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5 Reasons why Regina ISN'T as lame as the haters think
Regina is very easy to demonize because there really is some bad in her. I just wish people would criticize what really is wrong about her actions, and not start to invent other causes to disagree with her course of action and start being unfair against women, single mothers or people who try not to continue the circle of abuse and fail...
(which isn't to say she's an angel or anything...)Collapse )

New Blog to Visit
Here is a post to advertise my friend Eddy's awesome blog, Gladiateur (that means Gladiator).
You can find it here: !

Gender dynamics in Once upon a time
I don't know if anyone ever explored it, but I think that the show's critic of the traditional gender dynamics and its refusal to addhere to it are a rather important and interesting  fact about it. 
Of course, Snow White's physical physical strength (fighting ability and endurance) and pragmatism when planing a tactical move in a conflict and The Shepard's decidedly romantic and emotional approach on life could have been intended as this, but this characteristics are too common to really be surprising and have a deeper impact. Belle's line in response to Gaston's "I won't allow it !" when she volunteers to be Rumplestilskin's captive, "No one decides my fate but me !", could have this effect, but it comes after she accepts to become the prisoner of what Gaston thinks is a crual maniac who does nothing but trick people into a slow and painful death for no apparent reason and try to maintain an healthy level of homoerotic subtext. It is not a proof of what Belle later says about Gaston's shallow personality, nor an undisputable sign of the narrow-minded and egotist sexism that he showed in the movie. It is just the proof that Belle is independant and brave to a suicidal extrent and that her fiance - no matter his other traits - is afraid for her. What really attacks these stereotypes is its treatment of its antagonists Rumplestilskin and The Queen, and the way the show makes him a device for the criticism of stupid general assumptions, something which made the episode Desperate Soul hit very close to home for some viewers. 

Rumplestilskin starts off as a deeply sympathetic figure, who avoids all the stupid stereotypes about men functionning as heroes in fantasy settings. 
His backstory makes clear that he lacks this sense of "dreaming about dying in a violent way if it is the most admirable thing to do for my people" knights and action heroes are supposed to have, all without being unlikable or  irresponsible. He was universally despised by his peers (members of a warrior culture told to be at war since what I think was a century ago)  for running away from battle, but returned home to take care of his child and do his job (a significant part of his story), something his wife, who couldn't stand to live with a deserter and left, obiviously didn't do, as she seemingly abandonned their son Baelfire. 
This also highlights how his initial role is different from the traditional one. He is defined as a father shown doing actual parenting and being apt at it, but is never sexualized during the episode, which contrasts the sad situation of many action heroes whose shirt just ''has'' to go before the movie hits the thirty minutes mark, while they share a shallow "romantic" plot with a side-character whose identity changes in every sequel. He also never indulges in the selfish (but so easily forgiven) tendancy that action heroes have to delegate their parental role so that  their own life (or the pot) remain focused on them either: the real drive of the plot is provided by the fact that he tries to avoid the conscription of Baelfire by all means.  Their father-son relationship is pleasingly devoid of the terrible "I-must-encourage-you-to-act-dumb-so-that-your-stupid-friends-will-like-you" ''cliche'', as as he doesn't count on approval (and risks to lose it when no one else dares to, despite 14 years-old getting conscripted), and encourages his son to use his head instead of his fists, a trait he himself demonstrates, and  which distinguishes him from almost all the other characters. 
Finally, the symbolism of his situation is highly reminiscent of an other powerful man behaving in an uncharacteristically untraditional way. A part of the Hercules mythos features the hero falling in love with an hermaphrodite and starting to behave in what was considered, in classic Greece, as a typically feminine manner. Rumplestilskin is, like Hercules, seen spining, a highly symbolic action for a ma n in traditional european society, and while Hercules begins dressing as a woman; Rumplestilskin wears gender-neutral and much less revealing clothes than those  both The Huntsman and The Shephard ever wore.  
The one moment when Rumplestilskin starts being morally ambiguous is when he retorts to his power and to violence to inflict sufferings of the kind he bore to other characters. He aligns himself with gender stereotypes and becomes a much creepier figure for viewers, and when he goes on to commit even more gruesome actions, he has changed outift in favor a a vaguely aristocratic and very elegant one, in which many people find his actor, the wonderful Robert Carlyle, even more attractive. Later on, his son goes, and even though he remains important for his father, he is never seen expressing his feelings about his departure before a late episode in which it is described, and he is given a love interest whom he almost makes a victim of  domestic abuse, which completely  makes the point about how filling the restrictive and meaningless social function he refused to choose eventually made him a ruthless manipulator. 

