Today we are going to address a little pet peeve (or I should say I big pet peeve) of mine and how awesome people like Laci Green are trying fix this problem. So this week’s Web Crush is Sex Positive with Laci Green!
So I’m something of an… abnormal person who still sits down with the (hard copy) newspaper every day and reads the funnies. So sue me. Over my many years of reading the funnies, I’ve noticed more and more of them trying to appeal to an older audience. Funky Winkerbean had one of its main characters die of cancer several years ago, for example. However, a comic that has always stayed true to itself is Family Circus. Although to be honest, I have always found Family Circus to be hit or miss, and more often than not a miss. It’s not cute enough to be cutesy-wootsy and not funny enough to be actually funny. And because it has been going on for so long, I feel some of its jokes have gotten stale.
The Dysfunctional Family Circus made me truly realize what was really lacking from Family Circus—some grasp of reality. Not to say that this web comic is in any shape or form remotely realistic. It’s just such a polar opposite of Family Circus and in this day and age, I feel that more people find dysfunctional homes easier to relate to than those perfect ones with the white picket fences.
The Dysfunctional Family Circus is simply a web comic version of Family Circus, but all of the captions are changed to be more mature (and most times raunchier). This blog had me laughing out loud. If you add some of the TV show Shameless to Family Circus, you get this web comic. There aren’t that many posts and it will honestly take you fifteen minutes or less to see all of them. Below are some of my favorites, but The Dysfunctional Family Circus is definitely worth your time!
It seems like I’m always late to the party with these things. That is to say, this is another webcrush that has reached its end of its regularly scheduled life.
With the birth of the internet, fans of certain things were finally able to congregate together and support each other though more organized gathering places such as forums, chat rooms, and writing hubs like Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net. Needless to say, thanks to places like this, fanfiction became one of the most numerous, and infamous, mediums on the web. Being a fanfiction author myself, there’s nothing I like better than seeing other people’s takes on characters and the plethora of creative ideas that weave themselves through the authors words. AUs, family problems, medical issues: I love all of them. Yet sometimes when I finally put pen to paper myself I face a very serious issue: I have no fucking clue what to write about. That’s where this site comes in.
Perhaps it’s a little bit catered to my endlessly shipping heart, but the Imagine Your OTP Tumblr has provided me with more prompts and more bursts of creativity than anything else has in a long while. As advertised in the title, this Tumblr offers a large array of reader-submitted prompts with a theoretical pairing (or OT3, depending on the prompt) being placed in a number of situations. Yet, perhaps contrary to what one would guess, not all the prompts are romantic and not all the prompts hold a Disney style ending. The prompts can range from simple scenarios such as “Person A and Person B are treasure hunters” or “live in an apartment together and Person A hates Person B’s cat” to more involved ones containing socio-political intrigue. And for every “Person A has an awesome time with Person B” there’s a “Person A ends up killing / dying with Person B” to follow it up. As to be expected though, many of the prompts are romantic in nature varying from adorable fluff to NSFW smut, but luckily all the posts are tagged for your convenience so you can merely skip these if they’re not your cup of tea.
Imagine Your OTP is, at its core, a distillation of the larger fanfiction sites, or writing sites in general, where only the most basic of ideas are being shared with not attempt at convincing anyone that certain characters need to take the anonymous roles of A and B (or even C). Even if you’re not using it to stoke a writing muse, it’s still plenty fun just to browse through, to see all the different and creative ideas that have be submitted over time. Hopefully though, if you’re going through a rough patch in your writing or it simply feels like there’s too much and nothing at all to write about, this site can help you out the way it has helped me in the past.
Young adult literature is just about my favorite genre to read, but YA has a complicated relationship with diversity. Although the number of stories on the market celebrating people who don’t meet the white-straight-cis-abled norm is increasing, they are still a significant minority, and often don’t get the press or love that other books get. Book covers get whitewashed, and authors are still questioned about whether their minority characters are ‘realistic’ in their storylines. That’s where Diversity in YA comes in.
From DiYA’s tumblr:
Diversity in YA was founded in 2011 by YA authors Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo as a website and book tour. While the tour is over, we’ve revived the website as a tumblr! We celebrate young adult books about all kinds of diversity, from race to sexual orientation to gender identity and disability. We hope you’ll enjoy celebrating them with us.
Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon are excellent and talented writers in their own right and their stories are filled with diverse and interesting characters. It’s great to see that they’re also taking the initiative to celebrate other stories like their own.
The DiYA tumblr features a variety of content. Sometimes they recommend upcoming books that feature diverse characters. Sometimes they have interviews with authors who are of color or are GSM or disabled, or whose stories include such characters. And sometimes they just moderate discussions about topics like “Dismantling White as the Default” and “Beyond Diversity 101: On Bisexual Characters and YA Literature”, just to list two examples. They are pretty new on tumblr, as their description points out—they’ve only got about fifteen pages of content so far—but they’ve recommended dozens of books that I would probably have otherwise not heard about, and they are contributing to an important discussion in the literary world just by existing at all. Give their tumblr a look-see and let me know if you try any of the books they’ve featured!
