Theatre Thursday: Holler If Ya Hear Me, Part Trois

holler if ya hear me bannerWe’ve talked about Holler If Ya Hear Me a few times before here. Last time Ink tackled the show, it had not yet gone into previews, and he was hopeful about its tenure on the Great White Way.

Sadly, its run has come to an end: Holler If Ya Year Me closed on Sunday after only a few months in front of audiences. While its producer has suggested that its short run was the fault of the “financial burdens of Broadway”, others have suggested that the fact that the musical used Tupac’s music but didn’t actually tell Tupac’s story hobbled it before it could get out of the gates. Its lead actor, Saul Williams, has suggested that there was more at play in an interview with Rolling Stone:

I also cannot go without saying that there was something deeply embedded in a lot of the reviews that went deeper than just a dislike of the play. (x)

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Slytherin’s Problem: Hogwarts and the Cardinal Virtues

Hogwarts CrestIf you went to Hogwarts, which House would you be in? Where did Pottermore sort you? Identifying with Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin is one of the most important questions to members of the Harry Potter fandom. The internet loves personality quizzes, and in the early days of internet fandom, the web was full of people trying to write the most “authentic” Sorting Hat quiz. Some used Myers-Briggs personality inventories to sort you. Of course, no one could really agree on whether “iNtuitive Thinkers” made better Slytherins or Ravenclaws, or that all “Sensing Feelers” were either Gryffindors or Hufflepuffs (and don’t get me started on the awful chart that went around). But I’m here to propose a better way of understanding what makes each House tick, and why Slytherin really might have a bad reputation. It’s about the four cardinal virtues.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Rejected Princesses

We’ve written a lot over the years about Disney princesses and how they all seem to be thin, pretty, and morally good. And while a lot of princesses do have these traits, many others do not. Sadly, those are the ones that popular media rarely talks about. Enter today’s web crush: Rejected Princesses.

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Teen Wolf: “I.E.D.” Review

teen-wolf-season-4Another week, another Teen Wolf. This week’s episode has two main focuses: first, all the hoopla surrounding the decoded deadpool, and secondly, a stress-ridden lacrosse scrimmage against none other than the school Liam was expelled from.

(Might I take this time to point out that Danny was both excellent at codebreaking and is on the lacrosse team? Fuck you, Jeff Davis.)

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Trailer Tuesdays: The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls premieres in September and I could not be more excited about it. Laika, the studio behind the film, has a history of consistently awesome movies (Coraline and Paranorman, to name a few), and their stop-motion animation skills are on a level no one else can hope to touch. Continue reading

Esuna Rather Than Later: A Plea to End the “White Mage” and How Xillia Works at Dismantling the Trope

Recently I’ve been watching my brother run through another round of Final Fantasy X. Personally, I’ve never been very into the series (except for X-2, but I think I’m in the minority there). However, seeing as it’s hailed as one of the masterpieces of the franchise, I’m more than willing to watch my brother go from temple to temple gaining summon spirits (or “aeons”, I guess) until the final summoning. It’s all very interesting and Tidus isn’t nearly as annoying as I imagined him being, but as he continues fighting through Sin spawn and other various baddies one thought has been ringing through my mind: being a white mage sucks. Not only in Spira—in many Final Fantasy games it seems as though if you’re a practitioner of the healing white magic you’re stuck healing and only healing—unless you’re also a summoner (which only aids this trope, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

Most. Boring. Class. Ever. Except maybe Alchemist... (x)

Most. Boring. Class. Ever. Except maybe Alchemist… (x)

Of course, this isn’t anything new; these limitations of the white mage far extend outside of the world of Final Fantasy into other JRPGs. A white mage, in addition to replacing combat expertise with that sweet healing magic, is almost always a woman. A “pure”-seeming woman (aka virginal). Ace spoke about one of the outliers (who just so happens to be in another Final Fantasy game) in a previous article, but the trend at large still stands. Yet, in more recent titles, it seems as though developers have taken it upon themselves to finally twist this trope for the better.

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Magical Mondays: Otherbound’s Magical Mystery

I’m always looking for new YA books to read, but recently, everything I’ve found seems to about old plots spun in, well, uninteresting ways. That is, until a friend told me about Otherbound, the recently released, rollicking debut novel by Corinne Duyvis. The most interesting thing about Otherbound? The mysterious connection between Nolan and Amara.

OutherboundEver since he was very young, Nolan Santiago has been told he has a rare form of epilepsy—one that comes with both visual and auditory hallucinations. But he knows that’s not really the case. Each and every time he closes his eyes, whether it’s just blinking during the day or while sleeping, he sees through the eyes of a girl, Amara, who lives in a different world entirely. He can experience everything she experiences. At first, that seems like it could be fun: Amara is a mage who can heal all damage done to her own body, which is why she was chosen as a servant to guard and protect the outcast princess Cilla. However, Cilla has been cursed by rogue forces who don’t want her to return to her throne—if she spills even one drop of blood, the earth itself will reach out and kill her. Here’s where it sucks for Nolan: every time Cilla gets injured and Amara draws Cilla’s curse toward herself, every time the earth crushes Amara’s bones and forces the breath from her lungs, Nolan feels it. Amara isn’t aware of him, but Nolan feels the pain as if it’s happening to himself. And he can’t do a thing about it—until one day, he can.

Slight spoilers for Otherbound below.

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