(i mean all the time actually but especially when thinking about it in this context

One maladaptive coping mechanism that turns very toxic when you’re not defending against abuse is to read any uncomfortable situation as a deliberate personal attack, and sometimes extrapolate one incident into a whole pattern of malicious intent.

Examples:

  • “Hey, I have a headache, could you please lower your voice a little?”
    - “FINE I guess I just won’t say anything at all!”

  • “Hey thanks for inviting me, but I’m not feeling well, so I’m sorry but I can’t make it. Maybe (x day) instead?”
    - “Sorry for asking! I guess I’m just too needy for you!”

  • (Someone forgets to call you back.)
    - “Yeah I don’t think we’re friends anymore, she acts like she hates me.”

  • “Hey, what you just said about me was literally not true. Why did you say that?”
    - “Right, I’m just a piece of shit who should never talk at all I guess!”

  • "I don’t really feel like sex tonight.”
    - “Sorry I’m so repulsive to you!”

  • “You really hurt my feelings. Why did you do that?”
    - ”Go ahead and just break up with me, I know you’ve been wanting to.”

This kind of response escalates an interaction from a two-way conversation about a specific problem into a fight about your own self-worth. Instead of reponding to what’s actually happening or interrogating whether an attack was intended, this response immediately changes the conversation into a defensive argument where the only relevant question is if you’re an okay person that people care about.

Like I get feeling this kind of reaction, I get having a knee-jerk response of fear and shame and self-loathing. Sometimes when you’re feeling vulnerable it is very, very difficult not to read super far into anything negative. Sometimes it just reflects off all your internal fears and amplifies inside of you until a polite “no” feels like everyone you’ve ever liked is telling you they hate you.

But it is possible, with some work, to separate your feelings from your actual knowledge of the situation. It’s possible to feel one thing in your heart and still recognize with your mind that the reality is different. You can learn to notice the difference between someone actually attacking you and something just feeling like an attack because you’re extra vulnerable.

You can also learn not to react based solely on your feelings. You can learn to take another person’s actual words and actions into account and respond based on what you think - not just feel - their intent actually was. That work is as necessary as it is difficult.  

People need to be able to tell you things that aren’t overwhelmingly positive without you making them feel guilty for saying anything and treating their concerns as an attack.

Otherwise, you wind up in a position where they can’t be honest with you. They can’t say no to you, can’t tell you when something you do hurts or scares them, can’t point out worrying things as friends do to take care of each other, can’t bring up their own needs without the conversation devolving into comforting you again.

This habit interacts especially badly with the way many other trauma survivors are terrified of upsetting anyone – when your reaction to them bringing up problems or saying no is consistently disproportionate, they may find it easier to just do what you want even against their own will.

It is possible to deal with those awful feelings and get the comfort you need without resorting to lashing out when you feel bad. It’s okay to be honest about the fact your emotions don’t always line up with reality so people know what you’re going through. It’s okay to just ask for the emotional support you need or for confirmation that they mean what they say.

You may even find that when you make a continuous effort not to treat these uncomfortable experiences as crises, they deescalate and you wind up feeling more secure each time.

Look, this coping mechanism, like many forms of manipulation, is a useful survival tool in the context of an abusive relationship where you really are being attacked insidiously, and where you can’t just ask for comfort and expect to get it. But if you are no longer in that kind of situation, it’s time to reevaluate the usefulness/danger ratio and figure out what other strategies might be better for you and the people you love.

anonymous asked:

I'm a feminist and I'd also like to be a good trans ally. Why are there so many trans people who characterize playing with dolls/wearing dresses/liking pink as a sign they were a girl, and why do some say that their interest in sports was a sign they were a boy? It may not be a community-wide issue, so forgive me that. It strikes me as essentialist and somewhat tactless. Is it okay for me to question people who say things like that? Thank you for your insight!

This is actually a form of institutional violence that trans people, largely trans women, face.

To copy-paste from a previous post I made on this matter:

Growing up, I had a few trans lady friends who were hyped about being openly/visibly butch and/or gnc trans women when they began transitioning.

Three of the bunch committed suicide after basically being blacklisted out of access to medical transition. Others were wealthy enough to be able to move to where they could have a second or third shot. A femme trans lady friend forgot to apply nail polish and makeup to one of her sessions with her doctor, and that led to him keeping her from medical resources for the next two years of care, and she, as well, ended up killing herself. I could keep listing story after story with similar narratives and endings, it’s really pretty common.

Gatekeeping, whether it’s within a medical context, or a social one, relies on heavily policing trans women to prescribe to normative gender expressions dialed up to 11. We don’t, and we tend to suffer. And I don’t think it’s at all fair to cast blame on trans women who follow those norms, not when our survival is paramount and we’re coerced into those conditions via potentially fatal consequences.

Like, I’m a sloppy/lazy femme in terms of my expression, often shifting towards the hoodie and jeans aesthetic because it’s just comfy, but every doctor’s appointment, every tribunal over my transition, best believe I was probably among the most stereotypically feminine presenting ladies those docs saw that day. Not a chance I’d risk it. Every job interview, every meeting when I was looking for housing, same deal. Survival wins over the microscopic impact I might have on the reproduction of gender norms in those instances, especially when my continued survival means I can live to fight those (and other) battles in other ways less tied to my survival.

So, to be blunt and concise, it’s not trans folks upholding harmful notions of gender. It’s cis folks…cis men and cis women, weaponizing society against us to uphold gender norms through us because we’re deemed as threats and as less legitimate, so our standards are often exponentially higher than our cis counterparts.

Like, I live in liberal Canada, and this gatekeeping shit still happens. I have sat down and taught so many trans people how to strategize and what language to use, what narratives will provide the path of least resistance, so that we can get what we need in the aggressively oppressive system we live in.

Like, as a young child, I played hockey, I liked micro-machines, I liked video games, I liked climbing trees, riding bikes, building forts, and track & field.

I told my therapist that in my third session when she asked about my childhood, just minutes after telling me she felt I was ready for hormones. I had to endure 23 more sessions with her, spread across the next year and a half, to get back to where I was mid-way through that third session, a long enough time for her to forget enough about those remarks on my childhood, before I could get access to hormones. When she asked about my childhood again in the 22nd or 23rd session, I told her I played with dolls, and that secretly, my favourite colour was pink as a child, and that I yearned to play house but no one would play with me, that I’d try on my mom’s shoes and some of her clothes, etc. etc. And after I tossed out enough cliche elements of the standard narrative (basically painting myself as a very heterosexual hyper-feminine 50′s housewife), I got access. I can’t say that if I ever got interviewed on public media that I’d stray from that safe narrative, because chances are, my doctors would/could see, and I could lose access to healthcare, employment, housing, etc.

Like I said, I’ve had friends who forgot to wear nail polish and were punished for it. I had a friend…in the dead of winter…who wore pants to an appointment and was suddenly told by the doctor that he had no confidence that she was a ‘real’ trans woman. A trans dude friend of mine got in a car wreck and had busted up ribs, and couldn’t wear his binder comfortably for a while, and his doctor refused to renew his prescription to T. He eventually had to find a new doctor, endure the waiting list, and get back on, which took like, 9 months.

So if we’re saying things like that, it’s almost always a self-defense mechanism. It’s very hard to tell who we can trust, and who has the power to derail our transitions, or kill our support networks, etc. And while I’m sure if all trans people revolted and told the truth, it might help disrupt that system of norms and standards and gatekeeping, but I could never ask others like me to take a stand on principle that would likely kill a great many of them. I know that without HRT, I wouldn’t survive more than maybe three months, it’s really that simple, and I know so many others in the same boat. It’d be like walking into a building burning from a three-alarm fire to try and activate the inactive sprinkler system, instead of calling the fire department to put it out. This isn’t our responsibility. 

I think it’s important to remember that trans people who are coerced into expressing these narratives are a tiny demographic, so our ability to significantly ‘reproduce’ or ‘essentialize’ any gender norms is negligible at best. And that in the overwhelming majority of the world, trans folks have to comply with exaggerated gender norms for our gender simply for survival. And that survival must take precedence over worries of us reproducing harm that we’d only be reproducing because cis people can’t get their heads out of their asses over their need to police everything about our bodies and our lives.

Like, in case you’re not aware, the “born in the wrong body” language stemmed from trans patients decades and decades ago, who were being experimented on, sterilized, mutilated, and tortured. Eventually doctors listened to us and our pleas to just treat our dysphoria, but our language didn’t fit necessarily with their worldview. They couldn’t accept that pre-transition trans men and trans women were actually men/women. That we had men’s/women’s bodies. That we were male/female. So we were coerced into using their language for us, in order to get the treatment we needed, to get any shred of support we could get. The cis-dominated structures of science and medicine are to blame for that sexism, cissexism, essentialism, etc. as well.

We’re just trying to get the help we need in a world that does not want us to get that help, and will generally only provide it if we tell them everything they want to hear. Some of the greener, fresh out of the closet trans folks push that sort of language/narrative hard, because it’s what they’re exposed to, it’s what they’re taught keeps them safe, and it’s pretty wrong to be critical of someone for surviving and actively reducing harm against themselves from society at large.

So if you get the urge to criticize a trans person for bringing that sort of thing up, maybe instead criticize the structures that prevent us from saying anything else.

Anti-ace/aro shit on this site, an actual problem

Somehow people keep claiming there is no problem with anyone hating aces and aros on this site and particularly in what they call “ace discourse” (but what could often be more accurately renamed to “plain shitting on aces and aros”). So I’ve made another list of some of the shit that’s gone down, except this time with links because apparently that’s the only way to not get dismissed out of hand.

