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[personal profile] janegodzilla
Every time I read anything about Monsanto, I feel like I want to vomit with rage. Just reading their name makes me want to vomit with rage. At this point, I feel like they personify everything evil about corporations. Our government wants to keep defining corporations as people? Fine. I guess that makes Monsanto Satan. Satan's a person, right?


In non-ragey news, I finally got around to watching TRON: Legacy, and...my god. This movie gave me so many feelings, to the point where I'm kind of embarrassed about it. SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT COMPUTER PROGRAMS.

I've been trying to figure out exactly why I fell so hard for it, especially since the original movie came out before I was born and I wasn't a huge fan of it growing up, and I think it boils down to the fact that TRON: Legacy hit a bunch of my narrative kinks really goddamn hard. I'm not sure if "narrative kink" is the precise term I want, since I don't NEED these elements to be there for the narrative to, well, get me off, if I'm going to be irreverent and crude about it. But there are certain narrative tropes that almost always hook me into a story, although they may vary slightly from media to media. For example: I love love LOVE "Groundhog Day" AUs in fanfic, to the point where I will read them for fandoms where I have little to no familiarity with the source material, but I'm pretty "meh" about them in movies, TV shows, comics, etc. No idea why it's a thing for me in fanfic and not canon, but there you go.

So I have a pretty massive list of these kinds of things, and anyone who's read my journal for any amount of time will probably be able to guess at least a few of them: boarding schools, Lovecraftian cosmologies, zombies, Victorians, self-aware AI, WWII settings, post-apocalyptic worlds and dystopias, cowboys and Western settings, alternate histories, dinosaurs, fairy tale remixes, time travel that makes logical sense, when people have to huddle together for warmth to stave off hypothermia (this is another fanfic-specific one and I KNOW how cliche it is, but I can't help but love it), the aforementioned "Groundhog Day" AUs, worlds hidden just beneath the surface of this one, non-Western fantasy universes, complicated family dynamics involving parent/children and/or sibling relationships, AND SO ON. Like I said...it's a massive list. This doesn't even scratch the surface.

Anyway. The most recent TRON film. Right off the bat, it hits on the complicated father/son dynamics thing with Kevin and Sam, and then it keeps on hitting it when it becomes apparent that Clu's basically having a massive "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME DAD I'LL SHOW YOU!!!!!" freakout of epic proportions. So there's that. Tron City's basically become a giant dystopia under Clu's rule, so...there goes another one of my narrative kinks. Good soundtracks in movies, while not a narrative kink, still hook me in the same way; Daft Punk's score is absolutely incredible, so that puts us at three (four if you count the Kevin/Sam and Kevin/Clu father-son issues separately). And then.



Seriously, the idea of artificial intelligence -- robots, computer programs, androids, whatever -- being self-aware and struggling with the limitations of their programming and/or free will is one of my biggest narrative kinks. I haven't gotten tired of it yet, partly because I think there's something so goddamn tragic about it. I suspect it has a lot to do with the issues surrounding free will, which is probably why I spent a good chunk of my teenage years obsessed with stories about angels and demons. With self-aware AI, though, it gets even more knotty; either their awareness and intelligence were provided by humans (or human analogues), or it arose spontaneously from a system created by humans or human analogues. Their "creators," then, are flawed and imperfect, and I'm endlessly fascinated by stories where AI wrestles with their place in the world and the fact that they were brought into being by something as fucked-up as humanity.

(I'm also horribly attracted to stories in which a character who's Good is totally broken and turned into a tool for Evil, even more so if they're eventually able to turn against the one who broke them, but I'm a little ashamed of that one, so. Legacy gets a point there too, so I think we're now at six or thereabouts. THIS IS A LOT OF BUTTONS FOR ONE MOVIE TO PUSH.)

What's funny about media that pings a bunch of my narrative kinks is that I generally don't care if the whole thing is objectively "good" or not. Sucker Punch, for example, was an incredibly problematic movie, oh my GOD, was it problematic, but it was also a film including 1) girls supporting each other and being friends and working together and making sacrifices for each other; 2) creepy asylums and institutional settings; 3) really good music; 4) WWII stuff; 5) DRAGONS; 6) commentary on fucked-up gender roles; 7) did I mention girls supporting each other and working together and protecting each other? And so on. I know it has problems; I love it anyway. (On a related note, I really like this article at Social Justice League about being a fan of problematic things. It's good stuff.)

...uh, I've gone a little off-track. Basically, I'm saying that I don't really know or care if TRON: Legacy is an objectively good movie or not, because it gave me feeeeeeelings about computer programs and I'm utterly helpless against that sort of thing.

Also: Daft Punk.
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February 2012

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