Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Zach Braff Wants You To Pay For His Movie

I have never been a Zach Braff fan. I do not watch Scrubs. I saw an episode of Punk'd with him in it and he cursed out a child when he thought the kid had damaged Zach's precious car. Since that moment, I have been anti-Zach Braff. Now Zach, who is worth $22 million dollars, would like to make a sequel to the crap film Garden State. It's basically a vanity project (read: it stars Zach and is written by him of course) and he has decided that though he can secure funding in a traditional manner, he doesn't want to fund it within the limitations that the backers have placed on him.

Why would the backers not let Zach have complete creative control? Perhaps it's because Zach has not earned that privilege and the trust of the backers. Makes sense, right? Because Zach WANTS final edit and control over casting, he has turned to Kickstarter to beg for money from average joes and janes on the street to fund his vanity project.

Let me repeat this: Zach Braff can not secure creative control from traditional backers but because he's got a toddler mentality and WANTS IT WANTS IT WANTS IT, he is now asking the public to find what will be a film allowing him to indulge himself in his own narcissism. Because nothing smacks of conceit like insisting that even though your industry DOES NOT TRUST YOU and you have not proven yourself worthy, you will beg for money anyway because you WANT IT.

He is apparently spending some of his own money on the project but has curiously declined to specify a dollar amount.

Those who back the project are not investors, they're donors. They get the paltry "gifts" that Braff has promised. For a few really pathetic folks, they will get to be in the film.

Let's look into this for a second:

An actor who really isn't even THAT famous and who's been in nothing really spectacular and who has a track record that doesn't allow financial backers to give him final cut and casting control is saying that because he doesn't want "some rich guy" (Pot. Kettle. Black.) having control and because he's all creative and artsy fartsy and it's all about the creativeness and the artiness of it all and it's for the integrity of the movie -- is going to allow just any schmuck with $2,500 to be IN the movie.

Clearly Zach does not know the meaning of "integrity." Kind of like if he had any, he would not be begging for money when he has more than enough.

So this moves into the land I like to call "Responsibility." We have all seen folks go after those on welfare, saying how they're lazy and need to stop having kids and to get a job etc. We bemoan those folks for getting a few hundred bucks a month and some food stamps. Stealing from the taxpayer they are, right? Not giving anything back, right? And we don't want to donate any money to them because well, they're not all celebrity-like and shiny like Zach Braff. We judge those people very harshly but we look at Zach and say well, if he wants to beg for money, more power to him!

How about we take the burden of responsibility off the welfare receipient and stick it on the not-so-humble celebrity for a moment? What would it look like if we said to Zach: "If you can't pay for your own movie, you don't get to make your own movie. That's how it works when people live within their means and take care of themselves without begging others for help."

What's worse is that people on Welfare for the most part actually NEED the money they get. They're NOT living in big homes and have fancy cars and they're not out there hobnobbing with celebrities and looking at a bank statement that looks sort of like $22 million. They don't have access to the rich and famous, nor are they rich and famous themselves. But we will ridicule the person paying for a bag of chips ($3) with food stamps because dammit, that's taxpayer money and we don't want our money being WASTED like that. If we wanted to waste money on chips, we'd buy and eat them ourselves! (And we do. All the time.)

Zach Braff does not NEED anyone's money. He has more than enough for himself to fund his vanity movie.

Let's say it together: Zach Braff has enough money to make his movie all by himself.

Now the question is really, why should he spend his own money when there are "fans" out there who will pay for it for him? Why should he HAVE TO spend his own money on a project he came up with, that he wrote, that he will star in and that he will reap all the benefits of? Why on earth should the great Zach Braff have to do things the same way just anybody would?

Zach Braff made $350,000 an episode for Scrubs. Now people will say that's fair, he's doing the work and getting paid and he can spend his $22 million on whatever he wants. Problem is, he's not spending his $22 million, he just wants someone else to spend their money on his project.

If I have $500 in the bank and I want to go to a $300 a night hotel for an evening, should I be asking people on the street to pay for my stay? Just because I want to go to an expensive hotel but don't want to spend my own money on it?

There's a sucker born every minute, P.T. Barnum once said. Zach Braff's "fans" are definitely a bunch of suckers.

I was going to use a picture of Zach for this article but he's just so disgusting I didn't want to even look at him.

Zach Braff:

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Fangirling: What it is; Fandom Wank

Which came first, fangirl or fanboy (fanboi)? I have only ever been involved in fangirling, and this dating back to the beginning of the Harry Potter films (though I was a fandom of one for many others, the HP Fandom was where I walked the walk and talked the talk with like-minded women.) Fangirling is, in a word, fun.

It's been a long time since my teen years, but who doesn't want to relive some of the silliness and the innocence and curiosity of that time? Fangirling to me, is like that. It's innocent and simple fun, promoting characters you love in a setting that's comfortable and where you're not as likely to be judged harshly (except by those outside the fandom and there's always a risk of "fandom wank" rearing its ugly head, but these aren't the norms.)

