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Maybe This Hand-Drawn Mass Effect 3 Box Art Is The Best One

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Maybe This Hand-Drawn Mass Effect 3 Box Art Is The Best One

It's always a bit difficult to gauge the legitimacy of such things, e.g. whether a an store employee stuck this on this GameStop shelf just long enough to take a picture or whatever. Either way I'm amused by this ugliness, as a Mass Effect guy.

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littleboat
3549 days ago
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no, it's not the best. A guy in a Sheperd costume was handing those cards out to women at GeekGirlCon. It was an awesome effort of the staff to track him down by monitoring tweets and throw his ass out though.
Ballard, Seattle
1570 days ago
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The Steam Achievement That Nobody Unlocked

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The Steam Achievement That Nobody Unlocked

Some achievements are too easy, at times only requiring players to do mundane things like pressing start. Some achievements pose an actual challenge to players, requiring people to actually earn their digital trophies. And some achievements? Some achievements just aren't possible, no matter what a game might say.

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littleboat
3555 days ago
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Ballard, Seattle
1570 days ago
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But WHAT CAN BE DONE: Dos and Don’ts To Combat Online Sexism

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You may notice that a lot of things happen to do with sexism on the internet. Sometimes someone has done a sexist thing and people are talking about it. Sometimes someone has written an article about the time they experienced sexism and other people are having feelings about it.  Sometimes a particular woman or women is being harassed on Twitter and you are witnessing it.

As you know, sexism is bad, and when bad things happen, you might have feelings about it too. But how can you help? What should be done? Here is a guide:

DON’T: Tweet at women asking them “what should be done”. When someone is venting about systemic injustice, commandeering their attention with the question, “but what solutions would you recommend” is akin to walking up to a person who is on fire and asking them to bring you a bucket of water so that you can “help.”  

DON’T: Make the person who is clearly suffering from the effects of an unfair system do free work for you. If you need more information to understand what you see happening, you have ways of obtaining it: Look at someone’s profile and read their feed or their conversations. Look at links that have been posted. Google. Ask your own friends. You can find a Game of Thrones torrent from anywhere in the world, and you can find out what has happened or is being discussed without making people who are obviously upset or occupied explain it to you. Some people may have high public profiles and busy feeds; some people may even be experiencing stressful interactions, even threats. You are not helping by butting in with “link please” or “did I miss something.”

DON’T: Feel like you have to give a response. Sometimes people simply want to be heard and understood, and you do not need to prove you are a good person by offering a pithy reply or insincerely fist-shaking along. One component of sexism is that men tend to inherently expect that what they say is valuable, and that a statement from a woman cannot possibly stand alone without their contributions. It is totally and entirely possible that you might have nothing to add, and you could benefit from the conversations of those who do.

DON’T: Try to explain things. Understand that even if the person you are addressing is not an authority in her field (though she often may be, as sexism targets prominent women) you ought not automatically assume she needs you to let her know how things go in her field, unless she has asked. Experiment with the idea that her experience is not whatsoever about you and it’s not the time for you to attention-seek or offer an ‘alternative perspective’.

And absolutely don’t try to explain to a woman writer or speaker what sexism is or what is happening to her. She knows.

DON’T: Tone-police. Does she sound enraged, impatient, and bitter? Is she not being especially nice to all the people who have Tweeted at her to explain sexism, ask her how to solve sexism, or otherwise undermine the things she is saying? Too bad. You wouldn’t be nice either if you lived in a system which consistently conspired to remove your authority and devalue your work. No matter what happens, you are not the victim in the situation — do not re-center conversations on yourself and your needs and emotions by pestering angry women to talk more nicely to you.

Did she hurt your feelings? You’ll live. Ditch the passive aggressive “fair enough” and “I was merely trying to” and “as you wish” and all of this, leave her alone, and consider your obligation to be part of the solution to a system that has harmed her and made her angry. If you think women, particularly women who are public figures, should feel an equally-important sense of obligation to make you feel good about yourself while they are under stress, congratulations: You are part of the problem.

