untaped

*untapes my webcam so the Hackers can see me eating mustard potato salad straight outta a 5 pound tub so theyll know to never tap into my computer again*

Goblin Reviews 34B: Champions of Kamigawa

When we last left Champions of Kamigawa, it was actively not good. Fortunately, Champions of Kamigawa is not without merit. It includes one of the greatest goblins to ever be printed. Not Ben-Ben, though. Definitely not Ben-Ben.



Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit is the special kind of limited bomb that’s completely unplayable in any other format. In order for Ben-Ben to work, you have to be playing basically all mountains, on the defensive, and happy to end your turn with your mana untapped. I can’t comprehend the kind of deck that this would be. Some sort of control deck? Ben-Ben counts non-basic Mountains like Blood Crypt and Smoldering Marsh, but just how much you need to telegraph Ben-Ben ensures he’s never going to hit anything important. At best, he’ll stall your opponent until he draws removal… But you’re a red deck, so what are you stalling for? Buying time to Storm out? Sure, there’s some goofy combos here like attacking with your own Stuffy Doll, but otherwise no. Very no.



KIKI-JIKI, MIRROR BREAKER IS THE GREATEST GOBLIN IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! Assuming that world is Kamigawa. If played fairly, Kiki-Jiki effectively attacks as your best other creature, re-triggers “enters the battlefield” effects, or acts as an indestructible blocker by making something else to throw into play. The sheer volume of creatures with ETB abilities makes Kiki-Jiki a powerful character in any deck built with him in mind, but… why would you ever play fairly? There are a number of creatures, such as Pestermite, Deceiver Exarch, Zealous Conscript, and Felidar Guardian, whose enter the battlefield effects allow you to ‘reset’ Kiki-Jiki and use his ability again. This allows you to make another token copy of that creature, reset Kiki-Jiki another time, and repeat ad infinitum until you have enough hasty tokens to immediately kill your opponent. This was a powerful deck in Modern for some time, and it remains a popular win condition in commander. Kiki-Jiki is pure power and should at least be considered for any Commander deck capable of running red creatures, even if his ability can’t be used on your commander themselves.

(And any deck running it should be aiming to use an original Kamigawa version with Pete Venters art. I just don’t understand why they keep using the Steve Belledin version in reprints.)

Zo-Zu the Punisher does not offend me. That’s not a glowing recommendation, but most of this set’s goblins were awful, so it’s something. A Grey Ogre is not the most aggressive body, but if played on curve you’re very likely to get 2 or 4 damage in from his ability. If unanswered, he can seriously mess up a slower opponent. Bonus points if they’re running fetch lands. He is a bit of a double-edged sword, so you need to be using him in an aggressive enough deck that you’re either happy taking damage or happy never playing more than three lands. Either works. He does need a bit more oomf to actually be great, but he’s not unreasonable. For added hilarity, sideboard him in against someone running Scapeshift. There’s no way to force them to cast into it, but it could certainly slow them down. I wouldn’t bother with Zo-Zu in Commander: The 2 damage is just too small and he’s sure to get killed by someone who finds him moderately annoying very quickly. Ultimately, Zo-Zu’s weakness is that it’s very difficult to force an opponent to play lands, so you can never take full advantage of his ability.

Overall, Champions of Kamigawa is not a great set for goblins. Kiki-Jiki is splendid, but the rank and file aren’t actually useful. Kamigawa block as a whole tends to be like this, a few gems and a lot of underpowered junk.

Untapped lore

It’s occurred to me that there’s an aspect of lore that most people don’t seem to bother with. What would the outsider’s view be? How would the clan’s customs and actions look to someone who is visiting or passing by? Would there be things that an outsider wouldn’t be able to see, be it from active concealment or from being without context? Would the lair itself serve as an invitation or a warning?

So About That Whole Thing

LONG COMIC BOOK RANT INCOMING:

Okay some things need to be said:

1. If you’re going to write a smug thunk-piece about the “failure” of “diversity” in comics, maybe don’t use the cover image of a book that’s had 4 collections on the NYT graphic books bestseller list, won a Hugo and cleaned up at Angouleme. Just because you HOPE it’s on the chopping block, oh Riders of the Brohirrim, doesn’t mean it is.

2. I will tell you exactly why Ms Marvel works: it didn’t set out to be Ms Marvel. We were originally going to pitch it as a 10 issue limited series. I had a 3 issue exit strategy because I assumed we were going to get canned. There was no “diversity initiative” anywhere–getting that thing made at all was a struggle. It was a given that any character without AT LEAST a 20-year history would tank. Everybody, myself included, assumed this series was going to work out the same way.

3. That freed us–by “us” I mean the whole creative team–to tell exactly the story we wanted to tell. We had nothing to lose, nothing to overcome but low expectations. That gave us room to break a lot of rules.

