Tag Archives: vegan

Wraith Finger Armor-Like Pieces Grown by Hiveships

In “Submersion,” the cruiser console’s flight control hand pieces look as if they contain parts similar to finger armor. Could these be also grown by the ships, as with the drone masks, computers, ZPM satchels and just about everything else?

The ships seem to make a variety of materials, from hard/chitinous objects, to pliable/leathery materials, to soft/silky threads.

I envy the idea of being able to grow everything, as needed and just-in-time manufacturing, with no storage overhead or sales forecasts, no wasteful fads, and in a cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly way. I hope we progress to having similar tech, such as Piñatex.

 

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Review and Reactions to Stargate Origins (contains spoilers)

After watching the whole thing from someone else’s location, it was a disappointment. Given the memory wipes, the whole movie may as well have not even happened. The first 3 episodes and the character files for the Goa’uld made me really want to like this, low budget or not, but I will not be buying this on DVD, nor rewatching.

Pros:

It’s great to see a leading lady leading an adventure, not just as a manager behind a desk, who can hold her own in fights. Some thought Catherine was too bold for her time, making her anachronistic, but bold women, such as Amelia Earnhardt defied stereotypes. Wonder Woman set a good precedence here.

The 3 main characters were diverse and were friends, the way things should be. Their heritages seemed to be British, Egyptian, and Jewish (based on a menorah on the table). LGBT+ relationships were freely accepted by all.

The music and gating animation are all sorts of nostalgia to Stargate fans.

The style of Goa’uld rocks. They look like they could be Wraith Queens. Lovely outfits, hair, jewelry, etc for both!

The hideous mastage’s head prop was not there. Thank goodness. Such a prop exoticizes and others peoples of diverse cultures. Marvel recently made light of this in Black Panther. Instead, there was jackfruit centerpiece and lotus roots on the feast table. Plants for the win!

Aset’s love of her child. Love for an unblended, single-bodied individual indicates the Goa’uld know better, that they can acknowledge the individuality those they rule (and even love them). They could choose to give up their privilege and live peacefully, as the Tok’ra, but choose not to. So, it is NOT in their DNA. She also cried when she felt forced to take away the healing wand of her subjects.

Cons:

The selective release has caused fights among fans who were and were not given legal access to view the majority of the segments. Many cultural voices are thus missing from the conversations and the upset and animosity about exclusion and fights between fans will take time to settle, if ever.

The budget was low and special effects are pretty bad, most notably the ka-woosh side view, the view outside the window of another planetscape, and the claustrophobic-inducing smallness of the sets. One gets used to it though.

Drug use/slow waste of time on the middle. The camera effects hinted at something mildly psychedelic. Why would someone supposedly so intent on finding her father be so quick to take a substance and give it to her friends when they don’t know what it is, or what it will do to them, especially in a place where the language is not their native tongue? The time wasting was disappointing because there had been lots of action from the start, rather than the agonizing slowness of the start of the original 90s movie. The time could have been better spent explaining the Goa’uld better, rather than to put it in Mission File outside texts.

Instances of othering and outdated tropes. Catherine calls a womanizing Nazi a “pig,” which is speciesist. Pigs are among the most vulnerable and abused fellow Earthlings and should not be compared to mean humans. The Nazi leader was given a scar. Accidents and surgeries mean nothing and modern cinema knows this, with Marvel’s Deadpool as a leading protagonist. A Nazi comic relief character wears Catherine’s underwear. Quoting another fan, “the only thing distasteful about a man wanting to wear women’s underwear is that he took it without her permission.”

The ending was over-the-top in killing off so many.

Opportunities for Vegan Fan Activism, Science Fiction, and Fiction Activism

Fellow WP blogger speciesismandsciencefiction writes, “While I have read some incredible novels discussing gender, race and class, I have noticed that there is also space to analyze nonhuman animal ethics.”

Yes! Equality movements in the 1800s and early 1900s, such as women’s rights and anti-slavery abolitionism, made use of fiction and those works still endure as classics. LGBT+ literature has always written LGBT+ characters. Why, then, do so many vegans only write non-fiction (mainly recipe books and academic critical theory), overlooking opportunities in fiction? Vegans tend to be better at empathizing with others, which would make for valuable fiction writing skills, to put themselves in places of the characters. Empathy grows like a muscle, the more it is used. Yet, when I Google “vegan fan activism” “vegan science fiction” “vegan fanfiction” “vegan fantasy” and the like, nothing much comes up! What few sites there are cite the same small handful of books, with tenuous and scant examples, written a hundred years or so ago, along with a few fairy tale books aimed at small children. What about modern adult writers?! Where can we read, share, and connect for literature for and by compassionate people?