DON’T: Make stupid jokes. You might be one of tons of people Tweeting at her, tone is hard to read online, and you shouldn’t be putting anyone, especially someone whodoes not actually know you, in charge of figuring out your sense of humor when they are under stress. You might just be trying to lighten things up or cheer the situation, but let people be angry, let them have heated discussions if they want and need to. Imagine this: Your dog dies, and a stranger walking past thinks you should cheer up, or take it less seriously, and decides to joke about your dead dog. What would you think of them?

You aren’t the mood police, and joking when someone is upset just sends the message that you don’t want to take her feelings or challenges seriously.

DO: Express your feelings of support. When you see something unjust happen, say that you condemn it. When someone’s the victim of destructive sexist behavior, defend them– not in a brownie points-seeking way, directing your comments at the victim herself or copying women into your Tweets so that they know you’re a good guy — but in your own channels. When you see friends and colleagues passing on destructive opinions, challenge them. By engaging the issue yourself, you take responsibility.

DO: Consider the well-being of others. When a woman or group of women becomes the victim of sexist harassment in public, spotlighting them isn’t always helpful, even if it’s well-intentioned. Tweeting “Everyone currently spewing hateful bullshit @thisperson is a jerk” expresses a noble and true sentiment, but it also does two things:  puts the spotlight on @thisperson and the volume of hate speech circulating around her, and also risks attracting more jerks. Good intentions aren’t quite enough: Think about the impact your statement may have, and make sure you’re not just creating more social media noise for someone. You do not improve someone’s level of stress or overstimulation with a wall of five replies from you about how bad you feel for her.

DO: Boost the individual and her work, not her victimhood. No woman who experiences sexism in her profession wants to be known primarily for “being a woman who experiences sexism.” It is right to defend and support women, and it is right to condemn sexism, but sometimes the best way to do that is by supporting their work. Hundreds of hair-tearing tweets protesting all the terrible sexist things that are happening to so-and-so can actually have the same ultimate effect as sexism: In both cases, the woman is reduced simply to “victim of sexism”.

Instead of Tweeting “it sucks what’s happening to @thisperson, why are people so evil and why is this industry so terrible,” consider something more like “I support @thisperson, author of this impactful paper [link]” or “I respect @thisperson, one of the best speakers on [topic] that I’ve ever seen.” Be sincere and not flowery or excessive — sometimes when people are trying to diminish someone because of their gender, talking about their achievements instead is the best countermeasure. Keep the individual at the center of the story, not the people harassing her nor the fact of her harassment. Don’t say “it’s so brave, what you do.” Say “I like something you created.”

And remember, women are individuals who all do different kinds of work, not a hive mind of “women writers” “women programmers” or “harassment victims” for you to group together.

DO: Take on some of the battles. When you see someone attacking a woman — or even just asking the kind of obtuse “but why is this a problem” questions we’ve already discussed in point one, here — explain and correct. Provide resources. Injustice and inequality of all kinds happen because people don’t recognize or realize the myriad way society has written different, deeply-ingrained rules for some people versus others, and information and empathy are keys to solving that problem. It should not only be women and minorities who are in charge of disseminating this information and heading up this fight.

Offer to moderate your friend’s Twitter feed or her website comments at stressful times (if it’s someone you know personally, who would trust you with her login information). Empower yourself to do better than just watching things happen with angst and concern, feeling bad about yourself and wondering “what can be done”. Take the lead sometimes, especially when you see someone being assailed, and share the load.

DO: Be aware of your own power and how you can use it to help others. It’s tough for women when they speak or write about sexism, or become victims of public harassment, to see strangers on Twitter care about what is happening to them — but their male peers, the organization they work for, their colleagues and coworkers remain silent in public. Don’t just send her a nice note in private about how bad it looks like things are sucking and how you “have her back.” Actually have her back. Stand up in public and say that yours is not a professional infrastructure that allows women to be abused or treated unfairly. Say that so-and-so is a talented, valued asset you’re proud to work with or for.

