Home of Sugary Snicket Productions


Welcome to Musings, Sugary Snicket's personal blog here on WordFlow! Here, you can find out what Sugary's doing now and where she's going next, as well as get her opinion on her fandoms, assorted sundry writing topics, and various world events and issues, from the minor to the extremely major.

Sugary does not allow non-member comments on her blog due to constant issues with spam; if you'd like to leave her a comment and you aren't a site member, please get in contact with her through her site email address.

Ongoing and Past article series here include:

  • My Beef With: A series of articles that are, in a word, rants. From nerdrage to righteous aggression, from nitpicking things to firm opinions, here's my take on things that irritate or annoy me. Pansies who can't take a little harsh criticism need not apply.
  • Weird Science: This series is devoted to applying science and mathematics to fictional concepts, myths, and legends of all kinds. Could dragons really exist? What are your odds of encountering the Joker... and surviving? What's margarine made of, anyway? To quote Poe, this and more I sit divining in this series of entries.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Attention all new writers, old writers, and authors of all ages! In this series, I'll be discussing ways to improve your writing, techniques I as an author use (and how to use them), and other creative writing related topics. If you're looking for some tips and tricks, or if you just want to connect with a fellow author, then look no further than right here.
  • Jokerology 101: You want more Joker theories? You got it. By popular demand, this new series is devoted to dissecting and examining that Mogul of Mountebanks, that Harlequin of Hate, the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker. Forget Ozzy's crooning of what went on in Alistaire Crowley's head - what's on J's mind? What kind of character archetype could he possibly be, and how does he work as a perfect foil to the Dark Knight? Is his clothing a symbol of something, or just the product of a deranged mind? All apt questions, so stick around to read and find out, or the joke might just be on you.
  • Watching The Woods: Listen up all you Hornets, Tribies, Hybrids, and assorted Slenderfans! This is the article series for you - in it, I step outside of the canon of the Slenderman Mythos and Slenderverse proper to theorize, speculate, give opinions on, and comment on all things related to everyone's favorite tall and faceless stalker. Please note that these articles all discuss the Mythos and the entity involved from a strictly OOG standpoint. All you members of the site who also Slenderblog/vlog are free to stay in character if you want, but please don't pick on those who aren't doing so. If things get too messy between you guys, I will take action, so play nice. Oh, and anyone who uses "Slender" to refer to the entity at hand will have their comments deleted. :3

WARNING: This blog is rated T. Some entries may contain explicit language or content, and some discussions posed in this blog may be inappropriate for younger readers. The sites linked to in this blog may not be family-friendly, and neither I nor Webs.com are responsible for their content. I do not believe in censoring my thoughts and opinions just so people aren't offended by them, but I promise that there is no hateful, violent, or pornographic content contained in this blog. Warnings are stated before links to potentially upsetting or graphic content and on "triggering" blog entries, but it is ultimately up to the reader's discretion as to which entries they read. I'm not to blame if anything I say offends or otherwise upsets you - your sensibilities are. Peruse at your own risk.

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The Pen Is Mightier: Scary 101 - How To Write A Good Horror Story

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Guys, I am an occasional peruser of Creepypasta, short horror, and Slenderman stories. I love horror stories, I love reading them, writing them, and seeing other people's reactions to them. As I've said before on this blog, I prefer psychologically horrific stories to stories that rely on gore and violence, or on too many monsters. The former is why I watch slasher films to root for the bad guy, and the latter is part of why, while I do admire the Fear Mythos and even find some of the beasties therein really damn cool (The Intrusion squicks me in so, so many ways and Wooden Girl is an awesome concept for a fear of being controlled, and of course Slendy and the Rake are in there too), I don't feel as much of a connection with it as I do with the Slenderverse. You can mail me your hatred now or later, preferably in the form of a Creeper, since nothing really says "I hate your guts" like a walking bundle of TNT.

You shouldn't have, guys. No really, you really shouldn't
have, I haven't slept in my own bed recently!

But I digress. As a horror author, I very often see young horror authors make... mistakes, and those mistakes lead to poorly written, unscary stories. I can't tell you how many times I've had my suspension of disbelief broken in a Slenderman story by something silly like describing his facial features as "faceless face" or something like that. I once read a relatively decent Slenderstory where they had him sitting at someone's kitchen table. Not standing. Sitting. With his legs kind of awkwardly stiff in front of him and his hands dragging on the floor. I literally laughed for three minutes as I imagined dear old Mr. Thin looking up at his latest target and saying, in that derptastic voice a certain LittleKuriboh gives him, "HIIIII GUUUUYYYS, ARE WE HAVING PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST?" And if you wouldn't laugh at the idea of Slenderman asking you about breakfast foods, then you, dear reader, have no understanding of what "Narm" means.

Point is, the wrong choices in writing horror can ruin your scary moment fast, perhaps faster than in any other genre. Just like writing a sex scene incorrectly can kill the fantasy fuel instantly for your reader, so too can incorrectly written suspense and horror kill any sort of tension and fear your reader has built up. For example, done correctly, the Slenderman scares the living fuck out of me, because I have actually experienced the kind of worry and paranoia he inspires in his victims and the idea of something subtly, patiently screwing with my head freaks me out so damn much. But if not written correctly, I'm more liable to snark at him and want to give the guy a hug, even if he's ripping your protagonist to bloody little shreds. Done correctly, the idea of a tiny spider slowly inching towards me on a thread would terrify me, but normally I am not scared of spiders, at all (gasp! A girl not scared of spiders? What is this blasphemy?!). Good horror builds and builds, offering no hope of release from tension until the author wants to let you go. As a horror reader, you are ideally at the mercy of the horror author - you're their captive audience, their willing victim, and they as a result get to screw with your head for the duration of the story... that is, if the story is good and they do a decent job of putting you in the right frame of mind.

This brings me to the point of this blog entry. While pasta-binging, I stumbled across the Creepypasta Wiki's how-to guide on writing Creepypastas, and thought it was a good read. Good enough that I feel it should carry over for all horror writing, and even for writing in general. If you'd like to read the whole thing in their words, that's right here. But as for this site, here's my paraphrasing of their guide and some added explanation. These are rules you really should follow and consider with any writing, but since it focuses on horror writing, that's what I'll stick to.

We'll start off like the guide does by pointing out the three basic types of fear you can instill in a reader:

  • Shock: The simplest, and most often abused, way to scare a reader is to shock them emotionally. This can be anything from a jumpscare to gore. Shock horror is great for the twist ending, that last stab-in-the-gut when the reader least expects it. However, it's often abused for the sake of cheap scares, and is best used as a resolution to other types of fear.
  • Paranoia: Paranoia is that sense that something is not quite right, that they might not be alone when they think they are or that they might not be able to find a good resolution. Paranoia is used to unnerve the reader, to make them doubt their own surroundings and, if you're really good, even their own beliefs about things. This type of fear is good for slow tension-building and psychological horror stories.
  • Dread: This type of fear is the horrible sense that something bad is definitely going to happen, but no resolution has occurred to answer that hanging, awful question of "Well, what is going to happen?" It happens when a reader connects deeply enough to the story that they themselves begin to fear the events therein. Inspiring dread in a reader is tricky, since not everyone fears the same exact things, but it is a powerful type of fear, the type of things that grow in your nightmares and that you can transplant into the reader's if you're really good.

Now, I mentioned that not everyone has the same fears, and that's true. But there are some fears almost everyone finds scary, and that can be useful no matter what horror tale you're telling to instill the above types of fear in the reader:

  1. The biggest thing, and what I'd argue almost all fear stems from? The unknown. People are terrified of not knowing the answer to something, of not comprehending something, of not having anything to explain what's going on. As I've said before, this is the reason the Slenderman is scary - we can't explain him, we can't read him, and we don't know for sure what happens to his victims. If you stay ambiguous enough, you can hit the reader with a sudden gut-punch of a revelation at the end of the story, giving an otherwise lame shock ending the power it needs to impact the reader. By extension, anything not clearly defined can be terrifying. If you give vague descriptions, or if a photo is blurry or static-obscured, your reader has to draw their own horrific conclusions...
  2. Things happening to the body - gore, disease, mutilation, body horror. Parts where there shouldn't be any, missing features that should be there, the injury of sensory organs (especially eyes and fingers)... there is a lot to tap into there. The potential to disturb and strike fear into the viewer here is immense, and if you're descriptive enough, it can be downright nightmarish to read. People fear this because it reminds them of their vulnerability and of death, which in turn reminds them of how scary the unknown is...
  3. Science, technology, and the new. It evokes a lot of fears - to name a few, you can use technology to evoke the fear of losing pace with the world, of being replaced, of being injured, of being out of control of your world, of treacherous images, of being exposed... or of being forgotten. Pictures, as a subset of this, are quite creepy when they show things they shouldn't, or move when they shouldn't. Hell, even cameras are scary if you think about it, since they capture your image at one point in time, a point in time that could be crucial... is it any wonder that some people think these ever-present, mechanical eyes might steal pieces of your soul upon use?
  4. Mirrors and lllusions. When we look in a mirror, we don't see a real object - we're seeing an image. That is, something not really there, or worse... something we didn't know was there before. Mirrors can distort and bend our image, mirrors can be used to confuse. Illusions, whether optical or otherwise, show us that we can't trust our own eyes some of the time, that our brains are easily fooled. If you're surrounded by Illusions, it brings up the nagging question of, "What exactly is reality, and what exactly is imaginary?" As you'd imagine, you can really, really milk this for psychological horror and paranoia.
  5. Abandonment. People don't like to know they're alone, isolated, that they have nothing and nobody to turn to. It evokes the fear of being helpless and vulnerable, or even of being forgotten entirely. Abandoned places are that way for a reason. We wonder about those abandoned places, and in our wonderings, we can think up some pretty nightmarish things. Children around that private section of woods keep disappearing. There are strange noises coming from that old, abandoned house. Something in the old crawlspace we don't use keeps whispering and scratching at the walls. Why? That's where you, the horror author, comes in, providing the worst possible scenario to answer those questions...
  6. Faces. Whether your monster has a normal one, an abnormal one, or none at all, you can describe teeth, eyes, faces, and even facial expressions in such a way that it scares the shit out of your reader. The more descriptive you get, the more your reader can imagine what it looks like, and they are as a result forced to visualize it.
  7. Children, especially little girls. "Creepy Child" is a trope for a reason, folks: if you have a child, especially a little girl in your story, it becomes creepier. The big reason for this is that people associate children, particularly female children, with innocence, and tampering with or otherwise twisting that innocence is not just creepy, it's downright horrifying. As with any expectation, the moment you invert it, it becomes creepy. Just be aware that creepy children are rather overused...

This is all just a starting point, remember, so don't be afraid (pun semi-intended) to use what scares you as a jump-off point for your story!

So, now that we know what kinds of fear there are, and what things can be considered scary, how do you get these feelings to show through the storytelling? That's where tension-building comes in. Now, you probably have a lot of questions about how to do this, such as:

  • Anonymity, or specifics? The short answer is that you should describe things well, but keep details subtle until your big reveal. The long answer, well...
    • Anonymity can be good if you're trying to keep certain things vague for the sake of tension-building (for example, never showing the antagonist's face to set the reader up for a horrific face-revealing turn at the end), but beware of being too anonymous! If you leave every detail vague, you end up with a story that at best, is unbelievable, and at worst, sounds too much like a cliched campfire story. If you're telling a creepypasta, be more specific, but if your story is a short tale, you can afford to leave out some specifics.
    • Specifics are useful to clarify what's happening, and to whom. You don't need to name the exact town it takes place in, or the exact time period (unless it's a period piece), but you do need to be clear enough in your description for your reader to know what's going on and where it's going on. What's scarier to you? Reading about a fictional monster? Or having enough details to think that, hey, this might actually exist... specifics are what urban legends live and feed upon. Use wisely!

  • How should I start out building the tension? Generally, there's two scenarios you can use:
    • In Media Res. This phrase is Pretentious Latin for "In the middle of", in this case, in the middle of the action. Be careful with this, I can't overestimate that enough for you! If written poorly, you end up starting a story about a character we haven't even met and therefore don't care about. If written well, however, you can begin with a real attention-grabber. Just don't make it too blatant and use your words right to establish some of your protagonist's character, and you should be alright.
    • Reel-'Em-In. I call it this because you start slow and build the horror. You begin semi-normally, maybe injecting a few little details to indicate that something isn't quite right here as bait for the reader. Then, once you have them hooked and reading, you reel them in by building suspense slowly, higher and higher, more and more, and then hitting them with the punch at the end. You can do this as a slow, steady build, or in stages. That is, you can continuously reel the reader in... or you can reel in a reader, hit them with a little punch, reel them in more, hit them with another little punch, reel them in more... you get the idea.

  • How detailed should the story be? The answer is, as detailed as you can make it without becoming tedious. You don't need, for example, to explain someone's walk to the store to buy bread in ten paragraphs if it's not a core part of your story. Does something important to the main plot happen on that walk? If not, then you can summarize it. Is the whole story taking place during one walk to the store? If so, add many details, but don't add details to things that are unnecessary. If the Slenderman is standing under a streetlight across the street from your protagonist, don't waste time describing the leaves on the tree next to the streetlight, the goddamn Slenderman is standing across the street from your protagonist! The best thing to do when describing stuff is to describe as well as you can, as if you're viewing it in real life. Describe all the little details. Give all the little nuances. Give sensory images - what does it smell like, feel like, sound like, etc.? But don't use pretentious words for the sake of using pretentious descriptive words, that's called purple prose and it's unrealistic that a character would describe things with that amount of detail.

  • How long should the story be? That really depends on the story. Creepypasta is best when it's not too long, and in fact it's a form of microfiction, but short stories in general shouldn't drag on either. Don't, as I stated above, focus so much on extraneous details that you lose progress of the plot. Think of your plot as a river - it needs to flow well to progress downstream to the resolution. Now, when you add a bunch of extra stuff to the river, like rocks and dirt and sand, what happens? You impede the flow of your river and at worst the river overflows the banks and floods out nearby houses. Water can't flow through a clog, and a story can't flow through unnecessary details. If you can explain something minor in a few sentences, for the love of all things holy, please do it. If you don't, it gets tedious to read and your readers will get bored.

  • Should I use death in my story? Death's scary, right? Well... yes and no...
    • As an ending, it's not scary. People... died. And then?
    • As a subject, it's overdone. Yes, death is scary, but people die all the time in horror stories. Death is cheap in horror stories.
    • Murder is not shocking either. Serial killers? Not shocking, unless you have a really, truely sadistic torturer as your serial killer, and even then it has to push the limits. Slashers are overrated. There's a reason people watch those films - 1) to get nookie from easily scared overly girly girlfriends, and 2) to root for the bad guy. I watch Friday the 13th to see Jason kill teenaged morons that look like they're 20 years old. Not to be scared.

  • Should I have my characters try to fight the horrific being/events? The answer to this is another question. Would it be feasible to do so? Most of the time, no, it wouldn't. I'm going to once more take the Slenderman as an example.
    • Yes, fight him. Okay, that would probably end in horrible failure. If they defeat him, it diminishes his power because it makes him look defeatable, which is probably not ideal for several reasons. You can try to pull this off if there's a catch; I did that with my short Slenderfic The Hunted. However, this isn't realistic. Think of it this way - would you, in real life, run up to an 8-foot-tall faceless tentacle monster and punch it? If you wouldn't, and you probably wouldn't, then neither should your protagonist. Unless you're doing this as a set-up to...
    • No, don't fight him, try to avoid him instead. This is a lot more realistic and provides more mileage for Slendy (in this case) to become more and more difficult to avoid or ignore. It makes him seem more threatening, because he's persistant as all hell. There's nothing more terrifying than a monster that just won't stop attacking or following you even if you're far away from it, because it implies predatory intent.
    • They can't fight it, because they don't know he's even there. This is pretty difficult to pull off with Slenderman since half of his fear is him being in places you least expect, but I suppose if you do a story where you have him not show up until the end while dropping hints that he's there, or make it look like he's there but never is until, BIG TWIST!, he was watching the whole damn time. But anyway, you can do some heavy tension building with this, because while you're aware, the protagonist never is. Be careful though, because it can easily become narm if done wrong.

  • What point of view should this story be told from? Well...
    • There's the first-person POV, where you put yourself as the protagonist. This is the type of story I most often write because I find it the easiest to write in for me. If you're writing from your human point of view, you can do a lot of detail-setting. as the Creepypasta wiki guide points out, scared people have heightened senses as part of the Fight or Flight response - the quietest sounds, the quickest movements, the slightest of winds on their face or the softest of fingertips down their back... Just make sure you only reveal what the narrator knows, not what you personally know about the story you're writing. As for writing as if you're the monster... yeah, probably not the best idea, especially for a Creepypasta. I know I did it with I, Slenderman, but the intent with that story was not really to scare so much as to explore the Slenderman as a character. Don't use you being the monster as a twist ending. It's not scary, it's just overdone.
    • Then there's Second Person, where you write from the reader's point of view. Use judiciously, it can be considered pure narm, or it can be considered scary as balls. I'd... not recommend using this POV, it's too easy to do wrong.
    • And then there's Third Person, when you write from a named character's point of view. This is an easy way to write a story, maybe the easiest POV to write in, but you need to describe well with it. You need to describe the character's actions, feelings, motives, everything, just as with First-Person.

One more thing we should discuss before discussing how to start or end a story - word choice. Grammar and punctuation, of course, are important, but word choice can make or break a horror story. What are you trying to imply about an action, scene, or moment in time? Let's take a break from Slendy for a second, and use the Rake for this one. One of the Rake's traits is that it speaks to its victims in a creepy, inhuman whisper. Consider the implications of the following lines:

  1. It whispered to me lowly in a voice like gravel and grit.
  2. It spoke to me softly in a rough tone.

Which is the more descriptive? Which is the more interesting? Which just... sounds right for the Rake's whispering, inhuman voice? Here's another set:

  1. The beast lunged at me, a roar of rage escaping its slavering maw.
  2. The creature launched itself at full speed, an angry screech tearing from between its glistening fangs.

Both of those sentences could be used for different scenarios, depending on what you want to imply about your monster in this case. Word choice can mean the difference between your monster having slimy tentacles or sticky ones, between a subtle nuance that hits the reader later, or a huge punch that hits the reader right now. Words are tools and weapons, choose them well.

And now, the really big question... how the hell do I start/end this thing, anyway? Let's break that into starting a story, and ending a story.

  • Starting your story can be one of the trickier bits of writing fiction. One of the best ways to do this is to imagine what you want to happen as your big punch in the story, your climax, and move back from there. What series of events might lead to someone discovering that their friend was harboring alien parasitic ants? What causes someone to figure out that the club they joined was actually an eldritch-abomination-worshipping cult and now they will become the next sacrifice to it? Start with a simple idea for something scary and put it in a non-scary scenario. Slenderman in a forest is not scary, we expect him to be there. Going to work, leaving to go to the bathroom for five seconds, and then returning to find the building suddenly abandoned and Slenderman in the building with you? That's actually kind of a terrifying concept. You can also try outlines or other preplanning methods; they never personally work for me, but they might work for you.
  • Ending your story can be tough because it's hard to figure out how to end on the right note sometimes. There's typically three types of endings that horror stories employ:
    • Open. This ending inspires paranoia because there's no resolution. We don't know what happened to the monster or scary thing, or to the protagonist. There's no end to the tension and that's a pretty distressing feeling. It leads people to wonder if "it" is still out there or not, whatever "it" might be.
    • Wrap-Up. If you go for this, be aware that while it gives a resolution and good end, it might not scare the reader. It's not as powerful an ending in horror as it is in other genres, because we know the definite fate of the antagonist and protagonist.
    • WTF Happened? This ending ends on a mysterious note and can be effective when it leads a reader to draw their own conclusions about the outcome. It should make the reader curious enough to wonder, but not so curious that they ask, "And then... ?" Use judiciously.

One more thing. Horror can be a genre full of cliches and tropes like any other genre. Now, Tropes Are Not Bad, but they can be overdone. So, be careful with using anything included in this list right here.

That's all! Now go forth, write horror, scare the reader... and try not to look out the window... >:3

The Pen Is Mightier/My Beef With: Tech Writing Classes Are Bullshit.

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I am sick of Tech Writing class.

Granted, a lot of my irritation is near-graduation fatigue (yes, I'll finally be graduating with my A.A.A.S. soon! ^0^), but really. REALLY. FUCKING REALLY, you just don't even know. You really don't even know about this particular Tech Writing class.

Now, to be clear with you guys, I have zero issue with Technical Writing itself. Tech Writing is an important tool for anyone going into any field. You just need to know how to write professional-sounding, decent letters, resumes, emails, reports, documents, and all sorts of other sundry things that need to go into a business or scholarly setting. For me, going into one of the sciences, I need to know how to write up a good scientific report on findings from experiments, tests, and quality control things. I'm gonna be going into a field where accuracy and detail is everything, because me being anal about some pill being tested could mean the difference between retail and recall, or between a proper dose and going over the LD-50. For others, it could mean the difference between a profit and a loss, whether a product sells or doesn't, or how well the end user understands the instructions they've been given. All that EULA bullshit you've probably skipped over? Yup, someone was paid to write that. Tech Writing is basically everything creative writing isn't, and that's a hell of a lot of important stuff. In the world, you need your creative stuff, and then you need the real stuff, the stuff that actually makes the real world tick. Both things are very, very important in world literature, and far be it from me to decry the importance of writing a resume just because at the moment my mind is more focused on writing a scary story or a poem about willow trees.

That all said, Tech Writing classes? They're bullshit.

You heard me. Tech Writing classes, as required college classes necessary to get a degree, are bullshit. They don't need to exist. They don't need to be a thing. The skills one learns in a Tech Writing class are skills you should have learned in another English class or throughout your college education. Do you know how I learned to write a Resume? Through my Intro to Chem Tech class, from a professor I enjoyed having. Do you know how I learned to write a decent scientific report? From my AP Bio teacher, and my tough-as-nails Orgo Chem professor. Do you know how I learned how to write a report properly to begin with? Four years of AP English in high school. I know how to do half this shit already, I don't need to learn it again. I respect the fact that some people haven't learned this stuff, and that's fine - but when a good chunk of people in a class have their laptops out and aren't even taking notes because they know the material already, shouldn't there be a way to test out of the damn class and not have to take it, because yes, you do in fact know it already? I shouldn't have to pay for a class I don't really need just to prove to others I don't need it. I shouldn't have to waste my time, gas, and money on stuff that could be implemented into other classes as part of the curriculum without any trouble whatsoever.

And I'm sorry about this, but I am about to brag, a lot (Is it technically bragging if it's all true stuff?). I swear on my life I'm not trying to be an Insufferable Genius, but it's important you know exactly where some of my irritation is coming from here. Chances are, if you're also good at English, then you probably share a lot of my same frustration with English classes as well.

I actually took two AP English tests in High School my senior year - English Language and Comp (grammar and word use and stuff), and English Lit and Comp (which is more like story analysis) - and I passed both of them with 5's, which is the highest you can get on an AP test (at least in my home state. I was one of just two people to take both tests, and one of maybe five or six people who got 5's on the Lit and Comp exam. Not only that, but I have always been good at English - I regularly get A's and B's on anything I write and put together even if I'm barely trying - I once wrote some shitty little timed writing thing over lunch because I forgot to do it the night before, and I got high marks on it from my flamboyant and picky AP English teacher, even after I admitted that I half-assed it. Even when I think I do a shitty job on a story, most people seem to think the exact opposite, which honestly confuses me some of the time. I taught myself to read when I was four, and was reading at a college level by the second grade. I am fed ducking serious on that last part, I was reading Harry Potter in the second grade with extreme ease and had to bring my own reading material to class, because the material in school was way too simple for me. And yes, really, I taught myself how to read when I was in preschool - my mom once walked in on me doing what she thought was me pretending to read a picture book aloud, and was shocked to realize I actually was reading the words out loud. I even remember her pointing to words in the picture book and asking what the word was, and then me saying what the word was. I dunno what clicked in my mind to make that shit happen (maybe I was relating the pictures to what the words said and forming connections that way?), but to this day I am still excellent at seeing new words, relating them to images in my mind, and using that as a way to add to my vocabulary. To the point that I rarely find a word I don't know the meaning of or can't extrapolate the meaning from on my own, and most of the words I'm unfamilar with or just learned are rare and exotic words like defenestrate (to throw something out of a window), floccinaucinihilipilification (the categorization of something trivial or unimportant), and psithurism (the sound of leaves rustling in the wind). Those are just some of my favorite weird words by the way; guess which one is the name of an actual story in a certain fandom of mine and you get bonus points. ^_~

But anyway, back to what you really care about, the angry rant about Tech Writing classes. Let me tell you a few things about my Tech Writing professor, and a little about what spurred this blog entry. My Tech Writing professor is literally a dowdy old English professor (as many of them are) who has never married, has been in the boring, boring world of business her whole life, and actually once seriously, I shit you not, corrected someone at a movie theater box office for misusing an apostrophe on a movie poster, something the theater had no control over anyway (seriously lady, it's not like they print the posters). She likes to ramble on and on about her business stories, which various members of the class have complained about and which really don't add to the learning at all; in fact, I think she does it under the misguided assumption that she's helping us make connections, when really all she's doing is making us wish that the class was over with for the day already. People have complained to her about the relevancy of her silly little business stories before and she just refuses to listen, because she's set in her ways. Her voice is this awful drone that's so easy to tune out. I swear she doesn't have a life outside of the college. She has the most arbitrary lateness rules I have ever seen and she grades based on her opinion of a piece, not based on whether the writing actually fucking holds up, which newsflash, you mooing moron, is what you're SUPPOSED to fucking grade on in an English class. She once blatantly looked me in the face, gave me a 0 on a document because it was late, and it was only one day late and I had asked nicely for an extension prior to that which she said she would give to me. She teaches out of the book and reads along with it like she thinks we can't do it for ourselves - hey wait a minute, isn't book-reading something the student is supposed to do, you know, on their own, at home on their own time? Not in class with the teacher lecturing right out of the book and teaching us nothing as a result? Just... she is not a good professor, and every little thing she does irks the shit out of me. Everything. I've blatantly skipped class twice (we have a 2-skip limit before attendance starts to get affected) just because I can't deal with her bullshit sometimes, and normally I am ace-straight on my attendance and never miss a class unless I get really, really sick. Her class is a chore to me, and it's pretty blatantly a chore to everyone else too, because half the class is on their laptops during the course of the lecture, doing everything but taking notes on her incessant rambling.

