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Renay: Hello friends, I’m Renay!
Ana: And I’m Ana.
Renay: And you’re listening to Fangirl Happy Hour: Question Tuesday Edition.
[Music: B-3 by Boxcat Games]
Ana: I really missed recording these episodes, because they are so laid-back. Not that the other ones aren’t, but these ones are kind of like I feel less pressure, because I don’t feel the need to be incredibly smart and intelligent in them.
Renay: But you are.
Ana: My biggest secret unveiled.
Renay: Ana: you are a goddamn treasure.
Ana: No, Renay:, that is your line! You are a goddamn treasure! We are both.
Renay: Okay. We’re gonna answer some questions, it’s gonna be great, and nobody is gonna fight. Maybe.
[Music: B-3 by Boxcat Games.]
Renay: Our first question is from Hedwig: “Inspired by Ana’s tweet going viral, what’s that like? What do you both think about viral media in general? Is it good or bad? Does it have a lasting effect?” This is referencing your tweet getting retweeted by J.K. Rowling.
Ana: Yes, so a little bit of context for that one. I was actually retweeted again today for this very tweet which just— It’s incredible, because this tweet was on the seventh of February. I still get a couple of retweets every day. It was me throwing shade at Donald Trump about the Muslim Ban and terrorism in Europe which he was so worried about. And I retweeted him and said, “I dunno, dude, I live in Europe and I’m like, ‘Look at what’s happening in the US with all the mass shootings by white dudes.'” And that was retweeted quite a few times.
And then J.K. Rowling herself retweeted it, and after that things just…exploded. Right now, this tweet has had forty-four thousand likes, twenty-three thousand retweets, and two hundred and ninety-eight replies. The retweet that I got today was from someone saying “Here, can meet my pussy here,” because for some reason people think I’m a dude. A lot of people thought so.
Renay: Well, on the plus side, your retweet-to-reply ratio is good.
Ana: In what way?
Renay: So on twitter there’s a really good indication if a tweet is a super bad take because it will have more replies than it has retweets. Like if you see a real bad take, in the next few days, look at the number of retweets versus the number of replies, and I guarantee you that the replies will be higher than the retweets.
Ana: J.K. Rowling agrees with me. There is really nothing left for me to say in this world. I even framed that, because at one point it was the first thing that was showing on her page, and I just took a screenshot of that. This was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Now in terms of what’s that like, at first it was little bit, “Wow, this is—” Wel,l I got super excited when she retweeted me, things were really exciting for the first two days, then things just got a little bit boring. I didn’t get a lot of hate. I wonder whether it’s because people thought I was a man? Judging by the number of people calling me dude and the number of women offering me their services, not to say they wouldn’t be offering their services to women, because you know, they might not be het. But judging by the way they address me I understood them to think that I am a man, so I’m wondering if the lack of hate and the lack of misogyny was because most people thought that I was a guy. That’s my impression of the whole thing.
Does it have a lasting effect? I did get about a thousand new followers? But I’m not sure whether in the great scheme of things that really counts for anything. How do you feel? They are asking both of us what do you both think about viral media in general.
Renay: I have never had anything go viral, which is actually kind of good. Sometimes you don’t want The Claw to choose you. I guess it depends on the context of what it is that’s going viral and what it’s commenting on. A lot of things go viral that I’m just like, okay, that’s funny, but I’m not interested in it? Like the covfefe thing went viral.
Ana: Oh, I love that one.
Renay: I think I retweeted one joke then I was done. So when things go viral that are just kinda goofy that make people laugh and give us some comfort in these dark times, I’m fine with it. But sometimes things go viral and it’s not that great?
Virality has changed a little bit, now. Things that go viral that are bad, like terrorist attacks, the commentary about them, misinformation about them; you don’t want that to happen because you’re doing the terrorist’s job for them when you’re sitting there creating all this tension and suspense about something that isn’t well-understood yet. When those kind of things go viral, that’s not good. Sometimes things can go viral in ways that distract from other issues. So I think virality can work against itself, because you can get caught up in things.
