Disclaimer: The following is the opinion of the author and may not necessarily represent the opinions of Nerds in Babeland or any of it’s many fabulous contributors.
“It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence,a most country town indifference to decorum.”
If you’re a fan of Austen (or even just Colin Firth <3), you’ll recognize the above quote as a line from Pride and Prejudice, spoken by Caroline Bingley, a lady well-accustomed to looking down her nose at anyone she feels is beneath her. Basically Miss Bingley calls our lovely protagonist (Elizabeth Bennet) an ignorant hick for walking by herself “barely three miles” in dirt/mud to visit her beloved sick sister. Keep in mind that a lady walking alone anywhere was frowned upon, God forbid she get her petticoats dirty in the process!
Now I bring this up for a few reasons. First being that I love Pride and Prejudice so any chance I get to reference it makes me a giddy little school girl. The second is that I feel this kind of attitude–and Jane Austen herself, even–is extremely relevant towards the attitude and stigma towards self-published work.
“Oh,” you say with a touch of disdain. “It’s going to be one of those posts.”
Yes, it is.
There is a clear ‘status’ divide between many traditional and self-published authors and I think it’s time we tried to bring it to a stop, don’t you? Good. Now, let’s examine the major prejudice against ‘Self-Published’ work. The complaint I usually hear is that since anyone can self-publish and so there’s some real trash out there. Okay, fair point.
But can we agree that there is also some truly terrible traditionally published work?
Yeah. That’s what I thought. Regardless what your taste is, we’ve all read at least one book that made us go, “How the hell did that get published?”
A lot of people seem to think that you only self-publish after you’ve been rejected by multiple publishing houses–which is true for some authors, but again, this doesn’t mean that the story is bad or even poorly written.
Publishing houses aren’t really looking for a good story–they’re looking for a product they can sell. Did you happen to notice the boom of published vampire novels after Twilight gained popularity? Those manuscripts had been sitting untouched in publishing houses until it became clear that they were going to turn a profit because they were the ‘in’ at the time.
Yes, just like every other market, books follow trends and while possibly more discreet than the fashion industry, it can often be ten times more vicious.
It’s why we’ve seen certain repeating elements in books that may not have anything in common at all. Take ‘The love triangle’. It used to be a convention we only saw on an occasional sitcom and soap operas. Oh and in anime, but anime took the ‘love triangle’ and turned it into a polygon with much more sides (See ‘Harem’ Animes, Love Hina, Tenchi Muyo, etc etc). But ever since publishing houses discovered the marketing power of ‘Team Edward’ and ‘Team Jacob’–you’re seeing our heroines (and some heroes too, I guess) constantly at odds with who they’re going to get sugar from (or… y’know… love forever ‘n shit).
And before anyone starts on Pride and Prejudice–NO. Despite that romance is a major theme in the books, there was never a, “Oh, but I like them both, which shall I choose?” moment.
A friend of mine who has some beautiful traditionally published work even confided that the publishers MADE her make a character a second love interest so the love triangle marketing ploy could be employed.
Which brings me to why I decided self-publishing was the route I wanted to go.
The chief complaint I hear from any traditionally published author is fighting with the Publishing House over aspects of your story because at the end of the day they’re still looking to sell a product. Whatever that means. It could be adding sex scenes, it could be taking away some of that spicy talk that one of your character’s favors. It may be little things, it may be actual character or plot altering changes. Either way, it wasn’t a discussion I wanted to have. While being challenged about my work is fantastic and I encourage anyone who reads it to do so–I wanted that to come from a “What best suits this story?” stand point rather than “What bests suits our pocket book?”.
A publishing house tells you they don’t think they can sell your book? Fine, to me, that probably denotes a lack of courage and creativity that you don’t want supporting your work anyway.
I think self-publishing challenges authors in a way they may not have had to be challenged in the past. It’s not just uploading a file and pressing ‘publish’ through Amazon Kindle or Smashwords, it’s being your own marketing and pr team. It’s becoming less of an age where being that recluse on a mountain top is going to cut it. Now you have to network, now you need to cultivate some level of charm because ultimately, you’re promoting yourself. If someone likes you, they’re far more likely to give a damn when you mention you have a book out.
So maybe that’s where the disdain and hostility comes from; self-published authors try to do everything themselves and so they’re viewed as being self-important, or even possessing ‘a sort of conceited independence’.
But I would encourage you to look at it this way: Someone was passionate enough about something to go and create it without being directly sponsored. And does that piece of work discredit any other piece of work just by existing? No.