So what triggered me to write this shit out and get it off my chest? Well I have a speech I have to make in that class soon (which seriously, holy fruitless endeavors, Batman) about a website I've analyzed. I've already done a full report on it, the first part of the assignment, and now for whatever arbitrary reason I also have to make a speech on it. Not too tough, I'm taking Public Speaking right now and I've done just fine on it. But the way she wants me to do it... she won't let me use notecards, she wants a damn outline, which just encourages people to stare at the damn page. She wants me to have visual cues (if I want), like what the fuck would I even do with a visual cue? I don't need that shit, it's just extraneous words on the page, and I already know I need to smile, pause, and make eye contact. Oh, and she wants the fucking outline and draft? To be in 14-point fucking font.

This. Is. 14. Point. Font.

That is how big she wants the words on the page. To compare, the text in this paragraph right now is about 10-point font. What the shit would I even need 14-point font for? I'm not 80. I'm not blind. Yes, I wear glasses, because I am nearsighted, not farsighted; that doesn't mean I need 14-point fucking font, lady. In fact I can see my normal 10- to 12-point Calibri font on my little note cards just fucking fine, why on earth would I ever want to use 14-point font and double-spacing on an outline? Do you have any fucking idea how damn expanded that would make my outline? I would have to have five pages just to get my details across properly! 14-point font is WAY too big, why would you ever type anything that size for any reason?

When I read that shit in the assignment breifing, I just. Exploded. I couldn't believe that shit. In fact, I got so pissed I went to complain on Skype about it, to a Skype group I'm in, when nobody else was online just so I could get that shit off my chest. Here's the actual word for word, verbatim rant I posted, which is a lot angrier than the above stuff and a lot less well thought out. But it basically hits on everything I just said, and why Tech Writing classes are a problem.

[8:54:03 AM] DarkShadows: Okay tech writing professor. I have put up with your BS all damn semester, but this is fucking it. 14. point. font. for a speech.

[8:54:12 AM] DarkShadows: I'm not 80. I can read 12 point font.

[8:54:37 AM] DarkShadows: 14 point font. *for a speech outline*. Do you *know* how fucking long that will make my speech outline? You know I type long.

[8:54:42 AM] DarkShadows: you're an english professor.

[8:54:46 AM] DarkShadows: you know this shit about me.

[8:54:56 AM] DarkShadows: why 14 point font? I can see 12 point just fine.

[8:55:21 AM | Edited 8:55:26 AM] DarkShadows: Even my actual public speaking professor would be appalled.

[8:55:58 AM] DarkShadows: You already wouldn't fucking take my one assignment for the, oh woop-dee-doo, GRAND HEINOUS SIN OF BEING ONE DAY LATE.

[8:56:31 AM] DarkShadows: So that's 10 fucking points down the drain. Maybe you'd get the point if you'd notice the fact that your students *do not give a shit about your class*, and are doing it to get a damn degree.

[8:56:58 AM] DarkShadows: *I know how to do half the shit you taught me already*. I learned more about how to write a decent scientific report through my *chemistry professor* than through you.

[8:57:04 AM] DarkShadows: You are a terrible fucking professor. Get fired.

[8:57:52 AM] DarkShadows: You talk all the fucking time. You never teach us anything. You sit there in your little swivel chair and go through every point of the fucking book verbatim; wait, aren't WE supposed to be reading that shit? because I fucking guarantee that *nobody is*, and they're all still getting A's.

[8:58:06 AM] DarkShadows: Because you are a terrible fucking professor and you do a shit job of actually teaching us anything.

[8:58:11 AM] DarkShadows: You're more like a guide than a teacher.

[8:58:56 AM] DarkShadows: Half of us bring our laptops to class everyday and surf online while you're blathering about business stories and stuff we already fucking know how to do from other classes, and you do not. even. fucking. notice.

[8:59:21 AM] DarkShadows: The Observer could appear behind your damn swivel chair, and you wouldn't even know until he fucked with your computer, fucked with the book, and fucked with half of the students.

[9:00:21 AM] DarkShadows: There is literaly nothing. to be learned. from your class. That most of us haven't learned already. Okay, half of us are business majors, but the other half of us are a hodgepodge of students from various areas of academia, and that half *have done labs where we write shit up in the most formal way possible*.

[9:00:55 AM] DarkShadows: I got fucking fives on both my AP english exams in high school. I *skipped out of English in college because I am already beyond a college reading level and have been since I was seven years old.*

[9:01:57 AM] DarkShadows: I was taught how to write a decent scientific report in AP Bio. I have continued to do so in college and I have never gotten less than a B on a paper of mine. Even you give me B's and A's on my paper and you are a *picky fucking English professor*.

[9:02:30 AM] DarkShadows: So don't talk down to me, don't talk down to half the class who needed decent college-level english to get this far, this is a 200 level class.

[9:02:34 AM] DarkShadows: God. Damn.

[9:02:47 AM] DarkShadows: I would NOT recommend you as a professor to fucking anyone, ever, because *you are awful at it.*

[9:03:21 AM] DarkShadows: Find another job, maybe go be someone's editor. it's clear you don't wanna be here, and you have no life otherwise. And I think I've made it pretty clear that *I* don't wanna be here, because I actually *have* a life.

[9:03:59 AM] DarkShadows: Fuck you, fuck your word limits, fuck your PAGE limits, and fuck your arbitrary lateness rules when I *sent you a goddamn email explaining I forgot and needed a fucking extension, because MY LIFE IS FUCKING BUSY.*

[9:04:47 AM] DarkShadows: Maybe YOU have all the time in the world and no life, but I? I actually have a fucking life. I have two jobs. I have family obligations. I have *school* obligations that come before your stupid petty little BS tech writing class. In the future this class? Will mean *nothing to me* because I have already done this shit.

[9:05:16 AM] DarkShadows: I'm a good enough writer to actually pass this class while *barely* doing the minimum amount of work. Why the hell can't I *test out of this shit*?

[9:05:44 AM] DarkShadows: And by "pass the class", I mean I can type some BS thing in one night, turn it in, and still get a B or better on it.

[9:06:23 AM] DarkShadows: English is my strongpoint, I'm a fucking author. And I fucking know how to work words in such a way that it sounds however the hell you want. Give me. Some damn. Credit.

[9:06:44 AM] DarkShadows: I learned maybe one thing: how to be less wordy. That's it. It was NOT worth the money I paid for this class.

[9:07:02 AM] DarkShadows: This class is not worth it, I don't care if it's necessary. A BETTER PROFESSOR IS NEEDED.

[9:07:58 AM] DarkShadows: Or an ONLINE version of the class so I don't have to waste time, gas, and money going to school twice a week just to hear your stupid ass ramble on about past business ventures. I didn't pay for story hour, I *paid to be fucking taught something*.

[9:08:11 AM] DarkShadows: This class is bull.

[9:08:13 AM] DarkShadows: fuck.

[9:08:15 AM] DarkShadows: damn.

[9:08:16 AM] DarkShadows: shit.

[9:08:18 AM] DarkShadows: urgh.

[9:08:21 AM] DarkShadows: rant over.

Yeah, I was NOT happy. Also, my real Skype username isn't "DarkShadows", it's just what I chose for the visible username, so no - you do not now have my Skype username, sorry, have a nice day ya creeper.

Now excuse me, I have to go get lunch because I'm hungry and I need something to get me through that excuse of a worthwhile class.

My Beef With/Watching The Woods: ImProxybru! - On Slender: The Arrival and Proxy Confusion...

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

So guys, let's talk about Slender: The Arrival.

Love it or hate it, the game is pretty. Damn. Cool. The design is just gorgeous, in fact i'd argue it's probably one of the most beautiful Slenderman games out there. Slenderman can move in subtle ways like breathing (um, WTF, one, that's not an activity normally associated with Slenderman, and two, that's fucking creepy, yo), hunching over, and tilting his head (and yes, tentacles too; never forget the tentacles), plus his design is creepy as balls. The story is as interesting and full of piecing-together as any Marble Hornets entry, and unlike some I actually didn't have trouble following it - maybe because I'm more aware of how Mythos authors tend to think. Sure, there's some issues I have with the game being JUST item-fetching, but I think the story does a good job of stringing everything all together so it never feels forced. And there is a freaking. Proxy. In the game, and she is terrifying-looking.

Now, let's talk about that Proxy. I won't go into spoilers for those of you that haven't played or seen an LP of the game yet, but here's some footage of her. She. Is fucking. Creepy. The first time she ran at me, I jumped out of my skin, reliving oh so many terrible flashbacks from Entry #18. Look at her mask. Get a good damn look at her mask, that thing looks like the face of something that crawled out of the blackest forests of Hell, desiring nothing more than to steal your delicious, chewy mortal soul and deliver it to the Operator on a silver platter. Don't ask me how you'd manage to get a soul to even stay on the platter, but there you have it. She also only appears in the one level, which means that the story is focusing on what it should - the tall, besuited faceless one himself. I appreciate that.

What I DO NOT appreciate, and this might turn into a fangirl rant, is people saying this Proxy is my dear, beloved Masky. This confusion is so great I've taken to calling her Femmasky, and I completely blame other LPers for accidentally spreading confusion about this Proxy. Granted, it's not Markiplier's fault he didn't know this character was not Masky, they do look sort of similar. But his accidental misidentification has lead to more confusion in that barrier region just outside the Slenderverse fandom proper, the region full of people that think the Slenderman's name is "Slender" and that he drew the damn pages (and yet again, Mr. Krailie gets zero credit for his hard work, but that's a rant for another time).

I will say this once. This Proxy. Is not. Masky.

Okay, she wears a white mask with black markings. That doesn't make her Masky. For one, her mask looks NOTHING like Masky's, his has a much clearer design on it. This Proxy's mask looks more eyeless and mouthless, possibly to emulate her boss' lack of any discernable facial features (aww, she thinks she's a Der Ritter! ^w^). For another, Masky does not wear a hooded sweatshirt, that's Hoody's thing, and it's been made pretty clear in Marble Hornets as of late that Hoody is probably not a Proxy anyway. I do believe, considering who helped write the story and the fact that a Hornet (an MH fan) made the game, that this Proxy may be an amalgamation of Masky and Hoody, but with a different mask and given a gender swap. Supporting this is the fact that her hoodie appearied to be white in the trailers, but now looks to be more yellow in the final game, and the fact that this isn't the only nod to MH that was thrown in (you can find a letter saying that someone named Jessica once worked at the park in the game - some Hornets believe this is the Jessica from MH, meaning this game takes place in the same universe. Also, Slendy's tie is red in this one, and the Operator's tie is also red in MH, but I digress). Just because a character looks like one from another, related but different series does not make it so.

Okay, so this Proxy runs at people just like Masky does all of the time. Um, maybe that's because Proxies tend to attack people on Slendy's behalf anyway? This behavior is significant because... why, again? 'Cause Masky does it, too? Um, yeah, no, that's just behavior typical of someone that is mentally warped in the same way as a Proxy might be. It doesn't mean the character is Masky, simply because they do similar things.

Okay, so this story was written by Troy, Joseph, and Tim, the Marble Hornets dream crew. That does not make this Proxy Masky. If anything, it has nothing to do with the fact there's even a Proxy in the game, because newsflash, guys - they did not code this game. Agent Parsec, a confirmed Hornet, did, and he probably put the Proxy in there in further homage to Marble Hornets. That's why this proxy looks so similar. However, the story of this game is not the same story as the tale of Jay, Tim, and Alex. This story takes place in a different setting with different locations and different people. I'd even hazard a guess that it's in a different location in the United States judging by the scenery. Seriously - look at the trees and landscape in Marble Hornets. It's Alabama forest. Now look at the scenery in the game - pine trees, mountains, and cliffs. That to me screams a location more like that near the northern Rocky Mountains states, the northern Appalacian Mountains states, or possibly even states like North Dakota, Washington, the foresty areas of New York, or Michigan's Upper peninsula if you wanted to go just by the trees (I'd argue it's in Michigan or maybe Wisconsin somewhere since there's a mineshaft level in the game, and both states have a mining past, but again, I digress). This game does not take place anywhere near Rosswood Park or even near the vicinity of the state of Alabama. This game is in a totally different location, with different, female characters. In fact, the storyline of this game is that you're this girl named Lauren, looking for your best friend Kate, who recently lost her mother, and then bam Slenderman all up in yo' grill. Jay, Alex, and Tim never enter into that equation and are never even so much as alluded to. In fact, the only character from MH, as mentioned above, that is even so much as tenuously alluded to in the game is Jessica, and it's pretty much believed that she's dead somewhere on a tree branch in the middle of the Alabama back woods. How can Masky even be in a game that doesn't even take place in the same area of the country as Marble Hornets? Why would Masky even pester characters that have nothing to do with Jay and Alex? He can't and wouldn't have any reason to; the Proxy in this game isn't and cannot be him.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of all this tomdickery is that this Proxy, as I've been alluding to with the gender pronouns throughout this whole rant, is a female. Masky is Tim, and Tim, last I checked, was a guy. I am assuming that for the rest of MH's storyline, Tim will continue to be a guy, and therefore Masky, whom probably isn't coming back since MH is planning on ending soon, will continue to always will be a guy. Masky is a guy. This is established canon fact and is not disputable. The Proxy in this game is female, as not only implied heavily by the storyline, but as shown by her character model - she has long hair, moves like a female (watch her hips when she runs), and the noises she makes sound female, not male. And before you even freaking say that sometimes guys have long hair, no. Tim has short hair. It's longer for a guy I suppose, sure, but it's not long enough to hang out of a hood or over a mask like this Proxy's hair does. This Proxy is a chick, end of story, and Tim is Masky is a guy, end of story. It could not be any more freaking blatant unless you went to the Slenderverse, caught both of these characters, and pulled down their damn pants. They aren't the same character. They aren't even the same gender. This Proxy is not Masky. Build a bridge, get over it, and burn it the fuck down behind you.

And if you really did or still do think that Proxy was Masky, hopefully this experience will teach you to do the damn research next time before assuming. Markiplier and PewDiePie are people first and LPers second, and people are fallable. They made mistakes because they're not involved in the Slenderfan community. They deal in games, not tall faceless abominations with tentacles. Heroes can and do make mistakes all of the time, and it's feasible that someone only passingly familiar with Marble Hornets could assume that Masky and the Proxy in this game are one in the same. But that doesn't make them correct, and instead of just trusting what someone else says, you yourself need to do the research. The same damn thing happened with Slender: The Eight Pages, and it's the reason many, many people that are unaware of Mythos lore continue to call Our Faceless Friend "Slender" rather than one of the many more interesting and accurate names out there. I sincerely hope that at some point in time, Agent Parsec gives this unnamed Proxy a pseudonym in a future version, because I think that would clear up a LOT of game-fandom confusion concerning characters they know little to nothing about (unless they themselves are Hornets or, more broadly, Slenderfans). Come on, Hadley, please, this Slenderfan and Timasky-lover begs of you, name this unnamed Proxy. Give her a canon name on the page for this awesome game, and clear up the stupidity and confusion swirling around the game fandom right now. You know the truth, you're one of us, we Slenderfans count on you to clear this up. So do it. None of us want a repeat of the "Slender" incident. Oh, and if you could fix some of the glitches in the next update, glitches like falling through the elevator shaft and into the void in the world or getting stuck at the end of the Flashback level and never jumping out the window, that would be great, too. :)

Six Things I've Learned About ARGs (Courtesy of Some Crows)

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Note: This blog entry discusses an ARG (corvidaek) that I am involved in. This blog entry is Out Of Game for that ARG and discusses some aspects of what went on behind the scenes. Any In-Game comments posted on this entry will be removed. This entry may also spoil parts of the ARG for those either not caught up yet, or reading this entry after the ARG has finished. If you're one of those folks, please proceed with caution.

So last week Thursday, a friend of mine over on Slender Haven mentioned in our Skypechat that he was given a link to a random Tinychat room on his Tumblr. We checked it out and there was someone named "corvidaek" posting in the room, as well as broadcasting static-filled video. Soon enough things started getting strange - corvidaek would make cryptic-sounding statements, we had other people interrupt the broadcast, and if PMed through his Youtube channel, corvi (as he came to be called) would send us poems that he claimed "were chosen for each of us" as well as emoticons (One player did not get one, instead being referred to as "Lenore").

Needless to say, being the keen folks we are, it didn't take long for us to realize this was an ARG, and the clues were all pointing to it being a Fear Mythos ARG. A thread was created in the SH forums (calling the ARG "corvidaek"), and speculation began almost immediately. I became extremely excited to participate, since this would mark the first ARG I had actually be involved in from the beginning. At the time of this posting, we've started to figure out what may be going on, and the plot is beginning to fall into place. It's been a wild ride so far, full of scares, hellish noises, laughter, tears, and one hell of an awesome soundtrack.

At the same time, it's also taught me a lot about the Fear Mythos, sort of an extension of the Slenderman Mythos that includes more monsters, more creepy concepts, and a hell of a lot of interesting stories. From the concepts of Nests and Hives to the Wooden Girl as a character and symbol to even the differences and similarities the Slenderman has in this Mythos, I've found a lot of interesting new characters to play with in the Fears, and it's really encouraged me to possibly write my own Fear Blog. That's not all this ARG has taught me though - there's quite a bit I've learned about ARGs through corvidaek, and I'd like to share six of those things with you. This list may expand as the ARG continues, since at the time of this posting, it's still going. But for now, here's what I've learned by playing corvidaek:

  1. Always, always, ALWAYS try to think ahead before you act, and always make sure that you discuss what's going on with the other players first, because poor communication kills. We accidentally released two Fears this way - one of which we're pretty sure is one of the big bads of the story. The first one we accidentally let out was the Cold Boy, who managed to trick us into saying "You can leave" through a game of hangman. It was another player (left nameless here) who guessed these words as the (fairly obvious) answer out loud in the chat, freeing him. A lot of confusion and drama in the skypechat for the ARG followed, and we all agreed not to do anything before discussing it again. The second Fear released like this was the Archangel (pretty much later confirmed to be one of the major bad guys of the story), and this one, I'll admit, was actually my bad. You see, I'm not as familiar with the Fear Mythos as I am with the Slenderverse, so I didn't know that one of this Fear's abilities is to be able to take any form he wishes. I also didn't realize that it had infiltrated the chat by impersonating one of the players (who was gone on a trip at the time; I somehow forgot this fact), and the clue that would have cued me into this was posted in the skypechat when I wasn't looking. The problem is, there was enough discussion in the skypechat at the time that the clue got scrolled offscreen for me and the clue was never brought up again, so I never saw it. Archie kept asking for hugs (or to be embraced, which is a bad thing to do with this Fear if you know anything about this Mythos), and since it didn't look like him at the time, I ended up hugging everyone EXCEPT for what I THOUGHT was him. Problem was, that included the impostor player, so I ended up letting him go. Again, much drama and tears resulted in the skypechat, and the end result was the agreement to discuss things more fully in both the skype AND the Tinychat before doing anything. I also personally learned to be much, MUCH more observant of minor details...

  2. Don't make clues too cryptic, or it frustrates people. Making them too easy or obvious also frustrates people and leads to confusion. We once had a moment where we were asked by one Fear, the Manufactured Newborn, to use another Fear (the Intrusion) that had taken up its home in one of the players, to our advantage. The way it told us to do so? "Bring them back" and "Let them out". So when yet another Fear (the Smiling Man) shows up and offers to "get the bugs out", of course we thought it was what we had to do. Nope. Turns out the Intrusion was a weapon against some of the big bads and we just permenantly disabled our only weapon thus far. If this wasn't intentional, it was surely a case of the creator being too vague with their hints Granted, confusion is part of an ARG, but when your players can't figure out what needs to happen next, it doesn't advance the plot. Fortunately, the creator of this ARG seems to be pretty good about this, and every clue we were confused about at first later started to fall into place. The problem here is when the clues seem too easy, or two obvious. One time where this came up was with Slenderman (going by "branches" so it'd be quite obvious). At this point in the game, we're not sure whether he's a Fear we can trust or not, since one of the clues points to him being a bad guy, but his actions have been rather cryptic throughout the few times he's shown up so far, sometimes being threatening and sometimes seeming to help. Granted, crypticness is part of this Fear, so this may turn out to have been done on purpose. But for right now, it's extremely confusing because the clues just so blatantly seem to point to Slendy here. A little more of a hint would be helpful. Although, since we're all Slender Havenites, I think it'd be amazingly funny if Slendy somehow actually did end up being on our side... A favored group of human fans, perhaps?

  3. Just because it's set in a horror Mythos doesn't mean it has to be 100% serious. This ARG is set in the Fear Mythos, a universe where there are no less than 25 different Eldritch Abominations of varying degrees of power, where people are turned into servents for or tortured by these beings, and body horror is distressingly commonplace. There's a Fear based on infestation with insects. There's a Fear based on sentient, evil water, so now even water isn't safe - need I remind you that water is freaking everywhere on earth? There's a Fear that solely exists to take your eyes and mutilate them horribly. At least two of those Fears are in this ARG, and we've speculated that the third may come in later. And yet, despite all that... the Wooden Girl asked one player "a/s/l?" and was driven off for a bit by being rickrolled. The Eye, who's on our side, came in right on cue one night while I was playing The Grep Theme Song on the chat as a joke. The Smiling Man uses Tiptoe Through The Tulips as his theme music. The Manufactured Newborn, another one of the Fears on our side, used I'll Make A Man Out Of You from freaking Mulan as inspirational music. The Intrusion used cute smiley faces to communicate with us one night. And the Archangel ACTUALLY USED THE :3 EMOTICON. We know for a fact some of these events were the creator joking with us, since some of them were events that only happened after we discussed them either in the tinychat or the skypechat. That's not even counting the billions of goofy things we tried in order to get answers from Fears, or communicate with Fears, or just to try to cut down the in-game paranoia when things looked bleakest. And of course, all of the Fears that were given music appropriate to them have AWESOME MUSIC. Corvi, who's a Nest for the Convocation, gets this. The Choir gets this. Wooden Girl had this, and the Manufactured Newborn had Industrial and Dubstep. As for Slenderman, the less said about his... unique taste in music, the better. Every single one of those linked songs are awesome. All of them. Not a single one of those songs is NOT in my Youtube music playlist. This ARG helped me find new music and I love it for that. Now sing it with me: "Thus quoth the raven... nevermore..."

  4. Don't answer blatant riddles or clues at the start of an ARG unless you want to be singled out. This is what happened to me: all I did was happen to know a lot about Edgar Allan Poe and therefore understand what corvidaek was talking about with some of his crypticness the first night. I was also keen enough to pick up on his name - corvidaek, which contains the Latin word corvidae, which is the proper taxonomical name of all members of the crow, raven, jackdaw, jay, and mockingbird family. I was thereafter referred to as "Lenore" and corvi often spoke to me through PM for the first couple of nights... until he started remembering what happened to the real Lenore: death by Convocation. And the best part? The poem he sent to me was Edgar Allan Poe's "Lenore", in which the titular female character is already dead. All because I happened to be the first one to respond to his riddles and happen to be a female that knows her Poe. XD So yeah, if you don't wanna be that plot-important or you're still a newcomer to ARGs, don't answer riddles on the first session. You'll only end up with more problems on your plate in the longrun.

  5. Feels WILL happen, regardless of your emotional and mental toughness. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten angry or cried, both on-camera and off, as a result of this ARG. I've gotten the shit scared out of me more than a few times. I've snapped at people in-game and out because of events in the game, and because I've gotten so involved in the ARG. I was warned of this by some friends who are ARG veterans, one of whom is a very plot-important Butterfly in CNS - and yet I still thought it wouldn't be that bad if I could remind myself that it's just a game. Yeah no, that pretty much flew out the window the first time I was called "Lenore", and then again when I thought I was going to be killed by the Convocation just like the actual Lenore in this ARG, and then AGAIN when I was told there was "some creepy guy standing behind [me]" (that is, Slenderman) despite the fact that I had my back to a damn wall. It also flew out the window when I thought Archie was using the Manufactured Newborn as a weapon on us, then it turns out that MN was actually sort of helping us. I actually cried. I also actually cried when I accidentally let Archie go. Very little makes me actually cry in a story, and this one has managed it because of the level of audience participation in it. I've done a lot of crying and getting paranoid and becoming upset with this ARG, to the point that I've started acting more depressed In-Game to justify this. So long story short? Yeah, Feels will happen, and you don't have to be super plot-relavent for them to happen, either.

