Thursday, March 22, 2018

Poetry: Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Aight bros here's the deal.

I don't like poetry. Well, maybe that's a strong way to phrase it.

I'm almost completely ambivalent to poetry. There we go. It stirs nothing whatsoever inside me, I feel no emotional pull, it doesn't inspire me, it bores me to tears. I mean it gives me MEGO Syndrome (My Eyes Glaze Over) from HELL. I'd rather read Ayn Rand. I'd rather read Ulysses. I'd rather read The Bible, than poetry. I see poetry as masturbatory self-aggrandizement, and don't understand why people engage in it when there isn't meant to be any musical accompaniment, or it isn't meant to be a song. There are songs that are essentially poetry sung with no music, and those are all right I suppose, but the only poetry that's ever moved me has instruments backing it up. Usually some form of rock and roll, but other musical genres as well. So when I say "poetry", I mean stuff like Whitman, Kipling, Frost, Ginsberg, you know, POETRY™. Not music. So don't come at me with "Music is basically poetry with instruments, brah!" because I don't react to them in any kind of similar fashion. Music I'm good with, poetry is flat words in a book that don't get any kind of reaction out of me other than boredom. 

I should mention that I respect the art form. I understand that it takes skill to write poetry, just like I understand that it takes skill to play baseball or football. It's just something I'm completely uninterested in. So I'm not slagging off poets or people that like poetry here. I'm saying it doesn't rev my engine, and I don't understand what's so appealing about it. It's definitely an art form, just not one that I'm into. 

So now that I've laid out basically how I feel about the writing format of poetry, here's the crux of my problem. I've been told by several people (some professional authors, whose opinions on things like this I value more than Joe Blow off the street) that I need to start reading poetry to improve my prose. Personally I think this is a load of hogwash, however I trust their opinions and advice enough to try it out. 

Given that Twitter is a damn dumpster fire of a site that's near impossible to navigate without losing the thread of where you were going, I thought it'd be useful to put these things somewhere in a thread where I could keep track of them and so that things wouldn't get lost in the scrum of a site like Twitter. So I'm going to ask you who are poetry buffs a favor. 

Recommend me some poetry.

Right here, in the chin, hard as you can, hit me with your best shot. 

You can recommend as many individual poems as you'd like, but if you're going to recommend me a poet generally please give me one or two of their poems to start out with so that I don't just put their stuff on a d20 and roll it hoping I get something good. Because I'll do that if I don't get a specific recommendation for a poem, and everybody has that one thing that's just crap, and knowing my luck that'll be the one I land on if you don't give me some of their good shit. I'm also already predisposed to not like poetry just by nature, so if I get a crap poem my first try I'm liable to write the entire poet off as crap.

If this is what I gotta do to write better prose, then it's what I gotta do. I guess it's like eating your vegetables when you're a kid. And who knows? Maybe it will actually help my writing. I just need some help getting started because frankly, as I said, I don't like poetry and have no idea what separates a good poet from a bad one.

Unless we're talking "slam poetry" here. That's an abomination against God, Man, and the Universe itself. I don't think you have to know dick about poetry to know that, because I know that and I know dick about poetry. Anyway.

Personally I don't think I'm going to ever actually enjoy reading poetry. I can't envision a future where I'll think to myself, "Oh boy! Oh goodie! It's time to read POETRY™!" It's possible, but supremely unlikely. However, as I said, if I gotta, I gotta.

So go ahead my dudes. Hit me with your best shot.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The JimFear138 Podcast Ep.82 ft. Not John Daker

Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the podcast! This week I have my buddy Not John Daker on again, and boy is this a doozy of a conversation. Not quite as long as my last guest podcast, but getting there. Hopefully next time we'll be able to keep the length manageable. In the meantime, enjoy this conversation that meanders from tabletop games, rpg's, monster girls, feminism, mgtow, and more! Hope y'all enjoy!

MP3 Download of this episode

NotJohnDaker On Twitter

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Social Media Dump:


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Opening Music:
Honey Bee by Kevin Macleod:
Honey Bee Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Crab Bucket Bullshit

I didn't want to get involved in this bullshit.

I really didn't.

But people just won't let this retarded crap die, and I'm sick of being restricted to 240 characters, so I'm gonna make this post about this. Because frankly I think everybody is being a little bit retarded here. So y'all can listen to me or don't, do whatever the fuck you want, but I got some shit that probably doesn't need to be said that I'm gonna say anyway.

So what I'm talking about is this whole Groffin shit. For the uninitiated, and I only know the story so far back, apparently Groffin is an internet commentator who got into a slapfight with Jeffro over the supposed chest-thumping and victory-declaring that happens on the right side of politics, particularly The Vox Day Side Of Things™. I don't read Vox' blog, I catch maybe a post every two or three months, and I don't generally trouble myself about what Vox is getting up to because he's a big boy and can take care of himself. So maybe that chest thumping is happening over there, but that's not what I'm here to talk about.

So Groffin cheesed Jeffro off, is the point to that. Then Jeffro done did this. So that happened.

