It’s dumb fucking bullshit written by a bigoted asshole. He’s a dumbshit ass moron chaser who writes these useless thinkpieces because he gets mad at himself for getting a boner while looking at Bailey Jay. Again. He deserves the Richard Spencer treatment of being knocked the fuck out by a solid right hand in full view of the public. And hey, allies: if you want to show that your activism and support isn’t just performative, you’ll want to get in on that action, too. Though, given how many of you are still trying to find new and exciting ways to label Chelsea Manning a nazi, and mocking her suicide attempt, I fucking doubt it. And I also doubt it, given how you didn’t listen to us when we told you that Singal was shit years ago. Or Graham Linehan. Or Jordan Peterson. Or about the far-reaching implications of so many right-wing names entrenching themselves in Gamergate. So we’ll just end up being the canary in the coal mine for yet another dipshit that you’ll all love and respect, until it’s no longer profitable to do so. So feel free to fuck off, instead.
Last month, there was that whole “Mermay” thing, where artists draw all different types of mermaids, mostly gay mermaids. Which is nice. Not really a thing that I’m personally into a whole lot, but it’s cool for everyone who is. But what’s the point of this post is hearing my friend Gabi talking about how mermaids were something of a coping mechanism for her; how she discovered things about her gender and sexuality. Which is something that kind of stuck with me; she’s much younger than I am, so there’s something of a generational gap between us, but it’s not as though there was no mermaid related content for my childhood self to be influenced by. Like The Little Mermaid, a movie I must have seen dozens of times as a kid.
So I had to really sit down and think: what was it that got me into the whole “queer/trans” thing?
Turns out I didn’t have to think for very long, because it’s something that has influenced by art and general “aesthetic.”
Sailor Moon was on the air when I was a kid (station UPN 20, channel 3 on your cable box), and it was a big massive deal for me. Though, I was about seven years old, and had zero understanding of gender other than “boys and girls are different,” so I didn’t really understand why I loved watching that show so much. I just knew that I did, but I also knew that I had to keep it a secret; it was a girl’s show, and I was already getting beaten up at school enough without adding that to the reasons why.
Now while that was great, what really pushed me over the edge, so to speak, was when I somehow got an issue of Diehard Gamefan Magazine. You may remember Gamefan as a magazine known for having really great page layouts, and a dedication to covering import games, before completely imploding because the higher ups were all racist dickheads who were bad with money. Anyways, this particular issue had a three-page spread for the Sega Saturn game, Magic Knight Rayearth. Now, I had no idea that it was based on an anime, or even what an anime was, but something about those screenshots hooked me. I saw three cool looking girls fighting monsters, and it was the most appealing thing in the world. Of course, as I got older, I started to figure it all out; how it all would later play a role in being queer. Magical Girls are fucking awesome. They are my mermaid.
But this is a post called “cultural confession,” and here’s the confession: I’m 31 years old, going on 32, and I still have not watched more than one episode of Rayearth, and I’m still only partway through the Saturn game. You would think that with this series being so integral to my identity, I would have this encyclopedic knowledge of it. But I don’t. I am one of those fake gamer girls who doesn’t know shit about nothing! I keep telling myself that I’ll finally sit down one day and binge-watch the whole series. Maybe that will be a goal to reach before the end of the year?
[Ramona’s note: didn’t date this, but these were all done towards the end of 2014]
Zach, is that who I think it is? Of course! Anybody these days will recognize that blue fur as belonging to Sonic the Hedgehog. His first game was released by Sega, back in 1991. A good year for video games. Did you know that, although this was his first game, it wasn’t his first appearance? He actually debuted as a car ornament in a racing game called Rad Mobile! Certainly a humble start.
I was the kind of gamer who preferred the slower, more methodical pace of the Super Mario Brothers. But you, Zach? Yeah, you really loved to watch that little guy run so fast. You once played the whole game three times in a single sitting, transfixed on Sonic’s every move. His bright colors and “in your face” attitude really exemplified the spirit of the 90s, didn’t it?
Well, exemplified what advertisers thought the 90s were about, anyway. All that slang! “Dude!” “Radical!” “Don’t have a cow, man!” Hmm, it’s a little silly to think about nowadays, I think. Maybe once this case is over, Zach, we’ll dig our old Sega Genesis out of the closet and and give Sonic another run. I can’t wait.
