Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What's Next On My List? Professor Marston & The Wonder Women

I decided to post this review on the day of lovers because... because love is love. 
Celebrate it no matter what and never let anyone tell you that you are not allowed to feel the way you do! The heart is precious and make sure you take care of it!

I have waited for over eight months for this movie, ever since the first trailer came out and then stupid Hungary didn't release it in the theater... I was hoping that it will finally be available during the award season and I watched it right away. Then watched it again. Then some scenes and I just marveled at how this story got me thinking about my life for hours on end. It was simply brilliant, from every point of view, and we are taking a break in #StalloneMonth to talk about this fascinating story on the day of love!

Based on a true story, it is the life of professor William Moulton Marston, the psychologist who was the brain behind the comic Wonder Woman, the most famous woman superhero of all time. While figuring out how to make the lie detector function, he and his wife Elizabeth hire a young student and the three end up developing feelings for each other, but at the same time feel the pressure on them, as their relationship seems unacceptable from the outside. Shamed by others, Marston takes up a pseudonym and starts to write the comic book that ended in making him famous all around the world. But the story is really about his muses.

"I think you long for an unconventional life."

Before I head in, I have to say that I was completely taken by the performance of these actors. I have been following the career of the couple portraying the Marstons, Luke Evans and Rebecca Hall for as long as I can remember. I have found them a wonderful pairing and this movie just added to a long list of films that I consider to be favorites of mine starring them. I look forward to seeing them in as many movies as I can count!
Turning to the movie... You might find that the lead character is Professor Marston, but I would beg to differ. The person that changes the most, the one that learns the real lesson of the story was Elizabeth. While Marston and Olive have no problem putting their happiness ahead of others, she keeps enforcing that appearances matter more. She is capable of putting aside her own feelings, wants, emotions and wishes for people who have no concept of the love she feels for her husband and Olive. In the beginning of the movie she is upset that they don't take her seriously because she is a woman and she wants a doctorate degree from Harvard, and no other school will suffice. Not to mention that she has a very strong will and sometimes overpowers even her husband. Her love for him is also partially due to the fact that he sees how brilliant she is and never puts her below himself: "He respects me. He loves me. And he's never boring". Their work together matters to her, but when their affair with Olive is uncovered they are both fired from the university, being forced to do work that Elizabeth deems to be inferior.
I was moved by Marston's approach to females, we are between the two wars and he deems women to be the most important thing, so it is no wonder really that he came up with the strongest superhero alive, and making her a woman. What I love about Marston is that he also wishes to learn about women, and as much as he loves these two in his life, he also takes the time to understand them. In the end he turns towards Elizabeth and tells her that she cannot win every argument, she cannot always be dominant. In their relationship Elizabeth and Marston are equals and it is Olive who is submissive, but what the story teaches is that you should not abuse of the one who is willing to submit to you. The other is still a person, with feelings, and thoughts of their own. You are not in a relationship with someone to abuse them for your own good. They are not a puppet.
Marston recognizes the potential in both of them and that is how he creates what is in his head the perfect woman. What makes this an adorable story in my humble opinion is the trust among them. This trust is fueled by that incredible love they feel for each other. Yes, this is based on a true story, so one might argue that in real life it was different, but I don't believe that. You see, at the end of the movie it says that Elizabeth and Olive stayed together until their death, raising their children together after Marston passed. It is an unconventional story, but those are the most beautiful ones. I find that stories that tell you how much the heart is capable of are by far the best ones. There is no need to label it, as that only serves to help others understand, but... then again, who cares about others? That is the main lesson here. Nobody can force you to put aside what you want. Follow your heart.

"How are you going to learn anything at all about life if you refuse to live it?"

Watch it? Absolutely. This has become the best movie of 2017 for me, and for me, having seen it in January also of 2018. Love is love and the way this movie portrays the tender side of that stuck with me. I too want something as sweet and true like their love. It was not the stupid romantic comedies that made me long to hold someone but this beautiful movie portraying what some would deem 'wrong'... but how could love this pure ever be wrong? Wonderful, wonderful movie indeed.

