Author Topic: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things! Sakura Rurouni  (Read 3780 times)

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #120 on: July 20, 2011, 08:06:42 AM »
Wait, that's a song? I honestly wasn't aware of that.
Laconic: The ironic part is that this song isn't.

---

Avatar/Brittanian Virtues, Gargish Virtues, or Ophidian Virtues? THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Laconic: Gargish.
Regular: Looking them up on the Ultima wiki, I think I might get along with Gargish virtues the best.

How do you keep yourself focused on a piece of writing?
Laconic: Music, and having no place to flee to.
Regular: I used to get a lot of my writing done in class when I couldn't get access to many distractions. Having resources nearby is a good idea, if I'm explaining something historical or scientific in the work.               

How much second guessing occurs in the process?
Laconic: Not much.
Regular: Second guessing isn't something I do immediately; it takes the distance of a given amount of time for me to look back on it and think "oh, maybe I should have done that differently".

What is hardest for you to write?
Laconic: Tragic scenes.
Regular: Despite my fondness for making my readers feel what the characters do, I hate putting them through the rack like this, and it's nothing but emotionally draining on my part as well. Writing out the horrors of my worst nightmares isn't very fun, either.

What is easiest?
Laconic: Historical allusions.
Regular: Because they happened in real life and have accounts and paintings and photographs to supplement them, historical allusions are quite easy for me, because they are easy to visualize, so detail for those scenes flows a lot more easily.

How do you differentiate your characters? How do you keep a large cast from sounding too identical?
Laconic: Basing them on other people and characters.
Regular: Writing who you know is a really good way to avoid too similar a cast. I have a document of notes for White Rose, for example, that lays out the various historical influences of the character (I think you would enjoy hearing that White Rose's Shikieiki is partially based on Gen. Wesley Clark, for starters), while others are based on ancient archetypes (Koishi is pretty firmly based in the tragic hero and epic hero molds, fitting a lot of theories about the subconscious) or monarchs (Sumire is Jaladuddin Akbar). That tends to be pretty conducive to variety in character types.
Additionally, throwing in inconsistencies from canon is a good way to play around with characters who sound too similar. One of the major what-if questions I enjoy playing with is "what if something happened in (character x)'s past to completely disillusion them about something? What would it take to renew their faith so that they become the person we see in canon?" and things like that.
Giving characters internally conflicting motivations and divided loyalties and dangerous ideas make them interesting, and quite different from one another.

---

Are you sure you aren't tsundere for me?
Laconic: S-stupid Mus.
Regular: Okay, maybe a little. :P

I'll probably regret this question, but what part does religion play in your life?
Laconic: A pretty big one.
Regular: Whenever people hear me tell them that I am religious, they assume because of my skin colour that I am Catholic (or they mistake me from an Arab and think I'm Muslim). Not so; my parents are part of the Protestant Mexican minority, and I've been going to church ever since I was three years old. I was kind of awful at actually memorizing the Bible, but only as far as specific references go, because I read the Bible aloud in Spanish once chapter a day over something like three years' time during all of middle school, and reading things aloud means I still remember a lot of the stories and passages. Church history is one of my favourite weird things to study. At age 14 I locked myself into the church library and pored over volumes of systematic theology (instead of hearing the pastor's sermons, lol). I am a pastor's daughter and I went to Christian private school when I was younger and ended up scared as hell of charismatic worship because they jump around and speak in tongues and preach fiery sermons about the holy spirit coming down in flames upon people (terrifying for a young kid).

I have grown to loathe devotion to orthodoxy over things like common sense, reason, and progress. My period of being scared in church went away very quickly, and I was soon identified in Sunday School classes as someone who asked way too many questions, and this made the teachers look bad. I once came up to a pastor at a church my family was visiting and told him that his constant use of leprosy in his sermon was biologically incorrect-- the specific type of leprosy he was mentioning attacked the nerves, not the blood, and it ruined his metaphors. He accused me of valuing science over the word of God, and it actually made me cry and sink into depression for quite a while after that, because it was a grave insult to me. My love of science and my love of God do not in any way conflict with one another, as I see it.

