young fanartists on this dreadful website are some of the most talented people on earth with more drive to experiment and push the boundaries of their work than most middle aged illustrators with actual jobs in the field who design the series these kids like

a 16 year old with a $20 tablet: pls send me color schemes to draw yr fav character with ☺️💕

30 year old man on artstation: i love. breasteses. and the color beige

Why We Need Stories about Dark Things

One of the things I get tired of from time to time is the perspective that if something shows evil behavior then that means the story, song, game, whatever, is inherently bad. But there is a difference between illustrating evil behavior and promoting it.

Not all appearances of bad behavior invite bad behavior.

While one purpose of storytelling is to entertain, another purpose is to teach or educate–a purpose that in today’s world, most people seem to have forgotten.

A long time ago, there used to be all sorts of horrific stories told. Open Grimms’ fairy tales, and you’ll see that Cinderella really isn’t that Disney-friendly. But often some of those older stories were meant to teach a lesson or scare children into behaving (that latter point is one I personally don’t condone). Horrific things happen in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon). We can often learn from these accounts, but some of them are simply a record of what happened (if you believe in that), whether you like the content or not. It is what it is. Conspiring incest, rape, slaughter, and even cannibalism can be found in scripture stories. In today’s world, most people have been conditioned to believe that stories are only meant to entertain. Or entertain and uplift.

Those two things are valid. But what I get tired of, though, is the perspective that all stories should be full of puppies and rainbows (yeah, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean), and that’s what we should be writing, and if a story is dark, it’s “bad” or lesser or … something.

The World Needs Stories about Dark Things

It’s important we write about what I call “the big and heavies”–rape, addiction, suicide, massacre, societal brainwashing, etc. And when I say “we,” I don’t mean specifically that you or I HAVE to; I mean “we” as in us, writers and creatives everywhere. The world needs creatives who delve into the big and heavies, and here’s why:

1. Stories provide a safe means to explore and discuss dark things

The big and heavies are vital to discuss for a healthy society. We shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to dark deeds. We should be turning the right eye to them. Literature offers a safe way to explore and discuss these issues. It offers some distance (because it’s usually a work of fiction) while simultaneously having the ability to offer closeness–empathy.

Also, fiction provides a type of lens to view these behaviors through. Speculative fiction might have a more exaggerated or symbolic lens, such as the fashion industry of Panem in The Hunger Games, or the discussion of pure bloods in Harry Potter. A lens lets us view the issues in a way that may emphasize certain points or give us a new perspective on them, and again, the distance can provide a bit of a “safe” buffer for readers. We aren’t talking about racism; we’re talking about magical blood–and we can have a whole discussion on it that correlates with issues seen in racism, and no one needs to feel uncomfortable because this is about wizarding blood. Even realistic fiction provides a perspective, though less exaggerated, to see these issues through.

2. Powerful, emotional ramification drives home a point or idea or lesson.

Unlike reading text books or the news, fiction writing often works off making the audience feel something. It appeals to emotional experience, even more than intellectual experience. It is one of the only mediums where we can put on the skin and thoughts of another person.

In parts of society, we try hard to divorce intellect and emotion, but powerful emotional experiences are often what cement ideas and lessons into our minds. Back in the day, fathers used to take their children out to their property line and beat them so that the child would never forget where the property line was. We’ve seen similar conditioning with training wild animals. Both are crude examples, of course, but the emotional experience drove home the lesson. While negative emotions are powerful, this same thing can happen with strong positive emotions. We remember powerful feelings of happiness and of love, and if there are any lessons or insights associated with those, we recall those too.

In fiction, emotional experiences can drive home powerful lessons. And they stick with the audience.

Strong emotional experiences in fiction amplify the conceptual ramifications of dark deeds, and cements into the reader the weight of such behavior, in a way that pure intellect cannot. Once we “experience” an issue, we care more about it. Fiction is a vehicle that allows us to develop and fine-tune our empathetic skills, so we can better understand and relate to those who’ve dealt with such issues.

3. Explore, cognitively, the causes, consequences, and facets of the big and heavies

In the real world, we live our own lives in our own perspectives, and that’s it. In literature, you can include several perspectives of those involved with an issue. You can often see the issue’s causes, consequences, and facets to a degree you may not in your own life. You can see far-reaching effects in a matter of hundreds of pages, rather than decades or hundreds of years. This opens up new ideas, new perspectives on the topic, which leads to more discussion.

4. To provide hope and uplift, in spite of darkness. To overcome.

I sometimes see this weird idea that an uplifting story needs to not cross some invisible line too far into the dark. In some ways, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve had friends come up to me and talk about how they’re disappointed that the stories got darker and darker. Maybe I’m weird (okay, there’s no “maybe” about it), but I like that. I like stories getting dark. I like when they get darker and darker. I like my evil, evil. I want the Voldemort who tries to possess Harry to get Dumbledore to kill him. I want the Voldemort who tortured animals as a small child and who murdered others to split his soul into seven pieces. The world is often an evil place. And how much more powerful is it to overcome the bowels of the most wicked, than it is to overcome a guy who shoplifted? I like my evil, evil. Not because I want to be part of the dark, but because I like seeing people overcome it.

A story that includes dark materials can be just as uplifting, if not more uplifting (because of the contrast) than a story that doesn’t. The idea that a story can’t be dark and inspiring is just unfounded.

