I Read the Internets – 11/18/06

This week, I want to start out by telling you about a couple of things I have been doing that don’t involve either reading or the internets. I feel like I’m breaking a rule or something, but this is my column, so I guess that makes it ok!

Anyway, the first thing is this: my fiance and I went on a little road-trip today, driving to California to visit with his parents for Thanksgiving. As one typically does before settling in for a longish drive, we went to the grocery store and bought some tasty foods to take in the car with us. And that’s where we saw (and, inevitably, purchased) it – the Grapple ®.

I don’t think I’d go so far as to say that they actually do taste like grapes. They’re kinda like the solid-fruit form of those mixed fruit juice apple-grape drinks, or something. But interesting, and worth experiencing if you like your fruit a little on the surreal side.

The other thing I’ve been doing a lot of when not reading the internets lately is watching Justice League: Unlimited (which Karen Healey got me hooked on. She’s a pusher, kids – watch out!). JLU is a pretty awesome cartoon. I’ll probably gear up to a substantial post about one or more episodes, one of these days (maybe after I finally finish my DS9 series), but in the meantime I will simply say this much: Justice League: Unlimited introduced me to the character of Big Barda. And for that alone, it is deserving of endorsement, in my mind.

Sadly, it seems that Big Barda is suffering something of an image crisis right now, just as I’m getting to know her. LiveJournal user odditycollector has a few things to say about a new collectable bust of the character that’s being produced:

In 1971, Big Barda was introduced as a powerful warrior, the leader of the Female Furies, someone proud and strong and brave enough to stand against Darkseid.

In 2006, she’s finally come to the point where you, too, will be able to buy your own Barda: Well-Trained Submissive (with random muscles, for extra fetish value!), commemorated for all time in statue form.

After you’ve read her post, and the comments over there, check out the related thread over at Girl-Wonder.org’s forums.

Also on LiveJournal this week, and also regarding powerful female characters, rivendellrose, posting at the backward_heels community, wants to chat about significant female characters in television (and links to a really good old article about Xena).

Another women-in-television thing that I read about on the internets this week is a new way of making soap operas more interactive – fantasy soap leagues: [post since removed]

The Walt Disney Co.’s SoapNet announced the Web-based fantasy site on Friday at its annual Super Soap Weekend in Florida in a bid to attract women aged 18 to 34, and add a social dimension to the six-year-old soap TV channel.

The game works along the same lines as fantasy football, in which real-life players are chosen for virtual teams and results are based on statistics from actual games.

Fantasy Soap players will pick three male and three female actors and five “soapy moments” from nine U.S. network soaps, and score points depending on what the actors’ characters do.

Taking off clothing, waking up from a coma, getting an organ transplant, day dreaming or “monologuing” — when an actor stands alone in a room talking to himself — are each worth a hefty 50 points in Fantasy Soap League.

Some parts of the article make me cringe a little bit (“SoapNet will offer no real prizes or money for its league, but its designers think winning the title of “Queen of the Fantasy Soap League” will be enough…women just want a shout-out”?), but I gotta say – that sounds like fun. Then again, I’m the sort of person who gets a big kick out of Star Trek: The Next Generation drinking games revolving around The Picard Maneuver.

Moving from television to video games – if you went into a Gamestop (or other affiliated chain store) sometime this week, you might well have seen a new advertising display that has pissed off a few people. When I saw it, I was moved to photograph it with my cellphone in order to make an annoyed forum post on the subject, but Eliza Gauger wrote a more eloquent short post at Game|Life, and of The Right Trigger used the display as a jumping-off point for a longer post about marketing games to older female gamers [post since removed]. Beware of the comments sections in both posts – though there are some genuine attempts at furthering discussion going on, there’s also a lot of massive asshattery taking place.

In other women-in-video-games internets reading, tekanji at the Official Shrub.com Blog talks about how the wrong language can make even the most pleasant ideas unpalatable to a reader who feels patronized, in “This from a man who can’t even use the word “woman” in his post.”

I’m going to wind up this week’s I Read the Internets with links to two news articles that I can’t really figure out a way to segue gracefully into. So, uh”¦ Check this out:

A matchmaking love boat cruise open only to male millionaires and “good-looking and desirable” women is slated to set sail later this month, a state-run Chinese newspaper said Tuesday.


And in conclusion – the internet? Not necessarily for porn!


  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    Wow. That Xena article was absolutely stellar.

    The asshat comments on the posts about the games being marketed to young girls demonstrate that some people felt the post shaking up their worldviews. 😉

    And what a shock (not) to find only 1% of web pages contain porn.

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