Month: July 2015
OITNB Season 3: A failure or a force to be reckoned with?
By Koleana M.
Netflix released its third season of Orange Is The New Black last month, and it has been widely panned in the internet world. Rotten tomato released OITNB’s audience rating and the results were an interesting 74%. That’s only 3.8 out of 5 stars for Orange is the New Black: Season 3. Many critics claim the season is anti-climactic, flashbacks are poorly integrated, and the drama is lukewarm in comparison to the previous 2 seasons. While you’re free to compile your own feelings about how this season stacks up to the first two, I’d like to highlight the ways in which the third season converges dramatization with exploitation of society’s parochialism towards things that are different, while still maintaining its pervasive nudity; which is exactly why everyone needs to watch and learn.
Let’s take a looksie at some of the societal issues this season brings to light and how the characters work through them.
In Ruby Rose’s first scene on the show as an inmate, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schiling) asks her if she considers herself as belonging to the category of ‘women’ and Rose responds with “Yes, but only because my options are limited”. Rose gracefully and directly exploits Piper’s (and the world’s) need for placing people in gender boxes and only allowing a human to either be a man or a woman. Why do we feel this need to categorize? Gender can be fluid and identification can fall somewhere on a spectrum. Just as we have progressed into considering sexuality as a spectrum as well, it’s clear that we should open up to the concept of gender fluidity too. And it worked out wonderfully that the character who spearheaded the notion of gender fluidity in this show is a rather androgynous and extremely gorgeous Australian model named Ruby Rose. See her self written and directed music video addressing and showing us that she is the quintessential example of gender fluidity here.
This season we also learn more about our favorite butch Big Boo, who also struggled with her parents’ and society’s need to impose their expectations of appropriate gender representation on her, and she fought with this all of her life. She’s a woman who loves women and also loves dressing like a man. Big Boo doesn’t fit into heteronormative stereotypes that the world tries to place upon her. Why can’t we just accept her for who she is!?
Currently battling Caitlyn Jenner for the number 1 spot as America’s favorite Trans woman is Laverne Cox, who plays the character of Sophia in OTINB. Sophia is an inmate and the prison hair stylist- a job that perfectly embodies her interests in hair, make-up, and all things feminine. Her fellow inmates love her, her services, and coming into her prison salon for weekly gossip and beautifying. Until a little tiff with one Latina inmate causes a riot against Sophia and she is attacked in her salon by 3 inmates, cursed and beaten for being a man pretending to be a woman. In speaking with her prison counselor about that hate attack, Cox reveals that although she has undergone gender readjustment surgeries and taken every step she can towards becoming a woman, she’ll never really feel accepted in the eyes of people who don’t want to even try to understand transgender. Preach honey. We may never truly understand a struggle that’s not our own, but the least we can do is try to be accepting and supportive.
In this season, the extremely controversial Tiffany Doggett, or ‘Pennsatucky’ (played by Taryn Manning) evolves from being a crazy meth head hick to a character whom becomes humanized as we learn she has suffered and continues to suffer through mental manipulation and sexual abuse. Her mother didn’t raise her to understand that she has dignity and a voice in sexual encounters, but rather told her to ‘keep her mouth shut and let him do whatever he wants to do’ to her. With this mindset, she grew into a teen prostitute, drug addict, and ultimately ended up in prison, where she continues to suffer sexual abuse from correctional officer Coates. He repeatedly forces his sexual will upon her and then coddles her with donuts and ice cream leading her to think that these transactions are acceptable. The trauma Doggett endures makes it evident that parents need to have clear and in depth conversations with there children to help them understand their bodies, sex, love, healthy relationships and dignity.
White dominance in the work force:
Also in this season, Piper begins a dirty panty smuggling business and employs a band of inmates to provide the goods for sale. Through this business venture, she exploits her workers in many ways and fights very hard to keep her slavedriver position. The moment Flaca conspires against Piper because she wants fair pay, she fires the Latina panty girl and blackmails her to keep her mouth shut. Piper gives her employees an unreasonably low pay, keeping the profits for herself and her family. When Ruby Rose succeeds in stealing the profits- Piper plants contraband all over Rose’s cube and drops an anonymous tip to the correctional officers that they need to search Rose’s bunk. Upon discovery of the planted makeshift weapons, lighters and drugs, Rose is immediately hauled off to maximum security prison just 2 days before she was supposed to be released. Piper’s descent into madness as a mob boss of a panty business accurately depicts white dominance. Piper has been challenged to understand her white privilege throughout the entire series, and now that she is in a position of economical power, she fails to show us that she has learned anything of value. Instead of mitigating white supremacist conventionalisms, she makes it clear that she comes from a historically dominant ethic group and is incapable of leading with a more modest and balanced role.
