absence of feelings

Tonight’s SVTFOE3 Recap: What a Twist!

If you somehow haven’t seen these episodes yet after they just aired, I recommend doing so now either on demand or at the Disney XD or Disney Now app. Don’t worry; I can wait.

All caught up? Great. Let’s get spoilery.

NIGHT LIFE

Marco has been spending the past few nights hanging out with Hekapoo to hunt and close rogue dimensional portals, something Star learns about when Marco fails to watch Glossaryck (who wrecks her room during his absence). So Marco feels sorry for not being there for Star on her recent royal duties and gives her his dimensional scissors, promising he won’t ditch her for Hekapoo again… only to do just that, stealing his scissors back while she’s sleeping before he heads out with Hekapoo and a mercenary named Talon Raventalon to the middle of a desery where Hekapoo believes the next rogue portal will appear, where they’ll capture and/or kill whatever or whoever is making these portals. Marco tries to stop them and gets into a fight with Talon, and the portals’ cause, God Mode Star, shows up, and Hekapoo immediately recognizes her, and Talon is stopped before he can kill Star, who escapes completely unharmed. Hekapoo calls out Marco for knowing Star was sleep-portaling and is about to report this to the Magic High Commission, but Marco convinces her (with his adult voice) not to let them know so Star can figure this out on her own. Hekapoo begrudgingly agrees, calling off hers and Marco’s partnership while also telling him that Star’s lucky to have him for a squire. When Marco goes back to put the scissors back to Star’s room, Star calls him out as well, but Marco explains that he and Hekapoo’d been closing portals that Star left open, which worries the princess with the fear that the MHC will learn of this, only for Marco to tell her he’d give up adventuring with Hekapoo to keep Star safe, while also revealing her a map of her journeys through the dimensions, leading to the next episode where she takes a…

…DEEP DIVE!

Star brings Marco and Janna (whose first time this is in Mewni) up to speed on her speed-portaling, explaining that she started hearing a wailing sound and tried to find its point or origins, but always woke up before she could find it. Her plan is to have Janna hypnotize her to stay asleep, with her compact mirror on her headband so they can see where so goes on her travels, and Marco will bring her back with the scissors should problems arise. The princess then goes to sleep and turns into God Mode Star, going sleep-portaling in her search for the sound, which she eventually finds, and she ends up in the Realm of Magic, which is what the place was like without Toffee. While Star gets caught up in the cuteness of the Realm and meets the Firstborn, Marco and Janna try to figure out a way to get Star back when she loses her compact mirror. Then Marco gets the idea to use Star’s wand and find her with the All-Seeing Eye. This surprisingly works, and Marco tries to get Star to come back, but his trying to put his arm through the Eye causes the room to explode, alerting Star that Marco and Janna’re and trouble and resulting in her rushing to her room… while turning into God Mode Star at will at that! Thankfully, neither one is harmed, and they have a good laugh (in a metaphorical sense anyway) that things went better than expected and, on top of that, Star can now freely go from Mewman to Mewberty after this quest.

MONSTER BASH

At the ancient temple that used to be Ludo’s second lair in Season 2, Star is holding a party to start a new era of peace between Mewmans and Monsters, with help mainly from Prince Rich Pigeon, Marco, Pony Head and Tom, the latter of whom she almost forgot was already there when we first see him in the episode. The party starts off going well: The royal youths and invited Monsters are having fun with no problem, Star and Tom have some cute little moments together, and Princess Spider even seems to bond a bit with a sweet Monster named Slime after he cures her spider bite. However, the fun starts to die out when Miss Heinous, Gemini and a shockingly adorable Rasticore show up parked just outside. Sure enough, a distraught Princess Spiderbite shows up without Slime, and everyone starts to argue what could have happened to him. Star, wanting to avoid a bigotry-fueled fight, tells everyone she’s going to find out what’s going on, seeking Marco’s help in the effort to find Slime and the other missing monsters. Sure enough, they find the monsters had been kidnapped and tied up in a closet by Mina Loveberry, making her long-awaited reappearance after her debut in Starstruck and revealing that her complete insanity extends to an intensely unreasonable anti-Monster attitude. She’s about to do her worst, when Miss Heinous literally comes crashing through the ceiling and reveals herself to the two teens, whom Rasticore and Gemini quickly restrain.

