Reminds me of my late teenage years...
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What could I have done with those...
I'm no average woman and I don't have an average woman's interests. In this blog I hope to share my interests with the readers, so expect posts about society, computer games, literature, movies and TV ... and a few others, probably.
If you’ve been missing the nice kitten/puppy posts yesterday ... well, I haven’t been online this Thursday. But I have been busy, cooking up two posts for this blog (admittedly, one of them is this Weekend Update) and one for “Feminism Wow!”.
So, here’s my update:
As always, I’ll also be writing and, if the weather permits it, going for a long walk - maybe even with my digi-cam.
... volume of the manga, at least. But first a few basics. I’ve already written about “Ludwig Revolution”, a manga (read: Japanese comic) by one of my favourite artists, Kaori Yuki. (As her other series, the last being the three-parter “Fairy Cube”, are all finished, I hope for a few more volumes about Prince Ludwig [or Lui].)
Here’s the short description: Ludwig was sent on a trip by his father (with whom he doesn’t get along well) to find a suitable bride, preferably the princess of another kingdom. While the prince is quite attractive, his character isn’t as perfect as his looks. He has quite a sadistic streak and also a slight fixation on big-breasted women. Travelling with Ludwig are his servant Wilhelm and - starting with volume 2 - also the quite attractive (and rather big-breasted) witch Dorothea (who has quite a masochistic streak, so she would actually be a perfect match for the prince, including the magical knowledge and prowess in poisons she has).
With the second volume (published quite a while after the first, but then, there was a long break in her series “God Child” as well - and it didn’t hurt that series), the story takes another turn, as two more characters (the new wife [and former lover] of Ludwig’s father and her son [who’s also the king’s illegitimate son]) enter the stage and a plot to overthrow and disinherit the prince is put in motion. Assassins (first Wilhelm’s childhood sweetheart Lisseth [known as “Red Riding Hood”], then two former acquaintances of the prince, Hansel and Gretel) enter the story, but none of them can kill the prince, Lisseth even accepts his job offer. As the names - or titles - of the assassins suggest, the base for all stories of the manga are the Grimm fairytales. Starting off with Snow White (Blanche [Neige] who turns out to be a scheming, little bitch far from being innocent), the artist works her way through most known stories (Cinderella filling 90 percent of the third volume) and twists them in a way that makes them less suitable for children, but more interesting for older teens or adults. Ludwig stumbles into most stories by pure accident (mostly because the female lead is supposed to be very beautiful and, yes, big-breasted) and does his best to get out of them again - not above helping others, but not really looking for chances to be that white knight, either.
Volume 3 deals mostly with the story of Cinderella (who, in this version, rather enjoys being treated badly by her step-sisters ... thinking it better than to be completely ignored), but it starts off with the sombre story of Hansel and Gretel, being sent into the forest by their parents, getting caught not by a witch, but by a murderess, turning the tables on her (with a flame-thrower) and becoming assassins. While they nominally work for Julius (who, as the third volume tells the readers, actually is Ludwig’s half-brother), they remember the prince as a good person and in the end can’t kill him.
The plot really thickens, as the prince is returning home - which will force his father to do something. The interesting question is how much power the king has. Is it absolute and he can just kick out his son? Or does he have to listen to other people and can’t just disinherit the prince at will? The fact alone that Julius tries to have his older half-brother killed, suggests he can’t just be promoted ahead. And the fact that Ludwig hasn’t been kicked out before (as he and his father really don’t get along), suggests the same thing.
If you’re into manga, you might find you like this story (provided you can live with the twisted images of your favourite fairytales). It’s dark, full of blood, but at the same time also shows quite some humorous parts.
Anonymous has left this comment on my post "What are men for?":
Let's face it, in modern times a man doesn't necessarily need a woman to survive. Do we need women for housekeeping (the main purpose of women in the past)? No - with the advent of modern machines, housekeeping has become a breeze. Sex? Maybe...but sometimes not even for this. What about giving birth? Yeah, I suppose we still need women for this...but rest assured, scientists are working on this one - http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1924).
Once pregnancy is overcome, will women be needed for anything at all:
a) They're useless for building anything (houses, bridges, skyscrapers, roads, etc. - anything involving construction, skilled trades and most of the manufacturing industry).
b) They're not needed for science (check history), inventions (check history), or discoveries (check Nobel Laureates).
The lesbian feminist Camille Paglia summed it up like this - "If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts."
c) They're not needed for art, fashion design, hairstyling, or most things creative (gay men fill this role).
d) Men don't need them for cooking (all the best chefs in the world are men).
