Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 17:56 on 26-10-2014, Arthur B
Al - if you liked Darkplace, check out Man to Man With Dean Learner, it's kind of a semi-sequel and it nicely expands on the Learnerverse.

I may do an article on the two series to round off the month, in fact, because I absolutely love Darkplace. I think I only held off talking about it before because I assumed everyone on here had already seen it.
at 17:14 on 26-10-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
With regards to Constantine's bisexuality, I was under the impression that it was established very early in the character's history, maybe back when Alan Moore was writing him...and was mostly ignored by everyone who came after. If it is a problem, it goes back to the comics as much as the TV people.

And speaking of TV, I found two new shows to enjoy this month, which is a real accomplishment since I don't have cable! I finally watched Garth Marenghi's Darkplace on Youtube, and I don't understand why none of you people told me about this show before. It's amazing. It's like watching Tommy Wiseau's Kingdom Hospital. I'm not surprised it only lasted one season; it's really only one joke, and I'm not sure how much farther you could go with it. But damned if it isn't funny. (I also have to give mad props to Matt Berry, who may have the most charismatic voice in the English-speaking world.)

I've also started watching Rick and Morty, an animated show that appeared on [adult swim] last year. Basically, imagine Back to the Future if Doc Brown was a sociopathic alcoholic supergenius and Marty was his dumb emotionally abused grandson. If you liked Venture Brothers or Futurama, you'll probably like it. Fair warning though; it does get amazingly dark, but I would say it handles its subject matter better than most other shows on [adult swim] would. It's good fun if you're a bleak, horrible person. Just like me!
at 16:14 on 26-10-2014, James D
I saw it too, and from what I remember he was only undergoing that drastic treatment because he demanded it. He felt super guilty over getting the little girl damned to hell and it was sort of self-flagellation, from what I gathered.
at 14:38 on 26-10-2014, Cammalot
Are they not keeping to Constantine's original timeline, then? He was in the institution in the late 70s, if I recall. (In the comics. I enjoyed the film, but it has very little in common with the series.) I don't know that this improves the situation much in terms of what the show is saying to us *today* even if it is set in the correct time, but I think it's also a problem if the show is presenting 1970s medical care as modern.
at 01:59 on 26-10-2014, Cheriola
I thought I'd give the new Constantine show a chance, even though they're straight-washing the main character. (Or so I'm told - I've never read the comics. I just enjoyed the visual effects and imagery of the movie a lot, and I always love a good fantasy based on Christian mythology. Of course, Tilda Swinton awesomely playing a genderbending angel also helped... (The second link is very spoilery. Best scene in the whole movie.)

But 30 seconds into the first episode I'm already rolling my eyes and calling bullshit. I think that's a new record. (Apparently the main character has voluntarily entered a mental hospital and is getting electroshock therapy in the introductory scene. Clearly without being sedated and getting muscle relaxants first, so it looks like medical torture. Utter nonsense for modern electroshock therapy. Which is really only used in rare cases like drug-resistant clinical depression anymore anyways, AFAIK. Also, the whole "neurotypical person undeservedly suffers abuse in a Bedlam-style asylum, 'cause who can possibly sympathise with mentally ill and non-neurotypical people who have a high likelihood of being abused in the real world, am I right?" trope really needs to die in a fire.)
at 00:17 on 25-10-2014, Arthur B
(Best ones which aren't in those two blogs: 1, 2.)
at 00:13 on 25-10-2014, Arthur B
Your puppet might make all sorts of claims about GamerGate, Michal, but actually it's about ethics in game journalism. No, really it is!
at 17:44 on 23-10-2014, Michal
I haven't been following Gamergate very closely, but this video has an interesting take on it. Even if it is narrated by a paper puppet.
at 01:59 on 22-10-2014, Arthur B
Gosh, the more you dig into STGRB the wilder it gets. I have to wonder how many people involved are trolls who fully understand that they are using anti-bullying as a cover for bullying and how many STGRBers actually believe their line.

This site seems to give a decent rundown of what's going on behind STGRB.
at 20:15 on 21-10-2014, Pear
Oh, like, Stop The GR Bullies? YEAH. Hale, one of the authors, seems surrounded by people who have no clue about boundaries and constantly enable her stalking of people. This isn't the first time she's become obsessed with someone and followed her around (though thankfully this time she didn't dump chemicals on her victim. She's written up her account of her own stalking on Thought Catalog, for the morbidly curious.)

Her own mother sent her the link to STGRB. That place is really weird and its authors lack self-awareness. They will actually post things like, 'It has been reported that this awful reviewer works here and has been seen at x place at y times with her husband. She is what we call a stalker.'

Right, then.
at 18:37 on 21-10-2014, Arthur B
This has a lot of overlap with those people who try to claim that posting a bad review on Goodreads somehow constitutes bullying, hasn't it?
at 18:12 on 21-10-2014, Pear
It has never been a good time for women to Have Opinions On The Internet, but the mainstream media is covering more and more of GamerGate and the numerous women who have had to flee their homes (hmmm what was it about ~*seeing the good*~ come out of this again), and now there's reports of reviewers (both women) being stalked and, in one case, assaulted by authors they critiqued.

Round-up of incidents here.