STUFF THAT IS DIFFICULT TO REPLICATE AND IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN:

1. Unexpected audiences. We are at a point in history when the role of religion is at a tremendous inflection point. What I didn’t realize was that the anxieties felt by young Muslims are also felt by young Mormons, evangelicals, orthodox Jews, and others. A h-u-g-e reason Ms Marvel has struck the chord it has is because it deals with the role of traditionalist faith in the context of social justice, and there was–apparently–an untapped audience of people from a wide variety of faith backgrounds who were eager for a story like this. Nobody could have predicted or planned for that. That’s being in the right place at the right time with the right story burning a hole in your pocket. Plenty of other stuff I’ve written and liked has fallen with a huge thud. That’s the norm. Exceptions are great when they happen, but hard to plan.

2. The paradox of low expectations. The bar was set pretty low for Ms Marvel, but because of Ms Marvel’s success, that bar got set much higher for similar books that came later.

STUFF THAT IS ENTIRELY AVOIDABLE:

1. This is a personal opinion, but IMO launching a legacy character by killing off or humiliating the original character sets the legacy character up for failure. Who wants a legacy if the legacy is shitty?

2. Diversity as a form of performative guilt doesn’t work. Let’s scrap the word diversity entirely and replace it with authenticity and realism. This is not a new world. This is *the world.*

3. Never try to be the next whoever. Be the first and only you. People smell BS a mile away.

4. The direct market and the book market have diverged. Never the twain shall meet. We need to accept this and move on, and market accordingly.

5. Not for nothing, but there is a direct correlation between the quote unquote “diverse” Big 2 properties that have done well (Luke Cage, Black Panther, Ms Marvel, Batgirl) and properties that have A STRONG SENSE OF PLACE. It’s not “diversity” that draws those elusive untapped audiences, it’s *particularity.* This is a vital distinction nobody seems to make. This goes back to authenticity and realism.

AND FINALLY

On a practical level, this is not really a story about “diversity” at all. It’s a story about the rise of YA comics. If you look at it that way, the things that sell and don’t sell (AND THE MARKETS THEY SELL IN VS THE MARKETS THEY DON’T SELL IN) start to make a different kind of sense.

Day One Hundred and Three

-The first guest of my shift placed their babbling, giggling newborn on my conveyor belt for me to ring up, instantaneously paving the way for a bright and joyous day.

-I became ecstatic to find a roll of fresh, new, spring-themed stickers the size of my face at my register. The sticker renaissance shall now commence.

-I rang up an intimidating biker with a wizardly beard for his purchase of one single Dr. Seuss book. I now consider him a close friend, as I stand by my lifelong belief that not a soul who reads Dr. Seuss can do anything wrong.

-Shortly after the discovery of my spring stickers, I came to the realization that they were, in fact, a heretofore undiscovered strand of Christmas stickers that we had not previously had on hand. I do not understand why we have such a large and untapped stock, but I am prepared to make the most of it.

-A man in his sixties, phenomenally spry and smooth-skinned for his age, purchased forty dollars worth of dried prunes. I believe he may have uncovered the secret to immortality. While I appreciate the scientific progress this man is making, I will embrace whatever final form nature has in store for me so long as I do not have to give up my crunchwrap supremes.

-A mother asked her child if he wanted his shoe back, pulling one single Croc out of her purse. I am not sure what he may have done to lose his shoe privilege in the first place, but I am glad to see that he is earning it back.

-After I gave her a sticker, a mother told her daughter, “Say thank you.” In a brilliant moment of word association, she peacefully replied, “You are welcome.” I consider myself blessed by this small person and will live out my life in bliss.

-I befriended the kindest and most eloquent child named Bennett. We shared a lovely conversation, touching on such topics as how nice our respective names are, his recent go-karting accident, his subsequent recovery, and stickers. I believe I may have found my Best Man.

-A woman in her seventies attempted to run her husband over with her cart, gleefully yelling, “Beep beep beep!” Hopefully, I have just received a glimpse into my future.

-I have adopted a new motto in life, and that motto is as follows: “You have never seen true purity until you have seen an infant in glasses." 

Recently, I was part of a conversation between my sisters and a person outside of our friend group. The subject of K-pop came up, and this person who was clearly not a fan looked at me and said “you must be patient zero”. I’ve heard this term used before, mainly in a derogatory way, with the meaning of “the first person to be exposed to K-pop, who then spreads becoming a fan as a disease among their friends and family”. At first, I was a little annoyed, but as I thought about it more and more, I realized that he was unknowingly paying me as well as the industry of K-pop a massive compliment.

