Rogue and Gambit’s Symbiotic Relationship

Rogue and Gambit’s relationship excite my curiosity. In the superhero world they may be, for me, the embodiment of a symbiotic, romantic relationship – rivaling Harley Quinn and Joker [But I’ll focus on Rogue and Gambit for this piece].

A quick synopsis about Rogue and Gambit; both characters started out misunderstood, gray-area characters (not really good/evil). Rogue, the adopted daughter of Mystique, was abandoned due to the nature of her super powers. Rogue has the ability to usurp other people’s powers, and be able to use them for a while. Also, she can absorb memories and such as well. Unfortunately, upon touching mere humans with no X-Gene, her touch sucks the life-force out of them leading to harm and even death. She learns later on how to control her absorption powers, which I refer to as “energy vampire” since she literally sucks the life-force out of people; and also does the same to mutants. Since mutants are stronger, she usurps their superpower(s), upon continuously touching them, she can kill them and keep the said powers; which is seen when she gains her flying abilities from a superhero mixture of Ms. Marvel and Kree (also has been debated from Magneto). Rogue always felt that her powers were a curse and wore gloves to make sure she didn’t touch and harm another person.

Gambit, whose powers consist of being able to touch intimate objects and creating combustion. According to the X-men Wiki “has the ability to take the potential energy stored in an object and convert it to pure light pink-colored kinetic energy thus charging that item with highly explosive results”. Because of his energy conversion, he can also create static which allows him to be shielded from telepaths.

When Rogue joins the X-Men and [later on] meeting Gambit, they fall in love. I felt that they did because of all their similarities. Both He and Rogue are quaint Southerners, from small towns, including, like Rogue, Gambit had a rough upbringing. Gambit however, was stolen from his birthparents, abandoned and betrayed by many of those who claim to care for him. He finds this affection and love from Rogue. They become closer and she realizes she can touch him without completely harming him because of his ability. In a way, their powers counteract each other causing neutrality. The conversion of energy is absorbed and passed through both of them. I always pictured their kisses at a subatomic particle level, where their energy changes work like neutrons, protons and electrons. And, including little sparks in between with Gambits’ static.

It seems that Rogue and Gambit were made for each other. Not only did they seek comfort within their similar emotional struggles, their powers were able to neutralize so they can also be intimate. Psychologically, Rogue and Gambit would be drawn together. To feel understood, finally by another being so similar to you, not only with being abandoned but also not being able to touch and be intimate with others because of your natural powers. Their symbiosis reaches their emotional, mental and physical needs.

 

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Alex + Ada

 

I’ve recently gotten into this new graphic novel series, Alex & Ada. This series is set in a futuristic world where androids (artificial intelligence) have been tweaked to pass for human beings. Because of a historical battle prior, all androids are made to wear a tattoo-like mark on their wrist and must show it at all times, to be recognized.

 

Alex, a recently single young man who is still battling emotions from his prior relationship, is birthday-gifted a humanoid android, state of the art, by his grandmother. His grandmother currently uses the companionship of her android that she feels it’s a great idea. Alex, who is very hesitant at first to keep his new companion, because of prior history with androids going rogue and killing humans; after a hard thought, he decides upon keeping her and calling her Ada.

 

Ada, at first wants to please Alex in any way. It frustrates Alex when Ada is unsure and is unable to think for herself. Alex finds an underground group that can hack Ada’s mind and agrees to start the process of Ada being sentient. It’s a long winded process and has huge side effects, which are still being worked with. After the hack is done, Ada seems to have her own thoughts. Alex is aware of all the trouble he can get in with the authorities but Alex wants to give Ada a chance to be a normal being, than just a household item.  One can say that in terms of social learning theory, Baron-Cohen’s Model of Theory of Mind, discussing visual attraction, human’s first learn like a robot. As we grow older, we adapt a more sophisticated way of learning by implementing gaze following, mixed with didactic gestures, different aspects of spatial abilities and other extensions of specific learning.  In a symbolic sense, Ada is going through the stages of humanoid thought/social learning. It is interesting when Alex makes her all the food he knows how to, she eats it all and likes everything but oranges.

 

Ada is continuing to learn, which it seems exciting to even me, the reader. I’m curious on how she interprets her new emotions and how she evaluates her thought patterns. 

Do We Compute?

Human-Computer Interaction, HCI, is the idea that technologies such as computer design and software & etc., have a synergistic relationship with social sciences, specifically psychology, helping scientists understand human behaviors with the interaction with technological tools. John M. Carroll (1997) explains that “psychology is a science of design” where the engineering behind software development has significantly increased over a few years tremendously because of what humans feel what is needed to help increase daily activities, and of course leisure. How many of us use social networking sites and even blogs such as this one to interact with another? Well the interaction is constantly being in question to see what is most valuable as well as what is able to be improved based on user friendly methods as well as what people feel they want and need in their technological tools whether it be a phone or website.

