Cassidy Earp – A Wynonna Earp Story

April 3, 2021

The town of Purgatory had seen better days. Hell, America all over was having a hard time. The stock market crash of 1929 had thrown the economy into a tailspin. The economic downturn was hard on everyone. On top of that, the Ghost River Triangle where Purgatory was, had suffered from the dust bowl. The drought had caused wide-spread problems with farming. Middle America was literally choking on the dust of its farmlands. On Wyatt Farm, things were no different and Cassidy Earp did not know what they were going to do.

Money was tight and her no-good husband had run off and left her there with her twin sons, Wayne and William. She was barely holding it together and that damn gun her father had given her was starting to light up. She remembered that this was a bad sign. As nervous as it made her, she had taken to wearing it around the farm as they tried to eke out a meager living.

Wayne threw down his shovel all of a sudden. “Damn it!” he said. “Mother, I just can’t see why we can’t move on from here. The farm is a lost cause.”

“Calm down, Wayne,” William said. “You can’t talk to our mother like that.”

“It’s alright, Will,” Cassidy said. “I know this is frustrating. The truth is, we can’t leave.”

“Why not?” Wayne asked, his brow furrowing.

“An Earp must always live in Purgatory,” Cassidy said. “I’ve been waiting for the right time to explain this to you boys but it may as well be now. Our family has been haunted ever since our ancestor Wyatt Earp came to this place. Our curse has to do with this gun.” She held up the revolver she had inherited. “This belonged to Wyatt and he killed 77 bad men with it. He was cursed and those dead men and women became demons and are stuck here in the Ghost River Triangle. Legend has it that our family has to put those bad people back in the ground. A Wyatt must wait here to make that happen.”

The boys were quiet, both looking at her incredulously. Had their mother gone insane? Surely the loss of their father and their economic misfortune had driven her over the edge.

“Mother,” William started. “Are you feeling unwell? Can we get you to bed?”

“Or to a doctor,” Wayne said. “This is crazy.”

“I swear to you that it’s the truth,” Cassidy said. “At least, that’s how my father told it to me. I never saw it during his lifetime but I believed him. He saw his parents murdered.”

“None of that makes any sense,” Wayne said. “It’s lunacy. Your father passed on insanity to you. We need to get you help.”

William got very still. “Mother,” he said. “Why is the barrel of that gun glowing?”

Cassidy held up the gun again and saw that the barrel was glowing a faint orange. “It means that they’re near,” she said. “The Revenants. The demons. Maybe even the ones who killed your great grandfather.”

At that moment, a car pulled up to the front gate and two men got out in suits. They looked like traveling salesmen but even from where they were, Cassidy could see a peculiar look in their eyes.

“Gentlemen, madam,” the tall one said. “We’re here to collect.”

“Collect what?” Wayne asked. “There’re no bills due. It’s the middle of the month.”

“Earp blood,” the short one said and both men’s eyes glowed and little glowing cracks appeared in their skin around those eyes.

Wayne reached down to grab his shovel and William gripped his hammer tight but Cassidy was quicker. She aimed and fired two careful shots, the barrel of the gun glowing like a torch. The bullets struck both of these strange men and then something even more amazing happened. A massive hole opened up beneath their bodies and fires hotter than a furnace could be seen. The two ‘collectors’ fell down deep into the earth and then it closed up again.

“It’s true!” William said after a long pause.

“What was that!?” Wayne yelled to nobody in particular.

“Boys,” Cassidy said. “There’s a lot to teach you.”

The Birds Solve a Riddler – A Birds of Prey Story

April 2, 2021

(Specifically takes place in the continuity of the Birds of Prey movie)

Edward Nygma aka The Riddler ran around the corner with his henchmen close behind him. They had just robbed a bank after Nygma had laid out a very clever heist. The heist had gone very smoothly but unbelievably, the getaway car had refused to start. Nygma cursed his luck. He was brilliant and wise but his luck was always bad. It was completely unfair when all of the other criminals, many of them half of his IQ, were far luckier. Now he and his goons were hoofing it through a Gotham alleyway. He stopped short when he saw a caped figure start to emerge from the shadows.

