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The rage of a terrified nerd.

Jul. 8th, 2010 | 12:24 am

A word to anyone who plays World of Warcraft or knows someone who does. Blizzard's official forums have always had a problem with trolling and flaming. Some bright spark at Blizzard has decided that the solution to the problem posed by John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory is to remove the veil of anonymity: they are going to require that everyone post under their real, full names.

Think about that: everyone who posts a question in the tech support forum. Everyone who posts a bug report. Everyone on a roleplaying forum organizing an event. Everyone chiming in on Customer Feedback. Is going to have to reveal their real, full, legal names.

In other words: Blizzard is "fighting" forum trolls by giving them the means to FOLLOW YOU OUT OF THE GODDAMN FORUM.

People who will be hurt by this change, or forced to leave the community and be silenced:

Female players with obviously female identified names, who will be opening themselves to potential harassment from sexist jerks.

Trans individuals whose legal names do not reflect their chosen gender, who will be opening themselves to potential harassment from transphobic jerks.

People with ethnically distinct names, (all the Goldsteins, Jamals, Abduls, Julios, and Yangs out there) who will be opening themselves to potential harassment from racist jerks.

ANYONE with a name unique enough to allow someone to track them down, either to another site like facebook, or to their physical address. (At one point this included me. For a while the top result for a google search of my name was a local newspaper article talking about my involvement in a hometown event. It was a small town, and was the only person with my last name in the phonebook at the time. It would have been very, very easy to find me if someone had been so inclined.) A really dedicated troll could work from a more common name by using bits of personal data gleaned from offhand remarks to narrow it down (mentioned they just attended a Jonathan Coulton concert: what city was JoCo performing in that weekend? And so on.)

Anyone "internet famous" (webcartoonists, YouTubers, bloggers, even real-world celebrities) who does not want their creepy fanbase following them around outside their own blog.

Anyone applying for a job who doesn't want the first thing an employer sees when googling their name to be their in-depth post on the proper way to roleplay a tauren plagueshifter.

Anyone who has had problems with stalking, abusive relationships, or rape in their pasts who is hiding from an abuser and doesn't want them to follow them into the forums.

People NOT harmed by this decision:

Straight white cisgendered men who are completely open to everyone they know about their gaming habits, have a secure job in a gaming related field, have absolutely no unpleasant/crazy exes or relatives or acquaintances, and also are named "John Smith."


A good link roundup here.

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Jun. 3rd, 2010 | 04:15 pm

My sister and I, like so many, have been frustrated and fretting about the upcoming Airbender movie and the whitewashing of its heroes.

Sis: "I mean, I just wish there was more OUT there. With heroes of colour and diverse casts, so that we could go to them and show Hollywood that they CAN be successful. If only there was another kids' action movie with non-white stars...."

Me: "OH F$%K."

Sis: "What?"

Me: "We're gonna have to see the goddamn Karate Kid remake, aren't we?"

Sis: "....Huh. F$%k. I guess we are."

I mean, it's not like the Karate Kid movie is likely to be one-hundred percent unproblematic. There's the karate/kung fu confusion (though apparently the Kid may actually already have studied a little karate in the States before he came to China, and then gets hard core into learning Kung Fu after he arrives. If that's true, then that both kinda explains the title and acknowleges that there is a difference between the styles. So, woo). There's potential for the tired old "Westerner goes to foreign land and becomes awesomer than they are at all their stuff" plot, which is always an eye-roller. And at this point heaven only knows whether the women will get to do anything other than set up the plot. But look at this trailer.

Not a single white person. ANYWHERE. In the entire trailer. The black Kid hugs and waves goodbye to his black friends, then goes to China with his black mom, where he meets the Asian love-interest, Asian antagonists, and Asian mentor figure. It's possible that a caucasian character might show up at some point in the actual movie, but the trailer makes it clear that all the major players are of African or Asian descent, and the most important relationship in the film, to which most of the screen time will be devoted, is between the characters played by Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan.

I wasn't old enough in 1984 for the original Karate Kid to be a nostalgic part of my childhood, and this isn't the kind of movie I would normally go out of my way to see. There's nothing WRONG with tween boy martial arts power fantasies, I just usually prefer robots or magic mixed with mine as a matter of personal taste. But the scenery is pretty, the martial arts look like they oughta be reasonably well choreographed, Chan will probably be funny and butt-kicky, and, well, f$%k. Time to put my money where my mouth is. I'm gonna go see the goddamn Karate Kid remake.

And if it doesn't suck, I'll see it twice.