Every Christmas season, I become a fan of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra all over again. If you’ve never heard of them, you may still recognize some of their most iconic Christmas songs, some of which have gone viral on synchronized Christmas light videos.

What many people might not realize is that each of their Christmas albums actual tells, and comes with, a written story. If you see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live, they will read the story to you bits at a time, interspersed with music. But not all their stories are about happy sleigh rides, warm fires, Christmas hams, and decorated trees. There are parents who abandoned their disabled children, babies born addicted to crack, love that has been lost. But the stories and albums are uplifting, not because the creators avoided dark subject matter, but because they illustrated the power of overcoming–overcoming difficult times and personal mistakes. It’s hard to make it through one of their performances with a dry eye through the whole thing.

5. To render reality–others’ reality or your own

But some stories aren’t necessarily meant to be about overcoming the dark or inspiring an audience. Some stories are just about reality. Human nature. The natural man. Experiences that people actually go through. Some stories are simply meant to render, often for reasons 1-3. It’s a statement. It’s meant to create social awareness, empathy. Maybe it’s meant to start a discussion. Those stories need to exist too.

Closing Thoughts

Keep in mind that many audiences only see stories strictly as mediums for entertainment and, on a subconscious level, a reinforcement of a positive, maybe even sugary, feelings and ideas. Those audiences may (on a subconscious level) refuse anything that is otherwise, and consider any mention of the dark and heavies as something that shouldn’t be there. That is their right.

And in some cases, they are correct. Some stories do not need and should not have dark content. It doesn’t serve the purpose of the story, it messes up the tone of the story, and it can ruin what was already working. You wouldn’t, for example, put in a serious plot line in The Office about Pam being legitimately raped. It doesn’t fit.

And with all that said, you shouldn’t feel forced to write content you feel very uncomfortable writing. Your work should reflect the writerly you.

Next week, I’ll talk about how to write about dark things without promoting them.

You’ve probably heard a lot about our future filled with self-driving cars. In fact, they are already cruising the streets today. And while these cars will ultimately be safer and cleaner than their manual counterparts, they can’t completely avoid accidents altogether. How should the car be programmed if it encounters an unavoidable accident? In our TED-Ed Lesson, The ethical dilemma of self-driving cars, Patrick Lin navigates the murky ethics of self-driving cars.

Here’s an example for you to think about:

Let’s say there’s a motorcyclist wearing a helmet to your left and another one without a helmet to your right. Which one should your robot car crash into?

If you say the biker with the helmet because she’s more likely to survive, then aren’t you penalizing the responsible motorist? If, instead, you save the biker without the helmet because he’s acting irresponsibly, then you’ve gone way beyond the initial design principle about minimizing harm, and the robot car is now meting out street justice. 

The ethical considerations get more complicated here. In both of our scenarios, the underlying design is functioning as a targeting algorithm of sorts.2:44In other words, it’s systematically favoring or discriminating against a certain type of object to crash into. And the owners of the target vehicles will suffer the negative consequences of this algorithm through no fault of their own. 

Could it be the case that a random decision is still better than a predetermined one designed to minimize harm? And who should be making all of these decisions anyhow? Programmers? Companies? Governments? Reality may not play out exactly like our thought experiments, but that’s not the point. They’re designed to isolate and stress test our intuitions on ethics, just like science experiments do for the physical world. Spotting these moral hairpin turns now will help us maneuver the unfamiliar road of technology ethics, and allow us to cruise confidently and conscientiously into our brave new future. 

Check out the lesson here for more ethical quandaries to ponder.

Lesson by Patrick Lin

Animation by the ever-incredible Yukai Du


Porsche Unveils the Most Powerful 911 of All Time

The fastest and most powerful road-approved 911 is ready for launch: The new Porsche 911 GT2 RS will celebrate its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK (June 30 to July 2). At the heart of this high-performance sports car is a 515 kW (700 hp) biturbo flat engine. Weighing in at 1,470 kg with a full fuel tank, the lightweight two-seater accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. The rear-wheel drive Coupé has a top speed of 340 km/h, and with its near-motorsport drive technology, the new 911 GT2 RS trumps its 3.6-liter predecessor by 59 kW (80 hp) and achieves a torque of 750 Newton meters (an increase of 50 Nm).

The engine builds on that 3.8-liter in the 911 Turbo S at 427 kW (580 hp). In order to increase performance, large turbochargers push an increased volume of process air into the combustion chambers. A new additional cooling system delivers optimum cooling at peak loads and, at very high temperatures, sprays the charge-air cooler with water. This causes the gas temperature to fall in the overpressure range and ensures optimum power output, even under extreme conditions. The customized GT seven-speed double-clutch transmission (PDK) in the new GT2 RS enables power to be transferred with uninterrupted traction. What’s more, the specially developed exhaust system is made from extra-lightweight titanium, weighs around seven kilograms less than the system used in the 911 Turbo and delivers an emotional sound without precedent.

For the first time ever, Porsche Design is celebrating the debut of the high-performance sports car by releasing a special-issue watch. Offering a nod to the world of motorsport, the 911 GT2 RS watch is exclusively available to owners of the new vehicle and can only be ordered in conjunction with the new GT model at a Porsche Centre from June 30, 2017.

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Ferrari F40, 1987. Today, July 21, is the 30th anniversary of the official presentation of the F40 at the Civic Centre in Maranello, now home to the Ferrari Museum. Created to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, it was the last car “signed off” by founder Enzo Ferrari. 