It has good things, right? If you – years ago, months ago, years —? God, time, what is time? This little kid built a clock and they thought it was a bomb, they cuffed him and they took him to the detention centre, they were super abusive to this kid. and it went viral, and he got this huge outpouring of support, right? Yes, he got that support, would things have changed if he hadn’t have got that support? I don’t know. But did it have a lasting effect, did that support he got have a lasting effect? No, because his family left and went back, like they moved away, they left America. It went viral, but it didn’t like change the larger outcome.
Things can go viral and people can lose their jobs over something stupid, which I think is awful. There was an interview I listened to with this girl and her friend, who liked to take photos being goofy in front of signs saying not to do a thing. So they went somewhere to some military memorial? It was like please be silent, don’t be – don’t be loud, and they took photos of themselves pretending to scream, and they posted it on their Facebook. But like this really stupid, pretty harmless that these people did privately that they then posted on their social media accounts went viral, and caused all these problems in their offline life. Yeah, okay, so maybe they were a little of an asshole. It was dick move. Do they deserve to be harassed, stalked, lose their livelihood? Do they deserve that? Did they really deserve that level of treatment? I don’t think so and that’s why I really worry about virality? It allows mobs to form that might not necessarily be working toward the right thing.
I have very strong opinions about things going viral apparently that I didn’t realize I had.
Ana: You [laughter] you do!
Ana: So the takeaway is that maybe social media is complicated.
Renay: I think often it can do more harm than good and the good it can do doesn’t last as long. Bad things always go farther and last longer.
Ana: I mean, I had my five minutes of fame because of J.K. Rowling and that’s it.
Renay: Are you sure you didn’t like sell eight zillion books?
Ana: I did not sell any books at all. Not a bit. So that’s one really interesting takeaway from that as well. Virality does not sell books. If the tweet was about a book, it might have, but it did not generate any book sales.
Renay: Creativity and creative pursuits are a long game. There are really no shortcuts. Any final thoughts about going viral, Ana?
Ana: No, I think you’ve said it all.
[Music: Mornings by Chuki Beats]
Ana: From Rachel at The Shades of Orange: Who were your favorite Mass Effect characters, and who did you have a relationship with? And how excited are you for Andromeda?
Renay: Rachel, I didn’t know you played Mass Effect. I’m so excited! Um, I just finished—well I haven’t finished yet, because I’m mad about how Mass Effect 3 ended—a replay of the whole first trilogy, and this time I played as male Shepard and I romanced nobody, Jack, and then Kaiden. Ana’s like, “I don’t know any of these characters.”
Ana: I have no idea what’s going on.
Renay: I prefer to like think of like canon Shep as female Shepard, and in that game I romanced Liara, and then Garrus, and then Garrus. Garrus! Female Shep and Garrus: the greatest ship ever! Ana, I need you to immediately google Garrus Vakarian.
Ana: Yeah. I was not expecting that.
Renay: He is a Turian.
Ana: Is he good guy?
Renay: He is a good guy! He is such a good guy that I can’t even express how good of a guy he is. He’s so great! I mean ah he also did some assassinations, but whatever, it was fine, they were bad guys.
Ana: And then there’s a tag here saying, “Hot.”
Renay: A hundred percent would bone even though he is an alien.
Renay: So yeah, I always and forever ship female Shep with Garrus, it’s my One True Pairing for Mass Effect. And I ship Kaiden with Shep, as male Shep only. Kaiden and female Shep: it’s fine. Like, if I had to choose another ship I guess for Shepard, for female Shepard, I would choose Liara. Ana is so confused about my excitement! She’s like, “How can I get you this excited, but about Megan Whalen Turner?” Hope that she puts some gay in her latest book, that’s how.
Ana: Yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna happen so…
Renay: Yeah, and I can’t choose a favourite character. It’s really hard, I love everybody except for Zaeed and Javek can walk off a short pier, whatever dude. God, who do I not like? Yeah. I love everybody except for those two, oh my god! Mordin!
Ana: How do you get all of this from a game? I don’t understand it.
