The Stepford Ponies: “The Cutie Map” review

I’m perplexed by conformity. This desire by some people to fit in, and be the same.

Not that I don’t understand people wanting to be part of a group. That I certainly get. We all want friends, and companionship, and what better way than by being part of a group? We are social animals after all.

No, what I don’t get is people seeing a group, and deciding to fit into it by changing who they are. That is perplexing to me. And you see this happening all the time; people adapting and giving into peer pressure, particularly teenagers. A lot of social fears are heightened at that age and the fear of being ostracised can lead someone to change their entire personality. Adapt to fit the crowd. Of course, these people are young, so they’re allowed to be stupid.

But I still see this happening, even years after I left high school. People are encouraged, and oftentimes forced, to adapt to the crowd and do things the way the majority does it. For instance, I’m currently learning Computer Programming (well, technically I’m on break right now) at college, and because of that, I have to run Windows on my laptop, even though I’d much prefer Linux. I know it’s a minor point for some, but it matters to me! However, one could argue a practical limitation here. It’s very hard to develop Windows applications on Linux.

But that’s not the only pressure I experience. For instance, I prefer open source software, and whenever I mention I don’t use Microsoft Office, people look at me like I got a third arm growing out of my chest.

I know, I know. It’s a very IT-specific point to make. I’m sure most people couldn’t give a shit about my software preferences.

But here’s my point: You shouldn’t let that happen. You shouldn’t let other people determine what makes you, you. Mainly because if we did that, we would stop being. If you’re the same as everyone else, we wouldn’t need you anymore, because we have everyone else. Which sounds very nihilistic, but it’s not untrue. What makes us important, and gives us value, is what makes us unique and different.

And I’m sure I won’t get anyone to question that. I’m sure everyone can agree that we should cherish what makes us unique. Right?

Well, perhaps not everyone. Which brings us to the fifth season première of My Little Pony! Or as I like to call it: Adventures in Stepford!

Ehh… creepy… Continue reading

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Which Reality is Real

A while back I wrote about Inception, a film that featured Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief who specialized in stealing secrets directly from someone’s mind using shared dreaming technology. It still remains one of my favourite movies of all time. But one thing I only briefly mentioned was the idea proposed in the film that it’s easy to lose your sense of reality in the dream world.

It’s an interesting and scary idea. What if you’re dreaming and don’t know it? What if I’m dreaming and don’t know it? Am I really typing away on a keyboard communicating with the world or am I sleeping, in my bed, maybe hooked up to some machine that stimulates a part of my brain, generating hyper-realistic dreams? Well, if that’s true, you’d think I’d dream up a better house.

How do we know we’re awake? I hear one way to tell is to try to keep an eye on space, because dreaming bypasses spacial awareness. But that might not be 100% reliable. I’ve also noticed that, whenever I dream, the colour schemes are simple and bright. An entire room of bright red, or bright blue, which is something you never really see in real life. But that might not be the same for everyone.

So I guess the real answer is: we don’t. We don’t know if we’re awake or asleep. But let’s try to make the best of what we have regardless, because the idea that we live in a simulation is highly unlikely, and honestly, not worth losing sleep over.

Oh, wait… I just made a joke and didn’t notice.

Anyway, nonetheless, some people have lost sleep over it, and Higgs bless ’em, because as a result, we’ve gotten some great works of fiction out of it. There was The Invisables, The Matrix, Vanilla Sky, The Truman Show (in a way), and Total Recall. Even an episode of Stargate SG-1, and two episodes of Doctor Who have dealt with this theme. Is the world we live in real?

The most interesting one is the Doctor Who episode where Amy, Rory, and Eleven are all trapped in the TARDIS, as it hurtles toward a ‘cold star’, while falling asleep at random intervals, dreaming they are back on earth, being chased by aliens…or they are back on earth, being chased by aliens, while falling asleep at random intervals, dreaming they are trapped in the TARDIS, as it hurtles toward a ‘cold star’.