Ferrari has gathered together the memories of three of its creators: Ermanno Bonfiglioli, then Head of Special Projects, Leonardo Fioravanti, a designer for Pininfarina, and test driver Dario Benuzzi.

Ermanno Bonfiglioli, who as Head of Special Projects was responsible for supercharged engines, has not forgotten the excitement of that 21 July: “I have never experienced a presentation like that of the F40. When the car was unveiled, a buzz passed through the room followed by thunderous applause. No one, except for close associates of Enzo Ferrari, had yet seen it. Indeed, the company had cloaked the development and testing of that car in unusual secrecy. And the surprise at such a stylistic leap was almost shock. The timeframe was also unusual, within the very short arc of 13 months, the chassis and bodywork moving ahead quickly and at the same pace as the powertrain. It was June 1986 when we began designing the engine of the project F 120 A. The 8-cylinder 478 hp twin-turbo was a derivative of the 288 GTO Evoluzione’s, but a number of innovative contents enabled the F40 to become the first production Ferrari to exceed 320 km/h. We paid maximum attention to the weight of the engine, thanks also to the extensive use of magnesium, such as oil sump, cylinder-head covers, intake manifolds, and gearbox bell-housing were in this material that cost five times as much as aluminium alloy and that was never used in such quantities in subsequent production cars. This is just a small example of this car’s "difference”.

Leonardo Fioravanti was a designer at Pininfarina when he was invited by Enzo Ferrari to Fiorano to try the 288 GTO Evoluzione: “when il Commendatore asked for my opinion on this experimental prototype, which due to regulatory issues never went into production, I didn’t hide my enthusiasm as an amateur driver for the incredible acceleration of its 650 hp. It was then that he first talked to me of his desire to produce a “true Ferrari”. We knew, as he knew, that it would be his last car. We threw ourselves headlong into the work. Extensive research at the wind tunnel went into aerodynamic optimisation, to achieve coefficients appropriate for the most powerful Ferrari road car ever. Its style matches its performance: the low bonnet with a very tiny overhang, the NACA air vents and the rear spoiler, which my colleague Aldo Brovarone placed at right angles, made it famous. If I had to point out one overriding reason for the success of the F40, I would say that its line succeeded in instantly transmitting the exceptionality of its technical content: speed, lightness, and performance.“

Dario Benuzzi, a Ferrari’s long-term test driver, participated in an arduous and meticulous testing job: "The handling of the first prototypes was poor. To tame the power of the engine and make it compatible with a road model, we needed to subject every aspect of the car to countless tests: from the turbochargers to the braking system, from the shock absorbers to the tyres. The result was an excellent aerodynamic load and high stability even at high speed. Another important aspect was the tubular steel frame with Kevlar reinforcement panels, which provides three times more torsional rigidity than that of other cars of the period, and a bodywork made mainly of composite materials that reduced weight to just 1100 kg. We obtained precisely the car we wanted, with few comforts and no compromises. With no power steering, power brakes or electronic devices, it demands the skill and commitment of the driver but generously repays it with a unique driving experience. Steering precision, road holding, braking power and intensity of acceleration reached unmatched levels for a road car.

anonymous asked:

Hello! Love your blog sweetie ~:) Could you make something like the boys of RFA teaching MC how to drive a car? I'd be so cute.<3


  • Ok… he is super nervous here. He doesn’t even feel confident driving himself, but now he has to teach his datemate to drive? HOLY MOLY he’s being rocketed into adulthood w a y too fast.
  • (on the other hand tho he’s really excited to show you how manly and responsible he can be, so he puts on a brave face so you feel comfortable relying on him)
  • The first days in the car go fine - but it’s just parking lot practice. Turning, stopping, starting - it’s all the basic stuff.
  • Yoosung is entirely content to keep going like this forever but you’re getting impatient.
  • you want to drive.
  • He takes you out of the city into the backroads and
  • don’t freak out Yoosung
  • don’t freak out
  • you have to turn and shit don’t freak out
  • He ends up thinking of this as a driving game he’s trying to teach you. It makes it easier - and his reaction time is really good from his hobbies, so when you inevitably make a mistake, it’s easy for him to catch the wheel and correct you.
  • His legs are shaking each time he gets out of the car, but he keeps that straight face on while it’s important… and your smile each time he says you’re getting better makes it worth it.


  • Zen’s the perfect teacher, except when he gets distracted checking himself out in the rear view mirror.
  • In fact, you’re doing so well… that you drop the real reason why you wanted Zen to be your vehicular mentor.
  • “Zen, I want to drive the motorcycle.”
  • no
  • WHY
  • because it’s dangerous!
  • but it’s so cool.
  • (Zen gets a nosebleed thinking about you on his motorcycle. You’re right it’d be cool.)
  • You’ve sat behind him enough times while on the motorcycle that you know what you want, and you end up getting it.
  • Zen realizes the first time he rides with you - with him sitting behind you - that he’s been missing out on so much, and ohhh yeah you’re really attractive right now.