Renay: This is a very story-based game.
Ana: Is it?
Renay: Ana, one day, you are going to come visit me, and we are going to play Mass Effect.
Ana: I like that idea.
Renay: You’re gonna need to stay about a month, just FYI.
Ana: Why, does it take a month to go through the whole thing?
Renay: All three of them? Yes. I mean, I could probably do it faster. But I would probably, Zach would have to play some. Sometimes I die a lot. Meanwhile the last part of this question is, “How excited are you for Andromeda?” REAL FUCKING EXCITED, except I don’t have a PS4 and I not gonna be able to get a PS4 for another eight zillion years.
Ana: And is there no other way of playing it?
Renay: No. I mean, I guess maybe the computer, but no, but, I don’t, uh-uh, no.
Ana: Do you have any friends where you can go and play?
Renay: I don’t know anybody here with a PS4. It’s very sad because I really want to play this game. But! It’s gonna be fine. I’ll be patient. On a scale of one to ten of how excited I am for Andromeda, it is about eight fucking million.
All right! I hope that answered your questions, I had a lot of feelings about Mass Effect. Gonna put Ana out of her misery. Feel free to DM me any time, Rachel, we’ll have lots of long discussions about which Mass Effect characters we want to bone. I’m always up for that discussion.
[Music: Joy by Chuki Beats]
Renay: My question for Ana this week is, “What’s something that you’ve been meaning to try, but just haven’t gotten around to yet?”
Ana: Backpacking. As in, picking a trail and then doing it the whole way, backpacking and camping and shit. Russell, my partner, does it all the time. I keep meaning to do it, but just like… Camping is so uncomfortable. [sigh] But I really really want to be able to do that.
Renay: Well, pick a shorter one.
Ana: Yes, we’re gonna start with a shorter one; do a weekend, and then go for a week, and then keep going. Cause we do long treks, like, I do long treks, six, seven, eight hours a day, I just tend to do circular walks going back to the same point and without a backpack on my back. We leave the car at one point, go for a circular walk, long ones, come back. So this one would mean just doing the whole thing with a huge backpack on my back and I’m not sure that I am right there in the level of endurance for this? But I would really like to be one day?
Renay: You can do it.
Ana: Yeah, that’s—I—I think I can too, one day.
Renay: Well I like your answer. I would never wanna backpack, but I could totally see you doing it. Please don’t get eaten by a bear.
Ana: Oh my god, I would never go backpacking in a place that actually had bears.
[Music: Mornings by Chuki Beats]
Ana: What is the one geek thing that you are so passionate about you can’t stand arguing about it? Please don’t answer Mass Effect. No, I know what your answer is gonna be.
Renay: Yeah, I don’t mind arguing about Mass Effect. In fact I will argue about Mass Effect, if you come to me saying, “The Mass Effect 3 ending was great!” We’re gonna fight, we gon’ fight, you’re going down if you bring that to me. Mass Effect 3’s ending was GROSS. I’m still mad about this, Ana.
Ana: This is not a convincing argument!
Renay: Mass Effect 3 had a terrible ending, but everything else before it was great! But the ending was so bad. There’s like not sticking the landing, and then there’s like seeing where you’re supposed to land, landing to the side, and then blowing up the landing pad.
Ana: Okay, that’s definitely one geek thing that you are passionate about.
Renay: I can’t—okay, listen, I need to answer the actual question. The only thing I can’t argue about is Tony Stark. I can’t do. I don’t argue with people about Tony Stark. Ever. For any reason. Mostly because everybody who wants to argue about Tony Stark with me is wrong, because they have internalized this really abusive narrative from Tumblr about the character, and I just don’t have any truck with that. I’m really not interested in listening to you drag a character who has mental illnesses.
Ana: That’s what I thought you would say.
Renay: You knew my answer?! Already?
Ana: More or less.
