The Subject of Race and Ethnicity

Today I read a blogpost called You can’t do that! Stories have to be about white people and it reminded me of a subject I had been wanting to write about for a while that isn’t about the representation of gays in the media (btw yes I will review When We Rise when I see it in it’s entirety), Christianity, or essays on genres. Today we are talking about race and how the default protagonist is still white. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but it’s something that still happens. and as Darren Chetty mentioned in his blog post if you want to write about someone who is black or of another race, you have to make your story about the fact they are black/their race (as in your black character has to struggle with racism, they can’t just be black), because if your protagonist isn’t white, it doesn’t sell books as well.

What do you mean you have to make the story about a person’s race if they’re not white?

One of the things I loathed hearing about in middleschool, highschool and my first few years of college was people assuming I would write about my Mexican heritage. Like THAT was the only thing ticking in my mind. It’s not a bad thing, but every time we read stories about Mexicans in school it was always about struggle and how life was shitty for the main protagonist.

Granted I acknowledge that these authors were writing about their own life experiences and respect their stories and life struggles, but my life wasn’t their story and isn’t that story to tell. I had my own struggles, they were nothing like the struggles seen in Hispanic literature. In comparison my life would be seen as a piece of cake by those authors and my struggles would be labeled as a first world problem (which sadly they are).

As I mentioned above Chetty did mention that if I ever write a story with a Mexican protagonist, I gotta write about Mexican heritage or problems or my book (allegedly) isn’t selling squat! For publishers to even consider publishing my book, my protagonist has to either have Mexican problems or have his whole plot centered around coming out as gay (yes I snuck that in too).

What about the TV?

Television has been interesting about race; let’s start with Star Trek the original series. It had Nichelle Nichols playing Nyota Uhura and George Takei playing Hikaru Sulu. A “black woman on the tv who wasn’t a maid” (as described by Whoopi Goldberg) and a Japanese man (who would later come out as a proud homosexual) portraying characters on a science fiction show treated as equal to their colleagues despite their ethnicity.

It took a while for both movies and tv to move past have characters of different races be portrayed as characters beyond just being token minority (it’s debatable if Uhura or Sulu were token minorities). As a kid in the 90’s I saw tokenism at it’s extreme in afterschool specials, and educational television. I remember this one show shown to us at school called The Human Race Club where all the races and ethnicities were represented…and led by a blond haired blue eyed kid with glasses (it had a smart Asian girl, a black kid who liked basketball, a tom boy ginger, and a fat kid).

There was also Power Rangers; three fifth’s of the main five rangers were white (Jason, Kimberly, Billy) with Zack and Trini as the token black and asian without the producers ever realizing that they assigned Zack and Trini as the black and yellow ranger to match their races until it was too late. There was also Tommy who was later revealed to be of Native American decent, not sure if it counts though since it took four seasons to reveal that. This was fixed later when Austin St. John, Walter Emanuel Jones, and Thuy Trang left the show with Rocky (Steve Cardenas), Aisha (Karen Ashley), and Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch) as the new red, yellow, and black rangers respectively of Hispanic, black, and Asian/Jewish ethnicities included.

After the first season, Power Rangers has actually been pretty good about representation of all the races and even had a few ranger teams where the girl or a black person IS the leader (Alien Rangers, Turbo, Time Force, SPD, RPM, Dino Charge). Still no female red ranger though…

Captain Planet also had a minorateam, with the only white American usually being the whiner who had to learn a lesson in the episode. If any of the other members had a plot devoted to them, they were not the whiner. Trust me.

On the CW DC television something interesting happened; races of characters were changed from white to whatever the creators wanted. The whole West family? Black. Jimmy Olson is no longer a adorkable ginger, but is now a hunky black guy with dreamy eyes for Kara and the audience to oogle at (don’t worry, Kara has an adorkable tech friend for fans who are into that sort of thing to oogle at too). There is the issue too some that even though diversity has been added to the cast of these shows, the leads are still white people. With the addition of Legends of Tomorrow (with no MAIN character, but rather having a team lead) and Vixen (female African american (she actually is from Africa)) things are nice and diverse in the live action DC universe.

