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Can someone please explain to me the mandatory display of extreme dislike toward certain things?  Why is there this inexplicable intense rage toward young white women who enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, perhaps specifically from Starbucks?  Like, I get that that’s a “thing,” but people are reacting really, really strongly and I have no idea why.  If you just hate frivolity, okay, but many things are frivolous.  White girls drinking pumpkin spice lattes is oddly specific.

In the times before I stopped reading comment sections, I noticed a lot of people would attack others for saying uneducated things.  Like, this one person compared “Sugar Rush” to “Gangnam Style” because each song only has a few phrases in English, and someone replied that they would rip their head off and shit down their neck for saying that.  Okay, so, you were so appalled that someone compared two unrelated songs, you thought you’d reply in such a way... and that classes up the joint?  Seriously, what is the thought process here?

And nevermind those videos that show foods from other countries.  Someone always has to comment “Vomcano!  Thru up in my mouth!”  Once again, you find a foreign food disgusting so you talk about throwing up... why?  To make things less disgusting?  How, why, why this anger?

And what about bands like Linkin Park and Nickelback?  Look, they’re not my favourite bands either, but when their music comes on the radio I don’t shudder and scream that my ears are bleeding.  People act like they’re the Worst Bands Evarrr, but really they’re just kinda “meh.”  And, actually Linkin Park is a lot more creative in terms of its style of music than a lot of rock bands (how they mix rap and metal, for example).  And it’s like people need to do this secret sign to prove they’re cool by overreacting how much they hate these bands.  And at the same time, people are fawning all over Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, whose music is actually quite inappropriate in terms of body-shaming, drug references in music for kids, cultural appropriation, and excessive boob/butt displays that pretend to be feminism but is really just reworking the male gaze to supposedly empowering music.  If you so much as mention that you don’t like Gaga or Perry - how DARE you!  Or what about bands like U2 and REM whose whole deal is “question the system,” but they really just complain and then go “lookit me, lookit me!”  That can’t be questioned because then, ugh, you don’t like U2?  You’re a conformist. -.-

(Before someone points out that my whole deal is asking people to question the system and providing examples from personal experience, that’s just for these journals.  My actual product is a series of novels that has nothing to do with that, so I am actually creating something other than just a list of complaints.  My complaining journals are not my art.  And now... another example from personal experience).

When I was in grade 2, it was a “thing” to hate Barney.  Like, not just avoid the show, but actively go on about how much they hate it.  I was quite loud about my Barney hating too, but I got sick of it and at one point I just told people I didn’t care anymore.  I said that we hate Barney because it’s boring for us, and of course it is, because it’s made for much younger kids.  Some kids agreed with me and a few even admitted they actually like Barney, but most people got really angry with me for saying what I said.  Why??  It’s a purple dinosaur who sings too much, why is this such a huge deal? (I admit though, I eventually regressed and went back to hate-bragging).

If someone handed me a flyer printed in Comic Sans MS, I would wonder, because that font stopped being trendy 15 years ago.  I would not, however, make fake vomiting noises.  I get that you’re trying to make the other person look stupid, but reacting like that just makes YOU look stupid.

And I don’t understand the issue with Crocs.  Like, yeah, they’re ugly, but if you’re trying to be classy, the first thing you should do is keep your mouth shut.  You can somewhat show you’re classy by dressing better than someone wearing Crocs, but if you want to be REALLY classy, you’d know not to be damn rude to people over what they choose to wear.  No one is forcing you to wear Crocs, so let it go.  I’m a big believer in speaking up if someone is spreading lies or being dangerous or harassing you/someone else, but wearing shoes you find ugly does not fall into that category.  Keep those thoughts to yourself.  Crocs aren’t hurting anyone.  And while we’re at it, how come Crocs are not okay but Uggs are?  Uggs are just as ugly as Crocs, AND they’re impractical.  Crocs are at least made of durable plastic, whereas Uggs are winter boots that are not weather-proof.  And some Uggs get rather close to cultural appropriation considering how many of them are supposed to look like fur or have leather fringes and beads like moccasins.  Not to mention that the trend is also from 1999, putting it in the same timeframe as Comic Sans.  So why do Uggs get a free pass while Crocs don’t?  Maybe because Uggs are worn by beautiful rich white girls?  No, because beautiful rich white girls also go to Starbucks for pumpkin spice lattes, which is apparently also not okay.  So, I can’t keep track of who I’m expected to hate anymore.

