Episode #98 Transcript: “It’s ALIENS.”

Episode Number: 98
Episode Title: It’s ALIENS. (listen to this episode)
Transcript by: Susan the Great
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Renay: Hello friends, I’m Renay.

Ana: And I’m Ana.

Renay: And you’re listening to Fangirl Happy Hour.

[music break]

Renay: Today we’re here to do a Patreon episode, sponsored by our Patrons, about Alien! Which was released in 1979, it was directed by Ridley Scott, and it starred Sigourney Weaver. Ana, had you seen Alien before?

Ana: I had, because Thea made me watch it for Halloween week a few years ago. Okay. Revelation. Apparently I watched Alien and Aliens in 2009. I had no recollection of Aliens. To me everything was absolutely new.

Renay: Are you sure you can’t take those jellyfish pills?

Ana: I literally watched it two days and I said this is the greatest movie and I have never watched it before. I had zero recollection.

Renay: On the plus side, now you remember it.

Ana: Fangirl Happy Hour Vault episode where we find out that Ana has memory issues.

Renay: I had never sat down to watch Alien start to finish because I was really picky about the space horror that I watched. Alien was one of those movies that sort of passed me by, because by the time I started catching up on movies that I missed—that were released before I was born or when I was a little kid—the computers in them? I could not suspend my disbelief over the level of tech in these films.

Ana: The computer is nothing, what about the set? It looks like cardboard. The pieces of the set falling over and I’m like, “What it this? This looks like the soap operas that I used to watch when I was a kid.”

Renay: They never film the alien head on and in one of the very last scenes, you can tell it’s a person in a suit, cause of the way it’s shot. I was like “Wow, all right. I’m definitely watching a movie made in 1979.” But, given that this was the late seventies I thought it was pretty good for what it was. It’s just really interesting to look back and see how people imagined the future. For example, the central computer, you could only access it from a special room. As we know, computers and tech are way more ubiquitous now, they’re everywhere. You would handle that if you were making this movie today, you would handle access to the central computer and specialized information totally differently than sending the captain to a weird room full of rando wall lights.

Ana: Yeah, that’s true. It’s the same thing, I guess, with Handmaid’s Tale. That was a future that was based on what existed in the seventies and so is this one. And it’s like people can’t imagine technology beyond that. It’s another thing that I see, for example, when folks talk about Connie Willis books, because her books about time traveling, too, right? And they travel to the past and at some point there is—they are in the future obviously, from our perspective. But everything that happens to the characters, all of the miscommunications, all of the mismatch that happens to the character whilst they are in the future, happens because the author did not see mobile phones being a possibility. And it’s the same way with Alien. And the lack of the central computer and internet and connection and wifi and wireless and whatever.

Renay: Part of this film is that Ripley was originally going to be a dude and they gender-swapped it.

Ana: Oh, I did not know that.

Renay: And I think in this film you can really tell that they did that, because of the way that the character is written when it comes to relating interpersonally to other crewmen. Obviously, there are some scenes where Ripley gets sexualized, mostly when getting in and out of sleeping tubes. And so you have the obvious male gaze from the camera. It was probably being mostly filmed by men, no surprise there, but in every other instance, that doesn’t happen.

Ana: Even though I had watched the movie before I was pleasantly surprised by it. It didn’t seem to me that it got old in a bad way, even though obviously we can talk about the computers and the special effects and the setting. I still believe the movie stands the test of time, especially because of the way that the character is and how she’s treated. I felt a lot of regret, watching it now, because I grew up watching a lot of those movies, a lot of action movies that was a lot into it. and Arnold Schwarzenegger was big in Brazil. Patrick Swayze was big in Brazil; Bruce Willis. but it seems to me that Sigourney Weaver wasn’t, because the Alien movies were never on my radar and I can not even really say that it was a choice not to watch them because they had horror? They just were not there. And I felt regret, because it would have been great to see that movie growing up.