I’ve talked a lot about racism in this mess but I’ve stuck to mostly other stuff this time, because I don’t have the energy to drag up certain shit again (or in other cases don’t want to bring in posts ppl apologized for, or dig through my blog for a long time, or or. Maybe I will add some more shit later. [Though looking over it one more time, there’s actually some considerable stuff here already.])

So, crap the anti-ace/aro crowd on this site has pulled includes but sadly is not at all limited to:

Comparing aces and aros to Trump  (and pretending this is funny)

Comparing aces to Pence 

Comparing aces to Ronald Reagan (and pretending this is funny)

Comparing aces to a literal slave owner

Making fun of aces not being accepted by their parents and of aces finding this upsetting (making it into a crytyping “joke”)

Making aces feel shitty/shaming them for telling their parents they’re ace because it’s supposedly “unnecessary”

Saying if we tell family about being ace, it’s no wonder if they send us to therapy

Doing their best to sexualize the orientations of aces, in so many cases. The link before these two is also connected to that. They treat our orientations like (graphic) details about “our sex lives”, frequently acting like if we want to talk about them ever we’re gross/creepy

This one is also “nice” re sexualizing aces (one of many examples of ppl also engaging in sex-shaming while they’re at it, saying only one’s partner should know anything about one’s “relationships with sex”. Except this person goes kinda even further)

More sexualization, when I say this freaks me out as a WoC, I’m told this white person gives no fucks and wants me to be miserable

Another person who says the identities of aces but also of aros need to stay between them and their Partners because they’re “TMI” and inherently sex-shaming somehow

Oh yeah did I mention, much the same with sexualizing aros and ppl frequently link our identities to misogyny and to using people while they’re at it

Making light and fun of ace WoC asking to not be sexualized because don’t we know aces have done Bad things and so we deserve it/don’t get to complain

One of many examples of white people who hate aces+aros talking over PoC and trying to erase us from our communities (+usually when we call that shit out they don’t care. This is actually one of the more cordial responses I’ve come across despite the lack of apology lol. [Eta: my wording here was misleading before, they weren’t talking to me - I’d also called them on this but they ignored me. Sorry for the confusion!] Also, I have a tag somewhere with several non-black/white ppl who made Rachel Dolezal comparisons to shit on aces/aros). Another example of talking over us here complete with condescendingly lecturing a PoC about racism

People like this saying outright they hate aces

Saying sex ed shouldn’t teach about asexuality

Outright stating they think being ace/aro gives people privilege (because supposedly aces+aros both benefit from conservatives pushing for abstinence)

Outright invalidating the identities of aces (who don’t have the attitude towards sex they think they should have)

Calling asexuals demons

Outright calling aces and aros a “plague” and saying aces/aros regardless of other identities all need to be kicked out of the LGBT+ community.

Erasing the identities of people who speak out against anti-ace/aro shit to declare them “straight” or “cishet” …or saying that treatment is what they get for being “traitors to their own community”

Ignoring the boundaries of aces/aros who have them blocked and don’t want to be vagued to make fun of them

…or even to continue sexualizing them after they have made it very clear that shit freaks them out (cheerfully doing this to a WoC)

Someone saying asexuality does not exist and “encourages slut shaming”

Spamming the ace positivity tag with vile hate (ppl have talked a lot about how this harms and endangers especially mentally ill ppl)

“aces are embarassing“ in the positivity tag

Posting nsfw content in the ace positivity tag and being completely unapologetic, apparently using the reasoning that our identities are inherently nsfw anyway (see the “TMI discourse” aka people sexualizing our identities)

Calling aces and aros a “sexuality fandom” while pretending we’re a group full of people with every privilege imaginable, bored of being accepted by everyone and of having no Actual Problems in our lives. This kind of nasty erasure constantly goes on and is a big tactic in this mess tbh

Wanting aces to be “exterminated”. For good measure putting this in the ace positivity tag

This disgusting vile shit that I don’t even know how to sum up but it includes wishing death on someone

Talking about wanting aces/aros dead after somehow misunderstanding(?) a post that was very clearly not about asexuality or aromanticism

Graphically telling aces to die

Specifically telling ace kids to kill themselves

Did I mention that many people in this mess have wished death on aces and aros and that they often put it in positivity tags. Some of the most messed up shit I’ve seen is missing because I didn’t reblog/respond to it at the time or can’t find it right now

And I know anons don’t count as hard “proof” for anything but have the less graphic one of the death/rape threats I got  in my inbox for speaking out against anti-ace/aro shit (still kinda eerily detailed though. Not linking the other one because it is extremely graphic)

And the really sad thing is that these are all just examples that I could find relatively quickly. I also left out posts for various reasons, and tried to focus on just really blatant shit and not anything where you need a ton of context, or something “just” on the level of the many people who’ve invalidated asexuality/aromanticism as orientations (declaring them to only ever “modifiers”)

But yeah, a lot of people here? Hate aces and aros a lot and what’s going on is incredibly harmful and toxic and it needs to stop. This is serious shit

will byers is gay: a thorough character analysis

disclaimer: this is not me “forcing sexuality” on will. if you think him being gay is inappropriate but have no problem with mileven and/or lumax (who are all the same age as will), i’ve got some news for you.

Keep reading

imagine vampire yoongi.

Originally posted by myloveseokjin

  • just when you thought he couldn’t get any grumpier, min yoongi is cursed to walk the earth for all eternity.
  • yikes.
  • so done with the world’s shit by now, honestly he stopped caring a long, long, looooong time ago and if anyone expects him to give a flying fuck about a hashtag or the panda’s dying they can think again.
  • political scandal? “is that a new band?”
  • global warming? “good, it’s kinda drafty here.”
  • the sun will one day grow to encompass the earth? “great, i’ll be waiting.”
  • whenever he gets bored or impatient with everything he’ll just go to ground and hibernate. 
  • by which i mean he will literally dig himself a hole and go to sleep in the earth for anything from a week to a century (ok that was one time.)
  • and he’s cold all. the. time. like, yeah i know he’s technically dead but he actually feels the cold all the time, because he lowkey starves himself.
  • so he’s always very bundled up, and doesn’t really notice the temperature shift from inside/outside or winter/summer.
  • and yoongi is old, okay, he doesn’t need much blood to keep him going. 
  • he’s got a short list of donors he can have a few sips from during the week, and that way nobody has to die because of him.
  • because ugh slaughter is such a pain to clean up.
  • so, not only is he technically dead, but he looks kinda malnourished, a little sick, and like he hasn’t slept. ever. 
  • and yet he’s very pretty, flawless, stoic, and distractingly magnetic.
  • because he’s so old however, he’s not weak, just lethargic af.
  • there’s just one thing he cares about. wanna take a wild guess?
  • music.
  • the only reason he hasn’t sunk to the bottom of the ocean, flung himself into a volcano, or walked into the sunset by now.
  • and when you don’t need to eat, sleep, or pee, you get through a lot of music so yoongi has pretty much heard it all.
  • these days he just kinda hibernates and wanders around while he’s waiting for new releases.
  • and you work in a record shop. wow isn’t that a nice coinkydink.
  • his usual place shuts down and he has to find a new shop that’ll let him sit around and listen to music in the evenings. 
  • and your place of work is exactly one such place.
  • he comes in late, depending on the season, just when the sun has gone down, during the last few hours of your work day.  
  • he doesn’t say anything, just sits and listens until you have to lock up.
  • and you just assume he works all day and this is the only time he has to go browse, although you notice eventually that he rarely buys anything, but you decide to leave him alone because he looks like he’s had one hell of a day.
  • anyway it’s nice not to be alone in the shop at the end of the day when it gets dark and all.
  • you tried to offer him coffee once, because you got some for yourself and he always looks like he just got in from a snowstorm. but he just shook his head no.
  • and at first he would stop by the shop once a month or every two weeks.
  • but one night, when you play something over the speakers that he hasn’t heard in decades, he suddenly feels???? nostalgic ????
  • and with wide eyes he asks you the name of the artist and you trip all over yourself and your words trying to tell him because you don’t think you’ve ever heard him speak and wow is that what his voice sounds like
  • and after that he starts coming every night to rediscover all the old stuff he hasn’t listened to in ages, because somehow in all his grump he had completely forgotten he could do that???? 
  • and he’s lowkey very grateful that he rediscovered his love of music through you, so whenever you try to make polite conversation with him after that he doesn’t just grunt or shake his head, he gives you actual answers, and you start learning more about him.
  • you let him stay after closing time, just a little while until you have to go, making small talk whenever he’s not absorbed in the music.
  • that way you learn so, sO much about music, everything from little technical details to great historical context, and you don’t understand how one man can have such a large range of knowledge.
  • and then you start playing whichever album he chooses over the speakers so that you can both listen and talk about the music together.
  • and stay around longer so he can finish whichever album he’s listening to that evening.
  • and he begins to walk you home because that way you can continue your conversations, and also it’s late and dark and he knows exactly what kind of monsters lurk in these shadows.
  • and by that time you’re already head over heels for him, but he’s very careful about keeping his distance, so you just assume he’s not attracted to you and that’s fine as long as he keeps keeping you company.
  • yoongi has probably mentioned he’s a vampire.
  • like at least twice he’s proclaimed to be dead and you just assumed you didn’t get the joke.
  • but the real joke is he’s dead, he doesn’t care who knows, and it’s not like anyone will believe him anyway.
  • “you’re too thin, when was the last time you ate something, yoongi?”
  • “a couple centuries probably, what year is it again?”
  • and
  • “you’re so pale, yoongi, you should get more sun.”
  • “i’m already dead, a little sun isn’t gonna help.”
  • or
  • “you look tired, yoongi, do you get enough sleep?”
  • “i took a ten year nap before this, don’t worry.”
  • or
  • “hey, yoongi, how are you today?”
  • “dead. could be worse, i guess.”
  • lmao rip.
  • and then, you go and get a dang paper cut.
  • before you can so much as bring it to your lips yoongi is already at your side, pressing a tissue (where did that even come from?) to the cut so firmly it cuts off circulation to the entire finger anyway.
  • and he’s so,,,,, close. 
  • you’ve never seen him so close, and all you can do is stare at him like an idiot and wonder how many people have specks of red in their eyes, because you’ve never seen that on anyone before.
  • and he doesn’t even breathe. he can’t.
  • and that’s when you realise “yoongi, you’re so cold!”
  • “i’m dead. i told you, i’m a vampire.”
  • and you’re like hha,,, hah,,,ha? w-what? 
  • so he takes your other hand, and holds it to the side of his neck and he’s completely cold and there’s no pulse.
  • and now the cat is out of the bag so he may as well lean in and sniff you because life’s too short amirite.
  • “you smell……….. incredible.”
  • that’s when you see his lil fangs.
  • and at first you’re freaking out because hol ?? ?y STHIT???
  • but then you realise, this is yoongi, who’s walked you home for months now, he’s had every opportunity to drain you dry and he hasn’t and you’re desperately in love with him.
  • so you just kinda,,,,, chill.
  • and yoongi looks surprised, expecting you to kick and scream, and asks why your heart rate suddenly slowed again and you tell him it’s because you trust him.
  • so, he asks “but what if i bit you?”
  • and you say “you wouldn’t.”
  • “then,,,,,,,, what if i kissed you?”
  • your heart damn near beats right out of your chest.
  • and in response he gives you the smuggest grin, fangs and all.
  • anyway, nsfw under the cut.

