also keep in mind i have literally no idea how scripts are written

To all my teenage and younger followers...

Let me tell you some life lessons I have learned in my 24 years on this Earth. 

1. Read the fine print. In every lease agreement, credit card application, and bill. Never take the information in large print as truth. The world is a place full of capitalist greed and people will try to swindle you for every dime you have. 

2. A credit card very rarely makes things better. While suddenly having a couple thousand dollars to spend might sound amazing, keep in mind the fact that you’re going to have to pay that back and then some. Never get a card with an annual fee if you can avoid it- because even if you don’t use it, it’ll still cost you.

3. Set up automatic payments. You will forget payments, and that can cost you (literally) a great deal. Set up automatic online payments with reminders so that you know it’s coming up, but don’t have to worry about it. 

4. In-Store credit cards are almost always terrible. Sears, Home Depot, Victoria’s Secret- all of them. They are usually packaged with fun deals like “get $50 off this purchase if you’re pre-approved!”. They fail to mention the 25% interest rate, annual fees, and the fact that it can only be used in that store. 

5. Keep your receipts. Seriously! Just keep a folder in your car and one in your house and drop every receipt you get in them.  At the end of the month dump them out and go through them. You’ll be amazed at what your spending looks like when it’s splayed out in front of you.  It makes budgeting much easier when you see real numbers. These can also come in handy around tax time- you would be surprised at the things you can write off in certain situations.

6. Learn about income tax. Visit the IRS website and educate yourself! It sounds boring (and it freakin’ is) but in no way does high school prepare you for or teach you about taxes well enough to hold your own in the real world. 

7. Claim as little as possible on your W4. When you start a new job, they always give you a W4 to fill out for tax information.  On line 5 of the form, it’ll ask how many allowances you want to claim. Now, claiming yourself may seem like a good idea because you get to keep more money on your paycheck- but it can also come back to bite you at the end of the year.  You may even end up paying in! On that same note, make sure your employer files your tax information correctly. I once ended up paying in $8,000 in taxes because my employer never had the IRS take taxes out of my checks! Whoops!

8. Start a savings fund. No matter how small it is! Even if you just put away $2 a week- it will eventually add up.  If you can, start a savings account that will earn you interest. 

9. Save your paystubs! If you plan to buy a car or rent an apartment, they’re going to want to see them.

10. Write down the start and end dates of every job you have. Making a resume and filling out job applications will be much easier with this information.

11. Make a good resume and keep printed copies as well as a digital copy at all times.  There are many excellent resume writing resources online that can help you (heck, I can help you- I used to work in HR!) buff up your resume.  You never know when you might meet someone who can present you with an opportunity! 

12. Never be afraid to ask for a raise or promotion.  If you are performing well and meeting or exceeding expectations- ask your supervisor for a raise or change of position that will pay more.  If you are aiming for a promotion, stroke the company’s ego, say something like “I would like the opportunity to prove my worth to the company and further my career with (         ).”

13. Debt collectors do not give up. They are a lot like the Terminator.  If you block their numbers or ignore their calls, they’ll find your family members or show up at your house. This is no joke. I have had hospital bill collectors call roommates, my parents, and even my dad once.  They are relentless and they do not care about your current situation or financial stability. They follow a script and expect you to pay up.  It’s hard not to panic when you get that first collections call- you definitely don’t feel in control of the situation. But remember, debt collectors are actually bound by many restrictions- they are barred from: 

-Using abusive or obscene language. -Harassing you with repeated calls.-Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you agree. -Calling you at work if you have asked them to stop. -Talking to anyone but you or your attorney about the debt. -Misrepresenting the amount of your debt. -Falsely claiming to be an attorney or a law enforcement official. -Falsely claiming to be a credit bureau representative. -Threatening to sue unless they actually plan to take legal action. -Threatening to garnish wages or seize property unless they actually intend to do it.

Always ask for written information on the debt- tell them to send you a paper statement of the debt so that you can look it over and decide what to do. Offer to make payments that are within your financial means- if they try to bully you into making larger ones, tell them you are well aware that they’ve looked into your finances and should know what you are able to afford.

14. Get renters insurance. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it! 

15. Take inventory of the things you own. If you own electronics, guns, or other expensive items, write down the serial numbers and take pictures of them in your house. That way, if there’s a break in, fire, or flash flood, you have documentation and data to provide to your insurance company. 


I’ll add more as I think of them, but here’s a start. It’ll be tagged under “successfully adulting”.

EDIT: Here’s a link to the google drive document version of this. It will be updated periodically! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q_YnP3euuJcfjpQY7wuE1JmB_5e60ebZFsfW5f0MtGM/edit?usp=sharing
This document also includes a resources section with links to help you get started in many areas of adult life!

famous falsettos au

prepare yourself for farfetched concepts and my lack of showbiz knowledge

  • whizzer and cordelia are famous broadway/stage actors
  • everyone thinks they’re dating and they go along with it while never explicitly saying it
  • they are the two gayest people alive literally how

  • marvin is a “proper actor” as he calls it, meaning he does tv and film acting
  • marvin is, of course, an acting elitist. “ugh… broadway?”
  • can’t believe that his son loves musicals but “hey, that whizzer brown guy is pretty cute?”

