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Scrimmy Bingus and the Crungy Spingus



Posted by Dina Saruyama , Apr 25 2015 · 189 views

So I'm probably going to regret thinking about this in the morning when I'm fairly less sleep-deprived and bold but I guess I'm actually considering attending Brickfair VA this year??? I've never been there before and the idea of planning my own trip as an adult is daunting but I guess this is something I'm seriously considering?

Right now, the biggest obstacle is travel. Living in Minnesota pretty much means being halfway across the country from everything, and that includes Brickfair. Traveling halfway across the country is expensive. An airplane flight costs pretty much my current monthly budget, and buses are over half still. (Plus I was recently warned away from Greyhound buses for being a little unreliable.) If push comes to shove, though, I could try supplementing my usual budget with some money from art commissions, and cutting back on some spending in other areas. So transportation is a maybe, depending on budget.

idk. I should probably make up my mind on this soon, since hotel room things are probably best hashed out sooner rather than later. This entry is kind of thinking aloud and also kind of letting people know that this is a thing I'm considering? (If my presence worries you, know that I'm much quieter in real life :P)

I guess that's pretty much it for this entry??? I guess it's a lot of words for "I'm maybe thinking of going to BFVA kind of". So yeah.


How should a story make you think?

Posted by Dina Saruyama , Apr 22 2015 · 259 views

(This is related to the latest in S&T arguments, but reading the argument is not necessarily a prerequisite for understanding this entry. Additionally, while it was sparked by something bonesiii said, this entry isn't necessarily directed at him.)

I've heard that Bionicle was supposed to take some work to understand a few times now now, and it just doesn't click with me. When I think of a story that requires work to understand, I think of Snowpiercer, with its rich, deep-running themes that run throughout its entire core. I think of The Great Gatsby, which is filled with symbolism that works towards its greater ideas.

Basically, when I think of a story that takes some work to understand, I think of theme.

The reason I think of working towards theme is that it's one of two fulfilling things to work for when reading a story. (The other is mostly applicable to detective stories, which is working out the mystery before the answer is revealed.) I've said it before (where it fell upon rather deaf ears) but theme is at the heart of every story. Every story sends a message. (Maybe more. (Imagine.)) In fact, one could say that conveying a theme is the goal of all stories (besides those that also strive to sell toys.) To understand a theme and unwrap the author's intent takes a lot of work, and doesn't even always have a concrete correct answer, but what it gives you is a deeper understanding of the story. Snowpiercer takes work to understand, but when you do understand it, it's so much more fulfilling than just an action movie on an apocalypse train. It's this work that I expect a story to provide, and it's the lack of such work that usually results in me finding a story unengaging, because without theme, there's just not much there. Things just happen. It's why it infuriates me when I see someone say to turn your brain off and enjoy the movie; to me, no story should ever only be enjoyable without thought. It needs substance. That is how a story should make you think.

Contrast this with the evidence I've seen that Bionicle was meant to make you think. Bionicle's theme is mind-bogglingly simple to figure out, imo; it's a nine-year story about team work, and occasionally more refined aspects like leadership. That's not what I'm told needs thought. What I'm told I need to think about is the height of robots, or the wacked-out physics, or whether Kapura teleports via flatulence. Even just piecing the wildly tangled knots of storylines is work. That's not the work I expect from a story; I'm not supposed to figure out the logistics of the fictional world. It's not worthy work to come up with the midichlorians of Bionicle, because what does that actually have to do with the story? How is my understanding of the story itself actually enriched by that? Is the thinking required to make sense of this story actually worth it?

idk, that's my thoughts on the role of thinking in stories. I don't want to turn my brain off, but I want my efforts to actually be rewarded with a deeper understanding of the story rather than simply making sense of an author's inability to organize storyline coherently.


oh hey look I'm complaining about Jurassic World again imagine that

Posted by Dina Saruyama , Apr 20 2015 · 214 views

honestly, at this point, I'm not sure if I'm more disappointed that they didn't bother to do any actual dinosaur research in this dinosaur film or that this is once again just going to be the tried-and-true "scientists are evul" Frankenstein story that pretty much 75% of sci fi films (including the original Jurassic Park) already are.



Posted by Dina Saruyama , Apr 07 2015 · 423 views

If your story about the genus Brontosaurus being revived is accompanied by a tail-dragging, swamp-dwelling, camarasaur-headed, wrinkly elephantine monstrosity then I hate you.


happy easter

Posted by Dina Saruyama , Apr 05 2015 · 124 views



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Honestly, you can make this sound like some kind of crusade for justice all you want (I'm going to hope that some of how you worded it is just meant as hyperbole to make a point, though?), but it just comes across to me as being anti-fun and anti-imagination.


There's a time and a place for joke entries to place high in a contest (actually no there really isn't but w/e), but the first site-wide BZP contest is certainly not one of those times.


The first entry offended my eyes.


Well, this was probably in the bottom 3 comics I've read in my life. Didn't make much sense, and some things were hard to read because of the coloring and font style.


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