My only guess is this is some form of tribalism.  People band together over what they like, so maybe, according to those stereotypes, they have to be just as enthusiastic over what they reject.  Kind of like how, if you play any casual games, then you can’t be a “real gamer,” even if you play FPSs and RPGs all the time.

I don’t understand it, and while I’m vaguely curious as to why it all works the way it does, I really can’t care that much.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you want to be cool and classy, it has very little to do with what trends you follow and a lot to do with you thinking for yourself and treating others with respect.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzBP9R…

Thank you, Cracked.com.  Thank you.  I wish everyone would watch this video (and also stop getting their news from Vice, the Gawker network, Reddit, and, in some cases, the Onion).  College kid “news” isn’t news, okay?  It’s an echo chamber.  Even the things that used to be journalism aren’t anymore.  The Daily Show dropped off years ago.  Everything on Gawker & Co is BS (with the exception of io9).  If you want to be a grownup, watch the real news.  It might not be entertaining, but it is informative.  

Keep your eyes and ears open and think critically.  There is no substitute for that.  It is not the same to go to a website where a sassy bored person casually lists things for you to be outraged about, and he strongly implies or outright states that it’s the “real truth.”  There is no source for the real truth.  Even eyewitness accounts have variation, so what good will a second-hand source do you?  Pay attention to everything you see, hear, and read.  Think objectively.  There is no substitute.

And if anyone is going to point out the irony of me referring everyone to a Cracked.com video to illustrate this, I’m aware that it’s a comedy site.  I’m saliently using it as a reference.  For me, Cracked is filling the infotainment void left by the Daily Show and Colbert Report when I outgrew them in 2011.

I’d also like to mention that it irks me beyond all reason that the Internet would basically be empty if we filtered out the following phrases:
-mind-blowing
-lifehack
-this one weird secret
-...you’ve been doing wrong.
-...you never noticed.
-will ruin your childhood.

Maybe, consider what kind of world we’re building when we approach things that way.  I’m also tired of “special” things that are not special.  You know, like those Buzzfeed lists like 12 Things Only Left-Handed Introverted Redheads Who Are Always Late And Have Allergies Will Understand, and it’s like, don’t you hate it when people interrupt you?  Yeah, everyone hates being interrupted.  You’re not special.  You’re unique, as everyone is (yes, I know, irony, blah blah blah).  Also I’m getting tired of this implication of “everyone else.”  It’s common in those goth kid books (which I used to be a big fan of), where the MC is sooooo different from everyone else because they’re intelligent.  They’re “not like the other kids” because they have an imagination.  They’re usually also bookish and introverted.  The thing is, everyone has an imagination, approximately 1/3 of the world’s population is introverted, and given how the school system promotes independent book learning as the superior form of education (although it’s only one of many equal forms, and you should just find what works best for you), it’s not hard to imagine why this character trope exists.  Not everyone is Paranorman/Sailor Saturn/a Tim Burton Character, although I understand why you might wish you were.  When I was a kid, I wished I was psychic.  And when I was a kid - a bookish, introverted, imaginative kid - I fell for the trope, hook, line, and sinker.  Did I get bullied a lot?  Yeah.  Was I constantly seething at the cruelty and exclusion and harassment I experienced at the hands of my peers?  Yes.  Did I take to seeing them as mindless neanderthals because all they ever did was quote popular songs, cheat off each other in school, make sex jokes, and grope each other?  Hells yeah.  But it’s not like I was any better!  I didn’t do the stuff they did, but I had a lot of flaws too.  I procrastinated, I was scared of everything, and I was totally against the idea of trying anything new.  Also, I was a huge crybaby.  So, it’s not like I can pat myself on the back for being so sophisticated, you know?

So, anyway, back to the video.  This video also speaks to things I’ve witnessed.  Between my horrible experiences at York University, my stint in activism (haha), and some nasty racist things I’ve seen over the past 15 months against anyone who isn’t a smug Atheistian (yes I said that on purpose), I can confirm that this video points at something true.  I love what this video says, I love how it’s presented, and the whole thing is just *chef kiss* beautiful.

Twenty Years of Fighting Evil By Moonlight

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 15, 2015, 1:53 PM


skin by: Ashty187

________________________________

Today is August 15, 2015.  Twenty years ago, my life was changed forever.  It was a lazy summer afternoon and I was lounging in front of the television, watching cartoons on YTV.  Whatever show I was watching was winding down and I figured I’d go play outside or something when it was over.  As the closing credits played, I put on sunscreen, and figured I’d watch the first few minutes of whatever came on next while I waited for it to absorb.

