Fanfiction Fridays: Hanging On (At the End of the World)

Whenever I hear the word “epidemic” in conjunction with post-apocalyptic stories I assume “zombies”. This story does not have zombies but I still chose to write about it as one of my Halloween-themed posts because it’s awesome and the collapse of civilization is still a pretty frightening subject so I think it counts.

Hanging On (At the End of the World) is an AU Big Time Rush fanfic written for this year’s Big Time Big Bang by author CerinityKS with artwork by teh_emowaffle.

WARNINGS: I must warn for violence, a graphic almost-sex scene, and mentions of offstage sexual abuse. It’s rated M for a reason, this story ain’t kidding around, but I think these situations are handled pretty well by the author.

The story follows the four friends as they deal with the aftermath of a deadly black market drug which causes either death or animalistic homicidal rages in its users. The premise has a very 28 Days Later feel to it and definitely has some similarities to other pandemic films but it doesn’t feel unoriginal and Cerinity’s writing is strong enough to make the story very much her own.

I wanted to finish introducing Big Time Rush the show before posting any fanfiction about it but since those posts have been put on hold in favor of my spooky October posts I had to give up on that hope. Thankfully the story is fully AU so it doesn’t matter too much if the reader is unfamiliar with the show’s canon. CerinityKS has written a piece that I believe is complete on its own and doesn’t rely very heavily on the reader knowing the characters beforehand since they have new backgrounds anyway.

The story involves shipping, namely Kendall/Logan (my OTP) and James/Carlos but what I love is that it’s still a story independent of these relationships. It’s not just relationship drama, it’s a story that has relationship drama included. The story gives focus to these aspects but it’s not just one character yearning for another and then confessing his love at the end. Instead, it’s a very character-driven piece which I absolutely love.

Futurama: They’re Back, Baby!

Futurama is back with a new season! Woooo! Hoooo! This one hour episode “The Bots and the Bees” and “A Farewell to Arms” was pretty awesome for a Futurama season opener. The first part was mainly about everyone’s favorite thieving robot Bender. After the purchase of a sassy beverage dispenser named Bev, things start to get interesting. What started off as a fight for the honor of two bimbo bots, Bender and Bev soon start banging, literally. Soon Bev dispenses a cute little miniature Bender. After little Ben is abandoned by his metal mama, Bender becomes a fantastic father. After a montage of father and son stealing and property-damage-based bonding Ben grows into the awkward adolescent stage of a growing robot. Little Ben’s dream is to be a bender like his dad, but he didn’t inherited it from Bender. To install it would mean to lose his memories, including those of Bender. Eventually Bender selflessly installs the bending program so that his son can follow his dream.

This was a really interesting episode; here we learn how robots reproduce (I always wondered) and that Bender, for all his evil and selfishness is capable of caring for something other than himself. Who would of thought Bender would make such an excellent dad? Though it isn’t too much of a surprise do to his occasional emotional attachment to his best friend Fry and he has often displayed emotions over such things as broken robots and helpless turtles. Even though his son eventually didn’t remember him, Bender still loves him.

The second part was about the Martian calendar and its prediction for the end of the world in 3012. Amidst the chaos is the chivalrous Fry and the lovely Leela. In classic Fry fashion Fry is constantly trying to do nice things for Leela, which always seems to backfire. While trying to join the balcony club, the two one-sided love birds are alerted to the end of the world translation. Panic soon engulfs the world. Luckily they find an ancient Martian space ship in an underground pyramid. Since the ship can only hold 30,000, the president sets up a machine that chooses each person based on merit. Due partly to his lucky pants Fry has a ticket, due to Leela’s unfortunate choice of career, she is not. Fry does the noble thing and manages to trick Leela to go on the ship to Mars without him. Unfortunately it turned out that the translation was wong, dead Wong (due to Amy.) It turned out that the prophecy was meant for Mars, not Earth. Once again Fry messed up. Mars soon starts to skim the Earth, Fry tries to save Leela, but manages to tear her arm off instead. She is saved by Scruffy and his trusty ladder.

This episode was a typical “Oh are they in love now?” episode or an “is Leela still not over Lars’s death who was actually alternate-timeline Fry and so should just be with him, damn it?” episode. Although I love Fry and Leela relationship, they have begun to wear on my rooting arm. Their ambiguous affiliation is frustrating to fans (or at least to me) and I was hoping for a little more depth, or at least some progress from these two. Fry is constantly proving his love to Leela and she for some reason does and also does not return it. Although this particular episode had a happy ending, I still was a little pissed at Leela’s attitude. If you don’t like him, reject him! If you do, accept him! Zoidberg Jesus people!