Until the next item on my list!
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Professor Marston - Luke Evans
Elizabeth Marston - Rebecca Hall
Olive Byrne - Bella Heathcote
Josette Frank - Connie Britton
M. C. Gaines - Oliver Platt 
Charles Guyette - JJ Feild

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What's Next On My List? Over The Top

Growing up I was a big fan of Sylvester Stallone. And this is the fourth year that I am dedicating February to Stallone movies. And why wouldn't I? They are awesome: even the silly ones have charm to them. So please enjoy the fourth installment of #StalloneMonth

This is the story of Lincoln Hawk and his estranged son Michael bonding over a long trip back home. Lincoln left them to pursue his own dreams, but never turned his back on his family, however, Michael was deceived to think so by his grandfather. Lincoln enters an arm-wrestling contest in order to win a new truck, as his life is on the road. Having lost his wife and son he believes that the best way to move on is to leave, but Michael goes after him and tells him that he wants to stay with him.

This is a sweet story, but nothing you haven't seen before. Michael's grandfather hates Lincoln because he deems him inferior to them all. The biggest problem of the grandfather is not listening, and being at the same time convinced that he knows everything. In one seen he sits on the hospital bed of his daughter and tells him that he is not mad, he is "Disappointed"... That was the moment I decided that I will hate him no matter what. It is one thing to say it... this is parenting 101, everybody does this, and it is the worst possible thing. But, on top of that, he did it while she was lying sick on a hospital bed!!! What is wrong with this guy?! His daughter dies with this being the last thing she hears... I was very happy to see the grandfather lose because he claims to have been the one to raise Michael, but really, he sent him to military school to another state and then keeps sending his men to fetch him... In the end it seems that he just wants to win because he cannot handle losing.
It is this ultimately that allows for Lincoln to beat him. The one that keeps Michael's needs and heart above everything else is him, and not the grandfather. What I liked about this movie was the Lincoln was incredibly humble. He never put himself above others, but at the same time below them either. He is actually a far better role model than the grandfather, as he fought to get everything he has in his life. When he was beaten and on the ground he got up and kept on fighting. This movie is okay, nothing special, pretty straight forward, but there was one thing that was quite off-putting. In the end during the competition the fighters are shown in first person talking to the camera as to why they want to win... nothing like that was done during the movie and even these are not really done differently, same camera, same angles... it was just a strange method that ended in them accomplishing a weird break of the fourth wall.
That said, this movie probably has the best soundtrack of the 80's with Frank Stallone, Asia and Eddie Money, just to mention some. I have been listening to it on repeat for I don't know how long! 

That said, watch it? Sure. It is a nice movie, but you have probably seen this story other times. Stallone is very cute and he is a good dad, in my opinion, at least compared to the grandfather... not to mention that he puts his sons best interests before his own, which I think is a great quality. Acting wise he was a very passive character, I can't really decide if I was happy with it or not.

Until the next item on my list!
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Lincoln HawkSylvester Stallone
Jason Cutler Robert Loggia
Christina HawkSusan Blakely
Bob 'Bull' HurleyRick Zumwalt
Michael Cutler David Mendenhall

Thursday, February 1, 2018

What's Next On My List? Get Carter

Growing up I was a big fan of Sylvester Stallone. And this is the fourth year that I am dedicating February to Stallone movies. And why wouldn't I? They are awesome: even the silly ones have charm to them. So please enjoy the fourth installment of #StalloneMonth

John Carter hears that his brother has died in a car accident, due to alcohol, and he cannot accept it as his brother never drank. As he digs deeper he finds out that all of his brother's colleagues had a reason to take him out, and he does not stop until he avenges his death.