Self-published books are to the book industry as web-series are to television. Neither is ultimately better than the other, it’s just two different ways of going about getting your story to the world. Okay?
Can we play nice now?
When I moved to Portland back in August I saw a posting on Craigslist in my job search looking for stand-ins for Grimm. I was too short for what they were asking for but I thought “what the heck I will send in my info anyway in case they have a need for something in the future”. Months went by and I forgot about it. Then last week I got I call to be an extra, I was SO excited.
Nope I’m not going to be telling you anything about the story they were filming, who the guest star was or anything like that. You will have to just wait and watch the show, episode 1.14.
I showed up in the costume I had put together based on the guidelines, at the time I was asked to; then filled out the paperwork, was approved by wardrobe and hair and sat down to wait at a table and chatted with the other folks who had gathered there as well. Then one of the Production Assistants (who was AWESOME, by the way) came up and asked me how tall I was. They needed a stand-in for one of the actresses and I was the right height. So I went from being an extra to a stand-in. Because of this I was able to witness first hand just how amazing a TV crew is.
It was really interesting being a stand-in; I’d heard the phrase before but didn’t know what exactly that entailed. You stand in the place of the actors, on their markers while lighting, camera angle and other decisions are discussed, tested and then decided upon. I was so worried that I would get in the way when I wasn’t doing this, so I found a seat near the back and started talking with the guy in charge of props. I spent most the time that I wasn’t doing the stand-in work back here talking to the different crew members and observing what they were doing. People are all over the place, it’s like an ant hill.
A lot of people have asked me “did you get to meet the actors?” I did smile and say hello. But I’ve never really been a freak out “oh my god a famous person!” kind of girl. And honestly, after yesterday it really kind of irks me that people put all their focus on the actors. Yes, they are the visible part of a show and they do work very hard. But you never hear “Oh wow the lighting looks amazing in that shot, the guys who lugged that HEAVY ASS gear to get in in place and adjusted it over and over to get it just right are awesome!” or “The crowd is situated just right in that scene. The person in charge of the extras really knew what they were doing”. These are the people that are essential to a show; they run around working their asses off for 12+ hours a day.
I can honestly say I had an awesome day and would love to go back and do it again sometime. I really cannot wait to see the episode to see how the different special effects stuff they were planning out and filming turn out on the screen!
Growing up I didn’t have a lot of exposure to video games. My cousin had an NES, SNES, N64, various GameBoys and every version of the Playstation and Xbox. So I got to mess around on those when I stayed at his house but I didn’t have the time to develop any real skills. My mother was a firm member of the “Video Games Create Bad People” camp. It annoyed her to no end that I played them when I went to my cousin’s house but I didn’t care and played them anyway. In my sophomore year of high school my mom bought a raffle ticket to support my school’s sports program. She ended up winning the second prize, which just happened to be an original Xbox. I thought I’d hit the jackpot. Of course, my mom had rules, I could only play for a certain amount of time a day and I couldn’t even think about touching it until I’d done my homework. And then only if she wasn’t playing Roller Coaster Tycoon…or The Sims.
That was the only year I received video games as presents. For Christmas I got Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. I thought I was the coolest kid ever. I got pretty good at the LOTR game, one of my other cousins and I sat down and played through the whole co-op campaign in about 8 hours. We had a blast, but he kept bitching because I refused to be anyone but Aragorn, when he was a character choice. I was an evil older cousin. Funnily enough, I never actually beat my Indiana Jones game, at least not for another 5 years after I got it.
Fast forward to 2008, I’m newly married to my wonderful husband Mr. Doc who is a lifetime gamer. And by lifetime I mean, started playing Mario at age 2. The man knows his way around a game system and has owned every major gaming system sold in the US. I’ve watched him beat Super Mario Bros. 2 in under 30 minutes. THE ENTIRE GAME. I’ve watched him run through Super Mario World in under an hour. When Xbox Live first came out he was ranked in the top 20 in the world on the Halo 2 leaderboards. The first time we went to a midnight release for a video game was when Fallout 3 came out and I was still learning my way around video games so I just sort of sat back and observed. It was fascinating the way a video game could bring so many different types of people together. But inevitably there was always the one guy who tried to prove that I had no idea what I was talking about.
