1. so I can theoretically make things, yeah? 

    and I’m laughing, so laughing’s not the problem. 

    and for sure i’m sleeping well, maybe better than well. 

    so what’s the problem, Brandon?

  2. 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.

    Anyway, rant over.

  3. It’s an easy word to say. 


    Three short-enough syllabic sounds. Know. Buh. Dee.

    It rushes to mind when you feel helpless and flustered in ways other words can’t - the sum in somebody will be far too cumbersome, take far too long; let’s not even get me started on anybody.

    Read more
  4. you call it 
    Jacob wrestling with the angel 

    i call it 
    a knife fight 
    in the alley behind God’s bedroom 
    begging for someone to just say aloud that 
    those who do good 
    deserve better 

    than this 
    knife fight to begin with.

  5. Read more
  6. Now I just want to share Gaim Episode 46 with everyone.

  7. 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is open for entries? 

    Oy vey.
    Pray for me.
    international-nerd, I’m gonna need you to death-stare at me til mid-November.

  8. Read more
  9. A ramble: 

    affections are far too nebulous for me to not be confused by.

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  10. Would I be wrong at all in assuming 
    that Tumblr as a community actually dreads shit like Christmas and New Years’ 
    but for some reason totally organic to Tumblr, for almost no visible reason
    starts generating mad hype for Halloween literally a month and a half in advance

    What exactly is it about Tumblr that finds Halloween so compelling? 

    There is a social media phenomenon waiting to be deciphered here.

  11. Had this really peculiar idea for an epistolary short story about trap music and cultural/ethnic identity in space 
    but I haven’t been up for writing much of anything but take notes for quite some time. 

    It hurts, frankly: 
    having all these things part of me still wants to do, but not having the energy to actually make them because an actual wall of feelings is between you and the work.

  12. you ever notice how, whenever someone is having a feminist conversation - from the most problematically privileged to the unflinchingly factual - the simplest weasel-words critics can find is to say that contemporary feminists ruin the entire movement and that there is nothing productive about any feminist critique in the 21st century, 

    but when the media points out that #GamerGate literally is a deliberate astroturfing con job, everyone’s quick to say that the trolls don’t represent the movement?

    So let me be absolutely clear: 

    there is validity in having the conversation about how to make games journalism grow into a productive enterprise that doesn’t sacrifice scruples and can still put a hot meal on every writer’s table. We need to have it. We could have done with having it for a while. 

    You know who’s having it better than #GamerGate? 
    The journalists and game industry employees we’re all so convinced are in bed with each other.

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  13. Sometimes I feel really afraid.

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