Tag Archives: Relatively-Current Events

Bandwagon-jumping with gusto: Marvel’s Daredevil

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((Minimal spoilers for the TV show, but if you know practically nothing and prefer to keep it that way, don’t read past the first paragraph or so.))

Shortly after Marvel’s Daredevil series dropped onto Netflix on April 10, my Facebook, tumblr, and Twitter feeds were flooded with commentary about it, raving about the show and how it handled the previously-lesser-known superhero. The primary thing cropping up, however, was the Catholicism. My Catholic Facebook friends who had watched it were talking about how well it approached the Faith, and the Catholic side of tumblr was debating the finer points of its approach (as tumblr is wont to do). So two weeks later, after my academic schedule had cleared up a little, I sat down and watched it. I only recently finished it and am still chewing it over and discussing it with anyone willing to listen. (My friends are either very patient or too nice to tell me to go away.)

The first thing I’d like to say is that yes, Daredevil handles Catholicism fantastically. We get a glimpse at the harder side of being Catholic — morality and the concept of an eternal soul capable of being damned are chief among the things presented to the viewer. We have regular interactions with a priest who, instead of being relegated to a mere sounding board, is a fully fleshed-out character of his own, with experiences and opinions and stories to tell. And frequently we have Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox), our dashing protagonist, feeling the weight of his chosen moral system.

Another thing of note, mentioned in this article on Tor (warning: it contains serious spoilers for the whole series): consequences for actions are carried all the way through, from one episode to the next. Wounds are visible for many episodes, and are often shown in varying stages of healing (or not, as is pretty much the case with Matt, who straight-up refuses to “rest and get better”). The make-up effects in this show are phenomenal to the point of disturbing — I’m rather sensitive to things like blood, pain, and gore in TV (mostly because I can’t do anything about it) and found myself cringing quite a bit. It’s not all senseless violence, however; the purpose of these graphic scenes are to give us, the viewers, a greater sense of reality in the show.

Daredevil is unique in that, unlike many other film adaptations within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (also called the MCU), it is extraordinarily light on the kitsch and camp so often found in other live-action superhero-centric shows. Aside from the occasional Superman-esque rooftop shots, where Matt surveys the city below him, the references to the comics are subtle, nuanced, and not usually something a non-comics person would pick up on. Each scene is composed and often colour-coded — and while it could definitely use some brighter lighting in at least some scenes, as a whole it is well tied-together. My personal favourite little quirk is that the wardrobes are rather reminiscent of the 1960s, when the comic was initially relased, but characters are frequently interacting with modern technology such as smartphones and tablets.

While the show is aesthetically attractive in some ways — there are at least three or four distinct examples of phenomenal camera work which I can list off the top of my head, and I want to steal Karen Page’s entire wardrobe — the characters are also well-developed. Matt and his best friend Foggie have an excellent relationship, clever banter, and a hilarious backstory. The main villain is introduced through a love story. And the motivations of each character are often eerily similar, despite their wildly different executions.

If I say much more, I’ll be spilling major spoilers, so I’ll close with this: I loved it. Many of my friends have also loved it. Be wary of the gore and blood — it’s a bit squick-inducing at times — but it’s definitely worth watching. Plus, Charlie Cox is kind of adorable (and Catholic himself!), so that’s an added bonus.

How could you say this isn’t cute?

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The Pro-Life Generation is not on Tumblr

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I’m disgusted.

Background: I got a tumblr just to see what it was like. My best friend from high school virtually-introduced me to new people who I’m now following. (No, I’m not telling you my tumblr URL, it’s attached to real me and we’re not going there.) Anyway, these new people seem to think that “abortion rights” is synonymous with “women’s health” and is a good thing.

Because everyone seems to think that this bill is about banning abortion in Texas (TEXAS, people, why the hell are you messing with Texas), I did some research. And I went to known left-leaning media sites for my information because I know that they’ll report the bare minimum of the bill and then emphasize its terrible results.

From Huffington Post:

The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Also, doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles – a tall order in rural communities.

“If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and daughter of the late former Texas governor Ann Richards.

From CNN:

The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and tighten standards on abortion clinics and the doctors who work at them. Critics say it would shut most of the abortion clinics in Texas.