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Jun. 1st, 2010 | 11:26 pm

bookblather posted a book meme that looked like fun, figured I'd give it a whirl.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people. Tag yer own darn self. I'm sleepy!

"Nearest book," in my case, is, em.... Look, I am currently currently experiencing a boom stage in the book population cycle. So when you say "nearest," I start to ask things like "by nearest, do you mean the book at the TOP of the towering stack, or the one at eye-level?"

I'll go with the "close eyes, stick a hand out, start groping, hope you do not trigger a massive bibliographic avalanche" method of selection.

Lessee, here.... *fumble fumble*Collapse )

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How not to get girls into your club: a memoir and partial esprit d'escalier

Apr. 21st, 2010 | 01:37 am

(SCENE: a science fiction and comic book expo a couple years back. A smiling recruiter working the table for a local club devoted to geeky interests accosts a group of three female cosplayers.)

Geek Recruiter: Hi, ladies! Would you like to join the Gaming Club? It's a great way to meet men!*

Nerd Girls: ...

Geek Recruiter: What?

Nerd Girl A: Um, you HAVE noticed that we're all at a COMIC BOOK CONVENTION, right?

Nerd Girl B: Cosplaying as X-men characters?

Nerd Girl C: I'm dressed as Rogue, for God's sake.

Nerd Girl A: Plus, we all happen to be members of the university anime club. I think we already know how to meet nerdy men.

Nerd Girl C: Believe me, quantity is not an issue.

Nerd Girl B: Regular bathing is, though. Where do you guys stand on that?

Geek Recruiter: Hey, we've gotten a LOT BETTER about the bathing...**

Nerd Girl A: Plus, by using that as your main selling point, instead of, you know, gaming, you're basically implying that you think the main reason we'd want to join a gaming club is to hunt for husbands.

Nerd Girl B: Which is dumb. I play Dungeons and Dragons every week!

Nerd Girl C: I'm her DM!

Nerd Girl A: And my Forsaken Rogue in World of Warcraft just dinged 70.

Nerd Girl B: Ooh, grats.

Nerd Girl A: Thanks.

Nerd Girl C: What server are you on?

Nerd Girl A: Bladefist. But we digress.

Nerd Girl B: Anyway, why should we want to join if you're less interested in our gaming habits than in having us provide your current members with girlfriends?

Nerd Girl A: Plus, I'm pretty sure at least one of us is a lesbian...

Nerd Girl B: I am!

Nerd Girl C: Right, she is. And I already have a boyfriend.

Nerd Girl A: So for two out of three of us, "meeting men" ISN'T EVEN A SELLING POINT.

Geek Recruiter: Oh. Um, so do YOU...

Nerd Girl A: No.

Nerd Girl C: Finally, by telling us that your club is "a great way to meet men," you are basically saying "so far, not a single other woman has wanted to join our club."


Nerd Girl A: Red alert!

Nerd Girl B: A-OOOO-GAH!

Nerd Girl C: Danger, Wilhemina Robinson! Danger!

Nerd Girl A: Presumably, all those other women knew something we don't.

Nerd Girl C: Or, you know, exactly what we already DO.

Nerd Girl B: So we'll be declining your generous invitation, thanks.

Geek Recruiter: Oh. Um. Okay, then...

Nerd Girl B: Come on, let's get back to the dealers' room before that Doctor Who action figure sells out.

Nerd Girl C: Sure, but let's try to avoid the Star Trek props display this time or our Wolverine will just start waffling endlessly over the phasers again.

Nerd Girl A: I want a phaser. Should I buy a phaser? I don't really need a phaser, but OH GOD I NEED A PHASER.***

*Yes, he actually said this.
**AND THIS. Merciful heavens.
***I did not buy the phaser. I should have bought the phaser. I can't really afford the phaser, but OH GOD WHY DIDN'T I BUY THE PHASER?

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New Mad Poetist poem up.

Apr. 2nd, 2010 | 01:13 am

A week or so ago I woke up in the middle of the night and ran to my desk to write this poem. I waited this long to post it because... well... it is a children's clapping rhyme about a clone uprising.

I worry me sometimes.

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A Canadian Moment

Feb. 25th, 2010 | 07:52 pm

(Watching the aftermath of the Canada/USA gold medal game in Women's hockey on TV, as all right-thinking Canadians are.)

(Shot of the Canadian Men's team looking on with grim, empty eyes)

Dad: Look at that. Stone-faced, the lot of them.

Sister: I don't get it. Shouldn't they at least be FEIGNING enthusiasm? Their fellow Canucks just won.

Me: Dicks.