Through season 3 we learn a lot more about our token mute, Norma, who develops a loyal following of inmates that are seeking spiritual enlightenment, solace, connection to a higher power, and probably the most important thing for prisoners- mental and emotional acceptance and perseverance to make it through their prison sentences. The show does an exquisite job of helping us see what a slippery slope it is between spirituality and cultism, and how easy it is for a person to codify a spiritually operatic culture. It’s normal for people to want to believe in something. An entire level of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs is dedicated to human’s innate desire to feel like they belong to something. We are social creatures and find a great deal of fulfillment in being accepted, which is what makes organized religion so popular. This is also why certain people have so easily talked others into ‘drinking the kool aid’. I don’t think Norma has any deeply malicious intent with her followers, but she likes the attention she gets- her followers constantly refer to her as their God, savior, mom, grandmother, guide and prophet. And her followers are excited to have something to believe in, someone to believe in, and are relentless in their quest for signs from the universe. This all seems fine and dandy until this cult becomes exclusive, its followers assume elitist attitudes and begin bullying an inmate so much so that she is driven into a depression and attempted suicide via pill swallowing. Whoa. Sh*t got heavy real quick. People can believe in whatever they want to believe in, but it becomes a problem when their ‘beliefs’ are harassing, bullying, and intimidating others all in the name of their ‘God’.
Alcohol & substance abuse:
My personal favorite character, Poussey, struggles hard with alcohol addiction in this season. And I understand it. She’s sad she’s in prison and she’s lonely. She just wants someone to love! I feel for her, I really do. Unfortunately, her character seems to be very misunderstood by her group of friends so she finds release in concocting her own homemade hooch and indulges in drinking it and napping all day long. While this blossoming alcoholic is meandering through her sentence, Soso tries to commit suicide in the library by downing a bunch of prescription pills she stole from the doctor’s office. When Poussey sneaks into the library to take a swig of her hooch she stashes in the ceiling, she finds Soso’s unconscious (but not dead!) body laid out on the floor among the shelves of books. I see what the writers did there. Having Poussey discover the body of an inmate who also was trying to find escape through substance abuse is probably the most effective way to get the woman off the hooch. And all of our hearts are warmed in the final episode when we see Poussey and Soso holding hands, having found what they were looking for all along – LOVE.
So while the first couple of seasons were all sex and naked women, (no complaints here), the third dives head first into some very serious societal issues. Every episode has layers of conflict, exploitation and oppression and the characters fight all these injustices while dealing with the fact their they live behind prison walls. OITNB directs spotlights over a lot of things that we struggle with, struggles other people are having, and how we may not be the person enduring the struggle but the least we can do is be allies for the cause.
And whether you watch the show for all the drama and deep sh*t, or you just like seeing all the naked ladies, this season has a lot to offer its audience – and her name is Ruby Rose.
Daniel Radcliffe Wizard Receptionist
By Airec Sype.
NYLON Magazine released a video of Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe, as their receptionist earlier this week. The British actor (for lack of a better word) acted as their receptionist for an hour because he sure as hell wasn’t good at the job. Radcliffe even pointed out his shortcomings when he stated: “Yes, I am very new and very shit.”
When Radcliffe first took his temp-position behind the desk, not many people recognized the man of Gryffindor. But it didn’t take long for someone to notice the magic IRL. Then just as someone would expect, the office girls (and some boys) went nuts after they realized that their new Brit is the legendary wizard himself.
TheEllimst had the best comment on the YouTube page: “You’re a receptionist Harry.” Well, I guess he kind of was one. Due to his poor performance, I’m sure he would have gotten fired within minutes of his first day. This kinda makes you think of all the jobs out there that seems easy to us but in reality are a little difficult to do. Like the host position at my restaurant. Sometimes those poor kids, mainly Irish kids, are just thrown into the chaos! It’s kinda-sorta funny to watch them fail. Seating people seems easy, but holy hell do they have to do some sh*t. You could see towards the end of the video Radcliffe shouting for Lauren’s help. I bet this is one of those situations where he wished that he had his magic wand for help.
