Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Closing Down

This blog is now defunct; all future updates can be found at You should be automatically redirected; if not, the link preceding this should work.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Captain's Log, Weekly Digest 7

A summary of the past week of posts to my in-character Star Trek Online Tumblr, chronicling the adventures of E.N. Morwen, a science-loving and thoughtful young woman trapped in a galaxy of warring space giants.
  • Divide et Impera: In which Admiral Zelle is not what she seems.
  • Saturday's Child: In which STO decides that uncritically repeating some of the most problematic and racist elements of TOS is a good idea.
  • Preemptive Strike: In which the Watson slips in ahead of a Starfleet attack on the Rator System to rescue POWs.
  • Hunting the Hunters: In which the Watson away team falls into a trap while searching for missing scientists.
  • Project Nightingale: In which the Watson discovers a secret Romulan research project while attempting another rescue mission.
  • By Any Means: In which the Watson must stop the Romulan research project before they unleash something terrible.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Guest Post: Q. How many Lego bricks would it take to build a bridge capable of carrying traffic from London to New York? (The Lego Movie)

We finish off the run of guest posts with this piece from long-time commenter Sylocat on The Lego Movie.

The Near-Apocalypse of '09 launches next Sunday, February 1. If you'd like a taste of things to come, for a mere $2 a month donors to my Patreon can read up to 13 entries ahead of the public blog.

We got a master builder here!
One of the drawbacks of having a big amazing plot twist is that so many people will be talking about the Big Twist that the other points of the story sometimes get overlooked, including any little twists right before it. Paradoxically, the better the Big Twist is, the worse this problem becomes, even when the little twist is far more interesting.

And the Big Twist of The Lego Movie is good. Brilliant, in fact. It's also the most straightforward and least thematically-complex part of the movie. Oh, and one minor detail, the smaller twist is a bombshell that breaks down and inverts pretty much every single problem with Hollywood storytelling. So, why don't we talk about that for a while instead.


The concept of "Destiny," in fiction, has always been about keeping people in their allotted place.

Ancient dramas were geared around "destiny," because they were about challenging the fates and confronting the inevitability of death. Life was tough, random and mysterious back then, and it was considered hubris to strive for immortality, or even to step outside your station.

But now that we have a slightly greater understanding of how the world around us works (and slightly fewer things trying to kill us), we've stopped thinking so harshly of people who try to defy fate. Unfortunately, instead of ditching destiny as a plot device, it now just gets twisted around the other way. Now prophecies just tell the main character how awesome he (and it's almost always a he) is going to be, and just sits back and watches as everything goes according to the instructions, with all the pieces safely glued in place. Of course, destiny can also serve as the "Call to Adventure" checkbox on the Hero's Journey Checklist, with the bonus that the writers don't even need to spend any time developing character motivations (which is good, since writers want the main audience demographic of young straight white dudes to be able to project themselves onto the blank-slate character, so said character has to be utterly generic with motives as broad and unspecific as possible).

Fun fact: Joseph Campbell never wanted The Hero With a Thousand Faces to be a how-to guide for storytelling. It was an academic study of mythological anthropology, not an instruction manual. But when George Lucas credited it with helping him develop the pop culture phenomenon he spawned, every hack writer started xeroxing its diagrams, and grabbing every stock character and hackneyed plot device they could find, mass-producing them and assembling them together into a hodgepodge of said instruction booklet.

This is the danger of following instructions too closely: If the instructions you're working from don't apply to the pieces you have in front of you, they're not going to fit together. Unfortunately, common practice when faced with this dilemma is to either squeeze in or toss out any piece that isn't written there, then take whatever flimsy and hollow shell of a model you create, and call it a finished product. Then you act surprised when it falls apart.

You know, if the Star Wars prequel trilogy hadn't been so terrible, it could have been a brilliant deconstruction of the Chosen One/Destiny formula. Think about it: Anakin Skywalker is prophesied to be the one who destroys the Sith and brings balance to the Force... so all the good guys eagerly line up to fill out the standard stock-character roles as mentor figur(in)es and sidekicks, assuming that Anakin will follow the Joseph Campbell Checklist as faithfully as every other generic-white-dude protagonist. And then Anakin goes off-script, to put it mildly.

But that didn't work out, so now what we have is The Lego Movie.

The Lego Movie deliberately sets you up to think that it's playing right into this formula. Emmet, an ordinary guy voiced by yet another pretty white dude protagonist actor (also known as Star-Lord), is told he is The Special. The prophecy even lampshades itself:

One day, a talented lass or fellow,
A special one with face of yellow,
will make the Piece of Resistance found
from its hidden refuge underground.
And with a noble army at the helm,
This MasterBuilder will thwart the Kragle and save the realm,
And be the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times.
All this is true, because it rhymes.

And the old white-bearded sage is even voiced by Morgan Freeman, which is just overkill (when I first saw the movie, I wondered why the last line of the prophecy wasn't just, "All this is true, because Morgan Freeman is saying it." But I suppose the audience would have felt too betrayed later on).

And in addition to telling generic White Guy Protagonist #(2.718 x 10^404e) that he is the greatest and most important person ever, the movie also brings in a Strong Female Character™ who introduces herself by kicking ungodly amounts of ass and building incredible and unique things in the blink of an eye, building her up as this omnicompetent take-no-crap badass. Of course, she becomes jealous when she learns that she wasn't the Special, but hey, you know how this will go, don't you? She just has to learn to accept that Emmet's the hero and her role is to be the sidekick and love interest and probably damsel-in-distress too at some point. The movie even pokes some fun at her taking the name "WyldStyle" because it sounds badass. She's just one of the pieces in a rebellious phase who needs to be settled into where she's supposed to be, amirite guys?

The movie does drop hints that all is not as it seems. The robot henchmen complain that they can't track Emmet by facial recognition because his face is so generic it matches every other face in the corporate database (gee, possibly because so many movies are about characters who look like him?), and Emmet's coworkers crack jokes about what a "Blank Slate" he is. And as a bonus, when Batman shows up, he provides a much-needed kick to the 90's-comics grim-and-gritty aesthetic that DC's movies have been mired in since 2005 (the trailer for every new Batman film or video game for the next half decade is going to have to endure a barrage of YouTube videos syncing it to the chorus of, "DAAARRRKNEEESSS! NOOOOOO PARRRENTS!").

But hey, this is probably just some cute little dodging of the issue, right? Like, if you acknowledge beforehand that something is bad, it mitigates it. Just like how the villain is named "Lord Business" even though the movie is financed and published and marketed and based on a franchise made, from start to finish, by people who doubtlessly epitomize that very archetype. Capitalism selling anti-Capitalism. The revolution has already been televised, and merchandised, and it's on sale for $19.95 at your local Hot Topic.

