The Death Waltz… was NOT the Death Waltz. This debacle was one of the dumbest things to ever come into internet lore. One of my favorite examples of the stupid viral memetics of our fast-paced culture over the past ten years. Have you heard of the Tragedy of Flandre Scarlet the Wise? It’s a story the mainstream media wouldn’t tell you… mostly because it’s really stupid. But your decadal guide Thedude3445 shall tell it to you. First, it started with weird Japanese shit.
It’s probably that I was just a naive child, but I was really rooting for Greg Orman in 2014. Here he was, an independent candidate with a real fighting chance against Pat Roberts, an emblem of the swampy D.C. establishment, primed to become our third independent Senator after Bernie Sanders and Angus King. The polls were favorable for him, and the Democrat dropped out of the race altogether. Greg Orman was a pretty interesting candidate at the time, not beholden to either major party and campaigning on platforms that people would actually support, rather than on whatever the national party
One of the weirdest things in my entire life is that, for something like two years of my life, I was active on IRC message boards—the MSPA IRC. In the 2010s! (For the youngsters: IRC is “Internet Relay Chat” which means, basically, Discord/Slack chats except way clunkier and low-tech.)
Right as the decade began, Marvel Comics’s most ambitious storyline to date (and possibly ever) came to its epic conclusion. The Heroic Age was upon us. And I truly mean epic in the literary sense. This story has no specific name but I’ll call it the Marvel Dark Age. It spanned six years, with a dozen or more crossover events and hundreds upon hundreds of comics. It took the Avengers from a dying brand, soon to be replaced by the Ultimates, into a modern superhero team. And just in time, too! Because Disney had literally just purchased Marvel Comics months
Sometimes I did some pretty crazy stuff as a kid… such as camping out for the Wii U. Yes, I was That Person who camped out for video game consoles—two of them, in fact. The Nintendo Wii in 2006, and the Nintendo Wii U in 2012. The latter one’s what we’ll be focusing on here; honestly, the experience was one of my main transitions into adulthood.
I may be biased, but I love Bowsette. (Featured image taken from here) The character, the meme, the stories made… Bowsette was and is one of the best pieces of internet culture created in the entire 2010s. It combines a weird self-parodying sense of irony with nostalgic silliness with queer positivity with fetishizing suggestivity… So many factors all swirled up into someone who is likely the #1 most famous fan character ever created. Despite the massive deluge of porn and the innate sex appeal of the character, I’d honestly call Bowsette one of the most wholesome and friendly internet phenomenons
Sometimes I forget that, before the Quinlan Circle, I ran a web fiction website for almost an entire year: Home Clipart Animal Deer: Where Literature Goes to Die. And, certainly one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had.
Howdy to you, and happy 2021 (in most time zones at least), the Year of Our Lord In Which The Gay Gatsby Finally Comes Out. This is going to be a brand new great year that will almost 100% be way better than the quite awful last twelve months. I’m pretty optimistic about it! And even if the year ends up being less than stellar, at least we’ve got a spiffy new book coming out right on January 1st, which is to say right this instant: The Gay Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal classic goes public domain at this exact
Here’s a list of my favorite music of 2020! 2020’s been a rough year for a lot of pop culture, but the music has been pretty great. I’ve found a few key albums that have really blown me away this year, so I’d like to talk about seven of my favorite albums of the year. Like my Best of the 2010s article, I will keep this limited to some select criteria: 1. Full albums/EPs only, no singles (sorry Michael) 2. No soundtracks (sorry Eirik) 3. Only one album per artist/group. (sorry PROTODOME) With that out of the way, let’s dive
It’s been one year since Hands Held in the Snow began serializing on the internet. One year since Emi and Beatrice first laid eyes on one another and our beloved narrator asked us, was it love at first sight? It feels like an eternity ago. That’s kind of what 2020 was generally like, though. I started writing the book over three years ago, and now it’s finally out for everyone to see, for the world to read and hopefully fall in love with just like I did writing it.
The Pajama Boy is back. Look how far the world has come in seven years… I bet you completely forgot about the “Pajama Boy” hubbub and I’m very sorry for reminding you about it. But some things must be drudged up for us to lament on our far-too-recent past. All that happened was an Obamacare-affiliated organization tweeted out this picture saying it was cool and acceptable to talk about and sign up for health care this Christmas season, back in 2013. Just some jolly, vaguely-hisptery dude enjoying himself. And people were PISSED OFF.
Before Tiktok, before Fortnite, before anything else that our our Generation Z siblings got super into that is hard for me to understand, came the rise of scary games. It’s not that I don’t understand horror video games or creepypastas for anything like that. It’s just that the culture surrounding them, the fandom and shipping and overall obsession, baffles me completely. Scary games for kids, which absolutely exploded throughout the 2010s, are really the first true evidence of a generational gap between Millennial and Generation Z, and I don’t think it has been explored nearly enough so far.
