Jim the Editor asks:

What do you think of the Halloween-themed pokemon go designs?

So Jim and I talked about these for a while, and… well, I actually hadn’t given them much thought at all, previously. Hallowe’en is much less of a big deal in New Zealand than it is in the US, and is almost exclusively an event for, like, preteens. Hallowe’en fancy dress parties aren’t really a thing, or at least weren’t for my age group. Jim had a thought, though, which is that these are… well, obviously they’re cute costumes, but also weirdly insensitive, in a way? I mean… Pikachu. You’re dressing up as a Pokémon that knows its true appearance is horrifying and wants to look like you because it’s desperate to be loved. That is in bad taste, Pikachu. You can take that costume off and everyone will still love you. If Mimikyu takes its costume off, everyone will be dead. And you, Charmander – Cubone wear those skulls to mourn their dead mothers, and you’re wearing it because it’s fun to look spooky, you insensitive little $#!t. Squirtle… y’know, I don’t know if this is as bad, but Squirtle, you are dressing up as a Pokémon whose existence is torture and whose own physical form is a constant sorrowful reminder of its own lost life. I just feel like a Yamask might find that offensive, y’know? Bulbasaur… Bulbasaur, you can keep being Shedinja, you’re fine. Shedinja doesn’t give a fµ¢£. I mean, you do also have objectively the $#!ttiest costume but I don’t think you’re doing something actively harmful.

Pluto is a Planet asks:

In light of the discovery of 20 new moons around Saturn, I’d like to know what is your favourite moon in the solar system and why?

Do people have favourite moons?  Is that a thing?

Actually (and this is true, I posted about it on Facebook), my immediate reaction to learning about the extra twenty moons was “well, that’s just showing off.”  You only need one, don’t you?  What is a moon even for?  It does the tides, it gives you something nice to look at during the night, and it helps you keep track of the months of the year.  I mean, think, for goodness’ sake, how complicated the calendar would be on Jupiter. How complicated horoscopes must be.  Seventy-nine moons, not one of which can give you a neat twelve-month year.  There is something to be said for Kiviuq, one of the moons of Saturn, which can give you a very nice twenty-four-month year of about a thousand Saturnian solar days (about 450 Earth days) per month.  The only problem with that is that Kiviuq is about the size of Malta and basically indistinguishable from dozens of other lumps of rock orbiting Saturn that insist on being called “moons.”  And that’s another thing, Saturn – you haven’t got “eighty-two moons,” you’ve got seven moons and seventy-something pet rocks; you’re the planetary equivalent of a crazy cat lady (and, frankly, I’m being generous by counting Mimas, but I’ll give that to you because it looks like a Death Star).  Mars we have to forgive because it hasn’t got a proper moon, but when you pull this kind of $#!t, Saturn, it’s embarrassing.

Anyway, I guess the answer to this question really depends on what you want out of a moon. Like, Europa, Titan and Enceladus are arguably the most useful because they’re the most likely to be able to support life, and Enceladus is also by some definitions the brightest moon in the solar system, but Io is made of volcanoes, which is fµ¢£ing metal, and Triton has ice volcanoes, which doesn’t even make sense. Callisto is definitely the prettiest one, Rhea might have its own rings, which is cute in a “look, I’m just like dad!” sort of way, and… well, Miranda is just super fµ¢£ed up, so if nothing else you kinda have to admire its confidence. Ariel, Oberon and Titania are “meh” at best, although I will admit that Umbriel has a nice sort of dark-and-mysterious quality. Iapetus has the whole “yin-yang” thing, which is gimmicky but okay. Ganymede is coasting on its size and should try harder. Our moon is… fine. It is a classic moon, acceptable-to-good in all relevant parameters. It is not seriously in the running for Best Moon. Phobos is a potato and Deimos is a fµ¢£ed-up potato, and while potatoes are fantastic, a potato is not a fµ¢£ing moon. Charon… well, look, I know how you feel about this because it’s in the name you used, but Charon and Pluto are, like, co-moons, if anything. They’re doing their own thing. They’re fine. They don’t need our judgement. I can respect that.

This has been my objective, fact-based and unquestionable rating of moons. You are welcome.

The Babadook asks:

In celebration of Pride what’s your ideal queer-themed team? Include nature’s, movesets, abilities and held items?

It’s still June in the US; I’m not too late!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…

I feel like… movesets and abilities and held items would mostly have to be really specific jokes that I just don’t think I can do well, being only the G of LGBT and not having all that much insight into the other letters.  We can pick six Pokémon, though, and I think we should probably start with Pokémon who have gender properties that are in some way interesting…

Continue reading “The Babadook asks:”

Ty asks:

Have you seen this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVO8QrGAPHs) Battle Royale of Legendary Pokemon yet? If not, congrats! Now you have! 

Anyway, the question is: Which Legendary Pokemon do you think would most likely win in a Battle Royale scenario where Pokedex Entries are assumed to be true (i.e. do you agree with the video), and also in a scenario where they aren’t true (because the Pokedex really doesn’t seem like a reliable source of information) and you’re just using their in-game combat capabilities?

…I think I might love this

But yeah, to answer the question… well, I don’t think I need to agree with the video for it to be great, because it’s supposed to be funny and not, like, a watertight argument for a position in a “who would win” debate.  But let’s talk about it anyway.

Continue reading “Ty asks:”

. asks:

What do you think of Toucannon’s anger, both from an aesthetic and character standpoint?

Well, I think it… looks angry?

I don’t know, it has this really surly, grumpy look to it, like it hasn’t slept in days and has just been asked to submit its budget report a week early, but I don’t think it’s actually described or portrayed as an unusually angry Pokémon.  The Pokédex even references the fact that it’s seen as a good Pokémon to have at an Alolan wedding ceremony because it mates harmoniously for life.  So, I actually think under its gruff exterior it might be a sweet perfect cinnamon roll.

Squidward Tentacles asks:

Who would win in a fight? Your vastly superior intellect, or all the Gen V Pokemon sentenced to cruel, horrible deaths all those years ago?

Oh, I would get destroyed.  This brain of mine?  This is an ideas brain; moreover, this is a humanities brain.  I’m not going to go all Home Alone on this $#!t; I’m just going to stand there, pompously explaining to them that criticism is part of the network of social relationships that give art its meaning, that a thorough understanding of a work’s flaws can actually deepen a sincere appreciation of it, and that we all have a responsibility to be critical of the media we consume, while they… y’know, variously incinerate, lacerate, electrify, putrefy, pulverise, exorcise, freeze and disembowel me.