Being Black in Video Games

Being Black in real life isn’t super easy. Sure you always have company whenever you go shopping, even if you started alone. You’re more likely to have a living will or healthcare proxy (at least you should). Because Black folks are dropping dead like it’s Jim Crow again.
South Park’s new game recently introduced a slider that was labeled “Difficulty” and changed the character’s race. The darker you are the “harder” the difficulty. It’s funny because it’s true.

At least Fractured But Whole lets you be a person of color if you really want to. Or if you just really want to see a person of color as a hero in a video game. Continue reading “Being Black in Video Games”

Let's Talk about Sex… and Birth Control.

Step one to survival is being prepared for the worst before having to actually survive the worst. Some might say one of the worst consequences of sex is pregnancy. Fortunately, birth control exists to prevent pregnancy– If you’re prepared.

All of the many forms of birth control seek to accomplish the same goal: prevent pregnancy before it happens.

Some methods are for use before sex. Some for use after; and a few for use during sex. Regardless of the method, it’s imperative to have a plan if your plan isn’t to make a baby.
Planned Parenthood does a fantastic job outlining the many birth control options the world currently has to offer. They even offer a handy quiz to help you determine what the best method might be for you.
The Pill or condoms might be a great option while we’re living in the current state of things and shit has yet to hit the fan. However, after an apocalyptic event, while we’re seeking comfort in the private parts of others, The Morning After pill might be the best option. Continue reading “Let's Talk about Sex… and Birth Control.”

The Year of the Women of Armageddon [REVIEW]

Thanks to Tavia and the guys at ICoS for having me give my two penny’s worth on the Women of Armageddon 2013 calendar. I have been known to cast an appreciative eye over the female form in my time, so 12 months’ worth of post-apocalyptic ladies sounds right up my street. Does the calendar cut the mustard?
women-of-armageddon-daniela-march
The Women of Armageddon calendar looks pretty damn good. The images are high quality and show a decent range of locations and props that show the individual personalities of some of the models. There’s a definite Sucker Punch meets Borderlands vibe to the aesthetic of the photos; a tongue in cheek, satirical look at traditional glamour calendars but still using the sexuality of the models to great effect (Daniela, Miss March, has a post-apocalyptic Scott Pilgrim vibe going on that is pretty funky).
What I like about these models is that they’ve got sex appeal, yes, but they also look like they could hold their own in a fight. These aren’t your typical “oh, I broke a nail!” divas. These are bad ass babes with guns!™ It’s a nice touch that some of the models are also heavy metal musicians too, so you know they know how to handle themselves.
Continue reading “The Year of the Women of Armageddon [REVIEW]”

Post-Apocalypse: The land of hairy women.

So, I watch a lot of post-apocalyptic and dystopian TV. I read a lot of fiction. I thoroughly enjoy doing these things.
The problem is with consuming such a huge amount of one thing is your brain starts to go to strange places, thinking strange things.
This leads to me questioning all sorts of things that are probably supposed to be ignored.
But the main thing that is bugging me at the moment?
How in the hell are these women so fucking hairless?
I mean, I know that smooth legs and underarms are the current beauty standard (though that has not always been the case). And I know that actresses have to stick to these standards even more than the rest of us.
But this is the post-apocalypse. They’re scarred, covered in mud and blood and wearing filthy, tattered clothes. How come, when they can’t seem to wash their face, do they have enough hot water, soap and razors to shave their legs? Is this really a priority in the post-apocalypse? ‘Oh, I know I’ve got to run from the aliens, just let me wax first.’
Oh, I know. Suspension of disbelief, blah blah blah. I mean, if I can accept that they’re all so pretty and well fed, surely I can expect the preternaturally smooth legs and underarms.
But I can’t. And you know why? Because I am the owner of a female body. I know how fast my leg hair grows, and I know what I look like when I’ve been unbothered for just a week. It utterly stumps me that they are unafraid to let us see their heroines bloodied and ugly crying, but they can’t show ‘em with a tuft of underarm hair.
What do they think? That the viewers, after watching all the death, murder and torment, will draw the line at some hair where hair naturally grows?
We’re all grown ups. We understand that hair grows. And it breaks the illusion (for me) to have these women with their limbs as smooth as dolls.
Tell you one thing. I am not shaving in the post-apocalypse. And if it bothers anyone, if people are genuinely so concerned with my body hair that they’ll forget we’re three meals away from starving to death, they can suffer and die alone in the wastes. Because their priorities are FUCKED.

5 Apocalyptic Lessons to Learn From TV

Art imitates life or Life imitates art depending on how you choose to live. No living person has been able to explore the depths of apocalyptic life the way television has– and we could learn a few lessons.
From the human on human violence of 28 Days Later to the choices made in The Walking Dead, we could learn a thing or two about some of the choices we might have to make in a post-apocalyptic world.

Continue reading “5 Apocalyptic Lessons to Learn From TV”

Prepare you mind for the apocalypse.

