Written by Scott Edwards
While I was driving home the other day, I had a random thought pop into my head about what would happen if all of our systems failed. Now, with watching all of these zombie shows and disaster movies, I have seen how it is scripted, but you never truly know how people will react if something like that really happened. Although in some of these scenarios, all of our power and water are working just fine, but what if it didn’t? What if we did not have all of the things that make life easy for us at our finger tips? Then I thought what would be one of the most important places to hit up before everything was looted and I will say that a book store would have to rank right up there.
With everyone changing their reading habits over the past couple of years to digital books rather than the old-fashioned ones, I have a fear that they may not be prepared at all. When they are no longer able to access the internet to find out how to make a potato light bulb or build a generator that runs off their hardly ever used bike, what will they be able to do? Not much. That is why I think that a book store would be the perfect place to hit up first when the world is seeming to come to an end. With plenty of How To books on the shelves, it may be the only way to keep civilization from coming to a complete end. Being able to create your own candles might be helpful for some people, while figuring out how to make gun powder would be the essentials for others.
Then there are all the people who depend on electronics for everything, well guess what, if you are able to build a generator, you would only be able to have these run for a short amount of time. I know that I would not be able to survive without my music, but what would I do when my iPod finally died? Even with the original CD’s, it would not be much better without a way to get power to a CD player and that is something that I would have to have on the top of my list. Then you would need your distractions from what is happening with the outside world, a good book might be able to take the place of a movie. Even though I love watching movies, I can get lost in the words on a page for hours at a time and sometimes that makes me feel even better.
I can come clean about this, I have a huge problem when it comes to books, I have too many, but I do not feel bad about that. My collection varies from history, horror, science fiction, and some classics that will never get old. Over 90% of my books are also in print form so I will not run into any problems when the lights go out for good, I will just need a candle. Thinking back when I started to buy these books, I never thought about the end of the world, I just liked having them in my hands while reading them, but now while writing this, I think I do have the fear that something could happen, even to the internet that could limit what we are able to view and/or read. With books in hand, I am pretty sure I will be okay, unless of course Fahrenheit 451 takes place and someone comes and burns all of my literature.
Let’s get back on topic though and a real fear would be something happening to the internet that will deny us all of the enjoyment that it has brought. Since most of our electronics are tied on to this system in one way or another, it might make it impossible to find the information we will need to survive. Being able to raid a book store and pull the How-To books might be the only way that we could survive this kind of travesty, at least in my thinking. I have a bunch of useless knowledge about how to do things in the woods, but for the life of me, I will never remember what berries I can eat and which ones will make me see strange things. Just a random thought from mind of Scotty and I hope that everyone has a good book to curl up with since you never know what life will throw at you.
Written by Shae Rufe
So, you’re probably sick of this particular blog series already, and that’s fair. I’m still going to write this because, well, I want to! And know that I do have other things in the works, they’re just not finished yet. Today’s blog was inspired by Kingdom Hearts. I’ve been replaying the first game whenever I have a few minutes, which makes it slow going, but that’s all right. In the game, there’s this level involving the 100 Acre Woods. And that got me thinking.
My dad really enjoys finding ways to mess with the things I like. And this one happened when I was in college. Now, I’m not the biggest Winnie the Pooh fan, ever, but I love Eeyore. He’s just special to me. Like, every time we go to Disney (either the parks or the store) I have to come home with something Eeyore related. So, as I’m a young adult going into Psych classes, my dad is literally there excitedly telling me how Winnie the Pooh characters represent various psychological disorders. Yes, for real, that is exactly what is happening here. I assumed that something as extensive as this would be brought up by a psych teacher, but no. It was, indeed, my very father who thought we should talk in depth about the messed-up ways of this supposed childhood novel and cartoon.
