YOU GUYS. Halloween is just around the corner! You know what THAT means: it’s time to scramble to put together the perfect Sexy [Whatever] costume. But what if all your friends are already going as Sexy Nurse, Sexy Nun, Sexy Cop, Sexy Zombie and Sexy Lisa Simpson? DO NOT WORRY. Everything is going to be okay, because my friends and I have pages and pages of ideas for you, courtesy of this lovely comic and an absolutely epic Facebook thread.
Are you ready for this?
If yes, click below (and click again) for embiggenation:
Note: I love Halloween. I mean, really. I LOVE Halloween. The sheer amount of work and creativity that goes into this unholiday is mindblowing and I enjoy it immensely. So even if I didn’t have a host of other issues with the “Sexy [x]” Halloween costume, the sheer consistent laziness of it would irritate me.
I was reading this letter, which is full of very emphatic and violent hate for a neighborhood kid with autism, and I was simultaneously nauseated by what this awful, cowardly woman said and assumed and the sheer number of exclamation points she used to emphasize the hate she was spewing.
I could do one of my usual rants about the shittiness of this woman’s attitude and method of handling the situation, but I think the kid’s mother handled it just fine. So to the next point: I don’t know about you guys, but this is pretty much how my brain filters the use of exclamation points:
Click for Enlargination:
I am sitting next to my girlfriend watching An American Werewolf in London. She’s never seen it before, and I think it’s essential viewing. Canon.
And it’s just as awesome as the last time I saw it. And the time before that. Just as brilliantly and darkly funny as I remember it. Just as gorgeous. The initial transition scene still fills me with wonder and joy and respect. I still dig Jenny Agutter.
But I think I’ve now seen the movie too many times.
WHAT? WHY? You may yelling at your monitor right now. You might even have thrown your hands in the air in shock and horror. I hope you didn’t knock your water over. …I’m sorry.
Well, it’s that I’ve found myself fixating on things that never bothered me, before.
The first example is the wolfing out. We get to see how intensely painful and disturbing the transition to wolf is for David. And we get to see David transition twice. The first time he’s being stared at by a tiny, surprisingly upsetting Mickey Mouse figurine (what the hell is that doing in Alex’s flat, btw?). The second time it’s in a theater showing awful (but hilarious, of course) porn.
The make up is amazing. The artistry phenomenal. And I? I’ve spent at least 20 minutes wondering whether it would be worse to go through all of that while under the way-too-cheerful gaze of Mickey Mouse or while watching awful porn in a filthy theater.
In case you were wondering, I decided on the porn.
Yes, that took twenty minutes. YES, I AM TIRED.
But what really got me this time around was that scene in the theater. Not the porn or the transition, but Jack. Jack is talking. Jack uses all the letters. Jack says “schmuck”. But you guys.
Jack has no lips. Jack has no lips, you guys.
Jack has no fucking lips. Go ahead and say “schmuck” without using your lips. Say “werewolf”. Say “suspension of disbelief”.
I don’t have much more to say about this, except for to point out that I am watching a movie about a werewolf and his undead hallucinatory friend and the really unbelievable part for me is that somebody is talking without lips.
Deep Thoughts is brought to you by the letter Wine and the number Lots.
This morning, I found out about #1reasonwhy. In the last day, many women working in the game industry have been posting on Twitter, each of them sharing their experience as a professional woman working in an industry that, even today in 2012, struggles with sexism and discrimination. Reading their stories was shocking to me, as a woman and as a long time gamer. It made me sad for an industry that I had higher expectations for. But at its core, the AAA game industry suffers from the same assumptions that plague many “old boy’s club” companies: it is a male dominated field that believes they have no reason to market to women, that women can only make “games for women”, and that women don’t enjoy the same things in a game that men do.
This is bullshit.
I am 38 years old, a woman, and a gamer. I’ve been a gamer since I was a child, playing Pac-Man and Frogger. In my teens, I played Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering. As an adult, I continue to play “tabletop RPGs”, computer and console games. I don’t play Facebook games. I have no interest in them, when I could be shooting aliens in Mass Effect 3 or Gears of War 3. There is this perception that women only play Facebook games, or that only women play them.