Because I can’t cover ALL media, here are some honorable mentions. Codename Kids Next Door (it’s like The Human Race Club, except bigger budget and isn’t corny), Star Wars The Clone Wars/Rebels (they have aliens, it counts), W.I.T.C.H. (multiraced badass magical girls), Steven Universe, and Drawn Together (look that show was hilarious regardless of what today’s politically correct millenials will post on Tumblr)

TV comedies (Ugly Betty, The Mindy Project, and Fresh Off the Boat)

It seems races and ethnicities get an easier time at representing different races. In some cases, rather than playing their race for the sake of drama and story telling, they play them for comedy. In the case of Ugly Betty, being of Mexican decent wasn’t a big deal too often. While the show did fall victim to relying on problems faced by immigrants today (for the first and second season Betty’s father was illegally in the US), Betty’s heritage is played for laughs except for one episode (Mark said Betty only got a job to fill a token Mexican spot).

The Mindy Project is awesome; Mindy’s Indian heritage is a joke most of the time and has only been the subject of drama once when Mindy was scared that her son would only know of his Indian half based on a Indian food menu on Mindy’s fridge. Bonus points for Mindy being the subject to large amounts of slapstick humor during the show despite being a woman.

Fresh Off the Boat is a touchy subject; despite being based on the memoirs of Eddy Huang, Huang hates the show feeling they turned his emotional outlet of rap and hiphop and life struggles into one dumb asian joke for the other races to laugh at. Eddy Huang if you ever read this I am sorry, but it is a hilarious show, I have read your book and I understand your anger concerning the show. If it makes you feel better, it has given more exposure to asian actors and actresses.

A Wrinkle in Time movie adaption (this time it won’t be awful)

As many have heard Madeleine L’engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is getting a film adaption with an open cast. Meg Murry being played by Storm Reid and the rest of the Murry family (minus Chris Pine’s character) now black. To add to this Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which will be portrayed by Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey respectively (gotta read that book again and imagine Mrs. Who shrilling like Kaling now).

What can one do to add diversity to books and entertainment?

I’m not sure actually, but you can start by reading The Lunar Chronicles since it does have a racially diverse cast. And tell your favorite authors “hey, I would like some diversity in the fiction you are producing.” Support authors who do write about characters of different backgrounds. Write your own stories about these things fight to get them to be published, I know I am with my books.

 

Towers Falling Review

Towers Falling follows the first semester of eleven year old Deja as she begins a new school year at a new school in New York City. She becomes friends with classmates Sabeen and Ben and the three grow strong bonds despite being of different race, religion, and social class and have these bonds grow stronger while learning of the events of September Eleventh and how this tragedy strengthened their bond.

Spoilers from this point forward.

The book starts off with Deja narrating her life and her responsibilities in life despite being only eleven years old. Deja and her family recently moved into a homeless shelter with little to nothing to claim to their name with her mother working during the day and her father suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When Deja begins fifth grade she feels out of place because she is of lower income than the rest of her classmates.

She meets Sabeen whom she finds too friendly and befriends a classmate Ben. Over the course of the novel the three classmates become close friends. I actually like that Jewel Parker Rhodes chose to have Deja, Ben, and Sabeen be from different races and social classes and have the three characters bond despite these differences.

Sabeen comes from a higher income family and is very kindhearted and friendly to many people because of the American ideology of welcoming all people regardless of social class, race, or religion and because of her own Muslim faith. Ben is the more reserved of the three from Arizona who has a dad in the military who is divorcing his mother.

Because of a school assignment the three friends bond over the events of September Eleventh; Deja is out of the loop concerning September Eleventh due to her family choosing not to speak of the day with Sabeen feeling very sensitive about the subject due to her own religion. Ben on the other hand is very knowledgeable of the subject due to his father being a veteran from The War on Terror.