  • Insists on teaching you in one of his super expensive babies. You are understandably nervous because what if you ruin his car, but nope, only the best for his main babe.
  • this gets you stopped by the police at least once.
  • “no officer i’m not drunk i’m just learning to drive”
  • He’s actually making tons of jokes to cover up his nervousness at teaching you to drive and eventually you’ve got to snap at him to christ please focus I need to pay attention.
  • Once you get more comfortable though it’s lots of fun and you look forward to it.
  • One day, you and Seven are at the mall and you find sunglasses studded with rhinestones and you’re like
  • babe
  • honey
  • we need those
  • So you and Seven start wearing matching sunglasses in the car. He puts the top down. You feel totally fly.


  • Calm, cool, professional - basically always feels 100% in control and she’s really comforting to have in the passenger seat.
  • Though, when other drivers are shitty to you for your inexperience she gets really salty
  • Like if you get honked at for going at the speed limit or for staying at a light too long she’s like
  • haha yeah eat a bag of walnuts and die pal
  • Hangs a nice chart of your driving practice/goals on the refrigerator to motivate you.
  • Keeps stress-chocolate in the glove compartment. Whenever you take driving breaks she gives you one because learning to drive is scary.
  • super supportive when you’re discouraged like
  • “Think of how free you’ll be, being able to drive.”
  • “We’ll be able to take that road trip you’ve always wanted now.”
  • “When I finally burn down Jumin’s house in a final act of defiance, we’ll be able to live on the road like a pair of western outlaws.”
  • wait what Jaehee
  • (Jaehee says that was a joke she doesn’t advocate for arson.)
  • Anyway yeah, Jaehee is a 10/10 teacher and if someone calls her for work while she’s out with you, she can tell them this is important h e c k off 



Okay, another prompt is here! Sorry for not updating sooner, it’s a long fic once again lol! It is sad, angsty (I was listening to a lot of Placebo while writing so yeah) and it turns hot and heavy close to the end but then some fluff concludes it; basically it has it all! :P
Warning for mentions of violence, mild language and sexual themes. I hope you like it darlings and you don’t mind that I combined your awesome prompt ideas! Thank you so much for requesting! And to the rest of you, enjoy! <3

A small summary to tie the three prompts together: After an abrupt break up, Betty is left broken and confused by Jughead’s sudden behavior. Once finding out that he had joined the infamous gang of their small town, the Southside Serpents, Betty sets her mind to sneak into their lair with the only way she knows best. Along with the help of a sudden ally that she comes across on the way, they vow to save Jughead’s soul at all costs. 

(The long dialog in italics is a flashback)

Stars hide your fires;

Let not light see my black and deep desires.

The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be

Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see…

The black velvet of yet another eerie night had spread over the small town of Riverdale, the otherwise picturesque scenery of the alight sky now fearful and pitch black, an ominous sign and a bloodcurdling setting. It coordinated with her jet leather attire, her raven hair and the ghastly temperament that oozed from the cold-blooded sound of heels against dirty and wet asphalt. “Stars hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires…” Every click of stiletto punctuated each word her mind whispered on a loop to the depths of her subconscious, green eyes shining deadly through the darkness, like those of a wolf in hunt for its prey.

If anyone were to run into her on the street, they wouldn’t recognize her; nothing tied her with the image of the nonpareil younger daughter of the Cooper clan. Betty Cooper was dead, locked in the comfort of lavender and chamomile amongst collared sweaters and preppy knitted cardigans. For how long it was yet to be decided but, for tonight, the golden-hearted girl that everyone left behind was put to sleep under the naivety of false ambition and hopeless dreams. Her alter ago was there to deal with the mess the tedious angelic spectrum of her character always seemed to make.

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Interview: Teloka Berry

Today we’re joined by Teloka Berry. Teloka is a phenomenally talented visual artist from Australia. She’s a digital artist and specializes in comics. She also does portraits, original characters, and fanart. Aside from that, Teloka also does crafts. It’s very clear that she’s an incredibly dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.


Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a digital artist, and primarily a character illustrator and story-teller. I do stuff like portraits, comics, original characters and fan-art, and sell crafts and merch like stickers.

My very favourite things to do are comics, both short ones and long form ones! I like stories with a strong focus on acearo, queer and neuroatypical characters who are just having adventures in various genres, and my personal schtick leans heavily towards acearo girls who want to form lasting commitments and have relationships with other girls.

I have two long-haul projects. Let’s Celebrate!, my queer magical girl themed webcomic has been live for almost three years now, and features an acearo lead and a bunch of silly festive super powers. It’s very lighthearted but still explores various celebrations from around the world, mental illness and communication, and features a bunch of monsters that the girls/guys/nb-pals fight with improbable weapons like giant candy canes. You can see it here: http://letscelebrate-comic.tumblr.com/

My second long haul project is collaborative with my girlfriend which we’re hoping to release early next year, and it will be an online graphic novel in installments. It’s a supernatural, Lovecraftian kind of adventure-thriller, structured around the Great Australian Road-Trip in rural Queensland. It follows an established acearo f/f couple, who accidentally enter an outback region they can’t leave filled with frightening “Locals” and those long roads that go on “forever”.

What inspires you?

I’m going to sound super cheesy when I say this but… my girlfriend? Haha, I’m pretty inspired by personal experiences and personal interests, I suppose. I spend a lot of time drawing and illustrating stuff based on things we’ve done together or concepts we talked about and came up with together.

Maybe also like … spite, to be honest. I’m kind of tired of heteronormative stories and the same straight white male leads who fight the Big Bad and get the girl with very little actual effort. I love to write and see stories about girls, especially queer and neurodivergent girls, doing cool stuff and saving the day and being in genres they’re generally sidelined in, like action stuff or zombies.

