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Kraggh's Works ♫♪



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Disney Stockholm Syndrome

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Literature Mar 20 2017 · 77 views
Beauty & the Beast, fanfic and 3 more...
:kaukau: I want to write a fan fiction. You might be familiar with some of the elements of the story: a strong Disney heroine who isn't like the other girls ends up the prisoner of a dude with a curse, who thinks that if he keeps her long enough, she will eventually see the good in him and fall for him.

Except this fan fiction goes all-out Christopher Nolan and treats the subject matter as dark, gritty, and realistic. It's a cerebral psychological case-study, a thriller, and a morbid fable of the cruelty and that humans are capable of. The story features intense emotional abuse, lies, deceit, manipulation, fear, hatred, and violence. Oh yeah, I'm also thinking of making it rated R, for brief strong language and a really graphic, bloody death at the end. Actually, I think that I'll kill off several characters.

In other news, I'm writing my review of the recent live-action Beauty and the Beast. It will be up in a day or two, depending on how I spend my time. Right now I'm working on some slightly more pressing things.

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Queen Elsa vs. Avatar Korra

Posted by Jean Valjean , in The Blog, Movies Mar 17 2017 · 72 views
Elsa, Frozen, Legend of Korra and 2 more...
:kaukau: Elsa doesn't just bend, but can also create ice from nothing. The scope of her powers is also far greater than Korra's, because she can literally change the season of an entire country. It doesn't seem that the use of her powers requires her to expend any energy. She can also create life, and form giant, scary minions.

However, since said life would be made out of snow, Avatar Korra could easily bend them. Also, although Korra isn't as powerful in any specific bending skill as Elsa is in her ice powers, she still has four (five if you count spirit bending) different elements under her command. Elsa could probably outdo Korra in the water bending department, but what defense would she have against earth bending?

Also, I love both characters, so I'm not rooting for either in particular.

You decide this for me.

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Favorite Comedian

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, Humor Mar 16 2017 · 38 views

:kaukau: He's sarcastic, irreverent, indecent, offensive, trollish, trouble-making, scandalous, provocative, narcissistic, and unfit for polite society. He's also opinionated, and I disagree with him on plenty of things, but dang, even when he offends me, he entertains me, because he's just so fun. While not the most elegant comedian ever, he's so flawed that he's relatable and so outrageous that he's charismatic. That may not be your type of humor, but if you know anything about me, you know that I love this sort of stuff.

So here's to the ones who're sarcastiiiiic...

Foolish and bombastiiiiic...


Those are parody lyrics for that audition song from La La Land. So you're supposed to read them in Emma Stone's voice. I guess today I'm rather sucking at being sarcastic and doing better job of being funny in the "pitifully lame" sense.

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The Toa Nuva vs Avatar Aang

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Bionicle Mar 15 2017 · 74 views

:kaukau: I can't decide. Who would win in a fight? Let's assume for this that Aang is willing to kill during this fight.

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Anaconda Music Video Review

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music, Reviews Mar 13 2017 · 142 views

:kaukau: For years, I have heard of this music video, though I never bothered to watch it myself. What I knew of it came from one of those Fine Bros. videos from the series called "Elders React" — which showed me enough of what I needed to see in order to get a basic opinion.

Recently, I was watching a year-in-review video made back when 2014 was freshly in the grave. Accompanying me was an elder. Except for some political stuff, such as Russia's power play in Crimea. One thing that got him curious, though, was this reference to Nicki Manaj. I tried to explain it to him, but couldn't quite find the words. Based off of the "Elders React" video, I kind of knew what it was, but I knew that you really had to see it for yourself instead of having it explained to you.

So when we were done looking through some old news stories from 2014, we decided to check out the music video for "Anaconda".

Wow.

My jaw dropped. I knew it was bad, but I had no idea. It is so in-your-face about what it is. The best way I can describe it is that it's almost a parody of what the modern music industry has been perverted into, turned up to eleven. It resembles the descriptions moral guardians use when describing just how deplorable popular culture is — you know, those descriptions that are pretentiously hyperbolic and overstating things for dramatic effect, the type of descriptions that are blatant fear-mongering and creating a straw-man. Except this isn't a parody. This isn't a false hyperbole. This is the real deal. This is a truthful representation of culture as it stands today.