Keep reading

lbpq solidarity is about more than just ending lateral aggression, calling out biphobia/lesbophobia, and establishing wholesome and healing solidarity between lesbians and bi women and other wlw. those are important aspects of it, but there are other things that i think we often overlook:

  • prioritizing and centering the struggles of all lbpq women of color. ending rhetoric or ideas that harm, isolate, or exclude them. actually listening to lbpq women of color when they tell you that you’ve fucked up or that something upsets them. 
  • ending all of the following things that permeate our spaces: antiblackness, colorism, racial fetishization, racialized misogyny, racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, islamophobia, and other forms of religious discrimination. 
  • moving away from an individualist equality framework to a community liberation framework. 
  • showing up and being there for all women of color, especially for lbpq women of color, and not just showing solidarity with them when it suits your needs. 
  • ending the imperialism and neoliberalism that are becoming prevalent in our spaces. no cops at pride, no corporations at pride, no gentrification, no homonationalism, no pinkwashing. cops, ceos, and corporations are not our friends. we should not be supporting anything that contributes to the violence against imperialized people, racialized subjects, or indigenous people. 
  • supporting all anti-colonial and anti-imperial struggles. historically speaking, wlw have always participated in these forms of activism, and sadly i don’t see many wlw today understanding the connection between lgbt activism and all other forms of activism against hegemony. we need to reconnect and re-establish that. 
  • supporting lbpq survivors of rape, abuse, incest, CSA, or other forms of trauma. 
  • ensuring that lbpq women who survived abuse at the hands of a woman (a female family member or a romantic partner) or in an m/f relationship or at the hands of a man aren’t excluded, abandoned, or alienated. i see a lot of rhetoric that victim blames lbpq survivors, or conceives of them as lesser, tainted, whiny, or manipulative if they discuss their abuse or trauma. we need to expel that type of rhetoric from our spaces. 
  • eradicating transmisogyny and centering the struggles of all trans women. we have to be in solidarity with all trans women and we have to support all of them. and this means more than just performatively hating terfs. terfs are not the only transmisogynists in our spaces. all of us as cis wlw are capable of being transmisogynistic and we constantly have to reflect on and evaluate the way we approach solidarity with trans women. in particular, we have to emphasize that trans wlw are welcome in our spaces and that they will receive our support, encouragement, and help. we can’t just expect trans women to do all the work. 
  • showing our unabashed support for wlw who don’t use she/her pronouns - butch lesbians who use he/him pronouns, nonbinary wlw who use they/them or neopronouns, etc. many wlw who don’t use she/her pronouns are constantly harassed and denied their sexuality or their place in the wlw community. you often see questions like “how can nonbinary lesbians exist?” which are transphobic and disrespectful. 
  • mentoring younger wlw and questioning wlw, letting them know that they have our understanding and patience. many of you are incredibly rude and harsh toward younger gay women and questioning gay women for no rhyme or reason. it’s really alienating and hurtful to see that, especially considering that many of these girls don’t have a community. we should help them learn lgbt history, we should answer their questions about sexuality, we should give them the most productive advice, and we should allow them room to grow and flourish. we also have to help younger and questioning wlw understand what compulsory heterosexuality is and how it affects all women, not just us. 
  • ensuring that all closeted wlw feel safe, validated, and respected, and that people understand that their choice to remain closeted doesn’t negate who they are in the slightest. 
  • supporting wlw who are HIV+ or who have other STIs. being invested in HIV/AIDS activism and ending the criminalization and stigmatization of HIV+ individuals. 
  • understanding that every wlw’s experience is different and that using generalizations to stereotype them is harmful. 
  • learning to be as specific as possible and learning to emphasize the points of commonality. 
  • respecting people’s labels and boundaries - don’t use labels that people ask you not to use. 
  • respecting and supporting hypersexual wlw, sex-repulsed wlw, and wlw with complicated relationships to sex, intimacy, and romance. not demonizing wlw who enjoy casual sex or who don’t want to have sex with anyone at all. 
  • supporting wlw who are sex workers, former or current. ending swerf rhetoric and emphasizing sex worker’s voices and autonomy. 
  • unequivocally establishing body positivity for all wlw, not just ones who are thin or able-bodied or hairless or feminine. emphasize the struggles fat wlw, disabled wlw, trans wlw, dark-skinned wlw, hairy wlw, and gnc wlw have. not engendering a version of gay womanhood that excludes most of us and prioritizes only a select few. 
  • supporting religious wlw - jewish, muslim, hindu, sikh, buddhist, etc wlw, not just christian wlw. supporting wlw who wear visible markers of their religion. 
  • taking the time to actually learn our history - reading archived literature, looking through photographs, listening to recordings/watching interviews about historical lgbt activism, etc. learn to place terms, people, and quotes in context and give credit to the women who coined or popularized the tools we use to describe ourselves. 
  • supporting neurodivergent and/or disabled wlw and actually discussing the intersection of ableism with homophobia and misogyny. 
  • supporting lesbians who once identified as bisexual / bisexuals who once identified as lesbian. supporting lesbians who’ve been with men before. supporting bisexual women in m/f relationships. supporting lesbians and bisexuals who’ve never been with women. ensuring that the support for all wlw is genuine and not conditional or one-sided. solidarity cannot be contingent upon any requirements or tests. 
  • ending gold-star rhetoric, separatist rhetoric of whatever kind, and “monosexual privilege” rhetoric. recognizing how harmful these ideas are for lesbians and bisexual women and other wlw. 
How Sony deals with fandoms

I’ve been to an international in-house PR summit hosted by one of my clients this week and nearly fell off my chair when one of the guest speakers was a VERY important person from Sony Music Entertainment. Let’s call him John. I won’t disclose his function and real name because I don’t want to reveal where I was, but based on his title he definitely knows what he‘s saying and has a lot of industry experience.

His speech was mainly  about how to engage with a variety of different target audiences. Of bloody course one of the first slides he showed was a picture of 1D engaging with fans which was supposed to drive the point home that there are some audiences who are more passionate about a brand than others.He mentioned then that he’s worked with 1D on their albums which drove me into a bit of a freeze.

Because I’m embarrassing, I recorded parts of his speech on my phone and wrote the most important things down to share some interesting insights he gave about how Sony manages their artists’ target audiences, crafts their artists’ social media actions and deals with the fact that at the end of the day they always need to get people to buy music.

 

HOW DOES SONY UNDERSTAND AND MONITOR AUDIENCES (like fandoms for instance)?

According to John, they have their very own data-driven digital tool that helps them identify and manage different target groups for an artist (it’s not perfected yet but has been rolled out a lot of countries, I think he said 50?) and see where there might be connections to other artists, who the influencers are, what the specific target groups are or will be interested in and to identify collaboration opportunities.

Target groups are being split into four categories: Fanatics, enthusiasts, casuals, indifferents. These segments are being broken down into even smaller groups defined by age, genre preference, gender and country. They found that the older you get, the less likely you’ll be a fanatic or enthusiast.

How does Sony find this stuff out? Well, they survey polled music audiences of every age in a way that covers either nationally representatives or represent one of the major top tier cities. People shared their music preferences, consumption habits, lifestyle, media habits etc. Sony gathered all that information, analysed the insights and created their own audience understanding tool.

According to John, that way everyone at Sony has access to an interactive map of the world of Sony that looks into segmentations and audiences for every artist while being searchable in a number of different ways. The tool is pulling from real data, but they are also adding to that „with things like analytics of platforms like Spotify where we are able to gather lots of informations about user behaviours and reference that against things that we do“.