They say what you post will last forever, but it’s not true: the internet is not permanent. It’s weird when I think back to the fact that a large portion of my youth has been erased. Only scattered archive.org snapshots and faded memories remain. Well, I understand that for generations past, this is pretty normal stuff. You grow up. Your life changes. Then there isn’t much frame of reference for your younger years except when you meet people who lived it too. But it’s all the opposite of what they said back when the internet age first started: everything you
Man… pop culture has changed a lot since the YOLO Swag days. LMFAO was a big deal. Shutter shades actually existed. Jersey Shore was a big deal. American culture was, for a brief period, transfixed strongly on the obnoxious spray tan Miami beach white rapper excess aesthetic. It was the most ridiculous period ever. Or was it? Was this whole cultural period ever embraced with any true sincerity? Or was it all done with a sense of irony and silliness?
I received my first smartphone in July of 2011. Everything changed. My family had just received a large windfall of money from the government, so I got a top-of-the-line LG Revolution (it was pretty bad) and got a hand-me-down car after I passed my driver’s test shortly afterwards. In just a couple weeks’ time, my whole life had changed. But only in retrospect do I realize that. It’s flabbergasting to think that, ten years ago, smartphones were not actually that popular yet, and the technology was still in its infancy with slow 3G speeds and clunky apps. My first experience
For decades of my life, Mckay’s (also known as McKay Used Books & CDs) was my home away from home. The best spot in all of Chattanooga, Tennessee. For as long as I can remember, the bulk of my entertainment goods came from this store, a place that sells books, comics, video games, music, board games, figurines, and practically everything you can think of that qualifies as vaguely nerdy. The vast majority of my books came from either McKay’s or the Scholastic Book Fair, and it was mostly the former anyway. First, It Was Video Games
This post is dedicated to Walt, my second car. (A 1987 Cutlass Ciera Oldsmobile, if you wanted to know.) The History of Walt: My Oldsmobile My first car was some 2001 Nissan Spectra or something like that. Nothing special, just a very old car with a billion miles on it and the kind of thing a poor kid gets when they get their license and the family really needs them to be able to run errands. But after a couple years, it was clear that we didn’t have enough vehicles at home. My grandfather had a van to use, my
It’s been an entire year since I first started the 2010s Retrospectives Series. There’s already been nearly 70 different posts in that time, covering topics as varied as my teenage histrionics, to queer representation in media, to the web fiction community, to Jeb! Bush, to bizarre internet urban legends. I hope you’ve enjoyed them so far! I certainly didn’t expect for the series to last as long as it did. But I kept getting more and more ideas for posts, and I wanted to share my reflections with the world. We sure did a lot of stuff in the 2010s,
Okay, including the Monogatari series in my 2010s Retrospectives is kinda cheating, since the books started in 2006 and the anime started in 2009. But it was a phenomenal success that shaped the entire anime industry throughout the 2010s. And it’s worth mentioning when we look back at the decade. It was REALLY influential! The premise of the entire series is simple: Characters’ mental illnesses manifest in supernatural form. And each story plays like a weird teen mystery novel. Simple, but ripe for a billion entries in this extremely long series. (Extremely long and extremely strange to follow through: Use
There are a lot of web content creators I used to follow. Back when I was younger and had more time to devote to passively keeping up with internet celebrities and pop culture websites and all of that. With declining free time and increasing standards, there are several places and people I followed quite regularly that I’ve completely abandoned over the last ten years. Here’s a few of them, and you might notice a common theme…
Alita: Battle Angel rules. It’s a great movie! The story is ridiculously silly and moves along at an exhausting pace as it attempts to cram twelve TV episodes’ worth of content into two hours. The world is gorgeous and textured, while the action sequences are top-notch. And Alita herself is one of my favorite action movie protagonists in a long time! It may be hard to keep up with sometimes, but Alita is absolutely worth your time. The movie ended up losing money at the box office, but it performed at a best-case scenario for a February release for a
Finally, finally, a success for Ranked Choice Vote in the United States. After decades of struggling against the disastrous first-past-the-post voting system, we finally get a real step towards voting that actually works. (Seriously, first past the post is horrible, and stuff like the 1998 Minnesota Governor Election shows exactly why. Only five states—Washington, California, Louisiana, Georgia (<3), and Maine—avoid this massive problem that has plagued the country for ages.) Finally, in 2016, Maine approved instant runoff voting for all its statewide elections—or, in other words, Ranked Choice Voting. And in 2018, we finally saw it in action for the