The movie even tells us to mock the bad sitcom, sports fandoms, soulless chain restaurants, pop music, and all those other safe targets (such as the bedtimes and babysitters that Princess Unikitty so vocally eschews) that mass-market counterculture prints instructions for the younger audiences to laugh at... but of course the movie would never dare to question the deeper underlying instructions behind those, right?

Just look at the merchandising for this movie. The whole story is about breaking free from the instructions and building your own ideas, and the LEGO manufacturers are selling piece sets of every supposedly "hodgepodge" set and vehicle from the film, and enclosing instructions on how to build things exactly like all the other nonconformists build.

But the movie doesn't follow those instructions either. Lord and Miller go off-script.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are rapidly gaining a reputation as "the guys you call when you have a really bad idea for a movie and want it to be really good." They have taken on a number of seemingly-impossible tasks, like adapting Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to the big-screen, and 21 Jump Street (and even worse, making a sequel to a movie like 21 Jump Street), and the things they've built from those hodgepodge pieces have ranged from pretty good to amazing. And here, they're tasked with making a movie out of LEGO, a brand so ubiquitous with its cheap tie-ins that, when Warner Bros. landed the distribution rights, they tossed in the LEGO tie-ins of every media franchise they had the rights to, from the aforementioned DC Comics, to Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles right down to the friggin' 2002 NBA All-Stars. And the problem is, most if not all of LEGO's "original" toy lines are thinly veiled ripoffs of all that stuff to begin with. In other words, the painfully obvious thing to do when building a LEGO Movie would be to just fill out the Joseph Campbell Checklist and call it a day.

So how do they make a good movie when those are all the pieces they have to work with? Simple: instead of just sprinkling in some cutesy self-aware jokes about how absurd this all is, they actually confront it. They actually address and take apart the underlying assumptions behind the very idea of a LEGO® movie, and moreover, behind the storytelling techniques that every film in this genre more or less has to use.

So the old magic wizard reveals that he made the prophecy up.

The generic-white-dude hero wasn't special because destiny said so, he was special because he was told he was, just like "Destiny™" in every bad movie tells him he is. Which means that the only thing stopping everyone else from being special is that they haven't yet been told they can be.

And thus the desecrated carcass of the Hero's Journey is finally exposed for the fraud that it is. Problems aren't solved by sitting around waiting for one person whose life story looks vaguely like the xeroxed instructions from that Joseph Campbell picturebook. They're not solved by taking one specific subclass of people and telling them that they were made to be heroes and warriors, while everyone else is just there to fill stock roles or occasionally look awed in the background of crowd scenes.

Our culture tells everyone who doesn't look like Emmet that they were manufactured to be sidekicks or love interests or villains or one-off joke characters... and that's wrong. Everyone can be a MasterBuilder just as easily. In fact, it's only when Emmet realizes this, when he understands that his specialness doesn't come from his being the Designated Protagonist but because that same specialness is in everyone, that he becomes able to build awesome things.

In case this was too subtle, WyldStyle looks out of the movie screen and spells it out directly to the audience.

"Hi everybody. You don't know me, but I'm on TV, so you can trust me."

During the first climax, which unfortunately got overshadowed by the Big Twist, WyldStyle and crew storm the set of a bad sitcom, hack into the network, and broadcast a speech onto every screen in the cosmos (or every herald's scroll, or whatever).

She reaches out to all the other people out there, the people whose faces don't match every other face in the corporate database, and tells them to build things that only they can build. Weird things, silly things, useful things, useless things, stupid things, brilliant things, and things that are all of those at once and more. To express themselves, to tell their own stories in their own worlds. And while they're at it, to tear down the orderly and prepackaged world around them and build something new in its place. Something strange, something risky... heck, maybe something so dumb and bad that no one would ever believe they could possibly be useful.

And whaddya know... their horrible ideas work as well as Emmet's did. When the big dumb (white) guy in the business suit comes to tear down all their creativity and shove everyone back into their allotted place, it's not anything Emmett built that give him pause. It's the funny-looking people's funny-looking creations, in all their clunky glory.

There are some parallels here with MLP:FiM, of course. Some truly great and sadly-overlooked art is made when creative people take prepackaged brands and sneak subversivity (and diversity… should that be "subdiversity?" I suppose that works, language is constructed by putting pieces together like that) past the studio bosses. Lauren Faust took a property designed to sell tea party playsets and plastic diamond tiaras to little girls, and turned it into one of the greatest feminist works of the 21st century. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller took LEGO, one of the biggest sellout brands ever, not to mention being contracted by Warner Bros. (a famously retrograde studio even by Hollywood standards), and made a movie that passes a set of revolutionary instructions to all the members of its audience who don't look like Chris Pratt... or like Jason Sand, despite his wonderful performance as the Small Creature who teaches the moral to the Man Upstairs.

Of course, the Small Creature doesn't quite know its own lesson yet. Witness its horrified, "What?" when the Even Smaller Creature's arrival is forecasted. And on a meta level, the voices of the Monsters from Planet Duplo sound exactly like that of the Even Smaller Creature, rather than the more diverse voice cast that the Small Creature imbues its own creations with.

Gee, I wonder what the sequel will be about.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Escaflowne Episode 9 Liveblog Chat Thingy!

As predicted, I am not going to be able to make this due to being at MAGFest. I will catch up by next weekend, though, I promise!

How to participate in the liveblog chat:

Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!

Option 2: Go to Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We'll be watching Vision of Escaflowne and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Video Vednesday: Vlog Review: The Legend of Korra S4E7 "The Reunion"

Sorry this is late everyone. Turns out it's not actually possible to upload a video to YouTube on a shitty Starbucks public connection in the course of a single half-hour lunch break. Lesson learned.

In which I talk about genocidal pie fights. I mean, a bunch of other things, too, but let's face it, you can't talk about genocidal pie fights and expect anyone to remember anything else you said.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Captain's Log, Weekly Digest 6

A summary of the past week of posts to my in-character Star Trek Online Tumblr, chronicling the adventures of E.N. Morwen, a science-loving and thoughtful young woman trapped in a galaxy of warring space giants.
  • The Lost City of Paradise:  The crew of the Kestrel meet their contact on Nimbus and get their first taste of the "delights" the planet has in store. Also there's a Borg tending bar, that's kind of interesting.
  • Blind Men Tell All Tales:  Morwen and crew hunt for the Orion stronghold on Nimbus III.
  • The Undying: The Kestrel crew confront the leader of the Orions on Nimbus III.
  • A Fistful of Gorn: Morwen's team run a gauntlet of Gorn separatists en route to the Tal Shiar base.
  • Installation 18: Inside the base, we finally learn the secrets of the Romulan presence on Nimbus III.
  • [Promotion]: Captain: Morwen is promoted and transferred to a new ship, the Galaxy-class USS Starfire.
  • Heading Out: The Starfire transports a Trill scientist to the Romulan border.
  • Under the Cover of Night: A Starfleet intelligence analyst intends to defect to the Romulans.
  • Minefield: Morwen works with an arrogant scientist on a plan to make the Federation's jump gates transwarp conduits more secure.
  • Divide et Impera: The Starfire gets a massive overhaul and is rechristened the Watson, and assigned to serve as Admiral Zelle's flagship for a mission on the Romulan border.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I’ll bet everyone thinks I’m useless, and they’re mad at me for messing things up! (The Glass Princess)

This week's guest post is by the inimitable Spoilers Below, who was provided quite a few over the past couple of years. This is the next, and possibly last, entry in their study of the original My Little Pony cartoon.

