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Showing posts from 2021

I, Satanist; Atheist: A Gothicist's Thoughts on Atheism, Religion, and Sex

I frequently write about Gothic horror on this blog, as well as metal, videogames and sex. In relation to those topics, I've never written about my religious views. I wanted to do that, here. Before I do, a shoutout to the YouTuber TheraminTrees, whose videos on atheism are an effective and stylish introduction to the topic. I'm not religious at all; I am atheist, specifically a Satanist. I have been since was I small. I'm not naïve enough to think that fake gods aren't dangerous. The world is littered with graveyards filled by phony crusades. Sadly the living are tyrannized not by gods, but the people who worship them. There's so many things worse than dying, testified by the presence of the religiously indoctrinated and abused. I have no faith in the devil as "real," either. This being said, I cannot question "his" effects on my nascent mind. Growing up, I watched horror films, and obsessed over the obscene—cartoonish violence depicted on VHS

My Two Cents: An Interview with State of Mercury

What follows is my interview with State of Mercury, a YouTuber who reinvents Metallica songs. Check out his channel,  here . I often analyze Mercury's work (which is superb),  and you can read about that in my Two Cents compendium  (which also has all of my interviews about metal remixers).  Check out  a similar interview with Ahdy Khairat , and another interview with Bryce Barilla . If you like our work (mine, State of Mercury's et al), you can find us on  State of Mercury's Discord server ! Nick: Hi, I'm Nick van der Waard, aka "the two cents guy" on YouTube . On YouTube, I write comments on heavy metal remixes/remasters. This interview is for my blog, where I write about metal, but also horror, videogames, and sex in media. State of Mercury, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Mercury: So my name is Calvin Cox. I'm a guitar player from Canada. Right now, I guess I'm mostly known for my " Metallica What if... " series on YouTube.

War Vaginas: Phallic Women, Vaginal Spaces and Archaic Mothers in Metroid

This piece examines Metroid , specifically how Samus Aran is a phallic woman; how the space she explores is weaponized and vaginal; and how its overseer, Mother Brain, is an Archaic Mother. To summarize those terms, a phallic woman resists sexist conventions by behaving in a masculine (often war-like) fashion in Gothic stories. An Archaic Mother is a powerful, ancient, female mythic figure tied to abject images of motherhood and/or numinous authority. Her power is womb-centric, stemming from her actual womb, or the womb-like space she uses to attack the hero.  This post was written to be a companion piece to our latest  Dreadful Discourse  podcast, "Episode 8: Phallic Women and Archaic Mothers," which you can watch, here .  I've written about Metroidvania for years, including my master's thesis. Into the present, these games have me constantly thinking how women are symbolized in society. A few days ago, my partner and I were exploring the University of Florida's

My Two Cents: An Interview with Bryce Barilla

What follows is my interview with Bryce Barilla, a YouTuber who reinvents Metallica songs. Check out his channel, here . I often analyze Bryce's work (which is superb), and you can read about that in my Two Cents compendium (which also has all of my interviews about metal remixers).  Check out a similar interview with Ahdy Khairat , and another with State of Mercury . If you like our work (mine, Bryce's et al), you can find us on State of Mercury's Discord server ! Nick: Hi, I'm Nick van der Waard, aka "the two cents guy" on YouTube . On there, I comment on heavy metal remixes/remasters. This interview is for my blog, where I write about metal, but also horror, videogames, and sex in media. Bryce, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Bryce: Yep, my name is Bryce Barilla (pronounced "Ba-Rill-Ya"). I joined the bandwagon of the Metallica Album Crossovers in 2017. Pretty much the guitar is my main instrument, followed along with drums and bas

Cobra Kai, season 3 (2021): Review and Analysis

What follows is my review and analysis on season three of Cobra Kai . This is more of a general response, covering the good, the bad, and the ugly of a checked, but ultimately successful third season. Read my review and analysis for season one, here .  Season one worked because it was a novelty. It felt like the next logical step in the continuation of an old story, but didn't overuse prior conventions to achieve its raison-d'etre . Its characters have their own unique paths, ones that inexorably lead to back to an old stomping ground: the Valley tournament. The tournament happens, but it's hardly the point. More than ever, Season 3 feels like a return to the past, and in ways that largely focus on the adults instead of the next generation. I have no qualms with prequels, provided it's done well. But here, I have to wonder. The tone of the show has shifted—away from progressive reinvention and back into classic romantics. The Karate Kid was a largely story about young l