(Shot of an antlered child with maple-leaf warpaint on her face, waving a Canadian flag)

Me: Do we know whose kid that is?

Dad: I don't think so.

Me: Well, someone's raising their child right. Is that a MOOSE HAT?

Mom: Of course! What else would you wear to the gold medal game?

Me: I want one.

(shot of the Canadian VIP box)

Me: Hey! Is that Gretzky?

Dad: Yes it is! Standing next to the Prime Minister!

Me: .... I recognized Wayne Gretzky before I recognized Stephen Harper. I'm a bad person.

Mom: No, you're a good Canadian!

Me: "Hey, it's The Great One! Standing next to, I don't know, some guy."

(Oooooh, Caaaa-na-daaaaaaah......)

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Wolf and Gangsters

Jan. 11th, 2010 | 12:26 am

Bought myself two DVD box sets with my Christmas money and have been bouncing happily back and forth between the two of them all weekend. Spice and Wolf is a little rough going at times due to some of the plotlines revolving fairly heavily around economics, but I always get sucked back in due to the characters being just so damn awesome.


Lawrence: "Math."

Holo: "Math math! Math?"

Lawrence: "Math, math math math. Math math; math."

Me: "I am somewhat confused by this no doubt riveting story about currency speculation..."

Holo: *is smart and awesome*

Lawrence: *is not threatened by the awesome*

Holo: *sly flirtation*

Lawrence: *flustered attempt at responding in kind*

Me: "....SQUEEEE!"

Lawrence: "Math!"


Mathematics may not be my favourite subject, but damn do I love Chemistry. *smirk*

Seriously, Spice and Wolf is quite possibly the most grown-up romance I've seen in anime. (I assume it's a romance, they're just friends and business partners at the point I've gotten to, but the sexual tension is pretty darn tense)

There's none of the "I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU wait I actually totes love you" stuff we're all sick of. (It was old when Rumiko Takahashi did it the first three times, and I'm even more tired of it now.) Holo and Lawrence LIKE each other before they start to LIKE-LIKE each other. They snark, and sometimes argue, but they also tease and flirt and just talk (about, well, math, mostly, but still) and their relationship is progressing slowly and steadily from acquaintanceship to friendship to something more. Like a REAL relationship! Between sane people!

And even though Holo has animal ears and a tail and is occasionally naked, she never comes across as creepy moe fodder. Maybe because of how she behaves and carries herself. Holo is an ancient harvest goddess, and she acts it.

Creepy Moe Catgirl: "Oh, gee, I have no idea of the effect my nudity has on the male observer! Nyo! Oops, clumsy me, I fell over into a compromising position! Nya!"

Non-Creepy Wolf Woman: "Pfft, I know exactly what effect my being naked has on you, I  just don't give a damn because that's your problem. Though I am amused by your discomfort."

And Lawrence is pretty cool himself. More mature-looking than your typical anime lead, with greyish hair colouring and stubble. More mature emotionally, too. He has a job, skills, goals. He teaches Holo about economics and currency, and often, since she's got a few centuries of observation of humanity on him, she totally schools him. They really feel like equal partners thus far, and I wuvs them so.

My other box set is Baccano!, and that's confusing-yet-awesome in a whole different way. Think anime as directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Non-Linear Plotline: *IS NON LINEAR!*

Seventeen characters introduced in opening credits: "HI!"

Non-Linear Plotline: "IT'S 1711!"

Non-Linear Plotline: "NO WAIT IT'S 1932!"

Non-Linear Plotline: "NOW IT'S 1931!"

Non-Linear Plotline: "YOINK! 1930!"

Seventeen characters introduced in opening credits: "WE HAVE GUNS!"

Gratuitous Violence: *IS GRATUITOUS!*

Me: "I think my brain has whiplash and I think I like it!"

So fun. So cool. So jazz. And it has the single most awesome episode titles I have ever seen in my whole life EVER. I mean, "Episode One: The Vice President Doesn't Say Anything about the Possibility of Him Being the Main Character." Awesome! Can you top that? No you cannot.

So I think I chose well for my post-holiday purchases, and with their help I am recovering nicely from what was actually a fairly dismal New Year's. May the 2010 uphill curve continue.

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Serves me right having an evil genius for a muse.

Nov. 27th, 2009 | 03:10 am

I have been struggling with trying to write a new poem for The Mad Poetist for weeks. (A series of linked haikus about attempting to invade Tokyo. They're terrible, but that's sort of the point. It's not the... the right kind of terrible yet, though.)

I suddenly became inspired and hammered a completely different poem out in a frenzy.

