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Liveblogging Reign – Episodes 2 & 3 + Character Breakdown

6 Nov

Liveblogging the two most recent episodes of this show was full of hardship and despair. While the pilot remains free from various trustworthy sources including Hulu, one must needs pay cash money to access further episodes. I wrestled with my carefully crafted self-image for quite a long time before I finally signed up for a free seven day trial of Hulu Plus, which should get me through episodes two AND three, at which point I will have to seriously re-examine my priorities. EDIT BEFORE FINALLY POSTING: I failed to re-examine my priorities in time and instead am now paying for Hulu Plus. So….I am paying for this show. Somewhere in my life I made a wrong choice.

In addition to all this, mr. biscuit recently came home with the new Tomb Raider game. So while you read this post, remember that while I could have been following the adventures of Lara “Fuck You I’m Awesome” Croft, I was watching Reign.

2mdklyv

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Liveblogging Reign

18 Oct

I don’t know why, but I watched the premiere episode of Reign. You know, the show on the CW where the Dauphin of France is running around without pants on and Mary Queen of Scots is wearing sleeveless gowns and sparkly headbands? Yes, that Reign. I watched it. And then I liveblogged it.  For you.

I gave up on the costumes almost immediately, because it was really just dynamiting fish in a barrel and I only have so much outrage in my body. Let’s just talk about the plot, and the acting, and the…the everything. On a scale of One to Ten, I rate it a Hot Mess.

Let’s watch it!

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BREAKING: Dork Tower weighs in on cosplay debate…

5 Dec

says basically what I said, but says is with pictures.

Not breaking, but worth repeating: Dork Tower is awesome.

That $4k Twilight ring you ALWAYS WANTED

5 Dec

Twilight-themed jewelry is a thing. I suppose we always know this would happen; the franchise is wildly popular and made a quarter of a zillion dollars or something similar. It was only a matter of time.

I just didn’t expect it to be sold at Bed Bath & Beyond…possibly because when I think of BB&B I think of fluffy towels and “As Seen On TV” gadgets, not “fine jewelry.”

Still! It has happened. The die is cast; the wench is pregnant. This gold (cheap gold, I might add) and moonstone ring can be yours for the low low price of a thousand bucks! That’s like a hundred times what the same ring would cost at Claire’s! That being said, if you absolutely MUST buy yourself a diamond and white gold replica of Bella’s monstrous engagement ring and/or some ugly, faux-Quileute jewelry, grab me a new shower curtain while you’re there.

Costuming in Geekdom, or How Much Geekier Do I Have To Be?

30 Nov

When you were a little kid, did you play dress up?

Ever wear your Halloween costume on a day it wasn’t Halloween?

Ever run around in a cape and Superman underoos?

Ever slip your tiny child feet into your dad’s shoes and stomp around the house declaring yourself a very famous rock star and could someone please bring you a bowl of brown M & Ms?

Congratulations, my friend: you were, for that moment in time at least, behaving like a geek! Because playing dress up is a geeky thing to do.

I would have thought that was obvious. If a “geek” is someone who displays a lot of enthusiasm about a particular fandom (or many fandoms, or fandom in general), dressing up as someone/something from a fandom should be a pretty good indicator of geekery. If a Green Lantern t-shirt is a sign that you like Green Lantern, a Green Lantern costume is a giant billboard with arrows and flashing lights and choirs of angels. For the record (again), I hate the term “cosplay.” It has undertones of half-assed performance art and it makes me cringe. BUT! it’s the generally accepted term amongst fandom circles, so let’s use it here. Let me be perfectly clear: costuming, cosplay, dress up, whatever you want to call it, is just as geeky as more long-accepted pursuits. And, I would posit, unlike many of those pursuits, it’s actually difficult. I will see your several thousand dollars in carefully organized back issues of DC and raise you the time and energy to learn an actual skill.

Again, I would have thought that was obvious, but sometimes I expect too much of people. I’m a little late commenting on this, but apparently there are people–men, mostly–in the geek community who are just so, so mad at cosplayers. Female cosplayers, specifically.

furious tantrum

The argument being posited again and again is that women dressing up at cons aren’t “real geeks,” but rather attention-hungry posers looking to prey on hapless geeks, who are assumed/outright stated to be men and boys. How dare those bitches come in and be interested in geek stuff! They’re ruining everything! SOON THERE WILL BE BOOBS* EVERYWHERE WHAT DO WE DO.

