Oh London 2012. You have yet to officially begin and already you provide me with this splendor. I’m still going to be very disappointed if David Tennant dressed as the tenth doctor doesn’t light the Olympic flame.
Woke up at about 12 noon, as summer holidaying students are wont to do
Checked twitter on phone, only to find this lovely article surmising how Republican Party Presidential candidate is getting on with his campaign’s trip to London. Supposedly manufactured to showcase the candidate’s diplomatic relation skillz, all it’s been so far is an utter and complete shambles. A HILARIOUS shambles. Imagine if you will a guest coming into your home and very loudly proclaiming your dinner is a badly planned disaster and they’re unsure how dessert is going to turn out. That’s pretty much how Romney’s been conducting himself. I don’t think it’s very wise to sass your hosts about their big huge international sporting event the day before it starts, as if anyone gives a shit what you think about it…
‘There are a few things that were disconcerting… The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging.’
My immediate reaction to this was ‘what a cunt.’ This sort of bullshit goes beyond any of my personal beef with Romney’s policies- He just sounds like an ignorant, self important arsehole. Doing the rounds today is an extract from his 2010 book (Mitt Romney has a book, Katie Price has a book… I feel so sub par) Where Romney basically says England isn’t really very important and nobody likes it much. Oh and it only escaped the Nazis because it’s an Island. Sneaking fucking England, riding on the glory of being an island…
At this point (Around 12:07 PM) I’m still lying in bed with a massive grin on my face. It’s the sort of grin you get when somebody is being self important and nobody is buying it. I cheered in triumph when I heard David Cameron’s back-Sass to Romney
We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.
Take THAT, Salt Lake City!
I never thought I’d be rooting for Cameron in anything but compared to Romney he’s a socialist icon. When you are more elitist and arsey than David fucking Cameron, you need to stop at once and reassess your goals. Romney seems to have staggered into the UK on a great wave of self important arrogance, one that he has no real power to back up with. Say what you want about George W Bush and his many gaffes, at least he was an actual head of state with nukes and an army and some reason for people to listen to him. Romney’s just a rich idiot running for election- it’s like Dana popping over on a state visit to the Olympics OH GOD I want to see Dana on a state visit right now.
When you seem more pompous and silly than Borris Johnson you REALLY have to reassess your goals, and even the fluffy haired mayor of London got his tuppence ha’penny in against Romney slagging off London. But really I have to ask, what on earth was Rom nom thinking? He was a key organising force behind the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City Utah, but are the two things comparable? Beyond the two events being major international sporting events under the olympic banner, I can’t see them having much in common logistically- At least not enough to justify Romney getting on his high horse about it. Extra points for getting Londoners riled up about the Olympics at last.
My favourite thing about this isn’t actually the reveal that he met with the head of MI6 (something he’s not supposed to say), but his clumsy naming of EVERY SINGLE CONFLICT ZONE around the world. That must have been a very long chat, to have discussed the problems and challenges faced by each of those regions- To even begin explaining about most of them in the most scant details would take a while. I know he’s sound biting but it’s just so false and smarmy.
I don’t know why, I just like seeing arrogant idiots flapping in and making tits of themselves. There’s a sort of Schadenfreude at work here. I don’t think it’ll be particularly damaging to Rom Nom’s presidential aspirations- Casually brushing off the gaffes one of his advisers basically told they don’t give a crap what the UK thinks, they only care about voters back in America so THERE, we’re taking our ball and going HOME. At every turn Romney seems to make a faux paus- Forgetting Ed Milliband’s name and calling him ‘Mister Leader’ as if he’s the despotic head of some backwater communist dictatorship, or revealing he met with the head of MI6, a meeting that was supposed to be kept secret. He’s like a small child bumbling through an adults carefully planned dinner party.
My new fave quote is from another of Rom Nom’s advisers, speaking of US-British ties-
‘We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.’
All I can say is that by half past noon, I was a very entertained girl indeed.
Niamh ‘I’m trying to make Rom Nom happen’ Keoghan
A wild ANIMATED ACTION MINI SERIES appeared!
NIAMH used REVIEW!
Fuck, I loved The legend of Aang.
It was simply the best show Nickelodeon ever put out- It was incredible in it’s scale, it’s attention to detail, it’s gorgeous animation, it’s amazingly lovable, complicated and kick ass characters, it’s amazing sense of humor, it’s beautiful score- Oh man is there anything Legend of Aang didn’t do right?
The original series ran for three seasons of 22 episodes each and it really is a masterpiece. It struck a rare balance in children’s TV- It took it’s myth arc seriously while at the same time keeping an incredible humour and most importantly it respected it’s audience. I really cannot gush about Legend of Aang enough. I’ve had to rewrite my first paragraph four times adding in shit they got RIGHT. Awesome.
The basic plot, for any newbies, is that the avatar world is divided into 4 general races of people- The fire Nation (Based loosely in aesthetic on Imperial Japan), The Earth Kingdom (Based on a certain Dynasty of China that I can’t remember the name of), the Water Tribes at the North and South Poles (Based looesly on Inuits) and finally, the Air nomads (Based on Tibetan Monks). Some members of each of these races have the power to manipulate their particular element- so you have fire, water earth and Air benders. Once every Generation, the spirit of the planet is born as the only human with the ability to manipulate all four elements, and their job is to maintain balance. When the Avatar dies, they’re reborn in a different race to the one they just were, and the cycle starts again with them learning all the elements.
