Well, it looks like we’re back on schedule… more or less. Expect regular postings of Divine by Zero and weekly updates to The Weekly Muse. Don’t forget: this is YOUR chance to stump the writer. Give me the three strangest plot elements you can think of on the list and I’ll try to put them together into a story. If you’re writer, photographer, or an artist of any sort, I challenge you to take the trip with me. It’s a great way to get the creative juices going.
Chris Farley was always one of those SNL comedians I both loved and hated. When he was good, he could do physical comedy like no one else. When he just wouldn’t stop, he became like that obnoxious guy at every party that tries to get attention by just being obnoxious. Still, his passing was a loss to comedy, and his personal problems leading to his death are a tragic story. Looking back, this amazing photograph of Chris Farley is even more sad.
This will very likely be the last Divine by Zero until August. We’re moving and still need to pack a lot of stuff. Plus, looks like I’ve got another class to teach next week, so time is going to be tight.I will however be posting the Weekly Muse story on Sunday and the new poll will go up on Monday. This will overlap for the rest of the feature’s run.
Well, let’s get started, shall we?
Want to know how to build your own Wall-E? Here you go.
The images of newly web gay couples in New York are touching and a testament to the power of love. Way to go, folks!
Michelle Bachmann does not support gays. At all. Her district has actually implemented measures to even make it impossible to help the victims of gay bullying. The result? Her home state has to deal with a rash of teen suicides because she and her ilk are too conservative to reach out and help others.
On the other hand, it’s comforting to believe in something that has no basis in reality. It’s yours. It’s personal. Conspiracy theorists work this way. They see themselves at the center of some unimaginable tangle of powerful beings and organizations that can somehow control everything from the political landscape, to the progress of technology, and yet cannot catch these desktop detectives as they unravel the web of deceit.
And yet you and I are much too smart for that, right?
How different is superstitious thinking from fanatical religious thinking? Not that far off. We had people who believed, who genuinely believed, the world was going to end last month. Some people, even if not religious themselves, will cross themselves before entering a Catholic church, just in case. My sister refuses to shuffle cards a certain way when we play poker because it will disrupt her card-ma.
Yes, “card-ma.” Her word, I swear to Bob.
I have a Dungeons and Dragons player who insists her dice rolls don’t count if the die touches an object before it comes to a standstill. While I don’t think she really believes it, she insists that touching another object throws her off. In fact, gamers are finicky when it comes to their dice. Some dice are just “lucky.” Of course, gaming dice aren’t tested for balance like casino dice, so there very well might be lucky and unlucky dice.
Everyone’s done these sorts of things, and I tend to laugh when I see them or hear about them.
I believe in chance and choice. I believe there are things I can and cannot control. The things I cannot control are the events that are beyond my grasp, the choices others make, and the totality of existence. I can’t tell lightning where to strike. I can’t make others think what I want them to think. I can’t luck out and hope a publisher sees my work online and offers me a contract.
I can, however, choose to not stand out during a lightning storm while wearing a tin foil hat. I can learn how to put together a coherent argument and make my point as persuasively as possible. I can make my work the best possible and look for ways to advertise and get the word out.
There is nothing that says charms, spells, or even good luck rituals work for us, and yet so many of us really do cling to these beliefs. I know someone’s going to fire back with, “But that’s the die I used when I slew the vampire king! It’s lucky!” or “I was wearing this shirt when I met the love of my life. It’s my lucky shirt.”
Well, show me the study where we discovered luck. Show me equations. Prove to me that our lives and random events around said lives are controlled by invisible force fields and I’ll eat my words!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do laundry and make sure I have my gaming shirt for this Saturday. When I wear my Star Wars shirt, I KILL!
And finally, I have to say that while I’ve never heard of or tried this beer, this commercial alone makes me want to do it. it’s over the top, obviously conscious of its own absurdity, but it owns it like a boss. Enjoy, and I’ll see you Friday.
It's one theory... Read on to find out the others!
Warning: Some of the links in the article may be NSFW.
June 2, 2010
Disney fans hate boobs.
It’s one of a few explanations for the strange incident last week. Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams has nude pics out. Whether it was a hacker as she claimed or whether it was a publicity stunt isn’t really important. The important thing is that unlike other incidents where nude pictures for a female celebrity leaked, there hasn’t been a massive backlash against Hayley.