  6. The players can drive the plot a LOT more than you think. I am very fairly certain that's what happened with this ARG. Either that, or most of my predictions just so happened to be true. You see, the creator of this ARG is a member of Slender Haven, and is therefore in the skype chat for that forum as well as in the dedicated skype chat just for the ARG. That means the creator can see everything we're discussing as we discuss it, making secret-keeping very, very difficult. It also means that the more potential ideas for the plot we discuss, the more potential directions that the creator can take the game, even if we ask him not to change the plot just to suit us. Because of the constant theorizing and discussing, what began as a simple ARG about helping a Nest (a Convocation servent for those who don't speak Fear Mythos) escape the Empty City slowly became a mystery dedicated to discovering who the Five (a group of definitely really totes evil u gaiz Fears) were and what they wanted, and then evolved into a story about a Fear civil war that threatened to tear apart the Universe. Fears that were probably never supposed to make an appearance in the plot (like, I suspect, EAT and the Cold Boy) were added in or at least appeared a few times. Bonds were built, trust was broken, people were killed. One previously thought-erased character killed another character (played by the same guy) just to come back and help out. All because we drove the plot towards those things with our interaction and decisions. You see, much like in real life, choices in an ARG have consequences. They can be good, or they can be bad, but they WILL happen. My actions today in the plot could affect someone else tomorrow, and that's the beauty of chaotic fiction - one story, many ways it could go... all depending on who does what and when they do it.

Watching The Woods/My Beef With: For the Love of All Things Slender...

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Update as of February 26, 2013: Yes, this is really, seriously going to happen. Word of Creator has even stated this is going to happen, and that Troy and Co. will be keeping an eye on Hollywood so they don't turn MH into horrible shit. Does that allay your fears now, hearing it straight from the guys who made the damn series?


I know. I know you're all hella upset that Troy and Co. are letting a Marble Hornets movie happen. By the guys who made Paranormal Activity no less, a series of films I personally didn't care for. But really? It's the "end of the Mythos" and "Slenderman is dead" now because of it?

My. God.

Didn't you all say the same damn things when Slender: TEP came out? When people were being idiots because they heard about it offhand or played it once and started insisting they knew everything about the Mythos because of it? Stupid, yes. Permanent, no.

I swear to God, some of you people act like fucking hipsters about the future of the Mythos sometimes. If anyone so much as DARES try something new, they get shut down. If it tries to go mainstream you look for reasons to say the mainstream thing sucks. If all your expectations aren't met woe betide whoever made that thing in-Mythos.

This behavior is childish as fuck. It's bullshit and you all know it.

I know you guys care about this Mythos a lot. So do I. But nothing ever gets any sort of revitalisation or anything without bringing in new people, looking at new ideas, and working with old tropes. That is why the blogs are stagnating, that is why new vloggers are having a hard time getting views right now, that's why. This Mythos cannot remain in a little corner forever, and it SHOULDN'T remain that way forever. This is gonna get huge, and stupid is gonna happen. It happened with Slender: TEP, and guess what? The good folks stayed, and the stupid folks went away and did their own thing. The same thing is going to happen with this.

And "Slenderman is dead"? Fucking REALLY? Are you really so lax about your care as a fan for this Mythos that you would actually LET that happen? No, I'm calling every Slenderfan upset about this film out on this - would you really, seriously, as a creator or fan, let that shit happen? Really? Or would you adapt?

Slenderman is not dying nor is it dead. It's changing. And only ignorant dumbfucks who can't handle the idea of living without the status quo are resistant to change happening. There will be bad from this, that's undeniable. But there will also be good. This film is going to bring people into the Mythos. Some of those people will dig deeper and learn. And those that don't? They aren't honestly worth the time or effort are they, because they are fairweather fans. I have stated such many times before, and will probably state such many times again in the future.

Look, I'm not too happy that there's gonna be a Marble Hornets film adaptation either. But the thing is this - I actually welcome change in the Mythos. Nothing new has been done with it for a while. We even created a whole branch-off Mythos, the Fear Mythos, because nothing different or special was going on. Now that something IS going on, a broadening of audience specifically, there can and will be more added to it, there can and will be more acknowledgement to other series (even if some dumb beliefs come with it), and there can and will be things about this that will change for the better. I know I for one, as a more educated Slenderfan, will be bringing knowledge about series I like and the Mythos at large to these new folks, because if they liked the film then they might be surprised to know there's a whole huge world of Mythos stuff out there they never knew about. I actually WANT more Hornets and Tribies and Hybrids and assorted Slenderfans running around to discuss stuff and speculate with, to cry over Tim PLZBBYNO with, and to go up to and say "AMIINTERRUPTING? TOOBAD." and have them get the damn reference. I would legitimately probably buy the t-shirts this film would generate, not because of the film, but because I love the damn Mythos. I'm still a Slenderfan, and I see no reason to denounce what I am just because of a few fairweather fans that I KNOW will eventually move on. The same people who see this film and squee over it now are the same exact people who will be squeeing over something else five months down the road. Just because a fandom is in vogue for a little bit does not mark the decline of said fandom. This really is not the end of the goddamn world and some of you people are already running around saying the sky is going to fucking fall. And you never know, maybe the film could be good. maybe it will stay true to the Mythos - if Troy and Co. are involved, I trust them to keep the filmmakers on the right track. If not them, then surely Victor Surge will, whom they HAVE to ask permission from to use the character anyway, whether it's called The Operator or Slenderman. it's his concept. And Surge could, as always, say "No," and that would HAVE to be the end of the discussion. So calm your tits and think rationally about this before you jump to conclusions and run around flapping your arms like a bunch of headless chickens.

I'm sorry, I'm just super-upset about the behavior towards this some folks in the fandom are displaying here. The Mythos has always been steeped in internet drama, but enough is enough. Be the bigger person here and accept the fact that things are never going to be what they were back in 2009, or Hell, even back in 2011 before that game came out. This, I promise you, will NOT break the Mythos, and if it does? Well, maybe it's because we let it.

It's a harsh thing to say, and it's a harsh thing to hear. But it needed to be said. And I think all of you know it needed to be heard.

Watching The Woods: The Half-Baked Confessions Of An Obsessed Slenderfan

Posted on February 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Or, In Which Snicket Admits to Shit for Your Sick Amusement. :3

So there's a Tumblr out there I poke around on every so often entitled Slenderman Confessions. It's one of a long line of Fandom Confessions Tumblrs, apparently this is a big thing amongst Tumblrites. And it's amazing how much you can identify with on that site when it comes to being a fan of the Mythos.

Well, I will happily own up to some of my own confessions, and that's what this blog entry is about. Discussing some personal confessions about the Mythos that I think might go against the grain, be considered odd, or possibly be things you can agree with. This entry will be short and sweet, and I'll only go into a little detail, but I felt it might be kind of fun to fess up for once. So, here you go. Because I like you a lot (now, don't take that TOO seriously...):

  • Confession #1: I honestly have no issue with a benevolent/child-protecting/"angel"/good guy Slenderman. Seriously. If it's written well I'll read it. Benevolent can still be creepy, and Dark is Not (always) Evil. I honestly don't understand all this fan hatred of people who like using Slenderman as a protective entity or child-savior rather than a child-eater. I don't personally like this interpretation because to me, the unknown (which Slenderman represents) is neither fully good, nor fully evil, but a thing that exists and we impose meaning upon. Therefore not only do I dislike a truely good Slendy, I also dislike a truly evil Slendy - it makes no sense either way to me within my head canon, but I'm flexible enough to accept any interpretation. Thing is, it's not canon that he's evil, just dark and creepy and horrific. If you can point me to one thing that says "Slendy must always, for every series/blog/ARG, be evil and dangerous" and it covers EVERY SINGLE aspect of the Mythos ever created from the Surgist stuff to the recent stuff, then I'll retract my confession, but until that time, I have no issue with Slenderman being a good guy. And I think all of those who DO have an issue with it are uncreative.

  • Confession #2: I think the idea of Slenderman having cults around him is goofy as shit. Sorry, DH00 Fans, but I cannot take that series seriously because the cultists in it are so stereotypical. Now, I have no issue with Slenderman having groups of creepy folks or Proxies around him, that's sort of what the Collective is and they're terrifying to me. But cults? People, he is not a Great Old One. he could be, sure, but I just think the idea of evil-worshipping cults is kinda overdone. It's not scary to me, it's B-movie stuff. XD The reason it worked for Lovecraft is because he was trying to send a specific message with it. Granted, it was a racist as hell message, but it was still being used for a purpose. Cults with Slenderman just feel like they're there to be, you know, there, and that's when I find them goofy. I won't hate your series for having cultists, but I still probably will find it hard to get into and believe fully.

  • Confession #3: TribeTwelve was the best Mythos thing that has happened to me thus far because brought my best friend and I closer together. Literally. We sat up and marathonned all the videos one night and got jumpscared by the Observer four or five seperate times. That series scared me more than most, and still freaks me out. I still hesitate a bit going to that Youtube channel. And it is so fucking awesome. :D

  • Confession #4: I will shamelessly admit to having terrible woobiecrushes on Noah Maxwell and Tim. I can't help it, Noah's adorable with that curly hair and Tim just suffers so beautifully... I just... I can't. You two boys stay right there, wrapped up in blankets, we can watch happy movies and eat chocolate and chicken noodle soup and cry. I love you two and watching you be tortured by forces beyond your control hurts me... T^T Especially you Tim, nobody fucks with my Timasky, especially not fangirls that write creepy fanfics about him. Quit it, it's physically painful.

  • Confession #5: I really, honestly do NOT understand this fandom's obsession with Homestuck. All I know is that it's a webcomic about monsters or something. Why is it relevant? Why is it a thing in this Mythos specifically? Is there a vlog/blog protagonist that reads it or something? Does it have something to do with Our Slender Friend? I don't get it. At all.

  • Confession #6: I have no issue whatsoever with Proxies, as long as they aren't overused or distract too much from the Tall Guy himself. The Observer gets a pass for this because he actually is plot-relevant and is creepy as fuck. Although I still do think TribeTwelve needed way more Slendy and a little less of Mr. Bespectacled Freak. Proxies should serve to enhance why Slenderman is a threat, not just do random stuff for him. There are certain things Proxies should do - and that's anything that Slenderman himself cannot. Which is not much. So really, the sole reason for Proxies to exist is if Slenderman needs to communicate certain messages, keep an eye on people while he's doing whatever it is he does, or give a powerful impact to the fact he's after the protagonists. The guy has more than enough abilities, powers, and likely intellect to do stuff like observe people, attack people, and otherwise harm people without the aid of someone else. Other than that, I have no issue with Proxies and I don't understand these people who act like they're somehow terrible pieces of fiction that shoudn't be in the Mythos at all anymore. Why waste a decent idea?

  • Confession #7: I have actually hallucinated Slenderman on two separate accounts. Once while walking down a bike trail at night, I thought I saw him in the treeline, freaked out, and ran. The other time I was lying in bed at night half-awake, started feeling cold, got a creepy feeling I was being watched, looked at the corner of my room by my door, and there he was. Then he reached across the room andbrushed his hand over my face, and it was cold where his fingers touched me. Then my phone went off and broke me out of my half-awake state, and I flipped out. That last experience STILL wigs me out a little bit, but I'm afraid to admit it to any other Slenderfans because I feel like I'd end up being laughed out of the room. All the other times I've been scared on accident were cases of mistaking a lamp post, tree, or some other object for Slenderman, but that's fairly typical.

  • Confession #8: The Rake, thanks to WhisperedFaith, now scares me way more than Slenderman does. Thank you, WhisperedFaith. The Observer, thanks to TribeTwelve, also scares me more than the Rake does, because of the constant surveilliance thing and the fact that he taunts you about it. Thank you, TribeTwelve, I needed to be reminded that I had a pulse.

  • Confession #9: I cheerfully go, "Hello, Slenderman! How are you?" whenever I see him show up in series I watch. I have no freaking idea why, I just really, really like to do that. I also catch msyelf skimming photos of trees for him even though I know he's not gonna be there.

  • Confession #10: I don't understand how people can find a series "ruined" by creators who happen to be jerks to their fans. Really? You really have problems with that? That's not the fault of the series, it's the fault of the creator. Creators are just people, and there's plenty of people who are jerks. Why would you ever let one person's jerkass behavior ruin your enjoyment of something you previously liked? Base your opinions of the series on the SERIES, not on the CREATOR. There are plenty of actors and directors that are jerks, but people still like their work - look at Alfred Hitchcock. He was a right womanizing bastard to his female actresses, and his works are still considered masterpieces. My enjoyment of films like Psycho and The Birds is not ruined in any way by Hitchcock being an actual cock, much in the same way as my enjoyment of Slenderseries has nothing to do with whether or not I actually like the creators. A series is a series. Judge based on that, and if you do talk to a creator and find him/her a jerkass, then just stop talking to that creator. Stop interacting with them, and enjoy the series for being the series. You have to suspend your disbelief to get into these stories anyway, why not believe that the characters are perfectly decent people (barring their circumstances) even if the creator is an asshole? And on that note...

  • Confession #11: I am sick to fucking death of the fandom drama. really guys? Most of it, from what I've seen, stems from petty bullshit anyway. Why do you care? I know it's a small fandom and it's a close-knit community, but come on. You ignore jerkasses in real life, why can't you ignore them here too? Why do you have to react back? Let the morons do their thing, you need to have no part of it. That is what a mature person does. They start shit? You walk away. You don't need to end it. I bet you that 95% of the issues within the fandom could be resolved by just walking away before a fight starts, because 95% of the time, that's the case in the real world, too. can't we stopt he drama and just go watch MarbleHornets or something? Please? I'm sick of the in-fighting already and I'm sick of hearing about it, too.

  • Confession #12: Even when I follow the Wiki and do all the homework, I honestly cannot keep up with and understand EverymanHYBRID. I have tried many times. I have started and stopped watching, only to try and pick it up again and stop again, more than a few times. I don't understand the storyline because it's too MUCH of an ARG and I just. Can't. Break. In. In fact, that's my big issue with Slenderseries that are too ARGish, I can't break in if they've been going for a while. It becomes too difficult for me to understand the full story, so I can never feel like I'm really enjoying it. I feel like I've missed half the story or walked in on the end of a movie. So screw it, I tried, I'm done. Clearly EMH is just not for me, because I can't understand it half the time and it's not the good "I don't know what's going on but I wanna find out" kind of not understanding. It's the bad "Okay, so what the actual shit is going on again, and where do I have to look to understand it?" kind of not understanding. If I have to do a shitton of homework for a Slenderman series to even understand the basic gist of what's going on, then that series is not made for me. A few tie-in sites, okay. More than one channel, okay. Numerous sites and channels and an insanely tough to follow plot and amounts of audience participation that can easily be missed out on with my busy schedule? No. I can't, I just can't get into something that overly complex. It's too much. Sorry, Hybrids, but I will never be one of you. It's just not the series for me.

  • Confession #13: I don't get why some Slenderfans get so upset when people use "Slenderman" rather than "Slender Man", and I don't see why calling it "Slendy" is that horribly annoying. On the first thing - why does it matter? It's a preference, really; why let a person's preference annoy you? I honestly couldn't give two tits which way it's spelled as long as you don't use "Slender" as a proper noun. I personally think "Slenderman" looks a bit better, just because it seems more like the name of a creature than "Slender Man" does. To me, the latter implies an actual man that is slender; with the former, there's no chance you can make that mistake. Slenderman is not an actual man, therefore I don't see much reason to imply it is by using "Slender Man", although I'm not all that opposed to it. But that's my preference; please respect my preference and I will respect yours. On the "Slendy" thing, I do get where you're coming from. Really. "Slendy" sounds cute, and the Slenderman itself is definitely NOT cute, or at least not intended to be. But the reason I personally use "Slendy" is as a nickname similar to "Old Scratch" for the devil, "the Fair Folk" for traditional faeries and faes, or "the Kindly Ones" for the Fates in Ancient Greek mythology. It's an affectionate nickname meant to be ironic (although in the case of the latter two, it was to keep from offending those entites). I nickname Our Slender Friend all of the time, calling him things like Tall and Faceless/Spooky/Slender, The Slender One, more than a few different canon names for him (such as the Operator and Der Ritter), and yes, even Slendy. Some people do it to cut down fear of the entity in question. I promise you I'm well aware of what this being does to people, but fuck it, I like calling him Slendy. If that annoys you, then build a bridge and get over it or say something so I won't use it around you, don't just blow up in my face. My preferences aren't your preferences and I'm not gonna tiptoe around this fandom like it's a minefield wondering who I'll offend next.

Watching The Woods: This Is Why I'm Paranoid - The Top 8 Things In-Mythos That Scare Me

Posted on February 17, 2013 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

CAUTION: This particular entry heavily discusses some disturbing, creepy, and scary aspects of the Slenderman Mythos. There are links to stories and videos below the cut that can and will give some people nightmares, or at least leave you paranoid for a good long while. The links/vids may also potentially spoil those of you who have not caught up with/started certain series yet or are new to the Mythos. if you think you might be spoiled, or if you are someone who is easily jumpscared, made paranoid, or otherwise scared, please proceed at your own risk. Also, I say "fuck" a lot in this entry; sensitive eyes be forewarned.

So, I'm starting this journal entry with a little story. The other night my best friend (whom I'll refer to as HexAngel or Hex, as she goes by online) and I decided to hang out at her house and marathon Slendervlogs. We'd previously done so successfully with Marble Hornets, and had a ton of fun getting creeped out, spooking each other, riffing on Jay's genre-blind behavior, and getting involved in the story. It was a fun, fun night, and we agreed that we'd have to do it again sometime with another series. Returning to last night, we were playing some Guitar Hero and discussing Slenderman series and ARGs when the topic turned to once more Marathoning a Slenderseries. I in all my infinite wisdom said we should marathon TribeTwelve, since I knew from experience that it was a shorter series than Marble Hornets and could easily be caught up on in one night (I was only about a quarter of the way through watching it at the time). Hex agreed, so we high-tailed it over to her house to hang out and watch some TribeTwelve, all in one sitting. I was a bit apprehensive at first, since I only knew a little bit about the series, but since Marble Hornets hadn't really scared me so much as creeped me out, I figured this series wouldn't be so bad, either. Besides, I was a hardened Slenderfan, I could deal with a few Proxy scares and Tall and Faceless showing up out of nowhere - there's no way this series could scare me that badly, right?

Dear God I was so, so wrong.

Because that series is fucking terrifying. Legitimately terrifying. It pushes all of your fear buttons, every one imaginable - paranoia, jumpscares, fridge logic, everything gets hit. And it jangles your nerves SO. BAD. It doesn't matter if you've seen it once or a thousand times, it still gets you, and it still scares you shitless. In fact, it was about halfway through one of the Observer's updates that I remembered precisely why I hadn't continued to catch up on the series. Because I needed a damn break from that surreal horror shit.

The experience of watching this series, being scared again, and remembering why that made me enjoy the series so much has made me reflect on other aspects of the Mythos. I'm here in the vast forest that is the Mythos because I enjoy being scared, and I love surreal and Lovecraftian horror concepts. But what exactly about it scares me? I'm used to the Tall Guy by now, so what about it is still keeping me going instead of causing me to burn out? What keeps me so interested outside of the theorizing? What am I afraid of?

So, I compiled this list of eight (possibly more if I add on later) vlog moments, stories, and general concepts that scare or at least freak me out in the Slenderverse. It takes quite a bit to spook me and even more to keep me scared for a long time, but once you get me there my mind takes care of the rest. For the sake of keeping it simple, I'm restricting this list only to vlogs and stories that actually take place in the Slenderverse - no Fear Mythos content allowed, and for the most part the Surgist stuff isn't used as much in the Slenderverse so it probably won't be on here. Now, let's start this list of horror...

8. ICANSEETHEGIANT, Teacher, his teddy bear, and the chair.

God damn, I love this series. It's like taking ten doses of acid and then watching ToTheArk videos for an hour. It's like if the Observer got high on ecstacy. It operates on cartoon logic and a sense of childhood fantasy... and fear. It's quite eerie and does a good job with very little, using surreal horror and a few simple effects to get its story across. In short, it's a great series and you really should check it out.

Now, you might wonder what I'm talking about with Teachers and teddys on chairs and stuff above. Very simple. Teacher is the name of a Proxy-like (?) character in the series, who has been helpful, cryptic, and really damn creepy, as such characters are wont to do. We don't even know if he's a Proxy, a rebel pretending to be one, or a Proxy that is trying to rebel against Slendy. The chair is a MacGuffin used for plot-important events during the end of the first act of the series. The teddy bear, we don't know what's up with it yet, but the consensus is that it makes everyone following this series very, very nervous. Without spoiling anything, the two linked videos above show some very... nerve-wracking interaction between Teacher and those aforementioned items. And both jumpscared me, despite the fact I KNEW jumpscares were coming.

I put it up here on the list only because I thought it was creepy, but it didn't inspire a severe sense of paranoia. However, it came pretty damn close with how good it was with the tension. This whole series is just full of surprises and suspense, and I find it really cool that this series is doing so much in terms of emotional tension and paranoia-building with so, so little. The guy behind this series doesn't even have the incredibly minimal budget Marble Hornets had, and ICSTG is probably the most refreshingly different and interesting Slenderseries on Youtube right now. If it can do THAT to me with nothing more than a morphsuit, Movie Maker, and some creepy-ass music and character behavior, then it's well on its way to becoming something seriously big in the Slenderverse. Teacher, you creepy motherfucker, you keep on Wobbledance-Headbanging. You keep on Wobbledance-Headbanging all damn night long, bro. Shine on, you crazy, crazy Slender-diamond.

7. TheOriginFiles, Lost in the woods and being unable to find the path back out.

Okay, this wasn't a scary update to start out with, even though we pretty much know it's a Slenderseries at this point (it's fairly obvious to anyone who knows a thing or two about the Mythos). The problem here is fridge logic. What happens basically is, group of best buddies go hiking deep into the woods... then when it comes time to come back home, they start walking... and can't find the way back out. They keep walking in circles, and even when they take the most direct route in an opposite direction, they end up at the same exact pathway again. And again. And again. So what's creepy about this? Well, think about it - this is a Slenderman series. Now remember where Slenderman lives. Now remember that he can, in some series, warp reality to mess with people. Now think about it - what if they couldn't find the path because Slenderman kept messing with their perception or teleporting them without their knowledge? Why didn't he just take them all if that was the case? Why screw around with them unless he was doing it for fun...? That realization alone made me shiver. This series' Slenderman? Is the kind of Slenderman that likes to fuck with people, and that to me is one of the more terrifying ways he can be portrayed.

6. Marble Hornets, Entry #18.

Oh sheesh. Okay. Now I know I said Marble Hornets didn't really scare me so much as leave me paranoid. That's still true, and Marble Hornets still doesn't so much scare me as make me paranoid. Except for this one little entry. This one creepy little entry where Jay returns to that creepy fucking house I assume is Tim's, the one which in the previous entry was BEGGING for something to be hiding around a corner in it. Entry #16, there's nothing there, nothing at all. Entry #18, however, Jay enters the house through the back, finds everything ashambles, starts searching. Nobody's in the house, and it's shown several times that nobody's there. He wanders down the hall, and at some point turns back... and finds Masky sitting on the damn couch. Just staring at him. Like WTF? How would you like that shit, you go upstairs in the dark and you know you're the only one there, and then you find some random creep wearing a mask just staring at you. And staring. And staring. And then running at you in blind attack mode. I just. No, I don't want any of that, Masky, I don't, please never do it again, I don't like it. Please. I love you Tim bby plz don't do this to me. ;-;

5. Just the entire idea of Slenderman's tentacles/tendrils.

I entirely blame a fellow (remaining nameless) Slenderfan for this one. Entirely. We were discussing Slenderman's tentacles (please don't ask why, and yes, it WAS a worksafe discussion), and I brought up a personal theory of mine - he uses them to feed. Then my lovely friend decided to post that maybe, they can creep under your skin like roots, and grow into your brain, and manipulate your thoughts... just... urgh. That same thread came up with the idea of them being slimy, like slick mildew or something. And of course my stupid, overactive imagination then decided it had to visualize what it would be like getting caught in those things and having them all over your face and in your hair and touching your neck and... *shudders* Having something behind me touch my spine, neck, shoulders, or hair is seriously one of my prime bits of paranoia fuel. The idea of tentacles, especially Slenderman's tentacles doing that... I can't. I just can't. They creep me the fuck out, man.