Being a girl who sells video games is a lot like being a girl who sells guns. Which basically means, that 85% of the people, and I do include some women in that number as well, come to you believing that you have no idea what you’re talking about. When I sold guns, it was the Bubbas in their overalls or camo who would come up to counter and eyeball me with a look that said, “What the f*** is a little girl doing behind a gun counter?! Like she knows what’s she talking about?” Working at GameStop I get those same looks, only now they come from kids young enough that I could be their mother and guys old enough to be my father. The other day a man came in with his son looking for a particular game. I looked it up in our system and it showed that we had no copies and it had been discontinued. I informed the customer of this, he gave me an incredulous look then turned to my Assistant Manager and said, “Sir would you concur with that?” And that is a direct quote. The ASM leaned over, looked at my screen and said, “Yep it’s been discontinued.” The man scoffed at me and left.
I don’t take it too personally because if I wasn’t knowledgeable I wouldn’t be working at a video game store. Every day I read three or four different video game news feeds and I check them multiple times. I like to know what’s going on in the video game world. Working at GameStop has been like a dream job for me, the pros greatly outweighing the few cons. The guys I work with are awesome and we have fun which always makes work more interesting. Being a girl in a predominately male environment can be hard but at the same time it’s one of my favorite places to be. So to all you girl gamers out there, you aren’t alone, and our numbers are growing daily. We are a force to be reckoned with.
Every turn of the New Year brings reflection on the year just past. We here are Nerds in Babeland wanted to share with you those reflections from a few of our contributors and staff.
Oh, 2011, you were a hell of a year. You gave us all a swift kick in the ass with war, recession, inflation, loony politicians, crazy weather, horrible reality TV. I could go on this way, but I’ll just say that this was not an easy one. There were a few choice moments, however, that enabled me to make it through with a mostly genuine smile on my face.
I joined Nerds in Babeland in 2011, which has been a super awesome addition to my life, opening up so many doors for me to meet great people, make incredible connections with artists and writers and pushing me to express myself to the public, sharing things I love (and sometimes don’t). I also became a member, then a moderator, of The Node. The Node is an online community built by Chris Hardwick, an extension of the Nerdist empire, to gather creative minds and encourage them to create together. I’ve met a huge network of amazing people there, and I’m grateful for them every day. Probably the happiest event of 2011 for me was attending NYCC, my first Con ever. I had the chance to meet some brilliant artists whom I’ve supported and admired from afar for a long time, say hello to a few new artists I’ve only begun to love. That entire weekend was a nerd-a-thon, beginning with a live Nerdist podcast taping at which I was thrilled to spend some quality time with my friends from The Node and ending with a packed weekend of NYCC whirlwind joy.
All in all, I have so many great memories to hold on to as I end 2011, and I believe even bigger, greater ones to come to in 2012. Happy new year to you all!
I’ll think of 2011 as the year of cosplay. After discovering this amazing world 2 years ago, I went all out this past year. Making and buying dozens of stunning steampunk pieces, I now have more outfits than I know what to do with. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. Cosplaying at San Diego Comic-Con is one of the coolest things that I have ever experienced. Being stopped by my fellow geeks to get my picture taken made me feel like a bit of a rock star and after spending so much of my life hiding from people, it felt quite liberating. I even got my picture taken by an AP photographer in my custom-built TARDIS dress and now when you do a search online, my face pops up more often than not. Moderating a steampunk fashion panel at Comikaze Expo near the end of the year was the final icing on the cake. I have met so many incredible people this year who also love to dress up and I’m constantly wondering how I didn’t know about this world before now. I can’t wait to see what 2012 will hold for me and I’ll be sure and be dressed for the occasion, top hat, goggles and all.
Why Chris Hardwick is my favorite of 2011 and always
When asked what my favorite parts of 2011 were, these things came to mind:
Nerdist podcast live tour!
In general, Nerdist Industries has grown into something amazing that I am proud to say I was able to follow from when it was a tiny little podcast. Now it is one of the top downloads on iTunes and has spawned many other projects, becoming a web of nerdy awesomeness.
Neil Gaiman writing one of, if not the, best episode of Doctor Who ever was also pretty rad. Seriously, “The Doctor’s Wife” changed my whole perspective on a show I was already in love with. I wouldn’t mind having Gaiman write more for the series, but I’m also ok with that being a one-shot.
I’m sure there were other things I loved about 2011, but Nerdist and Doctor Who were my major obsessions. Please go ahead and send me feedback, though. It might spark a memory and lead to an awesome nerdy conversation to start off the New Year right.