This is bullshit.
A good friend of mine plays Facebook games. A lot of people, both men and women, do. A lot of them aren’t “gamers”, and some of them are. Some of them are kids, and some are grandmothers. My friend who plays on Facebook? She got tired of the limitations and asked me, a gamer, what else she could do. Now she plays Diablo 3 on her PC. I guess you could say Facebook games are gateway games that anyone can play, not just women.
The gaming industry is big money. A best-selling console game now makes as much (or more) money as a blockbuster movie does. No one questions whether or not men and women go to those movies. But apparently the gaming industry believes that only men buy their games that sell over 3 million copies in the first week. Many companies believe they don’t need women to design or contribute to these games, because after all, women don’t buy them.
Leaving aside the completely asinine idea that women don’t have anything to offer a game marketed for men, I think the games industry is really missing the boat by ignoring the female gender. In the distant past, maybe games were something largely played by boys and men, but that stereotype is as incorrect as it is outdated. I think the games industry believes that all they need to make is Call of Duty X: The Same as The Last Nine Games. And you know what? That’s a very successful franchise, but it’s my husband’s least favorite first person shooter, because it is the same damn game over and over! Like many gamers I know, male and female, he is appreciative of more.
I am a girl gamer, and personally, I think games could only benefit from having more real input from female designers, writers, developers, artists, you name it! I’m not saying there aren’t men who do these jobs, and do a great job at them. But I am saying that the games industry is depriving their product of something special when they don’t give women the same chance to contribute on every level. This is true for all of the male players, but guess what games industry? WOMEN PLAY GAMES. More than that, we play the so-called AAA console games!
I am a girl gamer, and here are some of the games I have played or currently play: Gears of War 3, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the entire Mass Effect trilogy, including Mass Effect 3 online multiplayer, the Assassin’s Creed games, the Dragon Age series, Skyrim, Fallout…yes, as you can see I have a “type”, RPG, or roleplaying games. However, I am just really discovering multiplayer online games such as Gears of War 3, and do you want to know why? Because Mass Effect 3, an RPG game that has a recognized female gamer following, took a risk and added an online multiplayer mode. And it was fun! First and third person shooter type games don’t market to women. They should. They should give us characters to care about, a story to enjoy (it doesn’t have to be as big as an RPG story), and female characters to play. I like to play Anya when I play Gears.
I am a girl gamer, and I don’t just share my husband’s Xbox; I have my own damn Xbox. I play my own games. I play games with him. I play games with my male and female real life friends. I play games with male and female players I’ve met online.
I am a girl gamer, and I have friends who are girl gamers. There are enough of us in my own circle of friends that we can have an all-girl team when we play Diablo 3 or Mass Effect 3.
I am a girl gamer, and my husband’s friends text me to play with them as much as they text him, sometimes more.
I am a girl gamer, and often when I play online, there are male gamers who are surprised that I am a girl, that I play, and that I like playing. They ask me how they can get their girlfriends and wives to give it a try, and to answer that, I return to my original point: the game industry needs to wake up and realize they have two genders to make games for and market to.
I am a girl gamer, and I don’t want games about puppies, or shopping, or fashion. I like games where I get to be the heroine and save the universe. I like games where there is a good story, where I care about what happens to the world, the universe, and the characters. I like games where I get to be the badass.
I am a girl gamer, and I like games that have a romantic subplot, or hot male characters to look at, just like men like games with hot female characters. This isn’t necessary for me to enjoy a game, but I think most female gamers and game designers will agree with me when I say it sure doesn’t hurt!
I am a girl gamer, and I like to play online with other gamers. I am learning to be brave and try games I would never have tried before because of the male gamers I play with. Not because of the gaming industry, which doesn’t market these games to me, but because my male gamer friends tell me “If you like X game, you should really try Y, because I think you’d like it.” And sometimes they tell me when I shouldn’t try a game, because they know I won’t enjoy it. Sadly, this happens more often than it should. More often than it would, if female developers were given the same weight as their male counterparts.
