The pastor

After reading up on and hearing the news, a pastor leads his followers into praying. They close their eyes when they listen to him.

‘Lord God, how are you going to bring peace to the world. Cameroon’s going to secede very soon but I’d like to see the two make peace with one another, an open dialogue. Will you ever give them a better leader? Please and do the same for Nigeria. What about bringing prosperity to our other neighbours? Thank you and amen.’

 

The pastor knew that Cameroon could secede anyways even if what would help alleviate matters is an open dialogue. Nigeria could fall into the same trap. He feels helpless and spends his day worrying about the future.

He prays again.

‘God, please make sure all of Africa will achieve its goals soon enough. I’ve enough of violence and threats that I feel is harming every country here. Wish we could something about it, amen.’

God instructs him to reach out to people. He then lands in a school where he encounters students looking to read. He gives them a lot of books and one of them came up to him.

‘Sir, I miss my family a lot but they can’t go back.’

‘Why?’

‘We separated from Cameroon. But my family’s there and I feel like wanting to meet them again. But I also still want to learn.’

‘That’s terrible but it’s up to God. I don’t know what to say but I think we have to treat each other better. It’s his punishment for those who abuse people.’

‘Yeah, that’s unfair because I still want to learn and meet them again.’

‘You’ll be back with them when God finds a new leader.’

‘It’s like a war zone.’

‘It also happened here in Nigeria before. But conflict’s happening again.’

 

He then gives him a book to read and helps his students out. One of them is pale and blind, desperate to learn.

‘Hey look a ghost!’

‘Shut up!’ The two fight until the pastor breaks them up.

‘The idiot won’t shut up! I just want to learn.’

‘But…’

‘Stop it you two!’

 

As a result, the other kid’s made to help with him in reading. He points out as the other struggles to read, needing something. He reads out loud.

 

‘The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.’

‘Okay, the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. I get it.’

Then the pastor came.

‘Do you need something.’

He looked up to him.

‘I need glasses.’

 

The pastor also dealt with another lad pulling up a girl’s skirt as she’s crying.

‘Sir, he won’t stop.’

Then he slaps him as soon as he struggles to find glasses for that student. He buys one and gives it to him.

 

As soon as he struggles to keep peace, he overhears something. Nigeria has elected a new leader to pacify tensions which other countries are beginning to look up to. He then ran up.

‘Thank you, God for electing a new leader to lead Africa into prosperity.’

 

He still waited for Cameroon to have its time as one of them wanted to meet its family again. Then the day came when he’s happy to see the boy reunite with his family as they came to him.

‘Good to see you again.’

‘I really miss my son very much.’

‘He’s happy to see you too.’

 

The boy eagerly hugged each one of them as he cried.

‘It’s okay, you’re with family again. We have a new leader.’

‘I love you! I love you!’

‘Don’t cry anymore, it’s getting better.’

The pastor came and hugged all of them.

 

‘God loved you so much that he gave you something better in return.’

‘I’m so happy to see them again.’

‘So is God.’

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The other sexism

I remember reading at Gamefaqs that one poster suggested that it really is sexist for female characters to be constantly scantily clad or naked but it rarely happens for males. It’s as bad as demanding women to dress too modestly but men are just right. Regardless, the double standards remain.

It also makes sense on why it can be irritating for some to have female characters be almost always described in terms of how they appear and/or have flaws without being demonised. Not that the flaws should be inconsequential but something to make her well-rounded.

Not cutesy flaws but something like balancing good with bad or having good intentions that sometimes come off as annoying. You know like what real people do. But that would mean showing more empathy and experiences. That could cure problems if somebody’s willing to or if it does by accident.

Writing for others

That’s really difficult because that would mean being more receptive to their influences and develop new experiences, interests and hobbies even whether if you like it or not. Not easily done but can be a good way to develop strong perspective taking empathy, especially if you have to write about a character that isn’t like yourself. It’s really the only other way to avoid a Mary Sue self insert.