“Batman!” he cried out. “No! Impossible! My riddles should have occupied you across town for hours. You really are a match for my intellect. No matter, you’ll still die.” He pointed his gun but he felt a blinding pain in his hand and he dropped the gun. Was that a crossbow bolt in his hand?

“I’m not Batman,” the woman said as she stepped fully out of the shadows, cocking her crossbow.

“Well, who the hell are you!?” Riddler yelled. “Batgirl?”

The young woman shook her head and let herself smile a little. There was no reason to be so serious. At least, that is what they kept saying. “They call me… Huntress,” she said regarding the Riddler as she leveled her crossbow again. “Give up now.”

“Fat chance,” Riddler yelled. “They’re going to call you dead. Get her boys!” His henchmen started to aim their guns when two other women leapt out of the shadows and his guys started to get punched, sending their guns clattering to the ground.

“You know what,” Renee Montoya said. “I know Batman. I think Batman didn’t bother with your riddles. He’s just not here because he doesn’t care about you anymore.” She clocked one of the henchmen, sending him to the ground.

“I am Batman’s greatest rival,” Riddler said, somewhat defensively. “I’m sure he’ll be here to show you amateurs up at any point.” He said it proudly but the confidence did not quite reach his eyes and betrayed his true feelings. It was sad to see somebody get ghosted by an ex.

“Bad news, Riddler,” Black Canary said as she roundhouse kicked a henchman. “You’re stuck with us. You’re also forgetting the Joker, the Penguin, and ton of other people.”

“You’re just a bit above the Condiment King these days,” Montoya said. “It’s sad.”

“Yeah,” Huntress said. “I think people are all about Cluemaster these days.”

“Cluemaster!?” the Riddler yelled. “He’s a hack!” This is about when he noticed that his henchmen had all been knocked out. He sighed and his shoulders slumped.

Montoya held up a bunch of zip ties. “Make it easy on yourself, Riddler,” she said. “We won’t tell. You can tell them we beat you senseless. You can say there was ten of us.”

The Riddler grunted and slowly put his wrists together and extend them out, closing his eyes and turning his head away as if it would be Batman tying him up if he did not watch it happen.

It made the Birds of Prey chuckle a bit. They tied his hands behind his back and started the job of tying up his henchmen as the Riddler sat and pouted. They made quick work of it and then Montoya set off a blue smoke signal and they walked away.

“You know,” Black Canary said. “I think you’re getting better with the patter, Huntress.”

“Yeah?” Huntress asked with a smile. “Thanks. We still need to get Renee a mask.”

“I don’t think so,” Renee said.

Amongst the Debris – A Star Trek Story

April 1, 2021

Taran Alder had barely crawled into the Jeffries Tube before his quarters had exploded and then decompressed. He was able to mash the button to close the tube again which prevented him from being sucked into space. He rolled onto his back and breathed hard for a moment, staring at the uncomfortably close ceiling. He would have to get moving soon. The damage might spread from his room and who knew what other decks were compromised. He also had to find his sister and his mother. He had to believe that they were still alive.

He rolled back over and tried to take inventory of his physical wellbeing but all he could feel was ‘ouch’. His ears were still ringing from the sound of the impact and his body was starting to ache from being thrown from his bed. He had thought that the impact was from debris but he had no idea what the debris was from. There had been a red alert just before impact so it had not been a complete surprise. Still, whatever it was had gotten through the shields (if they were even up). Not a surprise since the ship was only a transport and not actually designed for battle.

As he started making his way through the Jeffries tube, he noted that the lights were still on so the power was not completely damaged. The air was still breathable so maybe life support was still operable. That was good news. Maybe the damage was minimal. Maybe they would effect repairs and wouldn’t even need rescue. They couldn’t be that far from a space station. It was good to remain optimistic. There were plenty of things that could go wrong but it made no sense to worry about them until evidence presented itself.

Taran realized he was clutching something in his hand. It was his dad’s old tricorder. He didn’t even remember grabbing it in the scramble for safety. He pointed it at the nearby door and found that the thing was reading a breathable atmosphere on the other side. He pressed the button and climbed into a hallway that was scorched. The fire suppression system must have successfully triggered and released. It mostly looked like surface dangerous but some systems looked exposed and one of the light panels flickered ominously. He hurried on.