I am a girl gamer, and I support female game designers, writers, artists, developers, and more. They should not have to deal with sexism in their field. They should not be condescended to, or minimalized, or ignored. I believe they could bring something special to the gaming industry. I believe they could help make the kind of games that I want to play, that other women want to play, and that men want to play, too.
Wake up, games industry.
In addition to being a gamer geek, Charity Vandehey is a writer, jewelry artist and espresso addict. She’s been writing online in one form or another since 2002. Visit her Etsy store, Byzantium Lotus!
I have officially typed the word “raccoon” too many times and now it doesn’t look like a real word. What the fuck, raccoons? What the fuck kind of word is “raccoon”?
Some number of days ago, I took this photo of my cat:
But then I couldn’t decide whether he was plotting or pouting. So I made these:
And now…now I just don’t trust my cat anymore. Let’s not forget: he’s got thumbs. There’s no telling what he could do if he set his nut-sized brain to it.
I’m sure y’all remember Moto, by now.
This handsome fellow is Nijinsky. Nijinsky is Moto’s long-suffering-yet-charmingly-(mostofthetime)-neurotic older brother.
Nij: Ummmm….whatcha doin’?
Nij: Soooo…. *headbutts my knee*
Me: Just a sec, buddy.
Nij: No. Right now. *paw on my leg*
Me: Nijinsky. Can’t you—
Nij: But I love you. So much. Right NOW. *nose on my nose*
Me: NIJINSKY I HAVE TO PROTECT THE WAGON FROM THESE BANDI—Well, fuck it. Now I’m dead.
Nij: *purr* *gentle headbutt*
Dear Jew Fro,
You’ve been getting a little uppity lately, and I need you to chill the fuck out, already. You’ve been an active half of my hair situation all my life, and you know damn well that you have got to function in tandem with the afro to make this work.
So, what’s with you? Is the mid-day frizz fest some kind of farkakte passive-aggressive bid for attention? Or is it actual aggression—are you fighting for dominance? Is my head a battleground, Jew Fro v. Afro, Jets v. Sharks?
When you’re a Jew,
You’re a Jew all the way
From your first frizzy hair
To your last holy day.
Look, you’ve seen West Side Story with me enough times to know that this does not end well. And if you have seen me in the mirror at the end of the day over the past week or so, you probably already realize this, so what’s the deal, Jew Fro? You are not Old World enough to be able to pull off that special brand of cranky schwarzophobia, and any way, it seems a little late in life for that to be surfacing.
Tell me what gives, because this meshugass must end, and it must end soon. This is all about teamwork, Jew Fro. Put aside the issues you have working with the afro; do it via montage if you must.
I don’t care how you do it, really. Just…just do it.
In case you missed The Misadventures of Ed and Bob, here’s a tiny bit of context.
So, C. has been on her way home from Oregon in a minivan she is not driving. This apparently has meant that she has become intimately familiar with all of the on- and off-ramps from Oregon to California. She may even have named a few. I didn’t ask. Seems kinda personal.
So I thought I would mention that sometimes you just gotta take the wheel.
Hoof to the pedal, Bob. Hoof to the pedal.
Shit’s been heavy lately, and it’s time to lighten it up for a minute, I think, and tell you a story. The last time I did this, I told you the story of The Dick House, a terrifying tale of cannabis and disorientation. Today’s story will be much briefer, but I was reminded of it by the man sitting across from me at Arbor Cafe in Oakland. This guy looks just like a young Denzel Washington.
This is the story of why, even just aside from The Book of Eli, I can’t take Denzel Washington seriously.
When I was in college, I had a dream. In this dream I owned a bar. It was a beautiful bar, all wood paneling and a pool table, and polished brass accents. In walked Denzel Washington and a few of his friends, all dressed up like early 20th century mob bosses. He took off his fedora and smiled, and I said, “DENZEL!” And he said, “[WHISKEYPANTS]!”
