Wayward Sisters, major errors & wishful thinking.

From The Secret World. Still hands-down the creepiest room I’ve ever walked into in a game.

Wayward Sisters: Ok, I’m just going to say it.

*Spoilers if you aren’t all caught up on Supernatural.

I don’t know how I missed this, but I literally didn’t hear a thing about the possible Supernatural spinoff until the day the episode aired. Luckily, it was all over Twitter, so I got up to speed pretty quickly. (I admit it, I tend to avoid fandoms, or I probably wouldn’t have been so blindsided by the whole concept.)

I also can’t say it was much of a surprise, because I’d noted in passing some time ago that Jody Mills was turning into quite the den mother.

I like Jody. Who doesn’t? Jody’s awesome. Her sheriff counterpart, Donna, should drive me batshit-crazy, but oddly, she doesn’t. She’s hilarious at the strangest times, which is probably why I like her — you expect her to be a naive marshmellow, and instead you get an offbeat badass. Patience is new, but she has potential. Alex is still a bit unformed, in my opinion; she went through a lot of changes, but I don’t think we’ve had enough time with the new Alex yet. A spinoff would give them plenty of space to develop her further. Kaia… well, let’s not talk about Kaia. We definitely need to wait and see.

Claire has more character development than any of them, bar Jody, and she’s clearly meant to be the leading lady here. And I don’t like her.

Yeah, I said it.

Claire’s backstory is horrific. She was a front-and-center look at the often-mostly-unseen victims of supernatural shenanigans: the family and friends who are affected by what goes down when demons, monsters, angels, and other assorted beings run amok. Occasionally we see an end result, but in Claire’s case, we had end result and can’t-sweep-it-under-the-rug in-your-face-ism going on.

Claire’s dad, Jimmy, is Castiel’s meatsuit. Yes, Jimmy consented, but in the process, he left his family behind to deal with his apparent abandonment. Then he returned. Then Claire was kidnapped by demons and became Castiel’s new meatsuit. Then Jimmy asked Castiel to take him instead, so Castiel claimed him again. Then Claire ends up with a surrogate father who turns her to a life of crime and sells her to pay off a loan shark. Dean kills bad daddy and Claire almost goes revenge-kill on Dean. Then Claire finds her mother, who sacrifices herself for Claire. Claire ends up with Jody, and proceeds to see monsters everywhere she looks, racking up a nice, covered-up assault record along the way. Oh, did I mention that Claire became a werewolf, too? Yeah, she was a werewolf, briefly — the first they actually managed to cure.

Of course Claire was going to have issues, but somebody really put in the overtime thinking up ways to just make a total shambles of her life. I mean, really.

Claire was certainly a sympathetic character initially, but her attitude got on my nerves. She’s not the first overeager newbie hunter we’ve seen, but she’s definitely the last one I’d want watching my back. My problem is that Claire seemed determined to be as stupid as possible about everything. She listens to all the wrong people and blows off the people she should be listening to. Claire dismisses Jody as being overprotective and too cautious while demonstrating a total lack of caution… or thought… or sense… which she actually seems proud of. This, despite the fact that she cried wolf over and over again, seeing monsters where none existed, and causing all sorts of problems for Jody in the process. She’s got selfish, blind, and pigheaded down to an art form.

At some point, you either grow up, or you die young. Let’s face it, hunters like Claire usually just don’t last very long. Thank crap she’s finally showing signs of maturing, but she’s been annoying me for so long, I’m not certain that I care. Sam and Dean have gone through their own, similar phases, and I couldn’t stand it in them, either — but they were phases. Claire’s been pretty solidly stupid for a while now. I’m ready for her to not be stupid.

Holy crap, how do you do that by accident?!

Well, here’s how.

As I’m sure you all heard (unless you retreated to a cave a few months ago, in which case, I don’t really blame you), a missile alert was broadcast by mistake in Hawaii. Given how fond of nuclear threats this WH apparently is, it quite understandably freaked people the fuck out. Followed by the usual finger-pointing and blame-gaming.

Given that I spend most of my time thinking about this stuff, my first question was, “Well, what does the interface look like?” Because yes, you can set people up for failure with poor design. You see it all the time. Ever canceled something on a website by mistake? It might not have been your fault, and there were probably things that could have been done to make the error less likely.

I won’t go into details, though, because the Nielsen Norman Group is all over it. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in usability or design, it’s an informative read that suggests — rightly, assuming the screenshots are accurate — that you really should stop to think about first causes before you start tossing blame around. It’s always possible that the real culprit isn’t as obvious as you think.

Conversations in the real world.

Him: “What is that?”

Me: “Criminal Minds.”

Him: “Oh, I’ve seen the commercials, but I’ve never watched it.”

Me: “I hadn’t, either, but they seem to play reruns on this channel a lot. I’ve sort-of watched maybe six or seven episodes now.”

Him: “Hey, it’s HER! She’s everywhere! So, she’s that guy’s mother?”

Me: “Yes.”

Him: “Is she supposed to have Alzheimer’s?”

Me: “I think so. I don’t remember if they used a specific term, but there was a scene earlier — she suddenly didn’t know who he was, so yeah, I assume it’s something like that.”

Him: “… … … … … … … …”

Me: “Kind of a double-edged sword, isn’t it?”

Him: “Huh?”

Me: “You can dream about how awesome it would be if I suddenly couldn’t remember all the dumb shit you’ve done over the last twenty-odd years… but if I did have Alzheimer’s, you’d be stuck taking care of me.”

Him: “… … … A little amnesia would be nice.”

Me: “Dream on.”

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