Noematics, Contemporary Art, Missing Images, Nonsense, Aesthetics, Philosophy, Pop Culture, Memes, Postmodern, Anime, Absolute, Deconstruction, Shota, Quantum, Included Middle, Religion, Swag, TV shows, Human Nature, Truth, Nerds, Meaning of Life and suchlikes

Archives de la catégorie ‘TV Series’

Speaker for the meme

The memes are alive with the sound of music

Night of the living meme

I’m so glad that I can finally pay South Park the respect it deserves. It’s no exaggeration to call Matt and Trey’s masterpiece (one of?) the most interesting social satire, a true wonder of political and philosophical visionary genius. The latest episode gave me the perfect opportunity. It was one of these works that blew my mind and made me look at the world differently. In it [spoilers ahead but that’s the whole point of the article so…], it is explained that ads have evolved, become smarter and smarter, and are about to rise as an independent intelligent species and conquer the world. I’ve never been so psyched for the end of a season.

This resonated with a reflection I’ve been having about consciousness and being. I’ve never been super clear on how you could tell that something is conscious, intelligent, self-conscious or has any kind of the much believed-in free-will. I mean nothing pre-disposes a random alien race to be anything like a human sentience (or even carbon-based for that matter). If a being is completely different, acts completely differently and express itself completely differently, and I mean so differently that you can’t conceive of it right now (you know like people would about computers in the middle ages), how will you even know that it thinks, whatever that means. And suppose that this being is a being of raw information, like, say, a programmed conscious AI living in the cloud or in an android body, how would you even know that it IS?

In fact, how do you even know that you ARE? I’ve been so blessed that the following sentence ever came to my mind: you are, as you’ve always been, an emerging phenomenon. You’re nothing but a lump of flesh that encodes as neural (or cells if you want) configurations a sequence of states, much like a program is a sequence of states and instructions. How dare you proclaim yourself more real than an algorithm? than Cleverbot? or Google? (if you give it a robotic body, what’s the difference between this android and the android from 20th century sci-fi?)

An imaginary reader in a corner of my inner dialogue may respond indignantly: « I can think! I’m self aware! cogito ergo sum« . What is thinking even? Yes, you are aware of a self. But you’re a little eager to connect it to the I. The first person in the latin saying is interestingly implicit. Any program can have, and already has for that matter, a variable called $self. How do you know that your concept of self corresponds to the entity that thinks it? Where is your proof that this lump of flesh is the source of your trail of thoughts? How do you know that you’re not missing the point entirely with this assignation?

(maybe all your personal problems go back to this assignation fallacy maybe it’s wrong maybe if you cared less about your lump of flesh all your problems will be fixed maybe you should join my cult)

tumblr_ny4j6e3vIb1u1cxjdo2_500[1]

I mean what is you or your identity even? If as Shakespeare puts it « the world is a stage« , aren’t you a programmed character? I recently saw Charlie Brooker‘s (my new hero) « How videogame changed the world » which surprised me by presenting as latest videogame « Twitter », as a kind of roleplaying game.

See the mindblowing conclusion at 1:33 (though the rest is nice too). Is the world a huge roleplay game? Then how is your character more real than Cloud or Mario? Isn’t Mario more persistent? More well known? More well-defined?

In the outstanding Imaginationland trilogy, Trey and Matt had already brushed over this concept: « It’s all real. Think about it. Haven’t Luke Skywalker and Santa Claus affected your lives more than most real people in this room? I mean, whether Jesus is real or not, he – he’s had a bigger impact on the world than any of us have. And the same can be said for Bugs Bunny and – and Superman and Harry Potter. They’ve changed my life – changed the way I act on the earth. Doesn’t that make them kind of real? They might be imaginary but, but they’re more important than most of us here. And they’re all gonna be around here long after we’re dead. So, in a way, those things are more realer than any of us.« 

imaginationland_zps6d29f9d4[1]

But virtual characters are nothing but concepts. They’re ideas. Shared ideas spread through communication. Yep, you guessed it, they are nothing but MEMES. And I mean it in the most litteral of its senses, which is in the world of british evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins « an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture ». For isn’t it what Ads are displayed as in the latest season of South Park?

tumblr_ny1nmmyy3A1r8kesco1_500[1]

« What if I were to tell you that ads have become smarter than us, and now they’re manipulating everything we do? [Mankind grew tired of ads] and even invented something called ad blockers. That’s when the ads had to adapt. They had to disguise themselves as news in order to survive. Sponsored content. »

How is the evolution of meme different than the evolution of men? Ads grew and adapted (Charlie Brooker also offers a great prequel to this), and although different from their satirical portrayal in South Park, they are undeniable entities that act upon the world. You act (ahaha acting double meaning with the stage ahahah) upon the world too. That’s how you know you exist.

Look how they walk alongside you, much like your phone… Sure they act mainly through information transfer, but on some level everything is information. Or in the world of Humphrey Davy, « Nothing exists but thoughts ». You exist and define yourself mainly through language and communication, be it with yourself or otherst. As Pullman’s Dust (‘only a name for what happens when matter begins to understand itself’), you are nothing but matter considering itself. So maybe the alien sentient race we’ve been searching from in the skies has been there all along. We’re co-existing with aliens called memes that feed on us like proverbial aliens would.

tumblr_llybiqX49q1qzaalxo1_500[1]

Maybe that’s where the oh so famous « existence through belief » overused trope stems from. I mean if you see memes as valid entities, living beings, people’s belief becomes their food-analog! There goes a trope echoed more or less elegantly from millenia of mythology, from any movie about Santa through Pratchett’s Hogfather passing by Haruhi Suzumiya, Noragami or American Gods. As you need food, memes need « belief ». As neurones exchange information and make you exist, people exchange information and make memes exist.