Pooh, of course, represents an eating disorder. His constant need for honey was, admittedly, obvious. As is Eeyore’s depressive state. Now, I could give my dad this, he’s not wrong. Whether that was the intention of the author, well, I don’t know. Tigger has ADHD, Piglet has anxiety disorder, while Rabbit suffers from OCD. And our beloved Christopher Robin? Apparently, he is schizophrenic. I never bothered to ask my dad about the other characters, because I figured he’d seriously ruined how I look at Winnie the Pooh enough for one life time. But it gets worse. Dad is so obsessed with trying to ruin my childhood cartoons now that he brought up Courage the Cowardly Dog. According to dad, and it’s actually a popular online theory (whether he got it from the internet or not, is, well, debatable), everything that happens is all in Courage’s head. The whole thing is the Dog’s life experiences in his imagination. This, I can actually get behind since it makes perfect sense.
I will say, dad did try ruining Avatar: The Last Airbender, but instead watched it with me, and surprisingly didn’t have much to argue about. Let it be known, however, that my dad does not leave me alone for long. The Matrix was a perfect example. He loved the first movie so much that when the sequel came out, we had to go opening day. Eventually the third movie would come out, and if you want to see my dad mad, boy should you attempt seeing movies with sequels he decides he doesn’t like. Here is where revenge is a dish best served after a movie. Now, I’m not always proud of my ‘getting dad back moments’, but this one was pretty fun. While dad wasn’t thrilled with the ending, I thought I’d make it worse by pointing out the whole thing was an allegory for Christianity. I seriously made this up, on the spot. I even went into detail on how Neo was just like Jesus. And now, anytime my dad watches the first movie, it’s all he sees.
Sadly, it never lasts long, and while I get him back from time to time….it almost encourages him to ruin things for me even more.
Written by Shae Rufe
I almost thought about not writing another one of these. Then I decided, nah, this needs to be written. My dad has just ruined a lot over the years. Okay, maybe he’s just made me realize things I didn’t want to realize. I guess that’s what dads are for? Right? In the world of geek and nerdiness, I’ve been known to dabble in almost all the nerdy things. I’m a massive literature geek, so when I became older and got the chance to take all the college lit courses I possibly could, I’d excitedly share my learnings at family dinner.
Of course, growing up, you get to hear about your favorite authors in a different light. I’ve expressed my love of Poe for some time, and perhaps this is my fault for not delving into his personal life more, but I’d not a clue he’d been a raging alcoholic. Granted, I learned this in high school, actually, but it wasn’t from my teachers. No, it was my dad…who sat there, and laughed as I sat and pouted at my mashed potatoes. His ruining of literature continued. I did mention the thousands of lit classes in college? Well, as it turns out my dad is a firm believer in keeping me grounded in reality. Or, forcibly shoving his conspiracy theories in my face. Yes, that does mean my dad subscribes to the theory that William Shakespeare did not write all of his work. I refuse to believe this to this day, but as it was brought to my attention, I was a wee bit crushed.
To add fuel to the fire, I made the mistake of seeing the new Sherlock Holmes with said father. Maybe it was the blissful ideal that taking my dad to a movie wasn’t a terrible thing. Maybe I hadn’t read the books yet, but wanted to. And then, then, I believed for one second, after the movie was over, that we had both enjoyed it. And we did! But, because nothing can ever be peaceful for long…dad decided to point out how they skimmed over the drug addiction in the film. We argued for a solid five minutes. I downloaded and read the books…and dad was right. Of course, dad was right. Dad’s always right! And this, of course, inadvertently ruined the Great Mouse Detective for me as well…does that count as a bonus thing?
However, as time goes on, I’ve gotten my revenge. My comic knowledge is better than his…which, you know, counts for something. I’ve also had those thousands of literature classes so I can best him in some things. Sadly, I’ve not been able to best him in all things just yet. As we sat to watch The Dresden Files, I thought, hey, dad likes the books! The series will be great! It was a trap. It’s always a trap. Once again, I fell for it. Once the series ended I was subjected to a list of things that were wrong. Dresden's staff was wrong, he didn’t have the hat. The detective and he never had some weird romance….and on and on it went. But despite all this, I'm determined to find something my dad and I can share that he can't pick to pieces. I don't know what that might be, but it sure won't stop me from trying. Plus, hey, it always gives me a reason to spend time with him. Sure, he may rip stuff I love apart, but he's still my dad and he's still awesome.
