How much revision did you have to do to decide your canon protagonists? [spoilers all]
2023.06.02 21:58 Zyphur009 How much revision did you have to do to decide your canon protagonists? [spoilers all]
DAO I was 15 and had all the time in the world and definitely had the most fun in this game. First ever origin played was female city elf rogue who romanced Zevran. Then played a broody and cynical but noble male dalish rogue who romanced Morrigan, an aggressive female dwarf commoner warrior with a heart of gold who romanced Leliana, and a kind and proper female human noble warrior who married Alistair. Loved all these playthroughs very much but ultimately chose my city elf because she had my favorite origin story in the game, I fell in love with the sassy and dry personality I created for her and how it meshed with Zevran’s, she was the only female elf on the time (Shale being the only female dwarf), overall just felt like she fit the dynamics of the team better. Even in Awakening I loved her contrast with Velanna, Golems of Amgarrack her position as the only outsider, and Witch Hunt being able to briefly connect with Ariane and be with her dog. What made the canon playthough more fun was buying the PC version and modding the fuck out of it, because the armor and hairstyles available just weren’t cutting it.
DA2 I was 17 and still had all the time in the world because all I did was stay home and go to school. I made three Hawkes. My first one was a diplomatic female mage who romanced Fenris with Carver as a templar, then a sarcastic male warrior who romanced Merrill with Bethany in the circle, and then an aggressive female rogue who romanced Isabela with Bethany as a grey warden. Loved all of them pretty equally, and constantly replayed and revised all of their stories. Ultimately decided to redesign my male warrior’s appearance and do a complete playthrough with him for import. A lot of my of my decision was more gameplay purposes. I never actually controlled him directly during combat that much but I would develop a tank build for him and then would throw him at all the enemies to absorb most of the damage, which would leave me free to control other party members (mainly the mages), I enjoyed the game much more this way, especially since not a lot of party members could be tanks except Aveline. Another reason was the Merrill romance was my favorite and I loved her sweet and soft demeanor which contrasted Zevran from the previous game. And finally Bethany>Carver, and I thought Bethany joining the Circle was a lot more relevant to the endgame.
DAI I was almost 21 and did NOT have all the time in the world. Did about 3-4 playthoughs in total and they were all years apart from each other. My canon playthough I finished last year in September because I was like “Oh shit DA4 is coming fast”. All playthoughs were variations of a qunari mage knight enchanter. First one was a male who was romancing Dorian but I gave him up because of the animation issues with it. Second one was female (who was actually a force mage not a KE) who romanced Iron Bull but I didn’t really care about her. Eventually made a male who romanced Iron Bull and was still meh about it. Finally started a canon playthough with more effort put towards side quests and DLC and omg I FINALLY fell in love with my character. Finally found some armor that looked great on him. Loved his no nonsense attitude dealing with things like The Game, where he just blackmails everyone. I love how despite being a big, imposing guy he still has to rely on his wits and magical skill to survive (Even if he’s not above punishing baddies with his magic sword). Love how even though he’s a big, imposing guy Corypheus and just pick him up and flick him around like NOTHING. Love how his mercenary background story fits into all the events that transpired. Love his relationship with Iron Bull and how their backgrounds are similar but still clash (and how kinky it is) but omg love his friendship with Dorian EVEN MORE!!!
DAD planning to make a female dwarf character. We’ll see how she turns out!!!
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2023.06.02 17:28 trollthumper [Comics] I'm With Stupid: Marvel's Civil War
So, we already discussed what DC was doing to match the tenor of the early years of the War on Terror
: A grim, smarter-than-it-thinks miniseries full of gratuitous rape that was meant to take the shine off the Silver Age by showing the darker side of its greatest heroes. Marvel, on the other hand, was trying to find a way to capture the zeitgeist of a post-9/11 era of existential threats, constant government surveillance, and the idea that if you weren’t with America, you were against it. A Captain America
storyline saw Cap wrestle with the very concept of Guantanamo Bay; like any story arc that involves Cap doubting whether America lives up to its ideals, this made certain conservatives pissy, to the point that bad movie cataloguer Michael Medved wrote an entire article asking if Cap was a traitor
. Avengers Disassembled
briefly saw the Avengers face down their demons, as the Scarlet Witch goes crazy (again) and starts killing team members, her reality manipulations causing fault lines to form among Marvel’s greatest superteam. But there hadn’t yet been a storyline that would tie the entire Marvel Universe together with the burning question, “Which side are you on?”
Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with the Sokovia Accords. We’d be a lot better off if it did. Part 1: Mark Millar’s March to the C-Word Content Warning: Sexual assault. None of this is germane to the topic of the drama, so feel free to skip ahead to Part 1.5 if you don’t want to deal with this. Tl;dr: Mark Millar, the writer of the event, has a near pathological need to be a 3edgy5u contrarian.
Every comics crossover is ultimately a chance for one creative in the stable to shine or falter. The editors pick a writer who has turned out dependable work and give them a chance to try to alter the status quo but good. And for Civil War
, Marvel’s EiC Joe Quesada decided the best person to lead the charge was Ultimates
writer Mark Millar.
But who is Millar? Well, we could say “edgelord” and leave it at that, but we’re trying to dig deeper. Millar came up in comics alongside fellow Scot Grant Morrison, long before Morrison said the only time they want to bump into Millar on the streets of Glasgow is while going at 100 miles per hour
. This antipathy is alleged to have stemmed from Millar copping several ideas from Morrison that went into Superman: Red Son
. But after getting a start on Superman Adventures
and as a cowriter on parts of Morrison’s JLA
run, Millar soon branched out to WildStorm, where he took over The Authority
from departing creatowritesex pest Warren Ellis.
The reason I bring up Red Son
(for those non-geeks, an alternative universe comic premised on “What if Superman’s rocket had landed in Soviet Russia?”) is to frame a constant refrain about Mark Millar. He has good high-concept ideas… which often get trammeled up in an almost Pavlovian urge to shock, disturb, and/or titillate the reader. For instance, in The Authority
, Ellis had introduced Apollo and Midnighter, two close companions who just happened to share the rough power sets and demeanors of Superman and Batman, with a few tweaks. Then he revealed they were boyfriends, which was a pretty bold move for a late Nineties comic book full of widescreen action and lovingly-rendered eviscerations.
In Millar’s first arc on the title, centered on a villainous Jack Kirby clone sending out a team of baddies who totally aren’t the Avengers, Apollo is subdued and is strongly implied to have been raped by someone who’s not Captain America. Apollo gets revenge by destroying EvilCap’s spinal column with his laser vision, then leaving him to the tender mercies of Midnighter, who is strongly implied to have sodomized him with a jackhammer.
In case you can’t tell, Millar loved him some rape. And it kept showing up in his creator-owned titles as well, all of which were basically written as Hollywood pitch docs. Wanted
asks the question, “What if the supervillains won and secretly ruled the world from behind the scenes?” Well, an Eminem clone would take the opportunity to step into his dead villainous dad’s shoes and commit a lot of rape (yeah, there’s a reason the movie version replaced this with basically the Euthanatos from Mage: the Ascension
getting orders from a magic loom). Chosen
asks the question, “What if Jesus were born today?” Well, in a blatantly obvious twist, it turns out he’s actually the Antichrist, and part of his journey into realizing his evil nature involves being raped by all the demons of Hell.
It’s not that Millar can’t write innocent or restrained; he got started on the Superman: the Animated Series
comic spin-off, and some of his titles such as Huck
have been praised for being relatively wholesome (keep in mind Huck
is basically “What if Superman was Forrest Gump?” when I say “relatively”). And, as mentioned above, his works are made for high-concept log lines. You might recognize some of his various pitch docs: Kick-Ass
, The Secret Service
(source for the Kingsman
movies), and, as mentioned above, Wanted
. It’s just there’s this unctuous contrarian streak to a lot of his titles, a tendency to focus on venality, grotesquerie, and sodomy, with an air of pop culture edge. This also leaked into his image outside of his writing, with comments like “Games are for pedos”
and ventures like the creator-owned comics periodical CLiNT
(yes, the kerning is intentional). This streak continues to this day, as The Magic Order
, a title that emerged from his deal with Netflix, features a magical escapologist who, she feels it very important to tell the reader in a direct monologue, escaped her own abortion
. Bottom line, Millar has a sense of vision, but it’s betrayed at times by this reflexive desire to prove he’s smarter than the reader, to rub your face in the contradictions and make you a party to the artifice of it all. Usually with a dash of rape.
But at Marvel, Millar was riding the lightning of the Ultimate Universe. His Ultimates
title was drawing on the wide-screen action image of JLA
and The Authority
, creating the cinematic language that would come to define the MCU. The choice to fantasy cast Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is why we have Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. He also painted the Hulk as a cannibalistic monster, cemented Hank Pym’s reputation as a wifebeater, and gave us Captain America yelling “Surrender? Do you think this A on my head stands for France?”, so let’s just keep that in perspective.
But the Ultimate Universe was its own pocket universe. Millar was being tapped to write a story for Earth-616, the main Marvel Universe. And he had a vision
“I opted instead for making the superhero dilemma something a little different. People thought they were dangerous, but they did not want a ban. What they wanted was superheroes paid by the federal government like cops and open to the same kind of scrutiny. It was the perfect solution and nobody, as far as I'm aware, has done this before.”
Yeah. About that. Part 1.5: What Has Come Before
Ultimately, the crux of Civil War
is something that has been explored lightly in the past at Marvel: The idea that, instead of being unlicensed vigilantes who decide the best solution of societal issues is to beat up assholes in spandex, superheroes become licensed government officers that register their true identities with Uncle Sam and solve societal issues by beating up assholes in spandex. In Marvel’s history, it hasn’t gone well. The reality of government liaisons to superhero bodies has ranged from Valerie Cooper, who worked with government mutant team X-Factor but still found herself backing the genocidal Sentinel program as a big “Yeah, but what if…?”, to Henry Peter Gyrich, an inflamed obstructionist asshole who had to be held back from flipping a switch that would depower every superhuman individual on Earth. The idea of heroes themselves bristling against a government they disagreed with had a long history, as there was a period where Steve Rogers quit being Captain America, and the government had to find a replacement while he rode around on a motorcycle in a surprisingly slutty costume
. But the idea of registering with the government has usually ended up on the “No” side due to one big cohort at Marvel: Mutants.
Ever since the days of Chris Claremont, a general conceit of the Marvel Universe is that mutants are a stand-in for your minority group of choice. Hated and feared, born different and feeling alienated, painted as an existential menace and threat to the status quo. Of course, it’s long been pointed out that the metaphor breaks down on the general grounds that, say, gays can’t shoot laser beams out of their eyes. I have my thoughts on that which I might share in the comments if someone pokes me hard enough, but it’s been general editorial consensus that people with powers, especially those of persecuted minorities, being compelled to share their true names, addresses, and natures with the federal government is a “That train’s never late!” move. Not only that, it’s a slippery slope. The classic X-Men story “Days of Future Past” is entirely premised on the idea that a government program of genocidal robots built to wipe out mutants will eventually run out of mutants… and then start turning on humans who could give birth to mutants, and then it’s Skynet all over again.
Another running meme in the Marvel Universe is that the X-Men usually exist in a Schrodinger’s cat situation with the rest of the superhero universe, both coexisting and in their own worlds. Yes, mutants have served on the Avengers, and yes, Thor intervened when the Morlocks were nearly wiped out in the sewers under New York. But Captain America, for all his proud statements of living up to America’s ideals, has a habit of missing the plot whenever the US government (or Canada, seat of all the Marvel Universe’s governmental evils - no, really) decides it’s Genocide O’Clock. And when the mutant nation of Genosha was completely wiped out by said murder robots, the Avengers seemed to be all “New phone who dis?” But when the two do intersect, there’s usually support for the mutants. One story in Fantastic Four
had Reed Richards - Mr. Fantastic, stretchy man, greatest genius in the Marvel Universe, guy who’s probably being cucked by a fish-man - get tapped by the US government to make a device that detects mutants and other people with powers. He does… and then uses it to show why the government probably doesn’t want it, as it pings several members of Congress as having just enough genetic variation to qualify as “mutants,” even if they don’t have powers.
All in all, while the argument has some merit, for years, Marvel has come down on the position that asking people with powers to reveal their identities to the federal government is something that could go really bad if somebody with a hate-on for superheroes ends up in power. Something that would never happen oh yeah it totally did. But before it all went to Hell, Civil War
at least gave an opportunity to reexamine the concept and see if it had merit.
It might have. But not with this argument. Part 1.75: What Else Has Happened Before?
And now, some things that will ultimately give context for what happens next:
Part 2: Connecticut Can’t Catch a Break
- In the pages of Thor, all of Asgard eventually runs headlong into Ragnarok. Thor and the rest of the Asgardians give their lives to save the earth, taking Thor off the board… for now.
- As mentioned above, the Avengers experience a critical fault due to Wanda going batshit (a common lament). With Avengers Mansion destroyed and the team at odds, it is eventually reunited under Tony Stark, who put the Avengers up in a tower he built.
- Nick Fury has vanished due to doing some skullduggery in the pages of the miniseries Secret War (no, not Secret Wars, this is different). Acting head of SHIELD, the all-purpose super spy squad of Marvel, is Maria Hill, who can’t seem to draw her pistol without shooting herself in the foot.
- Due to Wanda continuing to go batshit, the House of M crossover event ends with her casting a spell: “No more mutants.” While the damage is staunched, Earth-616’s population of mutants (which was recently established to be somewhere around 16 million) is reduced to 200, the rest being depowered or dying as a result of being depowered. This was because, as Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada said, the idea of mutants being everywhere made them “boring.” The fact that mutants were starting to be written less as a minority stand-in and more as an actual minority group with fashion, culture, music, and neighborhoods might have had something to do with that. From the wake of this event emerges Sally Floyd, a journalist whose own mutant daughter died before the mass depowering due to having a power that was more curse than blessing. The series Generation M follows her as the viewpoint character as she investigates the stories of former mutants.
The big kick-off for Civil War
involves the New Warriors, a team of teen heroes who have, as of a recently canceled series, been trying to make it big as reality TV stars. They get in a fight with a bunch of villains in the small town of Stamford, CT, when exploding villain Nitro goes positively nuclear, resulting in a blast much bigger than any he’s generated.  Not only does this mostly wipe out the New Warriors (save for kinetic energy-absorbing goofball Speedball), but it also happens to hit a nearby school. In the end, 612 people are dead, many of them children, and the nation wants answers.
With public opinion turning against the New Warriors, former member Hindsight starts leaking secret identities to get the heat off his back. This only makes things worse. Secret identities have only recently stopped being a thing for some heroes: Captain America only came out a few years ago, it was only recently that Tony Stark stopped pretending Iron Man was his bodyguard, and Daredevil was almost outed in the pages of his book. But something needs to be done, so Tony helps work with Congress to pass the Super Human Registration Act, which requires that all people with powers or working as vigilantes register their identities with the government to receive training and oversight. If you don’t? Believe it or not, jail, right away.
Fault lines quickly develop in the superhero community. While Tony is leading the “pro” side, alongside Reed Richards (yeah, we’ll get to that), Captain America, usually painted as the embodiment of the dream of America despite its compromised history and many sins, is against it. He’s lived through Richard Nixon being a secret fascist and shooting himself in the head after being fingered as mastermind of a vast criminal conspiracy (yes, that happened
); he knows how badly this could go in the wrong hands. Needless to say, Maria Hill and SHIELD hear his concerns, understand his problems with it, and are willing to iron out the kinks through reasoned debate.