Here’s to hoping that Anna Kendrick will pop up at my restaurant to play a host, Sype.
Old People Things: Part 2
By: Koko and Airec
Welp, here we are again to tell the world that we’re getting older! During one of our frequent conversations about our aging bodies and our concerns of today’s youth, we realize again that time is still not on our side. So as we grow older (and hopefully wiser) we start to notice all the things we do differently, and the changes in the ways we view and navigate the world. This lead us to some realizations (again) that makes us a little more our age and young adult-ish.
So here is our continuation of Old People Things. We present to you, the long-awaited, part 2!
1. If 2 or more things must be remembered- you have to start a list
2. Personal property insurance
3. Planning what your children’s names will be
4. Having several bank accounts, all for different purposes
5. Your body has its own bedtime
6. A cup of coffee is a morning ritual
7. A ‘crazy Friday night’ means a bottle of wine and The Bachelorette (Airec is animes and sitcoms)
8. It takes 2 days to recover from 1 night of drinking
9. You wish you could still dial POPCORN to find out the accurate time so you can properly adjust your wrist watch
10. You wear a wrist watch
11. You’re old enough to know what POPCORN was
12. You always have Pedialyte in your fridge- ready and waiting
13. Thinking of how inappropriate a girl’s clubbing/festival attire is
14. Standing around awkwardly at an 18+ Club
15. Having Icy-Hot within arm distant
16. Thinking of names for your future pet and what kind
17. Tipping correctly
18. TUMS. So many TUMS.
19. Choosing to get a hotdog before heading home to cook over partying with a bunch of 21 year olds on a Thursday night
There it is, 19 ways we are older now. We both have felt the cruel wrath of time as our own bodies continues to break down. It doesn’t feel like it now, but you will get old someday; it’s just a sad fact of life. We’re sure that soon we’re gonna have another list of how we are entering adulthood. So watch out for that. There’s no denying that our party side is now slowing down and our ideas of fun are shifting. We just accept the fact that we’re old people now, but hey(!), we’re still cool!
Till next time, Koko and Airec.
Finger Blasting: It’s Such An American Term
By Airec Sype.
(NSFW Content Ahead)
Finger Blasting (verb) – The act of inserting one’s finger(s) repeatedly, with vigorous force, into another person or their vagina or anus.
“Bob is a little pissed that I finger blasted his ex-girlfriend last night at the movies.”
Now that we got the technical terms out-of-the-way, let’s talk about finger blasting. For those who are not used to vulgar and crude humor (or were not in the Greek system in college), the term ‘finger blasting’ may be a foreign or familiar concept. This is not the case for me; every time I say it, I cannot help but giggle at the sheer silliness of the 14 letters that compose such an act.
My friend Heaven (yes that’s her real name and not her stage name) did not believe me that this word -this word that made her cringed at a bar during Taco Tuesday- was valid. She believed my fraternity and I made it up, until I showed her proof. I don’t know if the idea or culture of ‘finger blasting’ came from the ancient Greeks themselves or from the early frat houses of young America, but it’s currently sweeping the Nation with giggles and disgust! Here is the ever so reliable Urban Dictionary providing the evidence of finger blasting!
Now the reason why I’m so juiced up on this rediscovered word is because I realized how American the term ‘finger blasting’ is. This realization came when I was trading hook-up terminology with my Irish friends who are here on their J1 visas. They shared with me the term ‘shifting.’ Which means to ‘make out with,’ or ‘French kissing.’ So then I traded them the marvelous F.B.!!!
I’m sure this wasn’t the first time these pale kids with cute accents have heard of ‘finger blasting,’ but I’m sure this is the first real time that they had to really think about it. As their cognitive brains slowly processed the term and stored it in their memory banks, their faces showed their reaction: the girls cringed to its imagery of their own flowers getting blasted, while the guys giggled as they pictured a rapid penetration of someone they yearn for by their own hand-gun.