Choosing to have all three characters born post September Eleventh was an interesting choice by the author since it’s a clean slate for them to have no trauma from the events of the day. Ben is the only character to have seen footage of the actual day with Sabeen only knowing about the events of the day due to her family explaining to her about what happened and why she’s occasionally discriminated against because of it.

Deja’s world begins to turn around for both better and worse after seeing video footage of the day for the first time and asking her parents about the day and discovering the day is heavily connected to her father’s PTSD.

I very much enjoyed the book event though I didn’t realize the book was for a younger YA audience when I bought it, it treats it’s target audience with respect that isn’t seen too often in younger YA novels. I will admit there were times the writing style got on my nerves, but I had to remember it’s written from the perspective of Deja who even though is very intelligent, isn’t doing as well as she can in school due to lack of resources in her home life.

I’d say Sabeen was my favorite character who was genuinely kind for the sake of being kind rather than “I’ll just be friends with the new kids because they’re new”. I was a little disappointed Sabeen wasn’t present for the climax of the novel.

I felt the climax of the novel was very touching and glad to see that the actions taken by Deja and Ben were not met with anger and punishment from their parents, but with love and understanding and how these actions led to Deja’s father beginning the slow recovery from his PTSD.

There are strong themes of connection between people in general beyond family relations extending to friendships, social units, coworkers, classmates, and even just regularly seeing a person on a daily basis. A strong message of bringing and finding joy and beauty in life after a tragedy is present along with these themes.

I give Towers Falling by Jewel Parker Rhodes four out of five pretty scarves.

Wires and Nerve Review

Just when you thought you were done with The Lunar Chronicles, you were wrong. Granted I don’t think anyone thought things were done with The Lunar Chronicles, but things seemed to be fairly wrapped up. With the announcement of the graphic novel Wires and Nerve surrounding the character Iko I was under the impression it was a retelling through Iko’s perspective, I was slightly wrong.

Minor spoilers from this point onward.

Wires and Nerve functions as a continuation to The Lunar Chronicles showing the current lives of Cinder and her friends and aside from Cinder and company trying to tie up loose ends, things are more or less happy. We have Cress and Thorne travelling the world providing vaccinations for Letumosis and sight seeing, Scarlet and Wolfe living a happy quiet life in France, Winter acting as ambassador for Luna, Kai is working on convincing citizens to consider an operation to help resist the influences of The Lunar Gift, and Cinder is trying to convince the citizens of Luna that they do not need a monarchy to continue functioning.

The book’s main focus is Iko and her mission to hunt down the remaining Lunar soldiers on Earth to bring them to justice. However things are more complicated as they appear; with the army of Lunar soldiers on earth feeling Cinder is the same of Levana and would just have them return to their previous way of life.

The graphic novel is well paced and the story is very good, however the artwork of Doug Holgate did put me off at first. As I continued the story along I accepted this was the artstyle chosen for the graphic novel and decided to just go along with it since the story was really good anyways.

My only complaint is, it’s to be continued, like what the hell? I give Wires and Nerve four out of five fancy crowns.

Is Everyone Hanging Our Without Me (and other concerns) Review

Last October I had the opportunity to meet Mindy Kaling and get a book signed by her; sadly this opportunity was destroyed by my friend Sam and I not realizing that other people are huge fans of Mindy Kaling, that and I had some anxiety issues kick in and some other annoying complicated shit that kept me from meeting Mindy at Texas Teen Book Festival 2016 (don’t worry, this is the last time you’ll probably hear of Texas Teen Book Festival 2016 on this blog).

We got to hear a live conversation with Mindy, sadly I did not get to ask my question about how old Mindy was when she lost her Anne Rice virginity (I was 19 when that happened btw). I decided to buy her book anyways despite these two setbacks. I had discovered Mindy Kaling through the television (now Hulu exclusive) show The Mindy Project. It is one of my favorite tv shows and when I heard I might meet Mindy I was happy. For now I have to settle for seeing her in the distance and that I have probably breathed in air she farted in.