Here is a brief history of Nintendo’s undying love for artificial shortages. Nintendo got cocky from the Wii. It sold out really badly in its first Christmas season; nobody could get one, and everyone wanted one. It created a fire that fueled the console’s amazing success in the years to follow. Possibly thanks to its incredible scarcity, the Wii quickly took off to become the second-best-selling console of all-time. So when the Wii U stalled out of the gate and did NOT sell out in Holiday 2012, Nintendo apparently took the lessons of the Wii’s success, assumed that scarcity was
I didn’t plan on living in Florida, but somehow it happened. If you want to talk about really badly planned events that went extremely well, you want to talk about the time in 2018 when I moved to Florida for a couple months. Waiting for JET Because I had just gone and assumed I’d be accepted for the JET Program after applying in 2017, I decided not to renew my lease in Seattle. I would quit my job at the end of May 2018, then spend time with my Dad’s side of the family, then my Mom’s side of the
Did you know that I have a Patreon? Or, rather, the Quinlan Circle, of which I am a member, has a Patreon? Maybe not, and if you didn’t, let me tell you the reasons you should donate some of your money to the cause (because there are a great many): The Quinlan Circle provides hundreds of hours of free content every single year, in every medium and genre imaginable. Whether it’s teen romance or dry comedy or thriller, whether it’s web novels or webcomics or blogs or music albums, you can expect tons of Quinlan Circle stories. Every donation we
I finished The Jim Henson Hour the other day, and came across one of the final episodes, a mini-documentary titled Secrets of the Muppets. It’s not likely you’ve seen this show. It’s not even that likely you’ve even heard of it. It aired in 1989, billed as a true successor show to The Muppet Show a decade later, and lasted just one season. Twelve episodes were produced, but only nine actually made it to air in the United States as scheduled. And due to rights issues stemming from the sale of the Muppets to Disney, much of this series will
More than anything I have made thus far in my life as a storyteller, Barty’s Brew-Ha-Ha 4: Tale of the Legend of the Crystal Chubacabra [sic] is the thing I am most proud of. My masterpiece, one that debuted five years ago today. (first off, if you want to read further, you should probably watch the original Barty Anderson movies by the Brothers Hussie, Byron and Andrew. I’ll embed the entire series playlist below.) And then Barty 4 itself can be watched here:
So, bored one weekend recently, and forced to social distance and go only to the least-popular attractions in my region, some friends and I decided to travel to one of the most odd spots in the entire world… Jesus Christ’s Grave, in Shingo, Aomori. You may recall I once went to the Kogarashi Shrine in Shizuoka last year and had a very interesting experience with an odd, out of the way, beautiful location. Well, this one was a pretty similar experience, but for different reasons. It’s… a pretty interesting place. Wikipedia tells all (but so will I later in the
Aside from the perfectly-passable-but-weightless Solo, it’s not a tough statement to say that The Rise of Skywalker is the worst (live-action, theatrical) Star Wars film. Maybe Attack of the Clones or The Force Awakens are kinda close, but it’s pretty clear to me that Episode IX is the least artistically accomplished, most flawed of the Skywalker Saga. But I still love it anyway. Rewatching the movie in preparation for this article, I was struck by just how overcome with joy I was by so much of this movie. It’s such an exciting and silly experience. Never for a moment do
We live in an era where Star Wars Episode VII really exists, and it’s hard to imagine now that, at the beginning of the decade, that wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind that that would ever come to pass. Okay, maybe the absolute biggest turbo-nerds had kept track of all those offhand comments by Mark Hamill where he said George Lucas once wanted him to play the old man mentor character in a new Star Wars movie decades in the future. But for 99% of the population, Star Wars was a finished franchise, at least until the inevitable remake
They don’t really do fast food and junk food tie-ins with big blockbuster movies that much anymore. That was very much a product of the 90s and 00s, and after the first Avengers movie in 2012, you hardly saw it outside the inevitable Star Wars brand tie-ins, which are universal constant. I’ve always wondered why exactly that is, but then I remember how Fant4stic went. Their tie-in with Denny’s was just… Geez…
I can’t believe it was a simpler time for politics back in 2012. It felt like there was really something boiling under the lid, something about to spill over and really harm the country. Of course, that feeling ended up proving true in 2016, when the forces under the surface of the prior election cycle became the ultimate symbol of chaos and division for the United States. The GOP presidential primaries that year were a battle for the soul of the party, where Tea Party demagogues like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum dueled against the big business establishment of Mitt
