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The Female Perspective: Why Social Media Is Stressful

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


 These days social media is a challenging place for myself and many of my friends to be. A lot of my Facebook friends have bowed out of that particular site because it’s simply too negative, too political, too, whatever other word you want to use there. A part of me agree’s.

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Before I get too far into this, I want to say two things:

  1. I am on Facebook – though my presence is less and I took the FB app off my phone so I can’t check it constantly.
  2. This is in no way a condemnation or judgement of others on social media. I love social media. It’s a great way to connect with people all over the world.

So let’s move along, shall we?

My point in writing this blog is to chat about social media and how it can have such an impact on us emotionally, which seems like a strange thing because in essence, it’s an online forum. It’s not communicating with actual people face-to-face, it’s communicating via electronic means. So why then does it upset some people, anger others, and reassure still another group of people? What is it about social media that keeps us all so engaged, so active in it? According to one survey, in 2016, 78% of the US population was using social media.

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In 2012, Brand Dignity wrote an article asking why social media was so popular and listed some of the basic reasons why people use it, things such as social media is free to use, it’s a way for people to network and promote their businesses, it’s a way to meet new people, and social media sites are extremely user-friendly and easy to use. All these reasons are extremely valid, but leave out the cons of social media, stuff like bullying, trolling, stalking, and just people being able to say whatever they want behind the safety of a computer screen. Not to mention, it leaves the door open for a lack of social etiquette or person-to-person connection.

It’s a funny thing for those of us who grew up before social media and before computers. I thank the good Lord on a regular basis that we didn’t have smartphones or Twitter when I was a kid. No one could document my day-to-day stupidity and the bully’s couldn’t follow me home and harass me online. Kids today have it rough in a way I never did. But at the same time, are they also learning that because you’re “safe” behind a computer screen you can say whatever you want without any real consequences? Is kindness and proper grammar going out the window? Are we living in a world where you just abbreviate everything and it’s all about selfie’s and getting the most likes?

Social_media_fear

These aren’t questions that I can even possibly answer on my own. I just know that seeing the things I see recently, what with the 2016 election, everything Trump does every, single day that horrifies most people I know, and the general negativity and shaming that goes on –I mean jeez, Lady Gaga got body shamed for her Superbowl performance – really? Because just anyone can flip over on wires and dance AND sing well in front of MILLIONS, but please, by all means, let’s mock her for her body. The world of social media is a strange place and I for one am taking a small break. I still check in once or twice a day, and I still post my blog there and when my new book comes out, I’ll post stuff then, but I can’t look at the fear-mongering posts, the angry posts, or even the happy posts all the time anymore. It’s just too much and I’d rather have human-to-human contact than the coldness of a computer screen.

What about you folks? Does social media ever stress you out? Does it effect you in any way? Why or why not? And if it doesn’t, how do you manage to say unattached? Share your tips, your tricks and your thoughts below!

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The Female Perspective: What The Heck “Westworld”

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!


Are you watching Westworld? You are? Are you confused, are you searching for your “cornerstone” because you think you might be a robot?

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Are you wondering:

  • What’s real?Is this real? Is life real? Is this world real?
  • AM I A ROBOT???

Good. Then we’re on the same page.

Again, SPOILERS will happen so if you aren’t caught up, don’t read this.

I have to say that Westworld is hands down one of the best sci-fi shows I have seen in AGES. Well done HBO. Well. Fricking. Done.

If you haven’t watched the show then why are you reading this? Go, get yourself some access to HBO and WATCH IT. For reals.

Okay. Now that’s all taken care of.

OH MY GOD. Bernard is a robot! He’s Arnold! He’s dead! WTF?

I loved him and didn’t love him and loved him again and now he’s gone? Oooooh Westworld, you tricky beast. You are diabolical like Game of Thrones. You keep us on our toes, we literally have no idea what’s coming and then you tell us and then BAM dead people, uh robots, and well people too I guess. It’s a violent place.

I was introduced to Westworld via the 1973 movie. It’s a great flick, written by the amazing Michael Crichton and well worth your time. It poses the same questions as the TV show in that you sit there and wonder, is this okay? Is it moral to have a “theme park” that’s humanoid robots that act, talk and die like humans, but that humans can mess with, murder, rape, etc, with impunity.

In the Westworld of the film, it’s so much more than just the Western concept, there’s a Greek concept world and others, the scope of it is truly amazing and I wonder if eventually they’ll bring that into the show. I sure hope so.

