Sunday, November 27, 2016

CRAZED! Call For Queries & Submissions October/November 2016
CRAZED! Wants You:
Pitch Us Your Content Ideas and Send Us Well Written Content

Mixed Media Collage by Annette Sugden


Crazed! is an online lifestyle, film, arts, and entertainment zine that evolved from various incarnations of Annette Sugden's personal blog. Now Annette wants to make CRAZED! into a magazine and invite other voices to contribute content that is in line with the scope and tone of the publication.
CRAZED! is devoted to promoting voices and content that are authentic. It's primary bent is liberal and feminist although we might accept alternative viewpoints if they are respectful of ours, and don't promote hatred or violence. We publish serious content and entertaining or comedic content. CRAZED! isn't a news site, but an opinion, life style, and arts and entertainment magazine. However, we do not write or publish "fake news." All articles that refer to current events or other articles from other publications must be fact checked with included links to reputable sources. All satire must be labeled as such and be clearly comedic.
CRAZED! mostly publishes non-fiction content, but we will publish short fiction and poetry occasionally. Please keep in mind the tone and scope of CRAZED! when choosing what to submit.

What CRAZED! Wants

Crazed! accepts submissions including Op-Ed pieces, feature articles, profiles, reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, and personal essays. Submissions should be between 700 and 1500 words and may or may not include images. We prefer pieces that are no longer than 1000 words, but will consider longer works and works that could be split into 2-3 parts of no more than 1000 words each. The maximum number of pieces per submission is three. Submissions that violate these requirements will not be considered. Although you can try resubmitting again in separate emails 30 days after the original submission. No simultaneous submissions as well, please.
We are also always looking for material to review and people to interview
If you have a book, film or event you want reviewed and/or are promoting we want to hear from you or your publicist.
We are also always looking for great ideas for content. Please send queries of ideas for articles you'd like to write for us. If we like your idea, then we'll give you a deadline.

What CRAZED! Can Give You

Right now CRAZED! earns zero revenue and is advertisement free. As such we can't pay anybody for content. We will never charge anybody to submit or be published in CRAZED! You will get practice writing for a publication and publication credits that you can add to your resume and portfolio. We encourage you to share links via social media and email to your articles on CRAZED! and to CRAZED! because it will increase your number of readers and also get more subscribers for CRAZED! which will gain you and your work more exposure.
You retain copyright to your work. We do ask that if you republish a piece that originally appeared in CRAZED! that you cite us and link to the original article. Also if a piece you submit to us has previously been published elsewhere that you cite the original publication and link to the original article. Again, please no simultaneous submissions.

How To Contact CRAZED!

My mom, Susan Reinke

CRAZED! accepts submissions of essays, articles, reviews, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We are also always looking for people to interview and material to review. Send queries to Annette Sugden at: Keep in mind the tone and scope of CRAZED! when you submit. It's suggested that people read all past CRAZED! posts before composing their queries.

Please subscribe to CRAZED!, comment below and share links to your favorite CRAZED! content on social media. Thanks!

© All Images and Content Annette Sugden

Thanksgiving 2016 Editorial

CRAZED! Thanksgiving Weekend 2016 Editorial
Happy Thanksgiving from Annette

CRAZED! Is on break this weekend

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. CRAZED! won't be posting any articles until next week. I’d originally planned to post as usual but decided to take a break until next week to allow a transition from election related op-ed pieces back to promised content including reviews of Hex and Witch, and to segue into December. Plus I’m getting over the flu.
Sometimes being the sole content creator as well as Managing Editor or a weekly publication while also working another full time job, can have major drawbacks as well as perks.  It can be a challenge to stay ahead of deadlines and remain on schedule. However as the boss, I can take time off or a sick day or two without getting yelled at. Also I can finally learn to ask for help.

So I need help!