That aside I find music and bright cheerful colour palettes quite inspiring, and use both of them a lot in my work. And the work of other artists who I look up to, of course! I’m pretty visual so if I see something that is just aesthetically pleasing to me (like some architecture, a posing angle, fairy lights in a shop window) I’ll probably think about how to incorporate it into an art piece sooner or later.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’ve always been really crafty and drawn or scribbled stuff, so I guess so? I got serious about artwork at about 13, when I entered high school and fell in with fellow artsy-sorts who enabled the habit. I started out like most teens on DeviantArt back then with an anthro fursona, and made more friends online that encouraged me, and so I just… persisted with it. I don’t think I ever had particular plans to be an artist, or to be anything for that matter, but it’s probably my stand out skill now. I draw every day and love my stories and characters a lot!

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Probably like I mentioned in that first long ramble I did, I have a really strong narrative interest in queer stories, and especially a focus on acearo mentally ill girls and healthy relationships. Artistically/Stylistically though… no, haha, I have absolutely zero consistency in my work, I’m so bad at that!

Usually when I pitch it to other people they’ll say stuff like “sparkles!” or “colours!” or “same face syndrome!”, so maybe that’s the answer here? I like colours a lot and playing around with harsh lighting. I also draw a lot of birds, because… birb.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

1. Give it a go! If you want to do it, just do it. It’s worthwhile, even if all it ever does is bring you happiness or relaxation to create; that’s super important and you deserve it.

2. Quite difficult, but don’t compare your creation to other peoples work negatively. Be critical of your own work, sure, and always, always strive to improve. But your work is not anyone else’s but your own, so try not to be disheartened if it doesn’t look like something else you wanted it to look like. It looks like it’s yours, and that’s the best thing it could be.

3. This one is for minority groups in storytelling especially (I figure relevant here on an ace positive blog), and something I’ve struggled with a lot but: Tell that story about your own experiences/preferences if you want to tell it. Create your own representation if you can and want to.

It’s not self-centered, it’s not “too much”, it’s not unpalatable, it’s not boring, and it’s not cheesy. Don’t feel like you can only put one character from a minority group in your story, and don’t feel like you can’t have characters who you relate to or have traits like you in your story. You do not have to write in something for “someone else” to relate to or have straight white men in your story for it to be “acceptable”, regardless of what popular media seems to be trying to say.

For example, when we started on the roadtrip story I mentioned earlier, we thought “is two whole acearo girls in a story… too many? should one of them at least… be bi?” and while scripting I’ve often wondered ”is this chronically anxious character having too many anxiety attacks…? should I just have them handle this thing better so that their mental illness is showing less?”. And the answer to those things is obviously no. Show that mental illness. Have only acearo leads. Have a whole cast of POC. There’s no such thing as “too much” representation of your minority characters and stories, and if they’re based on your personal experiences or desires- great. Because nobody else can tell that for you; it’s yours.


Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a cis girl (she/hers) and I identify as asexual and aromantic, though I might more accurately be quoiromantic as I don’t really understand the difference between platonic and romantic relationships, though I absolutely don’t experience attraction regardless. I previously considered myself panromantic because I “want to be emotionally intimate” with friends quite intensely and have close relationships, but I later realized that I don’t experience romantic attraction so… aromantic-spec it is.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I’ve actually experienced very little ace prejudice. I’ve found straight people to be confused and commit some naïve-microaggressions at best, and mostly they just want me to explain what it meant and expressed general confusion about how I could not feel sexual attraction. (except for those dudes, you know, the: “well you just haven’t been with ­me yet” narcissists.)

I also had an abuser who ID’d on the ace spectrum, who would constantly guilt me about my orientation and say I would be a disappointment to my partner/s, that I was “broken”, or that I was just “trying to be holier than thou” and all kinds of toxic shit. So it really can come from anywhere.

The absolute worst ongoing prejudice I’ve seen has been from gatekeepers in the gay and lesbian communities. No surprises there. So many “sapphic safe place” blogs will reblog artwork of my girlfriend and I, which is clearly f/f and I get the lovely gift of seeing their acephobic descriptions on how ace people don’t belong in the queer community and queer is a slur, while they profit from artwork literally featuring two acearo girls.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Lately there’s plenty of stuff going around tumblr especially about how asexuality doesn’t equal celibacy, and that it’s not a choice. True, absolutely! But I still very often see asexuality conflated with sex repulsion, or a lack of libido (and aromance with a lack of interest in close intimate relationships at all).

Sure, it can be that way, but it’s not universal for all aces or aros. Just like any orientation, asexual people can sit anywhere on the libido and/or repulsed spectrums. They are not the same at all, and it’s super toxic that it has become popularly interchangeable, because I’m often seeing ace characters who “hate to be touched” and it just…

Ace people can be sex positive and interested in intimacy.

Allosexual people can be sex repulsed or simply disinterested.

And sex repulsed people of any orientation can also still be highly sensual and have a libido and still really want to have sex (that’s me!).

All these things are separate experiences. Neither drive nor repulsion are intrinsically tied to each other or to asexuality, which is the lack of sexual attraction, and not the lack of desire for touch.