Renay: It was on my radar because it was made in the late seventies, it was on TV by the time I was watching television. I agree with you that it had aged really well. There are some movies that were made back then that are pretty unwatchable now, but this film combined all the right elements to make it a super classic film that you can watch even if you’re kind of making fun of the tech and some of the directing decisions. The story itself and the character interactions and the horror stand up, and it’s great. One of the best parts of this film is the way it builds suspense, and that stayed an integral part of this film, and that doesn’t age.

Ana: It starts with the opening credits, right. The opening credits, they were— the soundtrack was brilliant, and it already gave me a feeling of doom? Unlike Aliens. Aliens did not have the same kind of opening credits. But this one was perfect from the opening scenes. And everything else that happens is just horrific. Even more so because Ripley kept telling these guys what to do and no one followed her advice, and then everybody dies.

Renay: Except for her and the cat. Her and the cat had the best ideas: run away and hide!

Ana: Do not go back for the people. Do not open the hatch. But then of course it turns out that both in this and the next movie, the biggest villains are not the aliens. They are threats, but they are not the villains.

Renay: The actual villains of these films is the Weyland-Yutani corporation and they’re villainous because they want to bring the stupid alien that is gonna kill everybody back to Earth, and they’re doing it for profit. So Alien was made in the late 1970s, and the bad guy is a corporation. The aliens are antagonists, and they’re really great antagonists, but the actual villain of the piece is this corporation. The movie doesn’t like, overly focus on it, which I was thought was great, that was the perfect touch.

Ana: In a different way too, because in this first movie the face of the corporation was the android, right? And he was doing things in the name of science, which were effectively for money.

Renay: And it comes out very slowly, because we don’t know initially that Ash is an android.

Ana: Yes, and I even forgot about that. How do you even forget that?

Renay: The movie does a really good job of keeping that a secret from you.

Ana: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Renay: I find it really fascinating that in a lot of horror movies or action movies, you get a lot of bad guys that are not from America. But in this film, it deliberately targets corporate ideals: maximum profit, finding profit in everything, corporate overreach, and really makes that central to the horror of this film. And you don’t often see that anymore? Maybe I just don’t watch enough movies. Maybe it has happened somewhere in films and I’m not aware of it. But these days corporations are even bigger and more focused on profit and they really disregard the human people who make them run at the lower levels of the company.

You can see that in America especially, where they don’t pay a living wage but meanwhile CEOs are taking home six and seven figure salaries every year. And I think that is a big reason why this movie is still working so well on so many levels for people even now. They have always made the Weyland-Yutani Corporation this opaque villainous inhuman company that over and over and over maximizes profits over human lives in search of money, immortality and weaponry. That’s why these films still work. Because as these films have aged, corporations have become even more and more powerful. Because obviously they’d have really great characterisation, great interpersonal drama with the characters, but that central thing with the villain of these films, has become more and more relevant, rather than less relevant.

In the films the tech has aged very badly. We don’t have tech like that anymore and the people who made the film couldn’t extrapolate current tech to future tech, but with the corporation thing, they stuck the landing, and it has carried forward as corporations in our world have become bigger and bigger and globalization has become kind of an existential threat. Because yes, the aliens are scary, but more scary to me in this film is this company. And it only gets worse in Aliens.

While I was googling this film and looking up facts, that’s how I found out that this film originally wrote Ripley for a man, and then they genderswapped it.

Ana: Would we say that the movie’s ahead of its time in those terms, because not only was she the main character, she was kind of like really this badass who survives. There is also a quite diverse group of people and the black actor is not the first one to die?

Renay: Alien I would say probably, and I don’t remember why they made the decision to genderflip Ripley, but it is a great tool and I wish more people would use it nowadays. So I was googling facts about this film, and apparently at some point they were gonna title it Starbeast.

Ana: [tuts] No.

Renay: Think about how much your interaction with the film would change if that was the title. Titles matter.