Best. Decision. Of. My. Life.

I am recapping this story purely from memory.  No looking anything up and no watching the pilot again here and now.  These were my first impressions, or, at least the memories thereof that were strong enough to stay with me.

The scene opened with space scenery (hello!) and a voice over that told a fairy tale that I’d never heard before.  I recognized the animation as “that Asian style that makes Hello Kitty,” and I knew Hello Kitty did fairy tales, so I stayed to listen to whatever this new fairy tale was.  I quickly lost interest due to the cheesy voice of the narrator.  He had this mystical magical wizard quality to it, old and quavering but still speaking with gravitas.  That was what put me off.  My best friend at the time was rather into Arthurian legends and he made me sit through stuff like that regularly, so I was pretty bored.  Still, I felt weird about “interrupting” the story by turning off the TV in the middle, so I stayed to listen about an ancient society on the moon, a love story between a prince and a princess, and an evil force that would destroy them.  The queen of this land used the last of her strength to send all her subjects into the future to be reborn on Earth.

Quavery wizard voice: and so, our story begins...

Okay, not bad.  Time to go outsi - wait!  The next shot was that of a clock.  It was bright and colourful, and it had a chicken on it.  My alarm clock looked similar, except it had a bear on it.  I stayed a few seconds longer due to this shred of familiarity.  The next shot was that of a girl sitting bolt upright in bed, messy, panicked, shouting “I’M GONNA BE LATE FOR SCHOOL!”

I was hooked!  I cannot express how important that was to me.  When I was in elementary school, I was late all the time.  I was messy, disorganized, had weird hair that everyone made fun of, and I was a total crybaby.  This was a major source of shame for me, made all that much worse because the only TV character I was comparable to was Milhouse from The Simpsons.  Watching those first few scenes of Sailor Moon was truly a transcendental experience for me.  Before the magic, before the moon princess revelation, when Usagi was just Usagi (or “Serena”), she was my hero.  She was... me, and she was my hero because she gave me permission to be me.  Yeah, she was a clumsy crybaby, but that was okay, because not only was she on TV, she was the main character.  The story wasn’t making fun of her for being imperfect.  It was taking her side, seeing things through her viewpoint, as though being flawed was *gasp* acceptable!

Sometime in a previous school year, I found a book called “Ruby the Copycat” or something along those lines.  That was also about a girl who was late for school all the time, and somehow, hearing that someone else had the same flaws as me made me feel less broken.  I wasn’t a rare, unacceptable mistake.  Ruby wasn’t a freak, and neither was Serena, so... maybe I wasn’t, either.  At that time of my life, I was also getting bullied every day, so to see Serena get flak from Rei and Darien and especially Luna in those early episodes made me feel so much less alone.  But, let’s get back to that first episode.

We all know the scene.  Luna gives the brooch to Serena, who transforms for the first time.  She senses Molly is in danger, and goes to rescue her.  And yet, even in superhero form, Sailor Moon trips and falls and bleeds and cries.  When the zombie customers mob her, she’s terrified.  She needs Luna to instruct her on how to use her powers.  This was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.  The superheroes I was used to were already perfect; overpowered, cocky, and with ninja-like reflexes.  They never got scared, no one had to teach them anything, and nothing ever caught them off guard.  I had no hope of being like those guys.  But, Sailor Moon... Sailor Moon was me.  She reacted how I would react - well, except for at the end, though, when she got all heart-eyed over Tux.  But I’ll get to that later.

What made Sailor Moon a truly transformative (hehe, see what I did there) experience for me was that, for once, a protag was actually relatable.  Sure, I aspired to be like one or two of the Ninja Turtles, but I couldn’t actually be like them when there was so much I didn’t know how to do.  The thing that made the show Sailor Moon truly magical was the dual identities.  The less-than-ordinary awkward kid could be a magical superhero and it wasn’t like those things were incompatible.  This reflected something I was struggling with at the time.  I was getting stereotyped in a lot of different ways and only identified with bits and pieces of each one.  At the time, it was of paramount importance to be able to sum oneself up in a neat little label.  Otherwise, you were just babyish and stupid.  Ah, the logic of nine-year-olds.