Written by Shae Rufe
Given the first blog, you think I would have learned a long time ago to not watch things with my dad. Sadly, that’s not true. But, alas, no matter how hard I try, my dad has simply managed to poke plot holes in my life. I think his existence is based upon ruining my inner nerd. Still, he’s a pretty funny guy, and while I love to hate him, and hate to love him, he brings up some amusing points, and I think he does it just for the sake of arguing.
Like, watching Star Trek reruns on TV. Now, Bones is my all-time favorite character. I do not care about which captain is more awesome, I do not care which generation everyone loves and grew up with. Bones is the best. He’s sassy, snarky, and so sarcastic it hurts. His eye rolls are epic, and quite frankly, if I were to have a person as a spirit animal, it would be Bones. Do you sense the ‘but’ coming? Can you feel it? Right. We weren’t even watching the show, in fact we were just talking about it when my dad thought it would be fun to point out that Bones, while a ‘good doctor’ never actually touches most of the patients he finds. It’s always a look and a ‘he’s dead Jim’. Of course, I argued that technology and doctoring are different in that era…and dad countered with ‘You can’t tell if someone’s dead just by looking at them!’ I’m pretty sure words were yelled, and then for the rest of the day he spoke like William Shatner while quoting Bones. Yeah, if that doesn’t sum up my dad, I honestly don’t know what does.
If you think that’s bad, going to the movies can be worse. Admittedly, I am a talker. I sit away from people and will whisper, quietly, my comments to friends throughout the movie. I’m even more so that way with my dad. X-Men Origins: Wolvervine is a movie that my dad personally lost his shit in. Does that even make sense? I suppose it does. When we see a young Logan with bone claws, my dad literally started ranting about how this is not accurate to the comic at all. And that he should know, he’s read them. He then went on to say that later in the series Magneto takes the metal out of Wolverine, and the bone claws are a side effect. Did I care? Not really. I thought it was a cool movie….until Deadpool happened and my dad nearly just walked out of the theater. Can you imagine the conniption he had at the blatant disrespect this movie had personally thrust upon him and his childhood? Or seeing the The Dark Knight Rises? Granted, he didn’t ruin anything over that movie. We both did agree on a lot of things over that. I’m the Batman expert in the house, so I probably ruined a lot for him during that movie. With no regrets!
Star Wars is a nerd staple that we all love or at least enjoyed and saw once, or maybe twice. My dad made me binge watch the original three movies and then promptly pointed out things. Such as, Luke and Leia being siblings….the first time I saw them kiss. Which, we can all have an ‘ew’ moment over that. It’s not Game of Thrones bad, but still. But, in Return of the Jedi, Leia admits to ‘always knowing’ that Luke was her brother…so that makes that kiss a lot weirder, especially when dad pointed it out. Or at the beginning when Obi-Wan dies. Dad paused the VCR to rant for a solid 5 minutes on how ‘striking him down’ didn’t making him stronger. In fact, the body disappearing completely was a stupid waste of plot.
Then the prequels happened and along came Jar Jar. And the Anakin/Padme love story. My dad loves Star Wars. We legitimately used to have full on lightsaber battles in the garage. He’d pull the cars out, close the door, turn the lights out, and we’d spend hours hitting each other. Anakin’s easy turn to the dark side was almost too funny to watch…until he slaughtered an entire temple of children. And then Padme dies…and Dad sat and laughed when Vader yelled ‘Noooo!’ and informed me that it was a little silly for a man who later cuts off his son’s hand and tortures his own daughter to be so ‘distraught’ over his supposed wife dying. Anakin did try to choke her with the force, didn’t he?
Written by Shae Rufe
While I like to keep my blogs positive, I felt like this one was just too humorous not to write about. Why? Because…why not? The best part about being a writer is having the ability to share with everyone things that I find interesting. Plus, they involve my dad and geeky things! Granted, there’s a long list of things my dad has decided to ruin for me over the years. Perhaps ruin isn’t even the right term, so much as, point out the flaws we all seem to overlook. Isn’t that a dad’s job? To make you question why you love something?