Ana: Starbeast to me sounds like a fantasy, rather than a science fiction?

Renay: And it also removes some of the suspense. Whoever retitled it: congratulations, you did a great job.

Ana: It’s just so perfect, right?

Renay: Alien invokes a sense of ambiguity. You feel suspense and tension, you don’t know if the alien is friendly, you don’t know what it’s gonna do—but, you name it Starbeast, you’re in the stars and it’s a beast.

Ana: [laughs]

Renay: There goes fifty percent of your suspense, right?

Ana: Yes.

Renay: I was so upset when I read this. I was like, “Starbeast? White dude in a room came up with this.” I was so upset. [laughter]

Ana: That’s hilarious.

Renay: I yelled at my computer, like, “What the fuck?!”

Ana: On the other hand, I feel like someone should actually write something called Starbeast. Did you see that new anthology coming out with stories from Star Wars?

Renay: Yes.

Ana: Nnedi Okorafor is writing a story from the point of view of the trash compactor’s beast from A New Hope. That’s—it’s a starbeast.

Renay: That’s excellent news of course. Of course she did. Perfect.

It’s a little hard to discuss because to discuss it you have to discuss violence against women and sexual assault, but this movie really does interesting things with the idea of having your body violated. And it does a really good job, and I was very surprised that I came away from it not squicked out? And I think other critics have talked about this. I didn’t get to read a bunch of them but I sorta browsed some critical reactions to this film when it came out and some critics agreed that the reason that it works is because they do it to men. And that’s one of the reasons that it’s so horrible. And haha, that’s because we’re okay as a culture with women being raped and assaulted.

Ana: That’s a really excellent point.

Renay: That we’re desensitized to it, so it’s not horrible. And by we, I mean the people who benefit from the rape culture continually. Kane gets attacked by a facehugger and then he is implanted with an embryo that eventually hatches into the little alien. When Kane is experiencing the horrible hatching scene, which apparently was filmed in a way that a lot of the actors did not know that it was going to be so bloody and horrible. I was like, “What—they didn’t TELL them?”

Ana: Oh, I read that.

Renay: Listen, if my director didn’t tell me that shit was gonna happen, we would be having words. Like, “Listen: what? I’m actor, it’s my job. To act. Not to be traumatized.”

Ana: [laughter]

Renay: The next interesting bodily autonomy scene is when Ash and Ripley get into their fight. He tries to smother her by rolling up a newspaper and jamming it into her mouth.

Ana: Yes, I know!

Renay: I was like, “That’s so phallic.”

Ana: Mm.

Renay: Filmmakers, calm down.

Ana: It’s like you can’t have a woman without wanting to shove something inside her.

Renay: And interestingly enough, I don’t think it so much about Ripley. I really think that scene says more about Ash and androids than it said about how women are violated. Because if Ash is an android it’s just a very interesting way to take someone off the board.

Ana: Yes, surely he’s much stronger than she is. Just like crush her.

Renay: And Ash is a stand-in in the film for the corporation, Weyland-Yutani. That whole scene was just a metaphor for the way corporations tried to screw over regular people. I got a lot of feelings from this scene. Anyway, they eventually kill him. He was made of really gross stuff that looked gross, it was disgusting; which turned out to be pasta, caviar, milk and marbles. I don’t know who came up with that, but good job. Anyway, I was just mostly concerned at the end of the film that cat survives, and the cat survives.

Ana: Jonesy.

Renay: The end of Alien brings us to the sequel, Aliens, which was released in 1986, which is a long time after an original to get a sequel? But I’m working off twenty-first century sequels where sequels get approved before the movie’s even out.

Ana: Or if it’s something that’s really elaborate and it takes forever, with the special effects and everything.

Renay: So the thing that wowed me about Aliens was that it was nominated for multiple Oscars and Sigourney Weaver was nominated for best actress in Aliens. A genre movie netted Sigourney Weaver a best actress nom.

Ana: Mm!

