a very short lesson in psychology

anonymous asked:

I'm incredibly interested to know how a 30 year old working in reality television decided to ship HL? In a completely uncondescending way - I think it's way rad that people outside their *demographic* have also picked up on this etc. Are you comfortable sharing your story?

Believe me, I didn’t willingly decide to end up obsessed with closeted boybanders, their story just kind of caught and then trapped me here and now I couldn’t leave if I tried! 

I actually used to be a Shameless blog; I got addicted to the show (the US version) and ended up joining tumblr because it was the only place where any conversations seemed to be happening about the show.

About two years ago there was a single person on my dash who used to reblog gifs of One Direction and talk about how two of the band were definitely dating. I didn’t pay it much attention; I was completely clueless about the band (boybands hadn’t been my thing since the 90′s); I didn’t know how many members there were, for some reason I thought they were American and I don’t think I’d even heard all of What Makes You Beautiful. From the very first time I saw him I thought that Louis was “the gay one”, but assumed, like so many bands, that any flirting between him and his bandmates was fanservice, I mean, bromances were in, so it made sense that they were playing it up for the attention and surely all of those gifs and quotes and heart eyes were just taken out of context, right? Then one day I had a little bit of time to kill and after seeing yet another flirty gifset, decided to just watch the clips from X Factor to see what all the fuss was about. 

Well, that was the beginning of the end. I ended up in an hours-long youtube spiral watching all of the video diaries, concert clips, interviews, everything I could find and I realised, okay, those heart eyes and flirting and quotes really weren’t taken out of context for the gifs.

I could tell right away that Harry and Louis had outrageous chemistry and right away I thought they were definitely smitten with each other, but it still took me quite a while and a hell of a lot of reading and investigation until I was completely, 100% sold on them definitely being in a relationship; I’m fairly cautious when it comes to things like PR and the difference between a person’s public and private life and this was all happening in early to mid 2013, when they were being ferociously separated and aggressively closeted.

Honestly, my background in reality tv just made it easier to see what was going on, because I’ve seen firsthand the way that narratives are built and maintained by the controlling parties and rarely have anything to do with what’s actually going on. Paparazzi called in to ‘catch someone unawares’ in a public place, publicists quietly making real stories go away, while simultaneously encouraging certain agendas to the forefront.  

I see and hear stuff that goes on in the entertainment industry that never makes it to the greater public. Celebrities hooking up, drug problems, falling outs, cheating on partners, bad behaviour etc and it never makes it to the greater public. A the idea of a closeted relationship isn’t far-fetched at all and anyone who thinks that they’re getting all of their celebrity gossip and new at face value, isn’t paying attention to who is providing them with this information and what they have to gain by controlling your points of view. 

What’s really strange for me is that I tend not to get overly-focused on or interested in celebrities, because for the most part, they’re so accessible. Even 1D -  I have quite a few friends who’ve worked with the band in some capacity or another, and I mean, they were reality television contestants, for god’s sake, I shouldn’t be remotely intrigued by them! But for some reason, I just can’t help it with Harry and Louis. There’s something very special about those two boys and I cannot wait until it’s all out in the open and people are dealt a very direct lesson about the influence the media has over public perception and how easy it is to hide in plain sight. 

In short, Harry and Louis’ love story is an incredible case study for fandom psychology and analysis of the way that information, opinions and people can be controlled through social media, closeting, guilt tactics and online bullying, as well as some of the most remarkable sexual and romantic chemistry I’ve ever seen. I’m 100% caught up in their story and I’m in it for the long-haul. 

Now, after the recent episode and the messages it expressly conveyed the Walsh/Monkey business (yes, sue me for pathological unoriginality and for resorting to this trite and overused joke) incident doesn’t come off as particularly troubling or problematic, at least compared to my initial perception of it.

I’ll be frank, storylines about “evil other men”, deceiving, backstabbing, evil scheming and potentially dangerous charmers who viciously wrong fragile women’s hearts embody my absolute least favourite fictional trope. When overall masterful and compelling Disney movie Frozen went that route it made me want to bang my head against the wall the second one of the heroine’s suitors was markedly antagonized for the sake of teaching her a lesson/cautionary tale. As though a woman can only have ONE person in her life who is right for her. Whereas everyone else is going to inevitably betray and damage her emotionally and their names are going to be carved on the wall of unfortunate mistakes.

