The election of Donald Trump and crying “free speech” to end any discussion of cultural sensitivity are not unrelated. Casting the dissent of marginalized groups as a First Amendment violation is the kind of pseudo-intellectual argument that seems reasonable to people who don’t have enough skin in the game to bother paying attention. “Discourse” is good! Sunlight is the best disinfectant! The more airtime we give to irrational bigots on high-profile platforms — the more assiduously we hear both sides, stay “fair and balanced” — the sooner they’ll be rejected by the public at large!
Unfortunately, as any scientist can tell you (for as long as we still have those), more often than not, sunlight makes things grow. Conflating criticism with censorship fosters a system in which all positions deserve equal consideration, no bad ideas can ever be put to rest, and lies are just as valid as the truth.
It’s not hard to draw a straight line from internet culture warriors’ misappropriation of free speech to our current mass delusions over climate change, the Hyde Amendment, abstinence-only education, health care as a luxury and class as a meritocracy. “Free speech” rhetoric begot “fake news,” which begot “alternative facts.”
The right cannot lay claim to the First Amendment when its own president is actively hostile to it. Sometimes disinfectant is the best disinfectant.
It’s really pretty funny, because I always thought of myself as the wimpy kid and was really shocked when I was asked to play the cool one. I mean, I am a goofy person, really. That’s where my energy goes, that’s how I live my life. The goof gene is very strong inside me, really.
Imagine Wally visiting Iris at CC Picture News and developing the biggest crush on Linda when he sees her. He’s sure it’s love at first sight.
But Linda is all, ‘Haha. No. I’m done with your family. It’s messy and I don’t do messy. And I’m not even sure you’re legal yet.‘
Wally just thinks this means he has to prove how mature and cool he is, but he keeps failing because he overestimates himself. At first Linda is annoyed - a guy 'proving himself’ doesn’t mean anything to her anymore - but after a while the whole thing just becomes hilarious to her.
And before she knows it Wally just has to come in and he lights up when he sees her and she can’t help but smile because… actually he’s kind of adorable.
I just really need Wally and Linda to happen now, okay?
Jon and Sansa attend a tourney, where they both meet, for the first time, Stannis Baratheon. Later, the two are discussing a noble that caught their eye. Much to their confusion, it transpires that they are talking about the same person. Who would give in to the other's insistence that "It's only proper that YOU are the first to seek a different sort of companionship with Lord Stannis"? If anyone seems OOC in this scenario, feel free to explain with the introduction of strong wine ;)
I think you’d have to get everyone involved drunk to have a different reaction to Stannis than “fuck, that man looks terrifying and also like he’s never had fun in his life”. Up close there might be a mention of how he has the Most Impressive Eyes ™ in the books, but those generally tend to contribute to “fuck, that man looks terrifying”. But I think it’d take more than that for either of them to, like, voluntarily spend time around Stannis. ;) All Stannis ships are very hard to make happen without helpful circumstances, I’m afraid.
ok here's a little gander for ya: you know how everyone always jokes about a homestuck movie? well, i was thinking about that, and then I realized something. copyright. could a homestuck movie even happen because of the sheer amount of copyrighted materials it has? i mean, john's shirt symbol is literally slimer. i figured i'd come to you to ask since you had that big discussion about homestuck's copyrighted-ness a while back so. yeah, if you know, could a homestuck movie even happen?
Iirc John’s shirt is actually a Japanese knockoff of Slimer, but yeah.
Homestuck and copyright is actually a fascinating thing to wrangle with. And tbh, copyright might not be as big a hurdle as trademark. But let’s walk through this.
I’m going to race through some copyright basics to give you a grounding, although this is only scratching the surface and please do not take any of it as legal guidance. Copyright is a MESS.
Copyright protects original creative works put down in tangible form. If I spend years compiling a phonebook that just organizes people’s numbers, it’s not copyright protected - it’s not creative. However, a doodle on my class notes is (as well as my class notes). “Tangible form” makes digital stuff a bit confusing, but most people agree that since it’s stored on a server somewhere, digital content is also protected.