Anyhoo, overall it was an excellent start to what is sure to be an excellent season! If you have never seen Futurama, it is available on Netflix, and they often have reruns on Comedy Central. Futurama is on Wednesday’s at 10:00PM on Comedy Central.

Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: O Death!

Do I really need to explain why death is important to religion? Life, death, and the afterlife are key parts of any religion. That mysterious force that is death has perplexed humanity for… well, ever. Why do some people die while others live? And what part does God have in it all? Well, let’s look at my three favorite examples of Death as he/she is often personified in pop culture.

Check out the first appearance of Supernatural’s Death.

Man, doesn’t that video just give you chills.

The portrayal of Death in Supernatural is one of my favorites. Despite looking completely normal, if a bit skeletal, Death is clearly a wholly other being of great power. When Dean Winchester first meets Death it becomes very clear fighting Death will not be plausible. That becomes even more obvious when Dean actually talks to Death. Death describes how he is so powerful that to him Dean appears like nothing more than an ameba and even describes Lucifer, arguably one of the most powerful angels in exist as “a bratty child.” But Death’s power becomes even more obvious when he talks about God. He describes himself as being as old as God, maybe even older. He furthermore explains how in the end even God will die and he’ll reap God. And though it’s never shown in the TV series, it is implied that Death talks to God and knows where God is—God has been notably absent in the show. Death, like God, sees the big picture and understands how the world works. Because of his power and his ability to understand seemingly everything, Death appears as this indifferent larger-than-life figure.

Death spares Chicago because he likes the pizza, he pulls Sam’s soul from hell, but refuses to do the same for Adam, and seems to only do this because he wants something from Dean. The only person that Death seems particularly fond is actually God. When Dean, Sam, and Bobby bind Death to them in order to kill Castiel, who proclaimed himself god, Death doesn’t understand that they want him to kill the Castiel god and thinks that they want him to kill the God. Death tries to stall. He lies and says that he can’t, and when Castiel shows up calling himself god Death makes fun of him, calling him a “mutated angel” and says, “I know God, and you sir, are no God.”

I think the Death of Supernatural is portrayed as he is because he is based on humanity’s own feelings about death. Death is the awe-inspiring, impartial, unfeeling force in the universe, but for those of us with some spirituality we also have a sense that Death is part of something greater and more important. In this respect, Death in Supernatural is portrayed extremely well.

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I’m not ashamed to say that Good Omens is perhaps my all-time favorite novels with one of my all-time favorite portrayals of Death, or I guess for these purposes we should call him DEATH. In this portrayal, DEATH is not impartial. DEATH is excited for the end of the world. It is described by him and the other horseman as waiting for Christmas or your birthday. At the end of the novel, the antichrist Adam faces down DEATH because he doesn’t want the world to end. DEATH wants the world to end and tries to convince Adam to follow along with his nature, but when Adam and his friends defeat the other horseman, DEATH grudgingly concedes that the apocalypse cannot continue, but makes of point of saying that he is not defeated.


The heat of their stare faded. Adam scratched his nose.

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “There might be a way.” He grinned back.

DEATH himself cannot be defeated and even the other horsemen seem to continue to exist in some form, but Adam implies that perhaps there is a way. I think this might be implying the idea that Christ defeats it in the act of his crucifixion and resurrection, or even the obvious fact that if DEATH does go through with the apocalypse there will either be Hell on earth or Heaven on earth, meaning that DEATH would no longer need to exist. In enacting the apocalypse, DEATH would actually be killing himself.

Neil Gaiman apparently owns my soul because he has another portrayal of Death that is my absolute favorite. Death in the Sandman Comics is very different for several reasons. First, unlike most portrayals of Death, this Death is a woman, shown as being a young attractive goth chick. She is also very different in the way that she functions. This Death is not distant, impartial, uncaring; she is invested in the world. She adds the spark of life to all babies when they are born and remembers them all, calling them by name when they die. She enjoys life and enjoys humanity and the many other creatures that inhabit the Sandman universe. She is often seen giving advice to her brother Dream and genuinely seems to care about everyone.

This Death is clearly a benevolent and caring one who understands the importance of Death, while understanding the fear and misunderstanding of Death that comes from those finite beings that can’t see the larger picture.

I hope all this talk about Death hasn’t depressed anyone. Personally, I find it extremely hopeful. This makes me think that though we humans fear our own death, we fear the death of everything just as much, while at the same time many people long for the end of days. Weird, right?

Next time on Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: The End is Here

Tune in next time and find some religion!