Nerds of a certain age are highly likely to have seen Super Mario Bros Z. If you liked video games and had internet access between the years of 2006 and 2009, you either watched Super Mario Bros Z, or at the very least heard about it. There is very little on this Earth that exemplifies the late 00s more than a Newgrounds flash animation crossover of Mario and Sonic filled with anime fight scenes and chugga chugga guitar tracks. However, this isn’t an 00s Retrospective series; this is about the 10s. And the only relationship with the 10s Super Mario
Did you know I took the Summer of 2013 off the internet? An internet seclusion, one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in the modern age. I don’t know why you would know that… It’d be kind of weird if you did. But, and this is extremely weird to say, but after I graduated high school I made the firm decision to avoid the internet for a whole two months because I thought it would help me spend a lot more time with friends and family before I went off to college. My High School Summers I spent most
I hate queer baiting. I hate it even more when good shows do it, and Hibike Euphonium baited like a champion. What I’ll talk about here has already been covered very well by other authors and summarized quite succinctly in some quite biting memes, so I’ll be somewhat brief about my feelings on Hibike! Euphonium and what its decision to queer bait the audience meant to me. I think Kyoto Animation is for sure one of the best animation studios in the world today. Even when they make work far below their usual standard, it’s still mediocre at worst. To
As part of the Quinlan Circle’s first DVD Challenge (Sign up for our Patreon to vote for movies to make us watch!!), I watched Spaceballs, an old childhood favorite of mine for a couple years. (Here is Joi Massat’s own write-up on the movie.) I hadn’t seen it since something like 2005, so it was a very odd experience revisiting it for how well I remembered almost every single scene. It played out exactly how I remembered. Actually, aside from understanding all the sex jokes and making me realize I was not old enough to watch this movie at all,
This is not a 2010s video. In fact, everything about it reeks 00s—All-American Rejects, Windows Movie Maker, 3D modelling and animation done by a teen in the pre-Gmod, pre-Blender era, and that overall since that a video like this could only ever have been created while George W. Bush presided over the U.S. But Super Mario Dance Bros., one of the all-time greatest videos on Youtube, is part of the 2010s Retrospectives Series not because its own creation but because of what it created in me. Watch the video for yourself and watch what happens to the rest of your
Two big updates: ATL Season 2 has started!!! The ninth story, The Dial-Up Demon, is now out, all thirteen chapters. The posting schedule for this season is going to be a bit different than Season 1’s three-times-a-week clockwork style, which I hope will be better for y’all binging types. You can start reading here! Chapters are gonna be… vaguely monthly. I’m only going to release updates when they are ready, and when there’s a sizeable enough chunk that it’ll be worth it. I stole this idea from Alexander Wales and I hope it helps. Second news… Pride Month is underway!!!
I started listening to the audiobook for the first Lord of the Rings book this morning, marking the first time I’ve ever read (?) this extremely famous book trilogy. And aside from watching half of Fellowship in 2011, I haven’t seen any of the movies since probably 2004. So this is an extremely fresh experience to me! It’s also bizarrely, uh, not widely appealing in the beginning, to put it politely. The first forty-plus minutes of this book, and it’s still in the Shire with Bilbo’s party and all his relatives. Bilbo just disappeared right when I stopped the book.
I realized it’s been a while since I made a blog post, let alone one that gave an update on what I’ve been up to. So I thought I’d make a brief summary of some of the things you might not be aware of in the world of Thedude3445: First of all, ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture Season 2 is starting very soon! On June 16th, to be exact. If you haven’t caught up on the adventures of Morgan Harding and friends, now is the perfect time. I don’t think I mentioned it on this blog before, but as a
One thing I really, really love is using old technology to create new things in a way more streamlined and successful processes can’t fully capture. In the same way that adding digital film grain to your camcorder movie will never match actually shooting on 35mm, it’s a completely different feeling when you listen to electronic music that uses chiptune samples versus using tracker technology to make chiptunes that can actually run on the hardware they are designed for. And one of my absolute favorite uses of old technology is ancient, antiquated 19th-century photography equipment in modern day. Yeah, I’m sure
It’s been about ten years since I started writing original prose fiction and posting it on the internet. I don’t think I was really conscious of it at the time, since I was still busy making fan fictions and sprite comics and all that sort of stuff, but it took until high school for me to really start making the things that would eventually make me the writer I am today. Of course, because I was a little shit, though, one of the first short stories I finished was an “experimental” piece of trash called “An Hero is a Hero.”
