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.

 

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. 

Haven’s Troubles with the troubles

 Haven, the ScyFy series that eludes that people in a small town have a secret. The citizens of Haven deal with a phenomenon called “the Troubles”, which one can compare superpowers, in a sense. A person’s troubles are different from one another. Also, a person said trouble carries from one generation to the other so, if your grandparent had a trouble, you would have a predisposition to have the same trouble.  Troubles are active when a relative who has the trouble, dies. The new generation of the trouble now contracts these abilities. Over the series, the audience is introduced more rules that each trouble has a counter trouble i.e., someone with a loudness ability would be counteracted with another Haven native’s ability to mute others.

The troubles affect people so much that Haven always tries to encapsulate the issues. Not all Haven’s natives have troubles therefore; some people feel the troubles are folklore. The troubles are intense and may cause harm and even lead to death in some cases, which is why it is very important that the troubles are maintained. People don’t know the origin of the troubles and the town has their own secret organizations that try to understand troubles better as well as try and cure others. This can also be contributed by the brothers that own the Herald, Haven’s news source, who are very aware of the troubles and creates stories to cover up issues that someone’s trouble may cause, especially when it does affect many in the town. Audrey Parker, who is drawn to Haven, is immune to these troubles. She helps Nate, the town sheriff, contain the troubles as well as try to help the Haven native with the trouble, try to understand his/her family issue (which is also considered a curse by some).  Also, Duke, a Haven native who returns as well, his trouble is activated and he learns that when the blood of a trouble person touches him, he becomes immensely strong and has the ability to kill them and with that, kill their trouble forever. 

[SPOILER] In season 3, we learn that Audrey may be the cause of the troubles! When she tries to enter the barn, seen in season 2; she tries to keep her memories as well as try to put an end to the troubles. She learns, after surviving the barns demise, that she is a counterpart to the other creator of the troubles in Haven. She is even taught that she is the person who has given troubles and basically ruined people’s lives, considering the intensity of the effects as well as being taught on how to create new troubles onto someone. Audrey struggles with the notion that she is a good person yet, learning about her past as the “trouble maker” upsets her on such a deep level. When Audrey is even introduced to actually having to place a new trouble onto someone, she is apprehensive because she fears that she may enjoy causing this harm and still wants to maintain her moral and good persona. It’s a quite common idea to have inner conflicts within one self, the ultimate question of being a good vs. bad person.

Quick thoughts on fear inducing media

Fear is a resonating emotion. We can agree that cinematography has inventive ways of inducing fear whether it be a ghoulish background sound, light refraction methods or visual “scary” monsters, etc. How peculiar of a creature humans are that knowing that their heart rate amongst other bodily functions are affected during fear induced settings yet, horror/gore movies and television are amongst the highest watched entertainment. Shows like Walking Dead, which depicts an apocalyptic earth taken over by zombies and American Horror Story, which a more common idea of what we know as being scary, is based on a mixture of demons, witches, death, spirits and much more, depending on what season of AHS.

When an individual watches horror media, the visual art itself is inducing fear. In the first few seconds of watching American Horror Story (AHS), the visuals and background noises/theme song alone will already increase flight-like behavior in the brain to most. So many types of scary media bombard our societies. Fear is such an ambiguous feeling modern psychology and science try to tackle, but with human emotions, it is a complicated Rubik’s cube of ideas when trying to break down a feeling. These mixed emotions of fear, can be carried into fictional media. [I just want to point out that I’m focusing on scary television like AHS because reality is scary enough and that is a whole other creature in trying to understand and cope with].

 

What is it about fear that we connect with it? Think about times that you may have watched a scary movie before bed and ended up having nightmares. What connections do our brains have with our emotions and unconscious thoughts? I love watching horror media and sometimes, when it’s an interesting concept, the idea resonates with me for a few days. When I first started watching Walking Dead I was really impressed because it’s not atypical zombie apocalyptic show. To me, WD makes a great build up of characters and shows how society works whether building groups, committing crimes, and most importantly – survival. The way AHS resonates is in a completely different format. WD seems more realistic to me rather AHS seems like monsters that I grew up reading and watching on TV. Both are great cinematography examples in this genre but AHS formulates these superstitious dreams and thoughts about spirits taking over the body, kind of like watching the Exorcism when I was much younger. Although, I am quite aware that most of these ideas are complete fiction, apparently my unconscious thoughts runs wild with dreams of how my close friends and I would solve situations just as those shown in the episodes. Interestingly, knowing that I have a few unsettling thoughts, why do we collectively continue to watch it? Why does horror speak to audience on a completely different level that anything else? We are aware that it increases our senses, you ever watch something scary involving creaking sounds and such and then look around the room more attentively? Why do shows like WD and AHS keep us thinking about the scenarios seen?

Because it’s great entertainment!  

 

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?

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. 

What would you do with an artifact from Ware House 13?

 

If you are a fan of Ware House 13 and their shenanigans, well you are very aware that this is a fun science fiction show where artifacts, which contains special supernatural powers, have a specific history and story to each item.  Each artifact has evil consequences which is why the Ware House team collects and stores them in the Ware House so the powers are not in the wrong hands [typical theme –  but I appreciate the artifacts concept considering there are many other Ware Houses and Ms. Frederick is connected to the WH as well as Artie, who is her right hand man].

 

There have been many artifacts that I find very interesting such as the episode featuring the epic H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu! This very artifact showed the person who has this item, see the “tentacle, bug eyed monster” within, just as illustrated by Lovecraft. This very episode, the man that acquired this specific item had lost his love in an accident at a baseball game. She was trampled to death and he called out to people to help. He remembered the faces of the very same people that refused to help him in his time of need, where he seemed to undergo post traumatic symptoms, grief, depressive and suicidal thoughts which manifested into him seeking revenge regardless of the outcome. He was so distraught that the love of his life was now dead, it seemed that all he wanted to do was show to others what monsters people are. The artifact when in the presence of a person, projects to the people around them that they have huge tentacles, big bug eyes and other alien like features. In most cases where the artifact was used, because the person was now being seen as a monster, other people killed them. When the person was dead, the hallucination ended and people realized that it was a human being that they collectively killed.

 

Now we can conjure up the argument, well is it a hallucination indeed or this said artifact reflected and showed the true nature of some people, that many be monstrous?

 

My question to you, which is your favorite episode? What is your favorite artifact? If you are completely new to this concept, picture an inanimate object that has a long history and now has invoked a special power, with it the person who has this item in their grasp now wields that specific power. What type of artifact would you be interested in? Do keep in mind each artifact has evil strong holds. Some make the artifact user evil, may have psychological/mental health issues such as hallucinations (just as Cthulu’s artifact). 

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.