At three o'clock in the morning.

While I was trying to finish last minute paperwork for a job application.


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Crappy comics make Jesus cry.

Nov. 8th, 2009 | 12:02 am

My sister was rummaging in her trick or treat bag today. My sister is theoretically too old to trick or treat, but she is smaller than me and cuter than me and has little or no shame. At least where free candy is concerned. Darn her. Anyway, she was going through the last of her candy and stuff when she discovered that the "and stuff" included a fundy Christian comic mini pamphlet. You know, repent or go to Hell, you adorable little heathen.

Now that is a scary Halloween trick.

She was mostly amused. Little worried she might have been singled out for some reason. Her fellow treaters better have gotten 'em too, or that's blatant discrimination against goth zombie nurses and she'll totally sue.

I was amused too, but also annoyed. Not so much at the proselytizing, actually. I kinda feel bad for most of the local Mormons and such, doggedly trying to hand out free bibles by the train stations and smiling wearily and wishing me a nice day when I turn them down. You just want to give them a consoling pat and a mug of warm tea, you know? There, there, I'm sure you'll save someone from everlasting hellfire tomorrow!

What offends me isn't so much the religion. It's the damn BAD COMICS.

On my shelf is the complete Vertigo edition of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha. It's gorgeous and epic and funny and heartbreaking and humane and so damn bloody UNFAIR. Because Siddharta Gautama Buddha got Osamu Tezuka, Manga no Kami-sama, God of Manga, the father of sequential art in East Asia, doing comics based on his life and teachings. What did poor Jesus get? Jack. Freaking. Chick.

I don't consider myself a Christian, except culturally. You know, celebrates Christmas and Easter, but doesn't attend church and hasn't been baptized or saved. I'm basically agnostic in my beliefs. Well, with lingering touches of neo-paganism left over from an adolescent Wiccan period. But while I haven't taken Jesus as my personal saviour, I have a certain amount of affection and admiration for the guy. And he deserves better than crummy, stiff art, BAD plotting and storytelling, and cold, humourless, angry writing. The man punned, for God's sake. (I mean, literally, he punned for the sake of his God.) Jesus had a sense of humour, and he was a damn GOOD storyteller. He'd hate this ugly, angry, smug little book.

Well, no, I guess he'd love it even though it's ugly and angry and forgive whoever drew it because he's the Nazz and that is how he rolls but STILL.

So, here's a few comics in which Jesus appears which do not suck. Because it is possible, darn it.

Dean Rankine's HOLY COW! Christian Comics. The anti-Chick. Dean Rankine appears to be a smart and sane member of the faithful, and he can draw. His zany, cartoony art style reminds me a bit of the little illustrations in Klutz Press books. These little mini-comics are hilarious and thoughtful. Jesus appears in them as a grinning hippy figure in sandals and colourful t-shirts, which apparently some people have found sacreligious but I find ridiculously a propos. And the comics have delightfully clickable titles like "Jesus meets Oprah" and "Psalm 23 and the Vampire Death Squad."

Externality and The Book of Merl, by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey. Jesus makes appearances in these two fun flash-based hypercomics. The Book of Merl was Goodbrey's attempt at improvising his own holy book, in comic form, and a little stick figure Jesus makes a cameo. It's a nice little acknowlegement of the debt the creator feels he owes Christianity as to the shaping of his morals.

...In Externality, Jesus battles a NINJA.

Saint Young Men, by Nakamura Hikaru. Jesus and Buddha take some time off from Heaven and kick it on Earth for a while, sharing a cheap bachelor pad in Japan. It's like the Odd Couple! With saviours! I dearly love this one for so many reasons. Mostly because my particular sense of humour is always tickled by the juxtaposition of the fantastic and the mundane. But also because both Jesus of Nazareth and Siddharta Gautama Buddha went through so much crap on this Earth, and It's NICE to think of the two of them getting to come back and relax and be ordinary and go to Tokyo Disneyland.

The thing those comics all have in common, sadly, is that conservative Christian fundamentalists probably hate them. But I like 'em. And Jesus loves 'em. But then, Jesus loves everybody, so I'm told.

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I just want to get this off my chest.

Oct. 13th, 2009 | 11:59 pm

Giving alcohol to a minor.

Giving drugs to a minor.

Having sexual contact with a minor.

Having sexual contact with someone who is under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Having sexual contact with someone who repeatedly says "no."

If someone does any ONE of these things, it is a crime. Roman Polanski did all of them. ALL of them. So how the sweet everloving fuck can that not be "real rape?" How can anyone argue that? How could you even begin?

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