Category Archives: Commentary

It’s Not Always Just a Game

This is an odd entry to write. Most writers use their blogs to talk about current projects, or failing that, things that matter.
I don’t know how many of you feel that table-top roleplaying games actually matter, and I don’t expect to make any converts with this entry, but writing is supposed to be, in some way, telling the truth about yourself. The truth of the matter is that, yes, I’m a tabletop gamer in my off time, recently part of a group again after a near ten year hiatus. I started playing Dungeons and Dragons before I was ten years old, pulled into it by my sister who played in a game run by our uncle. My cousin had had to drop out because his mother, my aunt, was deeply Christian and had a problem with her son playing “Satan’s game”.
Her niece and nephew, it would seem, were okay to let burn in hell. Continue reading

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JMED: We Alive, Dammit: The Unbreakable Survivors of Kimmy Schmidt

The Show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Principal Actors: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski

Creators: Tina Fey & Robert Carlock

Synopsis: Rescued after 15 years in a cult, Kimmy Schmidt decides to reclaim her life by venturing to New York, where she experiences everyday life with wide-eyed enthusiasm. On a whim, she rents a room from Titus, a gay wannabe Broadway actor, who makes ends meet as a street performer in Times Square. The unlikely pair find they’re well-suited to help each other out, with Titus reintroducing Kimmy to modern life, and her providing him with the inspiration that you should never give up. Together they’ll make it through whatever life throws at them.

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Justifying My English Degree: Heroes on the Periphery: The Dynamic Villains of Once Upon a Time

God, has it been two months? Apologies for neglecting the blog, been busy with end of the year grading of papers and the like, as well as dragging myself back to work on Breaking Ties, which is 3-4 chapters out from the finish line. In the meantime, my boyfriend and I have been rewatching this on Netflix, and having the sorts of conversations about the characters that are normal to fans, which inspired me to do a JMED on it. Some spoilers follow.

The Show: Once Upon a Time

Creators: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz

Principal Actors: Robert Carlyle, Lana Parilla, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas

Synopsis: A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a New England town where fairy tales are to be believed.

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A Few More Tips on Being a Writer

So you still want to be a writer. Normally I’d wonder why the person who’s supposed to shake you out of making bad life decisions is apparently asleep at the wheel, but I suppose there are a few of us who have to write or we’ll surely go insane. I’ve gone into this before, but there are a few additional things I’ve learned over the years that I feel like putting out there. This is all based on experience, so please have a complimentary pound of salt to take it with. Continue reading

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Justifying My English Degree: Perspective and Moral Ambiguity in Assassin’s Creed 4

Since I finally broke out of movies with going to TV, this is one that’s been rattling around in my head for a bit since I finished the game.

THE GAME: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

PUBLISHER: Ubisoft Montreal, 2013

PRINCIPAL ACTORS: Matt Ryan, EJ Schneider, Danny Wallace

SYNOPSIS: In the not so distant future, a new employee of a video game developer delves into the life of a little known Welsh pirate of the 18th century, and promptly finds himself caught between two long warring groups.

Warning: Some spoilers for AC4 follow

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Justifying My English Degree: The Strange Case of Shamy in “The Big Bang Theory”

The Show: The Big Bang Theory

Principal Actors: Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco

The Characters: Dr. Sheldon Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc. D.A genius-level yet socially inept theoretical physicist that forms the core of the social circle that comprises the cast of The Big Bang Theory.

Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, Ph.D. A highly intelligent and also social inept neuroscientist who serves as the most recent member of the BBT circle.

The Critique:

I often wonder how I’d react if I met Dr. Cooper in real life. Chances are we’d bump into each other at a Mensa meeting, and he’d be one of those guys who only goes to ridicule the guest speaker and call out every one of his inaccuracies, while I’d be the guy who’s there for the buffet table and free coffee. Despite our proud membership in geek culture, Dr. Cooper and I would find ourselves on opposite sides of the line. He’s hard science, I’m one of those people who studied the humanities. He went to prestigious universities for his studies, and I went to a grad school that until recently had a proud tradition of an annual co-ed nude volleyball game. He’d dismiss me as wasted potential and I’d probably roll my eyes and wonder how someone ended up with screwed up priorities. Also, I’d inform him that it’s “wasted potential” like mine that supplies him with his precious comic books. 😉

While Sheldon Cooper’s social graces are often attributed to Asperger’s, which even Jim Parsons, the actor who portrays Sheldon, claims inspires his performance, there’s another aspect to Sheldon that I often see bandied about, namely that Sheldon is asexual, and that he’s being ruined by the writers who are forcing him into “a binary gender relationship” with a bisexual woman in order to enforce societal relationship mores on them and ease the concerns of the traditional viewer.

I respectfully disagree.

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Justifying My English Degree: For the Love of the Con: “Now You See Me” and Our Desire to Be Tricked

THE TRAILER:

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