Even mutants have a right to live

Having been influenced by breeders who dare to speak their minds out against Pedigree Dogs Exposed, I wouldn’t be surprised that there are several of them working against inbreeding and actually breeding their own dogs to dogs of other breeds. The thing is that taking care of a pet is a big responsibility even though the pet is not always outrightly unhealthy and vice versa.

Even mongrels can get sick despite not being that selectively bred for something. You’d have to take diseases like hydatidosis, toxocariasis and the like into account. They’re milder than rabies but can be critical and infectious to other animals. Likewise you have relatively healthy purebred dogs and owners who do a lot to care of them while they’re sick.

Deformed Mastiffs and sick pugs have a right to live and be taken care of. While it might sometimes be the breeders’ fault for breeding an ugly dog, some owners will still take care of it. Same thing goes for really sick dogs. True not all purebred dogs have bad conformation elsewhere and same thing goes for having a relatively larger gene pool but taking care of them is still a big responsibility.

I wouldn’t be surprised by the fact that you have breeders who do know better and will do anything to take care of their dogs, maintaining the line whilst doing something about the inbreeding. It’s not surprising that they’re the ones who’d call out the stupid activists for not knowing any better.

For instance, a Dalmatian dog is sickly and weak at times but his/her breeder and/or owner will do anything to take care of him/her. Similar things can be said of adopted stray dogs and mongrels. Not all purebred owners and breeders are irresponsible. Several of them are careful with what they’re doing.

Beware the sycophant

I can understand why nobody wants to get criticised, called out or deal with a different opinion because I’ve been through that myself though with consequences when I tried to force my perspective.

Being wiser and more willing to do research, I can say that there is still a lot of information about things even a lot of other well-intentioned people don’t know about. Sometimes that information itself isn’t in a language they can easily understand and machine translations can be faulty.

There’s a thread on Kiwifar.ms called SJW Art and Extremes which has a lot of dissenting opinions objecting to politically correct fan art gone wrong. I get why people get riled up over female objectification and stuff as well as needing diversification though it’s often done awkwardly.

They also point out that these same people do an awful lot of nitpicking though I’m guilty of the same thing too. Funny enough from my experience on Tumblr, a lot of superhero fans pick on Greg Horn, Greg Land, Igor Cordey, Michael Turner (briefly) and Rob Liefeld for crap comics art.

It’s not surprising but what could be said about JG Campbell, Jim Lee, Francis Manapul and Marcus To who too make mistakes. The latter two even worked for a cheesecake publishing house that Turner founded called Aspen Comics. They also do an awful lot of same faced characters.

The sycophants who eat it the SJW’s critiques of Rob Liefeld and Greg Land are going to be blind towards many other cartoonists who do similar things. Even Escher Girls is well-aware of it.

Sometimes you shouldn’t always agree with the yespeople on important issues, especially if you might either know better than them or have a willingness to learn something else. Perhaps that’s the problem with SJW critiques of such designs.

They meant well but don’t seem to bother learning anything else to add depth to their critiques. Sometimes they don’t bother to learn anything new at all.

I’m not a scientist nor a breeder but even I think this is bullshit

Having been to the website Ruffly Speaking, we have a breeder who disagrees a lot with the crazy activists who don’t know a lot about what they’re saying. She goes on saying that when it comes to mutant dogs, a Terrier is about as a mutant as a Bulldog is.

A Philippine mongrel is about as a mutant as a Golden Retriever is in that both of them are based on Chinese wolves. Even if the former is more wolflike, it could still be a mutant in the sense that you have an abundance of coat colours that would’ve been absent in the much older population.

One can say that a person with blonde hair, pale skin and blue eyes is a mutant because the mutation is related to albinism in that there isn’t much pigment being produced in the body and one genetic study linked blue eyes to a mild form of albinism.

Someone with red hair is a mutant due to a certain gene (usually MC1R but sometimes OCA3) that controls pigmentation and the production of the ruddy phaeomelanin. Almost all humans are mutants albeit ones without special powers and stuff.