 

HOW SONY STRATEGICALLY SHAPES PR STORIES

John gave the example of Snoop Doggy Dog who had launched a new album (song? Idk) around that time: „There was a week-long debate in parliament around the legalization of Marihuana, so we just jumped on this conversation and did lots of social marketing around Snoop with his rolling papers and his spliffs… so maybe that’s bad taste, I’ll allow you to judge that for yourselves. The point is though that you are also marketing into a wider cultural context. [You need] an understanding how that works and where you can have a conversation that is seamless and not fake, genuineness is quite important.

“The way you can get people to connect is: You’ve got a lot of stuff that you want to say. Start under the assumption that people actually don’t give a shit about 95 percent of it. And then see which are the bits that might overlap. This is where the understanding of the audience really comes into its own. It forces us to think before we jump to execution. The quest for relevance is vitally important.”

Why are people to connect with a brand/band though? John thinks this is one of the most underused questions when planning an approach. Why is it that they do specific things? He gave an example: „We would normally take a record to radio because we always believe that radio is the thing that breaks the record. But if my core audience, my phase one audience – the people that are gonna give that band its first lift – are on Spotify, what am I doing on radio??“


ENGAGEMENT AROUND ARTIST IS KEY

„The thing is that you don’t start with a conversation around a product. The consumption of the product is the end point of a journey where you built an engagement and a fan. So again, for us that means that when we sit down and do our plan around our next Robbie Williams album, we start with „How are we gonna maximize the engagement around Robbie Williams“? because that will then sell us albums. Not „Okay, we’ll be releasing in a week in November, eight weeks out we need to be here, here and here“. So we’re not doing product launches anymore unless [it is suitable for the target demographic]. We have to built a tension and an engagement around an artist.“

 

ABOUT THEIR ARTISTS‘ SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

„We run most of our artists social media channels or at least their official  pages, so we are involved in all of those conversations.“


Shocking, I know.

Based on the situation we face in this fandom,with this band, feel free to draw your own conclusions about what this information means.

HERE ARE MY KEY TAKEAWAYS:

1.       It’s not news at all, but the existence of their own audience understandig tool confirms it: the 1D fandom is being monitored, segmented and analyzed. Sony’s strategies are tightly tied to that fact. Collaborations or artist interactions such as Louis/James Arthur or One Direction/ Little Mix are most likely the result of a data-driven analysis of whose fan groups are similar and whose are likely to be open towards that particular other artist too.

2.       Again no news, but the example of Snoop Doggy Dog shows that there are strategies behind even the most random photos. Often placements of specific pictures or stories serve a wider purpose. Hello pap walks, hello b**ygate, hello Louis Twitter, hello Liam visibly being linked to L.A.‘s cool singer/songwriter crowd before his first album drop.  

3.       The decision to not promote Louis‘ song could very well have been a logical outcome of the team asking themselves the question „Why?“: Why should we promote his song with huge effort when we KNOW his own fans are going to do it passionately, especially if they think  we don’t give a shit? Why not playing that game in order to make them promo it the hardest way they can?“ Why indeed??

4.       One Direction is a huge deal for Sony. John was talking about a lot of bands during his speech but whenever he was talking about major acts, he always listed One Direction amongst them (along with gems like Beyonce, David Bowie, Adele). He name-dropped them at least 5 -6 times in a 60 minute speech. He really didn’t have to because the audience was in no way whatsoever a target audience. So yes, they clearly have been and are a very huge deal for them.

5.       The part about social media? Well :))))))

Yuri on Ice 2017/02/11 all night event report

I’m back from the event and I’ll write a report before going to sleep, mostly because I’m sure I will not be able to decipher my scribbles when I wake up… It’s not the full talk show since you can’t record it and also I couldn’t possibly write down everything, but I tried to take note of most things, especially stuff that has never been mentioned elsewhere. In the end it became quite long so I guess I was able to get most of the stuff down…

Needless to say it’s my notes, so other people might write about parts I omitted, etc. To be honest quite a few of the things they said especially in the beginning, like what the seiyuu think about their characters, is something I’ve read so many times in interviews that I could almost answer in their place, lol… I was a bit disappointed that one of the questions that was answered is the one about Chris’ mysterious acquaintance, because actually Kubo answered that in Pash already (it’s in the Q&A part I’ll be translating later), and I hoped they would feature questions about stuff that hasn’t been explained yet. Well I guess not everybody reads interviews, but still…

Due to the format of the report you can find my comments here and there, mostly in brackets.
Under the cut because it’s long.

I forgot to mention something important: the ones participating in the talk show were Mitsurou Kubo, Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Yuuri), Junichi Suwabe (Victor), Kouki Uchiyama (Yurio).

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How to Annotate Literature

Many times language and literature classes require students to annotate the books that are given to them, but in many cases tips and advice on how to do so is lacking. I will be sharing my personal strategy for efficient and successful annotating that will not only help your understanding of the text but also gain the love of your teachers!

The tips have been divided into 5 components, each with their own explanation.

Sticky Tabs are Your Best Friend

I don’t know how I would manage to annotate without my sticky tabs. They help me organize and navigate the book before the reading, remind me what to look for while i’m going through the text and help me find whatever I may need once I get to further analysis for the class. 

Create a key for your tabs, personally I use five colors each having a few specific purposes based on where I place them in the book. Most stickies are accompanied by a specific note that will remind me of what I wanted to point out, these stick out of the right margin. 

  • Pink- Anything to do with characters, be it development or certain traits to remember. It can also be used for when you have questions about character related aspects of the text.
  • Orange- Refers to setting, in plays it is also applicable for stage directions.
  • Yellow- Is used for literary devices and use of language (tone, diction, patterns) and syntax, if there is a particular word the author used or a structure you want to take note of, this is the color to use. 
  • Green- Applicable to any important plot events, notable scenes or things that you think will be significant later in the story.
  • Blue- Themes and context of said ideas, anything to do with time, place and space in which the text takes place. It can also relate to how your context (a student reading a book for a literature course) impacts your perception of the text.

These are the things teachers usually look out for and it is certainly useful in any kind of further task! 

The top and bottom margins can be used to divide the book in to sections, such as chapters or scenes, mark the most important pages and to also highlight text to text connections. These colors you can pick yourself!

I do not recommend having more than 5 sticky tabs per page, otherwise it gets too crowded and they lose their purpose! (but you will still need to buy aaa lloootttt)

This is my key for the book I am currently annotating, Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. 

Don’t Overdo it With the Highlighter

Find one color highlighter that you like the most and use it to mark explicit words or phrases that catch your attention, you can also use them in correlation with you sticky tabs! 

I prefer to use a yellow highlighter because it seems to bleed the least, and I usually use it in relation to the the yellow and blue tabs because those are the ones that relate to the most detailed and minute parts of the text. Once again you can find your own preference! But don’t overdo it, otherwise, like the tabs, the highlighter will lose its function to highlight important points. 

This is an example of how much highlighting I usually do. For non-fictional texts or parts of a book (like in the introduction you see here) I reserved highlighter for dates and names. 

Have a Conversation With the Author

This is one of the first tips that my high school teacher gave me and it’s really one of the most important ones to remember. And I know, it may sound kinda silly, but I find that it really helps me in developing my ideas and remembering exactly how I felt about a certain aspect of part of the text. 

Whether the text is fiction of non fiction, anything in between, you can always do these few things

  • Ask questions- As if you were going to get an answer, ask questions, write them down and write down as many as you want. Writing things down helps people remember so then it is more likely that in a class discussion you will be able to recall your queries or wonders. 
  • If you don’t like something, or you’re surprised by something, write it down! Use exclamation marks, use words that you would use in a regular conversation. I always write ‘WOW!!’ or ‘OMG’ when i’m especially impressed, and having such vocal- well written vocally- emotions will bring you closer to the subject of the text. 
  • Talk to the characters as well, if you are questioning a character’s actions ask them and provide an explanation as to why you speculate they may have acted a certain way. Not only does that further contribute to your involvement (also making things more entertaining) but it also deepens your thought!

What i’m trying to say is write down anything that comes to mind, your first response is your true response, and it is a valuable addition to your notes! And if you want to write a whole essay in between the lines… Actually, i’ll come back to that later! 

Pens, not Pencils 

I used to make notes completely in pencil but my approach changed when I realized that overtime the pencil would rub off and get illegible. I think it was because I used my book so much, but having switched to pen I realized that it helps me in quite a few other things as well. 

The good thing about pen is that you can’t erase it and let’s say you started writing down a note, scan down the page and realize what you are taking a note of is completely wrong. That’s ok! That’s actually really good! Don’t scribble out what you just wrote down, but instead continue and explain why you may have thought a certain way and what your understanding is now. That relates really closely to the previous note. 

Evidently pen also appears darker on the page, then there’s no possibility of it ever disappearing. It also won’t smudge or bleed as long as it’s ballpoint! That’s a good thing when drawing arrows between lines, underlining in addition to your highlights and circling/boxing whatever you deem necessary.

Time, Effort and Commitment

It’s clear that this post took me a while to make, and it took me a while to develop this system with all of the things that I have considered. So it must be self evident that using this type of annotation won’t be quick. It might get tiring at some times, and for me it really does, but at the end I find that it always pays off! You have to stay committed to this technique, you have to put in the same amount of effort for every page, which means you need time. So here are a few final general tips I will leave you with.