  • charlotte is a director
  • she’s only done tv and film but is making the move towards stage things
  • it’s hard but she’s brilliant and i trust her
  • she meets cordelia on a set as cordelia was making a short tv appearance

  • trina is marvin’s ex and also an actress
  • she’s currently more into making a home now with her new husband, mendel
  • she’s taken up writing again during her slight acting hiatus
  • she wanted to be a writer long before she got into acting but she got her first role and got bit by the showbiz bug tbh
  • she has co-written things before but wants her own creation
  • she’s done both tv/film roles and broadway roles – truly a multi-talented machine

  • mendel is still a psychiatrist (and he was marvin’s prior to mendel & trina’s engagement)
  • he’s so loved on social media because of trina
  • imagine shitty buzzfeed articles about how trina and mendel are Relationship Goals
  • mendel was plastered all over trina’s instagram, photobombing and taking cute selfies
  • trina’s fans insisted he got his own instagram
  • he even got snapchat and honestly if you’re not following it, are you really a True Fan?

  • jason is keeping with his school studies but he’s an aspiring kid actor
  • jason is often between parents with added stress since they’re both famous

  • rumours fly when whizzer and marvin both publicly come out on the same day
  • PR had a field day and the media was going nuts
  • whizzer didn’t really care but marvin was Outraged for no goddamn reason
  • that didn’t stop whizzer from being petty in interviews
    (”i heard that marvin is a nightmare on set, god forbid I ever work with him”)
  • marvin: he did it on purpOSE
    charlotte, exasperated: why the hell would he do that, marvin
  • marvin literally throws the best fit of the year (haha, nice in trousers reference)
  • whizzer is happy to have finally dispelled the rumours that he and cordelia were a thing

  • cordelia has an interview shortly after
    interviewer: so how is your relationship with whizzer faring after the big reveal? how is whizzer?
    cordelia: gayest man i know
  • cordelia is spotted kissing a girl (it’s charlotte but it was a shitty picture)
  • cordelia’s agent is flying off the handle and cordelia just tweets like “i never said i was straight [insert 20 emojis of hearts, rainbows & girls]”

  • whizzer and cordelia are each given a new script to read through for a new musical – both of them love it
  • trina wrote it!! she’s so ecstatic that they like it
  • she wrote a role with marvin in mind and is desperate for him to accept despite his apparent hate for musicals
  • trina went to school with him and knows that he performed in the school musicals, the fucking hypocrite

  • marvin: this is the worst possible thing you could make me do
    trina: i walked in on you having sex with a guy in our home, you insensitive bastard. now read it, asshole
  • guess who loves it?? that’s right, it’s marvin… then he finds out that so does whizzer brown.
  • marvin: i’ll do it-
    trina: yay, thank you thank yo-
    marvin: on one condition: whizzer brown does not
    trina: marvin!!

  • through trina’s flawless persuasion, he finally agrees but he’s not happy about it
  • on their first meetup, marvin is nervous as hell. i mean he hasn’t performed in… years? he’s praying those high school singing lessons do him well.
  • charlotte is pulled in as director because of cordelia’s high recommendation
  • she walks in and cordelia stands up to hug her
  • cordelia: look, look, look, it’s my girlfriend!!
    whizzer: *gasps* nepotism
    cordelia: is it nepotism if she’s not technically my family?

  • cordelia is the lead and performs her Big Emotional Number. the whole room is silent, basically everyone is crying.
  • marvin starts a slow clap that erupts into applause
  • cordelia rushes over to kiss her girlfriend.
  • whizzer, nudging marvin: still hate musical theatre?
    marvin: how di-
    whizzer, turning away: i did my reading
    marvin: hmph
  • he’s a stubborn fuck

  • marvin and whizzer have a duet and the whole room can practically feel the sparks and “god, is it hot in here?” or is marvin just blushing up a storm
  • whizzer is also in disbelief. this arrogant prick gets talent as well?? sure, marvin’s voice is sort of wobbly but there’s heaps of promise.

  • whizzer: wow… didn’t know you could sing. i thought you were the result of further nepotism *eyes trina*
    marvin, smirking smugly: i didn’t know you could sing either and she literally divorced me, whizzer brown
    whizzer, deadpan: ha ha
    marvin: well then, how do i compare to caroline? [co-worker that whizzer once praised]
    whizzer: how did y-
    marvin, grinning: i did my reading

  • marvin & whizzer both had their “oh god, i kind of like this guy” moments

  • they have their first group run through to see if the cast actually has any chemistry and of course they do
  • it’s a huge cast and they do a big upbeat number and everyone is beaming, practically glowing.
  • this is the moment everyone realises this show is going to be a hit

i’m gonna stop here but i have lots of ideas. feel free to send me asks about certain aspects or any ideas you may have!! i’m happy to share more if there’s any actual interest in this. this is super self-indulgent.

Honest Voltron Characterizations

@alluraofaltea posted something similar and while I don’t agree with some of her items, I did think it sounded like a fun idea, to see what people’s interpretations of the characters were. Special thanks to @fenfishtrap for pointing it out to me.

I’d love to see others do this too -

Keith - Hi, I’m the main character…I think. The show really can’t decide. I mean, I fit all the requirements, I’m the best pilot, my character design looks like it was pulled right from a Go Nagai manga, but I’m also a complete hothead, make the same mistakes over and over, and don’t learn from my experiences. One second I’m being told I should lead the team, the next I’m put out of focus for an entire season because my actor got a role that paid more. I would have a Freudian excuse for all this, except the only people who saw my moping about my mom were hardcore fans that watched an internet exclusive blog entry. Thanks to that everyone thinks my lack of character development means I’m flaming gay. Well, this season I’m going to try moping about not getting in the f*cking robot. Maybe at least that will lead to fans hooking me up with a hot redhead girl.

Also I’m half Galra which means either nothing or I have Hitler genes baked in.