Regina, the Queen, is similarly presented as a generous and capable tomboy, whose mother, Cora, tries to mold into the perfect gold-digger. She makes numerous efforts to shape her into someone susceptible to please the man who is at the top of their openly patriarcal society. She achieved herself a drastic improvement of her social rank, supposedly by marrying a richer man like the protagonist of the tale of Rumplestilskin, and radiates elegance and social expertise. She tries to force Regina to integrate many denigrating stereotypes about herself and the world. It doesn't work at all, because Regina is not  agreeing on her mother's views about what is manly or ladylike and what isn't, and doesn't share her classicist prejudice. 
 Cora nevertheless uses all kinds of  emotional and physical ways to coerce her into doing what she wants, be it  hold herself like she wants  her to, wear the dress she chose for her, or choose an arranged marriage.  All these conducts are at the  very least very unnatural for her daughter, who aspires to obtain freedom, and  shows flawless honesty about everything but one element of the story, thus behaving on a way which contrasts with her mother's self-serving and traditional views on her gender identity, and her mother's mentoring doesn't seem to benefit her. 
When Regina loses hope of obtaining what she wanted because of Cora's scheming, she resigns to a life of meaningless obedience and a marriage to Snow White's father. It lasts untill her future stepdaughter (who made it clear that she would be thrilled at the idea of having her as a stepmother, but let her try to run away to marry her true love) reveals that she is the one who has accidentally allowed  Cora's plans to succeed. She justifies herself by saying that she did so because she thought Regina would lose touch with her mother if Snow White didn't help her. It is something which she wanted to avoid because, having lost hers, she thinks no one should undergo even estrangement with one's mother. Regina sees it as the proof that her actions were motivated by the desire of acquiring a maternal figure, and deduces that she willingly endangered her chances of happiness.
 So, she embraces the function of mother as she sees it: a person relying on manipulation to control and use her children for her own amusement (in her case, for revenge) and adopts all of her mother's quirks with her adversaries, showing elegance, manipulation, and a taste for exerting power on her subordinates. When we meet Regina years later, she is the human and redeemable, but very stereotypical young Femme Fatale her mother  had intended her to be, and she has (as of now) used manipulation to make at least four main characters do what she wants on a completely covert way her spontaneous  younger self would probably not have chosen.  She didn't only become her idea of a mother, but also became, partly a least,   her mother's reflection, thus addhering to a twisted code of conduct when it comes to gender identity. 

The idea that normative efforts towards harboring a stereotypical and gender-related attitude is somtimes eventually  harmful and/or self-destructive is probably a big step from the usual "it is perfectly okay to do otherwise but our way is the best way"   flavor of messages from mainstream media. It is one of the numerous reasons which make me love this show. 

Usher's stepson
I don't know if anyone is going to read this, but Kevin Glover, Usher's eleven-years-old stepson, has been diagnosed brain-dead and might have his life-support turned off because of the financial difficulties of his mother. Being brain-dead is labelled as an irreversible condition, but people are often misdiagnosed when they suffer from reversible conditions which are impossible to distinguish from it. 
The young boy's life support expanses will not be paid by his mother, and there is no certainty about what Usher may do. 

And the word of the day is...
to implain - verb

This new word has been proposed here : It is built on "to explain", using the same pattern as the words implode and explode.

However, it does not mean "to hide what something means to someone", nor "to keep an explanation to oneself". Instead, it means accomplishing (in the words of the creator) : "a process by which we consider concepts and reason, and in that process, create attributions from our internal deliberations". The creator describes implaining as "the organising of the logical development or relationship of things. It is an inward action of thought and reflection toward the goal of later creating a shared understanding".

Thanks to this inventive mind, there is now a word for describing exactly that fascinating thing the internet (and many LiveJournal users) are apparently doing, by creating a kind of collective intelligence, which fascinates ressearchers and strives to explain / improve our understanding of (sometimes using things the other posters, or their other kinds of inspirors put uncosciously in their works) many phenomenas we all see in our daily lives, like a giant hive mind would (though I don't mind being compared to an insect, so let's say we are a little more like naked mole rats, also eusocial animals, but with the avantage of being as mammal as we are).

If the human mind evolved as much as it is said because of language, and the possibilities it opened, I think we should try to create more words like these. It is awesomely practical, but may perhaps help us to do some absolutely useless, but absolutely fascinating reflections about both how we interprete and how we act on our interpretations of the outside.

Who wants it to be a part of standardized language ? 
I am surprised I can't find an equivalent word in any language, despite the fact that I litterally spend most of my time implaining things, and explaining nothing.


Once upon a time - Regina, Mr Gold and co. : What's my motivation ?
The last edits date back to the 8th of May, so if I guessed something, it's with the informations of the episodes already aired at this date.