Upon realizing how big my list of books to read is I figured I should read ten of these books before purchasing more books, so I grabbed Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and started reading.

Hey there are no spoilers, it’s kind of hard to spoil a story of real life considering Mindy Kaling has a really funny tv show. I just really like typing out these warnings in bold font to be honest.

I was partially convinced that this would be another piece dealing with race, gender, and family struggles because sadly that is what is expected with minorities. I was wrong! Within a few pages I was literally laughing out loud at what Mindy had to say to the individual who purchased her book.

The book is semi autobiographical, but it felt more like a conversation with Mindy; Mindy does touch upon authentic friendships and how some friendships in life die even though we don’t want them too. There is mention of assholes that will be present in life, struggling with post college life and “making it” as a writer for tv and as an actress, and other things present in life.

I thought it was kind of cool that Mindy is a little nutty in her book and that being plus sized isn’t a big deal to her. As predicted Mindy is someone very relocatable to (to a scary degree with me on everything except that I don’t think Will Ferrell movies are funny). My only complaint is that she did spend a lot of time talking about The Office and I’ve never watched The Office, so it’s more of a problem I have rather than the book has.

I give Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) three and a half cupcakes out of five. btw who ate half my cupcake!

I’m Not Ashamed Review

I decided to watch and review something different tonight; I normally don’t think highly of Christian movies and we can blame both God’s Not Dead movies for that. Christian movies aren’t bad, but it feels like the film makers are more interested in the message of the film (and probably advertising Christian pop music) rather than giving the film entertaining or a decent story.

I’m Not Ashamed is different from those movies in the sense that it is a autobiography about Rachel Scott. There is a strong presence of “message” in the film, but it actually has a place in the film. The film shows Rachel’s life from having divorced parents, living the usual ‘highschool teen life’ (smoking, drinking, flirting with guys), to her embracing a christian lifestyle, to struggling with her faith and practicing unconditional love and helping a youth named Nathan grow closer to God, all of this and more slowly leading up to her death.

I will say I am impressed with the film; it looked like and felt like the nineties from the clothing and the fads seen in the film to some of the music played (I’m guessing getting the rights to some of the music from the nineties was a little too pricey), they even had adult actors playing teenagers (a practice done frequently in the nineties as well, and I welcome it).

I would be lying if I said the film was perfect; some of the acting is off and there are moments where the film falls more into “here’s the message right infront of you in bold letters” rather than concentrating on telling the story. There is some inaccuracy to the time period too with dubstep being on the radio in some scenes. Scenes featuring Eric Harriss and Dylan Klebold’s actors are played as very creepy and disturbing to be honest, so props to their actors.

Concerning the controversy that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold only targeted and executed Christians if they said yes to the belief in God it isn’t played up in the way that Rachel was a martyr and said “yes” in the sense that she was targeted solely because she was Christian. The scene still has it’s importance, but rather than treating that moment as Rachel’s moment to shine in her faith before being killed, it’s treated as a moment of shock and horror.

The main concentration concerning Rachel’s death is the events before and after her death. Her moments before involve making peace with a friend who had hurt her, and aiding a youth who’s parents were going through a divorce, and talking to a teacher about a drawing she was making that may or may not have predicted the events happening later that day. The aftermath involves how her loved ones were affected, and how she was remembered, and what her friends and loved ones learned from her.

The movie isn’t for everyone, if you want to watch it it’s fine, if you don’t want to watch it that is fine too.

I’m Not Ashamed is a Visible Pictures Film Production and Distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment.

