A Comprehensive Guide to Reading Homestuck While Quarantined

By: Abby Stoudt
The Wednesday after finals ended in April, I set out on a personal journey of immense proportions. I decided to finally sit down and read the entirety of Homestuck. Prior to that fateful week, the idea of diving headfirst into the 8000-page interactive webcomic-slash-flash extravaganza that is Homestuck had seemed way too intimidating to even attempt to concern myself with. Twenty-nine days later I saw the words that made my whole journey worthwhile: “The End.” I had done it; I had finally read Homestuck. It had only taken nearly a month of reading every day for hours on end
to accomplish. The experience was exhilarating. I leapt up off of my bed and exclaimed “I did it! I finished Homestuck!” My mom stuck her head in my room to ask me what I was yelling about. I turned my laptop around to show her the credits. She told me she was proud of me. My little sister told me she didn’t care. Now, in the aftermath of my adventure, I have comprised a pretty comprehensive guide to help you too
read Homestuck while you’re home, stuck. Pun intended. First off, if you want to read Homestuck, you’re going to want to set aside at least a solid month in order
to do that. I read pretty fast, so my reading took just under a month and that was with multiple viewings of page 7449. I couldn’t help it, I’m a sucker for Vriska.
Next, you’re probably going to want to get familiar with the Homestuck wiki. Throughout your reading, you are going to be introduced to dozens and dozens of characters with complex backstories and names that are difficult to remember. The wiki WILL become your best friend. When you start reading Homestuck it would probably be best to call your actual best friend and let them know you are replacing
them. You’re probably going to forget why Aradia suddenly stopped being dead even though she was always dead, and the wiki will remind you of why she’s back. (Spoiler: she’s a time aspect so she just jumped into the Alpha timeline from a timeline where she never died. I think.) Also, it will behoove you to form a support group of sorts. Mine consisted of three of my best and closest friends. First, I had a friend who was formerly into Homestuck. They formed the emotional support portion of my group. They were there to understand me when I was overcome with Homestuck brain worms and needed someone to talk to. They were there to create a self-insert kidsona with me
and talk about how awesome Vriska is. Yeah, she was an asshole, but you have to look past that. She’s the glue that holds the whole story together. This friend is best accompanied by an indifferent and an anti-Homestuck friend. My indifferent friend was there to poke gentle fun at my newfound hobby. She would tease me about how much time I spent reading it and I would tease her right back about reading Twilight in less than a week. My anti-Homestuck friend however, kept me humble. She called me out for
reblogging Homestuck memes from my pro-Homestuck friend on Tumblr. Mostly however, she ultimately reminded me that at the end of the day, I was wasting my time.
You know what, maybe I was wasting my time this past month. Honestly though, who cares! Time isn’t real, the world isn’t real, and sometimes it’s just fun to escape for a few weeks and totally immerse yourself into an internet phenomenon. Anyways, I hope this guide inspires and helps you along your own Homestuck journey. If anyone needs
me, I will be spending the next few weeks reading the epilogues and catching up on Homestuck 2. Your journey might end at page 8129, but mine is eternal.

Places We Want to go on Vacay when Quarantine Ends

By Tyler, Savannah, Abby, Sonya

  1. Walt Disney World just so that I can high-five Phineas and Ferb then go home
  2. The cheese department in Wegmans
  3. Giant Eagle, the one I don’t normally go to
  4. Publix
  5. Los Angeles so that I can hang around all of the cool places that I think Jeff Goldblum would go in hopes that our eyes lock across the crowded room and I use a series of suggestive eyebrow waggles and winks to tell him that I want to be his best friend. I then leave but not before covertly sticking a handmade friendship bracelet into his hand without him noticing, bewildering him and sending him on a many years long quest to find me again and give me his own homemade friendship bracelet. It is nowhere as nice as mine is, but it’s the thought that counts.
  6. Applebees
  7. A vacation home in the woods that houses seven odd-personalitied short men that like to whistle as they work in the mines.
  8. The hair salon
  9. Universal Studios to see the Trolls and drink butterbeer :)
  10. Dutch Bros Coffee (unless I get a green straw)
  11. The Old Mill at Kennywood… wait nevermind
  12. My Girlfriend’s house, once I get a girlfriend, and she gets a house, and she invites me over of course, because I would not want to show up un announced, well not again, this is all assuming that I have broken into my girlfriend’s house before, possibly that is how we got together
  13.  Lush so that I can eat the bath bombs
  14.  Kansas
  15.  The butterfly room at Longwood Gardens
  16.  Claires to hit up all that new Jojo Siwa swag
  17.  The Monongahela National Forest to find bigfoot ;))
  18.  An island so I can, in all seriousness, sell turnips in real life and live a peaceful life
  19.  Wherever Carmen Sandiego is
  20.  A bar, because I will be 21, and I would like to die in a bar fight
  21.  To a nice pond to go frog-sighting
  22.  All the places Covid went so I can go on a fun world tour
  23.  To kiss my girlfriend, as with before (see #12), if I have one, if I do not then I will “borrow” a girl to become my girlfriend
  24. Prison (see #23)