 

Exploring thoughts, so a person wants to create a website. Why is the website made? It’s because someone feels that there is a need for it as well as it being useful in any way to other human beings. Social sciences record ideas as such as the context of behavior and experience, melded with the interaction between the person and the technological tool whether a website or even a simple one-touch click button (which is very common in many shopping websites). Why would such a thing exist – because there is a larger need, we are aware that people want quicker ways to buy things, maybe even persuade impulse buyers to buy more things. Living in a country where it is as simple as turning on your device and having one click to buy something (because you already set up an account) and it is delivered to you in a few days, maybe even the same day! We see this as a motivation to create more technological tools such as these because of human interaction. People’s behavior are changing due to the technology at hand as well as technology is being created and produced based on consumption by the mass.

 

Here come the thoughts on science fiction (because this blog would not be called psyficology, lol). Science fiction has many ideas on technology and one of the many huge ideas, is the notion that human beings will use so much of technology to the point that it becomes a part of us. Whether you call the symbiotic relationship cyborg or android technology, it seems that technology is growing rapidly due to the use of it, the interaction between people, how technology makes our lives easier by being able to attain things, including knowledge at a higher speed than before (which is constantly being upgraded). With the high usage, it impacts our behavior and society may seem already a cyborg entity. How many things do you do a day that includes technology? How many items have you purchased using sites, as well as how many ideas have you searched to attain this new knowledge, not to mention utilizing social networks to keep in contact with friends or even using it as a pastime? Yes, it seems tech is such an imperative tool to us in everyday aspects. Psychology and science (real and fiction) both deduce the reasons why and how we use tech as well as how tech impacts the mass. There’s a constant whirlwind of new ideas of tech (like Google glass) that will impact human behavior. Is it a positive or negative change, what are your ideas?

Tarr relations and archetypes (Defiance)

In the newest scyfy series, Defiance, one of the many prominent families is the Tarr’s. Datak, the father is married to Stahma, the mother and has one son, Alak. Each of these individuals is completely different from each other, especially how love and care for another. Each relationship is complicated and some more manipulated than others.

 

        Datak is a politician. He tries to bring his people what they need, as his family and the people of Defiance however, fear the leader of the Castithan. Datak dresses the part of the political leader but runs an underground gang with other Castithans who smuggle drugs, weapons, hold underground fights and other illegal activities. One can say he is Defiance’s gang leader and controls the ins and outs of the people.  He has contacts everywhere and seems to know things about everyone, whether they belong in the Cathithan species or not.

        Datak’s wife, Stahma who is regal and beautiful, she comes from a wealthy background. Although Stahma is used to the finer things in life, she makes do with living in Defiance and making her home a in the style of a palace. Datak, to others seem to have the power in the relationship. But, truly it is Stahma that pushes all the right buttons in the right places, as if she was playing a crafty game of chess with the inhabitants of Defiance. Stahma, although she is aware that Datak goes to NeedWant, the Defiance brothel; Stahma sticks by her husband and makes it her quest to keep him in power. She is quite manipulative and thoughtful, unlike Datak who is rigid and impulsive. Stahma looks at the bigger picture to ensure that their family stays on top. She continues to do so when her only child, Alak, who falls in love with Christie McCawley – a human who they have a family rival with – explains to Datak that by Alak marrying Christie, their families will bond and their grandchildren will own the mines that the McCawley, a rich human family own.

            Alak loves Christie, not because she comes from a wealthy family but because he truly cares for her.  These two are not bounded by species, but love one another and try to understand each other’s cultures. Alak, at his bachelor party, refuses Casthitan ritual of sleeping with an escort because he wants to be only with Christie. Alak even fights with his friends, fellow Casthitans who also make fun of the fact that he weds a human and that she may never please him like their own species. Christie’s family is upset and doesn’t want her to wed their rival family because of Datak’s sketchy ways and are aware that Datak has tried to rule the mines, where the humans work, for a long time (because of the value and the opportunity of getting precious stones and such). Despite adversities on both ends of Alak and Christie’s families, they wed. Christie even wears the head piece that Stahma brought from their planet, the one she wore on her own wedding. Stahma treats Christie like as if she gained a daughter but Stahma’s feelings aren’t true, since she is glad that Alak and Christie’s bond will make their family more powerful in Defiance.

