Posts tagged with "xena" - Faerye Net 2011-02-14T16:21:53+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Geek Valentine's: Serious discussions for geek couples 2011-02-14T16:21:53+00:00 2011-02-15T21:44:55+00:00 <p>Those of you who know me well may expect that if I acknowledge Valentine&#8217;s Day at all, I usually mark it as Oregon Statehood Day or extol its origins in the celebration of familial and platonic love before its absorption by <a href="" target="links">the romance cult</a>. So I&#8217;m going to shock you: this is an actual romance-related blog post to mark Valentine&#8217;s Day.</p> <p>Good communication is key to any lasting relationship, romantic or otherwise, and there are certain important conversations that the experts suggest people have before entering upon romantic commitments. But those experts are usually not geeks, so they overlook all sorts of situations that are specific to the geek lifestyle (or to the lifestyle geeks wish they had.) So, I have taken it upon myself to lay out some discussion topics. These are not small questions like who drives the starship: they touch on religion, ethics, life, death, and all that sort of thing. It&#8217;s important to settle such points if you want to be celebrating the tenth anniversary of your victory against the forces of evil together, instead of going on adventures all by yourself and wondering where your zippy banter has got to.</p> <p>What is my authority to designate discussion topics for you and your co-protagonist? My authority is that I have a blog and you are reading it.</p> <p><strong>10 Serious discussions for geek couples</strong></p> <p>10. <strong>Am I free to date if you die?</strong> It&#8217;s just good to get this out of the way: how long should you wait to make sure your old honey isn&#8217;t going to be revived, or resurrected by magic, or regrown by sinister corporations?</p> <p>9. <strong>Will you kill me if I am facehugged, bitten by a zombie, et c.?</strong> If it comes to that, your partner should do you both. If you&#8217;re not willing to even get someone <em>else</em> to stake my vampirized corpse, cut my head off and fill my mouth with garlic, what kind of commitment can you offer me?</p> <p>8. <strong>Do we convert if we witness a miracle?</strong> If the Holy Grail cures your dad&#8217;s gut wound, do you consider yourself illuminated, or just move on to the next thing?</p> <p>7. <strong>Do we welcome our alien overlords?</strong> For instance, I&#8217;m pro-cephalopod overlord, but I&#8217;m not too keen on reptilians.</p> <p>6. <strong>Are we going to get cyber implants? If so, how many?</strong> If flashing lights and servos are a dealbreaker for your co-protagonist, it&#8217;s best to know now.</p> <p>5. <strong>Are AIs and manufactured sentients deserving of human rights?</strong> Social justice, baby.</p> <p>4. <strong>Is being body-switched with your worst enemy grounds for a break-up?</strong> For the record, Callisto is very pretty. If you have to switch bodies with an evil murderer, you could do worse.</p> <p>3. <strong>Does the holodeck count as cheating?</strong> However you come down on the general rule, it&#8217;s best to specify that holodeck-snogging people you actually know is creepy as hell, as well as potentially more relationship-endangering.</p> <p>2. <strong>Are we raising the kids Orthodox Jedi or Reform?</strong> Oh, sure, some of us geeks are atheists and so forth, but you know if you raise Force-sensitive kids without any religious training, they&#8217;re much more susceptible to Sith interference.</p> <p>1. <strong>Are we in this for loot, or XP?</strong> Sure, you think this is an abstract question, but when you&#8217;re bickering over whether your co-protagonist should take the dream job or the six figures, or whether to return the culturally significant artifact to the village or fence it, you&#8217;ll realize I was right.</p> Top 10 Best Practices for TV on DVD 2006-07-11T21:30:44+00:00 2008-06-08T13:53:08+00:00 <p>I am more or less a sucker for TV on <span class="caps">DVD</span>. It&#8217;s so convenient, so portable, so crisp, so <span class="caps">FULL OF DELICIOUS CONTINUITY</span>. However, it is still a young medium, relatively speaking, and maybe there is some feedback the studios would like from me. Out of the goodness of my heart, and not because it annoys the stuffing out of me, I&#8217;d like to share some constructive criticism.</p> <p>Really, it&#8217;s constructive! You&#8217;ll notice some of them are things <span class="caps">ONE</span> company or series is doing <span class="caps">RIGHT</span>!</p> <p><b>Top Ten Best Practices for TV on <span class="caps">DVD</span></b></p> <p><b>10. &#8216;Play all&#8217; button.</b><br /> <em>(MVP: Babylon 5)</em> Sometimes you just want to have a gargantuan view-a-thon, and this easy-to-implement feature facilitates that. One button, and the entire <span class="caps">DVD</span> of episodes plays.</P> <p><b>9. Episode list on packaging.</b><br /> <em>(MVP: Xena)</em> This helps a lot when you&#8217;re trying to find a specific episode quickly, and there&#8217;s no reason <span class="caps">NOT</span> to do it.</p> <p><b>8. Don&#8217;t quote the series on the packaging, or, worse yet, the discs.</b><br /> <em>(LVP: Angel)</em> Umm, does anyone realize that people who want to watch the TV show may <span class="caps">NOT</span> have watched the TV show? Some seasons of Buffy and Angel have totally vital and spoily dialogue plastered across the packaging, or on the discs where you&#8217;re <span class="caps">REALLY</span> likely to see them.