Properly, "religion" is just the vehicle through which we interact with God. Some people in the Southern Baptist denomination I am in have rejected it in favour of the vaguely new age-y idea that "they're not religious, they're spiritual." I think it's semantic dodging that is just intended to make you sound holy and pious when you're really not. In the present day, I am absolutely livid at the resounding silence of the northern American Protestant community on the subject of illegal immigration, and not at all happy that I have only met a handful of prominent pastors who have come out completely to say "screw the rules, we're doing what's right for our brothers and sisters". Becoming so good at remembering Bible verses in my youth has paid off, because now as an adult, it's really easy to lay the smackdown on ignorant people of all faiths or non-faiths who make crap up about the good book. I take the golden rule as seriously as possible, and as it turns out, it's quite a powerful thing when you endeavour to seriously pursue it in all aspects of life.

The idea of a life without religion seems utterly surreal, if not impossible. I could never do it; religion plays an incredibly large role in my life. That should answer your question.

---

...what does Marcellus Wallace look like?
Laconic: I had to look this up. I am not good at memes. Or popular culture in general, really :blush:

---

Of all of the photos you've ever taken, which is your favorite?
Laconic: One of my friends.
Regular: There is a photo in my junior year's yearbook, before I became the Editor-in-Chief next year, of a photo I took at the Homecoming dance that I attended with all my friends and a very shiny and good camera. It is a photo of two of my friends, Ian and Rebecca, looking at each other and holding hands but still managing to have both of their faces pointing towards the camera somehow. Everything behind them is in shadow, so they stand out very well. There is no blur, and the love in their eyes is evident. Rebecca wanted to hurt me after I took the photo, but I kept it anyway, and it's remained a favourite picture. :3

What's the most important thing to you in life?
Laconic: Serving other people.
Regular: I say this without a hint of irony or sarcasm-- I am a worthless human being if I do not help other people with my life. Everything else is secondary.

Which do you enjoy reading more-- fiction or nonfiction?
Laconic: These days, nonfiction.
Regular: Fiction is still great, don't get me wrong, but it's so much harder to get into romantic comedies or tournament arcs when it all seems so much more trivial than reading of entire nations being brought to ruin.

Which of the three appeals of rhetoric do you think are the most effective when it comes to persuasion-- logos, ethos, or pathos?
Laconic: Ethos.
Regular: This should be evident from who I am. Logos means nothing if they've already used logic to justify the worst positions imagineable (which given the area I study, tends to be pretty much all the time). Ethos ignores their "airtight logic" and goes straight to the heart of the matter. And pathos, well, that's easy to take waaaaaaaaay too far.

How are your strawberries growing?
Laconic:



Regular: They were delicious. :3 (Unfortunately, the squirrels seem to think so too.)

---

Marshmallow Cheese?
Laconic: Um, sure?  ???

---

What's your stance on hentai/pornography; do you find it exploitative or immoral?
Laconic: I detest it.
Regular: Really, did you expect anything else? However, like most of my other stances, I will readily accept differing practices on it. It's something I believe for myself, and no one else has to agree. In particular, because it's been around for so long (link is nsfw... for 35,000 years ago) it's kind of pointless to crusade against it, and is therefore a waste of time.
I do, however, think it's very distortive of self-image-- see here (link is technically nsfw but a very good read, and see also the links at the bottom).

What kind of things do you think fanfiction writers should aim to do in order to create good stories?
Laconic: Create the stories they'd like to read themselves.
Regular: They should learn the canon of the fandom they're working in, and then feel free to disregard a lot of it if that's what's needed to write the kind of story they'd like to read themselves.

I will go into something, though, that I was hoping to save for an editorial on White Rose. It is my opinion towards yuri in this fandom. Well, not yuri inherently, but romantic pairings.

I know full well that it is standard practice for fans to promote romantic pairings. From my experiences in other fandoms, I've learned to have a chuckle at how these pairings are so frequently framed in terms of “evidence” when actual evidence is often sketchy at best. However, the tendency to write romance and sex in Touhou in particular strikes me as an example of people getting into a rut.