Yes, I know women possess a lot of the abilities modern society demands of us (like being good at cushy clerical office jobs). That's mostly because today our society is no longer based on "strength", but on "knowledge" and "ability" instead (and without affirmative action, women will never rise to the top of this new "knowledge" & "ability" society given there is a 8:1 ratio of male to female geniuses.)
But of course, just like a computer or television, women are still nice to have around (as long as they don't whine, talk too much, and do a host of other annoying things).
So, what are women really for? They're here to share this world and this life with us. We're not supreme to them and they are not supreme to us. We're all created equal ... and there's no-one 'more equal' than the others.
If it weren’t for the last paragraph, I’d be completely disagreeing with this comment, but as it is, he (I presume “Anonymous” is a man) is right about one thing: We’re all created equal, although in different genders and colours and with different talents and abilities. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a man or a woman, we all should have the same rights ... but that’s where equality ends these days - because when it comes to the chances at work or in certain areas of society, men still are ‘more equal’ than women.
But let’s get over this list again, shall we?
First of all, for most in history, women weren’t merely needed for housekeeping. On farms, men and women worked together, during harvest, for example, every hand on the farm was needed, no matter what kind of body it was attached to. In the cities of medieval Europe, most craftsmen worked together with their wives, too (and after the death of a man, his widow could take over the business on her own, including all positions in a guild). There are even scientists who doubt women did not take an active role in hunting. And I’d really like seeing men doing all the housework in addition to an eight-hour day and taking care of a lot of kids. Some manage (usually because they have to), but most are just too happy with letting someone else doing it. (And about modern machines: The Secretary as we know it today evolved from the Secretary of the past - a man who took care of another, wealthier man’s business, dates and so on - when the typewriter was invented. Men did think it below them to use one of those ... women didn’t.)
There also have been quite some important women in history. Hatshepsut did rule Ancient Egypt for quite a while, she enhanced the kingdom quite a bit through war and diplomacy, too. Elisabeth I. led England (and quite a bit of the rest of the world) throughout a rough time in history; after the early death of her husband, Queen Victoria ruled the largest Empire of that time for a long while, keeping it all together. Boudicca and her daughters fought the Romans (although in vain) and at least dared to oppose the strongest army of that time. (And how many women dictated history behind the backs of their useful decoys - otherwise known as husbands/lovers - is quite unclear. “The Pope-Maker of Rome”, a woman who was lover to at least two popes and mother to another one and used them like chessmen on a board, comes to mind.)
Most of Germany was, in fact, rebuild by women after World War II. If we’re so useless at it, why are the buildings, bridges, roads etc. still standing? Women usually are not found in professions associated with building (although that’s changing, more and more women go for architecture), but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of doing it.
As far as science, history and discoveries are concerned: there are more men than women noted there, right, but not always those named are necessarily those who “did something first”. The Nobel Committee was for quite some time made up of men. Whom would they choose? A fellow man or a woman (who was not supposed to be in science at all)? And what about women like Mme. Curie? There might be more geniuses among men, yes, but, unfortunately for men, there are more idiots (speaking in terms of IQ) among men, too. The curve is farther spread in both directions.
When it comes to giving birth: It’s just as likely women could one day be able to do without men, too. It might be possible to fuse two eggs, then one of the two ‘mothers’ could carry the baby and no sperm would be needed - whereas men will always need machines or suchlike for all of the process.
Well, I think gay men would be the only ones not missing women at all ... but that doesn’t mean they’re more creative than women. Again, judging the abilities from the past won’t work: Some women who were in arts, music, design or literature disguised themselves as men just to be allowed to do it. They didn’t do so because they wanted to be men, but because women were kept away from those areas.
And yes, the best chefs are men, but that doesn’t mean all men are better at cooking. If they are, then what’s keeping them from doing it today? I’m sure a lot of women would be happy if their husband/boyfriend did the cooking after a long workday on which both have been quite stressed.
I could end this with remarking women don’t really need man that much, either, but I won’t. We’re sharing this world and we’d all be better off if we just lived together well, without one gender claiming it was ‘supreme’. (That, of course, also goes for race and various other fractions of humanity.) As it is, we still are not - and thus arguments like those of Anonymous aren’t useful for either of us.
I’ve written about slash before, so if you’re not familiar with the word - or its meaning in this case - check it out here. For all others, on to the main point.
I first read about “Ai No Kusabi” a long time ago - in one of the first issues of “MangasZene”, in fact. By now, the magazine does no longer exist (although the article was republished in their last special issue about Yaoi and Yuri). The story is settled in a ‘distant future’ environment. In the city of Midas, there are a lot of different people. At the top stand artificially created humans - and among the most important of them are the so-called Blondies who, as the name suggests, are all blond. And male, just to throw that in, too.