And I couldn't look away because it was like a trainwreck. It was hilarious. Do you ever have it when something terrible happens and you just can't help but laugh? That was my reaction. I've never seen a music video that was so...just so. I don't have a word for it. It was almost surreal.

So yeah, what have you been doing with your elders lately?

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The Netherlands National Election

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Events Mar 13 2017 · 40 views
The Netherlands, Dutch, politics and 2 more...
:kaukau: I made it clear on this blog that I didn't support any mainstream politician in Americas most recent national election. However, I have been paying attention to the politics of The Netherlands for a while. See that thing on the sidebar that says that I'm half Dutch? Yeah, I take that pretty seriously. I've bought books in Dutch, and teach myself some Dutch in my spare time, and try to get into conversations with people who know Dutch...

Anyway, I've had my eye on Geert Wilders for about eight years now. My Dutch relatives said way back then that he'd become the Prime Minister of the Netherlands someday. I'd hate for them to be wrong.

In other news, The Netherlands have got into quite a brawl with Turkey, who's calling them "Nazis" and "a banana republic." The situation's a bit complicated, of course, and I'm still researching the situation before considering myself a person who has a perspective on it. Part of that will include finding a lot of reliable and in-depth information on Turkey's current political situation.

Comments disabled because, you know, politics.

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Attention All Chinese Immigrants

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life Mar 11 2017 · 124 views
China
:kaukau: Move here, to my state. I watched this reality TV show about thousands of Chinese millionaires who moved to Vancouver, and I thought, "Why Vancouver? It's rainy. It's a stuck-up coastal city, just like all of the other stuck-up coastal cities. They should come over to my state, specifically my town! If they're rich, they can start businesses that will make Valjeanville more interesting. Right now, the only cool business that we have that makes our town an interesting place to live in is our bakery (which, by the way, is the best bakery in the whole wide universe. But our local theatre only shows five movies. Maybe one of those rich Chinese people could buy it and expand the business. And another millionaire can set up a gourmet restaurant. Sure, I hate Chinese food, but it would be wicked cultured. Maybe a rock climbing wall? Since they're rich, I might even get customers for my wallaby breeding business! You could even put together a Chinese festival and we could have two county fairs, one for the Dutch and the other for you guys!" I'm sick and tired of coastal cities like Vancouver getting all of the attention and having the claim to being diverse and cultured, and being the place to go if you want to have any sort of fun. I hear about it all the time from my British Columbian friend. Flyover country can be that, too. I want my town to be more interesting than Vancouver, for once!

Also, you guys would give me a chance to practice what little Pǔtōnghuà I know. I would like to move to China someday, for the adventure, and I want to be uber-prepared, which is kind of hard when I don't have connections with any Chinese people. The internet is a marvelous research tool, but you can only learn about a country so much through it. Personal contacts make a difference.

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Lily Collins needs to be cast more often

Posted by Jean Valjean , Mar 09 2017 · 45 views
Lily Collins, Audrey Hepburn and 2 more...
Lily Collins needs to be cast more often :kaukau: Seriously. That face. That stylishness. She could become iconic if she took on some ambitious acting decisions. Also, she looked a heckuvalot like Audrey Hepburn in her first movie, Mirror Mirror, and I'm a total sucker for Audrey Hepburn lookalikes. I really want them to succeed. And I really liked her in the movie Stuck In Love, which I recommend as a pretty good indie film.

C'mon Hollywood! Put her in more stuff! And not garbage like that City of Glass movie!

Speaking of that movie, there's one with a similar title, City of Ember, also based off of a book (which I happened to like), and it starred Saoirse Ronan. I never watched it, nor did I know that it had Saoirse Ronan in it, but I just found that out as I was writing in this. I know her from Brooklyn, in which she got nominated for Best Actress. That was a pretty nice film that I very much enjoyed, and it's what brought her to my attention. So I just recently found out that she was also in Grand Budapest Hotel, as that lovely person named Agatha with a birthmark on her cheek in the shape of Mexico.


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That shot from the trailer is one of the many, many reasons why I want to watch the film. It's so Wes Andersonian, so quirky, so lovable. Anyway, I hadn't realized that I had seen that face before. Now that I realize that that's Saoirse Ronan, I'm even more interested in seeing it now. The only reason why I haven't seen it yet is because I want to get all of Wes Anderson's films and go on a marathon.