4. Marble Hornets, Entry #72.

This one's pretty recent, and normally, Marble Hornets doesn't scare me too badly. It has jump scared me a few times (I'm looking at you Entry #68, how the fuck did you manage to make Alex jump scare me I don't even), but otherwise I am usually okay with it. But like I pointed out above, it's the paranoia that gets me, every. Single. Time. About three hours to a few days later, when my mind goes, "Okay, wait, WTF I just realized something HORRIFIC about that last entry," and then I curl up in the corner and make scared kitten noises. This entry though, this one managed to make me do that in the span of about 15 minutes, or about as long as the video took to play, and then made me continue to do so for about 10 more minutes after it ended just from the implications of what could have happened alone. Let's count the number of bad, bad things that happen in this entry. 1, Jay and Tim find Alex's old house completely open for entry, never a good sign. 2, there is an attic, and a basement, and as we all remember from previous entries, small spaces and underground places are BAD. 3, Jay keeps hallucinating Slenderman - sorry, I mean the Operator - out in the tall grass... and then he actually shows up there. My heart literally sunk a little watching that part. 4, drawings, lots of drawings, with names of previous people Alex knew crossed off - that is, a freaking hitlist. Alex Krailie had a motherfucking hitlist, with Jay's name on it. 5, they actually go in the basement, and then suddenly night time because the Operator is a motherfucking troll. 6, Jay collapses while Tim keeps running, then Tim appears to almost have another damn seizure. 7, Tim (being a total badass) goes back for Jay, actually walks right up to the Operator and yells at him, and then nearly collapses himself while gratuitous static plays over everyfuckingthing and we get the closest freaking look at the Operator in full so far in the series. Okay so that last scene was actually pretty fucking awesome, but still, not good. At all. Because notice how the Operator has clearer and clearer shots of him as the series progresses, almost as if he's stalking the audience as well, right through the fourth wall... okay cue scared kitten noises again plz no not interested i already bought slenderscout cookies ktnxbai. ;-;

3. WhisperedFaith, the Rake under a bed and in a GODDAMN CLOSET:

I've discussed WhisperedFaith on this blog before, and explained why I liked it so much - because it does different things with different characters. Why am I including it here? Because the Rake is canon for the Mythos (via EverymanHYBRID) and because word of creator says that WhisperedFaith takes place in the Slenderverse. So anyway, in WhisperedFaith, the aforementioned Rake hides in the aforementioned places.

... Great. Now not only am I afraid of tunnels and swivel chairs, I'm afraid the Rake is living in my closet. And the best part about all this shit? My bed faces my fucking closet. Thank you for rekindling my fear of the boogeyman, WhisperedFaith, I was worried that I might be forgetting what primal childhood bedwetting fear felt like. [/sarcasm]

2. TribeTwelve, that creepy phonecall to the broken phone Noah finds.

So you find this weird broken old phone in a box full of random computer parts and shit. It doesn't work, its internal memory is corrupted as all hell, and the number has been deactivated and retired. So, imagine your disturbed surprise when, one night, you wake up to realize it's vibrating as if you're recieving a call. And when you pick up, the link above is what you hear.

... Yeah that's the last time I'm leaving MY phone on overnight, too. I don't blame you, reader. I really, honestly don't. Seriously, what the everloving crudnuggets IS going on there? Why the creepy laughter? Who is the guy saying "Sorry, sorry, so sorry" at the end? What the hell happened to him? Why the fuck did the call have to be at night?

Noah, buddy, I do not envy your damn life. Now come here so I can give you some hugs, you clearly need them more than I do.

1. TribeTwelve (yes, again), just about any update that includes the Observer.

aodfhiFBFVIswF. This. Mother. Fucker. The Motherfucking Observer. This guy is the creepiest fucking character I've ever seen. Every single time I realize I have another update/taunt of his to watch, my heart sinks a little. Every single time I watch said update, I brace myself for jumpscare impact. This creepy bastard jumpscared me four seperate times in four seperate videos in a damn row. This terrifying bespectacled freak continues to make me shudder even thinking about some of the shit he's pulled on poor Noah. Freaking. Spying on him, with electronic devices. Using espionage, hacking his channel and twitter, taunting him constantly, leaving creepy little nearly subliminal messages in his videos... just... urgh. Oh, and dear God, do NOT get me started on his damn update videos. Those things are the most surreal things ever to grace a Slenderseries, and they are incredibly paranoia-inducing. Just look at that fucking shit up there. Watch that shit to the end. I fucking dare you to watch that shit to the end. Because I seriously cannot even, once was enough. Never again. Nope. You can't make me. Fuck this. And now, here's a cat demonstrating my exact response when I first saw those videos for the first time.

One good friend from Slender Haven put it this way: "The Observer doesn't follow commands, he gives them. And his command is BE AFRAID."

Mission fucking accomplished, you creepy bastard, you and your creepy little Collective friends. Mission. Fucking. Accomplished.

My Beef With/Watching The Woods: Idiot Slenderfans

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The title. Read it.

Okay, so I might be a newcomer to the Mythos, but I've seen enough idiotic behavior in it to last me a lifetime. This rant's gonna be short, and it's gonna be sweet, but I need to get it out of my system because it chafes me and it ruins my enjoyment of certain parts of the Mythos sometimes. Not that it ruins the Mythos itself for me, because as I've stated before, you can't ruin the Mythos. But it just irks me to see people behave this way in one of my fandoms. In fact, I've never seen more stupidity in a single fandom I enjoy than I have in the Mythos, and that makes me just a teensy-tiny bit ill. So please, allow me to tell you the types of fans I cannot STAND in this Mythos, and just to make sure you can spot the difference I'll list common types of fans these annoying fans are mistaken for. And please, if you ARE one of these annoying fans... just stop. And if you don't plan to stop, then stay the hell away from me for the rest of my natural life.

  • Annoying Fan #1 - The Fangirl: Oh how many times have I seen this annoying bitch. How many times have I come across someone who wants to pair her self-insert Mary-Sue OC with the Slenderman because LOLOLOLOL hes so hot and kawaii and cute and cuddly. Um, no. No, he's really not. You see, the Slenderman hurts people. Badly. He might not necessarily kill, and in fact I prefer it when he doesn't kill because there's a lot worse you can do to someone than outright kill them. But he is definitely dangerous in-universe. He makes people very, very sick, both mentally and physically. The people on his radar usually suffer pretty badly even if the interpretation in question is written as a neutral or even outright helpful character, and don't get me started on the many, many series and blogs that write him as a lot more evil or even outright disgusted with humanity. There are series and blogs where he's torn people apart. Hell, even I had the Slenderman physically tear a man in half in my short story I, Slenderman, and that was intended to be a relatively neutral, non-pure-evil interpretation! Point is, this creature's too alien to love you back, despite how much you might want him to. He doesn't get people and people really don't get him because he's the fear of the unknown given form, and therefore is unknowable. I have no issue with you thinking the character's "just lonely" or whatever, because... well, he could be, if it's written well I'll buy that he's lonely, sure. But I DO have a LOT of issue with your insisting that he's some chibi little hugglebunny that has chosen you/your character as the one oh-so-special snowflake that will be his mate foarevarz. Because that's not scary and not even close to anything resembling his original intent to be scary. I understand you might want to cut the fear down so you draw something silly. I've done that too. But the character is supposed to be frightening, and if you don't think he's scary in some way, shape, or form, then you're doing it wrong.
    • So, Who ISN'T This Fan?: The Female Slenderfan. Not all girls that are fans are fangirls. I'm a female Slenderfan, for example. So what makes me different from the Fangirl? Well, the big difference is that I'm not a fan of the character because I think he's cute or sexy or whatever. I'm a fan of the character because he is a damn cool monster. He plays with people's minds and I love bad guys that do that. He has freaking tentacles that can stretch to any length and that, at least in my headcanon, are probably strong enough to tear you limb from limb. He perfectly represents xenophobia. He's got urban legend and mythology appeal. He's the consummate master of the jumpscare as well as of the subtle scare. He's fun as hell to draw. And all that while wearing a nice suit. THAT is why I like the Slenderman and why I love his Mythos. Not because I want him to be my waifu. Please don't mistake all female Slenderfans for Slenderman Fangirls, because then I'll have to find you and shove lye into your windpipe. ^w^
  • Annoying Fan #2 - The Fetishist: Oh. Dear. God. Please don't get me started on these creeps. Look, it's okay to have tentacle or suit fetishes. It's okay to have kidnapping or ravishment fantasies. It's even okay to have a sexual attraction to monsters or trees or silent creatures or whatever. I don't honestly care what you're into. But please, PLEASE do not share it with me. I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to read your slashfic. I don't want to see your tentacle porn drawing. Keep it away from me. And for the love of God, STOP SAYING RAPE IS HOT. You're using the wrong word. The word you're looking for is "Ravishment", not "Rape". Ravishment is when you are roleplaying or fantasizing about a scenario in which someone is having their way with you sexually, and the consent is basically mentally implied. Rape, however, is a crime, and a terrible crime at that. What you're doing when you say that "rape is hot" is discrediting and giving an outright slap in the face to everyone who has ever been sexually abused, and that's not okay. EVER. Please, learn better words for this. Look, I understand the appeal of the ravishment fantasy, really. I understand the fetish behind being a dom to someone's sub; I'd be lying if I said I've never had those same feelings, because I'm human and a strong woman to boot, and sometimes people like to fantasize about different power dynamics in the bedroom. That's okay and I won't judge you for that. But see, the thing about a ravishment fantasy or ravishment roleplay is that it's consensual. You consenting to someone tying you to a bedpost and having their way with you is very, VERY different than someone you don't know or want near you pinning you bodily, pulling off your clothing, and proceeding to have sex with you without your permission. The same thing applies to the Slenderman. I don't care if you wanna fetishize him, I really don't. But please stop saying you want him to "rape" you when you are obviously implying that you'd give consent. Plus, having tentacles and kidnapping people does NOT automatically mean he's a rapist, and it sure as hell doesn't mean he's a pedo. The former is because you've seen WAY too much hentai (and that is NOT what Slenderfans mean when we say he "takes" people), and the latter is disgusting, sick, and wrong, and you all know it. I'm not saying you can't give the character primal needs like other creatures, that's okay if you write it well. But please, stop calling it "rape" when you should be calling it "ravishment".
    • So, Who ISN'T This Fan?: Anyone who is a Slenderfan and admits to having a tentacle, ravishment, kidnapping, bondage, monster, or suit fetish. Look, if Suzy Slenderfan just so happens to get turned on by guys in nice suits, that doesn't necessarily mean her fetish applies to the Slenderman. It might, but it also might not, and as long as she keeps her fantasizing to herself I have no issue with it and neither should you. That's her prerogative. It's only an issue to me if she starts spamming it everywhere or starts talking about it all of the time; then she has an issue that needs resolving, or else she really, REALLY needs to get laid. She can't really help what happens to turn her on. That kind of thing is kind of involuntary. So as long as she doesn't openly say she wants Slendy to "rape" her or start talking non-stop about her fetish, I don't care. Go have all the dirty, pervy thoughts you want about this character, you're hardly the only Slenderfan who's done so. Just don't make me want to shove a sock into your windpipe.
  • Annoying Fan #3 - The Ignorant Gamer: Okay, this one really chafes me because they not only give every newcomer to the Mythos a bad rap, they also give the Slenderman page-collecting games a bad rap. This is the "fan" who insists they know Slenderman up and down, in and out, backwards and forwards like the back of their hand... simply because they played the games Slender: The Eight Pages and Slenderman's Shadow. Look, I love those games because I love being jumpscared and they're a great way to pass some time for me... but no. The truth of the matter is, whether you want to admit it or not, the Slenderman did not originate from those games. The character was created in a forum contest by a guy named Victor Surge, and there are MORE than enough series, blogs, creepypastas, and stories out there that have existed LONG before those games. The Slenderman and his Mythos have existed since at least 2009. That's nearly four years now, three prior to those games. So no, the Slenderman was definatively and absolutely NOT created by Mark J. Hadley, and to insinuate such ignores and insults the countless older Slenderfans, vlog-filmers, and blog-authors out there who will gladly point out how very, very wrong you are. There's not even anything you can argue about any of these facts, and if you choose to then I'll ignore you and walk away, because sorry, but you don't know jack and you're obviously too ignorant to want to learn more about the Mythos. I can't respect someone who can't admit they're wrong when presented with the facts. If you really believe that the Slenderman came from these games and you really are unwilling to do any more fact-searching or research on the Mythos, then I'm sorry, but you are not a Slenderfan in my eyes. What you are is a S:TEP fan, or a Slenderman's Shadow fan. But you are not a Slenderfan. This includes people who only watch one series and don't read or watch anything else, or people who only read the Creepypastas but don't read or watch any other stories. What constitutes a Slenderfan is an individual who enjoys the Mythos as a whole, or many different aspects of the Mythos - for example, someone like me who enjoys the Creepypastas, the games, several vlogs, and short stories about the character, or someone who reads many Slenderblogs but also watches a few long-running series. As long as you like the Mythos as a whole and not just one specific part of it, you're a Slenderfan. If you're not looking at the whole picture and interested in learning more, then sorry, but you're not a Slenderfan. I respect you and I won't judge you, but you can't call yourself a Slenderfan when you don't at least try to learn more about the central entity of the Mythos from more than one series, venue, or story.
    • So, Who ISN'T This Fan?: Anyone who happens to like S:TEP or Slenderman's Shadow, or anyone who happened to get into the Mythos through a popular LPer. Um, hello, I enjoy those games. I don't care if you don't like them, to me they're good games and I have fun playing them and getting scared, because jumpscares REALLY get me badly and I am specifically playing those games to be startled. They're short and at least tangentially relate to my interests, so why the hell wouldn't I play them if I like them? I in no way think they're the best thing since sliced bread, because they do have flaws and I acknowledge that. I'm not saying you have to like them, but please, don't think the games are bad just because of a few idiot fans. And please don't lump me in with said idiot fans just because I came into the Mythos and got interested in it through those games. Nobody's forcing you to like, watch videos of, or play them, so can't you try to be at least a little respectful to those of us that want to instead of blindly assuming we're all morons? It really hurts when you imply I'm a bad person for liking the games; I really don't understand all of ire they get sometimes. But I know why they get it, and the problem is people who don't do the research. But I'm not one of those people just because I like the games. So please get your facts straight and cut me and others some slack.
  • Annoying Fan #4 - The Hardcore Purist: I. Freaking. Hate. These. People. They are so rigid, so inflexible, so annoyingly jerkass in their behavior sometimes that I just want to burn them all alive. These folks will insist that there's only one way to enjoy the Mythos, and will say that if you're a newcomer, you're bad; if you liked the games, you're bad; if you don't like the right series or blogs or disliked one of the Big Five Vlogs/Big Three Blogs, you're bad. These people insist you're "not a true fan" if you don't do some arbitrary list of things they personally think you should do. They act like hipsters, hating things like Proxies for being "too mainstream" instead of actual reasons like "they're too alike across series" or "there's not enough interesting backstory given to them". They act like elitist snobs, sometimes using seniority in the fandom and throwing their weight around, but all their complaints and criticisms always amount to the same thing - "I'm right because I've been around longer or seen more Slenderstories than you, therefore I am always right and you are always going to be wrong." These are the people that think I'm an asshole for liking the games. These are the people who refuse to listen to me just because I'm a newer fan. These are the people who won't even so much as look at me without sneering if I admit that I disliked EverymanHYBRID (which I personally didn't care for because of the fact that it was TOO MUCH of an ARG and I got into it too late in the game, which is kind of like walking in on the end of a movie you wanted to see). And they are complete and utter pains in the ass. Listen folks - nobody likes someone who wants you to be exactly like them, nor do they appreciate you telling them to "stop having fun, guys". Just because I draw one little picture of Slenderman face(less)-palming or joke that he only wants a hug is not an excuse for you to ride my ass. Just because I occasionally call him Slendy as a nickname does not mean I care any less about the Mythos or am worth any less as a fan. I honestly don't even get why calling him "Slendy" bothers you so damn much, it's only a nickname, and to be quite frankly honest, I use it in the same way people refer to faeries as "The Fair Folk" - because I like the irony of it. I similarly use terms like "Our Slender Friend" and "The Slender One" for the same reason, and I also use names that I think have a nice ring to them (like "Tall, Pale, And Faceless") or even established names (like "Der Ritter"). Didn't think of that one, did ya, douchebag? So go bother someone else who is more annoying than this relatively average newbie Slenderfan, because I could use a good show tonight. I'm terribly bored and need something to watch burn.
    • So, Who ISN'T This Fan?: The hardcore Slenderfan or old-timer who's been in the Mythos from the start. There's plenty of folks out there that have very strong feelings for what they like and dislike in the Mythos, and that's okay. You're entitled to have your opinion. Sometimes, these are fans that have been around for a very, VERY long time, the grandfathers and grandmothers of the Mythos fans, so to speak. But the big difference between these folks and the Hardcore Purist is that they actually value other peoples' opinions. They aren't gonna hate you or call you out just for liking something they don't. They won't act like you're worthless just because you got into the Mythos through the games. They aren't total jerks and they won't be complete assholes, they just happen to have very strong opinions about what they like and don't like. Just because someone hates the $20 meme (I'm getting sick of it too) does not make them a Hardcore Purist. Just because someone dislikes the games or newbies in general does not make them a Hardcore Purist. It just makes them opinionated, and as long as they don't purposefully say you and anyone else like you is a horrible person, then they are not Hardcore Purists and therefore not douchebags. They may or may not still be assholes, though.

And I think that's really enough, thanks. So, Snicket out, see y'all later.

My Beef With: Son, I Am Disappoint.

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

So, so very disappoint. :c

Okay, so let me talk about what I just found out this afternoon when I came home from work. I get online, go to dick around on my favorite Slenderman forums. For me this is the lovely Slender Nation and the intensely fun Slenderman's Shadow forums. I go to the former because I love the Mythos, and I go to the latter because I'm a gamer and I love indie freeware horror games. Being both a broke college kid and an LPer, it's only natural that freeware indie horror appeals to me, and I was one of the many folks out there looking forward to the re-release of the Slenderman's Shadow (SS for short) maps under the Unity engine, because not only was a new map to be included but the old maps were to be made more functional as well. I waited patiently and breathlessly for months for word of the game's release, assured I'd get to see the Unity engine used for the glorious purpose of further propagation of the indie horror genre. Now, say what you will about those maps, and even what you will about the SlenderGame fad - but I loved Slender: The Eight Pages (hereafter called S:TEP) and it is still very near and dear to my heart when it comes to what ultimately lead to me becoming a full-fledged Slenderfan. It holds a special place deep down in my parietal pleura, just next to my right ventricle, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard I'd be able to play these maps with better compatability, more detail, and the same type of nice Unity engine I've come to know and love from S:TEP. I had even been planning an LP of those maps at some point, fully willing to get Marc Steene, the creator, free publicity if it meant an awesome new map for me to play.

But see, that dream was kind of sort of dashed to bits recently. Because this afternoon, Marc posted on his facebook that he would no longer be offering the game for free, but that it would cost $6.99 instead. And that the game would be released in four days, meaning that the change is not only last-minute, but probably quite permanent.

This is a problem.

Now let me set this straight right now - this is not  a problem because Marc wants to make money on his hard work that took him months. The Unity engine and development tools have a pricetag of around $1,500. No, there's not an extra zero in there, that's how much this engine really costs (And the guy behind S:TEP made his game available for free on this engine?!). That's fine and I have no problem with that. This is not a problem simply because Marc feels he should have more credit. This isn't a problem because Marc wants reimbursement for the game that cost him thousands of hours and (apparently, according to rumors) around $1,300 in donation money to rebuild from the ground up.

This is a problem for a few other reasons, which I will list below. And every single reason listed is why I am very disappointed in Marc Steene right now, and will not be buying this game, instead keeping the lovely Legacy maps near and dear to my heart. So how have I been disappointed as a Slenderfan and a gamer? Let me count the ways:

  1. Marc originally said he was offering this game for free up until literally today. Back in November 2012, when the project was first announced as a replacement for a different project that fell through, Marc pointed out several times that the maps would be offered as a freeware bundle for all platforms. Now today, he's gone back on that statement, suddenly saying that the game will be offered for about $7. Now, that's no huge sum of money, but that's not really the issue here. My issue is that Marc lied to his fans for three months. After being patient through numerous setbacks and the like in what we thought was a freeware game, only to be told suddenly that we'll have to pay for it, is like a slap in the face. I'm hurt that Marc would think he'd have to lie about something like this, or go back on his previous word without any warning. To me, someone who claims genuine behavior, then pulls a bait-and-switch is not someone I have any sort of respect for, and it's not someone I want to buy something from. Marc, if you were intending to have us pay for it from the start, then why didn't you say that at the start? I would have understood, and so would your other fans. But to lead us to believe the game would be a freeware title, only to slap a price tag on four days before release, just looks incredibly fishy. I know he did it for a reason and probably didn't want to, but it still smells like bad business practice and foot-in-the-door marketing tactics - get people excited with the premise, and then hit them with the price tag later once they agree. That makes you look skeevy, Marc. And it really hurts that you think you'd need to lie to us like that. I really wish that you'd have said something when you realized the cost this would take to undergo instead of waiting until the last minute. I'm disappointed in you for that.

  2. Marc is asking us to pay extra for something that was previously free, just to get a new map - and said game does not have all that much replay value anyway. Um, most of us Windows users aren't going to do that if we have the Legacy maps working just fine. Why would we want to pay extra for what we already have that works just fine? Yes, there's the increased graphics, and some people want that... but many don't care, or can't just drop $7 at random on a new game. You're in college, Marc, you should understand this. I could see if you were offering the whole bundle with a bunch of cool extra stuff, that's worth paying for in my eyes. I could see if it were a "director's cut" or special edition of sorts. But for a game that is the same concept but rehashed in new maps, a game that basically consists of a more Slenderman-oriented version of Capture the Flag, and that to be honest, most people will only play for a few hours at most (maybe not even that)... this price tag's just not worth it. The thing about S:TEP is that it was offered free for a reason - it's a small game with a basic premise that honestly isn't all that fancy, and it was never meant to be much more than that. SS goes with the same concept, but in different maps, and again, they're small games. This isn't something like Parsec Productions' upcoming Slender: The Arrival (The guys from MH are doing the story! TROY AND CO ARE DOING THE STORY! *dies of fangirl glee*), which is S:TEP but MUCH bigger with HOURS of gameplay, a storyline pertaining to the Mythos, and other things besides the page collecting to it. Now that is a game I'd gladly buy for my home console! This is a game based on a game where the premise is that you pick up things and there's something after you. I'm sorry, but a game that short, even for a group of maps, just doesn't warrant a $7 fee for this indie gamer, and that's why I'm sticking to the Legacy maps.

  3. This re-release was supposed to provide increased platform functionality for Mac and Linux users, for free, like what the Windows users got. But now those people who have been waiting for Mac and Linux versions of the map, now they have to pay money where us Windows users didn't - and still don't if we're playing the Legacy maps instead! Marc, how is this in any way fair to Slenderfans that don't have Windows machines? This is like offering the favorite child a lollipop for free and then asking the other two kids in the family to pay for their own. It's unfair to those users because now they're out $7; meanwhile the Windows users who don't wanna buy the map pack are enjoying their Legacy maps (if they can even get them to work). How is any of that fair to the Linux and Mac users who have been patiently waiting for a LOT longer than me to play these maps? Why should they have to pay when we Windows users originally didn't have to spend a dime? Way to alienate Mac and Linux users, Marc. Yes I know, life's not fair, but when you promise freeware that will function on all platforms, and then take that away leaving two of three big computer OS platforms out in the cold without anything unless they cough up $7, that's cruel.

  4. The original Legacy maps are being removed when Marc posts the new download. Yup. In four days you won't be able to even find the Legacy maps anymore unless you look hard enough for them; he's taking them down completely. Now that's real cold, Marc. Take down the original Legacy maps so that those who can't or don't want to pay are FORCED to buy your product if they want to see any of the maps besides Sanatorium. That's just... I don't even understand... Why would you do this, Marc? This is the most jerkass thing I think I've ever seen from a game programmer. Why NOT leave the legacy versions for those interested? What's the harm? Just stop offering patches or functionality for them or whatever! What if there's a person out there who cannot run anything under Unity? What if there's someone who can't afford the game and thus can't play it? Don't they deserve to at least see what inspired the other maps? I know you didn't have to do this for us Marc, but damn, what are you really losing by having the old maps stay up? Unless you think people won't buy your new game because they have the Legacy maps, which, congrats, I overheard many people on Youtube and the SS Forums planning to do just that, so it's not going to work. This is no longer true. On his Facebook page just today (1/9/13), Marc has responded to the intense scrutiny on his original plan to remove the links to the Legacy maps and sever all ties with his FPS Creator days that we all know and love. Due to the overwhelmingly negative response, he's decided to keep those links up. Thanks for listening to your fans, Marc! And that's a true, genuine statement right there - you've gained a lot of my lost respect back for listening to our reasons for not wanting those maps down. That proves you DO care about your fanbase and you truly DO understand why so many of us were upset about this. Sadly, I don't think this is going to prevent people from being upset, and I don't think it's going to make torrents of the full Unity game any less of a possibility. And speaking of torrenting...

  5. Piracy of the game is now a concern. Marc, there are plenty of people out there who can't or aren't willing to drop $7 on this project, and sadly some of them are selfish enough to pirate the game. And they will pirate your game. It's not like you're likely to have any DRM or protection on it. If someone gets a copy, all they have to do really is get it all packed up and torrent that shit. Sites like ThePirateBay are going to have copies of your old maps as backup links, and of your new package of Unity games. And about half your fanbase will be getting their copies from there, and you'll never see a cent because of that. It's not right, it's not fair, and it's stealing - but it's going to happen. And all this is gonna hurt you in the long run as an indie game maker, simply because you've suddenly put an arbetrary price tag on the game four days before release. You can sue, sure... but that's hardly going to do much, I'm afraid.

