also this is really meta

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positive lady characters meme
arya stark + strengths and flaws (asked by melarahetherspoons)

There is one very specific aspect of what’s going down in fandom right now that just boggles my mind, and that is very simply that even if I put aside my personal opinion on issues of the fandom-mainstream fourth wall and/or appropriate creator-fandom interactions, one of the first things I ever learned in my first writing class was that what I write does not belong to me.

So it was 2003, right? I was fifteen years old, almost sixteen, and I was taking an intensive fiction-writing class during the summer, for funsies, like the gigantic nerd I was (am). My class was given a new short-story assignment each week, and at the end of the week we each made enough copies of our story for the entire class and spent a full day editing and critiquing.

When it was my turn to have my story raked across the coals — and I think it’s worth noting, just so you understand that fifteen-year-old-me had uncommonly strong feelings about what she’d written, that my first short story was an extremely painful account of how my dad had died less than six months earlier, thinly disguised as fiction — this is what I, like every other teenager in my class, had to do:

I sat in a circle made up of professor, T.A., and about fifteen people my age (some of whom I liked and/or respected, and some of whom I sincerely believed had the reading comprehension and original thinking ability of banana slugs), and let those seventeen separate people talk to me and to each other about what I’d written. They went through this story that plugged directly into my heart (and which, by the way, nobody knew had any basis in reality), and talked about my grammar, my word choice, my plot arc, the humanity of my characters, how believable the story was, the subtext they read there, their speculations about what I’d been trying to say, and their recommendations for improvement…

…and I wasn’t allowed to say anything unless somebody asked me a direct question. No arguing. No corrections. 

That was really fucking hard, okay? Aside from being hella humbling, it was excruciating. I had people telling me they didn’t really buy that the main character would act that way; or that such-and-such sequence of events didn’t make sense, narratively speaking; or that they really liked such-and-so antagonist; or that they found this symbolism unnecessarily convoluted or that subtext evocative. And it was my job, as a writer who had completed a text and given it away, to listen to what they were saying and take notes of my own and keep my mouth shut, even as part of my brain was shrieking stuff like, OF COURSE THE MAIN CHARACTER WOULD ACT THAT WAY BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I ACTUALLY DID! THAT IS THE ORDER THINGS ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN! THAT PERSON MADE MY LIFE A LIVING HELL AND I THINK IT’S FUCKING SICK THAT YOU LIKE THEM! I DIDN’T PUT ANY SYMBOLISM OR SUBTEXT IN THIS STORY, IT IS LITERAL AS FUCK!

But I did it, okay, and I got exactly what I wanted, which was a) some goddamn catharsis, b) what would eventually become a pretty fucking baller short story and c) to learn as much as I could about my own weaknesses and strengths as a writer.

Once you have written something and somebody else has read it or had it read to them or performed it or seen it performed, that thing does not belong to you anymore. This is Writing 101, guys. This is Creative Anything 101. This is SO BASIC. People will ask questions you think are irrelevant; they’ll fixate on details you threw in there on a whim; they’ll berate the characters you love and overidentify with and put the most effort into portraying, and they’ll love the characters you created as villains or cannon fodder. They’ll miss what you thought was the most beautiful part of your story, or the most important part. They’ll see symbolism that you think is bullshit and subtext that goes directly against what you intended to get across. They’ll see some oppressive bullshit you sure as fuck didn’t mean to put in there. They may even imagine things about you and what you were thinking and what you were trying to say. They will MAKE SHIT UP. And here’s the thing: they won’t be wrong

It is not a good writer’s business to wade into a discussion of something they’ve created to ~correct~ people. Once you are done writing something, it stands on its own whether you want it to or not. You don’t get to get mad at your beta and/or your audience for not reacting exactly the way you wanted. If you find yourself feeling like you have to explain or correct something after someone’s made their own analysis of it, your first reaction doesn’t need to be “they probably read it wrong” but could possibly stand to be “maybe I wrote it wrong”. What you find yourself wanting to add or correct in the discussion is something that should have spoken for itself in the text. By all means, answer questions when they are put to you directly! But you can’t (and shouldn’t try to) chase down every copy of your text in the whole world and correct the notes people have made in the margins. That would be ridiculous.