I’ve been writing web fiction since the time I joined my first internet forum (Nintendo City.com) at the end of 2005. In some form or another, whether that be sprite comics, fan fiction, short stories, video game reviews, ironic audio dramas, web serials, I’ve been writing for fifteen years and almost all of that was on the internet (sadly you can still find most of it, too). For all of that, then, it is interesting to me that the first time I really found a community around writing web fiction was only in 2019. And it is interesting to me
Hello and welcome to my guide on writing cute romance storylines. After my work in stories like Hands Held in the Snow and “On the Ship” (among many others), I’ve had a lot of people ask me for advice on how to write about love and couples in ways that make readers feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, as well as get them hyped up to start shipping your characters together. There’s a whole lot of advice I’d like to give, so I decided to make an entire article on the subject! This guide can be for a small
I don’t know what it was about 2018 that made movie studios stampede in and decide that this would be the year, that this would be their grand artistic statement to the masses, but for some reason, they went and did it. They made an entire year filled to the brim with idiot movies for morons. Gigantic, mega-sized movies consisting of dumb bullshit and gleefully stupid nonsense. Blockbusters whose only purposes were to entertain and to befuddle. And it was fairly amazing, I will admit.
Everyone remembers the moment Avengers came out and changed cinema forever. I’m sure it was widely expected that, after the rousing success of the first two Iron Man movies and the decent runs by the first Thor and Captain America, this whole Marvel Cinematic Universe experiment was going to work. A crossover between a bunch of popular movies into one big adventure was always going to be a hit. But just how much of a hit, I’m not sure anyone could have guessed.
Nobody likes website redesigns. Even when the redesigns are pretty damn good and add some sorely needed features, like most of Youtube’s, there will always be a ton of complaints for a short time afterwards from people who aren’t yet used to the changes. And it can get annoying when websites (namely those run by Google) are constantly updating, changing around visual design and icon placement and destroying your muscle memory a couple times a year for the sake of theoretically improving its layouts. But there is one instance where a website redesign was done with malicious intent and ended
Just an update on the 2010s Retrospectives blog series here: I’ve written a whole lot of these posts by now, with topics ranging all over the spectrum and posts as short as a couple paragraphs or as long as three or four thousand words. It’s been a really fun time, and I’ve gotten to reflect on things I’m not sure I ever would have remembered had I not been trying to think about various 2010s-related topics. As for the whole project, I’d say we are well past the halfway point by now. For all the topics I would like to
The case of terrible January dump movies, file #407. It is well-known movie lore that every January sees the release of a half-dozen or more horrible, wretched, vile movies that studios greenlit, financed, and then realized had absolutely no business being heaved onto the people of the world outside of contractual obligations. Mortdecai was one of those movies.
All I want to do is marry Petra… (Header image sticker can be bought here) So I’m sitting there, minding my own business, starting Fire Emblem: Three Houses about three months later than everyone else because I had to promise someone else I wouldn’t start until finishing a long-procrastinated-on novel manuscript. Game’s pretty good so far, way too few battles for my liking, but I’m still really enjoying the characters and the potential of all the systems. The story’s kinda dumb and I’m mad that I’m a blank slate self-insert character, but hey, it’s still Fire Emblem. Then I see
Probably one of the most clear, visually striking ways to show the difference between the 2000s and 2010s is to juxtapose the Ultimate Marvel comic line between its beginning and its ending: What started out as a fresh re-imagining of Marvel’s continuity-mired, aging superhero world in the 21st century became itself a continuity-mired mess, one that, once the Marvel Studios movies themselves became a fresh re-imagining of Marvel in the 21st century, became so obsolete that the entire universe was destroyed in a crossover event. What happened, though?
On July 16th, 2015, a terrorist attack happened less than five miles from me. I was sitting at home, doing whatever. Who even knows. Then the news came in that a deranged man shot up an military recruitment building in Chattanooga. Then he got in his car, drove to a Navy Reserve center, and shot it up as well. 5 people died, and two were injured. The man wasn’t ISIS, but he had been influenced by jihadi propaganda on the internet, as well as mental health and drug abuse problems. A depraved being went on a rampage committed a mass
Y’all remember that time Nintendo really fucked up bad? I’m talking when the Nintendo 3DS first came out in the spring of 2011. There were no launch games worth talking about, no game to sell the system to gamers, to casual audiences, or even to kids. The 3D gimmick was really neat, but no game truly showed it off in any notable way, much less anything that made it essential for gameplay. As the follow-up to the best-selling handheld gaming system of all-time, Nintendo really ruined things.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a good movie that worked as a nice prequel to a classic film franchise while also standing alone as a sci-fi monkey drama. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a great movie that kicked everything up a notch and went into far greater emotional depths while being a true blockbuster experience as well. However, it worked so well partially because of how standalone it was from its predecessor. The human cast does not return, and our cast from the original have character arcs independent of those they had in the
My Netflix account was erased in December. Gone, wiped out, completely reset to zero. It had been almost exactly ten years since my family began using Netflix. When we first started using Xbox Live in January 2010, achieved by rigging a 100-foot ethernet cable across two rooms into the router box, its main use almost immediately became streaming Netflix. Sure, Halo 3 and Inside Xbox were important in our household, but the Xbox 360’s primary purpose was to stream movies and TV shows.