This movie was the remake of a 1970's Michael Caine movie, based on a novel by Ted Lewis. The first movie took place in England, while the remake is set in America. Michael Caine himself appears in the movie and his interactions with Stallone were wonderful. I don't know if it was good acting, or just good casting, but everyone else that was put up against him was so unlikeable that every time somebody died I was kinda happy... I mean, I know we are rooting for Carter anyway, but they made sure we did not care about any of the other characters. My favorite thing about this movie was Carter's interaction with his niece Doreen. At first she looked like a rude teenager who will all throughout her life be distant and live with this shell around her, but instead, their second longer interaction already ended in them bonding. Their relationship grew throughout the movie and it was pleasant to see. The killing and the arguing was secondary, as well as the investigation. People from Carter's past kept coming back for him as his job did not allow him to quit, but at the same time his love for his family took precedence. In my opinion we have seen this story a lot of times, what is important is the little characters, they have the ability to make the story count, and in this case, the interaction between uncle and niece made this a good movie.

Watch it? Sure, if you too are looking to get all of your Stallone movies (like I am) this should not be pushed further down the list. It is also fun to try and guess who the real bad guy is and trust me, the movie is going to surprise you.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Jack Carter Sylvester Stallone
Geraldine Rhona Mitra
Eddie Johnny Strong
Con McCartyJohn C. McGinley
Jeremy Kinnear Alan Cumming
Cliff Brumby Michael Caine

Friday, January 26, 2018

Homework Assignment: (Re)constructing America through Science Fiction

The last autumn semester I had a class about science-fiction. If you read my blog you might know that I care a lot for it, but am not an expert on the topic. I have been doing my own research to get more on the theoretical side, but it is more for fun, than anything else. Nonetheless, we could write an essay on anything that re-entered the SF topic and I decided that I am not going to graduate without having written at least one essay on Margaret Atwood's work. So here you go:
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The Unlikely Superhero
Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird

World renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood needs no introduction in the literary world, but she might when the graphic novel of Angel Catbird falls into the average comic book reader’s hand. The author provides an entertaining foreword in which she explains that she was already at reading age when the classic comic books rolled around. She mentions several comic books that she religiously read through, among them “Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Superman, Plastic Man, the Green Lantern, the Human Torch, and their ilk” (Atwood, vol. 1, 6). She also adds that for years she wrote and even drew her own comics, for her own entertainment (7). When opportunity came around she decided to write the story of the unlikely superhero, who was still someone based on those character traits that made the lead characters of DC and Marvel comics stand out for over seventy years now, as publisher Mike Richardson described it “a bold and unforgettable new character, paying homage to both classic pulp heroes and traditional comic book origin stories” (Flood). Angel Catbird’s character is indeed “superhero whose image reflected the great gods and hyperhumans of a mythic past” (Ndianalis 9), like the Man of Steel.
The essay will first look at the title character itself and the details that makes him different from the archaic hero; second, the characters around him, friends, sidekicks and enemies; and finally the setting of the world that Angel Catbird is introduced to after his transformation.
Image 1: Strig Feeledus, Angel Catbird vol. 1., page 12.
The story opens with the main character, Strig Feeledus, a young bachelor and scientist working from his home (Image 1). Strig is an ordinary and contemporary man: he owns a cat, Ding, to whom the reader is introduced on the first page. A cat is an unlikely pet for a superhero, recalling Batman’s Ace and Superman’s Krypto, who were both dogs, emphasizing the stereotype of the trusted best friend (Jones). Strig just started work at a new company, where his boss is Dr. A. Muroid, has him working on a super-slicer serum. This concoction will in the end give Strig his powers. Once done with the serum Strig runs after Ding who escapes from home; when on the street he is hit by a car. In the collision the serum falls from his hands and he lays in it with his cat Ding and an owl, the latter trying to catch the same rat that Ding chased into the streets. Strig awakes to having wings and feline senses (Image 2).
Image 2: Transformed Strig Feeledus, ibid., page 20.
Angel Catbird has all the qualities of a simple hero with a simple origin story, but only at first glance. The archaic superhero has several qualities that are missing when looking at Strig. To understand why he is so different, there is a need to define what superheroes generally represent. The American Heritage dictionary defines it as “[a] fictional figure having superhuman powers or greatly enhanced abilities, usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime” (“superhero”). When taking a closer look at iconic characters like Batman, Superman and Spider-man, one can immediately see traits that link them together. First, they were all struck by tragedy having lost either one or both parents. In the case of Spider-man, it was not only the parents but a father figure too that was lost. Second, all three discover that they have the ability to make their world a better place by putting on a mantle and heading out into the night. The tragedy was part of their consciousness in such a way as to result in their wish to act upon that injustice and prevent it if possible. Third, although crime existed before the birth of the given hero of the given story, they decided to become active participants and in that way a new world is laid down at their feet which are in return changed by their presence. A good way to understand a hero’s impact is to look at the villains they face. Most of them came about because the hero established himself as a worthy adversary. These heroes have their own arch nemesis, Batman’s genius is paralleled by the mad Joker; Superman’s alien qualities scare Lex Luthor into action, and Spider-man’s abilities create the laboratory experiment that is the Green Goblin. All of these heroes are introduced to a world of crime that has an impact on them. This world changes when they decide to become a part of it. “These early super-heroes were products of their time and social avengers that fought for the average man” (Johnson 3). Not only do these heroes have qualities that overlap, but they were constructed with the sole purpose of entertaining the average man in the venture of being able to destroy evil. They are “social avengers” who strived because they were born when the United States was fighting wars, and whoever their enemy was they were a representation of a far greater evil (4). The best example is the creation of Captain America who punches Hitler in the face on the cover of the first issue (Robb 14-15). Batman is, also, a simple man. In the #197 issue of The Brave and the Bold Catwoman is faced with his injuries, a body filled with scar tissues, to which he replies “Oh, that. Occupational hazard. Fifteen years of fighting will do that to a person” (Zehr 220). Angel Catbird’s body is superior to his, but does not match his intellect. Angel Catbird is not a social commentary, nor was it born with the intent of becoming the ultimate salvation; he was not, to quote the ending of The Dark Knight, the hero “[we] deserve” (Nolan).
Image 3: Hungry Strig looks for food in an alley, ibid., page 34.
Another element these archaic heroes have in common is that they have to keep their secret identity from many, even those they love. There is a constant struggle in them that is dealing with the damage their hero persona might do to their everyday persona. Strig loses his cat Ding in the accident where he is transformed and he has no others. Both of his love interests are part of the world he is introduced to. Because of this, the essential struggle that most heroes with a secret have to face, lying and cheating those who are most important, is left out of the story altogether. The struggle that Angel Catbird is faced with, however, is the natural instincts in him that contradict each other. Atwood phrased the problem as: “[h]e would be a combination of cat, owl, and human being, and he would thus have an identity conflict - do I save this baby robin, or do I eat it? But he would be able to understand both sides of the question. He would be a walking, flying carnivore’s dilemma” (Atwood, vol. 1, 8-9, image 3-4). Within the scope of these three graphic novels the events unfold so quickly that although the struggle is presented, it is not discussed in great deal. The overall story turned to the fight against the evil, in fact Strig barely turns back human from the second half of the story, and this way excluding, “the human realm” altogether. In this regard he is like Captain America, “once he assumes the role of caped crusader, that ‘normal guy’ part of himself rarely makes an appearance” (Weiner 204).