I was thinking back over my accomplishments of last year and I think I had some pretty fun times. The first, big accomplishment was the fact that I wrote two novels in 2011. In March, after a writing conference, I embarked on the new adventure of expanding a short story into a novel. I had so much fun and learned so much during that process. I’m finally at the querying stage for that one, I think. And in November I did National Novel Writing Month for the first time, winning that and having a rough draft of my second novel of 2011. That’s my focus for editing during the first part of 2012 and I look forward to getting that manuscript to shine.
In other areas of accomplishment, I started another graduate school certificate program, this time in Journalism and Mass Communication. It focuses on social media, which is my main area of interest, so the first class was so much fun! I look forward to continuing that in 2012. I also look forward to returning to Toronto in the Fall to attend my second Supernatural convention. I love Canada and having a chance to return there for a visit, combined with the prospect of seeing J2 again, makes me excited. In June 2011, I attended my first SPN convention and got to meet Jensen and Jared. Yes, they’re really that tall and that lovely. The actors I didn’t get to see in Nashville I got to see in Atlanta later that year at DragonCon, so I had a Supernaturally fun year!
2011: San Diego Comic-Con, an endurance trial, nerd prom, a blur of color and sound that gave me some of the best experiences of the year. The thrill of being around people who love the same things I do, cosplayers who put incredible effort and art into donning personas that matter to them, professionals who geek out as much as we all do, and learning that carrying food is a necessity. There were panels I covered and cared about, there was a glut of 3D, and there was waiting in line for a Doctor Who panel at 5:30 A.M. The best part was meeting so many people I’d only known online and that was worth every minute of the post-con crash. Movies and TV: X-Men: First Class, Thor passing the Bechdel test; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo wrenching my heart out and making me feel powerful again, The Dark Knight Rises taking over my hometown and making it look gorgeous in the trailer. The Hobbit trailer made us all feel like we were five years old, while Prometheus gave us the creeps in a very good way. We hit the genre jackpot of Torchwood: Miracle Day, Once Upon A Time and Grimm, on U.S. television, and continued the eternal wait for series two of Sherlock. It was a very good year in things to love and the future looks very bright indeed.
It was also a year of controversy for geeky women. Do we exist? Are we real geeks? Can we be geeky and sexy? What does that mean? Why should producers of media listen to us? We continue to struggle with how we identify, the ways the media portray us, how inclusive we are along with what being a geek, being a woman, and rejecting misogyny looks like. We’re all forging our own identities and experience, as we should. It’s gratifying to know that we are working through these issues as a community. We don’t always agree with each other, but I think it’s true that we support each other in carving out spaces to talk about the things we love, calling out the media when they’re getting it wrong, praising when they get it right and discovering new and amazing things. Look at the Nerds in Babeland tagline, it says it all. Bring it on, 2012.
2011 was an absolutely insane year for me. I moved across country, got a new job, and moved to a new major city. It’s all so fresh and new that I’m still not even sure how I feel about all of the change. I can, however, say that one major awesome thing that happened to me this year was all the wonderful geeky friends I made online. I started Nerds in Babeland near the end of 2010 with a handful of fabulous women I met on the Node, including Nerds in Babeland’s designer, JackieBee, and contributors like MissLissa, VideoGameDoc, Kat B, TahoeWikander, Angel, and so many more. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of making additional awe-inspiring geek girl friends, including Marissa Nolan-Layman, Kristen McHugh, Janna O’Shea, Jill Pantozzi, Dina Kampmeyer, Amy Ratcliffe, and Kristin from Geek Girls Network. I know that does not include half of the amazing women (and none of the men…including Alan Kistler & Chris George) that I’ve met this year online AND it sounds a bit like name-dropping but I swear that’s not my intent! I could not have gotten through this year of extreme transition if I had not met these kind, caring, funny, awesome people, and they deserve that acknowledgement.
My other big highlight is something a bit more traditional. In December, I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This was easily one of my favorite amusement park experiences ever (and this is coming from a girl that loves and misses Disneyland horribly). There aren’t a ton of rides, but the quality of the rides (in particular the ride through Hogwarts) makes up for the quantity. The butterbeer was far too sweet for it’s own good, and yet worth every penny. I spent far too much money on Harry Potter goodies, like Snape’s wand and my own personal stuffed owl, but now I have a Hedwig of my very own. Say what you want about amusement parks but I love escaping into a fictional world that I was only able to imagine experiencing previously. I hope to be able to visit this park again in 2012, but nothing will be as much fun as visiting Hogsmeade for the first time.