The Letter: Dear Princess Celestia,

Being kidnapped is terrible! Why does it happen so often? I don’t understand the absurdity of the act. They take us, we escape, their dwelling is destroyed. Do we not have a dangerous reputation now? Must they continually smash themselves up against our walls until they learn, until they are transformed into friends? Or is it that we kidnap them, with our kindness, transforming them into things like ourselves, until they can no longer see themselves anymore, can see only us when they look into a pool of water or a pane of clean glass? Again and again, over and over, the script plays out. And again and again, we drive them away or we convert them to our cause. If they just want to be friends, why must they tug on our manes and throw stones? Why don’t they just ask?

As always, I remain your faithful student,


What is it? A four-parter about Shady and her friends getting stolen from the pony olympics, getting their manes shaved, and breaking free.

Is this episode worth watching? Nah, this is one to skip. It’s overlong, with bad singing, a cliche plot ripped from 101 Dalmatians, and is mostly a retread of the same thing we’ve seen in the past few adventures.

How was this entry written? Some of these parts were written entirely on 20-year-old memories of the episodes, the others directly after watching all four parts, with only minimal editing for spelling, grammar, and the weather reports, titles, etc. recorded afterwards. Can you guess which are which?

What else was happening? 6-9 Oct 1986 - Phantom of the Opera debuts in London, a musical all about masks and lies and dark reflections. Bernard Kalb resigns his post as State Department spokesman, citing his dissatisfaction with the Reagan administration’s misinformation campaign and its repeated attempts to deceive news organizations about Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi . “'Anything that hurts America's credibility hurts America,” he tells the New York Times. And, fittingly, the Waterford Glass Group of Ireland offers to purchase Wedgwood P.L.C., the 227-year-old maker of fine china, for approximately $360 million.

0 As I write this, it is a pleasant 70 degree day outside, and I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt in front of the computer. Tomorrow the temperature is scheduled to drop to at least 30 or lower.

1 Reflections can be a dangerous things. Mirrors are something that we instinctively distrust, because they show us the opposite of the world: letters are backwards, the world is reversed, even our motions themselves are incorrect--as anyone who has tried to adjust something on their face, only to find that they simply can’t use the mirror image as a reference will understand. But a reflection isn’t actually the opposite, is it? It doesn’t show the world as a film negative does, for example. Good doesn’t become evil, it becomes dooG. They show us what to avoid, what to correct, what to change. And one could never actually pass through a mirror, of course, even if it were a porous surface, because one’s reflection would always be in the way.

2 One of the things about post-modern approaches to art is that the work itself begins to function as a Rorschach blot: one can only find within it what one is aware of. Whenever I think of sunglasses, both the mirrored kind and the pony, I think of the terribly evocative opening of J.M. Coetzee’s powerful and disturbing novel Waiting for the Barbarians (1980):
I HAVE NEVER SEEN anything like it: two little discs of glass suspended in front of his eyes in loops of wire. Is he blind? I could understand it if he wanted to hide blind eyes. But he is not blind. The discs are dark, they look opaque from the outside, but he can see through them. He tells me they are a new invention. "They protect one's eyes against the glare of the sun," he says. "You would find them useful out here in the desert. They save one from squinting all the time. One has fewer headaches. Look." He touches the corners of his eyes lightly. "No wrinkles." He replaces the glasses. It is true. He has the skin of a younger man. "At home everyone wears them."
Said novel is all about self-doubt and the self-loathing experienced by the colonial magistrate who finds himself powerless to stop the brutal torture and execution of the indigenous locals by a military commander who is posted there to subdue a suspected “native uprising” (it is about much more than that, but this description will do for our purposes). It is of course mere coincidence that Shady’s name recalls the glasses which recall the book which recall the feelings which recall Shady’s feelings. (They also recall the description of a glasses-wearing party official in 1984.) Though the timeframe isn’t impossible (the book was published in 1980, the episode is from 1986), it is certainly unlikely that the story’s authors had the novel or colonialism in mind when they wrote a children’s TV episode about three ponies being kidnapped and exploited for their “natural resources”, which would result in a dramatic transformation of their indigenous land.

3 Self-reflection can be a wonderful thing. “Know thyself” is rightfully enthroned as one of the pillars of philosophy, as without understanding the self and what makes you you, it can be difficult to map your experiences onto others experiences, to show empathy, or to think about how you’ve changed and what ways you’d like to be in the future. Without reflecting on the self, we could never grow, never learn, never improve. And if we cannot take care of ourselves, how can we be expected to take care of others?

4 Imitation of what’s on the TV screen can prove dangerous. Supposedly, a lot of children cut their pony’s hair after watching these episodes, believing that their manes would magically grow back just as they did on the program. Behind the glass, the projected CRT world lied: the television cannot make the laws of the world change. A plastic toy isn’t the magical creature it is in your mind.

5 Self-confidence is the most fragile thing in the world. Is it strange what damages it. One can be the toughest, most self-assured, utterly resolute individual, and the wrong feather blown against you on the wrong day can bring it all tumbling down. What we build our confidence on matters, therefore. Some decide to place it in other people, some in objects, some in themselves. But other people will let you down, betray you, abandon you, or will simply have their own lives to live and can’t be there when you need them. Can you rely on them to get you what you want? Objects are fleeting, temporary; how does one know that one has enough? How can one compare one’s possessions to another person’s? Is an ancient crown worth the same as a priceless cape made of magical pony hair? How about a magical rainbow? And as for yourself, well, you’re scary, aren’t you? Who knows you better than yourself? It’s so difficult to look at yourself and say “I love you. You’re worth it. You’re a good person, and you deserve to keep going and be happy” that it’s little wonder people turn to others and to objects rather than do it themselves.

5 Self-esteem is at once the most important and most overrated concept in the world. The degree of self-examination we do these days can be terribly damaging. While sometimes it is good to ask questions, to reevaluate the situation, to question our first principles and make sure we are still on the right course, constantly checking and rechecking inevitably leads to self-doubt: “What if someone out there is having more fun?” “What if I’d be happier doing something else?” “What if I’d be happier with that those people have?” The ability to make yourself happy with what you have right now, to live contentedly in the situation you are in, without falling into despair and giving up all hope for the future, is a delicate and difficult balance to strike.

