“The curse notwithstanding, Emma would have a hard time in a town, asking to be called ‘her’ in a world that doesn’t see anything feminine on her. Sometimes even Rinne’s own lips forget. She tends to speak slowly, carefully, to Emma for that reason. She’d also call her by her whole first name, to solve the problem in her head.”—
Rinne, her little sister’s identity, and gold, in the latest chapter of my jukepopserials serial, Rosewater.
Charmed and The Difficulty of Getting the Innocent-of-the-Week to Listen To You
So I’m a big fan of Charmed. My brother is bigger so - so big that he used to borrow these, like, large guide books from the library, that had bestiaries of all the demons fought, breakdowns of all the major arcs, and even script printouts and episode stills. It did a lot of things right in the earlies - a small ensemble cast of family members, so the character development was never too much to handle; romantic plots that, at least in the first two seasons or so, were actually secondary to the action without feeling unimportant; the Halliwell sisters’ individually were interesting sources of power without ever being either imbalanced or less than formidable.
But one of the parts that struck me as a potential fault of the show, the one thing that often broke my suspension of disbelief, was how easily they often got people who still don’t know what’s going on to accept the help of three women who refuse to make it any clearer.
And maybe that’s a selfish nitpick about a show where, more often than not, people looked evil magic in the eye and we never heard them comment on it again, like the episode I’m about to mention. But this fact, on a whole in some fantasy stories (and even some other stories), is what makes moving naturally into the climax even harder.
In ‘The Wedding From Hell’, the sisters three all converge on a wedding that Piper is catering for when Phoebe has a vision of a demonic birth and Prue discovers that the ceremony’s first priest was found flung out a window with a ceremonial dagger used to kill demons. Blahblahcoincidenceblah - but really, this part seems to flow perfectly normally considering. Leave that be.
But let’s move backwards a bit. How did they put two and two together? When Phoebe first had the vision, she was worried that she was having a vision of Piper’s baby, since she got it after finding out that Piper had taken a pregnancy test. In order to ask her about it, like good siblings are wont to do, she barges into Piper’s place of work - the groom’s mother’s estate, at the moment - while preparations are still in full swing. While there, they notice two things - a woman shouting at the groom that ‘there’s still time’ for him to make the right decision, and the priest walking up the stairs toward the bride with a sharp knife in his hand. While Piper and Phoebe chase to the kitchen to get one of the estate security guards, they hear him go through the window.
So now they know about the girl, Allison, which strikes Piper as particularly odd since… all the reception napkins and wedding invitations have Allison’s name and not the name of the present bride, Jade (whole name: Jade DeMon… totally original, eh? Give it a break, this was less than halfway into Season One).
So Prue decides that the best way for their plan to vanquish evil and save the day is with Allison’s help. Yep. The help of the young woman who, by all accounts, simply knows that she’s never heard of Jade before, doesn’t know her then-fiance to be a cheater, can’t explain why he looks at her so blankly, and at this point silently suspects that it is just some really fucking weird and inexplicable but otherwise just-like-a-family-of-wealth-to-do (re)arranged marriage.
So… she asks Allison to come with them (on their mission to potentially make a demon woman explode).
And Allison… says yes? After only a couple minutes of wheedling about not letting the love of your life pass you by?
This is, at best, a stranger asking her opinion on crashing a wedding. And at worst being invited to tag along on the birth of pandaemonium. What about that sounded like pleasant weekday afternoon entertainment? I don’t know what to think about shows that deal with the alleged real-world effects of seeing beyond the veil of the mundane and yet make it seem so simple to win people over without also casting the veil aside for them. Allison, like most humans would have, should watch Prue Halliwell and ask her why she seems so obsessively interested in the romantic goings-on of a girl she doesn’t know. But she doesn’t. A lot of people don’t, in stories like these. I guess forty-five minutes isn’t a lot of time to show people actually saying ‘this makes no fucking sense’ enough times before they do agree. But when I ask myself in similar stories I’m writing, ‘why would someone say yes to this so easily?’, I come up blank, and end up dropping the whole plot.
Magic could never be so easily sold that I can trust that something good lies beyond the veil without even seeing… the veil itself. And if it is so well-bought, I become afraid that such magic is cheap or bad.
Which isn’t true, even of Charmed, but when I see it, it makes me a little less impressed.
The level of magnificence that lies in wait for he who has good reason to doubt should be directly proportional to his level of trepidation, and vice versa.