One can get the feeling that these people aren’t around with different kinds of animals, much less do any extensive research like say German language websites on canine tapeworms and roundworms or French language websites on stray dog predation.

Ironically it’s the activists who should know better and should do more extensive research. To some sensible breeders, these people are just jumping to conclusions because they only know a few dogs from experience.

To me, they don’t even bother to actually learn something else like hydatidosis, why it’s spread from dogs and foxes and how it can pose health problems like asthma.

Sometimes they even don’t really know what’s going on in other countries. It’s not just that they haven’t been there but also didn’t do any further research which is going to turn up in languages they don’t understand.

Machine translations are the lesser sin since despite how badly translated the article is it can still give insight to such ignored subject matters and illuminate what’s really going on out there.

Know-it-alls taking the glory

Having been to dog breeder blogs before, one wouldn’t be surprised that even before the documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed showed up, there were already many breeders trying to learn from their mistakes and improving on their dogs at least in some countries.

It’s not that big of an issue elsewhere where you have lots of stray dogs but that too poses problems like predation on wild animals and livestock, infectious diseases and stuff. Having been to the Ruffly Speaking blog, the breeder herself has had bad experiences with people who raise awareness about dog welfare but surprisingly know little about dogs.

Or rather have any real experience with dogs other than their own and do the research extensively. Perhaps not all dog breeds are this endangered and stray dogs and mongrels are actually the norm. I still do have my problems with such practises but upon opening myself up to breeders that might not entirely be the case.

These activists are well-meaning but as what some breeders say, have little to no understanding of how breeding works. Sometimes I feel as if they have little knowledge of what’s going on with dogs outside of the world they’re used to.

Just as dog poisoning is a big deal in German, Swedish and Dutch speaking countries, stray dogs are a big deal in many European countries as well. Stray dogs are a big deal all around the world. It wouldn’t come as a surprise when it comes to studies done on places where dogs are first domesticated in, you’re bound to have lots of feral and stray dogs.

I’ve seen stray dogs here in the Philippines and some of my dogs are either ex-strays or descended from them. I do a lot of research on stray dog predation on livestock and wildlife every now and then though that’s more likely to come from Polish, Hebrew, French, Japanese and Italian sources from my experience.

So I find myself feeling where the breeders are even if the sentiment and experience is different. Just as breeders are frustrated over their lack of actual knowledge of dog breeds, I feel frustrated over their lack of research done on dogs not coming from Anglophone sources, much less finding out a lot of other things that have little to do with dog breeding practises.

Regardless if it’s a stray, mixed breed or purebred anything can have its ups and downs and it’s not the end of the world if you research a lot more on it and take good care of them. Even the sickest pug has the right to live.

A Patronising Attitude

Being nonwhite and from a third world country, I sometimes feel as if Western, Anglophone whites (at least from my experience) exhibit a really patronising attitude towards serious issues in other cultures, countries and situations.

When it comes to nature preservation and conservation, it’s usually white people (not just white Anglophones) who are going to give a big rat’s arse about it. Some Africans and Asians are into it but most are more concerned about having something better to do.

If anything, it’s the Africans and Asians who have lost their way since their countries have faced rapid modernisation and industrialisation. With the exception of China, India, Thailand and a few African countries, most of Asia and Africa are colonised and influenced by the West in a short but profound period of time leading to an apparent disregard for nature when it comes to modernity.

Many Asians and Africans live in the suburbs, some of them are in abject poverty and some of them are working class. This is what I noticed from living in the Philippines. Living conditions may be improving but so many other things are a luxury.

We sometimes get our clothes not just from friends and family but also from thrift shops and flea markets. Shopping at malls is a luxury. So is affording a lot of computers. Some people beg wherever they go. Some of them don’t finish school at whatever level.

While this is also true in Western countries, in some places it has to do with both boredom and affordability. Heck not even all Western countries are like this. Wherever you go, you have people begging for something, school dropouts and wild animals in rural parts of countries if someone looked hard enough.