Generally speaking, I’m quite okay when everyone decides to experiment to their hearts’ content with what might happen if (character X) pairs up with (character Y) or if both of them enter into a threesome with (character Z) in the bargain. As I said, people should write the stories they'd like to read themselves. But let's take this back to platonic relationships between characters.

There are plenty of strong relationships to work with in Touhou. The pairings I have the least trouble understanding are the mistress/final boss with the servant/stage 5 boss (except for SA), and the extra stage boss/final boss, since they tend to be linked. These duos tend to get the bulk of the characterization in canon, both in-game and in the supplementary material. On the boss/servant side: Sakuya/Remilia and Youmu/Yuyuko are often highlighted in this regard-- in IN, they serve as teams unto themselves, and thanks to the deathbomb mechanic there, they also step in to support one another when the other is in danger. The dialogue is also quite interesting-- while Youmu is much more deferent to Yuyuko (and Yuyuko likes to tease her in turn), Sakuya and Remilia's dialogue points to a lot of hidden depths in their relationship, particularly the discussion about Sakuya taking the Hourai Elixir. Speaking of, Kaguya/Eirin is an interesting dynamic as well, and though it is resoundingly ignored in most of the rest of the canon save PMiSS and BAiJR, what we see of it in IN tells me that whatever their relationship has gone through, it has remained rock solid for a very long time.

Byakuren is an interesting take on this, because everyone in her crew has their own passionate reasons for wanting to see her freed (not just Shou) and when we meet her in canon, she's only just been released and so we see her gratitude towards those who've saved her, but it's still largely one-sided; there's no evidence to indicate that she's even seen the Palanquin Ship crew (quite the opposite; she mistakes her opponent for her saviour with her very first two lines). But from what we see of the crew in passing through the endings (regular and extra stage) and Hisoutensoku dialogue, as well as what we have of 10D's scenario, her relationships with her crew seem every bit as solid as their feelings for her in turn.

On the extra stage/final boss side, those are a lot more dynamic. They run the gamut from Mokou and Kaguya (dislike, constant poking at each other's touchy points) to "who the hell are you?" (Byakuren and Nue) to family (Remi/Flan, Satori/Koishi). But they are no less solid when they are friendships or more. Yuyuko and Yukari are probably the most secretive pair, since both of them are so powerful and so fond of manipulating others for the purposes of amusement. Suwako and Kanako are probably the most interesting to me, since they are former foes turned friends and partners, both goddesses and both parent figures to Sanae. Both of these relationships have existed for a very long time before we see them on-screen, and there is no reason to think that they are in danger of being ruined.

In short, none of the master-servant relationships, despite their quirks, seem particularly hard to turn into romantic ones (except Komachi and Shikieiki by necessity). Byakuren's a little more iffy, since she's a monk and not supposed to be into that whole 'worldly desires' thing, but I imagine that fanworks can find their own ways about this. Same with the friendly extra stage/final boss pairs.

That said, however, I have to point out that all these relationships are presented in the context of a shooting game that cares more about good music and pretty bullet patterns than dialogue. There are no gestures among these that are at all sexualized, unless you count Sakuya's and Youmu's determination to serve their masters no matter what. Rather iffy.

But I say they're not sexual. And the reason I don’t want to count that as sexual is that I think we, as a community, are starting to miss something.

They respect one another. They care for one another. In some cases, they're family. But one thing is sure: most of them are best friends. While I’m all about the idea that best friends can sleep together, I would like us as fans to keep it firmly in mind that they can also not sleep together. I am of the opinion that one of the most amazing things any friend can offer is non-sexual physical contact. I admit that this is a product of my own past, but I consider it no less valid for most of the WTC at large, given the general obsession with all things sexual.

Here is a series that offers us wonderful examples of groups who are very close, who rely on each other in deadly serious situations, who protect one another with their lives (which is the sort of thing that is supposed to ring classic Japanese romance bells), and yet are not involved sexually. In fact, I think ZUN did this on purpose. (In the internal logic of the story, that is. Externally, it's because it's a bullet hell shooting game that cares more about pretty patterns and good music.)

You will note that most the entire youkai cast is quite old enough to understand romance and relationships, but Yuyuko and Yukari, while clearly still very good friends, don’t display much of any physical intimacy except fighting or plotting together to steal sake. It’s rather a shame, actually, because they could without it being sexual.