Shiro - I’m the main character when the executives are done with the script editing. I’m also, depending on the fan describing me, either a shell shocked prisoner of war that just wants to sip a Corona on a beach and really should be out of the line of fire, Optimus Freaking Prime and the Chosen One, or a gay pedophile. My relationship with the Black Lion is about the same. Also I may or may not be a clone. I’m pretty sure that I’m supposed to be the Roy Fokker to Keith’s Hikaru/Rick Hunter, but I kinda suck at it on screen. Thankfully there’s fanfic because Shiro loves you baby. ❤️

My robot arm makes for a killer Winter Soldier cosplay at least.

Hunk - I’m the FOOD GUY. Get it? Because I’m fat which means I like to eat and literally have no other character traits. And yet out of everyone, I’m canonically the most successful with the ladies, so I have that going for me. Chicks love a guy that can cook. I’d mention my other skills and personality traits, but they’re kind of nonexistent, while my Japanese counterpart in GoLion was a judo master because over there, heavyset, stocky frames are common in sports like judo and sumo. Nope, I’m all about the food, and looking like an idiot. Usually because of food.

Pidge - Hi, I’m Katie, although everyone calls me Pidge, and it took four seasons to explain the nickname. Better late than never, right? Thanks to progressive writing, I’m now a girl, but everyone thinks I’m either trans or gay because I don’t have D cups. Yay being progressive. When the show bothers to focus on me, I’m actually pretty kickass, but the fandom still treats me like I’m made of porcelain. I may or may not have a crush on Lance (not that I’d ever admit it) but the fandom is also quick to label anyone who thinks so a pedophile. Even though he’s only two years older. Progressive! At least my brother thinks I’m cool.

Lance - Thank you, thank you. I am clearly the favorite character of the entire fandom even though most of said fandom portrays me, the confident ladies man and bundle of issues, as either a self loathing gay man or a male Disney Princess. The best way for the fandom to gay up something is to add me to it when I would rather find a hot girl to take with me on my lion. Then again, this is the same fandom that thought “hey man” was me flirting with Keith. More essays have been written about how I’m the real hero of the series and Keith’s alleged love for me than on the root causes of the US Civil War. I just want a girl to know the real me, you know?

I’m also canonically Cuban (not that it’s ever acknowledged in the show) which makes me one of a very few non-sterotypical Hispanics in animation alongside Miles Morales. And yet my fandom often portrays me as a MEXICAN stereotype instead. No, I won’t sing “Gasolina.” Shut up.

Allura - My original incarnation was the grandmother of shipping cartoon characters together, but because I’m the same age as Keith as Lance, as well as, let’s face it, my “character design change”, I am now a Strong Independent Black Woman That Don’t Need No Man, or a butch lesbian stereotype. This is despite two characters declaring me beautiful on screen. I may or may not have feelings for Keith but they’re about as consistent as who the lead character is. A lot of fans wish I just stayed in the castle ship even though I’ve gone on and on about wanting to honor my fathers legacy by being a pilot. People keep calling me “Space Mom” when I am terrible with kids. Again, probably because of my “character design change.” Without it, I’d probably be everyone’s waifu.

Lotor - The show can’t decide if I’m supposed to be Prince Zuko to Keith’s Aang or the Char Aznable to his Amuro Ray. Probably the former given the show’s complete hatred of all things mecha. I run things for about six episodes before being kicked out of the command room because it’s easier to write Zombie dad. The showrunners complete hatred of giant robots means I get to fly in a series of increasingly silly looking ships. Also I am NOT a rapist! Sincline was, and I am not Sincline! My old crush on Allura is gone, but let’s face it, it would never work out here. Also someone made a homemade body pillow of me, am I’m not sure if it’s flattering…or incredibly disturbing.

Zarkon - I make Cobra Commander look nuanced, and I am literally a zombie. I’m also the only one of these idiots smart enough to fight Voltron with a robot of my own, which you THINK would mean my dumbass son would make more of them.

Voltron - I’m supposed to be the latest incarnation of what Americans think of when they think of giant robots like how Mexico thinks of Mazinger Z and France thinks of Grendizer. Instead I’m a glorified cannon that is woefully out of place in this super cereal space opera. My five lion components apparently have minds of their own…maybe? Most fans (and the writers) forget I even exist even though the damn show is named after me! The show itself seems to have no idea how to use me, so I guess we’re all in the same boat. I’m pretty sure there’s more fanfic starring Shay than there are about me. Fans don’t even want me in a hypothetical video game, and Japan would rather bring back Combattler V for the next Super Robot Wars.

college! minhyung

a/n; inspired by a series of unfortunate events that happened to yours truly, and it’s my first time writing a college au so please enjoy:’)

