Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants


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“What kind of geek are you?”

whatgeek1I didn’t self-identify as a geek for a very long time. As a child, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the 80s, but that wasn’t particularly geeky, because all kids my age liked the Turtles. In a third grade spelling test we were told to spell the longest word we knew, and I managed to get out “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, not because I was an academic overachiever, but because I thought that Mary Poppins was an awesome movie. I liked reading, but I was much more drawn to writers like Roald Dahl and, later, Jeffrey Archer and Michael Crichton, than Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman. I didn’t even touch a Marvel or DC comic until I was about 20.

But the reason I’m writing about my unassumed geekiness is because I was once presented with the question, “but what kind of geek are you?” and I was speechless. That question left me stumped for days. How on earth do you answer something like that? I’ve had geeky interests my whole life, but they just haven’t presented themselves to me as geeky per se. I just thought that they were interests that everyone had. Everyone likes Ninja Turtles, right? Everyone wants to be a superhero, right? Wouldn’t that make everyone a geek? Continue reading

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Assassin’s Creed Chronicles has a Release Date, and it’s Tomorrow

ACchron2

We’ve previously discussed the upcoming Assassin’s Creed trilogy, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles before, and the first installment of it, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, will be available tomorrow in the Americas.

To celebrate the news, Ubisoft has also released a new trailer today offering the gameplay, updated art style and a glimpse into the story.

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Imagined Universes and Their Inhabitants

GotG lineupWhen Marvel announced last year that Thor was going to be female, there was some backlash from pockets of comic book fandom saying that the change went against the mythology of the comic, and that Marvel was just pandering to feminists. Of course, given our cultural climate, it’s hardly surprising that an objection would be made on the basis of Thor’s gender. But what’s weirder is that the basis of this objection is that it wouldn’t fit into a universe which, by its definition, was a fictional one, and as such could encompass whatever sort of characters we can imagine.

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Some Observations about Comments about Marriage

Okay, to start, I am generally opposed to the institution of marriage. I think it’s archaic and ought to be unnecessary, except to gain a particular legal status that everyone should have the right to anyway. I’m definitely not the type of woman who has been planning her dream wedding since the age of five, and even if I had, I’m pretty sure my dream wedding would involve me riding a dinosaur, so it’s not like that was going to happen. However, there are specific reasons why I need to go through this stupid and outdated process, so here I am.

Anyway, we’ve been engaged for over a year, but it wasn’t until we started planning the actual event that I realized just how obnoxiously gendered the culture and language around weddings was. I already knew about the sexist traditions of a bride having her father literally give her away (although now there are several alternatives), the bride’s parents traditionally being burdened with the costs of the wedding (and even with the “modern” versions making the costs more equitable, they’re still predominantly for the bride’s family to cover), but once I told people that I was getting married, there was a clear shift in what they thought I would be interested in talking about, and many assumptions were made about certain norms I was apparently supposed to adhere to.

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Mako Mori, Empowerment, and the Search for Representation

Makocover

There’s not much I could love more in an action movie than giant robots and giant alien monsters, but in 2013 Pacific Rim brought me giant robotsfighting giant alien monsters. In a futuristic world, an underwater portal allows monsters known as Kaijus to rise from the sea and destroy coastal cities, so, naturally, humans operate giant robots called Jaegers to fight them. The film tells the tale of an international team of Jaeger pilots ending the conflict.

But that’s not all. Pacific Rim brought me Mako Mori. She’s one of my favorite female characters ever, not just because she’s a dynamic woman of color, but because she represents the possibility that there could be such characters in Hollywood. In this post, I’ll discuss how she’s unique as a character, and why her presence is important for film.

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