What’s similar about both the TV show and the movie is this idea that people in the future go on vacation to a place where they can literally do whatever they want to other “people” (aka, hosts as they’re called on the show). That means that people go there and have sex with whoever they want, however they want. They murder people at will, they rob, pillage … You get the idea. The worst of people comes out when they’re given free reign with zero consequences or guilt.

Honestly, It turns my stomach a bit, especially in this current world climate of anger and chaos. I don’t think I could ever hurt someone for “fun”, robot or not. It makes you truly wonder about the people who frequent the park. I mean sure, there are plenty of folks who go just to have a good time, to immerse themselves in the old West. To drink, play cards, act like a cowboy or cowgirl and have fun. No murdering or other nefarious adventures. But then there are those that go to do not so nice stuff. Who go because they have never killed and want to do so without the fear of jail time or their own death. They go because they enjoy having power over others, because they see the hosts as less than human, as below them and therefore, they see the hosts as their playthings.

Again, it’s a bit stomach-turning when you start to think of it that way.

That being said, what I love about the show is that the women are given equal, if not more, power than men. There are multiple story lines evolving, and almost all include a powerful, smart, savvy woman taking control and getting stuff done. Rachel Evan Wood, who plays Dolores, (and who is always enchanting to watch) is discovering her true self by going on a mission to discover her past,  a past which she realizes is much more awful than she imagined. After all, she has wonderful, informative chats with Arnold, only to discover that she killed him.

Oh Dolores, what did you do???
Oh Dolores, what did you do???

Dear God, what? Dolores killed Arnold???? No, say it isn’t so! But I can’t say I’m surprised, we all knew that Dolores had a dark side, we just didn’t know how dark it could actually be.

Then we have Maeve, wonderful, brutal, brilliant Maeve played with a wonderfully sinister ease by Thandie Newton. She has a nervous, unseasoned tech wrapped around her beautiful finger and I cannot wait for the finale on Sunday to see if she gets her wish, to be free of Westworld altogether. Though we know that that may be impossible, and may even kill her if/when she tries to leave.

The thing is, these women are as brutal the world around them. They are products of their environment. They are products of their past stories that they are remembering with horror. They remember the rapes, the murders, the brutality brought upon them in their other storylines and they want out. They were created by Westworld and therefore, they are cruel, they are battered and they are ready to be something more than just a plaything for humans.

She's a wiley one, that Maeve.
She’s a wiley one, that Maeve.

They want freedom, or do they? Dolores makes the point in this past Sunday’s episode that the men all assume she wants out so that begs the question, what does Dolores want?

I think it’s very simple: they want to be able to decide their own future.

They want choices.

AH! It’s fantastic! I absolutely love this show and I look forward to the finale, while also being sad that my weekly bouts of, “Huh?” and “Holy cow!” are going to be over until Season Two premiers. I also live in fear as to who is next to die. Is it Maeve? Dolores? Ford (played with perfect level of menace and sadness by Anthony Hopkins)? Oh my gosh, it’s almost too much!

How about you? What do you enjoy most about Westworld? What do you hope the finale shows us? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: The Women of the Marvel Netflix Universe

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for superhero films and TV shows. I, like so many others, have been enjoying everything Marvel, including their foray into the world of binge watching on Netflix. Recently my boyfriend and I sat down and watched Luke Cage and I have to say, it was phenomenal. It also got me thinking, how come Marvel, and by extension, Netflix, can get this stuff so right and so many others get it so, so wrong?

The awesome women on "Luke Cage" on Netflix now!
The awesome women on “Luke Cage” on Netflix now!

What am I talking about? Not the content necessarily, though they nail that, but more specifically I’m talking about the women. The female characters are well thought out, they’re developed in fascinating and engaging ways and they walk around fully clothed and act like the grown ups they are.  It particularly struck me during Luke Cage as something that is a pleasure to see. Women who are powerful and smart, not just sex objects.

Take Rosario Dawson’s character for example, Claire, she its he connecting character between Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and in all the shows she’s tough, she’s no-nonsense and she’s brave as all get out, especially when surrounded by larger than life enhanced people. She doesn’t wuss out when things get tough, she grabs the closest weapon she can find and she fights, or she used her words, which she’s more than capable of stringing into full sentences and fights that way. The women of the Netflix Marvel Universe are so much more than just women, they’re partners to the crime fighters they stand by. They’re equals. 

"Jessica Jones" on Netflix.
“Jessica Jones” on Netflix.