Why no condemnation of Hayley? Why no calls for parents to keep their kids from listening to the music this woman creates? I don’t want it to happen, but I was kind of expecting it. Paramore is often labeled as pop-punk and emo, two categories that have their largest audience in the teen demographic.
Thinking back to other scandals, I really was expecting this huge backlash. I want to make it clear that I don’t, under any circumstances, want people to ostracize her. I’d liken my reaction to seeing a missile headed for my house, then watching it turn to Styrofoam just as it hit. I was waiting for a boom.
There was no boom.
I’m not sad about it… just confused.
It seems Williams may have something the others didn’t. Let’s compare.
Disney vs. Boobies
Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame had a few images leaked out in 2007. For a while, it was hazy as to whether she would be in the third High School Musical movie, something you can probably imagine kept me up at night just like the ever-present threat of demonic sheep with machine guns invading my home. Eventually, Disney let her come back, but Hudgens has the distinction of having two NSFW pic scandals.
Seeing as how both she and Williams have similar demographics, why the different reactions? It’s probably because Hudgens works for Disney. The Empire of the Mouse has a long history of making pop-friendly, highly marketable groups, movies, and shows. They’re so wholesome and whimsical I could fart rainbows watching them. Nothing can offend in any way, shape, or form, and everything must be safe enough to show at a theme park with young children.
Of course, Disney starlets aren’t the only ones who have the problem of unauthorized internet nudity. Carrie Prejean, former Miss California and Miss USA contender, had her own dealing with this sort of thing last year. After standing by her belief that same-sex marriage should not be legal, photos surfaced that showed then-17-year-old Prejean posing topless while she covered her breasts.
Apparently, this was in breach of her contract for the Miss USA pageant since she claimed to have never posed nude or partially nude and she did not hold herself “in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards.” This is, of course, before she got a boob job and paraded in front of the country in a swimsuit. Somehow, the collective American consciousness had an aneurism at the thought of a woman using her looks to advance her career having posed for a lone photographer.
The difference between Prejean and Williams is that Prejean was not supposed to do this kind of thing, or at least she promised she wouldn’t. She worked the squeaky-clean Christian angle, something she later felt made her a target when the pictures came out. Williams, on the other hand, is a musician. People almost expect this sort of thing. It’s the cliché of the “rock star” image, I guess.
Williams has the same demographic as Hudgens. Paramore’s lead singer has never done this kind of thing, much like we thought of Miss California. Several days after the fiasco, though, no outrage.
Let me repeat myself: I don’t WANT outrage. I just want to understand.
It’s not that Paramore isn’t famous. Their songs on the Twilight soundtrack helped shoot them up the charts and helped expose the band to the world. Williams has more than 700,000 followers on Twitter, and you can bet most if not all saw the picture or have since looked for it on the great god Google.
Even so, I’m looking at blog and news entries for the last week and there is almost no mention of the incident. It wasn’t a secret. No one’s trying to hide it. You can find the uncensored pic if you look hard enough.
Based on reactions to other starlets that have had nude pictures leaked, the only thing I can come up with is that the mainstream still doesn’t care about her or doesn’t consider her a threat. They’re not on the lookout for this kind of thing. It’s only scandalous when someone who is well-known and perceived as “pure” has these sinful, sinful images put out for the interblag for all to see. Once you cross that line, or if you don’t really belong, the mainstream won’t really care what you do. Williams’ fans are even backing her up and she even laughed about the incident.
Or maybe most media outlets didn’t pay attention because she’s not as… uhm, “healthy” as other scandalized personalities. And I promise I’m not going for the cheap shot here, but her real-estate, in the Monty Python sense of the term, is not as abundant as Prejean’s or Hudgens’.
Personally, I don’t think any of these women should have gotten flak for something someone else did. Someone else posted these pics (we think), and if that’s the case, these women have nothing to be ashamed of. All of them are good-looking and if we’re passing judgement on them for looking like women and, I don’t know, having breasts, we really need to check our priorities. Right now, I’m sticking with the explanation that Williams is still outside the mainstream, despite Paramore having gotten huge in the last few years, so she’s being ignored because the populations’ wrath is better reserved for other, more worthy targets considered “acceptable entertainment.”
Of course, it’s just a hypothesis.
It’s kind of refreshing, though. So, if I stay out on the fringes of the internet, I can say and do whatever I want? Cool! Okay, tomorrow, I unveil my master plan for a sociocommunazi takeover of the federal government using guerilla tactics and home-made napalm made from gasoline and Splenda, and then we take over Washington DC with a militia of Randomologists!