this theme does not show the source but i swear it's there




 I just realized something epic. 

 The girl from the opening credits, who we’ve seen every episode for 9 million episodes, getting prepped for her burial. The girl that we have spent countless hours trying to identify. SHE’S A REAL DOLL.

 Did we know this already?!?! Cause now that I know, it’s so obvious that it hurts. And honestly, it so beautifully synchronous that I can’t stand it. I feel like everyone else knew this, but me.

 Not familiar with “Real Dolls”? Well do yourself a favor and don’t google it. It’s not necessary to research one to get the point. Because you will in fact end up in the extremely treacherous domain of sex toys. I’m serious. Do NOT Google the subject “real dolls” unless you are old enough, and in the correct social and mental state to end up looking at some sex toys. Cause it is a 100% fact that that will happen. You will land in an uncomfortable world of porn as well.

 Let me redirect you instead to the film, “Lars and the Real Girl”. A much more PG way for you to learn about these life size “companions”. The Wikipedia page will also give you the gist, and has some generic info about their designs and “features”. still, it’s a sex doll. so… proceed with caution. My browser got very dirty trying to find a decent photo for comparison. 

 For seasons upon seasons I thought that they just used close ups of a model or something, and were just blasting the contrast so we wouldn’t think it was anyone in particular. I figured that’s why she looked so shiny and inhuman. But no. She looks shiny and inhuman because she’s made of silicone. Her nail beds looked so odd because they’re fake. Her eyes look so dead, because they’re plastic. She looks like a barbie doll because she basically is. 

 Real Dolls are so lifelike that they can be posed, groomed, styled, and dressed. Their “flesh” is made of platinum silicone. Of course the contrast is still way turned up to cover the inhuman nature of the corpse, but it’s still apparently fairly lifelike. Which is why the mouth has give when they’re putting lipstick on it. Their eyelids can be closed, their hair can be styled, their nails can be done. They are also anatomically correct, but that’s a story for another network. And they are custom designed so specifically that you can build the girl of your dreams.

Why am I familiar enough with “Real Dolls” to think I’ve recognized one? I’ve never seen one outside of photo shoots (a few prominent photographers have done shoots) or the movie mentioned above… but their “uncanny valley” aspect is honestly a source of terror and fascination for me. Its so weird. When photographed properly, they look almost-but-not-quite human. I’ve included a nice G rated picture from the company’s website, in the photo set above to give you an idea. 

 I’m sure the idea probably crossed my mind before, but I probably dismissed it immediately because the doll aspect was kinda minimal at that time.

 *Fun bonus fact that I’m sure is irrelevant: According to Wikipedia the company’s first male model was named “Charlie”. I’m serious. how serendipitous!

Now, I’m not saying that they are using an actual sex doll in the opening credits. I mean, maybe. It sure could be. For their purposes, a convincing humanoid doll is a convincing humanoid doll. They are careful to make you understand that these dolls are also companions. And there certainly are people who use them as a surrogate for cuddling and companionship. I mean, the idea the show may have used an anatomically correct doll, is not to imply that the doll itself was ever to be sexualized. And on ABC family, I’m certain it wouldn’t be. Honestly it’s just the joy that the originating company calls the Real Dolls. like. Dolls. Great. 

All of this is to say: The technology to make an uncomfortably humanoid doll is definitely out there. So to say that it’s not a doll in the opening credits, because it’s mouth looks too lifelike, or it has real hair eyebrows, is not valid. It’s very much possible that an effects team could’ve been hired to create a very lifelike mannequin for use in the opening credits. They’ve already made some pretty impressive lifeless limbs for the show, like Jessica’s hand sticking out from the grave. 

 So… Since the very first episode… We’ve been watching someone prep a doll. seemingly for a funeral. A doll that suspiciously shares many physical traits with a lot of the girls on the show. “A” has a type, and they’ve prepared to bury the embodiment of that type. The question is why? Is it in tribute to someone they’ve lost? Or out of obsession for someone they’re still waiting to bury? Is it just an abstract concept that these girls are nothing more than dolls, even in death? Does it mean anything at all?

 I mean, this raises tons of questions. Obviously, those credits were filmed so long ago, before they conceived of this current story line which focuses so hard on dolls. So, was this a carryover theme from the books? Something they knew would always be in play? or did they draw influence from the opening credits later?

Will they ever deliver on such a delicious set up? Will we ever encounter this doll in A’s life? Or is she just metaphorical? The amount of things that ran through my mind as the symbolic possibilities of this doll were amazing. 

 I’m giddy. I swear. I mean. She’s a doll! How utterly perfect! Seasons upon season of references to dolls and ‘A’s love of dolls, and right there in the opening credits is the most lifelike life sized doll yet invented. 

*always accept the disclaimer that this is just a theory. I have in no way confirmed this to be fact. I just feel weirdly confident that it’s true.*

 Well done, Marlene and Co. Well. Done.

Week Five: Big Data Review

I like to think that the concept of innovative art only really reached its peak when the internet came along. I mean, there were people drawing on cave walls and writing with quill feathers and clattering on typewriters a little before that, but it was when the world wide web came to surface that the way we processed media truly changed. As a technology obsessed, sugar gargling millennial, I couldn’t possibly define myself today without a sweet, sweet machine able to give me immediate access to the art form of choice: podcasts. 

But let’s, for one very terrifying minute, imagine what it would be like if the internet was plucked away and whatever phone, tablet, or laptop you were reading this from was obsolete. Hell, I’m entirely obsolete. Your collection of cat photos on Facebook, your favorite recipes on Pinterest, your favorite Let’s Play channels-just slipped out of your fingers because seven thieves with seven keys to the internet had something else in mind. 

This is the general premise of Ryan Estrada’s first audio drama, the nine episode long Big Data. In this crime caper comedy, the entire world gets thrown into a frenzy when the ultimate source of information and privacy is taken away and we all get to know these thieves personally and decipher why they committed their crime before the internet is gone for good. Hilarity ensues.

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The Finale of TOZX

I’ve seen a lot of reactions to the last Tales of Zestiria X episode flooding the tags and the two most prominent ones thus far have been Sorey and Mikleo fans being upset while Sorey and Alisha fans are quite happy. Somewhere in between, there are people who are getting angry at shippers for being upset, and for shippers being happy.

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Tips for Fanfic Authors

I’ve been writing fanfics as ahiddenpath for over three years, and I wrote under a different pen name (which I shall not disclose for fear of causing irreparable damage to my dignity) from middle school through my first year of high school.  At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I’ve learned a few things during my time as a fanfic author, mostly by doing the wrong thing first.  

I wanted to distill those hard-earned lessons into a digestible list for new fanfic authors, or for battle-hardened word warriors who want to compare their experiences to mine.    

Please note that this advice is specifically for writing fanfiction.  It’s not general writing advice.

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