  • Don’t procrastinate! As goes for any task, and this one more than any, don’t waste time getting to it! I advice you check how many pages you have in total and make sure that you do a certain amount per day (usually 5-10 pages a day is good!)
  • If you go off on massive tangents in the side bars, make sure that you don’t get too distracted by them because they will take up a lot of your time. But one now and then may be good! Be sure to mark it for later reference!
  • Play mind games with yourself. This one is actually pretty interesting but it personally gets me a long way. If you have 20 pages left, don’t look at it as 20 pages but instead as 4 times 5, then the amount will seem a lot more manageable! It’s a kind of self encouragement!
  • That can also be said by looking now and then at how far your bookmark has moved through the book and giving yourself a pat on the back for all of you hard work!

That’s all I have for now! If you have any further questions for advice or explanation please message me and I will be more than happy to help! And I hope that this helps some people out too! (I’m counting this as 21/100 days of productivity as all I did today was related to annotating.)

thenorthernphoenix  asked:

So what did you think of Lance’s vlog? Personally, I thought it was a little....off? The Lance in the vlog seemed a lot more like the one from Season 1 through Season 2, before he gained a lot more respect for Allura. And we weren’t really given much depth into his character either. Do you think maybe this is because Lance was playing off his more confident, heroic persona knowing that he was being recorded and people were gonna watch his vlog? That does seem like something he would do.

That’s almost exactly what I think is going on!

So far with the vlogs we’ve seen, Keith stands out for its raw emotional content and I think what makes incredible sense about this disparity is that this is not like the usual content we see: all the characters know they’re being observed.

Keith? Keith has no filters. If Keith opens up about something he opens up all the dang way. So what we see is intense, upset- he doesn’t make it through the entire experience.

People like Lance, Allura, Coran? Have a lot more filters. They know what to talk about and what not to. That doesn’t mean they don’t have things stewing in their depths of comparable gravity to Keith’s- but you aren’t going to see Coran in a freaking vlog just effortlessly opening up about how almost everyone he knew is dead and he has nothing left besides the daughter of his closest friend and this gaggle of alien kids he adopted all of which are in mortal peril on the regular.

With Lance and Allura in particular we see them actively monitoring their relationship with being observed. Allura’s posture and tone alike are very much like someone giving a speech, and, with Allura herself, we know this is how she prefers to be observed- embodying strength. Certainty. It’s a step forwards that she acknowledges her own uncertainties originally.

Lance takes it a step further that he’s clearly listening to exactly how this sounds and evaluating it- trying to make sure he gets a word right, asking if there’s a delete button because he says something, goes, “no, that’s not how I want that to sound,” and changes it.

We’re not seeing factual accounts of the characters. We’re seeing the characters talk about themselves, and while Keith is honest to a fault especially when it comes to feelings- he’s a godawful liar, after all- the rest of the cast is probably going to be less so. Going forwards, I would guess that we’re probably not going to get a lot of raw emotional content out of Shiro’s because just like Allura he’s going to be withholding.

We’ve seen these guys in a lot of contexts where they don’t know they’re being observed. And that would tell us there’s definitely a lot more stewing in Lance’s depths than, y’know, flirting. Hell, even when he’s talking himself up as a ladykiller he tells us that he’s not actually really hunting for a committed relationship- which explains perfectly why with people like Plaxum, Nyma, or the ladies at the mall who did seem genuinely into him, Lance doesn’t really push it beyond flirting. The writers have made comments about him finding one special someone, but, by his own analyses, he’s not ready for that yet.

So these vlogs, they are giving us insight into each of the characters, but we have to understand most of these people are not going to bare their hearts the one time they’re actively aware of an audience. For example, if we got a hypothetical Lotor vlog- I’m not holding my breath for it, but I think it’d be fantastic- I would imagine that we’d see a very distant, charismatic Lotor much more like he was in s3e1 than, say, the person we saw in s4e5 and s4e6.

If anything I think that’s kinda more informative since the vlogs offer us unique perspective into how these people conduct themselves in front of an observing audience- Coran’s not afraid to get embarrassing but hearkens a bit to his days making instructional videos, with the way he talks about recording for posterity- Allura reads like someone delivering a formal report and even her shows of emotion are pretty constrained and proper. Keith, who’s not used to orating to anyone accidentally pulls a thread and dumps emotionally. And Lance pretty much places a personal ad and tries to spend the whole occasion flaunting himself as Mister Cool Guy- because this is how Lance wants to be viewed and being unable to read his audience or empathize with them, that goes pretty much unchecked.

yerahizardwarry replied to your post: yerahizardwarry:If you could change one (1) thing…

@nobutseriouslywhat where this is coming from?

Okay so I looked into tracking this down and my sources might be a little fuzzy, but this is something that’s been pissing me off.

So about three years ago on Pottermore, JK Rowling released a piece about illness and disability in the wizarding world. Unfortunately, she used this piece to basically say that wizards are “above” muggle disabilities and could cure anything they want (so long as those disabilities aren’t caused by magic. Which I suppose would imply that Harry’s bad eyesight is caused by his near-death experience as a baby or by being a horcrux, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

So why is this problematic? In a fictional world where wizards are presented as the norm and muggles are seen as a subspecies that are too unintelligent to even be able to interact with wizards, it implies that real world disabilities are only for simple people. Read: subhuman or not advanced enough to cure their own ailments.

I get that she tried to worm her way around this by including magical illnesses and disabilities, in characters like Moody and Lupin. But it just falls flat? Like she’s trying to cover her tracks with something like “oh well this character is too ~advanced~ to have lost his leg and eye to something as common as cancer or diabetes or anemia, that just wouldn’t be realistic. He was cursed in a fight and lost them.”

And boy howdy, since I’ve mentioned Lupin, let’s take something straight from the horse’s mouth. (source: Pottermore)

Yeah. Let that sink in. She wanted to have a character whose condition was a metaphor for AIDS, so she made him a literal monster? Who has to rely on the worst character in the series, a brooding abusive human fedora, to make sure he doesn’t kill people at random? Yeah, that’s the great representation that people with AIDS needed in the 90′s. /s

(that last bit may be worded harshly. My intention is not to insult or offend you, rather, just to show my general distaste for her.)

There’s also her transphobia. Once again we’ll go straight to the horse-woman’s mouth: her twitter.

(You can see by comparing the open tabs between the above screenshots that I really haven’t bothered to edit or cut anything down.) This is a page of her twitter likes, and we can see not terribly far down this article. Which I unfortunately took the time to read.

It’s an article about former VICE reporter Sam Kriss, and the sexual assault allegations that have come up about him in the last few months. So far so good, no matter how much of a vocal feminist someone is, we should be able to call them out when they fuck up, right?

Except the article doesn’t do that. It takes all this information about men who have committed sexual assault, mostly Sam Kriss and Harvey Weinstein, and immediately backpedals. The second half of the article is basically “I know these cishet men are violent sexual predators, but we can’t blame them for that. Blaming cishet men for their own actions isn’t going to address our real problem, which is… trans women!”

Yeah. You read me right. JK Rowling openly liked an article about how we can’t blame actual men for their crimes, but we have to pin it on trans women who are just trying to use a g-ddamn bathroom. And this isn’t the only instance of her transphobia either:

Look, I get it. Choosing a character’s gender can be difficult (especially when you believe in strict gender roles and still think there are only two genders). But did she have to involve a crack at the character’s genitalia? Especially when you consider how much she writes about underage characters? JFC that’s horrifying in context. But it gets worse…

There’s two major things wrong with this image. We’ll take them in reverse chronological order.
First, let’s look at her sarcastic reply to the second writer: “Tell me about it, sister. I mean brother. No sister.” Hahaha, because purposefully misgendering others is the height of comedy, am I right(wing)?
Second, because this one is actually the worst thing I’ve seen all day, look at the first writer she’s replying to, Dan Hodges. Notice anything interesting about his name?

That’s an echo. For those unfamiliar, the (((echo))) began as a way for anti-Semites to point out what people or ideas in a list were Jewish. It’s not like a star of David, which began as a sacred symbol, was turned into a hate symbol, and then reclaimed; this was explicitly created as a way to single out Jewish people and target them. The echo is most common on twitter, where anti-Semites will put an ironic echo around their own names to show that they are either not Jewish or are opposed to their ideals. Putting an echo around your name is about one step above putting “14/88”, “blood and soil”, or “(insert predominantly white country, usually America) first” in your bio. It’s sick and horrifying and the fact that JK is just sitting down having a pleasant chat with him proves that she doesn’t care.

In summary JK Rowling is ableist, transphobic, antisemitic, and the peak of white feminism.

Crybaby

Pairing: Daniel Howell & Amazing Phil (Phan)

Genre: ANGST, fluff & a little bit of Smut, Daddy!kink/Little!space

Word Count: 5500

Warnings: Explicit Language, Sexual Content

Summary: Dan cries, a lot. And Phil really can’t understand anything other than in the days past, Dan’s been nothing but whiny, sad and unpredictable. Quickly, predictability is soon thrown out the window all together, when Dan makes an odd request for something he sees in the supermarket. Then it’s only interesting from there. 

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On Prompto

So this cave-dude I know recently called Prompto a ‘pussy’. Delightful, right? But then I’ve also noticed lately this weird tendency in fics to reduce Prompto to (and reinforce his character as) this emotionally weak, almost ‘frightened bunny’ trope, even bordering on actual childishness at times. Now, these are in fact two different issues in the end, yet the overlap is considerable, when you think about it. And I just…

Whaaaat?!