That’s the really basic plot, and oh man it gets so much deeper than that.
And so, after the epic finale of Legend of Aang, nerds everywhere orgasmed when a sequel miniseries was announced- The Legend of Korra was going to pick up a whole new cast of characters and the newxt avatar, Korra. The basic Avatar formula was always ripe for sequel bait and Korra proved successful- it’s already been green lighted for a second series apparently and it does go in a radically different direction to the original series which is good. Overall, here are some of my thoughts- Set out as pros and cons
I adored this series, let’s make that very clear. Let’s also make it clear that I don’t think Korra was the masterpiece that Aang was. It’s exceptional but perhaps understandably didn’t have the epic scale that made Aang so memorable. In a way, I like that. Korra manages to really deviate itself from the formula of it’s parent series and there was a conscious effort to make this series different. Rather than the globe wandering original Korra is set entirely around a modern metropolis location that didn’t even exist as a city at the time of Aang’s series. It’s colour palette is far darker and grimier and even the soundtrack is different- Like jazz with Asian instruments tossed in [Spoiler- it rocks so fuckin hard]. The setting is far more industrially developed than Aang- Set 70 years after Aang, the 2 series are seperated by a massive industrial revolution. In Aang we saw a few early airships and mechanical weapons but in Korra we have a full on electrical, petrol driven steampunk playground- and that’s awesome. It makes a great success of feeling like the same world, just a little further along in time.
Korra is also fucking boss because it’s proved something- A female lead can kick ass in a series and boys will watch it. I won’t really go into how much this kicks ass, but suffice to say Korra is pretty goddamn progressive for a show marketed to kids- Execs were worried about Boys not liking a show with a female lead, but in test screenings most boys just thought she kicked ass. And she, to quote The Nostalgia chick, doesn’t hold her ovaries in triumph as she kicks as- Korra just happens to be female and happens to be in this ridiculous situation.
I don’t get the impression that Korra was written consciously as a ‘strong female character’, she certainly doesn’t feel forced or awkward. She’s a character, rather than a ‘female’ character. You can say the same for the other women in this series and oh dear god they ALL KICK SO MUCH ASS YOU GUYS (even Pema. Fuckin’ LOVE Pema)
One thing Korra avoided was the usual trap of sequels which is trying to re-capture the dynamic of the original work- and they did do it in places, but it’s rather hard to distinguish who is this series’ ‘Sokka,’ who’s the ‘Aang’ and who’s the ‘Zuko’, because all the characters are looking for different things. You do have the joker, the broody one and the blithe spirit, but they aren’t carbon copies of the original cast, nor are their relationships. Even direct relatives aren’t expies- Tenzin is very unlike Aang, and Lin Bei Fong isn’t a Toph clone despite being her mother. There are nice homages, but the characters are all their own. Unfortunately…
… The series had absolutely no time to develop this very promising cast.
My god, this felt so rushed. It’s my one massive complaint with the whole series. they set out to do and show so much and introduce so much new shit, that it just all flew past for me. you had the new steampunk elements, fine. And the metal bending police, then pro bending, then equalists, then FUCK race cars then AGH Air Acolytes and biplanes and cabbage corps- so much! Now there is a comic book series bridging this series and Aang together, but the pacing of the show itself felt rushed. It was difficult to really build up a connection to massive cast in 10 25 minute episodes, and an hour long finale.
The cast was awesome, just not utilized very well. People are introduced and you never really get breathing time with them, there’s no warming period- General Iroh junior is a good example- I know he’s really a nod to fans, being voiced by a familiar actor and all that, but he only appears in THE FINALE? Seriously? It drove me nuts! We get no arc with him, we don’t get a character, we just get badass General doing badass shit. That’s fine, but I think what made Legend of Aang so compelling was the fact that EVERYONE had a point and an arc to their stories- Even Toph who by and large was comic relief badass who cracked wise in the original series was introduced with a motivation- run away from my smothering parents. Sokka and Katara and everyone felt rounded and familiar.
Korra just didn’t have time to introduce and maintain such a massive cast- Lin Bei Fong is another offender- Awesome and badass, but we don’t really get under her skin much- we don’t get under anyone’s skin the way Aang did so expertly. Even side characters in Aang like Jet and Haru had most character to them. the Korra characters are… Disappointing in a way. You always want more because they’re awesome, but there just isn’t enough time for everyone. So in terms of pacing, I found Korra a bit too jam packed- they tried to do too much with too little time. (General Bumi DIDN’T EVEN GET A LINE. HE LOOKED AWESOME AND ALL HE GOT TO SAY WAS ‘WOOO!’)
I really, really loved this show. I’m so glad it exists. I didn’t even get into all the awesome aspects of it, but it really is exceptional. However, Korra seriously suffered from it’s short running time- Introducing a whole new setting and a massively changed world was very ambitious and not fully successful in the time that that had. It’s a gorgeously animated and very clever little series (You’d actually get through he whole thing in one sitting) but it doesn’t have the majesty of the original. Then again, it was never going to, and I don’t think the makers wanted it to be another Aang- it’s the differences from Aang that really make it something special.
It was super effective!
Niamh ‘Avatar state Yip Yip!’ Keoghan