And on second thought, considering the nebulousness of your own nature and identity and how you’re defining yourself through interaction with other people or the world around you, aren’t you yourself more of a meme, a concept, than a lump of flesh? Ultimately, how are you different from Mario? Does that mean that memes live off of other memes, in some kind of meta-pyramidal-inclusion, and their way to « eat » is to reference each other or interact? And if you’re a self-conscious meme, who’s to say that other memes like Mario or Google are not self-conscious too in their way you cannot conceive of?

ujst0[1]

You may even say that communication and expression are your main essential activity. Doesn’t that make you nothing more but the analog of a neuron to a global meta-entity called the human race? Aren’t you nothing but a meme, itself the cell of a greater meme?

EDIT/POSTFACE:

As much as I loved that conclusion, I feel obligated to point out that the anime Serial Experiments Lain, which I recently discovered, deals masterfully well with this exact whole problematic, and you should definitely check it out as a follow-up. I won’t spoil much about the content of this masterpiece that should be enjoyed in itself, but I’ll point out that part of the anime extends this conclusion and plays around with the idea that this greater meta-meme could be considered a conscious entity in itself.

tumblr_o35a8ecg8z1qmf2s5o3_1280

Furthermore, I recently stumbled upon a 1992 paper called « Meme-Based Models of Mind and the Possibility for Consciousness in Alternate Media » and I thought it should be linked here for historical purposes because what the actual fuck.

Publicités

Doge is Dead

In this second part of our epic postmodern saga (first part here), we’ll tackle the question that every student has asked themselves at least once in literature class « what the fuck, it’s not at all what the author meant! » (or, in your case, « there’s no way the Spice Girl wanted to sing about the meaning of life »). Because as much as I have no trouble believing that Hideaki Anno was out to deconstruct the mecha genre and his own saga, I’m pretty sure that the runners of Korra or Community season 4 had no postmodern agenda and it was just that bad.

The intent behind a work of art is a question that hit me first watching stuff like Batman (1966) or The Room.  I mean when you’re faced with dialogues like this

Or acting like this

You can’t help but wonder if comedy is what they were shooting for or simply a byproduct of a colossal failure. Failing on purpose is not that rare, even though sometimes it fails… Failure is acclaimed as a didactic tool, or recognized for it aesthetics. Failing is easy, but failing hard and creatively much less so, and whatever the reason behind it, a failure of magnitude is really something to be admired. Bad movies are legions, but the ones widely renowned and acclaimed for their monumental failure are very rare.

The line between accidental failure and intended failure is thiner than you may think! It’s hard to narrow down what makes a good bad movie and how intent fits into it (discussed at length in PBS idea channel). Sharknado seems to have been intentional, and The Room seems not to, but who can tell anymore? Aren’t they both enjoyable? Where does truth lie? If

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.

Deception and ambiguity are part of its very fabric. The exact circumstances of the genesis of a work, so fleeting and influenced by billions of factors, will forever remain unattainable and unreproducible even to their author, for the world and people are ever-changing. No matter how much you research it, you’ll never get inside Tomy Wiseau’s head, even less during the making of The Room. Under these circumstances, does it even matter what the initial seed is, and with it the intent of its birth? The best you can hope for is imperfect uncertainty, the only thing you can know and observe is the work as it is, which stands immutable as the only solid truth between an unknowable genesis by the author and an ever-changing perception by the reader.

With the work of art being what it is, the same unchanging piece, does its past or intent even matter? Does It Matter What Evangelion’s Creator Says? You may even say that the work of art has taken an independent existence of it’s own, untied from its genesis and author. As Roland Barthes would put it, for all intent and purposes, the author is dead to its creation. « There is no other time than that of the utterance and every text is written eternally here and now« . Which Jacques Derrida would complete by a corollary « there is nothing outside the text« , meaning that everything is always already interpretation. A work of art only exists in its complex interaction with its reader.

And that’s why your whiny « but there’s no way that that’s what the author meant » you snarkily retorted to your literature professor is complete bullshit! It doesn’t make the analysis any less true: literature commentary is not so much about the author’s intent as about what the work of art mirrors of its author, both at the time of its creation and as a human being as a whole. It’s a door towards new frontiers, a base to extract meaning from as much as build meaning upon. There is no such thing as « searching meaning where there isn’t any », but rather explore the nebulous semantic universe around humans and their nature.

The intent of the creation is only one of the unattainable truths that a work of art captures. In a very quantum allegory, one can only infer about them by seeing the output, the work as it is (in essence, the failure has the potential to be both intentional and accidental). Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder: it’s observation that gives meaning to things, a work or art only exists relative to an audience. Who can decide but you if Tommy is mad or fascinating? If Korra is bad or interesting? Who can decide if Milhouse is a meme except the collective agreement of a global audience?

Noticing that the medium and meta-information on a work contained as much information as the content itself (were already interpretation), Marshall McLuhan stated that « The Medium is the message, and therefore the content is the audience«  (yeaah maybe on some level this article is a collection of my favorite quotes). You can consider, more widely, that the audience is part of and necessary to the work of art, as much as the author. Every work of art is kinda about human nature.