Some like in rural France, Poland and Italy where they still encounter wild animals like chamois, ibex, red deer, mouflon, black bear, wolf, lynx, boar and wildcat in addition to stray cats and dogs.

It’s just a matter of both typing in the right keywords and lurking a lot in non-Anglophone websites to find out what’s going on over there. It’s also ultimately a matter of opening one’s mind to something entirely different that would lead to learning about what’s going on over there without being so naive and patronising.

The dangers of sycophancy

Lady Gaga’s career isn’t good at this point, having lived up to a self-fulfilling prophecy by her haters. One of her mistakes is to surround herself with yespeople. She either didn’t want or didn’t like (negative) criticism, only applause.

Since Lady Gaga’s not an industry veteran, she could’ve been better off either by ignoring or listening to her critics on her craft. That would’ve helped her a lot. Someone else did and he’s David Sylvian. Sometime in his career, he and his colleagues were criticised a lot but welcomed it and helped their careers in the long run.

He went on to become an avant garde musician with drastically better singing, helped in part by a throat surgery that lowered his voice. He sensibly quit being a pop star and ended up making his own record label. No wonder why his career became fruitful though overlooked by many. Gaga could undo this though not at this point.

Making Barry Allen better

Barry Allen is a superhero whose shtick is now defined by avenging a dead relative not unlike Batman. Though he’s a forensic scientist, he’s hardly seen in the lab and could’ve easily become a detective. When you think about it as a detective he can have his cake and eat it too.

He’s fast enough to track down enemies and would’ve been equally fast in retrieving evidence and solving cases. That would however mean having to limit his abilities considerably, if not depowering him. Barry Allen makes a hell lot more sense as a detective when you think about it.

Considering his background in forensics, he would’ve ideally spent more time on investigating crime scenes and sneaking on his enemies. He could also make a good escape artist given he’s not much of a brute force character like Superman is. The problem with making good use of his powers in investigation has to do with limiting what his powers can do.

He can run really fast to track down his enemies’ whereabouts, dig up evidence, locate resources and evade them but not move through walls and stuff. A certain writer could depower him to make even more stories centered on his forensics skills. Either way, we’d have to limit Barry Allen’s super speed powers to have it go hand in hand with forensics.

Limiting his super speed powers can lead to a number of possibilities done to his character. He can become an excellent game hunter, knowing when to shoot wild animals, find them and to escape from them. He can become a one-man football/soccer team. The list wouldn’t be endless though if his powers were more limited but easier to nail down.

The problem with super-powerful characters is that they’re not that easy to nail down. Not because of complex characterisation but because their abilities and powers are ill-defined. I’m not just talking about power limits and speed limits but also the paradox of having a limited power leading to more stories about it in use.

If a character gets too powerful, writers would lose any good ideas for them. Just take a look at what happened to Jean Grey when she got too powerful. The writers have her go insane, then kill her off and replace her with a doppelganger only to have the original come back in some form or another.

That’s also the problem with some of Superman’s incarnations. Very early on, he was just super-strong, super fast and only leap at great distances and heights. A flying Superman came later with the Fleischer cartoons. Heat vision, x-ray vision, cold breath and the like were more recent.

Similar things can happen to supposedly simple and nonpowered characters. Batman’s a competent fighter but later writers would make him good at very martial art known to man in addition to being a scientist and businessman. It’s clear that writers don’t really know what to do with them.

Similarly with Barry Allen, making him too powerful cuts out whatever compromise he and the writers could’ve taken when it comes to forensics. I could be guilty of the same when I wrote my fan fictions but having learnt better there is a danger to making a character too capable or powerful for its own good.

It’s not just that they’re too capable and powerful but not too many writers make good use of characters with such limitations. Someone suggested making one of the Green Lanterns only summon solid constructs. He can fly only by making a vehicle and make matches to set fire. It’s not easy but it undermined the problem with both the character and the stories.