There was a brief time where, due to confusing and failed life plans as a result of my tenuous position as an alternate for the JET Program, I was a NEET from July to November 2018. And because of that, for three months, I was getting no income, but I was also living rent-free with my parents and infinite free time… My dreams of being a Full-Time Writer came true. If I was going to be a NEET, I was going to be a NEET who accomplished great things…!!! Then I got called to fulfill a position in the JET
Listen, I’m not about to attempt to explain this movie to you because you won’t believe me even if I did. I’ll just say that Night is Short, Walk on Girl is a bonkers film, probably Masaaki Yuasa’s best work yet, and absolutely one of the most visually excellent films of the 2010s. Cinematic maximalism. Also, can we just stop and reflect on just how prolific Masaaki Yuasa has been in the past ten years? He started off with a bang with The Tatami Galaxy in 2010, then two more series, Ping Pong in 2014 and Devilman Crybaby in 2018,
This is a sequel to my previous article on my favorite albums of the 2010s. I had so much to write about that that list went on way longer than I wanted, and I was STILL unable to list all of my favorites. There’s a lot of amazing music out there! So I wanted to make this second list just to feature everything else I wanted to feature, though without any writeups this time. Same rules apply last time, so no repeat artists/groups, and no soundtracks (sorry again Michael). So here we go:
2013 was the beginning of a renaissance for the Star Wars fandom. With the waning days of the post-Episode III Expanded Universe and the recent sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, things were about to change dramatically for the franchise and its massive fanbase. But in 2013, things were still simmering. And with that simmering came the Auralnauts Jedi Party Saga…
The best stuff of the decade for music… Okay, music is a HUGE genre and there’s no way I’ll have listened to most of the best or even the most popular stuff. In fact, pretty much everything I listened to in the 2010s was fairly “niche” and my repertoire of mainstream music is pretty low aside from a few key songs I loved. But I still wanna talk about my favorite things from the past ten years. I have a lot, lot, lot of stuff here, too, so I need to lay some ground rules to limit myself: Full albums
Video games may be super lame, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been a very important part of my life in the 2010s. So with that in mind, I’d like to feature some of the very best the past ten years had to offer. It won’t be comprehensive and it won’t be ranked, so don’t try and argue with me because I left off Dark Demon Hunter X 🙁 It’ll mostly be limited to one game per series/creator/whatever so that I can talk about many different types of games. First, honorable mentions for very good games that I liked a
I was in Nagoya, a city with considerably higher vending machine diversity than my town back in Tohoku. You really never know when you’re gonna stumble on some weird limited edition drink in some back alley machine set up for the can collectors next door, or one really weird edition in one machine among a row of five different ones. And on this day I stumbled on the Newtype Coffee. What does it mean? What could it be? It’s a Gundam drink with not one, but TWO can designs. And it’s sold exclusively as a warm coffee, so you can
Fan projects usually fail. They’re usually not very well thought-out, being too ambitious or too unfocused. They invite way too many people onto the project, with way too many people who don’t actually have any inclination to contribute beyond “ideas” or whatever. I’ve personally been a part of multiple projects that have failed in exactly this way, including ones where I was one of the people who dropped off quickly as an “ideas” person. Because of all of that, I continue to be extremely proud of what the Homestuck fandom was able to accomplish at its peak, especially in the
We look back at the past decade of American history and remember, oh wow, gay marriage was only legalized like five years ago. The entire culture has changed around gay marriage so rapidly that it’s hard to remember that, in 2010, only a couple of states allowed it. Being LGBT+, even in the most open of online communities, wasn’t generally something accepted. I think it’s awesome. Gay marriage has so completely changed the rest of the United States that it’s made every other place on Earth without it look like ancient barbaric wastelands. Japan, famous internationally for its comic books
It happens to all of us. We look back at an entire decade of life, and we look at not all the stuff we accomplished, but all the stuff we DIDN’T accomplish. This has happened to me, because for some reason I made a list of various major life decisions throughout the 2010s that I considered, but ultimately did not do. Some would have completely altered the course of my life, and some would have done relatively little, but I want to list a bunch of them anyway just so you can know what an indecisive and strange person I
Not that most politicians ever have a backbone about anything, but the complete and utter collapse of Lindsey Graham has been a disturbing and almost Greek Tragedy-level event unfolding before our eyes these past four years.