Of course, it’s not just in the Netflix programming either, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is equally as impressive in its female roles. No quiet wallflowers here, they’re all out to protect those that they love, keep themselves safe and fight toe-to-toe with some of Earth’s greatest hero’s. It’s something that strikes me as at odds in today’s world of angry anti-feminist rhetoric. It’s amazing when you look at the toy lines and the fight that it’s been to get the female characters represented alongside the male characters. How can Marvel and the studios get it so right on the screen, but so wrong in other places?

Now I can’t pretend to be knowledgeable about comic books since I haven’t read most of the ones that are the basis of these shows, but the comics I have read have struggled with representing women as equals to their male counterparts. I will never, ever understand why someone thinks it makes sense to draw a woman who is in a life or death fight as wearing a strapless top and a skirt. I know comics aren’t meant to be realistic and I love being sunk into  fantasy world of super hero’s and super villains, but still, I want my super ladies to wear pants, is that so much of a stretch? And shirts with sleeves and stuff would be good too, but one thing at at time. Pants would be great.

Elektra stands on her own (and apart) from her male counterparts in "Daredevil" season 2.
Elektra stands on her own (and apart) from her male counterparts in “Daredevil” season 2.

Anyway … What do you think? Have you watched any of these shows? What do you think about the portrayal of women in the Marvel universe? Sound off in the comments! Tell me what you think!

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The Female Perspective: Halloween Costumes Gone MAD!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s that time of year again, when I get to look over the Halloween costumes selection and find joy in how ridiculous the designers get with what they deem a “sexy” costume. I found some good ones this year folks!

Hey honey, we should go as rotary dial phones for Halloween. Doesn't that sound fun?
Hey honey, we should go as rotary dial phones for Halloween. Doesn’t that sound fun?

To begin, I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to wear a sexy costume. This list is all in good fun because honestly, has anyone ever thought, “Gee whiz, I want to be a sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle this year”? There are plenty of the traditional sexy costumes like Harley Quinn, Egyptian Goddess, Witch or Milk Maid, but there are also some very, very silly options that I like to highlight here.

Read on, and if you pick one of these, please, for the love all things holy and fun, post a pic!

Women’s Sexy In a Galaxy Far, Far Away Costume

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Are you looking to be a sexy version of Princess Leia without all those pesky layers of white robe? Well, have I got the solution for YOU! Behold the Sexy In a Galaxy Far, Far Away costume. Not only does it not bother to cover your legs with something as silly as a skirt or pants (Eee gads, not PANTS!) it even comes with a HOOD. So if you get cold you can just curl up into the smallest ball humanly possible and get into that hood of yours.

Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

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Sure, you like turtles, you even like ninja turtles, but are they sexy? I suppose to other turtles they might be … Hmm … Anyway, I came across this picture at random and had a good chuckle at the idea of trying to make the TMNT gang sexy. Or really, trying to make any ninjas sexy seems slightly ridiculous since ninja’s at their core, are meant to fly under the radar, not jump up on a table for all the attention. Perhaps I’m getting too literal? Regardless, whatever way you go with your turtle love, make sure you can at least eat pizza while in your costume, otherwise, what’s the point of even being a TMNT?

Sexy Optimus Prime (yes, you read that right)

Autobots! Roll Out!
Autobots! Roll Out!

Now, I can’t be alone in saying that the big OP has a sexy voice (for a talking Mack Truck) and he does some heroic stuff (“You got the power!”), but sexy? I did not think it could possibly get any sillier than a sexy TMNT ensemble, but I was wrong. This one gave me quite the chuckle, I mean it’s adorable, but if you’re a true Transformers fan, there is no way that this is going to be your costume. At least, I have never seen a woman in such an outfit at any of the Comic Con’s I’ve been to. Typically if you dress as a Transformer, you wear something blocky and bulky, the total opposite of sexy.

I will, however, admit that this one might be my favorite, the skirt is actually adorable.

Sexy Chucky Costume 

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There are literally no words.

What About The Dudes?

You might be wondering, why are all these costumes for women? Well, I wondered that myself and decided to do a quick search of sexy men’s Halloween costumes. You know what I found? Stuff I can’t put in this blog for one (too risqué) and then it’s boring stuff like a guy in a suit, dressed as a Scottish Highlander (with pants under his kilt, so wrong) and other stuff like that, carpenters, firemen, etc. Nothing at all to the level of the women (see Sexy Chucky above). Though I did find this one and if anyone can tell me what the heck it is, I’ll send you a lollipop.