That’s also true in work environments where unless if things get really bad you have to cooperate with everybody else. You may not always like it but you have to respect or tolerate it. That can lead to more interesting casts where the protagonist has to deal with supporting characters without demonising or marginalising them. It also makes it more realistic and believable if the character has to work with or save them at all.

Saving a character that’s really annoying can be more interesting than killing it because it could have a second chance. Writing for others means being able to respond to their influences for better or worse and reach out to everybody else. Again it’s hard but practically gratifying for one’s career and social skills.

Speak to others

Writing autobiographies or autobiographical stories and poems aren’t bad in and of itself, the real trick here is to make it appealing and relatable to everybody else. That’s hard but it can do a lot of good when it comes to reaching out to others, bothering to show empathy and condolences. Sometimes it’s accidental, sometimes it’s deliberate.

But appealing to everybody is admirable. Some stories don’t bother and are content with appealing to small audiences interested in that topic to begin with. While someone could relate to Marianne Faithfull’s bad school experiences and losing a parent or relative at a young age, it’s predictable that anime nerds will gravitate to stories featuring them.

Even if or when not all of them do as what Serdap said in his blog. Similar things can be said of other stories outside of anime where the same problem persists. It’s one thing to write what’s autobiographical, it’s another to write only for the intended audience in question.

Fan entitlement

I suspected before that if a writer who’s never beholden to Tim Drake and hardly reads comics ever got to write his adventures, there’s a chance that the writer could accidentally destroy fanboys’ perceptions of him and treat him as a flawed, sinful human being. Allowing Tim to be truly fallible and imperfect.

Like if he hates dogs, is a pervert and a sadist who gets into trouble with Batman. Fans would stop projecting themselves onto him but still feel upset about not being entitled to him anymore. The problem with fan entitlement is that they get too attached to not only the character but try to make it look perfect.

Even though that results in a Mary Sue and nobody likes those. A writer who’s hardly attached to him and seldom reads comics could expose not only his flaws but also the problems with fan entitlement to him. Is it wrong if Tim masturbates a lot or enjoys porn in his spare time?

Everybody else did it or something similar, if he did it he’d be far more relatable but some fans would be horrified even if that means accepting that Tim, despite being fictional, does make mistakes and disappoint people.

They don’t read comics

It’s not a bad thing especially if they can bring in new influences and do research into the characters or at least the essentials and ideas of them. It needn’t to be exact for as long as they get the idea of them right. That’s as if a writer developed enough experiences with actual journalists as well as being interested in them and their works (and doing journalism itself) to write about one for DC or Marvel.

To me, that’s more important than getting too obsessive over the details of certain characters in stories because you might not enjoy the way they’re sometimes portrayed or that it would take too much time. You might start thinking that Tim Drake, as he was initially presented, sucked and you  make him resemble Marquis de Sade to make him flashier.

It could be any other character but that’s inevitable with people who hardly read comics but get to write them anyways. They’re not too beholden to things. While fans would get upset over Tim sinning, the writer who isn’t a fan of him to begin with would allow him to sin. It says a lot about fan entitlement and being too attached.

A Handmaid’s Tale

I remember reading this book before and it’s about a woman living in a very fundamentalist America where women’s sexual activity is severely restricted. Though it was composed in the Republican, Reaganite 1980s it’s relevant enough to continue getting adapted for other media.

The first of which starred Faye Dunaway, followed by a ballet, opera and a telly series starring Elizabeth Moss. I heard there’s also going to be a comic book adaptation. As to why it’s relevant, it deals with issues like severe clothing and sexual restrictions on women and slut-shaming.

You also have the issue of surrogate mothers who act as donors for real mothers. This isn’t just an issue with adopted children who’re forcibly taken apart from their ‘sinful’ mothers (the Magdalene laundries are any indication) but also historically among some women they had wet nurses who breastfed their children.

Not only that you also have women policing other women if they behave out of line in a rather misogynistic context and stuff. There’s still high rates of female illiteracy in other countries which is also the case in A Handmaid’s Tale.

Again many things described in that story easily have real life precedents and counterparts, thus validating its relevancy.