Thursday, November 29, 2012

The ribbon dancing is a metaphor.

This is a pictoral 'essay' through which I am going to provide evidence and commentary for my theory that the Disney film, Cadet Kelly, is really about being a lesbian in military school. 

Cadet Kelly stars Hillary Duff and Christi Carlson Romano, and tells the story of Kelly (Duff) who has been raised as a free-loving artist in NYC. Her mother marries a military man, who then takes a job as the commandant of a military academy. Due to the fact that they have to move out into the country, where the school is, Kelly has no choice but to attend the academy.

The very first trouble she gets into is over a rainbow flag blanket which she really, really wants on her bed in the barracks. Her platoon leader, Capt. Jennifer Stone, picks it up and looks at it like it's the embodiement of everything she loathes about herself:
PT at this school involves a lot of making the cadets crawl around in the mud. Capt. Jennifer Stone enjoys her job:
She gleefully makes Kelly crawl through extra mud, in the rain, so that Kelly won't show up to the dance. But Kelly does anyways, because she is determined to dance with the Capt:
Everyone see this, and the Capt. is shocked and embarassed:
She responds by not only yelling at Kelly for her pride blanket, but ripping it up:
Kelly lies in bed, staring at the torn pieces of her pride:
Her only recourse is to sneak into Capt. Jennifer Stone's room, in the dark, at night, wearing this expression on her face:

She "paints Jennifer Stone's hair rainbow." This movie takes metaphors extremely literally:
Capt. Jennifer Stone wants to have a word with her about this:

Kelly is court-martialed, and there is a tense, illogical moment while Capt. Stone is trying to keep it together and read the charges where the judge repeatedly orders her to remove her hat and show her gay hair. That's asking, sir:

Kelly is devastated by the court-martial and thinks in an interior monologue that military school probably isn't for her. Unspoken is her upset at outing Capt. Stone:
Her punishment is to shine and polish the drill team's gear. The drill team is cheerleaders with rifles. Kelly called them robots earlier, and thinks this is a terrible punishment, until she is watching them practice one day, and suddenly she realizes it's really cool and beautiful, and she gets this expression on her face:
What is she looking at, you might ask? Well, immediately after the finger biting, the camera cuts over to:
And then this happens:
Kelly is the equipment manager, and she now has incentive to be the best equipment manager possible, because sometimes that means helping Capt. Stone get dressed:
But it's not enough. Kelly realizes that in order to gain the respect of Capt. Stone, she must join the drill team. So she asks Gloria to help her. Gloria shows her how to handle her weapon:
Kelly's hard work eventually leads to her making the drill team, and then she has a confrontation with Capt. Stone in a field:
Kelly gives Capt Stone a clearly smitten glance, and Capt Stone is clearly uncomfortable about it:
They wind up dancing together, and while it looks like weird military step dancing, they make eye contact and, no shit, do not break eye contact for the entire dance sequence. It's really intense:
Gloria, watching them, gets this look on her face, because she is a romantic:
So then the drill team captain, Brad, says that they have to dance together for the competition, because they have "fire and passion." No really, it's what he says.

There are a couple of adorable locker room scenes, culminating in this one, where Capt. Stone accuses her of doing all of this for Brad, and Kelly says, "Ma'am, no ma'am. YOU are my partner... and commanding officer. I work with YOU."
At the competition, Gloria once again voices her support of their relationship:

And they dance together in front of several military schools and parents:
Jennifer Stone starts to look happy for the first time:
Kelly is already unbelievably ecstatic:
At one point in the routine, they start ribbon-dancing. The crowd is like, "Wait, what? This is military step-dancing." But we understand that ribbon dancing is a euphemism:

They get a standing ovation, and Jennifer Stone cannot contain her happiness:

Kelly wins:
Capt. Stone salutes her:
And Kelly is all, psh, no, I'm hugging you in front of everyone:
We all know that "knocks her hat askew" is another euphemism:
And then in the final moments, Capt. Stone reveals that her father has been transferred to Europe, so she's moving. To Europe. Look at their faces (I included a thumbnail of Kelly's face.) Have you ever seen two people look more devastated?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Finally, a post that actually talks about zombies.

I got to write this for a grade. I've changed some things for the final turn-in copy, obviously. Also, THIS PAPER DISCUSSES THE ENDINGS OF BOTH MOVIES. If you have not seen them, prepare for spoilers. Deal with it and see the movies anyways.

Here goes.

28 Days/Weeks Later:
The 2-Part Formula To Make Effective Zombie Movies 
For People Who Don’t Like Zombie Movies

    Especially considering the fact that it was a zombie movie, which fits it into a specific niche genre that does not traditionally appeal to mainstream audiences, the commercial success of 2002’s 28 Days Later was revolutionary. Even with a limited release, it grossed $45million  in the United States, and $82.7million worldwide. Stylus magazine named it the second best zombie movie of all time, beaten only by the seminal 1976 Romero film, Dawn of the Dead, which essentially created the genre, and gives it an unheard of 88% approval rating.