4 Imitation of what’s on the TV screen can prove beneficial. One can get an interesting read of what is and isn’t acceptable in society based on what’s being watched by its people. And in a very real sense, the positive portrayal of a character like William Truman can do more to alter societal views than any amount of publishing or activism. Behind the glass, the projected world shapes the real one: the television can make the laws of the world change. Take Porcina’s treatment of the ponies as real, once she encounters them in person, after watching them through her mirror. She can’t bring herself to hurt real things. Even a vain, selfish, isolated and disconnected person can learn the rules and learn empathy.

3 Reflections are wonderful. They are the closest thing we'll ever get to seeing ourselves from the outside. One can never see the back of one’s head, one’s shoulder blades, one’s chin.

Mirrors are a brilliant tool for safety, for science, for beauty. And they allow us to multiply light, turning a small candle flame into a room filling blaze.

2 One of the things about post-modern approaches to art is that the criticism usually begins to diverge from a discussion of the work itself to a discussion of other topics, minor details, the historical context, the author’s life, and even postmodernism itself. Said context can be important for establishing how and why a work is the way it is. For example, Sakura Trick can be enjoyed by itself, but knowing that it comes from a tradition of Japanese schoolgirl 4-panel comics (a pretty direct line from Azumanga Daioh through Lucky Star and K-ON!; Sakura Trick is in some readings the logical conclusion of said shows) enhances our understanding of why certain characters act the way they act, why situations are the way they are, why set-ups and beats are paced that way... By making the off-screen implied shipping of the previous series explicit, Sakura Trick refuses to indulge in any of the sly games or fantasies that the other series did. And yet, by doing so in the context of a decidedly non-explicit 4-panel gag strip, rather than a romance comic, it paradoxically manages to come off as far more realistic than its counterparts in either of the two traditions it emerges from. Lest you think I am being weird by bringing up seinen shoujo-ai manga up, can you think of any other form of media which is utterly dominated by female characters (Sakura Trick features zero prominent male characters) with self-esteem problems resolved through the power of friendship, consumed by young men? Perhaps the appeal of My Little Pony amongst male viewers isn’t so strange after all. They’ve been watching programs about young women for years and years, but no one bothers to talk much about it seriously.

1 Self-reflection can be a dangerous thing. While “Know Thyself” may be rightly understood as one of the foundational principals of all philosophy, too much time spent in the self and the “interior world” will almost inevitably lead to depression and insecurity. No one can focus on themselves for too long without seeing all their faults, all their imperfections, all their flaws magnified. The mirror shows us a bad world, a world that we rightfully keep on the other side of the glass. One can never actually pass through a mirror, of course, even if it were a porous surface, because your reflection would always be in the way. Best to keep it there.

0 As I write this, it is a chilly 20 degree evening outside and I am bundled up in front of the computer under a blanket. Yesterday it was a pleasant 70 degree day. Who knows what the weather will be like tomorrow?

What else was happening? 6-9 Oct 1986 - The Waterford Glass Group of Ireland offers to purchase Wedgwood P.L.C., the 227-year-old maker of fine china, for approximately $360 million. Bernard Kalb resigns his post as State Department spokesman, citing his dissatisfaction with the Reagan administration’s misinformation campaign and its repeated attempts to deceive news organizations about Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi . ''Anything that hurts America's credibility hurts America,” he tells the New York Times. And, fittingly, Phantom of the Opera, a musical all about masks and lies and dark reflections, debuts in London.

How was this entry written? Some of these halves were written directly after watching all 4 parts, the others entirely on 20 years old memories of the episodes, with only minimal editing for spelling, grammar, and the weather report performed afterwards. Can you guess which are which?

Is this episode worth watching? Totally! As a meditation on the nature of duality, the fragility of self-esteem, and the need for friendship, this is another solid entry in the canon.

What is it? A four parter about Shady being depressed about not being able to contribute to the community, and rescuing her friends kidnapped by an evil princess, thereby getting her confidence back.

The Letter: Dear Princess Celestia,

I was thinking about coins today. We toss a coin to determine which side goes first in sport, because that’s the most fair way. It’s random, which of the two sides will come up. But at what point, though, does one side of the coin become the other? A coin really has three sides, not two, counting the edge. Or five if you count the lip between rim and face. Or hundreds, if the side is ridged... those are the sides that do not matter, perhaps? And why must we compete with one another? Striving in friendship towards mutual improvement is among the most pleasurable of things, but the darkness lurking beneath it, the spectre of hatred, jealousy, and weakness that haunts, begging to be let out, is ever present.

As always, I remain your faithful student,

Twilight Sparkle

Shady, it’s not your fault. No one in the world is perfect. It’s time you saw the light. (The Glass Princess)

Addendum: Self-Reflection

So, the blog comes to an end. It’s unlikely that Jed will ever write about ponies again, and therefore unlikely that he’ll need guest entries of this nature. Knowing myself, any attempt to take over would proceed in fits and spurts before flaming out completely; I simply don’t have the stamina for a weekly schedule of posting. And is there even an audience for the classic show? It was a niche of a niche to begin with. Was anyone enjoying the look back at the origins of the show? Were there any old fans in my position, enjoying the continuity from yesterday to today? Is this really the end? Who knows. Perhaps, perhaps not. Jed’s pony posting was something I looked forward to on Sundays, even if I didn’t have any comments to add.

This entry itself brought about its own synchronicities. I had an infected kidney, one of the few mirrored organs in the body, which had to be fixed with two surgeries, which required the delay of writing this entry by weeks. I lost some weight as a result while convalescing, but I still recognize myself in the mirror. It’s interesting, having no choice but to slow down and do nothing. It’s not something I’m used to. I wrote nothing for three weeks straight, after two years of nightly activity. It’s not pleasant, being forced to do things against your will like that, but the body isn’t something which can be persuaded or bribed or argued into compliance. Physical reality isn’t the ideal world. But that level of anger is hard to maintain, especially when its so utterly futile. When there is nothing to do but lay and heal, you learn to lay and heal. The world didn’t change very much without me participating in it. You’d think more would have happened, at least on the microscale, with my being out of it for so long, but not much did, certainly not in the grand scheme of things. One of the odd things about following the world closely is the idea that you can predict what will happen next, that by being well informed, you can somehow control or shape the world around you. But it’s not really like that. The world moves of its own accord, and is simply waiting there for you to rejoin it once you’re through convalescing. I watched more TV in the past few weeks than I have in years.

It’s a TV show I came to incidentally, Friendship is Magic, catching a random episode (“Friendship is Magic, Part 2”) while flipping through channels at my fiance’s house over lunch. I binge-watched the series on Netflix a year or so later. I loved the old show as a child, and it was interesting to see the new show be of such high quality. That the protagonist was a librarian displaying a number of OCD traits further inclined me to like it; it’s rare to encounter a protagonist so much like myself. They’re usually bookish caricatures, or hand washing jokes, certainly not main characters.