When Marisa and Reimu are working to solve the incident in LLS (and get into a fight in stage 4, repeated later in IN), when Sakuya fights you and chases after you in EoSD to keep you from reaching Remi, when Yukari helps Reimu hunt down the true moon, when Youmu becomes Yuyuko's sword against the cast of IN, when Sakuya pledges to protect her mistress for the rest of her natural life, when Kaguya swoops in to give Eirin one last shot at beating you, when Keine steps in between you and Mokou despite Mokou not needing her help at all, when Sanae defends her family against a faith that could mean their deaths, when Kanako gets in your way before you can encounter Suwako, when Rin releases evil spirits up to the surface to call down people to defeat her power-mad best friend, when the crew of the Palanquin Ship gathers of their own volition to save their long-gone hero and protector from a thousand-year imprisonment, none of this is because they’re in love with each other. I’ll readily concede that they may love each other, but not that it’s romantic. It isn’t that simple.

This is not to say that I object to the notion that it could be romantic, at some point in the future or out of the sight of the players, but it just isn’t in the immediate framework. What people tend to call romantic love and associate with sex, in my opinion, is superficial, temporary, and evanescent at best. Friendship, trust, respect, understanding, devotion-- those are a lot harder to come by and more enduring than mere lust, and while physical attraction can come out of those things, that’s not the premise I see people in the WTC writing from.

So, let’s try a different take, shall we? Actually valuing platonic relationships in Touhou in our fanfiction. Just for kicks. Go on, I dare you.

---

And now you know why White Rose remains stubbornly committed to focusing on friendship relationships.

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #121 on: July 20, 2011, 09:06:58 AM »
When did you start to become worldly-minded? That is, when did you start to pay attention to what happened in the world at large?

What is the longest you've ever stayed up?

Have you ever openly cried while reading a fanfic?
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

Dead Princess Sakana

  • *
  • E is for Elodie, who swims with the fishes.
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #122 on: July 20, 2011, 09:30:33 AM »
Ruro, post that essay on fanfiction again in the Writer's Corner, it's good. Never got the obsession of fans with turning all relationships romantic myself, at least not to the extent it's often done.

And for the purpose of the thread:

Five steps to making MotK a better place (especially as a *Touhou* forum) ?

Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #123 on: July 20, 2011, 02:46:39 PM »
When you said you were preparing an essay, I didn't expect you to be so thorough. You've done a great job answering both my questions with what you've said.

Well, just a few more questions and then I'll leave you be.

What are your thoughts on the relations between CPMC and the rest of the forum?

You mentioned a while ago you used to like Lego. Any memories in particular? Still any interest?

Which do you prefer for photography: film or digital?

Any musical genres you DON'T like?

You've mentioned your interest in transhumanism before; would you alter your body if it meant you could run again?

Well, that's all I have for questions. Thanks for bearing with all of them.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 02:54:44 AM by The Aquatic Colossal »

Esifex

  • Though the sun may set
  • *
  • It shall rise again
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #124 on: July 20, 2011, 03:46:12 PM »
How shapely do they have to be to be worthy of this reaction? :derp:

Okay, now that thats out of the system...

What instruments do you just completely like the sound of, or would absolutely love to learn how to play?

theshirn

  • THE LAWS OF THE FIESTA MEAN NOTHING
  • *
    • Wisdom is Not a Dump Stat
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #125 on: July 20, 2011, 03:57:46 PM »
Quote
I have grown to loathe devotion to orthodoxy over things like common sense, reason, and progress. My period of being scared in church went away very quickly, and I was soon identified in Sunday School classes as someone who asked way too many questions, and this made the teachers look bad. I once came up to a pastor at a church my family was visiting and told him that his constant use of leprosy in his sermon was biologically incorrect-- the specific type of leprosy he was mentioning attacked the nerves, not the blood, and it ruined his metaphors. He accused me of valuing science over the word of God, and it actually made me cry and sink into depression for quite a while after that, because it was a grave insult to me. My love of science and my love of God do not in any way conflict with one another, as I see it.
Someone both religious and rational?

