Twitter Breaks, College, More Kevin Smith Show Details, & Other News!

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Hello all! I'm sorry I've been missing in action as of late. Its been a crazy busy week, but I'd love to recap with all of you!

Twitter Break
I took Wednesday and Thursday "off" from Twitter, as some of you might already know. Wednesday was as a protest against SOPA and PIPA -- if you still aren't aware what those two recently-killed pieces of legislature are, Google it. Many people on Twitter told me that not tweeting for a day was either going against the principle (i.e. we should not silence ourselves, because thats what the government wants) or they thought that my personal protest would do nothing for the cause. I don't believe with these statements whatsoever. I was not silencing myself, instead I was making a stand to not tweet in support of Wikipedia and other major websites blacking themselves on that day or sties such as Google and, the one I work for, The Daily BLAM! who "censored" their logos in protest. 

I understood that my part alone wouldn't stop the bill from passing, but by speaking out and spreading the word about these topics like so many of you did as well, I feel I helped to raise awareness and draw more attention to the protest. That was enough reason for me to not tweet. =) 

Then on Thursday I did not tweet again, but this time for my own personal reasons. Wednesday was the first day in nearly 3 years I did not tweet for a full 24 hours. That's a lot of time of constantly scrolling through my phone and obsessively seeing what other people have said. Constantly refreshing my phone screen was actually starting to exhaust me. I have been getting a lot of headaches over the past couple of months, and I honestly credit it to buying an iPhone. The two days I did not tweet, however, I did not have any headaches. So now I'll be trying to cut back on this obsessive behavior and instead focus on things that I really need to pay attention to... such as school!

Last Semester of College
 I am extremely excited about this semester at Rutgers University because its my last before I finally graduate! I was never one of those students who relished in college life. I never joined clubs, sports teams and god forbid not a sorority. I never lived on campus, and I went from school to work and back to my classes. I did not make many friends, and the ones I did, I make was through working at a bookstore on campus. 

  Seeing how its the last semester, I was able to pick some pretty cool classes! I'm mainly excited about my Creative Writing Advanced Workshop and WWII courses. I had to go through a little bit of trouble to get into this particular Creative Writing class. I'd taken it before but because each class is never the same, you can take it multiple times and still receive credit. I have an incredible professor named Sarah, who is the main reason for trying hard to get into this class. I had to send a lot of emails begging to receive special permission to get in, but it worked!

Sarah is a wonderful person, an established writer and an excellent instructor who also lectures at NYU. I went to her first class and realized that my favorite fellow writer, Andrew, and someone who we call "Vampire Girl" were there! Those of you who have been following me on Twitter for a long time will remember Andrew, who is one of the only writers my own age that I hold the upmost respect for. He writes very graphic and intelligent horror stories (think H.P. Lovecraft or psychological thrillers). His writing freaks me out but I respect his advice and opinions tremendously. 

Also, the same people who have been following me for a long time may recall that a previous class Andrew & I were in introduced us to an individual we dubbed Vampire Girl. She has a mass of curly, long brown hair, she's severely overweight, wears enormous Disney themed t shirts featuring Mickey Mouse or Cinderella, and only writes about vampires. She also insists to write in Greek; the actual language. Alas, one semester Andrew and I were forced to listen to this girl's writing twice a week about Grecian Vampires (apparently known as vrykolakas). I will never forget that word, because she repeated it ALL THE TIME. No matter what prompt we had, she would write about vrykolakas, where half of her writing would be in Greek with the other in English. Said writing would always be about vampires who inhabit Rutgers, living tortured and love torn lives as students. 

In short, it was brutal. This girl drove me insane and now I have the pleasure of having her in my class yet again! She even spoke on the first day about how her favorite things to write about are vrykolakas, mermaids, dark gruesome creatures, and -- of course -- writing in Greek. Too bad I wont be able to understand half the things she says. 

I am also excited about my WWII history class! Half of my writing pieces these days take place in the 1940s era, and mostly in New York City. I have always loved the time period and especially reading stories from that time. I think because I have a romanticized mindset to this war. Its one of the last truly good-versus-evil eras where we were fighting for a just cause and trying to defeat true evil. There were horrifying villains and valiant heroes, lovers who had to overcome all odds; and not to mention the fashion that makes me melt. I have never been one for fashion, but, by golly, I'd love to be a 40s pin up girl. 