And then I woke myself up laughing, because the entire dream was so absurd even my subconscious couldn’t keep a straight face. My girlfriend at the time was a witness to this, and will likely mock me until the end of time for dreaming that I was buddies with Denzel Washington.
But to this day, every time I see Mr. Washington in a movie, all I hear is “DENZEL!” And I laugh and then all the gravitas disappears from his character. (Team America: World Police did a similar thing and made it impossible for me to take Matt Damon seriously.)
But I’m not buddies with Denzel. Otherwise, I could call him up and say,
“DENZEL! What the fuck is going on in this photograph?
DENZEL, seriously. WTF. Wanna get coffee?”
And that’s the story of why I watch American Gangster for laughs.
Okay, so the very first thing you have to do is spend 30 seconds watching this video. Yes. This post has a video component. Watch it. Waaaaatch it.
Okay. Done? Now, this is what happens when C and I are allowed to:
- Run rampant on YouTube
- Think we are very clever and hilarious; and
- Text each other.
For reference, I am Ed. C is Bob. For this convo.
Here’s the blog entry that started this brain a’churnin. Check it out, I’ll go get a beer.
It is cool to think that even a fraction of Slave Leias out there are striving for more than cheesecake photo ops and geek-gawk-points, even if the majority are probably sans that nobly-intended kickassery. I dig that at least some of those women think more than just “Look at me, look at me, LOOK AT MEEEE!”
However, even if some of them are going for “fierce bikini warrior” rather than “desirable chattel”, they have a responsibility for the whole message they send with that costume, not just the part they like. Along with the “Grrr, don’t mess with me or I’ll choke your blubbery ass” is “I am a lap dog.” Along with “I am a sexy object, covet me” is “the smaller my outfit, the better I look, the more I am worth.”
The reason the Slave Leia outfit is not merely a skimpy costume (according to this blog) is because while she is dressed like a compliant pleasure-slave, she’ll actually fuck you up. Don’t judge by what you see. But inherent in that statement is that what you see is a degrading costume.
I mean, c’mon. They didn’t throw her in jail like they did her male counterparts, she was dressed in a bikini and a leashed collar while Chewie and Han were in the clink. She was forced to sit there, humiliated, in that giant, pudding-y lap as decoration while a giant turd-shaped alien yanked her around by the neck and stuck his slimy, slimy tongue out at her. Dang, son. That shit is embarrassing.
OMG he’s touching me AGAIN.
Now, ultimately Leia did kick major ass. She was there on a daring attempt to rescue her boyfriend in the first place. She killed that bastard Jabba with the very leash he put around her neck. Go, girl. But her triumph wouldn’t have been as epic if she hadn’t done it from such a place of obvious subjugation, which is what the outfit symbolizes. You don’t get to cherry-pick the “I’m a badass” out of it and leave the rest.
Also, despite Leia’s many heroic actions during the trilogy, we just don’t see the brave and imperious white-gowned (fully-clothed) leader of the Rebel Alliance at cons very often. Or the fearless soldier in the camouflage poncho screaming through the woods at breakneck speed, intent on fucking some storm-trooper shit up. No, nearly all of the Leia incarnations we see have chosen to dress like an objectified slave.
The second part of this has to do with that choice. The choice to don skimpy bikini wear instead of countless other amazingly hot nerdy women’s costumes in the first place. It’s a choice that size privilege affords to some, and one that slaps an automatic penalty on those not wearing Nerdtoria’s Secret or those who try less successfully. (I’m not on a slut-shaming rant here, btw, bear with me.)
Truthfully, I wouldn’t wear SL in any case (not a fan of the outfit, donchaknow), but even if I wanted to, I am a fat girl and don’t have that choice. I would never be seen the same way as a “normal” woman in SL. I would be the Fantasia hippo version of a ballerina, pictures of me would end up on lol-loser websites, I would become another cautionary tale for all the ladies out there who aren’t the correct size to play dress-up.