CRAZED! can't evolve and grow without you. I’ve always wanted others to contribute to CRAZED! and for it not to be another incarnation of my personal blog. I'm slowly learning how to ask people to contribute and how to find interview subjects and how not to ask. Pretty much the best way is to invite anybody to submit queries, material, and content for me to consider. So that's what I’m doing. I'm asking you to submit to CRAZED! It's my dream to make CRAZED! into a real online magazine, and I can't do that alone. Besides this editorial, the only other content this week is a detailed piece on how to submit to CRAZED! with insight on what types of content we're most likely to accept as well as the rules for queries and submissions.
I can't pay anybody for content. I don't make any money from CRAZED! even and my day job pays barely above minimum wage. I can just give you gratitude and “good vibes.” Plus you get publication credit and retain copyright to your work. So please consider submitting. It won't hurt. I promise.
Otherwise, please subscribe to CRAZED! and share links to individual articles you enjoy and to the CRAZED! Homepage. Thanks!
Annette Sugden
Managing Editor

CRAZED! is an online lifestyle, film, arts, and entertainment zine and Annette Sugden’s personal blog.
Crazed! accepts submissions including reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, and personal essay. We are also always looking for material to review and people to interview. Send queries via email to Annette at

Annette Sugden is a writer, artist, performer, dancer, actor, and a bunch of other adjectives. Her work has appeared here, in, Gentle Strength Quarterly, Bearfoot Magazine, and Beyond Baroque Magazine. Some of her past poetry was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Sundress Best of the Net.

© Annette Sugden

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Safety Pin Controversy

CRAZED! Bonus Essay October/November 2016
The Safety Pin Controversy:
I’m a GenX Punk. Safety Pins Mean Protest And Solidarity, NOT “Virtue-Signaling” Or “White Privilege.”

Excuse Me, But What The Fuck People!
It's a Safety Pin! It's not a swastika! Plus last time I checked, those of us left of the extreme right are not happy that Trump won the Presidential Election in the United States, and the Brexit results in the U.K., right? So guess what? Fighting with each other on whether or not it's OK for some of us to wear a subtle visual display of the fact that we are a group of diverse individuals who don't identify as racist, misogynistic, ablest xenophobes, and who come from a multiple ethnicities, races, religions, genders, levels of ability, etc, who didn't vote for Donald Trump in the form of a safety pin, is a complete waste of time.
What we should be doing is mobilizing at the grass roots level, running for office locally, including in our towns/cities, counties, and states. We should be unifying together as a whole right now. All this arguing about safety pins is just helping the “alt-right.” It accomplishes nothing.

Of Course You Have A Right To Voice That You're Offended

I’m not saying that if you're offended, you can't complain. It's just when you complain publicly at the wrong time, it becomes a distraction. It gets used against us.
Also just because you are triggered by seeing safety pins, doesn't mean that everybody is. Just because you view them as a symbol of the myth that guilty white leftist elites think they need to save everybody who isn't white from the evil white racist bastards that have existed throughout history, doesn't mean that's how everybody that isn't white interprets it.
Plus what about women of all races? What about disabled people of all races? What about non-white people who wear the safety pin as a symbol of solidarity? Are they de facto white people now to you by virtue of the safety pins they display which are hardly visible anyway?
What about the fact that the word ally, doesn't always mean “white ally,” but solidarity of people, a group of people or groups or countries that stand together and agree to help each other. That means white men helping black women, sure, but also Muslim women helping disabled Asian men. The safety pins shows that we’re safe with each other. If you notice it on a person regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, belief system, disability or ability, that they aren't going to attack you, call you names, or turn you in to the immigration authorities.
I’m not claiming that's there's no such thing as “white guilt,” or that there isn't a huge problem in films and other narratives that depict a lone white dude saving a bunch of non-white people, or a group of women, or one woman, etc. Those are real issues. However, Safety Pins aren't necessarily a symptom of those things.

Punk Rock Girl Wearing Safety Pins

To Generation X, The Safety Pin Signals Rebellion, Punk Rock, And Anti-Authoritarianism