Careful, Zach! That’s the man who defeated Mike Tyson in his prime! A shame that the game he starred in didn’t even have his name in the title. Sorry, Little Mac, but “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!” will sell more copies, it seems.
But what an inspiring story Punch-Out was, Zach! An unknown boxer, rising through the ranks, and defeating the heavyweight champion in his prime, despite being in a smaller weight class! Sure, it just sounds like the story of “Rocky,” but WE were the ones doing the fighting this time!
Mike Tyson was later removed from the game by Nintendo. The popular story is that Tyson was removed after being convicted of rape. Sadly, Zach, the real story is always much more mundane than the wild theories we love to create. Nintendo just didn’t renew their agreement with Tyson after the world saw him humiliated by James Douglas. His mystique vanished shortly after that fight, and he went from unstoppable God of Boxing to a mere man from that point. A reminder that even the best can have everything come crashing down around them at a moments notice. I hope the same happens to our “Raincoat Killer.”
Let’s talk about a gaming classic, Zach. “Duck Hunt” released in 1984. We didn’t get it in America for another year, of course. You remember the sound of the trigger on the NES Zapper, don’t you? A satisfying “click!” Oh, that takes me back…
Sorry, I’m trailing off again. Duck Hunt was surprisingly a lot of fun, despite being so simple. Just shoot the ducks. A morbid concept turned into pure joy. Ha ha, I remember you always picking up the second controller and making the ducks fly away from wherever I was aiming. We got into a lot of ridiculous arguments, didn’t we, Zach? Maybe it’s true that video games cause violent behavior, after all!
One thing I’ve never quite understood, though: all the people who wanted to shoot that dog. Who wants to shoot a dog? Dogs are much more valuable than we humans realize, Zach. Being in the bureau, we’ve become so used to seeing police dogs; so angry, so vicious. The Id of humanity’s dark underside. We have to remember that dogs are our friends too, you know. Which reminds me, we need to get those bones back from our good friend, “Deputy” Willie, the games master.
There’s something I’ve been meaning to write about for some time now. And the main reason I’ve put it off for some long was because of the feelings of loneliness and the inability to trust people. But some of that is starting to subside, so I thought I would take some time to write about dealing with depression and bi-polar. A fair bit of warning, aside from the usual content warnings that come with a frank discussion of your weaker moments, I’m also in the midst of actually having an episode, so please pardon if I start rambling off-topic or if I fuck up my typography.
So, to start: living with this shit fucking sucks. There’s nothing fun, or glamorous, or, for fucks sake, romantic about living with an illness that will constantly try to kill you from the inside. Those positive feelings: love, joy, basic fucking happiness, are only temporary. The rest of the time? I’m sad, and prone to depressive episodes. I’m constantly upset, to the point of uncontrollably sobbing, or worse, flying into a total rage, screaming and yelling at nothing. And I’m not going to lie, I have definitely been suicidal, and I have attempted it more than once. I have this body horror-like disease where my brain is at constant odds with my body, and will create lies that will make my body want to destroy itself.
For example, and I’m not saying this to brag or anything like that: people like the things that I do. They like my essays. They like my artwork. They like my jokes and political commentary. They like me, for whatever fucked up reason. But I can never see it that way. It doesn’t matter how much praise I get, or what kind of compliment I receive, I know, I know, in my heart of hearts that it’s all bullshit. That people are simply being nice to me. They know as much as I do that my work sucks, and that I’m an extremely shitty person, but they don’t want to say it out loud. And I know, every morning when I wake up, that this is it: today is the day everyone will finally get tired of humoring me, they’ll all find out at once that I’m a fraud, and a piece of shit, and leave. And if they don’t, then I’ll have one too many episodes and drive them away myself. I can never let myself be happy; to live in the moment. And that misery and that frustration is what leads to the ideation and desire to push people away.