I stayed glued to that TV for the rest of that first episode, as well as for the one that came after it.  For whatever reason, YTV skipped ahead and went right to a Cardian episode (with Ann and Allen, or Ali and En, or whatever their names are - OMG, I just got it, AliEn!  And they’re aliens.  But, so are most other characters in the series... anyway).  I could tell this order of episodes was a mistake, but I didn’t care.  All I wanted was More! Sailor! Moon!  I very quickly became obsessed, and this filled a void for me.  For as long as I can remember, I had always had a show and the fantasy world within it to obsess about.  As of that summer, I had long since outgrown the days of Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn’t on the air anymore.  I had already seen each episode of Samurai Pizza Cats multiple times, and Power Rangers was okay but it wasn’t really doing it for me.  To find Sailor Moon at this time was... destinyyyyyyy.

Actually, it was weird how many kids just randomly happened to see this episode that aired when most people were at camp or on vacation or playing outside like normal children.  Perhaps it’s a scheme by the Negaverse?  Nah, that doesn’t sound right.  But, when I went to school that September, it seemed that everyone knew this show.  The cool kids knew of it, and I felt honoured and amazed to actually have something in common with them.  But then, they started to dis the show.  They hated how the episodes were shown out of order.  They didn’t get the big eyes and the comic book effects and the lack of lip synching for the voices.  I tried to defend it (and was totally ignored, of course), but somehow that made it better.  I got to have Sailor Moon to myself because the cool kids didn’t want it.  There was no hope of me getting accepted in anything that involved the basketball-playing, Macarena-dancing, Fruit-by-the-Foot-eating cool kids.  It was a miracle that they had left Sailor Moon to me.  (Once again, nine-year-old logic dictates that if a cool kid likes something, that gives them the authority to ban the school pariah from engaging with it.)

More Sailor Moon episodes aired and I watched them all religiously.  I bonded with my friends over this awesome new super heroine team.  I recall my best friend saying Sailor Mars ought to be a boy, because she has the male symbol, and how it wasn’t fair that the team was all girls.  I reminded him there was Tuxedo Mask, but we both knew he wasn’t that important a character.  I ultimately conceded that the series was a little unfair to boys, but most shows are unfair to girls for the same reason, so Sailor Moon was just balancing things out.  So... It seems social justice didn’t put ideas in my head; it just gave me the words to eventually express what I’d always needed to.   

The school year went on.  I knew of Sailor Moon, Mercury, and Mars, and of a green scout that was rumoured to be Jupiter.  Usagi’s slacking when it came to schoolwork (and general responsibility, and common sense) made me feel distanced from her somewhat.  I prided myself on being responsible, like Rei, and being a top student, like Ami.  By that point, I didn’t feel super connected to any specific character, but I felt like a little bit of all of them.  I could live very happily within their world and often wished I could go there for real.  To this day, if I had to pick an anime world in which to live, I would pick Sailor Moon, or perhaps Kuragehime.  But I digress.  I saw myself in that world, and made up my own OC senshi.  She was the sailor scout of my favourite planet, Saturn.  Her colour was orange.  Her weapon was a bow and arrow.  Her name was... probably Alicia.  I just thought that was the prettiest name.  Maybe I didn’t quite realize it at the time, but (my) Sailor Saturn helped me fight away my own Negaverse.  She helped me pass the time during those lonely recesses so I didn’t drive myself crazy wandering around outside, looking for the best places to sneak around (ie, avoid being discovered by the bullies who would punch me and throw things at me).  Thanks to Sailor Saturn, I felt strong and powerful and important.  I could be her and pretend I had purpose.  For those fifteen minutes every morning and every afternoon, I didn’t have to be scared, ugly, awkward me.  I could be Sailor Saturn.

At some point, I made the mistake of telling my close friends about her.  They all had Internet access in their houses (whereas I did not) and they informed me that I was wrong.  Everything I needed my Saturn to be was already “taken.”  So, begrudgingly, I abandoned her (thanks, ten-year-old logic) and created a new character.  Her name was Sailor Midnight, and she was a Negaverse badguy turned good.  I should also mention that she was the offspring of Zoicite and Malachite - yes, I thought Zoicite was a woman.  That’s what the dub said and I had no Internet to tell me otherwise.  Did I mention my family is slow to adapt when it comes to technology?  By the time I was first able to surf for Sailor Moon pictures, the other kids in my class were already downloading Limp Bizkit songs from Napster.  Anyway, Sailor Midnight had a much darker backstory.  This came around the same time as my foray into what would now be called “poseur goth.”  I liked dark-themed media and embraced sad feelings and cherished intellectual pursuits.  I was also starting to really hate the popular kids.  However, I was allegedly a poseur because I didn’t spend all my money on Tim Burton / Jhonen Vasquez creations or go around wearing pricy black lingerie, cuz I’m goffik.  Anyway... at that time I was friends with someone who knew of the real Sailor Saturn and told me she was the gothic senshi.  We got into fights - actual fights! - over which of us was more like her.  Today’s equivalent would be geeks fighting over who is and isn’t a true geek: they’re prepared and even proud to avoid the “drama” that popular people deal with - so much so that they don’t realize when they’re emulating that supposedly despised behaviour.  It was hard for me to be a Sailor Moon fan, even amongst other unpopular kids who were Sailor Moon fans.  That was okay with me, though, because I knew the “real” senshi would still accept me at their fan.