From the New York Times:

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet the same standards that hospital-style surgical centers do, and mandate that a doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

NPR, while it glossed all of those facts completely and focused solely on the “banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” did give me the name of the bill: SB 5. So I looked that up, too.

This is the full text of the bill which was discussed. And its amendments are here. I’m going to try to sift through the legalese and summarize the bill article by article.

Section 1: Requirements of a Physician

-Physician must have admitting privileges at a hospital with OB/GYN facilities within 30 miles of the clinic

-Physician must provide a way to contact him in the event of complications and give the woman the name, address, and phone number of the hospital nearest to her, also in the event of complications

Section 2: On Abortions After 20 Weeks

-Physicians may not induce/perform abortions at or after 20 weeks post-fertilization

-Physicians must determine gestational age of unborn child before performing/inducing abortion

-Exceptions: immediate medical emergencies threatening the life of the mother

Section 3: On Abortion-Inducing Drugs

-Abortion-inducing drugs may only be administered/prescribed by a physician

-If the physician is administering the drug, both physician and patient must be present at a registered clinic

-If the patient is administering the drug, she must follow the directions

-None of this applies to actual medical problems (ectopic pregnancy, extraction of miscarriage, pre-existing medical conditions in the mother which require treatment)

-Physician must give patient the label of the drug (with all its facts, dosage, warnings, etc)

-Physician must do a follow-up with the patient post-administration/use of the drug within 14 days to confirm the abortion and assess the bleeding

-Physician must show reasonable effort in ensuring the patient makes the follow-up appointment

-If the patient has a severe adverse effect in response to the drug and physician knows, physician must report it to MedWatch

Section 4: Health and Safety Code [effective September 1, 2014]

-Abortion clinics must meet standards of ambulatory surgical centers

Section 5: Health and Safety Code

-Lists requirements of physician’s report

Section 6: Occupations Code

-Lists all the ways a physician can have his license revoked

Section 7: Occupations Code

-(I’m not sure. Possibly just embellishes the ramifications of Section 6.)

Section 8:

-repeals a part of the Health and Safety Code which wasn’t present in either document found

Section 9:

-Clarification and ass-covering

Section 10:

-Mention of precedent, more legalese

Sections 11 and 12:

-Closing

And now we read this summary. Let’s see… bans abortions after 20 weeks. Yes, that would send “feminists” into a snit. The rest? Welcome to the medical world, abortion clinics. You wanted to be taken seriously? Now deal with the fact that you have to comply with medical standards. Your clinics must meet the standards of an outpatient surgery centre. Nothing earth-shattering there. Your physicians must have admitting privileges to an OB/GYN-equipped hospital within 30 miles–this is in case of complications. This also makes sense. Also in case of complications, patients know where their nearest hospital is and where/how to reach their physician. Unreasonable? This is par for the course. Physicians must do follow-ups. Also normal. If the drugs fail horrifically, they need to be reported–I would HOPE so. That’s the whole point of the FDA.

Oh, and the ban on late-term abortions is flexible:

If Subchapter C, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code, as added by this Act, prohibiting abortions performed on an unborn child 20 or more weeks after fertilization is found by any court to be invalid or to impose an undue burden as applied to any person, group of persons, or circumstances, the prohibition shall apply to that person or group of persons or circumstances on the earliest date on which the subchapter can be constitutionally applied.

Being pro-life myself, I really don’t like the loose wording and enormous amount of loopholes here. However, if requiring the standards of abortion clinics to meet those of outpatient facilities will cause almost all of them to close, then clearly you’re doing something wrong in the first place. Get used to regular inspections. Get used to high sanitation. And get the hell over it because if you’re performing surgeries and expect your patients to walk out of there later that day, then these things are fully expected and exactly normal.

…I don’t even.

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THE VATICAN IS ENTERING THE VENICE BIENNALE.

http://world.time.com/2013/05/16/for-first-time-the-vatican-enters-prestigious-venice-biennale/

For anyone who doesn’t know what the Venice Biennale is, it’s a huge art show, held every other year (hence “biennale”) in Venice (duh). It’s one of the trendsetters of the modern world, the pinnacle of “contemporaneity” in many artistic spheres. How do I know about it? Architects like to enter, so we’ve studied “so-and-so’s entry for the XXXX Venice Biennale” quite frequently.