Now I think G-man has some points here. Or at least he's describing reality. Big deal. Anyone can do that. I'd have thought the things he said didn't need to be said, because they were obvious. I thought everybody already knew what Groffin laid out, but apparently for some people this was more of a bucket of cold water to the face than a "Well, duh, now tell me the color of the sky" moment. But then again, here I am giving a short, autistic internet history lesson of recent events so I can say the incredibly obvious bullshit I'm about to say, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Anyway, on with it.

So Jesse Lucas (who doesn't have a steemit but you can find on twitter @JesseLucasSaga) makes a post on the pulprev dot com, linked here. Jesse lays down some truth here as well. It's worth a read, even if I think it is being depressing and melodramatic for no reason.

Now this is where shit gets divided, because it's been a common thread of butthurt up til now.

The people in the one camp are butthurt that Groffin is calling their fiction mediocre or flat out bad. I'll admit that I personally haven't seen any of this. Stuff has been pointed to that is supposed to be examples of it, like this post by Jeffro, but I read that a completely different way, apparently. Either way this attitude is retarded. A lot of us have only recently started writing, and for those of us like me who have been writing our entire lives we've only recently discovered good writing and started studying it in an attempt to find a similar vein of ore. Of course we're not gonna be great right now, because we're beginners. So get over your ass pain and take the criticism. Especially if it's constructive criticism. You become a better writer by writing a lot, reading a lot, studying what you read to identify good tools to add to your own kit and mistakes to avoid while building your own stuff, and finally by listening to the critique of other people. If people are actually giving you critique, like @cahoutek did with me and my story, then take the critique in stride and work to better your fiction. Grow a thicker skin, there's no reason to be so sensitive about your writing, especially if you're just starting out. Actually, showing your stuff to people and asking for critique (which sites like steemit, tumblr, wattpad, and various others make ridiculously easy to do), is probably a good thing if you're just starting to write, because then you can get the advice of people with actual experience to help you develop your own style. A wise author once said, "Murder your babies," which means be particularly hard on stuff you write that you like, because it's probably the stuff that has the biggest problems you'll overlook. A corollary of this could be, "Sacrifice your babies," by giving them up to the criticism of the wider internet. Yes, trolls may show up to post "lol dis gay kys faget," but that's the risk we all take, and you should know to ignore those people if you've been on the internet longer than a week.

Then there's the people like Jesse, who are butthurt about this butthurt. From what I can gather, his issue (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong because I'm not gonna be keeping this post a secret) is that people shouldn't be so sensitive to get riled by something like what Groffin said... while getting riled about what Groffin said. Basically he says we should admit our flaws and work to change them, and I agree with this. Seriously though, go read the pulprev dot com thing I linked above, it's from the man himself, and he explains himself better than I could summarize. Anyway, this is all well and good, but what I need this crew of people to do, Groffin and Jesse included, is to stop whining about the whiners described in group one and go tell specific people what they think they're doing wrong. You need to name names, and break that stupid shit authors have about being sensitive to criticism that Brian Niemeier brought up on Twitter. If you got a problem with something I wrote, drop into the comments section of that part of that story and tell me what you think I'm doing wrong. Or hit me up on Twitter and we can crawl into DM's and work it out. Ask for my Discord or Skype, if you'd rather go through one of those platforms. I'm perfectly fine with having my work critiqued, and that's part of the reason I'm putting them out here on Steemit. I value that feedback.

Sure, having people suck my dick about my stories is nice, but what feels really good is stuff like the dinner and a conversation that Cahoutek treated me to when he gave me a pretty in-depth review of Fire On The Bayou. I'd assume most authors would also value that level of criticism, but I'm probably autistic or something, so I'm not a good judge of where most people are at. But I'm assuming we're all adults here, so maybe that's my mistake. Of course I don't mean that you should take the "criticism" of "lol this sucks kys faget" seriously. But if someone comes to you with in-depth thoughts about that thing you wrote and how it could've been better, take notes and apply them next time, because they cared enough to not only read your whole thing but try and help you get better as they see it. So this is a lot of work for everybody, but it's what, in my opinion, needs to happen.

PulpRev absolutely needs critique to get better.

PulpRev authors need to swallow their damned pride and take the criticism to heart and learn how to write better.

The people giving that critique need to be exacting and precise about what they think is being done wrong. This person has a problem with characterization, that person has issues with dialogue, this person needs to work on their prose, this guy needs better action scenes, that gal needs to work on her descriptions, etc. etc. etc.

And if you're not gonna give this level of critique, shut the fuck up and go home because nobody needs you here.

This is why I don't take Groffin seriously, I don't understand what Jesse is so ass hurt about, and I have no idea why Ben (@cheah) is giving air to this bullshit. Nor do I understand why I'm giving air to this bullshit. I am a deeply confused man at the moment, and I'm just getting this shit off my chest because I'm beyond tired of hearing about it and thinking, "I'm not gonna say anything, it'll go away on its own without my help." Apparently I can't keep my goddamned mouth shut, so here we are!

Critique is all well and good, but I'm gonna show you some bullshit right now. Let me directly quote Groffin.

And for all your glorification of the insular and self-aggrandizing indie-literature circuit, you have no minds of comparable >skill or prestige, and will not for years and years if ever.

