This week in links: Online humiliation, Miley retires her cheap dreads, and more Beyoncé

Akilah takes a well-aimed jab at Donald Trump’s VOICE program.

Amelia Tait at the New Statesman looks at the disturbing trend of boyfriends humiliating their girlfriends on social media. (Content note: Tait blames the girlfriend in question for ‘allowing’ the degrading to occur)

 

Jagger Blaec examines the gentrification of hip-hop and rap by white musicians, in the face of Miley Cyrus returning to her squeaky clean white “roots.”

George Monbiot breaks down the history of neoliberalism and how it has failed us.

Michael Cragg explains how Beyoncé’s 4 marked the turning point in her career.

Yes, another essay on Lemonade – Rawiya Kameir looks at the political significance of Bey’s latest album.

This week I’ve been listening to 4 and Humanz and I’ve been absolutely living.  is such an underrated album and there are so many absolute bangers. My favourites are Love on Top,  Lay Up Under Me, Countdown, I care, and 1+1, AND Grown Woman which isn’t on Spotify and that breaks my heart.

Featured image from Refinery29

 

 

This week in links: good hair, Bernie Sanders, and Handmaids

Marcus H. Johnson argues that the white left continues to not meet black people’s needs and expectations, and that this led to Bernie Sanders’ loss. Interestingly, he also notes that white leftists spout similar rhetoric as the white right.

Kim Kimble, one of Beyoncé’s hair stylists, talks through the different looks she and her team created for Lemonade.

Pop Culture Detective analyses a pedophilic trope he calls ‘Born Sexy Yesterday,’ which involves women with adult bodies but the mind of a child, and their sexualization. Unsurprisingly, he gets much less hate than Feminist Frequency.

Anne Thériault explains why staying alive when you’re suicidal is the most selfless thing you can do.

Margaret Atwood discusses being haunted by The Handmaid’s Tale  and what her novel means in the age of Trump.

Olayemi Olurin explains all the different excuses men will use to not take you seriously.

Cover image from Elle.

April favourites

Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name) is a gorgeously animated film about two people who mysteriously start waking up in each other’s bodies.

My top games this month are Samorost 3 and the Tiny Bang Story – expect a review shortly!

Humanz by Gorillaz and 24K Magic by Bruno Mars are albums I keep coming back to.

eto2d on Tumblr makes gorgeous pixel art.

Tanoshi Moomin Ikka (Fun Family Moomin) is a Finnish-Japanese anime that follows the inhabitants of Moomin Valley. It’s adorable and really funny so I definitely recommend it!

Featured image by eto2d.

This week in links: music, care packages, hipsters, and misogynist women

Being Mankind is an organisation that tries to help boys and young men break gender stereotypes by showcasing non-toxic masculinity. Men of colour, and disabled mens are also highlighted in this project!

Rollin Bishop looks at anime’s optimism.

The Spoonie Essentials Box is a monthly subscription box for people with chronic illnesses.

Sarah Jones looks at the women that love, and build the patriarchy ahead of the Handmaid’s Tale TV adaption.

Cleffer Notes makes orchestral covers of Zelda themes.

July Westhale discusses hipsters and how they have appropriated poverty.

Feminist Frequency is back!

Finally, Amber Galloway Gallego describes how she’s adapted American Sign Language to interpret music.

Featured image from @sabretoothe on Twitter

I have a Patreon!

Hi everyone!

I’ve set up a Patreon page so that you now can support my work!

You can donate more than the suggested amounts, but as I’m charging per article (not for posts like this, or This Week in Links) I don’t want you to break the bank.

I’m offering some great rewards, including the ability to suggest ideas for upcoming posts. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Worrying about the future and my disability

I’ve recently been trying to come to terms with my disability – chronic pain I’ve had since I was 9.

The only diagnosis that stuck was tension headache, which basically means I’m a stressed person and my face muscles try to reflect that as much as possible.

What really concerns me is my future as an independent adult. I’m struggling to visualize a ‘normal’ future where I’m able to hold down a full-time job, not have to rely on anybody else, and lead an active social life.

Knowing that I’m likely never going to be able to fit in the way I wish I could is heartbreaking.

Even after moving to part-time study, I still feel pessimistic and disappointed with my work rate, and the idea of graduating and being pushed into a world filled with starter jobs in retail, or the food industry that I won’t be able to do because I don’t have enough energy…It all feels really overwhelming.

This is actually part of why I decided to start writing this blog – I wanted to showcase my writing ability to use as a portfolio for later work. Also, I needed a platform to complain about irritating hidden object “adventures“.