Image 4: Hungry Strig looks for food in an alley, ibid., page 35.
Like a good action movie, this story too forgets about food or sleep from time to time, and as such the problem is not addressed again. Nonetheless, the struggle of which animal in him is the strongest is also present in the love triangle that Atwood decided to entangle Angel Catbird in.
At first he falls for his co-worker, Cat Leone, a half-human and half-cat who helps him learn about his abilities and how to transform at will. The two have an instant connection which is then strengthened as she allows only him to get closer to her. As they are fleeing the grasp of Dr. Muroid, Angel Catbird senses someone else in the woods, when asked where he is headed he replies: “Just answering the call of nature” (Atwood, vol. 2, 14). The call of nature was a half-owl by the name of Atheen-Owl whom he finds irresistible. The two are then caught by Cat (Image 5) and the ladies argue over which one has the right to be with him. This feud is not driven by true love but by animal instincts that are deeply rooted in them. In the end, Angel Catbird is unsure whether his feelings for Cat were indeed of true love or just the animal in him looking to mate. The love triangle is not resolved in the story, Atheen-Owl steps back, but whether the animal within will become stronger than the human side of the hero, as it did upon meeting these ladies, remains an unanswered question.
Image 5: Cat argues with Atheen-Owl, Angel Catbird vol. 2., page 21.
As the love triangle entails, there are several side characters to the story, many of which have to be discussed in more detail. As the hero discovers more of this world he meets more peculiar half-breeds. First, he finds out that some cats have humanoid forms, but no complete human form. They have the strength, shape and characteristics of a human, they can even talk, but cannot hide their ears, tails or fur. Just like these cats, Atheen-Owl also has no real human form, just the humanoid. Second, he is also introduced to the half-raven form of one his co-workers, Ray, who has befriended the cats over the years. The possibility of various half-breeds, no matter the animal, is emphasized with the inclusion of another bird to the pack. And third, the mix of more animals is not just a quality of the hero, as he finds out for himself after meeting a half-bat, half-cat vampire by the name of Count Catula. Atwood devotes the second volume of the story entirely to the introduction of these half-breeds, with the inclusion of the villain, Dr. A. Muroid, who is revealed to be a half-rat himself (Image 6). With every new character introduced the reality that the hero has just become a part of grows larger with each page passing.
Image 6: Dr. A. Muroid unleashes the rats, Angel Catbird vol. 1., page 37.
            Finally, this world or reality has existed before him and could go on existing without him, undisturbed. His presence does not have a significant impact on it, apart from him being a unique combination of animals when he transforms. To see how little impact his presence actually means, one can look at the villain. Dr. Muroid turns out to have been a nuisance for far longer than Strig ever came on board, and as the open ending of the graphic novel suggests, he will keep on being a problem as he is never defeated. Angel Catbird was not responsible for the origins of this villain; he fell into the midst of a war that the half-breeds had been fighting for a long time (Image 7). If anything, it was the villain who was responsible for the existence of a hero that could become an opponent, as he asked him for the super splicer serum and then hit him with the car. The fact that these two started to fight was a direct effect of Strig feeling the need to get involved after falling into a reality completely unknown to him.
Image 7: Fight with Dr. Muroid’s rats, Angel Catbird vol. 2., page 49.
            The three-volume story is barely enough to allow the reader to immerse itself in this world. That is why it is the belief of the author of this paper that this was written for the “superreaders”, those whom often encountered what Douglas Wolk in his book Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean calls metacomics: “comics series that are aimed at an audience extensively steeped in the lore of the medium” (Lewis 109). Angel Catbird is the amalgamation of all the superheroes that one has read about through their life with the addition of all the possible cat puns made in the world. Atwood is humorous all throughout the story and there is an underlying layer of absurdity, if one considers that the demise of the superhero is caused by a robot that has colorful feathers and catnip (Image 8). After Angel Catbird is captured it is up to the side characters, most of whom are fierce and powerful women, to save the day. The hero is in a way pushed aside, and it is no longer his actions that determine the outcome of the story.
Image 8: Dr. Muroid reveals the Drat to his prisoner rats, ibid., page 38.
Atwood was smart for choosing simplicity. “Comics are not immune to industrial pressures towards standardization and differentiation” (Ndialanis 19), yet she manages to avoid the set rules for heroes and sidekicks and their enemies by avoiding complicating the story. There is no need to further discuss his struggle, there is no need to showcase more of the “human realm”, there is no need for the author to go into lengthy details on the backstory of Strig or the feelings he has for his compatriots. Above all, it is futile to teach the reader the moral lesson of what comes with great power (Kirby), because Angel Catbird is not about the archaic superhero: it only wishes to imitate one. These details are all there for the superreader, he and she can find them easily, and on the surface the comic remains an entertaining read for the average fan of Margaret Atwood’s work.