Soon, Miss Heinous has Marco strapped to her energy-stealing machine and, despite him not being an actual princess, is just about to sap him of his energy… until her cheeks glow and a nursery room is opened up for everyone to see. Immediately, Miss Heinous starts to remember everything inside, from the dolls of Eclipsa and her lover to her baby crib, but everyone else is understandably confused out of their minds as to what’s going on. Mina explains (besides the fact that she’d waited years for the Jessica Walter-voiced disgraced headminstress to show her face again) that Miss Heinous is in fact Eclipsa’s daughter Meteora Butterfly turning into the normal-colored-skinned Hulk and getting into an epic fight with Star, whom Tom assists later on after he goes looking for her. However, as things heat up for the worse, Rhombulus shows up with the royal guards to bust everything up, and Mina and Miss Heinous both escape. After being scolded for Rhombulus for setting the party up at as dangerous and off-limits a place as the temple, Star is left dumbfounded and and in dispair, as not only has her plans gone up in flames, but now tensions have gotten higher between Monsters and Mewmans and Star even starts to believess that she doesn’t even know her own family anymore. And speaking of which, now on the run from the guards with Gemini and Rasticore, Miss Heinous sheds the alias we knew her as from her first appearance, preferring now to be known as Meteora, and the episode ends with this lovely image for your nightmares:

The first half-hour was a well-connected pair of episodes, both to each other and to “Sweet Dreams” where this arc started. Both episodes were good with well-written/storyboarded fights and interactions that feel believable, some great visuals and, for the first episode, more Hekapoo to enjoy. Not much I can say with this one, except this is certainly one worth revisiting.

Now on to the big one: Monster Bash. Good God, was this nothing like what we all thought it would be. And that’s part of why this episode was so great. This episode has pretty much everything you could ask for an amazing SVTFOE episode at this point: It has some great humor, but it knows when to hold back on it when it needs to; when we get the action in the climax, it more than satisfies with what it gives us; even the shipping-fuel side is played down quite a lot in comparison to all of last season′s half-hour episodes. I’d been staying away from discussing the shipping wars in great detail since the SDCC clip last Summer, instead doing my best to focus more on the plot and the cool stuff. But honestly, I actually like seeing Tom and Star interact as a couple thus far this season. I really enjoy whenever they’re on-screen together, whether they’re having fun, rebonding or just having a simple conversation. And here, I think this is as perfect a use of Tom as you could have in a half-hour episode such as this.

Also, I really like how the antagonists were used in this episode. Amy Sedaris returns as Mina and surprisingly manages to make the role she played for laughs actually feel terrifying and psychotic. In fact, I dare even say I enjoyed her more here than I did in Starstruck and would love to see more of her in the coming episodes. But for literally everybody, Miss Heinous Meteora is what makes this episode really shine. Along with Michael C. Hall as Toffee, Jessica Walter has always been one of my favorite celebrity voices on this show, simultaneously bringing both a sinister, unhinged sense of evil and a delightfully hysterical hamminess to her character in every appearance she’s made so far, and this episode is no exception. But here, she also delivers a sense of emotion depth we NEVER thought we’d get on this show when she remembers (and we all learn) that she used to be known as Meteora, and it’s here that we start to feel both shocked and bad for her as this revelation plays out to us. I dare not lie to you when I say that after this, Meteora may be my favorite villain on the show after Toffee, and I’m so excited for what they’re gonna do with this after tonight.

Overall, Monster Bash was a perfect episode, giving us exactly what we need and quite a lot more than we expected. There’s more episodes on the way in the future, but now with what’s transpired here, you can definitely guarantee that everything’s about to get even weirder and a lot wilder than before.

Next month: Mewni does the Holidays, the ducks do some mountain-climbing, and… third thing!

It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling— that really hollowed-out feeling.
—  J.K. Rowling
A long list of things that everyone deserves to hear:

-You are precious, priceless and extraordinary. In a hundred million galaxies, you will never find another.

-Crying is not a sign of weakness.

-You’re beautiful in so many ways.

-You are allowed to be angry, upset or scared about your current situation. Just never let go of the idea of a brighter future.

-“Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right. We do not always need an intelligent mind that speaks, just a patient heart that listens.“

-Your negative days don’t make your good days any less valid or important.

-Forgive yourself for yesterday’s mistakes. Walk forward with your head held high; today is a new day.

-You don’t deserve the harsh words that you tell yourself.

-Reminder that you have friends that love and care about you in the world! We are all here for you!

-You deserve love, peace, happiness and hope.

-You are good enough.

-Be honest with yourself.

-You are made of stardust. You are a part of this universe.

-Find the beauty in the little and simple. Small acts and gestures shine brighter than the sun.

