Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: "My Immortal" May Be One of the Greatest Works of Postmodern Art

Was "My Immortal" a genuine work of terrible fanfiction, or was it a big ironic joke all along?

For fiction enthusiasts in the early 2000s, Fanfiction.net was the place to be.

In 1998, Fanfiction.net launched as a hub for fanfiction stories. The Internet was still in its Golden Age of lawlessness and creativity, with decentralized fan communities spread across personal websites and niche forums. Each brimmed with their own politics and drama, and for fans of children's novels, especially Harry Potter, fanfiction was serious business.

Battle lines were drawn over which Harry Potter characters you shipped (in explicit detail, usually). Fanfiction with the correct ships would be lauded as the greatest thing since real Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and bad ships would be derided as blasphemy. Dissent could mean being banned forever from the biggest online communities for your favorite series.

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Film Features

Fetishizing Autism: Representation in Hollywood

Hollywood can't tell authentic stories about autism until autistic voices are allowed to tell those stories themselves.

Autism isn't a superpower, but good luck telling that to Hollywood.

For people who fall on the spectrum, autism tends to be a complicated aspect of identity. Autistic experiences differ in just as many ways as the experiences of any other diverse group, and individuals with autism are precisely that—individuals. In movies and television, however, autistic people are depicted in shorthand.

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FILM

The Fetishization of Space Jam: How Lola Bunny Led to Furries

How Lola Bunny confused a generation.

Update 3/4/2021: Warner Bros. has just released early images from the forthcoming remake of Space Jam, and social media has erupted in a torent of outrage — only some of which is ironic.

The primary concern is that Lola bunny's character has been thoroughly redesigned, to deemphasize her sex-symbol status. They have replaced her once toned, anthropomorphic legs with cartoon tubes — or possibly cabriole table legs — made her facial dimensions more cartoonishly exaggerated, and have seemingly erased any suggestion of her bunny-breasts. All this while putting her in clothing that hardly even qualify for the term "scantily clad."

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Culture Feature

Myspace Was the Last Good Social Media Site

Myspace was the last social media that recognized the Internet's unique potential for individuality.

Myspace

At some point in 2006, I changed my name on Myspace from "Dan" to "D for Dandetta."

It was my freshman year of high school, and V for Vendetta had just come out in theaters (my friend and I snuck in after buying tickets to see Amanda Bynes' She's the Man). As a young, as-of-then-undiagnosed autistic nerd who thoroughly misunderstood social conventions, I decided that since V for Vendetta was easily the coolest R-rated movie I had ever seen, cute girls would think I was very cool by association if I tailored my online social presence to reflect it.

I made my profile background black to represent the darkness in my heart, and I changed the text color to red because revolution is bloody or something. I also set Vincent Valentine's theme song from Final Fantasy VII, which was edgy and mysterious just like me, to play on my profile in an endless loop.

One girl I had a crush on actually did start calling me "Dandetta." I thought she used it as an affectionate nickname, but in retrospect, probably not. In my defense, my brain was not fully developed.

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TV News

Netflix's Live-Action "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Is Probably Ruined

Hopes for a decent live-action series based on a beloved cartoon are always too good to be true.

Nickelodeon Movies

Update 2/19/2021: Unconfirmed details emerged this week that are adding to fans' pessimistic outlook on the Netflix adaptation. Among the details that have inspired the most concern are the reported decision to change the ages of siblings Sokka and Katara.

Sokka, originally the older brother at 15, will reportedly now be 14, and 14-year-old Katara will now be the 16-year-old older sister. In addition to changing the dynamics of their sibling relationship, many fans have expressed uneasiness around the fact that the original series focused heavily on 12-year-old Aang's romantic interest in Katara — which would eventually result in the pair getting married.

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Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: Kevin Spacey's Bizarre Christmas Video

Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood doing his best impression of Kevin Spacey. If that sounds unsettling, well, it is.

Kevin Spacey

Art cannot be separated from the artist.

There's almost certainly some truth to the 30 individual sexual assault and harassment allegations levied against famed Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey in 2018. Despite the fact that the legal criminal assault charges against Spacey have all been dropped, far too many people have separately corroborated similar accounts of abuse for the charges to be a series of misunderstandings.

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