Renay: Why has the Oscars become such a trash fire that ignores genre? What’s going on? I wanna go back to the 1980s! [laughter]

Ana: Maybe 1986 was not a good year for movies?

Renay: I didn’t actually check. I don’t know what came out or got nominated for Oscars in 1986.

Ana: I love her. I don’t think she’s that good of an actress, though.

Renay: Really?

Ana: Oscar nominated? Ehh. She’s a little bit wooden. Which I mean is absolutely fine because so are all of the other action heroes of the eighties. It’s the way things are.

Renay: I liked Sigourney Weaver a lot better in the Ghostbusters films.

Ana: We don’t talk about those.

Renay: Mostly because I think that when you are in comedies and dramas you have more scope. In horror movies you’re mostly just angry and terrified the whole time, and so your range is often…

Ana: Limited.

Renay: Yep.

Ana: That’s a good point.

Renay: But first! We’re gonna have to talk about this film’s novelization. My mother, on her shelf—I don’t know where she got it—had a novelization of this film. And baby Renay tried to read it.

Ana: Oh my god.

Renay: Thinking because it was on the shelf with all her other romance novels that it was somehow a romance novel.

Ana: Nooo, baby Renay!

Renay: Baby Renay was very confused because seriously there are like two shelves of romance novels and this was at the end. Renay did not understand at that time that you could put books on any shelf you wanted. Apparently if it was on a romance shelf it was romance. You’d think the cover would have given it away, right? But no. I was like—

Ana: Oh my god.

Renay: “I guess this is a romance!” so I read this book as a little kid, totally divorced from the mythology, totally divorced from the canon of the first film. I had never seen it. I read this book in isolation. And the book plays up this attraction between Ripley and Hicks way more than the movie does.

Ana: So you did get some romance out of it then?

Renay: I guess, yes, I got a small amount. I thought the film handled it better, and that’s where I thought some of the best acting was with Ripley and Hicks, because they were both fucking fed up with people, and aliens, and corporations.

Ana: Yep.

Renay: And they had all these like great moments that didn’t necessarily have to be romance related. It was more like in the film just happy that you had an ally that was going to survive.

Ana: Yeah, they are buddies.

Renay: But the book made it way more romance-focused. Anyway, that was my introduction to Aliens, was that novelization when I was a kid.

Ana: That’s hilarious.

Renay: So it was really weird coming back and watching the film now, with those memories. Because I’ve seen parts of Aliens, but I’ve never watched it from the beginning to end, all the way through, same problem I had with Alien. I was very picky with my space horror films. And I thought this one had better character relationships, more robust, deeper, but I also thought this film was more sexist?

Ana: And do you think it’s because this one was written with her as a female character?

Renay: I think so. What did you think?

Ana: I didn’t have this piece of information before so I didn’t think about it. I don’t know. I keep thinking about the fact that the relationship that forms between her and the little girl, and how it’s immediately like a mother and daughter relationship, and it’s a very nurturing one. Sometimes Ripley is doing something, she’s in the middle of an action sequence, and then immediately after that she’s toning down to be very maternal? I don’t know how I feel about that because obviously there is nothing wrong about it because there are are a lot of women who are mothers and have maternal feelings. And I don’t know how I would feel in that situation either when you find a little girl all alone by herself. But I don’t know if this was written like that to tone down that she’s such an action hero.

Renay: In the first film we don’t know anything about these characters and their pasts. And in the second film it opens with Ripley having been asleep in her little escape ship for fifty-seven years. So her daughter on earth grew up and then died, and Newt is basically a stand-in for the daughter. It’s to sort of replace the daughter she lost. And that’s where it annoys me. Not that she’s maternal and not that she cares for the safety of the kid. Because if you watch in the background scenes, Newt also forms a trusting relationship with Hicks too, but they make this very obvious addition to her character canon and then later in the film they throw another daughter in her path.

Ana: Right.