I was late to the brony phenomenon, and honestly, it still baffles me to a certain degree, as I have almost zero direct connection to it. I’ve never interacted with one in person: the closest I’ve come is watching a young man awkwardly hit on a young woman by explaining that he’s a brony, but that the older show sucked compared to the new show. She smiled and nodded politely and kept browsing in the manga section, not engaging. I wasn’t going to step in and explain all the details he was getting wrong, because what would be weirder than the librarian who is twice their age inserting himself into the conversation with his bizarrely extensive knowledge about a 28 year old children’s TV show? (In my defense, I had literally watched “Rescue at Midnight Castle” the evening before.) No, that’s a level of awkward that I simply could not manage. As The Onion article mocks, I Appreciate The Muppets On A Much Deeper Level Than You. I also once stood in line behind a woman at the local gaming store who purchased a set of My Little Pony card sleeves: she was very friendly, and had participated in the same costume contest as my wife and I earlier that day. None of us talked about ponies.

Toy collectors, on the other hand, I know a bunch of them. They seem just as baffled and pleasantly amused. For them, they’re happy to have new ponies to add to their collections. The show, they could take or leave, just as they did with all the previous incarnations of the show.

To those who were enjoying, I’m happy that I could share my thoughts and ideas with you. To those who were annoyed by these jaunts into the past and interruptions in the usual schedule, no worries, I’ll probably never trouble you again.

Take care of one another, and please be good. Perhaps we’ll see one another some day, when the ponies find a gigantic puppy, and deal with the consequences.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Escaflowne Ep 8 and Sailor Moon Crystal ep 14 Liveblog Chat Thingy!

Apologies all. I still haven't had time to watch last week's Escaflowne, nor will I be able to make this week's liveblog. Or, probably, next week's. The first week in February is looking good, though.

How to participate in the liveblog chat:

Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!

Option 2: Go to Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We'll be watching Vision of Escaflowne and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST. We will then be watching Sailor Moon Crystal at 2:30.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Video Vednesday: Vlog Review: The Legend of Korra S4E6 "The Battle of Zaofu"

In which I admit to being really wrong about Zhu Li, talk a little about Kuvira as a mirror of Korra, compare metalbending to bloodbending, and acknowledge how terrifying both airbending and Varrick are.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Captain's Log, Weekly Digest 5

A summary of the past week of posts to my in-character Star Trek Online Tumblr, chronicling the adventures of E.N. Morwen, a science-loving and thoughtful young woman trapped in a galaxy of warring space giants.
  • The Doomsday Device: Ambassador B'vat returns and awakens an ancient terror with the intent of turning it on the Federation.
  • Arrested!: In a sequence of events that have basically nothing to do with the game except that I wanted to switch ships, Morwen gets caught in a Kafka-esque court martial over nothing.
  • Koolhaas System Patrol: The new crew of the USS Ariel go on a fairly straightforward mission, while Morwen gathers her most trusted officers to found a conspiracy.
  • Betreka Nebula Duty: The Ariel explores a nebula, Morwen sits in a hero's chair, and the plot thickens.
  • Terran Empire Encounter: The Ariel has an extremely brief brush with the Mirror Universe.
  • City on the Edge of Never: While Morwen's conspiracy closes in on their quarry, Ambassador B'vat switches tactics to kidnapping and time travel.
  • Past Imperfect: The Ariel chases B'vat into the past, and the identity of the mole is revealed.
  • Temporal Ambassador: The Ariel investigates strange temporal readings in the Azure Nebula, but they turn out to be nothing at all whatsoever. I mean, it's not like Morwen ended up on some kind of bizarre-yet-awesome adventure in an alternate timeline that ultimately became a paradoxical quest to erase itself from ever having happened, thus ensuring the log doesn't cover it. That'd be, frankly, far too Star Trek-y a thing for STO to do. (End of the Klingon War arc.)
  • Secrets of Nimbus: Restored to her rightful place in command of the Kestrel, Morwen sets off for Nimbus III to investigate the possibility that thalaron weapons are being traded.
  • The Lost City of Paradise: The crew of the Kestrel meet their contact on Nimbus and get their first taste of the "delights" the planet has in store. Also there's a Borg tending bar, that's kind of interesting.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Guest Post: -Truly Superior Beings- (Discorded Whooves)

Sean Dillon has never seen a full episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, but he is a fan of a number of its associated fanworks.

A Psychochronography in Gray
“[NAME WITHHELD] shame on you. Doctor Who is SERIOUS, it has always been serious, and until Steffan Mofit every story tackled important, weighty issues. And I should know, I'm a long time fan, I've been watching it since Rory's second episode.”

-Lance Parkin in conversation about the possibility of the villain of the Christmas special “Last Christmas” being the Demon Magician.

Stop me if you heard this one before…

It was a dark and stormy night. It was the kind of storm one thinks of when they hear the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night…” There was man, or what looked like a man, draped in shadows standing atop a spiral staircase long enough to make a gratuitous monologue, which he so loved to do, with one hand touching a window which was just as tall as the staircase and the other twirling his moustache. He was getting rather bored waiting for his nemesis to arrive, almost bored enough to drop his principles and do the killing blow anyway. Fortunately for us, his enemy once again arrived just in the nick of time. “Ah, Doctor,” the being said with the smug tone spoken by voice actors playing cartoon villains who think they’ve beaten the hero, “I was beginning to think you DIED.” The Doctor said nothing. “Well, NO matter,” the villain continued with a cruel smile on his face, “I’ve WON. I’ve BEATEN you.” The Doctor, looking at the far more interesting ground, remained silent. “Oh, you DON’T believe me? Well then,” pausing for dramatic effect as he walked down the steps of his absurdly large staircase and continued to listen to his favorite sound, “I’ll just HAVE to tell you what I have done to your timeline. Right now,

So, there’s this guy. He’s a real clever guy, a real nice guy. He just wants to help people and all that jazz. He travels around the vast narrative of time and space with a girl(1). She’s not necessarily the smartest girl(2) but she still has fun with her male friend. Now one day, things don’t go right. Everything falls to pieces, and he’s hurt really badly. It’s one of those life-altering circumstances where nothing will ever be the same again. When he returns to his travel machine(3), he’s different; he’s changed. He doesn’t even look the same. And as his lovely companion tries to cope with this change, he both physically and verbally assaults her. He then decides to become a hermit.

Susan is slowly dying alone in an apocalyptic wasteland, Ian and Barbara are selling the rights to your stories to Americans, Dorothea died before she could give birth, Jamie and Zoe’s minds are being regressed by the Time Lords to the inelegance of infants, Sam, John, and Gillian NEVER existed,

Now the question with those last seventy-two words is whether I ended a generic description of Doctor Who with the changeover of the Fifth Doctor to the Sixth or described the backstory of Discorded Whooves, as revealed on March 12th, 2012. Naturally, since this is a blog about magic ponies who sing, we are of course talking about the latter.