Just kidding. Before the law has even been signed, Maria sics SHIELD’s elite Cape-Killers squad on Cap with the intent of getting him behind bars. Cap swiftly goes underground and starts his own group of anti-registration superheroes.
The fight continues for the next few issues. Spider-Man, caught in the middle, reveals himself to be Peter Parker at a press conference, declaring his support for the SHRA. Doctor Strange is so powerful that he tells the government to fuck off, and somehow, Maria Hill doesn’t decide to go charging up his asshole. Ben Grimm, the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing, is so sick of all the conflict he goes to France. But things are still at a stalemate, and while SHIELD may be acting like a bunch of merry assholes, it seems like there’s a debate to be had that could still be resolved reasonably… except for one key factor. Part 3: I Fought the Law, and the Law… Huh?
No one ever really defined what the Super Human Registration Act, the legislation that tore the Marvel Universe’s superhero community asunder, did. Every book that had an issue that touched on the event seemed to have a different understanding of its principles, as well as just how fascist it might be in the long run. In the pages of She-Hulk
, attorney Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk argues the law is a net good, as it gives heroes the backing and resources they need to not have to go it alone, while also having some measure of government oversight. In the pages of Civil War Frontline
(oh, and we’ll get back
to Civil War Frontline
, don’t you worry), Wonder Man is told by the government that he needs to do a job for them, and if he refuses, well, one thousand years dungeon.
Which then leads into the other
issue behind the SHRA. Namely, that everyone in favor was either starting to swing towards fascism or embracing bootlicking as a lifestyle, not a kink. In the pages of Amazing Spider-Man
, Peter asks Reed Richards, who has always bucked authority and once stopped the US government from doing something just like this with mutants, why he’s pro-registration. Reed then reveals that an uncle who has never been mentioned before was called before HUAC; he refused to name names, his career was ruined, and he killed himself
. From this, Reed - the man who stole a rocketship because the government said “no” to his planned space voyage - has learned that the government is always right, especially when they could step on your neck (this was received so badly that a later comic revealed he’d actually borrowed the concept of psychohistory from Asimov’s Foundation
, he’d made it work somehow, and his calculations showed that this was the only way to avoid a greater disaster). This comic also revealed that people who were in violation of the SHRA were sent to a literal extradimensional Gitmo, a prison in the Negative Zone that later comics would reveal was overseen by… Captain Marvel. No, not that one. No, not that
one. The Kree superhero Captain Mar-Vell, who had famously died of cancer decades before. How did he come back from the dead? Fuck if we know.
This “the law says what you want it to say” approach spread across various books and miniseries meant to cross over into the event. In the pages of a crossover mini between the Runaways and the Young Avengers, this meant SHIELD Cape-Killer squads were using lethal force against teenagers
. The second-to-last issue of the mini ends with several members of both teams in extradimensional Gitmo, about to be dissected by a guy who’s horny for torture. The fact that all the captive heroes were the queer members of both teams? Total coincidence. Honestly.
So, it quickly becomes clear that the editorial control on this event is less than cohesive. There are different ideas all over as to what the SHRA does, and some of those ideas are tacking pretty fashy. But if the law is being painted as that
bad, then clearly, there must be some greater statement of freedom vs. security. Maybe Millar’s really painting a subversive picture of what happens when you trade liberty for control, right? Part 4: Why Do You Hate the Good Thing?
After the publication of Civil War
#3, Millar would say in an interview he was actually pro
-registration. I can’t find that interview, but here’s a similar sentiment shared years later
“Weirdly, some of the other writers would often make Tony the bad guy, which I thought was a strange choice because I was actually on Tony’s side... In the real world, if somebody had superpowers, I’d like them to be registered in the same way that somebody who has a gun has to carry a license. But a gun can kill several people while a superhero can kill several thousands of people, so on a pragmatic level I’m 100% on Tony’s side. Maybe on a romantic level, Cap’s position makes sense but I don’t think anybody in the real world would really want that."”
And again, here’s the thing: He’s not entirely wrong
. As said above, the idea of civil liberties for all and “free to me you and me” falls down a little when one of your neighbors can blow up a city block by thinking real hard. But Millar is fighting against years of ideological inertia in the Marvel Universe, as well as painting Captain America, the guy who has always embodied the ideal of a righteous, just America, as in the wrong. He needs to make one hell of an argument.
So here’s what happens in the pages of Civil War
#3 to sell the audience on the SHRA:
- Thor comes back from the dead… and he’s on Tony’s side! Well, not really. Tony and Reed both realized that having one of the most beloved gods of the Marvel Universe come out on their side would be a big win… if only he wasn’t dead. So, they cloned him. Or rather, they T-800’d him, putting cloned divine flesh on a robot skeleton. But I’m sure he’s perfectly under control, and - oh, he just killed Goliath. In the next issue, one of Marvel’s black male heroes, frozen at the size of a small townhouse in death, will be buried in a gigantic ditch, wrapped in a tarp and chains. You’d think Hank Pym could grow a large enough coffin, at least.
- With Cap and the anti-registration side escaping once again, Tony decides he needs a dedicated team that can track down fugitive superhumans. To do so, he creates a new version of the Thunderbolts, a concept long associated with “villains acting like heroes.” And who does he put on this team? Venom, the Spider-Man villain who eats people’s brains; Bullseye, the Daredevil villain who will kill anyone for the lulz; and Norman Osborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, who famously murdered Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy.
Again. Tony’s in the right
. The SHRA is good
. Part 5: Yadda, Yadda, Yadda
The next few issues of Civil War
might best be described as “They fight, and fight, and fight and fight and fight.” The anti-registration side picks up The Punisher, Marvel’s most avowed murderer of criminals - and Cap is somewhat shocked but not entirely surprised when two minor villains join the anti-registration side and Frank promptly kills them on sight. Spider-Man starts realizing things are weird on the pro-reg side and defects, after he has set his entire life on fire. The X-Men have continued to stay out of this whole mess. In the lead-up, Emma Frost called Tony out on the Avengers’ complete absence when Genosha got nuked. Later, Carol Danvers (then Ms. Marvel, now Captain Marvel) will show up at the Xavier School to pitch the SHRA just after a massive terrorist attack kills dozens of students. Emma responds by telepathically dogwalking her
By the final issue of the miniseries, the SHRA has expanded out into the Fifty States Initiative, wherein each state gets its own superteam. There’s a big final battle, Hercules kills Robo-Thor, and Cap nearly takes out Tony, only to be stopped by… the heroes of 9/11. No shit, Captain America is subdued by cops, firefighters, and paramedics
. And when that happens, Cap finally takes a look around, realizes their big ideological street brawl has resulted in collateral damage, and surrenders. The SHRA wins, though Tony feels a little bad about it. Cap is ready to stand trial and to argue that, while he may have done something wrong, he did it for the right reasons.
Once again: Yeah. About that. Part 6: MySpace Tom Didn’t Die For This
Running alongside Civil War
is Civil War Frontline
, a street-level book written by Paul Jenkins that managed to capture this world-breaking conflict through the eyes of people on the street. Though it has side stories, its main leads are Ben Urich, Peter Parker’s journalist buddy at The Daily Bugle, and the aforementioned Sally Floyd. Throughout the series, they start to realize there’s a story underneath the SHRA, as if somebody is playing the angles.
Before we talk about that conclusion, let’s talk about a side story. Remember how we said part of the comics community saw Identity Crisis
as a driven effort to make things less “wacky” and intentionally darken the DCU? Well, that same tonal approach led to one of the more laughable moments of a pretty laughable arc. See, despite the fact that, as established, it was Nitro who blew up Stamford, it’s Speedball, the only survivor of the New Warriors, that views himself as responsible and is held up as a scapegoat by the general public. In addition, the blast screwed up his powers. Now, he doesn’t absorb and reflect kinetic energy; rather, he generates energy based on pain. So, he builds himself a new, extreme
outfit lined with 612 spikes, one for each person who died in Stamford. This will drive his crusade to make things right - not as Speedball… but as Penance
It was so laughably DeviantArt “OC do not steal” that no one could take it seriously. Look what you did, you took a perfectly good goofball and gave him an emo streak. The turn is swiftly mocked in other Marvel books
, and it’s eventually revealed that Speedball still had his original powerset and always intended to put Nitro in the Goofy Suit of Dark Inner Torment as punishment for his crimes. But this turn gives you a sense of the tone and heft Jenkins was bringing to the proceedings.
Anyway, back to the main plot. Ben and Sally follow the thread as Namor, as he is wont to do, declares war on the surface world after an Atlantean diplomat is shot. But it turns out the assassination was arranged by Norman Osborn, who decided it was better to beg forgiveness than ask permission and manipulated Atlantis into war so that Tony could have another piece of evidence for getting superhumans on a leash. And the two journalists deduce that, on some level, Tony had
to know this would be an inevitable outcome of giving state backing to an unhinged mogul who dresses like a Power Rangers villain. Weighing what to do with this information, Ben and Sally, who are kind of sick of the collateral damage by this point, sit on it while they go in for an interview with Captain America, now in custody and willing to tell his side of the story.
And then. And then
. The monologue
. If you want a lesson in how to assassinate a character in 30 seconds or less, this monologue is a great example. Sally Floyd calls Captain America out as completely divorced from American values. Now, again, Captain America has long served as the beating liberal heart of the Marvel Universe. He has always represented an America that reckons with its legacy of things like internment camps, Manifest Destiny, and Jim Crow, in order to transcend these scars and embody the promise offered by Emma Lazarus’s New Colossus
, carved on the side of the Statue of Liberty. Why is he out of touch with Americans at the dawn of the 21st century? Well, he’s never heard of MySpace
.  He doesn’t watch NASCAR. He doesn’t follow American Idol
. There are pop culture moments that have aged like milk; this one had all the permanence of an ice cream cone in a blast furnace. But despite the inanity of Floyd’s argument - and trust me, there are fan edits dedicated to Cap pointing out how full of shit this argument is
- it’s clear it represents something else. This is a post-9/11 world. Fuck civil liberties, we have a no-fly list and Gitmo, and if the American people really
cared, they’d do something other than watch Simon Cowell read aspiring singers to filth. What does Captain America stand for in this moment of crisis?
Nothing. Because he just looks away from Sally Floyd. No doubt thinking, “Oh my God this bitch.” But to underline the argument in question, Sally storms out of the interview, Ben in tow. She still has that information on Norman Osborn’s false flag operation… and while she and Ben confront Tony on everything that went down, they decide the story should never see the light of day
. Because they wouldn’t dare jeopardize the SHRA, because security is more important than the truth.
Oh. And then Cap gets shot
. And dies. He totally dies (except he doesn’t but we’ll get to that). If ever there was an unintentional thesis statement for this event, running in the late stages of the Bush era, it would be this: “It’s better to trust that the powers that be who oversee the new America will keep you safe, even when they stage false flag operations, stick you in a gulag, and put their trust in monsters. All that civil liberty stuff was the old America. And the old America was hopeless. It wasn’t even on MySpace.” Epilogue: Consequences Keep Consequencing
As you can tell from that last paragraph, a lot of the fan reception to Civil War
likely had a lot to do with the period. This was the Bush era, a time where you were for America or against it. We were in the shadow of the Patriot Act, Gitmo, and widespread wiretaps, paranoid about what civil liberty we’d be asked to put on the pyre next in the name of Freedom. A story all about the warm, clenching fist of government control that tells you to ignore the collateral damage… well, it wasn’t great for the cultural moment.
The ideas of Civil War
aren’t necessarily bad ones. I frame Cap as the liberal dream of what America could be, but there are good arguments to be made that America has never
been that and Cap is just copium for liberals. His most recent title, Sentinel of Liberty
, opens with Steve saying he is
out of touch with the average American - not because he doesn’t watch NASCAR, but because he’s a WWII veteran who looks maybe 30 years old at most and whose best friends are all superheroes or spies. A narrative that has him on the wrong side of the issue and detonates his beliefs isn’t impossible
, but it probably shouldn’t be one where people who got powers due to a fluke of birth or a radiation accident are told by the government, “Join with us or we’ll send supervillains after you.” Hell, as the Civil War
movie proves, there is a way to tell a story about a superhero community torn in half by the idea of mandatory registration as government-controlled actors, and just why people would think that could be a bad idea (“Hey, remember when a good chunk of our intelligence apparatus turned out to be Nazi stay behinds?”).
But in the context of the era, and coupled with the execution, Civil War
felt like a hard sell, and you could feel the thumb pressing on the scale every second while reading it. The moral center of the Marvel Universe is wrong, the winning side employs sadistic murderers and has an extradimensional Gitmo, and the writer is telling you that any sane individual would be on Team Green Goblin Employer.
So how did that all work out? Well…
- With Cap seemingly dead, shot by his brainwashed love interest Sharon Carter as part of a plot by the Red Skull, Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier becomes the new Cap. Only it turns out Steve wasn’t killed, but shot with a time bullet that Billy Pilgrims his ass. He eventually comes back.
- Thor comes back, finds out what Tony did, and beats his ass all the way across post-Katrina New Orleans (thank you to Powman_7 for the link).
- The Secret Invasion event happens next, which leads to Skrull infiltrators hitting everything (this is also the explanation for Captain Mar-Vell’s miraculous resurrection: He was a Skrull all along). With Tony caught with his pants down and Norman Osborn seeming to save the day, Norman - who has been losing his shit for some time - takes over the Initiative and forms his own fascist cabal, HAMMER. To try and stop Norman from learning everything on every hero ever, Tony goes on the run and actually starts deleting his own brain, which he then reassembles with a backup from before anyone even thought of the SHRA. The fact that getting rid of Tony’s “Oops I did a fascism” period came out alongside Iron Man hitting theaters is a coincidence, I’m sure.
As for Spider-Man? It might not shock you, but having a hero without the resources of Tony Stark out himself to the world carries liabilities. An assassin who tries to kill Peter instead hits Aunt May, and it appears she’ll die of her injuries. All this leads to One More Day
… and if you thought the fans hated Civil War
? Oh, BABY.
 This is eventually explored in the pages of Wolverine
, of all books, as Wolverine decides maybe somebody should track down the person who actually killed hundreds of children. It’s revealed that Nitro was given power-boosting drugs by the CEO of Damage Control, Marvel’s designated “clean up after the super-battle” corporation, as a way of generating business. In a sign of how little this matters, Wolverine tells Maria Hill to her face that the person responsible for a mass casualty event is the pawn of a powerful conspiracy, and she basically says, “Not my problem.”
Cobie Smulders must thank the gods that her Maria Hill is written as somebody with basic human decency.
 Hilariously, when Sally Floyd was brought back during Nick Spencer’s Captain America
run because no one had piled enough dung on her corpse, this line was retconned to her asking him about Twitter
. Given everything Elon’s been doing lately, we’ll see if that ages just as poorly.
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2023.06.02 16:59 endersgame69 Kayobi's Days Off C12
The early part of the day was very quiet. Two people rushing in with panicked expressions raced in and snagged travel sewing kits meant for quick repairs. The relief on their faces… well, it felt pretty good to be able to provide what they needed on the spot. I smiled, pointed to the card reader, and wished them luck.
I got some funny looks, as well I should, given that they lived in this complex. The pair, one young man, one young woman, each wearing old suits that didn’t quite fit with the times or fit with their bodies, had clearly borrowed the clothes for job interviews and saw disaster in the form of a sudden and unexpectedly discovered tears in the old cloth.
