Real Talk: “Activism vs. Movements”

In the wake of events currently surrounding Charlottesville, VA, I found myself this morning trying to place my thoughts in order. It is no secret that as a member of the LGBT community, I too have been a victim of prejudice and violence; and while I may not always agree with the forms activism takes, I will always support the scope and mission that each movement takes. Therefore, when it comes to movements such as BLM, though it might not be my preferred method, I wholeheartedly understand why such assembly is necessary and I wish only the best for those who involve themselves in such efforts.

I feel that the point I wanted most to make was that opposing an activity is not at all the same as opposing an entire movement, advice which works both ways especially in a situation like the one we’ve witnessed in the past twenty-four hours. Even if you aren’t one for protests, you can lend your voice to a movement in your own way, whether it’s contributing financially or merely leading by example. At the same time, however, it is rather common for one to condemn a hate group’s acts of terrorism while still secretly supporting what their intentions are. That’s what makes last night’s incident so incredibly scathing.

Currently, there doesn’t seem to be any official name or banner for the white supremacists who stormed the city of Charlottesville last night. Yet they are a movement, and they are fully aware of what their intentions are. The rest of us need also be aware of it, and all of us should make it our duty to go further – much further – in shutting down those intentions before they have another chance to manifest.

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Real Talk: “The Hunie List”

For the uninitiated, HuniePop is a puzzle/dating sim which came out in early 2015. The protagonist (you) meets a love fairy (Kyu) who takes it upon herself to break you of your virgin status. No, she doesn’t bed you (at least not initially), but rather helps you to meet a series of lovely ladies who you must successfully romance across a total of four dates. Each date is little more than a “match-three” puzzle not unlike those of Bejeweled or Candy Crush. Dates become progressively harder the longer you play through the game, and successfully romancing every possible lover unlocks “Alpha Mode,” where the score requirement increases indefinitely.

So who are these potential love interests? There are twelve in total, four of which are not available to the protagonist until certain conditions are met. As the purposes of this article are to rate the girls by my propensity to fall in love with them, spoilers are obvious here. You can find a complete list of characters on any of the HuniePop wiki pages circulating the internet. So without further ado, here we go! Read more

Rhiannon: Draft 06

*CLANG! CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG!* Lowering my handgun toward the ground, I took a deep breath and stepped forward. The target I mounted against the back wall of the residence building appeared on its surface to have been untouched, though as I pressed my fingers to its glossy surface, I could make out the residues of psychic energy from which my bullets had thoroughly bombarded it.

Eight, six, six, four… And one out of bounds… In terms of stopping power, that’s…

“Brandishing a gun on campus, lady? Be careful that the dean of students doesn’t find you.”

“Oh, vice president!” Spinning around, I holstered my gun and put my hands in front of my chest. “I was just getting some… p-practice in… was all…!” He could be seen leaning against a nearby signpost, a cigarette in his right hand. It’s burned down more than halfway; just how long had Chase been watching me…?

“Since you aren’t out to disturb the peace, I suppose I can look the other way. Do you at least want to tell me what this is about?”

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Audrey Songbird: Concept 10

Tick… Tick… Thump… Thump… A moment, a murmur, a frame, a flutter… Arching, dancing, a weaving of bodies… To be posed so provocatively with a man, it felt so… Incredible…

“Hold!” shouted the alchemist as he tapped a wand to the imprinter’s golden key. Instantly, it began to spin in a counterclockwise fashion, a high pitched whistling resonating from the device’s inner lattice. Tick… Tick… Thump… Thump…

I was being suspended in midair above Marius, his hands firmly pressed against the small of my back so that my body curved like a wooden bow. Using my arms to steady myself, I had craned my neck just enough for our lips to touch. All that remained was to hold the pose until the imprinter could do its job.

Tick… Tick… Thump… Thump… I could feel the tip of his member twitching provocatively along the contours of my ass. If I so much as lost my footing, then it would force its way inside. If I were to slide backward even a centimeter, then it would fall forward and instead worm its way into my sensitive slit. The muscles and tendons of my body were screaming in agony, yet my cock was in heaven, fueled by the combination of heat and musk which surrounded us on the bed which was our stage.