</p> <p><b>7.Spoiler-free menus.</b><br /> Similarly, we&#8217;re pretty much stuck seeing the menu, so if you could choose images that don&#8217;t give away that Character B is a vampire or that A and C are getting together&#8230;that would help.</p> <p><b>6. Skippable intros.</b><br /> <em>(MVP: Everything Joss.)</em> We promise we know your studio&#8217;s name and musical sting, and that the <span class="caps">FBI</span> and Interpol frown on thus and so, and that you aren&#8217;t responsible for anything Ted Raimi says. We don&#8217;t need to see it 6 times per viewing of the season.</p> <p><b>5. Quick menu switching.</b><br /><em>(LVP: Buffy Season 2)</em> Again, we are going to see this <span class="caps">OVER</span> and <span class="caps">OVER</span>. It&#8217;s swell you sprang for a <span class="caps">CGI</span> swoop-shot through a cemetery, but by root and twig, we don&#8217;t need to sit through it every time we press a button!</p> <p><b>4. <span class="caps">STOP</span> the foldfests.</b> <br /><em>(LVP: Buffy, Angel, early seasons of Xena)</em> Many shows are in these gigantic folding cardboard monstrosities. There are a lot of ways to deal with the problem of packaging 6 or more discs attractively, but I think the <em>Firefly</em> approach of slimline cases and the <em>Babylon 5</em>/late <em>Xena</em> book-style packages are the way to go. The <em>Xena</em> discs even click in place nicely and don&#8217;t fall out all the time!</p> <p><b>3. Clear episode progression.</b><br /><em>(LVP: Buffy Season 3; <span class="caps">MVP</span>: Xena)</em> Episode numbers, a clear linear pattern to the episode titles&#8230;any of these will do. Instead, we often have four episodes, one in each quadrant, and they don&#8217;t always progress in the same manner from series to series or season to season (<em>Buffy</em> Season 3 had a different pattern from any other <em>Buffy</em> season.)</p> <p><b>2. Silent menus.</b> <em>(MVP: Xena)</em> Remember, again, we will hear this <span class="caps">MANY</span> times. If you choose a good atmospheric bit from an episode, it will have lost all meaning by the time we watch that episode, and in any case, we&#8217;ll be sick to death of it. <em>Xena</em> compromises by playing the (beautiful) theme music on the disc menu, but having blessedly silent episode menus, so we can get a drink, go to the bathroom, and generally settle ourselves without a 30-second loop of effects and music driving us mad.</p> <p>No one has this last one yet, and I think movies as well as TV shows need this all-important feature:<br /><b>1. Mute-able characters.</b> <br />I don&#8217;t want to listen to Jar-Jar Binks or <a href="" target="links">Kennedy the Annoying Girl</a> in the comfort of my own home. I could probably get wonko to watch Babylon 5 if Sinclair spoke in subtitles for all of Season 1! Give us more freedom. After all, we bought the damn thing!</p> <p>If a decalogue is too much for the studios, I&#8217;ll cut it down to two general reminders: We may not have seen it before, and we will see it over and over again.</p> If I were a supervillain... 2005-05-10T23:52:47+00:00 2010-08-03T12:57:08+00:00 <p><em>No, folks, I&#8217;m not dead, I&#8217;m just raking in the overtime. I promise Marcel&#8217;s mousy meanderings will conclude at some point. However, my own maunderings being more mollifying if they have some motive other than mollification, I shall merge this message with some musings.</em></p> <p>I have been thinking recently about what I&#8217;d do if I were a supervillain. Now, don&#8217;t think I&#8217;m taking the term &#8216;supervillain&#8217; in its strictest sense. Costume strictly optional here. But it&#8217;s fun to think, if I were a villain &mdash; a type from movies, from pulp, from comic books, from TV &mdash; what type would I be? After long consideration (okay, about two bites of yogurt), I&#8217;ve decided I would be the villainess who says many witty, strange, or cutting things and is utterly mad. The quotable crazy, shall we say.</p> <p>Now, this is not just because it suits my rather mad personality. This is not simply because my favorite villains ever are Callisto from <em>Xena</em> (&#8220;I never drink intoxicants, Theodorus. I like to experience life in all its agonizing glory. I don&#8217;t want to dull the sensation for a second.&#8221;), Drusilla from <em>Buffy</em> (&#8220;Miss Edith speaks out of turn. She&#8217;s a bad example, and will have no cakes today.&#8221;), and Harley Quinn from the Batverse (&#8220;I love museums. Do you think they&#8217;ll be mad that I drew raccoons on the abstract paintings?&#8221;)&#8212; and do <span class="caps">NOT</span> make me choose an order on those. It is not merely that I am fascinated by fictional madness, its wellsprings, meanings and clarity. I have a really practical reason for this.</p> <p>If you&#8217;re crazy enough, they can always foil your plan without you looking like a pseudo-competent poser. Cuz, you know, <em>crazy</em>! Even more importantly, if you&#8217;re quotable and lovable enough, the fans adore you. And if the fans love you and the writers can defeat you, you will never, ever die.</P> <p><em>P.S. What kind of villain would <span class="caps">YOU</span> be, fair reader? Bond? Buffy? I bet EMeta would wear gold lam&eacute; and debilitate the heroes with his horrible word-play attack. The <span class="caps">PUNSTER</span>!</em></p>