Originally posted by nctaezen


  • major: music and audio tech
  • mark really liked music and making music so when he heard there was a course for it he immediately signed himself up for that
  • and he’s in the school’s dance club,, a very underrated dancer
  • tbh he partially got in because of his looks
  • also an underrated visual in nct
  • but mostly because this boy got those sick moves and he does music too?? yes please
  • i’m not saying that he’s the campus hottie but that’s exactly what i’m saying
  • but he’s really low-key and just wants to pursue his passion in music
  • and do well
  • you and mark met through this thing where you get admitted early into a course you like
  • you,, chose communications and media management or mass communications, as you would like to call it(i shall refer it to cmm)
  • and mark was there for the early admission exercise too because he had it as a backup if he couldn’t get into music and audio tech
  • at first the whole room was super tense because,, cmm is fiercely competitive
  • and you needed more than just language to get through this whole thing
  • when you arrived, you took a seat at the back because,, isn’t that what students do
  • and then mark came into the room like a really awkward bean
  • literally bows to everyone while saying excuse me
  • and he takes his seat beside you(!!)
  • you were lowkey screaming because,, why would someone as hot as mark sit beside you,, an average girl who just wants to get into the damn course
  • and your school didn’t had guys like that
  • let’s take a moment to imagine mark in casual clothes, like that red lacoste polo tee and ripped jeans and black vans and a kanken?? did that made your heart race? because it made my heart do just that
  • ya’ll know exactly which pic im referring to
  • so you decided not to be a chicken and make friends w him
  • “i’m really nervous,, i’ve yet to internalize my script for the screen test later”
  • “same,, i’m more worried for the written test tbh” with that shy smile of his
  • ok b4 we move on there are 3 components of your early admission exercise thing
  • 1. written test 2. screen test 3. interview
  • and basically you have to go through all of that lmao
  • ok let’s get back to the story
  • “i’m sure you’ll do well, uhm..”
  • “mark”
  • “mark, yep”
  • “and you’re?”
  • “y/n”
  • “that’s a pretty name ^^”
  • you swore your heart dropped
  • fast forward to the interview, you and mark were in the same group
  • and the damn lecturers had their radar on you bc wow reader you’re a catch
  • “so y/n, we saw that you write fiction in your portfolio, right?”
  • you broke into a sweat bc they ain’t gonna reveal that you write fanfictions in front of mark
  • “yeah i do”
  • “so could you please come up with a plot and characters for a current affair you know?”
  • you were pretty shook because fanfic ideas only hit you when it’s the right time(ff writers do you feel me)
  • so you were stuttering,
  • “i lost my childhood friend in a tsunami??”
  • and the lecturers literally cracked up at your idea
  • but they couldn’t blame you though, its hard to come up with an answer on the spot
  • at the end of the interview, mark was also lowkey cracking up
  • “omg i can’t believe you said that y/n, but i gotta admit it was pretty creative”
  • “i know right, why did i say that…” 
  • “i thought it was really creative and different though, i liked it”
  • there goes your heart
  • fastforward to the beginning of the school term
  • mark and you exchanged numbers on that day and when you guys received the results of the posting he wasn’t in cmm but music and audio tech
  • tbh you were rlly happy for him bc you guys were convenient friends from that day on and he was so excited and passionate about making music its just so so heartwarming
  • and well, the first assignment the lecturer gave was about a collaboration?? article
  • it can be between any student as long as its a different major
  • and it applies to every student on campus gdi
  • so the first person that came to your mind was mark
  • so after your lecture you ran straight to the block mark’s lecture hall was at
  • and as soon his lecture ended you ran up to mark who was busy chatting with his newfound friends
  • “mark! did you get the collaboration assignment?”
  • “yeah i did, why?”
  • “c-can i collab with you?”
  • and all his friends were all stunned like,, why is this girl suddenly coming up to mark to collab
  • “s-sure, why not?” with the mark giggle, you know what i’m talking about
  • “good, i’ll see you soon then,” you winked, leaving mark dumbstruck
  • and when you left your heart was leaping out of your chest and you mentally slapped yourself for winking at mark
  • anyhow, you and mark would meet up every other day to work on the assignment, with mark as your protagonist of your article
  • and mark makes a music piece, as you take part in producing the music piece
  • but the song is actually about you!!
  • basically mark talks about what he learns in the course, like making music and stuff
  • he also plays the guitar which is a plus
  • whilst you guys were collabing
  • mark gained attention for his insanely good looks, which he often denied and pushes the campus hottie title to taeyong,, his senior
  • and also his music making and lyric writing talent
  • have you seen his rap freestyle in snowball project??? like how did you even mark lee 
  • and you gained attention for your writing, one of the top cmm students in school with a bright personality and media sense
  • and rumour goes around the campus that the best students of both majors are collabing and are already scoring those As lmao
  • that rumour was true and everyone was looking forward to the finished products of the geniuses of the school
  • while you two were collabing you two got to know more about each other
  • and you know,, you,, like,, like,, each other its so cute 
  • you two keep sending signals to one another
  • for mark its adding smileys to his texts and a few hearts and like holding the door when you enter the recording studio and all those gentlemanly stuff ugh so sweet
  • for you,, its just more affection and skinship and playful slaps on the shoulder
  • the rest of the school; “pLEASE DATE ALREADY”
  • both of your friends literally could sense those signals but the both of you couldn’t
  • so on the last day of doing the assignment you and mark would show each other’s completed assignment
  • you showed mark your article of him, alongside with a candid picture of him working on the music you took secretly
  • “omg y/n,, this is so good, thank you so much”
  • “you’re welcome mark,, it’s nothing,, really”
  • and mark showed you his finished music piece and you were so proud of him because the song actually sounded legit and not by a college student
  • after the music ended, mark looked at you seriously and started fiddling with his hands
  • “you know,, y/n,, i’ve been wanting to tell you this in the longest time…”
  • “what is it?”
  • “that,, i really like you,, since the d-day we met, i really like how you are so passionate about writing and stuff… and how pretty you are and…”
  • “i like you too, mark, i really really like you”
  • and the you two hug and boom youre dating aAAAA so cute
  • dating college!mark would be the softest thing ever
  • he would memorise your favourite drink and buy it for you every morning without fail
  • you reckon mark would be broke by the end of the year from buying your favourite white chocolate mocha from starbucks every morning lol
  • and wait outside the girls’ dorm for you
  • and the main point is he looks good while waiting for you that sometimes you come down a lil later to just take candid pics of him waiting for you LOL
  • if mark’s lectures end earlier than yours, he would wait for you outside your lecture room like omg sweetest boyfriend ever
  • basically you guys are like inseperable
  • but he’s a lil shy with the pda during the first steps of the r/s so expect loads of blushy mark
  • but when he’s warmed up to it he’s like the clingiest baby ever
  • he does give you space tho,, which youre thankful for
  • and when he stays up too late to do his music assignment you would creep into the studio to bring him some snacks and coffee
  • and make sure he gets sleep because this boy can’t be stopped unless youre around
  • you joined the dance club soon after he joined an like you two are the literal power couple with the visuals and talents just,,, debut together please
  • when ya’ll did 1million dance studio’s All I Wanna Do choreography iT WAS LIT AND SLAYING EVERYONE WAS CHEERING
  • mark is generally rlly shy with compliments so you always compliment him so that people dont take advantage of his humility if that makes sense
  • like there was once he had a group project and je did most of the work and everyone was like “mark you did all the work!! this isnt a group project”
  • mark was like no omg my teammates did the work too
  • and his jackass teammate was like “oh mark only did half of the work and we did the most”
  • you were ready to fight that asshole and mark had to literally hold you back 
  • mark really likes it when you steal his hoodies and wear it to lectures bc you look so cute in them
  • and his graphic tees too this boy has gr8 fashion ngl
  • when the break rolls around you guys would go cafe hopping and eat till your stomachs were almost exploding
  • and also shopping for clothes and all that
  • mark was willing to be your human guinea pig when you buy makeup when your hand runs out of space for swatches
  • and when its time to pay mark just shoves his credit card to the cashier and youre like
  • “mark youre gonna be so broke thats $128 worth of makeup”
  • and you pouting and mark had to use his fingers to lift your lips up into a smile
  • “you’ve done so much for me for just being my girlfriend, babe, just let me pay for it this once”
  • and it was the 34th time he paid lmao
  • anyhow dating!college mark is all pure and fluffy and innocent
  • please give mark lots of love