Women are a limited resource on Midas anyway. Those able to give birth never live alone, but stay within ‘Guardian’, the place where ‘normal’ children (who have been born the usual way) are raised. So relationships between men are quite the rule, especially in Ceres, the slums of Midas, where those without official citizenship live. They are released from Guardian as teenagers, organize themselves in gangs and do what they have to survive.
One of them is Riki, a seventeen-year-old boy, slender, but an amazing fighter. He’s the leader of Bison, actually, the most important gang around. Riki’s life is pretty normal for a slum mongrel - until fate makes sure his path crosses with that of a Blondy, Iason Mink.
What starts of as some sort of ‘bribe’ to make sure Iason - who has caught him stealing from tourists - doesn’t hand him over to the authorities, takes a life of its own, in time.
Riki remembers the night he met the Blondy very well, even years later, because it was one of the most humiliating experiences of his life. What started out as a simple ‘sex for silence’ deal, was turned into the first round of a battle of wills - Riki’s against Iason’s.
The relationship between the slum mongrel and the Blondy is a difficult one. They can’t live with each other, they can’t really live without each other, either. After finding Riki again, Iason wants to turn him into a pet (technically speaking some kind of love-slave, but pets are bred especially for this job, Riki wasn’t). After a while (so volume 1 suggests), he lets him go again, but only to lure him back later on. Riki, on the other hand, can’t really stay clean of Iason either.
What fascinates me so much about this story is the basic unwillingness of both parties to admit they are really interested in each other. Iason is too arrogant to even think of a mongrel like Riki as an equal - and Riki is to proud to submit, even to someone who’s socially high above him and physically a lot stronger. So it’s not an easy love-story. Because of the man-man relationship, the story is slash (or rather Yaoi or Shonen Ai, as it’s from Japan). Because of the rather radical means Iason is not above using to ‘tame’ Riki, it also has quite some things in common with bondage.
Currently, two volumes are out in English (good for me, as I’m not fluent in Japanese and always wanted to read the story), the third will be released this summer. In addition to the written story, the books also contain some very nice drawings that illustrate the story nicely.
I’m so glad I’ve finally found it in a language I can understand...
This weekend I’m going to let things run their course ... and I’m just going to relax. But nevertheless, here’s my Weekend Update:
Apart from that I’ve got no plans, but also hope to write a few real posts.
Here we are with yet another Weekend Update.
Apart from that I prepare for my three days of seminar next week.
Well, it might have seemed differently over the last couple of weeks, but I’m still alive. I haven’t forgotten about my blogs, either, and I’m not just going to post funny pictures from Loldogs and Lolcats for the rest of my life.
Currently I’ve got a lot on my plate: a job (as opposed to last year, when I spent quite some time unemployed between several short employments), the final spasms of my webmaster course and everything else life throws at you to have a good laugh. So I just have to hope the funny pictures were enough to keep you interested. (And yes, there’s going to be more of them in the future, I’m not giving them up.)
But towards the end of next week (when I’m through with my second seminar – only one more to go, then), I’ll do some new posts for all my blogs (yes, even Barbie’s diary, I promise I’ll think up a story line).
A few more updates:
That’s all for today, though, folks. I still have a lot to learn for my seminar and the exam at the end of it.
Some time ago, I claimed I had lost contact with my best friend Heike. Well, not any longer, luckily.
Towards the end of last week, we have reinitiated contact (I wrote her an SMS, she answered it and we talked on the phone for a bit). I’m really happy about it, after all, we’ve been friends for about twenty years now, it would have been a shame, if our friendship just ended like this.
As we’re both quite stressed at the moment, it’s probably going to be a while until we meet again, but then, that’s what telephones, letters, emails and SMS are for, isn’t it?
We have contact again! It’s wonderful!
And another weekend update. This weekend’s choices:
And I’ll try to update regularly next week, too.
There’s the proof (used my ‘real’ name for this):
How many have your name?
people with my name
in the U.S.A.
I am a unique being.
And the same goes for “Cay Reet”:
How many have your name?
people with my name
in the U.S.A.
But while there are various people with my first or last name in the United States (thought not both together and not many of them), there’s no Cay and no Reet in the States, at least from what the site has to say.
Strange things are happening.
And again I’m late ... although I do have ample reasons for this, as I was programming in Perl this weekend - had a lot to do. Apart from that, I did this:
I promise to update regularly next week.