US copyright protections are kinda absurd, tbh. Works that qualify are protected immediately, without any registration. Those protections last for a very long time. This is mostly due to powerful media production companies who want to both protect their own works for as long as possible and also beggar the public domain to hamstring competition. This really violates the original intent of copyright protection, which was to benefit the public two ways - encourage creators to make stuff bc they’d be able to profit off it for a while and THEN release that stuff into the public domain for everyone to use. Corporations ruin everything.
Usually, if you want to use something copyrighted, you need permission and may need to pay a licensing fee. However, there is a built in protection in copyright. This is called “fair use”, and it protects certain unlicensed, unpermitted uses. Four use is determined by considering four factors - the nature of the use (is it for education? for profit? published widely or limited in viewership?), the type of work being used (is the work fiction or nonfiction? artistic or scholarly?), the amount used (is it a lot? is it the most important or recognizable part?), and the potential impact on the market of the original work.
The irritating thing about fair use is that it’s not a right with clear, demarcated boundaries. It’s a legal defense, and whether a use is fair can only ever be proven in the courts. Also, although a case a while back held that copyright holders have to consider fair use before sending cease and desist messages, they often don’t, hoping to intimidate people into backing down. After all, usually it’s only powerful companies who can afford to go to court to defend their use or prosecute users - or pay licensing fees to use content in the first place. See why current copyright law makes me cranky?
So, let’s talk Homestuck.
Hussie has used a lot of copyright-protected material. His “dubiously royalty free images” for many backgrounds, mis-attributed quotes, etc. He is probably banking on a lot of it falling under fair use, although he has compromised a fair use analysis in a few ways. To break it down… the nature of his use is for entertainment and it’s widely available on the internet, which finds against him. Many of the works he’s used have been artistic rather than scholarly, which also finds against him. The amount varies… sometimes he uses whole stock photos, which is more dangerous than a single quote from a book. Naturally, all his uses are only a small part of Homestuck’s whole. So this one is mixed. Finally, the fourth factor, which is often the most heavily weighed because copyright is all about money these days, is the most in his favor. Most of his uses of copyrighted material are not going to hurt the market for the original. No one is going to use a picture of Derse instead of the original cathedral he colored purple and drew all over. Unfortunately, the courts are far less friendly toward this factor if you’re making a profit off of it. The fact that Hussie is, among other things, selling ad space on the site and selling book versions of the comic, hurts him.
The final point in his favor is a disputed interpretation of the first factor of fair use - “transformative use”. This is the idea that if your use is transformative in some way - if it turns the copyrighted work into something new or uses it in a new way - it is more likely to be fair. This helped Hathi Trust when they were being sued by the author’s guild - their work to make works more accessible and searchable in new ways was considered transformative. Turning a stock photo into a background of a comic panel can also be seen as transformative.
Now, that’s only bearing on one factor out of four, although some courts have held it as more of a game changer than others. That’s what AO3 rests on, after all! But that would be his best defense.
So - would Homestuck the webcomic be protected by fair use? I’m honestly not sure. The courts are very capricious on this matter. But here’s the thing - when you’re one person doing your thing, you can make that call. When a film company gets involved… they are far less likely to take that risk. They’re way more visible. So if a film company were to take on Homestuck as a project, I assume they would strip out anything that could be a copyright violation. That wouldn’t be much of a problem, really - after all, they could generate their own backgrounds, rather than grab stock images. I don’t know if they would worry about the source material having violations or not. (Didn’t stop the people making the Shadowhunte/rs show, now did it?) Although that might bring Homestuck to the attention of a few people who might not have noticed earlier that their copyrights were infringed upon.
Even so, though, most of the time people don’t prosecute. It’s not worth it. (Unless it’s Disney. Disney comes after elementary schools putting Disney characters on the wall. They suck. Don’t cross them.) So at the end of the day, I don’t think Hussie’s running *much* risk of copyright infringement suits, and a film could easily dodge the risks that he did take.
Now trademarks are another story.
Copyright protects original creative works. Trademarks protect brands. A company’s logo, or name, or tagline… they don’t want someone else using it and confusing consumers. In some cases, people can be trademarked to. A quick search of the trademark office turned up results for ICP, Guy Fieri, and Betty Crocker. Some of those are major plot points in Homestuck! So getting that through in a Homestuck film would probably involve talking with these groups to see if they’re down with, for example, having their company mascot portrayed as a murderous alien queen. Some might see it as product placement or advertising of a sort. Some might not, and they might have to strip company names, mascots, celebrities, and symbols and replace them with something else or strike a financial deal.