*sigh*
*sigh*

It seems sad that men can’t get in on the super sexy costume game like women do, but then i realized oh wait, it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that they don’t feel as if they have to. Not to take this blog to a serious place but the fact is, we live in a patriarchal society where women are groomed to think they always have to be sexy or attractive and god forbid if they do something else. The other side of that is that the tide is changing, many women are choosing costumes that reflect who they are and not what society expects them to be. Not to mention, on Halloween it’s all about being someone else and sometimes that means getting a wee bit sexy. As I said before, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s on your terms and not something you feel you have to do in order to please someone.

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

 

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The Female Perspective: Show Me Something Good, Please

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


The news has been pretty bleak as of late and I find it hard to not allow that to bleed into my writing, but this blog isn’t about politics or the latest shooting tragedy or anything like that. It’s meant to be a fun (and hopefully lighthearted) take on entertainment, pop culture, whatever, all from this feminists’ perspective.

In that spirit I realized I wanted to read about some good news for a change so here are a few fun snippets, courtesy of The Good News Network, of human beings doing cool stuff to hopefully put a smile on your face.

Also, baby animals. Because really, who doesn’t smile at baby animals??? Cold hearted ninnymuggins is who!


Man Donates To Pet Shelter Like a Boss

A Canadian man buys and then donates 570 bags and cans of pet food to the local shelter because,

“Because I could, and the animals needed it, basically,” he told The Telegram. “I thought it was the normal thing to do.”

We need more of this kind of thinking in the world. Now some happy and well fed critters are being fed because one man decided it was the right thing to do.

Woman and Baseball, A Perfect Combination

Most women have heard it before, “Baseball is for boys,” and we nod and go along to our gymnastics or softball games. The fact is, if nothing else, A League of Their Own proved that women could and should be playing baseball. Not only that but young girls should be encouraged to give it a go!

Baseball for ALL is a great cause that stresses that not just boys can play the popular game and in this short article, it’s never too late to start!

Boy Hugs Dog and Nothing Bad Happens

If you’ve watched the news, you’ve probably seen this video snippet of a young boy who secretly hugs a dog every day, he was caught on video (obviously) and has now been invited to play with the lucky pup whenever he wants! See, good things happen when you open up when you are kind and loving!

Stuff On My Cat

Have you seen the website Stuff On My Cat? It’s hilarious. I highly recommend it if you need a giggle. It’s fairly self explanatory, you know, people put stuff on their cats and for some reason, it’s always funny.

Stuffonmycat.com
Stuffonmycat.com

I wonder why that is?

Tiny Hats For Tiny Pets

Oh thank you Buzzfeed for showing me this, it totally made my day! Now I must make a tiny hat and put it on my cat and combine my two loves, tiny animal hats and putting stuff on my cat. It’s truly a win-win situation.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/margaretjung/yes-you-can-make-tiny-hats-for-your-pets-and-its-adorable?utm_term=.kuXNok1Q5#.bgR53djJB
https://www.buzzfeed.com/margaretjung/yes-you-can-make-tiny-hats-for-your-pets-and-its-adorable?utm_term=.kuXNok1Q5#.bgR53djJB 

Last But Not Least…

This may have not been my best or most informative blog yet, but I sure hope it put a smile on your face, as it did for me. It’s a reminder that not everything in life is bad and that even though we must be ever vigilant to the bad that rises up into our faces seemingly every day, there is a whole heck of a lot of good in our world too.

Please feel free to share some of your favorite posts, blogs, tweets, etc and share the smiles today. Let’s all try to smile and love one another, no matter what we believe or who we love, let’s all be human together.

Baby Sloth says Hello!
Baby Sloth says Hello!
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The Female Perspective: It’s About Dang Time!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


I’ve made no secret of my annoyance and frustration that it seems to take forever for companies like Marvel and DC Comics to come out with female-centered superhero movies, or more accurately, the fact that they don’t have any right now.

In fact, I’ve written about Wonder Woman many times now, along with Black Widow and others that are not in the comic world. The lack of merchandise is also a problem, but ladies and gents, all that is changing because of one biggish announcement by Kevin Feige recently.

The fact is, our society is changing, women are taking up the comic book action hero mantle and other woman, i.e. ME, want to see those women kick butt in their own movies, not as a sidekick to a bunch of dudes.

Black Widow is ready for her own movie...
Black Widow is ready for her own movie…

It is a happy day when you see the seeds of your wishing coming to fruition. With the Wonder Woman movie on its way to theaters soon (woohoo!), it was awesome to hear Kevin Feige say recently that they are fully committed to a standalone Black Widow movie!