Sane people were like “dudes, WTF, your misogyny is showing,” to which the dudes replied “nuh-uh I do TONS of shit to help women” (paraphrased only slightly). “Fake geeks,” they and many of their commenters keep insisting, are a real problem! And most of them just happen to be girls! Which makes those girls ATTENTION WHORES, because wanting attention for something awesome you made is totally not ok. Which is why all directors, writers, comic book artists, and actors are anonymous–oh. Wait.

pathetic whore

You know how many “fake geeks” I have met in my life? I have met people who were paid to be at geek conventions, and I have met people whose geeky interests were different from mine, and I knew people who were new to their particular interest, and I have met people who snuck into geek conventions just to look, but I have never ever ever met a person who had paid money to go to a goddamned geek convention without any interest whatsoever in the geeky goings on. Has this happened? I’m sure it has! There are jillions of people who go to cons, and doubtless some of them are just curious. I doubt very much that those people are cosplaying, though. And even if they are–so what? Everyone has to start somewhere. Geekdom isn’t a society of elites–it’s a club for people who like shit.

On the surface, a lot of the complaints are about promotion models–aka “booth babes”–who are usually pretty women hired by corporations to drive interest in their product. I don’t particularly relish this form of marketing at cons, because it turns women into a commodity and ignores the presence of straight women** in the geek community. That being said, do I think it’s appropriate to attack the models? WHY, NO. Women have to earn a living just like men, and models/actors just as much as engineers. If a particular marketing strategy is offensive to you, the reasonable thing to do is not spend money on the product being advertised. Slandering the employees with misogynistic insults is not reasonable.

But they’re not just talking about promotion models. The Idiot Nerd Girl meme (look it up, I’m not linking to it) is not about booth babes; it’s about people without sufficient “geek cred,” whatever the fuck that means. Geekery, apparently, is an elite society that you have to prove yourself worthy to join. Naturally, since ladies are the carriers of Original Sin and all, the bulk of this proving falls to women.

amirightladies

amirightladies2

Click for source, and follow, b/c it’s hilarious

The root of this problem is a hard thing to address because it’s upsetting. It makes me angry, and sad, and it hurts and I hate it, but it’s true: geek culture is chockablock full of misogyny.

Kind of like that, only not adorable

Kind of like that, only not cute

Cons, ren faires, gaming, TV, movies; all geekdom. All of it. Not all the geek people have been misogynistic jerkbags, but all of the geeky pursuits I’ve been involved in have had misogynistic jerkbags in them. And some of my geeky pursuits have been In this way, geekdom is a lot like mainstream society. As much as we would like to think/hope it is, geekdom isn’t a safe space for everyone. For every girl who’s found a finally found a place full of other people who are really into Mon Calamari ballet, there’s a girl getting harassed in a con elevator. Sometimes it’s the same girl. And that’s fucking horrible, but it’s par for the course in a culture that doesn’t respect women.

Because…no. Geekdom, at large, does not respect women. We’ve made enormous strides away from our intensely misogynistic roots, but we’re still treating Gor like it’s anything other than the fantasies of a mouthbreathing 15 year old. We’re still making fun of Twilight because it’s got sparkly vampires and not because it glorifies an abusive, controlling, relationship***. We’re still looking sideways at many other fandoms enjoyed mostly by women (at least until the dudes get into it, or the creator of the fandom wins a bunch of awards, and if the source material is anti-woman, well, so much the better!). And we’re still debating whether cosplay is a legit form of geekery, or just something that “attention whores” do. That’s why if you’re dressed as the Scarlet Witch, you had better know everything about her (including the seven million times she’s gone crazy) because some dude is going to demand you recount it before he introduces himself–which he will never do. Just, ya know, for example.

tumblr_mdmbwpfJA11qkpz0fo7_1280

Cosplay, costuming, dressing up–whatever you want to call it, this shit is geeky. And it is awesome. There is so much amazing work being done by cosplayers, costumers, and other professional/semi-professional dresser uppers. The Friday Night Costume Contest, in which awards are based on technique, is one of the highlights of Dragon*Con! The passion, talent, time, and money being spent on costuming in geekdom, to astounding results, should be celebrated, not discredited. But these are women-dominated pursuits, and to acknowledge that they are worthwhile, we might have to acknowledge that women are worthwhile as more than decoration. Aye, there’s the rub. Female geeks exist, and are, in fact, human beings, and deserve to be welcomed and respected. Just like male geeks.

Other people who have said this better than me:

The Mary Sue: On the “Fake” Geek Girl – “The Fake Geek Girl has been with me ever since I was eleven and found that I really liked Batman: The Animated Series, when my fear of being labeled a fake geek girl said that if I didn’t become an expert on Batman, the moment I made some kind of mistake or omission I’d be branded as “fake” by the person I was interacting with. Not a novice, a learner, someone who was worth teaching and bringing into the community, but a fake, a poser, somebody who deserved to be kicked out. Where was the “geeks in the mainstream” discussion fifteen years ago when I was getting into Batman? Right, it wasn’t there, because geeks were not getting into the mainstream at that time. But the Fake Geek Girl idea was there.” AND! “But who are you to say that a stranger, someone you’re never likely to meet, is not genuinely interested in the thing they appear to be interested in? Who are you? I just… what? I’m rendered incoherent. Here at the Mary Sue, when an actress goes on a talk show and describes her personal affection and involvement and enjoyment and FANDOM for geek properties, we take it at face value. Why? Because we don’t actually have a reason not to. Because the alternative breeds a closed community of paranoid, elitist jerks who lash out at anyone new.”