This bullshit hits Jesse where it hurts? This is what's upsetting people so badly? This is what people are taking as serious critique?


I should mention that the other group of butthurt people are people like me, who think that everybody including themselves is being completely fucking retarded by letting this oxygen thief waste our goddamned time with this. And yes, it is defeatist. Saying, "You're not there yet, but you could be as good as X one day if you did Y," is offering vital criticism to help someone get better. Saying, "You'll never be as good as X because you just suck," is discouraging bullshit that helps nobody and is essentially saying, "lol u suk kys faget."

This is nothing.

What in the goddamned hell are you people shitting yourselves over?

Yes, this is truth. It's a very blatantly obvious truth. It's a truth that, as I said, I didn't think needed to be expressed because I'd assumed this was very blatantly obvious to everybody. Of course we don't have any Robert Howards, or Edgar Rice Burroughses, or Jack Vances, or Abraham Merritts, or Leigh Bracketts, or [insert great pulp author name here]. We've got some people who are getting there, but most of these people only started seriously writing in the last two years. Getting mad at Jon Mollison for not being Jack Vance yet, or Dominika Lein for not being Leigh Brackett, or Schuyler Hernstrom for not being Robert E. Howard is like getting mad at a guy who just started martial arts training a year ago for not being a kung-fu master. Practicing writing, actually reading old books and figuring out what these people did to get so good, and developing a personal style as a writer that can take you out of the sea of pink slime that most of us have been swimming in since fucking birth takes time. Shit, not even the greats were great when they first started seriously writing. Have you read early Lovecraft?

You don't go from writing shit like "The Beast In The Cave" to writing shit like "At The Mountains of Madness" in just a couple years, but you have to go through the cave to get to the mountain.

So calm your fucking tits, people. And I mean everybody. So some guy said you're not as good as your favorite pulp author. Get the fuck over it. So someone says that while we don't have any greats, we've got people on their way to being greats right now. And that's true, and you can get the fuck over it as well. Because the way the first camp seems to be talking sounds like you think you've reached the top of the mountain, and buddy I can tell you that we're only in the foothills. And the way the other camp talks sounds like we need to just delete all our old stories, cancel any new ones, pull everything down from Amazon, delete Microsoft Office (or comparable Mac programs) and just give up because a largely unknown internet movement primarily pushed by maybe thirty to forty people that's only seriously been around for two years hasn't completely revolutionized the face of modern fiction and burned traditional publishing to the ground yet. And frankly I'm sick to the back fucking teeth of hearing both of it.

This argument is autistic, even for us.

THEN you have the other group of people, like Ben Cheah. Ben, in his piece I linked above, seems to be taking the incredibly broad criticism to heart, and working out solutions to help people actively become better writers. This I applaud, and it's possibly the only good thing to come out of this retarded shitfit. I refuse to use the term "GroffinGate" mostly because I've cooled on the -gate names for controversies, but also because I don't think this particular ride on the short bus is worth naming. The Warboss seems to be saying to everyone, "We can all do better, but there's not much criticism to work with, so here's some things we can do that I think will help us all get better. Apply as you think necessary." Warboss Cheah mentions Singaporean Literature and how low energy it is, to the point that he, a single man, was able to co-opt the hashtag and fill it with his own particular brand of pulpy goodness. With any luck he will single-handedly regain the honor of his country. But he worries about the PulpRev becoming this stagnant and stale, and I really don't think it's much to be worried about.

As I said, reading these old books, not just reading but studying, takes time. Practicing these literary conventions takes time. Becoming better writers takes time. That's all this is, is it's taking time and people are getting impatient, or thinking that things are slowing down when all that's really happening is people are off working to get better. Some specific criticism would help individual cases, but most of the PulpRev people that I'm talking to are either working on stories or reading something that they've never touched before. Maybe we're running in different time zones, so we're talking to different people, but all the people I talk to seem to accept that it's going to be a long hard climb up the mountain. We're going to have to work, and work, and work, and it's gonna be a slog to write all those words and read all those books, but they're committed to doing it and the only thing left to do is get their noses back to the grindstone. This is part of the reason I have no time for this crab bucket bullshit Groffin is pulling, and why I immediately identified it as something best ignored, and why I'm so pissed off I apparently need to write this blog post.

This generalized criticism of multiple writers at once is garbage-tier bait, and I'm utterly fucking flabbergasted people fell for it so goddamned hard.

Here's a nice little tip for the critics: PulpRev is not a monolith. PulpRev has no leader. You cannot get the whole to do what you want just by poking a part. You can't even properly critique anything to come out of PulpRev except on an individual basis. I'm not looking to write like Jon Mollison, or Brian Niemeier, or Ben Cheah, or Not John Daker, or anybody else affiliated with the PulpRev, and none of those guys are trying to write like each other either. Therefore any blanket criticism regarding writing quality meant to catch all of them will catch none of them. If it does catch anyone it'll be by complete chance, which is why I call this bullshit for the bait that it is.