Can I just say that H and L’s lyrics fuck me up more than any video or picture proof? This year they have both made it a point to talk about the honesty in their writing. Louis said that the honesty of his lyrics helps fans see a side of him they don’t normally see. Then, Harry with his upcoming album release, has been stressing the fact that these upcoming songs are written about his own life and his experiences. They’ve both expressed and talked about the honesty in their songs, so it really makes you wonder what all these songs are about.
The themes of freedom and forbidden love are so fucking redundant in the songs they’ve written on, it’s hard to be oblivious (but of course antis still manage)
Starting with the most obvious two songs, Home and If I Could Fly:
“So long I’ve been waiting to let go of myself and feel alive. So many nights I thought it over, told myself I kind of liked her, but there was something missing in her eyes.”
One verse in and already hinting at a gay anthem. Louis had a girlfriend before x factor and before Harry. In my head, this verse is talking about when Louis was with her, unsure of himself and scared of what he was feeling, or rather, what he wasn’t feeling. There was a time when he was only just beginning to discover himself, a time of self inflicted hiding. I honestly think this song is about the path of self acceptance after so long of telling/forcing yourself to be something to fit everyone else’s standards. It’s him realizing, hey, maybe I’m not into the gender I was told I’m supposed to like.
It gets more obvious when Louis sings, “I see the smile as it starts to creep in. It was there I saw it in your eyes.” FUck me up with that pronoun change. This song is a literal gay anthem. The fact that Louis sings that part, directly followed by Harry singing, “I was stumbling, looking through the dark, with an empty heart, but you say you feel the same. Could we ever be enough? Baby we could be enough.” This song is such a larrie? I suck at explaining, but just imagine you’ve spent 18 years of your life forcing yourself to be something you’re not, and then you meet this person and everything sort of clicks. This person makes you feel safe, but with all of the outside forces and circumstances, you wonder if its all worth it.
“And it’s alright. Calling out for somebody to hold tonight. When you’re lost, I’ll find a way and I’ll be your light, you will never feel like you’re alone.” The chorus is lead by Harry and finished with Louis singing, “I’ll make this feel like home.” Honestly, the fact that Louis had to leak and promote this song himself says enough.
Harry just had to make it more obvious by writing a response.
“If I could fly, I’d be coming right back home to you. I think I might, give up everything just ask me to.” For someone who has never publicly been in love before (a huge contrast to Louis’ constant het image), he sure does write some heart-wrenching love songs. If his writing style is so terribly honest, where do all of these feelings come from? This song is so vulnerable its hurts to listen to. It’s reassuring and heartbreaking all in one. In the chorus he’s literally saying, if you start to lose yourself and feel like no one is there for you I will give you my love (makes me think of all the stunts and lying Louis has been put through and how he’s starting to forget himself), I am all yours, no one else will ever see how much I love you, you’re my other half, for your eyes only.
Also, real quick, the heart thing, “I can feel your heart inside of mine, I feel it.” Always in my heart?? OKAY MAN.
Then you have Louis’ solo, “I’ve got scars, even though they can’t always be seen, and pain gets hard, but now you’re here and I don’t feel a thing.” Harry is his safety, his sanity, his home. Through all the years of lying, closeting, harsh remarks, and rumors, Louis should have broken down long ago, but Harry has kept him grounded. Thinking of all that Louis has been though makes me tear up, and even when he has seemingly no one, he manages to keep himself standing and strong.
“My hands, your hands, tied up like two ships. Drifting, weightless, waves tries to break it.” Here we go again with the forbidden love, standing together, and holding on. This theme is so constant in their lyrics, it’s almost laughable. The nautical references (Tattoos anyone?) and symbolism stands out clear and loud. Strong is literally just another gay anthem. My mom’s GSA at her school (she’s a teacher) are using this song on their Day of Silence playlist BECAUSE IT’S SO OBVIOUSLY GAY.
The chorus just hits it all the way home, “I’m sorry if I say I need you, but I don’t care, I’m not scared of love. ‘Cause when I’m not with you I’m weaker. Is that so wrong? Is it so wrong? That you make me strong.” The amount of pride in this chorus make me so happy. I can just imagine Louis thinking, “Screw management, screw pr stunts, screw the media, screw homophobia, I love you and I’m not ashamed to say it.” Black and white, clear as day, Louis is deadass saying that he is not ashamed of himself and no amount of forced closeting or homophobic remarks will change that.
“So baby hold on to my heart, oh need you to keep me from falling apart. I’ll always hold on, ‘cause you make me strong.” AND THERE IT IS, hold the fuck on bitch (if it all goes wrong, darling just hold on).
and it’s not just the “hold on” thing that reoccurs. The words “strong” shows up a lot too and Jesus fuck “heart” must be their favorite word because it’s practically in every goddamn song (not surprisingly).
The chorus of Through the Dark just takes the cake, “I will hold you closer, hope your heart is strong enough, when the night is coming down, we will find a way through the dark.” Anyone else get major Home vibes? What the actual fuck man?
But can’t dwell on it too long, this is only the beginning my dear friend, because of course we’re back at it with the forbidden love.
“But I can’t hold you too close now, through the wire, through the wire.” This keeps happening, doesn’t it? Singing about hiding your love and being torn apart (and yet elounor do anything but hide). The bridge (sung by Harry dearest), “Whatever chains are holding you back, holding you back, don’t let them tie you down…tell me you believe in that.” Do I even have to explain at this point? They’re so fucking obvious I wanna scream. Actually, at this point the themes are so redundant, I’m just gonna list some more lyrics and let them speak for themselves:
