M’ega Halloween

( @displacerghost asked if the M’ega had a holiday like Halloween )

The M’ega do have a holiday that is similar to Halloween—it falls during autumn, and includes candy, as Halloween does, and it does involve dressing up as mythological beings, deities, and spirits of the dead.

It’s called Ssk Levarath-na, which translates to Return from Darkness. This festival marks a time when deities, mythological beings, and the spirits of the dead, are said return to the ordinary physical plane of existence. The M’ega dress up like deities, mythological beings, and spirits themselves for this festival, so that those returning will not have to worry about being recognized and accosted. Costumes range from simple to extremely elaborate.

Ssk Levarath-na is a bit like Mardi Gras in that a lot of it takes place outdoors, with people in costume. People in costume make their way down the streets of the city—usually in boats, as for the most part “streets” on M’ega are waterways. Other people in costume, standing on the docks alongside the causeway, will cheer and throw candy at them, rather like a reverse parade. The M’ega love candy; their species has an inclination towards sweet tasting things.

(The candy is wrapped so that it floats; later, people working to clean the streets will scoop up the uncaught candy from the water in nets, so that the causeways aren’t polluted.)

In the more rural areas, further from the coastlines, the streets may be on land, in which case the costumed revelers will either walk, or make their way down the streets in wagons and carts, or on floats, which are often decorated to resemble boats.

Special stops are made at temples and other publicly funded institutions, where the revelers may leave the parade either momentarily or permanently to demand candy from the religious and government officials. The confections at these places are much more elaborate than those thrown by the people on the sidelines of the parade. It’s a point of pride in these places that their candy be exceptionally good; there’s a kind of good-natured competition between each of the institutions as to whose candy is the most popular, and who can give the most away.

People will often participate in both the parade and the standing on the sidelines watching. On the sidelines, there is music in a variety of different places, and dancing, and general merriment.

Nothing is bought or sold during Ssk Levarath-na; everything must be given away freely. (It would not do to demand payment form a deity or spirit, and who is to say which revelers are mortal and which are not?) Many places of business will open their doors and allow people to come inside and be given things—food, mostly, but also things like clothing and other important household items. People in private residences will often do this as well. So Ssk Levarath-na insures that people who might otherwise be embarrassed to accept charity are still able to get what they need without discomfort.

It is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to take on the personality of your costume for the duration of the festival. It adds to the fun, and to the excitement of wondering if one of the revelers might really be who they’re dressed up as.

Language Notes:

na-           to
-na           from
Ssk           return
Levarath  darkness / the void of space

“ssk levarath-na” is “return from darkness” 

“ssk na-levarath” would be “return to darkness” 

“ssk levarath-na-levarath” would mean “return from darkness and to darkness”

“ssk na-levarath-na” would mean “return to darkness and from darkness” 

These two concepts differ in this way:

“levarath-na-levarath” – the thing/person being referenced ends up in darkness. 

“na-levarath-na” – the thing/person being referenced ends up not in darkness.

So my brother, Liam, and I were watching Megamind last night.

After the beginning part, my brother pauses the movie and says to me:

“This movie isn’t about a bad guy changing and becoming good.

It’s about how this little kid, has been told all his life that he’s bad.  And no matter what he does or how hard he tries, nothing he does changes anyone’s mind about him, until one day he just accepts it.

How he’s been told he’s evil for so long that he just accepts it.  Every evil thing he does, is because he knows that is what everyone expects of him.  He doesn’t even necessarily like it.  It’s what he thinks he SHOULD be doing or SHOULD enjoy as a villain.

Look at Megamind.  He’s dramatic, he’s positive, he’s fun and easy to get along with.  He’s not evil.

Once he starts seeing Roxanne, he finally has someone who makes him feel good, and he does everything he can to make her happy.  He cares about her.  That’s not evil.

Megamind is about a misunderstood kid, that was never given a chance.

Megamind is about how society, ultimately failed a child.”

Then he pressed play and we went back to watching the movie.

After that conversation, the movie was a LOT sadder…..