On Twitter I likened this to a bunch of people building a house, and I'm going to expand on that because this is really how I see it. We're pouring concrete for the foundation, we've got guys looking over the blueprints, we've got carpenters getting the wood ready, plumbers with the pipes, electricians with the wiring, and all the rest of it. We're currently in the beginning stages of building this house. We're pouring the concrete and planning everything out and naturally there's a lot of talk about how nice this house is going to look when we get finished with it. We all think it's gonna turn out really well, and we know it's going to take a lot of work that we're all 100% prepared to put in, but thinking about what it'll be eventually is encouraging to everybody and we're ready to be proud of our work in the end. We'll deserve to be, if that house is built to our specifications.

Then some jackass wanders up off the street who doesn't seem to be actively involved in any kind of building projects at all and says, "Wow, there isn't a house here at all! I thought you guys were building a house! You guys must really suck at building houses! I've been watching you "build this house" from across the street there, and you all are terrible at it! Just terrible!"

And at this point I've been listening to this guy go on for so long that I'm sick as shit of it and I'm asking, "Okay, motherfucker, you gonna pick up a hammer? How about helping us get this foundation squared and smoothed out? You a carpenter? Plumber? Electrician? Are you gonna get down here with us and help us build the house? Or are you just gonna sit there and jack your cock all day talking that good shit like you know what the fuck you're doing?"

I've heard complaints about the books, about the short stories, about the magazines, about everything, but you know what I haven't heard? Actual criticism on how they can be better. It's just been, "Well I didn't like it." Okay, you didn't like it.

I'm gonna need you to explain why I should give a fuck about your opinion before I give a fuck about your opinion.

Most people don't like the Star Wars Prequels. I happen to love them, and I don't let other people's negative opinions about them affect my enjoyment of the movies. Same with my writing. If you don't give me something concrete that I can work with to get better, I'm gonna fucking ignore you because you might as well be saying, "I don't like The Phantom Menace," to me, and I don't care about your opinion. I care about what you think is identifiably wrong with my writing. And this, "You're not Rob Howard!!!" bullshit isn't news to me.

Since you know so much, either explain how I can get that good, or keep fucking walking. Because if you're not offering actionable critique of my writing personally, I don't care what you have to say and I'm gonna ignore like you're an anon on 4chan who called me a faggot. I might actually take the anon more seriously than you, because maybe my taste in anime does indicate that I like to suck dick, but me not being Robert Howard right now is something you, me, God, and everybody already know. To go back to one of my metaphors, we're climbing a mountain right now. If you've got a helicopter that can get us to the top with tons of successful novels and magazines and major awards and winning back the major audience that SFF literature used to have and all the rest of the shit we talk about, then gas that bitch up and let us hop in, because you're the exact type of person we could use. I'm just not seeing a lot of helicopters lying around gassed up and ready to go. Go outline a general game plan that'll help us take over, start publishing your own stuff, make your own magazine and publish shit that you think is ready for prime time, give constructive criticism to writers, or whatever you can think of that might actually help to fix the problems you think you've identified. If you're not prepared to do any of these things, your bellyaching is less than worthless, and actively detrimental as it might affect someone easily influenced by the bad attitudes of others.

So I'm gonna go ahead and wrap this up, but to recap:

Take Ben's advice. It's good general advice.

We can all become better writers, and actual critique helps us get better. Learn to separate critique like Cahoutek's from heckling like Groffin's, and take the former deadly serious.

If you're gonna critique, pick someone who's doing something that you particularly like and try to help them get better, especially if you have a different angle or simply have read more of the genre than they have. Just make it actual criticism, not heckling bullshit.

Drop this whole entire incident, because it's retarded and we're all autists for even thinking about engaging in this in the first place.

And there we go. I hope you guys learned something. I know I didn't. But at least I feel better having gotten all that bullshit off my chest. I guess that means I'm breaking even.

Monday, March 12, 2018

4chan Does It Better: Katawa Shoujo

So as I stated in the last segment of my most recent podcast, I've been getting into the whole "visual novel" thing. Up till recently I've only played Sakura Dungeon, which was fun because it had girls with animal ears (with copious amounts of lewds because let's be real here that's what those Sakura games are for) as well as a dungeon crawl and battle mechanic that kept the fun going beyond what mere breasteses could provide. I'd heard people talking up Doki Doki Literature Club, and I played that and was severely disappointed. 

Then a friend introduced this game to me. 

[Sidenote: I don't consider visual novels video games because they have only the most basic of gameplay mechanics, and are far more accurately described as slightly interactive, choose-your-own-adventure comic books. In the case of the ones that are specifically romantically focused they're choose-your-own-waifu adventure comics. I'm just going to refer to them as "games" because it's a useful shorthand rather than having to type all that bullcrap out every time.]

And this game changed my opinion on the whole visual novel thing. I won't say it was an earth shattering revelation, or a game that completely revolutionized how I think about visual novels (VN's for short from here on out), or that it was even a really fantastic game in its own right. Because at base it isn't anything particularly special. The music is decent, the art is okay, the animation (what little there is) is on the good side of amateur hour, and the writing isn't anything to write home about in and of itself. However, it's the overall effect that brings this game home as something that is obviously a labor of love, and is more than anybody currently bitching about representation has ever done in their lives to further representation of people with disabilities in video games. 

Did I mention that? That all these characters are disabled in some fashion? 

Because I should've. Maybe I need to back up a step and explain what the game is actually about, here. 