While I recognise and absolutely support all fic writers and such in their right to do whatever the hell they want (Please do! You are valued, and our fandom needs you!), I just…maaaaan. Sometimes I just have to gently shake my head when it comes to some characterisations of our boy Prom.

Now I totally get that AU’s are a thing, as well as personal perspectives. Like, in my head, Prompto can have a pretty bad potty mouth, and regularly drops those f-bombs, and you can totally disagree with me, which is a beautiful thing. Also, if you follow this blog you have definitely seen me tag Prompto as a ‘smol cinnamon bun’, in need of protection ‘at all costs’ and blah blah blah (this is largely meme-based, because I subsist on Diet Coke and memes- I digress). 

But it’s honestly the layered essence of what makes this character who he is, the many elements written into and played out in the canon, that make him so appealing to me, personally. To see him essentially reduced to a caricature of himself, a distilled version of everything he is that just sort of latches onto this ‘he’s the baby and the smallest, the most caring and therefore the weakest’ idea, just feels so off the mark. And it makes me kind of sad, you know? 

Let it be known right off the bat that I’m obviously by no means claiming to be some sort of FINAL WORD ON PROMPTO or anything so ridiculous. Neither is this some sort of ‘call out’ on any particular writing or portrayal, at all. I can’t abide by that shit. 

I just feel like talking about how I see Prompto, I guess?  

In all honesty, the Prompto I experienced in the game, as well as in the anime, and audio drama, was anything but weak, and anything but childish. He was always, right from the start, very much the backbone of the Chocobros’ group, the one voicing what everyone was thinking, easing their tension and swallowing his self-doubt to strive to be the best he could be for his friends, like he’s always done. 

Originally posted by gladios-booty-sweat

He got this.

Prompto literally escaped/was rescued from/was vaguely aware of at least, a mysterious and probably terrifying early history, and then proceeded to face a lot of bullshit when he was growing up- at home, with frequently absent parents who left him often to his own devices, as well as at school, where he was closed off from and largely ignored by the other kids. This all could have resulted in a really timid, emotionally fragile or ‘weak’ character, but the fact is… it didn’t? He grew up independent and actually pretty capable of caring for himself, not to mention totally self-taught when it came to interacting with others (thank you for the vote of confidence, Luna). He also grew up with a compassionate streak a mile wide. 

I won’t get too into my thoughts on this idea in particular because this post is already massive, and to discuss patriarchal conventions (the aforementioned use of the word ‘pussy’ in this context), not to mention strength vs. resilience on top of it would just get out of hand. I will say this: we can all stand to remember that compassion does not equal weakness.

Prompto was afraid a lot, sure- they all were, obviously- but he was also brave as fuck. If bravery means to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’, then Prompto’s a master. He’s been practising his entire life, after all.  

Prompto was always there, right? This ever present force for good, supporting his friends and their goals, to the bitter end. He was there, thinking and acting on the fly during the Leviathan ritual, which was obviously a horrific ordeal even before its conclusion. He was ever at the ready to see things from all sides, like when Ignis was injured and all hell broke loose between the less-capable, (emotionally-speaking) Gladio and Noct. He was even there, ready to offer a taste of his usual, cheery self when they were all together for the very last time, even if it was clearly breaking his heart. 

Heyas.

And yeah he’d kid around, make silly jokes (interestingly, it seems, especially during situations of high tension or uncertainty on the part of his friends, like deep in the depths of some mind-boggling ruins or when facing the prospect of ‘hey, we are actually going to go to Altissia now- oh holy fuck!’). But he was also so very capable of adult conversation, especially when it came to his feelings, which we saw several times throughout the canon- a sure sign of real maturity if ever there was one, in my opinion. 

The fact is, Prompto’s fear isn’t who he is, and neither is his small physical stature nor his big heart. Rather, his actions and choices in the face of all of that make up the person he is. (Like anyone, right?). He is no caricature for cute, nor for weak or timid or scared. And I for one want to see more about that guy, in all his multifaceted, achingly resilient, freckle-faced glory. 

And don’t fucking call me ‘pussy’, dude. 

Aliens and D&D

So I’ve been thinking a lot about how weird humans are, and one thing that stuck out to me was our ability to temporarily “be” someone else. But like, not acting per se, just some good old tabletop role-playing games. So here’s a short story about some aliens and D&D.

——

Life was pretty boring aboard the Simiks-fel, especially to the humans on the cruiser-class Ketch. In total, there were four humans on the ship, all of whom were crew members. There was Luna, a mechanic who maintained the various non-ship machines, like the cleaning bots (including Quartermaster Stabby); Sergei, an engineer stationed in one of the many circuit breaker rooms; Madi, a psychiatrist in the medical bay; and Mark, who worked in Crew Management. All of them knew each other, and had become friends with each other, despite their different jobs and backgrounds. It was during one of the longer voyages that Mark suggested that they get together when their schedules aligned and play some Dungeons and Dragons, to which they all agreed. He did mention that it wouldn’t be actual D&D, but a different tabletop RPG; but called it D&D since that was more easily understood.

The humans had set up shop in one of the crew commons. It was a rather spacious room with tables and couches and various forms of entertainment from televisions to a billiards table (suggested by Sergei). Everyone was making their characters, with Mark instructing all of them how to do so and answering various questions.

Shirska, one of the Yleksin crew members, walked into the crew commons, not really paying too much attention to what was happening. As an Yleksin, he had four arms and two legs, with semi-rough skin resembling Terran reptiles, and a thick mane that covered the top of his head and back of his neck with long but surprisingly soft russet hair. He made his way over to the pseudo-kitchen and began digging through the cabinets for a snack.

“Alright. We all ready?” Mark asked. He was met by a chorus of affirmative answers from the other three.

“Cool. All of you are in a tavern in a small town called Wolfhelm. It’s a pretty nice place called Bob’s Inn, and it’s about sunset right now. Kolvar, where are you in this tavern?” Mark said.

“I’m at the bar sipping on ale,” Sergei replied.

Shirska perked up and looked over at the humans. Why did one just refer to another by a name that wasn’t correct?

“Wren, where are you in this tavern?” Mark asked.

“I’m also at the bar sipping ale,” Madi replied.

“Tara, where are you?” Mark asked.

“I’m in one of the corner booths watching everyone,” Luna replied.

“Excuse me, human-Mark,” Shirska interjected, “why are you calling your fellow humans by names that are not their own?”

“We’re playing a game called Dungeons and Dragons,” Mark answered. “I am calling them by their characters’ names. It helps with immersion in the game.”

“How do you mean?” Shirska asked.

Mark elaborated further, “So Sergei here is playing a character named Kolvar, who is an elf. By calling Sergei Kolvar, Sergei can better get into the mindset of Kolvar. For the duration of the game, he is Kolvar.”

“Would you mind if I observe?” Shirska inquired, placing a hand on an empty chair at the table.

“Go for it, dude,” Madi said, the rest of the humans agreeing.

Shirska sat down at the table, and Mark continued. “So, there is a pair of Guards in the tavern. They seem to be talking to each other about something or other, and one of them seems pretty shifty.”

“I roll Initiative to eavesdrop,” Luna said, picking up her dice and rolling them along the table. “I believe that’s a plus one? So three.”

“You overhear them talking about a wolf attack. You glean that nobody got hurt, but the trade route that goes through this town has to close down until the wolf attacks die down.”

“I’m going to go over to the guards and ask them about the wolf attacks,” Luna said.

“Do I hear any of this?” asked Madi.

“You two do not,” Mark said to her and Sergei.

“Excuse me,” Shirska interjected politely, “why did they not hear that? Clearly they heard you tell human-Luna about the wolves.”

“Yes, Sergei and Madi heard about the wolves,” Mark answered patiently, “but Kolvar and Wren, the characters, did not.”

“I am having a hard time with this… How is there a distinction between human-Sergei and this ‘Kolvar’?” Shirska asked.

“So this kind of game is called a tabletop role-playing game. In role-playing games, one plays a role of a character in the game. Each of these three have invented a character, complete with backstory, personality, and motives, and all of us are collectively agreeing upon the existence of these characters in this context,” Mark explained. “In short, they have to think and act like their character would and play the role of their character. So Madi and Sergei here have to ignore what they heard because their characters didn’t.”

“This game sounds very interesting. Would you mind if I joined you?” Shirska asked.

Madi, Sergei, and Luna all enthusiastically welcomed him, and Mark smiled wickedly.

But like at the same time, Christians who have certain jobs need to throttle back at work because for real it gives me hives being told “Have a blessed day!” by someone like a receptionist at a doctor’s office. It happened today and while she was super-sweet and very obviously genuine (in context, I think she was actually trying to make me feel safe) it was still one of those “…welp…” moments.  I’d just told her two minutes before that my girlfriend would be coming to the appointment with me.  My cat was out of the bag, no takesie-backsies.

Christians have a very nasty track record with violence and obstruction against LGBT people like me, so I suddenly am aware that there are people around who might hate people like me, and they have the ability to make my getting medical care difficult or even impossible.

I get that even if they didn’t SAY it, they would still have the same biases, but I don’t have much choice in who I see, so I’d be stuck with them regardless, and I’d rather not have the anxiety of worrying about it.  My other choice is not disclosing that I’m queer if it comes up, and even when not saying anything about it is an option, which it often isn’t, it’s not one I’m willing to take.  I have to choose between being safe and being honest, and that’s shitty.