  6. Speaking of suing, what about Parsec Productions? You even said your game was based on S:TEP. That was back when it was free, and that's cool - S:TEP was free, SS was free, no worries, right? But now what if Parsec Productions sees you gaining money from an idea for a game that they popularized and worked hard at first? An idea for a game that they never saw a cent of money on because they didn't plan for it to get big? Yes, they have Slender: The Arrival coming... but Marc, if they decide you ripped off their idea for this game concept when they technically came first and your game is admittedly based on theirs, you'll be in a world of hurt. Legal battles aren't fun. And if they have proof they were planning all this stuff first, you're gonna look like a cheap ripoff trying to cash in on something someone else started. That is a bad thing by the way. Now for the record, I realize Slendy doesn't belong to any one person, and neither does his Mythos, and I realize that Agent Parsec did not create Slenderman (GOD no, that was Victor Surge; do your research!), but Parsec Productions and Agent Parsec DID come up with the concept behind S:TEP, and the gameplay and all that. They came up with that  idea before you did. You just made a fangame based off of it that plenty of people see as a ripoff of S:TEP. Granted you worked hard on it, and it's still fun, but it's not your idea. You can't cash in on what someone else already did. That's not cool.

Marc, you gotta rethink this. It's not about me. It's about several errors in your judgement with doing this, and the disappointment your fans now face. I understand you gotta make money and gotta eat. I understand you're in university and need the cash. But this was a bone-headed move in my book, and it will always remain a bone-headed move to me. You've greatly disappointed me, Marc, and I've sadly lost a lot of respect for you. Sorry, but after what's happened here, I don't know if I'll be taking in any more of Dark Pathogen Studios' work or your materal ever again. And that is perhaps the biggest disappointment of all.

(Sort Of) Watching The Woods: The 30 Day Slenderman Tumblr Challenge!

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Yeah, so I've done this before. Yeah, so it wasn't impressive. But YOLO bitches I don't care; I'm running on zero hours of sleep and Coca-Cola and straight-gunned MST3K and TribeTwelve, so I'm doing this shit. Again. It's a new year, with new experiences and now things to do, so it doesn't count anyway since the last time I did this was last year. So nyah-nyah, my blog my rules, you're a big stinky doody-head.

But not really. I love all my little Muselings. ^w^ Doubly so if they're into the Mythos. Triply so if they're into Batman AND the Mythos AND Doctor Who, but I digress. I was running around online the other night, checking on Slenderseries and whatnot (Suddenly ALL OF THE UPDATES on WillowAdder's Twitter like WTF bro that's awesome but damn I have a lot to catch up on), and eventually wound up on Tumblr, as I usually do. It was on one Slendy-related Tumblr that I noticed someone had posted a 30-Day challenge for the Slenderman Mythos, and my curiosity was piqued enough to try it. So, here you go - my responses to the 30-Day Slenderfan Tumblr challenge. :3

As with the previous 30-Day challenge entry on Creepypastas, you probably don't wanna follow any links here if you're not a Slenderfan and not quite aware of what you're getting into. Nightmare fuel abounds in this fandom, as it should, and I don't want those of you who get spooked/paranoid easily by things they see or read to end up losing sleep. Otherwise... you'll be CaughtNotSleeping. *YEEEEEEEAAAAHHHHHH*  - Oh fuck it that was lame, I give up on the Slenderpuns. T^T

  1. How did you find out about Slenderman?

    Well, I think the first I heard about him was sometime in 2010, although I don't recall the exact date. I was checking around reading some Creepypastas and stumbled onto some about him. It wasn't until I did more research last year that I started getting more interested in him though.

  2. Is Slenderman real?

    In the flesh? Hell no, he's too weird biologically to exist. And what the hell kind of evolution would even lead to a being that looks like it's wearing a business suit 24/7 and has no face? But as an idea? Oh Hell yeah, he's real, as the face and form given to the fear of the unknown, he exists. But only in our imaginations does he lurk, only in our thoughts and speculative stories does he haunt us. See, he's kind of like Santa Claus, in that he embodies an idea, but isn't physically real. Except instead of spreading joy, he spreads nightmare fuel.

  3. Have you experienced any symptoms of the Slendersickness?

    No, but every time I go walking in the woods and start coughing a little I do smirk to myself. And as for nightmares and paranoia? More than once in this fandom. More than once. ;-;

  4. Your favorite Slenderman related video series?

    Aw Hell, you're gonna make me choose? :c Of the Big Three, Marble Hornets is my favorite. Of the more obscure ones, I really like WillowAdder - seriously, go look it up and watch it, because it needs more love and it's pretty damn good.

  5. Your favorite Slenderman related text blog?

    I don't read a ton of Slenderblogs; I tend to stick to the vlogs and video ARGs mostly. But if I have to pick a blog related to Slenderman in some form, even if it's not a Slenderblog so to speak, I have to go with fnoslenderfans. Dear God, the amount of terrible fanart in this fandom just astounds me... Picking a good one, The Daily Slender Man is great, just because I love seeing good artwork of my favorite tall and creepy bastard.

  6. Your favorite character from the Slenderman mythos is...?

    Tim from Marble Hornets. Dear God, the FEEEEEEELLLLLLSSSS. ;-; That man needs all of the hugs, right the fuck now, forever. Plus he's got sassy rollerblades to go with his epic sideburns.

  7. The weirdest theory you’ve read about Slenderman?

    He's a demon from Hell. Really guys? Just... really? You're gonna just outright give that sort of cliched "Oh he's just evil no questions no bones about it nope" explanation for him? That's about as lame as a duck with a broken leg.

  8. Your favorite Entry/Slenderman video?

    Favorite standalone, or favorite entry in a series? Favorite standalone's the short fanfilm Proxy, because honestly just the way that Slendy moved was creepy as hell. His head... just... the way he would nod his head, as if reassuring his target... *shudders* Freaky. Favorite entry in a series is Entry #18 of Marble Hornets, because it's the first entry in any Slenderman series that truly made me jump.

  9. Your favorite piece of Slenderman fan art?

    This one is amazing. He seriously looks like he's either just kicked ass and is cleaning up after the fight, or he's about to kick ass and is tightening his tie to let everyone know he's going to kick ass. And then TheHellcow has an amazing series linking Slenderman to various phobias that I love. And then there's angmarbucket, who mixes fluid curves with sharp angles in her Slendy and I just love it to bits dear God she has so much talent I am so jelly.

  10. Your favorite parody?

    Slenderman Is A Crappy Roommate. "What's so damn interesting that you just gotta stand there, and stare at it?!" XD And then there's also Concrete Giraffes, and Marik Plays Slender, and just... yeah. Go look them up.

  11. Have you ever personally encountered Slenderman?

    OOG: No. Because he doesn't actually exist.

    IG: Not to my knowledge. Unless he's making me forget that I saw him... I-is he? Oh God, when did it become a "he" to me? I-it's been so long... so long since I haven't seen... that I almost forgot there was a time I never did... But I remember now. Oh God, I remember it all now... Thanks to you... It was all a distant memory to me but then YOU showed up, with your damn 30-day challenge list, and... and... *breaks down sobbing*

  12. Can you post a song that reminds you of Slenderman?

    Florence + The Machine - Breaking Down. Listen to this fucking band it is AMAZING.

  13. Your favorite crossover?

    I don't do that many crossovers, although I do kinda dig the idea of mixing Slendy with Zalgo. Two eldritch horrors for the price of one! And don't quote me on this, but isn't there a series out there that does that? I need to look up which one and start watching, methinks...

  14. What's your own personal interpretation of Slenderman?

    He is an anomaly with the world around him, a thing that somehow came to be and survived, but shouldn't have. Everything around him is affected badly because of this. He is likely at least as intelligent as a human being, and might verge on the introspective. The distortion on tapes he causes is probably Electromagnetic in origin. I think he likely feeds on fear and sanity, and that his tentacles somehow are used as part of the feeding process. Causing the SlenderSickness is under his control somewhat, as he can control severity but not the fact that he causes it. He can pick locks and open doors and windows, and he can crawl sort of like a spider or something if the space you're in is too small for him to fit in standing up. If he can communicate it is through telepathy of some sort, but it is probably not in words and would probably drive a human target to insanity. I don't think he really "gets" humans much, and finds us interesting... both as a source of nourishment and out of sheer curiosity. Maybe he finds it interesting to toy with us, or maybe he just likes people-watching. Either way, he's extremely alien to us, and we might even possibly be very alien to him...

  15. Do you think Slenderman would be a good movie? If so, specify your dream creative team.

    Could be, depending, but only if they stuck to subtle paranoia and fear, NOT cheap jumpscares. The Mythos is not about jumpscares. The Mythos is about waking up from nightmares at 2 AM and being paranoid as fuck that Slendy's in your closet and wants to devour you alive and screaming. It's about checking over your shoulder every so often for a bit after you watch a vlog update. It's not about what Slendy or his Proxies actually do to you (which most of the time isn't that much unless they're feeling violent), but the implications behind what they could have done to you instead... Your mind fills in the paranoia blanks, and any good Slenderman film NEEDS this aspect to be anything resembling a good film.

  16. The biggest scare you’ve gotten from something Slenderman related was...?

    Honestly, the Mythos just makes me paranoid more than scared. But damn, Masky, you gotta stop popping up out of nowhere and running at Jay like that. It's fucking terrifying and now whenever I see something in a game or movie that looks remotely like you (pale face, black markings, yellowish coat/body) I jump and anticipate it running right the fuck at the camera. I love you Masky, don't do this to me bro. Masky plz. Masky stahp. ;-;

  17. Could you post an amusing and/or creepy Slenderman gif?

    This one always makes me giggle.

  18. Your favorite Slenderman ARG?

    CaughtNotSleeping, bitches.

  19. Your favorite Slendy-related meme?

    I try to stay away from those, most of them either make me eyetwitch in rage due to their overuse or don't interest me that much. Trenderman did get a chuckle out of me when I first saw him, though.

  20. Your favorite Slendy photoshop is...?

    This one because he looks like he's dancing and that really amuses me, then this one because I love the classics, and then this one because it's creepy.

  21. Your favorite non-Slenderman Creepypasta?

    Already pointed out in my 30-Day Creepypasta Challenge entry that the honor of Favorite Non-Slendy Creepypasta story goes to "The Russian Sleep Experiment". Just... brr. I have the willies even thinking of the concept behind that one. If I have to pick a Creepypasta entity to be a favorite besides Our Slender Friend, then I guess I'd pick Zalgo or SmileDog. Yeah I know you're expecting me to pick the Rake. But everyone picks the Rake, so fuck the Rake. But not literally because that's kind of disturbing. Seriously, y'all are pervs. -_-"

  22. Your favorite SlenderPROXY?

    Masky, damnit. Because he's Tim, and because he's a ninja. With an awesome jacket. Although you really gotta love the Observer of TribeTwelve too. Yes I know, he's not technically a Proxy, but he's still antagonistic so I'll count him. Not many Slendervlog antagonists besides Mr. Thin himself are awesome enough to get their own freaking symbol, and not all of them can pull off the Scary Shiny Glasses quite so well...

  23. How many friends have you converted into Slenderfans?

    Actually it was my best friend that converted me into a Slenderfan... sort of. Kind of. She got me interested in watching Marble Hornets and from there it just kind of spiraled downward into obsession. Although I think I might be slowly converting my little siblings into sort of semi-Slenderfans, and I did get my little brother interested in watching a few vlogs... so... muahahahaha?

  24. Your favorite alternate name for Slenderman?

    I give him nicknames all the time. My favorite nicknames that I personally give him are "The Slender One" and "Our Slender Friend". Don't ask me why, I just really dig those two nicknames. Although I kind of also like the German origins of "Der Ritter" and the ever-classic "Operator", too.


    Laptop, journal/notebook with pencils, my favorite dragon necklace, my replica of the Joker's out-the-front switchblade from The Dark Knight, and my glasses. I'm assuming these would be things I'd bring if I were on the run from Slendy in order to keep myself sane/identify my flayed and eviscerated body. Yes I know a camera's not in there, but if I seriously were running from Slendy I'd also have my digital camera, my cellphone, around $500 in cash, and my car keys with me at all times.

  26. In your opinion, which Slenderman series has the best video effects?

    TribeTwelve, bitches.

  27. Your favorite fake Slenderman movie poster?

    I can't seem to find a link, but there's a good one out there that kind of is a shilhouette of him, and these orange-tinted fall trees. Looks kind of like a poster for The Wicker Man, which I believe migth have been the inspiration for it. Just very simple, very nice. I liked it a lot and I'm depressed I can't find it now. Time to go binge on Slenderman fanart to drown my sorrows between sips of black cherry soda... :c

  28. Do you think Slenderman is good, evil, misunderstood, or somewhere in-between?

    Neutral, likely. Honestly, it depends on the series, but his MO for the most part just doesn't seem to match some evil entity that's out to destroy humanity and the world as we know it. His attacks are too specific and his targets too random for that. I think he most likely does what he does either out of curiosity or because he's got some sort of specific pathway he's trying to guide these people down (for what purpose I don't know...) That or he's just trying to eat (monsters have to eat too) and these random college students with cameras keep getting in the damn way of his dinner. XD But in all seriousness, I don't think the Slenderman is necessarily completely evil mostly because I hate that interpretation. As I've said before a few times on this blog, I feel like just saying "Slendy is evil and that's that" only boxes him into one set of pretty cliche possibilities that honestly don't scare me all that much. So I tend to see him as just so incredibly alien to our minds that we cannot understand or comprehend him in any way and therefore we see him as menacing, unknowable, and evil by default. Saying he's just evil and that's that is the easy, coward's way out of writing even creepier implications, and it's just a poor shot at horror in my opinion. I find the being that's not purposely evil and is messing with you anyway to be a LOT worse and more frightening than the being that just wants to watch you suffer; if I wanted to see the latter I'd read a story about the Joker. XD This Mythos has Lovecraftian flavor, and Lovecraft's monsters weren't necessarily evil - just frighteningly unknowable (except for Nyarlathotep he was a dick). Therefore, it doesn't make much sense to me for Slendy to be purely evil, but he's certainly not a purely good being either, because nothing in this world or any other ever is. Besides... doesn't prey always see their hunter as evil? ;3

  29. Are you one of those people that finds Slendy adorable?

    In a weird Nightmare Fetishist sort of way, yes, but not literally because seriously, he's terrifying and people who find him "cute" are terrifying, too. I swear to God those people are all Proxies; I trust NONE OF THEM EVER. So no, I'm not one of those weirdos that would tackle-glomp him or hug him, because that's stupid, but I do find him really fascinating because he's just such a cool monster. I can't help it! He's got so many of my tastes in horror down pat that I'd be lying if I didn't say I kind of love the guy for being such a creepy fucking bastard.

  30. Do you plan on going in the woods anytime soon?

    Oh yes. :3 I do, all of the time, and even at night. Actually, I've been doing it more often since I've gotten into this Mythos, just to invoke the tropes and live the Slenderfan dream, so to speak. I've gone Slenderman hunting too, and I'm not ashamed to say it. It's quite fun. You should join me... sometime... *quietly hides Proxy mask behind back* ;3

My Beef With: The Five Things Customers Do That Make My Job Hell

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Now, I believe on this blog before, I've discussed the fact that I work service. Specifically, I work fast food. This is usually a pretty decent deal, because for one I get free food and for another it's not an overly difficult job. I like my bosses and most of my coworkers, and my boyfriend works at the same branch that I do, so sometimes I get to see him and even have lunch with him. As long as I do what I'm supposed to and am polite, most of the time I have a good day at work.

Then there's the times customers like these show up. The times customers decide to be annoying and do stupid crap like this:

  1. Cut in front of other customers, especially when I'm busy trying to help someone else. I can't adequately explain why this annoys me so, but it does. Maybe because I see it as very rude to the person I'm helping - how would you like it if you'd been waiting in line to order breakfast, and some random person came up and asked for a refill on coffee, a refill they should have waited for politely like everyone else? You see, unlike many people, my time on the internet has not turned me into a complete selfish prick-bastard, at least not completely, so I still have a little thing for others called "empathy". That means I understand when people have problems, and i feel for them, so long as they are respectful and courteous to me in return. And it just so happens that anyone cutting in front of me really pisses me off, especially when they just walked up and I'm just as hungry as everyone else. Except now I'm on the other side of the counter. Doesn't change how annoying I find it, it just means I have to be nicer. Seriously - if you see someone in front of you, try asking if they're ahead of you first. Don't just step in front of you. You might be able to have it your way here, but that doesn't mean the whole revolves around you and it does NOT give you permission to just cut in front of someone who has been waiting longer than you have. Even if you're an elderly person. Sorry folks, but there is no such thing as senior seniority when it comes to being polite, and rudeness is horribly immature no matter how old you are.

  2. Order things, then complain about how you put the order together, or tell you how to do the most basic things you already know how to do. Look, we have a training program here for a reason. I don't know if you've ever worked fast food before, but really - we're trained for this. We're trained to work the register and serve you your food. We know how to put the order together, and the priority is on fastness, customer satisfaction, and freshness. That means sometimes, we put certain things out before other parts of your order, or give certain things out last. If you order an ice cream cone, we'll think one of two things - you're waiting forever for your food and might want it now while you wait, or you'll get it last when it's freshest. If I make a mistake and you wanted the latter when I thought the former, that is not my fault or your fault - it's a miscommunication and we apologize. Don't then proceed to be a royal jerk and bitch me out because I thought you'd like something to snack on before you wait. That's why many people order their food, THEN come back and order their ice cream cone later. And some customers prefer to eat their dessert first, because they're adults and they can have dessert whenever they feel like it. And furthermore, we know how to do stuff like make change and make specialty changes to orders. We don't need your input on how to do that stuff. This isn't the same as asking for something special, like an extra shot of espresso in your coffee or whatever. This is silly, stupid, already-known advice like, "And remember to salt the fries" or "And make sure you put the boxed sandwiches on the bottom, I don't want my burger squished". WE ARE NOT STUPID. REALLY. We are not all just some random high-school dropouts. We're in high school, we're in college, and we're older than five. Some of us are currently working towards degrees in science and mathematics and can derive calculus formulas just as easily as we can flip a freaking burger, and we're in this job because we need the money for school. And most of us actually have common sense. Just because I look like I should be in high school does not mean I am. Give me a little freaking credit.

  3. Trolling you because you're in service and they think trolling is a cool thing to do. This is not cool. THIS IS NOT COOL. This is not cool. This is not cool. THIS IS NOT COOL. Do you want to know what you look like when you troll a service person? You look like a douchebag, an immature little snot-nosed brat, someone who thinks they're better than anyone else and can treat other people like crap because of where they work. And that is NOT OKAY. "Coning" people, which is when you order a cone, grab the ice cream, and drive away leaving the person with just the cone, is not okay and not funny. Throwing orders you don't like at the building is not cool, it's a temper tantrum. Making messy patterns with ketchup on the tables and walls that we have to clean up later isn't cool, it's what infants do with their bodily waste when they get bored. You do not look cool. You look like a moron.

  4. Come to the counter with a problem, then complain while you're trying to fix the issue, keep complaining as you're fixing the issue, and complain when the issue is resolved. Look, sorry you're having a problem, but i'm already trying to fix it. What is complaining going to accomplish? What more can I possibly do for you? If it's a problem with your food, we need to remake it and that takes time. Don't want to wait? Sorry, you have to or you won't be getting your order I'm afraid. Waiting too long? Hm, could it be due to the fact there are fifteen others in front of you also waiting, we're shifting from breakfast to lunch, and just because you ordered the same thing as three other people it doesn't mean that the grill team has gotten to your order yet, or that the runner has gotten to you yet? Seriously, I guess these people just really want to complain, because they certainly don't give me any constructive way I can better their situation. And if it was my bad, all I can do is apologize and redo whatever it was I screwed up. You don't then get to continue berating me just because you think I'm a stupid little brat who's barely out of high school. That is bullying and bullying isn't okay. Please be nice, and I'll be nice in return. If you aren't, it makes me want to start crying. And if I start crying, you'll feel bad, and I'll feel bad, and then that will ruin everyone's whole day, won't it? Abusive language solves nothing. Try not being a jerk today, you might be surprised how happy you feel the rest of the day. Plus, when you're a jerk to the register person, everyone can see it and everyone else thinks you're a jerk, because you can tell an awful lot about who a person really is by how they treat service people. If I ever saw any child of mine behave that way towards the counter girl, I'd smack him, and if I ever saw my boyfriend do the same thing I would leave him on the spot. People don't tolerate that shit, man, so be nice.

  5. Leaving trash behind without any regard for who has to clean it up later. This sort of falls under the trolling thing above, but not always. Let me break it down simple-like for those of you with the attention span of a hamster on crack - just because we wear a uniform does not mean we're busboys. This is a fast food restaraunt. Do you see the trashcans around that say thank you? They're there for you to throw away your trash when you're done. In return we can then clean the tables for the next person. But when you leave your trash and wrappers and tray on the table, then nobody sits there and we have to stop what we're doing to clean up your mess, making more work for us and a bigger hassle for other customers. It is rude and inconsiderate as hell to leave your trash just sitting on the table like that, so pick it up, you pig. Your food, your wrappers, your responsibility. They came with your food, it's your problem once it's off the counterspace. Don't draw with ketchup, nugget sauces, or anything else; it's creepy and weird and hard to get off the tables. And spilling stuff without pointing it out to someone is even worse. You see a spill, tell one of us so we can fix it. People can fall and shit, and do you really want to be responsible for some kind little old lady breaking a hip or someone's kid getting a concussion? I didn't think so.

Now, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays, because I'm off to go drown my sorrows in presents and champagne. Yes I know it's not new years. I'm doing it anyway.

Why Do Men Become Stupid Around Christmas?

Posted on December 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I have to confess to my male readers that I will never, never understand why you guys seem to think we womenfolk suck at directions if we get lost so much as once. Seriously. I know this is a common complaint about men and directions, or women and directions, but dear God - I never realized how serious it was until this weekend.

First though, I need to tell you about my boyfriend.

Now, my boyfriend is not a stupid man, in fact he's quite intelligent and actually is going for a Doctorate in Internal Medicine. He has completed several higher level mathematics courses with very high marks and even managed to get out of the notoriously difficult Organic Chemistry classes at my college with good grades. He's also about as nerdy as I am and is a nerd for several of the same things as me (video games, Doctor Who, Batman in general, and Chemistry). He's a quiet guy that is usually very cool-tempered, kind of the opposite of my sometimes fiery personality. He is also really, really adorkable and just an all around very sweet guy. In short I love the guy to bits and he's crazy about me, so it seems like we're a great fit for each other. We also share the same workplace, since he works at the same fast food restauraunt branch that I do, so despite now attending different colleges we do still get to see each other fairly often.

The reason I'm telling you this is because this weekend my boyfriend, whom I will refer to as D from now on, decided to do the stupid stereotypical male thing. All because I am driving up to his family's cabin on Christmas, and because I got lost and had to call him the last year trying to find his driveway, which is located in a rural area on a half-unpaved road and secluded by these creepy trees so thick you'd be extremely surprised if the Slenderman wasn't hiding in them somewhere.

So, my boyfriend's dad got a nice Garmin GPS last Christmas to help him navigate places, because old stereotypes die hard. The GPS is really cool and everything, and I've heard good things about that particular brand, so of course I was happy for him. However, because I got lost the last year and D is not only a hardcore romantic that worries about me if I even so much as have a bad day at work, but similar in personality to me in terms of how he thinks things through (and in terms of absent-mindedness), he decided that apparently Sugary needs to borrow the Garmin to get to his family's cabin several hours away and decided to text me in a conversation that went something like this:

D: Hi love you should come up around 2 everyone will be arriving around then also I will give (Manager he is friends with) my Garmin don't forget it LOL
Me: That's nice D, thank you. But I don't want to lose it so just email me directions or txt me the address. <3
D: LOL no this is easier here's my Garmin!
Me: D, really, I don't need it, I can just Mapquest the location and get directions there. Believe it or not I don't really suck that much at directions.
D: But it's dangerous to go alone, take my Garmin!
Me: Is it even gonna be safe in (manager's) drawer at work? What if someone takes it?
D: ^w^ ... Huh? What did you say? I was distracted by the thought of how pretty you are, Snicket... <3 Oh, by the way, here's my Garmin! 8D
Me: ... But I don't need to...
D: Don't forget to pick it up at work LOL I'll see you on Christmas Eve love you. <3

Long story short, I took the damn Garmin home from work. Every manager in the store thought it was D's Christmas gift to me and as a result I ended up having to explain what was going on to everyone. I don't plan on using it unless D decides that Mapquest is too hard for me, a Chemist that can turn molecular structures around in my freaking head and got an A in a Polymers and Plastics class just by being there and knowing what was actually happening at the molecular level, never mind a freaking map with directions in plain black and white.