The silence of our friends is so much more painful than the noise of our enemies, and when our bosses, important figures in our field, or colleagues do not come out to condemn sexism or acts of abuse against us it can be very lonesome — we get the message that sexism is our own problem, an inconvenient issue that no one wants to get their hands dirty with.

when men condemn sexism the response is universally approving — good man, brave man. When women talk about sexism, we get death threats. Men should use this advantage to the fullest: The essays guys often write about how sexism is wrong or how they came to understand their own sexism may set examples for other men, and that’s not unimportant, but it’s basically just patting their own backs if those men are not also signal-boosting and supporting the work of women colleagues, hiring women, and bringing attention to the accomplishments of the women in their field.

DO: Care about feminist issues all the time, not just when someone you like on Twitter seems to be being abused. Share and RT the stories and articles that have educated you so that others can learn from them. Regardless of gender, all of us have been sexist before and will probably be again, as sexism, like racism, is unconscious and related to the values we internalize in our societies growing up. If someone tells you you are being sexist or racist, it is not a slur against your character, but an opportunity to learn more about yourself and others. We should all be interested in continuing to read, learn and share with those around us. 

[Any site or outlet has express permission to reprint this article if a. link back to my site is provided b. the article is not edited or altered in any way]

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Courtney
3578 days ago
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<3 leigh
Portland, OR
smadin
3578 days ago
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Required reading for today.
Boston
littleboat
3577 days ago
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Ballard, Seattle
squinky
3578 days ago
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Santa Cruz, CA
samusclone
3578 days ago
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Boston, MA
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kleer001
3578 days ago
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Oh yes. Exactly! A lot of what I've seen before, but well collated. I just wish there was a call for contributions to places like RAINN or one's local shelter.

Jerry Rigged: Seinfeld Meets The Conet Project

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Here's something you didn't know you needed... until now. LJ Frezza has set the enigmatic shortwave radio chatter of The Conet Project to a series of establishing shots from the popular sitcom Seinfeld (ever notice that no people ever appear in these?). The random-seeming numbers, phrases, and staticky music—reputedly cryptic messages to spies—invest the banal tableaux with a strange, sinister undercurrent.

Tip: @BrentSirota

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littleboat
3589 days ago
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aaaaaaaa
Ballard, Seattle
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Super Milli Vanilli Bros.

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You think back on the weird little pop culture nothings you experienced as a kid, and you sometimes wonder, “Did that actually happen the way I’m remembering it? Or did my feeble childhood brain and the passage of time distort all that into something far weirder than it actually was?” With me, it’s usually the latter. In this one instance, it’s not.

princess peach milli vanilli

Yes, the Mario Bros. did once meet Milli Vanilli.

I’m not going to say that the Super Mario Bros. Super Show and its various sequel series don’t hold up all these years later, but that’s mostly because I never went back an invested much time in them since they were first on way back when. I did, however, just now rewatch the October 27, 1990, episode “Kootie Pie Rocks” just for the sheer what-the-fuck-in-a-time-capsule factor. It’s just kind of baffling to think that yes, this episode thing existed.

Here’s the plot:

The princess — and remember, she’s Princess Toadstool at this point, and not Princess Peach — is stoked to visit New York City in “the real world” to watch a concert by her favorite music group, Milli Vanilli. (How Top 40 reaches all the way to the Mushroom Kingdom, we’ll never know.) Here the duo is dancing, per the magic of DIC animation:

milli vanilli super mario bros.

Bowser’s terrible daughter, Kootie Pie, gets word of this and throws a fit. (Another name note: It’s Wendy, but it’s not. For reasons I’ve never had explained to me, the DIC Mario cartoons renamed Bowser’s kids instead of using the rock star-inspired names they have in the games.) To appease Kootie Pie, Bowser beams Milli Vanilli into his airship mid-concert — “Koopnapped,” per Toadstool, even if that doesn’t make sense. sense.”