2011 was a roller coaster of a year for me. Near the end of 2010 I was laid off from my long term job from hell. I’ve never had an issue finding a job, but now I had amassed that stupid level of experience where I was overqualified for jobs I could have gotten in the past and under-qualified for many that I would love to have. I played the contract job game for most of the year. And then when I had finally found what I thought was the perfect fit, we moved to Oregon. Now this is something I swore I would NEVER do. I had lived in Portland as 19-20 year old idiot kid and it was not a good experience. 10 years later I find myself right back here; having a very hard time finding work because of that silly over/under qualification thing.
One highlight of my year was I started going to conventions again, I had always gone to WonderCon but after having a child it was difficult to make the effort to attend. Well, my son is old enough now that I can start doing things for ME again. I attended WonderCon for the first time in more years than I can count, met a number of awesome ladies and lads and have formed some of the most fulfilling friendships of my life. I attended San Diego Comic-Con for the first time and had a BLAST. Cosplay became a big part of my life and I started learning how to properly sew.
The other big highlight is that I went from being a sporadic contributor here at Nerds in Babeland to writing much more, running the twitter page and editing a majority of the posts. I am now the official Editor of Nerds in Babeland! I never would have thought that was possible. I have found an amazing friend in Stephanie Wooten (our fearless Editor-in-Chief, just so you know this site would not be here if it weren’t for her!) and I wouldn’t give her up for anything.
I have watched the trailer for The Hobbit at least 20 times since it came out. So come ON December hurry up! Unless of course we only have 11 months and 21 days to live.
So that’s it, what did you do in 2011? What are you looking forward to the most for 2012? Will you call it two-thousand-twelve or twenty-twelve?
LADIES! Are you a “Geek Girl” or just a “Geek”? Both are equally acceptable in my opinion. We all have our own personal reasons for identifying whichever way we like. No one should have to add the “girl” identifier to the “geek” but many choose to do so. I tend to opt for the “Geek Girl” option and I have my reasons. Some find it offensive, wondering why we should have to be anything but geeks because we are girls. We don’t call dudes geek boys by default, maybe we should?
I moved a lot as a kid, like 13 schools between kindergarten and 9th grade, 6 of those spanning 4th & 5th grade alone, a lot. I wasn’t a military kid; I was the child of a single mom trying to find the best way to make it work with 4 kids. I was ruthlessly made fun of, but not because I loved X-Men or played NES every day (I still don’t know how my mom afforded to get us one of those let alone any games). I was made fun of because I was the constant new kid, I was extremely awkward looking and never had the “cool” clothes. I had permed hair so was called Medusa. Those “No Dogs allowed on school property” signs were the bane of my existence. I used my interests to escape from that; I lost myself in books. Hell I read the Silmarillion in 5th grade, that is a HARD book to read!
When I was about 12 things settled down a bit, my mom married the man I consider my dad and I went into middle school. By this time I was the Tommiest of Tom boys. I listened to angry metal and bad punk and stomped around in my Doc Martens, baggy jeans (JNCOs RULED!) and oversized t-shirts, generally hating everyone and everything. Part of the way I dressed was because I was an “early bloomer” and I had no clue what the hell that was all about. But also, I found it was so much easier to get along if I was just “one of the boys”. I had my skateboard, my Walkman, my comics and I had FRIENDS! This was the first time ever that I had a troupe of friends. Yeah I had to go through quite a bit of “proving” I was cool enough, I listened to and knew about the right bands, was willing to get drunk at school, etc. Music was the first line during these years. Kids who listened to metal were NOT friends with the kids who listened to rap or hip-hop and it was unacceptable to like both.
By the time I was 14 I was regularly running away; after years of not having any discipline and being responsible for taking care of my younger siblings I now had rules and was severely restricted in when I could see my friends (basically ONLY at school). I had one friend whose house I could always stay at because his mom wasn’t really around. We would stay up all night getting drunk and stoned and argue about Star Wars and the Expanded Universe. I would kick everyone’s ass at Mario Kart 64 and deep philosophical conversations were had about what we would do when mutants finally started exposing themselves and how we would go about finding radioactive spiders. But, I was still ONE OF THE BOYS.