There are, unfortunately, a not insignificant number of authors who think the stalkers did nothing wrong, and even some feminists are like YEAH GOOD ON YOU FOR EMPOWERING YOURSELF KATHLEEN HALE or w/e, even though her stalking victim was another woman.

I'm not saying men never get stalked or assaulted for their opinions (I've def heard of a dude SFF author being stalked) but this is an undeniably and dangerously gendered dynamic. I don't actually identify as a woman but I live as one and am usually understood as one, it's pretty scary to think that if I leave a tartly phrased review I might get my privacy violated or a wine bottle cracked over my head.
at 18:15 on 20-10-2014, Robinson L
Well, that last one did have an awfully strange tang to it ...

Oh dear, that's just given me a thought. I need to check ... Yes, it's just as I feared, Julian's Ferret Food review of Milliways has gone the way of the Cordova biopic. Such a shame; I particularly thought the 38 points out of 30 for ambiance, though mathematically paradoxical, entirely deserved, and under the circumstances, quite appropriate, as well. (Though to be honest, I did think 6 out of 10 for price was a little churlish considering it's all handled by compound interest anyway.)

Arthur: If you're linking to or otherwise crediting your source I don't personally see how that'd be a problem. And more articles from you would always be welcome, Spooktober or not.

at 00:47 on 20-10-2014, Shim
Is that why I've been having these blackouts recently? I thought it was just one too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters over the weekend.

You had a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster? That explains virtually anything.
at 23:05 on 19-10-2014, Arthur B
And of course Event Horizon underscores the whole
"you really shouldn't get involved in Sam Neill's marital issues"
at 22:37 on 19-10-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I would have thought
"don't build a sex octopus in a flophouse"
was obvious enough, but you can never tell with some people. On the other hand, Sam Neill's method for getting rid of pests with an old shoe, a feather, and the lid off a toilet tank is a very handy thing to know.
at 21:35 on 19-10-2014, Arthur B
I watched it recently and am planning an article.

For my part, I think it's the most accurate film about divorce ever made and is crammed with useful advice for ways you can navigate the aftermath of a breakup. (Mostly of the "don't do this" variety, but even so.)
at 19:14 on 19-10-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Well okay then, I can do that.

Also, since you've been delving into the video nasties, have you considered Andrezj Zuwalski's Possession? It got on the list, but was never persecuted. I tried writing something about it, but, well...words failed me.

I will say this, though: I was sold on the movie by the one-sentence summary of "a paranoid schizophrenic explains why they think their marriage disintegrated." This is an accurate summary.
at 18:44 on 19-10-2014, Arthur B
If you're linking to or otherwise crediting your source I don't personally see how that'd be a problem. And more articles from you would always be welcome, Spooktober or not.
at 18:40 on 19-10-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I'm actually kinda glad the site went down, since it erased that Tubby Thackerey retrospective I put up. I mean, it was fun to write and all, but that one guy who kept commenting...what the hell was his problem? He kept bitching about how all my facts were wrong, and he kept using leetspeak...I kept getting headaches when I tried to read his damn complaints. Well, whatever, he's in the pa5t now.

On more serious news, I've decided to get into the Spooktober spirit and write some stuff for Ferretbrain. Mostly working with movies, but I've stumbled into a bit of a problem. There's one movie I'd like to talk about, but most of what I think about it is a reinterpretation of what someone else wrote about it, and I'm not entirely sure I'm bringing enough of my own insight to the table. I suppose what I'm asking is: would y'all want to hear me regurgitate some opinions that'll seem totally original to you?
at 18:15 on 16-10-2014, Robinson L
The anomaly may have prompted pseudomemories leaked from the source timeline, causing belief in the existence of the Files.

Is that why I've been having these blackouts recently? I thought it was just one too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters over the weekend.
at 14:27 on 16-10-2014, Shim
This is a message from Shimmin of F19 acting under authority of the MSPA-3. If you are receiving this, the device has functioned as intended. We do not know the details of your timeline. Our readings are unclear.

We believe one of your agents is planning to retrieve the Cordova Files from a deep storage facility. It is very important that you prevent this.

The Cordova Files should not, repeat, should not exist in your timeline. A spatiotemporal anomaly caused their realization a short time ago. We administered emergency intervention to the Ferretbrain server infrastructure to prevent their release. The anomaly may have prompted pseudomemories leaked from the source timeline, causing belief in the existence of the Files.

Readings suggest that during the realization event, storage facilities obtained data from the Cordova Files. With the waning of the anomaly, we are unable to investigate these facilities. Note that accessing these files may trigger a reality cascade and associated metaphysical degeneration.

If R-Sanction protocols apply in your timeline, please administer immediately and isolate the affected agents. If neuroprogrammatics are in place in your timeline, please broadcast signal B339-24-16-R or equivalent termination wave. If the Tieg-Kim Report has been endorsed in your timeline, please refer to sections 2.3.7 and 4.19.4 or ask an authorised adept to do so.
at 08:13 on 16-10-2014, Arthur B
If you find copies of the missing articles mentioned so far in the Wayback Machine I advise sprinkling your computer with holy water and calling your local Ghostbusters franchise.
at 07:27 on 16-10-2014, Adrienne
Arthur, et al: have you checked the wayback machine? You may be able to get uncorrupted copies of the missing stuff from there. If you want to get me a list, i can go fishing, too.