I think that’s a super important distinction that’s often lost. My stories focus on this a lot, and almost all of my comics and stories feature acearo characters who still actively seek close emotional intimacy- because aro people are not unfeeling robots- and who also like to experiment or be close to their partners physically- because ace doesn’t necessarily mean no libido or interest.

And it’s super alienating to sensual or libido aces to see the narrative that “to be ace means you can’t ever want to have sex with someone else” perpetuated. It feels like something that, in years to come, is going to segue into Ace-Gatekeeping-v2.0, and I’d like to see communication and compassion stop that before it happens.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Auuhhh… uhmmm I’m really not an ideal person to put in like… advice giving roles. I’m still learning stuff myself; the Living Experience is pretty enormous! But perhaps the best thing I found (for me) was to have close friends who I could talk to about being ace and aro. If you have other friends who are already knowledgeable or confident in their own sexuality and ID on the acearo spec then that is probably the safest way, and they can explain things to you and answer questions.

There are also a variety of previously linked ace-help blogs and websites, and probably honestly… a lot of the artists featured on this blog would probably be happy to answer anon-questions and stuff about their experiences if you get in touch? I’d be happy to, for sure. That might be good for anyone who feels isolated or confused and doesn’t want to have a name attached to their questions!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

You can find my artblog, where I post most of my art and links and updates on the above mentioned projects here: http://berryartistic.tumblr.com. I should warn that there are some suggestive works on there and it’s pretty heavy on the f/f content. There’s nothing graphic and no actual nudity, mostly just implications of intimacy and some power dynamics, but it might be a bit much for some minors or anyone intimacy-repulsed, so take it with a grain of salt.

Let’s Celebrate! is completely PG and can be found here: http://letscelebrate-comic.tumblr.com/ which has links offsite to places like Tapastic.

Thank you, Teloka, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

highwarlockkareena  asked:

if they don't do 'mundane driving' think about magnus taking alec out for a spin for the first time in an open top sports car, or on a motorbike - something fast.

alec wasn’t sure what to expect, all he knew was that magnus was pleased about something. god he was pleased. he had that million dollar smirk tucked into the corner of his mouth that made alec’s heart thud just a little faster. alec had been able to taste how smug he was on his tongue when magnus kissed him awake.

but that had been the morning and it was a whole day without a single hint as to what magnus had up his sleeve. a whole 12 hours of remembering magnus’s grin and the way his eyes were glinting, without a word except for a short request.

“just be back here by, let’s say 7 o’clock?” each word was murmured into alec’s lips between more slow kisses, burnt into alec’s brain for the remainder of the day. he looked forward to the both of them being home every single night, but now there was this curiosity on top of it, tugging him back home.

of course the day went slower because of that. it decided to drag on for what felt like forever and he had tried multiple times, attempting to be sneaky in text messages for a hint at what they’d be doing. but he could hear magnus’s deep laugh in every word of his responses. it left him biting back a grin and shaking his head as he waited for the clock to count down.

finally though, finally he was able to leave. he got back to the loft in record time, faster than he ever had before, curious and confused considering magnus’s texts had dropped off a couple of hours ago when he seemed to get tired of alec trying to get information out of him.

Keep reading

O-K so I finally got off Helltime, and now I have the Time to write something I’ve been meaning to: Doki Doki Literature Club prim and proper critique.

Now, you’ve seen me gush about the game, you’ve seen me recommend it to everyone I thought would enjoy it, you’ve seen me go through post-media depression after it, and it is precisely because I enjoyed it so much that I want to do a proper, serious post about it as a piece of media.

This post obviously contains massive spoilers for DDLC. Look away now if you have not read it yet and wish to experience it at full power.

NOW, what is Doki Doki Literature Club? It’s a Visual Novel, but not quite a Visual Novel, I’d say it’s more of a Visual Experience, kind of like a roller coaster. It sure is a read, a short read, but a read nonetheless, but you are not there just for the narrative: The gimmicks and the aesthetic are why you are here. Much like a roller coaster, you also don’t go through it too many times unless you really love it. Aside from the critique, I want to explain why I believe DDLC made amazing use of its medium and choice of narrative to do what it set out to do.

Now, you may say it’s a metanarrative with a heavy emphasis on glitches disguised as a cutesy dating sim, except, you don’t go into it expecting a cutesy dating sim, you go into it knowing something’s funky. The game is honest about it. It has a very serious, very thorough warning right on the get go, and it says to check a specific link to see more in detail. This not only makes it a fair warning, but it also doesn’t spoil anything to those that don’t want to see the warning/don’t need it. That’s a good touch. It’s never disguised, as much as it is stylized as a cutesy dating sim with something lurking within. This is important to note because it’s not a Surprise Genre Change or anything like that: What you get is what was intended for you to know from the get go.

DDLC was never intended as tight narrative, it was always intended to be an experience. It’s definitely not lacking as a narrative, but it’s not deep, either, and I’d say bare bones in some parts. DDLC did not discover the Wheel 2, that is, it’s not a revolutionary read, because it never intended to be a revolutionary read: It was always an experience from the get go. You are not there for the deep, intricate characters, you are there for what is done with the basic characters you get, and with the medium they are presented through. What does this mean? Let’s find out.