I’m a Gen X punk. As a tween, the first movement I identified with was Punk. One of the visible symbols of Punk is the Safety Pin. It stands for the pulling apart and reassembling of everything. It stands for rebellion, revolution, solidarity, freedom, and anti-authoritarianism. We used it to create our own fashion and style from old clothes that we’d rip apart and put back together. We used it as jewelry. We used a version of it to attach badges to our clothes. Badges displaying the slogans of our beliefs and the Punk philosophy.
To a Punk, the safety pins, hand written shirts, badges and buttons weren't “virtue signaling.” You'd probably get punched in the face if you accused one of us of something like that. To us, although we never coined such
Grace Jones
useless double speak terms as “virtue signaling,” and “trigger warning,” or “post-truth,” “virtue signaling” was what the elite rich did with their insistence on designer labels, their branding. And as to “trigger warnings,” fuck you! Part of the Punk philosophy is about triggering people, waking people up, shocking people into thinking for themselves. That's what the Safety Pin means.
So you know what, fuck you! This disabled, part Cheyenne female will wear one or more Safety Pins if I want to. If you're shocked or offended, then good. Wake up! Be loud! Run for office! Rebel! Fight! Write! Create Art! Read a book! Do something! Wear Safety Pins if you want!

Annette Sugden is a writer, artist, dancer, actor and the editor of CRAZED! She writes both serious and comic articles on feminism, politics and life as a survivor of abuse and assault, and on being a recovering love and sex addict as well as articles on literature, art and entertainment. She also writes fiction and poetry.
CRAZED! accepts submissions of essays, articles, reviews, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We are also always looking for people to interview and material to review. Send queries to Annette Sugden at: Keep in mind the tone and scope of CRAZED! when you submit. It's suggested that people read all past CRAZED! posts before composing their queries.

Please subscribe to CRAZED!, comment below and share links to your favorite CRAZED! content on social media. Thanks!

In The Age Of Post-Truth

CRAZED! Personal Essay October/November 2016
In The Age Of Post-Truth:
If you're an artist or a writer or a journalist you're going to upset people. Tell The Truth Anyway.

Post-Truth Is The Oxford English Dictionary Word For 2016

This week The Oxford Dictionary announced that the 2016 word of the year is post-truth. The definition of post-truth is “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Basically it's when propaganda and false information are more important than facts in shaping opinion, and I would add, that most people in a culture prefer it that way and vilify anyone or anything for actually illuminating facts, fact checking, or telling the truth. It's a familiar thing for anybody who’s been abused at anytime in their lives, or who has lived in a dysfunctional environment. It's now become accepted on the meta level in my country, the United States as evidenced by the recent Presidential Election cycle by many supporters of Donald Trump and by the Trump campaign as well. Because of this, it's why it's even more important that artists, writers, performers, comedians and journalists tell the truth, their truths and the truth as they experience it, and also why journalists need to be objective, and factual. Facts and truth and those who’s job it is to expose and illuminate them are now more vital than ever. When people would rather cover their eyes and ears, and shut their mouths to hatred, it's crucial that truth tellers shout the loudest no matter what. And yes, that's not easy in the face of opposition.

Hello, My Name Is Annette and I’m a People Pleaser

In of the 12 step recovery programs I’m in, Adult Children of Alcoholics and/or Dysfunctional Families (ACA/ACoA), being a “people pleaser” is a common trait. Also I’m a woman. Being a “people pleaser” is something we're taught is “feminine,” “nurturing.”
Basically as an artist/writer, I’m doomed unless I grow some ovaries and stop giving a shit about triggers, hurting feelings, offending people, airing dirty laundry, and showing people all the skeletons in the closet. Since like most creative people, I use my own life whether I’m writing fiction or personal essays, this is going to include upsetting even close friends and family members. If I worry about keeping people happy, and instead censor myself, or sanitize my experiences, then the writing will be horrible, a lie, and not helpful to anybody. It will bomb.

Art Isn't Linear
I’m not a super successful artist, but I want to be. By successful, I don't mean rich or famous. Sure, I’d like to earn money from writing, and I’d like to have an audience, readers who regularly read and interact with my work.
The first means I can pay bills, have a place to live, buy food, and maybe even travel. It also could mean I could finance independent creative projects, my own and others.
Having an audience will feed the work, and inspire me to create better, more interesting material. Not because I write, make art, or perform to please an audience but because all creative works are loops, forms of communication. Literature requires readers. Performances, films, shows, paintings, photos, sculptures require viewers. Otherwise the loop is open. The artist creates into a vacuum when there's no feedback of any kind. It becomes like attempting to grow crops in complete darkness. You plant a seed, but it won't grow without the sun.
Still making money from my work or having a large fan base for this blog or any of my other creative projects isn't what drives me, or makes me feel successful. I am never successful as an artist if I’m not telling the truth, if I’m not being vulnerable in my work, if I’m hiding, or lying to preserve my denial or to be more “likable.” I can't worry about that.
In the past I did hold myself back. I did care about being liked. I did try to not hurt or trigger. I often was in denial about it. But I was guilty of hiding lots of things, and burying the truth including from myself. I was my own enemy in my work as a creative individual. I was a coward. I’m working on fighting those tendencies. In my opinion, all artists must.

