You Searched, We Answered

One of the things that gives us a chuckle over here is the routine review of the various search strings that somehow lead people to our site. Some are very straight forward and relate exactly to the posts we’ve run, while other are either utterly confusing (and sometimes offensive) or just plain random and funny. We thought we’d take a stab at actually answering some of the questions. I mean, if a question actually managed to somehow bring a person to Geekquality, shouldn’t we at least make an effort to help out?

We thought we’d start it off with a bunch for you, so settle in for some learnin’!

  • What’s the leather jacket worn by Gina Carano in Haywire?
  • How to tell if sexual tension is mutual?
  • How to respond to the “Come here often?” pick up line?
  • What are some famous Black woman/Asian man couples?
  • Why does Michonne in The Walking Dead have pet walkers?
  • What are some good Korean dramas to watch?
  • Do I count as a PoC if I’m White-passing?
  • How would society be different without Neil deGrasse Tyson’s… inventions?
  • Where do people come up with sci-fi?
  • A Benjamin Sisko two-parter! What was his defining moment in DS9? And why wasn’t Sisko a Captain in the beginning?
  • Guest answer: What are the major topics dealt with in Alanna: The First Adventure, book #1 of the Song of the Lioness series?

One of the most frequently recurring search strings is the question of what’s that leather jacket that Gina Carano wears in Haywire, an action film Alice Marie reviewed here on the site. (She actually wears a couple of different leather jackets, from a simple zip up one, to black motorcycle riding leathers.)

My guess is that the jacket people wanted to find out about is the one that would catch my eye, personally: a cropped brown piece, with zippers and buttons. What I was eventually able to find out, after a lot of Googling (and even sending a desperate e-mail to the agency that reps the costume designer Shoshana Rubin) is that the jacket is the Abercrombie & Fitch “Mia”, no longer in production and being hawked on E-Bay for almost $500, because apparently Ashley Tisdale wears it. And there you have it. I don’t know about you, but I can finally sleep at night. – Tanya

Moving right along, here are some more answers to life, the universe, and everything.

How to tell if sexual tension is mutual? 
Step 1: Examine the subject’s pupils. Are they dilated? If so, they are probably aroused by your mere presence. Or possibly taking part in some recreational drug use.
Steps 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.: Ask. If you aren’t feeling confident and want to give yourself an out, if the answer is no, do it with humor. Maybe choreograph an intricate interpretive dance to Xtina’s “Your Body” (with lots of eye contact, so you can keep checking those pupils). – Elyse

How to respond to the “Come here often?” pick up line?
Probably the best strategy is to back away, slowly. The person addressing you with the line is actually an alien interloper, attempting to pass as human, since nobody would use this line to any degree of success, outside of aliens who erroneously studied 1980s Earth culture as background for blending in on their mission. Alternately, you could say “Often… That’s such a strange, relative word, and so limited by the rigid constructs of our linear perception of time.” That’s for sure going to get you a date. – Tanya

What are some famous Black woman/Asian man couples? 
The answer is simple. Me and John Cho; Me and Steven Yeun; Me and Sendhil Ramamurthy; Me and Godfrey Gao; Me and Darren Criss; Me and Naveen Andrews

No but really though, they are few and far between, unfortunately, the most famous pairing is probably Gabrielle Union and John Cho on Flash Forward. – Moxie

Why does Michonne have pet walkers?
Remember that part in the first season of The Walking Dead where Rick and Glen covered themselves in minced zombie to get through a crowd of walkers? Their theory was that if they smelled like zombies, they’d be ignored. Michonne’s pets are her 1000% more badass, much less smelly interpretation of that theory. They’re also her boyfriend and his best friend, so, you know, sentimental reasons. – Rick

What are some good Korean dramas to watch?
This one is really hard to delve into because “K-Drama” is a huge umbrella. Do you like revenge? Pure fluff? Fantasy/AU scenarios? I’ll nominate my two of my absolute favorites: Full House (with that hottie Rain), and Goong S (or the Princess Hours) with that other K-pop idol, Seven. Swoon! For more suggestions to help you navigate K-Drama (as well as, perhaps, answer the other question we got, “Why are girls in Korean drama so flighty?”) check out my handy guide. – Lois

Do I count as PoC if I’m White-passing?
There is nothing that’s going to erase your ethnic ancestry. “Passing” may be the wrong word to use, though, as it refers to the practice of denying/disguising your ethnic ancestry in favor of living and being treated like a White person (people did this a lot during segregation). I think the term you’re looking for is “presenting”, meaning you are a PoC and you do not deny it, but to those who may not know you, you appear White at first glance. This does not mean you are not a PoC. This may mean that you benefit from colorism (intra-racial privilege for those who possess more European features), and that is something to be aware of. – Moxie

How would society be different without Neil deGrasse Tyson’s inventions?
Well, see, Doctor Neil is an astrophysicist. He doesn’t so much invent things as observe and make calculations. But the man is making a difference. Like Carl Sagan and Bill Nye, he’s all about making sure that we remember that science education is not only important, it’s the #1 thing America can do to stay on top. And he reminds us in a way that is fun, easy to understand, and makes for great TV. Doesn’t hurt that he’s also a hell of a role model for nerdy kids of color. – Rick