It can be hard to imagine, I think, for Christian people, what it’s like to be afraid like that, because to Christians, Christianity is a great thing and Christians are great people.

But like the first psych doctor they wanted to send me to for my disability reevaluation worked out of a Christian therapy office (okay) and their clinic policy was “gay people are against God.” (Not okay at all.)

My disability eval was going to be performed by a dude who was comfortable telling children they are wrong to be gay.

I called up the disability office the day I got the letter and got another doctor to do the eval. Thank goodness they were willing to reassign my case after I told them there was “a potential conflict of interest that might threaten the doctor’s impartiality.”  Thank goodness I had the spoons to make the call and the presence of mind to phrase my issue the way I did instead of just yelling “MOVE I’M GAY.”

I mean, y’all understand, I could have gotten my benefits yanked if I’d gone in there and they’d taken a dislike to me based on the fact that I’m not cishet.  Legal protections aside, there is no impartial third party monitoring that appointment, and they have total control over what goes on their paperwork. There is literally nothing keeping them from recommending I be denied.  For disabled people, legal protections are only effective to the extent we can afford to enforce the law with our own money. Money that, if you are on disability, you obviously do not have.

Without my benefits, especially medical coverage, I cannot survive.  So like.

Yeah.

A lot is riding on the goodwill of people who have been shown to historically have very little goodwill for people like me. I don’t like being reminded of it.

Y’all are cool, I love y’all so so so much, but y’all are also really fucking scary in large groups, and when one of y’all has power over me, I never know whether I can trust you and that shit is scary.

Fucking police your own, thanks.

anonymous asked:

I saw last time you played Dream Daddy..! :o How was it? What do you think of the game? I love your blog btw!

Thanks! Hmm, well I could analyze the good and the bad of the game without taking its popularity and the way it was released and marketed into account but if I don’t do that I think it’s gonna be half my critique. Is Dream Daddy a good game? Perhaps. Is Dream Daddy deserving of its popularity and ratings? No. At all. I don’t want to be negative about it and this isn’t a hate post or anything, it’s just the things that really bothered me. Believe me, I was super pumped for the game. Like, legit, I WAS DRINKING CHAMPAIGN WHILE I STARTED PLAYING IT. And all was well and good but then, it went downhill. 

1) The game has 0 length. Like, I literally finished playing it in 2-3 hours, WITH breaks. Yes, I only played Craig’s route (Craig is cool btw) but this is a DATING SIM right? So, it HAS to be sufficient and has to be long even if the player just plays ONE character route. Because people are like “no it is pretty big”. It isn’t. Not everyone is going to play ALL THE ROUTES just so as to feel like they played Dream Daddy ‘a lot’. A dating sim game, cause that is what it claims to be, should NOT be valued by the sum of the time spent on ALL ROUTES, but just INDIVIDUAL character routes. 

2) The sprites were very nice and I loved them. The backgrounds HOWEVER were actually lacking. Again, the background is fine, but it is lacking in the CONTEXT cause Dream Daddy is supposedly a good game. Look at this: 

The background is literally some plain line art with some flat colors. No shading, no nothing. Yeah it looks good but cmon. Do you know how quickly a good artist can draw this? Very. Do not forget I am here to defend all Visual Novels and Dating Sims cause I really am a fan of the genre. And I am only making this critique in comparison to the ‘standard’, ok? HELL, even HATOFUL BOYFRIEND had better background art 

AND THIS IS A PIGEON DATING SIM IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW.

3) This is an addition to my saltiness about the lack of art, cause literally the ONLY ART FOR THIS GAME was the 1) Sprites, 2) Backgrounds AND 3) Those picture thingies you would get as a bonus for finishing the game/ a character route. Honestly. For people who are not familiar with visual novels and dating sims, this is LACKING at best. Most visual novels of this kind have art for important scenes and if not they at least HAVE ONE FOR AN ENDING SCENE. But not Dream Daddy of course. I literally was sleeping next to Craig and we had the whole confession thing happening inside a tent in the woods or smth and there. Was. No. Image. Anyways you get my point. Moving on,

4) The background sound was straight up bad. Not the songs themselves but the whole tuning and looping was horrid. Like, the different tracks were on different volumes and some would like stop and then start again without making the looping discreet or anything. I VIVIDLY remember my ears dying when I was in a forest with Craig and the ‘forest sound’ was so overly loud (and of course you could not hear Craig’s casual “ah”s at all). Man the sound was a mess.

5) Rushed, poor and Rushed once more. The characters were interesting and the setting and concept was good, I give you that, but the way they handled the plot and DELIVERED it however… Again there wasn’t any length to it and the writing could have been more detailed. Even in important scenes, there wasn’t much to be said. It honestly felt like they just wanted to get it over with. And honestly the plot was kinda flat. Like yeah ok we went on some dates or smth (with DADBOOk,,, ok uh huh)(they obviously couldn’t make it somehow linearly connected through the story and had to use such an easy way of doing routes cause that would basically mean a lot of work to make)(once again) and you’d get the casual heartbeat and nice smooth talking and jokes but that was it. The plot was average anyways. I guess the part with the teddy bear and the devil children dissecting it was a fun twist tho haha. 

Anyways! I am not really a person who rants or anything like that, and I am not AGAINST this game or anything. I still liked the game. I just had to speak the truth and say how it felt for me, especially with a successful game like this, since, in this genre of Dating Sims and Visual Novels, it’s very difficult to achieve such success or be advertised as much, and I am just trying to be just about this. A lot of people put so much EXTREME work into these games and they pour their soul into it, and achieve better quality, and it is just a shame that a game like this would be elevated and be called a ‘masterpiece’ when it was honestly a rushed game without much put into it besides some good ideas and a few interesting characters combined with a very talented sprite artist. 

Character Analysis: Holly Blue Agate

Anonymous said:
what were your thoughts on holly blue?

I’ll keep the introduction short for this post. Holly Blue is the second Homeworld character introduced affiliated with Homeworld and a specific Diamond. The first character was Peridot. While the Rubies openly talk about their service to Yellow Diamond, they don’t share the deep investment that Holly Blue and Peridot have shown in the story.

It’s interesting looking at her character knowing what we do about Peridot now. So let’s get right into it!

1. Gem Placement

Anonymous said:
What do you suppose Holly Blue Agate’s gem placement (the back of her head, at the base of her skull) symbolizes?

Going by anatomy, the back of the skull is where the occipital lobe of the brain is located. The occipital lobe functions not necessarily to let us see, but to help us make sense of what we’re seeing. That is, the occipital lobe helps us interpret and comprehend the images that our eyes are looking at.

And to me, there’s something interesting about every single moment we get to see Holly Blue’s gem in Gem Heist, when she’s first introduced. In those moments, she sees the CGs just as they’re doing something they’re not supposed to do, and each time, she misinterprets what happens and they don’t get caught.

The very first time we see her gem is when the CGs just arrive and try to convince the Amethysts of their credibility. That Sapphire isn’t a “disgraced” Homeworld defector and that she’s the leader of the entire operation bringing a new human for Blue Diamond’s Zoo. Holly Blue buys into this narrative completely and leads them exactly where they want to go.

The second time is immediately after Pearl is ordered to open the first door. Pearl makes a very un-Pearl face at Holly, who, with back turned, ignores it unknowingly, saving Pearl and Sapphire what could have been a heated questioning.

The third time, she and Sapphire walk in on the other CGs trying to destroy the door. And they look so obviously guilty, but Holly blames it on the Amethysts instead. 

Close to the end of the episode, we have one more shot of her gem as the Amethysts take Steven away and he’s very loudly resisting. We know that’s a sign of the upturn that Steven causes later on, but Holly interprets it as a sign that things are running smoothly and going to be fine.

Note that none of these circumstances immediately signal to Holly that things are going wrong. The Zoo is a far off outpost that has been very low-key. Working there must be very quiet, save the occasional visit from BD. Holly wouldn’t be expecting trouble and that tinges the way she processes what goes on around her.

I’d say on a normal day, the Famethyst pulls a few pranks, Holly makes them clean up and then they train for a while. Holly goes around inspecting everything. And it’s boring. So when a noble gem shows up, Holly wants things to be the best they can be.

It’s a point in how our contexts tinge how we interpret what our senses tell us. In experiencing the world, there is definitely going to be an element of subjectivity. No two people experience the same scenario the same way because just from a physical standpoint, they’re never really in the same place at the same time.

I think this is especially true for Holly. Her gem, which I’ve mentioned before gives us an idea of how gems interact with the world, is behind her. That means she wants to be on top of everything, but she doesn’t face things directly when interacting with them. She’s always just a little bit behind on what’s going on.

Additionally, we’ve already seen a discrepancy between what she sees and what she makes of it. It implies that she’s out of touch with what’s happening on the ground. Extending it further, she’s a bit out of touch with herself. Functioning at her best, I’d say she’d be very perceptive. But that “gut feeling” has to be cultivated.

And being out of touch is a very real phenomenon. Holly is in the middle of nowhere. She doesn’t get to interact with a lot of gems and the gems she does interact with are ones she’s been with for thousands of years from very early on in their lives.

I’d say that she’s amazing at telling what the Famethyst are up to. She’s always suspicious of them, and that’s maybe because they’ve given her a reason to believe something is always brewing. If the mischievous character of our own Amethyst is anything to go by, poking fun at Holly’s uptight nature is something they’d be doing very frequently, even before the CGs came. 

Holly can probably tell what the Famethyst are plotting even at a glance. She’s attuned to them, whether she wants to be or not. And that leads to the next point.