I’m not complaining about my size, mind you. Or anyone else’s. I’m pissed about the structure in which SL has become the standard, and I am naturally sub-par because I refuse to bare my midriff to the unavoidable mockery and shaming that would result.
“When geek culture says, Don’t be Slave Leia, what I hear is: Don’t unsettle us. Don’t make us think about the consequences of our misogyny, or our entitlement, or our privilege. Don’t remind us that female sexuality can be a power as well as a commodity.”
“I find it troubling when there’s a whole category of women that we are Officially Allowed to Mock and/or Hate. Because that line is a really arbitrary thing, and it’s really easy to imagine that, some day, I’ll end up on the wrong side of it.”
Would at least one of you think about choking that corpulent bastard?
Fighting back against misogyny: hell yes. Doing it by wearing identical slave girl outfits? C’mon. There’s plenty of ways to claim the “power” without the “commodity”. As a fat, nerdy- type woman, I am plenty aware of privilege and entitlement, and who has it. I am already in a “category of women that we are Officially Allowed to Mock and/or Hate.” Perhaps a little more effort to smudge and remove those arbitrary lines, and a little less jostling competition to be on the right side of them would help.
Beyond SL outfit in specific, there’s this whole Booth Babe/Cylon Funtime Barbie/Nearly-Naked (insert any recognizable geek- icon here) thing going on too. It’s about the teeny-tiny-con-bikini, so standard now that women not wearing one might as well be invisible. It’s about how those of us who aren’t the appropriate shape might as well just stay home because we don’t count. At this point, most cons should just be called “wizard-boob-a-palooza, no fat chicks.”
Nerds, banded together through common interests and a mutual understanding of how cruel the non-nerd world can be, are surprisingly closed down to us who score fewer points on the Slave Leia Value Scale™. That scale seems to rank based on how closely we resemble Boris Vallejo paintings, which is funny considering how few of them bear any passing resemblance. But I digress.
I’m not saying no one should ever wear the ole purple and gold; at this point it’s as classic as plastic pointy ears. The Bikini and Leash has stopped looking like a costume, and started looking like a cheerleader uniform. But fuck it, it’s Sci-fi, it’s Fantasy, it’s a party, it makes you feel sexy and fierce, so be it. Let your freak flag fly. All gazillion of you.
Just please, be aware that wearing it sends multiple messages, and they are not all as awesome as “If you fuck with me, I will end you.” You are also perpetuating some pretty harsh “isms” along the way. If you feel good, then strut your stuff. Wear it proudly, just know everything you’ve got on.
[Whiskeypants note: I posted "In Defense of Slave Leia" to my wall on Facebook, and Tanya responded with a comment that I was not above begging her to turn into a blog post. Fortunately she didn't make me actually beg for it. That never looks good on Facebook.]
My dear friend Sasha pointed out that my blog composition has settled into a sort of triangle of topics. And I’m cool with that. It’s just not the topics I thought they would be. Witness:
Once again, the cats have won the internet. Resistance was futile. We’ve all been assimilated. And with that in mind, prepare yourselves for the most recent conversation with Otto, a guest blog from the abovementioned Sasha.
Honestly, I don’t know where to start. I guess the first thing is, I never bothered to name you, for reasons that will become clear. When I yell at you I just call you “Horse,” and if you were yearning for a name, you must be very disappointed. I’m sorry for that.
Also, I worry about your hearing. I’m constantly shooting my rifle right by your head, and I can only imagine how startling, unpleasant, and damaging that is, especially for the more sensitive areas of your head. I really appreciate the fact that you don’t toss me whenever I decide to hunt coyotes, but then I figure you are deaf by now.
But maybe not, because I also have to apologize for accidentally shooting you when I was trying to kill that goddamn coyote who kept eluding me. Seriously, that really bummed me out. It will relieve you to know that you didn’t die in vain. I got the coyote, and I sold parts of you so I could afford some more maps. And then a new you appeared, so I assume that fixed your hearing, at least temporarily.