If you didn’t actually read that article, please note that most of the art is contemporary, it’s not blatantly Catholic (actually many of the artists who submitted weren’t Catholic) AND it was all done under the instruction of Pope Benedict–the pope who everyone says was an old fogey stuck in the past. WHAT NOW.

Sadly I won’t ever have the money to turn on a dime and show up in Venice for the show (alas, the life of a student in a ‘dead end’ major). However maybe in a couple years they’ll enter again. I’d love to go. Or maybe to enter.

Give the world a soap box…

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Yep, it’s called Facebook.  It’s horrifically annoying.  It’s almost even more annoying when it makes its way into the real world.

I have a number of issues with Facebook, yet I continue to use it for reasons of communication; and believe me, as soon as I finish college, I am getting rid of it and forcing everyone to e-mail, call, or *gasp!* visit me.  Nonetheless, I’m still there right now, and am therefore subject to whatever my friends want to announce to the world.  And sometimes my classmates decide to get into a heated debate on Facebook and yell about it in the middle of studio time (so it’s not like I can even just leave).

Dear world,

Facebook might be your soap box, but this is mine.  Here, nobody knows who I am; and if you do, you’re a friend.  Which means that most people who comment are more comfortable saying things–at least in my opinion.  You don’t know me… you have a right to a screenname, so I wouldn’t know you, either, unless you wanted me to.  Not a bad deal; the internet at its finest.

If Facebook is your soap box, please do me an enormous favour and stop expecting everyone to be completely okay with the flooding of our newsfeeds with political stuff.  Seeing the same stuff over and over again gets old; to be honest, I got really tired of all the pope stuff, too, and I do love Pope Francis.  If I want something, I’ll go find it myself.  I am tired of all the stupid red equals signs as profile pictures.  You seriously think that just by changing your profile picture to something political, you’ll make a difference to anyone, aside from annoying them slightly?  That suggests that if I changed my profile picture to something from an anime, people who don’t watch anime will start to care about it.  The answer is no, they won’t, and they’ll probably just roll their eyes at me for it.

You can’t change the world through Facebook.  You can’t change it through a blog, either, but at least I’m not forcing you to read this by nature of you being my “friend.”  If you read this, you came to read it.  Some part of you went out of your way to check my blog.  If I go to Facebook to stalk pictures from my school’s Beaux-Arts Ball, I am inundated with political commentary, whether I want to or not.  So much for everyone getting along and living and letting live.

I disagree with you, red-equals-sign-posters.  I disagree with you on the basis of natural law and the fact that marriage is about children.  I also disagree with you for even jumping on that bandwagon; you can’t come up with something more creative?  Honestly?  I’m rather disappointed.  If you’re excited about the legislation, post something, don’t just change your photo, and be prepared to back up your position.  Unless, of course, you live in the magical world where everyone agrees with you and nothing bad ever happens.

Irritatedly (but still in Christ),

Ink

Habemus Papam!

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I know this is all over the internet, but I don’t care.

We have a Pope!  Pope Francis (everyone is calling him Francis I but I heard that you don’t call him Francis I until there’s a Francis II).  The first ever Jesuit–but possibly one of the only sane and solid Jesuits these days.  I mean, just look at his credentials (which I found on Wikipedia, and I assume they haven’t really had much time to re-write his article from being Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio):

Member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Member of the Congregation for the Clergy

Member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family

Member of the Commission for Latin America

…not to mention that he ticked off the president of Argentina for opposing homosexual adoption, citing it as a form of child abuse.  Wow.  I think we’re in hands far more conservative than the term “Jesuit” could ever bring to mind.

I’m proud to have gone to a Jesuit school now!

We’ll miss you, Papa

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Dear Papa Benny,

We’re sad to see you go.  You’ve given so much to the Church and to the world and stayed so strong and solid even though the world is going nowhere fast.  No matter that you, a scholarly man, were following up an internationally-known personality in a job you never wanted; you stepped up to the plate and kept the Church on the right track.

Thank you for your contributions to scholasticism and theology.  Your legacy will last for generations.  Thank you for taking care of our Mother Church in stormy seas.  And thank you for being brave and knowing when enough is enough and a new man should take over.

I hope you have lots of time to write, and a cat to keep you company.

Love, Ink