Thursday, January 24, 2013

Free Speech and Double Standards.

Yup, it’s another political post.  Recently, Debe Terhar posted a picture from Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children to her personal Facebook page (now deleted). It attributes a quote of questionable sourcing to Adolf Hitler about disarming a populace to conquer them.  So of course Ohio Dems got their knickers in a twist demanding she be fired.  She knuckled under, apologizing for the post (made on her personal facebook page, and not in her position as head of the Ohio School Board.  Both her and Gov Kasich shouldn’t have backed down.  But I’ll give the Governor credit, he’s (professionally) telling the Dems to get stuffed.

I'm not going to get into the accurate sourcing of the quote, except to say some historians doubt the validity of the attribution.  It *is* undeniably true that he approved of the disarming of the Jews.  And the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising would have gone much better for the Nazis if they'd been kind enough to disarm.

A couple things.  First, she has a method of being ‘fired’ it’s called an election.  Y’know, part of that democracy thing.  Second, if the Ohio Democrats didn’t have double standards, they’d have none.  
After all, the whining is that the post compares Obama to Hitler.  Yet I didn’t hear any condemnations from the left of things like this, or this, or this.  Or maybe some of these classic hits.
Ohio Democrat party leader Chris Redfern (language warning)  Or Ted Strickland Or how about Sherrod Brown’s greatest lies.  I could go on, but I won’t.  Funny, since these examples are the Ohio officials speaking in their official positions, and the Democrats are silent.

Point is, I’ll take the whining Ohio Democrats seriously when they live up to what they demand of others.  If it wasn’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wonder Woman II – What is Paradise Island in my reboot?

One question that is raised in my reboot concept is why Paradise Island exists.  Clearly it existed in the 30’s and 40’s for a place to put ‘perfect’ women.  That doesn’t quite fit with modern sensibilities, so how do we use the island in the reboot?  We repurpose it.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Paradise Island holds/held various magical artifacts.  While some, if not most of those artifacts are going to be Greek in origin, some aren’t.  In the background information, Paradise Island is meant as a vault.  A storehouse of items connected to the ‘old gods’ left behind in the Amazons’ protection in The Great Compact.  The Amazons then were (initially) the chosen guardians, blessed with superior strength, speed and longevity as long as they stood vigil.  Basically Paradise Island is 'neutral ground'.
Since we’re talking thousands of years of time, we can ‘diversify’ the Amazons.  Basically small groups of Amazons would go into ‘Man’s World’ both to see how the world has changed, and to find the occasional ‘recruit’.  Legends of the Valkyrie, Amazons, Boudica, Joan of Arc, and others, can either be explained by Amazons, or maybe they were recruited.  This allows an ethnically, if not gender-based, diversity.  It would also allow for a number of different fighting styles.  Imagine a Sikh Amazon with a tulwar, or  a Zulu Amazon with a iklwa sparring in the background.
This is the second time I’ve mentioned The Great Compact.  So I guess I’d better describe it.  Essentially the plot point is that the gods ‘backed off’ the world as humanity expanded, rather than see the earth destroyed through deity level conflict. Without their direct influence, magic faded, and that’s why these artifacts are so powerful. This does then imply that every religious conflict in history wasn’t the fault of the gods, rather it was people. *shrug* (I’d also specifically avoid having JudeoChristian items on the island.  It neatly sidesteps the protesters, and allows for a Christian ‘WMD stockpile’.  Templars, anyone?)
‘Powerful’ is a subjective term too.  A gauntlet that projects fire through a mouth is powerful, capable of immolating a hoplite, but it is powerful and unique.  Hook it to a backpack, and it’s a flame thrower, we’ve a lot of those.  Likewise Dianna can block bullets with her bracelets.  A HEAT round is still going to blow her into bloody chunks, no matter if her bracelets are in the way or not.  For TV, Wonder Woman is still more than human, but not Comic Book levels of invulnerability. (Plus, if she was Superman level bulletproof, why does she need the bracers?)  Likewise, Dianna’s bracers are lightweight and effectively indestructible, but could be scienced away with “titanium nanotubes” (no, really).  Basically the show plays hard and fast with Clarke’s Third Law. (Kind of like Warehouse 13)  Some things are going to be outside the realm of recognizable technology, like if one of the artifacts was Athena’s Aegis, for example.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dry Run

I’ve asked for Feb 15th and 18th off of work.  If I can get the time off, I’ll be heading up to Toledo to run Pathfinder events at a convention.  It will be my first Convention since 2009, and the first one I’ve ran official events.
As most people who know me know, I had a nervous break down in 2004.  It’s kept in check with medication, but I still don’t like crowds.  I’ve a finite amount of tolerance for crowds, and strangers, before I have to run away.
My first Pathfinder Society game in 2011 I almost didn’t make it.  By the time we were done, I caught myself rocking back and forth (a sign that my stress levels are too high), and spent most of the next day asleep.  It was mentally exhausting.  And a blast.
Since then I’ve been able to fun games, and stay out all day. January is stressful for me because I’m on the phones.  Not because I can’t do customer service (I can likely do any job at work).  Because I don’t want to. But I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. So after the stress of this month, I’ll be putting myself in a different challenge.
And yet this is a dry run for what is to come.  If I can handle the stress in Toledo, I’ll e running events at Origins.  Much bigger convention.  And if I can handle Origins…
I know I’ll never be as I was before the breakdown.  Hells, there are parts of me I don’t want to be ever again.  But I’ll keep moving forward and be the best I can be.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wonder Woman reboot.