Growing up with my dad meant a lot of things. Like watching X-Men, and getting read Edgar Allan Poe, and all kinds of nerdy things. Well, one of my dad’s favorite past times is literally ruining things I like. Case and point, Pokémon. I remember finding it on TV and being excited about it. I loved Pikachu, who doesn’t love Pikachu!? It was a great show and still is to this day…and then my dad sat down and watched a few episodes with me. Then he decided to promptly inform me that this show was about people forcing their enslaved pets to fight. Which, I mean, he’s not really wrong, but he’s also not getting the point of anime! Eventually, dad did come around and enjoy the show, but he didn’t stop making his little comments. Going so far as to leave 'Free Pikachu' notes in my lunch.
Similarly, he also decided that Dragon Ball Z was not going to escape his wrath. This was another show we’d watch together, and it was all fun and games until dad pointed out that the fight scenes that were, supposedly 5 minutes, lasted episodes. Making the time in the show a lie. Alright, this I knew, I was all right with it. After he pointed it out, however….he also thought it would be fun to point out that Krilin was entirely useless to the plot, and that Goku really wasn’t that great of a dad. In fairness, Goku had to save the world! He didn’t have time to raise Gohan. That was what Piccolo was for! Dad also pointed out that Piccolo was a better father figure…maybe he secretly works for Team Four Star.
The catalyst that had me not watch anime with my dad anymore, however, was when Gundam Wing was on. This was the first anime I literally recorded on VHS tapes, just to watch over and over. So, needless to say, when my dad started watching it with me, I was a little apprehensive. Still, I gave him a chance. It wasn’t five minutes in when dad thought to pipe up. Turns out, he’s not a fan of giant robots, and thought the mechanics wouldn’t work. Also, around the time that Hiro blew up his Gundam in it, my dad literally threw his hands in the air, got up, and left. Because, apparently there was no way Hiro would have survived. Similarly, Sailor Moon had the same effect. I never thought about why the transformation sequences were so long, but if they are in real time, then the enemies were technically just sitting there watching…
Written by Shae Rufe
Belatedly I realized after my last Villains blog went up that I only included three and mentioned my top five and without thought didn’t bother telling everyone a part two would be around the corner. Because sometimes life happens and I forget to add things. So! Without further ado, part two of my favorite villains is now here. Are you ready? Do we need popcorn? I don’t know about you, but I am still full from lunch. Still though, I am a fan of nibbles!
I have spent the past week thinking on how to end this. It’s hard to sit and pick through the countless villains that have come across the geek universe. Obligatorily, I almost want to say that my next favorite villain is the Joker. Being crazy is a huge advantage, but the Joker is also cunning, clever, and I have watched him evolve into a murderous psychopath. Growing up, the Joker was a bad guy, but he was causing trouble, maybe killing a few people, but mostly, he just wanted to kill the Batman. That chilling laugh from the iconic Batman: The Animated Series, will forever be the Joker’s laugh to me.
There have been so many incarnations of him, and he has been played by so many amazing actors over the years that having a favorite is almost blasphemous. However, as great as the Joker really is, and as fun as it is to write about him, he’s sadly not in my top 5. I know, many of you are up in arms right now…But, before you grab your Lightsabers and Phasers, hear me out. My favorite villain, in place of the Joker, didn’t actually happen until I played Injustice. There have been mixed feelings about the game. Some loved it, others hated it. Personally, I think it’s pretty awesome. The idea of our beloved heroes as villains?
Well now, isn’t that just something. Superman is a symbol of justice, of the ultimate good guy. Isn’t that what the whole thing is really about? Superman is, literally, the good guy. Yet, his original creation was meant to have him be the villain. He was changed to a superhero when he was seen as too powerful to really be a bad guy. Plus, I mean, his super weakness is a giant glowing green rock…really, a green rock can make Superman weak. So, when Injustice happened in my life and Superman turned out to be the villain…I couldn’t help but love it.