I also found out that, much like Lily Collins, Saoirse has been in her own embarrassing adaptation of a book: The Host. Back in the day, I remember Stephenie Meyer saying that she meant for the main character to be an adult, but when such-and-such was cast, who was significantly younger than the character in the book, Stephanie said "How could I so no to that sort of talent?" At first I didn't recognize the actress at all, so I didn't believe that talent had anything to do with it. I just thought that Stephenie Meyer was willing to say that anyone who was young and pretty was "talented" enough to play her main character. But now I see. Yes, knowing what I know now, it would indeed be hard to turn down Saoirse Ronan.


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Im Valjean eston.

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Nerd Mar 06 2017 · 61 views
Sindarin, Lord of the Rings and 3 more...


:kaukau: This sounds like an actual language. And just because I I feel like trash talking Christopher Paolini, who doesn't know the different between a verb and a participle. That doofus. Also, Sindarin is legitimately pretty and I would rather learn this than French, which I will grant as sounding pretty also but unfortunately has the most inconvenient spelling conventions. Anyway, it's a legitimately cool language and Tolkien's languages probably will sound a heck of a lot more natural than anything I will ever come up with.

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Retroactively, I don't like Eragon

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Literature, Reviews Mar 03 2017 · 88 views

:kaukau: When I first read that book series, I loved it. In hindsight, I realize just how derivative the whole thing was. Do I regret reading it? No, since it passed the time and kept me entertained, which is a positive for any book, but it still doesn't make them good books. That's like saying that junk food is good food because it tastes good. I'd go through a comprehensive list of everything that was wrong about those books, but in order to truly get into detail, I'd have to re-read them, which I don't plan on doing any time soon, so I'm just going to explain what I remember.

1. Starting with something positive, I actually did like Paolini's concept of how magic works. He had solid concept for how it works and he consistently demonstrated its limitations. That's one for you, Paolini.
2. But getting to the negatives, let's start with the most obvious: the first two books are basically a fanfiction mixing together Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. In some ways, that's not a bad thing, since those are great sources of inspiration, but it definitely prevents this from being its own story, and it definitely makes it feel like a fanfiction. And for all the time and effort and passion that he put into this series, it should have felt like more than just fanfiction.
3. Eragon is a Mary Sue.
4. The relationship between Eragon and Arya isn't...well, I just don't like Arya. It's not just Eragon that seems infatuated with her, but the author as well. This is closely related to Eragon being a Mary Sue.
5. Angela is a bit of a Mary Sue, too. Basically, the author wrote his sister into the story and decided that all of the rules didn't apply to her, and thought that it was a really unique idea to make her quirky. Yeah, very original.
6. The battle strategies are unrealistic.
7. You know, come to think of it, Rohan, who orchestrated a bunch of those battles, was a bit of a Mary Sue, too. Not to the same extent as Eragon, but still.
8. Some of the archaic English is used incorrectly.
9. Paolini is not a linguist. Some of his explanations of the Ancient Language show that he doesn't have a strong grasp of non-English grammar, and the Ancient Language itself is very...fan-fictiony, basically. At times it looks like it's based on Swedish, which is pretty cool, but then he blatantly makes it sound like the Elvish languages from Tolkien, which has an altogether different sound. He especially enjoys diacritics which serve no discernible purpose other than to make it look more Tolkienesque.
10. Galbatorix is clearly based off of Christopher Lee...wait, that's a criticism? No, that's actually a plus. That's another one for you, Paolini. You made us wait forever to see Galbatorix, but when we finally met him, it was worth it. He was cool; he had a philosophy that made sense; he had a real presence; he was worthy of the descriptions that made him sound like Christopher Lee. Way to go.
11. That brings me to the ending...yeah, that ending was poorly conceived. It had a good hundred pages of tying up loose ends which it should have been fit into the rising action of the last book. While it's okay to have some declining action, Inheritance had a little too much declining action, and a lot of those details deserved to play into the plot leading up to the climax. Shoving them at the end showed that Paolini had no idea how to write his story. It was very anti-climactic.

Anyway, that's all. Oh wait, I forgot one.

12. That pretentious purple prose. Holy cow! Only the most insecure of writers write like that.

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Me

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Username: Jean Valjean
Real name: N/A
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, 25% Hungarian, 12.5% Swedish, 6.25% German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Smallville & Arthur the Friendly Aardvark
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, politics, drawing
Political party: Republican
Religion: Christian
Language: Not English, but American.

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