If the Toriyama store hadn’t been there? Well, I doubt their day would have gone as smoothly. ‘No wonder she likes running it.’ I thought with a little smile on my face while I watched the wall clock continue to move forward one minute at a time.
I stopped clockwatching to go wipe down the counter by the bento. There was a sink and a soft cloth there waiting for use, and given the circumstances I figured… ‘Why not? What else is there to do?’ There were no customers for a fair bit, which wasn’t that surprising given the hour.
Kids were at school, most functional adults were at work, and nonfunctional ones tended not to have much in the way of money. The warm water felt good on my hands and before long the clean counter was cleaner than before.
From there I thought… ”Now what?” And I put my hands on my hips to look around the store. I looked toward the doors. ‘Still nobody.’ I thought, and went to check the inventory of things that were currently on the shelves. Dried seaweed was low… so I went to the back room behind the register to check the stock of goods… and frowned.
‘Alright… that’s not good. No, that’s bad, that’s very, very bad.’ The thought ran through my head as I looked within what was clearly the storage area for restocking… which was instead a sad sort of place, clean, like the rest of the store.
But that is what made it sad. See, I’d never held a real job on Earth, but I did know enough from movies, t.v. and manga that if you wanted to show that a place was dying, whether it be a restaurant or a store or whatever, the best way to do that was to show that it was damn near empty. ‘I’m out of… we ran out of… sorry, we don’t have…’ Whenever you heard that phrase in entertainment media, it was meant to show that a place was not doing well for itself.
There should have been multiple big boxes on pallets stacked way up, with just… all the snacks, not to mention all the cleaning supplies and prepackaged food and…
I had a sinking feeling. This was just the dry goods, the stuff that was plastic wrapped and packaged and so on.
There was a side door in this area, heavy and metal, it opened into the freezer. I cracked that door open and went inside, the icy chill hit my skin all at once and I wrapped my arms around my body and gave an audible shiver. “Brrr!” I said to myself as I ventured within.
This place should have had stacks of meat and drinks meant for the refrigerated section, all the basics that kept people going through that last hour or two.
But instead there were only a handful of boxes along the wall, none were higher than two deep up and two deep out, each aligned according to the product on the shelf.
But most of the produce shelf had just plain nothing.
My mind turned back to the two thugs who’d come into the store, and I spun on my heel, striding out of the deep freeze and venturing back to the register.
Still nobody was coming in, so I opened the register, checked for the paper envelope and cracked it open. There, I started counting.
Human money confuses me to no end. Every country has its own, and every country values every other country’s currency at a different rate from their own. Even the rate at which they valued their own currency didn’t actually match what was written on their damn stupid pieces of paper.
All I could do while I counted was grumble. “Damn stupid confusing inefficient barbaric primitive nonsensical absurd ridiculous daft temple to madness, forget why… how in all the hells of all the gods in all the Universe does anyone do anything this way?!”
I managed to get a count of the money within and tried to work out the relative cost compared to what I spent on things.
“So… let me work this out…” I mumbled and began drumming my fingers on the counter next to the register, “I pay that for a pizza… and this is like a few hundred pizzas so…”
My mouth dropped. “This is like a thousand pizzas?!” I shrieked with shock and horror… “No way?!” I couldn’t believe my own math, so I went to the far office. I’d seen through there sometimes when the door was open, and I knew Suki had a desk in there.
I tried the handle, it turned, it wasn’t locked. The wooden door swung inward when I pushed, and my eyes were greeted by a dizzying array of scattered papers, notebooks open with various numbers that were just… just dizzying to behold.
It was the exact opposite of the neat and orderly existence outside. I hesitated, fingers still curled around the doorhandle, my NEET brain screamed ‘Flee! This is an unholy land filled with math and confusion!’ But I did not flee.
I did not turn away.
I did. Not. Run.
I stepped within, leaving the door open at my back to both hear incoming customers and to ensure I could easily flee if the numbers assaulting my brain began to overwhelm me.
I did feel a little guilty, enough so that I couldn’t bring myself to actually sit in the cracked leather chair. The poor thing had clearly seen much better days, it was tilted slightly where one wheel was broken, once smooth brown back was tilted in such a way that suggested it was probably broken and couldn’t be leaned back in without it falling apart entirely.
There was one thing that perhaps saved my brain from a meltdown.
When you’re late paying a human organization, they really want you to know it. So a lot of the papers I saw were stamped ‘late notice’ or some variation thereof.
‘If she’s paying protection money to some yakuza baddies… no wonder she can’t pay her bills.’ My frown deepened as I began looking at one paper after another, just what was in that one single envelope was enough to pay most of the bottom numbers on the bills I picked up, and based on the dates, these were cumulative months.
“With that? She’d be just fine…” I mumbled and dropped the papers to fall like feathers in the breeze back down to the desk. I narrowed my eyes down at the desk.
Nobody needs to tell me that I can be sort of lazy. That’s the whole point of my vacations. But I really, really, like being a Painter. It’s not just that I’m good at it, I really see value in what I do. I hate dictators, they don’t just take lives, they take happiness. From where I’m sitting… standing, that is, these guys are just small scale dictators, leeches.
They were exactly the sort I do not like.
I heard the ding of the door as a customer walked in and hastened out to meet them. “Welcome to Toriyama’s.” I said with a smile as I stood in front of the register. I kicked the pants of the two petty tin pots out of my way, and started planning what I would do when my day was done.
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2023.06.01 15:27 aimeegd A throne of broken gods (book of azrael 2) by Amber V Nicole—— HELP!!!!
Ok so I know it was only released like a week ago but has anyone read this??? I am dyinggggg!!! I’ve tried looking for discussions and threads on here and on other social media platforms about this book but I can’t find anything!!!! Why are people not talking about this book?! I NEED to talk to someone about this book
I have so many questions I need answering and I don’t know if I’m just being dumb or everyone else has the same questions/confusion?
Please see below following comments/questions (spoilers obviously). Sorry for the length and any spelling/detail errors. These are just ramblings of a mad woman written down.
- Who are the generals of yejedin? Was kaden a general? Is he a king of yejedin? I feel like this isn’t made very clear. It mentions that Kaden made the kings of yejedin (Tobias and Alistair) which would make sense because they follow him as he is their leader but it distinctly says there were 3 kinds of yejedin- so who is the 3rd? Kaden himself??? I know that he is unirs son and is also a god like samkiel but how does he fit into all of this??? What is his role?
- Is Nismira the one true king???? I get that she’s a goddess and not very nice but Why is she so powerful and why is everyone following her? Why is she the leader of the baddies? Why are she and Kaden working together?
- what/who tf is the order? Why did the council/order turn against samkiel? What do they get out of working with nismira?
- Why did unir abandon his sons prior to samkiel??? And why did he lock up all of those beings on yejedin? Also why seal the realms? Not being funny but I’d be pretty pissed aswell if some king decided I could no longer travel between realms and was trapped and couldn’t go home.
- Basically unir is an asshole dad who messed up not only his kids but the WHOLE FRICKIN UNIVERSE and whyyyyy?????
- Speaking of messed up families-Dianna is azraels daughter???? He hid her because she is supposed to be samkiels equal and the gods would have killed her? Why though? It says multiple times that the council/unir wanted samkiel to marry. But also why is she so powerful? Surely all the other ig’morruthen is just as powerful? But she was able to kill 2 of them herself?
- Who tf are the primordials? In fact this whole god war is confusing as fuck. Like whyyyyyyy??? What were they fighting foagainst
- Am I missing something or is this all just super confusing?
I’m so torn over this book. On one hand I loved it- I love all the pinning and healing with Diana and samkiel. I loved the other characters- Xavier and Cameron have my heart- and I loved the world building and it’s exploration of grief and guilt- BUT holy heck is it frustrating! it did feel a bit repetitive at times and unnecessary but what mostly bothered me was that most of the story happened within the last 20% of the book!!! I get that amber was trying to create this big finale/cliffhanger and lead into the next book but instead of feeling excited towards the end with all these revelations and twists I found myself getting frustrated. It felt rushed and unsatisfying and makes me nervous for the next book. I wish more time was spent explaining things- like the god war and why unir made some of his decisions-and that the big reveals were woven into the story a bit more instead of all of it just being dumped at the end! It just feels too much to digest all at once and all the open ends feel too overwhelming to the point where I feel like I have no idea what is going on.
I just think that there are SO MANY questions and things that need explaining that Amber has a HUGE job on her hands making all this make sense in the next book . I Just hope she can tie it all up and doesn’t forget anything- because there is A LOT of information that could be missed/forgotten.
I really want to have faith in amber that all of these questions will be answered and she hasn’t just revealed all this information and left all these open questions. If she is able to make it all come together in the next book she is a GENIUS!!!!
Anyway please tell me if I’m just being dumb or if anyone else is also super confused/overwhelmed by this book.
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2023.06.01 03:41 funwithdespair ToS2 badly needs the Mafia back for All Any
I have to be honest, compared to the first game, All Any is really weak. The big appeal of All Any in the first game was that it was pure chaos, a usually even split of evils and town who all didn't know what the other faction was while a few neutrals sat around to stir the pot and try to fit in with all three factions at once to avoid getting owned.
All Any now? It's almost always got 4 coven, almost like 10 town, maybe 8 or so, and maybe an NK and an exe. An apocalypse if you're LUCKY, at least they pretend to be interesting. All Any is dull as dirt now, the role variety is just not good enough for a mode like that to be any more fun than just playing ToS's ranked ruleset. It's just lacking, too snowbally on either side and being a neutral sucks unless you're exe because there's no real chaos to take advantage of because there's only one evil faction.
If I had to fix this personally, I'd probably either...
- Restore the Mafia. Make a mafioso and gf skin, and just put them in the game in their own gamemode like ToS1's Coven Mafia games except they can show up in All Any too. Rework some of them, but for the most part they could probably work the same but with a few extra gimmicks. Whatever, the fact is that their absence as a secondary evil faction really hurts the game in its most popular gamemode, and that's coming from someone who has probably a thousand hours in the original if not more.
- Turn the Apocalypses into a full faction. Technically they're a faction now, but no, they aren't These guys are almost all WEAK as hell, and it's rarer to see a single one of them even come close to victory than it is to see Pest win in old ToS, and he already had a terrible win rate. Pest in this game is basically the same as ToS1 pest except he's a bit nerfed, which is fine, but Berserker is just Jugg - a role that already sucked, while Baker and Soul Collector are beyond bad. Has anyone EVER seen a Soul Collector win? If you're not going to put a Mafia equivalent in the game to pad out the baddies a bit, at least put more of these guys in each game and make them a proper faction like the coven. All Any always has 4 coven it feels like, why can't we have these guys more often?
- Let me use the Plaguebearer skin even if someone else is using it. actually I'd forgive all of the above if I could do this, it was my favorite skin in ToS1 and now it's nigh impossible to use because of this new system. It's even easier to figure out who is who than in ToS1, overlapping skins should be perfectly fine. It would be more lucrative for BMG probably too because I have talked to several people who don't want to buy skins because they are too popular and will be taken.
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2023.05.31 03:53 jm7489 Just ran death house for the first time last night
Spoilers for Curse of Strahd (only the death house sequence)
So my usual Monday night group wrapped up dragonlance a few weeks ago and voted to start Strahd. I've wanted to play this campaign since I was first introduced to dnd, and one session in I am not disappointed whatsoever.
Our group added a fifth player which was extremely helpful and for fun we decided to run a party of 5 clerics which feels like it fits the campaign really thematically.
Our usual campaigns have been combat slogs to this point and while there was some of that I absolutely loved the non combat creepiness and shenanigans of the death house. The DM kept having one player see illusions of getting attacked, or falling down a pit, thinking an empty suit of armor came to life, etc. It was a great laugh until we got down to the basement level and met the ghouls.
This was the first time we really got to circumvent some combat by locking a few baddies in closets we found them in and barring the door.
While one party member was ready to sacrifice themselves on the altar we opted to defy the cultist spirits and faced the shambling mound. We were completely tapped on spell slots and were extremely lucky to survive thanks to a scroll of spiritual weapon, a few healing potions we found, and a brave kenku who ran right up to it and survived 3 rounds taking the dodge action before it got bored and changed targets.
The peace domain subclass feature + a scroll of bless gave us the bonus d4 we needed to get everyone out of the house alive by the skin of our teeth.
Our party is ultimately doomed, we can't resist chests, shiny things, and looking in every single room we find like the true mouth breathers we are. But damn it's gonna be fun while it lasts
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2023.05.30 20:12 HypotheticalChicken Meet the Cast and Crew
Just who are making all these Dicey Decisions?
I'm glad you asked!
Scott: DM and creator of Dicey Decisions. College professor in the real world, certified amazing everywhere else. Corin: The producer and behind the scenes wizard that keeps the stream flowing while we are busy role playing. Brandi: Marketing, Social Media, and Graphic Design. Brandi is a maladaptive daydreamer-teacher-fantasy author with an infamous stubborn streak and questionable addictions to social media and graphics software.
That brings us to our players... in no particular order and with minimal fanfare we have...
Name: Daniel Character Played: Garrick Stillbraid, Half-Elf Paladin Occupation: Healthcare Data Analyst First TTRPG: D&D 1st edition TTRPGs Played: D&D (1e - 5e), Pathfinder 1e, The One Ring, Star Wars (Fantasy Flight), Star Trek Adventures Favorite TTRPG Character: Izar Goldbranch, Half-Elven Acid Savant Sorcerer (D&D 3.5e) Favorite TTRPG Memory: After an Orcish citizen was found decapitated in their home and the party trying their damndest to not let racial tensions boil out of control, I accidentally set off a blood brawl with some unfortunate (and completely coincidental) wording: "Everyone calm down. There's no reason for anyone to lose their heads." Other Hobbies: Film, Theatre, Sports, Cooking, Professional Wrestling, Video Games (especially Open World Games) Fun Fact: My first semi-regular artistic gig was writing for a short-lived Miami-based wrestling promotion in the late 1990s.
Name: Amanda Character Played: Ashrina Gemmender, Gnome Rogue First TTRPG: D&D TTRPGs Played: D&D & Call of Cthulu Favorite TTRPG Character: My first ever D&D Character I made- Eloise the child rogue. She was a little hobo who stole and hoarded every piece of food she could get her hands on. I think about creating her for a full length campaign all the time. Favorite TTRPG Memory: I once "ruined" an encounter that was meant to overwhelm us in wave-style combat while one of our members was channeling a 10 minute spell with a wall of fire spell that I circled around the party thus rendering all the baddies useless as they burned up passing through the wall. Other Hobbies: Bowling, Video Games, random crafting Fun Fact: I have two giant dogs, a Great Dane and a Great Pyrenees and between the two of them they weigh 300+ pounds and consume 10 cups of food a day.
Name: Jack Character Played: Sliver, Human Bard First TTRPG:TTRPGs Played: D&D, 1982 Other Hobbies: art, tropical fish, biodiversity, novels, games Fun Fact: I can't pick a favorite anything Bonus fun fact: Artist behind the amazing character art that helped bring them to life.