My reasoning for taking this class was to expand my knowledge of WWII to further enhance my writing. If I am going to continue setting my stories in the 1940s era, I need to have a firm grasp and intricate knowledge of it's history. Only two classes in and I've already learned a lot about the different kinds of ships that were made; for example, what they were used for, the gauge of each, and their respective displaced tons. I feel like such a nerd writing down literally everything my professor is saying in class, which is not necessary at all. But I want to learn these things! It feels good to be excited about learning again. 

Kevin Smith Show
As many of you also know by now, I auditioned and filmed the pilot episode of Kevin Smith's new Comic Book Men reality show. A lot of drama ensued between when I was involved over the summer and recently when the commercials were released online. Since then a lot of backlash came about, mainly due to the newly revealed motif. Many fans believe that they were alienating girls by having it called "Comic Book Men". I will repeat that I, personally, have nothing against this show. Also, it is a completely different concept from what I had been chosen to participate in; which was their choice, and I have no negative feelings at all for them making a production decision for the betterment of their series.  What does bother me, however, is how Walt, Bryan and Quinn of the Tell 'Em Steve Dave podcast (also the central figures in the show) are talking about me. 

On January 13th, the trio tore apart Jill Pantozzi's (aka @NerdyBird) article, which can be read HERE. Then, they began to tear apart an email I had sent them right after the promotion for the show began. One part of my email said, "I need to know ahead of time if there is footage of me being portrayed in a less than appealing manner before the show is aired". I thought this was a reasonable request because seeing how the concept of the show had drastically changed, I did not want them using footage they had of me and possibly twisting it to make me look less than appealing. I don't trust reality shows, because more often than not, geeks and underdogs are shown in a poor light. Maybe first I should elaborate on what the premise of the show was when I was a part of it...

My part in the original show was that of the newly hired female worker at the Secret Stash store, which would cause opposition with part owner Walt who believes that girls know little to nothing about comics. I auditioned with many other women who answered the producers' call and was cast to be "hired" at the store during the pilot episode; hopefully proving that some girls are in fact fairly fluent with comics and the geek culture. During my "in store interview" Walt and Bryan asked me to come in the following day dressed up in costume. I did as I was told, and came in my Black Canary suit (Note: The producers of the show had heard beforehand about my cosplaying and really wanted to feature it on the show. Also, Black Canary is the counter part of Green Arrow, a comic character that Kevin Smith himself had previously authored for DC Comics).

When I showed up at the comic shop on my "second day", Walt berated me, saying what I was wearing was inappropriate and sluttish. On camera I was nearly in tears because I did not understand what was happening. I was only doing what the producers had me do, and yet I was being yelled at. The producers stopped filming and told me to yell back at Walt fiercely on camera. I did what I was told, but in hindsight I felt that this footage could easily be taken out on context and I did not particularly want to be called a slut on television. This scene was what I was referencing in my email to the producers after the new theme of the series was made public. Instead of a cordial explanation, I was made a topic of ridicule on their podcast. 

Walt, in what I now realize is his true to form sexist manner, falsely stated on the Tell 'Em Steve Dave podcast that I chose to show up to their shop wearing almost nothing in my Black Canary suit. This unnecessary and untruthful behavior makes me question why I had ever wanted to be a part of this production. I only wore my costume to the shop due to the express instructions from the producers of the show itself.  Within reason, I was extremely offended by this claim because not once was I doing something that was not instructed to me. This has only confirmed that, yes, I was right to speak out because these three grown men already saw me in a poor light and now claim I was acting upset because I was not on the show; they even stated that I "felt like I deserved to be on it". If they had read my previous blog post about this subject, which was also featured on Jill's article that they dissected, they would have know this. I did not in ant way, shape or form express ANY ill feeling over not being on the show, I was merely thrilled to have the experience and curious to the new direction they chose to take it. Only now, after the fact -- and expressly because of the way they are acting -- do I regret being involved. 

The most ironic part of this entire debacle is that Kevin Smith's own wife was embarrassed by what Walt and his cronies had said. She tweeted on January 14th, "Ladies that have been offended by TESD's recent sexist ep, believe me, I hear u loud & clear! I encourage you to lodge disdain 2@BryWaltQ." 

All in all, I am very disappointed by how all of this has come about. Up until my last public discussion about this series, I had utmost respect for the Smiths and their co-workers in their television endeavor (which, in and of itself, is not an easy feat to accomplish). But now I feel very sad that this show will validate to people, those not in tune with the comic/geek lifestyle, the belief that comic-centric fans are misogynist, uppity anti-socialites.