Shaw dies in a bus crash, Lethbridge-Stewart remains a government toady, Yates continues to be a fool who believes in a golden age, Grant, trapped in a loveless marriage, pines for an older man, Sarah Jane Smith is an adrenaline junkie conspiracy theorist,

Discorded Whooves is a Tumblr ask blog about an incarnation of the Doctor who came to Equestria and faced off against Discord. Naturally, he lost and was discorded (a process whereby a pony becomes a cruel twisted reflection of themselves after being confronted with the flaws of their virtue by Discord and being unable to cope with said flaws (or, in Fluttershy’s case, touching her head to make her cruel)). From there, we follow his adventures as he has hanky panky in the TARDIS while drinking and having adventures with Captain Jack Harkness(4), Twilight Sparkle(5), Octavia(6), and more all the while there’s a plot by the Master, multiple serial murders of unicorns, and Discord(7) is still out there.

Harry remains an imbecile, Leela leads the Sevateem into DARKER, more SAVAGE times, Romana, corrupted by the politics of Gallifrey, and deadly Dorothée become my cruel agents, Adric DIED screaming, Nyssa and Tegan never met, Turlough continued to be a slave of the Black Guardian, Perpugilliam B was married to Davie,

The creator of this blog is not a fan of this series. However, since he is not writing this blog entry(8), let us try to make a redemptive reading out of this before we inevitably reveal why the series is terrible. To begin with, let us look at the basic premise of the series: Discord was able to break the Doctor. As mentioned previously in the Return to Harmony entry, Discord is a threat, not only to the cast of FIM, but also to the show itself. As such, it can be read that Discord is discording not just the Doctor, but Doctor Who itself. Thus we are given a show about a cruel and cowardly man who lives alone in his box that pads out the narrative ad infinitum and never changes its premise. Also, it’s a show with a lot of continuity references, and, even worse, Canon, to the point of lock out. And yet, all the elements within this series can be found in Doctor Who. There’s the aforementioned 6th Doctor parallel of his actions in the Twin Dilemma to this Doctor’s interactions with Derpy, the fact that this Doctor is blatantly the 10th incarnation(9) who, on August 29th, 2012, reenacted his most heinous act(10) because The Master wanted him to suffer(11), the shortsighted fannish desire for both continuity(12) and making a lighthearted series dark and edgy that was allowed to thrive in the wilderness era is covered in the blog with the Doctor’s sex addiction and alcoholism, and, of course, the insane amounts of padding.

Evelyn S remains unloved and alone, bisexual Benny dies in the second Dalek War, Compassion frozen in the Time Lord rape camps, Fitz dies at the hands of the Vore, Trix commits suicide shortly afterwards, Charley P dies in an airplane crash, Rose Tyler runs away from home and dies alone on the streets, Martha Jones cares for nothing but the survival of her patients, Donna Noble and

But perhaps the most horrifying aspect of all is that we are not done with the Doctor’s fall. For lurking in the shadows of the blog is a story that can only be found in “missing” adventures, one about a terrible monster: The Doctor fully corrupted into what can be assumed to be something terrible. A Doctor who views himself above the rest of the ponies; a Doctor who murders the innocent; a time lord victorious; a Doctor who dislikes his companion; a Doctor who replaced the void left within him from the corruption with a desire to make others miserable; a doctor of laws, rules, and regulations: the Valeyard.

Amy Pond are unable to be TOUCHED by those who love them, River Song is NEVER born, Clara Oswald is nothing more than an unimportant PUPPET of fate.” The man shaped being, halfway down the stairs, looked at the Doctor, expecting him to be devastated by his name-dropping of important companions, but he wasn’t. The figure resumed his rantings, growing more petulant with every sentence.

But, there is one other aspect to this redemptive reading of Discorded Whooves being Discorded Doctor Who that makes it the perfect antithesis to Doctor Who that uses what was already inside of Doctor Who to do so. But to explain why that is, we must first understand the darkness that is used within the MLP fandom and what kind this series implements. It should be obvious that My Little Pony is an optimistic show where friendship is a force in the universe that can redeem even the most far-gone of villains. But that’s not to say that this is a series lacking in darkness. There is clearly cruelty(13), evil(14), corruption(15), and just plain meanness(16) within the series. It’s that the darkness isn’t the driving force that runs the universe like most realists believe it to be.

“Grant M is dying alone in an alleyway, accepting that he did not take M+Ms, Twilight Sparkle is a friendless shut in who lives in a library, Dash disintegrates into ASH after demolishing Cloudsdale, Rarity sold out and abandoned her friends, Apple J breaks her sister’s heart by telling her the truth, PDP is standing alone in front of a massive graveyard, looking at the stone faces of her friends, fiendish Fluttershy is spiteful to the animals,

However, some fans(17) seem to think that in order to like something geared towards children, one has to make it more “adult”, “serious”, and “realistic”. They do this by increasing the darkness.(18)

The Cutie Mark Crusaders gave up on their attempts at figuring out what their cutie marks will be, DT and SS remain miserable bullies who can’t stand being with one another for the rest of their lives, Peter P is, and always has been, an uncool, hopeless dweeb who has people die around him in order to make him sad,

There are three ways in which this is done. The first of which occurs when a character and/or plot device from the source material itself is the source of darkness that corrupts the story. This method is generally done by exploring an element of a character that could be viewed through a darker lens, using fridge logic upon the series, and/or forcing darkness upon a character that doesn’t fit with said character. An example from a MLP fan work comes from “The Monster we Made” whereby the darkness comes from Twilight Sparkle wanting dominion over magic and, as such, kills all her friends, Princess Cadence, and Princess Celestia and begins a tyrannical reign over Equestria via the phantom menace of Princess Luna becoming Nightmare Moon once again. The second of which occurs when an outside element is thrust upon the series, which makes the narrative darker. This can be achieved via a crossover with a darker series or the creation of an original character and/or plot device. An example from the Brony community would be from “MLP Project” in which an original character creates an artifact of doom that influences those within its power to do its bidding(19). The third way in which this is done is by making the show itself evil. This is done by perverting the ethos of a series and/or revealing that said ethos is not the true ethos. An example of this usage of darkness comes from “The Conversion Bureau” which does this by being terrible(20). This method is generally done by terrible works that have no idea/hate how the world of the fiction that inspires them works.

“I think we’re through together.
Huh? No! What?
I think, with all that’s happened, maybe it’s best if we step back, reevaluate who we are. I’m going to be busy with the Blonde Phantom Detective Agency, and you’re going to be busy being Spider-Man, and our relationship… with what Emma did-- I don’t think we can trust anything. Not for a while. Okay?
Noddy is NOTHING more than a fictional character,
No. Not okay.
I’ve got good instincts. And I do trust you. I’ve got a special sense that warns me of bad things and it didn’t like you walking away. So if we can’t trust in what we had, let’s trust in something new. I proclaim this our first date.
That works for me.”
-A conversation between Sophia Sanduval and Peter Parker prior to their first date.