There was a Green Lantern who was blind and used a ring that emits sound instead. It might be compensatory but bad eyesight can get in the way with one’s visual focus when it comes to making ring constructs. So it’s making use out of a bad situation.

Someone else said that if the Flash lost one of his legs, he could either change his course, get implants or start running on his hands. It’s not the end of the world if a character makes good use out of a bad situation, especially if s/he finds himself/herself limited to what s/he can do in some ways.

That would make Barry Allen really interesting because of the limitations being recently imposed on him and how it meshes so well with forensics now that he’s a detective. If he gets depowered in the story, what if he still wants to fight back using anything he can find as a weapon to compensate for losing something near and dear to him? Some people are like that so he’s in good company.

It could even save superhero stories from further repetition and stagnation if this ever happened.

Overestimating Anime’s Impact

Some anime fans tend to overestimate the impact of anime and manga comics on people. No doubt that Attack on Titan is a success but for every AOT there’s going to be a lot of manga titles that don’t well as much and some don’t get sold at all. Some of them don’t even have international translations, which might help spare those from the horrors of the Andro Trio comics made by the Diaper King.

Maybe except for amateur translations but you get the point. Not to mention other reasons why anime doesn’t fare well outside of children and nerds is that the competition is crowded. Most people don’t want to jack off to hentai and ecchi. They have lads’ mags, Mills and Boons and live action porn instead.

I suppose it’s the fanbase that made liking anime a massive laughingstock. It wouldn’t be surprising that the serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki was alleged to have looked up on anime porn that was enough to stigmatise the already maligned anime and manga fandom in Japan.

Also anime and manga, despite having an errant sales bump, don’t do well in Japan either. A lot of professional manga comics are still discovered in magazines and cartoonists aren’t paid well. Also Japan not only has a declining population but also an extreme reluctance to include foreigners despite your Keiko Han and Romi Park, both of foreign descent, making it.

Animators are paid poorly as well but for some reason both of them manage to persist in an environment that relies on outmoded and outdated ways of making and distributing media. Ditto such technological advancements and the massive amateur press industry.

Weirdly enough, not a lot of anime is really that popular among women despite your yaoi comics. That’s actually from what I observed from my experience and having outgrown anime myself, despite listening to anime theme songs I can get why a lot more women either ignore or are repulsed by anime.

What I’m saying is that anime really isn’t that popular outside of geeks and kids. That’s plain observation most especially offline. Inevitably a good number of people who watch anime will outgrow it. I myself outgrew anime especially when I got into rock bands and superheroes. Very few people remain anime fans for life. Some get into anime for nostalgia and curiosity but not for long.

Inevitably, people can outgrow anime if they either have other things to do or if they develop a new interest altogether. It’s not the end if an anime fan lost interest in anime once he gets into Battlestar Galactica. Besides many of the biggest media franchises aren’t anime.

Not a lot of anime can become globally popular. Again that’s a fact. Some anime are popular in a few select countries and some are only popular in Japan. That’s like asking people, especially anime fans if they know QTaro. QTaro is made by the same people behind Doraemon and Mojacko but it’s not that well-known outside of Japan so.

No matter how you refute this essay, one can unintentionally prove my point. Live action porn, lads’ mags, romance novels, reality programmes and crime novels will always be more popular among most adults than anime and manga will ever be. That’s this simple.

Westworld

Steven Spielberg said that superheroes are going the way of Westerns in that both of them centre on a black and white morality, epic battles and larger than life characters and settings. It’s fitting that a lot of fictional cowboys happen to be vigilantes like superheroess. Both of them do justice on their own terms. Unsurprisingly, America is built on vigilantism.

The Western didn’t entirely go away, there are still cowboy characters and stories being produced but not in the same volume and sentiment as they had before. Superheroes could go through a similar direction. All that it takes to happen isn’t just a Heaven’s Gate but also a Westworld.

Around the time when interest in cowboys were declining, certain filmmakers, directors and scriptwriters were smart and wise enough to craft a story that was superficially rooted in Westerns but owed more to robot themed science fiction.