Now, you have to understand something about my upbringing. My dad hated Superman. Legitimately could not stand the guy. In turn, I hated him too….and also Spider-Man, but that’s a blog for another day. Now, I know that Superman has been the villain before, but not having read the comics, and my only exposure being television and later video games, I was stoked to see him as the villain in Injustice. How cool of a concept is that? I loved playing the game, and still do from time to time just to beat Superman. Just because I can. Deep down, for me, it’s the fact that this genuinely good guy, this symbol of hope, justice, and the American way, has fallen so far, that he enslaved the earth. He killed his fellow heroes who stood against him, and turned the others to the dark side. That is why Superman is one of my favorite villains.
Of course, we can’t say villain without bringing up Darth Vader….many of us grew up on Star Wars or had our Parents show it to us. I had no idea what Star Wars was until my dad came along. Even then, it wasn’t until we were living in Florida one day, and he was talking about it, did I stop and go 'what even is that?' Which, apparently was not the thing to say, or was the thing to say?
Either way, for the next however many hours, I sat and watched all three Star Wars movies. In a row. And you know what? Darth Vader is horrifying when you’re a kid. He’s this big, imposing, figure, with this deep voice…dressed in this black suit of future armor with a glowing red laser sword. How does that not terrify children!? But, there is one other bad guy that scared me more than Vader. One that is easily over looked. The Emperor himself gets my last spot right here. As much as Vader scared me, the Emperor actually gave me nightmares. Seriously, I would dream of him shooting that awful lightning at me…
You also have to hand it to the guy. I know a lot of us like to ignore the fact that the prequels didn’t happen…but, they did. And honestly, there’s a small part of me that is glad they did. We get to see Darth Sidious weasel his way into power.
A man, so manipulative, he literally took over the galaxy in a handful of years. And for the most part, he ran it successfully. Given that he is a bad guy, which we’re not even supposed to like, The Emperor really did a number on turning Anakin to the dark side. He had the guy slaughtering children for crying out loud. Actual tiny Jedi’s. That’s pretty hardcore right there. To top it off, we at Nerds That Geek believe in the theory that the Emperor stole Padme’s life force and gave it to Vader…because, who really dies of a broken heart?! Whether it’s true or not, well, we’re fans! We can dream…
Written by Joel T. Lewis
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fanboy is dead. And no one will tremble at his legacy. His culture of posturing, elitism, gatekeeping, and mansplaining will not be remembered fondly.
The pop culture currency exchange from which the Fanboy drew his power and his expertise is no longer so hard won, so precious as he tried to convince us it was. Expertise in ‘his’ world (and I hesitate to call it his world, because it was never truly his) is mere keystrokes away. Pedia’s both Wookie and Wiki have allowed years of knowledge gained through chapter hunting and issue scouring in dusty comic and secondhand bookshops to be obtained from the comfort of your own couch. And unlike how Ian Malcolm accuses the Ingen corporation of a fatal lack of humility before the powers of nature in Jurassic Park (the irony of making a reference here is not lost on me), the proliferation of popular culture and reference knowledge through standing on the shoulders of those who came before is only positive. Communal narrative, participation, and contribution to popular culture only allows art to grow, and dogmatic idolization of source material and an unwritten stance on the ‘purity’ of the past kills it.
The Fanboy seemed to believe that when the Author was pronounced dead by Roland Barthes in 1967, ownership of the art passed from creator to consumer. This is inherently false. You don’t own art. Your admiration for art is not snatched away by something new that you term ‘inconsistent’ or as a ‘misunderstanding’ of the ‘spirit’ of the art from which new content is inspired. The phrase, ‘Not my -insert fandom-‘ is nonsense. The Ghostbusters were never yours, Thor doesn’t belong to you, Star Wars is bigger than your bigotry, and Doctor Who has never been yours to say who is worthy of the title role. Art progresses, moves on, develops, twists, and is remade; the audience be damned.