The reason why I believe ‘finger blasting’ is such an American word is because of the aggressiveness of the implied action. When you look at the terms ‘shifting’ or ‘French kissing,’ they just seems so elegant, peaceful, and so European. Now when you say ‘finger blasting,’ it’s so American to take charge and impose one’s will. You’re not simply fingering but you’re also blasting! An act of passion that holds a key to open the door to sex has now become a barrage of angry SWAT members knocking down lush (and hopefully shaven) pink doors, guns a-blazing!
If you need another reason to giggle at the marvelous term ‘finger blasting,’ check out Amy Schumer’s skit that is posted above. I’m sure it’s going to shock you (;P) I don’t even want to ruin the video for you by describing it. So. Funny!!! Now, if you even need more proof how Americans have owned up to the term ‘finger blasting,’ Thought Catalog has compiled “Top 5 On-Screen Fingerblangs” by Kat George in popular American media. You’ll probably see some familiar faces there!
Also, if all this talk about finger blasting gets you in the mood to call over a Tinder date, then make sure you do it right. Kat George, here she is again, has an another F.B. article on Vice about common finger blasting mistakes. It holds tips such as- clip your finger nails and make sure you don’t blast your way past the clit. A good read for you rookie blasters out there who just got your gun licenses.
Welp, I hope you all get the idea of finger blasting. This post isn’t to promote people to blast away at in a dark night club, or in a dim movie theater; this post is to poke fun at the word and giggle inappropriately. I’m not a ‘finger blasting’ advocate trying to make the term into Websters. (Those fraternity days are behind me!) I just think F.B. is a funny word. If you do decide to partake, make sure you finger blast intelligently; you don’t know when you’re going to accidentally hurt someone or get kicked out of a Carnage pool party in Vegas for ‘finger blasting’ some random chick in the pool during EDC week. Those guns are meant to be used responsibly and behind closed doors!
Dance downstairs safely, Master Blasters.
What If Mexicans Were As Excited About USA Like Americans
By Airec Sype.
One of my favorite holidays is around the corner- the 4th of July! Not only do we celebrate this great nation’s independence, but that means I’m going to get more tips at my restaurant and I get to show my Irish co-workers on J1s their first AMERICA DAY!!!
FLAMA is here to remind us ‘Muricans about how ridiculous we can be when we celebrate other countries’ ethnic “heritage day” with their video “If Mexicans Celebrated the 4th Like Americans Celebrate Cinco De Mayo.” I put heritage day in quotations because we all know Americans will use almost anything as an excuse to rage and take shots.
I know that there is more to the 4th of July than bbq and Budweiser, but every now and then it’s nice to laugh at ourselves.
I hope y’all have a good and safe 4th, Sype.
USA Challenges Japan in a Robot Fight
By Airec Sype.
MegaBot, Inc. challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries yesterday to a battle of robots! HOLY CRAP!!! If you watch the video provided by MegaBot’s YouTube page, then you will know that these mechs can do some damage.
You don’t understand how much this tickles my nerdy side. The little Asian boy inside my big boy body is just giggling with excitement. Do you know how many hours of anime I have watched?!?! Something like this becoming tangible is just mind-blowing.
This is great timing too since 4th of July is around the coroner. What’s more American than challenging another country to WAR??!!!
!!!USA USA USA USA USA USA!!!
Of course you gotta love the YouTube comments under the video. In one funny but unnessary exchange:
SmarterEveryDay: “Why can’t I stop giggling? I am way more excited about this than I should be.”
theblazer: “Cause you’re a f*cking q*eer who’s never got laid.”
Geeze, way to step on our fun bro. If you’re watching this video then you must also be excited to watch two giant mechs, that took a team of scientists to build, battle it out with crazy weapons! How is that not excited?!?! And how does that make us nerds gay? Someone’s a lil in the closet.
Another exchange that included at little bit of history:
NinjaCharlieT: “Challenging Japan to a robot battle is not a smart thing to do.. but then again, it’s ‘murica!”
Futurefighter49: “We’ve taken japan before! How hard could it be to do it again?”
It could be too soon for that joke, but hot damn it was cringingly funny.
Well, I hope this really does happen. I will join the mass of oversized man-childs waiting for that epic moment in Gundam history . . . I mean robot battles. Getting a little toooooo ahead of myself here.