Around 19 or 20 I started dressing more like a girl (this is also known as my goth phase that I never really “outgrew”), you know tulle skirts and Doc Martens (a style I still rock a lot of the time thankyouverymuch) and started acting more like a “girl” instead of one of the boys. The music someone listened to was not as important to forming a friendship as having similar interests was. At this point I started being less reserved in my excitement over things. I would let myself jump up and down squealing when I found that Mint-In-Package SCYTHE-MEISTER for $15 when I happened to know it was worth at least $100 at the time. The Powerpuff Girls were AWESOME! And I let people know about my obsessive Rainbow Brite & Strawberry Shortcake collections. Because I cared less about fitting in with the boys and more that I had found that gorram toy I had been looking for! I experienced what a lot of girls have walking into comic shops, but I was armed with my rock solid knowledge and I would show those assholes that I knew more than they did. THANK YOU INTERNET! (You should read that in Donna Noble’s voice when she says “Thank you Davros!”)
It was around this time that I started identifying not only as a geek but as a geek GIRL, because for so many years I had played down the fact that I WAS A GIRL. We all have our reasons for wanting to be called a Geek, A Geek Girl, or whathaveyou, this is just my reason. I don’t really like the word woman, never really have. I’d rather be a girl. Maybe one day I will outgrow the desire to be a “Geek Girl” but I know I will always be a geek. Unlike those boys who I was friends with back then, who now call me a “nerd”, like it is a bad thing, like they are “jokingly” making fun of me. Whatever, I have a much better troupe of friends now and it is 90% GIRLS, and not one has ever challenged me to prove I knew enough about “X/Y/Z” to hang out.
The following is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily that of all Nerds in Babeland writers.
Picture this scenario. You are at work, plugging away on whatever project your bosses told you to work on when your email dings with a message from some guy who just starts yelling that you are doing it all wrong, you should be doing this, not that, that he would do a much better job than you ever could. You have never met this person before, they have never spoken to your bosses and they have no clue exactly what you were told to do, or what the specific details of your job entail. They have none of the experience in your field that you do. Have done none of the required ladder climbing, research, schooling, etc. You see they have sent this message not only to you but to all of their friends, more people you have never met.
How would you feel if this happened? What would you do? Would you tell him to fuck right off and let you do your job in the way you are supposed to? Damn right you would! You might even consider calling the police because this person clearly has an unhealthy fixation on you, your work performance, and could be unstable or dangerous.
Now, I want you to realize that you ARE “that guy” every time you post a blog, a tweet, or Facebook update saying that the writers of “X” show, movie or comic have no idea what they are doing. What the hell were they thinking killing off YOUR favorite character?! They should be focusing on this story line instead of that! These characters need to be developed more. They need to focus more on the Women or Men of the show. They must be stupid, lost their minds, have no business writing, etc. It is rude. You are being a dick. Do you really think that you are capable of writing an episode of a TV show, a comic book or a movie? Of navigating those notorious waters of the entertainment business? If so, stop being a dick to those who are already doing it and get off your ass.
Another thing that drives me up the wall is when people say things like, “George Lucas raped my childhood,” every time a change has been made to a newer release of Star Wars. NO. HE. DID. NOT! First of all shut the hell up. Second you wouldn’t have those awesome Star Wars related childhood memories if it weren’t for George Lucas. Third it is HIS PROPERTY to change and do with what he wants, if he wants to make changes to it, that’s his decision to make! You can still find the originals online on VHS if you are so frantic to “keep it pure”. And finally SHUT THE HELL UP!
Yes, this is a business of creating a product that is out there in the public and I’m certain those involved with it expect a certain level of public scrutiny. But really think about how you would feel to have people not only criticizing your work, but you personally. Calling YOU stupid, saying that YOU have no idea what you are doing. It is one thing to be a fan, to feel strongly about what is happening on your screen or on your pages. To become so invested in a story that you want to scream. It is another thing entirely to be a dick, online where everyone can see it. Think about this the next time you want to criticize the work of the writers on your favorite show, movie or comic book.
One thing that I love so much about the geek community is its general acceptance of one another’s obsessions and interests. I love being in a room where I can swoon over that last episode of Caprica, discuss cosplay techniques and have a lively discussion on the relative merits of David Tennant and Matt Smith. As accepting as the community as a whole tends to be, I have noticed a disturbing trend of disdain for certain things, like the Twilight series, that comes across to me as borderline bullying. I get it, you hate the idea of sparkly vampires played by beautiful, mopey actors and the idea of screaming teenage girls fills you with dread. You’re still bitter at the hordes of Twihards that ruined that day in Hall H a few years ago (I totally understand). I am not suggesting that you watch the films (although I think you might be surprised at what you might find if you kept an open mind), but I hold out hope that we can stop mocking certain things so much that I am ashamed to discuss my love of them.