There has never been a hierarchy of fandom. Star Wars exists separate from the presumption of expertise the Fanboy claimed to have. It doesn’t matter how many Expanded Universe books you read before the canon changed, it doesn’t matter how many lines from Empire you can quote by heart, and it doesn’t matter that you only watch the Holiday Special ironically. If you believe that somehow this indulgence, this passion you’ve devoted to this fiction makes you the steward of it, you’ve missed the fucking point. You can’t impose your imagination on other people, you can’t justify discouraging and downright bullying others with your presumed expertise about fiction. This was the Fanboy’s modus operandi: Power to the most complete fan. It was elitist, it was cruel, and it strangled the passion of new fans. The Fanboy set the definitions and parameters for legitimacy within fandom and scorned anyone who fell short of those arbitrary levels. This is why he’s dead. This is why we will not miss him.
Your art is not your own. Your faves are problematic. You do not own what you love. Narrative is not for the powerful, the enfranchised, the white, the male, or the heteronormative alone. It never should have been. To cling to the putrid corpse of the Fanboy and his naiveté, to the elitism that he represented is to be on the wrong side of the history of storytelling.
There’s nothing wrong with delighting in a narrative, to devouring its content, to pouring into it your imagination and creativity. There’s also nothing wrong with thinking critically about sequels or reboots, with not liking something for its pacing, it’s acting, or the quality of its effects. But the second you presume to own it, to hold it back from growing beyond you, you taint it. You rip the magic out of it. And that is goddamn criminal.
So, give us Jane Foster Thor, give us Sense8, Riri Williams the Invincible Iron Man, Ocean’s 8, and Finn and Rose and Jyn and Rey. Kill the Skywalkers and Peter Parker, tear down the Tyrell Corporation, and set fire to the notion that retreading the same territory with the same tired old white men makes for the only compelling storytelling. Yoda said it best in Episode VIII, ‘We are what they grow beyond.’ I don’t presume to know for sure if Rian Johnson intended this to refer to a larger metaphor but I like to think that he’s talking about stories and art as much as apprentices and masters. Art grows beyond us and that shouldn’t scare us into ignorance and cruelty.
I am the Fanboy. I was the Fanboy. And it is time for me, for us, to die.
Written by Shae Rufe
Throughout the course of movies there have been a number of them starring villains that we absolutely adore. And, really, if that’s not worth writing about, I don’t know what is. Sometimes we hate our villains passionately. Other times, though, they come along and steal our hearts. Here are just a few of the movie villains that I have come to love over the years. Because, I’ve been re-watching a lot of movies lately. I don’t even know where this idea came from. But, you know I like sharing them with you guys!
First off is probably my ultimate favorite villain Gru. Despicable Me came along and ruined the idea of villains for me. Here you had this angry Russian-ish guy trying to get a bank loan so he can continue to do bad things. I’m not understanding the downside to stealing the moon. Other than the horrific environmental disasters that would actually cause. Gru wasn’t out to kill anyone, he was just out to steal things. Perhaps I really like Gru because he reminds me of the old cartoon villains. Stealing was the most important thing, and it was so classic, it was awesome. Turns out, though, Gru had an unloving, cold, mother who couldn’t have cared less for his existence or dreams. That’s enough to make anyone want to steal the moon.
When Gru has three orphans stumble into his life, he attempts to use them to gain a shrink ray. Only, his shrunken heart gets a kick. The movie ends with our protagonist villain finding a love and family of his own. Also, you have to respect a guy who has thousands of actual Minions working for him and he knows every single one of their names. I can’t even tell two of them apart, let alone any more than that! And, finally, in the sequel, we get to see Gru stumbling to find love…only, turns out, kids were horribly mean to him, so Lucy is literally his first real relationship…and he ends up marrying her. I mean, maybe Gru doesn’t count since he turned out to be a good guy, but he turned out to be a pretty cool good guy.
Crowley has to be in my top 5…probably tied for first place as far as favorite baddies go. Come on, he’s the most lovable demon there is. Don’t get me wrong, I truly do not trust him. But, listen, he is the most trustworthy character on the show of Supernatural. Trustworthy in the sense that you know you can’t ever trust him. Or can you? See! He plays with your emotions. For as bad as Crowley is, he also is kind of good. When he’s not binging on human blood and hating his mother, he does enjoy messing with the Winchesters.