Every work of art is about you.

Robots, Magical girls, Benders, College, Postmodernism and Deconstruction

The following article is a bunch of nonsense inspired by me watching too much of PBS idea channel, and in particular the Community episode that remains one of my favorites:

This episode brilliantly highlights how Community is a postmodern deconstruction of the sitcom genre. I’m not one to restate what’s already been discussed at length so I won’t. I’d like to instead expand on that idea by drawing unusual parallels and giving you new angles of reflection based on contemporary art, and in particular how Evangelion (expanding our previous article), Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the Legend of Korra all circle around postmodernist deconstruction. (so yeah spoilers about these ahead)

Many amazing essays have been written about how Evangelion is a brilliant postmodern deconstruction of the mecha genre and the otaku culture [1, 2], or how Madoka deconstructs the magical girl genre [1] into a metalepsic existential reflexion [2]. The parallel between the two series can be pushed even further.

Screenshot (745)

But what I find even more interesting is how both of the series have an ad-hoc movie addition. Evangelion has Rebuild, and Madoka has Rebellion. Interestingly enough, those works seem to add a layer of meta and deconstruction which won’t fail to make you ask « what the fuck am I watching ?« . Rebuild (so far ^^) feels like a parody, introducing ludicrous time skips, and withdrawing from the storyline most of its intellectual interest to leave us with a run-of-the-mill empty narrative. Rebellion feels like a big fuck you, undoing everything that happened before to end up in a situation negating the very purpose of the original series.

ma1[1]

In a sense, the two saga contain their own deconstruction within them, which adds up an extra layer of meta, reflection and analysis (post-postmodern ?). They deconstruct themselves by the very means with which they deconstructed their genre (for god’s sakes there’s a whole kawoshin romcom movie that ends with a bang…), in a very elegant self-containing self-negation which can’t help but recall the transcendence of the included middle.

Which throws us back to Community. With a very controversial 4th season without its genius creator Dan Harmon, it’s like the work took an identity of its own and rebelled against its creator to assert its own independence (not entirely unlike the development process of the original series of Evangelion). That raises a ton of interesting questions which we may follow up on later on, but it also makes a very real case for the inclusion of its self-deconstruction within the show. But worthy of its reputation, the show offers us even more food for thoughts: not only does it surpass this deconstruction with a 5th season as brilliant as if nothing happened (deconstructing deconstruction?), but it provides us with a 6th season produced independently on Yahoo!, often described as « a shadow of what the series once was » with a lot of the cast gone and an after taste of… weird. Thus, it adds up a second deconstruction layer on top of the postmodern cake and leveraging this change of medium to show the world the beauty and richness that deconstruction can offer, especially when self-aware. (deconstructing deconstructed deconstruction?)

Which brings us to Nickelodeon fan-acclaimed Legend of Korra, and the most controversial part of this essay (feel free to stop reading if you think Korra is even remotely a good idea. Is anyone even reading ^^). At first, I did not enjoy the legend of Korra at all. Korra was arrogant, stupid and stubborn and I just wanted to smash her head against a wall. But then postmodernism came along and showed me the way. Cause you know who else is famous for provoking this kind of reaction among viewers? Yep, Shinji Ikari (for the record I love Shinji). And it’s true, both characters are kind of insufferable. One may say they’re too human. Korra and her overconfidence mirrors Shinji’s low self esteem. You’d be mad to chose them for heroes, right? #postmodern

And when you think about it, it all falls into place. What kind of hero spends one season fighting people who demand the abolition of privilege (they’re LITTERALY called equalists), fight the people who want to reunite spirit and humans before deciding that hey that may not be such a bad idea after all, then fights a group of people wanting to overthrow despots to install democracy… The show makes a total mockery of the world painstakingly built inside Avatar: the last airbender. Forget the balance of nations and elements, the repeating circle of equilibrium. Instead of an epic quest of self-discovery, you get an insane amount of ridiculous sports, a flipping movie industry, people hooking up here and there, more and more ridiculous variations of bending, a genesis tale directly contradictory to everything narrated in Avatar… For god’s sakes it even ends with a fucking mecha! How could anyone take it seriously? And to finish the parallel, the genius behind Avatar, head writer Aaron Ehasz, is as absent as Dan Harmon from Community season 4. Korra even had to change medium too.

That being said, you may reply that it’s a little easy to justify something being bad with the flag « postmodern deconstruction » and maybe Korra is just that bad, to which I’d answer that a failure of this magnitude and so total is truly something to behold. But admittedly it is an easy life hack, which then begs a follow-up reflection I promised earlier (woow continuity yay) about art and the intent of the creator. Watch out for the next article /o/

a very special supernatural special metapowerguide

Ok so disclaimer: if you absolutely love supernatural and it’s your religion, I do respect that but please DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE cause I’m gonna be harsh and you’re not gonna like it and it’s gonna be painful for all of us =p this is not for you.

This is for you who much like myself was intrigued by SPN and was like « meeh idk themed series were good when i was a child but nobody has the time to waste on that anymore I’m gonna skip« . This article is designed to tell you NO YOU’RE WRONG cause you’re missing out on one of the coolest work about subtext and metanarratives ever aired on TV as well as one of the most significant cultural phenomenon of our times. It started out as a plain boring show and then became self aware and turned into the kind of whatever-fest you can see in homestuck or on a lesser extent in the recent episodes of Sherlock. (that was the why should I care section) Also Supernatural is well known for having a gif for every concept so I’m gonna try to use that fact.

