I feel like something that’s kinda glazed over (because it’s something that internet dudes have been arguing against for like two decades now) in the discussion of gamergate and the alt right and shit is that like

Yes, I think that the narrative that a certain group of dudes made video games their one like sanctuary from the ‘real world’ in which they aren’t doing that well but like, I also feel like the thing that’s the biggest throughline for the largest groups of the alt right is that they’ve basically accepted the shitty political implications of video games and made it their like, explicit politics and shit.  Like the nationalism, the misogyny, the hatred towards pretty much any non-white people you can think of, has been something we’ve been awkwardly shrugging off about video games for years

Bullet Points: Secrets and Shiny Things

Ill Boding Patterns–part 1

Bullet points are encapsulated scene analysis from the top of each act to the bottom. (each act is bookended by a commercial break)

1. The scene progression in the Teaser is VERY enlightening. As we know, it gives us the lens through which to view the rest of the episode. It sets up the relevant themes and as always, each scene is informed by and informs, those that come before and after. I’m gonna point that out a little more here than usual because, as I said, in this case it’s fascinating.

And since this was one of the least subtle eps of primetime tv I’ve see in a long time it’s not hard to spot the throughlines.

A hard hat may not be good enough to protect you from the anvils in this one. Fair warning.


2. Personally I loved Beowulf when I read it both in high school and in college. Yeppers, I was that kid. You’re shocked, aren’t you?

3. I was surprised (in a good way) when I saw they were casting someone to play Beowulf. I mean I figured they weren’t gonna get too deep into the weeds of the actual story, which frankly I don’t blame them for, it’s a little dense for primetime. 

But Hrunting the enchanted sword and the overarching them of epic battle were perfect choices to use as illuminators of the current storyline(s)

Nice story choice!

4. The staging of the first part of the scene is spectacular. Lots of moving pieces. People. Noise. Flaming catapult rounds. Wooden spikes. Potential danger is everywhere and a battle is definitely afoot.

They do a very nice job of giving that time to unfold.

And though there are dozens of people going about their business, including a blacksmith, we only “meet” two of them. Beowulf and a poor, hapless foot solider looking for courage in a flask. (From here on out to be referred to a PHF)

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i am super embarrassingly heartbreakingly invested in poe being canonically gay and i am also legitimately so glad that for ONCE EVER fandom has not just decided to unilaterally ignore a black man having an extremely slashable relationship and have, instead, rallied behind it

but i really wish it would do that without being gross and dismissive about finn and rey’s relationship in ways that literally just mimics the exact same language and rationale always used to exclude black men as romantic interests in both fanon and canon

the fact that you’re shipping poe/finn doesn’t actually make ignoring the obvious romantic setup of finn/rey by discussing how there’s ~no chemistry~ and finn’s so much more like a brother to rey and she so obviously doesn’t return his feelings any less hurtful

like here’s the thing: with john boyega and daisy ridley as leads, with rey and finn written as they were, their relationship being the huge focus that it was, their caring for each other being the emotional throughline for the film that it was, they set up a fucking star wars trilogy to revolve around a black leading man in an interracial relationship with a white woman which is still such a huge taboo it’s straight up fucking embarrassing

and yes it would be a magical occurrence of wonder and delights if finn/poe was actually canon, but it’s already pretty fucking wonderful that finn/rey is so idk maybe don’t casually shit on that bcs it’s kinda important

Nas Talks Writing Raps for Netflix Hip-Hop Drama ‘The Get Down’

In the first episode, the series’ protagonist Ezekiel “Books” Figuero is portrayed as a gifted teen poet and a formidable park rapper played by Justice Smith, and a grown Nineties hip-hop icon portrayed by Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs. Nas wrote the lyrics for his introspective poems, battle raps and nostalgic reminisces, providing a throughline for an episode already loaded with super disco breaks and claustrophobic krautrock.

Rolling Stone: So you wrote every rap on this show that comes out of Ezekiel’s mouth. How did you get into the headspace of this character?

Nas: I put myself in a position … I said to myself, “If it was you, if Ezekiel was you, you’d be telling your story. I made myself Ezekiel. I said, "Yo, Nas, what’s your story growing up in hip-hop? How do you feel by making it to become a voice in the Nineties, because you remember all the hard times, you remember Mayor Dinkins being elected, you remember New York City when the streets were flooded with crack, and crime was everywhere.” So I am Ezekiel. Ezekiel is older than me, but I am that.

vulcansmirk  asked:

One more for the Russos: In some of your previous work on Arrested Development and Community, it seems like you had to deal with a lot of intersecting storylines, and the success of the comedy relied on a keen sense of both authenticity and timing. How much of that process made it into Civil War? Do you think that experience helped you at all in keeping track of so many characters' throughlines?

Almost all of that process made it into Civil War. The complexity of both of those shows and the amount of characters we had to deal with on a weekly basis certainly was a great training ground for working in the Marvel Universe. And oddly comedic gags translate in a geometric way to action. So yes those shows were both very helpful. -JR

Beware of Country Bears

I’ve been working on an expanded version of my Disney Gothic story about the Country Bears Jamboree. I’m planning to eventually go back through and de-Disney it all, so that Disney doesn’t try to sue or anything and also so that I don’t have to be super historically accurate. 

But in the meantime I’m leaning heavily on the Disney structure, so I’ve been watching reel of the Country Bear Jamboree (park fans tend to be detail oriented, and you can find videos of the Jamboree on youtube by year, going back almost a decade, as well as scripts going back to 1971). 

