A Terrifying Panoply of Human Events

Girlydorf in my minisketchbook! My tablet’s away for repairs :’(


Girlydorf in my minisketchbook! My tablet’s away for repairs :’(

Since Jerry asked and I can’t figure out how to reply to a Tumblr reply: Margaret is a paid DLC character for Persona 4 Ultimax, and I haven’t bought her yet. Strongly leaning towards doing it, though, even if it’s just to unlock her actions in the story.

GamerBullshitGate thoughts.

I was thinking about Gamer Gate while I was trying to go to sleep last night, and trying to think of why this horrible bullshit is going on. Not the surface causes, we know that those are people who’ve pegged far too much of their identity to misogynist gamer culture. But what causes someone to join up with that? How is your empathy so withered that you think this is the right way to act? And I think I’ve hit on a metaphor that explains at least part of it.

Imagine that as a child, a boy finds a bottle.

It is not a perfect bottle: it has an odd shape, and it can only hold so many things in it. But it is their favorite bottle, and they pour all their enthusiasm into it. They can muster effort for other things, but this is their favorite thing. It feels like the best bottle in the world to them, and they even feel a little sorry for those who don’t have a bottle like theirs.

All kids grow up, of course, and most either leave their bottles behind or find new ones, or even just add other bottles so they no longer have only one. But the boy won’t be fooled by this, he keeps his bottle safe and enshrined. Nothing else can be as good.

Even as he becomes a man in form, he remains a boy in mind, tending to his bottle. Its shape changes a little despite him, and he cannot fill it quite as well as he used to, but it remains precious to him, for the memories attached to it if nothing else. Those who malign it are either dismissed or vehemently attacked, depending on how they touch on the flaws in his bottle, but otherwise he is content.

Then one day, a new threat appears. A woman, who points out flaws that he never even saw in his bottle. Things that he just took for granted in how bottles were made, even bottles lesser than his. And it enrages him. He can’t handle it, how dare she throw such vile accusations at his most precious object! And so he turns to the worst behavior he can to tear her down, tear others around her down, ANYTHING to save his bottle from being broken. Because he’s never considered that he could leave it behind, or appreciate it despite the flaws, or even-with hard work-correct the flaws to make his bottle even better than before. It was, it is, and it must ever be because otherwise he has wasted his time, and that he cannot accept. His bottle must be the best, or else he is worthless.

That’s how I see GamerGaters, anyway. They’re pathetic, and very dangerous because of it.

Initial Persona 4 Ultimax thoughts.

LIGHT SPOILERS for those who haven’t played it yet but intend to.

So things I don’t like about the game so far:

1. The voice acting is a clear step down from P4A. Some actors seem to be replaced, others are phoning in parts of their performance, and Ken is…well, too accurate to Persona 3, considering he’s now going through puberty in Persona 4 Ultimax.

2. The text writing is not that good. A lot of unnecessary adverbs and adjectives are used to fill space and try to make things dynamic, but instead just clutter up sentences.

3. Adachi and Yu still have the same voice actor, and that’s even more of a problem than it was in the last game, since now both characters are around.

Things I like:

1. Questions from the last game are being directly addressed in this one, even before the main plot kicks in. Rather than just going “Hey, remember that thing that happened? Oh well, let’s forget about it,” which is a relief.

2. Everyone is figuring things out at their own pace. In other words, Naoto is figuring it out at lightning speed, but the rest of the group is proving they’re at least not dumb, even if they’re not on her level.

3. Kanji asking obvious questions that the others weren’t even ready to address continues to be delightful.

4. Rise’s arc towards being an active combat character rather than a passive one.

5. Elizabeth. Just Elizabeth.


I’m playing Persona 4 again.


Me too! High five!

High five!


High five!




The one thing I took away from the Klickstein interview that’s still sticking with me (beyond the obvious racism and misogyny) is that while I understand being irritated when you think a character was created just to be diverse, that irritation was mostly because of the obvious artifice behind it. Or to put it another way, I didn’t mind non-white characters, female characters, or non-heterosexual characters in my fiction, I minded when they were essentially backgrounds for other characters to act in front of. 

If your conclusion from that is “Why make any characters that aren’t white and male? They’re distracting,” then you didn’t catch the real problem with how it’s often done.

Been brainstorming this a little bit today thanks to comments made by Charlotte on her tumblr, but I’m imagining a better version of Star Trek: Into Darkness. One where the reveal was different, and the title meant more. And the main anchor point for that is the relationship between Khan Noonien Singh and Admiral Marcus.

In the actual movie we got, they’re both bad guys and they hate each other, and they both do bad things and people are caught in the middle, blah blah blah. The plans are not important, it’s just important that you’re not supposed to root for or sympathize with either one. Khan’s bad because he’s Khan, and Marcus is bad because he woke Khan up.