I drew a lot of fanart.  Fanfiction, not so much.  I wrote Pokemon fanfics, though, that I still have and will never ever EVER post online!  (Thanks, family, for being late adopters of new technology, and giving me a pencil and paper instead.  I sincerely mean that.)  I still watched Sailor Moon every day.  I remember, one time, when I was in the hospital (don’t ask), there was a TV on the wall in the waiting room.  My mom asked the secretary to change the channel from TVO (which plays shows for little kids) to YTV so I could watch Sailor Moon. <3  So, I never, ever missed seeing my heroines in action.

Finally, when I got my hands on a computer that could access the Internet, I found this amazing website that told the story of the origins of everything in Sailor Moon.  Greco-Roman, Chinese, and Japanese mythologies, elements, astrology, astronomy, days of the week.  Everyone’s name had a specific meaning.  Rocks and minerals.  Chemistry.  It was like a secret code, or discovering a bonus level in a game you’d already played all the way through.  Another transformative, magical discovery.  Not only did this allow me to engage with my favourite series in a whole new way, but it improved my own character designing and worldbuilding skills.  I don’t demand of myself that everything is imbued with sacred meaning, but MY GOODNESS does it help me figure things out.

As years went by, I never gave up on those old reruns.  Rumours spread about the promise of new episodes, but they never came.  I faithfully watched the dubbed episodes, one each weekday, for the full arc, always hoping it wouldn’t start over.  Like an ill karmic cycle, it always did.  We were always trapped, and never got to see beyond the Dark Moon.  When I was in grade seven, my depression got a lot worse (thanks, relentless bullying), and I stopped liking anything.  I gave up watching Sailor Moon on YTV.  I gave up doing everything.  That was it for me - the end of an era.  I think the Stars season finally came out, but by then I was in high school and I didn’t want to revisit anything from that dark time of my life.  It was time to move on.  My fanhood matured and turned to creation rather than pure consumption.  I made cosplays and sharpened my fanart skills.  Over the course of the past 20 years, my relationship to Sailor Moon has changed, but it’s never faded.  I’ve identified with different senshi in different ways.  I’ve revisited old themes and found new meaning in them.  Like, you know how their powers seem to come from a basic “believe in yourself”?  At the time, I didn’t quite get it, other than I figured it was something metaphysical and they were willing their energy to create bubbles and fire and whatnot (Did I mention I was into New Age stuff when I was in high school)?  Now I understand it.  I’ve had enough days when I’m too depressed to move; when the Negaverse has stolen all my energy.  I have been so fortunate as to find friends who actually support and encourage my creativity instead of slamming me down and kicking me out all the time, so I understand why Moon had greater powers when the other senshi lent her their strength.  When I was younger, I thought that was all a bunch of overly-emotional artificial tension, but I get it now.  Having people who believe in you is genuinely empowering.  I realize now how all the Youma Of The Day villains were metaphors for hopelessness, fear, insecurity, stress, and pain, and how normal people really do battle those demons every day.  I also realize how the senshi’s powers are metaphorical, that we can only rise above our fears and overcome our challenges by bringing our true selves to the forefront.

I also want to add that, when I was a kid, I was into a number of series that had sentai teams, but none of them were quite like Sailor Moon.  Can you imagine if the Sailor Moon series was structured like those other shows?  I don’t want to call them “boy shows” because the whole idea of “boy shows” and “girl shows” is BS.  People can like whatever they like.  What I’m talking about here is not gender, but structure.  In this case, Mars would be the leader because she’s red and aggressive and ambitious.  Mercury and Jupiter would be comically physically different; we’d make fun of the puny nerd and the dumb jock.  Venus would go around seducing everyone.  Moon would be an afterthought.  But thankfully, the series didn’t do that.  Mars was ambitious, and that was reflected in her independence and sense of duty.  Venus was beautiful, but also funny and energetic and brave: a whole person and not just fanservice.  Mercury isn’t ridiculed for being smart.  Well, maybe a little, but in a “you’re studying on vacation?!” way, and not in a Big Bang Theory way.  Jupiter’s strength and size is an issue and the show actually explores how people treat her and how that affects her self esteem.  And Sailor Moon is the friendly, relatable character who sees the good in everyone.  She knows how to talk to people, how to get them to open up.  She’s the one who brings everyone together because she’s the best friend we all need - and that makes her the strongest, not the weakest.  This is what I mean by structure.  

