Saturday, April 1, 2017

Top Five Evanescence Songs

In this latest installment of "let's make unnecessarily in-depth lists of random things instead of studying," I present to you the top five songs Evanescence has ever released.

Evanescence is a gothic pop-rock band with symphonic and even Enya-like undertones. There isn't another group quite like it. You can find similar-sounding bands in various directions--you have Panic! at the Disco, Paramore, Green Day, or even Avril Lavigne for that pop rock feel; Emilie Autumn or The Birthday Massacre for a neo-gothic/industrial sound; Nightwish or Within Temptation for a lush symphonic metal experience--but no other group can mimic Evanescence's unique blend of genres and sounds. The band We Are The Fallen contains the other co-founder of Evanescence, and even its resulting sound isn't all that similar.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Some of My All-Time Favorite Fanfictions

Fanfiction is the best. It can also be the worst. But I read only the best stuff. All the time. And so, today I present to you my most highly recommended fanfiction pieces, out of the embarrassing number that I have consumed.

Most of these fics are long. Fandoms include Harry Potter, Frozen, Wicked, The Legend of Korra, and other things.

A note about my fic preferences: I want my fics to expand upon things not properly explored in canon. They also veer towards lots of angst and violence, so be forewarned. I hate excessive angst, OCs of any kind, modern AUs, and most squicks. I'm fine with violence and interesting non-canon pairings. I've also made the warnings and ratings from my own memory. The usual fanfiction lingo applies here.

In no particular order:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Supergirl Season 1: Frustration

I've never been interested in Marvel, DC, or any other superhero worlds. The only reason I watched Supergirl is because according to my tumblr dash, the show is super gay. It wound up being extremely straight, almost forcibly so. But I kept watching, despite a lackluster pilot episode, a campy attitude, and relatively predictable plotlines. Something about the story of Kara Zor-El, a hotheaded, too-trusting, altruistic alien, stuck with me.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Top Four Fight Scenes in the Avatar Franchise

If you haven't watched Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, you should do so at your earliest possible convenience.

The former has won several Annie Awards and a Primetime Emmy.  The Last Airbender's ancient, East Asian-influenced world feels expansive and thoughtful, while elements of Hinduism underpin the show's extensive exploration of spirituality. The show is one of the best examples of the hero's journey, with spectacular character development.

The Legend of Korra, also boasting Annies and Primetime Emmys, combines The Last Airbender's heart and action with some of the most nuanced sociopolitical commentary in children's media. That The Legend of Korra accomplishes this despite repeated sabotage (executives seemed determined to send the show to an early grave despite its popularity) and meager funding from Nickelodeon is furthermore impressive. The show is darker and edgier than its predecessor, built for older teens, with mature themes which prompted websites like Forbes to routinely review the show.

Both shows are action-adventures known for martial arts fighting with natural elements--earth, water, metal, etc. The creators and directors took their time with unique fight scenes which move the story forward with heart-thumping action. Here are some of the best fights in the franchise.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Backlash Over Black Hermione the Latest Battle in Pop Media Racism

There's been some hullabaloo in the Harry Potter fanbase surrounding Hermione Granger, one of the series' central characters. J.K. Rowling collaborated on a sequel play, titled "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," which follows various characters into middle age. The play is set to premiere in London next summer. The buzz surrounds black actress Noma Dumezweni, who will play Hermione. Baffled fans insist Hermione is white and Rowling intended her to be so.

The Cursed Child cast, with Dumezweni in the center

We cannot dismiss the backlash as anger over misrepresentation of canon, e.g. a male Hermione instead of a female one, since the books never specify Hermione's skin color. The Sorcerer's Stone describes Hermione as buck-toothed with bushy brown hair and brown eyes. The Prisoner of Azkaban says "Hermione [looks] very brown." The book also notes "Hermione's white face" when she is terrified, but this usage of "white" is probably equivalent to "pale with fear" and not an indication of skin color. 86% of Britons are white, so if Hogwarts has the same racial composition as the United Kingdom, Hermione could certainly be white. But the books never specify Hermione's skin color.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Positive Disintegration

I've always assumed existential crises are fundamental to some sort of personality growth; apparently a psychologist named Kazimierz Dabrowski beat me to it, developing the Theory of Positive Disintegration in the late 1900s. I've found the theory reassuring since it recognizes the importance of existential concerns to personality/moral developments, here the theory is for your future reference.

Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski created the theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD) during his lifetime. The theory states that conscious, autonomous moral growth drives a person to operate independently of society's prevailing values. It outlines three factors propelling higher personality development and the five stages of this development, emphasizing that not every person can or will shape their personality this way. Unique to TPD is the positive role of anxiety and psychological tension which help an individual's journey of personality customization; most contemporary psychologists see mental breakdowns as obstacles to growth, but Dabrowski recognized their importance to an individual's moral development.

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Paper Towns": Flat, But Enjoyable

The latest young adult mystery-romance lacks flavor. In "Paper Towns," directed by Josh Boone, high school senior Quentin (Nat Wolff) gets a dose of serendipity when his crush Margo (Cara Delevigne) suddenly includes him in her nighttime revenge scheme. After she dramatically vanishes the next day, he sets out with his friends to find her. The movie is based on the eponymous John Green novel.