The Introvert’s Guide to Joining a Party Feb21

The Introvert’s Guide to Joining a Party...

Kirito is the ultimate introvert. Trapped in the world of Sword Art Online (SAO), an immersive game in which each player’s consciousness is transferred into an RPG world, Kirito chooses to go it alone. It’s a bold decision to make because in SAO, players are unable to log out and when they die in the game, they die in real life. Most players decide to band together into parties for survival, but the naturally shy Kirito keeps to himself. He’s also an elite gamer, so any players teaming with him are likely to slow him down. Early on, he helps a new player named Klein learn the basics of the game, but when the newbie explains that he’s part of a larger group, Kirito abandons him. It would be too difficult to survive, much less complete the game, while helping that many players. A short time later, Kirito participates in a group effort in which players pair up to defeat a common enemy. He fights alongside a strong player, Asuna, but leaves her immediately afterward, despite acknowledging her talent. At this point in the game, Kirito is still focused on his individual journey, and doesn’t even consider teaming with Asuna, despite how strong their tandem could be. Though Kirito is strong, he isn’t arrogant. On the contrary, he’s trying to do the right thing and help as many people as possible. With his skill, defeating the game and releasing all the players from this purgatory is a real possibility, so why not continue to level up on his own, especially when it feels comfortable? As an introvert, I feel similarly, especially in the workplace. I used to work for a very small government agency. At first, the only employees were a part-time administrative assistant...

Monstrous Bodies: Fat Shaming in Geek Culture Feb19

Monstrous Bodies: Fat Shaming in Geek Culture...

Vernon and Dudley Dursley aren’t just monsters because of the way they treat Harry; they’re monsters because they’re fat. Vernon has “five chins” and Dudley is “pig-like.” When Dudley gestures at something, he doesn’t wave his arm, he waves his “fat arm.” They are also both brash, lazy, and selfish—traits that are common stereotypes for fat people. If the physical descriptors appeared just once or twice, they would be inconsequential and the Dursleys would just be bad people who happen to be fat. But, in the introductory chapters to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone right through to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Vernon and Dudley’s fat characteristics are repeated over and over again, linking their fatness to their evil behaviour. This is a similar trope to villains having disfigured faces, but in this case, their exaggerated sizes become the visible signal that reflects their moral failings. We live in a thin-obsessed society; one glance at a magazine cover will tell you that. We are quick to judge and assume that fat people are lazy, that they don’t work hard, that they eat too much, that they are stupid, that they are greedy, that they are poor, and that they haven’t tried hard enough to lose weight. Making fun of fat people is still an “acceptable” form of harassment and it’s not difficult to find on the internet. Though shut down in 2015, the subreddit r/fatpeoplehate, which ridiculed photos of fat people—mostly women—had 150,000 subscribers at the height of its popularity. Many of the people who were targeted by this subreddit were doxxed and abused. This is fat shaming; the idea that we can pressure fat people into losing weight if we make fun of them enough. This mentality comes from the...

Reading Ready Player One: Hope Feb16

Reading Ready Player One: Hope...

The pessimism in me says solving world hunger is a fool’s dream. And yet that’s what Art3mis plans to do if she finds Halliday’s Easter egg. “Once we tackle world hunger, then we can figure out how to fix the environment and solve the energy crisis,” she says to Wade when they first meet. Wade’s plan makes more sense to me: “I’d have a nuclear-powered interstellar spacecraft constructed in Earth’s orbit . . . Then I’d invite a few of my closest friends to come aboard, along with a team of doctors and scientists, and we’d all get the hell out of Dodge. Leave the solar system and start looking for an extrasolar Earthlike planet.” There’s no hope for this planet or the people on it—especially in Ready Player One’s scenario where the Earth is basically dying—so we might as well give up and start over, right? Yet, I wonder if Art3mis’s plan is the wiser of the two. Wade’s idea is to give up, but Art3mis’s is to repair what is broken. If we translated this to a current-day issue—should we nuke the Middle East and build new cities without strife or should we work to make peace amidst people who may never agree? Or even something simpler—should we give up on a friendship or marriage because it gets difficult, or work through the strife to strengthen the relationship? Is Wade’s solution really a solution at all? Won’t starting over eventually bring the same problems he is facing now? Perhaps attempting to renew what is broken without tossing everything out really is the better course of action. I might want to start over, like resetting a video game where I’ve made too many mistakes, but if I work with what I’ve got maybe hope will...