You Can't Always Be “Nice”

Sure, sometimes you might make something that causes just about everybody to feel joy, and want to hug you, to like you, and that makes your mother not worry that you just told the world that you weren't raised in an idyllic family who always comes together every holiday like a Norman Rockwell painting or the post WWII propaganda film, “A Date With the Family.”
But most of the time, your work is going to piss someone to lots of people off. Some person, or group, maybe even your inner circle of closest friends, or your immediate family, or gulp, your boss, is going to tell you that you can't publish that thing, even when it's fiction and you've changed any identifying details because they're triggered/offended/guilty/in denial, and you just reminded them of something they wanted to keep buried for all eternity, especially from themselves. How dare you!
Well, you must dare. You must risk. You must do the clichéd feat of entering the belly of your beast, naming all the darkness, embracing it, merging with it. Why? Because that's how you do good, reveal light, hold people and the world accountable, heal people, fight corruption, and protect the weak.

It's Lonely

There's a reason lots of creative people are addicts and/or depressed, often don't live long, and die by their own hand. We’re not usually “likable” even if we’re kind, loving, and caring people in person. Plus most of come from extremely dysfunctional childhoods. Then we use those things to tell the truth about even the worst parts of ourselves and humanity. We use everything. Every experience, our own an any that others share with us, is material. We will write it, or paint it, or film it, or mold it into something that we will then share with the world. We’re some of the most private, enigmatic people you’ll ever meet, yet we have no secrets.

Just The Messenger

Even when we write about, paint, film, play ourselves in a show, we’re just “the messenger.” Seriously, it's always in service to a truth, a theme, a universal experience, something greater than ourselves somehow.
A personal essay by a victim of date rape isn't just about them, but is about every rape that ever happened, about the shared experience of what that means, feels it like, what the repercussions are. It becomes a link to connect every person who was ever raped. It tells every person who's experienced that, “you're not alone.”
That's what art, what stories, what literature, music, poetry, film, dance does. It exposes. It connects. It binds. It shares. It tells everything. It can't hide or sanitize. It's going to heal sometimes and hurt other times.
Great art comes from vulnerability and cause the viewer to be vulnerable. That's the beauty, the threat, the promise and the gift of it. I don't think I create great art, or write very well. But I want to be brave, bold, and to tell the truth. I know that might further isolate me. That's OK. The only way for me to be successful in my soul, my heart, is to just deliver the messages, even the ugly ones, even the ones that expose the wounds that friends or family have buried.

During Defeat Art and Literature Become More Important

After the results of the 2016 Presidential election I posted what I and many other survivors of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault were experiencing. In sharing that I had to once again expose family secrets as well as my own dark past. I had to risk upsetting family members who aren't yet in recovery for any of the awful events of the past and who are instead still living in denial and fear.
I post my memories of childhood abuse, including sexual abuse to help other survivors. I don't share my story to hurt, blame, or upset my mother or other family members. Abuse, addiction, family dysfunction, are diseases passed down across generations. They've happened to multiple generations of not just people in my family, but in every family. Hiding or denying the dark, horrible parts of my past, my family's past, the nation’s past, the world’s past, won't help anybody. I encourage all the writers in my family to find their strength and courage to share their own stories, to heal, to recover and to go on to help others heal and not feel alone.
I and all artists and writers have a duty to tell the truth. Healing is painful. In order to truly change, to ensure that history doesn't keep repeating, to help each other, to remain connected, is to share the entire story. We must tell everything. We must feel everything. We must be vulnerable. We’re the messengers, the storytellers, the truthsayers, the guardians.
Now is not the time to be silent. Now is the time to shout. We must all work together to end abuse, to end hatred, to fight tyranny. We will never accomplish this by being silent. We’re going to trigger people. We’re going to make some people angry. Some of those people might be friends or family. Sometimes they might be the people we never thought would choose their own fear over helping others and supporting us. That's ok. Often it's a sign we’re doing the right thing because we touched a nerve or ten. We have to remember that sometimes the most loving actions, the bravest actions, aren't the prettiest or the nicest. Art, literature, journalism don't exist to gloss over truths, but to expose them. Now let's get to work.