Renay: I used to like follow people who would like argue about Tony but now I don’t. I mean, sure, there’s things to critique, but nobody ever wants to have like a critique, they wanna be like, “The sun shines out of Steve Rogers’ ass, and he’s the greatest and Tony Stark is an evil white dude who’s rich, and uses his money to abuse people.” Blah blah blah. Blah. I get really mad about it, Ana. This is why I can’t do it. It’s not gonna be a fight it’s gonna be outright murder.
Renay: Did we have a relationship before we started this conversation? Maybe, but at the end of it we’re no longer friends if you talk to me about Tony Stark. Even people I like! People that I respect! I can’t have discussions about Tony Stark with them! I’m just like, “No, mm-mm. No.”
Ana: So now we know never to approach you with a Tony Stark question or argument.
Renay: I will answer questions, people can rec me fic, I’ll discuss fandom, as long as it’s like not like about him, specifically? I’ll discuss him in the context of fic itself, which I do with Jenny, sometimes, when I’m in good moods. Sometimes I’m in a bad mood, I can’t do it while I’m in a bad mood, but then again I can’t discuss anything when I’m in a bad because uhhh I’m gonna do the verbal equivalent of murder-suicide. It’s not gonna be pretty.
And I don’t know, maybe I’ll change, but last year I just got so fucking tired of the rhetoric that stopped being just about “this character is bad and evil” because of Tumblr, eventually transitioned to “anybody who likes this character is evil, bad, and terrible.”
Ana: That’s quite the stretch.
Renay: I’m super interested in thoughtful critiques of characters that I like. I enjoy that. But I do not enjoy whatever the hell has happened around this particular character in fandom that’s just not nuanced at all. There’s another character that I will no longer discuss with anyone either unless I know them really really well and that’s Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII. Uh, no, learned my lesson there! God, people are so fucking misogynistic. I don’t even wanna—ugh! UGH!
Ana: This was a very passionate Question Tuesday.
Renay: I’m just having a lot of feelings, guys, it’s a little stressful over here right now. I don’t know if you heard but we elected an sentient fucking tangerine and it’s rotten, and it’s a little stressful, I’m stressed. So yes, Tony Stark, Rinoa Heartilly. Those two characters, definitely. I’m sorry. I love them. And if you don’t like them it’s fine, but I don’t wanna hear about it. I’m done. We can totally co-exist as long as we don’t mention these characters. The rule for me at dinner: we can discuss politics and religion all you want, but we cannot discuss Tony Stark and Rinoa Heartilly.
Ana: That’s amazing.
[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]
Renay: Another Question Tuesday in the bag. Thanks to Hedwig and Rachel for sending in questions. Sorry that I got a little… Passionate. You can find Hedwig at @lazyhedwig on twitter and you can follow Rachel at The Shades of Orange, which is her Youtube channel. You know what to do: send them some bee emojis.
Ana: Bee emojis all the way.
Renay: This week, our music is by Boxcat Games and Chuki Beats. Ira made our show art with their super art skills. Links to their work will be in our show notes, as well links to some of the media we discussed. Susan creates episode transcripts for us and you can find all of the available transcripts so far on fangirlhappyhour.com.
Ana: You can follow us all on Twitter at fangirlpodcast where we are still collecting all bee references, jokes, articles, and puns. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your best bee puns. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes, or wherever quality are acquired and if you a Facebook user, we humbly invite you to slide over and give our Facebook page a like.
Renay: If you wanna ask a question you can ping us on social media or use the handy form on fangirlhappyhour.com. Remember to drink some water, practice good sleep hygiene, and to contact your reps.
Ana: And be passionate about things because that’s really good for you.
Renay: Thanks for listening to our show, friends!
Ana: See you next episode!
[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]
Renay: That was perfect! MWAH! Perfect!
Ana: [laughter] That was so…
Ana: What are you doing? [silence] Are you tweeting?
Renay: Call your senators. Every day. Wake up? Call your senators.
Renay: I wanted the opposite of this!
Renay: Is the dress white or black? Hey Ana, what color’s the dress?
Renay: I got really mad cause I could see it ways.
Renay: I could see it both white and gold and blue and black.
Renay: I am a unique and precious snowflake.
Ana: You are. And that’s okay.