5 Corporations that Ruined Love Feb14

5 Corporations that Ruined Love...

1. MomCorp (Futurama) You’d think most moms would love to see their sons or daughters married, but not this one. Since Walt will only marry someone like Mom (and if there was anyone else like her, she would have fed the woman to the nearest El Chupanibre), Larry is only interested in someone already taken, and Igner… well, I’m not even convinced he understands what love is… it seems MomCorp broke these men for love. The likely reason? GrandMomCorp doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it. 2. Blue Sun Corp (Firefly) Here you are on Valentine’s Day, sipping Blue Sun branded cola at the Blue Sun cafe with your significant other. The sun is setting in a glorious display of red and gold and you cannot imagine how lucky you are to find yourself in such a utopia. God bless the Alliance and God bless the Blue Sun Cor… wait… what is that? Let’s just say love hurts, especially when your name is Miranda. 3. Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil) Just when you think that latest red lipstick is safe for your date, think again. We all know cosmetics companies may start with the purest of love-filled intentions, but it is nearly inevitable that they end up creating underground experimental laboratories and eventually release a t-virus on the general populace. Thanks, Umbrella Corporation; we may love Milla, but we know you ruined love. 4. The Jedi Order (Star Wars) Anakin just wanted to love Padme okay! But nooooo attachments to other individuals through love and marriage is forbidden. Well, look how that turned out for you. Order 66 anyone? 5. Wolfram and Hart (Angel) Do not let the upcoming fictional-lawyer-turned-real-world-princess deceive you about fictional law corporations and their evil intent (shout out to Princess-to-be...

The View from the Bottom: Weakness in Kekkei Sensen Feb12

The View from the Bottom: Weakness in Kekkei Sensen...

I try to hold back tears when I’m emotional, because I don’t want to seem weak. I often don’t let myself cry even in private, hoping that holding back will make me stronger. Society frowns upon weakness and I feel like people will think less of me if they see me in a vulnerable position. However, I’ve learned the hard way that shoving down my sadness does more harm than good, and even scientific studies have confirmed this. In the anime Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront), Riel is a dimensional alien that Leonardo Watch and Sonic Speed Monkey befriend in Hellsalem’s Lot (formerly New York City). Riel is fragile and an easy target for bullies. He hates himself the way he is because he feels like a crybaby who others ridicule. He wishes he was stronger because that would mean his problems would disappear. “If only I wasn’t so frail. If only I were bigger and stronger I wouldn’t have to deal with this terrible stuff,” says Riel. I’ve tried to put on a mask of indifference, but vulnerability is what creates connections between people. Like Riel, I often find myself wishing that I could power through my problems. I look at other people and envy how strong they seem in a situation and then am hard on myself because I can’t handle something as well as they can. Riel encounters a bacterial terrorist named Gimnimo, who’s even smaller than a flea. He appears to empathize with Riel and offers him what he wants: to be strong. He offers Riel enough power to become a danger to Hellsalem’s Lot. “Power is the only thing that matters in this world. So many people get trampled into the ground and for what? Just so the powerful...

Reading Ready Player One: Society Feb09

Reading Ready Player One: Society...

Reality often sucks. For many, just attempting to make a living takes more effort than they can muster, and most countries have a very clear upper and lower class. In North America, where the middle class is still a dream we are attempting to keep, it gets harder and harder to maintain hope that things will improve. Poverty increases, debt is at an all-time high, and if we don’t run out of fossil fuels soon, their use will probably ruin our climate to the point that we can’t live like we do anyway. Ready Player One depicts a world in the not-too-distant future that attempts to answer the question: what will North America be like if we don’t change anything? “At a time of drastic social and cultural upheaval, when most of the world’s population longed for an escape from reality, the OASIS provided it, in a way that was cheap, legal, safe and not technically addictive.” The OASIS provides the escape from the brutal reality of life. For the rich, it’s a place to fulfill the desires that reality can’t or won’t offer, and for the poor it’s a chance to be an ideal version of yourself. How do you escape uncomfortable realities? The OASIS is a chance to travel, to adventure, and to escape drudgery. It’s a place where the obvious hopelessness of poverty can be circumnavigated through questing and avatar apparel. It’s such a successful escape, that even the in-game currency is more stable than anything else in the world. But not only does it offer an escape from reality, but an enticing puzzle as well; when its founder, James Halliday, died, he left controlling interest in the OASIS and his billions of dollars to the player who finds an easter...