I was also in the Lord of the Rings fandom and had a very nice time there among folks who truly adored Tolkien (some were in their 40's or older and it was cool because in fandom, we're all equals), some who just adored the movies, some who adored Elijah Wood and others who adored Legolas (me!). I wrote fanfiction (yes, I wrote a couple of horrible Mary Sues for LOTR that haven't seen the light of day since 2003 at least), I even met up with a local group who dressed the part and joined them at the movie premieres. I entered a contest sponsored by TheOneRing.net and won a boxed set of LOTR illustrated by Alan Lee. Life was good.

Over in the HP fandom, I'd written many more fanfics under a pen name stolen from a character I'd created some years before. The fangirls in HP could be very wanky if you weren't careful, and there were a few BNF's (Big Name Fans) who "earned" that title on word of mouth for their stories. One of them who shall remain nameless had created one set of scribblings for LOTR which I very much enjoyed, and another trilogy of stories for HP which I found disappointing and which were rife with plagiarized quotes from pop culture  movies, and TV shows. How she became a BNF is one of those things called "herd mentality." When you enter the fandom, her stuff is rec'd and you sort of have to like it because everyone else does. If you don't like it, you're accused of being jealous or what have you. Anyway, instead of the fandom railing against this woman (though some tried to), she toddled off and insisted that lifting multitudes of direct quotes from other sources without citing them was not plagiarism, and then she plagiarized her own works and sold them to a big name publisher and is now on the best sellers list. I guess the herd mentality is just unstoppable. No one even cares if she's done something legally and morally wrong, but you know, I knew a very nice girl who wanted to "succeed" in the HP fandom so badly that she lifted a couple of paragraphs from some romance novel and added it to her fanfic. She was lambasted and left the fandom in disgrace, never to be heard from again. Seriously, I never heard from her again, and we usually chatted together regularly.

That this kind of thing can happen and the parties involved be treated so completely differently is a riddle. Why is it that one woman can rip off dozens of sources and not only get away with it but be defended by the multitudes (and a lawyer to boot) and given a book deal and now have one of her shitty books made into a movie, and the other woman was vilified and had to slink away into a corner?

Herd mentality. Lemmings. Sycophants.

Fangirling on its own is quite nice if you're not doing it expressly for an audience (as I feel the formerly unnamed BNF was.) If you're writing fanfic just because you love a book or movie or TV show and just don't want it to end, or want to see things happen that you know just WON'T (like you know, Harry and Draco kissing or something of that nature), then fangirling is a fun outlet for creativity.

What does fangirling entail, anyway? It's not just about writing fanfic, because not all fangirls like writing or want to write. Some might be artists, some writers, some observers and readers, some might make fanvids and mashups. Some just want to revel in the world that's been created to enjoy, a place for fans to come together and create friendships based on stuff they share.

I have friends I met in the HP fandom and we're still talking, writing, and sharing letters today. We are on LiveJournal, on Facebook, on Twitter, and so on. Sometimes we're in email. Sometimes we're in snail mail. And sometimes we've met face to face. We send Christmas presents, birthday presents. We're there for each other. None of us are BNF's in our fandom, but who cares? It's not about fame, anyway. At least not for most of us.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Blog Envy

There are a few blogs I read regularly and over the months or years I have always asked myself, "Why don't YOU make a blog, too?" The answer comes down to "I just don't have the energy" and "I don't know what to write about."

I've written a lot in my Live Journal (I've been on that site somehow or another since 2000), I've written in actual paper journals, I've written articles and even had some published. I have been working on a couple of novels for a while now and completed one some years ago. It's not like I don't like to write, it's that I just feel so awkward when speaking to (what I hope is) an audience. 

The idea that no one is reading your blog is pretty sad, but at the same time I feel like I better say something snappy right now or no one ever WILL read my blog. I have to be entertaining, but genuine. How do I do that? 

I thought about the design: it should pop, it should say "me", it should be this and that, and I looked up tons of blog themes and styles and templates and dressings and I just couldn't find anything that really looked right so I ended up with this. This sort of green, boring looking blog that no one will stick around and read. I just know it. I'm a failure at blogging and this is only my second post.

Well dear reader (if I'm not just talking to myself), stick it out with me a little, won't you? Let me grow and evolve and become better and give me some pointers if you like (as long as they don't include how to make my "manhood" grow larger or to win a ton at Texas Hold'em (what IS that, anyway?). My "manhood" is non-existent since I am a Lady [sic], and I don't want to win money at whatever Texas Hold'em is. And I absolutely don't want any escorts or to get a cheap diploma or to watch live stream sports. I hate sports almost as much as I hate cheap diplomas and escorts. Wait no, I hate sports even MORE than both of those combined. So don't spam me, mmkay?

I've read some pretty amazing blogs and I have often thought, "I could do that. I think those things...all I have to do is write them down!" So yeah, blog envy here for those who took the time to actually convert their thoughts to words. And the theme of my blog has made its first appearance in an actual post (yayness!).

That's all I really wanted to say for now. 

What is "Ataraxia"?

Ataraxia. It sounds kinda weird, like a disease. Actually, it's the opposite. Allow me to copy and paste from Wikipedia:

Ataraxia is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state of robust tranquility, characterized by ongoing freedom from distress and worry.

Lovely, isn't it?