New York
Onto a much more enjoyable topic, I spent much of this week in New York despite it being my first week of classes! Tuesday night I was supposed to go to a screening of Red Tails but, because had I heard it was so bad, skipped it. Instead, I caught up with Pietro (@Poni_Boy) for drinks at his favorite bar and walked around Manhattan in the rain. 

Thursday we attended a screening of the purported action-thriller Haywire with our third counterpart, Giovanni (@MarioPrime). We all ended up having very different opinions of it. Basically, Giovanni loved it, I sort of liked it, and Pietro hated it. You can read Pietro's review HERE and Giovanni's HERE. Personally I thought the movie was entertaining. Would I ever pay $10-15 to go see it or recommend someone else to see it? Not at all. The plot is incredibly thin, with most of the motivation behind each of the characters either shallow or unexplained. Gina Carano as Mallory Kane was impressive because she is a professional MMA fighter and not an actress. This also means that she cant act very well, which left most of her scenes extremely flat. She appears to go through the motions of the plot, never really having an opinion on what she's doing. Yes its enjoyable to watch, but wait for it on cable or rent it from Netflix. Also, to anyone who has seen it, can you tell me where she suddenly gets cornrows from in the span of about 30 minutes? She's about to have a major show down with the man who ruined her life and somehow she finds enough time to braid her whole head! Is her white cracker-ass dad secretly skilled in doing this? Because you aren't able to do this on yourself, twice. Please, let me know. 

In Other News
Have you heard about Moo.com giving away 50 free business cards to the first 200,000 Facebook users to sign up? They are very pretty and you only pay $5.50 for shipping! I heard about this from tumblr, where a bunch of people I follow were posting pictures of theres. Heres what mine look like! Directions to make your own can be found HERE.

I also am in the middle of creating a Valentine's Day Gift Guide for The Daily BLAM! It features a bunch of cool stuff from Think Geek and Uncommon Goods and more cool stuff for couples, singles and family members! So keep an eye out for that sometime this week =D

This week Pietro is staying at my house for a few days to celebrate his birthday and for a 24 hours movie marathon! We will be live tweeting all the movies, so make sure so check us out on Wednesday, January 25th at midnight for our updates! Our movie list (in order) is as follows: The Princess Bride, X-men First Class, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Ocean's Eleven, Megamind, Constantine, The Notebook, Casino Royale, Fanboys, Empire Strikes Back, Spirited Away and Love Actually!

Whew! What a lot of topics to cover! I promise from now I will try to post throughout the week and not just in one big clump at the end. 

Until next time, tootles!

9 comments:

  1. Live tweeting some of fav movies. Will def need alcohol. And bacon.

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  2. I've never seen your BC costume, it looks fantastic!!!

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  3. I want to watch a show about the comic book store 'Secret Stash' not a show about a bunch of fat sweaty 'comic book men' circle jerking each other off while talking about who has the bigger dork, Hulk or The Thing.

    Hulk obviously.

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  4. I had hope that maybe the creators of "Comic Book Men" were pressured by the network to change the show to fit stereotypes the general population would come to expect; I am sad to see that this is clearly not the case. Good luck in future endeavors though, you are probably better off not being involved with this train wreck.

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  5. I think that your Black Canary looks fantastic and SHAME on those guys for doing that to you. They missed a great opportunity by not going with the original concept you described and I highly doubt I'll watch more than a single episode with the format they've settled on.

    I love comics, but there's an odd sort of territoriality that some comic readers have that can really drive people away. Oddly, for a group that's portrayed as being picked on, there seems to be a tendency to want to do the same to others instead of being happy when new people want to embrace comics. I think that they saw the original direction of the show as opening doors and this sort of atavistic fear kicked in of 'oh no, if people start liking things I like, I'll no longer be different', and they shut down and closed ranks.

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  6. wow, that is a different Black Canary than I was familiar with. I kinda thought she always dressed like this: http://images.wikia.com/marvel_dc/images/d/de/Green_arrow_and_black_canary.jpg

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  7. I'm really sorry to read that the CBM people would engage in such crude, sexist stupidity toward you. This goes beyond something fandom-related into a much uglier mentality that Smith is endorsing by hiring the kind of people who would do such a thing.

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  8. I dared to ask questions about this, so @BryWaltQ ripped into me and told me to f off. I'm so sorry this unique opportunity turned into something distressing for you, Z. Shake it off. You deserve much, much better.

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  9. Having been listening to the tesd archives and loving the show, I just encountered the episode you refer to and was stopped cold. It felt really brutal to suddenly realise the insidious disdain the guys have towards women. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that disgusting display from them.

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