I’m referring to the film Westworld which was given a forgettable sequel and a forthcoming television series. Anyhow Westworld is also built on the idea of an uncanny valley where you have people getting creeped out by something that is very but at the same time not quite human evolutionarily due to years of detecting minute body language cues.

It’s unsurprising that the questionable robots in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Westworld tend to have a very outwardly human appearance whereas the more sympathetic ones are less humanoid looking. That’s not always the case but part of the uncanny valley has to do with a revulsion towards something that looks dead.

In fact an early science fiction story called Frankenstein has a creature composed of other people’s limbs as animated by electricity acts maliciously. I suppose that has been attempted before in superhero comics especially with the outrage at mutants in Marvel comics but then again it comes off as hamfisted and unsubtle at times.

But the idea of superheroes needing its own Westworld could be in the works for years. It just takes a much better writer to pull off a superhero version of Westworld as people lose interest in the Flash and Arrow.

The SJW aesthetic and critique

Anybody who’s spent time on Tumblr may be familiar with some fan art depicting characters with discoloured noses, bulbous noses, random ethnicity and sex changes, terrible clothing, hamfisted androgyny and bizarre anatomy all in the name of political correctness.

Mind you the same concepts can be interesting or comical. The difference lies not only in intent but also in execution because the same concepts can be amusing. Mind you DC already has a racebent Supergirl from Earth D. There’s even Steel, nee John Henry Irons. And Robin was going to be played by a black man so.

However with SJW fan art, everything feels hamfisted and not at all fun. Sometimes it comes off as either irritating or unintentionally fetishistic. I suspect it could be the latter when it comes to trying really hard to break down gender norms but that’s only the superficial ones.

There’s hardly ever a feminist minded geek who’s actually interested in intersexuality, which can include hormonal and genetic disorders that screw up one’s biological gender. There are intersexuals who are women but are genetically male due to a mistake.

The SJW art didn’t originate in a vacuum. There are several factors influencing it, including the fact that several Tumblr bloggers used to hail from Livejournal and Livejournal was no stranger to SJW antics and discussions. Then you have several Tumblr bloggers shaping the aesthetic for better or for worse.

Then we get to big name culprits like Pendleton Ward and Kate Beaton whose own works are popular on Tumblr. While noodly limbed characters as well as those with bulging red noses aren’t anything new, Tumblr more or less appropriated them for a few reasons.

Trying really hard to make the characters look quirky, trying to cover up anatomical mishaps and trying hard to to do a cartoony style despite the overuse of bright, oversaturated colours. Unsurprisingly, a lot of Tumblr fanart is pretty awful looking especially when it’s done by SJWs.

There are good artists on Tumblr and DeviantART but they’re not that common and might be more inclined to use others like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram even though Pixiv might not be that far behind bad fan art either.

Sometimes a lot of Tumblr aesthetics and art appreciation feels hypocritical. You can have Tumblrtards getting mad at Mr Greg Land. He’s not good at anatomy but then again other cartoonists aren’t that far behind either.

Not too many superhero fans on Tumblr (and elsewhere) bother to criticise Francis Manapul and Marcus To even though they’re prone to sameface characters and they worked for a cheesecake publisher called Aspen Comics. They even do cheesecake themselves.

They’re not bad either but they’re not without their own shortcomings and it can also be said of Pendleton Ward and Rebeca Sugar. The latter has a toned down Tumblr aesthetic, right down to the very diverse but anatomically questionable Gems.

Heck in the pilot and some of the concept art, Pearl had a small nose and a more visible bustline. Garnet had straight hair and less pronounced hips. Considering that Gems are shapeshifters and that black people do relax their hair to varying degrees with varying techniques, Garnet could easily give herself jheri curls without needing an activator.

I have done something similar on Tumblr but having retreated from it for long, I can see why a lot of these bloggers are prone to cherry-picking details and being in detail about their hypocrisies. Ultimately the Tumblr fan art experiments are sometimes ideological propaganda no different from its rightwing counterpart. Always the message and never the art itself.