 

People you don’t expect to come to your door during the Shelter in Place order

By Tyler Sikov

 

  1.   A Door to Door salesman
  2.   Dr. Anthony Fauci
  3.   A Birthday Clown
  4.   Christmas Carolers
  5.   A Bear
  6.   Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
  7.   Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev holding a brick
  8.   Margret Thatcher
  9.   Woodrow Wilson with 14 pencils
  10.   Henry VIII with a very smelly mystery basket
  11.   Captain Ernst August Lehmann in a Led Zeppelin shirt
  12.   John Mulaney and Princess Diana
  13.   The Zodiac Killer
  14.   Carl Jung and his shadow
  15.   Gavrilo Princip
  16.   Ivan trying to not be Terrible
  17.   Alexander the OK
  18.   Genghis Khan and his 4 sons
  19.   The real-life versions of the Disney Princesses
  20.   All of the Pittiful News writers

 

Cats (the musical) is an abomination before God

By Sonya Acharya
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     I recently watched Cats (the musical). Luckily, I watched it on YouTube, which allowed
me to take the precautions necessary to consume this horrifying piece of media with minimum personal damage. That meant watching the show (which, remember, is just shy of 2 hours long) in 3 sittings, on 3 separate days. That’s a weird way to watch a thing. But I had to prevent my brain from crumpling in on itself. It could have been worse. I tried watching it months ago, but that recording had twin cats jump out of a sewer pipe and hip-thrust repeatedly, 15 seconds in. I only made it twenty minutes before my brain just shut down. That recording also didn’t have great audio, so I’m actually impressed that I survived 20 entire minutes without knowing what they were doing or why. This time, the functional audio and lack of early hip-thrusts kept my spirit alive (though flickering) for like 40 minutes. After that, I had to scrape the remains of my brain off my skull and regroup. But overnight, I realized that painful as this was, I’m not a quitter, so the next day, I picked up where I’d left off.

To understand my experience, you have to know what I was seeing. Imagine humans.
Wearing skin-tight cat/morph/body suits (why the fuck does it have so many names when it shouldn’t exist at all?) with fur on the arms and legs and face/head. Also their faces are painted like if clowns tried to do cat makeup. And they have tails. It’s super unsettling to watch human-cat-Devil-things strutting around twirling their tails. They stand like fucking giraffes. Stretch your legs way apart. More than that. Are you doing a full split on the ground? Then a little less than that. Are you uncomfortable? No? Then join the cast of Cats, join your people, accept your fate. These creatures all sing and dance. Apparently they were choreographed to mimic real cats, but that’s a fucking lie. They move like snakes or spaghetti or something oozy, like toxic slime.
     Why and how did this musical do as well as it did? Who exactly has been signing up to
watch it? Is it like a kinky-thing cult classic or something? Maybe there are only like eight
people, but they really REALLY like it, and they alone are responsible for the rise of
anthropomorphic feline nightmare-fuel. Now that I say it, it’s definitely a kink thing. Remember how the coronavirus has been called “unprecedented”? Well Cats was also called “unprecedented”. An unprecedented success. I haven’t an everlasting fuck of an idea how it was a success, but I can guarantee that no-one, except maybe T.S. Eliot, anticipated Cats.
     I don’t feel like reliving the experience to give you all the details. Sitting down to the
third and final session was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. You haven’t known hell until human-cat-Devil-things are trying to seduce you, when you’re actively not being seduced, when you’re in fact being repulsed as extremely as possible. That’s it, that’s what it’s like, the whole time. I will grant that of the 23 musical numbers, I enjoyed 3 or 4. Unfortunately, by thinking that, I’m now contractually required to watch Cats (2019), the movie. With the musical, I can curl up in the fetal position and tell myself that it’s just fursuits, face paint, and gloves, but CGI is a form of psychological warfare to convince you that things are real. I’ll be watching the movie sometime soon, and if you don’t hear back, I’ve probably died. So this might be goodbye.

What are We Remembering Today?

By Tyler Sikov, Abby Stoudt, Sonya Acharya

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This memorial day at the Pittiful News, we’re remembering gay rights!

  1. On this day, on the 25th of May, in 1895 (in the olde London time), Oscar Wilde was arrested for doing gay things in public. The 1890s were not a good time to be gay. #BeGayAndDoCrimes
    1. (Basil to Dorian) “It is quite true that I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man usually gives to a friend.”
  2. Then, 118 years later, Ukraine held its first pride parade in Kiev. Coincidence? I think not!
    1. It was the biggest ever pride parade, too!
  3. That is it, but like just remember gay rights with us today! :  ^)

 

Greetings from Pitt’s 2020 Commencement (Virtual)

By: Sonya Acharya

The high cost of graduation ceremonies - Study International

It’s been a grand total of 22 days since Pitt did a virtual graduation thing on Zoom, because where else would they do it, everything’s on Zoom now. OK I lied, it was actually on YouTube. I’ve only just come out of my coma, which lasted 22 days because I was in mourning due to personal reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I’m going to be 22 years old. All of this goes to say that only now can I share my thoughts on the virtual graduation thing.