    28 Days Later was directed by Danny Boyle, known at that time for Trainspotting but since then for winning Best Director at the 2009 Academy Awards for his subsequent film, Slumdog Millionaire; neither of those films were specifically genre films the way that 28 Days Later was. The fact that Boyle does not specifically direct ‘zombie horror’ films greatly influenced the way he approached 28 Days Later and his vision enabled the film to explode into mainstream culture. Today, zombies are a huge part of pop culture, and many point to 28 Days Later as the film which started it all.

Given the huge commercial success of the film, it seemed inevitable that the studios would want to make a sequel. The risk of making a sequel to a hit movie is always the risk that the fans of the first one will reject the second one as ‘not as good’ or somehow lacking. Boyle had made a previous commitment to a science fiction movie, 2007’s Sunshine, but he supported the project and was eventually listed as an executive producer. 28 Weeks Later, directed by relative newcomer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, was released in 2007, to mixed but generally positive reviews, and it grossed nearly $64.2million worldwide. It is considered a solid zombie movie, if not quite on par with its progenitor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Quick to the point, to the point, no fakin'.

First: I discovered the other day that I inexplicably know the words to Ice, Ice Baby. I do not know for what purpose I stored this knowledge, but there it is.

Second: I drive a really quite old car, and my radio broke. I was bored driving home from work.

Third: I am not ashamed.
Today I'm reading "The Art of Speech and the Art of Silence," a medieval text concerning rhetoric by Albertano of Brescia. It is available here, because after this you might just want to read it, too.

It's this really weird combination of actually quite good advice, and then some strange advice, but what strikes me is a lot of these things are, sometimes word for word, things said today. Here are (so far) my favorite quotes:

When you wish to speak, dearest son, you should begin in the manner of the cock, which, before it crows, beats itself with its wings three times.

What does not concern you, does not hurt you. If you do not trouble yourself with things that do not trouble you, you will bring much peace to your heart and soul. This verse says it well: He brings peace to many who takes interest in few.

Examine yourself and consider if what you say is spoken with a clear understanding or out of ignorance. If you do not know what you are talking about, then do not talk as though you do.

Silence hurts no one; speech often may. Words are like arrows: easy to shoot off, hard to retrieve.

Better to be mute than to say things nobody understands.

Watch everything you say and do. Many who seem friendly are in fact not. All strangers can prove hostile.

Talking intelligently to a fool is like talking to a sleeping man; when your speech is over, he will say, ‘What is going on?’

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Venn Diagrams have authority.

I keep ducking politics, and they keep throwing themselves at me. When will everything chill out and everyone just remember that, seriously? We all should be focusing on real stuff that is actually personally affecting us, like I'm out of pinyon coffee and I can't go to Trader Joe's to get more for, like, days.

In all seriousness, everyone, stop gloating, stop pouting, think about how narwhals are the unicorns of the sea and that makes whales the horses of the sea and dolphins, like, the ponies of the sea, and killer whales are actually dolphins, not whales, and actually dolphins and whales aren't related at all, unlike horses and ponies, which are. And also narwhals ARE really whales, because I had to look it up to make sure.

The Venn diagram for all of this looks like this:


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obligatory Political Post (But With A Point!)

I've been pretty mum in my celebrations this morning, despite the fact that I'm Very Happy, because honestly I think that gloating is tawdry, and I have friends who are not Very Happy. My friendship with them has already been stretched enough over this.

But I do have a few cents to drop into what I think this all means. This is rose-colored and politically unsavvy, because I am both of those things, but what I think Republicans should take away from this loss is this: extreme social conservatism is not a good thing.

I honestly think that if Romney had run as a moderate from the beginning, he would have won. Polls show that on economic issues, policy issues, basically anything that didn't have to do with human rights, Romney was the clear choice of lots of people. The Republican Party, though, has spent this entire horrible campaign imploding down into its own hornet's nest. Several of their candidates (who then lost) made just stupid comments that made them sound like rape apologists. They keep chasing their tails around gay rights and ZOMG TEH GAYS WILL STEAL OUR GOD GIVEN HETEROMAJORITY when all 4 states that had gay marriage on the ballots sided with the gays. They continually harp on removing rights from women, apparently forgetting that women can vote now.

My entire political philosophy is this: inclusion, never exclusion. I will never vote to exclude any group of people from something others are allowed to do or have. It's wrong and it's not the function of government; in a democracy, the majority wins, so you CANNOT have a system that enables the majority to strip the rights of the minority.