It’s just such a weird performance. Most of the Animatronic Burlesques, as I think of them, have a clear narrative arc and a kind of throughline – the Tiki Room, the Hall of Presidents, the Carousel of Progress, they all have a story and a point. The Jamboree is this bizarre fever dream full of bears in wigs and half-understood in-jokes. And once in a while, if you look where the spotlights aren’t, you see some truly unsettling stuff. The piano player looks super sad as they lower him into the pit, and there’s a weird moment where the tiny bear-child on the end of the Jug Band setpiece gives an approving little hoot following a song about a guy who keeps getting yelled at by the women in his life for not being highly sexed enough. 

There is a song about how Mama shouldn’t beat her son for misbehaving, she should just shoot him. This is being sung to a crowd primarily composed of overstimulated children and their very tired parents. 

And people applaud the bears. That’s weird, right? I mean I think I did it, when I was watching it, but that’s weird! They’re robots! There’s no puppeteers or anything. Nobody applauds the Tiki Room or the Hall of Presidents. Though I did startle @scifigrl47 when they introduced Dwight Eisenhower during the Hall of Presidents and I let out a sudden, murderous growl. (I’ve just finished reading Command And Control, about nuclear accidents and escalations, and I have shockingly strong opinions about Eisenhower.) 

Anyway, it all works in my favor, but damn. Ease back on the child murder and bear sex there a little, Walt. 


The Harriet Tubman thing got me remembering a mini-comic about Andrew Jackson that I started, but never finished, in 2007, when I was just starting to make comics for real.  Most of us know the many “big” reasons to hate Jackson (the illegal deportation and subsequent deaths of huge numbers of Native Americans in a direct violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the land they held in title was, in fact, theirs, accompanied by the chillingly dictatorial proclamation “Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it,” the cheating at duels, the destruction of the economy, etc) but it’s important to remember that he was also awful in the little things, those day-to-day interactions in which he habitually ruined the lives of those he encountered.  This comic was going to just be a bunch of vignettes, stuff like him trampling old people in the street with his horse, swindling farmers out of their land, all that stuff.

I abandoned it because, well, there’s no narrative throughline, and I reckoned that a purely negative comic wasn’t the best use of my energies.

These are thumbnails, by the way, not final art.  Lucky for you!  My final art from nine years back would’ve been way worse.

I give [future Hedwigs] a lot of advice, because I work with them all. But the biggest thing that I remind them is that the character is there by accident because of tragedy, and to keep the undercurrent of emotion throughout, because there’s a lot of jokes, there’s a lot of songs, there’s a lot of surface fun. Sugar, so to speak. But to keep the throughline of someone who’s been damaged, and triumphs in the end. Finds themselves. It really is a coming of age story, strangely. And that’s why we’re so excited that so many people can relate to it, and can play Hedwig. You know, everybody’s Hedwig now.
—  John Cameron Mitchell (x)
So I rewatched Desperate Souls

…for the first time in well over a year. (ALL my summer shows are over and I have nothing else to do. :-() 

First…geez it’s painful to see this show back when it was good, when the twists were twisty and Emma was Emma-y and the Storybrooke citizens actually appeared. 

Second, OMG tiny wee babies Jared and Dylan! And you know, while the boys look nothing alike now that they’re teens, there was a definite resemblance between the tiny wee babies.

Third…foreshadowing galore! After three seasons of watching Kitsowitz wing it, it’s somewhat shocking to realize that there was a time when they actually had a narrative throughline…and Dark Swan was it.

And fourth and most important…I was watching, of course, with special attention to how EVOL peasant Rumple takes on the curse and how it affects him. Turns out I’d forgotten one significant line:

Rumpelstiltskin: To keep a man like the Dark One as a slave? No, I… I-I can’t. I’d be terrified.

Fast forward to the climax. Rumple just literally walked through fire to steal the dagger to save his son. It’s nearly dawn and he has almost no time to save Bae. He calls on Zoso and…nothing. No answer.

Until he turns around and–boo! Spooked by the Dark One. And from this moment, even though Rumple has the dagger in hand, and technically has the power, Zoso taunts and intimidates Rumple.

And…holy fucking shit, you guys. He sounds EXACTLY like Milah. His words drip contempt. He plays on Rumple’s anxieties. He practically spits venom, just as she does. And he directly invokes her by bringing up Bae’s parentage.

Zoso: …Wield the power wisely. You can wield at any time now. It’s almost dawn. That means it’s your son’s birthday. I bet Hordor and his men are already on their way to your house.

Rumpelstiltskin: No, they can’t take him.

Zoso: You don’t control them – you control me. Have you ever wondered – was he really your child at all? Unlike you, he’s not a coward and yearns to fight and die in glory.

Rumpelstiltskin: No…

Zoso: What a poor bargain that would be – to lay down your soul to save your bastard son. So, I ask you – what would you have me do?

To which Rumple responds: “Die.” 

Killing Zoso wasn’t about gaining power at all. Rumple already  had the power with the dagger. It was about being thrust back to Milah’s (and possibly even Malcolm’s) emotional abuse. It wasn’t that Rumple couldn’t just tell Zoso what to do–it was that he couldn’t deal, AGAIN, and constantly with someone who constantly reviles him. He was afraid–not of Zoso’s magical power, but of Zoso’s viciousness.

Once again, Rumple made a terrible decision (just like his other two terrible decisions, letting Bae fall through the portal and sending Belle away at the end of Skin Deep) because of sheer blind panic.


Youtuber Michael Lichand has created this wonderful and thorough analysis of the narrative throughline of the Mario Party Party series. He even makes some predictions for the future. Give it a watch!