Annette Sugden is a writer, artist, dancer, actor and the editor of CRAZED! Her work has appeared in Bearfoot Magazine, Beyond Baroque Magazine,, and Gentle Strength Quarterly. She’s had work nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Sundress Best of the Net.
CRAZED! accepts submissions of essays, articles, reviews, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We are also always looking for people to interview and material to review. Send queries to Annette Sugden at: Keep in mind the tone and scope of CRAZED! when you submit. It's suggested that people read all past CRAZED! posts before composing their queries.

Please subscribe to CRAZED!, comment below and share links to your favorite CRAZED! content on social media. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

CRAZED! TV Review October/November 2016
Supernatural Season 12 Episodes 1-4:
Sometimes business as usual and going backwards works
Title: horizontal line

I Discovered Supernatural on Netflix

Well, not exactly. More accurately, I’d heard of Supernatural long before I ever watched an episode, but avoided it. Honestly, I was a loyal Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly Josh Whedon fan who also had decided with zero evidence other than WB/CW cheese/beef cake soap remakes that Supernatural’s popularity must only be due to the good looks of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.

My arrogant pretentiousness led me to ignore it for about 8 years. Then one day, during a bout of the flu, while searching for something to binge watch during my bed rest, I took the plunge on Netflix, telling myself if it was bad, I lost nothing since I was confined by fever anyway. I was hooked, like so many other fans after the first episode.
I watched every episode and season available on Netflix, and checked out the rest from the library, then watched the episodes as broadcast on TV or via Hulu once I was caught up. I wondered how I could have missed 8 seasons of a show this amazing. I’m still in love 3 seasons later as we enter a 4th year for me, the 12th for the show now beginning Season 12 on Oct 13.

[Possible Spoilers Ahead]

Season 12 Episode One: Nothing Revealed, Nothing Resolved

The first episode of the season really doesn't resolve anything from the cliffhanger ending of Season 11. It's more of a reminder of everything that happened at the end of the final episode and a reintroduction to the Supernatural universe for viewers in case some of us didn't binge watch Season 11 just before.

By the end of episode one, Sam is still prisoner in a basement and torture victim of the British chapter of The Men of Letters. Dean still has no idea where he is. Nobody, including Crowley, knows who Lucifer’s new vessel is, meaning what he looks like. And Mary Winchester, yes, good old burned to a crisp Mom, was brought back to life and is herself as far as we can tell. About the only new thing in the entire hour is that Castiel comes back from Heaven after being cast there at the end of Season 11 by Lady what's her face of the BCoMoL when she kidnapped Sam.

Basically, all things we knew at the end of Season 11. In the hands of even good television writers, this sort of nothing happening would be boring, even to a die hard fan, but here's the thing, Supernatural may be a B grade Horror/Fantasy genre show, but it's a B grade Horror/Fantasy genre show written by great writers who have a deep understanding of how the long form narrative works, how serialized story telling works, and a great abiding passion and love for both the show and it's fans. These things keep the quality of Supernatural consistent and superior year after year, and are why the show continues to last for as long as it has.

How do the writers, producers, actors and others who work on the show accomplish this? They do this by the continuity of characters in the show, and by creating characters who have depth, underlying backstories, and distinct human, relatable personalities that viewers can identify with.