The question they have to answer is simple: Which dream is just a dream, and which one is reality? It forms the basis for the entire episode, as the Doctor argues for the TARDIS reality, and Rory argues for the Leadworth reality, and Amy has to make the tie-breaking decision. Great episode. But what if this same idea wasn’t restricted to a single, 45 minute episode of Doctor Who? What if someone managed to create an entire series based around this simple idea: the idea of not being able to tell the difference between a dream, and reality. Well…someone has. Continue reading

Miracle’s End

Torchwood: Miracle Day is over…shockingly. After 10 episodes of ups and downs of varying quality, the end has come and part of me is thankful. I’m thankful we finally have closure to the series, as it’s all come to an end. But I’m not so thankful it ended flat on its face.

A few weeks ago I talked about how much I’m loving the new series. I wish I could continue to say the same. Most of that was based on the idea that they were setting up questions that would be answered in the final episodes, and while some of these questions were answered, the answers weren’t very satisfying. Continue reading

Bad Miracle

As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Doctor Who. The storylines are surreal, the characters are fascinating, and the science is made up. Everything about it is great. But what I love the most about the Doctor Who franchise is that we get more, in Torchwood.

Torchwood premiered back in 2006, not long after the Season 2 finale of Doctor Who. The plot of Torchwood surrounds the Torchwood Institute, who investigate extraterrestrial phenomenon on Earth, and was formed in 1879 by Queen Victoria, which was, oddly enough, featured in the Season 2 finale of Doctor Who. That’s right, it’s a direct spin-off, they take place in the same universe, and they have had a few crossovers, which has been interesting. Doctor Who tends to have a lighthearted nature sprinkled with dramatic moments. Torchwood, on the other hand, has a dramatic nature sprinkled with lighthearted moments. The crossovers tend to gloss over these differences. But it is interesting seeing the characters of Torchwood in a different light. Though I particularly love it when Jack says “Hi” to someone and The Doctor scolds him for flirting.

But that’s not really what I want to talk about. Not specifically. What I really wanted to talk about was what Torchwood has done lately. After two years of typical Monster-of-the-Week stories, the third season of Torchwood was significantly different, a five-part miniseries regarding a single story. This was mostly because that season was significantly cut down from 13 to five episodes. They wanted Torchwood to remain awesome in spite of the cutbacks, and a major world-changing threat that would unfold over five episodes was the best way. Honestly I don’t think they could have done any better. Continue reading

The Equestrian Incursion Part 1 (First Draft)

Some may be confused by this entry on this particular blog. Allow me to explain. While I haven’t been the type to write FanFiction in recent years. I guess you could say My Little Pony changed that. I don’t know how crazy I’m going to get with this, but it’ll certainly be fun to find out. I recently discovered this is more fun than the normal crap I release, so expect the next chapter very soon. In the interim, enjoy the first episode of My Little Pony meets Doctor Who. No, that wasn’t my idea. Yes, I’ll pretend it is.

Note: After putting this up I realized something. This is looking at a rewrite. I wanted to make The Doctor’s so-far-nameless companion a capable assistant…instead I made him a cocky prat with superhuman intelligence. But until I actually do the rewrite (which shouldn’t take long since all I’ll be changing is the beginning and end), enjoy this piece of shit so you can laugh at how much of a ponce I am. I hate myself. Continue reading

The End of The Tenth Doctor

So a new end to a new season of a new era of Doctor Who has come and gone, and with it the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant. He’s had a good run, and now it has come to an end. It makes me kinda sad, especially since he didn’t really receive a good send-off.

Now, Doctor Who is one of my favourite science fiction shows and it is the definition of classic. Doctor Who pioneered technobabble and is possibly the longest running television show ever. The original series lasted for 26 seasons from 1963 to 1989, saw seven different actors playing The Doctor, accompanied by 28 different companions of all shapes, sizes and species.

I never got a chance to see much of the original series, but I have seen every episode of the new series and the 1996 TV movie. All in all I like it. The show’s science is among the softest I have ever seen, but it works. That’s the beauty of fiction, it’s all made up so the writers can do what they want, and they have proved they are experts at making things up, especially when it’s in the name of fan service. Continue reading