A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix Review

On September 30th 1999 the first book in a tragic tale concerning the three Baudelaire orphans was published, five years later on a cool November morning a bored teenager unsure of what to read while waiting for the sixth Harry Potter book discovered them. In these books was a dark story filled with shout outs, a phrase which means to pay tribute to or to give reference to another piece of work, and dark, dark humor which although entertaining through the first reading of these books would lead to utter depression rereading said books knowing that yes, things got worse and worse. Oh and various descriptions of food and possibly some morals based from the Jewish faith and tradition.

The series that I speak of is A Series of Unfortunate Events by a man named Lemony Snicket and not at all associated with an individual named Daniel Handler. It is mere coincidence that along with my discovery of the series in the year 2004 there was a movie from the company known as Nickelodeon based on these books with what looked like a promising film series to rival the likes of J.K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, and Harry Potter. There are various words that can be used to describe this film and somewhere on the internet there is a forum where a young fifteen year old fan used a variety of words and vulgarity, a word which here means inappropriate and unpleasant, to describe his distaste and lack of satisfaction with the film to put it lightly.

The boy in this blog post enjoyed the books released since the fateful day he discovered A Series of Unfortunate Events, reading through each book within a day learning many things from these books despite the target audience being significantly for absolutely no one ever. And during a year when this boy felt sad, reading the last book gave him hope. Since that day there had been silence from Lemony Snicket until 2012 where a prequel series known as All the Wrong Questions was announced and as of 2015 has concluded.

In the fall of 2015 though it was announced A Series of Unfortunate Events would be adapted to a television show on the internet streaming service known as Netflix. Fans were overjoyed that a more faithful, a word which here means sticks closer to the source material in terms of what happens in the books and the tone of said books as well. A former but successful child star known as Neil Patrick Harris would be replacing a washed up comedian, but talented painter as the villainous Count Olaf. And finally as of last January, Friday the thirteenth this series premiered on Netflix. This is the review of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the tv show.

Spoilers, a term which here means a highly detailed synopsis of what takes place during the story, will be present after this bold text. As homage to Mr.Snicket I would rather you slam your computer shut, place your phone in airplane mode, and toss your tablet outside of a moving vehicle hoping it doesn’t kill a pelican, and find something better to do like donate money to MyASPCA, Puppies Behind Bars, The Trevor Project, or read a book by Cody Wagner, or read a book review by a very nice woman with three cute puppies. 

I must admit watching the televised adaption of the beloved books of my youth was very enjoyable. One of the benefits of adapting books to television is the opportunity to have the book accurately transformed into a form of viewing for the audience. However, like most things in life even when a book is adapted to television isn’t always enjoyable. With the participation of Daniel Handler (whom I’m not too sure why he is so heavily associated with Lemony Snicket), events and plots that were not present or known to the reader of the first four books in A Series of Unfortunate Events.

As mentioned in the above text, Neil Patrick Harris would be portraying the villainous Count Olaf, and was dark, fearsome, and even at times, funny. The cast of the series was diverse, a word which means to have different people represented, averting having a prominently Caucasian cast of actors in a television show thus giving a wider world view to the poor children brave enough to watch each tragic episode and telling producers and talent agents that you can hire any race or ethnicity to play a role.

The expansion of each book per episode was enjoyable, it gave the opportunity to explore the depths of side characters in each story beyond their original intended purpose and foreshadowing future travesties that would affect the Baudelaire orphans. Characters like Justice Strauss, Dr.Montgomery Montgomery, Josephine Anwhistle (who is not played by her dame Meryl Streep in this adaption) are now more fleshed out beyond a neighbor, a herpetologist, and a scary cat.

The tone of the television show followed the books closer than any film adaption ever could. However at times I couldn’t help but be reminded of a television show created by Bryan Fuller that premiered in the fall of 2007 and because of a writer’s strike was cancelled by the ABC network. The artistic direction of each set was wonderful and interesting to look at for both fans of the book series, fans of art, and people who need the internet and social media to dictate to them what to watch on Netflix rather than deciding for themselves what they should and shouldn’t watch. I’d rather they watch something with strong female characters overcoming challenges presented to them in their life, but then again this show also has that.