Today’s Web Crush is my newest tumblr love, Recycled Movie Costumes!
One of my loves is costuming. Not so much making them, like my cosplaying co-authors on this blog, but just seeing the pieces and appreciating their details. Predictably, my favorite type of costuming is that of musical theatre, but movie costumes are also pretty neat and this tumblr opened my eyes to the concept of recycling costumes which I never even realized was a thing. You see, when a new musical opens it gets new costume designers so even if it’s a revival imitating a previous production, costumes aren’t re-used, and while costumes will often reappear on different performers within the same production (like, when a new actor takes over a role they may inherit a previous actor’s costumes if they are of comparable size) a new show typically means new costumes. As such, I had never really considered that the same didn’t hold true for new movies.
One of the things I admire about the people who contribute to the blog is their keen eye for details and ability to recognize where they’ve been seen before. These aren’t just costumes that look similar to or are inspires by previous designs, they are the same outfit appearing again which can be confirmed by the identical details like pattern and stitching.
Sometimes the costumes go through adjustments in their subsequent appearances, but can still be identified by their construction and the knowledge of whose costume shop they come from. I find these ones even more interesting than the ones which make their way unaltered from one appearance to another because it shows that the storytelling aspect of costume designing is still considered even when a costume is being re-used. It can’t always go from one story to another without being altered in order to create the unique vision of the new movie.
If you’re a costume lover like me, check out the blog, and if you’ve got a sharp enough eye to spot a recycled costume you can submit your findings to email@example.com!
So, I guess Game of Thrones is pretty cool or whatever.
Okay, okay, fine. I love Game of Thrones. I love all the drama, all the dismemberments, all the scenery, and of course, all the fantastic characters. What I love most about it though, is the richness of its universe. It’s clear that there are hundreds of houses the audience may never know about or lands that may never be visited within the story that the audience is allowed to view, but it’s clear that they all play a role in things like how a character may strategize their tactics for battle or how they may choose their allies. While the show does a rather good job at giving the audience information on Houses, lands, and other such things that directly affect the main players, sadly there are many things that are resigned to staying questions in the viewer’s mind.
A good example of this: the other day I was talking to my girlfriend about the late King Robert’s rebellion and his relations to the Starks. Now, as someone who hasn’t read the books and doesn’t really have any plans to in the future, I know that Robert was in love with Ned Stark’s sister and eventually took the throne from the mad king, Aerys Targaryen. Little did I know all the extra delicious tidbits that had been left out of the show—no doubt due to time constraints—that she had only been too glad to tell me. Such as there being certain other, juicer elements at play during Robert’s rebellion (of course, when playing the game of thrones, nothing is ever as it seems). So while the show is wonderful, those of us who aren’t taking the literary pilgrimage presented by George R.R. Martin are dreadfully out of the loop on some things.
Though today’s webcrush may not fill this information gap entirely, it certainly is a great start. Today, I bring you youtuber gameofthronesfan94 and their stash of videos on the mythos of Westeros.
As much as some of us fans want to read the novels, we just don’t have enough time or the will to sit through those bricks (I proudly place myself in the latter category), especially not with all the ‘glowing’ reviews of Martin’s writing style. So, stumbling upon a channel with lore that I can watch, or at least listen to while I’m doing other things—guess what I’m doing right now?—is a godsend for me. Not only is the lore interesting, but I love the fact that these history lessons are given by the characters that know them best. A study on the Targaryens is given by the little shit Viserys and likewise the history of House Greyjoy is presented by the Greyjoy children. (And since I love House Tyrell, I’ll give you a snippet from them. Biases, ho!)
So, if you find your knowledge of the kingdoms of Westeros a little lacking but simply don’t have the energy to get into the books, I’d highly recommend taking a look at these videos. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to get back to my regularly scheduled sobbing over Theon.
Amy Poehler has always been one of my heroes, but recently APerigren introduced me to her YouTube show Smart Girls, a show that interviews women who accomplish amazing things and who have a wide array of interests. Smart Girls truly shows how diverse and talented women and girls are.
The motto of Smart Girls is: Change the World by Being Yourself.
Smart Girls teaches girls to be themselves but still provides guidance to them by showing them fun, creative, strong women for them to emulate. Their mission statement explains:
Here at Smart Girls, we believe that the cultivation of the authentic self is very important. We also believe that guidance is helpful as we try to find our way to ourselves. We hope to be of help in the exploration and discovery process.
This is where you might learn about something you would like to experience. You might learn about a woman you’d like to emulate. You might learn a new perspective or an unfamiliar custom or a new way to talk to yourself about something.