At the time, all the other shows I watched followed the Power Rangers / Voltron / Beasties team format.  I was getting a little tired of the Five Man Band formula (which Sailor Moon kinda follows, but not exactly).  I was also getting REALLY tired of the crappy female representation.  I didn’t mind shows set in all-male worlds, like TMNT or early Beasties, where women were either not present or not important.  Gender wasn’t a “thing” so I just identified with whoever’s personality I felt was best suited to mine.  What pissed me off was when a show made a huge deal of the girl as a whiny princess or video ho.  Thanks.  Thanks a lot.  It didn’t help that I was a gamer, a comic book fan, and a fan of action comedies; I was exposed to it a lot - by my own volition, but still, there was a distinct lack of options.  It was either, “you’re not a girl, or you’re garbage, or you don’t exist.”  And that trend seemed to permeate people’s actual mindsets.  The cool girls at my school didn’t do their homework; they traded sexual favours with the boys to do it for them.  I did my own work and brought home As, but it felt hollow because I felt like I wasn’t a “real girl.”  It was a weird mix of loneliness and righteous indignation.  I remember, I was at a party.  It was a bunch of my friends and we were all playing video games, and one person commented on how it was a total sausage fest.  I coughed meaningfully, but he kept on saying it, so I poked him in the shoulder.  I wanted to say, “hey, I’m a girl,” but then I stopped because I realized what he’d meant.  He didn’t care about the male:female ratio in the place.  He was hoping for some action, and because he knew I wasn’t DTF, I didn’t count as a girl.  At least, that’s what I got from the situation.  It didn’t help that, other than Sailor Moon, I grew up on media that implied just that: guys are the important characters, girls are just fanservice.  If I wanted to be taken seriously as a person, I couldn’t be a girl.  Sailor Moon offered me a new option.  She rescued me from seeing myself in a way worse light.  She really is my heroine.

The last time I was on a panel at an anime con, I tried to express something less personal but still along these lines.  I mentioned how important it was to have an all-female superhero team, or at least a series with more than one female character who actually does something.  However, I made the mistake of mentioning the Bechdel Test and someone in the audience spoke up to challenge me.  He said how if gender doesn’t matter then it shouldn’t matter, and it turned into an argument detailing the specifics of the Bechdel Test instead.  I think I killed my own credibility by backpedaling; saying “it doesn’t have to be specifically the Bechdel Test, just that it should show more than one way of being a girl, and show that girls exist other than as temptations and McGuffins for the guys,” but that didn’t get through.  By then, he was kind of interrupting me every two seconds and the another girl on the panel started going on about something else and the conversation was lost.  So, I hope I could be clear this time when my awkward, introverted self can get the words out alone on a keyboard and not on live in front of an audience.

I want to say how important the characters of Sailor Moon are to me because they remind me that it’s normal for me to be who I am.  They are representations beyond The Smart One, The Mean One, The Strong One, and The Ditz.  They are complex characters who struggle with things and wish for things and fight and fail and succeed.

Thank you, Usagi, for showing me it’s okay to be clumsy and awkward and scared and a bit of a crybaby sometimes.  You are strong and brave, even though you don’t think you are, and watching you fight the forces of evil reminds me that I can survive my battles as well.

Thank you, Ami, for showing me that being smart and studious can be respectable and admirable.  For many years, I was you, while I was so afraid of being Melvin.  I was That Kid who was genuinely interested in studying and didn’t care one bit about getting a boyfriend.  Thank you for showing me that that’s not weird.

Rei, you’ve been depicted quite differently in different iterations of the series.  I want to thank 90s anime Rei for showing me it’s okay not to tolerate BS, that it’s okay to be ambitious, and that we should embrace what is powerful about each of us.  Manga Rei, thank you for showing me how to be dignified without being a pushover.  THANK YOU for showing me it’s okay to NOT be interested in guys or romance.  Thank you for demonstrating how being religious isn’t automatically bad or closed-minded.  Especially, thank you for showing me that it’s okay not to be interested in guys AND to uphold religious beliefs, and that people on all sides of that might misunderstand you for it and you’re still awesome no matter what.