The truth that has to be acknowledged to understand why, though, is the sometimes uncomfortable and avoided fact that K-pop is very much an industry, and groups are very much a product. Fans don’t like to discuss this much, but it’s a fact that cannot be denied. K-pop groups are products created by corporations to sell to consumers. Many antis will use this as a reason to not enjoy K-pop, saying for instance “it’s too fake and manufactured, where companies decide members of groups instead of letting them come together naturally”, however the reality is that much of American media is the same. K-pop is very self aware in being an industry, and will even present straight to the fans that they are consumers of a product. Idols will say that the company won’t let them say or do things that would pull fans away, such as dating bans or bans on using dialect. There are TV shows such as Fluttering India, a show where members of K-pop groups were sent to India to research the market for K-pop, essentially filming and packaging the research companies do in America for a new product as entertainment. There are even TV shows made into survival shows such as No Mercy or Pentagon Maker which show the making of the group product, choosing members who work well together and have the talent necessary, almost like a Shark Tank where the judges are the companies and the products are human lives. The K-pop industry is just that, and industry, and the companies will cater to the consumers through fan-service and fan events. Being aware of such a fact is important to understand, and it doesn’t make your enjoyment of the industry a bad thing. It means that you understand that even in American culture, actors and TV celebrities and singers are products who you support and spend money on, and you as a fan have abundant power in such matters.

This is important, though, because you now understand that K-pop is an industry and not a disease. And like any other industry, the strongest tool that is utilized is word of mouth. Humans have a natural crowd mentality, and sites such as Amazon or Yelp utilize this mentality, showing you ratings and reviews in order to convince you to buy products. Youtubers and Instagrammers will buy followers to convince followers to go with the crowd. When you take a survey for any reason, for a store or a restaurant alike, what two questions are always there? “How did you hear about us”, “Would you recommend us to a friend?”. You see, K-pop is an industry, and by saying that it is an industry that is known to be infectious like a disease, spread from person to person, you’re only saying that K-pop has achieved something most product distributers only dream of - a product with value and appeal enough for a successful complete spread of word of mouth through people from all languages, all cultures, all races, all backgrounds, and all walks of life. And by saying that I am patient zero you’re saying that I am a distributer to an entirely untapped friend group, family, an untouched market, and that I as a consumer am increasing the profits of an industry that I genuinely enjoy partaking in, that my support as a fan of a group that speaks a different language in a different part of the world than me is at the very root valuable and valued and sought after from companies and idols alike.

So let that be a reminder to fans who are tired of hearing “they will never know you exist” or “you don’t even speak the same language”. Not only is your enjoyment valid, it’s also necessary and important in making K-pop and your favorite bias group become a worldwide trend until the biggest argument the haters can put forth is that it appeals to too many people. 

Saturn Limitations
  • Saturn in the 1st house: Self expression, identity, self confidence
  • Saturn in the 2nd house: Self worth, finances, security
  • Saturn in the 3rd house: Mental control, education, communication
  • Saturn in the 4th house: Safety, inner peace, Abandonment
  • Saturn in the 5th house: Joy, Creative self expression, self essence
  • Saturn in the 6th house: Mental control, health, self worth
  • Saturn in the 7th house: Relating, attachment, loneliness
  • Saturn in the 8th house: Vulnerability, loss of control, unconscious to conscious trauma
  • Saturn in the 9th house: Acknowledging intelligence, higher education, faith
  • Saturn in the 10th house: Self merit, quality of existence, finding purpose
  • Saturn in the 11th house: Social conduct, Receiving love, Friendships
  • Saturn in the 12th house: Guilt complex, untapped psychic energy, sickness

Okay I didn’t want to say anything, but, I think it’s time that everyone faced reality. No one else is speaking up, so I’ve gotta.

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and comics and art about Lance making fun of Keith for being Texan recently. And as funny and cute as they are, that’s just wrong to me. It’s absolutely wrong. I mean, I’ve seen some serious mischaracterization of the Voltron crew before, but the fact that so many people have got it so wrong is just blowing my mind. We’ve got to face the facts people, Lance wouldn’t be making jokes about Keith being Texan.

