The Crow's Dream

Philosophy, geekery, and the meaning if life, and what I read this week…

Posts Tagged ‘comics

Why An All Female Ghost Busters Cast Matters

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Growing up without my father’s presence might have turned me into a nerd. Not having a stable paternal figure made me look to comics, and escapist TV shows to find my place in the world, which gave me all kinds of unrealistic expectations about the nature of reality.

By far, one of my favorite shows was the Ghost Busters. I loved it because it seemed to be more about people doing crazy and impossible things than about some dudes fighting the monster of the week. I watched the show whenever I could, and ran around the house pretending to be a Ghost Buster in training. In a way, the characters became my roll-models thanks to J. Michael Straczynski’s beautiful writing. He wrote about people, not cartoon characters. When I revisit some of the episodes he wrote, they still hold weight.

While I was trying to figure out my place in the scheme of things, my mother worked day and night to make sure that my brother and I could have a private Montessori education, and that we had activities like Kung-fu classes and regular trips to the public library. My mother believed that she had the duty to get us ready for life. Meanwhile, I kept on having dreams about the Ghost Busters. I’d wake up, only to realize that there was something missing from my life. The world kept on telling me that I needed a father. The looks of pity I got from my classmates confirmed this belief. One time, our teacher decided to treat us to a field trip to the mall, and I wanted money for the arcade. When I asked, my mom gave me the equivalent of a quarter. I held on to it as my classmates feed the Gauntlet machine with coin after coin. Finally, when I decided to play, I only lasted a few minutes. Then, we went to the food court, and everyone ordered burgers. I pulled out a sandwich from a paper bag my mother had put together for me. She was never a great cook so I wasn’t really looking forward to the meal. I remember sneaking to the condiment section of the restaurant, and adding bacon bits, cheese, and other goodies. It tasted great. I don’t remember what I said about bringing my own food, and not having money, but I made stuff up. I lied all the time about my father being away on a business trip. My excuses were inventive, and rooted in shame.

The most memorable fight my mother and I had happened when I was held back a year. The shame of having to repeat 5th grade stayed with me for a long time, but I ended up becoming An excellent student by the time I made it to college. “Look,” my mother would say “I don’t care what you do with your life. l am doing my part by sending you to a good school. Just be the best at what you do. If you become a criminal or a priest just be a good one- Just do your best.”

And so for many years the feeling that something was missing haunted me, and the memories of my imaginary life as a Ghost Buster sorta guided my life. I loved the myth. I love science, and impossible stories, and ended up getting a masters in the technology field, and I love gadgets, and New York.

In my mid twenties, I got some of the GB toys I could never afford when l was a kid. They are still home then in the attic somewhere.

A few days ago, I found out that there was going to be a new Ghost Busters movie, and that it was going to have an all female cast. I was excited, and interested. I didn’t know why, and then it hit me. If I had seen this movie, I would have known that, although the original GB will all ways have a place in my heart, I didn’t really need a father figure as much as I thought I did. My mother did a good job by herself. I wish she hadn’t had to go at it alone, but nothing was missing. kids need loving parents. That’s all, so as I watch the movie, I am going to think about single parents doing the right thing for their kids, and I am going to know that no matter what their gender is, as long as they do their best for their children, they are enough. Thank you for all that you do.

If you repost this, give me credit. As long as you’re not using it commercially, and as long as you give me credit, it’s okay to use this. CC: attribution, non commercial

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Written by Hector

February 1, 2015 at 7:19 pm

Posted in Personal Essay

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Why I Love Comic Book Conventions

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I love conventions because they bring the myths of out times alive. They are like modern rituals. Here is a quote and a video that represent what I am trying to say. First the quote:

A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.

Joseph Campbell, “The Wisdom of Joseph Campbell,” New Dimensions Radio Interview with Michael Toms, Tape I, Side 2*

Now the video:

*You can find more quotes like this one by liking the Joseph Campbell Foundation on Facebook. I found the quote in their page. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/JosephCampbellFoundation/posts/10151367311751722

Written by Hector

July 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Comics

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The Avengers: A Review

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Avengers was probably one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was a crowning jewel of Marvel’s cinematic renaissance, which has made the company a powerhouse over the past few years. It is hard to believe that Marvel went from almost disappearing, back in the 90s, to accompany that can make a superhero movie that is not only accessible, but also mind blowing, to geeks and mainstream audiences alike.

 Usually, when you watch a movie based on a popular franchise you hear from purists complaining about their beloved characters being modified in order to fit a director’s perception of what the mainstream will embrace. Invariably this type of storytelling leads to bland and boring moviemaking. Just think about this about the betrayal most fans experienced when it was announced that the Ninja Turtles were actually going to be aliens, rather than mutants. Avengers succeeded because Marvel had the guts to trust that a good story combined with their characters would be enough to please the audience. They were right. Shortly after the movie I received a text message from a friend whom I don’t think has ever read comic books as habitually as I do. The message read: “Amazing!” And I knew that he was talking about Avengers.

 Finally Marvel has done what me and my friends, back when we are 13 years old, only dreamt about, but never thought would be possible: A movie combining all of our favorite superheroes in the kind of extravaganza that only a genius or a 10-year-old dressed up in a superhero costume can dream about.

 While I haven’t enjoyed everything Joss Whedon has ever made, but the guy knows how to tell a story. Just ask the thousands of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans who followed the show in rapture until it ended. Mr. Wheaton took the by now trite alien invasion ploy and turned it into a multilayered drama that contained just enough romance, political intrigue, corrected development, and action to appeal to almost anyone who loves a good story. The timing in the movie was impeccable, and every actor, from the superhero team to the lowly waitress who gets interviewed at the end had enough presence to carry themselves next to each other.

To be honest, I thought that Chris Evans was not going to be able to pull off the role of Capt. America. I thought that Robert Downey Junior’s magnetic personality would overshadow his role, but he actually pulled it off. He comes across as a somewhat older, extremely idealistic, but gifted leader who knows how to take control of the situation and direct his team towards victory. My concern for Mr. Evans’ ability to pull off the role of Capt. America stemmed from Tobey Maguire’s rendition of Spider–Man. He was a great young Peter Parker, but when it came time for him to turn into smart the  Alec personality of Spiderman, he felt a little bit short. Chris Evans was a great young Captain America, but did not lose track of the character when it was time for him to be the older version of the icon we’ve all come to love and trust.

 As I said before, every other actor surpassed my expectations. Scarlett Johansson was unbelievable as the Black Widow, and everyone got enough screen time for the story to feel tight and organized. While I usually never watch movies more than once, this one will make its way into my collection as soon as it becomes available. Seeing the movie’s incredible success overseas makes me hope that producers and decision-makers in big media companies will see that it is quality storytelling, well-developed characters, and attention to detail that make a great movie experience. I am hoping that the incredible amounts of money the Avengers will generate will have a positive impact in the movie industry. Of course, some producers are just as likely to try and imitate the movie’s success by dissecting it and by trying to copy the elements that made it successful. The problem is that you cannot copy good storytelling. It has to come from a place of authenticity, not from focus groups only.

 I can wholeheartedly recommend the Avengers to anyone who wants a good yarn. And yes, you should stay after the credits.

Written by Hector

May 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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