Name: Sean Character Played: Kid, Half-Elf Rogue Occupation: Paid geek First TTRPG: AD&D 2E 3E 3.5E 4E 5E, Pathfinder, Blackmoor, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Savage Worlds (Deadlands, Necessary Evil, Space: 1889), Warhammer / 40K Roleplay, 7th Sea, Call of Cthulu, World of Darkness, RIFTS, Shadowrun, Legend of the 5 Rings, Ryuutama, SPLINTER, Kult Favorite TTRPG Character: Kakita Kenshin, a noble swordsman from the Kakita clan, who was killed in an honor duel at the Imperial Winter Court in an intrigue engineered by another player at the table. His death was so dramatic and unexpected that the entire table gasped as the final blow was struck. When you can create a character and participate in telling a story with enough depth and emotional weight that a character death is actually impactful - that's when RPGs truly come alive for me. Favorite TTRPG Moment: There are too many wonderful moments to count, but my favorites are the emergent RP moments that happen in a roleplay heavy group. In one homebrew campaign, I was gifted a drunken dwarven bard to play named Oakstone Flamehammer. While attempting to secure the aid of a foreign court, he was accused of lying to the assembled nobles. In a fit of rage, he bellowed back, "Lie? LIE?! I'M TOO DRUNK TO LIE!", passed the charisma check with flying colors, and aid was secured. I'll never forget that moment, or the friends that I made during that campaign. Other Hobbies: Road trips / traveling, video games (Destiny 2 warlock main) and retro game collecting, miniatures painting / modeling Fun Fact: I have been playing make-believe and inhabiting fantastical worlds my entire life. For as long as I can remember, video games have been my primary hobby and passion - I still own my original INTV System III - and I firmly believe that there is no better way to connect with people, engage with stories, or evoke memory than through the spirit of play.
Name: Justin Occupation: Network Engineering Consultant Character Played: Tarlan Hillspark, Halfling Cleric First TTRPG: AD&D 2nd Edition TTRPGs Played: D&D 2e, 3e, 3.5e, 4e, 5e. Pathfinder, Paranoia, Call of Cthulhu, World of Darkness, In Nomine, BESM, Gurps, Star Wars D6, Star Wars Fantasy Flight, Mutants and Masterminds, Avatar Legends, Shadowrun, Blackmoor Favorite TTRPG Character: "Doctor", Kenku Cleric/Wizard plague doctor Favorite TTRPG Memory: It was D&D 3.5 at a living greyhawk table playing a human wizard. The entire party had fallen to a pack of wolves and dire wolves leaving Viktor alone, out of spell slots, facing off against the last dire wolf standing. Viktor was in robes armed with a quarter staff... and stood his ground against the Dire Wolf avoiding every attack thanks to some awful rolling on the DMs part. He was later dubbed Viktor the Invincible after clubbing the dire wolf to death and stabilizing his party. Other Hobbies: Board games, video games, trading card games... one day I will grow up and have adult hobbies... maybe... Fun Fact: I have 5 tattoos with 3 more planned once I get the money and time. 1 - Kanji for "not dying" between my should blades. 2 - Captain America's shield on my right bicep. 3 - A raven on my left pec. 4 - An ellipses and semi-colon on my right wrist. 5 - Chester Bennington's wrist flame on my right forearm in his honor. Next tattoo will be a quarter sleeve rainforest on my left shoulder and bicep with an animal representing each of my kids (Monkey, Frog, Fish).
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2023.05.29 14:18 Cjaylyle CMV : Beauty is relative not subjective, and now we are all compared to the images on our phones
Insta baddies, fitness models, filtered women, roided men with fake teeth and tats.
Everyone is compared to the images of others we see on social media. Women tend to be on social media moreso and are exposed much more to it and engage with it. They’re more likely to judge men by the standards they see on their phone, not the other men around.
We are competing with EVERYONE who has access to a instagram account now, not just the other guys at the gym or the club or the work place. If you don’t look good relative to these guys, you’re on the back foot.
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2023.05.26 05:40 Snoubalougan The Morality of Dishonored 2: Grey to white and black, please don't lobotomize the quack.
Ok so, recently caught the CSB clip of them talking about binary morality systems in games and naturally Dishonored 1 slipped it's way in there sparking that old fire in me and I thought a proper discussion post is more appropriate than a long rambling comment no ones ever gonna read.
More to the point though, I wanted to talk about some analysis I've had cooking about Dishonored 2 for a while now and how it handles morality, and how you take down your targets.
- Quick Exposition: For those not too familiar with the Dishonored series the game has a 'Chaos' system for your actions in game. If you kill people that's more chaos and the world gets worse leading to a worse ending, if you don't kill people you get low chaos and a good ending. You play a magic assassin man/woman and most levels involve you getting to a target and either killing them (High chaos option) or doing a non lethal option that's more work (Low chaos option).
- Chaos in Dishonored 1
- To properly talk about Dishonored 2's (D2) morality we first need to dip into Dishonored 1's (D1) morality first or the nuances it possesses. D1's Dunwall is a grimy dirty, corrupt city. One of the games biggest strength in my book is the art design just selling how almost cartoonishly awful the place is already half rotten by plague and political corruption alike. It gives the setting an almost fairy tale/fable quality to it than a literal world. Likewise all of Corvo's targets he's sent to eliminate through out the game are powerful immoral people. The corrupt head of the local church, twin scumbbag politicians who built their wealth on slave labor, the assassin who murdered the Empress and Corvo's not so subtle former love interest. In fact the only people in the world that can be described as good people are a handful of NPC's you meet along the way. Emily is a literal child and the placeholder for innocence thematically, while the only other options are powerless working adults like Samuel or Camilla. No one with power in this world is anything but scum, even the people Corvo works with at first to get revenge will turn on him or where terrible people in circumstances of mutual benefit like Pierro and Sokolov both mad scientists with little to no sense of human dignity or not being creepy with women. Which I think works well with how the Chaos system actually balances itself. In practical terms whether or not you do the high chaos or low chaos take downs for your targets matters very little, what does the bulk of the weight of the Chaos Calculations is how many guards and civilians Corvo has killed to get to the target, rather how many people Corvo would abuse his power on to reach his ends which works well with the games theme of those with power misusing it to harm those without. You can just kill all of your targets and still get the low chaos ending, thus their fates are much more a matter of personal preference than strict morality, and very importantly the non lethal options are not "nice" options, rather naratively more satisfying ones. Even the targets you do spare arn't for altruistic reasons. Both Havelock and the Regent are executed after the events of the game, and sparing Daud is more Corvo holding himself back for the sake of his dead lover than any thought of Daud personally.
- TLDR: DS1 weighted it's morality more on Chaos on whether or not Corvo was an asshole to regular people than what method of elimination he chose for the elites. How you can eliminate them is morally grey and this plays well with the dark themes of the games.
- Dishonored 2: Two Steps forward, one step back.
- DS2 to start on a positive note, does fix some of the gameplay issues with DS1. The nonlethal paths to the game were added relatively late into the development in the first game leading to there being a lack of non lethal options compared to the lethal versions leaving it feeling less fun in less places and letting some players feel like they're being punished for using the fun tools the game gave them. DH2 taking after some of the DH1 DLC fixes this by adding a lot more bits and bobs for a non lethal playthrough. All around you have less of things like sleep dart but also have stun darts, smoke bombs, stun mines to knock out enemies, you can now non lethal enemies in drop assassinations, you can parry people into a choke hold to knock them out, and the addition of abilities like domino and mesmerize all add much more depth to the non lethal experience and is nearly a straight improvement from the first game.
- However, how they handle the morality of the games cast of villains/targets and how you handle them is very much a step backwards. We loose that strong theme from the first game of you being just a different flavor of judgement to a corrupt world and it gets much more of the box standard black and white morality and I think the game is lesser for it. The lethal options are now always the bad option even if it doesn't make sense in the world or place. The game now runs off of a "all killing = big meanie" line of reasoning and all the non lethal options are now not just the more interesting options they're all framed as the morally good ones. Which makes the system feel cheap, unengaging, and also makes some weird morality calls. I'll go through each one of the games targets, and how they handle their non lethal takedowns to shine a light on my point.
- Target 1, Mortimer Ramsey: Ramsey is the tutorial target more or less teaching you how the mechanic works. He's one of the key figures in the coup at the start of the game targeting your character and personally responsible for killing innocent people in the cross fire. To complete the level you need to get through the Mid Coup palace and take the ring he stole from you to activate a secret entrance to escape the palace, the non lethal take down is to knock him out and lock him within the royal saferoom with no means of escape. Right away Ramsey has some good things going for him, you hate his guts and he's a piece of shit. Easy, great. But we start running into an issue we'll see later on not making the non lethal options feel natural or warranted, which considering that DH2 now frames the non lethal options as the unambiguous morally "good" choice to make is a frustrating issue. By this point in the game your character is powerless, and trying to run for their lives from a palace full of people out of their blood. Killing here is absolutely self defense and should in no way actually have any moral consequences, and second there's absolutely no reason Ramsey should be spared. He's an effective political rival who attempted to murder you and did murder servants, nobles, ect. If it comes to a head to head confrontation with him why on earth would you hold your punches with him, and even if you made the choice of knocking him out taking the time in the middle of your life or death escape attempt to concoct some loony tunes ass sense of justice on him just feels shoe horned in. In DH1 you were sent out with the explicit intent of taking your targets out, that was your goal. How you did it didn't matter so long as it was done but Corvo taking the time to do a non lethal option isn't out of line for the outcome he wanted. Overall Ramsey is a failure of a target as it feels much more like the devs wanted to shoe horn in a classic target choice than make it feel natural to the game.
- Target 2, Crown KilleAlexandria Hypatia: I won't lie that this particular target peeves me personally. The set up for the level is that we need to find both a serial killer called the Crown Killer that's been framing murders on us, and a doctor named Alexandria Hypatia who Duke Abele (one of the people behind the coup) has taken explicit interest in. The twist being that Hypatia is the Crown Killer through a split personality she doesn't know about. Your options are to either kill the Corwn Killer yourself, or craft an antidote and cure Hypatia of her sickness. Immediately we run into problems. First Hypatia herself is the first target that is flat out a good person, saintly even, she's cartoonishly nice and her primary motivations are to help the sick people of Serkonos but the big mean Duke is keeping her from doing it. Curing Hypatia is an unambiguous good thing to do, there are no bad consequences to sparing her, you miss out on content later if you kill her, and there's no reason to kill her if you know about the antidote which is pointed to easily if you do a modicum of exploration in the level. The only reason one would ever want to just kill Hypatia is either because they didn't know about the antidote, it's very easy to make and you can only miss it if you just ignore exploration all together, or if you're just doing a killy evil playthrough and do it for no other reason than to be a spiteful dick. It breaks that wonderful formula we had in DH1, there's no interesting reasons behind either choice, and Hypatia being a good person just ruins the theme from the first game entirely.
- Target 3, Kirin Jindosh: Jindosh is the mad inventor of the Duke, he's making some evil lookin robot soldiers and you gotta go make sure he doesn't make an army of them while saving another character, Anton Sokolov, from his imprisonment in Jindosh's house whom Jindosh is planning on lobotomizing into a pliable lackey to learn his secrets. You either kill Jindosh, or use the lobotimization machine he was planning to use on Sokolov on Jindosh and them escape with Sokolov. Jindosh has the benefit of almost being a good target, he's a shit bag and his non lethal option is suitably worse than death. If this choice in the first game I would be almost happy with it, but in DH2 I hate it. I hate it because DH2 has already and will continue to set the precedent that the non lethal options are the morally good ones. And I take big personal issue with the idea that lobotomizing someone and taking away their bodily and mental autonomy for nothing more than sadistic cruelty to be morally superior than just killing them outright. I never lobotimize Jindosh after I got the achievements for a non lethal playthrough, death is a mercy here. And it comes off as even more tone deaf after the first game had a similar issue with one of the targets, selling Lady Boyle to a stalker. There was an understandable backlash against that fragrant violation of her bodily autonomy for edge value but then they come back and end up removing Jindoshes antire autonomy in the second game and it's framed as a good thing. And just personally the dialogue from the more childlike lobotomized Jindosh later in the game just feels really disgusting to me.
- Target 4, Brenna Ashworth: Brenna is a witch friend of the main antagonist Delilah who has set her witch coven in the local natural history meusem. She's using a magic device to prevent the local witch hunting forces from getting clear predictions from their seers. To take care of Brenna you either kill her or use the magic device to rob her of her powers. Brenna suffers more from her non lethal just not making sense. It's not even to weaken her so you can kill her and her coven easier the games till running on that "Killing always bad" logic and expects you to show the restraint to not only not try and do the natural response and try and kill the hostile active witch cult that's actively trying to kill you and has actively killed and will continue to kill random civilians let alone concoct some fabel like fitting punishment for them. It feels way too goody two shoes.
- Target 5, Vice Overseer Byrne and Paolo: This choice really doesn't even matter. You have to get through a door and only two people know it. Paolo the leader of a local gang and Bryne the leader of the local zealots the Overseers. They'll only give you the combo if you deliver one to the other (dead or alive) or you can take the super special centrist route and just lock em up in boxes and ship em out. It's a dumb choice and just a roadblock disguising itself as something more interesting.
- Target 6, Aramis Stilton: Aramis is the owner of the local mines, he was driven mad years ago by a ritual that revived Deliah back into the word and has been living in the ruins of his manor ever sense. Through time travel wackiness it's possible to either kill Stilton or stop him from attending the ritual and saving his sanity. Stilton suffers the same issue as Hypatia, in that the devs made him a god damn goodie two shoes. If you pay attention at all through out the entire level the game jerks of Stilton as being this salt of the earth workin man that earned his money through hard work and grit, and he looked out for the lil guy but the big mean duke keeps punching down on him. If you save Stilton the present changes and the previously delapitated mining district is thriving and people are talking about how much of a swell guy Stilton is fighting for their workers rights and there are even more charms and runes available. If you kill Stilton everything stays awful. Like Hypatia there's absolutely no reason to kill Stilton unless you want to be an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. He's more a gameplay award for figuring out how to save him rather than actually being target. He's annoying and I roll my eyes everytime the game sucks his cock.
- Target 7, Duke Abele & his body double: This one isn't so bad. The Duke is the big cartoonish meanie that's been punching down on Serkonos. Which is fine, the first game had tons of cartoonishly evil bad guys but in DH1 they didn't have the cartoonishly good characters like Stilton or Hypatia to contrast with. Infiltrating his palace the Duke can either be killed or you can have the Duke body double impersonate him and take his place. Not a bad non lethal but again it begs the question of why your character would bother doing this whole looney toons switcheroo and put all of their faith into this one body double who just so happens to be a really good dude you can trust completely. It's straining itself to make the connection and again jerks itself off by how that was actually the better choice and how good of a ruler the new Duke is and blah blah blah.
- Target 7, Deliah Copperspoon: Our big baddie, the big nasty witch lady that wants to merge reality with her painting and have everyone adore her forever and ever. You fight your way back into the palace from the first level and can either have a long protracted boss fight with Delilah in a painted world or trick her into trapping herself in her own painting. Again, why would I ever bother thinking of a non lethal option for the psycho witch that wants to kill me and everyone I love. Why would I go through the effort of doing all that when she's shown she can come back from magical prisons already (She was already trapped in a magical painting in the DH1 DLC why do you think it's a good idea to do it again) and how is that possibly the better option. Delilah doesn't even realize she's trapped so there's not even a bit of irony to it. Again there's absolutely no reason these characters would ever show mercy to Delilah, let alone take all the extra effort to give her a thematic non lethal punishment.
- Conclusion: Dishonored 2 is a really fun game but it makes my head hurts sometimes. I'm gonna go lie down.