Quote
Becoming so good at remembering Bible verses in my youth has paid off, because now as an adult, it's really easy to lay the smackdown on ignorant people of all faiths or non-faiths who make crap up about the good book.
This is so true and is tinged with just a bit of enjoyment.  Maybe I should have been a lawyer; proving people wrong at their own game is something I'm good at.
Quote
The idea of a life without religion seems utterly surreal, if not impossible. I could never do it; religion plays an incredibly large role in my life. That should answer your question.
* theshim brofist
Quote
touhou is not about sex
Thank you.  Thank you so much.  It's one of the draws of the series for me - that ZUN managed to make a popular series with dozens of characters and KEPT SEX OUT OF IT.

Everyone always asks about the worst, but what is the best moment you can recall from MotK?

Who would you most enjoy being paired with in Aya's S2?

[09:46] <theshim|work> there is nothing like working for a real estate company to make one contemplate arson

Hello Purvis

  • *
  • Hello Jerry
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #126 on: July 20, 2011, 04:26:47 PM »
What's your preferred bible translation?

Matsuri

  • No matter how many times I stumble
  • *
  • I'll stand up again, laugh, and face forward
    • *FABULOUS MAX*
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #127 on: July 20, 2011, 04:35:56 PM »
If you could visit any fictional world/universe/etc, which would it be?

What scent do you find to be most pleasant?

Who is a character you'd really like to use in your writing, but haven't had the opportunity to do so yet?

What is a question you hoped someone would have asked this past week, but was never brought up? What is the answer?

« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 05:15:39 PM by Tomatsuri Daidouji »
NetHackTumblr

I'm sure when tomorrow comes, I can change a little, so bye-bye, my stardust tears.

theshirn

  • THE LAWS OF THE FIESTA MEAN NOTHING
  • *
    • Wisdom is Not a Dump Stat
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #128 on: July 20, 2011, 04:40:08 PM »
What's your preferred bible translation?
Have you ever read it in the original, for that matter?

[09:46] <theshim|work> there is nothing like working for a real estate company to make one contemplate arson

Aya Squawkermaru

  • "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." - William Hearst
  • Relevant quote is relevant.
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #129 on: July 20, 2011, 04:47:39 PM »
Oh yeah, that song. My dad listens to that one sometimes.

Also, so glad to see I'm not the only one who believes that the things that happen in Touhou can happen because of friendship, not romance. The overly-romanced version of Touhou that the fandom seems to idolize just pisses me off.

Out of the Touhou characters that you're either neutral about or only slightly like or dislike, who do you think is the most interesting?

Gappy

  • Oh...oh I was not ready for this.
  • It's only Logical....
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #130 on: July 20, 2011, 09:05:17 PM »
1. Legs, Empire, strawberries, camera, Shiki, justice, PSL, photograph, X, love, tuna, cape, red, write, Samurai, cute, nudes with capes, Sakura, White Rose, Sango - what order would you put these words in? (does not have to be order of importance , etc. Just what you would do with these words)

2. If you got one wish in exchange for becoming a magical girl, what would you wish for?

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #131 on: July 21, 2011, 05:51:45 AM »
When did you start to become worldly-minded? That is, when did you start to pay attention to what happened in the world at large?
Laconic: Very young.
Regular: Well, my parents always raised me on stories, telling me about the military dictatorships in Latin America and told me about the PRI's continued dominance in Mexico. But I do remember distinctly the first moment I started seeing the world show up in front of me. In 1998, I was in the second grade, and my Thai teacher liked to keep us intrigued in the world around us. One day, she came into our classroom and without a word she marched to the board and pulled down the world map, then pointed at Yugoslavia and said "some very bad things are happening here. Please wish for the best for these people and hope that it ends soon."

That stands out, but it wasn't a permanent awakening. Three years later, there was the September 11th attacks, and after a while of interest, I closed my eyes again.