            While Alak and Christie’s relationship is based on love, Datak and Stahma are based on a need for one another. Datak needs Stahma to stay in power, with her intelligent ways of manipulation. Stahma needs Datak because she wants to have a luxurious life, and overlooks the flaws in their relationship. Stahma, too, has been unfaithful to Datak and has an affair with Kenya, the owner of NeedWant and explains it’s her first ever-interspecies relationship. Stahma confides in Kenya that she doesn’t feel love the way humans do from Datak but cares about him because he killed her first marital prospect. Stahma says that Datak came from a poor family and her father did not accept their marriage and Stahma didn’t care because she thought that any man that would kill for her would be the best husband for her. Stahma takes pride in that her husband would kill for her but also is afraid of him because he has many men in his gang and can hurt her, which she also explains to Kenya to never talk about their affair in fear that Datak may hurt her severely.

 

             If you were to use Jung’s archetypes; Datak embodies “the shadow”, since he has a dark and gritty sense of self. Stahma although at first would seem as “the great mother”, exudes “the shapeshifter”, since she morphs herself to make people trust her in order for her to get what she wants. Alak would be considered a “hero”, since he cares about Christie and thinks that maybe their wedding will help their families’ feud. Christie would be more so of “the caregiver” since she loves Alak a lot and wants him and his family to accept her, trying to learn their customs and language. 

Quick Thoughts on Revolution, Season One.

I checked out the first season of Revolution. It’s a series based on a future that there is no energy powered by electricity. The audience finds out later in the series that there was a group of scientists that created a nanotech for the Department of Defense, where the nanotech engulf the electricity around it. The nanotech multiplied exponentially and melded with the atmosphere, where it was unexpected and made the Earth’s electricity obsolete, where no energy can be used aside from fire and steam power.  The people are not aware of the nanotech, aside from a select few. Due to the world in chaos with no electricity and very limited technologies, over the 15 years’ blackout, leaders have shot up with militia forces such as the Monroe Republic – who wants to stay in power and take over all the lands and governments that have formed throughout the US. The Monroe Republic refuses to acknowledge there was a United States, outlawing all flags and memorabilia of the US. The Rebels, who want the US to become the old United States, the way they used to live with freedoms, they have US flags (which some have been killed for), and tattooed of their patriotism. They fight to live in freedom, like they had once lived, before the blackout.

 

How fascinating is this concept! It has this eerie affect of realism. I keep having this scratching thought in the back of my mind, what if it were true and we had no electricity? How quickly would people start killing each other in fear or the simple fact that they could get away with it, alongside other actions that we deem in society as criminal. Would this environment change our way of thinking, due to adaptation, would we as a whole exude more antisocial behaviors as a survival method as opposed to nurturing and caring behaviors? Would it be easier to survive alone? There are communities in Revolution such as Atlanta that work on steam and there is community. The people live together in a gated area where they help each other, grow food and are hygienic. It seemed the most social community. Yet, the Monroe Republic, which is complete militia based living, later on gains knowledge of the necklaces that reverse the effect of the nanotech (for a limited time) and powers things. And of course, they use this knowledge to firstly power up tanks and other artillery to kill off communities that are not under the Monroe Republic. Monroe (self appointed leader of the Monroe Republic) exhibits narcissism while Miles (leader of the Revolution) embodies the hero, yet they is still an underlying care for each other since Monroe and Miles were childhood friends and later on creates the Monroe Republic together. Fast forwarding the 15 years of blackout; from Miles’ agreeing Monroe’s dogmatic behavior to Mile’s trying to kill Monroe and leading the Rebels. Miles learns he has family still alive and cares much for his niece, Charlie. Charlie first seems naïve yet a strong female character. She stops Miles from killing a soldier that was trying to hurt them. After the experiences of her brother being kidnapped, amongst other things happening to her brother, her thoughts on their world broaden and she doesn’t see the world so black and white.  She herself learns to fight alongside other Rebels as well as kill others that oppose the Revolution. Her strength grows with Miles as a catalyst. To me, she uses Miles as a role model and has shaped her coping mechanisms and survival techniques based on her uncles ability to live in their world.

 

In Revolution, there are many different personality types but interestingly, they all care in some way for each other, or cross paths that they end up impacting their lives. Sometimes these people change each other for better or worse, sometimes they learn about themselves from understanding another. Sometimes these people learn their potentiality from living with another. It reflects what we each day may encounter with the people around us, whether relatives, co-workers to acquaintances. We should be more aware of how we may impact or affect another. These interactions may cause positive or negative repercussions. It makes me think if Monroe had more people in his live to impact him more positively, maybe he wouldn’t be so self involved and more concerned with conquering the US. Maybe, he uses militia as a way to act out his behaviors of wanting what he doesn’t have and fear is still some emotion that he appreciates since it’s the closest he can be with other people. I am eager to see what Revolution season two has to offer it’s audience. Do people change (again)? 