I love you to pieces D, but sometimes I really, really don't understand how your brain decides that my making one error in the past suddenly means I need all of the help doing it again in the future. XD

The Creepypasta Tumblr's 30 Day Challenge!

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Okay, okay, I promise I've had enough of the creepypasta after this one and I'll try to keep it to a minimum for a while, because I'm sure you guys are getting sick of my little "OMG Creepypasta rules and Slenderman is so damn scary ararararagh!" phase that I'm going through. I apologize for the retarded fanishness and I'll keep it down after this.

But see, I am addicted to the stuff and I can't stop reading it. I love Creepypasta and I love writing in that universe (especially for Tall, Pale and Faceless, but that's another story). It's a fandom of mine now, and I'm pretty much stuck with it. So because of that, I was recently rolling around the internets and found a few Creepypasta-related Tumblrs that I started following. Two of those Tumblr sites were FNoSlenderfans and FNoCreepypastaFandom, both of which show off the worst of the worst of Creepypasta fans (specifically Slenderfans in that first link). They're hilarious and show off the painful truth about one of my fandoms - they are full of some stupid, stupid people that just don't like admitting (or are unaware_ that they are taking the piss out of the piss-yer-pants scariness of some of these monsters. Really, for all the joking I myself do in and around the fandom, and here as well, I'm scared of these beings because they are supposed to be scary monsters. As I've ranted before, you should be terrified of running into the Rake, Slenderman, Jeff the Killer, SmileDog, and all the rest of the horrifying gang. You don't want to end up as a Proxy; that's a bad thing. You don't want to meet Jeff, that is also a bad thing. You do not want these characters to be real. At all. Ever. And yet some people do, and some people ship them as "bishies", and that's what the above Tumblrs show off. As a result, they are very often not worksafe, not apologetic (although if you ask nicely, they will take down anything you drew that got put up there), and definitely not in any way safe for the sanity of any poor Creepypasta fan that stumbles upon some of the ridiculous shit these fangirls get up to. Of course, that happens in every fandom, but it's still annoying and mind-breaking when it happens. And yes, it's terrifying to know that everything imaginable has been done with Slendy's tendrils. EVERYTHING. IMAGINABLE. So if you want to laugh at the bad side of the Creepyfandom or Slenderfandom, check those blogs out. Just... don't say I didn't warn you. There be monsters over there, and not all of them are horrifying in the ways they were intended to be horrifying.

Anyhow, the third Tumblr I found (and the site that gave me links to the other two) was actually just a Tumblr aggregation of everyone who discussed "Creepypasta" on its community. I was reading through, and noticed that someone posted a 30 Days challenge to answer for Creepypasta fans. Interested, I decided to give it a try, and as a result, give you guys a bit more info about how and why I got interested in Creepypasta, along with a few favorites of mine that I'll provide links to so that those who haven't read them or heard of them can. What can I say? I'm an enabler and my inner horror writer loves scaring the shit out of you guys...

Before I do that, a quick warning to those reading this blog entry before bed: DON'T FOLLOW THE LINKS unless you're sure you don't need sleep for at least two more hours. I'm serious. There is literally something to terrify everyone in the Creepypasta fandom, and It's very, very easy to end up somewhere reading something you REALLY do not appriciate reading before bed. You might be fine reading about Jane the Killer now, and that story about the Spongebob Lost Episode might not get to you at first, but these things have a sneaky, pernicious way of creeping into nightmares, especially if read before bedtime. Some of the stories can be quite gory or psychologically disturbing as well, so if you're freaked out by those things then tread lightly. And please, if you're the kind of person who knows they get scared easily and knows they have vivid nightmares based on things they've read or seen, don't follow the links before you go to sleep. Remember, they're only fiction, but that probably won't help when you're having terrible bad dreams about Slenderman watching you or the Rake having you for dinner or whatever, so be careful.

So, here's the list. The questions go in order of the way they were originally posted. Enjoy!

  1. What is your favorite Creepypasta?

    Oh man, I have quite a few favorites. I think one of my favorites has to be "The Russian Sleep Experiment", since it's not just a classic, but a very creepy classic. The gore in that case just adds to the creep factor, which is bad enough all on its own. I mean, what could be scarier than some dispassionate creep in a white labcoat watching as you slowly lose your mind from sleep deprivation, and yet still won't let you even as you beg him to let you sleep? Psych horror is deliciously scary, but it's one of the most utterly terrifying things in the world to me.

  2. Least Favorite Creepypasta?

    Least favorite creature, or story? My least favorite story would likely have to be "Psychosis", the one about the guy who gets an email concerning creatures that take over people's brains. It starts out very, very good as a good psych horror tale about someone going crazy from an email someone sent because he thinks everyone is controlled by the brain creatures. But then the story makes one very, very fatal mistake - it reveals that the guy was right all along. To me, the idea of going nuts from a damn email is way, WAY scarier than an actual parasite controlling your brain. That just drained the scary for me instead of enhancing it. My least favorite Creepypasta entity? Jeff the Killer. Sorry, but he's too much like a supernatural version of the Joker for me to fear him. I just don't find him very scary, not when I know all he wants to do is kill me. Death's scary, and so are serial killers, but they aren't that scary.

  3. Creepypasta That Scared You The Most?

    Oh God. Ooooohhhh God. Never, never, never read Slenderman stories before bed, when you know you live next to a forested area and some bike trails. Never, never, never. It's not the fact that Slendy's an eldritch being that scares me the most. It's the fact that it toys with your damn mind and is about growing paranoia. It could be breathing down your neck, and you wouldn't know until it decides to show itself to you, or you catch a glimpse somehow. And by then you're pretty much screwed. There's nothing scarier to me than a persistant stalker to me that not only just wants to see you suffer and maybe kill you or enslave you, but also embodies the perfect primal fear of the unknown. It's not just a visceral horror, it's a psychological horror, that special horror that you know something's out there waiting, and you can't escape it. Second runner up is "Chills", because the idea of having something behind you trail its fingers down your neck or breathe on you just makes me shiver.

  4. Which Character Can You Sympathize The Most With?

    Gonna be cliche and say every kid that gets taken by Slenderman. Poor kids. Not only were they stalked by the literal bogeyman, they were also treated to a world of psychological pain and fear no kid should ever have to go through. And you just know it ate the kids once it had them in its clutches. You. Just. Know.

  5. What Would You Do In The Presence Of Slenderman?

    Panic and run, then possibly blog about it and try to get some help from others in the same circumstance. Not that it'd help much.

  6. BEN Has Taken Over Your Computer!

    ... Welp. *unplugs laptop from wireless network, shuts it down, and takes a blowtorch to it* Sorry BEN, you're scary, but go find someone else to stalk. I hear Cleverbot knows a thing or two about you.

  7. What’s Your View Of Jeff The Killer?

    A bit overrated, just because he seems like every other supernatural killer out there. He's just doing it while looking sort of like the Joker on a bad day. Although he's *hilarious* in the Webcomic Pasta Monsters, which all of you should read right now.

  8. How about Jane the Killer?

    Even more overrated. She's really just the Jason to Jeff's Freddy, so I don't have much interest in her.

  9. Which Pastas Do You Find Best?

    Ones that have elements of psychological horror, insanity, and things man was not meant to know about... Same way I like all my horror. Also, I think the "Haunted/Cursed Game/Show/Movie" pastas are fascinating to read, but not scary.

  10. What Was Your First Pasta Experience?

    First Creepypasta... probably "Lavender Town Syndrome". I wasn't that scared, but I did wonder for a bit if it was real... until I did the research. I don't remember which one got me into Creepypasta as a fandom, but I wanna say Pokemon Creepypasta in general. I was looking for information for my Let's Play of Pokemon Creepypasta this year and found the Creepypasta Wiki. I read a lot, starting with the Pokemon Creepypastas and then edging over into Slenderman pastas, and by the time I'd finished the LP I was a convert.

  11. Most Recent Creepypasta You Read?

    Most recent as of this writing? A story called "Suit", and there are way too many with that particular name. As you'd think, it's a Slenderman Creepypasta. The concept at the end is great, although it really could have used some work in the build-up department. But the idea of Slendy being pissed that someone's running around dressed up like it just works for some reason.

  12. Have You…Spread The Word?

    I just did.

  13. Who WAS Phone?

    Slenderman. Slenderman was phone, obviously. Which means that Ur Honey is either a Proxy, Slendy's illegitimate love child, or both.

  14. Something Is Making A Noise In The Kitchen…You?

    Grab a baseball bat and flashlight, and sheepishly investigate. If it's a Creepypasta monster I'm done living on this planet. If it's my cat, then I will cuddle my cat. ^w^

  15. Where You Get Your Creepypasta Nightmare Fuel?

    Slenderman fan films, mostly. The good ones, that is. Protip, go watch the fan film "Proxy". It's excellently creepy! I also get nightmare fuel from Fridge Logic. For example, I literally whimpered softly in fear when I realized the other implications behind why Marble Hornets referred to Slendy as "The Operator". It's because not only does it basically "operate" the characters in that series for its own purposes, it also, depending on what stories you read, operates in the other sense of the word. On you. And puts your organs in plastic bags. ;-;

  16. The WORST Creepypasta You’ve EVER Read?

    Three words: WHO WAS PHONE? But I enjoyed it because it was meant to be stupid. I usually find something to like in just about every Creepypasta I've read, but that's probably because I haven't read anything that makes me go, "Really? Just... really?"

  17. …And Then A Skeleton Popped Out!


  18. Favorite Creepypasta Creature?

    ... Like you people reading this don't already know.

  19. BRVR Knows You’re Lying!

    Well, I know that BRVR's lying! So there! Stupid rat. *throws out GameCube and copy of Pokemon Channel*

  20. View Point on Zalgo?

    H̵̜͔ͦ̔̔͒ͤE̙͔̞̱̘̙̋͒ͨ̉̉ͥ̋̓̚͝ ͊̎̋ͬ͏̳̘̪͉̜̺͞C͋͏̭̟̹̪̩̖͟Ǒ̵͎͉̖͙̦ͪ̓ͣ̎̈́͞Mͮ̌͛̉̏҉̵͓̱͔͎̰̥̭E̴̢̠͉̫̣̹ͩ̊̔̈́͌͂̀̋͝S̢͎̥̺̬͉̯̩͖̓ͪͩ͒ͦ̿͗̑͘.̴̪̰̥͙̬̥ͨ͋ͨ̃ͮ̃ͭ͝

  21. View Point on The Rake?

    He and everything else that comes from a forest creeps me out. Including deer. Yes. Deer. They stare at you with big black eyes... Why does everything that lives in a forest just stare at you? Seriously? Also, I want to see Slendy and the Rake fight each other. It would be badass. But whoever wins, we lose.

  22. Jeff Has Made You His New Target…What Are You To Do?

    Buy a gun and go down swinging.

  23. Song That Just Intensifies Your Creepypasta Experience?

    This. T^T No lies, when I first listened to that song, my computer's screen decided that was an appropriate moment to have the GUI glitch on me. I sat in the corner and cried for five minutes.

  24. Which Creepypasta Characters Could You See Being Best Friends?

    Oh boy. I can see Jeff and SmileDog getting along well. I can also see Masky and Hoody getting along well with other Proxies. It's like one big happy, scary, slender-enslaved family that steals your meds and watches you while you sleep.

  25. SmileDog or Grinny?

    SmileDog. Grinny's cute and I love cats, but no. Sorry. SmileDog was first. You wait your turn, you miserable little meowing bastard. And go read Pasta Monsters right the fuck now. Seriously, it's awesome.

  26. Which Creepypasta Should Be Made Into A Movie?

    Really, any Creepypasta that follows in the footsteps of things like "Psychosis" and "The Russian Sleep Experiment". I would also watch a film about the SCP Foundation in a heartbeat. It'd be like Ghostbusters but with more scary.

  27. What’s This? Someone Sent You An .AVI File? Wonder What It Is.

    NOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPE. *deletes* Not unless I know where it's from.

  28. You Shouldn’t Have Done That!

    Fuck off BEN I'm not talking to you.

  29. Something You Would Tell To Someone New To Creepypasta?

    Read all of it before bed. I promise it won't give you nightmares at all! *evil grin*

  30. Anything Else You Want To Say? If Not, Write Me A Short Creepypasta.

    There is still no damn reason to ship Slendy with humans or to ship Creepypasta beasts at all, really what the fuck is wrong with you people?

Weird Science/Watching The Woods: SlenderTrig!

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (4)

Hi there, and welcome to yet another installation of Weird Science, a series of blog entries here on Musings where I take a look at the fictional and apply scientific and mathematical fact to it. Today, I'm headed into the forest lovely, dark, and deep to tackle the trigonometry of the Slenderman. Care to join me, reader? Yes? Well, alright - just make sure you stay close! Stragglers never fare well in these woods, especially when it's night time and they're all alone...

Now, as my more loyal Muselings will recall, I love discussing mathematics and science. Now, usually that pertains to statistics and chemistry, but what some of you might not know is that I'm pretty good at trigonometry, too. I can judge angles by looking at them. I can solve for the sine of theta and the number of radians in any given degree with the best of them, and I fully believe that just about anything measurable can be solved with a little trig. So today, I'm going to apply that trig knowledge to a favorite horror fandom of mine, and specifically a scene in my short Slenderfic The Hunted. For those who haven't read it yet, this blog entry is spoiler-free, but does discuss the story's beginning. If you'd like to read The Hunted for context before you read this blog entry, you can do so by clicking right here, but no context is needed to understand what I'm doing here.

Let's start with the scene from the story in question - my protagonist, Jeremy, up in his hunting blind which is eight feet off the ground, looks out of it to see Slendy standing about 30 feet away from him. He is able to look the being in the eyes - or he would be able to, anyway, if Slendy had any eyes to look into. Jer, confused and more than a bit startled at the apparent height of the being, looks down at the ground at an angle of 17° from horizontal to double-check what he's seeing. The question is, can he estimate how tall Slendy really is by doing this?

Before we answer that question, let me give you guys a little right triangle trig review, since we'll basically be working with right triangles anyway:

The right triangle has three parts - an adjacent side (sometimes called b), an opposite side (sometimes called a), and a hypotenuse (sometimes called c). You can find one side if you have the other two by using the Pythagorean theorem, which states that a^2 + b^2 = c^2. That funky-looking little O with a line through it is the Greek letter Theta, and it denotes an angle that isn't a right angle. Hopefully, you remember that the square in the corner means a right angle (which measures 90°;), while the arc next to theta means any other angle. You can find the a missing side if you have only an angle and a side by taking the sine (opposite/hypotenuse), cosine (adjacent/hypotenuse), or tangent (opposite/adjacent) of the angle in question, depending on what side it is you want to find. You can find a missing angle by taking 180°, and subtracting the other two angles you do have from it.

Now onto the question at hand. Could Jeremy accurately measure Slendy's height with trigonometry based on what he observes around him? The answer is yes, of course - but how?

Well, let's look at what we know. First off, we know that Slenderman is going to be be making a right angle with both the ground and its line of sight to Jeremy, since it's standing 30 feet from Jeremy and is also standing straight up and down, as Slendermen are wont to do. Jeremy can also look down at an angle of 17° to see its feet. This makes a triangle with an unknown opposite side (Slendy's height), an adjacent side 30 ft long, and an unknown hypotenuse that makes an angle of 17° from Slendy's feet to Jeremy's position 30 feet away. We'll call this triangle the SlenderTriangle. Note that the SlenderTriangle is missing two sides, but we can fix that later.

As for Jeremy, his story's a bit different. We know that Jeremy's hunting blind makes a right angle with the ground, since the tree grows straight up, and we know he can look down at the ground at an angle of 17° when he's looking at something 30 feet away from him - in this case, Slendy's feet, or more likely, the foliage and trees obscuring its feet, since this is in a forest. This creates a triangle with an adjacent side of 30 feet and an opposite side of 8 feet, with an unknown hypotenuse between Jer and the ground that forms an unknown angle between Jeremy's position and the ground 30 feet away. We'll find this angle later - we can't definitively give the angle as 17°, because in the story Jer only says he can look Slendy in the non-face, not that Slendy is any specific height. That means the SlenderTriangle may not be a right one, depending on Slendy's actual height, but we'll assume it is one. As for Jer's Triangle, as we'll call it, we do know it's a right triangle and thus can apply right triangle trig rules to it. Notice that both our triangles need the same hypotenuse.

Since Jer's Triangle has two sides, we can use the Pythagorean Theorem to get the hypotenuse. Because the SlenderTriangle's not completely right, we can't do this trick with it. So, setting up the Theorem for Jer's Triangle, we get 30^2+8^2=c^2. After that it's a matter of simple number-crunching to get our hypotenuse, which turns out to be 31.04 feet. We now have all three sides of Jer's Triangle and two sides of the SlenderTriangle. We can now estimate how tall Slendy would be, both with the information we found and the information given.

Now, according to the very, very loose canon surrounding Slenderman and its Mythos, the entity in question can be anywhere from 6 to 12 feet in height at a given time, and can adjust its height at will. If we take a mean height of this range, we get 9 feet as the average height for our faceless friend, which is pretty accurate to how most people tend to depict it. So we're hopefully aiming for a height of 9 feet for the SlenderTriangle's opposite side, but a bit taller or shorter would also work, although hopefully not below 8 feet (too short for the blind's height) or above 10 feet (too tall for the blind's height).

Given that range to aim for, let's look at Slendy's height. Since we have an angle and two sides, we could use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve for the opposite side. We could also use the Law of Sines if we assume the triangle's not a right triangle, but that's a bit too convoluted. So, assuming the SlenderTriangle is a right one, we can simply adjust the equation to find sine a bit and get our answer. Currently, if we stuck all the numbers in, we'd get the following: sin(17°) = opposite/31.04. So to solve for the adjacent side, all we have to do is move our hypotenuse value over. That gives us an equation that looks like 31.04 * sin(17°) = opposite, and if we solve this equation, we sure enough get a value of 9.08 feet for the opposite side. That means Slendy is, in this scenario, standing just a bit over its average height of 9 feet. An intimidating height for it to stand at to be sure, and definitely reason for poor Jeremy to have pause when he looks out of his blind and sees it standing there!

This can also work the other way. If we wanted to give Slendy a mean height of 9 feet and measure the distance from it to Jeremy, we could take the Pythagorean Theorem and solve for the adjacent side of the SlenderTriangle, or we could multiply our hypotenuse by the cosine of our 17° angle. Either way, we'd get the same result - a 29.7-foot distance between Tall and Scary and our hapless hunter, Jeremy. This value is off by slightly less than a full foot, but it's still close enough to the 30-foot distance of Jer's Triangle to work for the proportions given. This is still assuming that the SlenderTriangle is a right one; if not and the adjacent side really is 30 feet, we'd need to use the Law of Sines to solve this - right triangle trig wouldn't work.

Now there's just one more question to solve, since I promised I would - what is the exact angle that occurs between Slendy's feet and the hypotenuse, since Jer could also look down at them to help him calculate his suit-wearing stalker's height? To solve this, we actually need to use the tangent formula, which is found, as you recall, by dividing the opposite side by the adjacent side. Actually, we could use any right triangle trig formula we wanted to find this angle, but using the tangent is easier since we could have done that calculation before we got the hypotenuse anyway. So, following that calculation, tan θ = 8/30, but we need the angle, not the actual tangent of said angle. That's where the inverse of tangent comes in, which here means that arctan(opposite/adjacent) = θ. Therefore, if we plug in our numbers and solve, we find that θ = 15°. Well, actually, it more accurately equals 14.9°, but the value's close enough that you could still call it 15° and be safe. However, if you were to use that angle in a calculation here, you'd probably want to play it safe and go with the more accurate value.

That's it for this installment of Weird Science. Hope you had a fun, safe trip through the forest, and - hey, did we lose a few back there? Oh... guess not. I can see them up in those trees over there. They look kind of dead, though, judging by the branches sticking through their torsos... what do you say we get out of here and leave well enough alone? I'd hate to lose any more valued readers...

My Beef With/Watching The Woods: People, I Am Very Disturbed...

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Warning: This entry contains discussion of sexual abuse and general squickiness. Because of the subject matter of this entry, it may also not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18. Please proceed with caution if you are underage or feel you might be triggered by this blog entry.

I have to preface this entry by saying this: I don't scare easily guys. I don't even get disturbed easily. Barring existential and common fears like the unknown and the idea of failing to do something important and being disregarded for it, I can count the number of things that scare me on one hand. These things are:

  1. Clowns, barring the Joker because he is awesome.
  2. Tunnels, especially if they are located in the woods.
  3. Darkly lit, claustrophobic bathrooms.
  4. Static, particularly if it's in a video. Especially when it's in a video.
  5. Wasps because they are nasty little fuckers that like to hover around your soda and sting you for no damn reason whatsoever.

There is very little in regards to my fandoms, both past and present, that truely terrifies me, people. Very, very little. I can accept a hell of a lot about my fandoms that most people would look at and sneer. I can accept that while it is incredibly wrong to ship Barbara Gordon with the Joker, it can and does happen. I can accept that there is Rule 34 out there of Achenar and Saavedro (I've even seen a relatively SFW picture of that pairing and it disturbed my little Saavedro-loving heart very, very deeply). I understand that some deeply disturbed and insane people think it's OMG HAWT! to ship Murtagh and Eragon or Violet and Klaus together, and there are even more insane and disturbed people out there that think shipping Bruce and his underage son Damian is an okay thing. I understand the appeal of shipping the Doctor and the Master together, or Jack Harkness and pretty much everyone in the cast (because Jack Harkness is made of Smexy and Awesome). I even understand doing a Lovecraftian horror story where your character ends up getting raped by an Eldritch abomination and becoming pregnant with its unearthly spawn; that theme is used quite a bit in Cthulhu Mythos tales.

But people, people, why on earth are you Slenderfans shipping the Slenderman and human characters together?

I just... why? I have to shake my head and wonder, because I truely do not understand the appeal of Slendershipping, as I will call it from now on. What is it about pairing Slendy with humans that gets you so damn hot and bothered that you need to write porn about it?

Guys, I don't know if you realize this, but Slendy is supposed to be scary. That's kind of integral to its appeal. I would say that most people get into the Slenderman Mythos out of a mix of curiosity, apprehension, and fascination with its central entity. I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't all three for some of you, it was at least one. Trust me, I am a statistics tutor. I think I can confidently say that at least 80% of the appeal behind the Slenderman is that it is terrifying. So, if Slendy is intended to be piss-yer-pants Nightmare Fuel, then why are there fics about it raping human beings? Where is it ever stated, in-universe or out of it, that Slendy is a rapist, pedo, perv, etc.? Because that's horrifying, it really is, but it's not horrifying in the right way for this Mythos. The horror of this Mythos should stem from the fear of something unknown and very persistantly patient stalking you, hunting you, the idea that you are prey and you don't even know what your stalker wants. The Slenderman represents, as I have theorized before, the fear of the unknown, and it does this so well that some people believe it's something that really exists (or might one day really exist through sheer belief in it, if the Tulpa Theory is to be believed). So then why are there rapefics about it? I know Rule 34 exists of everything. I understand that's a given. I would expect you guys to ship Tim and Masky, or the Rake and Slendy or whatever, because it's going to happen anyway. But people, you are shipping human beings with a non-human. You are writing bestiality fanfics without even realizing what you are doing, and that? That is just as disgusting in my opinion as shipping an underage character with an adult character is. That's as disturbing as shipping siblings together. And last I checked, bestiality was considered animal cruelty, which is illegal. You are writing fanfiction about something that is technically illegal in most places of the world.

So then what could possibly be the appeal behind Slendershipping? Well there is a pretty big fanbase for using the stalker angle as a fetish. Plenty of people have a stalker-with-a-crush fetish, but for the most part, people think that's creepy. It's really considered more of a horror trope, but I see the logic behind it even if it's not my thing. Now the bondage angle, that I can understand more readily, because there definitely is something very hot for plenty of people about someone being tied up and held hostage (in a kinky way). And of course, Slendy's tentacles/tendrils would make good tools to bind and immobilize things before a kill, which just makes it all even creepier should you see it with its tendrils out. So again, I do understand the logic there. And then there's the tentacle porn angle, which I also see the logic in but still think is a bit odd. And all of these things I could understand being appealing if you were talking about someone that is human, or at least is human enough to have the same sexual compatability with a human being (like a succubus or angel or something). But people, we are not just talking about a non-human here. We are talking about something that probably doesn't procreate anyway (seeing as there's only a single Slenderman) and that is definitely not supposed to be sexy in any way. The difference between Slendy and something like a demi-god being used as sex objects in fiction is that you're not necessarily supposed to fear a demi-god, and you actually are supposed to fear Slendy.

Again people, I understand if this is being used as a horror trope. It is very horrifying to be raped, especially by something that isn't human. Lovecraft used it as a theme in his works, although he never openly wrote about it, and even today the idea of eldritch spawn is still used in literature and film to freak people out. For a relatively recent example, Let's look at the film Alien. Think about what the Xenomorphs, the titular aliens, look like and how they procreate. That film is pretty much nothing but one big horrific rape allegory. In an even more recent example, the film Splice has a lab-created genetic mish-mash creature that is trying to kill the female protagonist so she can rape the male protagonist and carry on her lineage (paging Dr. Sigmund Freud, you are needed in the front lobby...). The idea that you might end up being the victim of sexual abuse is terrifying enough, but then you have something... other doing it, or something awful and hideous and wrong and inhuman, and it just becomes so, so much worse. I can understand the idea of writing a horror story where your protagonist ends up being captured and raped by the Slenderman if it's intended to be terrifying.