“I think I’m gonna lose my mind, something deep inside me I can’t give up…I got a feeling deep inside, It’s taking all I got…’cause nobody knows you baby, the way I do (If I Could Fly vibes)…It’s been so long, we must be fireproof, ‘cause nobody saves me the way you do…I think I’m gonna win this time, riding on a wind and I won’t give up, I think I’m gonna win this time, I roll and I roll ‘till I change my luck.” Love wins, always.
“Then there’s me, a sinking boat running out of time. Without you I’ll never make it out alive, but I know, yes I know, we’ll be alright…There’s no way you can change the rolling tide, but I know, yes I know, that I’ll be fine…I don’t want to get lost in the dark of the night…’cause I wanna be free, and I wanna be young, I’ll never look back now I’m ready to run.”
“You say we’ll be together even you’re lost…Is it too much to ask for something great…The script was written and I could not change a thing. I want to rip it all to shreds and start again…You’re all I want, so much it’s hurting.” Okay but ouch :’(
“Used to sing about being free, but now he’s changed his mind.”
Do you get what I’m saying? Do you get why I call it redundant? Because these words and ideas take play in almost every fuckin song they write.
Now, turning to songs Harry has written that aren’t for One Direction: I Love You and Just a Little Bit of Your Heart.
“I fell in love in the morning sun while the hours slipped away. Sometimes when I hear your name, a smile creeps on my face.” Here we have Harry giving major Home vibes yet again.
“And I know that it sounds so wrong and you’ve heard it all before. I didn’t come back and I wasn’t there, I wont trouble you no more…Every time I try to fight it everything just turns out wrong. Maybe if I got my timing right, I wouldn’t end up alone.” I honestly don’t know how to explain these lyrics. I just feel like they have a special meaning and I have to include them. Harry doesn’t say or write anything just for the sake of it. He’s raw and honest and emotional.
“I fell in love with a beautiful boy and you still take my breath away. When you left it was the end of my world ‘cause I never got to say that I love you, more than you think I do.”
Now for a song that brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart heavy:
“I don’t ever ask you where you’ve been, and I don’t feel the need to know who you’re with. I can’t even think straight, but I can tell that you were just with her, and I’ll still be a fool, I’m a fool for you.” I don’t think this song is necessarily about cheating. It’s definitely about loving someone so much, you’re willing to share their heart. In a larrie perspective, this song gives major hints at how Harry feels about the stunting Lou does. He tries to hide the hurt from Louis because he knows its not under their control. Harry is a naturally jealous person presumably, and at one point in time he was incredibly insecure. It only makes sense that seeing Louis going out with beards and holding someone else’s hand would break him, even just a little. “I don’t ever tell you how I feel…and nothing’s ever easy, that’s what they say. I know I’m not your only, but I’ll still be a fool.”
“I know I’m not your only, but at least I’m one. I heard a little love is better than none.”
“Just a little bit of your heart is all I want…Just a little bit is all I’m asking for.”
Fuck pr stunts. Free my babies :’(
And okay, I know Ed wrote 18, but hear me out. “I have loved you since we were eighteen.” (or that one time on stage when Louis sang “I have loved him since we were eighteen.”). And then we have Steal My Girl, “She’s been my queen since we were sixteen.” I mean, Harry and Louis just happened to be sixteen and eighteen when they first met, but hey, that’s none of my business.
Okay, I’m just going to finish this off with Perfect, because if I try and get into Just Hold On or Sign of the Times, I’ll never finish this post. Also, because they fucking wrote it together.
“I might never be your night in shining armour, I might never be the one you take home to mother, and I might never be the one who brings you flowers.” I might not be able to love you publicly, I can’t treat you the way you want me to, I can’t hold you or show public signs of affection or show you to the world, but for now I can promise to love you.
“When I first saw you from across the room.” My mind just keeps bringing up that picture from X factor of L and H looking at each other from across the room through the crowd.
And the bloody chorus, just give me a moment because I’m tired of their asses and their need to reference forbidden love all the goddamn time, “But if you like causing trouble up in hotel rooms, and if you like having secret little rendezvous. If you like to do the things you know that we shouldn’t do, then baby I’m perfect, baby I’m perfect for you.” WHAT HIDDEN LOVE HAVE THESE TWO EXPERIENCED? Their public het love life is anything but hidden. “And if you like midnight driving with the windows down, and if you like going places we can’t even pronounce, if you like to do whatever you’ve been dreaming about, then baby you’re perfect.” Hiding in the comfort of night, running around, traveling the world together. This chorus is deadass the Just Hold On music video. Funny how the one song Harry and Louis wrote together happens to explain their love story perfectly.
“I might never be the hands you put your heart in or the arms that hold you anytime you want them, but that don’t mean that we can’t live here in the moment, ‘cause I can be the one you love from time to time.” Once again, I can’t love you in public, but give me a chance to love you anyways, even if I wont always be there. The message stays standing throughout the song; I can’t promise perfection, but maybe we’re perfect for each other despite all this shit, so give me a chance, even if I can only give you so much.
“And if you like cameras flashing every time we go out, and if you’re looking for someone to write your breakup songs about, baby I’m perfect, baby we’re perfect.” Of course, people turned these lyrics into a Haylor thing (genuinely laughable). I’m just gonna say it, I think there are definitely times where they’ve taken a break from each other. I’m not gonna say broken up, because I strongly believe they’re still together and giving up at this point is the last thing on their minds, but theoretically, they’ve written breakup songs about each other (Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Love You Goodbye, I Love You (sung by Alex and Sierra), Spaces). I mean, Harry and Louis were so adamant to make it known that they had written this song together, they clearly hold this song near and dear to their hearts.
I dont know. This straight up became an essay. This is what happens when you’re a songwriter and a larrie, bye lmao.
love wins. always.
always you.
always in my heart.
yes, of course, always.