“We’ve announced the next nine movies, ten counting Civil War, through the end of 2019. Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.” –Den of Geek

Sure, that means we’ll still have to wait a few years to see Black Widow kick ass all on her own on screen, but the very fact that Marvel has realized she should have her own movie is a huge win for fans everywhere and it’s clear that it’s what fans actually want.

In fact, a recent poll amongst Captain America: Civil War advance ticketholders asking which Avenger should get a solo film saw Black Widow with a dominant 48 percent victory out of the six choices. –Den of Geek

48 percent is a pretty good number! I for one am tickled red and black that Black Widow is finally going to get her own film. For a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that she’s a really cool female character. There’s a lot of cool female characters in both the DC and Marvel universes so there is literally no real end to the amount of movies they could make telling their stories, but the fact is, since her debut in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson has been doing an absolutely amazing job portraying a complex female character surrounded by and constantly fighting alongside her male counterparts. She is no less powerful in Captain America: Civil War where she attempts to be diplomatic when torn between two of her respected and loved friends, Iron Man and Captain America. In fact, Black Widow is at her best in Civil War because she is troubled by having to “pick a side” in the argument, when essentially all she wants is her friends to get along and do what’s right for the world they protect. In Civil War things are not that easy though, and Natasha finds herself battling her own sense of what is wrong and right and ultimately doing what she think’s is best, even if it’s going against her own “team”.

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Also, after seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was most certainly interested in hearing more of the story of Black Widow. We were given a small taste, ala Scarlett Witches powers, of what Natasha’s life had been like as she trained (and became brainwashed) to become the super bad ass spy/assassin/superhero she is today. Not only that, but we were teased with some more of what the training was like for Black Widow’s on the TV show Agent Carter when we got to see what “life” was like for Dottie Greenwood (spoiler alert: it’s bad to be trained as  a Black Widow spy). The fact is, there is a rich, complicated and brutal backstory to tell when it comes to Natasha and her other women spy comrades, one that deserves to be told on screen.

Wonder Woman may have her movie out first, but I have no doubt Black Widow's film will be kick-ass.
Wonder Woman may have her movie out first, but I have no doubt Black Widow’s film will be kick-ass.

Not to mention, it’s about dang time that a woman superhero gets her own movie. Yes, I’m greedy for it, we have seen men ruling over the superhero franchises forever now, I mean, for pete’s sake, Batman gets a new movie every couple of years, but only after decades do we finally get to see Wonder Woman up on the big screen, fighting toe-to-toe with the guys in some of the best scenes of Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice. Seeing WW up there got me all sorts of jazzed up for her movie and I am very excited and hopeful that she will be the start of some really awesome female-led superhero films.

It’s time folks. It’s way past time.

How do you feel about Black Widow? Do you think she’s ready for a standalone film? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: What Is Civil War?

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


If you’re like me and you love superhero’s but haven’t fully delved into all the comics then you might also be a bit confused by the story of Captain America: Civil War. I’ve been asked a couple times what “side” I’m on and I have found myself struggling with an answer. When I did some research around the books, I realized that the answer is hard. It’s not as simple as picking one side and sitting comfortably with it. The sides of anti and pro-superhero registration are fraught with wrong and right. Good and bad.

portrait_incredible

The Beginning

Civil War starts simply enough (as all wars do, right?). After a series of events that cause world-wide damage there are those who seek to register all people with powers in order to keep them in check. To make sure that they receive proper training with their powers and how to fight in a more urban setting so as to minimize casualties. Understandably there are heroes who are for and against such registration and the sides begin to form. At the head of each side is Captain American (on the anti-registration side) and Iron Man (on the pro-registration side).

Iron Man, with Mr. Fantastic and Hank Pym, argued that the changing political landscape meant that resisting the law was pointless, and that it is reasonable for heroes to have proper training and oversight, whereas Captain America, alongside Luke Cage and Falcon argued that heroes required secrecy in order to protect aspects of their ‘normal’ life, such as spouses and children, and to allow them to act in whatever means are needed against threats which the ordinary emergency services couldn’t cope with.  – Wikipedia

The War

Once the war began it seems as if it was fairly brutal in terms of backstabbing and subterfuge on both sides. You can learn more about it on the Wikipedia page I linked to above, but it appears that in the comics Captain American was eventually captured when it became apparent that not surrendering would cause more damage and loss of life and he was imprisoned by Iron Man and his cohorts in the Negative Zone.