Where do people come up with sci-fi?
This one is up for debate. Moxie relies on a crisp Riesling to help her come up with sci-fi ideas. Jen steals plots from Saved by the Bell, then sets them in outer space. Rick firmly believes in the existence of Fiction Falcor, a magical flying Maltese that travels around the world in the dead of night, delivering science fiction ideas to the good little sci-fi writers, and horrible, played out cliches to the ones who have been naughty. Fiction Falcor may be swayed with a well constructed altar of Milkbones. Elyse enjoys an innovative approach of taking characters from Star Wars, changing their names, and adding more sex. Alice Marie’s ideas usually come as a result of visions caused by nail polish fumes. Mace has a room full of monkeys with typewriters to help with sci-fi. (OK, she doesn’t really have a typewriter. And the monkeys are actually just one cat. This may explain why we haven’t yet read anything she’s written.) Lois comes up with sci-fi after going into a shamanistic trance induced by diva cups, White man tears, and kale, to envision a future where women rule and misandry cripples all with its iron fist (and tampons). Tanya relies on good old fashioned time travel to see future science facts and bring them back as science fiction. Because if there is one sure way to stay relevant in this world, it’s by creating a paradox.

A more serious answer, at least from observation – because it’s quite possible that some of our most beloved sci-fi and fantasy authors might well be part of a secret cabal that has tapped into powers we cannot even imagine – is that good writing of any genre is as much a result of imagination as it is of discipline and constant learning. Read some great interviews with noted authors, like William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia E. Butler, among others. Pay attention to the world around you, whether it’s through travel or just taking advantage of the place you happen to call home. Read a lot of other books, stories, news, etc. Write, a whole bunch, and then tell us when your book is coming out so we can snag it!  – Tanya

What was Benjamin Sisko’s defining moment in Stat Trek: Deep Space Nine?
I maintain that his defining moment occurs in the episode “In the Pale Moonlight”. We learn (and at the same time, Sisko himself learns) how far he’s willing to bend his own moral code in order to minimize casualties in the war with the Dominion.  – Jen

Why was Benjamin Sisko not a Captain in the beginning?
I had written a really long answer about the Battle of Wolf 359 and Sisko’s (understandable) PTSD and how he became involved with non-command projects for a while because that was what he could handle at the time. But…short answer: He wasn’t a captain in the beginning of DS9 because he hadn’t achieved that rank yet. He didn’t need to be a captain in order to accept command of an old ore station. He was promoted to captain in the Season 3 episode “The Adversary”. – Jen

What are the major topics dealt with in Alanna: The First Adventure, book #1 of the Song of the Lioness series?
(We turned to our regular reader and lifelong Tamora Pierce fan, Diana, for the answer to this one. You can check out some of her writing on Paper Droids and Between the Panels.)

Most notably, Alanna consistently struggles with self-doubt brought on by her unusual
circumstances. She isn’t sure she can ever be as good as even the smallest, weakest boy
among her peers, let alone good enough to truly serve her country and her Prince. She
doubts that she’s pulling off her disguise successfully and fears that she’ll be “outed” as a
girl; this fear is exacerbated when certain things begin happening to her, including getting
her first period. However, she deals with doubt, fear, and frustration in pro-active ways
rather than giving up. She confides in friends and goes to them for help when she needs
it; she works hard to build up her strength and skill, practicing with her mentor’s huge
broadsword to give her an edge in dueling; she starts to get a hold on her magical Gift,
despite her fear of it; and ultimately she is sure of herself and her skills, enough so that
she becomes Prince Jonathan’s squire…and tells him flat-out that she should get the job.

This overarching theme ties into other topics as well: self-acceptance, gender
considerations and concerns, and the balancing of personal power. Though this is just
the first book in a quartet, by the end of The First Adventure Alanna has made great
strides toward accepting herself as a girl in an arena not typically open to women. She is
learning to view herself not as a woman trying to be a man, but as a woman trying to be
herself, a theme further developed in the rest of the series. Through her growing power,
both physical and magical, Alanna also learns that there is a fine line between defending
yourself and others, and becoming a bully. Though she expects that being able to stand
up to stronger opponents will be a good thing, this growth comes with the knowledge that
someday, she will be the stronger opponent and that strength requires responsibility.

As the first of Pierce’s fantasy books for young people, the Lioness series is perhaps not
the most well-developed or elegant of her titles. However, it is a foundation of values on
which her other books in both the Tortall and Emelan universes are built. These books,
their characters, and their (sometimes quite serious) topics stem from trailblazing Alanna.

A final note: for readers who are already Alanna fans and for new readers alike, the blog
Mark Reads is currently reading Song of the Lioness! He’s almost done with book #2,
so there’s still time to jump aboard the train to Tortall. If you’re interested in talking
about the books with other readers, I highly recommend Mark’s blog. And a great general
Tamora Pierce fansite is Fief Goldenlake (spoilers abound, but this is a wonderful
resource and lively community).

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1 Response to You Searched, We Answered

  1. Menshevixen says:

    I think this might be my new favorite feature. Search strings are always hilarious! And it’s nice that you guys are interested in helping weary Google users. :D

    Also, I am into that jacket. Actually, I was pretty into all of Carano’s clothing in Haywire.

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