anonymous asked:

As someone who's autistic, what advice could you give to someone who itsn't autistic, attempting to write one?

a hobby of mine is looking at other people and trying to guess their life. the breakdown is usually as follows: routine, personal appearance, mannerisms, and interpersonal interactions. since autism is a spectrum, they can place all over the board, so maybe compare my answers to a few others so you can find what best suits the character and storyline.


routine - change is hard, okay? like…. really hard. so most auties have some semblance of a routine bc it keeps things simple and it’s calming. sometimes the whole day is planned (breakfast, work, stop at the park, home) and sometimes there’s a lot of variables so only One Thing is constant (only This for lunch)

a simple “as usual” when describing an action is gr8 at the start, and if The Plot wrecks this character’s routine, make it clear they’re anxious. some auties have serious meltdowns, and some will just be slightly on edge.

personal appearance - this can be part of the routine (wearing a specific “uniform” of sorts), but this can also hint towards sensory stimming or a special interest. a lot of auties prefer soft and heavy clothing (sweatshirts are gr8) and simplistic hairstyles that don’t require a lot of maintenance (braids and messy buns are common) and younger ones tend to have hair that’s down and slightly unkempt.

fidgeting is v common, so if your character has hoodie strings or loose garments, they’re probably messing with them. chewing on clothes is also common! ik it’s gross but I never see that in fiction.

mannerisms - this is really where a lot people will decide “yep that’s autism”. do they touch or avoid everything? are they really loud or really quiet? nervous ball of energy or completely stoic like a statue? what about hand gestures (flapping, flicking, heck even sign language)? vocal stims (humming, singing, repeating words/phrases to themself)? auties tend to be one extreme or the other, but keep in mind stims are mainly for coping so they might escalate when stress is high.

a lot of these ~quirks~ aren’t pretty so please be mindful when presenting them. I’d appreciate knowing the character’s stims are seen as lovable rather than annoying. also keep in mind that auties are often self-conscious so we may try not to stim in front of certain ppl, which can lead to Sensory Hell (everything is A Lot, too bright, too loud, too much touching me, aaaaaaaaaaaa). a shutdown (quiet and internalised) or meltdown (there’s usually crying) quickly follows.

interpersonal interactions - auties tend to have 0-2 friends, but usually they’re really close. while auties are more literal, some do understand jokes and a lot are really good with puns. in new scenarios, we have “scripts”, which are taken from what we’ve seen in movies or other people, that we try to match. sometimes this works great, sometimes not. facial cues aren’t our strong point, so eye contact is either hit or miss and we may smile at the wrong times or not know another person is being sarcastic or mean.

a common trope is that autistics are distant and cold, which is sometimes true but it’s overused and a negative stereotype, so maybe have a different character be the moody one. instead of distant and cold, maybe your character infodumps about their special interest as a way of bonding. also note that depending on where this character falls on the spectrum, they may not “act autistic” or they may be “highly autistic”. avoid saying stuff like that, as well as “mild autism”. sometimes ppl need a little more help!! and there’s nothing wrong with that!!


writing an autistic character shouldn’t be that different from writing an allistic one. it’s okay to mold your character after a couple auties you personally know, and it’s okay to have a few stereotypical behaviours (like trains as a special interest) so long as they aren’t exaggerated or the focal point. as auties are marginalised, keep from comparing them to aliens or robots or animals or otherwise Other (if your story is about anthropomorphic space robots, please disregard). endear the character to at least some other characters in the story and to the reader, but don’t present them as acting younger than they are (grown men with fidget toys are still adults, not kiddies!).

check out the #actuallyautistic tag for some more ideas and you can always read works written abt auties by auties online (searching ”autistic” on ao3 for example). hope this was some help nonny!

anonymous asked:

Aren't you at all frustrated with the ending? You seem to really like the reality show/everyone's memories and talents are fake twist and take Shirogane at her word for the truth. Doesn't it annoy you that everyone else except the survivors, Tsumugi and Amami are basically rendered irrelevant in future installments or worldbuilding because they were literal nobodies outside the game? It sure as hell still frustrates me that my favorite characters (especially ouma) will not be important at all.