We all know having the proper supplies, tools, and even clothes for the apocalypse is vital. We prepare our bodies with exercise and diet, but how do we prepare our mind? How do we ready ourselves for the predators who will use mental tricks and manipulation to assert their will?
I recently read an article about Pick up Artistry or PUA. It’s a school of thinking and series of behaviors designed to coach men that women aren’t interested in to manipulate, bully, and otherwise deceive their way into bed.
Delightful.
There’s a book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss, about understanding and employing this technique that has a nearly perfect score on amazon with about 720 reviews. Overwhelmingly, these Seven Hundred and Twenty people, likely a vast majority of men found topics like “Selecting a Target” and “Isolating the Target” to be valuable information.
Read the book, not to become this kind of person but to recognize them when they approach you, your friends, your daughter. Explain to your friends and relative what it looks like to be manipulated by a Pick up Artist. Every potential victim needs to not only be confident in their own mind and cues it’s providing but also aware of what might be churning in the mind of that seemingly vulnerable man who needs help on the other side of those buildings.

We all know having the proper supplies, tools, and even clothes for the apocalypse is vital. We prepare our bodies with exercise and diet, but how do we prepare our mind? How do we ready ourselves for the predators who will use mental tricks and manipulation to assert their will?

I recently read an article about Pick up Artistry or PUA. It’s a school of thinking and series of behaviors designed to coach men that women aren’t interested in to manipulate, bully, and otherwise deceive their way into bed.

Delightful.

There’s a book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss, about understanding and employing this technique that has a nearly perfect score on amazon with about 720 reviews. Overwhelmingly, these Seven Hundred and Twenty people, likely a vast majority of men  found topics like “Selecting a Target” and “Isolating the Target” to be valuable information.

Read the book, not to become this kind of person but to recognize them when they approach you, your friends, your daughter. Explain to your friends and relative what it looks like to be manipulated by a Pick up Artist. Every potential victim needs to not only be confident in their own mind and cues it’s providing but also aware of what might be churning in the mind of that seemingly vulnerable man who needs help on the other side of those buildings.

Because for all their placating and explanations of how harmless it is and how when a women “acts like she’s not interested she’s just playing games,” PUA is disturbingly similar to emotional abuse. That special kind of abuse that isolates the victim and makes them question their self worth so that the abuser can swoop in and be the hero in a situation that they caused.

There is nothing at all wrong with going out and trying to get laid. There is nothing at all wrong with using techniques to better “your game.”

The problem arises when the game is more important than the person being played. People who refuse to treat people like people are shitty people.

After spending three days immersed in a Mystery Method Corp (now Love Systems) seminar, Gene Weingarten expressed his uneasiness about “a step by step tutorial for men in how to pick up women, make them comfortable in your presence, and bed them, ideally within seven hours of your first meeting” and wondered aloud, “Is there something inherently wrong with the notion of seduction as a classroom-taught skill, complete with a long hierarchy of ‘lines’ that work, seemingly spontaneous topics of conversation that are anything but spontaneous, tricks for seeming ‘vulnerable’, and tips on how to behave so as to deliver subtle but effective nonverbal inducements to intimacy? [SOURCE]

It is vital that in all our preparations we recognize shitty people from the jump and never give them the upper hand. Recognize when people are playing at our emotions and trying to manipulate our minds by saying something so random and out of the blue that it confuses and thus disarms us[1. Yeah, that’s a technique.].

Read the books your predators are reading so you know if you’re being treated like prey.

A few other books to add to the Prepare Your Mind Reading List:

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker
In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the US’s leading expert on violent behaviour, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger – before it’s too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including: how to act when approached by a stranger; when you should fear someone close to you; what to do if you are being stalked; how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls; the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person; and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded – or been victimised by – power.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials) by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

If you know of another books that should be added to the Prepare Your Mind Reading List, please let us know in the comments.

'Traditional' Gender roles are a bunch of bullshit post apocalypse.

Most post-apocalyptic media (and a lot of prepper groups) have this weird idea that when the world ends the women will finally get back in the kitchen where they belong. While the post-apocalyptic world may be harsher to those of the female gender than the male in some ways, anyone who things gender is the main thing of importance in deciding who does what is going to find their survival group operating at less than peak efficiency.
For a start, gender doesn’t decide your natural skills. It doesn’t decide your intelligence or how capable you are at learning. Gender has a minor impact on certain tendencies, but the truth remains that people are individuals first, gender second.
And then, you have to remember that what we consider ‘traditional’ gender roles are actually a pretty modern invention, at least among the poor. Before the industrial revolution, you couldn’t have members of the family or society not contributing. Women ran bars, shops, worked the farms. One thing they didn’t do was ‘stay in the kitchen’ because the family would have starved to death if they did.
Let’s think of it with a post-apocalyptic practical frame of mind. Say you have a woman in your group who happens to be a crack shot. Are you going to make her take care of the kids because she’s a chick? Hope not. Take that to the logical extreme, and it means all people in your group should be offered the same training and found work to do based on what they’re best at, not on what old-fashioned gender ideals state they ‘should’ be good at.  Don’t stick a man who’s an excellent child-care provider on the scavenger lines, and don’t stick a woman who’s a brilliant engineer on clothes-making duty.
It really is that simple.
Are there things that either gender can do that the other can’t? Sure. With women, it’s pretty much down to ‘I can squat out a baby’. And that IS something you need to consider – babies are going to be super major important post-apocalypse and so pregnant women need to be protected. Even your crack shot from above needs to be taken off the front lines when she’s up the duff. But the thing is, you’ll need her back. So what’s the answer? Have a creche system. After weaning, all the children are taken over by dedicated child-minders, male and female.
But if you let modern-day gender binary colour your assumptions so much you end up with the person who could fix up electricity for you stuck to breeding and rearing, don’t blame me when you suffer.