Hunk would

See? :D

shows on netflix u should definitely be watching
  • Crazy-Ex Girlfriend - ITS A COMEDY MUSICAL, GUYS, CREATED BY RACHEL BLOOM (who won a golden globe?? YES HER). get to the 3rd episode at least. there’s an OPENLY BISEXUAL CHARACTER (later on in the season) and its such a good representation of love & what it actually is and growing up and letting go?? such a good show
  • BoJack Horseman - just a really, really good & cleverly written show about an anthropomorphic horse. 7000% animal puns. 5000% describes exactly how u feel about life and sadness.
  • Jane the Virgin - CUTE!! mock telenovela that deals with lots of social issues, like immigration, etc (the last episode i watched had the narrator checking every scene for the bechdel test omg) ALSO, arrested development level narration, fam, get on this. gina rodriguez will slay ur ass
  • Bob’s Burgers - such a good lil family show about a burger joint. watch this when you need to laugh or just to lift ur spirits. also, we are all either gene, louise, or tina. don’t lie
  • Lovesick (prev. Scrotal Recall) - adorable show prev. suffering from a truly tragic name. cute & british, about a man who finds out he has chlamydia and has to tell all of his previous sexual partners. you’ll fall in love with these characters by the end of s1, they’re all so dear to me
  • Master of None - aziz ansari’s show. each episode is basically a lil movie. the love story is ridiculously cute and it talks on some subjects rlly well
  • Jessica Jones - !!!!!!! if you haven’t seen this, GET ON IT. esp. if you’re a girl, cause this is SUCH A RELATABLE SHOW FOR WOMEN. grizzled neo-noir female detective? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP. also, watch daredevil if u wanna be caught up for Marvel’s Defenders, which is gonna be sofuckinggood
  • Sense8 - HOW HAS NOBODY SEEN THIS ONE? god, it’s so good. it’s got some problems but overall it does well @ showing other cultures and also some kickass sequences and wow main the characters interacting is just A1
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia/The League - this is. so funny. get past the 1st season and its such a good garbage show. the characters are such assholes, dude. they’re horrible. super dark humor, only watch if ur into that/ funny show abt a fantasy football league. both garbage shows and i love them w all my heart
  • Arrested Development - just in case u haven’t seen the best show ever written. basis of basically every comedy show u love. watch.
  • The Office - how have u not binged the office?? binge the office.
  • Comedy Specials - comedy specials are an UNTAPPED GOLDMINE on netflix. some of my fave comedians are John Mulaney, Bo Burnham, Ali Wong, Chelsea Peretti, Donald Glover, Jim Gaffigan, and Aziz Ansari.

BONUS - non-netflix shows u should also be watching

  • You’re The Worst - messed up characters and darkkk dry humor, but the second season does such an EXCELLENT job at portraying depression!! also, a dysfunctional relationship that is not necessarily unhealthy (sometimes, tho, sometimes)
  • Community - ONE OF MY FAVORITE SHOWS. Gets emotional so quickly. S1-3 are some of the best moments on television. skip S4. S5-6 are good but S1-3 are amazing. characters will become all of ur faves
  • Westworld - my expectations for this show were sky-high and it has oNLY PROVED THEM RIGHT! half sci-fi, half western fantasy VR, all badass. i have no idea what’s going on and i love it. literally Robots With Anxiety #relatable

pls add to this if you have any great shows, and i’ll update this list whenever i find something else wonderful that i don’t hear people talking about

the friendship between dirk and kanaya is such an untapped market. imagine.

he knows his mother/daughter in law is into fashion, so as a peace offering he ironically makes her a plush dress with a dorito pattern. she thanks him through gritted teeth and enacts revenge by sewing all his smuppets tiny outfits. they end up spending rainy afternoons together, trading fabrics, working on their various projects, and talking about being gay

Tarot Questions to Read For

I love reading tarot, but I find “general” readings to be frustrating and a bit boring. Usually when I pull out my tarot cards, it is because I am excited to read. My querents usually have no idea what questions to ask, and have never even had a reading before. When I do general readings it comes out like, “well, this card says you have, err… money problems?” and it sounds like a terrible cold reading.

So here are some fun questions to read for instead of a general reading! I use them for one card spreads usually but you can expand it to be however you like. These are also fun party questions. Give one card to each person who wants to be read for instead of shuffling for each individual person.

The Questions:

  • What is your secret greatest fear?
  • What is your soul’s purpose in life?
  • What is your greatest quality you don’t recognize yet?
  • What is your untapped talent?
  • What does your spirit want right now?
  • What are you taking too seriously in life?
  • What does your life need right now?
  • What should you be focusing on?
  • What is your relationship like with your spirit guides?
  • What would make you the happiest right now?
  • What do you need to let go?
  • What is ready to manifest in your life?
  • What is something you need to hear?
  • What is an important truth in your life?
  • What is the next step you need to achieve your current goal? (note: ask them to specify which goal ahead of time)
  • What can you do to improve as a person?
  • What do your spirit guides want to tell you right now?
  • What are you avoiding?
  • What are you ready to let go of?
  • What do you need to let go of?
  • What is the next big opportunity that will come to you?
  • What do you need in your everyday life?
  • What lesson are you learning right now?
  • What phase or cycle are you about to enter?
  • What needs to be dealt with in your life?
  • What journey are you on right now?
  • What was your most recent past life like?
  • What is a big challenge you will need to face soon?
  • What is advice you could use in your everyday life?
  • What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
  • What is your subconscious trying to tell you?
  • What is your higher self trying to tell you?

Bonus Spooky Halloween Questions

  • What kind of spirits are following you around right now?
  • How will you die?
  • What is your inner monster like?
  • What demons are you facing?