Maybe because there’s this balance between saying no believably and saying yes in time for us to be satisfied by action that is almost impossible to strike. After all, from the little I know of Doctor Who, if I were approached to be his companion it’d take at least an episode and a half before I even consider a yes. But then imagine all the cool stuff you’d have to wait til Episode Two to see - by that point, you may already have given up.
gays must wait (on the world to change): A Digital Literature Review on PM Persad-Bissessar's Comments on Equality
Oh, hallelujah to the lamb Down by the river The Lord is on the giving hand Down by the riverside Oh, we’ll wait ‘till Jesus comes Down by the river Oh, we’ll wait ‘till Jesus comes Down by the riverside…
“Call it the Curse of Knowledge: a difficulty in imagining what it is like for someone else not to know something that you know. The term was invented by economists to help explain why people are not as shrewd in bargaining as they could be when they possess information that their opposite number does not. Psychologists sometimes call it mindblindness. In the textbook experiment, a child comes into the lab, opens an M&M box and is surprised to find pencils in it. Not only does the child think that another child entering the lab will somehow know it contains pencils, but the child will say that he himself knew it contained pencils all along! The curse of knowledge is the single best explanation of why good people write bad prose. It simply doesn’t occur to the writer that her readers don’t know what she knows—that they haven’t mastered the argot of her guild, can’t divine the missing steps that seem too obvious to mention, have no way to visualize a scene that to her is as clear as day. And so the writer doesn’t bother to explain the jargon, or spell out the logic, or supply the necessary detail.”—The Source of Bad Writing (via azspot)
Whether you’re a planner or not, there’s one thing every writer will need as they prepare for NaNoWriMo: inspiration. We’ve challenged some of our favorite authors and the NaNo staff to inspire you by sharing what’s inspired them… and challenging you to prepare a specific jumpstart for that inevitable idea drought:
The Jumpstart: What do you love to read and write about? Write a 100-word Author Manifesto for the type of stories you’d like to be known for writing, whether that includes creating new universes, timeless human stories, or awesome girl superheroes.
Why This Will Inspire You: It’s impossible for us creative-types to go through life without being influenced by the art and storytelling we come across every day, but we don’t always recognize our major influencers until we take a moment to reflect.
“On the Internet especially, this deeply baffles some people. They say something dumb, everyone tells them that they’re dumb and to stop saying dumb things, and they interpret that as an assault on their right to free speech. It’s not, of course, because no one calling this dummy a dummy actually has the power to stop him from speaking. The best they can do is usually complain to whoever’s giving the dummy a platform, and asking them to take the platform away from him. But that’s, as discussed, a totally reasonable (and legal) thing the platform owner can do. In fact, this is more a case of free speech working perfectly, than it breaking down.
The most hilarious thing about people holding up their right to free speech is how much it weakens everything else they’ve said. When the best thing someone can say about their argument is that it isn’t technically illegal, that doesn’t say much about the strength of their words, does it?”—5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Free Speech | Cracked.com (via brutereason)
'briefly', on Sam Pepper, assault, and equal-opportunity ignorance
[TW for discussion of sexual assault, abuse]
It becomes incredibly disheartening when people use conversations of male-victim abuse and assault as a way out of taking responsibility for their own frivolous treatment of abuse and assault on a whole. It reminds us of how far we have yet to go in terms of having responsible dialogue about assault, how difficult raising awareness is in the society’s present state, how swiftly people are capable of weaseling their way out of taking accountability and making a positive impact in their communities.
Videos like Sam Pepper’s are not silver linings in those circumstances. They’re simply more of the dark cloud.
“Although it emerged as a voice for marginalized people who were often seeking an alternative to crime and violence, rap has, for several decades, drawn the ire and vitriol of police, politicians, religious leaders, and civic groups who maintain it is particularly threatening to American society. Indeed, research by social scientists reveals that people view rap as more dangerous and threatening when compared to other music genres. These negatively stigmatized perceptions stem, in large part, from broader stereotypes, both about the genre itself and the primary creators of rap music – young men of color. Unless the defendant-speaker’s subjective intent is taken into consideration, such biases and prejudices may subtly cause jurors and jurists to erroneously find true threats where none exist.”—
"We can confirm that approximately 25 of GDC’s organizers received an anonymous email early in the morning of Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 during GDC 2014," the organizers said in a statement.
"The email stated the following: ‘A bomb will be detonated at the Game Developer’s Choice award ceremony tonight unless Anita Sarkeesian’s Ambassador Award is revoked. We estimate the bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more. It would be in your best interest to accept our simple request. This is not a joke. You have been warned.’"
Trolls are not geek culture. Trolls are not gamer culture. Trolls are, as Batman would put it, a cowardly & superstitious bunch of criminals. They are quivering misogynists. If you are a misogynist, your geek badge is hereby revoked. You are fake gamers. You have more in common with Westboro than with actual nerds. GTFO.