R is for Rick Grimes

Hello, and welcome to Blogging A to Z 2017! Thanks for stopping by. Fellow A to Z-ers, please make sure to leave a link to your blog in the comments.

My theme this month is 26 of the Best Characters in Fiction.

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Isn’t the artwork lovely? I had a lot of trouble finding a page with no gory stuff and no swearing.

This is not my first time talking about The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, on this blog. I love both the TV show and the graphic novel, even though they’re quite different. Many of the characters are similar, like Rick and Glenn ūüė¶ , and some are completely different, like Carol and Daryl (who doesn’t even exist in the comic, if you can believe it!)

But I don’t think I’ve ever specifically talked about Rick.

I love Rick as a hero and the leader of the group. Before the apocalypse, he was a cop. He’s all about law and order and doing the right thing. At first, he has a strict moral code that’s a leftover from the world before. But when he realizes that’s not going to work anymore, he adapts.

His moral code changes throughout the books and the TV show. Sometimes he tries to be the man he was before the apocalypse, and sometimes he realizes that’s impossible. But what I like about him is that his moral base is always on his mind, and he’s always the guy trying to keep his family alive.

At first, family means his wife, child, and best friend/ partner. Later, it comes to mean the group he’s in charge of.

Rick has moments where he loses his mind a little, which I think is understandable. Having to come to terms with a world where zombies… excuse me… walkers are real, would be too much for most of us to handle.

I’ve seen people online complain about how Rick (on the TV show) changes his mind on things. For instance, helping strangers vs. not helping them. He goes back and forth on this issue a few times. They say it’s inconsistent or wishy washy.

I think it’s human.

I think that changing our minds based on new information we get is what people do. Sometimes we go back and forth on issues a few times, depending on many factors. If we don’t adapt and grow, assimilate new information, we stagnate and die. His underlying moral code doesn’t change, so it’s not accurate to call him inconsistent. He always puts family first. It’s just the other decisions¬†that change based on his thinking at the time and recent experiences.

What do you think about characters who change their mind? Are you a fan of The Walking Dead, show or graphic novels?

L is for Longmire

Hello, and welcome to Blogging A to Z 2017! Thanks for stopping by. Fellow A to Z-ers, please make sure to leave a link to your blog in the comments.

My theme this month is 26 of the Best Characters in Fiction.

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Two Longmire books in a stack of my TBRs from December.

I’ve had several letters where I’ve had to choose between one character or another (or like 5 different ones), but this is the first one where I’ve had to choose between a hero (Longmire) or a villain (Hannibal Lecter).

Walt Longmire is an interesting guy, and I first got acquainted with him on the TV show of the same name. He’s the hero of a series of mystery novels¬†by Craig Johnson, the first one of which is The Cold Dish. Yes, it’s referring to revenge.

The show and the books are similar only in a few of the main characters, and the basic plot of some of the books.

Longmire is the sheriff in Absaroka County, Wyoming. He’s an old-fashioned hero,¬†always trying to do the right thing. He’s chivalrous and has a rigid moral code that he lives by.

There’s nothing wrong with an old-fashioned hero; it’s just that many modern heroes tend to be more emotionally complex. Sometimes it’s nice to spend time with a guy who always wants to do the right thing.

His friends are always trying to get him to take better care of himself, but he lives for his his job and protecting others. He knows and is on good terms with most of the people in the county. There’s also an Indian reservation right near Longmire’s county, and he has has some experiences with Indian spirit guides throughout the books. Longmire’s best friend is Henry Standing Bear, and I could have written an entire blog about Henry as well (but I didn’t).

I appreciate the differences between the books and the show, and I enjoy them both. It’s nice when they’re different, but still both enjoyable. I think that often, when that happens, it’s obviously largely because of good writing, but it’s also because of strong characters who can carry two different storylines and still remain true to who they are.

Have you seen the show or read the books?

 

Heroes

I usually post stuff like this on Wellness Wednesdays, but I’m a little off this week. ¬†I hope to get back on schedule next week.

IMG_3545First off, I want to say that I’m pro human rights. ¬†Therefore, I support Caitlyn Jenner and her right to be whoever she feels that she is. ¬†It’s none of my business if it’s a choice or a biological imperative; I’ve never seen why that matters to those of us on the outside. ¬†Undoubtedly it matters to people who are trans, but I don’t see why anyone should have to explain any of that to me.

That being said, the media coverage on Ms. Jenner, calling her a hero, got me thinking.  There have been a lot of posts from people showing military personnel, saying that the folks in uniform are heroes.  I have a lot of respect for our military personnel, and it sort of bugged me to compare Caitlyn Jenner to people in the military.  But then I realized a few things:

1. ¬†It’s not a competition. ¬†The people saying that Caitlyn Jenner is¬†a hero weren’t saying she was more of a hero than our military personnel. ¬†They were just saying that she was a hero, and a hero can be a lot of different things. ¬†Many people in our military are undoubtedly heroes. ¬†In my mind, the fact that we can have a hero like Ms. Jenner makes our military personnel even more heroic. ¬†It’s because of them that we can have a hero like her.

2. ¬†We need heroes like Caitlyn Jenner. ¬†People who are trans aren’t widely accepted yet, and Caitlyn Jenner will be a hero for some people, perhaps making it easier for some people to be who they are. ¬†Gay people and trans people are still bullied and sometimes assaulted for being who they are. ¬†Caitlyn Jenner de-legitimizes that reaction.

3. ¬†We need to stop tearing others down. ¬†In this social media world, it’s so easy to have an opinion on everything, and those opinions are often negative. ¬†There’s a lot to be said for “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.” ¬†Celebrities are people too, with feelings. ¬†Maybe they won’t ever see your opinion of them, but does that make it okay to say nasty things? Practice being kinder to others, and you’ll feel kinder toward yourself.

4. ¬†And last, it’s okay to have a respectful dissenting opinion. ¬†If you think being trans is wrong for any reason, I respect your opinion, as long as it’s brought up in a respectful way. ¬†Just being down on Ms. Jenner and saying disparaging things makes me just overlook your opinion. ¬†You can disagree with everything I said, you can believe she’s not a hero. ¬†As long as you disagree in a respectful manner, I’m on board with your right to that opinion. ¬†That being said, it doesn’t bring anything to the table to cloud the issue, to post pictures of military men with missing limbs, talking about how Ms. Jenner is¬†not a hero. ¬†There’s no comparison between the two. ¬†How do you know that her coming out didn’t save someone’s life? ¬†How do you know that someone who was contemplating suicide didn’t get help because she came out? ¬†How do you know that someone who may have otherwise completed a hate crime didn’t pause because Bruce Jenner, Olympic Gold Medalist, came out as a woman? ¬†You don’t. ¬†Neither do I.

It’s just something to think about, that’s all.

“Hero” is a very personal label. ¬†If she’s not your hero, that’s fine. ¬†But she could be somebody’s hero, and I respect that.

Last but not least, I wanted to share this link.  One of the people who mocked Caitlyn Jenner got a lesson in irony.