I feel like I have a shameful secret and I try and find subtle ways to determine if my friends might share this love without it be too openly known. I think it’s ridiculous that, as an adult, I feel like I need to hide the fact that I bought tickets for opening night of Breaking Dawn this weekend. I remember walking in Westwood a few years ago and seeing hundreds of teenage girls sleeping on the streets waiting to watch the new movie. In the 5 minutes that I was there, I saw at least 2 cars drive past and yell rude things at them and make fun of them. I have issues with anyone that bullies teenagers and there is no excuse for behavior like this, regardless of how you feel about what they’re into. If a teenage girl is obsessed with a male character who cherishes Edwardian ideals of romance, respect and chastity instead of the latest half-naked pop star, then I say good for them.
I am no Twihard, but I am a true Romantic and if I want to go watch a silly guilty-pleasure movie about teenage love with a sparkly male lead, then I would hope that I wouldn’t be mocked for it. Don’t worry, my interests lie far beyond only this series and I will be there opening weekend to see the Hobbit, The Amazing Spiderman and the other dozen geektastic films coming out next year. As geeks, I’d love to see us all follow the philosophy of Bill and Ted and “be excellent to each other”. I promise, in turn, to not make fun of your Thundercats action figure collection. Okay, well that’s just because I’m jealous, but you know what I mean. We all like things that other people don’t “get” and I think that’s a reason for celebration. You have every right to your opinion, just as I do, I would just hope that we could all treat each other with a little respect and not make others feel ashamed. Geeks unite!
The opinions below are those of the writer and not necessarily those of all NerdsinBabeland contributors.
This weekend I spent a lot of time wanting to play Skyrim, but, being the GOOD WIFE that I am, I let my husband play MW3. Unfortunately Target was out of PS3 copies, it was pouring rain out and I bought it for 360. This meant that we both had new games on the 360 and couldn’t move one system into the bedroom (the first-gen 360 we have is living in the little one’s room because the controls for Lego Star Wars 3 are much better than on his Wii). So I sat on the couch crocheting and watching Misfits on Hulu (if you haven’t watched it go NOW it’s AWESOME).
Of course we all know that Hulu has commercials and one commercial jumped out at me.
Normally I just ignore commercials, but at the very end I noticed the brain soap. And immediately recognized it as one of the soaps from Luxury Lane Soap. I hopped on twitter and asked if this was so and was told that yes, it was her soap being included in the commercial. I.Was.Livid. I happen to know for a FACT that all of the soaps from Luxury Lane are made from FAR purer ingredients than Ivory’s. The fact that they would insinuate otherwise is UNACCEPTABLE!
They have taken beautifully crafted soaps made from actual pure ingredients and called them “un-pure”. Now I know that the laws are different than they used to be. Pepsi can take pot shots at Coke and vice versa, so I don’t know that it is illegal for Ivory to have taken these soaps from hard working, small time soap makers for their commercial. But it is certainly wrong for them to state in their commercial that the items are anything less than they are. Which is, pure, handcrafted soaps from the most environmentally friendly ingredients (at least in the case of Luxury Lane, as I am not familiar with the other soaps) available, made by individuals in their homes, or home shops, specifically FOR YOU.
Kylee Lane, owner and operator of Luxury Lane made the following video in response.
Lets compare ingredients; Ivory.com redirects you to facebook. They have no website of their own so I had to rely on Wikipedia for their ingredients.
sodium tallowate and/or sodium palmate, water, sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernelate, glycerin, sodium chloride, fragrance, one or more of the following: coconut acid, palm kernel acid, tallow acid or palm acid, and tetrasodium EDTA
Luxury Lane Soap (http://www.luxurylanesoap.com/so-what-s-in-it)
Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Glycerin (vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sorbitol (from berries, moisturizer), Sorbitan Oleate (botanically sourced emulsifier), Soybean Protein, Certified Pure Essential Oils and Non-Phthalate Fragrance.
What’s that you say? Sodium Tallowate is RENDERED BEEF FAT? That’s just what I want I think of when I think “pure”. Oh baby, do you like my beef fat clean skin? Yes I am aware that most commercial soaps include this, this is why I only purchase soap from sellers who do NOT. I’m not vegetarian or vegan or anything of the sort (not that it is wrong if you are). I just don’t like the idea of washing my body with beef fat.