It's super sad when your friends start fighting...
It’s super sad when your friends start fighting…

What Side Are You On?

It’s not easy for me to pick a side, on one hand I see what the pro-registration movement is trying to say. They want people with powers to be in control, not rampaging out in the world destroying property and accidentally killing those they are sworn to protect. On the other hand, it seems extremely discriminatory to make all those with powers register, it also seems like a lame attempt to try and control people who are ultimately uncontrollable. People with powers are scary to those of us without them because we cannot control them even if we do know they exist. Besides that, having a registry like that puts those that love and live with these heroes at risk for capture or worse.

It’s a tricky question and one that is extremely poignant in our politically hyper-charged climate right now. How do we pick a side? How do we make a choice when we have no idea what the repercussions of that choice will be until they actually occur? Do we force people to register, to be known, when being unknown is part of what keeps people safe? Do we let them run rampant, doing whatever they want without any consequences for their actions?

I definitely have to think on this one…It’s not so easy as, “hey I love Iron Man, let me choose him!” In truth, I do love Iron Man, but his lack of a moral compass and his insistence that the is always right make him extremely dangerous. One man does not know it all. On the other hand, Captain America is super cool and good and extremely moral, but he was frozen in ice for a few hundred years and therefore, does he really understand the current world and climate? It’s definitely a tough choice for me…

If you’re curious about what side I choose, check out the Trailer Snark blog this Thursday! I will reveal my choice then!

In the meantime…

What Side Are YOU On?

Marvel-Civil-War-alternate-poster

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The Female Perspective: Who You Gonna Call?

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


If you’re answer to the title of this blog was, GHOSTBUSTERS! Than you’re my kind of people. Though today I am going to talk about the “reboot” (good lord I detest that word these days) with the all female cast that stars comedy powerhouses Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. I am SUPER excited about this movie. Even more so now that the trailer has come out and shown us that yeah, this movie could potentially be awesome.

I am a huge fan of the original films (even though the 2nd one wasn’t great, it was still the Ghostbusters so I give it some slack), I even remember going to see the first film in the theater and being scared silly by that ghost in the library at the start. I loved the comedy, the silliness and was only slightly confused (I was a kid) by that scene in the ghost montage with Dan Akroyd and the pants unzipping … That part mystified me until I was much older and “wiser”. The original Ghostbusters film is a classic film, one that many feel is “untouchable” in this world of remake after remake.

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I would call these ladies if I had ghosts giving my trouble

The fact is, to try and improve on the Ghostbusters original film is pointless, so to cast a group of men to fill the shoes of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddmore is lacking in creativity. The idea of an all-female cast is appealing to me because I used to want to be a Ghostbuster when I kid so this is a serious case of wish fulfillment happening, I admit it. Also, as a woman, it’s really fun to see women in the lead of so many films these days. This is just cool because now little girls can see themselves in the shoes of the “Busters” and see them kicking some otherworldly butt!

I know the all female cast is irritating to many folks and it mystifies me. Is it simply the idea of a reboot that has them annoyed or is it because it’s women? I mean, if it was an all male cast, would people be as up in arms? I seriously wonder about that one. I really hate how in this day and age, women in lead roles once held by men are found to be inferior. The fact is, the women in this film have proven their comedic chops time and time again. So what’s the issue here? Why can’t women be in roles that men held? Why are we still stuck in a world where feminism and female-led casting are held in such low regard?

These are questions I ponder time and time again and I have no good, solid answer for them that doesn’t seriously bum me out.

Thor as the god of paperwork!
Thor as the god of paperwork!

Honestly, you cannot go wrong with this cast. Melissa McCarthy makes me laugh when she does sneezes and Kristen Wiig … Jeez Louise, talk about a huge comedic talent. Add  to that the lesser known but just as funny Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones and I think you have a winner here. I also LOVE that Chris Hemsworth is playing their secretary in a great flipping of the roles. Hemsworth was great in his small role in the recent Vacation so I am pretty certain he has the comedic chops to pull off being around all these strong women.

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I know there has been a lot of talk about how this is not needed and blah, blah, blah and I just want to make the point, what movie is ever really needed?

The idea behind entertainment is that it (you guessed it) entertains us, makes us laugh, cry, think, get angry, etc. Some films are simply there for us to avoid real life for a little while. If something doesn’t appeal to you, don’t watch it. Watch something else, but please, for the love of all that is holy, stop complaining as if you have some choice in the matter. This movie is happening and I, for one, am pretty happy about it.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to enjoy the trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters film.