But people aren't writing this with the intent to scare, and that's where I start to have a problem and feel very, very squicked out. People are writing this kind of stuff with the intent to titillate, and that in my own personal opinion is just disturbing, weird, and kinda sick. I feel the same way about any fic in any fandom where rape is used as a way to get cheap titillation instead of to provide horror. I've ranted more than enough on this blog about rape being used in pairings involving the Joker, and it's just as wrong to me in any other fandom. So why would I ever feel it's okay here, just because the antagonist is not a human being? I'd feel the same way about a Marble Hornets fic where, I dunno, Alex raped Jay or something. Rape's not supposed to be sexy. Ravishment fantasies are. And the two are not the same thing.

Thing is, folks, I can accept a hell of a lot of things with this fandom and I don't really care if you wanna slash-ship characters, but come on. Shipping humans with the Slenderman is just weird. I know the internet has seen enough hentai to know where Slendy having tendrils is going, but no. Just no. Why would something that's clearly not human want to engage in "activities" with human beings anyway? The bottom line is this: this fandom has enough horror and disturbing moments without adding SlenderRape to the list, and Slendy's intended to be Paranoia-Something-Is-Stalking-Me Creepy, not Pervy Creepy. This is not a Lovecraftian horror fic set in Dunwich, for God's sake. We do not need SlenderHuman hybrids and freaky tentacle rape scenes. I know you think we do. But we don't. I promise you, we really don't. I'm not gonna stop you from writing this stuff, because I really can't, but if you are considering writing a fic like this, stop and think about it. Just really think about what the Slenderman Mythos is supposed to be as a whole. I know the canon's nebulous, I know the antagonist doesn't have a clearly defined motive (which, in turn, has become a character trait almost), but does it even make any sense for it to be a rapist? Does making it a pedo even sound like something that's okay to write? Would you really want a younger Slenderfan finding this stuff and reading it? Is it really in any way sexually appealing when you look at your idea and then compare it to all of the collective story-telling and legends surrounding this entity?

What I'm trying to say is this - the Slenderman has been around online for about four years now, and it has already been defined as something that views human beings as prey to stalk and capture. It's been around long enough to develop a character, and its character is defined as something inhuman, malevolent, and more interested in causing dread than anything else. It's good to experiment with this character, and it's a lot of fun to see what new things you can add to it to make it even more frightening. But some things just don't mix well with certain established character traits, and some things will just never be a very PC thing to write about. Rape is one of them, and in regards to this fandom and indeed any fandom, it needs to be a subject treated with caution. I took the utmost precautions in my Jokerfic The Telephone Game, in which rape was a plot point, and even then I still got bashing, flaming, complaints, and blatant crude allegations made about what my sexual interests were based on what had happened in the story. When you write a rape scene as being erotic, it's like a slap in the face to people who have been sexually abused, and that is not an okay thing. Please, you have to warn people before they click on a link for a story you write if there is rape in the story - or better yet, just stop writing rape as erotic and use it for what it was intended to be: a horrible fate worse than death that nobody, human or not, should have to endure.

The Hunter Is Now... The Hunted.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello everyone! :3 Super happy tonight, because I have a special little surprise for you... my return to horror and first foray into new fandom territory has just been posted under the Fanfiction Section, in the new Slenderman Mythos/Creepypasta section. And so, dear reader, I humbly present to you my first Slenderfic, which I have entitled "The Hunted".

This story, written in a journal-like format, is just a bit different from your garden-variety Slenderstory. In this tale, poor Jeremy Anderson, a bow hunter, ends up being chased by a certain tall and faceless being after an ill-fated hunting trip. After one too many close encounters with the being, Jeremy starts running away... and never stops. Sick and tired of having to hide like an animal from the creature stalking him, he is willing to take any possible way out that he can find... even an unlikely, ill-advised one. There's a consequence for everything, and it's very easy for the hunter to become the hunted...

The story is rated T, mostly for language and scary moments (of course, otherwise it wouldn't be a very good Slenderfic, would it?), but there is some violence in there too. I wouldn't really recommend this fic for kids based on the profanity and creepy parts, but I'm not responsible for any nightmares you younger readers have because of this tale. Now, it's past your bed time, young reader. Get to bed or else the Slenderman will come and eat you alive. >:3

For those interested in reading, the fic is located below. Pleasant nightmares, and about that window of yours, sitting innocently nearby? I wouldn't look outside if I were you...

(X) Click Me For Creepiness! (X)

Update Teim Is Nao, Yes? :3

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (5)

Okay, so good news for those poetry fans in the audience, because I've finally gotten the time to update both of my poetry sections (original and fanfic) to include some new poems. About, oh, fifteen of them. XD Thirteen new, original poems have been put under the Poetry section, and the Fanpoetry section now has a new category for poetry with two brand spanking new fandom poems for you to read. Up for some Doctor Who poetry? Allonz-y! :3

As for the fanfic side of things, anyone notice anything new in the Batman category under the Fanfiction section? That's right - I have a new short vignette called Awaken up for your reading pleasure, and if you haven't read it, you really should. Please? It would make me all warm and fuzzy inside if you did. ^w^

In more recent news, I have recently re-found my once AWOL horror muse in a rather interesting place - Creepypasta! Specifically, in Marble Hornets and the Slenderman Mythos proper. Hello, Terror, I missed you badly and Sleep was getting in my way anyhow. So yes, after a very, very, very long and painful absence, Slendy came along and finally tentacle-bitch-slapped my latent horror writer upside the head. Thank you, Slendy. This means that I have, oh, about two new Slenderman Mythos stories on the way - they're actually all written up and edited, and will be typed and ready to publish shortly. I'd love to say that I'm going to get both stories up by the end of October, but with my schedule as busy as it is I don't know when I'll have time to begin typing the final draft. What I will say about them right now is this:

  1. While both of the stories are in the same Mythos, neither story is within the universe of any Slenderblog/vlog, Slenderfic, or Slenderfilm that currently exists. Neither story exists in the universe of the indie game Slender either, but I suppose my Slendy could be the same Slendy as in that game.
  2. Neither of the stories have the same exact interpretation of the main antagonist, but both have little twists and interpretations from what I've come to see as my version of what Slendy is.
  3. One of the stories plays the tropes, legends, and abilities surrounding Slendy scarily straight, and covers if it's indeed possible to kill him. It's even written in a journal-like format.
  4. The other story is much less mainstream as far as Slenderstories go, and is taken from Slendy's POV rather than from a human character's.

All of my Slenderfic from now on (assuming I write more) will go under the Fanfiction Section here, but will be posted on FictionPress. This is because the only place to put Slenderfic on FFN is under the Marble Hornets category, despite there being like umpteen bajillion other Slenderman Mythos web series, not to mention all the hundreds of blogs out there. Another reason it's all going to be on FictionPress is because I'll get a wider, and hopefully more mature audience out there than I would on FFN. Not that you MH fans are immature, but when almost all of the M-rated Slendy fics in that section are porn, I just know that any Slenderfics I rate M for stronger themes will get buried by piles of Masky/Hoody slash and Slendy/Tim Lemonfic, and if you think I'm going to deal with that, no. Just. No. No. That, and neither story has anything to do with Marble Hornets anyway, so I'd just feel really iffy about putting my fics there. So yeah - from now on, any Slenderfic or Creepypasta fic I write will be published over on FictionPress, but will go under the Fanfiction category, since it's technically a fandom anyway. There's even a wiki for this stuff, people. A goddamned wiki.

Now, don't worry, Bat-fans, this doesn't mean I'm abandoning Jokerfic for Slenderfic. I will write both. I promise I won't leave anyone high and dry in regards to the Bat-fandom - hell, I still have, what, like five story ideas I want to write, some of which have been waiting for years to get done. And you know me - I never let a good idea go to waste. Just because I'm a bit hyped up with my newfound fandom doesn't mean I'm going to let go of the Joker. How could I? He's just so much fun to love to hate, and with a character like him, the possibilities really are endless. Expect some new Jokerfic from me sometime within the next year - again, I'd love to say "the next few months", but I just can't guarantee I'll even have time to type up anything I write. I have plenty of time between classes to write this stuff, it's just that I need to find time to edit and type it in order to get the final product to you guys. I really do appreciate how patient you're being with me, and I promise - I will more than make it up to you guys. :3

In other news, I keep using the :3 emote a lot. Why do I keep using the :3 emote a lot? What purpose does the emote :3 even serve? Human faces can't even go like :3. So maybe I should stop using it.



Damn it!

Always Have Hash Browns: Four Lessons Learned From Working in Fast Food

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Note: You may notice I'm being much less snarky in this blog entry than normal, and that this entry contains no profanity. This is for a very, very good reason - because this entry talks about a workplace of mine that has a very strict approach about saying anything bad about the company that runs it, let alone anyone working there. If I say anything objectionable in this entry, it could well cost me my job, and I don't want that. Therefore, any and all names, including that of the restaraunt in question, have been left unknown, all events have been described in a more positive spin, and there is no discussion concerning anything personal about any employee at that workplace. That should allow me to honestly talk about this in peace without getting in trouble for it.


So yeah, I haven't been writing blogs as much because of school, but I also happen to have two jobs now. The first is obviously my tutoring job, and during Tutor Training this semester, all the tutors (new and returning) got certified by CRLA (the College Reading and Learning Association) at Level 1. Yup, I'm actually a certified, for realsies, internationally recognized tutor now! Ignorance of statistical concepts shall not escape my sight!  Those needing my assistance in these areas no longer need fear the villainous F on their exams, for I shall swing in like some kind of math-themed Batman and save them from their despair. I shall call myself... The Standard Deviant. Fear my normally distributed data! Fear it.

... So, as I was saying before I had a daydream moment...

I currently have two jobs. The first is the tutoring position, but just this month I began working at a fast food joint and have been there about five weeks as of writing this blog entry. So far, it's a pretty sweet deal - the fast pace is just about perfect for someone like me, who needs a little bit of a push lest I become placid and lazy, and I get a free meal for every shift I work. For the most part, I like my coworkers and managers a lot, and haven't really had any sort of beef with any of them. When I do get stressed, the managers are incredibly nice to me and very understanding, which is really helpful when I do start to get overwhelmed. So basically, not a bad job for me overall; I come to work happy most days and I leave with a full belly at the end. Really not much downside, except for the occasional rude customer.

And actually, that job has taught me some very important things about life.

Now, before you guys click that back arrow thinking this is some Chicken Soup for the Soul glurgy nonsense, trust me when I say it's not. Really, it's not. This is stuff I honestly feel like this job has taught me about life, managing my stress, and dealing with human beings like, well, an actual human being should. This is me being fully honest with you guys. I've come a long way from when I started this site back in 2009, and now that I'm 21 I've been reflecting back on my life a lot. I'm a different person now than I was then, and it's really been interesting to see where I learned the lessons that made me who I am today.

So anyway, here are some lessons I learned on the job that I feel will serve me well in the future, and why I think they could serve you guys well, too.

  • Lesson One: Always Have Hash Browns/French Fries. Okay, so for those of you who have never worked a fast food job before (all three of you), one of the very first things you're trained on, besides cleaning, is how to make french fries (and hash browns, if you work a morning shift). Now, french fries are popular, and they are popular for a very good reason - they taste like Manna from Heaven. The vast majority of Americans love french fries, and many Americans turn to fast food frequently for their fry fix. As a result, I have often found myself working the fry station, preparing these fried, salted potato strands. And there is where a new person gets in a lot of trouble, very fast - if you're working fries, and you're working during the busy period (or even during a sudden spike in customer traffic), you will be absolutely doomed if you do not have several baskets of fries in the oil at once. Why? Because meal runners and drive-thru people are always taking the fries you make up, and if you don't have any more fries prepared to go into the bin, you'll never get caught up. I've had this happen more than a few times, and chances are if you've ever worked fast food you've had it happen a few times, too. And it's just not a good feeling when you're behind with no way to get ahead. So you always have to come prepared. It's like that in fast food, and it's like that in life, too - if you don't have what you need prepared beforehand, it's just like not having enough fry baskets down in that oil. If you're not prepared for a big hit, you will never get ahead, and that is going to cause you undue stress in the future. It's not being prepared for a big hit that gets people into the most trouble - financially, in the workplace, in school, whatever the case. If you aren't prepared for class, your grades will suffer. If you aren't prepared for an emergency that needs money, you're in especially big trouble. And if you don't have enough fries or hash browns ready before the big breakfast/lunch rush hits, you are going to be one sad little puppy. So always have fries down, because otherwise, your life will be filled with way more stress than anyone should have to deal with, and what's worse is it'll be your own fault.

  • Lesson Two: It's Hard To Stay Angry At Someone Who Is Sincere. So, I'll assume that everyone reading this has eaten at a fast food place before and has probably been through a drive-thru. I will also assume that on occasion, you may have gone for fast food during a very busy period, like lunch or dinner, and someone had to be pulled aside, out of the drive-thru lane, in order to get their food prepared, either because the food isn't ready yet, because your order is huge, or because they've just got so many orders coming in that yours is taking time away from other people being served. If it wasn't you being pulled aside, then it was somebody else, and chances are that somebody probably wasn't too happy about having to wait for their order, especially if they're on the go. Now normally, some crew member (like myself) will end up running the order out to the car when it's ready. Let me tell you, I thrive for these moments even though there's a chance that I could be yelled at by an angry customer (and trust me, that has happened to me at least once), because it gives me a nice change of pace from just taking orders or just doing french fries. Plus, it also gives me an opportunity to genuinely show that, yes, as an employee I don't just think you're some random person that provides my business with money so I can get a paycheck every other week - I know what it's like to be frustrated. I know what it's like to have to wait on things when we're busy. That's why I personally make it a huge point to apologize for the wait before I say anything else to the customer, because I sincerely am sorry that I or someone else had to make you wait when you just wanna get your food and go on with your life. It doesn't matter if the customer wasn't waiting for that long. It doesn't matter if the customer was just pulled. I always apologize first. I do that before anything else because if you're sincere when you apologize, or even just being a nice person, it is very, very hard for someone to yell at you for something that wasn't your fault. Nine times out of ten, if I bring an order out to someone who has been waiting for several minutes and I apologize first, the customer always says something to the effect of "That's okay" and is a lot nicer to me. Let me tell you a secret - this works outside of the workplace, too. It's very, very hard to stay angry at someone who is sincerely sorry about a mistake they made, or some inconvenience to you. It's also really hard to stay angry at someone who is being nice to you even if you're being a jerk back. And nine times out of ten, I find that most people will instantly change their attitude and even have a better day if you approach them with a demeanor that indicates you mean well, but happened to make a mistake, and you're really sorry that happened, can I do anything to help you? So, try being nice today, a little bit more than you normally are. You might be surprised at how many people seem more willing to forgive your shortcomings, to compromise, and to be nice back. Plus, being nice makes you feel better, too. What possible downside is there to being in a good mood?

  • Lesson Three: There Will Always Be Angry Jerks. We all knew this one was coming. Some people are just jerks to other people. These types of people exist in the world. They are a thing, and that's unfortunate, because just about everyone around them finds them very unpleasant to deal with. For example, there was one customer that came in one morning on my shift who had ordered two breakfast bagels for breakfast along with drinks an ice cream cone. Now, the customer had ordered this right before the breakfast-to-lunch shiftover, and by the time I got the order in, it was officially lunch, so the grill was changing over, and this poor customer ended up having to wait on the bagels while the grill scrambled to get the steak and onion mix for the sandwiches down, despite it being lunch. Massive apologies and free meal tickets were given to the customer from manager and crew member alike, but said customer was still obviously upset, and had every right to be, even though it was technically not the fault of anyone on front counter (including myself). So I, trying to be helpful, go to get the order's vanilla ice cream cone to give to the customer, thinking that the customer might like to at least have that while they waited. The customer saw me offering the cone and just exploded. I have never heard anyone get that upset over having dessert before breakfast. The customer outright refused to take the cone and proceeded to complain about how I apparently didn't know that it was "common sense" to serve food before a dessert. I of course am aware that most of people eat food before dessert, not the other way around, and was rather hurt that this random stranger would chew me out over something as unimportant as an ice cream cone being served off first. All I was trying to do was be helpful and do my job, and I had been yelled at for that. One wasted vanilla cone and two sandwiches (finally) coming out later, the customer did come back and apologize, but by then the damage had been done and I was still somewhat frustrated. Of course the apology helped and I'm glad this customer did apologize; my job isn't as easy as it looks and I hate being treated like crap for stupid little things. This isn't the only example either, I've had customers come in and look at me like I'm just some dumb kid working at a fast food joint instead of a human being trying to do her job, and that really hurts. But you know what? I can't change those people. All I can hope is that they will eventually realize what jerks they're being and how they're treating people that they feel are "beneath them", and someday feel bad enough about it to change. Until then, my job is to be a nice person back, because that usually stops them in their tracks. It's pretty hard to be mean to someone who's being nice to you, far nicer than they probably should be given your behavior. This even works with angry people outside of work - like I said above, it's hard to be mean to someone who is nice and genuinely means it. If being nice doesn't work, then just let it go - it's not your fault that person is being a jerk, it's theirs, and someday they'll have to own up to that behavior. In the meantime, it's best not to let yourself get sucked into the cycle of jerky behavior. Just like violence never solves anything, being a jerk to a jerk only creates more rudeness and negativity, it doesn't solve a single thing. So be nice! :3

  • Lesson Four: If You See Something That Needs Fixing Or Help, Do It Yourself. Guys, I love fish sandwiches. They are delicious little things that I believe should be made the national sandwich of America. Forget burgers. Forget chicken and keep your burgers - the humble fish sandwich, with tartar sauce, cheese, and a simple bun, is fast food perfection. God bless its tasty soul. Now, you all should know by now that all fast food places have fry vats, usually placed close to both the front counter and the drive-thru window, because both areas need to handle fries. But there's also a little small vat off to the further side of those vats, one with slender wire baskets that are divided in half. These baskets are used for certain sandwich meats that need to be fried, such as patties for chicken sandwiches and fish filets. More often than not, when I am doing fries, someone needs some fish filets dropped into the oil to cook, and more often than not, people are able to drop some filets in the basket, but are too busy running around or being at their stations to get them back out when the need arises. Now, what do you think would happen if nobody took those filets out when the timer went off? Of course, the beeping would be obnoxious and the filets would burn, but it'd also be a waste of food because of the burned fish, a waste of effort because they'd have to be tossed, and a waste of time because more would need to be put down. It's that last part that's most important in regards to fast food, because if you waste time, you end up getting behind, and that is very, very bad. So whenever I work fries, I usually make a note to myself mentally when fish filets, chicken patties, or nuggets get dropped, so when they're done I can pull them and either hand them off to assembly or at least say something about it. Nobody else can do it, they're all extremely busy. That means it's up to me to take the initiative and pull those filets, because if I don't help out, then food preparation lags and grinds to a halt. And you know what? Most of the time, when I notice little things and fix them, people thank me much later for it. See, the thing is this - small problems like to become big problems later. And people like a little extra help when they're stressed or busy so that those small things don't get too big to handle. People can't do everything at once all the time, even if their work demands it. Even the most experienced person might need help at some point. And if you show up and fix a small thing? That's one less thing they have to worry about. So, the next time you see something that isn't getting done but needs to, take the initiative - do it yourself and let others know it got done so they have one less thing to worry about. Not only is it good to do that in a business, it's a good practice to get into socially. Trust me - the next time you notice that someone's made a tiny math flaw when they're budgeting, or the next time you see someone struggling with a heavy package, and you fix it? That person will be very grateful, and both their lives and your mood will be a lot better for it.

My Beef With: My Five Nerdy Pet Peeves

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey you, yeah you behind the computer screen! Nerd! >8D Oh well, at least you're not a freak, like I am...

Ah, self-deprication. How I did miss thee.

As all of my long-time readers should know by now, I'm a nerd. A pretty damn big nerd. I adore Batman and Doctor Who, I read and loved Harry Potter, I generally get pretty good grades, I'm abit of a Grammar Nazi, I love to learn about stuff, I write fanfic, I play Pokemon and am pretty in-touch with what new video games are coming out for modern consoles, I'm a Chemistry Tech major, I'm so comfortable with the internet that it's like I have a second life online, I have a blog, and I love Statistics. I am also a weirdo - I read Creepypasta and then go to sleep without any trouble whatsoever, I think bats and snakes are cute, I actually really like spiders, I write horror stories, and I am a huge Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft fan. If you're new to Musings, first of all, welcome, and second of all, I'm sorry you had to find out from this entry that I'm a freak (If it helps, I am also a bitch, a lover, a child, a mother, a sinner, and a saint; I do not feel ashamed). But really, I just tend to think of myself as having some very myriad, nerdy interests.

So it should come as no shock to any of you that I also have some serious nerdy pet peeves. Those little things about my fandoms and interests that just stick in my craw and never seem to be things that I can get over, no matter what I do. Being a nerd's in my blood, along with being snarky and a little bit of ethanol on any given night when I'm not working - and there's just some things, because of that, that I cannot let go of. I'll normally let them pass if it's a joke, or if someone's being a troll on purpose. I'll also normally let them pass if it's an honest mistake. But when I keep coming across these little annoyances, then something begins to ever so slightly fray in Sugary's silly little brain, something that really makes me want to grow claws and fangs and bite your head off.

Usually, these annoyances are caused by severe stupidity or ignorance of the fandom from which they come, and if it's one thing I can't stand, it's stupid for the sake of being stupid. Usually these annoyances come from fandom newcomers as well - and when people are new, I do try to be nice. We were all noobs of our respective fandoms once; we can all be forgiven for little sins like thinking that the Joker was played best by Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger (false, the correct answer is Mark Hamill), or foolishly believing David Tennant to be anything other than the best Doctor of all time. But not knowing a character's name when you get into a fandom, or doing dumb things just because you feel bad that someone doesn't like your fandom? Bitch, please. And if you commit any of the five grievous annoyances below? Lord have mercy upon your soul, foolish mortal, for your actions were bad and you should feel bad. In no particular order, here are my five biggest nerdy pet peeves. Granted, the aren't all nerdy, but they all do revolve around fandom of something, so there you go. My logic is superior. You know it to be true.

  • Grievance the First: Calling the Doctor anything other than "The Doctor". Look. I understand. I was a new Whovian once. I used to think his name was literally "Doctor Who" too, simply because the show was called that. But it's not. Really. It's not. His name isn't "Dr." either. His name is "The Doctor". Do you know why his name is "The Doctor"? Because while he's running around in a big blue time-travelling phone box with whatever human he felt like kidnapping this regeneration, he also fixes shit. Because inevitably, without someone to fix it, 95% of everything will turn to shit. Everything that can go wrong, will. In fact, Doctor Who might as well as be renamed to Murphy's Law: The TV Series, because no matter what, even when the Doctor shows up to fix things, shit goes down. And it rarely goes down in his favor, or in the favor of humanity or whatever alien race of the week he needs to save. Certainly didn't go down well for Amy Pond, who was held captive and pregnant on board a spaceship while some freak with an eyepatch waited for her to give birth so she could take the baby from her and train said baby to become a merciless assassin. Certainly never goes down well for half the humans touched by the events, and what about Dalek Carmen from this season? She freaking got blown up on a planet for crazy-ass Daleks after finding out she'd been a Dalek all along! And shit never, ever goes well for poor Rory, who got sucked back in time by a time rift, ended up a Roman soldier, sat around hundreds of years waiting for Amy to get out of a box meant to be the Doctor's prison, has died or nearly died many times, recently ended up being divorced from and kicked out by Amy, and that's just the tip of the iceberg of shit the poor guy's been subjected to over Matt Smith's run as the Doctor. Also, the Doctor himself - dude lost his whole species. Dude is the last Time Lord alive, and his nemesis went nuts because the Time Lords were pretty much jerks. Dude is still extremely hurt and hateful of himself despite what he's tried to do to get over some of that trauma. So the least you could freaking do, you ungrateful newbie, is call him by his proper name. Which is "The Doctor". In fact, "I'm the Doctor!" "Doctor who?" is a running gag in the show, purposefully making fun of both the fact that we don't know his true Time Lord name, and making fun of the idiots who keep calling him "Doctor Who". And no, it is not acceptable to abbreviate "Doctor" because he does not have an actual Doctorate. My Organic Chemistry professor, Dr. B, DOES have a Doctorate. In Chemistry. The Doctor, to my knowledge, does not, unless he obtained one sometime within the original series' first 8 regenerations. So stop doing this. It's so simple, and yet it keeps happening. And it makes me want to send armies of Daleks to your house by air mail because of it. You look like an ignorant American newbie fan when you do this, and you're making Matt Smith cry. :c

  • Grievance the Second: Calling Slenderman "Slender". Okay. Let me make this as simple as I possibly can for you morons. There is no creepypasta being that lives in the woods and kidnaps children named "Slender". There has never been any webshow, blog, or internet series about any scary, teens-with-cameras-stalking being named "Slender". There are no stories about any being named "Slender", and there will never be any stories about any being named "Slender". There is, however, an internet-created entity called Slenderman, and there have been stories, webshows, blogs, etc. about it. There is also an indie horror game called Slender, about a young woman running around the woods at night collecting pages while running from a tall, slender, faceless being. A being named Slenderman, not "Slender". The entity was never called "Slender" in any stories about it. It has been called the Operator, Mr. Thin, Tall Faceless and Spooky, Slendy, etc. I even saw a fanfic where the child protagonist called it Mr. Fancy (because it is fancy, that is, it looks like it's wearing a suit). You can call it freaking Fluffy the Terrible for all I care, but its name is not "Slender", and its name has never been "Slender". The only reason people keep calling it "Slender" is because of the video game of the same name, and because said video game became very popular, because the Slenderman Mythos is very popular. I get it. I understand if you're newer to the Mythos. I got into Slenderman and other Creepypastas through a potent combination of taking a wikiwalk through The Creepypasta Wiki and playing the game Slender. I understand being new and making this mistake. But continuing to call it "Slender" as a fandom nickname even after you know the being's real, canon name is stupidity on top of stupidity. Let's put it this way - the first time you film yourself walking through the woods and you see Slendy just standing there (... menacingly...!), you can certainly be forgiven for trying to get closer to get a better look. But the second time you see it (assuming you lived the first time), you would be a freaking moron to not stop what you're doing and run the other direction. In this scenario, you are the moron with the camera, and I am Slendy. And I have my tendrils out because I am extremely, extremely fucking pissed that you keep calling me "Slender" (Aaaaand Metaphorgotten...). Go watch some fucking Marble Hornets and learn the name of the central monster of your damn fandom, and don't come back until you've watched every single entry. It's only one more syllable. One more word. It can't be that freaking hard to append the word "man" on the end of the creature's name.