When the Princess Tanks: Accepting Others by Disregarding Stereotypes Feb05

When the Princess Tanks: Accepting Others by Disregarding Stereotypes...

When an unexpected attack forces me to crash-land my airship and the party is scattered, I’m left with a giant war golem, a little girl in a green cloak, and a hard-bitten swordsman who’s “getting too old for this crap.” If Battle Chasers: Nightwar followed the norm of classic JRPGs, these three would fill the roles of tank, healer, and soldier, respectively. But I’m surprised to discover that Calibretto, the giant war golem, doesn’t get more hit points than any other character. Despite his hulking frame, he never becomes a tank, nor do any of his skills make him destined to be one. Instead, he is a fantastic healer, and the party loves him for it. Though he can pump out decent damage as well, his character is compassionate and gentle. Gully, the diminutive princess with a kind spirit, is the party’s protector. She generates shields for her companions, defending against and taunting enemies. Out of all the characters, she has the most hit points; she takes a blow like a boss and continues to do so until the enemy has been defeated. Yet, she is also a loving character; she does not have to suppress her emotions or her tendency to care about others, nor does she need protection. When Gully steps in front of cannon fire to save Garrison, the swordsman who fought with her father, he thanks her. He doesn’t scold her or attempt to take the blow for her, because he knows she is better equipped to handle the enemy’s barrage than he is. Other members expect her to stand in the way of danger to provide them chances to use their skills without making a big deal of it. Even ‘Bretto accepts that she is going to get hurt...

Reading Ready Player One: Identity Feb02

Reading Ready Player One: Identity...

Though Ready Player One will soon be released as a movie, the novel has biting social and political commentary, tropes that have come to be expected in science fiction. It also focuses heavily on the individual in a world where people’s importance has been snuffed out by corporate greed. Because each player in the OASIS, an immersive, mega-internet experience, must create an avatar in order to interact in that virtual world—taste, preference, and representation are key plot points in the novel. The first chapters introduce us to Wade, the novel’s protagonist, who attends a virtual school. Though students are limited to human avatars, “no giant, two-headed hermaphrodite demon unicorn avatars,” they have relative freedom a far as body type, hair colour, and dress. Wade himself chooses an avatar which he dubs “Parzival” that is not so dissimilar from his corporeal self: “My avatar had a slightly smaller nose than me, and he was taller. And thinner. And more muscular. And he didn’t have any teenage acne. But aside from these minor details, we looked more or less identical.” Wade modifies himself in this virtual world so that he looks more “desirable,” but ultimately does not choose an entirely different form. Other characters choose to mask, hide, or completely change their identities via their OASIS avatars. Our narrator writes, “People rarely used their real names online. Anonymity was one of the major perks of the OASIS. Inside the simulation, no one knew who you really were, unless you wanted them to. Much of the OASIS’s popularity and culture were built around this fact.” If I had the power to be seen and heard in any manifestation I desired, what might I choose? Students in Wade’s school are even able to turn off the “real-time emotion...

Star Trek and Managing Stress Jan31

Star Trek and Managing Stress...