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Audrey Songbird: Concept 09

“I hope you know that you’re putting me in a real bind here, Audrey.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m really sorry about this.” I was standing across from Helma Lede, executive agent for the modeling agency of which I worked. Debuting at the young age of sixteen, she went on to make a modest career of it before retiring at thirty-six. Now in her early forties, she prided herself in teaching the next generation. For all the talents my body possessed, they were null and void if not for Helma’s exemplary marketing skills.

Though the years had not been too kind, she still managed to hold her own in the looks department. She went to great lengths to preserve the silkiness of her hazelnut skin, and her auburn hair was shaped upward in a youthful pixie-cut. Her ears had been altered to look more pointed, and each lobe was fitted with a gold ring large enough to slip one’s finger through. Gazing lower, I could make out the creases where her tube top and shorts had been painted on – a specialized material just thick enough to conceal her womanly secrets from view.

She was lounging across from me in a thatched hammock suspended from the ceiling of her office, her bare feet pushing against the edge of her desk, causing her body to sway back and forth with each movement of her legs. “Soul searching is one thing, but do you really need a whole three weeks to do… whatever it is you’re off to do?”

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Audrey Songbird: Concept 08

When next I attempted to communicate with Astertis, there was suddenly no trace of her in my head. A part of me began to worry that her bodyswap technique had successfully placed her in Cass’s body, though a thorough examination of my friend revealed all was as it had been. As for Josa, he had no idea about anything going on behind the veil, so we decided it best not to stir the pot. Nonetheless, I couldn’t hide my growing irritation and needed to do something about it.

The local tavern was a great place to take the edge off. I found myself returning night after night, effectively blowing my pay on what amounted to little more than a few short-lived elations. After the fourth such occurrence, Cass took it upon herself to tag along, insisting that I had cast aside all vestiges of moderation. Despite my protests, she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“What will it be, ladies?” asked the tavern’s host.

“Two beers and a backroom table please,” answered Cass. With a nod, the man escorted us between the crowds, an aroma of tobacco hanging visibly in the dim candlelight. We removed our coats and took our seats, Cass stretching her arms over her head. “So before you ask, I want you to know that the archives were empty.”

“What if we copied the reference serials of the ones you found originally? Couldn’t we seek out other libraries in the region?”

“You misunderstood me, Audrey. The archives were empty, as in completely gone.”

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Real Talk: “Characters and Motives”

Note: This post will contain spoilers for “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid,” “Danganronpa,” “The Devil is a Part Timer,” and “Lucky Star.”

As much as we like to tell ourselves that the people around us make no sense, this is rarely the case. A person tends to be molded by what they know, what they feel, and what they can trust. If we wanted to be more technical, we can refer to this as the use of appeals (logos, pathos, ethos) to determine the core of a person’s judgment (look up the “Rhetorical Triangle” for more information).

A good bit of care must go into conveying the judgments of fictional characters, due to the nature of us to take after them (and if you need any proof of that, simply look to all of the comparisons between “Harry Potter” and the Trump Administration). When we witness a character navigating a scenario, we often compare our own ideals and even our own actions to theirs. There’s a deeply-held desire among readers to resonate with at least one character in any story.

There are times, however, that a character might deviate from what the reader considers to be a rational thought process. Critical thinking tends to lead us toward the realm of two distinct possibilities: the first being that the character is privy to a knowledge that we have yet to be given, and the second being that the writer has inadvertently forced the character’s hand somewhere along the line.

If that sounds a bit too harsh, then allow me to clarify – there is nothing wrong with a character contradicting themselves when the story calls for it. That as it may, such contradictions must absolutely be accounted for before the story can move at all forward. Failure to do so leads to a drama that feels manufactured, one which detaches and disengages the reader. So, let us talk about two series in particular wherein the latter unfortunately takes the helm. Read more