The Consulting Analyst – Music and Revolution

The intro is here.

Have you found yourself wondering if there are any mostly-to-completely useless episodes of Fujiko Mine? Wonder no farther: it’s this one. But we’re going to wring some relevance from it regardless.

history-lesson

Episode Specifics: Fujiko finds herself caught up in the political tensions of Carib, posing as a journalist and having become the lover of Totally Not Fidel Castro in the hopes of learning the location of the country’s secret oil fields. Meanwhile the country teeters on the brink of revolution, and an assassination attempt threatens to cut short Totally Not Fidel’s declaration of national independence to the UN. Also Goemon is there, bearing up his proud franchise position as living plot device.

It probably would’ve been faster if I’d just posted a summary of the Bay of Pigs, a failed assassination attempt on Fidel Castro in 1961, and drawn anime eyes and crosshatching over it (there are elements of 1962’s Cuban Missile Crisis as well, what with the heavy emphasis on the doomsday clock).

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A Smiling, Bloody God and a Missing Voice: the State of Night Vale

Or: get your tinfoil hats, because this is a Wild Theorizing Essay.

I’ve been thinking about Kevin, internet. About the Voice of Desert Bluffs and the Voice of Night Vale. Partly as a coping mechanism for recent plot events, and partly because no mysteries are so thoroughly and deliberately obscured as the ones surrounding that abandoned-cemetery smile.

For those readers unaware, I refer to the bi-monthly podcast Welcome to Night Vale: a radio show broadcast from the titular town, where “all conspiracy theories are true” (including angels, black helicopters, the Sheriff’s Secret Police, and a dog park in which neither people nor their dogs are allowed on pain of death), and our guide is the smooth-voiced, eccentric Cecil Gershwin Palmer. If you’ve never heard it, I highly encourage you to check it out – either on iTunes or at Commonplace Books.

As a warning: if you’re just stepping into the world of Night Vale, this post will be thoroughly riddled with spoilers (and may prove to be moot point once the second anniversary rolls around). The sections for discussion are as follows:

  1. The Alleged Sandstorm
  2. Cecil and Mirrors
  3. The Smiling God
  4. The Work
  5. The Station and the Sun

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The Consulting Analyst – Prison of Love

The intro is here.

Dear readers, we stand this week on a precipice. Here do we plunge into the surreal madness that lurks at this show’s core. Here we reach the character that I want to talk about most of all, wretched and pathetic and fascinatingly heartbreaking as he is. Shall we?

natureLAYERS. SO MANY LAYERS.
It’s terribly interesting that the series’ most sensual scene shows little to no skin

Episode Specifics: Fujiko has disguised herself as the teacher of an all-girls academy (one presumes a Catholic school, given the uniforms and chapel and general familiarity with anime tropes) in the hopes of stealing a highly valuable pendant from the new transfer student. Unbeknownst to her (or is it), the police intercepted that girl long before the game began, and offered up their own bit of disguised bait. Thus are we allowed our first peek into Oscar’s mind, and find it a dark place indeed.

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On Godzilla and the Changing View of Science

There came a moment in the new Godzilla film where, as I watched a group of nearly identical soldiers (new characters as far as I was concerned) walking down a train track, I realized that the protagonist had been there all along without my noticing. And even then, I couldn’t have told you with much certainty which one he was (before the other ones ended up dead, that is). I was not particularly angry about this fact, more quietly perplexed and disconnected until the GIANT MONSTER swooped overhead and I sort of forgot what I was perturbed about. That is perhaps the best way I can think to sum up a film that I am extremely grateful to have seen for free.

My presence at the premiere came with a certain amount of wonderful symmetry. As a kid I would sit side by side with friend D in a wood-paneled basement untouched since the 70s, and find myself enraptured by the many Technicolor wonders of the 1960s Godzilla spinoffs (we were even at an age wherein Godzuki did not seem like the most embarrassing of all possible franchise choices). Mothra and Mecha-Godzilla were far more the stuff of my nostalgia than the deeply atmospheric piece of nuclear anxiety horror that the original Godzilla was (which I later came to appreciate as a film geek).

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Meet the film’s most compelling character. Don’t get too attached

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The Consulting Analyst – Blood-Soaked Triangle

The intro is here.

Never was there an episode with so many nonchalant nipples as this one. Bless its heart.

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Nudity. Everywhere Nudity

Episode Specifics: Jigen and Lupin meet for the first time in a recently unearth pyramid, both of them looking for a magnificent treasure called the “Laughing Peacock” – Lupin so that he might have a chance with Fujiko, and Jigen for want of a purpose in his post-assassin life. It might be, as they say, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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So You Want to Major in English (Without Going Bankrupt)

When I was in school (a statement that gives me crippling feelings of self-absorbed oldness only a millennial can achieve) there was a running joke that went as follows: “an English major is probably the biggest waste of money you could possibly – oh wait, we forgot the sociology majors.” That’s how you make yourself feel better while pursuing a degree that’s slightly less respected than a professional career at McDonald’s. And the more I got to thinking about it, the more I wanted to do my own English major PSA.

prophetic-writing

I cannot technically promise prophetic writing powers

Depending on the person, an English major can be the most or least helpful route you can pick. Unlike some of the STEM fields (maths and sciences) it isn’t constructed to lead directly to a career path (unless you’re interested in teaching), and that can be completely terrifying for a new graduate. On the other hand, the skills you learn in terms of critical thinking, pattern recognition, contextualization, and the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly (not to mention write a killer paper) are extremely flexible and will serve you well not just in any number of jobs but as a productive member of society.

The key is being self-motivated – in other words, just do stuff. Start a blog, make goofy videos with your friends, write constantly. Not only will you be improving (and never be afraid of criticism – you don’t have to take every single bit of it, but watching reactions is one of the best ways to help yourself grow as an artist), but you’ll also be building a portfolio. Most jobs in the arts have increasingly hellish requirements for actually getting paid, and the more you’ve trained yourself in being able to work consistently and well, the better odds you’ll have. You get used to keeping a constant eye out, taking your basic skills and layering job-specific stuff on top of it – editing, secretarial work, journalism, comics, reviews, poetry and prose. You can be just about anyone, though it won’t be easy.

Still interested?

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The Consulting Analyst – Vissi D’arte, Vissi D’amore

The intro is here.

We’ve come to the first big hurdle of the series, as far as a lot of longtime Lupin fans are concerned. It’s all well and good to see darker, noir tinted versions of hitmen and thieves, but things get a bit harder to swallow when it comes to the franchise’s longtime beacon of well-meaning justice. Well, that’s how he’s remembered, anyway. We’ll get to that in a bit.

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This scene has all the appeal of realizing your parents are still sexually active

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