What I Like: New Reviews Forthcoming

When I restarted this blog a few months ago, I tried something called “12 word reviews.” 

They never really felt right or caught on, probably because 12 words isn’t enough for any real information,  just a little snark.


And that meant I had to tack a few paragraphs on, which meant it wasn’t really a 12 word review at all.

But I do still want to talk about some things, mostly books, so I’ll drop the gimmick and just talk. 

Before I start, here are a few things I like to see in media: 

  1. Female (or otherwise non-male) lead roles
  2. Multiple female characters
  3. Who aren’t female re-skins of tired masculine stereotypes 
  4. Major characters (including leads) who are people of color
  5. Multiple non-white characters, including women of color
  6. Characters who subvert or just don’t fit gender conventions, in whatever way that fits the setting (including LGBT+ characters) 
  7. Perhaps most importantly,  a story that doors not perpetuate the myth of redemptive violence

    1-6  are partly on general principle (representation is a good thing)  and partly because I’m sick of reading,  playing,  and watching the same white male (anti) hero for the 800,000th time. 

    7 is because we are indoctrinated from early childhood with the idea that what makes the world better is killing or beating up the right bad guys. 

    It’s great training if you want a populace that uncritically accepts every war, bombing,  and use of torture the men in high places want to enact,  but it goes against the teachings of Jesus (and many other religious as well).

    Even the churches get in on this act when they teach preschoolers a sanitized version of David and Goliath (and forget to mention that David grew up to be a rapist who murdered his best friend to cover up his crime).

    So when I write about a book, movie, or game, I’ll most often keep these things in mind,  as well as the standard information,  like how i had to force myself to stop reading and go to bed,  or how the actual prose style worked out. 

    Ghostbusters, now that I’ve seen it


    It will probably comes as no surprise to most of you when I say liked it. I grinbed and laughed along with it until the climax.

    Then it went all CGI actiony for about 10 minutes. Some reviewers hated this,  but I found it strangely satisfying to watch comic actors kicking ghost butt in HD CG glory…it was a bit like watching Sammo Hung or Jackie Chan fight, but without the martial arts (obviously).

    After the brief actuon interlude, it got funny again, ending with the best and most fun end credits I think I’ve ever seen.  

    Now, a couple of thoughts about the film.

    This is the second movie I’ve seen recently that had a young,  entitled white man with a grievance as it’s primary villain (The Force Awakens being the other), and I have to say or makes a nice change. Kylo Ren and Rowan aren’t villains I’ve seen a million times in movies,  though apparently their personality types are common (and toxic) enough in the real world. 

    The Mary Sue has a great article about the politics of Ghostbusters, comparing it to its predecessor. I pretty much agree with it,  so I will just direct you to it faster than rehash it. 

    I remember grinning through almost the entire film,  absolutely loving the cast and characters (especially Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzman, whose cocky mad scientist would actually make an awesome 13th Doctor).

    Apparently I’m not the only Holtzman fan. Style Thief actually published a how to dreas like Jillian Holtzman article, and it started with “give absolutely no f@#k$”.

    So,  thumbs up,  and I’ll gladly watch it again.

    Meat- Free Monday:  Eating Out Vegan Style

    So I’ve had some experience eating out now as a vegan, and it has honestly been a mixed bag.

    Whoever said eating out as a vegan was cheaper must have been eating expensive places as an omnivore. I  haven’t found it to be true.

    Fast food is right out.

    Small towns present very limited options for vegan dining, but you can sometimes get them to make exceptions. 

    Our local pizza buffet, Deb’s, takes requests from customers, as many buffets do. So I asked them if they could make a veggie pizza with no cheese.  They did, and it was delicious. I know: I ate the whole thing.

    Fast fresh places like Qdoba are pretty easy, and good. Even Subway has vegan options, but as my father said, their veggie delight is all veggie, no delight. I think it’s better than being hungry, but that’s as far as I’ll go to praise it.

    Chain delis  like Newk’s can offer good options. Newk’s veggie club is amazing, with Portobello mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, and crusty  bread. Just hold the cheese and pesto and you’re golden.

    Sushi is easy, since it is all handmade, and many Japanese restaurant menus have multiple vegan options built in. It was fun having so many options I actually had to CHOOSE. 

    Italian restaurants, even big box chains like Olive Garden, are easy. The menu will have several easily- altered starting points, and they often are on the cheaper side.

    Chinese buffets usually have a few veggies, plus lo mein. Many have hibachi or “Mongolian grills”  whet you can build you own stir fry as part of the buffet.

    Hey, I live in rural Mississippi. Did you expect a review of five star,  $200 a plate restaurants? 🙂 

    I tell you what, when I eat at one, I’ll tell you all about it.