His friendship with Dean is something I can understand…and I did get his and Sam’s, until Sam messed that one up. Good job Sam! Granted, he’s a self-serving little git, but he’s a pretty hilarious, scary one at that. Between battling addiction and finding his humanity, to even finding his inner demon, Crowley is as ruthless as they come. And he’s always dressed nicely. I even like the friendship he has with our Angel of the Lord…because, sometimes, you need a demon as a friend. You know, for reasons…
And of course, baddies can’t be mentioned without a little bit of the classics. Growing up, Magneto was the ultimate bad guy. In a way, he still is. I always respected the fact that he and Professor X were friends…even if they were enemies. Does that make sense? Like, Professor would visit Magneto in jail…who does that? I probably would...but really, it’s a nice thing. Magneto stuck by his convictions, and he wasn’t wrong.
Perhaps how he went about doing what he did, was, but he had every right to do so. In the end, all Magneto wanted was for Mutants to be accepted, and above all, treated like everyone else. Okay, he really wanted regular people to acknowledge Mutants as the superior species. But, killing humans wasn’t the way to do it. Still, he was passionate, right, and strong in his convictions. That didn’t stop him from having a friend in Charles, nor did it stop his fight for his cause…and that’s something that should be truly respected.
Written by Shae Rufe
Growing up in the late ‘80’s and ‘90’s lets me be old enough to remember some pretty awesome things, but perhaps one of my favorite memories was the invention of the fighting video game and of course, the greatest action movie revolution ever. All right, that second half is probably a lie, but in all actuality, the movies I had the chance to grow up with and the video games I got to play have still had an influence on me, even all these years later. With the nostalgia of old things being remade, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the amazing things I grew up with. And what taught me more about life than Mortal Kombat? I actually used to play the SNES version of this game with my dad as often as possible. My whole goal in life was to try and beat him and the game. Sadly, neither would happen until I became a teenager, but in the meantime, there was plenty of time to practice. The game taught me so many things about life, and would inadvertently send me into a really confused part of my childhood…
Like, why couldn’t I have ice powers? Or have blades shoot out of the palms of my hand? Really, though, I learned a lot from this game. For instance, never fight with someone who is more skilled at martial arts than you are. Also, martial arts is nothing to sneeze at. Seriously, I wanted to be a master fighter so bad I begged my parents to let me do Karate…which I didn’t stick with. Turns out I have asthma! We got to learn that, and hey, life experiences. It’s also hard work, dedication, and a lot of muscle memory. Which is probably why I’m a writer and not a really cool, talented, MMA fighter…
Mortal Kombat also taught me that you shouldn’t fight people with 4 arms, because holy crap, they’re tough to beat. Also, that if you try hard enough, you’ll still probably fail. Life is all about not dying. Wow, that got deeper than I intended for this to go. But, hey, life lessons. Like, if you’re the God of Thunder/Lightning, you can still die. Did anyone else know that? I was shocked. Also, it’s okay to make mortals fight other-worldly monsters and that’s normal. Oh hey, you’re a human? Fight this God-like being from Hell! That’s how nightmares are made in normal children. For whatever reason, I really wanted to be like Scorpion. Or have fans like Kitana. Funny story time! I actually spent the majority of my life trying to find fighting fans like that. Turns out they’re based off of Korean fighting fans and the bladed tips were coated in poison back in the day. Not that I didn’t find this out until like 5 years ago…I did…I told you, I have been obsessed with this series for a really long time…
And then, the movie came out. That movie. Was. Awesome. I don’t care what anyone says, that movie sums up my childhood memories nicely and I will defend it to this very day. Okay, its special effects aren’t that great, and let’s be completely honest, the acting wasn’t either, but for the time it was still so cool. I remember my parents renting a VHS copy of this movie…I watched it so many times they finally just bought it. I think I blame this very movie for the entire life I have lead so far. I’ve been obsessed with Eastern culture and fighting movies ever since. The movie taught me that having big hair isn’t a bad thing. Turns out, I still don’t like my hair big, but hey, the 90’s made it okay. It also taught me that if you’re going to fight a bad guy, you better do it in style. And that sunglasses were apparently designer and expensive…
The movie also taught me that women can fight just as good as men. Sonya was a huge influence, and the whole scene where she just kicks butt is pretty much the epitome of a strong female character. Really, the movie and video game held a lot of equality messages in it without any of us even knowing. Nothing else mattered, except your fighting skills…
Written by Shae Rufe
The idea for this hit me yesterday, oddly, while I was lying in bed trying to sleep and browsing the internet for entertainment, because isn’t that what we all totally do when we can’t sleep? Then I saw the coolest picture of Pokémon drawn as real-life beings, and I was so into that, that well, this blog happened! Now, the cartoon, comic, and game are three different things, and each taught me valuable life lessons. First off, they all start the same way. I also don’t know in what world it’s totally okay for a 10-year-old to go off on his own and just explore life, but you know what? It always bothered me!