But imagine if Khan is less a dictator in the making, and more a man forced into a role. After all, this is someone who was genetically engineered to be superior to other humans at the time he was created. Stronger, faster, smarter (and in STID, with magic healing blood for…some reason), he’s less a person than a tool. Point him at your target, let him do his work until the target is dead. Rinse, repeat. Sure, he might be smarter than his masters, but the purpose of his creation is still cynical and ugly. In that way, he’s the antithesis of the Federation ideal, even though it’s not fair to hold him up to a standard that was created long after he normally would be dead.

But does Khan want to do that? Does he need to? Maybe all the bad history is in part scapegoating the man who did the work of others, and in part trying to denigrate someone who took a small group of supporters and other genetically engineered people, stuck in the same roles, and fled the planet for a better life. A man less interested in ruling than just not being ruled by others.

Assuming that the Earth would at some point consume itself, and not having the FTL capabilities that would come later, Khan and his people use cryogenic suspension and begin traveling to some distant world that may be life sustaining. But rather than being destroyed by its inhabitants, Earth becomes the start of the Federation…and one day, Admiral Marcus is alerted to a strange discovery. An ancient Earth vessel, with an unusual cargo.

Upon waking up Khan and meeting him, Marcus (a sharp man himself, and he’d have to be to reach Admiral regardless of the method) immediately recognizes Khan’s abilities. Khan recognizes the type of man Marcus is, but between feeling that he can’t escape this role and Marcus holding the rest of his crew hostage, can’t help but work with Marcus, even when it involves attacking Starfleet headquarters in person.

Enter Kirk. A young, brash upstart recently demoted for disobeying orders and saving a primitive planet’s inhabitants, Marcus sees someone else he can use to take over Starfleet. Not overtly, not with a grand declaration of power, but by installing men and women who owe their careers to him. He promotes Kirk to Captain again, gives him command of the Enterprise once more, and sends him on a mission to kill Khan. Is he just trying to play the two off and use the survivor? Does he plan to kill Kirk with Khan and have a high profile martyr? Or send Kirk into danger, then appear to save him and kill the terrorist, claiming the glory and saving Kirk’s life? That part doesn’t need to be clear, though there should be at least some hint of what he intends.

Regardless, the climax of the film comes about both because Kirk and his crew are more resourceful than either Marcus or Khan expected, and because they are more compassionate as well. Rather than beating Khan with ruthlessness, they do the unexpected and help each other to catch him off guard. Khan escapes to report back to Marcus, but the Enterprise crew gathers enough evidence to realize something is up, and that too many things lead back to Marcus for it to be a coincidence.

Of course, the Enterprise isn’t a match for Marcus’ new ship on its own, but the key isn’t really the technobabble or Sulu’s piloting or Chekov’s targeting-it’s Khan. Khan, who sees the same merciless nature in Marcus that he’s come to expect from humanity…but now sees a better version in Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, and everyone else who he just fought against. Who met an enemy that defied orders by capturing him alive, and trying to learn why he killed Starfleet officers. Who are, in short, better than Khan ever expected humanity could be. And he betrays Marcus because it’s the last hope he has for being more than a weapon and a tool.

The Enterprise wins, and takes Marcus prisoner. Khan surrenders once the ship is taken, either hoping for a trial and execution or just wondering what will be done. And when the Federation, having no death penalty, sentences them both, Khan is surprised by the leniency of his sentence, as he’s being put on probation, or even allowed to leave a free man due to the coercion Marcus placed him under. Kirk and Spock meet him and offer him a commission, but Khan declines, stating that he wants to settle down and figure out what to do with himself when he’s not taking orders. And the film ends there.

Obviously, this probably wasn’t anywhere near what STID was in the original drafts, but if you want to emphasize the optimism of Star Trek, what better place to start than giving its greatest original series villain a second chance? Sure, it takes a whole new timeline, but at least it lets you wipe the slate clean and create a version of Khan where you could sympathize with his plight.



its that time of year again
its time for redraws of people being scared at haunted houses




its that time of year again

its time for redraws of people being scared at haunted houses


We finally watched the Winter Soldier blu-ray tonight, and enjoyed the movie all over again. After watching it and going into the extras, my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to watch the “Captain’s America Battleground” extra. I said no because, as I put it, I could probably write a quick Tumblr essay detailing the same themes they would hit.

Granted, it probably wouldn’t be a good essay, but I could still put it out there.

I know Anime is for nerds but you should check out G Gundam it's like street fighter with robots from space. And the token american's robot has a surfboard, six shooters, boxing gloves, and is wearing a football helmet. He also cheerleaders. That's honestly the best I can pitch it but it's amazing.


You could’ve stopped this question six words in, nerd.

Sailor Moon Gundam. Now it’s research.