ratcreature: RatCreature as Teyla (teyla)
spoilers for SGA 4x20 )

Totally unrelated to SGA I learned a new piece of trivia today: I've always been vaguely puzzled by the color name "ivory black" because it seemed contradictory (ivory not being black and all). Then today I happened to look at the label on the back of a tube of acrylic ivory black, one that went into all kinds of technical detail that I have no idea what it means (it has some kind of numbers for hue, value, chroma and codes for the pigments and symbols for opaqueness and lightfastness and so on) but also had a list of ingredients and apparently that black is made from charred animal bones. Hence the name "ivory black".

And I get that historically, though I'd have thought that by now the color would be synthetic. I mean, it's not they are still grinding up lapis lazuli for ultramarine (well, I guess there might be people who are into restoration and such and make their colors themselves from scratch with pigments or specialty producers who still do that, but usually it's synthetic these days). So it's kind of gross that they still use animal bones, but that what the tube says in its ingredient list under the "vehicle: acrylic polymer emulsion" there's "pigment: amorphous carbon produced by charring animal bones". So I'm using the same pigment as my prehistoric ancestors, I guess, only in a prepared polymer solution rather than charring some hunted mammoth's bone myself. Still in my mind "gross" kind of wins out over "artistic connection across millennia of history".
ratcreature: zen? or not. Animated pic, that first shows RatCreature calm,  then angry. (zen)
I read quite a lot SGA fanfic and I'm starting to develop-- well, it's not quite a pet peeve, but this plot device in SGA fanfic that random alien "natives" capture/torture/sacrifice/chase the team with primitive weapons without ever being given proper motivation or even just common sense, it's staring to make me twitch whenever I see it. I get that the point of these stories isn't the alien culture but the h/c or sex ritual or whatever the author needs the spear waving natives for, but still.

For one it throws me out of the story, because it is so obvious that the Pegasus natives are only there for their effect on the team, that they aren't even real people. It's not that the team being the primary interest in the story was a problem, well developed cultures can serve the same ultimate purpose in a narrative, it just wouldn't be so blatantly obvious that they are only there as a plot device. These natives don't even get the minimal development of stock characters, who at least have a thin veneer over their purpose of just serving the heroes' plot. Even the traditional "exotic backdrop natives", problematic as they are for numerous reasons even when it's all filtered through being fantasy and not projected onto an actual culture, are at least, well, "exotic" and as such interesting or at least colorful.

Which leads me to the second point, i.e. it is reminiscent of the cringe-worthy and racist cliche of "primitive, non-rational savages vs. European explorers" in adventure fiction. Personally I think that they are so often complete non-entities is kind of worse than even if they were exotic backdrop for the protagonists (like in the typical "Africa movie") because they often don't get even that much minimal agency and presence as people.

That said, I wonder whether there would be any interest in an SGA thematic list with the topic "alien cultures" or something like that, kind of expanded from my earlier post to collect stories that give the Pegasus cultures at least a bit more room than to be just savages alternatively hurting the team or making them have sex.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Wraith. (wraith)
I think I mentioned before that when watching SG-1 I keep thinking how much of an easier time the Ori would have getting more worshippers if they just expanded into the Pegasus Galaxy with an "accept Origin and we'll protect you from the Wraith" deal rather than trying in the Milky Way with their "worship us or we'll smite you!" threat. Sure threats probably work as well, but IMO for enduring popularity protection against an external foe would work much better.

I mean, personally I'm not fond of being smited by Priors so I certainly wouldn't object to the daily Ori worship in any case, but I'd be much happier (and less likely to look for some relatively safe way to maybe support some anti-Ori resistance after all) if it came in the guise of being a trade off for not being eaten. They could even be totally honest about the fact that the worship gives them additional power, or at least wouldn't need to worry much about heretics like SG-1 trying to convince the populace that they trick them, after all they could justify needing the people's support to hold off the Wraith or something. Especially during an active Wraith period the trade off of worshipping a group of some energy beings so that they in turn protected me from being culled isn't that bad all things considered, at least as long as the Ori don't happen to draft you into one of their crusades, and even then it's certainly not worse than some of the desperate things Pegasus civilizations are willing to try.

Anyway, with that thought it occurred to me that if the Ancients had wanted to secure worship in the past (and we know that at least some weren't adverse to being worshipped) creating an external threat like that would have been the natural way to go about it. I'm not sure how many Ancients were already ascended then and how many still experimenting with becoming energy back when the Wraith first emerged, but if ascended beings can somehow use power they get from worship, it's not so far fetched that for example a few already ascended Ancients could have wanted to use that kind of boost to help the others of their kind to also ascend for example, like that Oma(?) guy did with Daniel. So I wondered if the Wraith (which IIRC were the end result of one of the Ancients unfortunate experiments gone wrong, weren't they?) couldn't have been originally designed by some Ancient faction with that in mind, only to then reproduce faster than expected or be better with technology and somehow got out of control and were more trouble than they were worth.
ratcreature: Squee!! (squee!!)
First, since [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine was encouraging vid recs recently, I'd like to point out that [livejournal.com profile] lim's vid for the [livejournal.com profile] sga_flashfic mission report challenge is great. It's the first time I've seen a vid where someone wrote a song telling the story and then sung it illustrated by a vid. Admittedly I haven't watched that many vids, so this could be totally common, but even then it would still be awesome. I just really like vids where the narrative isn't that opaque, I guess.

Also take a look at [livejournal.com profile] brown_betty's DC comics vid You Gotta Have Boobs, which is hilarious.

Then there was this week's SGA episode 3x07 Common Ground... )
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
So I'm rereading some McKay/Sheppard slash fic, great story overall too, only I stumble over Homophobic!Ford. Now, IIRC when I first read story I didn't take much notice of it, because I hadn't read that much SGA slash at that point, and taken as a characterization in an individual story I can buy it. Some people are homophobic after all, even otherwise nice, likable people. But there are quite a lot of stories portraying Ford like that, and it baffles me. Sometimes it seems to me that in S1 team McKay/Sheppard slash he's like the default token homophobe. And I don't get it, not to mention that it rubs me the wrong way because I rather like Ford. Is there any basis in canon for why this is such a popular choice?? I admit that I have watched most eps just once (I don't rewatch a lot in general), so I might have missed some huge clue leading so many to arrive at Homophobic!Ford, but if this is purely a fanon thing, it's definitely one I could do without.

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