So Katawa Shoujo (literal translation: Cripple Girls, colloquial translation: Disabled Girls) is a visual novel about a last-year high school student who has a heart attack and discovers he has arrhythmia. He is placed in a boarding school for students with disabilities, and over the course of his first few days meets several girls that are all in some fashion disabled. Shizune is a deaf-mute, Hanako has burn scars and severe psychological issues because of this, Lily is blind, Emi had her legs amputated just below the knee, and Rin has a birth defect that stopped her arms from growing and as a result has stumps just below the shoulder. Over the course of the game you as the player pick which girl you'd prefer to romance and attempt to follow their arc to the "good" ending. "Good" is in scare quotes here because it doesn't always end on the happiest note. 

So far as the first act goes (wherein you pick which girl you're going to go after) it's fairly well written, and your choices in dialogue do have an effect on how this game ends up, which is more than you can say for Mass Effect 3. But you get introduced to all the girls, and via these dialogue choices you choose which you're going to get involved with. I actually had to look up a flow chart to figure out how to get the entire story from this game, but thankfully they had the foresight to put in a "skip" mechanic so you can fast forward through stuff you've seen already.

Personally I've only completed two arcs and am working on a third, eventually planning to make my way through the entire game. However I noticed some things while playing this game. The rest of this ramble is basically going to be some thoughts that I have about it and how it relates to the incredible disconnect between an internet culture like 4chan and an internet culture like Tumblr, so if you want my verdict I'll go ahead and give it here before I get into a shit ton of pointless bloviating. 

The game is good, and in my opinion you should play it. It's free, available via direct download from the website or via torrent. The writing is a bit simplistic, and as I said the music (while good) isn't going to be starting any revolutions anytime soon. However it's absolutely worth a play, and to be honest they should probably be charging for this given how well it's done considering where it came from and how emotionally impactful it's capable of being. If you're into VN's, or romance in general, or just want to experience 4chan kicking the absolute shit out of Tumblr in terms of representation done well, then I'd recommend it. But if you're anything like me, just remember this is more of a comic book than an actual video game and you'll be good to go.

So that done, let's talk a little about the development process with this game. Because frankly I can't talk too much about the story without spoiling things, and if you're going to go play it I don't want to ruin things for you.

This game came about because of a sketch from a doujin artist that 4chan just would not shut the fuck up about for years. So eventually, a bunch of anons got together and made a game studio specifically to produce this game. They called themselves 4 Leaf Studios (based on the 4 leaf clover 4chan logo) and got to work. It took a while, but eventually KS came to be and has since been translated into god only knows how many languages. Now as far as I know, and I'm open to being corrected on this, the first act was written by one guy, and then each girl's individual arc was written by different people who were invested in telling that girl's particular story.

Apparently Shizune, the deaf-mute girl, was subject to several re-writes, and looking at the flow chart I can believe it. Every other girl has plenty of decision moments, and Rin's is just completely fucked up, but then you bird's-eye Shizune compared to the rest and it's a straight line with one branching decision that leads to either the good or bad ending. So if you decided to go after the deaf-mute girl, your mileage may vary. This is the one I'm currently playing through, and I haven't gotten far enough to say one way or another. Just be aware this apparently isn't the best written of the arcs. 

However, the complete autist writing and rewriting Shizune's arc aside, each arc for this game was essentially written by somebody who thought that particular character was best girl. Therefore all the arcs (exempting Shizune of course) are written with a kind of loving care that has the quality you'd expect from an image board like 4chan, but the passion shines through beyond clumsy turns of phrase or echoed words. It's quite obvious that the people writing these different arcs cared about telling a decent story within what they were given to tell, and this leads to some legitimately heart-wrenching moments depending on what girl you've decided to romance for this playthrough. 

So here's the part where I devolve into random social science bullshit because to be honest this is the thing that really astounds me.

4chan is an anonymous imageboard. It has a well deserved reputation for being one of the worst places on the entire internet, and before Tumblr turned into the absolute fucking dumpster fire it is now, that was true. However, there's a distinct disconnect between the approach towards representation in media taken by 4chan, and that taken by Tumblr. I should be clear here, I spend a fair amount of time on Tumblr, and comparatively far less on 4chan. So while I've heard of 4chan's excesses and depredations, I've actively seen Tumblr's in real time. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Tumblr is the worse of the two. 

4chan is akin to the internet's red light district. You walk in there knowing what you're about to get, because of the reputation. And because of the way deindividuation works (basically anonymity), you're likely to be metaphorically stabbed because you simply look like (or sound like, given the medium of text people interact with each other through on that site) you haven't been stabbed yet. It's a kind of initiation ritual and fact of that website that if you appear to not have been stabbed yet, someone will eventually try to stab you. 

Contrast this to Tumblr, wherein you have actual screen names (a feature actively and vehemently discouraged on 4chan, despite the ability to engage in it), as well as an email address tied to your account, and shit gets far nastier than a metaphorical stabbing. People have been SWATted, reported to the police for false crimes, had their pets taken away and euthanized, driven to suicide, and all manner of other nasty shit. There are decent parts of Tumblr, but eventually that part (which is most of the site's userbase) is going to find you and decide that you are problematic in some fashion, and as such not human and not deserving of human decency, mercy, or opportunity for redemption.

