The Narrative of the “SJW”

As a werewolf who used Twitter at least once, I’ve seen the term “SJW” come up.

It stands for “social justice warrior.” It is almost always used negatively, as an insult or a criticism. To be a social justice warrior is not a good thing in the eyes of most of the people who use it, although certain people – almost invariably those who are regularly accused of being one – have reclaimed the term and wear it as a proud, albeit perhaps ironic badge of honour.

In almost any conversation on social media about gender, race, sexuality or disability, you will likely encounter the term at least once. Seeing this, you may ask: “but what does it mean?”

The answer, as we are about to discover, is simple: absolutely nothing at all. Continue reading “The Narrative of the “SJW””

The Deathless Franchise

As a werewolf who consumes media, I’m really tired.

Noted American musician and activist Frank Zappa once said that it isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice, because there are two other possibilities: paperwork, and nostalgia. While a world ended by paperwork was very easy to imagine, until recently I found it difficult to envision exactly what a world ending in nostalgia might look like.

Fortunately, we have contemporary media to provide us an excellent example.

We now live in a world where some franchises can never really end. Shareholder cabals and corporate executives refuse to innovate and so we’re stuck in a world where, for example, there will be a Star Wars movie every year for the forseeable future. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue to churn out film after film through phase after phase, and it’s exhausting.

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Yes, The Attack Helicopter “Joke” Is Harmful

transphobia

As a werewolf who believes in treating human beings with basic decency, I don’t feel like I should have to explain this.

However, there seems to be an unfilled niche for people willing to explain this particular issue patiently and politely, so I’ll attempt to do so. For the benefit of people reading this, I would like to provide a CONTENT WARNING for the following topics: racism, racial slurs, racial caricature, homophobia, transphobia, discussion of genitals and, of course, these dumb attack helicopter jokes.

Continue reading “Yes, The Attack Helicopter “Joke” Is Harmful”

What is Cultural Appropriation?

As a werewolf who writes about culture, sometimes I run into heated discussions about cultural appropriation.

Often, when I see these discussions, the argument is less about whether it’s a societal ill and more about what the actual definition of the term is and what acts constitute it. It’s very difficult to have a meaningful conversation about a subject when terms can’t be agreed upon, so let’s discuss what cultural appropriation is.

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Synthwave: Yesterday’s Tomorrow

As a werewolf who was born in the 1980s, I find the obsession with its culture fascinating.

Stranger Things isn’t an isolated phenomenon. Nostalgia for the 80s has been present in culture for about as long as I’ve been alive – heck, I was born in 1988, so only two years of my life at most were free of popular culture nostalgic for that decade. We’ve brought Stephen King’s It to cinema and created sequels to genre-defining classics like Blade Runner, Mad Max and Rambo. The grainy, neon-drenched aesthetic of the decade crops up in video games like Hotline Miami and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Turns out people in their twenties and thirties – who probably don’t actually remember much about the decade, if they were even alive back then – absolutely love the 80s.

I’m typing this on a mechanical RGB keyboard whose keys follow a smooth gradient fade from a deep blue at the bottom to a neon pink at the top. Trust me, I’m into this whole nostalgia thing just as much as anyone else.

Continue reading “Synthwave: Yesterday’s Tomorrow”