I really hope that someday I’ll find a job that can accommodate my needs AND pay a living wage. A girl can dream, right?

***

Are any of you disabled? Do you have any tips? I’ve been following DIYAnnika on Youtube and Instagram and whenever she shares stories about her #spoonielife it makes me feel so much better. Are there any disabled people that you look up to?

***

British Pain Society

Action on Pain

Pain concern

Morphopolis review

Morphopolis, released in November 2013 by developer Micro Macro Games, lets you explore a colourful world as various insects. Available on several platforms, it bills itself as a “hidden object insect adventure.” I would have no qualms with this if it were actually true.

While yes, you do spend a good deal of time dolefully clicking to find poorly hidden objects to assist other insects, that’s it. The majority of the game is repetitive legwork, as you go around finding various seeds and foodstuffs, and the occasional missing leg.

The only slight wiff of a plot appears at the game’s end – a remarkably poor place to put it. The ‘Temple of the Insect God’ could have been so much more. Make-believe about little creatures and what they get up to is a fun way of drawing the audience into the story – whether it be fairies, mice, or even insects. This minute temple offered a chance for me to finally get invested in the game…which is when it ended.

***

What had potential was the ability to transform into various insects. Morphopolis doesn’t take full advantage of these different insects.

Some of the insects, such as the bee, and cricket, do have specific abilities that come into play (such as pollination, and somehow cricketing a dry seed pod open) these don’t open up gameplay in any significant way. You are still resigned to toddling at a snail’s pace (insects have an unfortunate tendency to scuttle in real life) across different areas, and clicking, clicking, clicking…

What may have made this more interesting would have just been expanding gameplay, point blank.

***

Morphopolis was apparently based off Machinarium, one of Aminata Design’s more popular games, but has neither the excitement or exploration aspect that the latter was able to cultivate.

In Machinarium, and even Samorost 3 the search is in itself an interesting puzzle, as the player tries to find out what will allow them to progress.

In Morphopolis, the search is repetitive and dull. The surroundings (more on that later) are largely non-responsive, unlike Samorost 3‘s invitation to the player to explore – even to ride a mountain goat. The livelier action of the robot in Machinarium and the little space gnome in the Samorost series draws you in, whereas too much of my time was spent just waiting for my bug to move to another screen.

The controls were janky, the walk cycles were shuddery, and the bugs handled like your Grandpa’s rickety rattletrap. They would often fail to respond when asked to move in a different direction, and the maddeningly slow pace only served to frustrate me further.

***

However, one positive aspect of Morphopolis is the variety of actual puzzles available once you gather enough legs, etc.

Unfortunately, these puzzles tend to vary from simplistic to bizarrely difficult. One lightbug ‘follow-the-leader’ style puzzle, and the final puzzle completely stumped me. This inconsistency indicates to me a lack of thought for the cohesion of the final product.

At the very least, they amended one of their puzzles to allow color-blind people to enjoy the game.

***

Many have praised Morphopolis for its intricate design, and I will give credit where credit is due – the background, at least, has been carefully, and lovingly designed.

screenshot_01

screenshot_051

screenshot_03

The care taken with this artwork disappoints me in the face of the shoddy animation, and poorly thought-out gameplay.

***

While I managed to snag this game for under a pound, I can’t really justify the time or money I spent on this game. While I can see the appeal for those who enjoy this genre of game, I don’t see the appeal to one with so little plot or care to anything other than background detail. Even Christmas Adventure: Candy Storm has more substance.

 

***

Cover image source

Other screenshots are from Mcro.org

This week in links: Effective allyship, protest, and Rachel Dolezal strikes again

The brainchild of Leslie Mac, and Marissa Jenae Johnson is the Safety Pin Box, a subscription box designed to give white allies an effective way of supporting racial justice. The proceeds are used to give one-time financial gifts to black women and femmes that are actively campaigning for Black liberation.

Safety pin box

Ijeoma Oluo does the tiring work of interviewing Rachel Dolezal, who has no qualms about dying on her transracial stump.

Zoé Samudzi discusses callout culture and the trivialization of abuse in social justice circles. Click the timestamp to see her thread. Want more? Check out Prefigurology’s post and Restorative Justice.

Jeff Yang at qz.com explains why whitewashing is both racist, and unprofitable.

Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times gives a brief overview of effective protest in the age of Trump.

Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi, explains why white supremacy can’t be ignored into non-existence.