Ladies and gents, this is the one! ALERT, ALERT! This is the moment we’ve all been crying for: exclusive paprazzi footage from the set of Game of Thrones in Belfast! Enough will he, won’t he with the Wimbledon hair, you guys. THE TRUTH IS HERE! Spoiler clip below the fold. Don’t kill me, HBO, I’m just a messenger!
When PhDs decades above my pay grade send me documents to review that are riddled with text errors and grammatical snafus and then feel slighted and get reactionary when I send it back to them all marked up.
…And then they send me more embarrassing documents the following week.
Enslaved Africans made up 44% of Florida’s population by the Civil War, and in its aftermath a fifth of the black community fled due to systemic lynchings and racial violence, barred from even working in society. This reality was so widespread and pervasive in post-confederate spaces that it inspired “The Great Migration” without any phones or social media with which to organize it.
But sure, white people. Your Fox News ideology about things that don’t affect your day-to-day experiences whatsoever is more important than the abhorrent legacy that symbol engenders for millions of black Americans. Carry on.
Once again, the line that separates modern 2000s conservatives from progressives is painted to be basic human empathy and an ability to imagine anyone’s circumstances but their own. The smugness will backfire when their grandchildren visibly recoil at their stories someday.
That moment when someone comments on your Facebook factoids specifically to start a fight and politely gets truthbombed back to the Stone Age… and then deletes her FB in a pouty rage because she didn’t expect to be called out for her pernicious bullshit. “Why can’t I spout harmful propaganda that I heard third-hand from a chain letter that my racist uncle sent someone without being oppressed and my freedom of speech trampled by know-it-all academics?!”
I hold that most of the time if you genuinely want to know about a subject, you’ll take the fifteen seconds to look it up rather than compose three haughty paragraphs of sociocentric nonsense. But then again, I’m just an academic.
I just started watching the final season of Inu Yasha on amazon. This show brought so much natural beauty, vibrant colors, and downright fabulous fabrics into my anime repertoire, not to mention the fictional mancandy who was ready and willing to receive my blossoming female gaze. This was one of those series that I reveled in during youth, bought the plushies and other gear at conventions, and even wrote fanfic. But like most fandoms, I lost touch with it in college. Inu Yasha was important to my youth in many ways, one of those being a bonding opportunity for my brother and I. With six years’ difference, opposing gender perspectives, and a vast landscape of traditional religious repression separating us, we had few places wherein to connect. Saturday night anime was one of those places.
But my family relationships are for another post, another time. What I want to talk about right now are the environmental aspects of the show and what it means directly for my nostalgia as I watch it today. Although it has its own beauty that easily stands alone, Inu Yasha speaks to me so much for the nostalgia factor. This show had its own kind of feminism going on, one which I didn’t fully understand but I at least acknowledged. There was Sango, a mighty warrior who hunted down her enemies and took no prisoners. There was Kikyo, a protector of nature and order who dealt vengeance like the BAMF that she is, not afraid to send an arrow through her own lover’s heart when she was wronged. Then there was Kagome, a like-minded teen lethargic with modern life and who secretly wanted to escape to a time before the modern hubbub, conventions, global conglomerate, and CO2. In the story, this reality is thrust upon her more as a genealogical inevitability, but of course I infused my own traits into my interpretation of her character.
I call that time the “Lord of the Rings years” because my mindscapes looked more like Rivendell than they did Maryland, USA, and this feudal fantasy-Japan anime fit the pre-technology paradigm for those years too. These were years where I was deeply disillusioned with modern life (as rebellious children desperate for autonomy and feeling emotionally, culturally, spiritually, and sexually repressed by a household whose values they don’t share are wont to be), and thus fell into depression. Blog posts on being an ultra-liberal, atheist, sexually open, feminist hippy in an opposing household are a dime a dozen, the emotional effects of which are almost cliche in their universality. So, no need to tread those grounds. Instead, I’ll discuss the avenue I personally chose: fantasy. Novels, fanfic, TV, movies, and my own imagination.
I just learned there is something called the Institute for Creation Research, a place where one might be tempted to assume research takes place since it’s in the name (until one remembers that it’s about creationism). Here’s one attendee’s anticlimactic account of his visit:
I know there is a lot of… scientific evidence — we are here at the Institute for Creation Research — and there is a lot of, really, all science, it just points to the validation of the Genesis account.
My morbid curiosity took over, and I had to learn more about this place where science goes to die. As the boy says, there must be research because “research” is in the name! Is this like one of those pregnancy crisis centers that provide counsel on neither crisis nor pregnancies? What does this creation research look like? Do they sit around a table and read the bible together? Do they have tea with the pope and discuss his information conduit to Jesus, wherein Jesus shares all sorts of factoids? Tell me more! I want to dance through the Sistine Chapel and shout “peer reviewed articles” and “Genesis!”
As with the first Avengers, Ultron is all about the entertaining little things:
- Bruce Banner and his beats by dre
- Trontasha on her troncycle
- Drunk Avengers having a sleepover at headquarters
- Samuel L Jackson’s multimillion dollar cameo at the farmhouse just to tell them how much they suck at being Avengers
- The “lullaby”
- No one wearing body armor and then getting shot, like of course you got shot, you’re wearing a muscle tee!
- Trontasha literally riding a cryotube through midair into the back of a plane
- Hawkeye immediately carving a rocking chair and pulling up plywood when he gets home, like calm down a sec, your friends are over and you just lost a big fight. Take a nap maybe.
- The balls of saying this scene takes place “off the African coast” like that doesn’t make up the entire circumference of the world in square mileage.
- Vision. Just…. Vision. (eep!)
Of course, I knew after college that I would never so happily and recklessly stay up until 4am every night drinking and carrying on with friends in a formidable “landscape utopia” (beach, plains, cliffs, salty air, and forests all within a mile radius). Maybe some of this can be rekindled at the weekend-long tribute to that lifestyle known as Alumni Weekend (although it is rigidly scheduled as though targeted for adults, complete with an early dinner and quiet hours *cringe*). However, I was beaming with pleasure this morning after remembering my semi-blissful weekend. What roaring event did I attend, you ask? None, actually. Let me regale you with my completed weekend itinerary:
Friday was videogames at a friend’s house, which doubled as an impromptu birthday party.
Saturday began bright and early with coffee and a drive with the windows down, followed by a highly detailed & aggressively perfect cleaning of my bedroom and bathroom. I then took an epic afternoon nap and capped off the evening with sangria and rum bread pudding out with friends at the Latin Kitchen.
Sunday was kebabs and a glass of wine before thrift shopping downtown with friends, followed by a low-key sushi dinner, a relaxing shower, and a soothing evening indoors doing my nails and watching Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country, and closed out by this week’s Game of Thrones episode.
I’m not even 30 yet. The most out of control this weekend got was my palpable excitement upon my invitation to join the Magic The Gathering night at a gaming store. It occurs to me that I have reached the point where a trip to Napa Valley followed by an early dinner excites me just as much as bar-hopping used to when I was 21. And I’m OK with that.