Here’s a link if you want to follow along! https://youtu.be/lh0CJDk9t80

Thought #1: Highly recommend tuning in if you’re in the mood to tear up at the experience of hearing Pomp and Circumstance while watching a vertical panning shot of Cathy.

Thought #2: I’m not so sold on these choppy jump-cuts of campus buildings and scenes (hello to the Music Building which I haven’t seen since Fall 2017, and R.I.P. to the 10A running on Bigelow) set to the “Alma Mater” song.

Thought #3: Yesss the victory lights!!! (Nooo to the vertical laser)

Thought #4: Gallagher misses us? That’s new. *tears up* This is the first time I’m seeing him and hearing him at the same time. Simply wild.

Thought #5: Cue the stock phrases about how we’ve adapted to these changing times.

Thought #6 / Interruption: Maybe I should stop referring to these as thoughts.

7: Wow I can see that he’s reading out this speech, probably from the same computer that’s recording him.

8: I wonder if he’s in his house at 718 Devonshire St. Maybe I should go there the next time I go for a walk. Maybe I should tap on the windows and make hissy noises to see if I can get him to move.

9: The second wave of cut-shots of people having fun without me, set to what is apparently “The Panther Fight Song”, are giving me a headache ☹

10: Made the 2020 vision joke, that we were supposed to have *gasp* 2020 vision but we didn’t *gasp* see this coming. *GASP*

11: Said the words “unprecedented time”

Edit: someone said it again

Edit #2: someone said “unusual times”. Probably multiple instances

Edit #3: also “trying times”, also probably multiple.

12: Comparisons I didn’t see coming – Pitt students are strong like bridges and tangy like Heinz ketchup.

13: Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a face for the name of Provost Anne E. Cudd. She’s the only one thus far who’s worn academic regalia. Either she missed the memo, or everyone else missed the memo. Regardless, Ann E. is killing that hat.

14: Patrick D. Gallagher wants me to stand for formality even if I’m the only one in the room? Okay Patty, I’ll do it, but you WISH you could shake my hand.

15: Dear Patrick D. Gallagher, What is the fucking point of you sending me a virtual diploma? Sincerely (but not much), Sonya

16: You look forward to putting the real thing in my hands? Don’t bullshit me Pat, the real one will be shoved into my mailbox in the end of July.

17: Damn, we get a speech from Tom Wolf!! Also Joanne Rogers!! And Rachel Levine! Those are a few of the few names I recognize. *tears up at some point* I appreciate all the love and stock phrases being showered upon me by strangers.

18: I do not understand why I’m tearing up yet again. I’ve done it about 4 times already and it’s only been 25 minutes. This is very new to me because I rarely cry. The only movies I cry at are Up because duh, Inside Out (against my will, for Bing Bong), and Little Women (2019).

19: I AM LIVING FOR BRADY-BRUNCH-STYLE PITT BAND PLAYING “SWEET CAROLINE” WITH FIREWORKS

20: small comment, after weeks of my professors referencing The Brady Brunch, I still do not know exactly what The Brady Brunch is, and at this point I’m almost too afraid to ask.

21: Fuck it, I never asked questions in college and that’s why I’m like this.

22: Who are the Bradys? Why are they having brunch? What’s special about this brunch of theirs? What does that have to do with Zoom?

 

Door Dasher

By Tyler Sikov

Many people lost their jobs due to this pandemic but my job has turned from a seasonal occupation into a full time 24/7 job. You see, I am a Door Dasher. Yep that’s right, I got up to people’s doors, steal their packages and dash away. When I got into this competitive market, I thought I would only work around the holidays. This was not a problem for me as I have no family since the “accident” that I orchestrated. All my siblings were killed by trombones, my mom was skewered by a clarinet, and my dad’s head exploded when I played the sickest guitar riff. Now that everyone is having everything delivered it is my job to steal their packages and use whatever they had in them. So far, I have collected: 1000 rolls of toilet paper, 12 flat screen TVs, 3 years’ worth of food (4 if I intermittent fast), and 4 thousand Mother’s Day cards. I have also become famous. I am on TVs all around the world. I always make sure to let the ring camera get a good look at my face. What is the point of doing crime if it does not pay, and I want my crime to pay me in money and clout. Since my theft has become more publicized many people have been setting trap packages to catch me, luckily I am always wearing a strange assortment of paint, glitter, tar, and chicken feathers. As a master Door Dasher, I know how to protect myself from people trying to steal my packages. I have not had that many delivered to me lately, obviously, but my traps have been getting some use. The FBI keeps coming to my house to try to “arrest” me or something. They never get that close because of all my traps. Just yesterday 5 of the agents got stuck on some of the human sized sticky mouse traps I set out for them. In the past they have also fallen for many of my other traps. Some examples of my genius are: when one of the agents fell through the trapdoor I installed in my porch and could not get out of the pit, when one of the agents rang my doorbell but I rigged it to spray bear mace at them, and the time that the FBI came to my house only to find out I pulled an UP on them and lifted my house off the ground with thousands of balloons. Oh, there’s a knock at the door, I wonder what shenanigans I get up to today!