Where Da Beaches At?

Are you staring at my ruffles?

Are you staring at my ruffles?

Women. They have all the power, don't they? They can go into a bar and simply ask any man if they want to have sex, and that man will likely say, "Hell yeah!"

A man who tries this will likely get punched. Or slapped if they ask women.

But there's a saying: It's a man's world. And nowhere is this more apparent than in Hollywood. Isn't Holly a woman's name? And what are we doing in her wood? That sounds kinda dirty.

I was taking a much needed break from work and the bland laptop screen when I came across an article on RogerEbert.com: What Even Our Best Blockbusters Are Still Getting Wrong About Women, written by Kyle Buchanan. 

The article intrigued me because I'm always curious about criticisms of female roles in movies, books, TV shows because I write from female point-of-views (POV) in my book. I had read a review of Game of Thrones, and how the author - George R.R. Martin - who writes from different character perspectives had gotten a woman's character wrong. Basically, from the female character's perspective, she had been aware of her breasts swaying as she entered a room. And that was poignant for me because I had never thought about that. Of course a man writing from the POV of a woman won't fully understand what being a woman really means. That doesn't explain Memoirs of a Geisha. Then the reviewer turned it around and asked the men if we ever think about our testicles swaying when we enter a room? Only if my underwear feels rough. So I asked my then girlfriend if she was aware of her breasts swaying when she walked around, and she gave me a look like I had asked a stupid question. I took that as a No. 

This skin cream isn't working

This skin cream isn't working

Buchanan's article simply states that women are very under represented in movies. Even in the well reviewed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, there are really only three female roles with very little screen time. Most of the major characters are male, and even though the central storyline is about fathers and sons, women are crucial in the real world, any world that has opposing sexes.

When Buchanan asked the director about this, Matt Reeves ultimately didn't have a good answer and was disappointed by his choice. Though, he stated this wasn't a conscious decision, which I believe to be true.

The article had put a smile on my face. I mean, the article didn't caress my face and then I smiled cause it felt good. It had been a rough couple of weeks at work, and my writing coach had been kicking my ass, which is a good thing. But, in the midst of all that, I had done something right. Finally. 

In my book, I had made a conscious choice to include a lot of female characters, especially in leadership positions, despite it being a father son story too. The father had lost his son to a predator, and now he has to deal with the guilt of not being able to save his own son and the guilt his wife places on his shoulders.

That's my gum!

That's my gum!

I also needed female characters because they symbolize power transitioning from a purely patriarchal perspective to a more enlightened one. It's enlightened because there's a purpose to males and females, ying and yang. A lot of studies have shown that when men and women work together, they tend to accomplish things with better results as opposed to purely patriarchal (Roman Catholic Church anyone?) or matriarchal only groups. Nature created humans with opposite sexes, and with that, different strengths were given to each that are complimentary. It doesn't take much to prove this. The greatest human creation, a human child, can only be made by a man and a woman.

But, Jimmy, how about test tube babies. Sorry, brah (not referring to women's garment), but we still need genetic material from a man and a woman. There's no way around it.

The article is an incredible read. The comments are also interesting because you'll see both sides of the argument. Do we need token women? Is the reason male actors dominate summer blockbusters because they bring in the most money? What about movies such as Twilight, Hunger Games and Divergent that have strong female leads? Don't they count?

One thing about my chest, I am aware of it when I walk into a room. And that's because of the females. Not that I puff out my chest when women are around, I'm not that egotostical, but that I accentuate my chest. But, Jimmy, using a different word other than puff doesn't mean you're not puffing your chest out, brah. Sure it does. Right...? I'll take that as a No.

Travel the Road Less Taken

Critics. What's the saying about critics? If you can't do, critique? That's not it, but something like that.

When I began writing, one of the things I had done was read Roger Ebert's movie reviews. There were times I agreed, and others when I disagreed, like when he gave four stars to PROMETHEUS and one to KICK ASS. Either way, I always learned something about story and film. With Ebert's passing, I'm left with no critic that I really trust.

That's a monstrous woman

I read a favorable review on RogerEbert.com for the movie GODZILLA. I saw the film and was smiling because the monsters destroyed Honolulu and San Francisco; two of my favorite places in which I'm very familiar with. They got some details wrong, but who cares?

One of the commenters of the review stated Hollywood can't come up with an original idea, therefore the remakes. How many Superman, Batman and Spiderman movies have been made? How many gawd dayem Paranormal Activity movies will there be? The fifth will be released late 2014 per IMDb.

Another commenter responded more profoundly: Would the market support original movies (indies)?

And this is the crux of the issue. Will the market—dat be us, folks—support it?

I've spent endless hours researching literary agents. Their initial acceptance is whether they like your writing. They'll say talent, voice, original idea, perfection are what they look for. But it comes down to do they connect with what you've pored your heart into?

From reading hundreds of agent interviews and blogs, I know that they ponder who they can pitch your book to. Because you can have all the talent in the ten dimensions of multiple universes, but if they don't think they can sell your book, then they'll reject it.

It's not you, it's the passion that is your book. Ouch.

Who's behind me?

People think Hollywood has a very narrow view of what can make money, and they wouldn't be wrong. There are several indie movies that have made it big (please don't say the Paranormal Activity franchise), but the likelihood of that happening is small. And there have been many blockbusters who've failed as well, which is why the suits in Holly's wood (sounds kinda dirty but I can't picture why) are hard pressed to greenlight projects unless there's a market for it—dat be money, folks.

Worse, is that the suits in the publishing world are even tighter. So tight that if you stick a lump of coal up their asses you wouldn't be able to take it back out. Plus, that would be painful. And smelly.

So why write? Some passionately declare it's their passion. Others call it their calling. Me? It's just what I do. I love to storytell. So sue me. Wait! Don't. Seriously. Don't.

In spewing the end of the world, I suggest that we all try new things. Watch indie movies. Read mid-list authors. Take the road less traveled, unless you get lost easily. Then maybe carry a GPS device.