However, in the 6th grade, when I entered IB, our homeroom teacher asked us to write reports on news stories. The school got the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News for free, so I picked up a copy of the Denver Post and brought it home, and did my paper that very night (first night I ever stayed up until midnight working on homework, as I recall). I was looking desperately for something interesting to report on, and I found a bit of news tucked away in the small international news section-- people escaping from fighting in Cote d'Ivore. And it struck me as weird; people were being uprooted, probably a lot of kids my age where they were leaving the only home they'd ever known, and yet it was such a short article. That made no sense to me.

It was a rather strange way to keep my eyes open to the world for good, but I started reading the newspaper every day since, trying to learn more about the world that are reduced to small clips in the back of the paper.

What is the longest you've ever stayed up?
Laconic: A little over 48 hours.
Regular: Around the time of IB exams, the relentless studying and testing was too much to review in such a short amount of time to take any kind of a break. After the second test was over, I came home and crashed and didn't wake up until late the next day. Good thing there were no tests or classes that day for me!

Have you ever openly cried while reading a fanfic?
Laconic: If tears of mirth count, then My Immortal.
Regular: I think I have, once or twice. Rising Star was one of them.

Ruro, post that essay on fanfiction again in the Writer's Corner, it's good. Never got the obsession of fans with turning all relationships romantic myself, at least not to the extent it's often done.
Laconic: Heh, sure thing. Just needs some editing~

And for the purpose of the thread:
Five steps to making MotK a better place (especially as a *Touhou* forum) ?
Laconic: Hmm.
Regular: More suggestions than steps.
1. Finish the proper Let's Tour MotK so new members have a guide to getting around and knowing people
2. Doing more group projects, like a doujinshi. (I worked on Another Dream, so this shouldn't be very surprising.)
3. Along the same lines, more giving. Our Christmas charity contest and our tsunami relief efforts, for all the flak we get from the other Touhou fansites, set us apart as the most generous Touhou fanbase hub in the western Touhou community.
4. Encourage productivity, and at the same time don't look down upon those who just want to have fun with their friends.
5. Stop caring about our reputation so damn much, and just do our own creative things. Reputation comes with achievements, not before.

When you said you were preparing an essay, I didn't expect you to be so thorough. You've done a great job answering both my questions with what you've said.
Laconic: No problem. It's something I've had my mind on for a while.

What are your thoughts on the relations between CPMC and the rest of the forum?
Laconic: I think we tend to overcomplicate it.
Regular: The reason I never said much at all in the PTA board about the most recent CPMC organization was because I thought we (staffers) were overcomplicating everything. Clearly something was broken, but I was much more in favour of asking our users what they would like to see done, and then holding them to it if they asked us why we were being so harsh. But as Aya put it in MoF, "belonging to a group means that sometimes, you don't get to have your way." Molding it in a way that we feel is good might actually be the right way to go, but ignoring our users until after the change has been implemented isn't very cool at all.

But however it happened, CPMC has been cracked open for new people to come in more easily, and now it's a lot less insular. I very much enjoy that, even if I can't bring myself to start threads there (too much attention being drawn to myself). If we could stop having grand visions of what we'd like our users to conform to, that'd be swell.

Which do you prefer for photography: film or digital?
Laconic: Digital.
Regular: My high school had a photography class and a darkroom; I got to develop film in there from time to time. It's such a lengthy process, and film and negatives aren't very flexible to use. Film is fun, but digital is just more practical nowadays.

Any musical genres you DON'T like?
Laconic: Reggaeton.
Regular: Too bad, since I find that I like the beats and a lot of the instrumentals. But the lyrics have a bad tendency to be misogynistic, violence-glorifying bullshit.

You've mentioned your interest in transhumanism before; would you alter your body if it meant you could run again?
Laconic: Absolutely.

How shapely do they have to be to be worthy of this reaction? :derp:
Regular: Damnit, I turned this on in class on a really high volume and people looked at me weird! D:

What instruments do you just completely like the sound of, or would absolutely love to learn how to play?
Laconic: Piano.
Regular: Technically, I already know how to play. I just wish I had the motivation to shake off years of atrophied skill and start it again.

Thank you. Thank you so much. It's one of the draws of the series for me - that ZUN managed to make a popular series with dozens of characters and KEPT SEX OUT OF IT.
Laconic: Sakura Rurouni, saving the Touhou fandom, one essay at a time!