There are a few shocking twists and turns in the television adaption of A Series of Unfortunate Events, even for those who have read A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Beautrice Letters, and All the Wrong Questions complete with a Red Herring, a phrase which here means something that appears to be of importance, but is a distraction from the main story, within this adaption.

I will give the Netflix Adaption of A Series of Unfortunate Events one mansion on fire out of five, because I can’t fathom why people would want multiple mansions on fire.

Chonda Pierce is a Nice Woman

This isn’t a political blog, all who want to talk politics can go to twitter for that. I am here to talk about Chonda Pierce; she is known as The Queen of Clean among comedians. She never swears, she is open about her faith in God, she never drags anyone’s name in the mud for the sake of self promotion. She is essentially the anti thesis to Kathy Griffin.

It’s no surprise she’s a conservative and no I am not holding that against her, in fact I’d rather hear one of her stand up routines over Kathy Griffin’s. I don’t know Chonda personally, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the chance to meet her or what she’d think of the fact a liberal gay catholic is a fan of hers (Chonda if you ever read this you’re welcomed to use that in your standup).

Chonda Pierce has recently been announced as a performer for the presidential inauguration and along with her abilities in stand up she is a skilled pianist and singer. She’s not Katy Perry (Chonda doesn’t need a whole production team to sound good), but she is a nice woman.

I’m aware her views are very different from mine, and there are probably many views we share. I don’t like the current political situation, but I do like Chonda, and I will support Chonda and Chonda alone because although not knowing her personally I have heard stories of her personal life. I’m not giving her sympathy points because of these stories of her life, but I am giving an applause for being someone who can speak about the harder parts of her life and still have the ability to smile and welcome a new day. So although it will be hard for me to support things in the near future, I will support Chonda Pierce, a very, very nice woman.

Also to other liberals in a few years you vote for new senators and to conservatives who dislike Trump you can always pray for an impeachment! Everyone else, go enjoy Chonda Pierce!

Howl’s Moving Castle Book Review

Hey check out my friend Sam’s review on a book I told her about known as Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones!

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones Howl’s Moving Castle #1 Published: April 22nd 2008 by Greenwillow Books (first published in 1986) Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Goodreads Summary: Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But […]

via Howl’s Moving Castle Book Review — Sam’s Little Corner

16 Favs of 2016

In real life, 2016 was kind of hard, in books and movies 2016 was awesome! So here is my list of my 16 favorite things from 2016 in no particular order.

1.Harry Potter and the Cursed Child  I loved reading a new Harry Potter book after years of thinking the journey was over. Actually celebrating the midnight release with friends of mine was an added bonus experience that left me really happy.

2.Miraculous Ladybug; my friend Rachelle showed me this neat French-Korean cartoon known as Miraculous Ladybug and I like it. It does follow some cheesy predictable story lines and it obviously isn’t meant to be seen by an adult like me. But it’s a fun neat show and it looks amazing.

3.Suicide Squad; I know it’s not amazing, but it’s so much better than Batman vs Superman. I think my reason for liking it alot was because I went in with low expectations to the movie and was delighted to see how campy and weird everything turned out to be. Everything was good except for Jared Leto Joker.

4. Star Wars Ahsoka I’ve mentioned that Ahsoka Tano is awesome and reading her book was a great experience to bridge the events of Clone Wars/Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Rebels/Rogue One. Speaking of which

5. Rogue One A Star Wars Story, this movie awesome. It was a good balance between drama, comedy, and brought us to a point of view that hasn’t really been seen in the Star Wars universe.

6.The Cancellation of Disney Infinity; I realize how awful this sounds and I was really sad when I realized I’d never get my Hera or Belle/Emma Watson Disney Infinity figures, but financially this was great news to hear.

7. Ghostbusters, I liked it, just forgot to review it. It was fun, quirky, no there was no “woo feminism” message. It was a Ghostbusters movie and I liked it.