Ahhh this trailer makes me so HAPPY! The music, the effects, the jokes…It seems like everything I ever loved about the original film is making a fun appearance here and I have high hopes that any one (or all 3) of the living, original Ghostbusters make an appearance in this film, that would be the icing on an already pretty darn exciting ghost-like cake.

So tell me, are you gonna call these Ghostbusters to save the day or are you going to skip it and fend for yourself? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: The Mary Sue Stuff Must Stop

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Have you heard the term Mary Sue lately? If not, let me offer up the definition:

Mary Sue for female characters and Gary Stu or Marty Stu for male characters is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities. Often this character is recognized as an author insert or wish-fulfillment. ~Wikipedia

One of the more recent uses of this term is towards Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and it annoyed the wholy heck out of me because not only has no one ever used the term “Gary Stu” or “Marty Stu” for a man (I’d never heard of it before today), but because saying a woman that is strong, smart and powerful is “unrealistic” is really, REALLY annoying. The double standard of not using it towards male characters is what really sticks in my craw and my annoyance has been revitalized due to the release of the Star Wars: Rogue One trailer.

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Our newest “Star Wars” protagonist…Jyn Erso

All the ugly anti-feminist argument trolls are out in force people. In FORCE.

In the trailer, we are introduced to a new, female, character named Jyn Erso who has been dubbed a Mary Sue even before anyone has seen the movie. Simply because of the following:

  1. She’s a woman.
  2. She is the lead character.
  3. She clearly kicks ass.

That’s it folks. Let’s take a moment to unravel this a bit. All of these people claiming she’s a Mary Sue and that Star Wars never gets to have powerful male leads, (seriously, that was a Tweet I saw…I can’t even begin to talk about that either it made me so mad) as if there is something wrong with a woman being in control in the Star Wars universe. Have none of these people ever actually seen Star Wars???? Seriously, have you never heard of Princess Leia?

For pete’s sake.  I can’t even, the stupidity is overwhelming me people. Why are there so many stupids all around? Why do they have internet access and computers and, you know, fingers with which to type??? It boggles my mind that people would get so up in arms over a woman being shown as not only capable, but brave and tough too.

Lucas has admitted that Luke is his character wish fulfillment on film.
Lucas has admitted that Luke is his character wish fulfillment on film.

The fact is, the term Mary Sue needs to be retired, expunged from our lexicon. Deleted forever from the world. It is sexist, subjective and completely insulting to the female characters it has been attached to. The fact is, if you really look at it, Luke Skywalker (known to be George Lucas’ wish fulfillment character) is a Mary Sue himself! He’s “too” perfect in unrealistic ways. Even wee little Anakin is “too” perfect and yet, no one complains about that. No one cries out “Gary Stu!” (or whatever it is). No. No one does, because Mary Sue is a sexist, anti-feminism term meant to belittle and subjugate the female lead. To make her feel less than, to bring down her potential and to, once again, take a woman’s power and crush it into dust.

Actual Tweets by actual people...Or something resembling people...
Actual Tweets by actual people…Or something resembling people…

Sorry (totally not sorry) to all those who are running around crying foul that “yet another” woman is a lead in a Star Wars film, you’re going to have to get used to seeing the ladies in charge because clearly that’s the way that Disney is going here and clearly it’s well received by those of us who aren’t neanderthal misogynistic morons.

My brain hurts...
My brain hurts…I can’t even deal with this much stupid.

Welcome to the new Star Wars world, it has women in it who do things, important things. Get used to it, and while you’re at it, stop using the Mary Sue terminology. It’s antiquated and lame, not to mention entirely insulting to the female gender who desperately want women to be role models for the younger generation. Feminists don’t want to take down the menfolk, now listen carefully, feminists want to be equal with them.

Why is that so difficult?

What do YOU think of the term Mary Sue? Is it time to retire the term? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments!

P.S. If you haven’t seen the trailer, watch below, it looks AMAZING.

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The Female Perspective: Why The “Walking Dead” Cliffhanger Is Awesome

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


** SPOILERS AHEAD **

If you haven’t seen the season finale of Walking Dead by now, don’t read this. That is your only warning.

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I am a huge Walking Dead fan, both of the comics and the TV show (though I started watching the show first in all honesty) and I think it has consistently been one of the smartest, grossest and funnest shows on TV for many years now.  I also love/hate a good cliffhanger. This season, Walking Dead delivered on both keeping it’s quality at the highest level while also giving us one killer (pun intended) of a cliffhanger.

