Author Topic: Wonder Woman  (Read 817 times)

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Offline kimmy

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #90 on: July 14, 2018, 12:10:57 pm »
Ophelia and Betty are realistic.  And they died! 

First off, there's nothing realistic about Ophelia.

As for Betty,  I first off remind you that when I proposed Mad Men as an example of realism, you *spit out coffee* and replied that it's a soap opera. That aside, the character of Betty Draper is one creator's interpretation of gender roles in an era that he wasn't old enough to experience first hand.   So in that sense, the Madison Avenue of 1960 isn't inherently any more real than Westeros, and Betty Draper isn't inherently more real than Daenarys Targaryen.

People can learn more about the trajectory of women in society from Betty than from a fantasy.

Betty Draper is part of Matthew Weiner's attempt at social commentary.  Your video explains that she's unhappy and unfulfilled in the role society has ordained for her.  Ok, that's great, and but how much can we really learn from that?  What does this really tell us about "the trajectory of women in society"?    It's part of Weiner's commentary, but in itself it is not exactly the most profound observation.  Mad Men is perhaps Matthew Weiner's attempt to depict and interpret a time and place in human history, and perhaps he attempts to express broader themes in this journey as well, but the two objectives aren't contingent upon one another. 

I have said before in this space that our fantasies say more about us than our earnest attempts to analyze and describe ourselves.   That audiences flocked to see a movie is in itself as significant a statement about our culture as whatever cultural commentary the creators may be providing.


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Offline MH

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #91 on: July 14, 2018, 12:14:54 pm »
Popular culture is escapism, that I agree with.  I am saddened by your skillful takedown of my argument.

I will thus withdraw by saying that I must concede if a woman discredits a fictional character who is female, as you have.  I maintain that I learned a lot from Betty.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #92 on: July 15, 2018, 11:23:50 am »
Popular culture is escapism, that I agree with.  I am saddened by your skillful takedown of my argument.

I will thus withdraw by saying that I must concede if a woman discredits a fictional character who is female, as you have.  I maintain that I learned a lot from Betty.

I don't intend to discredit the character.  Not at all.   I just objected to your description of her as "the REAL wonder woman".    Whatever else she might be, she certainly isn't that.  She's pretty much the exact opposite.

If you learned something from her, that's great.  I find that a lot of well-written characters, across every genre of fiction, give me a pang of empathy.  If Betty did that for you, that's a sign of quality writing.

(And it has nothing to do with her being in a semi-real setting, btw-- it has to do with her dealing with challenges that you understand, reacting in ways that you can relate to.   Cersei Lannister is probably one of the most thoroughly awful characters ever put on TV, but throughout the series there are moments when the viewer can't help understanding her, thinking "no wonder she's the way she is..." and those moments of empathy aren't lessened by her being in a fictional kingdom where there are dragons and zombies.  The villain in Black Panther is probably one of the most talked about and analyzed fictional characters of the year, and it's because even though he lives in a world of comic-book superheroes, he taps into something that is extremely real.)


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Offline kimmy

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #93 on: July 15, 2018, 11:53:31 am »
One of the things I like about these discussions is that they make me think through my own ideas as I try to express them to others.

In regard to the "realistic settings" thing, something that has been bouncing around in my head for a while is the idea that there really isn't such a thing as a realistic setting.

Any attempt to portray a realistic setting is, unavoidably, like the old story of the 3 blind men trying to describe an elephant.   The author can't give you a complete setting, he can only explain parts of it, and focus on the parts that are most important to his story.   A story set in the Deep South in 1960 might focus on aspects of the setting that illustrate racial divisions and class divisions, if those are the aspects of the setting that are most important to the story... but it's not a complete description of that time and place... it's the author distilling the elements of the setting that he wants you to focus on.

Even the evening news has this.  The evening news isn't a complete description of the city you live in.  It's the news editor's perception of what events occurring that are most "newsworthy".  People think that if they watch the news they know what's going on in their town, but they really just see the parts that are most newsy, which usually means the most alarming and upsetting and controversial.  Plus a cat getting rescued from a tree at the end of the show.

Your local news editor can't even create a complete picture of what's happening in your city right now... an author writing about a setting in a time before he was even born can't create a complete picture.  Both of them are just presenting the parts of the setting they think are most relevant.  So when it gets right down to it, how much difference is there between an author who is looking at a historical setting to distill it and present aspects that are most relevant to his story, and an author who has created a fictional setting that depicts those elements?

 -k

Offline MH

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #94 on: July 15, 2018, 04:55:44 pm »
Still, though... there are frames of reality: unreal, fantasy, surreal, hyper-real etc.

There is a thing I heard on Sunday Edition where some academic said that when they blended fake wrestling with real stories of the people (eg. their backstories, divorces, substance abuse or whatever) then they created a new hybrid reality and that is what President 45 carves out as his sphere of existence.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #95 on: July 15, 2018, 08:19:07 pm »
Still, though... there are frames of reality: unreal, fantasy, surreal, hyper-real etc.

There is a thing I heard on Sunday Edition where some academic said that when they blended fake wrestling with real stories of the people (eg. their backstories, divorces, substance abuse or whatever) then they created a new hybrid reality and that is what President 45 carves out as his sphere of existence.

Many of the so-called "reality shows" are anything but.  Once like The Amazing Race and Survivor are of course just elaborate game shows. But shows like Duck Dynasty or the various Real Housewives shows or 24 Kids And Counting or Moonshiners or **** like that are just a bunch of scripted shenanigans, falsely portraying themselves as being real life.


Westeros as depicted in Game of Thrones is a fictional setting vaguely inspired by medieval Europe but also inspired by medieval European myth.  Madison Avenue of 1960 as depicted in Mad Men is a fictional setting inspired by a recent time and place,  and whatever mythological touches may be present in the series are far less obvious than those in Game of Thrones.  Gotham City as depicted in Batman comics and movies is a fictional setting inspired by the darker, grimier side of New York City.  Metropolis, as depicted in Superman comics and movies is also inspired by New York City, but takes its cue from the brighter, shinier aspects of New York City as opposed to Gotham's inspiration in the darker aspects of the place.  New York City as depicted in Spiderman comics and movies is no more real than Gotham City or Metropolis.

Locals like Westeros, Gotham, Metropolis, and even the New York City of comics have an honesty to them, as there is no question about the "reality" of what is being portrayed.  The line blurs a little when something like Mad Men or The Wolf of Wall Street appears, because even though these are inspired by real times and places, they aren't real. The same could be said of any movie or TV show set in the present day, when you come down to it.  One could look at an episode of some police procedural or spy drama and say "hey, this is a real setting", but it certainly isn't.  But most audiences at least understand that despite the pretense of being in a modern day setting, this isn't "real".

But when it comes to these "reality shows", the line isn't just blurred, it's completely erased.



Trivia corner:  "Gotham" as a nickname for New York City originated in 1807, in Washington Irving's satirical periodical "Salmagundi", where Irving lampooned New York City culture and politics using the fictional Gotham, named after Gotham, Nottinghamshire, England, a locality notorious for the alleged stupidity of its residents.

 -k

Offline MH

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #96 on: July 15, 2018, 09:02:03 pm »
I did NOT know the origin of "Gotham" in that way.  It makes me love the Batman TV show even more.

Offline MH

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Re: Wonder Woman
« Reply #97 on: July 18, 2018, 07:30:57 am »
Old man rant on Marvel movies

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=vaDeaAJjvIs?t=11m30s

Start at 11 minutes and 30 seconds