During Emma/Walsh arc I tried to refrain from analyzing it through my CS shipper goggles and came to the conclusion that it was actually beneficial, healthy and natural for one-year-memory deprived Emma to not only move on from Neal the way she wasn’t able to the first time but most importantly realize she DESERVED to move on from him. Walsh’s exposure as a yet another shady and cunning individual in a relationship with whom Emma yet again was a victim frustrated me considerably. To the point of - and that’s where you, my lovely shipmates, heavily side eye and promptly judge me - not being able to bring myself to enjoy and embrace CS goodness we got in 3X12.

However, NOW pieces have suddenly fallen into place. It makes a perfect sense now. And here’s why.

Hook’s choice of words was remarkable - he did not say something along the lines of “if your heart can be broken means it’s still there”. He said - “means it still WORKS”. And that is where you, my precious defiant rebel Killian, have summarized and addressed the point I have been vainly striving to constructively and cohesively convey in my long winged, extensive textual musings (written in spite of the dreadfulness that is my English) far more eloquently than I ever could (I’ll give you that, Jones, I have always been secretly envious of your superiority in eloquence department, just could never admit it).

Because the point is - Walsh incident or Neal incident or either has not been some sort of a defining factor or a moral/lesson Emma is supposed to learn. It was painful and mentally damaging and psychologically torturous and - even if for a short while - captivating and refreshing because it was an EXPERIENCE. And because such experiences are essential and unavoidable for as long as a person lives and breathes.

Emma is not a victim. Hook is not there to fix her. He is actually one of a very few people who acknowledges the importance of her individual experiences that don’t include HIM. No, scratch that - he is the only person who acknowledges that.

Emma’s parents - albeit understandably - regret not being able to track down every step of her life, they regret the fact that she didn’t grow up in Enchanted Forest and they weren’t a proper, sugary sweet lovely family. Neal didn’t recognize how problematic and atrociously damaging his actions were because you do NOT - under any circumstances - frame your teenage girlfriend for your crime regardless of the intent/pretense behind it. And you do NOT trust an unstable random stranger who claims to be her guardian angel with her fate. The only thing Neal truly regrets is the fact that his ~ heroic gesture and “getting her home” required a sacrifice as “grandiose” as avoiding jail himself and effectively moving on from Emma (which, spoiler alert, contributed to nothing because it was Henry who got Emma home whereas Neal subjected her to months in prison and a decade of unresolved and immeasurable abandonment issues, on top of the ones she had already). Neal didn’t regret her pain - he mocked it. He only regretted that he didn’t go differently about the situation.

If there is a concept Hook is familiar with like no other it is that life happens. It’s unpredictable, ruthless, rough and tragic. It is about having everything taken away from you and seeing your entire world crumbling down in front of you and about being reduced to less than nothing. Finally, it is - in his case - about something as utterly bizarre as meeting and falling in love with the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. About a new milestone and about reconsidering everything that has been motivating you for years and centuries. It is about starting all over.

Hence why he is not being overly dramatic where Emma/Walsh is concerned. He knows that Emma had every right to that experience regardless of the outcome. He is not going to teach her lessons, he is not going to regret coming back for her, he is not going to be discouraged by her baggage but simply helps her carry it while bending under the pressure of his own. And he knows it is ok. It’s natural and she can make it. They can make it.

OUAT audience, regardless of which side some fractions of it tend to be on, has already noticed and mentioned that Hook/Emma storyline follows classic literary patterns. The ones that existed before contemporary fiction started being overfilled with deceptive conventionally attractive men and before female protagonists started being shamed for being drawn to them. Some people call the traditional patterns/tropes superficial, some, like myself, call them sincere.

Those who say Emma and Hook are about lust and dalliances? Are exceptionally correct. They are those things and more. They are lustful, lovesick, needy, vulnerable and struggling. Shameless demonstrators of all the incredibly human, unrestrained emotions that have come to be condemned in modern media. Their story is a spectacular deconstruction of a notion that being with someone who plainly and genuinely makes you feel “good” is too silly, easy and not virtuous enough.

CS is a story that acknowledges ANY type of experience and encourages a positive one. It is not about glorifying trauma, “second chances”, moving past any pain that has been inflicted on you and nobly forgiving because that’s what ~ wise people and adults in ~ real life do. They are stealing glances and loosing themselves in a spontaneous passionate kiss because they CAN and because it feels GOOD. They flirt and playfully banter incessantly because they want.

Emma’s broken heart is not Hook’s experimental game - he never said he wants to repair it. He said he is glad it works. That it hasn’t failed her. He is yet to see her fail, after all.