My lack of hipness extends far and wide

January 3, 2016

Yes, a ton of my nerd stuff revolves around sci-fi and fantasy novels.  BUT, I am also a giant loser about many other things!  Here are some of my favorites, and this post is 6000% selfish because I just wanna talk about my feelings with people.   Feeeeeeelingsssssssss

Avatar: The Last Airbender
(apologies in advance because I am not caught up even a little bit on Korra)
(also no I don’t want to talk about M. Night’s movie do not even go there I will cry)

Iroh: “It is time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big questions: Who are you? And what do you want?”

Ohhhh yeah, American anime designed for kids.  Get at me. My lovely friend Adam introduced me to this show my sophomore year of college, and started the introduction of the show with “okay, this is going to sound kind of weird, but there’s this kids’ show, and it’s really good, so, um…would you want to see an episode?” And I did, and it was great.

The show’s introduction gives you a good idea of what it’s about, and what it’s about is EPIC: the world in which the show takes place has been experiencing a hundred years of war, caused by the Fire Nation.  The Fire Nation is made partially of firebenders: those with the ability to manipulate fire and (sometimes) lightning.  The Earth Kingdom, the Water Tribes, and the Air Nomads each have their own abilities in similar fashion.  The Avatar from the title cycles through the four nations, until the most recent Avatar died, and the Air Nomads were next.  The Fire Nation knew the Avatar was supposed to be reborn into the Air Nomads, so they killed them all.  Literally all of them.  Yep, this is a kids’ show.

The “for kids” aspect of this whole show just means they usually don’t show blood, they don’t swear, and death happens off screen, but that is where it stops and ends.  There’s war, and love, and serious amount of feelings, and the best redemption arc I’ve ever seen in a series (Jaime Lannister who?)  The art and the music is incredible, the voice acting is superb, and I can’t even say that there’s a weak episode in the whole thing.  The show also has a great sense of self-awareness, and skewers everything from American wrestling (Earthbending arena!) to itself.  Seriously, please, just give this show a shot.

The Discworld novels
“Of course someone would be that stupid.  Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it.  If you put a large switch in a cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End of the World Switch, PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH,’ the paint wouldn’t even have a time to dry.”- Thief of Time

Sir Terry Pratchett is the author of these books, may he rest in peace and entertain the afterlife with his wit, and I really don’t know what to say about them other than please read them and if you’ve already read them I need you to talk to me because oh my goodness they are the bestest.

My closest comparison to explaining these books is a sort of Douglas Adams is to sci-fi what Pratchett is to fantasy, but that is weak and doesn’t fully explain either writer to the best of their abilities.  Pratchett’s world, the Discworld, is first and foremost wonderful satire, but it’s so much more than that.  There are several major story arcs in the series, including witches, the Night Watch, the Wizards of Unseen University (“Now You See It, Now You Don’t”) and Death.  Death is a character who speaks in all capitals and really likes cats.  (If you’re a fan of the series, my favorite story arcs are the Night Watch and Death.)  There are also stand alone books that cover topics like Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition and women joining the army disguised as men.

I have read most of the books more than once, and several I’ve read about a dozen times (Thief of Time and Night Watch).  Some of the books skewer things like Santa Claus and rock music, and some attempt some heavier stuff.  However, every single book will make you smile, and every single one will make you cry.  I really cannot explain how good these books are.

“My name is Draco Malfoy.  I am a racist, I hate Muggles and Mudbloods, I despise Gryffindor House, and my parents work for the man who killed your parents.  Do you want to be my friend?”

This is the production company that originally got famous for “A Very Potter Musical,” which is goddamn amazing and probably the hardest I’ve laughed ever, but they are SO GOOD, YOU GUYS.  I went to one of their shows.  Alone.  I was the only one there who was not 15 or the parents of the 15-year-old.  I’M NOT SORRY THE SHOW WAS SO CUTE AND THEY DESERVE MONEY.

They have since done parody musicals for Batman and Aladdin, in addition to two Harry Potter sequels and you guys, I seriously cannot even explain how hard I laughed at this one.  The opening song for their Aladdin parody, Twisted, starts off with a song modeled after Beauty and the Beast’s opening song, except instead of “Bonjour!,” everyone is saying “f*** you” to Jafar.  In the Batman musical, the actor playing Batman does Christian Bale’s Batman voice the whole time.  I have seriously cried laughing during every single one of these musicals, and they are all on YouTube.  Go forth and laugh forever.

Mystery Science Theater 3000
“Put your helmet on, we’ll be reaching speeds of THREE!” – Space Mutiny

Confession: I am as old as this show.  Okay, my age is not the confession, but clearly I was not a fan of the show when it aired.  About 5 years ago I was working at CTY, and a staff movie night happened, and I did not understand what MST3K was, and my friend explained it as “it’s this guy, and he’s in a spaceship, and he has friends that are robots, and they make fun of movies.  …okay the plot doesn’t matter but it’s funny, it varies from ‘this is pretty funny’ to ‘I cannot breathe I am laughing so hard'” and he’s 100% correct on all fronts.

The show is great, and you should watch it.  They are going to make a new one and I am so goshdarn excited.  As to the old show, you can buy episodes, some are on Netflix, and you should also look up the stars of the show in general. They are still making hilarious stuff and they deserve money.

Jane Austen
“You know it, I’m not putting the quote here” – Me

I’m not sorry.  I really enjoy the novels (Persuasion in particular), and pretty much all of the adaptations I’ve seen.  I also love stuff based on her work, including Clueless, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Austenland.  I…just really like this stuff, guys.

Now, it’s totally cool if Austen isn’t your thing.  You don’t have to like all the things I like.  “I tried one of her books, and I just couldn’t get into it” is a totally valid thought.  “Ugh, dude, nothing happens, it’s not like Hemingway, all they do is talk and get married” is, frankly, not.  Austen touches a nerve for me, because she is the ultimate in the “men write for men and women, women write only for women” problem.  This is a very Katarina Stratford from 10 Things issue (up to and including the fact that Austen is sometimes thrown as a diversity bone to teachers wondering why the school board can’t buy a book written by a black man), but I’m still on Austen’s side.

Also, guys, the Sense and Sensibility adaptation is such a goshdarn gorgeous movie for every possible reason.  Watch that for me, at least, please.

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