Magical Mondays: Sentience Is Magical—and Horrifying

Sometimes it’s a bad idea to think too hard about the things you love. Last week, while we were looking for something to watch between the Tonys red carpet and the actual Tonys, my friend and I settled on a channel showing Toy Story.

Now don’t get me wrong, I adore the Toy Story franchise. However, it’s one of many beloved childhood stories where, if you poke too closely at the seams of the worldbuilding, it starts to unravel into questions that only get more disturbing.

Um, yikes (via inquisitr)

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The Bittersweet Taste of Orange

If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say? “It will get better”? “Don’t stress too much about fitting in”? “Yes, what you’re feeling is love, and that’s okay”? “The future is awful and sad and I want you to work tirelessly to make sure you don’t end up a regret-stricken wreck like me”? Orange takes this last approach, and the result is a series that I have a barrel full of mixed feelings about.

Spoilers and content warning for suicide ahead.

On the first day of the new school year, protagonist Naho finds a strange letter addressed to her, which was apparently sent from herself, ten years in the future. Naho is confused and dubious that such a thing can be real, but then the events the letter describes start coming true: the letter tells her that a new student, a boy named Kakeru, will be joining their class that day, and he’ll sit next to Naho. Naho’s friends will attempt to be welcoming and invite the new kid to hang out once school is over, but, the letter warns, they should absolutely not do that. Not that day, at least.

Naho soon realizes that the letters are full of specific advice from her future self, chiefly about things that Future Naho regrets and wants to change. These mostly concern Kakeru, since, as Naho is shocked to find out, ten years in the future Kakeru is no longer alive. In Future Naho’s world, Kakeru died—in an accident later discovered to be suicide—when he was seventeen, and she’s sending these letters back in time to try and stop that from happening.

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Lack of Depression in Black Characters

Dearest Readers, writing for Black History Month is difficult. There is a difficult balance of focusing on concepts vs. people, discussing people that are strangers vs. people you are friendly with, and characters vs real people. To further the complication, there is an urge to spend the whole month celebrating and spotlighting things that deserve praise. But at the same time, I find it absolutely necessary to discuss less enjoyable topics.

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Teen Wolf: “Orphaned” Review

teen-wolf-season-4Teen Wolf continues its exciting fourth season with another action-packed episode. More werewolves in Beacon Hills? Check. Last of the deadpool revealed? Check. Gratuitous berserker violence? Double check. Join me in a recap and review after the jump, but watch out for those spoilers!  Continue reading

In Brightest Day: When It’s Not Even About People with Disorders

Supernatural Sam InterruptedA couple days ago I posted an In Brightest Day about how pop culture likes to present mental hospitals as horrible, abusive institutions. Very rarely do I ever see them represented in a positive light, and I think there’s a reason for that. It’s easy to demonize mental hospitals for the sake of horror, and since mental hospitals have a bad reputation in the public consciousness, that horror can sink deep. After all, what’s scarier than a place that can hurt you under the false pretense of healing? Especially when no one else will believe anything you say because they also think you’re insane?

This idea, presented over and over again, discourages people with actual mental disorders from seeking help, and even more upsetting, many of these narratives are not even about people with mental disabilities. While this isn’t true for all of these stories—the villains in Batman do need help, and Niki from Heroes suffered from dissociative identity disorder—it’s certainly true for enough of them. Refusing to give the titular characters mental disabilities increases the horror aspect of mental hospitals. After all, it’s bad enough these hospitals can hurt you and no one will believe anything you say, but what if you don’t even belong there? What if you’re institutionalized against your will? Or for the wrong reasons? As such, the characters who actually are mentally disabled end up being erased from their own narrative.

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Teen Wolf: “Echo House” Review

teen wolf header“Due to the mature theme of this episode, viewer discretion is advised.” Oh shit. First time, to my knowledge, that Teen Wolf has begun with a viewer advisory. This does not bode well, my friends. This does not bode well at all.

As the majority of last night’s episode takes place in a psychiatric facility, I wanted to pass this warning along, straight from the official Teen Wolf Tumblr:

We would like to take this time to warn everyone that tonight’s episode will feature some potentially triggering content such as suicide, abuse, self-medication and mental health; just to name a few. We strongly advise that anyone who may find any of this content triggering or harmful avoid the “Echo House” tag on Tumblr.

Spoilers after the jump.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Seeds

The cracker was square and made of thin strands of baked wheat that all ran in the same direction, and there was a grid pattern on it from having been stamped with something like a meat tenderizer. So all the crackers were formed in a very long sheet, then stamped en masse, baked, and then shuffled into a bag and packaged in this box that had a square (cracker) shaped hole cut into the back, with a dotted arrow pointing at it, commanding that he “GROW DILL!” in all capital letters, just like that.

There was a larger square of cardboard glued to the back of the square hole, and Sherlock tore this off and tossed the rest of the box back onto the table. From this square of cardboard, one could apparently GROW DILL! Sherlock retrieved the box and read the instructions. See what the idle hours had reduced him to? John would regret ever having sought gainful employment when the flat was overtaken by DILL! on account of Sherlock’s new and determined agricultural pursuits. “Get a hobby,” John had said. Well.

—from Seeds by thesardine

In honor of the BBC Sherlock premiere (finally!) this past Wednesday, today’s Fanfiction Fridays is a lovely Sherlock fic by thesardine.

When there are suddenly no interesting cases in London, Sherlock falls into what John might term a “massive strop”. As John has rather frankly told Sherlock to get a hobby, Sherlock decides to appropriate all of John’s kitchen utensils to start a garden. The results are more touching than you might expect. Continue reading