And what really sets this in sharp focus in regards to Katawa Shoujo is that 4chan bitches a lot, but they don't bitch about representation. Just stroll into any thread on /v/ and you'll be subject to a deluge of autists screaming about a video game that got them all upset. But very rarely do you see 4chan wanting [x] people group to be represented more often in video games. There are occasional threads, but those are obviously troll threads and get the treatment they deserve. Overall, /v/ really seems to just want decent games. Apart from the people who are there to just interminably bitch about literally everything, of course. 

Now Tumblr? 

These people bitch on the fucking daily about how we need more representation of [x] demographic in video games. Very rarely does a day go by when I'm scrolling Tumblr and I don't see someone bitching about this very thing. They constantly whinge about this kind of stuff, and the most stunning thing about it is they never do a god damned thing about it other than bitch, despite the fact that tools like RPG Maker exist that would give them the opportunity to do exactly what they want. Game development is hard, yes, but it's not impossible. It's a learnable skill, and any one of these people shouting into the void on Tumblr could learn it and be the change they want to see.

And yet they don't. Because bitching is easy. Actually doing something about it is hard work. 

So when it comes to a game like Katawa Shoujo, I'm standing absolutely gobsmacked by the fact that 4chan indeed did this thing. Granted, a VN isn't exactly the most difficult game to produce. However they actually got off their duffs and did the thing rather than constantly bitching and hoping that someone would do it for them. And so far as I know, this wasn't done out of any kind of call for representation of cripples in video games.

It was done because these particular anons wanted to tell these particular stories involving these particular characters, and so they went out and did it. They made it happen, and that's why I say 4chan does it better. Because to do something better than someone else, you actually have to do more than complain. You have to lace up your boots and get to work. These anons have done more for the representation of cripples in video games than anyone currently pissing and moaning on their Tumblr blog about how terrible it is that there aren't more crippled people in vidya. 

These random anons approached this subject matter with a respect and tenderness that outshines the best AAA company you can think of on their best day, and they did it all for no recognition and no money. I think this was a bad move, because they had all the makings of a talented development studio, but I wasn't involved and their decision to do it for free is their own. This actually gives me a bit of respect for the anons of 4 Leaf, because putting the game out for free proves this was a labor of love rather than a cash grab.

Which, I can guarantee that any game coming from Tumblr in a similar vein would absolutely be a cash grab.

These anons cared about these characters and these stories, and as such they made a product that even the best of what Tumblr has to offer from the people who seem to be very opinionated on these matters wouldn't be able to match in a thousand years. And to be perfectly honest, when the infamous internet hate machine is giving you exactly what you ask for and doing it far better than you could ever hope to do, it might be time to hang up your spurs, cowpoke. So at bottom this post here comes down to a challenge.

4chan has already outdone Tumblr by leaps and bounds just by putting this game out. If you're really so concerned with representation of demographics in vidya, then step up, learn to make a video game, and be the change you want to see.

Because if 4chan is being the change you want to see in the world, and doing it better than you could simply by virtue of having done it in the first place, maybe you don't actually want to see this change happen. Maybe you just want to bitch. Maybe, like the cartoon says, you don't want a solution. You want to be mad.

But so far as Katawa Shoujo goes, as I said, it's a VN. You should have a basic understanding of what you're getting into, but go play it. It's worth the time it'll take you to download and play the game. Find your cripple waifu, dear reader. Because this is probably the only game that'll give you the chance. 

I realize as I'm finishing this up that I should absolutely mention the problem with Emi, and the h-scenes. Because those are things that should be addressed. 

So the issue with Emi is that she's the main storyline, and the one that (apparently) most people fall into on their first playthrough. I felt like this was railroading, and it kind of is. There's one dialogue choice that flags you for heading towards Emi's arc, and you have to do some ridiculous bullshit backflips to get out of it. This is a design flaw in my opinion, but if you just make the proper choice at the proper time (depending on whether you're planning to romance Emi or literally anyone else) it can be easily avoided. It just seems a bit bullshit to me to make her that important that it's basically one or two dialogue choices that decide whether you get shunted into her arc, or whether you get to go for another girl.

That being said, Emi's arc was very well told and enjoyable. 

She just isn't best girl.

Because apparently I have a taste for bacon. 

Now to the h-scenes. 

Being a romance VN, this game eventually rewards you with "porn" of the character you've decided to romance if you make the right choices. There is an option to turn this off, and from what I've read doing my research because I'm absolutely that much of an autist, it doesn't effect the game or the character development all that much. From what I've seen (because y'all already know what time it is if you're reading this) the h-scenes are tastefully done for porn and actually do have an effect on the relationships between the characters themselves. 

This isn't the kind of game where sex is just an, "Oh, I love you so I'm going to have teh sessy teims wit u" kind of thing. Shit has real consequences, and even gets into the personal psychology of the characters and how they react to the main character showing interest in them and actively pursuing them as a romantic prospect. This was really interesting in a few instances because, as I said, it had an effect on how the game progressed and how these characters reacted to you. 

