Category Archives: Good and Evil

Posts having to do with Good and Evil as a thing, or about alignments like you would see in D&D.

The Benefits of Escapism

Sometimes, the world really sucks. It’s beginning to feel like every time we start to heal and move on from one tragedy or disaster, another strikes. Last week I was dealing with flooding in our area, and the persistent threat of tornadoes, but all of that faded into the background with what happened in Orlando.

This is by no means a post rehashing the news, or remarking on the politics now surrounding it. I’m in dire need of a break from it all, just as I’m sure you all are, no matter your personal affiliations. It’s times like these that I really do marvel at the beauty of literature, music, and films to take one’s mind off of things. This is when I’m most in need of all guilty pleasures, no matter how small. Red wine and some cookie dough ice cream while watching Netflix? Yep, I’m there.

One of my personal favorite guilty pleasures is historical romance novels. For a bit of light reading full of lush clothing and descriptive language, it can be interesting enough to keep my attention and absorb me so that I forget the awfulness of the world around me. Plus, it has the benefit of being comfortingly predictable; as a reader, you know exactly where the story is heading. Love will triumph and the hero and heroine will ride off into the sunset together. It’s incredibly reassuring and serves its purpose wonderfully: escapism.

Everyone has their own form of escapism. Literature is a fantastic one, because you can honestly imagine yourself in the shoes of a heroine and lose yourself in a new world that you create in your mind. Geek culture is full of ways to indulge in escapism. Science fiction and fantasy novels can be brilliant, richly detailed escapism. The multitude of geek-central television shows we currently have, whether presently airing or available on Netflix (Firefly, anyone?) are a fantastic source of comfort right now. Plus with all of the great movies coming out this year, there has to be one or another that you can check out in the weeks to come.

The Nine Alignments of Firefly

Editor: There we go. Firefly, Good, and Evil, all in one image.

I’ve talked before about how I use the phrase “popcorn movie” as a positive phrase because there is something so deliciously wonderful about being able to absorb myself in a film for two hours, whether or not the movie is full of substance. Popcorn movies are perfect for times like these, when all we really want is to munch some popcorn in a dark theatre and “ooo” and “ahhh” over some really cool graphics and Good vs. Evil stories. Especially because popcorn movies, like historical romance novels, give us the sense that good/love can and will win.

So I say make sure to indulge in some escapism this weekend, in whatever awesomely geeky way you want. And then Monday, pick yourself back up and face the world and do your best to emulate the heroes in the fandom you indulged in and try to make sure that good will win, even in our presently sucky world. Whether by speaking out against hate, donating time, money, or blood, writing to your lawmakers or voting, or even reaching out to your friends and family and letting them know you love them. Use your geeky escapism to bolster your spirits and refresh yourself so that you can help tackle the problems we all face.

Hail Hydra? The New Captain America?

So I should open by saying I haven’t read the comic yet. And it’s an issue number 1, so nobody has that much insight into it. But in this week’s newest All New, All Different Marvel Universe title – Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 – we got to see a shocking twist on a 75 year old beloved character!

Kilgrave Hail Hydra

That’s right, Memes-away, it’s Hydra time! This was one of the most interesting things about Captain America: Winter Soldier, I think especially on a first viewing. The role of Hydra in the MCU is massive! It’s crazy! It sprouted a cool meme, it breathed life into Agents of SHIELD (honestly, they’ve been riding that train ever since), it was great. It had shock value, but didn’t change the meaning too much on what had come before – rather, it provided a whole bunch of context.

So let me talk it through, in terms of how it differs from its use in the movies, and then in terms of how it totally makes sense because of the movies.

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Science Fiction and Religion – The Apocalypse

Is there just an apocalypse waiting?

From Avengers #3 by Jonathan Hickman.

I love Hickman’s Avengers. I’ve written about that fact before, and especially one of the things I love about his Marvel work – and his other comics – is how he works with both science and mythology. In Avengers, especially, he works on larger, over-arching mythology for the whole Marvel Universe. Its origins… and its ending.

That ending was last summer’s big crossover event, Secret Wars. I reviewed that recently. But it was a lot of time and comics leading into it, not just one crossover and everything is over. The apocalypse did not happen suddenly, although it may have felt that way if you were reading other titles… or just reading about the whole thing in the press about it.

No, in reading the whole thing, the buildup and then the collapse, I got to thinking of two things. One is the obvious, I suppose: other apocalyptic literature. Religious especially, the sort that seeps out into shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We were reading a lot of the book of Daniel recently at church, and it’s also just chock full of apocalyptic dreams and visions. So the end of the world: symbolism, signs, and things that are either super literal or completely metaphorical…

The second thing I was thinking of, however, was the Final Fantasy XIII series, wherein the world ends between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. In particular, at the end of XIII-2, time itself ends, and the power of death along with it… but as Mr. Fantastic might say, everything dies, and ever so slowly that world does too.

Taken all together, you get what I considered as the alternate title to this blog post: how to end the universe.

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Verdict: Daredevil Season 2

daredevil-season-2-posterSo it only took us a little less than a week to finish all 13 episodes of Daredevil season 2 because that is as quickly as we could get through it. This season definitely starts with a bang because the action is already in progress in some respects. This season we get introduced not only to Frank Castle aka the Punisher, but also Elektra. This is also the season that Foggy and Karen really get to shine.

The first season of Daredevil was great because it introduced us to the character and the reason that he was needed in Hell’s Kitchen. In Season 2 we examine the different paths Daredevil could have taken and the toll that being a vigilante takes on the people in his life. (Spoilers to follow for Season 2 of Daredevil!)

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Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Review

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed since not long after it came out. When we moved in together and got our PS3, P was really excited that I had the series and picked it up as well. With being as busy as we are, we’ve just gotten around to the newer ones, only recently finishing the third game and now finally moving on to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. (We missed the part where Liberation is in between three and four, and will be playing that next.)

assassins_creed_4_black_flag_big

Image via Google search

The series focuses on the millennia-old struggle between the Assassins (who fight for free will and truth) and the Templars (who fight for world order and control, think Illuminati “New World Order” level). The first three focus on Desmond Miles, a present day Assassin kidnapped by Abstergo in the first and forced to relive his ancestor’s life to discover the location of an ancient artifact left by the supposed “First Civilization.” By the second and third, he has escaped and is working with the Assassins to prevent the end of the world (2012, of course). So far the Crusades, Renaissance in Italy, and American Revolution eras have been covered, each with the underlying conspiracies that these events were really fueled by the battle for control between the Assassins and Templars.

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