And of course the irony is that without my support network, I definitely would not be alive. What would be the point of going on, if I didn’t have a partner who showed me that even someone like me was capable of being loved? If I didn’t have friends that I knew that I could turn to in moments of complete desperation, when I can no longer hold everything in, and present a stoic image in order to help others? One of the symptoms of BPD is extreme empathy, and if I can’t help others, then I feel useless as fuck, to the point of physical pain at times. And I hear my friends or my girlfriend having problems, and I try my best to be that helping hand, and then completely break down when they’re not around when I’m not able to help, never asking for any help for myself in return. Mostly because I never feel as though my issues even compare to theirs, and I feel as though I’m insulting people by asking them to put aside time for me: the fraud, the horrible asshole who gets mad all the time and pretends to be more talented than they actually are. And then I feel emotionally manipulative to even bring up “hey, I’m not doing well, and I’m scared that I’ll be too crazy for you to want to be around, and I don’t want to lose you.” So I live with this perpetual catch-22 of needing support, but not wanting to be a burden. And I’ve spent the last couple of hours being terrified about this.
Like, there is no good reason I should be feeling this way. I was having so much fun with people last night, and then again earlier today. But, like I said, I can never be happy for too long. Now I’m trying to type this shit out with tears in my eyes, knowing that at some point, they’re all going to leave me. And how do I know this? Fuck, I don’t know, but it has to happen, because I have an internal monologue that helpfully reminds me on a frequent basis that I don’t deserve good things. That I don’t deserve to be happy, and hell, I don’t even deserve to be alive. And this is a fight that I’m constantly in, and have nearly lost. And it would be cool as hell to say that I’ll finally win someday, but, that’s not true. I’ll live with this for the rest of my life. It will never go away, no matter what medications I take, or what exercises I do, or whatever else.
Mauro Ranallo, an amazing sports commentator/mental health advocate said that “Mental illness is a life sentence. But it does not have to be a death sentence.” And, that stuck with me. Like, I don’t actually want to be dead. I just don’t want to live like this, being a fucking burden that adds to everyone else’s problems of having to keep an eye on me so I don’t do something stupid. I know that if I were to actually go through with things, I would hurt a lot of people, which is the last thing I want to do. I care about the people in my life too much to do something like that. And there are days where the only thing- literally the only thing, that keeps me from harming myself, or taking my own life, is them. And then that too ties into the whole “emotional manipulation” thing. Like I’m implying that if they’re not my friend, then I’ll be dead, and it’ll be on their hands, even though it absolutely would NOT be.
I don’t even really remember why I started doing this post. Maybe it was simply to vent. Maybe sharing my story will help someone who feels the same way? I don’t know.
[Ramona’s note: this was originally posted on 5/17/2016]
There have been video games. And almost as long as there have been video games, there have been frogs in them. Frogs are good. Everybody loves frogs. Why don’t you love frogs?
Frog from Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger is a good game. It’s a game with a frog in it. Not only that, but a frog that you can play as! I like him. He’s a sweet boy who tries hard. How much of a frog is he? His name is Frog.
Frog from Symphony of the Night
I love this game. But you can’t play as this frog. It drops a pizza when you kill one sometimes, and it hangs out in a cave with a sweet jazzy tune. They’re hard to hit, especially if you play the XBox 360 version. Why would you play that version?
Kero Blaster is a game by the guy who made Cave Story, a seminal Indie Games classic known for its endearing characters, wonderful art and music, and excellent level design. This somehow influenced EA programmers and creepy nice guys to make their own games about pining after a girl they saw at Starbucks once. Kero Blaster is a frog with a gun, and Kero is Japanese for Frog, I think. And I love guns, because I’m American, and I love frogs. This is a frog.
Frog from Rumble Roses
Despite being a big-titty anime game about women wrestlers, there’s a frog in it, too! This frog sucks up people like a vacuum and spits them out. It’s cool. I wish I could be a woman, like the women in this game. A woman who rides on a killer frog. Frogs are wonderful and nice.
Kerotan from Metal Gear Solid 3
Kerotan is the only frog that isn’t real. It’s a toy. 64 toys. You shoot 64 frog toys and you can turn invisible afterwards. Don’t you want to be invisible? To hide from the world and it’s continuing horror? Just you, me, and the frogs. Hideo Kojima loves frogs, too. Almost as much as he hates women and homosexuals. Maybe he should be the one who is invisible, instead. Don’t taint my frog friends with your hate!
I hope you all enjoyed the game frogs. Let’s hope for more frogs in the new year!
Except Frogger. He’s a chump.