I wish I could respond to stressful situations the way the characters in Star Trek do. Spock weighs his options before acting during even the most pressing danger, and the bridge crew calmly carries out orders in the heat of battle. My responses, on the other hand, are rushed, unplanned, “fight or flight” reactions that cause more problems than resolutions. In the Star Trek original series episode “The Corbomite Maneuver,” a new crew member, Lieutenant Bailey, panics when the Enterprise encounters a rainbow cube floating in space that’s blocking their way. Bailey shouts out in fear when he sees it, which earns a reprimand from Spock. Later, still feeling embarrassed, he interrupts Spock and defends his outburst by noting that he, like all humans, has an adrenaline gland. Spock replies, “That sounds most inconvenient. Have you considered having it removed?” I can’t control what I feel. But I can control how I act. When Kirk and Spock begin analyzing the situation, attempting to communicate with the cube and planning a strategy, Bailey presses them to shoot first, before the cube has a chance to attack. But since it hasn’t threatened them, they observe it for eighteen hours before proceeding. And even after Kirk declares, “It’s time for action,” he orders special maneuvers to try to lose the cube as it follows them—to Bailey’s chagrin, since he jumped the gun on Kirk’s command and began issuing orders to the weapons crew instead of navigation. When the cube does attack, and later, when the cube’s commander, Balok, addresses the Enterprise and decrees he will kill everyone, Bailey hesitates to respond, too overwhelmed by the situation to function. Several times, Sulu leans over and does Bailey’s job for him. Finally, the stress is too much for the...

Blame! and the Transformative Power of Music Jan29

Blame! and the Transformative Power of Music...

Reading Tsutomu Nihei’s manga Blame! is akin to being dragged into the abysmal underbelly of someone else’s nightmare. The Megastructure, a self-evolving, sentient world of mechanical dread, keeps me subconsciously fighting for survival and the space to breathe. However, Blame!’s distortion of time and space is its true source of terror. If the spindly-legged Safeguard don’t spear trespassers down for daring to leave their dwindling food supplies and claustrophobic conditions, then a few accidental dives into an alternative universe via black hole is sure to strip survivors of any sense of self they might have possessed. It’s fascinating, then, that though the 2017 Netflix Original Film Blame! features an isolated human colony on the brink of extinction and trapped in a solar system-sized City, the film almost entirely does away with its source material’s morbid madness—largely due to its transformative score. While music cannot take any corporeal action in our universe, it bolsters others to be feelers, thinkers, and performers in its stead. For 41 years of cinema history, movies were silent. The advent of soundtracks brought a reign of melody  to the filmic arts, lending yet another of the powerful five senses to screenplays. Music became a method to convey intangible emotions, meanings, truths, and atmospheres in a story; and, in doing so, revealed the rich inner life dwelling within the narrative and, subsequently, within ourselves. Blame!—much like its wandering hero, Killy—is a narrative about hope. It follows an immortal loner’s thousand-year, extra-dimensional journey to find the elusive Net Terminal Gene and restore power to the endangered mortals that created him. Only music is powerful enough to convey the persona of Killy, a silent, brooding humanoid. Amidst a score crafted by one of anime’s trending dystopian composers, Yugo Kanno, Killy’s theme is the...

Reading Grimm: Marriage and Emotional Labour Jan26

Reading Grimm: Marriage and Emotional Labour...

All fairy tales have a lesson, but I’m not sure what the moral in “The Singing, Soaring Lark” is besides “be a good person.” This tale is not actually about a lark; it’s about a young woman (the youngest and favourite daughter) whose father is tricked into trading her to a lion for a lark. This, as you would imagine, radically changes her life. The lion, it turns out, is a prince cursed to be a lion by day; no light can touch him. He and the young woman marry, and they live happily together sleeping by day and being awake by night. But, one day, the lion is touched by a ray of light “about the breadth of a hair,” and he is transformed into a dove. He tells his wife that he must fly across the world for seven years and that she must follow him, but that every seventh step he will let fall a drop of blood and a white feather. So here we have our beloved tropes: a favourite child, the contrast of red and white, a curse, and someone transformed into an animal. For the rest of the story, the young woman is looking for the prince. She receives help from the Sun and the Moon, who give her gifts to use when she needs them most, and the Night Wind and the South Wind, who give her information about where to find her husband. After battling a dragon that turns out to be an enchanted princess and wandering the wilderness some more, she breaks the spell and they ride off on a griffin, living happily ever after until the end of their days. Emotional labour—the work of managing feelings and expressions—is often considered “woman’s work” and is,...