So aside from the fact that I think that creators walking into fandom and throwing their weight around re: fans’ opinions of dialogue, characterization, plot arc, the actors’ talent, or anybody’s overall intentions is bullying, disrespectful, and almost sublimely missing the point of what fandom is, it’s also a fucking neon green sign of hubris, immaturity, and POOR AUTHORSHIP. 

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Birds of a Feather| Animation by:
Not canon, but I’m relatively new to the overall Gorillaz storyline and have just been pouring over the the storyline, especially Murdoc’s, whose story/character I’ve come to be quite fascinated by. I recently found this video after getting lost on a youtube journey and couldn’t resist making it into a photoset because I think it really works as an alternate explanation. Definitely check out the youtube channel!

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I love you but I’m lost (x)

i think when mai asks katara how does she expect to fight without her bending, that reveals more about mai’s perspective as a nonbender to other benders (most specifically azula). 

like the fire nation prized and upheld firebending (one could ask, has there other been a non-bending firelord?) and so mai would have grown up with that and also the realization (the dawning realization) that azula surrounded herself with nonbenders to feed her superiority complex.

fire nation culture told mai at every opportunity that bending (which seems to have been primarily coded in an imperialistic context, especially at the end of the series when azula’s answer to dominate the earth kingdom was to just burn it down and also their military has always been comprised as benders, i think) was what made people strong—mai probably believed that benders did not work as hard, did not train as hard as people like mai or ty lee did to fight — and when it’s gone, then what? 

mai’s statement reveals that instead of buying into the idea that firebending was primarily the only strength that mattered, she sees bending as a weakness that can be exploited. 

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River really, truly scared him when she told him, with with no restraint, just how dark the path he was headed down was - so much that he attempts to entirely change the course of his life by letting the universe think he’s dead and eventually erasing his name from their records when that turned out not to be enough.

But he can’t just stop being the Doctor with everything that name means just by letting the universe think he’s dead. When he thinks he’s won and gotten it all figured out, he is so happy. He’s going to go have adventures, fill River’s nights, and put being the Doctor as a frightening legend behind him (he wasn’t even initially planning to tell Amy and Rory that he wasn’t dead), but when he’s in the Dalek Asylum and Oswin says to him that the Daleks grow stronger in fear of him, it crushes him as she says, word for word, what River said the day he knew for sure he had to do something about himself (the day he failed the people who mattered most to him). It’s harder than he thought to stop.

He is still on that dark path he wishes he wasn’t on. He is always the Doctor - the legend, the hero, the villain - but he continues trying not to be someone the universe fears. He starts erasing the records of the things he’s done, creating a world where River gets pardoned and is free because the man she killed doesn’t exist - a world where River’s name won’t scare the Daleks anymore simply for having murdered their seemingly indestructible enemy. He wants to live in a world where his name alone isn’t so big that people act in fear of him.

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"I do wash my hands thereof in innocency before the face of God (…)"

Abigail Hobbs + Art [x]  

The Sick Child - Munch || The Execution Of Lady Jane Grey - Paul Delaroche || Autumn Leaves - John Everett Millais

Okay so

can we talk about

this line?

Because what I’m hearing here is Dean emphasizing their connection. What I’m hearing is Dean intentionally saying that what they have is deeper, more important - essentially, more profound than Castiel’s bond with anybody else. Even Sam. Even Cas’s brothers, the angels he served with for millennia.

This isn’t the first time Dean has expressed that his bond with Cas is special and distinct from/above other bonds (“You’re going to feed your friends into a meat grinder? Cas, too?”, “We need you” vs. ”I need you”) or that Cas has expressed the same (“Dean and I do share a more profound bond.”). But it is the first time that Dean has brought up the idea that their relationship should entail a higher level of intimacy than they have with anyone else. He’s making it clear that what hurts him is not just the abandonment, but that of all the people Cas could potentially have turned to, he expected to be the first one, the top of the list, the one Cas could trust no matter what. He even puts extra emphasis on the me the second time around to make it clear that Cas was in the wrong because he should have made an exception for Dean.