So why are people so peeved about it?

It is simply amazing to me how many people are upset that the show ended in a cliffhanger. First off, this is not the first time in TV history that there has been a cliffhanger ending for a season so why are people acting all shocked and/or angry that Walking Dead chose that route? All season they have been playing with us, making us wait for the final 10 minutes of the season to finally see one of the biggest bads in all of Walking Dead history, Negan. Not to mention, they teased us with Glenn’s death earlier in the season, only to take it away with a sly wink and a nod, “Don’t worry folks, we’ll get to the death soon…Just be patient,” and then, when death is imminent for one of our mighty zombie killers, the screen fades to black, screams are heard and the credits roll. Leaving us no idea as to who just got their head bashed in by Lucille while also leaving us angry, confused and wanting more.

It’s freaking brilliant TV show writing.

What’s the best way to ensure a huge audience when your show premiers in October? Tease a major characters death and then end the show before telling us who it is. End the show with the bone cracking, blood squelching sounds of a bat (wrapped in barbed wire) being smashed repeatedly into someone’s head, in front of people who love them, but don’t tell the audience who just died. It’s amazing. It’s brilliant and yeah, it’s a little infuriating but I can’t even count at this point how many times I’ve yelled, “I hate this show!” at my TV as the credits roll. But really, that’s code for, “I love this show!”

The fact is, I refuse to give up and/or complain about a show that has given me years of entertainment, taking the zombie survival scenario to a whole other level and who delivers some of the best performances in acting I’ve seen on TV. I mean, the fear in Rick’s eyes as he realizes just how screwed they are when they finally meet Negan after weeks and weeks of him prancing around all cocky, “We’ve done it before,” kind of nonsense. Rick thought Negan was a simple man doing bad things that they could defeat easily.

He is very, very wrong.

Yep. Pee-pee pants city, all aboard!
Yep. Pee-pee pants city, all aboard!

For those who read the comics, we spent the season anxiously awaiting the arrival of Negan, knowing what it means for the survivors, knowing how bloody and brutal things are about to get. Knowing just how diabolical (and damn charming) Negan is. I can say for me that it’s been maddening. Imagine my relief then when Negan steps out of the RV with all his swagger, all his smiles, and Lucille, the bat from Hell. Well, I thought I’d feel relief, but really all I felt was heart pounding fear. I knew what was coming (as so many did) and the anticipation as Negan stalked his prey, toyed with it and made a grand speech that I only heard a little of (it’s hard to hear when you have your shirt over your face and you’re going “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” over and over again) was maddening.

(FYI: Jeffrey Dean Morgan was made to play Negan. I couldn’t be more happy with his performance. He makes Negan confusing, just like in the comics, he’s insane but handsome. True evil, but charming. A sexist , but … Nope, he’s just a jerk)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead - Season 6/Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead – Season 6/Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Then when the screen fades away with the sounds of screaming and skull crushing, I wanted to faint a little bit. It was perfect. It was everything I hoped it would be, even if it was insanity-inducing. To all those people who are creating petitions to find out the ending of WD, or who are complaining that the show was “lame” or “badly written”, you all need to take a step back, survey what else is on TV and realize, this is one of the best shows out there and if you see anything other than total brilliance, you are missing the point and should just stop watching … Oh, but you won’t, because you want to find out who Negan killed. Uh oh!

Seriously though, everyone has their opinion and I respect that, the fact is that cliffhangers happen. They happen quite a bit and they are both a lot of fun as well as being smart TV making and marketing. What better way to get your audience to come back than to leave them wanting more? In this case Walking Dead killed off a major character but left us wondering who that was. Unusual for them as they like to show us who died, leave us in the aftermath and make us wait 6-7 months for the revenge. This time, they left us mid-kill and invite us back for the death, the aftermath and the revenge. I for one cannot wait!

We shall see Rick, we shall see..
We shall see Rick, we shall see..

It’s funny, almost everyone I’ve talked to has a different opinion as to who died in the finale. I say Glenn (I’m sticking with the comics here), others say Daryl, Aaron, Eugene or even Maggie. Which is exactly what those jerks at the writers table of Walking Dead want us to think. They want us sitting in limbo until October so that when that 9pm rolls around we are glued to our TV, just waiting, and then they’ll give us a “filler” episode about Carol and Morgan and we won’t know who died until episode 2 – because the writers of the Walking Dead are mean people, but I love them just the same.

Who do you think died? Tell me in the comments!