Renay: I get that they did it to add character drama and depth, but it ended up being super stereotypical. If a mother loses a daughter or a child, you don’t just fucking replace them, that’s not how it works. People don’t have to be parents to care about small children. So they didn’t necessarily have to give her a daughter, but they did, because they wanted later on for her to like quote-unquote “adopt” Newt and show that the reason that she’s going to “adopt” Newt is because she has this hole in her life because her daughter grew up and died while she was in space. And that’s the thing I have a problem with; because it deals with motherhood and maternal instincts in this really stereotypical way. I didn’t have a problem with the characters otherwise. You have Ripley, you have Vasquez, and I thought as far as their characters went, they got to be active agents in the narrative.

Ana: Yeah, I agree.

Renay: I had some feelings about Bill Paxton in this, who played Hudson.

Ana: I know. He’s so young!

Renay: And halfway through this film Zach was like, “Didn’t he die?” And yes, Bill Paxton died this year. It’s very sad. I’ll always love you in Twister, Bill Paxton! But in this it was so weird to see him play this dudebro marine character.

Ana: And of course there was another android here which was interesting because it was also part of Ripley’s arc, because she was still so traumatized by what happened to her before, that she just hated the idea of having an android there. But the android himself had an arc of his own, too, and something to prove, and then to be a good guy.

Renay: The robot pal in this one was quality. The robot pal in Alien was NOT quality. You were a creep, dude. You were not a pal.

Ana: Ian Holm playing that guy was perfection.

Renay: Yeah.

Ana: I hated his fucking guts.

Renay: And Bishop sort of was the same way, like this very…

Ana: Aloof?

Renay: But the actor that played him was able infuse him with a lot of patience and humanity and empathy, in a way that Ash wasn’t, because he was such a company man. Company robot? I don’t know how to phrase that. But also fifty-seven years have passed so Bishop is a new model.

Ana: Unfortunately, men are not new models, and they are still as bad as before.

Renay: Yep, we get one of the company men that goes with Ripley when she returns to the planet where all her crew died horribly. So in the version you watched, did you get a scene between Ripley leaving Earth to go to this planet where you saw the colony alive?

Ana: No.

Renay: Okay, so in Aliens, Ripley is woken up fifty-seven years after the first film. And she’s all alone. She has a big fight with the company about her destruction of the Nostromo, because she blew it up, and they basically fire her and kick her out—make her unemployable in most space-faring areas. But then, one of the company men comes to her and says, “Hey, that colony? That we put on that planet? While you were sleeping? We’ve lost contact with them, and we can’t raise them, and we want you to go with us as a consultant to the planet, because you know what we might be dealing with.” And of course, they send this company dude with her, but between them leaving and them arriving, my version of the film inserted this very strange scene that shows the colony alive. They show it working. They show all the kids playing in the halls, they show a family—Newt in the car with them, Newt’s family—driving out and finding the alien spaceship. And Newt’s father is the one that brings the aliens back into the colony complex. And this scene ruins the suspense of the film. It ruins it. Cause they show the man on the planet with a facehugger on it and so you know what Ripley and—

Ana: —her team are going to find.

Renay: You already know, it ruins the suspense. I was like, “Why did you do this?” I don’t know if I watched like a director’s cut, or a later edition where they added in cutscenes, but if you watched it and you didn’t get that scene you are much better off.

Ana: I definitely did not get this scene.

Renay: If you’ve never seen Aliens—I don’t know why you’d be listening to this if you’ve never seen Aliens, see Aliens—make sure you skip it. If it starts up, if you’re watching the movie and you’re with Ripley and she’s going to the planet, and suddenly you flash to another planet and a colony, just fast forward it and skip it entirely, because it ruins all of the tension.

Ana: That’s unexpected. I had no idea. I’m glad I didn’t watch that.

Renay: My library had the copy that removed all the tension by adding in the “this is what the colony was like before the aliens” scene.