In conclusion, Atwood's Strig Feeledus ticks all the boxes when it comes to the Golden Age superhero: he is smart with a good heart and the wish to do good when faced with evil. Once he gains his powers he is able to do that, but falls short because of his inexperience. He is saved multiple times by the ones he meets in the new world and as such they become the heroes of the story instead of him. The open ending of the story allows for more adventures and so the debate on whether or not Angel Catbird is a superhero in all merits is not yet concluded.

Works Cited
Atwood, Margaret (w), Johnnie Christmas (p). Angel Catbird. Vol. 1, (2016). Dark Horse Comics.
Atwood, Margaret (w), Johnnie Christmas (p). “To Castle Catula”, Angel Catbird. Vol. 2, (2017). Dark Horse Comics.
Flood, Alison. “Margaret Atwood Writes Graphic Novel Superhero, 'Part Cat, Part Bird'.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 9 Dec. 2015, Accessed 10 Oct. 2017.
Johnson, Jeffrey K. Super-history: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present. McFarland, 2012. PDF.
Jones, Reid. “10 Superhero Pets behind Marvel & DC's Greatest Heroes!” Movie Pilot, 29 May 2014, Accessed 17 Dec. 2017.
Kirby, Jack (p) and Steve Ditko (i). Amazing Fantasy #15, Marvel Comics.
Lewis, A. American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife. Springer, 2014. PDF.
Ndalianis, Angela, ed. The contemporary comic book superhero. Routledge, 2009.
Nolan, Christopher, director. The Dark Knight . Warner Bros., 2008.
Robb, Brian J. A Brief History of Superheroes: From Superman to the Avengers, the Evolution of Comic Book Legends. Hachette UK, 2014. PDF.
“superhero.” American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company 12 Dec. 2017.
Weiner, Robert G., ed. Captain America and the struggle of the superhero: critical essays. McFarland, 2009. PDF.
Zehr, E. Paul. Becoming Batman: the possibility of a superhero. JHU Press, 2009. PDF.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Homework Assignment: An Ecology and Geology of Media

This semester I had a course where we read a lot and we tried to put our heads together to understand the connections between ecology and geology and media. From rocks to gardens, with more philosophical undertones and cultural debates between Hungarian and American approaches to the topic. Finally, most importantly, we pointed out that some of the texts are very much attached to the period they were written in; some, on the other hand, had correct predictions of the future, making the debate more interesting among us. And speaking of this modernity I decided to write about how we approach climate change in various fields, as the title suggests, from weather reports to literature.
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New Trends Attributed to Climate Change
From Weather Reports to Literature