8. The Little Prince film, it was good and very thoughtful. Plenty of beautiful visuals to see, and it’s for viewing on Netflix.

9. Voltron, yes ANOTHER Voltron series, it is also on Netflix, just don’t accidentally marathon on it.

10. Stranger Things, lots of delicious 80’s references in it, very well written with lots of questions unanswered in the best way possible, also available on Netflix.

11.  Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3; ok technically this is tv and I know for a fact that unless I’m reviewing episodes weekly, reviewing tv shows lowers the property value. But I got into art and drawing because of Sailor Moon so seeing the third arc adapted into anime and to have such a beautiful job done with it too.

12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a wonderful movie experience, and this is coming from someone who wasn’t as fond of the Harry Potter movies in comparison to the books. I also happen to like that the good people of Hot Topic have made making a Newt Scamander cosplay costume very easy.

13. The books and authors I discovered because of my friend Sam and the event Texas Teen Book Festival. I haven’t been able to finish up my list, but with this new year I sincerely hope to. Also meeting Cody Wagner, he’s very neat (kind of dreamy) and yes this is another encouragement to buy and read The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren.

14. Zootopia, it was a neat movie that was fun.

15. When Marnie was There, this, like all other Studio Ghibli movies was a beautiful movie. Not just beautiful to look at, but the mystery of the story and the exploration of different types of love and how strong the emotion is makes it worth watching and enjoying. Yes I realize this film was released in 2015, but the dub wasn’t released until 2016.

16. Being told there’s a tomorrow; alot of shitty things have happened in 2016, but thanks to strong words and messages from various people, some of them being Youtubers, some of them being actors and actresses, some of them being singers and song writers, and many of them being authors telling us that there is a tomorrow and we if someone lets shitty things get to them then the shit wins. So fans are encouraged to follow in the examples of all the fiction that has been read and all the awesome people who have a stronger voice saying no to the not so happy parts of 2016.

“I Drowned in Moonlight Strangled by my Own Bra”

I didn’t want to do a blog post on Carrie Fisher, I didn’t want to be a public mourner, I was and am scared people will say “you’re just doing a blog post for the sake of page views”. The truth is though, I really am sad about Carrie Fisher passing away.

I met her once by chance at a convention (Dallas Fan Expo 2015); I didn’t realize who she was at the time because it was Sunday the last day of the con, my feet were exhausted, I spent a little over 300$ in three days for the first time in my life, I had just seen my former boyfriend for the first time in two years so I wasn’t in the most logical thinking mode. She was disguised with large sunglasses and a hat and I didn’t know she was short in person. I told her that her pup Gary Fisher was one of the cutest dogs every, she said thank you, and I walked away barely realizing who she was and saying to myself “shit I missed out on a free selfie with a celebrity!”

Because of this encounter, and because of four of my friends I gave being a Star Wars fan another shot. And I was happy to add this world to the number of worlds I enjoyed so much.

I could go on about my usual “woo feminism” antics that I normally do on this blog, but I’ll go on about something else. Carrie Fisher suffered from bipolar disorder, but rather than suffer from it, she learned to conquer it and let many people who live with mental health issues that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Something I wish I had known as a teenager who suffered from anxiety attacks and didn’t know who to talk to about them, or that my condition even had a name, or that it could have been treated beyond being told “it’s all in your head.”

She was awesome, witty, she had brains that came along with that pretty face and didn’t give two shits about losing her youth, beauty and gaining weight as she got older. She was someone who gained the ability to make peace with her past and embraced the future without fear and in place of that fear, joy and eagerness to see what tomorrow had to offer.

Yes I will mourn her both as Carrie Fisher and as General Leia Skywalker, but with this sadness I see a goal and a woman to look up to, who despite being born into wealth had her own life struggles and conquered them with wit and intelligence.

Thank you Carrie, even though things seem dark, scary, and sad, learning about you and your life gave me, and hopefully others something to look forward to in life and hope that our own mental struggles can be conquered (with little dogs too).