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2023.05.25 06:53 broadcaststatic Hedonism Week: In-Depth Thoughts on French Daze & Ibiza Nights Cruise (Part 2)
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[Continued From Part 1: https://www.reddit.com/VirginVoyages/comments/13r8afi/hedonism_week_indepth_thoughts_on_french_daze/
DAY FOUR: BOAT AFTERNOON, PALMA EVENING
My wife and I went back to the Wake for breakfast, something you can do easily as a drop-in. We got to sit right in front of the windows. She had one of the best eggs benedicts of her life and I had steak and eggs, a breakfast indulgence I've never actually had before. It's always like $8 more on the menu when paying at a diner. I never bothered in the real world. But this isn't a diner or the real world, this is the land of do-as-you-please, and they brought me one hell of a steak.
The Ol' Wake & Wake
Before arriving at Palma, I tried to sample some of what I had been missing on the ship. Against my expectations, my favorite was the Loose Cannon. I wasn't interested initially based on the looks of the place and the fact that rum isn't a flavor I usually enjoy, but they had all sorts of tequila and mezcal stuff like this one drink that's like watermelon, mezcal and a shake of activated charcoal that looks like gunpowder for theme and helps with nausea for function. Plus a jaunty sprig of mint. It's the most singularly delightful cocktail I ever ordered. It's like that all over the ship, though. In keeping with the emotional design, whisky and champagne receive more upscale treatments-- On the Rocks is a whisky Bar modeled with low lighting and rich velour to evoke a kind of conspiratorial, old-Vegas Rat Pack vibe. It's very effective, and to drink whisky in a sport coat at the bar makes a fella feel awfully cool. Sip, the Champagne bar, seems most active during the day when the older crowd runs the boat and the younger crowd is sleeping or out on land. Like its beverage, it's bright and luxurious, the most opulently wealthy of all the bars. And the most expensive if you buy by the bottle. One aspect of the cruise where you don't really get good value is with volume liquor like whole bottles of whatever. The cocktails, at 12-17 a piece, are the same price as most city bars and you pay for presentation. But big box wine stores like BevMo or whatever sell Moet and Chandon Imperial for like $45. On the ship, it's $98. For whole bottles of anything, the baseline seems to be double the American box store price. By contrast, you can get a very large beer in an elegant flute for like $6. My favorite secret dirtbag maneuver at Sip is that you can order a Miller High Life, the Champagne of Beers, for like five bucks and they'll crack the can and decant it for you all fancy-like as if you had paid $300. To me, that's impressive service-- to be treated as if I was living, well, the High Life even though I wasn't quite willing to pay that much. To be respected in my cheapness and given the fantasy of being in such an environment anyway, treated as if I belong among the Imperial crowd. I think that was the moment they broke me, in terms of being skeptical of Virgin Voyages as a corporate, curated experience. They promised me I could voyage my way, and I absolutely was, living my best life with my five dollar French Roulette plays and five dollar decanted beers. That's a lot for a Miller High Life. But a small price, really, for the radiant thrill of the moment and how happy it makes me to remember it now.
A Loose Cannon 'Shot-To-Pus'
Sailing into Palma, we went to the Dock House, their small plates mediteranean eatery and bar. It's on the lower stern of the ship, making it the ideal place to view any of the ship's comings and goings from port. It's spectacularly scenic and features both chairs and beds to lounge around and soak in the atmosphere of wherever the ship happens to be. I think it's one of my top three favorite spots on the ship, the plates are addictively good and the drinks are so crazy on theme for the Balearic Islands. There's a whisky drink called a Fig Sour that easily takes the silver medal for my second favorite cocktail I had on the ship, it's so rich and well balanced and feels like just pure joy to drink while watching the surprisingly large city of Palma slowly draw into view.
The Palma Cathedral
The best beaches on Mallorca are known to be on the North side of the island, an hour away by bus or taxi, called Alcudia. In planning, I had wanted to make that journey, but my wife and I felt like what with the bonus trains to Carcassonne and Monte Carlo we had done enough voluntary transit and wanted to explore the city of Palma itself. Which was a wonderful choice-- the city is much like Barcelona, but kind of shrunken down and tidier. It has its own La Rambla, its own winding Gothic District of sorts. It has one of the largest Cathedrals in all of Europe, dominating the skyline as the Valiant Lady docks at Palma's cruise terminal. There's a large and rambunctious commercial district, with brand name boutiques tucked inside of three hundred year old buildings, the whole thing a strange kind of historical echo of the way Palma has been for centuries. Palma has always been a nexus for luxury goods from far-flung ports. The goods are now more familiar and standardized, but the echo is still there, these are still the same streets that once flowed with leather and spice from a pre-satellite world, when the globe was more uncertain.
Palma At Night
Intoxicating is really the word, it's not enough to call it charming. To an American, it feels like something out of a fairy tale, which Palma storeowners are clever to monetize where possible. It is touristy, yes, but again it's actually very counterproductive to pretend I am not a tourist. I am having an authentic experience by being authentically stunned and amazed by the winding streets and seemingly limitless boutiques. Once the businesses begin to shut down, the city quiets, and the well-lit streets become very mysterious and intriguing. When the wandering impulse is satisfied, a taxi can be easily found to go back to the cruise terminal and fall into bed. Or have a few drinks at the Manor and dance. Or maybe more than a few. I'm easy, that way-- fundamentally all I want is just to party, party party, party party 'til I die.
The Manor Nightclub Aboard Valiant Lady
DAY FIVE: PALMA DAYTIME, SCARLET NIGHT TIME
The Valiant Lady at Palma
At like 2:45 in the morning my wife has me order double vodka redbulls, takes one sip, and decides to go to bed. So I, in the spirit of hedonism week, down both and fall immediately asleep. At nine in the morning I sit bolt upright in bed and think "I sure would hate to have missed seeing the Castell up above the town and I doubt we'll have time for it later." I fling open the blinds to a beautiful day. "Want to hike up to castle, baby?" I ask. "You're a fucking freak of nature
," she hisses, using the room tablet to close the blinds again. At first I took it the wrong way, but I had forgotten about the vodka red bulls. When she told me about that, after walking two miles to the tallest hill in Palma and then three more flights of stairs, and back, thinking to myself "I'm a little dizzier than usual this morning, wonder if I'm finally seasick or what," I had to admit that when it comes to points of historical interest I am in fact a freak of nature and will push my body to the stupidest extremes with a smile on my face if it means getting to see a castle. This kind of freak behavior is why they give you two carafes of fresh, cold water every day in your room. You'll probably end up really, really, really needing it.
Castell de Bellver
The Castell de Bellver has the best views of Palma possible, and also the best views of the Valiant Lady while docked in port. There's a trail to the summit that begins at the end of the Carrer de Bellver that leads up to the grand, rounded Castell. The steps are exhausting, especially so if you wake up drunk without realizing it, but the breeze is strong and every few steps provides a new vista. I never expected to actually like the cruise ship as a ship,
but it's very handsome and impressive, the portholes and red accents and lack of any children's slides and playsets make the thing just flatly impressive. The previous night it had turned some of its balcony lights red to display a friendly red 'HOLA' to the city as it rested in port. From top to bottom, it is designed to feel contrastingly adult, contrastingly luxurious to the more traditional cruise ships. The Valiant Lady was only built in 2021, according to the big iron plaque that proudly identifies the vessel above the pool area. I feel, aboard the ship, more worldly and cosmopolitan than I ever have before and even if the ship is designed to falsely flatter me that way, I do feel flattered, I do feel like my best self, it inspires me to do ambitious things like party til' 3AM and hike at 9AM. Inside the Bellver is a lot of roman artifacts and statuary, from way back when Palma was part of the Rome's vast mediterranean empire. Perhaps it's because I was still a little drunk, but I was struck by this nude statue.
A Ghost of Hedonism Past
It was made with such a loving care. Two thousand years ago, the artists of Palma were carving tributes to their baddies that are still extremely attractive millenia later. Art appreciation isn't just being pretentious, it's appreciating the intent, and in this case the intent is "Aren't women beautiful? Isn't life beautiful?" When I got back to my sleeping wife, I brought her breakfast in bed as a peace offering, snuggling up to her in our balcony terrace room. Humans are mammals in addition to all our other affectations, we want to eat well, sleep well, and most of all we want to be loved. Same now as it was 2,000 years ago. That feeling I had of being somewhere that fucking Homer
had described as the wine-dark sea, actually looking at my own eyes at the deep purple brine that inspired that phrase, was worth almost any price to me. As an American, I grew up unmoored from global history, and here in Palma I finally felt as if I had dropped anchor into the heart of the classical era.
In a Roman mood, we ate pasta at the ship's Italian restaurant, Extra Virgin. I had heard from a lot of people that this was one of the best places to get food on the ship, but I couldn't work up that much enthusiasm about it. Like every other space on the ship, the atmosphere and design of the restaurant is top notch. The ingredients are upscale and impressive sounding, but the effect is kind of flat. This was the only restaurant that I couldn't immediately remember when I ate there and what I had. It was good, I know, it's silly to complain at all because the standard of quality for the food is incredibly high, even here, but without more of a thematic or culinary hook the place kind of slides anonymously in between some of the other on-board dining experiences.
Preparing to Hear The Tale
Every Virgin Voyages cruise has what's called 'Scarlet Night' a boatwide party where you're encouraged to wear red. They kick it off with an amazing vocal performance by the Hostess, who is in addition to being very charming an incredibly
powerful jazz vocalist. She's a serious talent. I was really blown away, having gotten a chance to listen more closely at the 'Hostess Sings Her Secrets' show which tells the part lore in a short bit of musical storytelling. I missed most of the on-ship entertainment because I was either partying or adventuring or sleeping, but I'm a sucker for lore, so a party with lore was intriguing to me. Up on the pool deck, once the party begins, you're encouraged to dance in their shallow bathing pool. It feels awesome to do so, freeing and wild, a real '90s romcom moment but actually happening to you. I was all geared up for a long and varied Scarlet Night, but the friends my wife and I made at Gunbae were a form of ship royalty, they had purchased the Mega Rockstar Suite, with a bottomless bar package, and we were invited to party there. This was a special and remarkable thing to happen, not just for the glimpse into the Lifestyles of Suite and Famous, but also just to make such free and easy social connections on the boat. There's a meme I like that's "How to Make Friends in Your '30s" and it shows a man drawing a pentagram on the ground, summoning a goat demon, and then handing the demon a basketball to shoot some hoops. Sometimes it feels like black magic to actually make new friends. But the boat is like summer camp and prom rolled up into one for people much too old to really go back to either without the buffer of this cruise ship experience. The next day we were going to dock in Ibiza, and so one person put on The Vengaboys "We're Going to Ibiza" and then everyone sang along to every word, and then someone said "Okay, but like, we actually are this time," and that was just so fucking nuts
. It's perhaps common wisdom that if your reference point for Ibiza is the Vengaboys you are too old for Ibiza, but I'm going to say that you are not, like everything on the cruise you get back the energy you put in. Tell yourself you can do it. Believe in yourself. Ride your inner Vengabus, because it is
comin', and everybody is
Because our cruise was so underbooked, our host was able to get their Mega Rockstar Suite for the minimum bid plus one dollar on the odd little 'bid on an upgrade' email you get. I couldn't afford more than the Sea Terrace XL even as an upgrade, I was overspending with that already, but holy hell do you get the works with the top level price. The bottomless bar is bottomless. Since the price of the Mega Rockstar is something like ten grand, I wouldn't say the booze is complimentary, but it is acknowledged that you have paid enough and need pay no more. In addition to bottomless room bar you get $200 daily on board bar tab for craft cocktails and wine and such. Plus a personal concierge and priority access to everything. And your own private hot tub and open-air shower-- above the bridge and the Captain themselves. Even symbolically, that's King Shit. It's just absurd in every way-- on a ship designed to make even the cheapest customer feel like royalty, how do you one-up the baseline experience? Well, by essentially completely eliminating the need to worry about the price of anything aboard. True fantasy-- everything you want, essentially prepaid beyond the rate at which you could possibly spend that much money anyway. With a couch and a living room and guitars and a telescope and, like, fuck
, dude. I was a little sad not to have seen more of Scarlet Night itself, but I caught instead a glimpse of what Virgin Voyages offers as opulence-within-opulence, the most glorious peaks of the self-indulgence it can provide. Trying to be a good guest, I offered to venmo our host back for what I was drinking. They explained to me that bottomless really means bottomless with the in-room bar. And so I opened my second bottle of Moet Imperial of the trip, the effervescent vapor of extravagant luxury wafting up at me. I was a guest. It's only a week. But I was, perhaps, a little disappointed in myself for how quickly I came to crave these little tastes of the good life I had found so impossibly distant in my twenties. What would me at 18 think of me here, at 35, downing champagne on such a ship, hanging out in such a suite even as a guest? Angry? Irritated? Relieved that I had made it so far? Was this a kind of fulfillment of who I used to be and how hard I used to work or a betrayal of it? My wife and I had been together for a decade, and had never taken a trip like this, never dreamed of it before. It was so far beyond what we were used to. And that's also how they get you. I'll obey this subreddit's no drug discussion policy in my anecdotes and metaphors, but man-oh-man, when it comes to luxury that first taste really does fuck with your brain chemistry in the craziest ways.
DAY SIX & SEVEN: IBIZA OVERNIGHT
'Music On' at Pacha, around 2AM
Pacha is, in a way, also a point of historical interest. It is a disco nightclub that has been going every spring, summer, and fall for fifty consecutive years. It's hard and extortionately expensive to get tickets, but they're cheaper the farther in advance you get them. If you want to go to Pacha or another Ibiza superclub, you should make a plan and buy your club tickets the moment you book your cruise dates to lock in admittance at the lowest price. I was a little worried about purchasing through the Ibiza Spotlight, a local weekly that coordinates ticket sales, but my wife, my friends, and I got in through the prepayment line in short order using the ticket barcodes from Ibiza spotlight on my phone with no problem. Pacha was the biggest challenge of the trip-- physically, emotionally, financially. It is a lawless and awful place that also serves as the most extreme version of the mega nightclub experience a person can find themselves in. Every one star and five star review you may have read about Pacha are simultaneously accurate and true. The party (Music On), begins at midnight and goes until seven in the morning. I was too old for this shit. But my heart wanted to be young this way. I had sworn my solemn vow to Party Til I Died, and this was as dangerously close to that line as I was going to get.
Ibiza's Old Town Commercial District
Ibiza operates during its on-season in a staggered rotation of events and meals. During the morning there is nothing. During the afternoon there are shops and lunch places open, serving the day crowd, or beach raves for the rowdy among the tourists. Then the food closes and the rest of the shops open until ten or so. The dinner places go from like 8 to 10 at night. Ten to midnight is a transition zone, everything closes down and the bars begin to slowly open one by one until midnight when the nightlife springs into furious action.
Pacha is the kind of nightclub that would be illegal in the United States on like every level. They don't seem to believe in capacity, the whole place is a sea of bodies, butt-to-butt-to-butt in stifling and vaguely dangerous drifts of rhythmic dancers, between which move fragile trains of partiers on their way from one end of the dance floor to another, a journey they may not ever actually finish. Each DJ bathes the place in a different color, creating a slightly different mood, but the crowding never improves. It's important to take breaks and go outside to the patio, no matter how hard it is to get back to the dance floor, just for the air. The absolute most predatory thing is that they charge for water-- not only charge a little, they charge 10 Euro for a red bull can full of still or sparkling water. It's literal extortion considering the sobriety situation of 99% of the crowd. From midnight until like 4:30 in the morning, it's a wild mess of sweat and movement, stuck somewhere in between joy and misery at any given moment.