Now really, I don’t mind when the big dogs go after one another in their advertising. They have HUGE budgets and legal teams and such. These individual sellers do not. And it is horribly unfair of Ivory to be taking pot shots at them!
Please if you know any of the other sellers included in the video leave a comment and I will update this post so that everyone can go and purchase from THEM instead of Ivory. Let’s use the power of the internet and community for good and send a message to Ivory that we do not appreciate their marketing tactic.
As I sit here waiting for the inevitable power outage thanks to the high winds, (and for another tree to fall like before), I think back to the past year for me. It’s entering November, and I find myself busy, as per usual, and looking for more to do, (I’m a glutton for punishment in the month of November,) so now is the perfect time for reminiscing. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for almost the whole year with my family. My grandpa would go into the hospital, come out, and two days later go back in, and I would be the one that my entire family would turn to for information and a plan of attack. More recently my mother went into the hospital and just got off of a seven week short term disability leave. To give an example of what kind of stress this put me under, I was at my grandparents house more than my house to help them out, then at my house more than the outside world, and then anxiety attacks that drove me to my doctor. Stressful right? How did I cope? The nerdy way. Let me tell you how.
Update: Half way through that paragraph I heard sirens from the police, firefighters, and ambulance going off close to my street. Thank you wind.
In September I went to the wedding of my very first friend, and I took my other friend with me, cause I’m single and I don’t go to weddings alone. During the ceremony they had a planting of the sapling, it was sweet, it really was… to everyone else. All my friend and I heard was sapling, and we both looked at each other and knew we were thinking the same thing. He said it first. “You know if they use a little bonemeal on that, it’ll grow immediately.” Thank you Minecraft. Yes, that’s right, we turned a wedding into Minecraft, started making plans for the server that we play on with our friends. It gets nerdier, all before the reception. My friend, Shua, and I were talking about our own prospective weddings, and his won by far. Scottish wedding, kilts on the men, and at the cutting of the cake have someone run up and cut the cake with a sword whilst yelling; “They can take our wedding, but they’ll never take our cake!” That’s right, he went there.
The reception came, and we wanted our allotted booze. The party favors were adorable, and after 15 seconds of looking at them I took a picture, declaring that some Angry Birds had crashed the party. Another 10 seconds later and I was stealing the party favors from the empty seats next to us to create a Tri-Force. Yes, I went there. We skipped the Chicken Dance, and the Cha Cha Slide, but went up there for the YMCA. And we found out what exactly the Lady In Red is doing. Hint, she’s running away out the bathroom window because no one knows her name. We made a couple more parodies from the songs, one including some nice words for Minecraft, before we left to go watch the new episode of Doctor Who.
That’s just one day, how did I make it day to day otherwise? Well, I’m a creative type, I like making stuff, I like to sell this stuff. November 5th here in the city that I live in, we have an Art market, the Saginaw Art Market to be exact. It’s a free event where only handmade items will be sold, artists working in all different mediums will be there. I like to think that I represent the Fiber arts section, with my knitting and crocheting. I make popular culture themed goods. Like these lovely Sailor Scouts, and Tuxedo Mask. And what’s this? A Mega Man hat that I made? A Hatsune Miku hat? There’s even an Okami Ameterasu hat in the works, and a Jak (& Daxter) hat that I’m making for me. There are plans for some ‘Penny’ wristwarmers, (Dr Horrible anyone?) I’d also like to make some hats out of fleece, you know, anime style hats, cause I’m just that cool. I’m no stranger to making nerdy stuff, but I think that I got nerdier as a coping mechanism to all my stress, allowing me to make more awesome stuff.
My podcast now has a slight buffer of episodes because of my epic new nerdiness. “To Continue Press Start” has been getting a lot of attention, well-deserved attention, and I even participated in a 24 hours gaming event to raise money for the Children’s Miracle network. I made it for 21 hours before I had to crash. I blame my cats who wouldn’t let get me any sleep the night before. Now we just have to get back to playing Sonic the Hedgehog for his 25th birthday.
I had a moment when I walked into one of my favorite gaming stores and found out that I’m a regular to the staff now. I no longer have to show my ID when paying with a credit card, because I am a recognizable face. After pre-ordering my Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, I walked out of the store and proudly stated; “It’s so great being a nerd.” I think that my point is to say that being a nerd gives me unique ways of handling stress, and it’s just recently that I’ve found out how effective that it can actually be, and something that is very well needed. Now if you’ll excuse me I have arms to make for Sailor Scouts, and more Link hats to make.