Basically, this is Dean saying to Cas that they have a special relationship, and that said relationship should make him the most important thing to Castiel. I am really hoping that this is set-up for moving the subtext of these lines - of why he’s most important - to text in the next episode.

Queer Subtext in Buffy's "Hush"

I was a huge fan of Buffy.

In 1997, when the show had it’s first run, I remember spending an entire week anxiously awaiting the pilot episode after seeing an extended promotional spot for it. Within the first ten minutes of episode one, I was hooked, but being a kid in the late 90’s I didn’t have much in the way of internet access, so even after the show had been around a few years I had pretty much zero fandom involvement.

The closest I ever came to anything resembling the Buffy fandom was talking about the show with my real world friends and other kids at school. One of whom taped over my VHS recording of Once More With Feeling. We no longer talk.

So, why am I posting about this now?

Well, because this post about one of my favorite Buffy episodes, Hush, got me thinking about queer subtext, and that got me thinking about what fandom as a whole was saying back in 1999 in regards to Willow’s sexuality prior to her on-screen relationship with Tara.

And then, naturally, I wondered if it might be similar to what we’re seeing people say now in regards to Dean Winchester’s barely concealed bisexuality.

So I did a little internet sleuthing.

Keep reading

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You know, only humans can feel real joy, but... also such profound pain. This is easier.

And yet, Adina was crying. She cried as she made Hannah pay for Daniel’s death. It seems like she was able to feel profound pain too, doesn’t it? Maybe angels are able to have deep feelings after all, they just haven’t been around humans long enough to be able to identify those feelings, to even notice they are there.

Later on the episode, as Dean is brought back, supposedly along with his human emotions, the harmless holy water on his face gives the impression of tears too, but he isn’t really crying. He seems more stunned and shocked than anything else, and guilty, because you can’t have human Dean without the guilt, not yet. Being human is supposed to bring back the emotions with it, but he seems less emotional than when he was a demon. His voice cracked as he told Sam in rage about all the feelings he has repressed inside him his whole life. He sulked while playing Hey Jude on a piano and wondering about his humanity. He drowned himself in booze, sang songs about love and loneliness on a karaoke, and asked a waitress to run away with him in a bad attempt at silencing the loneliness.

Yes, the feelings are most definitely still there, but maybe the lense through which they are perceived is so different, they like to convince themselves they’re not, because it’s easier, less painful to pretend not to feel.

And Cas did say to Hannah earlier on the episode that emotions and feelings are dangerous temptations. That does sound like the option of falling into the temptation exists even as an angel, just ask Adina. So if it does, why would he later say that’s something only humans can experience? Maybe for the same reason he said at the end of last season that he just wanted to be an angel? It certainly seems there was a time, before he ever met Dean, before the mission that would grip him tight and drag him towards humanity, when his most meaningful human contact was some curious observation from some cloud, when that statement may have been true. But it hasn’t been for a long while, and at a time when having feelings means mostly pain, it only seems logical he would like to convince himself it is possible to go back to that time, go back to being a creature devoid of feelings. But it’s not possible, is it? Not when he still cares so deeply about the family he has found on earth.

I hope the day comes when having those feelings brings all of them more joy than pain, and they can embrace those deep feelings they do have without the fear of getting burnt in the process.

Continuation here.

MONSTERS AND MAGIC | The Decadent Intellectuals

None of them really seems to read much anymore. For intellectuals, they’re awfully lazy - light on the books, heavy on the alcohol. Post-intellectuals might be a better term for it, or so the professor obsessed with terminology might argue. But isn’t that just another way to prolong the ennui?

That’s the problem with intellectualism. Reasoned discourse turns meta, turns into meta of meta. Knowledge becomes an assumption. You stop being able to pinpoint where exactly you learned what. You forget to source your content. You end up spending long weekends on the river, wine-hazed and trying to remember how that sonnet ends, the one about the Bacchantes becoming the night.

You’ll never be a Bacchante, not in this culture. Go on. Keep critiquing; keep running logical circles around your own personality. It’s your life to waste.