  • Grievance the Third: Writing the Joker as being redeemable. No. Just. Fucking. NO. I have ranted on this topic far more than is probably healthy, and yet it still annoys the shit out of me. The Joker is a great many, many things - a lunatic, a killer, a freak, a monster, hilarious, terrifying, etc. What he is not is redeemable or otherwise able to be saved. He doesn't want to be saved, because he's having just so much fun being evil. He does not beat and abuse Harley because he "loves" her. He does it because he thinks she's a worthless minion that, every so often, is a fun bedroom toy. He does not torture people because he is secretly a tortured soul. He does it because he thinks torture is fun and death is a joke. He does not fight Batman because Batman started it first. He fights Batman because he is taunting him, and because he actively enjoys messing with Bats' head. The Joker is a sadist. He's such a monster and he so much enjoys being one that Arkham Asylum, a place for the criminally insane, could not get him to stop. Hell, they can't even keep him inside of its walls half the time. He is not a soft-serve ice cream cone. He is a sick, twisted, scary motherfucker that would just as soon stalk you or torment you as kill you. Would you like to know what the Joker would really do to your precious self-insert OC, fangirls? >:3 He would hide under your bed and wait for you to go to sleep just so he could wake you up, kidnap you in the middle of the night, tie you to a chair, and drip acid into every possible orifice that acid could get into. He would make you watch your family suffer terribly at his hands and taunt you the whole time he did it. He would then try to make you crack under severe mental pain, maybe use you as bait for Batman or force you to make a sadistic choice. Everything the Joker does is meant to cause as much chaos and misery as possible, while making such madness seem like a horribly unfunny joke. If he can get you to laugh at the schadenfreude, he's happy - and then he will shoot you between the eyes, which will make him even happier. He manipulates and controls people because it amuses him. None of these qualities make for someone who is redeemable via love or any other method, and they never will. This stands true regardless of what flavor he's in - Ledger, Nicholson, Hamill, Comic, none of those are redeemable in any way, shape, or form whatsoever. The last time the Joker was anything resembling maybe, kinda, sort of harmless was in the Silver Age, and the time after that was when Cesar Romero was playing his purple-suited ass. YOU CANNOT REDEEM THE JOKER BECAUSE HE IS IRREDEEMABLE BY DEFAULT. Get this stupid ass idea the hell out of your tiny, tiny little minds, and fling it far away into the nearest fiery pit you can find. Hell is best for this of course, but the deepest depths of Mordor will do just fine.

  • Grievance the Fourth: Wanton cruelty to the common apostrophe. This is sadly far, far, far too common in fanfiction and other spots. People, some words have more than one similar-sounding word associated with them. For example, you can have "your", and you can have "you're". They imply different things - the first indicates something you have or are denoting as yours, and the second is a contracted form of "you are" - that is, it describes what's going on with you. These two words are not interchangable, and thinking they are is an elementary-level mistake commonly made by third-graders until they know better. So, assuming that everyone who writes fanfiction made it through elementary and middle school, why do so many people make this fucking mistake? In middle school, okay - nobody is smart in middle school. But High school? College? A freaking workplace?! That's stupidity at its finest. It's not even ignorance - ignorance implies that you don't know what you're doing wrong, and I would hope you would know if you're doing something wrong, because I need to cling to my fragile, naive belief that not all humans are complete morons. You should know by the time you're in your senior year of high school that you use an apostrophe only to indicate a contraction of a word - like "it's" for "it is" or "they're" for "they are". You would not use "its" or "there/their" to indicate these contractions because that is not correct english, which you need to function in everyday life in an English-speaking country. I can forgive this if you are very young, or if you're not a native English-speaker. It happens. I know Spanish, and I still make stupid Spanish errors that make real Spanish-speakers cringe/giggle because I am not a native speaker, and never will be. I was born in America, not a Spanish-speaking country like Venezuela. I can even forgive it if it's a small mistake that happens only once or twice in the story - we all make typos, and that's what Spellgrammarchecking is for. Your favorite word processor should have this feature pre-installed, and if it doesn't you should find one that does. Even Excel, a spreadsheet program for crunching data, has a spellchecker for the idiots out there who can't spell "Sales Tax". Look, I'm not saying you have to speak the Queen's English or even write in it all the time. But dammit, if you're writing a story, then yes, you do need to use proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Why? Because it looks sloppy if you don't and you're giving us other fanfic authors a bad name. People already think that all we write are OC Mary Sue crapfics 24/7. Why give them more ammo by proving their stereotype that fanfic authors are all young females in high school that can't spell? This isn't an error your spellchecker will catch either - you have to be vigilant with this, because it's making us look terrible, and it's pissing me off. If you can't use the proper homophone when you're writing something, you do it constantly, and you think this is okay, then you are a moron. Your fic is bad, and you should feel bad.

  • Grievance the Fifth: Fights between Bronies and Anti-Bronies. Shut. The fuck. Up. Please. I can promise you that the majority of the world, and probably the majority of the internet, does not care if you are a Brony or not. I can also promise you that nobody in the entire world on the entirety of the internet thinks you picking on a Brony is interesting. Not a single person outside of the Brony fandom cares if you like Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, or Fluttershy better. Not a single person inside of the Brony fandom cares if you think the idea of grown men watching a show about ponies is "gay". Nobody in general thinks your fighting is cool, funny, or enjoyable. You want to know how I know this? Because I am in the majority camp, which has a big ol' banner above it that says "We Do Not Care Either Way About My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic". Yes, it is a thing. Is it cute? Sure. Is it nice to see people taking a children's show about love, tolerance, friendship, and acceptance to heart? Yes, especially so on the internet, where everyone is an asshat. I am not a Brony, and I'm not an Anti-Brony, either. I am, however, interested in internet memes, and I am extremely fucking sick and tired of trying to watch a video about the Brony meme or otherwise see someone bring up Bronies, and then seeing a big-ass fight start in the comments below the video. Shut the fuck up and go away. It's clear you just want attention. Look, Bronies - I think it's commendable that you're sticking up for your fandom, but Anti-Bronies are picking on you because they are sick and tired of some of your behavior. Perhaps it's time to modify said behavior so people won't think you're so obnoxious. That is why Anti-Bronies exist - they think you're obnoxious. Similarly, Anti-Bronies, I get it, really - I hate obnoxious people too, and I also have my moments where trolling is just too fun an idea to pass up. But it's getting old. You're beginning to look just as annoying as the people you mock. The whole Brony vs. Anti-Brony thing is essentially just like the Christian vs. Atheist thing, or the Republican vs. Democrat thing - it's infighting, on the internet, in a comment section somewhere. The difference? It's far, far, far more stupid than either the religious or political flamewar flavors. People, you are arguing over a difference of opinion on a cartoon intended for little girls. Bronies, it's time to stop pretending you are the target demographic of this show when you never were and never truly will be. Anti-Bronies, it's time for you to wake up and realize how stupid you sound arguing against people liking a cartoon just because you don't like the idea that someone outside the target range likes it. Now can we please, for the love of God, just stop the arguing and flaming over My Little Fucking Pony? Please?

Weird Science - Pikachu Used 'Roid Rage!: The Chemistry of Vitamins in Pokemon

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Guys, I am a serious nerd, and if you've read this blog for any length of time you're very likely aware of this. You should also be aware, my dear and dedicated Muselings (that is the technical term for those Internet users who read my humble little blog, a term invented as of five seconds ago), that two of my great loves on this site are Chemistry and Pokemon. Now, I've discussed Pokemon on this blog before, although that discussion concerned anti-Pokemon and anti-Pokefan sentiments regarding such biased and ignorant reasoning as "there was a symbol that looks sort of like a swastika on the card Koga's Ninja Trick, therefore Pokemon supports Nazi ideals" and "Pokemon are revived when they have fainted, so they must be demons that can be brought back from the dead! Clearly Pokemon supports Satanism - never mind that said belief was only the opinion of a few extremist Evangelical pastors and was never actually supported by any sort of Biblical or Scientific fact". I've made it pretty clear, I think, that I love Pokemon despite its flaws (WTF, you fight little creatures you capture until either it or its opponent faint, and then you get money for it - I'm sorry, that's an awful lot like dog-fighting, and the only reason I find this premise acceptable is because the games and the anime/manga both make it clear that a trainer should raise their Pokemon with love and care outside of battle), and would be one of the first people to defend it should someone object.

Because I'm a dedicated Pokefan, one site that's a constant companion to me is Bulbapedia, a Wiki for everything Pokemon. Recently, I had restarted Pokemon Crystal version and was looking up how best to carefully raise a Level 20 Eevee so it can evolve into Umbreon by quickly raising its Happiness without leveling it up too much and losing some of the precious Dark-Type moves Umbreon can learn. Happiness is basically a measure of how strongly your Pokemon has bonded with you, and some Pokemon only evolve into their next form if they are very happy with you as a trainer. Umbreon and its Psychic-type sibling Espeon are two of the many Pokemon obtained by raising a Pokemon's happiness (in this case Eevee) to or close to its maximum level (Evolution of happy Pokemon begins at a Happiness stat of 220 or so) and then levelling it up (Eevee should take a level at night for Umbreon, and during the day for Espeon). I specifically wanted Umbreon because Dark-Types have some strong moves and high defense, making them absolute tanks in battle. Plus, Umbreon is a badass, seriously, just look at it:

That is the look of a Pokemon that has no fucks to give.

But anyway, a Pokemon's Happiness can be decreased in several ways, such as by letting the Pokemon faint too much, as well as increased, including by just walking around with them in your party. Another way to increase Happiness is by feeding the Pokemon Vitamins, which are battle stat-enhancing items that can be used to permanantly increase things like Attack, Defense, Speed, and Hit Points (HP). The advantage to this type of Happiness-leveling is that not only does the Pokemon like you more, it has better stats in battle, making it a win-win scenario for any trainer looking to obtain a Pokemon that evolves through Happiness. The disadvantage is that all the Vitamins are quite expensive, costing around 9800 Poke-dollars per item, but the benefits are well worth it. Of course, real vitamins don't work this instantly or permanently, but Pokemon takes place in a different universe anyway.

And now you know how I came to find the page for Vitamins on Bulbapedia, and thus how I came to write this article. You see, I discovered an interesting little factoid concerning the Vitamins - in Japan, many of them have the names of real life chemical compounds! I then became intrigued and began to wonder just how many of those compounds really do in real life what the Vitamins in Pokemon do for your Pokemon. So hang onto your Pokeballs and make sure your Jigglypuff is wearing the proper lab gear, because science is about to get weird.

As of the Generation V games (Pokemon Black and White versions along with the upcoming Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 versions), there are nine different Vitamins you can feed a Pokemon. Five of them increase battle stats, one increases HP, two increase Power Points (PP) for various moves, and one increases level. It is the five Battle stat-enhancers - Iron, Calcium, Protein, Zinc, and Carbos - that have real life supplement names. Specifically, in Japan:

  • Iron is called Bromhexine (Raises Defense)
  • Calcium is called Lysozyme (Raises Special Attack)
  • Protein is called Taurine (Raises Attack)
  • Zinc is called Chitosan (Raises Special Defense)
  • Carbos is called Indometacin (Raises Speed)

In addition, the other Vitamins have different names in Japanese Pokemon games. Specifically, in Japan:

  • PP Up is called Point Up, and PP Max is called Point Max (Both raise PP)
  • HP Up is called Max Up (Raises HP)
  • Rare Candy is called Mysterious Candy (Increases the Pokemon's level by 1)

Specifically, I'll be looking at those first five. First up, we'll look at Iron and Protein. Now, it makes sense that Protein would raise the Pokemon's attack, because protein builds muscle and stronger muscles means that your Pokemon can hit harder. It also makes sense that Iron, used by the bloodstream and other areas of the body to promote a healthy circulatory system, would promote defense, since a strong circulatory system would allow a Pokemon to quickly recover from injury that causes bleeding and better absorb oxygen into the bloodstream. So clearly, there is scientific fact involved in how Vitamins work, assuming the Pokeverse has very similar (if not the same) chemistry to our own. If Japan is to be believed, Protein contains the supplement Taurine and Iron contains not an iron supplement, but Bromhexine.

Taurine, or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is an organic acid found in most animal tissue and that many animals need to function. For example, cats need Taurine to keep their eyesight sharp, and if they don't get enough of it they can go blind. Taurine is a component of bile, and it's essential for your eyes, heart, muscles, and brain to fucntion properly. It was first obtained from Ox bile in 1837, and this is where it gets its name (from "taurus", the Greek word for "bull"). It occurs naturally in seafood and meat, although even if you're a carnivore, you're likely only getting around 200 mg per day of the stuff. In terms of Pokemon, which are based upon real animals, Taurine might very well be essential stuff for them, particularly for Bird-Type (like Pidgey), cat-like (such as Meowth), or carnivorous (like Houndoom) Pokemon. It may serve the same function in Pokemon that it does for animals - eye, cardiovascular, and muscle health - and some Pokemon may very well need it to develop properly. There is evidence that insect-eating songbirds, such as sparrows and robins, need it to develop right, and these birds often seek spiders (which are rich in Taurine) to feed their young. And of course, every mammalian creature needs it for their eyes and muscles. Therefore, it makes sense that Taurine would be present as a Pokemon Vitamin - it would help the Pokemon see in battle better, hit harder due to its stronger muscles, and have better endurance because of the increased cardiovascular health.

As for Bromhexine, it is used for respiratory disorders, specifically for the treatment of mucus, and it has antioxidant properties. I can't see how this would benefit a Pokemon's Defensive abilities, but the antioxidant properties may help increase the Pokemon's resistance to diseases caused by free radicals, which would indeed help it be able to take more hits and therefore have a higher defense. Additionally, a Pokemon's body might use the molecule differently from a human being's, making it more beneficial to a Pokemon than a human. I don't know how Bromhexine is used in Japan, but it may be that the programmers of the Pokemon games exaggerated its protective antioxidant effects to legitimize its Defense-increasing properties, and this is probably why the Vitamin was renamed "Iron" in the English versions of the games. Naming the Vitamin Iron makes more sense anyway - iron is vital for the production of the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin, as well as for many cellular and immune system functions. If there is not enough iron in the bloodstream, a person (or Pokemon) can endure poor immune function, fatigue, weakness, and dizziness amongst other symptoms. It therefore makes sense that, by feeding a Pokemon Iron, you are actually raising its resistance not only to disease, but attacks in battle as well.

Now to look at the Special Stat-raising items Zinc and Calcium. Zinc in real life is necessary for quick wound-healing and is beneficial for the immune system, which explains why it was chosen for the name of a Special Defense-raising item. Some also believe it possesses antioxidant properties, which further cements it as beneficial to a Pokemon's defense. This Vitamin in Japan is called Chitosan, which is a polysaccharide (a large sugar) obtained from the shells of crustacians such as shrimp and crabs. Chitosan has been shown by the US Marine Corps to quickly stop bleeding - in fact, when tested on pigs, it allowed a wounded animal to survive otherwise lethal bleeding 100% of the time, since it reduces blood loss by quickly clotting the blood. In fact, Chitosan was recently approved in the United States and Europe as an additive to hospital bandages as well as to products used on the battleground by both the US and UK military - in fact, this compound was used during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan by US and UK soldiers to stop bleeding on the field. Additionally, Chitosan has antibacterial properties and is hypoallergenic despite being derived from shellfish. Someone at Nintendo certainly did their research, because not only do both Chitosan and Zinc support wound-healing and quick blood-clotting, they are both excellent candidates for defense-raising items, and I don't think I need to spell out just how they could benefit a Pokemon that ingested them. In fact, maybe Zinc/Chitosan should have been the item that raises Defense, and Iron/Bromhexine the one that raises Special Defense!

Calcium, on the other hand, supports not just strong bones but also cellular processes and proper nervous system function (it is necessary to transport signals between nerve endings to the brain and back). Therefore, Calcium could increase Attacking power by giving skeletal and nervous system support to a Pokemon - and a Pokemon with strong bones and a healthy nervous system can fight better and hit harder by virtue of having quicker responses and a stronger skeleton to support their muscles. In Japan, this Vitamin is named Lysozyme instead. Lysozymes, which are not one specific chemical compound but a group of them, are named for their lytic, or cell-destroying, properties ("lysozyme" literally means "an enzyme that breaks things apart"), and they are an important chemical produced by healthy immune cells. Lysozymes work by cutting apart bonds between molecules in a bacterial cell's cell wall, which causes the bacterium to lose structural integrity and literally fall apart. This in turn kills it, and the benefits of killing invading bacteria are fairly obvious. Some areas of the body produce a lot more of these compounds than others - for example, the eye produces excessive amounts of lysozymes to kill bacteria that get onto the conjunctiva (the white part of the eye), and when these enzymes fail the result is a bacterial infection called conjunctivitis (commonly called pink eye). Therefore, it seems obvious why you'd want to feed a Pokemon lysozymes - it boosts their immune system, and when you have Pokemon that can poison you or attack you with spores, it makes good sense to ensure a Pokemon isn't too terribly damaged by these attacks. Plus, by keeping bacteria out of your Pokemon, you're ensuring it doesn't become sick and therefore have a harder time battling. Once again, someone at Nintendo clearly did their Chemistry homework.

Finally, we'll look at Carbos, the Speed-increasing Vitamin. The word "Carbos", as if I even really have to say it, is a shortening of the word "Carbohydrates", which provide energy and are the most abundant source of fuel in most animals' diets. In fact, very complex carbohydrates can make you feel very full for a long time, such as those present in wheat breads and oatmeal. Smaller carbs, such as those found in white breads and sugary foods, burn quickly, providing a very fast burst of energy which wears off too soon. Both types of carbs are processed by the body for energy, which is why many athletes eat meals high in carbs before a big game. Therefore, it seems pretty obvious why Carbos would promote a Pokemon's speed - if a Pokemon eats a lot of carbohydrates, they'll have more energy in battle and be able to move and react quicker. After a while, their body (like with humans) would get used to burning a lot of energy, thus they would need more carbohydrates to stay alert and active because Pokemon lead such a high-activity lifestyle. Of course, some Pokemon, like the speedy Zubat, might burn carbs more efficiently than others, like Slowpoke. Therefore, a faster Pokemon would need more carbs in their diet than a slower one, because a faster Pokemon would burn those carbs much faster.

In Japan, the Vitamin Carbos is called Indometacin. Indometacin is an NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) that is used to treat pain, stiffness, and swelling as well as Fever. It can poison in very high doses, so extreme care must be used to ensure the proper dose is given. Because of its potency, it is only given in cases of severe or chronic pain, such as with rheumatoid arthritis or tendinitis. Pain, stiffness, and swelling are all symptoms of injury that a Pokemon could endure in battle, and severe pain and stiffness could indeed reduce Speed, so it seems clear why Indometacin would be a good supplement for a Pokemon - by increasing pain resistance, such as that caused by constant battles, a Pokemon can easily become speedier - just ask any arthritis-sufferer how much more quickly they could move were they not in constant pain. In fact it was probably this pain-killing property of Indometacin that caused the English version of the games to change the Vitamin's name to Carbos instead, which still preserved the Speed-enhancing aspect without the implication that Pokemon can develop chronic pain and stiffness from heavy battle. Even if the idea of it happening is more realistic, Pokemon arthritis is a pretty heavy-handed concept for a kid to grasp.

So, that explains those five Vitamins, but how about the HP, PP, and level-raising Vitamins? Here's where we get into speculation about what compounds these Vitamins actually are, since nobody at Nintendo seems to have said anything about them. I'll assume that they would be based on real chemical compounds, going off of the assumption that the Pokeverse's chemistry is essentially the same as ours.

I'll start with HP Up first. HP, being a measure of the amount of hits a Pokemon can take before fainting, is essentially a measure of that Pokemon's endurance - the higher the HP, the more damage a Pokemon can endure before being unable to take any more and collapsing in exhaustion and pain. Therefore, HP Up probably contains a mixture of, or a compound that, can increase endurance. Caffeine, one of the most obvious choices, has been proven to help because it aids muscle contraction and boosts aerobic endurance - a cup of coffee before exercise has been shown to increase how long and how far an athlete can go. Creatine, which is naturally found in fish and lean meats, is another good candidate, since it improves both anaerobic and aerobic endurance. Beta Alanine, another endurance-enhancer, is found in meats and can help boost muscle performance, particularly in high-intensity activities. Of those three, it seems most likely that HP Up is probably Creatine, but could include some Beta Alanine in it as well.

As for the PP-increasing Vitamins, it seems likely that those contain Caffeine, since PP is just a measure of how much energy a Pokemon has for a given move. After all, what better to increase your energy than Caffeine? If this is the case, then both of the PP enhancers have different amounts of Caffiene per pill, since one only increases a movie's PP while the other maxes it out. So using a PP Up is probably like giving your Pikachu a cup of coffee, while using a PP Max is like giving him a cup of espresso. Might not want to give him too much though - the last thing we need is an overly hyper Electric-type Pokemon getting so excited that he starts Volt Tackling around the living room, zapping every living person within a five-foot radius.

Finally, that prized of all items, the Rare Candy. Because this item raises a Pokemon's level, it could be one of several things, or a mixture. We do know that Rare Candies come from Berry Juice, which comes from Berries being held by a long time by the Pokemon Shuckle. Obviously, there is something in the Rare Candy, then, that is also present in the health-giving item Berry (this was before Generation III introduced the different types of berries; according to Bulbapedia, Shuckles generally tend to hold Oran Berries after Gen III, which restores 10 HP if a Pokemon eats it). A possible explanation for why Oran Berry Juice, which then crystalizes and becomes a Rare Candy, is that Oran Berries are high in vitamin C like their citrus counterparts in the real world. Vitamin C is supposed to strengthen immune system responses. Some citrus fruits, such as mandarin oranges, are also higher in certain sugars than others, and since the Oran Berry is likely based on this Asian-native fruit, it is likely that the reason Pokemon gain a level and thus get stronger from eating a Rare Candy is due to the extra sugar and Vitamin C in the Oran Berry, or at least is based on that idea. This also explains why it raises a Pokemon's Happiness - not only is it becoming stronger and growing up, it's also eating something that tastes sweet. And as we all know, it's impossible not to like someone who gives you candy, provided they aren't some skeevy fellow in a Pedo-van.

However, there are alternative explanations for the Rare Candy's abilities. On one hand, a Rare Candy could contain a mixture of all the other Vitamins, effectively making it a Pokemon multi-vitamin which could promote the Pokemon's quicker growth. However, this seems unlikely because Rare Candies only increase a Pokemon's level, not its battle stats. On the other, much more likely hand, a Rare Candy could contain Pokemon growth hormones - basically, Pokemon steroids. The only thing that would make giving a Pokemon an extra level in this manner legal, then, would be if it were such a small amount of the hormone that it only raised the level by one. If this weren't the case, then it would mean a Pokemon could become ridiculously strong, ridiculously fast, with the added downside of being ultimately weaker than a normally leveled Pokemon due to the effects of chronic steroid use. This is supported by the fact that only the Pokemon's level is increased, and by the fact that a Rare Candy can revive a fainted Pokemon due to the increased HP it takes. In fact, there may even be an illegal underground Pokemon steroid trade, which certainly explains why big cities like Celadon and Goldenrod need their own police departments. I smell a Pokemon urban legend in the making, guys... Quickly, reader! Find someone who hails from 4Chan or SomethingAwful and get them to make a Copypasta out of this! It must be done FOAR GREAT JUSTICE.

Well, that's it for Weird Science today. Make sure you level up your Pokemon before that next Gym Leader battle. As for me, I've got an Eevee to entertain, so I'll catch you guys later (but not in a Pokeball though seriously why would you even think that?).