At the Koopa Kastle, Kootie Pie uses her magic wand to turn Rob and Fab into accountants — you know, because then they would be unable to sing their hit songs — but Mario devises a plan to free them: Sneak in dressed as a racially insensitive back-up band and help Milli Vanilli perform. Kootie doesn’t question why a back-up band would inexplicably show up, so she transforms Rob and Fab back and then proceeds to be too stupid to realize that Mario and Luigi’s instrumentation sucks, with the awkward implication being that Milli Vanilli performs poorly when live and unproduced. The group escapes back to New York City. They dedicate “Girl, You Know It’s True” to the princess, which, when you think about the implications, is the greatest slight of all.

Miscellaneous notes:

Kootie Pie sounds like an evil Cyndi Lauper. And yeah, she’s awful.


She also puts on a mini-skirt to go the concert instead of wearing her usual outfit of high heels, Marge Simpson pearls and no clothes whatsoever. 


This is what Milli Vanilli fans looked like, per The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3:




This frame is also awkward:


For what it’s worth, DIC actually acquired the rights to “Blame It on the Rain,” and “Milli Vanilli” actually “sing” it in the episode, though of course it’s weird to think about now how Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus are playing cartoon versions of themselves lip syncing to someone else’s recording of the song. This episode aired just twenty days beforethe band’s Grammy was revoked.

Rob Pilatus was found dead of a suspected drug and alcohol overdose on April 2, 1998. As long as we’re talking about weird musical connections to make with Super Mario Bros., it’s worth noting that Wendy O. Williams, the Plasmatics lead singer for whom Bowser’s daughter takes her name, committed suicide just four days later.

Since the last time I wrote about my theory about the Koopalings’ names, it turns out that Larry Koopa (Cheatsy in the cartoons) wasn’t named after Larry King but instead after U2 drummer dummer Larry Mullins Jr. I’d guessed Larry King just because Morton Koopa Jr. was named after Morton Downey Jr., the talk show host who had previously worked as a singer-songwriter, and I guessed that if one Koopaling could have a talk show host namesake, so could another. Nope!

The background paintings are actually decent:


If you want to watch the whole episode, Youtube user Unknown Archive has posted it in full on YouTube, in good quality and with a few bits that have been otherwise lost as a result of the fact that all subsequent airings of the episode replace Milli Vanilli’s music with generic filler. The fact that someone bothered to go back in and restore the original audio and deleted scenes for such a shitty moment for television is kind of awesome.


And that is all. Go outside maybe! all!


Super Mario pop cultural connections, previously: 

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littleboat
3603 days ago
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Ballard, Seattle
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G.R.R. Martin’s Redwall

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redwallDon’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us. There is only one god and his name is Death.

***

“In order to get inside their skin, I have to identify with them. That includes even the ones who are complete bastards, nasty, twisted, deeply flawed weasels and stoats and even ferrets with serious psychological problems. Even them. When I get inside their skin and look out through their eyes, I have to feel a certain – if not sympathy, certainly empathy for them. I have to try to perceive the world as they do, and that creates a certain amount of affection.”

***

There was tender freshwater shrimp garnished with cream and rose leaves, devilled barley pearls in acorn puree, apple and carrot chews, marinated cabbage stalks steeped in creamed white turnip with nutmeg. And while the water-voles and the church-mice were feasting, the Lord of the Pine-Martens sat on his carved oaken throne, watching greedily. He would watch them burn. He would take their women and harvest their screams. He would set their feet to dancing and twisting from the treetops ’til they twitched no more against a silent sky, and he would sleep soundly tonight.

***

To table, to table, and eat what you may,
Come brothers, come sisters, come all.
Be happy, be joyful, upon our feast day,
Eight seasons of peace in Redwall.
So sing from dusk to dawn
And let the Abbey bells ring.
The sun will bring the morn,
And still we will merrily sing.
And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must sing along?
You can raise your voice a’loud
But is your arm as strong?
Come, leave your whoresons in the field
Let the bitch-girls keep their place
The men shall fight; the dead shall yield
The victors flay their face.

***

“Be careful, lad,” Bertram, the wisest hare of them all, cautioned Matthew the Warrior as they crossed the threshold. “They say Timothy the Vole takes all his sisters to wife, and feeds the product of their union to his unseelie, eyeless gods.”

“You say that about everyone,” Matthew answered crossly.