-“Bravery is not the absence of fear. Bravery is feeling the fear, the doubt, the insecurity, and deciding that something else is more important.”

-You are precious, loved, strong and supported.

-You are worthy of all the love and happiness that the world has to offer.

-Dream big.

-Worrying is toxic. It is what it is.

-People that come in and out of your life are not worth the stress. You are your top priority.

-Shoutout to you! You’re doing the best you can, and it is greatly appreciated!

-You’re a gem. What a wonderful mind you must have.

-Hang in there. I’m so proud of you.

It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling— that really hollowed-out feeling.
—  J.K. Rowling
8

An alternate reality in which Jane Shepard comes from a parallel universe because of a random wormhole.

Being female-assigned, female-presenting nonbinary on International Women’s Day just highlights how much our language fails people with liminal identities.

There aren’t easy words to describe people whose identities are tied together by our external experiences. We’ve got acronyms– FAAB or AFAB– to describe our physiology, but that feels blank and statistical, and assuming external experience is associated only with physiology is flawed and gender-essentialist in its own way. “Woman” and “female” both belong to people who share an internal identity I don’t share. Female-presenting centers the absence of identity, makes me feel as if the only way to describe myself is as an empty facade. Femme is inaccurate; femme is a word that belongs to a different type of identity that I don’t inhabit.

Self-describing “as a woman” not only erases my own nonbinary identity, but also does a great discredit to transgender women by suggesting that “woman” is a descriptor tied to physiology or external experience rather than identity or expression. 

What we don’t have is a word that ties together all of us who share an external experience based on how we are perceived because of our gender assignment and/or perceived presentation. That’s not womanhood, not for all of us, and it’s not the only kind of womanhood. Womanhood, our understanding of womanhood, needs to belong both to women who were never seen for who they were because they were assigned female and women who were never seen for who they were because they were assigned male. 

I share a kinship based on experience with both cis women and trans women, and some things I share more with cis women, and other things I share more with trans women, and some things I share with both and other things I share with neither. But we have no language that lets me relate simply and accurately, because my internal identity isn’t theirs, and we have words to describe internal identity, but none to describe experiencing the same things as a group without truly being part of that group– none that feel right, none that feel inclusive rather than sidelining ourselves by definition.  And it makes it hard to claim and relate experiences, even in places where I feel welcome, without feeling in some way deceitful or erased. 

I want a word to describe internal identity, another to describe physiology, another to describe external experience, because all of those are valid things to identify with and to talk about in regard to their commonalities, but it needs to be very clear in our language that they’re all different things, and that they’re not mutually inclusive in the way our society still generally implies they must be. 

So, anyway. I’m feeling very much on the outside looking in, feeling strong solidarity but no way to express it with the words I’ve got access to. But thanks to all the women out there and all the people our world defines as women for being yourselves and for doing the work you do. 

3

THE PACK MEMBERS + seven heavenly virtues and deadly sins 

(2/?) → Sam Uley

What they’ve bred won’t be able to control its thirst. Every human will be in danger.

It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling— that really hollowed-out feeling.
—  J.K. Rowling

I know it’s been said before, but

I will never be over this dramatic situation. Could I call it irony? Anyway, it smarts a bit in the “favorite character” part of my heart.

Musical! Javert more or less starts the show urging our protagonist (and by extension the audience), “do not forget me” and introduces/ declares himself so many times it’s a well-trodden fandom joke. He builds up his ego and sense of purpose with grand claims of “mine is the way of the Lord” and “I am the Law”. He presents himself with this persona of the ultimate functionary. His name is synonymous with Order, and Justice, without which the world would fall apart.


And then, he dies.


And nobody ever mentions him again.


On one level, it shows that even the most successful functionary is still just a functionary. The part is replaced, the machine survives, and it’s both tragic and ignominious.


But on the other hand, it suggests that in some way, Javert needed to create that dramatic self and talk himself up the way he did because his identity was all he had to hold on to. His personal identity and his public persona were pretty well conflated, and that’s an issue. But at the same time: if he did not make himself important, who would? He is proud, he is assertive, he is alone.


Ultimately, for all that his behaviour in the Prologue is genuinely pompous and self-aggrandizing (heck, for all that he is a smartly dressed empathy-challenged disaster, a volatile element profoundly lacking in self-awareness, an incomplete Jenga tower of a person) it’s horribly sad how he starts the show demanding to be remembered, and then disappears without anyone seeming to spare him a thought.