Forget the Cause! Support Your Local Artist, Entertainer, or Stripper Instead!

I’m writing this article from a really strange and bitter place.  I grew up in a household where not only giving money to charities was normal, but also our time and effort.  My mother was a chair of the Atlanta Women’s Resource Center, and our house was a safehouse for abused women and children.  Once I was able to drive, I donated my time to campaigns on various levels.  To this day, since I don’t have the time volunteer, I donate to various causes when I can, as well as strangers and friends in need when I encounter them.  However, in my older age, I have experienced encounters that discourage giving.My company was a sponsor for an anime club at a local library, for which I had to run and pay for my own background check.  I bought food, refreshments, and planned outings for the future.  None of it happened.  In the end, I think the librarians that oversaw the group were weirded out that I wanted to help.  When I tried to find other groups in libraries to sponsor, I received what I perceived resistance.

Who’s that Cosplayer: Can you spot Free Safari?

Rango the Merc wrote an article about video game heroes that fought oppression.  He felt it was a way that he could show support for Black Lives Matter.  He also charged me with finding charitable groups to partner with in order to raise money for them.  I immediately set to this, contacting organisations such as the Know Your Rights Camp, HFC, and Minnesota Freedom Fund.  Most did not respond.  One of them did and basically told me that their cause started out small, but was now too large to partner with me.  They they gave me smaller causes that my money might be able to help.  Fuck them.

Free Safari and some other #BLM Protestors

Well, at least that’s what I felt in my heart.  Since when did it become so hard to help?  Since when was my money, or my company’s money not good enough.  I’m not wealthy, and it’s not like I was going to donate thousands, but I was considering in the triple digits at least.  It’s a lot for me and my company, but that shouldn’t even be a factor, should it?  Shouldn’t the correct response for all of them been something to the effect of, “Hey, thanks!  We appreciate it!  We are very busy right now with the protests and COVID-19, but we would heartily accept whatever efforts and donation you have to give.”

Well, I’ll keep this article short and sweet.  There’s a lot of talented folks out there hurting because of The Quarantine; artists, entertainers, business owners…strippers..?  Yes, that last one might be funny, but hey, everyone has to eat, and that’s about as intimate a job as I can think of that is probably being killed by COVID-19.  So, the next time you think about donating to a Black Lives Matter cause, think about how much of that donation will actually go to helping, once all the salaries, meals for volunteers, cuts from funding companies, and whatever various miscellaneous fees that middle men and bureaucrats can think of get paid for.  Keep your support local.

Whitney Tai and Band

Go to the local comic shoppe or pub.  Purchase something from an Etsy.  Become a patron to your local artist.  Send a PayPal to your favourite musician.  Of course, you can go down to your local strip club that reopened, and place some dollar bills on the ground for your favourite dancer. (Remember social distancing..!)

I think that the one good thing about The Quarantine is that we are all beginning to appreciate the potential for closeness we all took for granted.  A lot of us are hurting financially as well as socially.  Supporting your local artist, entertainer, or business help solve both of those problems.

Down below are some of my favourite folks to support.  As for us, yeah, we still sell stuff, and we appreciate your business as well, but you can also help by Liking, Following, and Sharing everything and anything associated with All Cool Things™.  Not only does it help us, but it helps the people whoms’ content we share.

 

Whitney Tai:  a very talented singer, entertainer, and performer

 

Alphawolf:  model both conventional and fetish, as well as dominatrix of all kinds

 

Gingersnap Pixie: model, cosplayer, graphic designer, illustrator, writer

The Five Times That Video Games Stood Up Against Prejudice and Oppression.

Given the current events and following the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we want to dedicate this piece to the protesters fighting for human rights. We’ll feature five stories in video games where characters stood up against authority figures who spread nothing but lies, hatred, and ruled with an iron fist. These uplifting stories of rebellion will hopefully bring some peace of mind and a brighter outlook on the future.

