others, too. Others who might be afraid to do it themselves.

But if your way of speaking out is by focusing on things that matter to you internally and not externally, that matters, too. Books that reinforce who we want to be as people, that have morals and show human change and growth all help, too. They speak to the individual just as much, in a different way, and by writing to explore morality, we affect lives on a different level, by declaring who we can be to support the world we want to live in. We inspire change, and having the courage of our convictions.

Whatever you write, write. Make it, or it won’t exist. Say it or it never is said. Confirm your idea, lest it dies. Be part of a world that speaks.

Julie Gives Unpopular Opinion on Suicide Squad

TODAY’S BREW: Trader Joe’s Winter Blend. AND IT’S SNOWING, IT’S LIKE I’M IN A COMMERCIAL IF TJ’S WAS BASE ENOUGH TO MAKE COMMERCIALS.

By Julie

So I saw the much-hated SUICIDE SQUAD yesterday. (Reel Film Reviews called it “rather aggressively unwatchable,” for instance.) I was skeptical for the following reasons, none of which had to do with reviews:

  1. I’m a die-hard fan of Heath Ledger’s Joker. you-complete-me-joker
  2. And I’ve just never liked Jared Leto. Add to that the unavoidable media frenzy of what a creep he became to stay in character, like sending used condoms to his cast mates, and it was unpromising.
  3. The portrayal of Harley Quinn had me angry before I ever saw the movie.
  4. I’d seen THE KILLING JOKE, (one of three women in the four women in the theater, myself and my friend being half of them, and with good reason), which I’d been looking forward to, and was sorely disappointed.
  5. I’m a Marvel girl at heart, though I adore Batman.
  6. I just can’t Affleck in general, and held a grudge about him being Batman when Bale is so perfect, and I hate Superman. The trickle down of annoyance followed after BATMAN V. SUPERMAN (which I actually liked after seeing it, despite its downfalls), had me not so thrilled for related movies.
  7. I heard Enchantress wasn’t given enough of a role and I really like the idea of that character, but like I find in most DC material, they never fully realizes her potential. (Insert here another time I’ve proclaimed with red face, “AND THAT’S WHY I SHOULD WRITE THIS CHARACTER, GODDAMMIT.”)

HERE’S WHAT I THOUGHT NOW, A BUNCH OF OPINIONS JUST BELCHED OUT AT YOU.

OKAY. So I saw it and (like with BATMAN V. SUPERMAN) was extremely pleased and surprised by the awesome character intro. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller gave these characters all the background they deserved and in a really uniquely villainous, misguided  way that had me hooked. I really loved how varied all their stories were. And like B V. S, I was later annoyed by how much the story fell apart, how half-assed the character development was WHEN IT WAS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF THEIR STUPID FACES TO DO, and was left saying, “Well, I probably have to see it again? Or something?”

THE VIOLATION OF THE JOKER: Just like happened with the Affleck Batman, I was made to think differently about the character, and I LIKED IT. I’m a goddamn hard sell on my beloved comic characters being CHANGED UNDER MY FRIGGING NOSE. You know, Leto did something amazing–he made me remember that Joker is a goddamn VILLAIN. Heath Ledger was brilliant, unquestionably. But I loved him. I loved him. I understood him a bit (don’t arrest me), and he was intelligent and so sane about his insanity. About his reasons for not having reasons. And Christ, he was funny. And hot in a creep way. (You determine who the creep is here.)

From Leto’s first moment on screen, I was revolted. HE was revolting. His look, the way he spoke about Harley, the way he treated her in that first scene was just maddeningly gross and demoralizing and everything that could ever be wrong in a relationship, if you could even call it that and not slavery. And then. AND THEN. We see his joy and pride in claiming, “I’m not going to kill you, I’m gonna hurt you, real bad,” when he captures her in Arkham, and then she belongs to him. It gave me flashbacks of THE KILLING JOKE, but way, way worse. I went from revolted to a sort of hysterical nausea with violent undertones of terror. And he just goes on and on to abuse her worse and worse, and she loves him for it. And in spite of him being on screen so little, goddamn did he command a presence that left a shadow throughout every scene of the movie. Congratulations, Leto. I despise you and respect you.

And Harley Quinn. I have so many feelings about Harley Quinn in general. She has a cool factor, most certainly, in the comics, in the merchandise…

And because this is my goddamn blog, I get to go on a short tangent. The DC Superhero Girls toys? Great idea. Good step forward to superheroes being just ONE FUCKING AISLE IN A STORE. NOT BOYS’ SUPERHEROES AND GIRLS’ SUPERHEROES. AISLE THREE, FUCKING SUPERHEROES, THAT’S WHAT THE SIGN SHOULD SAY. And then Lego gets involved, and gives Harley THE POWER OF DATING! the-power-of-dating

Great start, DC. Kill me. Not to mention that Harley Quinn is a sorta tough sell to me on a child’s character. Because no.