            The significance of weather reports have change overwhelmingly since television started to devote whole channels to covering the weather from minute to minute. One would watch the news and afterwards see the weather report for the next day and accept whole heartedly whatever was told and did not, under any circumstance, get upset if the weather lady did not get it 100% right. Today, on the other hand, most people do not leave the house without checking the weather on their phones, for most it is on the home screen at all times, refreshing itself every time there is a slight change. And if one is told to take an umbrella, and then it does not rain, public outrage follows. The following essay will dissect how there is a tone of over-exaggeration when it comes to weather reports in the past years including an analysis of the phenome that climate change has turned into, ending in highlighting those trends that climate change is responsible for in the past decade.
            The contemporary man has decided that it wishes to control the one thing it never will: the weather. Recognizing that there is a sudden increase in being updated 24/7 demanded an appropriate response, and that came in the form of over exaggerations to enforce the idea that we are truly out of control. No matter what one uses to stay informed, there is, however an increase in weather reports being broadcasted in primetime television. One does not watch the news and then hears whether there will cloudy with a chance of rain, instead, they are bombarded with the information of something, let it be cold or hot, that is “record-breaking”. The reader might not be acquainted with this definition in the form of weather reports: the record is always checking the same day a year earlier, sometimes multiple years might be added (in case there is no significant change between 2014 and 2015, for example), and comparing whether or not the temperature has increased or decreased exponentially. One website in particular, Climate Signals, allows Americans to use “The Tracking Climate Change tool” as it provides “updates daily to offer a snapshot look at the US ratio between hot and cold temperature records as it stands for the period of the last 365 days”[1]. It says, to quote, that “in the past 365 days in the U.S. there were 2.98 high temperature records for every low temperature record”[2]. The need to be update includes the knowledge of comparison between previous years or simply the previous month.
The following examples highlight the change in jargon when discussing the weather. The first is a recent example, appeared on WBUR News’s website (covering the area of Boston), the article is entitled “Forecast: Record-Breaking Cold Possible Saturday”[3]. The order of words is remarkable: it first denotes that it will be “record-breaking”, then whether it is cold or hot, because it could be both, and then it emphasizes that it is just a possibility. That one small word erases the chance of angry comments, it also highlights that for the weather to be news, as in, news worthy of our time it has to be above all “record-breaking”, outstanding, unusual or all of the above. Within this same article the writer provides the report for the upcoming days as well, differentiating between Thursday and Thursday evening, pointing out there might be rain in the latter[4]. It would have been just as easy to include this information within the report of the first one, but for the sake of avoiding contradiction between a sunny afternoon and a rainy evening, they were kept separate. Second example is from the summer of 2017, more precisely in Australia. This example is outstanding as the cold weather swept through a big region and even resulted in snow in July. What is interesting to point out within the article, entitled “Record breaking cold weather hits Australia’s south east”, is one sentence: “[w]e were warned of a cold weekend and it certainly came to pass with widespread frost across inland areas”[5]. The use of the word “warned” recalls biblical proportions, highlighting that there was notice and nobody listened. Most have a difficult time believing weather reports, as it has been noted in this essay before, and this distrust is partly due to the average of precision provided. One is “warned” to avoid something, to remain vigilant of something, to be alert, and as the article highlights, these warnings were overlooked. This cold wave hit others, among them South America, which also reported it as “South America faces Record Breaking Cold Wave”[6]. One of the reasons it might have been overlooked is that “our warming climate, record highs have begun to outpace record lows, with the imbalance growing for the past three decades”[7]. Whatever the reasons, these articles keep highlighting that even if they accurately predict weather patterns, those are overlooked by the people.
            The average man is reduced to having a hard time choosing an outfit when leaving the home, but others need the weather reports because it has a direct impact on the work they do. A small blog entitled Mother of a Hubbard has an entry that describes how in 2014, despite the cold, the vegetables managed to survive. In the entry they write: “According to our closest National Weather Service office in Jackson, Kentucky, we’ve set a record for the number of times that temperatures have fallen to 0° F (-18 ° C) or below in the month of January”[8]. Immediately a few details stand out. First, there was a record set again, breaking a previous one; second, they are reliant on a Weather Service office, not just the daily app on their phones. The importance of being aware of the weather is not debated by this paper, nonetheless, the term “record-breaking” was embedded in the title of this simple blog entry as well, which entails that there is a new and somewhat mandatory jargon when it comes to reporting the changes in temperature. Another testament to this trend is an official article by NASA, which tried to be creative with the use of the same expression: “2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records”[9]. The article takes a much wider scope when comparing the apparent changes in weather, covering not just one or two years, but multiple decades. “NASA tracks temperature and sea ice as part of its effort to understand the Earth as a system and to understand how Earth is changing”[10], in this article in particular emphasizing the change in how the ice caps are melting, saying that “[o]peration IceBridge is a NASA airborne mission that has been flying multiple campaigns at both poles each year since 2009, with a goal of maintaining critical continuity of observations of sea ice and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica”[11]. Whether or not the news likes to exaggerate, there is a clear change that has to be addressed and major articles, like the latter example, describe the need to explain these variations in degrees.
At this point in the essay it is arguable that it is not solely our wish to know the weather at all times that fuels this new way of reporting. Many are not attached to the smart devices and many are content with listening to the radio once a day to see if they will need a sweater in the evening. What did, however, largely contribute to this over-exaggeration is climate change. While leaving office, in an interview given to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, President Barack Obama said that “[the new administration] may change policy on climate change, but climate change is still climate change. It's still happening... reality doesn't go away”[12]. The urgency to compare and contrast the temperature change over the years is also fueled by the need to prove or debunk climate change. It is important to highlight that some are in the business of debunking it because of the misused lingo that introduced this exponential change in the weather: global warming. The Collins English dictionary defines it as “an increase in the average temperature worldwide believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect”[13]. Other definitions include a wider explanation, much closer to the definition of climate change, but since a lot of people were “cold”, among them high ranking American politicians that have, as Barack Obama pointed out, refused to acknowledge the “warning” and helped to spread misinformation over the past two decades, there was a need to change the terminology.
The birth of the new terminology then created new trends. Climate change has been evolving into a whole new discipline within literature. The most striking examples of climate change fiction can be found within the field of science-fiction. Nonetheless, climate change fiction or simply cli-fi has been the topic not only sci-fi authors like J. G. Ballard, Kim Stanley Robinson or Susan M Gaines, but other famous fiction writers like Ian McEwan, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson[14]. Climate change so far only yielded questions and answering those questions is a playground for most writers with infinite lines and no rules.  But the reason this could develop in the first place was due to the fact that abnormal changes in climate are devoted a kind of attention that was unprecedented as this essay has pointed out. A sudden rise in temperature or decrease is for some reason news worthy. And if it is worth writing about then it is good for fiction as well. Displacing human beings and forcing them into situations where the enemy is none other than the weather has been a growing trend for over a decades now, proof of such are disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Poseidon (2006) or Dante's Peak (1997) to name a few.
In conclusion, our attention to the weather cannot be disputed, what can is the need for the exaggeration that is emphasized by the way the weather is reported today. The only way people accept weather reports is with 100% accuracy, and this has been noted by most, seeking ways to be more on the point as they were before. With the appearance of calculable climate change the jargon itself has proven to change, and if it will evolve furthermore is up for debate. What is not, are the trends that are connected to the phenomenon of climate change, including movies and a growing number of readings, all collected under the new term of cli-fi.