He arrived at the quarters where his sister and mother were staying and was about to see if the door was still working when he saw his older sister poking around in some wiring in the wall.

“Aurelia!” Taran called out, making her flinch and drop the tool in her hand. “Be careful, we don’t know how stable that is.”

Aurelia turned, clearly annoyed. “Relax, Taran. I took the panel off myself,” she said. “I was trying to jury rig access to this communicator panel.” She reached down to grab her tool.

“Alright, that’s not a bad idea,” Taran said. “We’re not getting any alerts from the Captain so we need to know what to do.”

“We also need to find mom,” Aurelia said. “She wasn’t in our quarters when I woke up.”

“Is there damage in your quarters?” Taran asked.

“No,” Aurelia said. “The lights are out and I had to manually release the door.”

“Mine kind of exploded,” Taran said. “Can I sleep on your floor after we get through this?”

“I’ll think about it,” Aurelia said. “This is going nowhere. We should pick a direction and head that way.”

“Agreed,” Taran said. “Obviously, in the opposite direction of my room.”

“Obviously,” Aurelia said.

They started down the hallway and came to a large bulkhead door.

“They sealed off this section,” Taran said. “We must be the only ones who didn’t get out.”

“What do we do now?” Aurelia asked.

“We get through that door just like you got out of your room,” Taran said. He moved over and started to remove a panel. “There has to be a release here somewhere.”

“Forget it, Taran,” Aurelia said. “This door is different. We’re not getting out this way.” She sighed.

“I won’t give up,” Taran said.

Just as he said it, a shimmering light enveloped him and Aurelia. Suddenly, they were somewhere entirely. Blue-clad Federation medics headed their way and started checking them out.

“What’s going on?” Taran called out.

“Relax,” a voice said. “My name is Nog. This is the USS Maryland and we were finally able to track your life signs to transport you out of the damaged section. You must be Aurelia and Taran. We’ve already beamed your mother aboard as a precaution. We’ll take you to her when our medics give the all-clear.”

Taran nodded and closed his eyes and finally relaxed.

Media Update 4/1/31

April 1, 2021

Falcon and Winter Soldier

Coming off of WandaVision, I was interested where they would go with Marvel television. This story already feels a bit more political and connected to the world at large (which is different not better or worse). Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return as the title characters and do a great job continuing those characters’ stories. Since we are not focusing on Steve Rogers anymore, we get to see more of the personal life of both characters and how they fit in to society. We also get to see a lot more of the realities of a post-blip world. Adepero Oduye is a scene-stealer as Falcon’s sister. Emily VanCamp gets to return as the criminally underused Sharon Carter. The whole cast is really interesting and it seems that they are able to tell a meaningful, deep story while also having a lot of exciting action scenes. I definitely recommend this show.

Operation Varsity Blues

Since I followed the scandal in the news, I was definitely going to check out this documentary. This documentary obviously follows the high-profile conspiracy investigation that busted a college admissions cheating operation. It exposed many wealthy people who were able to cheat to get their kids into prestigious universities and colleges. The movie is told in reenactments which are leagues ahead of your average reenactments. Part of that is that Matthew Modine plays Rick Singer, the charismatic and morally bankrupt ringleader behind the whole scheme. The movie does a good job breaking down possible motives for the parents who eagerly cooperated with the schemes. The documentary also goes into some interesting discussions about what makes a college desirable and how broken the college admission process has become. It never excuses the people who were guilty in this but it does bring some understanding into it. I recommend this as well.

Icarus

This is an award-winning documentary about steroid doping in athletics. The director, Bryan Fogel, started out his story with frustration about always being toward the middle of the pack during marathon bike races. Partially spurred on by the Lance Armstrong scandal, he starts to investigate a bit. He is told that far more people than we know are using drugs to gain an unfair edge. He decides to try doping and see if he can pass drug tests like Lance Armstrong. He starts a regiment and is coached by an eccentric Russian scientist who is in charge of a huge lab in Russia. When a larger scandal breaks in Russia, the movie suddenly changes from medical scandal investigation to political thriller. The movie took turns that I did not expect but it manages to stay light even in its darkest moments. It exposes a lot of the worst of the sports world and how easily people turn a blind eye to it. I recommend this as well.