Back to the movie. Harley was portrayed as–well, you’ve seen it. Daddy’s Little Monster, in her booty shorts and uber-high heels and pigtails, which is neither here nor there–she can wear whatever the hell she wants. What gets me is the little girl voice and the pandering to her sexuality from the first frame. She’s a psychiatrist. Why is she talking in this annoying frigging voice, sounding like a teenager trying to sound stupider than she is to get the attention–

Oh. Oh, okay. I get it. It’s an act, to a degree. And there is a scene where she puts it on, clearly, and the rest of the squad sees it a bit, and we get a glimpse of her sadness at who she is. There’s a scene where she psychoanalyzes Deadshot as well, through the rose-tinted glasses of her “love,” and we get a glimpse of the perfectly sane Harley underneath. She’s been reduced to this little girl image by the Joker that seems like it starts with the electro-shock that made her generically crazy, but it’s his subsequent treatment of her that makes it come to fruition. So HARLEY I have no problem with in this movie. I think Robbie did a great job with her. It’s, as usual, DC’s treatment of women (see also: Batgirl, for instance, and yes, Lois Lane who everyone seems to love but me), that ruins Harley Quinn. Granted, comics in general sexualize women, but Harley is sort of the pinnacle of it.

And yeah, there’s a disgustingly vivid misogynistic overtone to–basically everything DC. We could talk all day. I mean, even Batman has his moment with Harley, like a true dirtbag, and I don’t like that one bit. Not at all. But as far as Joker and Harley, we’re supposed to detest their relationship. It’s not supposed to be adorably crazy. It’s not supposed to be remotely healthy, or have a bright side. We’re supposed to be disgusted beyond words, and I like to think that the movie was made with this in mind, not ignorantly. Of course, I could be wrong. Though I’m never wrong, you just have a different version of right.

But ENCHANTRESS. Whoa, Nellie, was she kickass. I loved everything about her–Cara Delavigne was great as June Moone, very likeable even from the few scenes we have of her, not as Enchantress. I mean, I want a whole Enchantress movie. I want the novelization. I want the comic series. I want the toys and the artwork. Superb.

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But, like BATMAN V. SUPERMAN, it started out with amazing potential, had me bought in right away, and then the conflict just crumpled. I don’t believe much of it. I don’t believe the world is in danger and that a guy who can shoot and a woman with a bat can fix it. I don’t believe Harley would make the move “for her friends” that she did at the end when her (hurk) “relationship” with the Joker could be restored instead. And I don’t buy that Deadshot would choose Harley’s life over his child’s future. It starts amazingly, then just sorta falls apart in its complexity, just like Affleck vs. Cavill, which I clearly also need to blog about because I have all the opinions.

 

 

Julie, Not On Display

TODAY’S BREW: cupcakes.

By Julie

The world has gone mad. If riots in the streets were the least of our worries, the sun could shine more brightly, but instead we have been cast into the gloom of an orange glow that is so tremendous it flays us alive. And we did it to ourselves.

In the midst of this terror, you wonder, WHERE IS JULIE HUTCHINGS? WHAT DOES SHE THINK? WHAT IS SHE DOING IN THIS, THE DAWN OF OUR FINAL DAYS?

Oh, I’ve been kickin’ it, you know?

I unplugged an awful lot. (See also: “Are you on Facebook?” “BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! gasp. BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” and “Did you see that tweet?” “NO! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”) Part of that was relieving myself of the brain-insistence that the universe will turn to goo if I don’t blog on a regular schedule, if I don’t answer emails for a day, if I go for even a couple of days without opening my laptop.

Not just for political reasons, but personal reasons. I needed to occupy my own headspace , remember who I was before people on the other side of the screen existed, and wow, do I feel like Julie.

SORRY, WORLD.

You know what I’ve been up to? Making like, 3 dozen cupcakes at a time with my kids. I got a tortoise (he’s kind of a jerk and it is the best thing ever). I’m editing for clients like WHOA. (hit me up, writers. My rate could change come January.) I did stuff like buy new curtains, get rid of old furniture, things that exist and affect me in my personal space. I’ve been writing (though not as much as I’d like) and planning my next books. I’ve been going to the park even when it’s too cold to feel my fingers. I’ve been reading. I’ve been teaching writing courses and helping the elementary kids with their writing at the boys’ school. I’ve been breathing and doing one thing at a time.

I couldn’t recall the last time I’d done one thing at a time.

I’ve been doing things for folks that have helped me when I was down.

I’ve been watching TV.

I’ve been Christmas shopping. (too much)

I’ve been breathing and enjoying everything.

I’ve been writing in notebooks rather than on my laptop a lot and that feels so grass roots and like home that I could just cry.

Anyway, I now feel like I’ve rested, and that I can weave blogging in a lot more without wanting to close the door and not speak for the rest of the day. I want to share with you guys again. But for a while, I just wanted to be happy with my family and friends in my physical life and be Julie, not on display.

But now ROGUE ONE is coming out, and I can’t make any promises. I live at the movie theater now.

 

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