The base cast is a very simple selection of tropes we are all familiar with: Sayori, the childhood friend and catalyst as to why the story starts. Yuri, the sweet, loving and yet reclusive and hurt well mannered lady. Natsuki, archetypal tsundere who is very demure and caring past the spicy exterior. Monika, all around ace and role model, good at everything, model student. The characters are nothing new, which, coupled with the previous warning, does raise a few flags immediately: Works with such hard-coded characters and with Something Lurking Within Them tend to be deconstructions or ham fisted parodies that set out to mock these things. An experienced reader will already be on guard.

But, it never goes there.

A lot of things happen in DDLC, but it never once mocks the medium. It never once holds a sign that says “ONLY DUMB VIRGINS PLAY DATING SIMS”, or one that says “THESE BASIC CHARACTERS ARE DUMB AND ONLY FOR LONELY NERDS”. Think about it. It never does. If you thought it did, congrats, that’s your own bias against metanarratives playing you. The closest it gets is Monika saying “You play these kinds of games? Well, that’s weird, but I won’t judge you, haha”. At no point does DDLC actually mock the tropes it employs or the people that enjoy them, it simply uses them to do something unexpected in another way. I really respect this because it’s really easy to just be like “HEHE, THIS IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR. DID YOU EXPECT CUTE DATING, YOU VIRGIN?”, I legit thought that was going to happen, but it didn’t, and I appreciate it, because I can do without cynicism in every single piece of media I consume, especially metanarratives I enjoy so much.

Now, if it’s not a cruel mockery of tropes and those who peruse them, what DOES DDLC do with its “generic trope” characters? It plays them in two ways, both of which I enjoyed: TOO straight, and then subversively.

What does “TOO straight” mean? In Act 1, towards the end of it, you hear Sayori explain her depression. She doesn’t say “I have depression”, she explains her depression in a scene with dialogue that cut a little too deep in the skin of a lot of readers, myself included. The way she explains it, as someone who works in mental health, and as someone who had depression, is shocking because it’s what actual depression feels like. Ask anyone who has or had it, Sayori’s dialogue cut deep and caused this wave of empathy towards her from a lot of people because she’s unexpectedly realistic in this regard compared to what you usually see in fiction. It is, in fact, a recurring theme with the characters, shown subtly with the meatiest narrative resource it uses: The poems.

A rundown, using information from poems and implications from the girls’ dialogue:

  • Sayori had suicidal depression. Most of her words in the poem minigame refer to sorrow or suicide.
  • Yuri’s depression is linked to her immense loneliness, and she copes by cutting.
  • Natsuki is the most adjusted, but she receives regular beatings from her father, and it is implied that she’s so short compared to the other girls due to malnutrition.
  • We’ll cover Monika later.

DDLC does not make a mockery of the genre, as much as it injects a lot of realism to it that is alien to the genre and characterization. All these causes of depression, sadly, are very common among teenagers. It’s truly uncomfortable because it hits home.

From Act 2 and on, the characters are played subversively: This is when Monika’s tinkering has begun robbing the game of its stability, and has begun amping the bad aspects of the girls purposefully. The narrative heft here is much lower than in the first part of the game, where the poems were subtle windows; instead, here we are on the other side of the window, and the poems from the first part make sense.  No, the narrative heft is not the star here, from Act 2 and on, you are in the part where The Shit Has Gone Down, and you get to see the slow, slow devolution of these people, as they are aware of it. The files start going nuts, new documents appear in your game files, It’s All Gone To Shit, my dude.

A roller coaster is an apt metaphor for Doki Doki Literature Club: Act 1 is the ascent, where it’s all slow and nice and you are telling the person next to you that this can’t be that bad. Act 2 is when you get to the submit and then go down the super vertical rails of the roller coaster at 600 kilometers per hour, screaming in languages you didn’t even know you knew: That’s when the experience begins.

I need to put emphasis on the word experience. Salvato wasn’t making a meaty narrative with this game, and if you were expecting one, man, sorry, no, Salvato was making an experience, a roller coaster, something you go through, reach the end of, and say “FUCK YEAH”. Act 2 is the roller coaster’s descent.

All I want to say is that I am so very thankful to Salvato for making it an experience without any sort of arrogance. It’s rare for something this meta to not insult the medium it is using. It feels more like he just picked “Cutesy visual novel with this crazy glitchfest is what’s gotta go down” and went with it. That’s not to mention the amazing craft of the whole thing: Renpy is mostly a very basic Visual Novel engine that runs on Python, and easy and serviceable coding language. The shit he pulled in DDLC makes it clear he studied the engine in and out.

So with all this said and done, and my insistence on viewing this as an experience very clear, you might have noticed there’s someone we haven’t talked about.

Yup. That’s the topic we have left.

Just Monika.

Monika is the driving force behind the experience. Monika is the Big Meme. You see Monika where DDLC is mentioned. As of this writing, Monika has more followers in Twitter than Dan Salvato. But see, if you remove the wrapper from the candy, if you look beyond, what is behind Monika.

Not much.

And that’s wholly the point.

Monika is an NPC. Monika was never meant to be a love interest. Monika was the Bro Character that helps you get with the girls and cheers you on. You know who Monika was supposed to be?

Tomoda. Monika was supposed to be this extremely friendly but otherwise hollow nobody in the narrative.