Supernatural poster series - Metatron

He’s always lied. This is not a new thing. It’s just finally some of his companions finally picking up on it and not blindly trusting him. I personally think that this is an important part of the show’s development.

Except that making "the doctor lies!!11" a mantra has had the opposite effect: it shifts the blame from the doctor (for lying) to his companions (for trusting him). If “The Doctor lies!” then it is a fault of the for trusting him…and either way, since “the doctor lies”, THEY should be trusting him anyway! It takes the responsability away from him (and the writers), because he now is a character that is not expected to ever be honest.

And pfft get outta here, “blindly following” is exactly what eleven’s companions are expected to do. Amy and Rory are supposed to stay with Eleven even when he keeps tons of stuff away from them. Clara is supposed to stay with Eleven, even when after she finds out ..she’s expected to keep blindly following him. As River herself says…"we do as The Doctor’s friends always do…as we are told".  Hell, this is what Eleven tells us, himself:

"How can I trust you if you don’t always tell me truth?"

"Because if I always told you the truth, I wouldn’t need you to trust me."

Furthermore, “the doctor lies” is not only cheap trick on the characterization side, it has also been used as a jail-out free card repeatedly to get out of having to write proper resolutions. “Hey! The Doctor said “x”, but he always lies! so if I want to, I can change my mind later and  rewrite “x”! wohoo! MYSTERY!”

Has The Doctor lied and manipulated others before? Yes! yes he has! but not to the extent that it is a major DEFINING character trait! And he lied, but most of the time, ( and this is the major key people tend to miss when they misunderstand the) most of the time  it was to villains or people he needed to fool momentarely, but not to his bloody friends. He didn’t always leave his companions out of the loop on purpose (like eleven does) or neglect informing them when something was odd with them (like eleven does, repeadtedly and with no major negative consequences).

Also "an important part of the show’s developement!" what the hell man. This implies that eleven’s companions are the first to ever question him in any way…when… they are not. From Barbara through Romana through to Martha, most (and lbr I say “most” but it’s basically all, excepting like, katarina or something) companions have questioned him, have “challenged”, and have been critical of him.  They have done anything but “blindly follow him”… And frankly fandom, with commentaries like these you are starting to sound like the media coverage for the show (“oh but this one is the FIRST to REALLY challenge him!!”).

Please, for the sake of giving companions the integrity they used to have, let “The Doctor Lies!” die with Eleven. And let us move to a more trust-worthy, transparent, compelling stage with Twelve.

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Sometimes I look at this scene, then I think about the cut scene from Avengers where Loki tells the Other he will rule Midgard ‘unmercifully’ and I wonder which is the truth. I mean, that scene was cut though so maybe that means we wouldn’t consider it canon because the writers didn’t want it. I wonder if, after he did the ‘conquering’ part and the Avengers + Thor had somehow not been around or able to stop him, he really would have tried to be a good ruler after stamping out all the rebellions, and used the fact that he’s 1000 years older than everyone to manipulate the politics and convince Earth to make some decent changes that might’ve won some nations over (either out of fear of the unknown, or actual interest). Maybe he would’ve given us magic and improved architecture, technology and medicine. I doubt he’d want to settle in without jump-starting our civilization a bit.

Inevitably, the whole conqueror concept in general doesn’t sit well with humanity so I don’t think he would’ve been able to hold a peaceful rule at all, but I wonder if his intention was really to try? I don’t doubt that may have been what he was taught either directly or through Asgardian history, that to invade you will first need to break the will of a realm and then re-mold it for governing. In the end though I also still hold that his motive wasn’t actually good rule in and of itself, but rather just to take something as his own (read, take Earth from Thor) to stroke his own ego and hide from the fact that he’s from Jotunheim. That’s also why he’s still to blame for making his own choices about what he did on Earth, no matter what Thanos or the scepter told him, threatened him with, or did to him. Thor had told him before that he ‘missed the truth of ruling’, basically that he was going about it all wrong, and he seemed to not have any clue why his stance wasn’t correct, but he didn’t want to understand Thor’s way either.