'Music On' at Pacha, closer to 6:30 AM
These early hours of the Pacha party are a crucible, a harrowing. This is a test to see who is here to fucking party and who is truly a tourist. Around 5 in the morning, the dance floor begins to become actually comfortable to dance. My wife and I were led by our friends up a staircase to an upper deck by the light technicians, offering an incredible panorama. My wife commented it looked kind of like a circle of hell. In Dante's Inferno, the lustful are condemned to be borne on howling winds for all eternity, swirling around in an impulsive chaos that reflects how they allowed themselves to be led around by the genitals in life. Always figured that's where I'd end up myself, if gluttony didn't overtake it as number one favorite sin. Or maybe going to a bunch of Cathedrals before going to Pacha puts you in a weird headspace, I don't know. But all those arms, all those bodies, waving and blending together in the strobe light. It makes me wish there an oil painting titled like 'The DJ Booth by Caravaggio', it was so unreal to witness, so humid, so dense with humanity and emotion which the DJ manipulates up and down with the beat. The party really reaches its peak of enjoyability and energy at six in the morning, that last hour has an impossibly intense atmosphere of anticipation. When the DJ finally stopped teasing the last drop and ended his set, fifteen minutes after seven in the morning, when the hexagon panels retracted and the house lights came on, the sense of release and catharsis was unlike almost any sensation I'd ever experienced. My wife and I walked all the way back to the ship in the morning sunshine, colorful and gorgeous and blissfully quiet. I felt like I had wrung out my brain like a dirty cloth, and now it was ready to work again.
Holy Fuck Is It Morning Out Here Or What
Before Pacha, my wife and I used our three hour pass to the on-board Redemption Spa while the ship was rolling into port. I had never been to a spa, but I have to admit it's an important component of Hedonism Week. The spa is all about contrasting sensation-- cold pools followed by hot pools, dry saunas followed by wet saunas, followed by a shocking, bracing dip in cold clear water. My favorite thing was just the heated marble platforms by the window. I felt so relaxed, like an animal in the sun, unburdened by anything, content in every way. They offer a mud treatment kind of thing included in the Splash of Romance package where they give you a small cup of treated mud that you rub all over yourself and then stay in an extra hot, extra humid steam room for ten minutes sweating into before rinsing off with cold water. It's supposed to pull all your bad stuff from your pores, which I don't know is true or not, but I did enjoy the sensation and did feel refreshed. That sense of using extreme sensations of hot and cold, of comfort and discomfort, was what I experienced in such an otherwise opposite way at Pacha. Both were a cleanse of sorts, a strange and violent purging of the poisons I carry with me, and I felt grateful to have experienced both. To experience both on the same day, though-- baby, that's Hedonism Week.
Our final restaurant experience on board was at Pink Agave. We had the most delightful, enthusiastic hostess of the whole trip, she ordered a little of everything for our group of four and took such good care of us that we forgot, for a moment, how exhausted we were. Following Pacha, I slept almost straight through to the ship's final cast-off of the voyage. Almost. As I've mentioned, the only thing I love more than partying is visiting old castles, so I couldn't let Ibiza slip by without hauling by aching feet and overtwerked ass to the top of the famous Dalt Villa. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Dalt Villa is the oldest part of the Ibiza as a port town. The entrance gate was constructed in the 1500s and holds Roman statues dating many centuries older. The church at the top, built in the 1400s, was closed at the time, but I got one last view of the town I'd visited and ship I'd grown so fond of. It was an excellent way to say goodbye. After sailing out of Ibiza, you only have one more night to party it down, pack, and go home.
The Valiant Lady from the Dalt Villa
It's a sad time on the ship, bittersweet, which is why they close it down with the 'Circus Disco' , an acrobatic performance to classic, mellow hits of the '70s and '80s. Then everyone joins in on the dancefloor as the BeeGees sing you off to to your final limit of exhaustion and sleep, merciful sleep, finally catches up with you until your disembarkation time. Hedonism week has concluded. Reality has to resume. I didn't think I would struggle to let go so much, but I did. In the past week or so, I truly had been my best self, my most favorite version of myself, and while I can take that home with me I just didn't ultimately want to stop being in the place that made it so easy to find that self.
A number of years ago I had a bad depression and gained a bunch of weight, and so for years I dressed myself with a sense of shame. Whenever I went shopping I found the denim equivalent of "I'll wear the sackcloth, please." Before this trip, in anticipation of it, I bought myself a lot of stylish stuff that actually fit the body I had. I wore a lot of it for the first time this trip. I felt, for the first time in years, incredibly handsome, and interesting, and powerful, because I was putting effort into being all those things and acting all those ways. I have never pushed myself so hard, or felt more adult. I had what felt like truly an adventure of a lifetime, a journey into hedonic pleasure and exotic landscapes and dozens of flavors and smells and sensations I had never known to want. I know that's not everyone's experience on the ship. But it was mine. I put in every ounce of energy I had and the return on that investment was absolutely enormous.
What I think is especially amazing is the diversity of passengers and passenger experiences on board the ship and how, simultaneously, 1300 people were experiencing their own personal version of that best self. For many, pushing oneself to the extremes of exploration, sensation, and exhaustion is not their idea of a vacation. And that more relaxing experience is there too, already on offer as part of the many curated experiences. No one attitude, gender, sexuality, age, or set of interests dominated the ship's demographic, it was always an exciting froth of everything and everyone mixed together.
The Valiant Lady's staff deserves particular credit for making that happen. They act as janitors, waiters, porters, and ringmasters, managing the vices and messes of 1300 people all acting on pure id. So when you see folks complaining on this subreddit about having to work through technical problems or minor language barriers, this is kind of insulting in the face of what an amazing job the crew does of keeping the mood and visual standard of the ship constant and on track. The job of creating an adult fantasyland that's only 60% fantasy and 40% actual reality is a colossal amount of work, and they keep that shit running, well, ship shape every single day 24/7 while the passengers worry about very little other than impulse. Any luxury experience is the peak of a pyramid supported by a massive service infrastructure. Often on the Valiant Lady, that infrastructure is invisible. Without it, though, it would not have been the transformative and beautiful experience it was. I could not have felt my best self without so many people being their most professional selves, and I'm quite grateful for the many hands that made that possible.
More than anything, what I wanted to give my wife for her birthday was something that made her feel special. While I feel a complicated way politically about my experience, I don't feel any kind of complexity about being good to my wife and giving her a chance to experience unencumbered joy. She got that. We got to have a weeklong, incredibly intense date that we can carry with us always now, who we were on the trip, how we felt about each other. Erotic treats aside, it truly was a second honeymoon in every meaningful way. All I really expected was an all-inclusive hotel that moves. What I got was a sampler platter of sensation and fantasy that my wife and I ate from until the very moment the week was over and we were exiled from the buffet.
So if you want to know what the profit model of Virgin Voyages is, that's the grift in a nutshell: I felt better and more myself on this cruise than nearly anything I've ever done. And I would pay through the nose to come crawling back, to dine once more at the table of sensation. I felt like if I posted this anywhere else on social media, it would seem like sponsored content, and I hate that. But here among, well, fellow travelers
so to speak I feel good about telling this story. You guys get it. Hopefully I'll see you out there. Because I'm going to be chasing this experience for a long time.
Portal to Adventure, Ibiza
2023.05.25 03:52 grapeormelon Color Coded Rewatch Guide: S1E1 “Homecoming”, tells us the whole story
Okay! Here I come! Gonna make another post. It’s that important.
5/25, I’ll be back later this afternoon, we’re almost to the opening credits and that’s the good part. I’ll leave you all with this, what dimension was OA born in?
5/24 OG, I’ve been thinking about this all day so couldn’t wait to watch the first episode and HOLY CROW I was not disappointed.
Original post here
, edited down to the original color patterns noticed with spoiler tags.
Please do not look at the spoilers unless you’re ready to be spoiled.
The original hypothesis was that the main characters clothing color and combination of colors tell a deeper story that span’s across dimensions, they’re not a key to differentiating dimensions though, they’re THE garden of forking paths
I wish I had a white board, y’all. It’s beautiful.
I’m going to do a little first episode scene by scene to show the pattern,
Prairie/OA: first time we see her is the cell phone video, she jumps off the bridge wearing the lavender dress she escaped captivity in, with white bra straps visible.
She goes to the hospital then Nancy and Able come to get her. She’s “taken” inside her childhood home under a white blanket then doesn’t wear lavender again until she finds the lavender and white wolf hoody (her invisible self) at Costco in the beginning of S1E3 “Champion”. She had finally talked about Homer.
The grey-black spectrum clothing she wears after returning home means dead end, no fork, no path. Rachel is wearing faded black t shirt in D1, solid dark black turtle neck in D2 which she doesn’t leave. Based on D2 Renata probably doesn’t make it out of D3, except she sets Homer free from the elevator after Hap has “taken” OA (she’s wearing a dazzling white suit). Freeing Homer, the guy who captured her, is the type of action that would create a fork in the path for the boys, so Renata’s colors could also start coming back into focus again too.
OA and Steve agree to strangers on a train, he brings her internet, they go shopping, and OA impersonates his mom at school, OA arrives to Steve’s parent teacher conference wearing BRIGHT purple heals (seriously go look, visible for a second when she’s first walking in), lavendepurple/white/black wide plaid dress, and a tan coat. She’s trying to fit into the purple dimension, from now on PD, (because we’re gonna need to stop calling it D1 at some point…)
We meet BBA wearing a deep purple turtle neck and similarly deep purple cardigan. She’s knee deep in PD, no variations, all that one fork and it sucks. BUT! OA gets under everyone’s skin, so BBA wore a smile the next time we see her in the classroom with Steve. lo Then her clothing starts to fade from dark purple-lavender-maroon, she wears off white for the first time in the last episode when she chooses a different path, her Angel path, a maroon fork appears.
Remember when OA said she needs five people because she has to leave something behind, Steve didn’t understand but then BBA enters the house? She needed a BBA to stay, someone who wears white.
French wears white after meeting OA for the first time when she came looking for internet but he’s not ready, he hadn’t actually let her in by the end of S1 or faltered after the books. The season ends with him wearing a lavender button up shirt and khaki pants, may I please introduce the spectrum of earth tones now. French chose to keep himself planted in PD. White is reserved for going all in. Homer wears a lavender button up and white pants in and after Cuba. They color share a lot.
👁️👁️ We meet Steve in his birthday suit. That scene never really made sense to me until now.
Onto their first meeting at the house! OA: black and white long jacket, weird off white lacy shawl with silver string that she’s seemingly wearing incorrectly. Buck: Maroon shirt and green jacket. Steve: navy coat and grey Jesse: light grey sweater with maroon and purple stripes. Alfonso: can’t really see his outfit that night, it’s too dark. BBA: lavender cardigan and purple turtleneck Buck and Jesse have already forked based on the impact OA has had on them, they’re already in
Steve forks after the first meeting, we see him in maroon in E3.
5/27 edit: I’m watching season two now.
it’s like watching a brand new show. I missed the green in S2, the first time we see Nina in S2E1 she’s wearing a forrest green coat over burnt orange. It’s the first time we see her in green. My current theory is that green was running alongside the plaid dimension too but farther away. Scott, Rachel, Buck, Jesse, and Angie all wear faded army green in S1. No plaid yet in season two, looks like stripes are the theme, everything is bold, bright, the first pale colors we see are pale pink and lavender when OA goes to Nina’s apartment before being committed. Each time she’s “taken”, she’s in white. When she’s taken by Hap in S1 she’s wearing the lavender dress, a long off-white sweater, and a dark denim sheep lined jacket. She’s taken by Hap in S2 in a straight jacket. Current theory is that she forks from blue when she says goodbye to her father and gets the first movement, she doesn’t wear blue again.
BUT!! Guess who IS the first to be wearing blue in S2E1??? >! Nancy, who up until the video call with OA has only worn earth tones and browns. This is the first color that I’ve seen her wear, Able wears grey and blue like Steve and earth tones like Nancy in S1.!< The maroon is deeper in S2, Ruskin wears dark red when he’s speaking with Nina before OA arrives, Karim is in a lot of rusty orange, red, and yellow. The boys wear dark greens, blues, reds, Angie’s wears maroon for the first time.
Sooooo…. Elodie is a bad guy, so is old night, Dr. Rhodes transitions from black to red when she leaves Curie.
>! There are two shadow attacks associated with her parents dying, mom dies yellow forks to blue and lavender, forks to lavender when she chooses her new tribe, then maroon and lavender balance when jumping to D2 where her shadow red self (evil self) resides.!< Her fathers is eventually killed in D2 as well, days before we meet her on the ferry, she’s wearing orange and green having just shunned Dr. Percy (blue) and Ruskin (red, a baddy).
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2023.05.24 00:16 Wolfyluv Victoria
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Honestly I don’t know if I like her soft look more or her baddie look. Might be a tad partial to her baddie look, only because it fits in with the rest of my dolls, but her soft look is iconic. submitted by Wolfyluv to RainbowHigh [link] [comments]
2023.05.22 15:20 monkyCEO Fit baddie
2023.05.22 15:19 monkyCEO Fit baddie
2023.05.22 15:19 monkyCEO Fit baddie
2023.05.22 13:19 TELMxWILSON BOOYYAH! New music from Marky, Dimension, Liquicity, Justin Hawkes, Keeno, Digital and more.. With a double sided Hidden Gem review this week! [+weekly updated Spotify playlist] New Music Monday! (Week 21)
While I obviously love diving deep into an established artist's history, I have come to realise that I've neglected the Hidden Gems™️ a little lately. So, let's change that, with a double whammy feature of incredibly talented yet still rather unknown artists! That's right, we're doing a Hidden Gems™️ special!
1. Submonitor - Jupiter 💎 [Stellar Audio] Recommended if you like: Buunshin, Psynchro, Screamarts
Let's start with a name that has been causing one hell of a ruckus just a bit more than a month ago, when he premiered his very first tune (!) on Blackout's Ada(m)ptations series: Submonitor!
Born and raised in both the southest and the westest corner of the British Isles, also known as Cornwall, Adam Able has had a rather quiet upbringing. Well, I'm actually just assuming that, because someone who has had this much raw Metal in their life from this early on is probably unable to harm a fly. While the dread-locked fan of The Room has spent a considerable amount of time in the pursuit of the sickest guitar riffs out there, as part of his Metal band Lane End, he also developed an incurable affection for Drum and Bass, as part of the free party raving crowds in Cornwall. Inevitable-y (gotta keep the able part), as he moved over to London, this affection grew from "a sizeable portion of his playlists are D&B" to an unstoppable force leading him down the treacherous path of producing his own, unspeakable-y large tunes. That's basically it! Other than "Right Now" on the aforementioned Blackout compilation, there are literally no other Submonitor productions available for us mere mortals. Until last friday, that is!
His second and third offering now comes as a package deal on the venerable, sensationally underrated Bristolian-slash-Welsh label Stellar Audio. Honouring the name to the fullest, the label founded and run by Iwan "Paarsec" Lewis recently celebrated 3 years of their excellent existence, with superb releases all over the techy newschool spectrum. After a series of unbelievable-y high quality compilations under the Black Hole banner, including the fantastic series finale in the form of a huge remix project, they pivoted over to another overarching theme with the SOL Series. Instead of a couple underrated artists being sucked into one supermassive black hole at once, this series shines a full spotlight on just one artist at a time, 2-4 tracks at a time. After honestly extraordinary entries from Impartial, [BORDERS], Imou and my boi Puzzle, it is now time for the fifth (out of eight) edition, Jupiter, by, well, Submonitor, of course.