The Best Superpower: ReBoot demonstrates Reconciliation Jan24

The Best Superpower: ReBoot demonstrates Reconciliation...

Forget flight, invisibility, or super speed—the best superpower is the ability to adapt to any situation. It would be awesome to know that whatever came my way, I could just activate my power and be ready to handle it. Sort of like what happens in the TV series ReBoot. In case you missed it, ReBoot was a Canadian TV show set inside a computer called Mainframe. Rendered in glorious low-poly CG, the show followed the adventures of a guardian sprite named Bob along with his friends Dot, Enzo, and Phong. Together they battled various evils, including Megabyte and his vicious sister Hexadecimal. In pretty much every episode, the “user” loaded a game in Mainframe and the characters found themselves compelled to win or be nullified. When a game launched, they double-tapped the icons on their chests, shouted “Reboot!” and turned into game sprites. If it was a fantasy game, they were equipped with chainmail. If it was a space adventure, they were in spacesuits. If it was racing, they sported helmets and fire suits. If you know that forgiveness isn’t going to make you feel better, why bother? Double-click and instant change! I kind of wish forgiveness worked like that. As a Catholic, I partake in the sacrament of reconciliation, where I tell God what I’ve done wrong, express my remorse and resolve to avoid sin in the future. Theologically, the sacrament removes the sin from my soul. What it doesn’t do is take away the real-world consequences. If I have wronged a friend, that hurt doesn’t go away. I might have spiritually rebooted with the intent to be a better person, but I still have to figure out how to deal with the damage I’ve done. Maybe rebooting isn’t quite the superpower I...

Choosing Who We Become: Bucky Barnes and Past Trauma Jan22

Choosing Who We Become: Bucky Barnes and Past Trauma...

After Bucky Barnes falls from the train in Captain America: The First Avenger, he loses a limb, along with so much more. Captured by the evil HYDRA, he is turned into a living weapon and brainwashed into forgetting who he really is. All he can do is follow orders, without any concept of his old identity. Then, decades later, Bucky is sent to kill his former best friend, Steve Rogers. Steve recognizes Bucky and tries to remind him who he is, but Bucky’s identity has been reduced to vague memories. Bucky senses that he’s missing a part of himself, but after all the trauma he’s endured, he doesn’t know how to restore his old identity. Bucky eventually disobeys his orders and saves Steve, then disappears and researches his past life. He ends up living undercover in Bucharest, trying to regain his memories so he can return to the man he used to be. Bucky realizes he can’t be the man he was, but he can choose who he becomes. The sad events of Captain America: Civil War make it clear that Bucky can’t fully escape the trauma of his past. Although he wants to be a decent person again, the “programming” that the enemy built into his brain enables Zemo to unleash Bucky—as the Winter Soldier—on the Avengers, sparking the rift that tears the team apart. Grief and trauma can make us feel like we’ve lost ourselves. A few months ago, my dog passed away due to cancer, and I felt like I’d been robbed of a limb. My dog provided so much joy and stability that, without her, I didn’t feel like myself. As time went on and the sorrow gradually receded, I realized I would never return to my old “normal.” The...

YouTube for the Fandom Loving Soul, Vol 4: Disney Jan19

YouTube for the Fandom Loving Soul, Vol 4: Disney...

New from the Geekdom House Records! Four explosive hits from original stars! It’s the YouTube for the Fandom-Loving Soul, Volume Four, featuring great artists and great videos of the greatest found in Disney and all things geek. That’s right, we’re mashing those things together! Debs & Errol, Nib Oswald, Blind Ferret Studios, and EsquirebobAnimations. Never before have these artists ever been together on one page. All of this for the low low price of FREE, made in three easy installments. That’s Geekdom House Records and the Videos for the Fandom Loving Soul Volume Four: Geek-Disney Parodies. Don’t wait. Watch now. 1. Make it So (Frozen and Star Trek) 2. Darth Vader & Princess Leia (Aladdin and Star Wars) 3. Looking for Group: Slaughter Your World (The Little Mermaid and fantasy) Honourable Mention: Make a ‘Mon Out of You (Mulan and...