Music of the Week:


Lil Nas X – MONTERO

Jessi (제시) – ‘어떤X

Devour – No Escape

Apocalyptica feat. Lacey – Broken Pieces

Mashup of the Week

Wantwon – Sexy Like a Hole

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “Feeling Like a Fake”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 4
I watched American Murder: Family Next Door

Video Game Lore: The Super Mario Dating Scene

March 29, 2021

The other day, I was writing about Bowsette and I realized I had more to say about Nintendo. It is not exactly a meme but is instead about the ongoing lore of the two biggest properties that Nintendo controls. Those properties are the Mario games and the Legend of Zelda games. This is going to get pretty nerdy and does not really mean anything but it is something that I have grown to like contemplating sometimes. I suppose it is the writer in me. Anyway, I want to discuss specific parts of both of these franchises. Both have a ton of lore but, to varying degrees, both franchises require their fanbase to fill in a lot of the gaps.

The Super Mario Dating Scene

As most video game nerds will point out pushes up glasses, Mario first showed up in Donkey Kong. In that game, he tries to save his then-girlfriend Pauline from the giant ape Donkey Kong. Fewer people remember that Mario was actually the antagonist of Donkey Kong Jr. who was just trying to rescue his dad from Mario’s who kept his old foe in a cage. Mario would eventually end the generational feud by befriending Donkey Kong the 3rd. At this point, he had broken up with Pauline. Side note: Mario eventually met up with Pauline in Super Mario Odyssey where she is the Mayor of the democratic kingdom of New Donk City.

Anyway, Mario would go on to team up with his brother Luigi and the two would pretty much be inseparable from then on. Well, unless one of them was kidnapped and the other had to save their brother. Mario and Luigi first got involved with Princess Peach when rescuing her the first time Bowser kidnapped her in Super Mario Bros. They would go on to have a routine of rescuing Peach whenever Bowser kidnapped her in pretty much every game. They eventually met Princess Daisy, a princess of far off Sarasaland (exclusive to the Nintendo Game Boy). At that point, people figured that Luigi did not have to be a third wheel and the two princesses and two plumbers could double date.

However, Nintendo has always been pretty coy about these relationships. Official word is nestled in little easter eggs and ambiguous scenes in spinoff games. Notably, when Mario saves the day in many of the games, he is rewarded by Peach baking him a cake and not giving him a kiss. If he does get a kiss, it is the same chaste cheek kiss that his brother Luigi gets. It seems a lot of people read too much into Mario and Peach’s relationship and Daisy x Luigi as well. In fact, while Mario and Peach (and Bowser) seem to be inextricably linked by fate and politics, Mario and Peach do not act like a couple.

This apparent disconnect between fanon and canon caused a big ruckus from the MRA folks. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario spends the whole game trailing after Bowser, Peach, and Bowser’s wedding planners as Bowser tries to prepare to marry Peach whether she wants to or not. Mario finally catches up at the wedding chapel on the Moon where he soundly beats Bowser Punchout-style. At the end of the game, Bowser and Mario both offer Peach flowers but she rejects both of them and leaves them both stranded on the Moon. Finally, a definitive statement (possibly?) that Peach may not be into Mario. More importantly, it was a great message to MRA types and young impressionable boys that helping out a woman does not mean that she is obligated to date you.

Time will tell if they ever go all in on the relationship or whether the four remain platonic friends who like to hang out and play sports together.

Bonus: This awesome music video from Starbomb where Luigi makes a play for Peach.

This got long so tune in for part 2!

Undead Reckoning Pt. 8

March 27, 2021

The train chugged on toward its destination and Clarity had pulled out a book and a notebook and expertly balanced both in her lap. She would read from the leather-bound book and then write something in the notebook every so often. Since she had retreated into academia, it left Talbot to his own devices again. He stared past her out the window again and watched the scenery go by. Vegetation was becoming more and more sparse as they headed out toward the desert. Nobody quite knew why the desert had become so dangerous. The desert wasteland had been home to strange mobile rifts of chaotic magic, rumored to be cracks in reality itself. This happened long before Talbot had been born.