Unfortunately, Monika has grown aware of her status as a fictional character. Monika achieved independence from the narrative, and turned the narrative into an experience. But, see, you can’t just create something from where there was nothing. If you put aside Monika’s obsession for you, you truly are left with nothing. Because that’s all she had in the first place: She existed as the Tomoda that only lives to help you out with the other girls. The was nothing beyond her in the first place. What does this result in? One of the purest Yandere in the latest years, if not the purest. Beyond you, there is nothing in her. Sure, she likes piano, she loves debate, she likes poems, but… There’s nothing inside. There’s nothing in there. What happens when you suddenly thrust conscience, sentience upon something hollow that only has one operative command to “support Person”?

She’ll only have Person to think about, and nothing beyond it.

Monika is not supposed to be a dream wife, she’s a pitiable creature of bites and unrequited love, because it is impossible to love her the way she loves you: To her, you are everything, but to you, she’s the shitter that made all of this happen in this game you picked up to see what was going on. That is fully intended. For her, you are everything she ever thought about for as long as she’s had sentience. For you, she’s that one girl that wasn’t even in the poem minigame and that always mostly hung in the background. 

If anything in this world ever made you think that the experience wanted you to feel anything for her except pity at how justifiably, tragically shallow she is, I have no clue what to tell you.

That’s what’s fascinating about Monika and why I love her character.

Because it’s just that.

It’s Just Monika.

There’s nothing inside. Deleting her is not like when you put a bullet through The Boss’ skull in MGS3, because holy shit, you have grown to understand the suffering and pain of The Boss. Deleting Monika is more akin to finding a grievously wounded dove that you tried your best to nurse back to health, but that is suffering too much and you have to put her out of her misery in order to do her the slightest and only favor you could to her in her short life. This is not interpretative, either: Whenever you close the game and reopen it, she tells you about her nightmares and how it feels like a brief yet eternal, intense, suffocating death: Even in her endgame situation, where supposedly everything is just as she wanted, she’s suffering so much.

The dove thinks you are its savior because you are the only one that tried to help it when both its wings broke. You have to kill the dove out of mercy because even in this state, it will only continue suffering. The dove also didn’t delete three other people.

It’s a pathetic mess.

It’s just Monika.

The other three characters, who you could say are overused tropes, are deeper characters than Monika already. It was always intended, and she never escaped this, even in sentience.

That’s all she ever was meant to be, as an NPC, and as someone who usurped being an NPC. She never could win.

I could adapt DDLC’s experience to the writing style of a Greek tragedy and you would be none the wiser. For Monika, it was always a King Midas situation.

So she’s the final triple horizontal twirls in a roller coaster.

The thing with metanarratives is that you have to be flexible when it comes to reading them. You can’t just throw a tantrum because it lacked something a narrative worth its salt should have; it’s not a narrative, it’s a metanarrative. Some metanarratives will follow more conventional rules, but they don’t have to. Don’t be a sheep for the status quo. This goes especially hard towards experienced readers. Think about Dadaism and its cultural context back in the day

So that’s that. DDLC doesn’t lack clarity of purpose, it’s purpose was always “a cool experience” first and foremost. It’s not that the plot “didn’t go anywhere”, the ‘plot’ went exactly where it had to: To the cool roller coaster triple twirls.

Of course, that is not to say that “ur dumb” if you think it’s a bad piece of media because it lacked those things or anything, I’m just saying “you were looking for fish at the beef steak menu”. Hell, you may even understand a lot of this and still think it could’ve done better with other things. That’s fair, all I am saying is that denouncing the experience for not being a narrative when it never tried to be one is like blaming the fish for not being beef steak. Sometimes you want a novel, sometimes you want a roller coaster. For me, personally, it’s how it played with its medium so wonderfully that made me fall deep in love with it, the files, the documents, the aesthetic… I went in for a roller coaster ride, and I got one.

If you are looking for a meaty, deep narrative with rich characterization and intricate plots, you are not looking for what DDLC has to offer.

If you are looking for a roller coaster, well, I have good news for you: Tickets are free, and I hope you enjoy the ride.

TL;DR: Not a powerful narrative, but a very powerful and fun experience.

in the heights characters as things said on my bus

sonny: i’m allowed to prostitute myself for orange juice if i want to, you’re not my mum

pete: who needs a brain when you have a fun sized mars bar?

usnavi: why can you say eighteen dollars fifty two and not specify the fifty two. maybe i have eighteen dollars and fifty two bees. what about that, huh?

vanessa: does vodka stop anxiety?

benny: in this house, we do no studying. we fail like MEN

nina: so, i’m pretty sure it’s illegal to create weapons of mass destruction 

abuela: apparently i die at the ripe old age of thirty two. thanks obama

daniela: what do i use to fill in my eyebrows? why, the sins of my forefathers, of course.

carla: is loving jesus legal yet?

piragua guy: howdily doodily neighbourino

bonus interaction

camila rosario: we’re not letting you drive. last time you drove, you ran over a cat

kevin rosario: but i have at least three driving experience, you can trust me

So the road trip with the hydrazine this week involves Bellamy, Clarke, and Roan, as far as we know…Monty is seen talking to them beforehand, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t tag along…

Bellamy and Roan are in the rover together

which means Clarke is driving the other vehicle

y’know the one with the hydrazine on it? 




Nancy Wheeler’s original plot: (…) This experience will drive her unexpectedly into the arms of another: Jonathan. With his help, she will experience love for the first time… And find herself.

Natalia Dyer on Beyond Stranger Things: Jonathan is so self-aware and I think we kinda of see Nancy on her way to be more like that and finds herself a little bit more.

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