Ana: What the hell, seriously.

Renay: And of course they send with Ripley to this planet a company guy who wants to preserve the aliens and take it back to earth.

Ana: But for money. A little bit different from the first one, in which this guy is exclusively moved by the idea of becoming rich, which is even worse.

Renay: He’s actually worse than Ash in a lot of ways, because he’s out for money and he’s willing to go even farther to get it. Because he sicks a facehugger on Newt and Ripley, because he thinks that he can embryo inside them, and then freeze them on the way back to Earth.

Ana: And then kill everybody else.

Renay: And so he goes even farther than Ash does. That was very fascinating, that the human character who was in it for money—Ash, he’s an android, what use does he have for money, he’s property of the company. So you take out the android, this dude is still a company man, but he’s human and he’s in it for money and not science, so of course he goes to even worse tactics to get what he wants. And it’s super, super gross.

Ana: Yes.

Renay: So what did you think about the mythology? Cause this movie builds on the mythology.

Ana: I guess I am still confused. Not confused, I just like… Why? They lay eggs. There is a female, there is a—why do they need humans to propagate.

Renay: The life cycle of an alien is the queen lays an egg, and then it hatches a facehugger and then the facehugger goes and implants an embryo in a human, which then hatches a drone.

Ana: Does it have to be a human? Did they exist before? Why does it have to be us?

Renay: It’s a good question. It’s a very confusing mythology.

Ana: Yeah.

Renay: They’re smart enough to solve problems.

Ana: And to feel! I even felt for the queen lady who lost her eggs.

Renay: It was very sad, I know. I was like, “Oh, this is awful. I mean, you deserve it, but it’s awful.”

Ana: [laughter]

Renay: So if drones can stowaway on ships, like in the first film Kane gets attacked by a facehugger, it lays an egg, he hatches a drone and the drone is on the ship killing everybody. So once this drone gets to where it’s going, how is it going to continue the species if it can’t lay eggs?

Ana: I know. It makes no sense.

Renay: So it’s a very confusing mythology and the science is confusing. Maybe somebody can explain it to me who knows more about the Alien franchise.

Ana: I feel like there should be something about it in Prometheus. I have watched Prometheus but I don’t remember.

Renay: I’m gonna end up watching Prometheus again aren’t I?

Ana: Maybe we should continue watching.

Renay: We should because I want you to watch Alien: Resurrection because it has a robot pal.

Ana: Okay. I hear that Aliens 3 is super good.

Renay: I haven’t seen it actually.

Ana: That one I have DEFINITELY not seen.

Renay: In Aliens I thought the movie was pretty great as a sequel and as a movie itself, but the pacing in the second half was really off to me. It took too long, like there was just too much running? Okay, so they’re running, they’re still running, it’s been ten minutes, they’re still running… I needed them to be running less and shooting things more.

Ana: Eh, I was okay with it. I didn’t have any problems.

Renay: Obviously I have very high standards for my space alien horror movies.

Going back to the character relationships, I really think they did a really good job with them, even with the ones who die. Like the military commander, he was great. Hudson was really annoying, but he was a very good example of, like, why you should listen to Ripley when she tells you to listen to her about scary aliens. Like, he has a breakdown. It was just a great traumatic stress response and I thought it was very interesting that they gave the traumatic stress response to the most brash, out-spoken dude, and not like the lady marine. It was like, “Good job guys, good job avoiding that pothole.”

Ana: This was really smart, I thought.

Renay: Yeah, I really do like them a whole lot. I thought that they do some interesting things with the tropes of horror, and how they frame horrible behavior? Cause in the films the aliens again are the antagonists, but again in this film, they go back to the actual villain is the company. It is Weyland-Yutani. They are the ultimate boss. They put this colony on this planet, and then when everybody started dying, their company man was like, “Well, we can’t destroy things because it’s got a dollar value,” and I liked the part where Ripley was like, “Well they can bill me.”