Why We Need Adversity to Reboot Jan17

Why We Need Adversity to Reboot...

Every now and then, an event so personally significant comes along that redefines you. Not that you completely lose who you already are, but it may give you a new lens to look at the world through—and it might even be a new lens from which the world looks at you. I’ve found this to be true several times throughout my life—when I got married, had children, and changed jobs. Even my children experiencing a trauma redefines me. Those events require a new set of skills and new strength to make me useful. Each new challenge broadens and shapes me. Each challenge is an opportunity to reboot—to keep what’s useful, and to let go of things that no longer serve me. Adventure starts with adversity, and growth often takes root in discomfort. In the first episodes of Voltron: Legendary Defender, we meet a young cadet name Pidge; but Pidge isn’t what he seems. In episode six, “Taking Flight,” we learn that Pidge is, in fact, a girl. When her brother and father were lost on a Galaxy Garrison mission, she went in search of them. Having been caught hacking the Garrison computer as her true identity, Katie Holt, she needed to redefine herself in order to gain access to the computer without being discovered. Katie cut her hair, dressed like a boy and presented herself as Pidge Gunderson; a cadet in the Galaxy Garrison. Fate assigned her to a team with Hunk and Lance, and she ultimately becomes the Paladin of the Green Lion. Not long after the Voltron crew members begin to trust each other, Pidge reveals to her new friends that she is a girl. All but one of them respond with little or no surprise. Lance, who is always slow on...

On Being the Perfect Daughter Jan15

On Being the Perfect Daughter...

Mulan and Moana are two of my favourite Disney princesses, and they have a lot in common. Both sneak off and disobey their parents in order to save their homes from great danger. Both are in the minority of Disney princesses because their parents are still alive. Neither are taken seriously when they start their quest, but end up gaining the esteem of their companions. (Also, they both have five letter names starting with the letter M.) But the similarity that stands out most to me is that they both struggle with the failure to be the daughter their parents long for them to be. Look at me, I will never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter… if I were truly to be myself, I would break my family’s heart. (“Reflection” from Mulan) Mulan is a thinker and a dreamer. She longs for greater things, but culture demands that she bring honour to her family the only way women are allowed: marry well and bear children, preferably sons. I feel like I need to fit a certain mould in order to honour my parents. I wish I could be the perfect daughter, but I run back to the water, no matter how hard I try. (“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana) Moana is an explorer at heart, but as the daughter of the chief, and as next in line to lead her people, she is constantly forced to turn her gaze from the sea to the people in front of her. Both Mulan and Moana are faced with expectations they don’t feel they are able to fulfill. Society, their parents, and even they themselves have set a bar that seems impossible to overcome. And it seems all the harder because these...

Reading Grimm: Redefining Family Jan12

Reading Grimm: Redefining Family...

When I first read “Brother and Sister,” I was struck by how many familiar elements it contained that I knew from other fairy tales: siblings who are forced out on their own (like “Hansel and Gretel”); a wicked stepmother (like “Cinderella”) who is also a witch (like “Snow White”); that wicked stepmother also tries to usurp her stepchildren’s position with her own children (again, like “Cinderella”). Add in a little therianthropy (humans transforming into animals) and this odd fairy tale is a weird hodgepodge of tropes. But of all the familiar elements, it’s the portrayal of the domestic that strikes me as the most interesting. As noted folklorist Jack Zipes commented, fairy tales were never the sole domain of children; however a key aspect of fairy tales is an attempt to understand the complexities of the world. Only a superficial reading of these stories would say that home is safe and the outside world is dangerous and full of predators. In “Brother and Sister,” we see the strength of the familial bond between the main characters, but their home life is not safe. To escape the tyranny of their wicked stepmother, Brother and Sister leave their home to make their way into the world and, in essence, find their place in the world. In the broad strokes of fairy tales, stepmothers represent a disruption to the family unit. It’s a wholly unfair portrayal that still has negatively coloured stepparents, but as a sort of literary shorthand, it shows a family that looks whole on the surface with dysfunction just beneath. In the absence of a caring, nurturing home life, Brother and Sister embark on a search to find family. What’s most interesting to me is that although Sister marries the King and has a...