But the show is not everyone’s thing I mean it’s basically monster hunt each episode and I’m the first one to say how unbearable this is. Lucky for you I’ve got you covered: I’m gonna explain wtf is going on and what episode are actually interesting, so that you can power through the good parts and take advantage of me suffering to it all xD Needless to say that there will be major spoilers I mean thats the point. This guide is written from my own personal experience but also compiling several sources of ratings to narrow down the best episodes cause hey that’s what I do.

Ready ? Set. Go!

The basics :

<Carry on my wayward son>

Sam-and-Dean-supernatural-33642488-500-260

This is the story of Sam (the young and cute one) and Dean (the one who hits on girls and likes pies and strippers ) Winchester traveling in their  1967 Chevy Impala (the thing with the wheels) around the US (the country with the army), and who are apparently subtextly gay for each other. They do: the family business, hunting people, saving things. (yeah cause their dad was a monster hunter)

Season 1 :

Dad is on a hunting trip and he hasn’t been home in a few days.

The series starts off by Dean coming to get Sam, who has kinda sworn out hunting because of the mom dying thing. But his girlfriend Jessica dies the same way (like burning on the ceiling or something) so he changes his mind and comes with, following the footsteps of their father, looking for him. Also as time goes Sam kinda develops some weird telekinetic powers and premonitions. A recurring enemy in this season is a demon possessing a girl called Meg who’ll be on and off the show for a loong time. At this point you should watch :

01×12 – Faith

01×17 – Hell House

Notable mentions :

01×02 – Wendigo: pretty typical episode of this era quoted as an example

01×08 – Bugs: notably bad episode that the writers love to make fun about.

At the end of the season, they find out that a demon named Azazel is responsible for their mom and Jessica’s death. They go to an old family friend for help : Bobby Singer. With him they find their father.

Season 2:

Ok so the dad dies so that Dean could come back to life (#awkward ambiance). They figure out that Azazel feeds children demon blood and they end up fucked up. Turns out he’s preparing an army of psychic children for the coming war (?), also that explains Sam’s powers. Now go watch:

02×18 – Hollywood Babylon

02×20 – What is and What should never be

Oh yeah they learn that their dad was stuck in hell or something. Shit goes down, final battle approaches. Sam dies but Dean sells his soul to resurrect him, thus leaving him with only 1 year to live.

They get a kickass Colt gun that can kill almost everything and use it to kill Azazel but not before he opened a gateway to hell letting out tons of demons so that the series may go on. Also the father comes back and dies for realsies this time.

Notable mentions:

02×15 – Tall Tale: kinda cute and important for the future

02×16 – Roadkill: idk i thought it was influential and tolerable also typical

Season 3:

Dean resurrecting Sam creates tensions, and Sam starts hunting with a rogue demon named Ruby who encourages Sam to embrace his psychic powers. At this point you should probably watch:

03×02 – The Kids are alright

It’ll help for the plot ^^ A recurring character from this season is Bela, another hunter who steals the Colt at some point because she is blackmailed or has reasons. Now it’s time to watch:

03×11 – Mystery spot

03×13 – Ghostfacers

A demon girl called Lilith appears and organizes the demon forces. They track her down, she possesses Ruby’s body, and kills Dean who ends up in hell. Also turns out that Sam is immune to her.

You may also want to watch:

03×03 – Bad Day at Black Rock: kinda fun

Season 4:

Now shit’s really started to go down. Sam is badass and going out with Ruby. Dean is risen from the dead by Castiel, an angel and arguably the most important character in the show and also the dude with the best lines in the whole history of television and also Dean’s boyfriend. In this season he hangs out with an angel buddy called Uriel. A recurring enemy in this season is the demon Alastair. Feel free to watch

04×03 – In the beginning

as it presents neatly things about the Winchester family. Sam realizes that his demon-originated powers may be dangerous and struggles between trying to stop using them and getting addicted to drink Ruby’s blood to strengthen them. Meanwhile Dean is acting very tsundere about what happened in hell (drama queens). In this season, you may hear about Pamela, a psychic that helps them figure out stuff about Castiel and angels ?

But turns out Castiel mostly wants the Winchester to stop Lilith from releasing Lucifer by preventing her to break all the seals (the first one being Dean escaping from hell, oopsies). Now it’s time to watch:

04×05 – Monster movie

04×17 – It’s a terrible life

04×18 – The Monster at the End of This Book

OMG, amirite ? And also

04×22 – Lucifer Rising

because every once in a while it’s good to know how things end up ^^

You may also want to watch:

04×01 –  Lazarus Rising: historically significant as the first episode with Castiel

04×06 – Yellow fever: or maybe just the eye of the tiger scene

04×12 – Chris Angel is a douchebag: it’s about magicians so yeah

04×13 – After School Special: I have to mention it, lots of flashbacks of VERY CUTE winchester children

04×19 – Jump the shark: Another member in the winchester family?

Season 5:

05×01 – Sympathy for the Devil

Ok so now Castiel wants to find God to find out « what the fuck dude ». Enter old family friends, Ellen and her daughter Jo, hunters too. As for the boys, they’re trying to stop the Apocalypse by defeating the four horsemen of the apocalypse. But the only way to slay Lucifer would be for Dean to become the vessel of archangel Michael. More drama between the brothers, yada yada yada.