Naturally, Discorded Whooves implements all three forms of darkness. The first format should be obvious given the title of the series. The second is implemented via the usage of the Doctor Who “mythos” with elements such as the Valeyard being a serial killer who cuts off unicorn horns, The Master creating Torchwood to take down the Doctor, Daleks exterminating ponies, and The Doctor being a vile monster who beats women(21), lies to those he loves for the sake of not being alone(22), and isn’t any fun whatsoever(23).

sexist Steven is still a jerk who talks in jokes, Paul was still a creep,

As for the third… we begin on May 22nd, 2013. Oh relax, Amy, it’s the equivalent of a pit-stop, if even that, he remarks. The Doctor is explaining to Jack(24) about the nature of the universe and how they got to the land of magic ponies. He mentions that they traveled to a parallel universe and died on the trip there. This is your idea of a “pit-stop”, she slyly says. Shortly after explaining this for Jack, the TARDIS is unable to land where they want to go, the cloister bell is ringing, the Doctor is panicking, and a sense that the cast is going to die. This is impossible, it’s completely breaking the laws of reality, he says fearfully. So after the crisis is resolved, the Doctor falls unconscious and we get a flashback. It’s sometime around the Power of Three, an adventure with Amy and Rory involving Zygons and wedding proposals to kings has just ended. On the way home, there’s a beeping red light on the TARDIS console. Something is pulling them. DOCTOR IT HURTS, she screams. Something is pulling them outside of reality. HELP US, he begs. And as they fall, we learn the truth. I can’t, i can’t, he cries. A truth that has been hinted at for so very long, a truth far more terrible than what the author has in mind for what broke the Doctor. there’s nothing i can do, i’m sorry, he sobs. For on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, we learn that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic killed Amy and Rory. i’m sorry, they die.

the government exiles Bob and Andrew for exposing all of their secrets, Russell is murdered for being gay,

I could just end it here. Nothing I can type is going to top the condemning statement of Amy and Rory are killed by My Little Pony. I mean, why would the entirety of the My Little Pony multiverse, regardless of the events conspiring around the Equestria this blog is taking place, allow Amy and Rory to die? Why would the TARDIS take a path that would only save the Doctor and not Amy and Rory? Hell, why did traveling to another universe kill Amy and Rory? It didn’t do it the last time, so why this time? It’s not that complicated of an answer really: Amy and Rory die because it would be dark for them to die.

Will dies in a tank, Verity never inspires a generation, Patrick and Jon NEVER become friends, David Whittaker’s alchemistic tendencies are never given an outlet, Thomas is beaten to death in a bar brawl, Lawrence remains a jerk, Peter was type cast,

Which brings us nicely to what makes Discorded Whooves discorded Doctor Who. For at the end of the day, it’s just so generic and lacking in fun. All of its ideas come from other sources and the story does nothing with them. For example, the dark Pinkie Pie used in the story is the most obvious one possible: the one from "Cupcakes." Now does the story do anything interesting with this character? No. It just plays "Cupcakes" straight. It even makes the potentially interesting stuff surrounding it uninteresting. No longer is Torchwood an exploration of this mad world we live in. Now it’s the Master’s Doctor hunting team. The Doctor hasn’t become his worst incarnation since the tenth. He’s just under some mind control that he’s fighting. Discord isn’t a force of chaotic madness that does what he does because it’s fun. He’s evil and cruel. Heck, the story could have done something interesting with the Valeyard by expanding on the “Doctor of Laws” aspect and making his scheme to turn My Little Pony into a bureaucracy. But no, he’s evil serial killer Doctor.

Colin B is hated by his own family, McCoy remains unknown and unloved, Pauly is stuck working on crappy American science fiction shows, Chris is stuck doing a terrible children’s show, David cries in the rain, Matt NEVER exists, Peter Capaldi dies at the hand of a Mandrel, and the wheezing and the groaning are forever silenced.”

And even worse, it’s not fun anymore. My Little Pony and Doctor Who are two shows that run on fun. These are worlds with Iris Wildthyme, Pinkie Pie, Frobisher, Cheese Sandwich, The Land of Fiction, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappleloosa, LInDA, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Running Through Paris, the Smile Song, and so many more fun things. And this has none of it. There’s no place in this world for a demonically possessed Sweetie Belle desperately trying to be seen as a normal pony, Pinkie Pie baking a brew that can travel trough time, Sepia Tock drinking tea with Princess Luna and the Brigadier, Pinkie Pie being brought out of a nihilistic world view with a hug from Fluttershy, Discord and Princess Celestia teaming up against Daleks before Discord throws a Pie at Celestia’s face, Rainbow Dash letting Scootaloo stay with her for the night, Twilight buying the Daily Bugle, Applebloom accepting Jappleack as her sister, Ms. Cake being Ms. Cake(25), Octavia being obsessed with tea, Rarity not being a diva on the set of My Little Pony, Trixie playing a D&D campaign with Snips and Snails as inflammatory expies of the cast of MLP ending with Fluttershy taking Princess Celestia as a pet, Dinky always remembering her mother after Discord wipes her out of existence, and hope for the future. In fact, there’s no hope at all.

The madman was nearing the bottom of the stairs, but the Doctor still hadn’t reacted. The man shaped darkness continued, his bravado was becoming more forced “Soon all the children of all the worlds will realize the truth that all realists know: that stories do not have power, there is no such thing as hope, and there is such a thing as truly being alone.

That’s the big issue with this series: there’s no hope. Oh sure, there’s the carrot on the stick that is the Doctor fighting his discorded state(26), but that story’s wearing a bit thin at this point. In fact, we reached the logical end point for the arc on March 10th, 2013. The Doctor had one of his “non discorded” moments and went to make amends with his kids. But as things were going well, Derpy showed up. Naturally, as a character who is a domestic abuser and gets angry at the mere mention of Derpy’s name, the Doctor is about to hurt his wife again when a brick hits him on the side of his head. The one who threw that brick at him is his daughter, Dinky. And she has plenty more where that came from. As the madman is pummeled with brick after brick and thrown at a tree, he begs “Please…” to his daughter and a gives her a look that reads “Have pity on me.” His daughter’s reply is “I’m sure that’s what she said too.” As she is about to deliver the killing blow, she gives him a look that reads “I have pity for you. Goodbye Doctor.”

You think yourself FAR more than just ANOTHER Time Lord? Bah! I was there in the beginning; in fact, BEFORE the beginning, when Omega and Rassilon first met. FOR I AM,” the villain paused for dramatic effect, “THE OTHER!