Everyone always asks about the worst, but what is the best moment you can recall from MotK?
Laconic: \o/
Regular: I had long since wondered if it would be possible to create a community in one of the subforums that hardly got any attention. The almost overnight formation of the PSL community proved that to be possible. And I have the Library Catalog project to thank. It allowed me to make friends with a whole lot of people I had only ever seen in passing, and has become a devoted network of friends. One of the best things that's ever happened to me.

Who would you most enjoy being paired with in Aya's S2?
Laconic: Gappy.
Regular: May the manliest woman win. 8)

What's your preferred bible translation?
Regular: It doesn't have an English equivalent (unless NIV is it), but I like la Biblia de las Am?ricas.

If you could visit any fictional world/universe/etc, which would it be?
Laconic: Gensokyo.
Regular: Even though my chances of survival are a lot higher in the world of The Twelve Kingdoms, I wouldn't pass up a chance to visit Gensokyo for anything.

What scent do you find to be most pleasant?
Laconic: Fresh rain.
Regular: Lavender is horrible, patchouli is also disgusting. (Not Patchurry, patchouli.) Rose scent, which I keep in a bottle on my desk, is very strong and dizzying, and strawberry is very nice. But next to the scent of a fresh ocean breeze, which I get to smell once every five years or so, nothing beats the scent of a coming rain.

Who is a character you'd really like to use in your writing, but haven't had the opportunity to do so yet?
Laconic: Sanae, in spades.
Regular: Akyu, Keine, and Aya too, but it's Sanae that I would really like to write.

What is a question you hoped someone would have asked this past week, but was never brought up? What is the answer?
Laconic: "Why do you like bandages so much?"
Regular: And the answer- "It's a fetish. As far as fetishes go, it really doesn't have any kind of logical explanation, but I think of it like this. Bandages similtaneously indicate injury and healing. I like contrasts. And in my eyes, I would be okay with getting injured for someone I love so long as they bandaged me up afterwards."

Have you ever read it in the original, for that matter?
Laconic: Which half?
Regular: The Pentateuch, for starters, is in Hebrew. But the Pauline Epistles in the second half of the Christian Bible are in Greek. Either way, I'm pretty sure I have. (These are Hebrew-Spanish and Greek-Spanish Bibles, yes. I have a kickass family library here.)

Also, so glad to see I'm not the only one who believes that the things that happen in Touhou can happen because of friendship, not romance. The overly-romanced version of Touhou that the fandom seems to idolize just pisses me off.
Regular: What gets me is that it's so shoehorned in. While most other series at least play lip service to romantic possibilities (even Seihou does it more than Touhou!), Touhou is devoid of all that, except with the implications that surround Suwako's past, and even then, nothing is stated except the occasional marriage in the background (the Watatsukis, Mokou's dad). Relationshipping has always seemed like such a strange thing to do in this fandom; it strikes me as the fans projecting their own ideas onto the story with no basis in canon. Don't get me wrong; I like that, and I think it's fun to experiment with pairings too, and I have nothing against desecrating canon for the heck of it. But when so many writers and fanartists ignore the mere possibility of relationships that aren't romantic (or familial), I think we've gone too far.
Laconic: My favourite tag on Danbooru is 'friends'. It strikes me as criminal that there are so few pictures under that tag.

Out of the Touhou characters that you're either neutral about or only slightly like or dislike, who do you think is the most interesting?
Laconic: If they're neutral in my eyes, that means I probably don't find them interesting.
Regular: Well, there is one. Youmu. I know this sounds like heresy, but she honestly doesn't seem all that deep to me; I see her mostly as a foil for Yuyuko to play with. But a lot of writers have done some really cool things with her. I think her devotion schtick can get overplayed, but she still manages to be ruthless enough for me to slightly like her.

1. Legs, Empire, strawberries, camera, Shiki, justice, PSL, photograph, X, love, tuna, cape, red, write, Samurai, cute, nudes with capes, Sakura, White Rose, Sango - what order would you put these words in? (does not have to be order of importance , etc. Just what you would do with these words)
Laconic: I would write a Librarian fic.
Regular: No, really. I think you've given me some fun ideas here. :3

2. If you got one wish in exchange for becoming a magical girl, what would you wish for?
Laconic: I would wish to be purged of my emotions forever.
Regular: Ironically, this might actually work as a wish. That, or becoming a magical girl in and of itself, in perpetuity.