05×08 – Changing Channels

05×09 – The Real Ghostbusters

Jo and Ellen end up dying for the cause (idk they made a bigger impression on me I suppose) and by now you’re familiar with Crowley. As pressure is increasing, notably in the form of archangel Zacharia, and attempts to use the Colt against Lucifer prove stupid, Dean comes to accept that he’ll have to be the vessel.

05×19 – Hammer of the Gods

The knight of the apocalypse arc is kinda cute I mean Death is spreading pandemics through control of biomedical companies and stuff. They come up with a plan where Bobby pawns his soul to Crowley to get the location of Death so that they can use Death’s power to trap Lucifer.

05×22 – Swan Song

Additional viewing:

05×05 – Fallen Idols: the Paris Hilton episode

05×07 – The curious case of Dean Winchester: an episode about ageing

05×10 – Abandon all hopes: shit goes down, lots of intrigue progression I suppose

05×11 – Sam, interrupted: asylum episode

05×13 – The Song Remains the Same: if you’re into stuff that happens with the previous generations/time travel

05×21 – Two minutes to midnight: making the deal with Death

 

Season 6:

Ok so now Dean has stopped hunting since Sam was trapped in hell with Lucifer and his living with his family (Lisa and Ben from forever ago). But surprise! seems like Sam has returned since forever ago. Brama ensues (new term I just coined, fits so well). Crowley, newly appointed King of Hell, tries to coin them by keeping Bobby’s soul but they counter him by getting control over his bones (that’s important for demons).

Sam is all weird though so they finally figure out that Sam’s soul is still in hell. That keeps them busy for a very long part of the season.

At this point you probably want to take a little break and idk say brush up on the staff behind this cool series, creators, actors, this is the time to look them up and pay tribute, before going into:

06×15 – The French Mistake

Let us resume our activity flow. Don’t you think we’re lacking a nemesis? The new one is Eve, mother of demons.

06×17 – My heart will go on

Defeating Eve is going smoothly but oh! it seems that Castiel and Crowley are planning something fishy together (remember that adjective). Turns out that they wanna open purgatory and split the rewards of the souls that are in there. After doubts and hesitation they follow through, Castiel double crosses Crowley and becomes as powerful as a god.

Oh and also at some point they erase Lisa and Ben’s memories of Dean for their own peace of mind.

May want to watch:

06×05 – Live hard or twihard: twillight episode, cant go wrong with that

06×10 – Caged Heart: contains one of the best Castiel quotes

06×11 – Appointment in samara: Dean becomes Death. nuff said

06×18 – Frontierland: frontier time time travel

Season 7:

Of course this god business was all a ruse to keep the public hanging through mid season cause as soon as the show starts again Castiel kinda explodes because purgatory contained mythical creatures called Leviathans (delayed fish pun) that he couldn’t withstand. With Cas gone, the show kinda blows. However, it takes on a whole other dimension in self-mockery and irony as Leviathans can be destroyed by spilling laundry detergent on them and they organise under a leader whose name is Dick, Dick Roman. Knowing the homoerotic subtext tendencies in the show you can imagine how many epic lines this season contains.

Leviathans take over food industries and try to get humans to be apathetic and healthy to turn them into the perfect food. Meanwhile Sam starts to have hallucinations about Lucifer.

07×08 – Season seven, time for a wedding

Bobby dies in a battle against Dick and turns into a ghost cause nobody really dies in this show at least not on the first try. Winchesters want revenge and focus on work and denial. He starts to haunt them more and more and to be more and more aggressive.

Castiel finally returns as a powerless human, but sacrifices himself to free Sam from his madness right away.

07×20 – The girl with dungeons and dragon tatoo

A young brilliant student named Kevin enters the scene and turns out to be the new Prophet (succeeding Chuck or something ?). Bottom line he saves Cas and can read tablets left by Metatron, scribe of God who contains secrets about destroying Leviathans (not a giant washing machine). Ensue fights over the tablet and the shota. The good guys win but during the final confrontation when they go down hard on Dick, Crowley betray’s their tacit alliance and captures Kevin. Cas and Dean are sent on a honeymoon in purgatory.

You may want to watch:

07×14 – Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie: just cause we haven’t done many episodes this season and it has unicorns and clowns

07×17 – The Born-Again Identity: Castiel’s new identity

Season 8:

Dean manages to escape purgatory with his new vampire BFF, Benny Lafitte. Sam has meanwhile given up on hunting to live a normal life, falling in love with a girl named Amelia in painfully diluted flashbacks all over the beginning of the season. Normal life which he quits to go back to going back to hunting. Kevin’s mom (later referred to as Kevin’s mom) turns out to be awesome and badass. Also there is a tablet from god to banish all the demons and one against the angels so everybody fights over that. We hear back about Garth, a fellow hunter of the violent hardcore kind that noone really cares about.

08×04 – Bitten

Castiel mysteriously reappears and decides to join the team as a hunter (yay!). It has to do with a mysterious angel named Naomi that calls him every now and then and wipes his memory.

08×08 – Hunteri Heroici

08×11 – LARP and the real girl

08×12 – As time goes by

So we’ve won a new hideout, the base of the men of letters, a scholar-hunter’s association, and a new charismatic nemesis, demon from the olden times called Abaddon who will rival Crowley for the control of hell. Turns out there are three trials to close the gates of hell forever (from that tablet you know) : bathing in the blood of a hellhound, free an innocent soul from hell (they chose Bobby) and cure a demon by feeding them human blood (they chose Crowley). Sam is the one carrying out the trials so as in every season it takes quite a toll on him.