They constantly remind viewers of these traits in every episode or every season by taking the very small amount of screen time it takes to accomplish this. In episode one this is done with just a look on Dean's face in a quick reaction shot after Mary lovingly caresses the backseat of “Baby” which reveals his embarrassment at being reminded that his parents had sex. It's both a very Dean typical reaction and a typical human reaction when we are reminded, even as adults that our parents are human, and therefore sexual beings. 
It's even more brilliant as it was communicated with no dialogue and took up mere seconds of the 50 minutes episode time. It's the kind of thing that's missing from other series in the same genre, shows like The Fringe, that should be great given the pedigree of the show creators, but aren't due to the lack of attention to character depth and development and a tendency by network executives to play it safe. Things the Supernatural show creators faced, yet resisted from the beginning by fighting and ignoring them in spite of always being threatened with cancellation every season since.

Season Two Raps up Season 11’s finale, cements Season 12 Big Bad

The episode that really resolves the cliffhanger of Season 11 and serves as an intro for what could come in Season 12, is this one. Finally Sam gets rescued, we learn that Lucifer is Rick Springfield, and we know that the BCoMoL or BMoL because that's shorter, are also going to be an additional villain as we are teased by the mystery of its cleaner, Ketch/Catch. I'm not really sure what the spelling is without access to a script.

We also get a great character moment and reminder of tone with a side of comic relief when Dean gleefully devours pie while others, except dear old Mom, look on aghast. The writers of this show understand when to be serious and when to be funny. Again, these very quick scenes that might be mistakenly cut from other genre shows, are what sets this show far above just about every other show in this genre, excepting maybe earlier seasons of Grimm on NBC.

Episodes 3 & 4 Back To Tried & True

The next two episodes do something that I’m really happy about. They return the show to its roots by reintroducing the early seasons’ concept of “monster of the week” while relegating the season’s “Big Bad(s)” to subplot and season through line. It's a brilliant move that keeps the series fresh while both tapping into fans’ nostalgia and attracting new viewers by not alienating them with a plot that will lose them if they haven't watched the show from season one.

Episode 3’s monster taps into one of my worst childhood fears, Dolls, specifically the idea that all dolls are evil with a creepy haunted doll that seems to freeze its victims to death from the inside. At the same time we’re reminded of the Lucifer “Big Bad” number 1 subplot by scenes of Cas, aka Agent BeyoncĂ© teaming up with Crowley, aka Agent Jay Z, to hunt down Lucifer.

Episode 4’s “monster of the week” turns out to be the mother of a girl with psychic powers who’s imprisoned and tortured her daughter in the family basement which inadvertently causes the deaths of at least two people from stigmata and scrambled brains. However, the BMoL decide via Ketch/Catch that the girl is the monster, and since the BMoL’s solution to every problem is to kill it, he shoots her at a rest stop after Sam and Dean save her and safely put her on a bus. This last scene serves to remind us of “Big Bad” number 2’s subplot.

Keeping A Show Fresh For 12 Seasons

Supernatural has staying power for many reasons, including the ones already mentioned above. It's not an accident that this show has inspired such intense loyalty and devotion from its fans, and that those things have earned it its own convention in addiction to regular appearances by cast members and writers at Comicon.

The show’s writers routinely put character development over plot movement, by weighting the breaths between conflicts as just as important, if not more important than story development. Most shows fail at this, and it shows. The time between action scenes just feels like boring filler, instead of time to suture us and allow us to care about the characters because in spite of fighting monsters, they are actually just like us.
Supernatural does this, the writers and actors make us all Sam, Dean, Cas, and Crowley. 

By allowing us characters we can relate to through giving even monsters, demons, angels, and God himself, human qualities and very human emotions and issues, Supernatural becomes much more than just a B grade Horror/Fantasy genre serial. Instead the monsters, villains, and challenges become stand ins for our own real life troubles and obstacles. Plus how Sam and Dean bravely face their fears and challenges each episode, even actively seek out new ones once one is conquered, inspires us and encourages us to both have hope and to face our own. It's this that's really at the core of the show’s popularity with fans, and why it continues to attract new ones with each season. It's also what keeps the cast on the series season after season. What other long running series survives even with changes in show runners? What other series survives this long without at least one main cast member tempted to leave in search of a movie career or just a change? I can't think of one.

Supernatural has stayed alive for 12 seasons. I hope it's around for many more to come. For myself, I’m excited to see what happens next week. I’m counting the days.


Supernatural airs Thursday nights on the CW network at 9pm/8pm CT, check your local listings for exact time and channel. It also streams on the CW app.