We need fan activism and fiction activism because there are vacuums needing to be filled and stories which need to be told. We still live in a world where too many editors care more about exclamatory punctuation marks than bigoted comments, objectifying pronouns, etc. It falls upon us to tell our stories! We should not let others speak for us, especially when we are the ones who have experience in compassionate living, while others misrepresent and erase both vegans and other fellow animals and perpetuate myths. I just read a book written recently in 2016 depicting human space travelers asking their plant-based alien hosts where they get their protein (!) and the humans give a teenager of that culture a candy bar made with cow’s milk, in spite of the adults rightfully saying that such treatment to fellow animals is barbaric. Seriously? the Mars mission will be plant-based. And, don’t even get me started about the errors and Oberoth-styled might-makes-right mentality of SGU’s 2011 episode “The Hunt.”

Fan activism often comes about because the media at large lags a few steps behind the times while it plays catch up. During that time, diversity is either lacking or underrepresented. Writers can create our own worlds with new, diverse OCs, explore gender and race bending and swapping, explore diverse pairings, hybridization, chimerization, differently-abled characters, etc. while big media leaves us wondering and wanting for more. Science fiction fans, especially, tend to be more curious and open-minded people.

As progressive creatives writing fiction, we give much needed facets of value:

*We offer an oasis for our like-minded audience. We offer self-care, for both readers and ourselves, to get lost in a story and to refresh. We support others looking for the same kind of inclusive literature.

*We share, relating to the hearts and minds of society as a whole, rather than speaking in an echo chamber.

*We help to model more hopeful and better worlds, where inclusion is the norm.

I am proud to be a vegan fanfiction writer and fan artist and encourage other vegans out there to start writing fanfiction and/or original works of fiction. The need is there. As I have written before, now is a great opportunity! Search engines have been very good to me and this little page– and the show I focus on is nearly 10 years off the air by now, with lesser-known characters who are insect and human hybrids. What opportunities can you uncover if you let your imagination soar?

Review of Stargate Infinity

Stargate Infinity is a lesser-known, 26 episode cartoon series, set in the future, after the SGC program has been declassified. Made in 2002, the cartoon is more thought-provoking than other Stargate spinoffs, holds its own against current action-based team cartoons, and is overall enjoyable.

Pros:

*Most importantly, there are a lot more different aliens. It is great seeing them interact with one another as well as with the humans. The live action shows don’t have as much of that interaction among cultures, and it is usually negative, and so this one seems friendlier. Aliens are now living among Earthlings, as humans have been living on their worlds, which is fair: If humans are going to go traipsing through others’ homeworlds, then others should be able to do the same with ours. Some of the aliens have settled, too, and there are diverse families. Team member Ec’co’s is half Tau’ri and half Hrathi.

*The human diversity within SGC is pretty good, with different ethnic looks and both males and females excelling in both combat and sciences. More of Dr. Mason and having her on the ‘gate team would have been nice, though, as well as Seattle’s Native American family not depicted as poor into the future and rich white males leading Mayan archeology digs.

*The clothes, hair, and gadgets they wear are futuristic, such as the winged jet pack, so no dating with fads. Kind of cyberpunk and I like the almost Wraith-like tattoos. The humans are allowed to have any hairstyles and looks they want as long as it does not interfere with their duties.

*At first, I was afraid the velociraptor-like Tlak’kahn were going to be annoying 2D villains, but liked that we got to meet some who were not warmongering and was then able to laugh more at the ones who were just jerks.

*The team has good comradery and humor and they overcome their challenges together, making the episodes upbeat.

*The episodes center around moral lessons and I liked the morality if SGI better than I disliked SGU’s deliberate immorality. Contrast Eli being snapped at for being against lying with SGI’s “The Mother of Invention” where a lie could have caused injury or death. Withholding info from the team can be detrimental. The lessons are also still relevant and a good reminder for adults to not get caught up in stuff like material goods either.

Neutrals:

*Because the cartoon predates the establishment of the Ancients, this show’s creators kind of made their own Ancient race, but left a loophole with the Ancient not able to remember who she is.

*The absence of the Goa’uld is not explained, nor the presence of the Tlak’kahn.

