Reconsidering Lara Croft

It's Sunday, January 9, 2011, there's something sour in the air, and this is The Side. Up until yesterday afternoon this post was going to be positive, light and have nothing to do with Batman. This being a nice change of pace. Well, it still has nothing to do with Batman, but after yesterday afternoon it certainly isn't light.


Yesterday, a lot of things got really out of hand. A 22 year old opened fire at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shooting her through the head and killing five others including a federal judge and a child. Currently there's a lot of people really upset with the government of this country, but this obviously is a horrible act by a very disturbed person. I followed this story quite a bit, but I did make the mistake of drifting down and reading the comments section on of the story on Yahoo. If you are ever feeling suicidal and need that extra push to take the next step in ending your own life, you really should read the comments section of anything remotely political on Yahoo. It makes it very easy to give up all hope for humanity .

Nearly immediately Sarah Palin and the Tea Party were blamed due to a graphic listing districts where the group hopes to get different people in elected positions and it uses gun target graphics to illustrate the areas. This is not the first time anyone has used such graphic in illustrations obviously, but still the image was taken down because considering the events of yesterday it was in poor taste to leave it up. Of course many didn't even need to know about the graphic to blame Palin and the tea party since they blame nearly anything that goes wrong in the country on them anyways.

Something horrible happens, including the death of a child, and people still divide up on political lines ready to fight the other side. Its amazing what assholes people have become. I understand that people are upset and angry and they want a target for that anger. I did a bit a digging. Congresswoman Giffords is an admitted Blue Dog Democrat, meaning she's not very liberal. She recently voted against Nancy Pelosi. Then some other little bits popped up about the shooter. This guy is completely off his rocker. Seems he's been like this for a long time having weird outbursts in high school, posting nutty stuff online, getting rejected by the military, and leaving college. He listed "Mein Kampf" and "The Communist Manifesto" among his favorite books. An acquaintance of his describes him as very liberal. That doesn't add up because why would a liberal try to murder a Democratic Congresswoman.

The answer is very simple: he's got serious mental problems. He's not a Republican, a Democrat, a Conservative, or a Liberal. He someone who really needed to be under the care of doctors.

Will this horrible event spur people on to try to be more civil in the exchange of political ideas and maybe try to tone the venom out there down? Probably not. This isn't the fault of anyone except the shooter, but with someone with the mental problems he obviously has in an environment as abrasive as the political theater in Arizona its no surprise someone snapped and tried to murder a government official.

Bottom line: that guy is an asshole who'll be locked away thank goodness. Everyone out there turning this into an excuse to wave your napalm and pitchforks at the other side of the political aisle, screw you. You're part of the problem.


For pretty much anybody over the age of eight who has even heard of video games, you've probably heard of Lara Croft, the star of the TOMB RAIDER series of games. The franchise is quite successful and have spawned a couple of movies starring Angelina Jolie. The character of Lara Croft is basically popular for two things, well really four things, two pistols and two giant boobs. Croft's bust size is what most people remember from the franchise. It was to the point that in the movies they actually used CGI to enhance the size of Jolie's breasts thus making a scene where she is running look like there were two strange, round life forms struggling to free themselves from the confines of her shirt. Yes, I have seen both of the movies, mainly due to the Missus being a fan of Angelina Jolie when she's going about the business of kicking people about the ass region. I do think I have one of the video games.

Hang on, let me check.

Sure enough! TOMB RAIDER III for the Playstation. I'm not sure how this got into the house or why. I vaguely remember playing this for about half an hour, maybe and then never touching it again. How did this get into the house? It's a used copy. I know I didn't buy it. OK, this is weird. Moving on.

Here's some big news, Lara Croft is getting a make over. This is an effort to transform her from a two-dimensional game hero to an actual character. The visual look has been revamped. Here proportions are less back straining. She's still depicted as beautiful, but not as an over-the-top sex symbol. The developers are rebooting the series as into what they are calling survival-adventure. The familiar elements of the previous games are there, but they say that they want this character to look a bit more vulnerable. If some rough stuff happens in the game, she will get messed up a bit and dirty.

My friend Michael when discussing the way Greg Rucka writes women said they are allowed to get beaten up, because they will get up, dust themselves off and then hand you your ass. It looks like that mindset is what was in mind with this reboot. Lara croft has never been depicted as dainty or needing to be rescued. However, unless you died in the game you never saw her hurt. You never got to see her strength of character because it never really got tested. Looks like that's going to change.

I've discussed before good feminism versus bad feminism. Bad feminism puts down or demonizes men, places women on a pedestal based solely on gender, and only serves as a wedge driven right into the divide between the sexes. Good feminism embraces women as capable and yet still feminine. Characters like Wonder Woman or Buffy Summers are beautiful, intelligent and just a capable as any guy without making a point of it. Its just accepted that they can handle whatever situation they find themselves in, so when they do need help, its not some damsel in distress situation. They do what they do without having to put a man down to do it.

If you had asked me a month ago if I would put Lara Croft in the same category as Wonder Woman or Buffy Summers, I probably would have laughed. Now the jury is officially out. This new step in the franchise is set to make us seriously reconsider the character, and its a step in a very good direction. Whether it succeeds or not, the game developers have realized that there has to be more to great heroine than looking tough and having a great set of bombs. There's actually being tough, being able to actually connect with players on an emotional level above 'horndog', and still being beautiful.


Coo coo ca-choo.

That wraps things up for today. Got another Buzz Tourney starting today so if you're interested you can hit the link on the sidebar. Stay safe and see you on Wednesday.

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