Please keep in mind that the following game sections contain spoilers. If you see the game’s title and are even mildly curious, I strongly suggest buying them.

Final Fantasy X

The Al-Bhed people were shunned by the followers of Yu Yevon, the guardian deity of the world of Spira. However, throughout the game, you begin to notice corruption within the church of Yevon. As your team became branded enemies of Yevon, the Al Bhed came to your rescue. This aid came, in no small part thanks, to Rikku, the Al Bhed girl that you befriended early on in the game.

 

This connection bridges the party to the Al Bhed working together for a better cause. Even though the Yevon loyalists in the party, such as Wakka, initially reject such a radical change, they eventually warm up to the Al Bhed. Eventually, you join up with them in a united effort to save Spira, using their machina to destroy Sin, and set a new course for the world.

Tales of Symphonia

From the beginning of the game, you befriend Genis and Raine, your elf friends. Only later do you learn that they were half-elves, a being repressed throughout Sylvarant and Tethe’alla due to their mixed heritage.

While their secret comes out later in the game, the protagonist, Lloyd, still unites his friends and continues his journey to save both worlds. Genis, despite saying he hates humans, reassures Lloyd he’s still his best friend. Even when the mayor of the town, Iselia, preaches his racism towards your half-elven party members, the people stand against him.

Regarding the overarching storyline, you later learn that the Sylvarant’s folk hero and eventual antagonist, Mithos, began his entire crusade because of the half-elven oppression and the death of his sister, Martel.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

“Sub-humans.” That was the word used to describe the laguz, or beastkin people, in Tellius. The country of Gallia waged battles with the beorc, or humans, and faced discrimination simply due to their appearance. When Ike fought against the Daein army, he traveled to Gallia, which he later learned was his birthplace. Throughout his travels, he encountered new laguz friends, united them for the cause of liberating the country of Crimea, and took down the Mad King Ashnard.

The story comes full-circle when Ike would unite the Tellius continent once more to defeat the Begnion Senate and their army. Near the end of the game, Ike’s forces, the Greil Mercenaries, defeat Senator Lekain and the Begnion Senate, ending a decades-long struggle between Begnion’s iron grip and the laguz who fought against their oppression.

Persona 5

Persona 5’s story tackles sensitive social issues. Authority figures who bully, exploit, and even murder become the victim of the Phantom Thieves’ vengeance. The whole point of the story is to help your friends rebel against oppressive authority figures and, as they join you, take the fight against other horrible people in Tokyo.

You’ll enter their cognitive Palaces, fight their Shadows, and change their conscience. Doing so will change their heart, forcing them to own up, confess their crimes, and relinquish their positions of power.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Three Houses marked the third Fire Emblem game where racial injustice became a major focal point of the plot. Claude, one of the House leaders, wants to unite Fodlan. He does so due to his Almyran background. The people of Almyra, dark-skinned warriors, faced oppression from the Fodlan continent for decades.

When joining the Golden Deer route, you’ll fight alongside Claude and his quest to reform Fodlan’s government. This includes allying with the church, the enemy of the Black Eagles route, and uniting your forces against the Adrestian Empire and Those Who Slither in the Dark.

 

Final Thoughts

For anyone keeping up with the protests, we’ve all gone through a tough time. Supporting our fellow human beings, including those who are different from ourselves, becomes an important cause in these times. Hopefully, this list helps inspire you with these courageous stories of people fighting alongside friends and make the world a better place.

Be sure to follow our social media channels listed below for the latest in gaming culture!

Interested in Donating?

Know Your Rights Camp – Started by Colin Kaepernick, this camp helps empower teens and meets three cities, at the moment:  Atlanta, Baltimore, and Miami.

 

Want to Donate, but Not for the Cause?

HFC (Hilarity for Charity) – Founded by Seth Rogen and Laura Miller Rogen, this non-profit helps spread awareness about Alzheimers, as well as funding research.