Pokémon taught me that just because your parent is cool with you going off into the world to enslave various creatures, doesn’t mean you should! Seriously, they send him off with a wave and an electrical super powered rat and a full Pokédex and that’s it. Good luck kid! Clearly you have enough money for whatever you need for your how-ever-long-journey. The parenting or concern of safety of children is seriously lacking in the Pokéverse, and honestly, I feel like child services should have been called a long time ago. Also, what happened to Ash’s dad!? Did that ever get figured out? He travels the world wanting to be the world’s best trainer, like his dad, but dad isn’t around! It’s just his mom! Did he die? Did he run off with some other chick? Is he still out there?! Why isn’t that ever answered!?
Pokémon also taught me that it’s totally cool to make your pets fight other pets. I mean, really, if you think about it, this show/game is basically a legal animal fighting ring. It’s socially acceptable to just start fighting people in the middle of anywhere, so long as your pet is doing it. And they had some pretty weird pets. No matter how bad it got, though, nobody ever died. They just…passed out. Which, really, is totally unrealistic. I also learned that when your Pokémon had beaten enough Pokémon in fights it would ‘evolve’. Okay, hold on, evolution doesn’t work quite that fast, but I’m not even going to touch that one. But, to tell me their personalities might be different? That’s just weird. But it's true. Charmelion was a total dick to Ash for no reason! Charmander was just too cute...I’m pretty sure he was the only Pokémon to evolve in Ash’s care. I could be wrong, I did stop watching the show a long time ago. On another note, if your Pokémon can talk, it’s likely evil. Between Meowth and Mewtwo, I don’t trust any Pokémon that can hold a full-blown conversation in English, or Japanese, or any language for that matter.
The game taught me some serious trust issues. Like how strangers were always wanting to fight me, and how it was alright for them to be totally rude to you and to actually try and steal your pets. It also taught me that if I’m in a grassy area for more than ten seconds, wild Pokémon will just run up to me and try and attack. Which, I guess is okay? I don’t even know…either way, the type of Pokeball determines if you catch that type of Pokémon or not. A Masterball is always something you should have. Also, legendary Pokémon should totally be caught and owned, because reasons. The games also taught me that gambling is addicting. I think the slot machine game is one of the funnest to play on the older ones. And when I was growing up you had a pocket Pikachu, kind of like a Tamagachi, only it was cuter and you could gamble on slots with Pikachu…and feed him. And the more you walked, the more points you got! How cool is that?
Pokémon also taught me that Gym Badges are more important than a job. So long as you fought Gym leaders and took their badges, you were set in life! If only real life was kind of like that. At least in the game, you got money for beating them. The comic, however, was a whole different ball of wax. It taught me that Misty was not as nice as we once thought, and that Pokémon battles were beyond epic. Of course, I can’t ignore the billions of movies out there. I remember going to see the first Pokémon movie in theaters as a very young teen/preteen and the magic that was that movie. It taught me not to look at the differences in another being, because we were all really the same. It also introduced me to Mew. Now, I love Pikachu and so many of the other Pokémon, but Mew stole not only my heart, but left me in total awe. This tiny, cute, flying being of awesome teleported onto the big screen with an adorable little ‘mew’ and then saved the day. The biggest lesson, Pokémon taught me, was that even the smallest creatures can have the most profound affect on the world.