Ostensibly, if you got the h-scenes of the character, you got the "good" ending, but this isn't always the case. There are ways you can severely fuck this up between that and the end of [x] arc. To the point of that character hating you and never wanting to talk to you again. Which is an interesting dynamic I haven't seen in my (admittedly small) experiences with games like this before. 

In my opinion this just proves that this game wasn't meant to be a vehicle for amputee porn. If they'd wanted to do that they could've just come up with the basic character designs, posted them in a thread, and let the drawfags have a fucking field day making lewds of them all day. That didn't happen.

Well, it might've happened, but I haven't seen it, and what Katawa Shoujo threads I've actually seen on 4chan nowadays have not included the lewds that may or may not exist of these characters. 

This game is meant, in my opinion, to be a heartfelt story of a young man finding out he has a disability, meeting various girls, and coming to love them not because they're disabled, but for who they are beyond the disabilities. The h-scenes are, I think, them not flinching away from difficulties and realities of getting romantically involved with a disabled person. Much like (and I know this is a stretch but bear with me) Henry Miller didn't shy away from his sexual liaisons in his various novels. It's an unflinching look at what engaging in a romantic relationship with a disabled person might be like, and given the writing I can't tell if the particular anons who wrote this game have experience in this area or if they're just extrapolating based on what they think would happen in individual situations. It gets right down to the nitty gritty, and it would've been very easy for them to shy away from this and not include it, despite the fact this is a romance game. 

They didn't, and I think that takes balls, to be honest.

But overall, Katawa Shoujo is a good VN, and moreover it shows what a bunch of autists on an imageboard can do when they put their minds to it. As I said, they've officially done more for the representation of cripples in vidya than anyone on Tumblr has ever even thought of doing.

So go give it a play.

It's free, and there are worse ways to kill an afternoon.  

Here's the link to the website for the interested.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The JimFear138 Podcast Ep.81 - More Memos, YouTube Purge, & VN Wars

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the podcast! This time I go over the Democrat Memo and the Grassley Memo, talk about the YouTube Purge currently going down, and weeb out about the weird juxtaposition between the visual novels Doki Doki Literature Club and Katawa Shoujo. 

Hope y'all enjoy!

MP3 Download of this episode:

Democrat Memo:

Powerline Article on Grassley Memo:

Grassley Memo:

18 U.S. Code § 1001:

YouTube Purge from Dangerous:

YouTube Purge from Breitbart:

Alex Jones Carving a Pumpkin & Talking About Police Conspiracies:

Sen. Ted Cruz Goes At The Asses Of Social Media Representatives:

Doki Doki Literature Club:

Katawa Shoujo:

Social Media Dump:












Opening Music:
Honey Bee by Kevin Macleod:
Honey Bee Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Monday, March 5, 2018

Guest Post: Monstergirl Madness by Anon

Image Credit to Alexander of Cirsova

[Jim: This is a guest post written by an anon who approached me about this essay they've written, but were nervous about featuring on their own website or blog. Given that I'm a total and complete sperg, and have no filter with regards to my power level, I offered to post it here so their hard work wouldn't go to waste. I was also asked to keep their name secret, so the only thing you guys know is that this isn't me. Because if I'd written something like this, you know I'd take credit for it. Enjoy the guest post!]


This essay may touch on issues that some may find uncomfortable, including fictional accounts of sexual assault. Better safe than sorry!


I am fascinated by the monstergirl fandom. It has its excesses...oh boy it has its excesses, but at the core, the monstergirl fandom is full of young men who have been hurt by the false promises given to them about the world from their elders. It is both a longing for and a reaction to those false promises. This fandom can do more than produce erotica; I believe that there is some serious storytelling potential in monstergirls.

What precisely is a monstergirl?

Generally a monstergirl is a humanoid female with many animal-like or monstrous features. Generally, they are hyper-sexualized, but this is not strictly necessary. Many beings from mythology fall squarely into monstergirl territory, like mermaids, centaurs, and the Medusa. However, there are many, many other “species” that have been imagined.

Here are some VERY NSFW resources to learn more about them.

8chan's Monstergirl Board
- Repository of stories, pictures, and discussion. Did I mention VERY NSFW? This place is VERY NSFW.
Touch Fluffy Tail
- Story repository.
Monstergirl Encyclopedia Wiki
- This a wiki about a Monstergirl Encyclopedia created by some people in Japan. It is often abbreviated as MGE. For many monstergirl aficionados this is the “canon” of monstergirls, much like the George Romero movies are the “canon” for modern zombie movies. There will be deviations (fast vs slow zombies, for example), but when in doubt, when it comes to the look of a monstergirl, this is the place to go.
Monstergirls are often stronger and faster then humans, and sometimes possess magical powers. Yet, for some reason, they enjoy the company of (relatively) weak men. In the MGE world, they generally feed off of the spirit energy of men, which is found in high concentrations within the semen of men. Thus, the sex.
Also, in most "canons", only females are monster-ized. There are no monsterboys, so the monstergirls need human men for reproduction. Once again, another reason for the erotica, but from a storytelling perspective, it gives reason for human societies and monstergirl societies to interact, which can lead to all kinds of conflict and storytelling potential. Or lots of monstergirl on human male rape. That is a distrubing trend in many monstergirl stories.

