In Brightest Day: Mental Disabilities and Comedy

I am a huge fan of comedy. I think that, for the most part, everything should be allowed to be made fun of or nothing can be made fun of.

However, there are some things I don’t find funny. I don’t find dead children funny. I don’t find rape funny. And I don’t find jokes about mental and physical disabilities funny.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

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All right, so I’m incredibly late to the party, but let’s talk about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries! This webseries is a fantastic adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice into modern times. Think something along the lines of the BBC’s Sherlock, but with a much more relatable lead character.

Lizzie Bennet is a 24-year-old grad student studying mass communications, and she and her best friend Charlotte Lu set out to do a series of vlogs about Lizzie’s life as part of a class project. And so begins their webseries, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. As Pride and Prejudice’s main plot arc was the marriage of each of its female characters, modernizing this classic means that the creators had to carefully consider how to keep each plot point, as marriage is now not the be-all end-all for women who want to get ahead in life.

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Young Justice Finale

Young Justice Destiny Calling allFor once I was planning on showering something with praise, but that’s not going to happen. You see, Young Justice has a lot of strong points, but it doesn’t cover so much as it touches on as many characters in the DCU as possible. In fact, it’s a little upsetting that there haven’t been more episodes delving further into some of these characters. Young Justice is the show that helped me get into DC comics. It’s well made, it’s got some great characters, and it gives some neat insight into the world. It’s a show with a lot of personality. But I do wish that it would spend more time with certain characters. It has a lot of interesting people and relationships that should be further explored.

The second season has finally come to a close. Unfortunately, one thing I noticed right away with the season finale is that it seemed a little rushed. It was in a hurry to tie up as many dangling plot threads as possible, while leaving others open for the next season. And I’m all for leaving dangling plot threads as long as they’re eventually taken care of. And from this last episode “Endgame”, I can say that the show was definitely building toward a third season.

I say ‘was’ because Young Justice will not be renewed.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Ore to Omae no sa o Oshiete Yaru yo

You did it, guys. You climbed this whole mountain. …Almost.

This may look like a normal anime promo to the uninformed viewer, but what it is in actuality is an excellent example of how internet fans (and fans in general) can have a very large impact on the companies we thrive off of. A couple weeks ago, this trailer showed up seemingly out of nowhere with no information behind it and only the long winded title of Ore to Omae no sa o Oshiete Yaru yo (“I’ll Show You the Difference Between You and Me”), almost immediately affectionately nicknamed ‘Swimming Anime’. However, all was not as it seemed. Continue reading

Why I Strongly Dislike Utilikilts

Maybe I’m too much of a purist, and it’s very possible so feel free to call me out on it, but I hate Utilikilts with an undying passion.

First let me explain where I’m coming from: I play the bagpipes and own two kilts of my own. I come from a place where a kilt is neither a skirt or a costume, but rather a traditional article of clothing symbolizing an entire (and very proud) culture.

The Utilikilt is a poor knock-off of a symbol of the entire Scottish culture. In fact, it is just a skirt and the mere attribution of the name ‘kilt’ to it is an insult to kilts. I’m trying to make this not sound like a rant, but it’s sounding an awful lot like one. Let’s put them side by side and see if you get it.

Saint Patrick’s Day sort of makes fun of everyone who’s Irish because everyone puts on a green shirt and calls themselves Irish when they’re not. They’re just using it as an excuse to be drunk. It’s the same way with Utilikilts; they’re cheap knock-offs of something people take very seriously.

What I’m talking about is technically called cultural appropriation, or the adopting of some elements of a culture by another group (check wikipedia if y’all don’t believe me). However, it’s really hard to tell whether someone is trying to be nice about it and show their appreciation of the culture or whether they think something is just pretty or cool without knowing the object’s cultural importance. Now, usually it is considered offensive only when there is a minority culture and a majority culture, but I disagree with that definition. Why does the dominance of one party over another make it offensive?

I guess this sounds like a real first world problem, but I suppose if you haven’t been in this situation it’s hard to explain how an article of clothing can make one’s eyes burn. And I know there are so many more cultures that have more problems along these lines than one can shake a stick at (ex: Native Americans), but it doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem for those who take pride in their Scottish and Irish heritage.

What do you all think? Think I’ve played in too many St. Patty’s Day parades and need to go take a nap and stop whining? Let me know in the comments!

Manga Mondays: Trapped in a Terrible Manga

A week ago, I dragged my three Dazzle manga with me to work to read in my downtime. I had just finished A Storm of Swords, and I figured they’d be much lighter fare than that dreary, death-filled tome. I’ve read them before—I’ve had them since high school. So why did it take me this long to realize how terrible they are? Continue reading

The Women of Elm Street: The One-Offs

In the long history of the Nightmare series (at least seven films spanning 10 years, or nine films spanning 26 years if you count those apocryphal additions) there were of course some women who only led the fight against the villainous Fred Krueger for one film. These women are Lisa Webber of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Maggie Burroughs of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

Nightmare on Elm Street- Lisa and MaggieUnfortunately, these are two of my least favorite movies in the series. Starting with Freddy’s Revenge, it had the problem that is so common when a surprise hit is given an unplanned sequel in that it didn’t understand what was great about the original and failed to re-capture its magic. Its main problems were replacing the female lead with a male and going with a concept that almost entirely did away with the nightmare aspect by having Freddy reincarnate himself in the real world.

Now, if this movie was so bad and didn’t even feature a female lead, why am I talking about it? Well, I do want to give it credit for trying to push the series into new territory rather than being a retread of the original (just because the risk didn’t exactly pay off doesn’t mean it wasn’t admirable) but also because it played with the typical gender roles of horror movies.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Tactical Advantage: Gods + Kings

Civilization-V-Gods-Kings-backgroundOh, Civilization, how you amuse me.

This is a game based entirely on tactics. If you play without a good strategy, you’re bound to lose unless you’ve set the computer difficulty low. While I have played the earlier versions, my experience with Civilization is pretty limited to the latest installment and its expansion pack, Civilization V: Gods + Kings. I think what I like the most about this game, other than building giant death robots and conquering the world, is that we can see how culture and religion can impact growth and power, while completely neglecting how they impact society.

To be fair, that’s not completely true. The game does have a happiness meter, and if your population completely hates you, they will revolt via barbarians.

I suppose that Civ5 is about as accurate as a game can get in terms of application of religion by a society, though it does leave some things to be desired. Being “about as accurate” doesn’t mean entirely accurate, or that there’s no room for improvement in how religion is implemented.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Rape Culture

Trigger warning for rape throughout.

If you’ve been following the news, odds are you probably know a good bit about the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial. The case centers around two Steubenville High School football players charged with raping a drunk teenage girl.

The case is unique in that hacker group KnightSec first drew attention to the case by leaking a video showing students joking that the victim “is so raped her puss is about as dry as the sun right now.”

If you didn’t throw up a little bit, get the fuck out. Better yet, sit down and learn something.

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