So again the corporation here is the ultimate villain. It carries through. It’s just really well done, this concept that even pushed to the very edge of human survival, corporations will still value money over people.

Also, what did you think about the new canon fact of humans getting sucked into like cocoons and stuff? When the marines go to find the missing colonists, they find all these people like trapped in these like gross columns of goo?

Ana: Yeah.

Renay: And one of the ladies that’s still alive, she was like, “Hey, kill me, just kill me.” I feel like that’s gonna come up again too, because that’s a new addition to the mythology—that they collect the people.

Ana: Yeah, they don’t outright kill them, they just drag them to use their bodies, as incubators, basically. It’s like a symbiotic relationship, so when did that start? I need to find out. It appears that the aliens cannot survive without humans.

Renay: So when did it start?

Ana: Yeah. I’m pretty sure it’s in Prometheus that we learn about it.

Renay: [sigh] Prometheus.

Ana: You have to watch it again.

Renay: Are you ready for me to drag it all the way across the universe?

Ana: No, I’m not.

Renay: I’ll try to be nice. So how many space bees would you give to Alien?

Ana: Five.

Renay: I would also give it five, it was a great film. Super classic, still super great. Definitely recommend. And Aliens.

Ana: Also five.

Renay: I would almost give it five, I would probably give it four space bees and a jar of honey, because the mother thing just really irked me. I was real irked.

Ana: I like it. I think it’s five.

Renay: It was so good. I’m really happy that we watched these, these were really good movies.

Ana: I really enjoyed them too. I want to watch Aliens 3 immediately.

Renay: And I love the things that they’re doing with bodily autonomy and criticism of corporate culture. I’m really impressed.

Ana: I just liked that Ripley’s kick-ass.

Renay: Yeah, Ripley’s cool too. Okay, tell everybody what we’ll be discussing next time.

Ana: Next time we will be talking about The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian, catch up on Kamala’s adventures with Ms Marvel volume seven, and talk about the recent media we’ve consumed.

Renay: It’s gonna be great! You’ll get to find out whether or not Ana read Thick As Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner.

[music break]

Renay: This episode was brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. They helped make this special vault episode possible. Dear Patrons: thank you very much.

Ana: Thank you so much. And if you would like to get more of those you can make it happen by becoming a patron and choosing things for us to discuss.

Renay: Our music is by Chuki Beats and BoxCat Games. Our art is by Ira. Our producer is me, who uses a copy of Garageband from 2007 because she refuses to give in to planned obsolescence. You can talk more about the downsides of the future with us on Twitter at @fangirlpodcast.

Ana: Fangirl Happy Hour’s transcripts are by Susan. You can find all available transcripts at fangirlhappyhour.com, and you can find her livetweeting her transcription adventures at @Spindilly on twitter.

Renay: Also, we are expanding our newsletter to include recommendations, so if you’re not subscribed to our extremely excellent newsletter, you can subscribe via our website.

Ana: If you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, you really should, because Renay does such a good job with that. It’s one of my highlights when I read it.

Renay: Drink some water, practice good sleep hygiene, and definitely call your reps.

Ana: Listen to Renay. Listen to Ripley. If you happen to be in a situation when a lady tells you what to do just follow it.

Renay: Thanks for listening, space bees.

Ana: See you next episode.

[music break]

Renay: Listen: at least you didn’t—at least you don’t have this banana.

[beep]

[rumbling]

Renay: That was the weirdest noise. What happened?

[beep]

Renay: Listen, the only thing I could think about while I was preparing for this episode was you talking about that the con you went where that guy was like “Sigourney —” saying “Sigourney Weaver over here!” and you called it Sigourney Weavering.

[beep]

Ana: You said breathe and I said I can’t breathe so let me try to get to breathe!

[beep]

Renay: What is that noise again? What is that noise?

[beep]

Ana: Absolutely.

Renay: That was the weakest absolutely I’ve ever heard.

[beep] [beep]