You could say he was subconsciously trying to prove he was Asgardian at heart, and then this talk with Odin proved that it was always going to backfire. Judging from his grinning and messing around right before he said these lines, aside from it just being his personality, maybe he even thought Odin would just let him free once he stated his reasons, and maybe Loki grew up like that, getting in trouble but then being spoiled and let off the hook because he’s a prince. (I don’t know how he reasoned that his process was good though, given how he SAW Thor get banished for disturbing the peace in Jotunheim…but then again this probably goes to show just how insignificant he believes Midgard is, and that he’s lost all sight of what being level-headed means) He brings up his birthright as a defense because he’s used to his status being a bartering tool, no matter who he’s talking to. His demeanor only changes when Odin raises his voice, then mentions Frigga being his only saving grace, and he probably now thinks that Odin wanted to kill him his whole life. ~

more than a little tired of people romanticizing viserys at the expense of dany. yes, you can like a character who does awful things, but I think we’re given every indication in the text that viserys cared more about what he thought he deserved—the throne—than he ever would about the people of westeros. while we’ve seen dany flirt with that sense of entitlement, we’ve also seen her sacrifice every desire she has for the sake of those she considers to be her people. in fact, she sacrificed (or at least postponed) that exact desire—to rule westeros—for the sake of making sure her freed slaves have food to eat. she’s not delusional or paranoid—in fact, she’s far more trusting than other characters have been when they have experienced the level of betrayal she has from every source—sold into sexual slavery by her brother, deceived by barristan and betrayed by jorah. contrast that with aerys, and I feel like this idea that dany has all the precursors of madness—his paranoia, his sadism, his love of destructive power—well, it has to fall apart upon close examination of the text. dany is trusting, even while she begins to realize that almost no one is really on her side; she is empathetic and compassionate, refusing to resort to the tactics of her enemy and kill her child hostages; and even while she wields true destructive power, she is terrified by it, not in love with it.

I mean, I guess I just think that Martin goes to great pains to contrast dany and aerys, to show on every level how different they are. her fuck ups are not madness (and in fact, are often the best or most compassionate response to a situation with no good options). 

(AU where Neal cracked and said “fuck off” to August and went to see Emma when she was in jail, and she was so confused because she never got visitors and she barely let herself hope - 

And there he was, in that stupid jacket of his, looking all nervous, waiting for her. 

She’s not showing yet, and she’s glad for it. 

And he apologizes, and explains as best he can, and he tells her he won’t give up on her, he’ll prove to her that he’s worth her trust again, he’ll be back every visitor’s day, and she doesn’t quite believe him (but God, she wants to) and so she just nods and says nothing.

And he does come back, every time, and eventually she can’t hide it anymore and she tells him about the baby, tells him she’s giving it up, and they get into a blowout fight there in the visiting room and he ends up escorted out by the guards - 

And he tells her she doesn’t have to give the baby up, tells her he wants this, her, it, themtogether

And she believes him. 

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I love this scene. I feel like the fact that Ezra chooses the middle path is really, really significant. I don’t know. Like, he kind of walks this line between child and adult, youngling and Jedi, and of course, the light and the dark. Kanan is the same way. He doesn’t let go of his Jedi past entirely yet he doesn’t seem to go down the path he would if the Order were still in tact. Kanan is stuck somewhere between padawan and master, and Ezra looks up to him so much I believe he’ll kind of internalize this grey-area ambiguity. But I believe they can both use it to their advantage and learn from both worlds.

I think it also could be foreshadowing for Ezra’s character. I mean, we’ve seen his brush with the dark side before, but I stand by what I’ve always said: Ezra will not fall to the dark side. I believe he’s supposed to be a rehash of Anakin’s character, showing us what could happen to someone with intense fear and anger without the sometimes-oppressive Jedi order constantly hovering nearby, telling them those feelings are wrong. Ezra is a redeeming Anakin who is allowed to walk through the grey area. He can walk the line between dark and light without falling into the abyss, and he can come out better for it. 

Ezra Bridger, my little teetering on the dark side blueberry (x), you do you.