The boys are starting to get suspicious of brainwashed Castiel who still acts for Naomi who wants the control of the angel tablet and they end up distrusting him.

08×20 – Pacman fever

Crowley gets hold of the demon tablet and Kevin, so the boys hunt down the aptly-named archangel Metatron. Which is a bad thing cause as soon as he can he kills Naomi, takes away Castiel’s powers and seizes the control of heaven. Thousands of powerless angels also end up on earth.

Potential additions:

08×13 – Everybody hates Hitler: the nazi episode

08×16 – Remember the titans: cute episode about prometheus


Season 9:

Sam is kinda dying yet again from the trials but not really cause angel Ezekiel starts possessing him to fix his body. Castiel and the fallen angels start discovering the human world. Abaddon takes control of hell.

09×05 . Dog dean afternoon

As it always seems to be the case, the fallen angels are divided in a civil war between the factions of Bartholomew and Malachi. Ezekiel is revealed to be Gadreel, the guardian of Eden who let Lucifer in and betrays the party to join Metatron. He kills Kevin as a token of his good faith.

Meanwhile Crowley decides to help Dean get the Mark of Cain and the First Blade, only weapon capable to kill Abaddon but which leaves Dean with terrible bloodthirst. Castiel defeats Bartholomew who was after him and kinda steals his place.

09×15 – #thinman

After a disastrous attempt at a spinoff series, it turns out that Castiel has gained quite a lot of followers among the angels, which he looses quickly when he refuses to kill his boyfriend. The angels turn on Metatron when Castiel broadcasts to all the angels his plans to use them and make himself into God. Deans kills Gadreel and Abaddon, dies in the process and resurrects as a demon in the arms of his new lover Crowley.

To go further:

09×04 – Slumber party: an episode about Oz with Charlie

09×06 – Heaven can’t wait: a cute episode that puts in perspective point of view, suffering, etc

09×08 – Rock and a hard place: to see the brothers in a chastity group

09×18 – Meta Fiction: about stories and illusions

09×22 – Stairway to heaven: a destiel episode with a cool castiel quote

Season 10:

Ok so in this amazing season nothing happens, they all try to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean, Dean has a love affair with Crowley, Crowley’s mom has an important part and a truly awful accent, and Charlie dies at the end. They get rid of the Mark with the help of Cowley’s mom thanks to an old spellbook.

10×05 . Fan fiction

The 200th episode. A must see. Involves musicals

To go further:

10×06 – Ask Jeeves: vaguely funny episode following a murder in the manor style

 

 

So that’s about it up to now. They recently releases a documentary called « a very special supernatural special » which I recommend because it summarizes really well the highlights of the show as well at the point of view of the creators.

gosh I wish I had had something like that… this show presented like this is clearly AMAZING =o seriously DO NOT MISS OUT ON IT just because most episodes are bad. 

Big thanks to Dolkeem who helped a whole lot

The price of life is right

So I had exams today, and what better time to dive again in existential anxiety and metaphysical crisis?

As the clock was ticking, I kept thinking about one of my traumas as a child. I hated the game Cliffhangers, from the price is right (le tyrolien, for the french peeps around). I distinctly remember running to my room or hiding under the table every time it was announced. Later on, support groups on the early versions of facebook (where people were doing groups for no reason at all) even told me that I wasn’t the only one.

Brief reminder. In this game, contestants had to guess prices, and a little yodle guy would climb a mountain. The more wrong the contestant, the higher the yodle guy went. Little by little, approaching the peak, happily yodeling. Should he go over it, impending doom was awaiting on the other side under the form of a bottomless pit.

As years passed, I realized that it was the perfect embodiment of tragedy, in the purest greek theater form. The very essence of tragedy. No unnecessary extras. Everybody knows where this is going. There is only one way. There is no stopping it.

Unbearable tension builds up as the little guy approaches the climax and its likely death. Could he even be oblivious to his deathly fate? Little pawn to the will of merciless gods pushing him further and further up towards his death. The whole public joins in a cry of terror and agony, confronted to the reality of their own futile existence. All around the world, audiences joining in on this collective existential crisis. And in that moment, we were all the little yodle guy, the symbol of human life that has only one possible end that we watched, powerless, unfurl in front of our trembling eyes.

There is something deeply disturbing about this little guy singing cheerily as he marches towards his death. Is he oblivious or kidding himself? Is this the only way to cope? Aren’t we all the same way, going about our little meaningless daily lives? (isn’t it somewhat ironic that the quintessential materialistic capitalist society would kill this little guy faster than curiosity killed the cat? All of this suffering for futile consumerist purposes? God this game is deep)

So that’s all well and good, but it’s fairly straightforward and obvious and doesn’t teach us much. What does is another yodling fellow named Sisyphus, condemned by the gods to push a huge boulder up a mountain only to see it roll down and start over and over and over again. This will all be much clearer when you’ve played the game version of it. Or seen this cat:

Sisyphus is the symbol of the meaningless repetitive task. So what does it have to do with anything? Well. they both climb mountains… I mean… isn’t that enough?