Lately, magic experts were reporting that the chaotic energy in the desert was slowly abating. The area was slowly becoming safer or at least as safe as a normal desert could be. Many had started to explore the area and some settlements had sprung up to support explorers and mining operations. The area was largely lawless as the Queen’s government had not yet asserted full control over the region. They had been left very unprepared for the expansion since they previously knew that people feared entering the dangerous desert. Talbot knew that this necromancer that Blackrance insisted on pursuing was out there in that desert with the rest of the criminals. It was the only logical place to start amassing power with a forbidden yet showy skill like that.

The train pulled into Fallshield Station which was not much of a station after all. Still, Talbot and Clarity had arrived at their destination. Talbot stood up and grabbed his pack and his rifle and slung them over his shoulder. He reached back to offer a hand to Clarity who clasped his hand and used it to stand up and follow Talbot into the aisle. Talbot handed her bag carefully.

“Well, Mr. Hawkwing we have arrived,” Clarity said. “you’ve been such a good travel companion so far, would you like to accompany me as we look for Lord Blackrance? It would be silly to separate to seek out the same man. No?”

“You make perfect sense to me, Ms. Havenwood,” Talbot said. “Ladies first, I’ll watch your back. These frontier towns can be rough.”

“Well, go ahead and be intimidating, Mr. Hawkwing,” Clarity said. “They would only bother me because they know not how dangerous I can be.” She smiled in a way that made Talbot believe that she was a formidable magic practitioner and had the guts to harm if necessary. Maybe she was suited for adventure out in the desert.

Clarity led the way off of the train and Talbot followed close behind. Once they were out he walked beside her, blinking in the bright sunlight to get his bearings. He was grateful that he had brought along his wide-brimmed hat. Clarity’s hat had an even wider brim and a large ornate bow as well. She certainly stood out in all of the dust. He had never been to Fallshield before. It had been a military base dedicated to protecting the border of the desert but a little town had grown after the border had become more relaxed. There was still danger out there but the military was letting people take that risk onto themselves.

As the few people who had gotten off of the train cleared away, Talbot spotted a halfling lingering who spotted them and headed their way.

“Are you waiting for us, young man?” Clarity asked. “Clarity Havenwood, at your service. This is Talbot Hawkwing.” Talbot tipped his hat to the man.

“Titus Mapleburrow, at your service,” the man said. “I’m Lord Blackrance’s valet.”

“Charmed, I’m sure,” Clarity said. “It’s nice to know how thoughtful Lord Blackrance is.”

“Can we speak to him?” Talbot asked. “Where is he?”

“Lord Blackrance has not arrived himself and has been delayed slightly,” Titus said. “However, you are both expected. I’m to convey you to the local hotel. Rooms are already waiting for you. I have a stipend for your food and drink as well.”

“Lord Blackrance thinks of everything,” Clarity said. “Thank you, Titus. Lead the way.”

“Of course, miss,” Titus said and turned on his heel to walk down the platform toward town.

Media Update 3/25/21

March 25, 2021

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

This definitely felt like a solid 1980s horror movie. Movies like this are often tonally all over the place, goofy one minute and dead serious the next. There’s a lot of emotional whiplash. The story mashes together imagery from coal mining and Valentine’s Day. The movie takes advantage of a relatively large ensemble cast as the town of Valentine Bluffs is stalked by a killer. Paul Kelman was good as the troubled yet good-hearted boy. Neil Affleck is good as the hot-headed local guy who is the leader of the pack. Lori Hallier is great as the plucky but confused good girl. A special shoutout to Keith Knight who plays the lovable goofball who often acts as the group’s peacekeeper. There are a lot of great scenes between the characters between the horror parts. The movie is largely bloodless and lets you imagine the deaths which is pretty effective. I recommend this movie.

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

I had this on my radar for a while because the director and screenwriter have both worked on some fun schlocky horror stuff. (Drive Angry, Scream the TV Series, Dracula 2000, Jason X) So basically, we’re dealing with guys who love horror and are not just in this for a quick cash grab. The movie has a lot of the same characters as the first movie but updates it and steps up the carnage. It also focuses on fewer characters, dealing directly with interpersonal conflict. The movie stars Jensen Ackles as the loner hometown boy who has been gone for a long time. Kerr Smith plays the angry Sheriff trying to solve the latest killings. Jaime King is good as the small-town good girl all grown up. There are definitely shout-outs to the original but it is difficult to compare the two as they have different mission statements. This one focuses more on the mystery and also has a lot of very gory but creative kills and ups the body count. I recommend this movie.