What are your quick thoughts on these characters and concepts?

I just wanted to share this video about micro-aggression, multiculturalism and awareness of ethnic/group culture biases.

As a colored female from an immigrant family, I find it quite common that others in the United States state I speak english well, when English is my native language, as well as my parentage. These psychologists briefly speak about this.

What are some micro-aggressions have you been exposed to/experiences?

Vamp-Geeks & Vamp-Gods, featuring Fairy Godfathers

After watching the latest True Blood episode, “The Sun”, I have a lot to take in. The social media universe is battling itself, discussing the weird scenes of Eric geeking it up versus Bill contorting a human woman’s body whilst sucking all her blood through her mouth, in an effortless stream. Intriguingly, there is a new character that is introduced to us, Sookie and Jason’s Fairy Godfather who has been watching over their bloodline for generations, protecting their fae blood.

Aside from Eric’s effort of his disguise, his analogy of the crane was pretty interesting. Eric’s character has changed. He was first ruthless, selfish and obsessed with Sookie. Now he seems to be much more warm, although his eyes are cold, he looks out for Sookie, Pam and his sister, Nora. Eric is now the protective, father like figure that the women in his life can rely on. He tries to push Pam away but Nora reminds her that she is a huge part of Eric’s life and the reason he is tough with her is to continue to protect her as much as he possibly can. Eric also gives Sookie back her house and she revokes his invite, which he calmly accepted. Nora accepts all the changes within her brother and also brings out the overprotective brother side of him. Eric shows that he is revered as a demon to the world but is compassionate and there is much more depth to him. It is quite common for males to behave in such manner, appear to be without fear and dominant but, warm and loving when females they care about are in danger, which is congruent with the psychological theory of ambivalent sexism, where Eric is the example of protective paternalism and Nora and Pam are examples of complementary gender differentiation, since they also guard and defend Eric.

Gender roles are blurred with Bill’s situation. He is now part of Lillith, by drinking her blood, seemingly inherits her knowledge and guidance; which reminds me of self-affirmation theory, which sums up how a person perceives themselves based on their actions, which would affirm who they are (to the self). For example, Bill drinks the blood of a Vampire God, he now has supernatural powers like draining all the blood of a human without moving, he can completely control her body, sucking every single droplet of blood in her veins while comfortably sitting in his arm chair. Bill feels he is a Vampire God like creature, but we are not sure exactly what he is, even Lillith explains to him that he is not a God but others will see and treat him that way, the way Lillith is worshipped. When others feel that you are a certain way, in this case, a Vampire God, Bill may see himself this way, from the reflection of others around him, which reaffirms his first thought of him being a Vamp God. Self-affirmation, like any theory has it’s blunders and we can also keep in mind that bias is quite common. Yet, in this case, we are discussing a fictional character.

Niall is Sookie and Jason’s fairy godfather. He says that he has watched over their bloodline for generations and convinces Jason that he is in fact their fairy grandfather and is in town to help Sookie defeat Warlow. Niall meets with Sookie and teaches her how to manifest her light and helps her concentrate on utilizing her fairy light. Niall is very similar to Eric in that he is another example of protective paternalism.

The season has just begun and there are new characters introduced, old characters that are reinvented that are trying to understand themselves, then those who are trying to protect their loved ones but staying strong to try and show they have control of their surroundings. With the new law passing in Bon Temps, Vampires have no rights, not forgetting Bill’s premonition of the Vampire apocalypse while being guided by Lillith… sit back and watch the upcoming mayhem.

Hemlock Grove’s Werewolf Transformation: Peter’s True Nature

There is plenty of buzz about the netflix original series, Hemlock Grove. It is quite an interesting series. At first I thought it might be a teen series about werewolves, since we’ve seen the many atypical “Vampire Diaries” type of shows lately, but Hemlock Grove took me by surprise. In the second episode, the out-casted gypsy, Peter Rumancek, transforms into a werewolf. From all the werewolf transformation scenes, this one eloquently stuck with me. Peter screams in pain while his flesh rips apart, his spine arches in the reverse direction and more eerily, his eyeballs protrude to the point it violently rips out of his sockets, leaving a hairy wild beast of a wolf.