I adore Steven Universe now; I think it’s one of the best TV shows of the 2010s. However, I only got into it in the Summer of 2018, when I was a NEET with far too much free time on my hands and lacking a TV show to eat breakfast to. The show started way back in 2013, so what the crap was the issue? My roommates were the issue. In 2015, I very nearly got into Steven Universe thanks to them. And then I put it off for three more years, also thanks to them. Here’s the tale:
After 14 months, eight stories, and over 150 chapters, ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture has finished its first season. It’s still dazing me a bit to think about it. I actually wrote all of that. Wow. Anyway, I wrote a bit more about it on the ATL site in the Season 1 Endcap, which I recommend you read. ATL itself will be going on a short hiatus in preparation for Season 2, but that doesn’t mean that the Quinlan Circle (and by extension, myself) is going anywhere. In fact… you should probably bookmark the Hands Held in the Snow page
The Academy faces the same problem every single year–it relies on big TV audiences to pay for its extravagant awards ceremonies, but thanks to declining TV viewership and unexciting awards ceremonies, ratings keep sinking and money keeps dropping. But everything it does fails.
The Luke Skywalker vs. Ben Solo lightsaber duel. You know the one. We all know the one. Gosh, we all know the one. A cowboy duel (or more accurately, a samurai duel), where a single blow ends the match, where all the emotions are thrown into getting that single winning shot. Decades of history between two characters swirled up into one moment. And the best part isn’t the fact that it’s gorgeous; it’s that the entire duel is a subversion of our fanboy desire to see Luke Skywalker, ultimate badass, instead giving us Luke Skywalker, ultimate pacifist, a savior who
Ever since the beginning of the decade, I’ve been super into the idea of Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month if you don’t know what that is… Though considering that there’s a 95% chance you’ve discovered this blog post via one of my many web stories, surely you already know what that is. Well, it’s finally the end of Nanowrimo 2019, and it’s also the final one of the decade. Throughout the decade, I have made, or at least planned, a whole bunch of different Nanowrimo attempts, the vast majority of them failing spectacularly due to various reasons. Let’s reflect
Sean Spicer, one of the first goons of the current White House administration to get sacked for publicity and ratings reasons, has a strange animosity towards Dippin’ Dots, that bad ice cream you sometimes buy at water parks. Just to know that this tweet exists, and that this guy went on to be on Dancing with the Stars somehow, brings a bright LED light to my cold, robotic heart.
This is barely an article, because it’s mostly just a link to another, amazing article with minimum reflection involved. But I wanted you to be very aware that this does exist: How I used lies about a cartoon to prove history is meaningless on the internet A bored teenager used the power of bad wiki editing practices to cause the entire internet to become infected with a stupid lie that stayed pervasive for so many years that it took an entire article exposing it to get it to go away. It’s as scary as it is awesome, and it couldn’t
(I never actually read Girly but it makes a good header image for a post about webcomics) I’m really bad at keeping up with stuff serially. I’m getting better at it, I swear. There’s about four different web novels I read each new chapter of (albeit sometimes a week or two late), and I’m on top of any Steven Universe episode that ever airs (albeit that’s like once a year). But even still, for the most part, I’m unable to stay dedicated to serialized media series for a very long time–ironic for someone who writes a web serial, I know.
The only time in my life I can say I had anything resembling clinical depression was in Summer 2016. My semester at university had ended, my little baby brother had graduated high school, and I was free for three months to do whatever the hell I wanted until I went off to Nagoya, Japan to study there for a year. But due to massive compounding anxiety and heartbreak as a result of being cheated on and emotionally toyed with as I struggled poorly to handle myself, I fell into a pretty dark place.
I was studying in Japan for its entire duration, so I had absolutely no first-hand impact. But I remember vividly the laughably absurd mania that infected the entire United States for a couple months over friggin’ clowns. What the hell was up with that?
Do you remember the Double Rainbow video? Like, do you actually remember it? This isn’t a rhetorical question. It’s been almost one decade since that video graced the internet, a ridiculously silly and wholesome video that instantly became an internet sensation. And yet, does anyone in the entire world today make reference to the fact that it existed?
I think America is really messed up in a lot of ways, but one way is in our collective short-term memory being a single news cycle long, and that’s on a good day. Remember when, five years ago today, North Korea launched a state-sponsored terror attack against Sony Pictures, leaking thousands of e-mails, scripts, and other sensitive files, then threatening a repeat of 9/11 if The Interview was shown in theaters? This actually friggin’ happened, and yet it’s barely a footnote in the 2010s somehow. What is wrong with us?