Dagon

This is an HP Lovecraft-inspired movie so I went in expecting it to be trippy and I was not disappointed. Basically, a bunch of tourists are stranded on an isolated island in a foreign country and the townspeople are not what they appear. This movie goes from zero to a hundred extremely quick and then never lets up. A lot of the tension from the movie actually comes from the physical and vocal acting from the human monsters. It really added to the strange and troubling atmosphere throughout. The main actor was Ezra Godden who is really good as the put upon geeky guy who is forced into impossible situations. The movie is directed by the legendary Stuart Gordon who has a history of Lovecraftian movies (Reanimator, From Beyond, Castle Freak). I definitely recommend this one too.

Music of the Week

REI AMI – SNOWCONE

Carly Rae Jepsen – Want You In My Room

THE AGONIST – As One We Survive

Metro Station – Shake It

Mashup of the Week

MashupChuck – No More Tears Of A Clown

Weekly Update
This week’s theme is “RNG Horror Podcast No. 9”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 4
I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 11
I finished WandaVision
I finished The Vampire Diaries Season 3

Meme Tracer: Bowsette

March 22, 2021

I was reminded today of the story of Bowsette which happened almost three years ago now. It is really fun to watch things catch fire on the Internet so quickly. This is why I love memes so much because they are a fun game to play with the rest of the Net but also kind of fun to trace.

In September 2018, Nintendo revealed to the world a new concept connected to New Super Mario Bros. U for Switch. Though, to understand it (as much as you can understand it) you would have to go back to Super Mario Bros. In that game (the third to feature Mario), they introduced Toad (the character and the species). The little mushroom-headed guy was a loyal subject of Princess Peach. You could first play as one of the Toads in Super Mario Bros. 2. He became a well-known character and his race appeared in every game after that, often getting huge roles. He was once again playable in spinoff games such as Mario Kart, Mario Strikers, Mario Tennis, Mario Party, and so on.

Eventually, Nintendo wanted to create a new variant of Mario Kart called Mario Kart Double Dash. The conceit of this version was that the cars would be driven in teams including a driver and a weapons specialist. This would allow for co-op play where two players could control the same car as well as drive separate cars. Nintendo obviously wanted iconic teams for people to choose from. Teams included Mario and Luigi, Princesses Peach and Daisy, Bowser and Bowser Jr., Wario and Waluigi, and Yoshi and Birdo (see note). They wanted to include Toad but he did not have an established partner. Now, up until this point, Nintendo insisted that Toads were nongendered beings. They just were Toads. However, instead of just making the team be two Toads of different colors, they decided to create Toadette.

As you can see, Toadette was a new clearly feminine form of Toad who could join them on adventures. She never really showed up outside of Mario Kart and other party games but she was always around. A hyper pink, eternally optimistic character. Very cute. Her art was everywhere and the fans embraced her pretty much immediately just like every Mario character ever. However, flash forward to New Super Mario Bros. U in 2018. Remember I mentioned it earlier? They revealed a new item called the Super Crown. The Super Crown was introduced solely because Toadette would be a playable character in her first “course clear” Mario game. The purpose of the Super Crown would transform Toadette into Peachette, a transformation which sparked a lot of new theories about how Toad culture worked.

The Super Crown transformed Toadette into a character very similar to Princess Peach (and sort of like Princess Daisy). Does that mean that if you took off Princess Peach’s crown she would transform back to a female-gendered Toad? Is the Toad sociological/biological situation similar to bees? There is one Princess and only a few other females as backups to rule over the genderless masses? It boggles the mind. Nintendo has not really gotten into any clear explanations. We are left to speculate.

Anyway, an artist known as Ayyk92 seems to be the first to wonder what would happen if other characters got a hold of the Super Crown. Namely, they posited that if Bowser touched the Super Crown, he would genderbend to Peach-like character named Bowsette. Bowsette is a little buffer than Peach and generally wears a black strapless dress with spikes on it. Bowsette retains Bowser’s horns and spiked tail but mostly looks like a sassier, edgier Peach.