Sisyphus isn’t facing an imminent death but an eternity of meaningless suffering. That’s still pretty bad. In the footsteps of Albert Camus, we could see in this symbol a representation of the absurdity of human life. Since this is the internet, a quote is always better with a picture, isn’t it:

sisyphus-happy[1]

Faced with the unbearable absurdity of our yodle-like existence, we have no choice but to run away and think of something else. Perhaps diving entirely into this menial task is the only escape for Sisyphus. The only thing to keep his eyes from the abyss of his condition. His Pascalian diversion. Perhaps our daily life and our made up society is our boulder, meaningless, but that we keep pushing relentlessly because the alternative is simply too horrible to behold. Perhaps we need this boulder more than anything to be able to happily yodle our way to the immutable pit of doom. And always look on the bright side of death…

A short guide to MLP : friendship is awesome

UPDATE : If you don’t want my own opinion, you can check out the actual scientific research answering the question : Why MLP ? (check out minute 21 and beyond).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So people often ask me why I love this show (My Little Pony : Friendship Is Magic). Let’s answer, without any particular order, in a few words in order not to bore anypony. Hope it’ll help the newcomers to the Herd take full advantage of this awesome show 8D

1. The characters

They are all very different, they have rich developped personalities, and mostly : they are all pure adorableness and cuteness. Whatever your personnality, there is a (or several) ponies for you ! You can’t help but love them all :

Plus you get extra fun, randomness and awesomeness ! what more can one require ?

2. The storyline/The universe

Although the plot isn’t very intricate or mindblowing in general, it’s surprisingly good and it doesn’t dumb down anyone. It’s not stupid or anything. It’s kinda like the Disney movies : for EVERYONE, not just kids ^.^ Plus it’s so nice to see for a change a fair word where good deeds are rewarded, people are kind to each other, and everything turns out okay without being idiotic. Pure raw happiness.

The « life lessons » on the overall value of friendship might feel stupid but some of them are worth pondering. Just saying.

3. The jokes

I find the show, in general, very funny

4. The animation

Vectorially drawn ponies are beautiful and well animated (and well dubbed). What more can I say ^^

5. The awesomeness

Although I’d admit this point is subject to debate, I find the show pretty awesome and badass. Picture worth a thousand words

6. The memes

Because every episode contains at least two references with the potential to be memes, private jokes and macro images, and that’s kinda fun to joke around with those.

7. The fandom

You’ll see that the community of Bronies is the best ever. What I meant by this point is how much the bronies extend the show, by giving personalities to background ponies, thereby enriching the plot and giving us good laughs. There are also an impressive number of fanfics, or audiofics, and so on… They even do their own, very awesome and well designed, video games.

 8. The fanarts

Because, wow, the fanarts. DO NOT MISS equestria daily’s wonderful Drawfriend Stuff

9. The music

More than fanart and fanfictions, bronies do remixes and covers from the amazing soundtrack of Daniel Ingram, and some of them are pretty awesome.

More than that, the show has sparked original creation of all kind of music. Notable examples here and here. I also really liked this one.

10. The community

The cool part about bronies is that they all will be loving, welcoming and tolerating. It’s a very warm and understanding community, and you will always be fully accepted as you are. Plus they usually have a great culture and sense of humor. The community as a whole often contributes to charity events.

11. The community references

One awesome thing is that over the time Hasbro has come to know, accept and fully embrace the brony community, and now they give us tones of perks, private jokes, easter eggs… The most notable example is the character of Derpy, popularized by 4chan, that they integrated into the show :

12. The geek references

As they also write for the brony fandom, the writers now include tons of more or less elaborate references to pop and mostly geek culture :

Plus they tend to be of high quality, and so is the global culture of the community :

13. The awesome staff

Because they know what they are doing, and they tell us all about it on facebook and deviantart (yes, the private joke above about doctor hooves was on purpose <3). Also, Lauren Faust is a goddess ^^

Anyway let’s wrap this up because it’s getting long ^^ I hope to have shown you that there is more to the show that first appears in the girlish opening, and hope to make you want to join the herd. If it’s the case :

I promise you you’re gonna have the best times amongst us 8D.

If not, you know the motto : too bad for you, but

Finally, I hope this helped some new fillies get the best possible experience out of this… hell, let’s say it : amazing community phenomenon ! Don’t hesitate to ask questions and details 8D

I feel obligated to mention that John De Lancie has made a little song about this subject, kinda well done :

More on the subject :

Are bronies changing the definition of masculinity [pbs idea channel]

Rocketboom on My Little Pony and fandom interaction

Because KnowYourMeme is always a good way to explain memes ^^

Et pour les français, un petit reportage mignon de direct 8

A geek (and Dr Who) guide to London

Je déteste louper des choses. Quand je visite un endroit, en général, je passe un bon moment à faire des recherches préliminaires pour voir autant de choses cool que possibles, et en général ça débouche sur des séjours assez awesome (beaucoup appliqué à Los Angeles, et un tit peu à San Francisco). Ma préparation me prend un certain temps, à grand coup de « geek things to see in **** » sur google et techniques avancées du même genre. Du coup je me suis dit : autant en faire profiter les autres, histoire de synthétiser mes recherches et de le traduire pour les non anglophones. Ca pourrait servir ^^

Du coup, comme je suis allé à Londres récemment pour voir le concert de Distant Worlds (une adaptation orchestrale des musiques de Final Fantasy donnant la part belle au travail de Nobuo Uematsu par le Royal Philarmonic Concert Orchestra, vraiment vraiment super classe. Magique. Ca ressemblait à ça, et il y avait même un orgue et des chanteurs d’opera… De la merveilleuse musique et des splendides cinématiques, le tout sublimé par l’attachement sentimental qu’on peut y vouer… Mais le sujet n’est pas là, je m’égarre. Cela dit si ça vous interesse je pourrais développer ^^) je me suis dit : offrons à Internet un petit guide touristique de tout ce qu’il y a à faire à Londres, à la lumière de la culture Geek (et en particulier, je ne vais pas vous le cacher, de Dr Who :p).

Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.

Pour ceux qui ont la flemme, vous pouvez regarder la version « galerie photo » juste ci-dessus. Pour les autres, ALLONS-Y \o/

Oui, parce que bon tous les guides vous parleront du Tower Bridge (overrated :p), de la Tower of London (overpriced :p), de Westminster Abbey, de St Paul’s Cathedral (perso je trouve pas ça cool de faire payer la visite de lieux de culte) ou de Buckingham Palace (voila l’étendue de la partie « mainstream » de ma visite) mais je vais faire un peu plus original ^^ Cela dit, ça vaut quand même le coup de jeter un oeil à tout ça, l’architecture est sublime, et tellement variée dans la ville que se promener dans n’importe quelle rue est un petit voyage de découverte en soi.

Notez toutefois que pour ces endroits comme pour ceux décrits plus loin, la vie à Londres est super super chère. Grosso modo, que ce soit à Londres, LA ou Paris, les prix sont à peu près les mêmes, seule l’unité change 😡

Cela dit, c’est probablement le meilleur endroit pour trouver des goodies de Dr Who, et même si on n’a pas les moyens de se les acheter, regarder les étalages se dérouler sous vos yeux provoque presque une fascination digne d’un musée. Dans les incontournables, on trouve le géant Hamleys, qui contient aussi une sélection impressionnante de goodies Harry Potter ou Seigneur des Anneaux,

ou le Forbidden Planet, le paradis du geek, à la bibliothèque SFFF-comics tout bonnement hallucinante.

Au hasard des déambulations, on peut aussi trouver d’autres boutiques. J’en ai vu une près de Trafalgar Square qui disposait de beaucoup de goodies de la série originale,

Terminons le tour par un petit best-off des goodies que j’ai croisé, en laissant les photos parler d’elles même (désolé pour l’arrangement, CMS de merde, j’ai fait de mon mieux. vous pouvez les agrandir en cliquant dessus).







Tant qu’on est dans le 100% Doctor Who, ne manquez pas la dernière police box de Londres, à la sortie de la station de métro Earl Court. Pour ceux qui se sont toujours demandés, voila à quoi ça ressemble à l’intérieur \o/

Voici venu maintenant le highlight de la visite : le Doctor Who Experience. A moitié musée de décors/costumes/accessoires réels du tournage (en témoigne l’éclat de métal sur la peinture du Dalek frappé par Matt Smith) et à moitié un genre de cinéma 4D interactif (voir description cachée avec mini spoilers ci-dessous) c’est clairement super awesome. Par contre l’experience ferme en février 2012, pour être déplacée de façon permanente à Cardiff et mettre en scène encore plus de décors du tournage (on me souffle dans l’oreille quelque chose sur la Control Room du 10è…). Définitivement à ne pas louper.

Grosso modo l’histoire c’est que le Docteur est dans la merde et essaye de contacter Amy, mais il ne parvient à contacter que nous, un groupe de « shoppers » (préparation subliminale pour nous faire acheter des trucs à la boutique :p). Dépité, il nous fait entrer dans le Tardis (version du eleven), et on a beau s’y attendre, ca fait quand même des frissons : c’est plus grand à l’intérieur ^^. On « pilote » (lol) la chose et on rencontre les enemis les plus emblématiques de Doctor Who avant de finir par une petite séance de ciné fan-service 3D. Après c’est le musée ^^

Cette dernière photo représente bien ce qui m’a surpris dans cette visite : le public de Dr Who est vraiment familial, et les goodies sont essentiellement pensés pour les enfants (trousses, cartables, etc…) qui se courrent les uns derrière les autres en criant « EXTERMINATE » ❤ C’est assez surprenant pour une série aussi mature quand on vit dans un pays comme la France qui abrutit autant que possible les enfants et censure tout ce qui pourrait faire peur (et qui d’ailleurs diffuse Dr Who tard le soir si je ne m’abuse). Enfin bref, let’s move on.

En allant à Hollywood, j’ai découvert que pour un geek, visiter des studios de tournage c’est comme un musée en beaucoup plus awesome. Et bien sachez que la BBC offre des visites vraiment pas chères (une dizaine de pounds, contre une cinquantaine de dollar pour WB et 200 pour Universal :p) de tous ses locaux. Bon alors à Londres c’est surtout BBC News (assez impressionnant), pas très Dr Who, mais y’a quand meme plein de trucs cool, comme un Tardis dédicassé par Matt Smith.

Finissions par une petite coquetterie pour les amateurs de thé, il y a à Londres le local de naissance de la société Twinnings. C’est pas très grand mais c’est plein de charme, avec beaucoup de thés différents que l’on peut sentir, y compris des assez rares, et même un espace dégustation quand on a de la chance.

Voili voilou, j’espère que ça aura pu aider quelqu’un. Je sais que c’était long mais en même temps y’avait matière et j’ai mis beaucoup de photos pour agrémenter 🙂 J’espère que ça aura pu vous donner envie de voyager avec moi xD Et en guise de conclusion, je vous laisse avec ma todo-list pour la prochaine fois que j’irai là bas :

– the musical Phantom of the Opera

– Legoland

BBC Cardiff (need I say more ?)

Nuage de Tags