2. Position on Homeworld

Keep reading

Mapmaking Part 1

So you want to make a custom map! Pylon Bina here to lend their (hopeful) expertise on the matter.

Mapmaking is a great way to add physical context to your stories. Knowing where people are in relation to the world around them helps readers follow along the journey more accurately, ESPECIALLY if there are lots of events happening far away from each other. Tolkein’s books include maps to get you oriented around Middle Earth while multiple plotlines were happening, and C.S. Lewis had maps of Narnia and the surrounding countries so that “Calormen” and “Ettinmoor” weren’t just vague concepts to the reader.

Mapmaking is also a great mental exercise that brings together a lot of general knowledge, and will get you thinking about how your world works. By the end of mapping your world, you’ll have a much better grasp of your setting. Not to mention it’s an indispensable reference!

So, this tutorial will cover the all the different scales that you might need. Some of these are related and will be grouped together: world/region/country maps, and city/town maps. Since the tutorials are image-heavy, they won’t both be put together in this post, but linked separately.



Mapmaking Part 1a: Large-scale maps

Here we’ll go through the process of creating a large-scale map. All steps will be listed in order, but not all steps apply to the kind of map you want. For example, if you’re focusing on a country or province, skip the step about picking a map projection (unless your country is absolutely enormous).

STEP 0: STYLE

This isn’t really a necessary step for the beginning, but it’s best to think about it early. What kind of look are you going for? An old, parchment-style map? Something sleek and as informative as possible? Is it a reference only for you, or would you include it with your published material? The maps I’ll use for the tutorial are the old-looking parchment ones.

STEP 1: SET UP THE MAP

If you’re drawing a world map, you might consider picking a map projection. This gives you a border to draw in and adds some realism to your map. There’s a wikipedia page on map projections to look at (HERE). There’s some crazy ones out there. I went with the Winkel-Tripel projection (fun fact, National Geographic uses this projection for their all-world maps).

Then decide: How many continents? Do you have a Pangea thing going on? Or do you have 5-6 major land masses like Earth does? Is it all islands?

STEP 2: DRAFTING BORDERS

This is the fun part and most creative part, really. Here you’ll choose the location and general shape of your borders/landmasses. They might be the continent’s coastal boundary, or it could be a political border. Keep in mind that political boundaries have way more regularities in them than coastal boundaries do (for example, the boundary between the US and Canada has a long smooth portion in it).

Choose your shapes. They can be super vague, just get the general idea down. Consider completely random objects for inspiration if you want more irregularly-shaped landmasses/countries. Lumpy horse head? Rooster tail? Saggy boot? Go nuts. Here I used a lumpy upside-down arrowhead shape.

Special note on political borders: A lot of the time, political boundaries follow meridians/parallels (resulting in a smooth border), or natural formations such as rivers and mountain ranges. Keep this in mind when drafting.

STEP 3 (optional): REFINE SHAPES

If you feel your shape isn’t distinct enough, take your time and refine it. Add notches, lumps, carve chunks out of the edges, anything you want, until you’re happy with the overall shape. For inspiration, look at a real-world map and look at just how irregular and weird some countries/continents are in their shape. Don’t be scared to make something crazy! I mean, look at the broken-ness of northern Canada. Or the intense squiggles of Greenland. The thin-ness of Chile. Lots of weird stuff irl to remind you just how flexible you can be.

STEP 4: LINING (AND EMBRACING RANDOMNESS)

Ahh, the fun part. And the part that might take the longest. Lining/inking! If you don’t have steady hands or worry about making smooth lines, don’t fret! Coastlines (and to a certain degree, political boundaries) are filled with some shaky random nonsense. To get a border that really feels real, embrace that randomness and don’t bother with a steady hand. I purposefully let my hand shake and twitch to get that proper randomness. Make sure that you enlarge your sketch to be properly big enough for your map.

Note how I deviated from my sketch all over the place. The sketch is really just to give you an idea. I encourage straying from it when you want more interesting borders. I also added some random islands nearby.

STEP 5: MAJOR LAND FEATURES

Before you put your cities down, you need to get the lay of the land. Are there mountains? Rivers? Lakes? Deserts? Forests? If you have a climate already planned, reflect that on your map. You can either include them on your final map, or have it in a sketch somewhere (or on an extra layer in your art program) just so you know. Reference real world maps for help.

To actually draw these things, check out their representations on real maps or fantasy maps. It might be sections of color, different textures, or you can get artsy and throw down some triangles for mountains, clustered circles/scribbles for forests, etc. Just so long as anyone looking at the map can easily tell what’s what. !!! Include a map key if you have to !!!

Consider this: Lots of land features work in tandem. Rivers can originate from mountains. Air currents mean a forest might be on one side of a mountain range but not on the other.  All rivers end in the ocean. All rivers flow downhill! Mountain ranges are BIG. Does a mountain range cut through multiple countries/continents?

Also consider: Do any land features make up a border to your country (if applicable?) Rivers are great for political boundaries.


This has been the first part of making a custom map; stay tuned for the second part (in which pylon Bina goes into adding the civilization part to your new landmasses) coming soon!

I was talking about it on my twitter the other night but the reply on this post helps put into perspective of the point I was trying to get at, so i’m going to reiterate it here now that I have a clearer understanding of what i was trying to say:

I know a lot of SP fans have been anticipating when we get to see stuff like Craig and Tweek kiss or have more expressions of physical affection for each other to validate to the audience their love for each other, and don’t get me wrong, while I’d be more than thrilled to see that in canon too, I was thinking about the fact that I personally don’t feel a need to see it nor do I expect it?
I’m not watching South Park episodes banking on “when are they going to have an episode where Craig and Tweek kiss” and I don’t really get torn up when I see them not sitting next to each other in the background of new episodes and so forth, and think there’s a couple of reasons for that. 

One being I feel like it doesn’t really match up with the storytelling style of the show. The way South Park tends to portray relationships between the kids was never really built on seeing tons of physical puppy love affection from them unless there is a specific reason to (In the case with Heidi and Cartman it was to contrast how out of character that feels for him, and that relationship went to shit pretty fast anyways), and honestly, the show has already given us way more than I would have ever dreamed possible for a ship like Creek to get. I mean, they get a whole episode about learning how to communicate and a huge focus in the new game. 

Then the other reason is because Craig and Tweek’s relationship is written so explicitly in showing that they are together, you don’t really, need to see that to validate the fact that they love and care about each other? I think a lot of fans are waiting for them to have some magical kiss or whatever to prove they are in love, but what’s interesting about the show is like the comment in the post I linked above stated, Matt and Trey did completely skip the puppy love part of a relationship in writing Craig and Tweek and jump right into the parts that really show how much you love someone in the more subtle but powerful ways. Not only that but it seems that they use idea of people wanting to see the two be affectionate as the specific thing they parody, via the yaoi art, etc. which matches up because most of the fans create their own content to indulge in that aspect of their relationship. 

Due to that I feel like a lot of that side of their relationship is going to be kept framed in that yaoi art parody context. HOWEVER, that’s not necessarily a bad thing because if you are someone who isn’t familiar with this aspect of a relationship, it might go over one’s head, but the way Craig and Tweek’s relationship is written is with a huge focus on healthy communication and learning to work through problems and just being there for each other and supporting each other. This is all the stuff that comes into a relationship that will literally make or break it once you get past all the initial hand holding and kissing and cuddling fun part of it. It’s the part that requires all the actual work and really says how much do you care about this person and whether or not you are compatible in a healthy way. People are individuals and there will always be times where you will argue or fight with someone no matter how much you love them, and what matters is how those issues are handled.

The fact that this is the part of the relationship between Craig and Tweek that is focused on, especially from the standpoint of them actually working through their differences and wanting to be together says 1000x more about how much they really love each other than any on-screen kiss will. You don’t need to see them physically show how much they love each other because it’s literally all right there in how they interact with each other by creating a solid foundation that will allow them to stay together as a couple in the long run.

I find it super interesting that this is what the focus became for their canon relationship because not only is it just validating how GOOD of a relationship Craig and Tweek have, it’s also saying that people will always argue and have disagreements no matter what and this is what a real relationship takes, this is how two people learn to work through their differences to be together in a healthy way. It’s teaching a beautifully mature lesson about loving someone else (intentional or not, I’m at a loss) and it is a million times more validating in why I find Craig and Tweek’s relationship so satisfying as is and just a WONDERFUL portrayal of relationships on a bigger scale, not just in giving LGBT representation. 

Not to compare to SU, but I find Craig and Tweek’s relationship to be more powerful for relationship representation as a whole than say even Ruby and Sapphire’s relationship because even though they DO have on-screen kissing and cuddling, you don’t really get to see the characters exist outside of each other or work through relationship issues in a way that really shows who they are as individuals and what it is that builds their love for each other because they weren’t written to exist outside of each other. Ruby and Sapphire were written to be a relationship and in a way that flattens them as characters and makes it hard to see them beyond that. Meanwhile, Craig and Tweek were already solidly defined characters on their own so you know that they could easily break up and go off on their own narrative-wise because that’s how they were before, so the fact that they do work through their issues and stay together is so much more powerful and teaches so much more. 

The TLDR point: Craig and Tweek have such a wonderfully written relationship that you don’t really need to see puppy love or kissing from them to prove what is obviously already there, and that’s why I’m perfectly content just indulging in that part of their relationship in fandom instead of seeing it in canon because canon already gave us the most important and best part of a good relationship.