Artist Credit: poderosoandrajoso on DeviantArt

The Internet seized on this new concept and fanart of this new unofficial character flooded DeviantArt and other corners of the Web. Notably, the original comic (seen here) depicts Mario and Bowser both giving up on ever dating Peach and Mario decides to date Bowsette instead. This followed the actual canon attempted wedding to Peach by Bowser in Mario Odyssey. Artists also started to give the Super Crown to other Mario enemies creating new characters like Bulette, Booette, Goombette, and so on. The Internet is a wonderfully weird and creative place.

A Quick Note on Birdo:

Birdo was a character that first appeared as an enemy in Super Mario Bros 2. As you can see, Birdo is decidedly coded as feminine what with the bow on her head and being bright pink. However, in the manual, it said that Birdo is a “male who thinks he is a girl” and would prefer people to call them “Birdette”. In all later references, Birdo is referred to as female leading many to continue to think of Birdo as the first transgender video game character. Birdo has a similar silhouette to Yoshi (a dinosaur friend of the Mario gang) but is an entirely different species. So, it is kind of weird that they were paired together in Mario Kart Double Dash.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Agrabah Pt. 6

March 20, 2021

Jasmine, Naveen, and Kuzco stepped back with Jasmine and Kuzco hugging their arms close to their bodies against the sudden gust of cold in the space. Naveen nervously ran a hand through his hair. Mattias stepped forward, seemingly unafraid, and reached to help Queen Elsa to her feet. He helped her up gently but authoritatively, a man of service for sure.

“Your majesty,” Mattias said. “You have been held captive. Are you alright?” He was protective, almost instinctively keeping his body between Elsa and the others standing outside of the cell.

“I’m fine,” Elsa said politely and Mattias instantly withdrew his support and Elsa stood steady. “Is my sister here?”

“Not to my knowledge, your majesty,” Mattias said. “We have both been transported magically to a foreign land. One that I had never heard of. Apparently, they thought you dangerous enough to actually imprison you.”

“That was a smart choice,” Elsa said with a sarcastic smirk. “Who did this?”

Mattias shook his head. “We haven’t really figured out who they are yet,” he said. “We fought them but they have not identified themselves yet. They are clearly not friendly, though”

“They will be held accountable whoever they are,” Jasmine said. “I promise that, your majesty.” Jasmine stood as tall and as regal as she could considering she was an inexperienced warrior who had just been through the wringer. She did have a lifetime of experience standing with her father and she could strike a pose with the best of them.

“Mattias, why haven’t you introduced us?” Elsa asked with a slight smile. She stood a little straighter, drawing on her own royal training.

“My apologies,” Mattias said. “Queen Elsa, this is Jasmine, the ruler of this desert kingdom Agrabah. Behind her is Prince Naveen of New Orleans and Emperor Kuzco of Inca.”

“It’s actually ‘former queen’ but let’s dispense with the honorifics for a while until we’re out of this,” Elsa said. “Do we have a deal?”

“I like you already,” Jasmine said. “Are you sure you feel alright?”

“I’m sure,” Elsa said with a smile. “It’s nice to meet all of you and I’m grateful for the rescue. Agrabah, New Orleans, Inca. I have never heard of these places but let’s set that aside. If these people are threatening Northuldra and Arendelle, they will answer to me. To us.”

“Agreed,” Jasmine said. “Nobody invades Agrabah.”

“Yes, I agree as well,” Naveen said. His face was kind but his voice was stern, something nobody was used to in the short time that they had known Naveen. He almost always had a joke. To hear him being this serious was jarring.

“What about all these other cells?” Kuzco asked. “Shouldn’t we free them too?” He gestured around, master of the shortcut at work.

“Yes!” Elsa said. “Fortunately, I know what happens when locks freeze. We’ll free them all.” She suddenly looked much stronger than she had looked after standing up earlier.

“I assume that we will find only allies in these cells,” Mattias said. “At least, I hope so.” He seemed less than completely sure but he trusted Elsa with his life and she obviously felt the same. Besides, it was a logical assumption to make. If these people would imprison Elsa and held malicious designs for Agrabah, the other prisoners would at least be more likely to fight their captors than their liberators.

