A rejected article from my real writing job

Avatar 2 Concept Art, All rights belong to 20th Century Studios

Just before the first Avatar came out in 2009, I bought $200 worth of Avatar action figures at Toys “R” Us on an entrepreneurial whim.

My intent was to resell them for a profit after the movie became an inevitable smash hit⁠ — a two-part educated guess that I felt distinctly qualified to make as both a movie buff and a toy collector. I was only half-right. …


WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Dragon Ball Super: Broly, at least if you’ve managed to avoid the trailers.

The other day, I received an official email blast promoting the new Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie. It linked to this trailer, which reveals what would have been one of the biggest surprises in franchise history: a new character named Gogeta going Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan.

I realize this sounds like word salad to anyone not versed in Dragon Ball lore, but this was more than a leak or a small hint meant to inspire predictions. It was a massive spoiler…

Even at the onset of her career, Lena Dunham was a polarizing figure. I remember discussing Girls with other students in my film program, and being taken aback by the rampant, seemingly underserved disdain people held towards her. Most commonly, they’d say something like, “Lena Dunham is a total narcissist.” I chalked most of this up to jealousy. After all, Lena Dunham achieved great success at a young age.

I also thought people were conflating her character on the show with the real Lena Dunham. Sure, her character was self-absorbed and selfish and arrogant. But that didn’t mean Lena Dunham…

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A family is gathered around the dining room table for Thanksgiving dinner. While pouring an extra glob of gravy on his turkey, Dad announces, “hey, how many genders does it take to change a lightbulb?” He pauses to build tension. “Just two!”

You map your next move out in your brain. Here’s how it plays out:

You say, “What’s funny about that?”

Dad says, “It was just a joke.”

You say, “Can you explain the punchline?”

Dad says, “Because there are only two genders.”

Mom says, “Honey, your dad was just joking.”


At 5’1”, I’m short even amongst short men. In middle school, male classmates bullied me about my height, picked me last for sports, and on a few occasions even tried to pick fights. To cope, I developed a thick skin for insults while honing my own ability to pinpoint other kids’ insecurities. I also learned to take a punch so I could throw one back.

By high school, everyone had matured. With the exception of good-natured ribbing from my friends, short jokes were a relic of the past. But with maturity came a new problem: girls.

Everybody knows women don’t…

Remember when you didn’t want to even consider the McCain-Feingold Bill, even though it had major bipartisan support from the House?

  • “You’re more likely to see Elvis again than to see this bill pass the Senate.” -Mitch McConnell on the McCain-Feingold Bill on Campaign Reform, New York Times (July 31, 1998)

Or how about your clear bipartisan efforts when Obama got elected?

  • “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” -Mitch McConnell, Top GOP Priority: Make Obama a One-Term President, National Journal (October 23, 2010)

You really seemed to want…

For vulnerable youth, the internet echo chambers can become a life-destroying trap

Photo: Andrew Brookes/Getty Images

The scariest aspect of young, radical white men, to me, isn’t the rampant sexism or racism or homophobia or even the ticking time bombs turned terrorists and mass shooters in their midst. It’s that they’re all too human and that I understand and even empathize with how they became that way.

Sexism, racism, and homophobia are repulsive ideologies, full stop. Nationalism is a cancer, and young, radicalized white men are, without a doubt, responsible for their own actions and beliefs. …

An average alt-right guy in his true form

As a lifelong fan of RPGs, I’m actually pretty keen on this new alt-right NPC meme. NPCs are the lifeblood of any great RPG campaign. They’re the decent townsfolk, the quest givers, the movers of plot. And while their dialogue may be scripted, a good NPC can have hopes and dreams and meaningful side stories to be uncovered. I like NPCs. They may not be the protagonists, but they’re usually the good guys. So sure, maybe liberals are NPCs.

But where does that leave the right wing? Do RPGs have a similarly scripted role that mirrors their sensibilities?

Of course…

Dan K

Writer & screenwriter, usually rocking a man bun.

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