Makoto, thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, for being too damn big.  From a young age, I had your height and your “talent,” and my frame is built wide too.  I’m fat AND muscular, such that other kids were weirded out.  Some were even afraid of me.  Thank you for going through that struggle with me, and showing me it’s okay to feel self-conscious about that, and that it’s not hypocritical to feel that way and still use your strength when you need to defend someone you love.  Thank you for demonstrating that having a domestic side doesn’t make you weak, just self-sufficient and generous.  Thank you for showing me you can be the big scary warrior girl who still loves baking and flowers and girly stuff.  Thank you for showing me that you can be as boy-like and girl-like as you want, and you don’t owe anybody an explanation for it.  Thunder and lightning have always been something I find beautiful; thank you for being that in addition to the typical delicate rose.

Haruka, thank you for being strong and fast and confident in a way that inspires me to do the same.  Thank you for being the voice of reason when everyone else is losing their minds and for being the voice of empathy when the rest of the world has gone cold.  Thank you for showing me that girls can be beautiful even if they’re not feminine.  Although I am slow, I am a runner, and when I’m feeling too tired to keep going, I think of you so I can become the wind.

Setsuna, thank you for showing me how to face loneliness with serenity, dignity, and courage.  Thank you for proving to the world that there is a kind of love that is rooted in distance, responsibility, and respect.

Finally, Hotaru.  Thank you for showing me that it’s possible to be strong and weak at the same time.  I went through a time when I didn’t know who I was, when I was forced to become someone else, and it was tearing me up from the inside out.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but one of the things that helped me heal was knowing that I wasn’t the only one to fight such inner demons.  Thank you for teaching me that sacrifice is only meant as a last resort, and that doing it for the right reasons is worth it.  There are things that have happened to me that have left me haunted, and now I understand you on a whole new level.  Thank you for going through that painful time with me, and for reminding me that it’s always possible to start over.

To finish this, I would like to thank Naoko Takeuchi, for creating the series that helped make me who I am.  When I work on my novels, it is never far from my mind that the words I write might one day help someone as much as Sailor Moon has helped me.  At least, that is my ultimate wish for it.

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Can someone please explain to me the mandatory display of extreme dislike toward certain things?  Why is there this inexplicable intense rage toward young white women who enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, perhaps specifically from Starbucks?  Like, I get that that’s a “thing,” but people are reacting really, really strongly and I have no idea why.  If you just hate frivolity, okay, but many things are frivolous.  White girls drinking pumpkin spice lattes is oddly specific.

In the times before I stopped reading comment sections, I noticed a lot of people would attack others for saying uneducated things.  Like, this one person compared “Sugar Rush” to “Gangnam Style” because each song only has a few phrases in English, and someone replied that they would rip their head off and shit down their neck for saying that.  Okay, so, you were so appalled that someone compared two unrelated songs, you thought you’d reply in such a way... and that classes up the joint?  Seriously, what is the thought process here?

And nevermind those videos that show foods from other countries.  Someone always has to comment “Vomcano!  Thru up in my mouth!”  Once again, you find a foreign food disgusting so you talk about throwing up... why?  To make things less disgusting?  How, why, why this anger?

And what about bands like Linkin Park and Nickelback?  Look, they’re not my favourite bands either, but when their music comes on the radio I don’t shudder and scream that my ears are bleeding.  People act like they’re the Worst Bands Evarrr, but really they’re just kinda “meh.”  And, actually Linkin Park is a lot more creative in terms of its style of music than a lot of rock bands (how they mix rap and metal, for example).  And it’s like people need to do this secret sign to prove they’re cool by overreacting how much they hate these bands.  And at the same time, people are fawning all over Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, whose music is actually quite inappropriate in terms of body-shaming, drug references in music for kids, cultural appropriation, and excessive boob/butt displays that pretend to be feminism but is really just reworking the male gaze to supposedly empowering music.  If you so much as mention that you don’t like Gaga or Perry - how DARE you!  Or what about bands like U2 and REM whose whole deal is “question the system,” but they really just complain and then go “lookit me, lookit me!”  That can’t be questioned because then, ugh, you don’t like U2?  You’re a conformist. -.-

(Before someone points out that my whole deal is asking people to question the system and providing examples from personal experience, that’s just for these journals.  My actual product is a series of novels that has nothing to do with that, so I am actually creating something other than just a list of complaints.  My complaining journals are not my art.  And now... another example from personal experience).