The Anger of Apes and Humans Jan10

The Anger of Apes and Humans...

I admit it—I struggle with road rage. It was particularly out of control when I first received my license as a teenager. While I was driving one evening, a car turned into my lane unexpectedly. I changed lanes and hit the gas, intending to pull up next to the driver and, uh, show my displeasure. But before I could do so, the elderly woman behind the wheel waved an apologetic hand toward me, and in that instant, I calmed down and realized how inexplicably angry I had become. I waved back and went on my way. Whenever I’m behind the wheel now, I remember that incident. I try to become a calmer driver, one who doesn’t need a wave to remind me to be kind on the road. But it remains a challenge for me to respond with grace when I feel wronged. Anger is easier, and satisfying in the moment—an emotion Caesar, the protagonist in the Planet of the Apes reboot, is intimately familiar with. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the previous film in the trilogy, Koba, a bonobo who is unable to forgive humans for the experiments they conducted on him, sets the impetus for war between humans and apes. Though he died in that movie, his specter continues to haunt Caesar as he finds himself becoming more and more like Koba. In War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar chooses to hunt down the Colonel, who had murdered his family. Caesar leaves his tribe defenseless by doing so. As violence escalates, Caesar, having always been the ironic picture of what humanity could be rather than what it is, grows angrier and angrier. After one of his comrades, Luca, is killed, he declares that the humans must pay,...

Dealing with Dementors and Depression Jan08

Dealing with Dementors and Depression...

J.K. Rowling’s dementors, first introduced in The Prisoner of Azkaban, are a frightening, visceral force of evil, serving both as a villainous power and a major plot point. But these cloaked and hooded minions are more than just another antagonist that Harry must defeat; they are reminiscent of a stigmatized, fundamentally human struggle: mental illness and depression. Rowling herself has confirmed that the dementors represent the horrors of depression, and if we take a closer look at these frightening creatures, similarities between their impact on the characters and the realities of mental illness abound. In both the Harry Potter books and their on-screen counterparts, dementors cause a creeping sense of dread, a tangible coldness in the air, and a dredging-up of horrible memories. The longer a character is in the presence of a dementor, whose very name suggests “mental demons,” the worse these symptoms become. Harry hears his mother screaming, feels a numbing cold, and eventually, unable to cope with the horror, passes out. These symptoms are similar to clinical depression—a darkness, an almost existential dread, and claustrophobic, tunnel-like enclosing, which leaves the one suffering in a state of suspended numbness and despair. Though hope may exist outside of the dementors’ range, that hope is inaccessible; it might as well be non-existent to those suffering. Lupin affirms that the amplified reaction Harry has to dementors is not because there’s something wrong with him. The first time Harry experiences the terrifying effects of the dementors, he is ashamed and embarrassed in the aftermath. Though Hermione and Ron are also horrified, they do not respond nearly as viscerally as he does. Indeed, Harry is frequently mocked by his arch-enemy, Draco Malfoy, because of how strongly he responds to the dementors. Lucky for Harry, though, he is...

YouTube for the Fandom Loving Soul, Vol 3: Anime Jan05

YouTube for the Fandom Loving Soul, Vol 3: Anime...

New from the Geekdom House Records! Four explosive hits from original stars! It’s the YouTube for the Fandom-Loving Soul, Volume Three, featuring great artists and great videos of the greatest found in the oft-strange but immensely creative world of Anime. That’s right, we’re mashing those things together! Gregzilla, The Kira Justice, Rider4Z with Otaku Lounge Productions, and the man himself, Vic Mignonia. Never before have these artists ever been together on one page. All of this for the low low price of FREE, well aside from an arm and a leg but someone already paid that for you. That’s right free and all found on one great web page. That’s Geekdom House Records and the Videos for the Fandom Loving Soul Volume Three: Anime Edition. Don’t wait. Watch now. 1. Eren’s Secret Weapon (Attack on Titan Parody) 2. Literal Fairy Tail Opening 3. Deadpool / One Punch Man Parody Honourable Mention: Brothers sung by Vic...