We kick this particular gold nugget of a release off with the declaration of war that is Wax Without Honey. I'm not sure who Adam is waging war against, but one thing's for sure, with weapons like that in his arsenal, I'm firmly on his side. Although it might feel like we're getting close to the drop soon after contemplating our existence with some stunning atmospheric work for a solid minute, this intergalactic cannon of a tune is only just getting started! As slowly as it is surely, the war horns build themselves up from meager grumbles to wall-shaking acts of aggression, with melancholic melodies, a pounding rhythm and a sheer endlessly upwards spiraling riser behind it. After two and a half minutes, we drop out of the whole madness for a few seconds, leaving only the melody to prime us for what's to come, before unleashing utter hell onto every unsuspecting listener. Seriously, while obviously very long, the buildup is, first of all, incredibly well executed and, second of all, results in one of the most massive drops you will have heard in a while, all while still retaining an aura of mystery thanks to its wonderful lead. This is honestly one of my favourite tunes of this year so far, absolutely ridiculous.
Following that up with anything would be quite an ambitious endeavour, because how are you gonna keep up the quality if your first tune is already this good? That's probably why the flipside of this honey-phobic opener, Ambitis, instead strives for way more subdued sound. Relatively speaking! For instance, while not as expansive as its counterpart, Ambitis' buildup is still full of beautiful yet hype-inducing sound trickery. Instead of dropping literal weapons of mass destruction on us during the drop, Adam only lightly grills our bottocks with his heavy-hitting, uniquely designed bursts of bass-y flames. Like the famous frog, we are slowly getting accustomed to higher and higher temperatures, until Adam turns up the heat way past the boiling point in the second half, fully scorching everything in his path.
Seriously impressive all around. Not just intensely heavy and extremely cleanly produced, but thanks to a focus on satisfying progression and a bit of unusual structuring also a breath of fresh air, putting a ton of established artists to shame. And it's a free download!
Other heavy things from this week: - Various Artists - Riot 4 EP - Zardonic, Mechanical Vein - Death By The Bassline - Absu_NTQL - Premise / Conclusion - Shannan - DANGEROUS - State Of Mind - Shout - Skellytn - War Machine
2. Sol Pillars - Sensations/Together 💎 [Locked Concept] Recommended if you like: Klinical, Koherent, Beeson
From one of the hotspots for DnB talent to one that isn't necessarily talked about very often: let's talk about South African talent Sol Pillars!
With a basis of operation in Johannesburg, Liam Thomas has been on a musical path since at least a decade, the earliest stop (I can find) being a guitarist gig in the band Mortal Dawn in the early 2010s. Eventually(am), the genre tides started to turn towards the drums and the basses, with Liam debuting the Sol Pillars project in 2017, with the Respawn EP. The name does make me think there's more history there, but if that's the case, Liam has hidden it well! While building up a great portfolio of self-releases, the chosen name proved to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as Sol Pillars became an actual pillar of the Johannesburgian scene, with regular appearances on the various event lineups in the area and even a job at local radio station Broadcast X! A proper Li-ambassador of the South African DnB scene! In 2020, he (li-)amped his musical career efforts up even further with his first of many label outings, on Rubricate Records. By now, he has (li-)amassed a list of releases on Propaganda011, Calibrate, Bay 6, Modular Carnage and, since the release of Sensation/Together last Friday, also Locked Concept! Don't worry, I'm gonna cool it with the Liam puns now.
Ever since being founded by Lockjaw and a few close friends in 2014, the Australian label Locked Concept has not only been a platform for Mr. Jaw to present his most personal output, it has also built itself up to become a treasure trove for all sorts of interesting musical experiments from artists all around the globe. Always championing new sounds and artists, it has been the home for early releases by the likes of Tellus, Frame, Nemy, Velle and Kuttin Edge, each more unique sounding than the other. In other words, the perfect place for a Sol Pillars release! So let's talk about that, shall we?
On the A-side we've got Liam's first foray into the wonderful world of vocal processing, with Sensations featuring up-and-coming vocalist Lara! Fun fact: even though her social tag is literally "namesnotlaura", I still almost called her by the wrong name. I should probably get some sleep soon. But first, the tune! Not only did
Laura Lara deliver a wonderfully dreamy vocal that instantly transports you to another dimension, Liam also pulled out all the stops to do the same, with a captivating arrangement of cosmically compelling synths on top of snippy, well-flowing drums. Always keeping the listener on their toes, Liam transitions through a couple of variations with his sublime synths, before completely blindsiding us with the attack of the bass™ in the second half. Wonderful tune!
As you might remember, it is not just a simple single, it is bundled together with a banging B-side, Together! Definitely more experimental in nature, Together takes us on a trip through the deepest depths the human ear allows, with the brilliantly unorthodox basses attacking only the subbiest of regions. As if that wasn't unique enough already, Liam also uses this opportunity to flex his drumwork skills, effortlessly switching between rhythms to create a really unique sense of progression and flow.
Over the past few years, Liam has really carved himself a niche of incredibly intriguing deep and darkness to flourish in, and this new one fits right into that. A fascinating explorations of the more unique corners of the minimal DnB genre.
Other deep and dark things from this week: - NCT, Becking, Chase - Momentum - Rockwell - Gramma - Nami - Data One Remixed - BassDubbers - No.8 / Take Me Higher - Senchai - Sundowner EP 💎 - Scurrow - Danube Ft C:Critz / Flies
General DnB / Mixed
- Apache Indian, Speaker Louis, Zen Lewis - Walk Through Fire (Speaker Louis Remix) [Dub Shotta] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Brian Brainstorm - Special Dedication EP [Jungle Cakes] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- DRZ - Hold Me [NUFORM] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Justin Hawkes - Heartleap [UKF] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Rassterlin - Life / So Foolish VIP [Asbo] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Sam Binga & Bakey - Binga & Bakey [Pineapple Records] , [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Turno, Skepsis, Charlotte Plank - Rave Out [Universal] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Various Artists - Liquicity Spring 2023 LP [Liquicity] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Whenuknow - I Found U [Selfreleased] [Other Store], [Spotify]
- Aktive - Love Me Better / Leave It All Behind [Crucast] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- AL/SO - Pièce De Résistance [Korsakov] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Artino - Alive [Ridmic] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Ben Rolo - Netrunner [YANA] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Dimension - DJ Turn It Up [Dimension] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- High Maintenance, Ayah Marar - Breathe In (Synth System Remix) [Liquicity] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Rimen, Nomeli - Steel Arms (MYKOOL Remix) [Simplify.] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Synergy - White Line [Pilot.] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- T & Sugah, Mara Necia - Lost In The Middle [NCS] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Various Artists - Riot 4 EP [RAM] [Beatport], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Voicians - Nitro Vision [Voicians] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Zardonic, Mechanical Vein - Death By The Bassline [MNRK] [Other Store], [Spotify]
- Ajex - Toxic [Jazz & Bass] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Chez, Virtue - Poison Dart [xJAK] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Cloud Formation - Re-Up EP [Heart Twice] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- DJ Marky, SOLAH - Poetry [Shogun] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Fernando Ferreira - Sweet Talk [Liquid Flow] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Genetics, LIVY - Me Against You [Liquicity] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Gravit-E - Force Of Attraction LP Sampler [Underground Soundz] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Heist, MC Funsta - Harlots EP [V] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Hiraeth - The Journey EP [Fokuz] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- HK Sage - Event Horizon / Arc [Celsius] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- IINTACT - Making Love [MELON MUSIC 01] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- JazzInspired - Follow Me [D-LiQ] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Keeno, Diandra Faye, Fæ Vie, Vio.let - Courage EP [Keeno] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Lens - Give Me a Reason (BCee Remix) [Spearhead] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Mineral, Jz - Vattuniemi Jam EP [Omni] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Modular II - The Nascent EP [Omni] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- MSDOS - Latino dnb EP [Liquid Drops] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Pure, Coffee Shop Jungle - Mancoco [Coffee Shop Jams] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Retromigration - Straight Foxin' LP [Wolf] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Sci-Clone - Radio Therapy - Pt. 2 EP [Metalheadz] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Sereni7 - Etheral [DNBB] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Snorre Seim, Inuuro, Chris Carr, wgj.bills - Blood Moon Remixes EP [Record Union] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Soulfil - With Mine [Goldfat] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Subrix - Afraid [Mathematica] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Viewer, Ivan Glzcor - Expansions EP [Soul Deep] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Walkin' Shadowz - Dusk Hour [Cocaine - Bulgaria] [Beatport], [Spotify]
Deep / Tech / Minimal
- Amoss - Hydra [Flexout] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- BassDubbers - No.8 / Take Me Higher [Rollout] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Bop, Diagram, Abstract Elements - 667 EP [Microfunk] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Chase, NCT, Becking - Momentum [Elevate] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- CHILL COLLECTIVE - Intel  [Beatport], [Spotify]
- clÜ (UK) - Sink EP [Off-License] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Delayrz - Favela Escape / Rattlesnake [Emphaseas] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Des McMahon - Epitaph / Hard Truth [DistroKid] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Diamond - Creature [Bass Junk Digital] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Division (DNB) - Disorder / Echoes [Dispatch] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store]
- DJ Madd - Prosper (Minor Forms Remix) / South Loop Era [Vandal] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Dunk - Club or Money EP [Formation] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Exult, Silloh - From The Trunk / Solid State [Hyperactivity] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Fracus, Jack In Box - Double Dropper (Turn Out The Lights) [Future Breakz] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Grim Hellhound - Aokigahara EP [Sirius] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Headroom, Katon - Flounder [Twisted Sounds] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Hyroglifics, Nah Eeto, Deft - Sing To It EP [Critical] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- IMANU, Flowdan - Outlaw [MONTA] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Kaiza, Xeomi - Murk [ZTEREN] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Lara, Sol Pillars - Sensations/Together [Locked Concept] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- LUXS - Baddy / Unseen Forces [Interstellar] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Miss Trouble, Beat Merchants - Pressure [Viper] [Beatport], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Nami - Data One Remixed EP [Data] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Niall T - Shine Eye Gyal [ANGVIS] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Pharoah, Conrad Subs - Dunkin EP [Goat Shed] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Rider Shafique, Jolliffe - Surround Me [DeVice] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Rockwell - Gramma [Obsolete Medium] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Roygreen & Protone, Monologue, Armando - Handcracked EP [Intrigue] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Sequence - Onslaught EP [GZ] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Submonitor - Jupiter [Stellar] , [Free Download], [Spotify]
- T>I, Zombie Cats - Search & Destroy / Tech Dreams [Dispatch] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Tone Walsh - The Idle Hour EP [inHabit] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Trail - Fahgettaboudit  [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Absu_NTQL - Premise / Conclusion [Hanzom] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- NOISECREW - Feel Angry EP [Raving Panda] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Shannan - DANGEROUS [CREATURED] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- State Of Mind - Shout [Blackout] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Tobax, TNTKLZ - Blasters & Flowers EP [Neuropunk] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Tornatic - Back to the Madness EP [UTM] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Amplify, Blacks, Nick The Lot, MC Spyda - Slow Jam/Guns Of Navarone EP [BassLayerz] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Burt Cope - Higher Level [BeatsBassLife] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Gouki - Sick With It EP [Shack] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Hoogs - Falling Away / Mechanical Gear [Natty Dub] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Jaxx - Left The Dome EP [Train] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Jayjax - Take over the world EP [Format dnb] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Kezman - Come Dance EP [Subway Soundz] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- King Yoof, Natty Campbell, Donovan Kingjay - Irregular Dubplate EP [Jungle Mania] [Beatport]
- Klay - The Great Silence EP [OYO] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- L3MMY DUBZ - Grotty Funk / Overdrive [Cre8DnbMusic] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Latte - Dip Out EP [Tsunami] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Limewax, Spherent - PRSPCT303 EP [PRSPCT] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Oli Lewis - Trust Nobody EP [Grid] [Beatport], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Phabiaz, Alex Stirner - Muddy Era EP [Jungle Pride] [Beatport]
- Pruf - Bloodshed EP [Nuclear Bass] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Andre - Drum Fever [SoundzAudio] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Coco Bryce, PNEM - Industria (Coco Bryce Remix) [Intercept] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Crystal Clear - Hoxton Square [Beta] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Digital, Outrage - Red Letter LP [Function] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Spotify]
- Gardna - MASSIVE VIP EP [Gardna] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Gorgon City - Voodoo (Drum & Bass Extended Edit) [Positiva] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Sully & Coco Bryce - Eraser / Hands All Over My Body [Myor] , [Bandcamp]
- The Green Man (TGM) - 25 Years Of Santorin / Mr. One Digital Remix [Santorin] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- TNO Project, Paul Bradley, Wisov, The Timespan - Knitebreed Remixes Volume One EP [Knitebreed] [Beatport], [Spotify]
submitted by TELMxWILSON
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2023.05.20 18:21 Professional_Note561 [Offline][5e][Boston] DMs wanted... as players! (Non-DMs can apply too tho)
Hello everyone! I'm resetting my offline 5e game since I ran out of backlogged adventures and don't have the free time to make more with the depth I'd be satisfied with. As I look for a fresh crop of players, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to do something about that Forever DM Syndrome I hear so much about.
As such, I'm headhunting local DMs! Running your own table but want a chance to play without all the homework that comes with it? My game might be what you're looking for. I'm going to wrap up collecting prospective players next weekend and start figuring out what time and place works best for the final comp.
If that sounds interesting send me a PM, we can link up on Discord and I can get you the onboarding documents that have more details about the table and setting, as well as getting to know you a little better.
Even if you're not a DM, feel free to reach out! I'm trying to favor DMs but at the end of the day I'm going to go with what seems like the best fit for the group. Maybe link this to your current GM to show your appreciation and give them a chance to play!
Pitch: I like to run semi-contained oneshots with an overarching setting that a player once described as "fantasy cyberpunk." Most adventures take place in the urban environment of Mylar's Reach, a massive capital city that's a cross between Ankh-Morpork, Ravnica, Dunwall and Granblue Fantasy. The area is on the cusp of an industrial revolution, and factions with wildly different politics, magic and tech compete for dominance. Players can choose from contracts in a wide variety of fields, building trust with some factions or making enemies of others.
Playstyle: Healthy mix, but emphasis is often more on storytelling, roleplaying and mystery-solving than combat. It's possible to murderize all the baddies in front of you and still fail the mission, so those looking for the full Warhammer experience will likely be underwhelmed. Both serious and comedic elements.
Age Limits: 21+
Times: Once every two weeks, on weekends probably
Location: TBD depending on people's location/availability
House Rules: I encourage players to use the PBH and get creative with flavor, some races/classes are flavor-restricted by the setting. I review any supplemental books for approval. Tasha's is the most frequent victim. I default to rules as written but can be flexible. One or two banned subclasses, one or two departures from standard 5e rules, nothing too major. A couple more technical departures.
Genre: Varies wildly, with input from the players. I've run a mystery/political thriller one session, an SCP containment breach the next and a candy heist after that. Right now the players get a lot of input on what contracts they take, but I might nudge the table toward the main storyline eventually.
Tone: Also varies significantly with the particular adventure. I avoid gratuitous grimdark even in horror-inspired settings, the lower tone limit is realistic/tense
Content Warnings: Not many tbh. No gore, anything 18+ is fade to black, some factions are racist but we're not looking to wind up on rpghorrorstories
LGBTQ friendly, just an all-around decent group of people.