“Well, it’s true about everyone,” Bertram said mildly, “here in the land of Sister-Taking and Infant-Sorrow. This is the most vicious part of the Blood District in all the Screaming Counties.”

***

“Life is very full of sex, or should be. As much as I admire Tolkien — and I do, he was a giant of fantasy and a giant of literature, and I think he wrote a great book that will be read for many years — you do have to wonder where all those Hobbits came from, since you can’t imagine Hobbits having sex, can you? Well, sex is an important part of who field mice are. It drives them, it motivates them, it makes them do sometimes very noble things and it makes them do sometimes incredibly stupid things. Leave it out, and you’ve got an incomplete world. Badgers fuck one another. There’s just no two ways about it.”

***

redwallMattimeo, Champion of Redwall, flung his stave to the ground and leaned against a nearby oak, its leaves filtering in the soft summer light of the early autumn.

“Tarquin, my old friend,” he said to the hare beside him, “I need to lay in the arms of a good whore tonight.”

“All whores are good whores,” the hare replied, tilting his hat below his eyes as he rested his head against a low-hanging bough, “provided they part their legs as easily as this tree parts its branches for me.”

***

You will find joy, frustration and sorrow in your quest. Never forget that friendship and loyalty are more precious than riches. Defend the weak, protect both young and old, never desert your friends. Give justice to all, be fearless in battle and always ready to defend the right. Your bitch mother whelped you in pain, and you will die nameless in the dirt. The only joy between you and the grave lies in watching your enemies bleed before you do.

***

Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others. You are brave, Matthias. Already you have done great things for one so young. I am only a simple country-bred fieldmouse, but even I can see the courage and leadership in you. A burning brand shows the way, and each day your flame grows brighter. There is none like you, Matthias. You have the sign of greatness upon you. One day Redwall and all the land will be indebted to you. Matthias, you are a true Warrior.

Matthias, your entire family is dead and your lands have been burned and salted by Northern bannerman and also I’m betraying you and I’m going to cut off your hands and sew them onto your genitals so that your genitals clap when you walk and I’m going to use your skin to make a bagpipe and I’m going to play rude songs about your dead father on that bagpipe and then I’m going to set you and your pregnant wife on fire, Matthias.

***

“Are you going to go down on your knees and beg for your life, old one?”

Abbot Mortimer stared calmly into Cluny’s savage eye. “I will never bend my knee on my own behalf. However, if I thought I could save the life of one of my friends I would gladly fall down on both knees. But I know you, Cluny, better than you know yourself. There is not a scrap of pity or mercy in your heart, only a burning desire for vengeance. Therefore, I will not kneel to one who is consumed by evil.”

Cluny thrust twin daggers into the beloved, aged abbot’s eyes and twisted them for like twenty minutes until no more viscera and bloody spinal tissue and head gunk could be scoured from the dead mouse’s face. Then he violated the pious old hermit’s remains for absolutely hours, and everybody you know watched it and said things like “Did you see what happened to the Abbot last night?” the next day at work. “I had to watch through my fingers! I mean, I knew they were going to do it, I guess I just didn’t realize they were going to really go for it like that. Ahhhhh! You know?”

“It’s so realistic, though,” one of your friends said. “Like, it’s vicious, but it’s real, you know? Not like most fantasy sagas about abbey mice.”

“That’s right,” another one of your friends adds. “I’ve totally heard that it’s not uncommon for Portuguese water rats to eviscerate a mouse’s eyes and then commit unspeakable acts of desecration against the bleeding holes that were once the window to its soul.”

“Oh my God, though, wait until you see what Cluny does to Cornflower’s arthritic mother in the next episode.”

“Don’t say it! I’m not caught up yet!”

“Oh my Goddddd. It’s brutal. Do you want to come over and watch it with me?”

Read more G.R.R. Martin’s Redwall at The Toast.

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littleboat
3608 days ago
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very gritty.

Mattimeo and Tarquin. Please. They lived generations apart.
Ballard, Seattle
grammargirl
3609 days ago
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This is a terrifyingly accurate GRRM impression.
Brooklyn, NY
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