The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shipping and Consequences


I don't like being one of those "stop liking what I don't like" kind of douchebags, but every time I encounter a Goliath/Demona 'shipper, I roll my eyes and hope they are talking about the tenth century and the tenth century only. Then I find out they're not, and I wonder if they're considering the full implications of what they are supporting. Then I find out they're not but they don't care anyway... because Goliath/Elisa is "weird."

Let's talk about why Demona and Goliath being a couple again is just a preposterous idea. Yes, gargoyles mate for life. The idea of "divorce" is practically non-existent among gargoyles... but I also tend to think that one mate attempting to blow the other one away with a bazooka because they don't agree with their dreams of genocide is practically non-existent, too. A lot of these people tend to put the burden of Goliath and Demona no longer being a couple on Goliath himself. Greg Weisman already wrote an excellent essay about why such thinking is wrong, so why am I posting? Maybe because there are some things I cannot let go either. I have witnessed spousal abuse, you don't need claws or a big gun... it's not pretty to watch. In this relationship, Demona was the abuser. Even in the "good days" she deceived her mate, lied to him, manipulated him... it was never an ideal relationship, even if Goliath himself didn't realize it until the moment she pointed a bazooka at him. I hear a lot of people say that Goliath and his clan never gave Demona a chance, and every time I hear this I get so angry, I wonder what kind of planet these people are on. I have witnessed spousal and familial abuse, and I have heard others say that it was the abuser who was getting the unfair shake. Whether it's in reality or in fiction, this kind of thinking makes me nauseous. If you still 'ship Goliath/Demona then you support spousal and familial abuse. I know there are some here who want to see Demona reform and make up with Goliath, and I suppose I can understand that to a degree... but I tend to think of that as foolish wishful thinking. If you are ever in a situation where you are with an abusive significant other, and you break free of that relationship, the worst thing you can do is get back with them. I know in some of these fantasies, Demona's change of heart is supposed to be genuine... but it still sends a message that is, at best,  poorly thought out.

As for Goliath/Elisa being "weird" and "unnatural." Yeah, I've heard this quite a bit also. According to Greg Weisman, human/gargoyle couplings are so rare that there isn't even a taboo against it. On his entire timeline, between 9386 B.C. and 2199 A.D. there is only ONE other besides Goliath and Elisa. I like that. It makes G/E and the mysterious other couple a lot more special. That being said, to write off the mutual, and respectful love between two or more consenting adults and dismiss it as "weird" is, quite frankly, rather disgusting. There was a time when interracial couples were considered weird... and in some parts of the world, even in so-called developed countries, they're still considered that way. Same thing with same-sex couples. Elisa herself is interracial, and her relationship with Goliath is an allegory for everyone who ever fell in love in a situation that society deemed was abnormal. "Gargoyles" was first and foremost a show about tolerance, so it blows my mind that some fans of it completely missed that particular point. Do any "Star Trek" fans dismiss Sarek and Amanda Grayson's marriage as "weird". Do any comic book fans dismiss Superman and Lois Lane's relationship as "unnatural"? I live next door to two lesbians who are raising two beautiful, happy children... should I dismiss them as "weird" and "unnatural"? Do you know what depresses me? I'm sure there is at least one person who would say "yes" to the previous sentence.

I don't expect to change any minds. But I had to get this off my chest, because I believe that how two or more consenting adults find true love and respect (or are found by it) is sacred and none of us are in any position to judge them. I also believe that no one should ever feel pressured to stay in a relation that they find damaging be it physical, mental, or emotional abuse.

Oh, and before someone throws my hatred of "Twilight" back at me, that entire "saga" is all about remaining in a damaging relationship. If Stephanie Meyer was writing "Gargoyles", Goliath would have likely stayed with Demona and kept on being emotionally abused and manipulated by her, with the narrative not understanding that this is a terrible relationship.

6 comments:

  1. "Oh, and before someone throws my hatred of "Twilight" back at me, that entire "saga" is all about remaining in a damaging relationship. If Stephanie Meyer was writing "Gargoyles", Goliath would have likely stayed with Demona and kept on being emotionally abused and manipulated by her, with the narrative not understanding that this is a terrible relationship."
    Ugh, "Punches boulders into powder to get thoughts of Stephine Meyer writing Gargoyles"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Regrettably, I think what's at play with the questioning of the Goliath/Elisa pairing as opposed to others is indeed all about appearances. Superman is an alien but looks very humanoid, so much so he can pass himself off as one of us. The Vulcans of Star Trek also appear very familiar, notwithstanding the ears. Not to sell Trek fans or other fans show but it's relatively easy to accept aliens when there's something for the viewer to relate to, however superficial.

    In contrast, the hangup with Goliath and Elisa is based on a perception of the relationship as a "Beauty and the Beast" situation. This is the crowd that thinks the Beast was required to turn into a handsome prince for Belle to have a happy ending and might even make a bad, tasteless joke about it.

    The trouble with this, of course, is that it requires seeing the "beast" (Goliath) as a "creature". But to accept the narrative of Gargoyles or Beauty and the Beast to *any* degree is to accept that Goliath and the Beast were considerably more than that. In thought, feeling, and every aspect that matters, Goliath and the other Gargoyles stands alongside humanity. Not beneath as the prejudiced humans of yore believed, not above as Demona insists on telling herself and everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, as much as I disagree with everything said by the people Greg describes, as much as I support Goliath x Elisa, I'm not too broken up about anyone deciding that pairing is "unnatural".

      Even if Greg Weisman and others built a *great* story around it, the fact is that pop culture is filled with stories about how human females can love a man no matter what he looks or acts like, while almost nothing exists for women.

      To have this narrative *not* accepted by others is strangely refreshing, even if they're completely missing the point of it.

      In the case of Disney's Beauty and the Beast film, though, things are a little different. The main point of *that* movie was that the Beast *wanted* to be human, and the narrative was focused around his learning not to be a dick in order to achieve that.

      It wasn't about what Belle had to learn or about what Belle wanted, even though others like to make it out to be, because we've accepted the idea that woman always have to "see the goodness inside". But Belle didn't start to until the Beast started to be nice, which was in fulfillment of his goals to be de-furred.

      To say the Beast should have stayed human is like saying Elisa should become a gargoyle and lay eggs.

      Delete
    2. "the fact is that pop culture is filled with stories about how human females can love a man no matter what he looks or acts like, while almost nothing exists for women."

      I should write a story about my current "relationship". That would change that.

      Spen

      Delete
  3. I still find it highly implausible that in 10,000 years there have only been two gargoyle/human relationships. It may be rare, but I don't buy it being that rare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eh, we don't share the planet with any other sentient species, so nobody really knows how we would react to them as potential sexual partners.

      But while love between two species can made for profound, sweet, or titilating science fiction, look how much trouble humans can have even living with members of different races. That would be magnified a thousand times when dealing with another sapient species, not to mention...their being a different species would raise a huge barrier.

      I can't help but imagine that if other sapient species existed, we'd be more repelled by them than most of popular culture suggests, exactly because they would *be* a different species, profoundly different from another human.

      "Gargoyles" in short, had the right idea, by taking so long with Goliath and Elisa's relationship, and then to suggest it is rare.

      Delete