*There are gate bloopers and/or different tech, such as the gate being opened before the dialing had been completed, standing in the way of the kawoosh, and two-way connectivity.

Cons:

*In the first few episodes, there are scenes being repeated, after spaces which were for commercial breaks, but that got better.

*Some of the aliens have stilted speech, mainly the winged ones, while others do not, and there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for it if they are all aliens.

*The character Harrison still has a lot to learn about appearances and species. Maybe his character could have evolved better in a 2nd season.

*There are a few instances of speciesism, such as calling one alien without human language speaking ability and a dog as “it.” But, this was 2002, pre-social media and its education of intersectionalism, when this show was made. Also, while the team talks about generalized food, such as burgers, I did not see them eating fellow animals and they are put off by spider and polar bear aliens eating whole bodies and also the thought of bovine secretions. Harrison mentions having eaten stuff like this as a kid. Either the disconnect is profound, or, in their adult life, society has moved to plant-based versions of burgers, pizza, and ice cream.

Overall, I enjoyed the show and compare it to current cartoons, such as Voltron Legendary Defender, which also features lessons about looks being deceiving but has way more speciesism against fellow animals who can’t speak human languages. I probably won’t watch it again, as Wraith episodes are about the only stuff I re-watch, but recommend to Stargate fans to find and watch Infinity.

Where to find it? My tiny local library has 2 copies of the DVDs. So, check there. Many libraries will also do regional inter-library loans if the local branch doesn’t have something. Some libraries also offer downloadable and streamable episodes, free on services such as Hoopla if your library is affiliated with Hoopla and your library card is active. (Hoopla tip: Watch it mid-month, because there are 26 episodes and Hoopla allows 25 borrows per month, which resets at the 1st of each month.)

Taking a Break from the Printed Books

I think I am done with all Fandy books now, including Legacy. Whatever Legacy even means nowadays, because I do not know. [some spoilers ahead]

A lot of Wraith fans are probably wondering what took me so long, because readership fell in 2015, near the end of book 8, after a scene with Ember saying Wraith are killed for having romantic relationships with humans. (!) Well, that alienates just about all Wraith worshippers in one swoop, doesn’t it? It was also said that Todd doesn’t keep “pets” and that Alabaster didn’t allow worshippers on her hive. I had ignored those bits. I fooled myself by what I wanted to see: I am pro-interracial relationships and I shipped Queen Ice and Gemmion Saer and made art of them together.

Now, there are books using Legacy terminology, such as blades and clevermen, talking smack about Wraith and Jaffa, including comparing Wraith in Atlantis to a termite infestation, which I guess are not “official” Legacy??? *headdesk* I don’t like the direction the most recent books are going in 2017 and 2018. Legacy used to be about respecting other beings, not calling them it, thing, or creature, making up non-canon insults, and so forth. One fan asked and was given lists of “official” Legacy stories. But, what is the use when the brand has been diluted to where depressing passages creep into “official” ones too, such as neocolonialism and making disparaging comments about alien life forms, such as that they won’t fit in bait and tackle boxes and thinking of fried body parts similar to those of the aliens? So much for the dazzling scene of Zelenka making contact with the invertebrate aquatic being with the flashing lights at the window (I had almost made fan art of that too.) If a writer can’t respect their own characters, then why should the readers? So, then, what is the difference between the “official” and “unofficial” ones? Lines have been crossed both ways, to make a something unappealing in all of them.

Also, there are hints at war with Wraith again, with Teyla wondering if the agreements will hold and one hive experimenting on feeding on human lifeforce donors until they die, to see what the limits are. That is cruel torture and not the spirit of Jennifer and Alabaster’s intent. Everything has changed. Part of me doesn’t want to read any more of the books, if only to keep what fond memories of Legacy I have and had. Some of the memories have already been ruined by some of the more recent “official” works, as well as a handful of “unofficial” ones. It’s no fun to see anyone being othered, verbally or physically, in real life, on screen, or in print. I should have walked away back when I first started to feel uneasy and regret it now. I need mental bleach. Whatever they do to the books, I can’t look any more.

I am alienated as a Wraith fan audience member, the magic is gone, and I am put off by the books for the moment and afraid to spend time and money on them again. Other than flipping through them for Wraith names while at a bookstore, I think I am “officially” done taking chances on paying for them.