While I’m at it, I should also apologize for letting you get stolen. I knew that guy was going to pull me off and take you. I just didn’t shoot him fast enough. I did take care of that eventually, but you must be thinking I just don’t care about you. And I do, especially when you are that pretty chestnut color. Less so when you come back kinda ugly. I’m shallow like that. Also, I would like to point out that I didn’t accidentally shoot you when you were taken. That time, anyway. So, yay.
I guess I’m also sorry that I let those wolves kill you when I was ripping off the corpses of those people I failed to save. I was careless, probably because I was stoned that day. And, like, every time I play RDR. So, yeah.
I suppose being stoned also accounts for all those times I fell off cliffs and into water. And off those train tracks that one time.
There’s probably some other stuff I don’t remember. I’m sorry for that, too.
Um. Yeah. Don’t stop being awesome.
Click Image To Make Readable:
(Thanks to Nate for title and the reminder about Berkeley Bowl West. Nate is awesome. Go read his blog.)
I’ve been discussing a silly amount of serious issues in this blog, lately. Which is odd, because I originally intended this to be a platform for a serious amount of silly shit (please pardon the alliteration, it’s a hack tool, I know).
So, Gentle Reader, I’ll give you a break from all that, and tell you the story of how I woke up in the Dick House.
I was hanging out with two of my favorite people, W and N, at their place in Berkeley. It was a pretty chill night, and it was decided that N & I would watch some Miyazaki film or other. I can’t for the life of me remember which one (you’ll find this story light on details). N asked me if I wanted to try one of his new culinary masterpieces: ginger snaps made with the finest of cannabutters. I accepted the cookie, nommed on the cookie, and settled in to watch the movie.
At some point I blinked. It was a four-hour blink.
At around 3:30am my eyes opened again. I was on a couch that may never have been intended to comfortably support the human body. I was in a position that only mummies find comfortable for longer than 20 minutes. My glasses were still on, confirming for me (à la Giles in “Tabula Rasa”) that I wore glasses, but not making any difference whatsoever in my vision. Somebody had covered me with a blanket, which was kind, but had failed to leave me a prominently displayed note informing me of where I was and how I had gotten there.
I said, “mmph.” Or, I tried to say it. I think it would be more fair to say I thought it, emphatically. And then I considered my surroundings. I had no idea where I was. Nothing looked familiar, and the dark unfamiliarity was slightly sinister. I didn’t move at all, partly out of wariness, and partly because reconnecting brain to limbs was proving enormously difficult.
And then I remembered: I was in the Dick House!
Wait, what? What the fuck does that mean? Seriously, what does it mean? What the fuck is a Dick House? What the fu—wait. I am still clothed. So…okay. Dick Dick Dick. Dick House. That’s because…I’m high. I’m fucking high. That cookie wasn’t just a little green, that motherfucker was made of green, like, with a leprechaun baked in the middle, an angry leprechaun, with gloves—okay, get a grip, Whiskeypants, you didn’t actually see a leprechaun when you bit into the cookie.
By this point I had managed to tangle myself up in the blanket and in trying to get up, was in the process of rolling off the couch. The shock of hitting the floor relieved me of my concerns regarding leprechaun-filled ginger snaps and jarred me slightly more awake. Of course. Of course, I was in the Dick house. Not the Dick House.
Specifically, I had eaten a magical leprechaun-enabled ginger snap and passed out in the Berkeley house in which Philip K. Dick had once resided (or, one of them). A major accomplishment. Maybe next time I could pass out with a bottle of whiskey in Edward Gorey’s house, or drop acid in Stratford-upon-Avon—no, terrifying idea. I’ve been to Stratford-upon-Avon.
The whole process of figuring out where I was, falling off the couch, and situating myself properly had taken only a few interminable minutes. Getting back to sleep took no time at all. The relief that came with the realization of what “Dick” meant in this context I expect will last forever.