And that’s where it should have ended. The Doctor either dies because of his cruelty and cowardice or is finally allowed to change into a better story and save the day. It would have been a fitting end, building off of the earliest actions of the series to the climactic end where the cruelty that has been shown to be within the Doctor since "The Twin Dilemma" is, at long last, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death at the hands of its victims. But no, the monster lives. Too far broken to be able to fix himself without an act of grace from up on high. This is a Doctor whose earliest action(27) is both physically and verbally abusing Ditzy.

The revelation was followed with a fit of maniacal laughter accompanied by a strike of lightning that one would think was timed. “You might as well roll over and die before I hurt you even more. In fact,

And it is here, that we see Discorded Whooves for what it truly is. Take away all the ponies, the Master and his plots, Jack Harkness and his team, The Valeyard’s missing adventures, and all the rest, and you discover that Discorded Whooves is essentially this:

TELL me Doctor… What shall we engrave upon your TOMBSTONE?” At long last the little Doctor looked at the Other, who finally reached the end of those 42 steps. The Doctor did not look upon him with anger or hatred. Nor did he look at him with compassion or empathy. He looked at the Other with pity. He had pity for that small man. And, with a sly smile upon his face, the Doctor replied

“Pinkie, you gotta stand up tall, learn to face your fears.
You'll see that they can't hurt you. Just laugh to make them disappear.”
    -Granny Pie explaining to Pinkie Pie how to fight monsters.
  1. Although, for some reason they keep ending up on the girl’s home planet.
  2. She has been known to be a bit of a ditz.
  3. Which is bigger on the inside.
  4. Whom The Doctor shoots in the face.
  5. Who tries to slit her wrists because of what happened to her friends.
  6. Who has some connection with the Valeyard which the writer of this post has no idea what that is due to some idiot thinking it was a good idea to keep that blog a secret from the rest of us.
  7. Who, from what I gathered, is the Master’s drums.
  8. Oh, hello. I’m Sean. Since I’m writing this in December, Happy Life Day and may Krampus bless us, everyone.
  9. Because of course he’s the 10th Doctor.
  10. He didn’t say anything, but Donna knew what was going to happen next. “Oh.” Donna gasped as she stepped back, shivering in terror. “Oh, but I ca-“ He was getting closer. “Oh I can’t go back,” Donna cried as he put his hands on her shoulders. “don’t make me go back,” Donna begged, “doctor. please. please, don’t make me go back!”
    “Donna,” he said with the sad tone of a person who wants to save everyone hearing his best friend wants to die, “Oh Donna Noble, I am so sorry.” Donna gasped with the horror of inevitability. “But we had the best of times,” he continued, “the best… goodbye” he said as his hands slithered ever closer to Donna’s head. “No!” Donna shouted, in the vain hope that it could save her. “No! No please! Please! No! No! No!”
    And then his hands caressed her face. She was able to cry one last “NO!” before falling into a deep sleep.
    In her sleep, she dreamed of the thrilling adventures of The Most Important Woman in the Universe! In her wanderings across the universe, the woman helped people, freed slaves, and fought off blob monsters by shouting at them. She was joined on her adventures by her best friend- the Doctor, a silly man who thought he was the most important man in the universe. His egotistical behavior wasn’t helped by the fact that he was the most important man in the universe. But he didn’t hold a candle to Donna Noble: The Most Important Woman in the Universe!
    But like most dreams, when she woke up, she wouldn’t remember any of it. Besides, she didn’t have time for dreams. She had work tomorrow.
    The woman fell into the arms of the man who made her dream her past away. He held her like a father holds his sleeping daughter. "I had to do it,” he consoled himself, “There was no other way to save her. She was going to die if I didn’t do it."
    The travel machine landed in front of Donna Noble’s house without wheezing or groaning.
  11. Which if we weren’t trying to read this redemptively as Discorded Doctor Who, would make the Ask Blog one of the worst things in the world for essentially fridging a character by using the iconography of the worst companion departure in the New Series in a way that’s even worse than in the original context(28).
  12. As an aside, because I’m not sure where else to place this, I really wish the character who appeared on July 3rd, 2012 should have been paralleled with the Brigadier and I am very cross that she wasn’t.
  13. Oh, poor Pinkie Pie. And here I thought laughter made you happy.
  14. I could care less about the dress/I won't partake in any cake/Vows, well I'll be lying when I say/ That through any kind of weather/I'll want us to be together/The truth is I don't care for him at all/No I do not love the groom/In my heart there is no room/But I still want him to be all mine
  15. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirls…
  16. Feelings?! I don't care about feelings!
  17. Especially ones who have a desire for stories to have a canon.
  18. This is not in of itself a bad thing. The problems come about when the storytellers decide to decrease the joy within the narrative as well.
  19. And thereby reveal why Twilight didn’t tell her friends about any of her plans
  20. The author of this blog post would have done it on this fan fiction subgenre, but knew that the person who runs this blog would most likely not be fond of a post that consists of eight thousand uses of the word “fuck”. He would also like to ask any fan fiction writers reading this extraneous footnote to produce a Doctor Who/Conversion Bureau story where the 2nd Doctor gets thrown into the mix. But he knows this will never happen, because it’s always the 10th Doctor, so he doesn’t bother asking.
  22. Do it or I’ll tell your Twilight about Derpy.
  23. I mean he hates the sodding Puniverse for Pete’s sake. Who can hate a universe run on bad puns and friendship? That’s the aesthetics of My Little Pony in a nutshell.
  24. Who recently(29) appeared in the narrative some time after Children of Earth but before Miracle Day.
  25. Discworld.
  26. Wait a minute, why didn’t the main 6 go to deal with Discord?
  27. December 21st, 2011 to be precise.
  28. In the blog, not only is she unconscious and unaware of what’s happening to her, but, as previously mentioned, it is also an act perpetrated by the Master to hurt the Doctor(30).
  29. I.e. seven months.
  30. I.e. the life choices of a mixed race woman(31) are made by two white men to make one of the white men very sad.
  31. The character in question, Laura, is a zebra pony(32).
  32. Zony, as she prefers.
December 16, 2014-January 9, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Escaflowne Episode 7 Liveblog Chat Thingy!

How to participate in the liveblog chat:

Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!

Option 2: Go to Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We'll be watching Vision of Escaflowne and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Except I won't, because I'm hanging out with Viga and Linkara. If one of you who is there could post the chatlog in the comments here, I'd appreciate it; I'll update the post with my own comments once I've watched the thing. 

Three gorram weeks later, it's finally done! Chatlog with myself under the cut.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Video Vednesday: Legend of Korra S4E5 "Enemy at the Gates"

In which I make predictions that are confirmed by the TITLE of the next episode, plus predictions that are proven wrong by the next episode. Also some of why Kuvira is scary, and general ramblings about fascism, imperialism, and bad CG.

As usual, Tumblr folks will need to click through to my main blog to see the video for some absurd reason.