One can speculate that the transformation symbolizes how animalistic a being is and that the werewolf is a different being that the human, where graphically shown the human body is completely morphed into a wolf.  When Peter transforms due to the full moon (which aligns with folklore regarding werewolves), he knows the transformation will begin and makes sure that he is in a safe area, away from others. He is not cautious about him transforming but more anxious that he may hurt someone around him. He explains that the wolf, although he can hear humans speak to him, the hunger for flesh is quite mind-numbing and that it takes a long time to master not killing all living animals in his vicinity.

Does the wolf signify Peter’s deep urges to kill and eat raw flesh? Does his transformation signify that Peter is actually ashamed of his true nature, he does rip his skin off and his entire body rearranges its skeletal structure… could it be that the wolf is a complete different entity and as Freudians discuss as the “Id”. In this case, Peter the human is the ego and continually battles with his Id, where he feels that others are unable to understand his true nature and keeps as an outcast.

Yet, Peter does befriend Roman Godfrey, where he shows Roman his transformation. It seems as Peter, being very open to Roman, as if his wolf was his truth. Can it be suggested that Peter’s openness to Roman shows that Peter is cautious with his real state that only very few he is very truthful with? Does the werewolf signify Peter’s real state of mind where society (the society that has maimed him an gypsy outcast) is not controlling him; where human authority does not control that realm of his intelligence? Like an onion, Peter sheds layers of oppression and judgment and at the core of his transformation, is his pureness. I feel that the eyes ripping out of his sockets show that in order for Peter to be natural, he must shed his glossed over perception, that is used to blend in with his surroundings, in order to truly see with his eyes. The pain that he undergoes is the suppressed pain that he endures each time he is sought to conform; and the full moon is the time constraint he has bestow on himself so he doesn’t indulge. But, he allows himself to be all of wolf in the transformed state… his true nature. 

The women of Firefly

Inara, River, Zoe and Kaylee: The four intelligent, strong, and kick-ass women aboard Serenity. It is hard to choose a favorite. This entry consists of a quick glance into the females of Firefly/Serenity.

There have been many disputes if Firefly is feminist or misogynistic. I feel that Joss Whedon’s world of Firefly creates a positive reflection of women.

One can easily say, well Inara, the companion, which is the field of escorts and sells her time to men and women who are willing to pay high prices for her companionship. Yet, as much as she continues to do so, she is madly in love with Captain Mal. She has on many occasions used her money and contacts to help the shipmates of serious situations.

River, who is known to be a bit maladjusted, is the most intelligent one. At first, the audience is shown that River throws tantrums, screams, barely speaks, shows antisocial behaviors but as we get deeper into Firefly, it is revealed she was used as a guinea pig in lab tests to suck out this extreme knowledge in various torture methods. As a young woman blossoming, earlier ages, where women learn what it means to be a female, how their body changes, how to socialize with others in an adult manner… she underwent tremendous trauma! It is common for those who have been exposed to extreme trauma to show signs of maladjustment. It may take them longer to get acquainted with others. Also, seem to be introverted, maybe even seem to be a hermit. Although, River went through a lot, she is strong woman. She has beaten up numerous “bad guys” and saved the team. It shows to me that although seemingly introverted, she shows care for her shipmates when they are in trouble. How can she be seen as a negative person if she is able to help even the strongest of characters?

I really enjoy Zoe’s character. Not only is she a powerful woman of color, in an interracial marriage, but also one of the best fighters on the ship. Zoe fought alongside Mal in the independence wars and continues that relationship on Serenity, with their Robin-hood-esque-steal from the rich and gives to the poor-mentality. At a quick glance, Zoe may be seen as a brute, but she is kind, loving and nurturing to her husband as well as her shipmates.

Lastly, Kaylee who is the engineer/mechanic of their ship, Serenity but, also the most optimistic of the bunch. She brings a positive attitude to the ship and is quite the peacemaker as well. She has a caring heart to people and even shows this kindness to the ship, which to some may just be a transportation vessel, but she treats Serenity as a fellow woman and delicately fixes issues aboard. Kaylee has great relationships with the other females and also employs Mal to admit to his true feelings about Inara. She is also quite the innovator, able to put together mechanical creations to help the ship run better, also fixes weapons and such.

Whedon poses that without this pronoun women, Serenity would not be able to fly as well as the shipmates, the males would not be able to continue fighting and stay alive. Each woman is seemingly different but they are all intelligent and strong in many aspects. Each bring a different prospective to the group as well as teach each other how to be more productive as a team. River learns to trust, Inara learns to be honest with her feelings, Zoe learns to be more patient and Kaylee learns its okay to dress more feminine and still be the same person she is.

Each of the above mentioned lessons are realistic ideas on how a woman transitions into society and culture, with many other notions. Whedon poses that these women are not just characters but are reflections of positive young women in society.