Are monstergirls the same as furries?

No. I would argue that they are the mid-point between human and furry. A good cutoff point between monstergirl and furry is the face. If it has a snout, it is furry. If it has a human-ish face, it is a monstergirl.

Why I am interested in monstergirls

There are two main reasons I am interested in monstergirls. The first is the way it reflects modern Western society (particularly in the United States) and the second is the storytelling potential.

1. Reflection of modern Western society

Within the monstergirl fandom, there is a strong desire for a so-called "trad" relationship. Modern society has effectively shat all over young men and even well-meaning people have lied to them. Work hard, go to college, find a good job and a nice wife, get the 2.5 kids plus the white picket fence, etc. That is a lie.
I bought this lie hook, line, and sinker from my well-meaning Boomer parents. For most Boomers, this was enough. Even if they made awful decisions, they still generally succeeded. But, the world was changed by the Boomers. Doing the "right" thing is not enough nowadays to succeed in our society.
In the fucked-up world that the Gen-Xers, Millenials, and Generation Z inhereited from the Boomers, following the nice Boomer advice is a recipe for failure. Most Boomers do not realize that the world has changed and their advice no longer is accurate, but there is a whole generation of men who are left with no good advice on how to live their lives. Add no-fault divorce, increased number of women in the workplace driving down wages, and a loss of community through the tearing down of local organizations (federal government giving out welfare, rather than local churches doing charity), and you have a perfect recipe for hurt young men.
For example, women are still treated as "better" than men. The HR departments and courts will side with them. A woman can fuck a bunch of "alpha studs", get knocked up and the government will pay to support the woman. Now remember, where does the government get this money? Hell, a woman can claim sexual harrassment against a guy, get him fired, and take his job. Women have no real incentive in modern society to "behave" nicely. But should a man decide to not engage with society and go his own way, he is told to "man up" and marry the washed-up women who have rode the cock carousel for 15 years. How dare he not financially support a woman who does not care for him and would leave him in an instant if a handsome man shows even the slightest amount of interest!
Men are expected to just suck it up and deal with it. But without the support groups that men traditionally have had with other men, where is the strength to do that? Men need each other and need to lean on them from time to time. Yet, our society no longer values groups of men being men. We are atomized and disconnected.
No jobs, no stable families, no community to support them...where will young men turn?


No amount of cleaning one's room can replace the gaping hole where healthy masculinity once was in society.
Where will men retreat to? A world in which the Boomer promises are true. Being a honest, decent person means that life turns out okay. You don't have lie, cheat, steal, and betray to get ahead. A world, in short, of monstergirls.
In a a very real sense, monstergirls love men for their manliness. (gotta get that spirit energy from his semen!) They are loyal to their men, appreciate them, and care for them. Likewise, the men support and love their monstergirl. Rather than trying to be a roommate that sometimes has sex with them (which is what modern feminism was turned many wives into), monstergirls revel in their femininity and encourage the masculinity of their men. Each partner builds the other up in positive feedback loop.
The rise of monstergirls online is a damning inditement of modern society.

2. Storytelling

Who is sick of Tolkien-knock-off elves and dwarves?
I cannot speak for the kind proprietor of this webzone, but I am sick of the same old fantasy races. Let's try something different!
Monstergirls offer an opportunity to do something new and interesting with fantasy races. The author can put new blood into fantasy / sci fi settings. For example, imagine a forest full of elves prancing about under the full moon.
Now imagine a forest full of spider women who spin webs in the tree to catch birds that they then eat. And the main character of your story gets trapped in a web.
Will they try to eat him? Enslave him? Let him go? Marry him? Send him on a quest?
Because they are an unknown, there is an element of mystery to their motives and desires. An author can play with the mystery and hook the reader's attention.
True, most monstergirl fiction is a ghetto of erotica, but it does not have to be that way. Even in the erotica ghetto, there is (usually) a healthier sexuality on display than is encouraged in our society. Monogamy is assumed as the default (or at least the ideal) in a monstergirl world.
Here is an example of a good use of a monstergirl in a story...JimFear138's story: The Tower of Benshi features a princess who is actually a dragon monstergirl!

In conclusion

Give monstergirls a try. Stick them in your stories. See what happens. I guarantee that something interesting will come out of it.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The JimFear138 Podcast Ep. 80 ft. J. E. Bennett

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the podcast! Sorry this one took so long but I think you'll realize why when you look at the length. This is officially my longest podcast to date! It's an absolute marathon with my friend J. E. Bennett, currently working on his own ttrpg called "The Pulp Trip", wherein we go over everything from tabletop rpg's, to the pulps, to Robert E. Howard, to H. P. Lovecraft, to dice, to Steemit, and god only knows what other topics! If you can get all the way through this one, you've earned something. I'm not sure what it is, but something at the very least! Thanks again to J.E. for coming on the show, and as usual he is welcome back any time!

Hope y'all enjoy!

MP3 Download of this episode:

J.E. on Twitter:

J.E.'s website:

Social Media Dump:













Opening Music:
Honey Bee by Kevin Macleod:
Honey Bee Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License