Last call for questions, I think. Gonna wrap this up for the next thread to start.

Aya Squawkermaru

  • "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." - William Hearst
  • Relevant quote is relevant.
Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #132 on: July 21, 2011, 06:09:33 AM »
Yeah, a lot of relationshipping reflects another aspect of the fandom that annoys me: flanderization. Like, how people love to ship Marisa and Patchouli because Marisa steals Patchouli's books and they were a team in SA. Really, people?

I know you're not fond of the text adventure format, but if you were a Parser, who would be the subject of your quest?

What is a trait of yours that you believe is often overlooked, if any?

What would you recommend when writing a character that doesn't have much in the way of canon? For instance, I don't think there's much canon about, say, Nazrin. I could be wrong, but that was just an example.

Kero?

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
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Re: Ask a Staffer Catch-22: Ask me things!
« Reply #133 on: July 21, 2011, 07:44:42 PM »
Yeah, a lot of relationshipping reflects another aspect of the fandom that annoys me: flanderization. Like, how people love to ship Marisa and Patchouli because Marisa steals Patchouli's books and they were a team in SA. Really, people?
Laconic: Reducing characters to just one trait or the other is bad on principle.
Regular: BUT DON'T YOU SEE THAT THEIR TEAM-UP IS EVIDENCE OF THEIR UNDYING LUST FOR ONE ANOTHER?? Ignore this.

I know you're not fond of the text adventure format, but if you were a Parser, who would be the subject of your quest?
Laconic: Koishi.
Regular: Or Utsuho or Kasen. I am not clever enough to prefer games of wit over just beating the shit out of someone (Koishi's mental manipulation notwithstanding), so I like high-powered characters. Makes the dilemma of the excessive use of violence so much more viable.

What is a trait of yours that you believe is often overlooked, if any?
Laconic: My abysmal self-esteem, probably.
Regular: Except unlike the usual, this is entirely intentional on my part. People finding out about how I believe I have absolutely no self-worth unless I help people isn't something I like them to discover, because they will jump down my throat talking about how I absolutely need self-worth. No, I don't want it and I don't need it. What good is self-worth if it's not used to help others? I can help other people as I am, so it's not something I think or care about.

Another trait would also be how nervous I am around new people. I hate offending people, since that leads to fights, but you'd never think it given how loud and obnoxious I can come off as (I'm an ENFP, on the Meyers-Briggs test, but that doesn't mean I don't care about people being turned off by my flamboyant style). Whenever people mention that they've been put off by something I've done, I go into overdrive "oh god what did I do please forgive me :ohdear: :ohdear: :ohdear: " mode.

Actually, I take all that back. The trait I have that is most often overlooked is how incredibly secretive I am. This is paradoxically accomplished by being as open as possible. When you're open and up-front about a lot of things, it never occurs to people that you might be heading off their suspicions. Reading the mood is very conducive to this, since reflecting people's emotions back at them is a very good way to handle situations in which you don't know how to respond.

And yes, this is the one and only time, online and off, that I have confessed to being so much more secretive than I ever appear. If someone asks in exact words, I have to tell them the truth no matter what-- so deterrence and not raising suspicions is the best thing to do so that they don't ever think to ask.

What would you recommend when writing a character that doesn't have much in the way of canon? For instance, I don't think there's much canon about, say, Nazrin. I could be wrong, but that was just an example.
Laconic: Make shit up Observe.
Regular: Do what you can with what canon you've been given-- extrapolate from a lot of it. But if there legitimately isn't much to go on (a whole lot of PC-98 characters fall into this category, as well as a few of the first stage bosses, and background characters), then I would just put up a disclaimer that you've done the best you can, and this is just your interpretation of the character.

Kero?
Laconic: Unyu?

Right, that's it for me this week. I hope I answered everyone's question to their satisfaction, and I look forward to interacting with you all on the rest of the forums!