DreamWorks Animation + Villains

requested by anonymous

Animated movies that don't get enough love
  • Megamind: Strong female character, funny jokes, anti-bullying, great animation with touching scenes, and strong moral messages
  • Wreck it Ralph: Again strong female characters, plus overcoming mental hardships, proving that being different is okay, amazing moral messages, beautiful animation and a hella rad plot
  • Brave: Strong female characters, different views, wonderful animation, proved that you don't need a man to save you, cutting your own destiny, awesome characters, magic broken by actual love, and strong mother-daughter relationship
  • Peabody and Sherman: Is packed with witty dialogue, good morals about unconventional families, fatherhood, and childhood struggle, it respects the intelligence of its younger audience, does actually manage to teach some history to its watchers, and has well animated characters (plus mr. peabody is a boss ass bitch)
  • Atlantis: whats this i smell? Its...its more STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS, roots for the underdog, over coming physical and mental hardships, shows religious differences, beautiful animation, witty character dialogue, sassy one-liner dialogue and humor, and a detailed plot and story line
  • How to train your dragon 2: Beautiful animation, MORE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS, plus characters who aren't physically strong being portrayed as strong, showed that war isn't always the answer, major feels trip, shows friendship and compassion, mother-son relationship rekindled, DRAGONS, ADORABLE PRECIOUS DRAGONS, CANT BELIEVE THIS MOVIE GOT OVERSHADOWED BY FROZEN

So, incidentally, my experience with the movie Megamind is that I ended up watching it backwards in a hotel once when I was younger and nothing else was on. And by “backwards” I mean, the first day I only caught the latter half of it and then it was on again the day after and I saw the first half.

That said, that one dang scene, is kind of an immortal one in my mind, because it’s one that has a lot more depth than it seems to.

The part that people often miss is that right after that pithy one-liner of how the difference between a villain and a supervillain is presentation… that whole conversation gets context.

Because Titan makes an immediate lunge for Megamind.

And immediately gets crunched by the giant head, and stuck in that situation because Megamind just drops out of the bottom, to a waiting vehicle, and maneuvers around him to focus on the actual issue: rescuing the hostage while Titan’s occupied.

That whole setup isn’t just, “watch me out-drama you”, it’s showing off an actual tactical asset.

Because Megamind as a character is someone who was always, always motivated by getting attention. The reason why Roxanne is never afraid of being his hostage isn’t because of her unshakable faith in a rescuing hero as much as it is that she knows, ultimately, what Megamind is doing is overwhelmingly a show. His atrocities are symbolic in nature. When he actually needs to take somebody out he dehydrates them into a cube for a while. And it’s not just Roxanne that calls him on this, either- Metro Man’s entire retirement scheme hinged on the idea that Megamind really didn’t need someone keeping him at bay from innocent civilians, because, as we’ve seen, innocent civilians really don’t have much to fear from him. Ultimately he is still, actually, just a kind of needy person desperately looking for validation and approval, neither of which can be provided by dead people.

But that’s not to say he can’t actually fight. Like any actual proper magician, he knows how to hold attention and an element of danger is how that works. He’s actually brilliant, and plenty capable of raising genuine hell.

However- he’s been doing this stageshow thing for ages. He’s mastered this. Titan may have him outgunned practically in every respect- but the guy has no conceivable head for subtlety.

So the real kicker to that whole setup, is this isn’t just Megamind being Megamind for the sake of drama- this is Megamind knowing exactly how easy Titan is to bait, dangling the largest trap he could possibly conceive in front of the guy, and doing it in an unapologetically glorious manner as any true performer would.

“Presentation” is not a superpower to be overlooked.

What she says: Im fine
What she means: Why isn’t Megamind a better rated movie? Megamind as a character shows so much potential and character development, and the movie portrays potentially good, superhero characters that have horrible morals that do questionable, sometimes horrible, things. Megamind shows the audience that not everyone who’s got the costume and cape is the Good Guy™, and not every villain is inherently bad. Megamind is just an overall fantastic movie and I’m disappointed it’s not as acclaimed as other animated movies.