Works Cited
Brook, Benedict. “Record Breaking Cold Weather Hits Australia’s South East.” News.Com.Au, 3 July 2017, Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.
Climate Nexus. “Record High Temps vs. Record Low Temps.” Climate Signals Beta, 26 Sept. 2017, Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014. S.v. "global warming." Retrieved December 18 2017 from
Epstein, David. “Forecast: Record-Breaking Cold Possible Saturday.” WBUR News, 9 Nov. 2017, Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.
Hille, Karl. “2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records.” NASA, NASA, 19 July 2016, Accessed 19 Dec. 2017.
Petrák, Fanni. “Ismétlődő emberiség − Jeanette Winterson evolúciós narratívái (Humanity Retold: Narratives of Extinction in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods)”. A Szubjektum Színeváltozásai, 110-121, Americana 2017. PDF.
“South America Faces Record Breaking Cold Wave.” WeatherAction News, 17 July 2017,
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” O'Neil, Chuck, director. Season 22, episode 36, Comedy Central, 12 Dec. 2016.
“The Garden Survives a Record-Breaking January.” Mother of a Hubbard, 31 Jan. 2014,

[1] Climate Nexus.
[2] Ibid.
[3] WBUR News, Dec 19. 2017.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Brook.
[6] “South America Faces Record Breaking Cold Wave.”
[7] Climate Nexus.
[8] “The Garden Survives a Record-Breaking January.”
[9] NASA, July 16, 2016.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] “The Daily Show”, Season 22, episode 36.
[13] Collins Dictionary.
[14] Petrák, 112.