I wanted to do a quick post about the antagonists on Once Upon A Time, and their reasons to fight the fairy tales protagonists, to see if someone agreed with me about them and their motives.


I think that the fact that she blames the young Snow White for a revelation made to her persuasive and intimidating mother, whose talents at making people do what she wants Regina is well aware of, doesn't prove something about her personality. At least, back then, it doesn't prove anything.
She was not vindictive, nor crual to her opponents, and she appeared to be rather submissive, very doubtful about herself, and fearful (her reactions seem to prove she was sure that she would fail, and saw her mother as the powerful one, and herself as the one who couldn't stand comparison), but ultimately she was idealistic.
I think that she saw Snow White as a representation of her innocence, her hope,  and of her submissive nature, and draws her unconscious guilt and disgust over things that hurt her both in her education and her behavior away. Snow is the only target that would never imply feeling overwhelming guilt, nor involve feeling hatred towards someone close from her.
Molding herself into the person she didn't try becoming before (her mother)  was also a way to make herself different from Snow White. She may also have wanted to prove that her life was something she controlled and derseved to control, unlike what her mother stated, by turning into a figure of power. 

Mr. Gold

At first, it seems clear that he wants power to protect his son, but it gets more complicated.
Then, there is the matter of self-loathing. He was bread in a warrior culture, fighting since centuries,  turned away from a fight, and felt unworthy for that act. Perhaps he needed to prove himself to deserve respect the only way one had shown him. Perhaps he was just terrified for his son and himself, always thought that this was unfair, and just wants revenge, and desires to prove that the power of wits he always posessed can even best the physical strength he lacked (he may have limped since birth, as he is seen holding a stick during his first apparition). Perhaps, as Zoso suggested, the dagger corrupts his owner. Perhaps his resent towards the blue fairy made him want to take revenge on the order she defends.

King George

He is notable for being a villain ready to go to horrible lengths to get what he wants, but has a sense of duty to his people that ultimately leads him to think that he has to give them and the land the money it misses, using any means, even if it means continuing to work in order to get it when a corrupt monarc would simply flee, and make sacrfices for their good. It is something in which the heroes, fiercly individualists and partisans of integrity, refuse to induldge.

The Blue Fairy

Apparently, she also wants the best, and is ready to make bear a break-up and verbal agression to her protegee Nova to get it, which is really surprising coming from such a positive character, however, like in Pinochio (the movie), she comes off as a mentor figure, who asks for sacrifices. Perhaps she is taken to what appears to be an extreme of the original character's traits and set of mind. I like it if it is thought that way, because then, she can improve both in terms of morality and depth.

The Trolls on the Bridge

Continue to live a peacefully life with a little robbery thrown in it just for the fun ?
Find a way to sustain themselves despite the lack of help and solidarity from the obiviously hyper-liberalist inhabitants of the kingdom whose imperialist tendancies make them reject them as a minority ?
Forshadow the importance of the T(r)oll Bridge and performing a heroic sacrifice to help Prince Charming and Snow White's romance ? Talk about misunderstood characters.
Seriously, I hope that they are not written as an Always Evil specy, because they had potential.

Hi there !

NB : When I first logged in on this site, I began trying to post straight away. But then I figured out it wasn't the polite thing to do when you arrive somewhere, even if actually, it's a virtual community's place to unite. So, here is my awkward tentative to explain why I am here, and to apologize in advance for all future discomforts I may cause.

 When I first came on this site, I had been linked to a great article about one of my favourite characters from one of my favourite TV shows, and the problematic parts of her character's powerlessness. I read that magnificent post, and kept thinking "yes !", "It's like she reads my mind !" and "Oh, now, that is weird. I never even thought of this. I didn't know someone could even think of it while writing a show... but actually, it  totally  makes  sense.".
It made me realize that there were a whole community of people trying and succeeding to understand and analyze the series I value so highly but have too little insight in (speaking english as a third language), not as a    potential material for parody and negative critic, but as if they were serious buisness, which, after me, they were. I can now gladly obsess over my characters and the worlds they are placed in, and fuel my nightmarishly complicated and nonsensical theories about them with a deep and heartfelf material. I also want to discuss them with people who care about this, and not to annoy a legion of innocent people with shows they have never heard about, ultimately recounting whole episodes as they silently call for a blunt weapon to knock me out. 
I hope I will be able to speak about this with them, by sharing my thoughts and commenting theirs, though I think it will be much more interesting for me to read than to post. Please forgive my obsessive need to gush about how Raising Hope,  Merlin and Once upon a time are awesome if I ever come across one of your reviews of it.


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