Learning Experience

Back from Soonercon.  It was a fun, lively convention this year, and I had a good time.  Touched base with some acquaintances and met a few new people.  Sat on a few panels.  Gave a reading.  Just walked around, being charming.  The usual con mode.

But while at Soonercon, I learned a few things about myself and since I’m out of other blog topics for the moment, I thought I’d share those observations.

I have no tolerance for anyone who complains about Idris Elba as Heimdall.

Really.  Don’t even bring it up.  Because not only is it nice to have strong roles for minority actors, it’s also just nice to see Elba.  Period.  The guy’s a solid actor, able to convey a thought and emotion in a single look or sentence so perfectly, he’d be justified in taking a bow afterward.  He’s just plain cool and even covered in a costume that conceals nearly everything about him, he manages to make Heimdall the most awesome thing in the film.

Yes, even more awesome than The Destroyer, a magic robot with destructo-vision created by Odin himself.

More importantly, complaints about Elba are usually prefaced with the following disclaimer, “I’m not a racist, but…”  Has anyone ever said that and NOT followed it with a bit of racism?

“I’m not a racist, but would you mind telling me how to get to Fifth Street?”

No.  Inevitably, the following line will have some racist under or overtones.  And, sure, it’s possible that some fans are just so completely obsessive over every little detail that having a dark-skinned Heimdall hits their nerd rage button, but if they don’t walk out of that theater thinking Elba made Heimdall, a small part in a big movie, into one of the highlights of the film, then they’re wrestling with more than fan inflexibility.

I’m not here to call anyone racist.  Except for those crazy folks who are actually threatened by Elba filling the role.  Because, clearly, in a movie that is 98 percent Caucasians, being threatened by one black man (and one Asian) in a supporting role isn’t about anything other than race.  And if you’re one of those people, you should probably realize just how stupid you’re being.  Although, I’m certain you won’t.

All I’m suggesting is that Elba took a role and made it his, and he did so with style, grace, and terrific talent.  If you still can’t get past the color of his skin, what’s left to consider other than some simmering racial tension that we should acknowledge honestly?  Or not.

Either way, if anyone has any complaints about Elba as Heimdall, they should be that he didn’t have a big enough part in a good, but otherwise unremarkable, flick.

I have no tolerance for Tron: Legacy.

Yes, it’s come up before.  Yes, I despise Legacy.  But the depths at the disgust with the film is so deep, so imbedded in the very molecules of my DNA, that if anyone brings it up, I must will myself to say nothing or I will end up saying EVERYTHING.  As long as I keep my mouth shut, I’m cool.  But the second I offer one criticism, another spills out.  And another.  And soon, I’m launching into an uncontrollable rant about the film that even I cannot control.

It’s not right, but it’s unavoidable.

I firmly believe Legacy is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen and that if it wasn’t shielded by shiny neon, a poppin’ Daft Punk soundtrack, and misappropriated nostalgia, that most everyone else would see that too.  But who cares what I think?  I’m not here to ruin anyone’s day, and people should be able to discuss Legacy without fear of a unleashing a slavering beast.

Nonetheless, it seems unavoidable, and so, I have learned to turn and walk away.  So if you happen to see me and mention Legacy, don’t be offended if I run screaming into the darkness.  I’m doing it for your own protection.

One parting thought:  Tron Legacy was awful.  Just in case I haven’t made that clear yet.

I will play tabletop games until I pass out:

During a gap in my schedule, I went to the gaming area and found some people to play games with.  We played Race for the Galaxy, 7 Wonders, and Olympus.  We played the former two several times, in fact.  Meanwhile, Sally got something to eat, hung out with a friend of ours, and otherwise engaged herself.  Every so often, she’d come and check on me.

A little over six hours later, I was still playing.  And still would’ve played if I hadn’t decided to check on the wife.  It was only then that I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since starting.  Which isn’t that long under normal circumstances.  Except at a con, it’s easy to neglect yourself.  So I hadn’t had much to eat and drink before that.  Only after walking away from the table, did I realize just how hungry and thirsty I was.  If I hadn’t been packing up my games, I doubt I would’ve even noticed the headache and the gnawing pain in my gut.  I’m not saying I would’ve played until I died, but collapsing from malnutrition wasn’t completely out of the question.

Not to make light of genuine addiction (drug-related or otherwise), but I think I could literally sit and play games as long as the universe would let me.  As disorders go, it ain’t so bad, but it’s something I should probably keep an eye on.

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,


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  1. BeckyK
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, thank you. I thought Elba was great. I also thought fandom was one of the few places that’d not make remarks about him being in THOR. I was disappointed.

    Keep writing the good write.

  2. Bob Bob
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    “Know thyself, and know thy enemy.” I have to admit that when I read the title, I thought we were going to get some sort of profound insight into the inner workings of A. Lee Martinez. I was very excited. But alas, Martinez, you’ve given us a trivial blog on your mental and physical endurance.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting to find out what you were thinking at Soonercon. And what you did while you were there. But you, in my opinion, are allusive. Why is it always topical, surface-level, ideas with you? Then, again, I’m confronting a guy who doesn’t think the question “Why?” is very important. Know thyself; know thy enemy.

  3. Natasha
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    I totally agree.. I really like the tips that you have given. Thanks for sharing with us!!

  4. Posted June 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with you. Thank you for sharing your learning experience. I learn something from your experienced.

  5. Christine Olewiler
    Posted June 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I LOVED Idris Elba as Heimdall,he took a small part and ran with it!

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