#someONEnotsomething  #FrellSpeciesism #IShipWraithAndWorshippers #Iwanttheoldlegacyback #progressivefictionforallplease

There Needs to Be an Un-Kudos Button

It is frustrating enough that so many SGA fanfics are outright racist and kill off Wraith. But, the state of too many Wraithy fanfics lately comes with too many similar problems, giving me conflicts.

Should I fave, kudos, comment on, rec, etc., a story that is Wraith-centric and would otherwise be good, but that:
*gives Michael an awesome, happy ending but trash talks Rhys and just about every other faced officer?
*praises Todd but trash talks the technology and homes of his people?
*kills off any Wraith who isn’t Todd?
*relates to female human worshippers but trash talks Queens and/or kills them off?
*praises Wraith but kills off Michael and/or his hybrids and trash talks them? Even though Wraith are already human/insect hybrids?
*trash talks some Wraith hairstyles and hair textures, which carries definite racist undertones?
*presents unearned guilt of women who love Wraith and have sensual relationships with them?
*features dub-con or non-con, for the main character? For secondary characters?
*shows a Wraith x human love story with the Wraith overcoming anti-human bigotry while featuring the human hypocritically and greedily enjoying the end results of victimized fellow animals? Shows Wraith as joining said humans in needlessly harming fellow animals?
*uses speciesist language and speciesist analogies, in dialogue or exposition, casually condoning and normalizing speciesism?
*writes ableism, of Wraith killing off their differently-abled friends and family!? Boris has a scar over one eye, the pupil altered too, and maybe his vision was impacted– and he was a badass fighter and Commander. Michael’s telepathy was stronger than most Wraith, extending beyond just the same solar system. There was no evidence of ableism, directed to, or coming from, either of them over abilities. Even if someone can’t fight or pilot a dart anymore, they can contribute so many other ways and learned new skills, keeping their knowledge.
*presents a good story, but has homophobic, nationalist, or other prejudiced remarks on his or her profile? Displays artwork of Stargate characters in neo-Nazi uniforms!? WTF!

Ugh! I wish I were making these things up! This discomfort with it all keeps growing. Adding to the confusion, sometimes, I kudos something and the author changes it later to do these things listed above and some sites won’t let me click un-like or un-kudos. SIGH-borg!

Fans notice this stuff and message one another too. People talk. Sometimes, such things are done to try to insult other fans, such as negative remarks about dreadlocks aimed at fans of Wraith with that hairstyle, but that just makes the person saying prejudiced things looks bad.

This is why I rarely comment or get involved, even though I want very much to kudos Wraithy stories. Prejudice is something to be overcome, as flawed characters grow, not glamorized. Why can’t people be fair to all the characters and stop being racist, sexist, homophobic, speciesist, etc.? Until then, there needs to be an un-kudos button!

Gater Confession: I Edit and Save Fictions Also

Another Stargate fan said they edited their entire collection of ebooks, to correct what they say are frequent and recurring instances of weapon parts being misnamed, from “clip” to “magazine.” Drama! Controversy! LOL.

Well, then. While ‘gaters are confessing such things, I, too, confess that I edit Wraithy stuff that I want to re-read (and also artworks). Mostly, stuff that gets stripped out are instances of misogyny and speciesism. Gone are name-calling parts, such as calling female lovers of Wraith as wh*res. Gone are non-con human flashback scenes that mar love scenes by projecting them onto unrelated Wraith. Gone are references to violence done to fellow animals and remnants of their bodies, their skin, their stolen reproductive secretions, etc. Those are all human problems, not Wraith culture, and do nothing but distract from otherwise good stories I want to revisit. So… GONE!!! Gone as in three shots from a Zat gone!

It’s telling that such trauma exists in human society that these things all too frequently casually creep into what are supposed to be works of romance– even when it is a Wraith and a human stuck in a small room. Seriously, how do humans manage condoning and promoting human-caused violence even then?! These stories could be so perfect otherwise, too.

Some say to let such violence in stories be, that it is a part of history that will someday be gone. I say, provided humanity wises up, stops our war on all of creation, and survives, that some paid historian or archeologist who didn’t have to live in such a society can look at the violent references with a distanced air. The only time I leave them in is if a character overcame the odds and changed to be a better person. Characters condoning violence are unappealing. I just want enjoyable stories of bravery, mystery, adventure, intergalactic cultural sharing, and romance that I can re-read on my self-care days with a square or two of cruelty-free, fair-trade chocolate, thank you very much!