tis-better-to-reign-in-hell  asked:

I know the mainstay of your advice on such matters is basically to stop saying your life sucks and make your life look like what you need it to look like in order to be content with it, but what if a disability means I can never make my life look like what I need it to? What if I've spent years putting every effort into making myself happy with what I've got and fail every time? If I can't be happy in the position I'm in, and there's no way to get out, is suicide a valid option then? (3/4)

[cont’d] I simply cannot grow old counting all the things I cannot have, and I cannot make myself content with the things I do have and I am so tired of grieving what I’ve lost and missed out on. Help. (4/4)

Dear tis-better-to-reign-in-hell,

For starters, suicide is never the better option, full stop. Whatever is on the other side, I would rather have you on this side until you absolutely can’t be. Can we make a deal about that? Your story isn’t done yet.

When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be a writer, or a musician, or an artist. I was interested in all of those things as hobbies, but I had one concrete dream that burned so fast and so hard that it had to be a goal. Yes, it was competitive, and yes, it was difficult, but I liked both of those things about it. 

I wanted to be a fighter pilot.

I’ll let that sit in everyone’s minds for a moment now, and you can feel free to laugh at me if you want, because I don’t mind, I’m ridiculous. (joke: how do you know if there’s a pilot at your party? answer: they’ll tell you)(I should have been a pilot)

So I daydreamed and planned out this life for myself, and then, suddenly, my eye sight started to go. Not a little bit, like, oh dear child we should get you some spectacles. But like, um, let’s warn this child of the warning signs of imminent blindness. I went from whatever eyeballs are supposed to be to legally blind without correction in just a few years. I have a prescription that makes every new eye doctor scoot their chair back from the desk a little. If it gets any worse, they don’t make my sort of contact lenses for it anymore. 

My eyes, they’re not very good at being eyes.

For the longest time, I kept that calendar where I wrote down THE GREAT ANNAPOLIS LET DOWN the day I came back from the eye doctor with a prescription officially too bad to ever fly jets. 

You may have noticed that I am not a fighter pilot.

Yeah, I was crushed. Yeah, it was non negotiable. My body was and is never going to be able to fly jets. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find something that makes me feel the way flying jets was going to make me feel. I don’t mean in a “I’m traveling at 500 mph yay” way. I mean, what was it about flying jets that pleased me? Not on the surface. Deep down. What is flying jets a metaphor for? What does it mean to me?

For me it was about speed, of course, but it was also about usurping my way into a man’s world, and it was about feeling like I had a job that moved as fast as it possibly could, demanding all of my mental resources, and it was also about looking cool in aviator sunglasses.

I found a life that did that that didn’t have anything to do with flying a jet. It took awhile to get there, and I suffered from a significant failure of imagination when I first got dealt that blow of blindness. I don’t know what your disability is, but I believe in your imagination to find you a life that feels the same way as the one you want now. 

And when you figure it out, shoot me a letter and let me know you got there. Remember that we have a deal.



You know what Danny Phantom would’ve really benefited from? Story arcs.

The episodic structure of the show isn’t in and of itself a problem. There are plenty of shows out there that make it work. Even shows that tell more overarching stories are often built from smaller stories. One of the biggest problems with Danny Phantom, though, is that it never takes the time to complete a story.

Every episode tries to resolve all the problems introduced in it by the time the credits roll. Episodes will sometimes leave plot threads hanging, but they aren’t always addressed later. Even when they are, it’s not always going to be a satisfying payoff.

This problem is most evident in the double length episodes. I do love Reign Storm. It wrapped itself up the best out of all the double length episodes. However, it did have some open ends that were never covered in later episodes. We never found out what Vlad’s pact with the Fright Knight was. We never saw exactly what his plans were with the ecto-skeleton. Even Valerie’s character was left hanging until Flirting With Disaster. The Ultimate Enemy put her story on hold to tell a different one.

Personally, I find The Ultimate Enemy and Reality Trip to be the worst offenders of this. Both episodes tell stories that affect almost every character. The Ultimate Enemy drastically changed the ghosts, showed a world in ruin, and confirmed the deaths of multiple characters. Reality Trip revealed Danny’s secret, which should’ve gotten a reaction from everyone. Vlad and Valerie, two characters who would be more affected than most by this, don’t even appear.

I’ve complained many times that TUE should’ve had more buildup and payoff, and I stand by that. Had the episode been a mid-season finale or even a season finale, it would’ve had more time to say what it wanted to. Even more than that, though, I wish TUE had been a story arc.

Imagine if TUE and Reality Trip had three or even four episodes to tell their stories. We could’ve seen the affect these circumstances had on more characters. There could’ve been more time to wrap things up.

Imagine if TUE introduced us to the future bit by bit. Imagine if we got to see more of Valerie and Damon’s resistance. Imagine seeing the ghosts banding together to try and fight one of the most powerful, evil ghosts in history.

I know this discussion is pretty much nothing but me complaining, and I’ve made many of these points before. It’s such a significant problem that I can’t let it go, though. There is so much wasted potential in this show, and a lot of these problems could’ve been fixed simply by giving the stories more time. You don’t need to finish a story in one episode. You don’t even need to finish it in two. There are shows that tell one long story over the entirety of its run.

I still believe TUE suffered the most from this problem. There needed to be more time between it and Reign Storm, and more time to tell its own story. I’ve regurgitated points enough by now, though. I’ll leave it at that. I still have an actual plot discussion and analysis to do.


Tʜᴇ Sʜɪᴇʟᴅ 2017

“Yᵒᵘ ᵇᵉᵃᵗ ᵘˢ ᵘᵖ, ʸᵒᵘ ˡᵉᵃᵛᵉ ᵘˢ ˡᵃʸᶦⁿᵍ, ʸᵒᵘ ʰᶦᵗ ᵘˢ ʷᶦᵗʰ ᵃ ˢˡᵉᵈᵍᵉʰᵃᵐᵐᵉʳ ᶦⁿ ᵗʰᵉ ʰᵉᵃᵈ, ʷᵉ ʲᵘˢᵗ ᵈᵒⁿ'ᵗ ᶜᵃʳᵉ.”
 ⁻⁻⁻  ᴰᵉᵃⁿ ᴬᵐᵇʳᵒˢᵉ

  • Alex: Kara, you shouldn't be jealous of Reign. Remember, it's all about Lena being happy.
  • Kara: I'm not jealous. I'm envious. Jealousy is when you're worried someone will take what you have. Envy is wanting what someone else has. What I feel is envy.
  • Maggie: *looks through the dictionary* Hmm...wow. She's right.