I am not an expert in copyright or trademark law. This is based off one semester of education on the topic and my best guesses. But I would say that while Homestuck the webcomic gleefully infringes on copyright and violates trademarks, it probably would not be too difficult to clear that out for a film version with a few notable exceptions, which would involve replacements or deals with the people/groups involved.
Yo, hi it's the Intro to Engineering anon, and first that whole thing kinda worked out, and I did more work and hopefully we'll be able to build something that works next class and second on a unrelated note, I got cast for 4 parts in my drama club and I'm super excited!! (We're doing vignettes) Also today was my b-day and I got a bunch of books with LGBT characters so yay! (Sorry that was a bit of a ramble, just wanted to share)
For being the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland has quite a large amount of reports of ghostly activities, and I’m not talking the Haunted Mansion. Though there’s only been 9 deaths at the park since it opened in 1955, people do tend to spread ashes of their loved ones on rides and it turns out there’s more than a few resident ghosts on the premises
The People Mover Ghost- If you don’t know what the PeopleMover was, it was a transport system in Tomorrowland that has since been closed. This ghost is thought to be the spirit of someone who died on the peoplemover during grad night while trying to jump between the trains (two people actually died this way). According to the story, before he fell onto the tracks he grabbed his girlfriend’s hair, which was long and blonde, and so any woman who got on the Peoplemover with long blonde hair would feel a tug on it. Of course we can’t really test that theory anymore since the ride has since closed
Tom Sawyer’s Island Children- Two people drowned in the Rivers Of America that surround TSI, but the hauntings on the island itself seem strangely unrelated. Cast Members say they’ve seen the silhouettes of children running around the island after the park has closed and have also heard laughter.
Timmy- There’s a story about a mother who spread her son’s ashes on the Haunted Mansion because it was his favorite ride, and now his spirit lingers at the exit of the ride. He appears to be crying but if you approach him to talk to him he will take no notice of you and not respond. I’ve heard a similar story with Pirates of the Caribbean, but people usually connect him with the Haunted Mansion.
Walt Disney- That’s right, the big man himself has been reported to haunt Disneyland as well. He has been spotted in several places including the Disney Gallery and the Dream Suite above Pirates of the Caribbean, but my favorite story happens to be at his old apartment above the fire station in Main Street. The story goes that an employee was cleaning it and then turned the lights off before she left, but when she checked left the building, she looked back and they were turned on again, so she went to go turn them off again but she heard a voice say “Don’t forget, I am still here.”. They now leave the light on in the apartment at a tribute to Walt.
There’s many more stories than just that, too. You may not believe any of these are true, but either way, they sure do make for good stories. And please remember, don’t spread your ashes at Disneyland, that’s just gross.
I’m NOT a natural killer. You see this? You see what it says? I’m supposed to keep the peace, I am. If I kill people to do it, I’m reading the wrong manual.
Commander Sam Vimes of the City Watch
I’ve always liked the character of Vimes, and he’s only gotten better as the books go on. He believes the nobody is above the law, especially those that think they are. He may say he dislikes or doesn’t trust someone, but that’s how he feels about everyone, including himself.
He’s a suspicious bastard, which may be why I like him so much because I can see a lot of myself in his character. He always wants people to get what they deserve, whether it’s a hot meal or tight rope. He’s the sort of police officer I wish we had more of in real life.
I think that without him, the novels featuring the city watch of Ankh Morpork wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. Most of the books centered on them tend to deal with issues of racial prejudice and social commentary. Feet of Clay, Men at Arms, Jingo, Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Snuff… they all deal with something we can relate to, now that I think about it.
Of course, people would wanna start with Guards Guards! since that’s where the watch are really introduced. However, there’s less about real world issues because it is a book dedicated to getting readers familiar with a new cast.
Largely unrelated to the City Watch, Monstrous Regiment is another very good recommendation. Small Gods is also pretty good.