“We’ll have to take our chances,” Jasmine said. “We can’t handle them on our own. We have to rescue our loved ones.”

“I agree,” Elsa said. “Anna is out there somewhere and there will be no mercy for anybody who gets between us.”

An involuntary shiver ran through everybody but Elsa. She slowly walked past them all and into the hallway of cells.

“I checked,” Kuzco said. “This is only one hallway. There’s a lot of them.”

Elsa seethed with anger for a moment and her footsteps were outlined in ice for a moment. “Let’s open that big one on the end first, shall we?” she asked through clenched teeth. She pointed her palm toward the door at the end of the hallway and ice flew from her hand and slammed into the rough metal. The door shuddered and then large cracks started to form in the metal. Finally, the doors expanded, shuddered, and fell apart. The hallway briefly filled with mist.

Suddenly, a blue blur moved through the mist and enveloped Jasmine. Everybody drew their weapon but Jasmine waved a free hand even as she floated off the ground.

“It’s alright!” she yelled out, tears of happiness flowing down her cheeks. “It’s just my friend Genie.”

The blue man turned to look at everyone else. “Hey everybody,” he said. “Are we having a party?”

“More like a fight, Genie,” Jasmine said. “I’m so glad we found you. We need your help.”

“You name your wish,” Genie said. “I’ll make it come true.”

Media Update 3/18/21

March 18, 2021

Coming to America 2

I enjoyed the original Coming to America, directed by a favorite director of mine, John Landis. It was a very fun fish out of water story about African royalty trying to navigate America. Doing a sequel decades later makes sense as it gives time for the characters to change and find new perspectives. This movie catches up with Prince Akeem as he becomes King Akeem and is under pressure to find a male heir. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall return to their roles along with many from the original movie. They are joined by the addition of Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Jermaine Fowler, Tracy Morgan, Kiki Layne, and Nomzamo Mbatha. Mbatha and Kiki Layne are particularly good. However, I found this movie to be a bad sequel and a very strange and surprisingly joyless movie. Part of that was the writing for the characters played by Leslie Jones and Jermaine Fowler. Part of it was that the movie just felt strangely cruel. It put a lot of emphasis on what felt like the wrong parts as well. It just felt like a really bizarre movie. I do not recommend it and I bailed on the movie halfway through.

Guns Akimbo

I love Daniel Radcliffe’s career. He got all of that Harry Potter money and now is able to pick the craziest independent movies to star in. This one is no different. Radcliffe is very funny as a computer programmer who gets drafted in a real-life violent video game. Samara Weaving plays his main opponent and is delightfully funny as a psychopath. Ned Dennehy is goofy and good at playing an over-the-top bad guy. Natasha Liu Bordizzo is cute and charming as the only normal person in the whole movie. There was even a really funny appearance by Rhys Darby. The movie is nonstop interesting, funny, and exciting. It has a lot to say about Internet culture, what makes a person a person, what makes life worth living, populist underground movements, and so much more. This movie is absolutey insane in some of the best ways. Radcliffe really shines as an everyman who gets elevated to a totally different character. I definitely recommend this movie.

Ponyo

Hayao Miyazaki is a brilliant filmmaker who just so happened to choose animation to succeed in. I still have yet to watch all of his movies but I am slowly working my way through them and I could not resist with this week’s theme. This is a modern fairy tale of a goldfish who wants to be a human girl and the human boy she befriends. That is a gross oversimplification of the plot. The animation is so beautiful. Every single character comes through with such life to them that they are almost more human than human. I watched the English language version which has a fabulous cast and Studio Ghibli always does a good job with it. The cast includes Noah Cyrus, Frankie Jonas, Tina Fey, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Lily Tomlin, Betty White, and Cloris Leachman. The movie fills me with such joy and it has so many relatable moments with characters I loved spending time with. I absolutely recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Bear Ghost – Necromancin Dancin

Angie McMahon – Pasta

Selena Gomez – Look At Her Now

Internet Money – Somebody

Mash up of the Week:

Elysian Sounds – Phantom of the Chopera

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “Fish Out of Water”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 4
I watched more Vampire Diaries Season 2
I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 11
I started watching Allen v. Farrow


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