I may or may not be hell-bent on playing Lancer someday
submitted by Professional_Note561
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2023.05.20 08:33 BIN-ILL-03 Version 3.0 of the concept for a Friday Night Funkin' mod revolving around The House of Hot People: "A Night of Freaky Funkers"
I've decided that a "Story Mode" doesn't exactly fit our theme, so I'm removing most of it. Now we'll all get one long week together with one song each, because that feels right for us.
- Track 01 / Len / Gender Fluids
- Track 02 / Jace / Right to Repair
- Track 03 / Spork / Nondescription
- Track 04 / Rob / Rough Sketch
- Track 05 / Red / Illusory
- Track 06 / Jaiden / Irregulated
After you finish Red's track, there would actually be a bit of dialogue.
Red: wait jaiden where's your rant
Jaiden: i got rid of the dialogue it's gone
Girlfriend: bring it back
Jaiden: no fuck you
(Boyfriend hits Jaiden in the face with his microphone.)
Jaiden: Jesus Christ, is that the limit to your sense of humour? Repeatedly hitting me with your microphone? If that's as funny as you get, that's fucking pathetic. I'm sick and fucking tired of being a victim of physical comedy, you waste of god damn space. I'm going to sing as hard as I fucking can until you finally fail or I pass out from fucking exhaustion.
Jace: Calmest Sault Ste Marie resident
It's not exactly a week, but once you beat the first week, you unlock two marathon tracks strung together.
- Track 01 / The Subpar Six / Subpar
- Track 02 / Alt Accounts / Alternative
Freeplay / Original Tracks
- Track 01 / Shloop vs. Jaiden / Joyride
- Track 02 / Lexi vs. Void / Prejudice
- Track 03 / Harris vs. Jace / Genitalian Twist
- Track 04 / Raymond vs. Dave (Jaiden) / Deceit
- Track 05 / JDog vs. Jaiden & Jace / Patrol
- Track 06 / Peel vs. YBRIK (Dreamland.exe) / Nightmare
- Track 07 / Spork vs. Friend / Dull Prongs
- Track 08 / Jaiden vs. AI Dungeon / Shidfarder
- Track 09 / Emojimech vs. Red / Monstrosity
- Track 10 / Red vs. Jaiden / Yo Mama
- Track 11 / Sunky vs. Yuri / Goodness Gracious
- Track 12 / No Whereas vs. Jaiden / Witness
- Track 13 / Charlie Fryer vs. Jaiden & Dave / Woooosh
- Track 14 / Sorched vs. Mouse / Ethereal Shine
- Track 15 / Jace vs. Crack Bear / Cracked
- Track 16 / Unsuspecting Deer vs. EXE / Fanatic
- Track 17 / Subpar Six (Nightmares) / Too Hot to Handle
- Track 18 / HoHW vs. Jaiden & Jace / Gone South
- Track 19 / Dave vs. Subpar Six / Dave
Freeplay / Covers
- Track 01 / Emojimech vs. Red / Last Straw [Vs. Oswald]
- Track 02 / Subopoly vs. Subpar Six / Cross Console Clash [Super Mario Bros.: Funk Mix]
- Track 03 / Johnny Bravo vs. Wario / Sex [Friday Night Funkin': Baddies]
- Track 04 / The Illness vs. Hat Kid / Really Loud [Vs. Dave and Bambi: Golden Apple Edition]
- Track 05 / Spork vs. Jaiden & Red / Drippypop [Vs. Impostor]
- Track 06 / Hog & Scorched vs. Subpar Six / Manual Blast [Vs. Sonic.exe]
Once you've beaten every song in the mod, you'll recieve a notification that you've unlocked one new song in freeplay. If you look at it, it's just a bunch of static, and clicking on it pretends to crash your game.
The game automatically opens back up, and you're presented with a single week to select, titled "CANVAS". You can't exit out of this selection menu and there's no background music.
- Track 01 / The Creator / Unprompted
- Track 02 / The Creator / THE END
submitted by BIN-ILL-03
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2023.05.20 08:18 Adorable-Dot5408 [5e] [ONLINE] Looking for a player to join an ongoing Dark Fantasy campaign
Hello there! We are looking for 1 player to join an ongoing campaign. It is set in a homebrew Dark Fantasy setting inspired by Castlevania, the Witcher and a book called Empire of the Vampire. It is fairly low magic, healing can sometimes be challenging and characters can get Injuries that last a little (or longer depending), Resurrection is near unheard of/a thing of legends. The main baddies are the Vampires but they are very different for 5e and have their own lore. Aside from them, there are Werewolves (and variants), Hags/Crones, Wraiths, Cursed Spirits, and all things that go bump in the night. It is very much a Man VS Monster feel, there are the Humans and then there are the Monsters. So all party members are Human, though there are ways to make them a variant. There is a LOT to take in initially and even more as we go. So the person who joins should love lore and enjoy learning new things regularly, in addition they should be one who makes a Character, not a mechanic, no murder hobos, meme characters or power builds for the sake of damage dice. We do not want a premade character idea since the character needs to fit this world and setting, unless you are willing to be very compromising and accept when/if we have to change something about the idea. The Human race and all classes are homebrew and we take a 'build the class to match the character' approach, meaning from the ground up, though we can take bits of existing classes if it makes sense for the character. We are a RP focused group who prioritize telling a good story not power mechanics, to help with this we have an open RP chat that players use to have more detailed interactions between the other members or NPSc. It is not mandatory but one who joins should want to participate.The characters just hit level 7, we intend to go to 20 and are looking for someone to go to the end with us. I estimate about another 9 months or so. We play TWICE a week on Monday and Wednesday from 5pm-9pm (ARIZONA time, we don't do daylight savings and I am terrible at knowing timezones so please do your research for what time this is for you). (A note about Mondays currently, we are starting an hour early to accommodate some of the players who are in a different timezone) We use Discord for voice and Roll20 for our VTT. If you are interested please direct message me with Codeword: SURVIVE to let me know you get this far. Thank you for your time and may your rolls be blessed!
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2023.05.20 07:50 Ok_Acanthocephala15 Tesehki vs Natalie at the auditions. Does this seem like a PR stunt, or am I reaching?
| || | submitted by Ok_Acanthocephala15 to Chrisean__Rock [link] [comments]
I feel like it’s likely a stunt, because Natalie honestly sounds like she’s unconvincingly delivering lines in that first clip (here is a link to the original video, it's a bit easier to hear than in my screen recording)
. Either she needs to work on her acting skills or she just sounded particularly monotone in that moment.
But to me, this so-called “altercation” just seems like poor story writing.
The whole, “We don’t need you! We already have Chrisean!” It sounds like they’re setting the girl up for a storyline, already. Where, if ultimately cast, she will try to prove herself outside of being Chrisean’s sister.
And this scenario kind of aligns with the villain role Natalie typically chooses to play, as well as positions Tesehki in a sympathetic light, and shows the fanbase that she’s quick to want to physically fight (something the fan base loves). Maybe they’re testing the waters, to see if they can get fans interested in seeing her?
They might also be trying to use controversy to create buzz (as we all know Zeus is prone to doing) and/or creating hype for her being cast by contriving this fake beef between her and Natalie (that might encourage people to tune in, so they can see how it plays out).
As we all know, Stunna almost fought Tommie before last season and people were eating it up. Maybe they wanted to recreate the success of that storyline (although I believe that was real).
And even if no one is interested and all they get is publicity for the new season in general (with or without Tesehki) I’m sure they’d be fine with that. This later comment of Natalie’s
also reeks of ulterior motives, in my opinion.
Natalie clearly has no issue with bullying. See: most of her past friendships, Scottygate, her enthusiastic endorsement of Stunna (the jumper who brings men and guns to defeat girls) and Blueface (no explanation needed), her creation of a show about (mainly) violence, her defense of Chris Brown beating up Rihanna. The list literally goes on but I’ll stop there.
Why would this situation suddenly be different, to her? Her mentioning Tesehki’s willingness to fight a pregnant woman, if anything, makes her seem like a PERFECT fit for a show that is literally based on the premise of violence and toxicity.
Natalie obviously knows this. She’s not dense enough to miss something so obvious, especially when it comes to her
show. A show that she brags about constantly, virtually centers her entire life around, and that the success of directly impacts her confidence.
Say what you want about Natalie, but her brand (including her internet beefing) is extremely calculated and (arguably) meticulously maintained. That’s why I believe the comment was intentionally (she knows the fanbase loves when they cast people who have a history of crimes, violence, and conflict-seeking. See: Stunna) designed to covertly sell Tesehki to the fanbase. Not make her seem like a bad fit. People came forward to defend Tesehki, and say they want her on the show. So if their plan was to spark interest/give people a reason to root for her, as a “character”— it may have worked. Someone also suggested a “sister season” of Baddies, and Natalie immediately switched it up…? Talking about, oh, maybe she can be on the show in the future. What…? 💀 So are you vehemently and morally opposed to her being on the show, or not, Natalie? She be forgetting to play the roles she writes for herself sometimes.
I believe that if they’re considering casting her at all, it will be in the very near future, not the distant future as she tried to coyly suggest. There’s hype around her now,
after she “almost fought” Natalie and now that people know she’s mentally unstable enough to fight a pregnant woman, and they’ve portrayed her from a sympathetic angle by having Natalie insult her.
The supposed almost fight also comes off disingenuous to me because I think it’s odd that Natalie seemingly went “so hard” to defend Chrisean.
She doesn’t like Chrisean. We all know this.
Also I’ve never seen Natalie show genuine concern/empathy for another human being, and especially to this degree. It seems out of character for her to take such a strong stand in favor of what’s right, when it doesn’t benefit her at all to do so.
2023.05.19 10:44 Asinus_Docet Who embodied Evil before Hitler and the nazis in mainstream historical knowledge?
Hitler and the nazis are seen today as the ultimate "baddies" in mainstream (western) culture but who fit the bill before them? I'm really curious. It probably depends on the culture and the time period. Could historians gather and give us the ultimate historical Rogues' gallery? Please ♡ I'm mostly interested in mainstream historical representations. There's probably a ton of "evildoers" who've been forgotten, yet others who don't deserve the title and got it. Who's who?
submitted by Asinus_Docet
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2023.05.18 06:25 Ok_Acanthocephala15 Does anyone else feel like Zeus set Rollie up? (Warning: it’s long)
I feel like their brand is clearly very intentionally centered around controversy and scandals.
Someone else said in a comment that they could’ve given her a weight loss show with Scotty, but instead decided to sponsor this dangerous surgery route.
Which made me realize that, Zeus doesn’t create a more wholesome/safe environment for Rollie to lose weight within simply because their viewers most likely wouldn’t think that that kind of show is “interesting.”
This controversy, on the other hand? This scandal that’s playing out on social media? This, they know will attract viewers. This is what we typically eat up and tune in to watch in horror, much like one watches a car crash.
Just like the drama from Baddies, the abuse from Blueface towards Chrisean. Toxicity and controversy underlie all their projects, because they know shock value is highly profitable.
This is their usual MO. Generate and sustain hype on social media by calculatedly banking on naturally occurring scandals, or contrive a scandal if there is none. How many times has Natalie seemed to “produce” beef on social media out of thin air and over seemingly no major issue? How many times have we seen Blueface verbally abuse and gaslight Chrisean to her breaking point while on Live? I believe he also does this on his own/for his own brand (which is also built on controversy) and figured out this marketing technique before ever beginning to work with Zeus. We all know the only way he profits off of her is (by keeping her fame level high) by keeping her involved in scandals. I believe Chrisean’s music career that he purports to “manage” has become nothing more than a front, in a very similar manner to the way that the show idea that was officially pitched to Rollie, was a front (but, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself).
I think they utilize toxicity to evoke that added layer of drama and excitement (a show about a normal couple, or just a bunch of women making club appearances, or a normal weight loss journey wouldn’t be that exciting, let’s be real) that they seem to feel all their shows need (especially in the recent past) in order to succeed.
They’re adapting as manipulators— sorry, marketers— as time goes on. They’re gradually learning to weave their integral scandal component into the fabric of the show much more seamlessly.
Look at Baddies. That was some of their earlier work (of their more successful shows), they didn’t do a great job of disguising the true purpose (violence and conflict as entertainment).
They tell the women who audition that it’s about “being a baddie.” A word with an ever-changing definition that seems to bend to fit whatever Zeus needs from those women at any given moment. Even at the auditions themselves, the women are ultimately just encouraged to fight, above all else.
The show is sold to these women as being about getting money at club appearances (we all know this is extra padding for their check so Zeus can pay them less) and promoting their businesses.
When do we ever hear about their businesses?
No, the show is about fighting. Everyone knows this already, and it’s too late to fix the damage that’s been done.
Now take Crazy in Love, their later baby. A show about abuse, but marketed as being about a couple’s unorthodox “love” story (it’s in the name). All their marketing pushed the show as being about “love.” Never did they officially use the term “toxic” (at least that I recall). And look at how many people conflate abuse and love, still insisting he loves her, even after watching it play out before their very eyes on Zeus. They were much better at concealing their true intentions with their second attempt.
Now this upcoming show (or whatever format it will be presented in), is (seemingly, as of now) a show that on the surface will be sold as just being centered around cosmetic surgery.
But in reality I believe it’s intended to be about what we’re all discussing, in real time. A desperate woman undergoing risky, life endangering (to a point, I think?) surgeries just to fit a certain aesthetic.
It’s quite clear that Rollie doesn’t want to make these social media posts detailing her journey. She’s been screaming and almost crying about the hate she’s getting ever since she started. She seems angry about the invasiveness of social during a situation that I think most people would want to be as private as possible.
She keeps promoting Goals on the posts and shouting them out, so I’m sure the social media posts are part of the deal Zeus negotiated with them, rather than something Rollie is doing of her own volition.
I think Zeus intentionally worked out this intensive social media promotion deal not only to save money, but to create online ruckus and drama at the expense of Rollie’s mental health.
Shouldn’t being promoted on the show itself, to millions of viewers, be more than worth the cost of a few measly procedures, to Goals? Why were the social media posts needed?
To get people talking and wanting to watch the upcoming show.
Because scandal is their usual marketing strategy and, and as we’ve already said, the usual (albeit at times un-acknowledged and covert) premise of their shows.
They knew the backlash this plan would receive once the public got wind of it and the uproar the posts leading up to the show would cause, because of Rollie’s starting weight. That was the plan, all along. They saw how much criticism and concern Crazy in Love got, and the viewership that resulted in. Why not just… do it again?
They obviously know that putting Rollie, Chrisean, and black women in general in these situations, for profit, is immoral. If someone does something harmful over and over, even after being called out, it’s intentional. This truth also applies to a team of executives, not just individuals.
So now— the show is effectively no longer just about a cosmetic surgery journey, it’s also (implicitly) about this extremely dangerous situation that a woman is “choosing” to put herself in, that has the world horrified yet transfixed and curious to see what will happen next.
But they will never overtly advertise it as such. They will continue saying it’s just about her journey.
Because they know drama doesn’t sell if it’s too obvious that it was staged.
I genuinely think that they’re sacrificing Rollie’s mental health, and risking her life, to ensure that their proven-to-work marketing ploys can be utilized for profit, yet again.
They manipulate, exploit, use, underpay (relative to what their work earns the company), the cast of every other show they’ve created (at least to some degree, even if it’s “just” exploiting racial stereotypes and financially desperate people).
Why would this one be any different?
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