Darren Aronofksy’s Noah was a really good movie. Nobody really talks about it anymore, though. It made bank at the box office, got great reviews, and generated tons and tons of controversy for presenting a decidedly non-Evangelical interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Even so, it faded from the limelight quite a lot. But what I want to talk about with Noah is its Creation Scene, one of the most visually stunning sequences in any film in the 2010s. If you liked Aronofsky’s other heavily symbolic and religious The Fountain, this scene will be perfect for you. It works amazingly
Homestuck music is very good. That much isn’t really up for debate in the society in which we live (and we do, indeed, live in a society.) The best of Homestuck music is also not very much up for debate: by a pretty wide margin, it’s got to be Michael Guy Bowman’s first solo album, Mobius Trip & Hadron Kaleido. Mobius Trip and Hadron Kaleido by Michael Guy Bowman
I’ll defend Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to the end of my days, which isn’t hard because nobody actually saw the movie to be able to criticize it. The movie has some of the most inventive and visually interesting action sequences this side of Mad Max Fury Road, and the art direction is something else. Also, while everyone thinks Dane Dehaan was a poor choice for a leading man, that’s just because they wanted Valerian to be some generic Han Solo ripoff instead of accepting him for the skeevy scummy horndog he was meant to be. The
(Header image taken from the Mother 3 Fan Handbook) Maaaaaan… Remember when Nintendo didn’t release Mother 3 in the U.S.? Like, remember when they didn’t release it so hard that they made a joke about it at E3? That still stings, Reggie.
The Nice Guys is one of my all-time favorite movies. As of this writing, I’ve seen the movie ten times, and it’s #9 in my Favorite Movies ranking. Shane Black’s absolutely superb screenplay that matches a convoluted detective conspiracy with meditations on masculinity and loneliness is a thing of wonders, inspiring me enough with my web novel ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture that I just had to insert a couple of sly homages here and there. But my secret dishonor in all of this is that I did not see the movie in theaters in its original release.
Today is my birthday, so I wanted to reflect on a movie that is so dear to me that I watch it almost every year on my birthday to celebrate. My seventh-favorite movie, as of this writing, is none other than 2013’s Pacific Rim. I first learned about it when making this article for my high school blog, only knowing that it was some strange new movie by the director of Pan’s Labyrinth about mechas fighting kaijus. I was instantly sold by that alone, and set my calendar to watch. Then, seven months later I saw it in IMAX and
I’m not really sure why I was excited for Crystal Pepsi. It was some nonsense gimmick product, a fake health product released in a time before I was even born that made very little impact on the market and became mostly a forgotten relic. That is, until nostalgia baiting kicked in. Nostalgic revivals of foods and drinks after they hit twenty-ish years old are pretty common in the United States, like when McDonalds brought back szechuan sauce, or when Crispy M&Ms returned to the M&Ms line. Crystal Pepsi, though, was a bizarre one. It was marketed as a health product
It’s 10/25, so I’m legally obligated to post about Homestuck, sadly. However, that means I can use this obligation as an opportunity to discuss the comic in the context of one important moment for me– the last time I truly cared about it.
Here we are folks, just two and a half months from the end of an entire decade. It feels like only nine years and ten months ago that I was a teenager going around to dozens of internet forums trying to figure out, scientifically, what the best game of the 00s was. (Here is the answer, direct from my teenage self.) So to celebrate the fact that we made it another ten years in the history of humanity, starting in the next few weeks, I am going to be writing various articles about the decade, waxing poetic about all the
I’ve listened to Steely Dan for a while now, mostly their excellent album Aja, but I never actually knew why I liked them so much, since they’re basically that same kind of Chicago-kind of jazzy Dad Rock. Then I watched this video analyzing “Deacon Blues” and found out why; they’re pretty incredible is the reason! I had no idea how complex their music is. Everyone probably already knew this, but I just wanted to promote my love for Steely Dan in case you don’t love them yet. Here’s “Deacon Blues” itself, so you can jam to it after watching the
If you know me at all, you know that the Star Wars world is by far my favorite fictional universe and favorite media franchise of all-time. Nine of the eleven theatrical Star Wars movies are in my Top 50 favorite movies list, I have shelves upon shelves full of Star Wars books and comics (I have about 75% of all Star Wars Legends novels that were released in hardcover, and over 50% of the Dark Horse comics in omnibus or trade paperback form). But most of all, what I love about the Star Wars universe is its ability to tell
I found a new flavor of Fanta recently, seemingly exclusively in scattered vending machines at sparsely populated train stations considering I have literally never seen it for sale elsewhere. Socata…. Socata!? What does that even mean?
So, today marks the tenth anniversary of my first post on what became “The Backblog,” a blog that started as a way for me to post articles to show other users of the old Nintendo City Forums about some of the dumb games I was playing; I had a keen and strange interest in canceled, pirated, or otherwise obscure retro games, and finally had the guts to download all the ROMs for them and take screenshots. Here’s the first post:
I forgot to post this, whoops. This happened a few months ago, and I took a lot of pictures, but then I never actually posted the article: It was early May when my friend and I traveled across much of Japan during the unprecedented, extremely rare ten-day Golden Week holidays this year. We went to several cities for a day or two each, without much of a plan or much research ahead of time. Probably not the kind of travel people should normally do, but hey.