Who Gets To Ge A Geek? Anyone Who Wants To Be – “Geekdom is a nation with open borders.”

Nerds: Stop Hating Women, Please – “But the views Harris expresses aren’t just held by virulent misogynists – instead, they are depressingly common in “geek culture”. Too many nerds have basically internalised the stereotype of themselves as ugly, friendless losers and decided that anyone who doesn’t fit that stereotype – particularlywomen – is a “fake geek”, taking advantage of the fact that being a geek is now ‘cool’.”

The Great Geek Cosplay Debate – “We were all young and clueless once. It’s likely we’re all young and clueless now, compared to our future selves. Just because the person dressed as a lumberjack in front of you can’t quote any Monty Python aside from that one song doesn’t mean they have any less passion than you.”

Tiger Thighs Studio: My Two Cents on the Cosplay debate – “New fans bring new fandoms, and fresh blood to what would be an otherwise dying medium.”

*for the record, I hate this word. Especially when it’s used in Breast cancer research marketing.
**I’m torn on whether this erases the presence of gay/bi women. My instinct is that these companies are not hiring gorgeous ladies to bring in the lesbian market, because they don’t really acknowledge its existence. I’d love feedback.
***Twilight is bad. I won’t argue it’s not. But so is the original Battlestar Galactica, and a lot of trade paperback sci-fi/fantasy, and those are acceptable fandoms.
****Fuck you, Tony Harris

On the strapless gown

24 Sep

I admittedly don’t understand the majority of red carpet choices, especially in the current era of Plunging Necklines Without Necklaces. My interest in clothing ends right about the time the Titanic sank.

That being said, would someone please explain to me why Christina Hendricks, who is a stunningly beautiful and talented actress, keeps showing up to red carpets wearing these dreadful strapless gowns that make her breasts look like basketballs?

Actually, you know what, why are strapless gowns a thing? They flatter approximately six of the three billion women in the world, and when those six women wear them they can’t raise their arms, scratch, sneeze, or do anything for fear their breasts will go flying out of their containers. The rest of us look either monumentally flat-chested, or as though our breasts are about to riot.

That’s four emmy’s dresses where the bodice looks like an afterthought tacked on at 5 in the morning by a terrified intern drunk on wine coolers. That green thing? is gorgeous! If I had a skirt like that I would wear it every day, and swan around the city introducing myself as Queen Frostine of the Merpeople, here to bless their meaningless lives with my Magical, Sparkly Presence. So I’m actually a little angry at that stupid, stupid seashell top thing. This could be a spectacular gown, if somebody had bothered to say “you know what’s fucking stupid? Strapless gowns.” It looks unfinished. It looks half-done. It looks fucking sloppy.

I think this is part of the larger trend of red carpet fashion for women to look done up, but not too done up. Like sure, I’m wearing a $17,000 gown encrusted with the crystallized tears of virgin water pixies, but I’m not wearing it on purpose. I just fell out of bed and into this custom-fitted gown. And these $6,400 shoes. And this $5,000 gold bangle that is my only piece of decoration because too much jewelry is vulgar or something, and of course the hundreds of dollars and countless hours of hair and makeup just so I can look as fresh-faced and “natural” as no one ever looks without hundreds of dollars of makeup.

It’s such a strange reversal. When fabric and jewelry were mostly hand-made and therefore expensive, the wealthy decked themselves in as much finery as they could carry and the rest of us dressed much more simply. Now jewelry and accessories are mass-produced, and we can finally start wearing a bunch of them without breaking the bank, but we shouldn’t. Because one accessory is enough, apparently. Anything else is vulgar.

Can we talk about corsets?

16 Sep

You guys. I just. Can we talk about corsets? Specifically, can we talk about the difference in corset styles? “Well wait a minute, biscuit,” you may be saying, “a corset is just a corset, right?” Frankly I don’t know why you’re reading this post if that’s what you think, unless you’re my mom*, because how much interest would you have in browsing the “corsetry” tag? But I’ll answer anyway: NO, a corset is not “just a corset.”

I used to think the opposite. Many many years ago I had a conversation, which I shudder to recall, with a friend of mine who was saving  to have a new bodice commissioned for the ren fest where we both performed. We were having this conversation while she was wearing a perfectly lovely bodice, and I was so confused. “Girl, why do you need a new bodice?” I asked. “This one is super pretty and looks really nice on you.” “Thank you,” she said, “but it’s a Victorian silhouette, and not period at all.” “Who cares?” I replied with a wave of my childish, ignorant hand. “It’s all the same.”

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