When I was in grade 2, it was a “thing” to hate Barney.  Like, not just avoid the show, but actively go on about how much they hate it.  I was quite loud about my Barney hating too, but I got sick of it and at one point I just told people I didn’t care anymore.  I said that we hate Barney because it’s boring for us, and of course it is, because it’s made for much younger kids.  Some kids agreed with me and a few even admitted they actually like Barney, but most people got really angry with me for saying what I said.  Why??  It’s a purple dinosaur who sings too much, why is this such a huge deal? (I admit though, I eventually regressed and went back to hate-bragging).

If someone handed me a flyer printed in Comic Sans MS, I would wonder, because that font stopped being trendy 15 years ago.  I would not, however, make fake vomiting noises.  I get that you’re trying to make the other person look stupid, but reacting like that just makes YOU look stupid.

And I don’t understand the issue with Crocs.  Like, yeah, they’re ugly, but if you’re trying to be classy, the first thing you should do is keep your mouth shut.  You can somewhat show you’re classy by dressing better than someone wearing Crocs, but if you want to be REALLY classy, you’d know not to be damn rude to people over what they choose to wear.  No one is forcing you to wear Crocs, so let it go.  I’m a big believer in speaking up if someone is spreading lies or being dangerous or harassing you/someone else, but wearing shoes you find ugly does not fall into that category.  Keep those thoughts to yourself.  Crocs aren’t hurting anyone.  And while we’re at it, how come Crocs are not okay but Uggs are?  Uggs are just as ugly as Crocs, AND they’re impractical.  Crocs are at least made of durable plastic, whereas Uggs are winter boots that are not weather-proof.  And some Uggs get rather close to cultural appropriation considering how many of them are supposed to look like fur or have leather fringes and beads like moccasins.  Not to mention that the trend is also from 1999, putting it in the same timeframe as Comic Sans.  So why do Uggs get a free pass while Crocs don’t?  Maybe because Uggs are worn by beautiful rich white girls?  No, because beautiful rich white girls also go to Starbucks for pumpkin spice lattes, which is apparently also not okay.  So, I can’t keep track of who I’m expected to hate anymore.

My only guess is this is some form of tribalism.  People band together over what they like, so maybe, according to those stereotypes, they have to be just as enthusiastic over what they reject.  Kind of like how, if you play any casual games, then you can’t be a “real gamer,” even if you play FPSs and RPGs all the time.

I don’t understand it, and while I’m vaguely curious as to why it all works the way it does, I really can’t care that much.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you want to be cool and classy, it has very little to do with what trends you follow and a lot to do with you thinking for yourself and treating others with respect.

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CaptainQuirk
A Quirk of Art
Canada
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:iconbowser369:
bowser369 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
you have my deepest gratitude for the Llama Gwomp - tastes good 
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:icontheghostsiren:
TheGhostSiren Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you ever so much for favoring my work :blackrose: I really appreciate the support :heart:
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:iconrainbow-acey:
Rainbow-Acey Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*pokes* I have a quick question
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:iconcaptainquirk:
CaptainQuirk Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015
Yes?
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:iconrainbow-acey:
Rainbow-Acey Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I made a sketch of the characters from Monsterville...main ones... I still have it as a sketch(I was doodling yesterday and noticed a random .psd file when saving and it turned out to be that)
I just wanted to know if I can post it here
I didn't know if you'd prefer for all that stuff to be off dA or not :o
I just... WANTED TO ART SO BADLY. I have been wanting to for weeks. I would also link out to your site.
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:iconcaptainquirk:
CaptainQuirk Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2015
Oh, yeah, totally post it.  I'm honoured.  ^__^  I wanted to keep it off MY CaptainQuirk account just so I'm free to do whiny/political/self-absorbed/NSFW/experimental stuff here without it being associated with Monsterville.  And, yeah, totally you can link it to the website.

Also, I started making the monsterville only account today.  monsterville-art
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:iconmegamanmaster64:
MegamanMaster64 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the badge.
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:iconcinnamonfox:
Cinnamonfox Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the llama :iconllamawooshplz:
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:iconrolox:
RoloX Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015
llamas are love, llamas are life

thanks for the llama, here's one for you =D
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:icondogman0:
dogman0 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
Boldly going Forward...because we can't find reverse.

Thanks for the Llama
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