Ok, something less dreary… Wonder Woman.
As we know, there was an aborted attempt at a Wonder Woman series.  Per the comments I’ve read on the pilot, it was… bad.
Given that Wonder Woman is part of the “Trinity” of DC, there *should* be a successful market for Wonder Woman.  However, her golden days were in 1970.  She also, for better or worse, has a history of bondage and polygamy attached to her, by her creator(s).  So how to do a Wonder Woman series?  Here’s my take.
The pilot starts in a Greek style building, a shadowed figure walks through the hallways.  Two women in Greek style hoplite armor with spears stand on either side of the door.  The shadowed figure gestures and the two guards are taken out, easily.  Turned to stone, fall unconscious, die, turned to dust whatever, the point is, they’re gone.  The figure pushes the doors they’re guarding open, and the view gets an image of a large room with urns and other items briefly seen. The only thing the view sees clearly is a pair of bracers, a tiara, and a golden lasso.  The screen fades to black until just the golden lasso is visible, then the show logo appears.
Show comes back and there’s a UN Relief vessel in the open ocean.  Captain Steve Trevor is watching a vessel coming towards his boat.  He turns to the civilian advisor, and warns her it is a pirate boat and they’re unarmed.  She produces a pistol and says, “Not completely.”
As the boat closes, the sky darkens abruptly, and lightning is seen, the pirate boat turns away, fleeing towards shore.  Without warning a coast line appears in front of the UN boat.  The ship runs aground on reefs.  We show them confirming that no, there should be no reefs here, let alone land.  The UN advisor takes a small crew to go ashore.
The boat is met by two more women in hoplite armor like the ones in the beginning.  They forbid the men to come ashore, but allow the UN advisor, explaining she is a woman.  There’s some brief confusion because everyone understands the women, but every person hears them in their native tongue.  The UN advisor introduces herself as Etta Kandi and allows herself to be led to the leader. One of the women introduces herself as Princess Dianna, and offers to take her to Queen Hippolyta. Etta jokingly asks if she is “The” Queen Hippolyta, and Dianna asks (with a trace of innocence) how many she knows.
We see several women as they walk past, doing martial training, feats of strength, wrestling etc. Finally she’s taken before Hippolyta.  Here the plot is explained.  Someone has stolen artifacts, artifacts that the Amazons were entrusted by the gods to keep.  The island has given the guardian women their immortality to protect the items, and with the items stolen, the island has lost its magical protections and been drawn into “Man’s world.” With the artifacts stolen though, the Amazons can’t leave the island or they lose their youth, their strength and their mortality.  Etta scoffs that it is not Man’s world, and they’d love to help recover these artifacts.  After back and forth (or a commercial break) we cut to Dianne being helped aboard the UN vessel, where she meets Steve Trevor.  She is wearing the bracelets, tiara, and lasso, indicating that they are the remaining relics given to her to allow her to leave the island.
Flash forward 3 months or so.  Themascara has an embassy, with Wonder Woman being the only Amazon but with female staff. Etta serves as the UN Liason. Diana is frustrated that this great UN hasn’t done anything, when she hears a rumor of something happening that matches the properties of one of the missing artifacts.  She slips out of the embassy, wearing the bracers and lasso and tiara, pants and a red and gold top. (Think something like This take on Jim Lee’s version.  She finds an updated Kung who is using the mantle of Proteus to commit crimes.  Dianna fights him, which highlights the Amazon fighting style, a mix of Judo, Akido, and Pankration.  She defeats him, and is about to kill him, when Steve Trevor and a squad of soldiers show up.  They go to arrest them both, but Dianne holds up the mantle and uses what she learned from Etta.  “Diplomatic Immunity.”
The pilot ends with her returning the mantle to the vault.  The camera pans out and we see row after row of empty shelves.
Subsequent episodes are a mix of relic hunting and trying to find out who has spread these items.
About episode 7, Dianna is captured and stripped of her items.  She escapes and defeats her captor(s) and discovers she retains the strength, speed, and healing that Amazons have, even without the artifacts.
About episode 13, we meet our first god.  Ares tells Dianna of the relic of the week, his spear.  He also explains that, due to “The Great Compact” the gods cannot interfere. She points out he’s breaking the rule.  Ares simply shrugs.
Episode 20 has an Amazon coming to the embassy to deliver a message.  She’s dying of old age.  Dianna tries putting the relics on her to heal her, but it is no use.  She dies and crumbles to dust.
Episode 22 has her investigating the clues that the Amazon gave Dianna.  She finds out that a member of her embassy has been planted by the thief of the artifacts.  Barbara Minerva.  Barbara, under the stress of questioning, goes through a transformation, into the Cheetah!  She attacks the embassy staff, wounding Etta’s daughter and the episode ends with Dianna torn between losing the lead or losing Etta’s daughter.  Fade to black.
The “Core cast” would be.

  • Princess Dianna, Wonder Woman
  • Etta Kandi, UN liason
  • Steve Trevor, Captain, USN, and pilot.
  • Donna Troy, Etta’s adopted daughter.
  • Barbara Minerva Lead archeologist and researcher (with the face heel turn above)
Wonder Woman's powers are more silver age level than modern.  No flight, 'only' able to lift a ton or so, peak athletic ability, above normal senses, and a healing factor.  Basically she's fast enough to get those bracelets blocking, but if something gets through, she can heal.

Let me know what you think of this rough overview and I’ll write up who the thief is and how he ties in! Also the mystery of Wonder Woman's powers.