It is our hope that you will learn more about your truest self. (source)
The result is an awesome web series that truly exemplifies how intelligent girls are and how many great female role models there are out there.
One of my favorite videos is an interview with a seven year old feminist, which is just beautiful and ridiculously cute.
There are so many other amazing videos and stories from Smart Girls that are just amazing. Please check them out.
Let’s get it started in here.
Robot Unicorn Attack is an Internet Flash game by Adult Swim (of all places) and it’s awesome. It’s your basic side-scrolling game; you play a robotic unicorn and you need to not die. Avoid the obstacles by jumping or swooshing through them (I’m not sure swooshing is the correct phrase but I like it better than whatever Adult Swim uses).
First thing’s first: the song that plays in the background is the shit. Lady Saika and I have rocked out/had dance parties with that song because it is amazing. It’s more of a so-bad-it’s-amazing as opposed to an amazing song. Just listen below if you don’t believe me.
I get a lot of enjoyment out of the premise of the game. I mean, who comes up with this stuff? It just makes me laugh while playing that I’m a robotic unicorn with a rainbow mane. It’s just so much fun.
And if you’re wondering whether or not you need to be some video game aficionado to play, the answer is no. It’s super simple so you really don’t have to worry about being overwhelmed. There are only a couple of buttons involved and once you get used to it (which is not very long) you’ll have no trouble playing.
It’s really a great game, especially when you consider it’s on a TV station website. And even more especially when you realize it has nothing to do with anything on said TV station. The game is so widely popular, that it has several spin off games, none of which I’ve played but assume are fun.
So if you’re looking for a fun way to kill time, look no further than Robot Unicorn Attack.
You know the deal, everything good on the internet comes either from or in association with Grace Helbig, so today I have another of her My Damn Channel co-workers for your Web Crush: okaynate.
Good ol’ Nate. He’s not Nate the Great, or Domi-Nate, he’s just okaynate. Not even special enough for capital letters and that’s just fine. Now what makes him so okay? I’m glad you asked. Well he started out as part of the “My Damn Channel Live” production team as comment DJ/Punching Bag.
He keeps the show running but gets no respect: that’s okay.
Also, he can fill out a dance number and, despite being barely competent, do absolutely nothing to pull focus from the other dancers:
Is he a great dancer? No, he’s just okay.
Now that he has his own vlog we get to hear his okay stories about his okay life. Even his fantasy life in which he is king features him making the very mediocre laws of movie theaters playing the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended edition) back to back, but not as a main attraction, merely as background noise for communal naps:
He even got to meet Grumpy Cat. His mediocrity did not cheer her in the least:
He was upstaged on his own show by a tired cat and that’s okay.
All kidding aside though, Nate is more than just okay; he’s a really charmingly simple and earnest person. His videos are always entertaining and he really connects with his viewers by responding to comments and using their input to guide video ideas. I think he really has a handle on the interactive aspect of YouTube and I’m eager to see him continue as a tuber.
We all have those video games whose soundtrack we can never get out of our heads. Whether it be the captivating wind instruments from the lost woods in Ocarina of Time or the simple 8-bit earworm that never dies from Tetris I think that it can be agreed on that music has the capacity to not only set video games on different levels of greatness, but to make a game truly timeless. Today’s Web Crush explores the true impact of these memorable tunes on this generation’s composers.
I actually stumbled upon this site a very, very long time ago while looking for remixes of the ‘Serenade of Water’ from Ocarina of Time. Although my tastes in music have shifted from that time—I’m all about the Gerudo Valley these days—I’m still continuously impressed by the quantity and quality of tracks that find their way onto Overclocked Remix (shorthand: OC Remix). In fact, the rate that it has expanded in my nearing eight years of knowing of its existence is somewhere between startling and inspiring.
In terms of ‘startling’, I’m scolding myself for even thinking that. Looking at some of the more popular acts within the video game community, there’s a very strong group that utilize these games if not in name, but in samples and riffs within their own tracks. A good example of this is The Protomen, whose name is not only based on a character from the Mega Man series of games, and whose music takes cues from the plot of the games as well. Also, it seems now more than ever we have a large group of gamers that are endlessly yearning for satiation to their hunger for nostalgia. We have shirts in Hot Topic that feature 8-bit characters, at cons there are tournaments for older games like Pokémon Stadium and Goldeneye—although to consider the N64 era as nostalgic as say, the SNES, makes me feel really old—so to think that music wouldn’t also try to cash in on these trends is rather shortsighted of myself.
Luckily, at OC Remix you won’t have to “cash in” on anything as all the music is free for download. All of their music is neatly organized and easy to find. While you may not find a track for every game you’re looking for—I was a touch disappointed to find they didn’t have any Ganbare Goemon remixes—they’ll no doubt have at least one track that catches your eye. Or ear, rather.