No, I quite like the ending. And while I think Tsumugi was certainly telling the truth about some things in the Chapter 6 trial, I’m relatively certain she was lying about others. In fact, there’s plenty of proof to suggest that she was absolutely lying about having “scripted” Momota’s illness, as well as that she could influence emotions and feelings for the characters. Tsumugi may have been able to set certain “scenarios” in mind or had something of an idea of what she wanted each character to perform or embody on the show, but she certainly couldn’t control them or bring them to mind.

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frankchurchillsaysrelax  asked:

What are your thoughts on the 1999 Mansfield Park? It's been years since I saw it and all I remember is that Jonny Lee Miller made me like Edmund and be okay with him and Fanny getting together. Just wondering if it's worth a second watch.

While it’s not without its issues, I would say that as adaptations of Mansfield Park go, it’s the best adaptation of Mansfield Park we have available. I admire the bold choices Patricia Rozema made in her script and direction, which show what a director and writer can do in bringing a story to life on-screen with concrete ideas of the story they want to tell, rather than simply Putting On The Show of the novel. For this reason, it is, for me, a stand-out adaptation compared to many Austen films and miniseries(…es?).

With Fanny and Edmund, for me, there’s still that moment of “oh my God they are cousins” but much like the weird Wife Husbandry dynamic between Emma and Mr. Knightley, it’s a thing which wasn’t considered As Weird in Austen’s day and it’s just one of those things which will never age well as society begins to take a harsher view on these things with a better understanding of power-structures and the vulnerabilities of women and also how inbreeding works. (I know, I know, genetically first cousins are as likely to produce a child with congenital abnormalities as any woman bearing a child past her mid-thirties, but in the particular case of Fanny and Edmund it’s more of the social taboo of it, with them having been raised so closely. We all have those childhood friends who are no blood relation but it would be Too Weird to think of them romantically or sexually. (This doesn’t always happen, but it IS a thing.) Maybe it’s because all my cousins in my extended family I consider as alternative siblings who I just see slightly less often than my actual siblings.)

Anyway, the Kissing Cousins weirdness is just inescapable thanks to how Austen set up that particular plot so I can’t fault the film for being unable to change it.

JLM’s Edmund is sweet and manages to be as artlessly stupid and earnest enough to make him…forgivable? Almost? Like, I keep thinking of that one shot in the film where Mrs. Norris is offering ‘round the tray of biscuits or whatever to the whole assembled Bertram family, only to whisk it out of reach when Fanny is the only one who displays any interest in taking one. Edmund is right there, but happens to be absorbed in looking at the book in his hands, and so I guess he doesn’t see that particular slight…but he cannot seriously be that unaware, all the time. After Henry Crawford’s proposal, even Sir Thomas who is literally always in his study or else abroad says he knows there’s been noticeable neglect of Fanny in comparison to how the Bertram children are treated at Mansfield Park. Given just how willingly blind Edmund would have to be to let the mean treatment of Fanny slide isn’t exactly addressed in the short space of a feature film, but I still feel like in the stretches of time we are not shown but in which we can presume his ignorant behaviour continues, Edmund is still a dick by default. He ends up contrite and romantically fulfilling Fanny’s dreams and he does stand up for her sometimes and he’s so very much framed as the Hero that it is easy to forget what we don’t even see happening, but the more I dwell on it the more disgruntled I am, as always, about Edmund Bertram, in general.

I’ve yelled at length before about how narratives are adapted between media forms and how necessary it is (particularly with older texts which pre-date cinema and could not have been written with any such notion of such an audio-visual art-form in mind,) to know how to use film effectively to tell a story, and how to integrate what is important in the narrative you want to tell, and how to leave behind what is unimportant or unusable in the media format to which you’re bound. Rozema did this very well, I believe; and of course it is not so text-accurate an adaptation as other Mansfield Parks, but this, I think, its its greatest strength. A great novel does not necessarily mean its story, unaltered, will make a great film. Rozema is one of the few writers and directors who is courageous enough to actually adapt in her adaptation, to play to a story’s strengths and spirit, rather than letting a film get bogged down into something inferior simply in order to attempt to reconcile her narrative and characters with a source material which was never meant for film, in the first place.

Romeo and Juliet Thing Official Post Yay

Okay guys, I’ve been getting a lot of messages it the last few months asking me to post the rest of my Romeo and Juliet english assignment that got pretty popular. I’ve edited it and I feel like it’s ready to be posted here. Firstly, though, I would like to cover a few things.

  1. Most importantly, though it may seem obvious, this contains heavy themes of suicide and casual mentions of self harm and attempted suicide. It also features drug use and guys who think the friend zone is a legitimate thing. All of these things, minus the friend zone, are taken directly from the original play, but it remains that if you find those things offensive or triggering you should not read this. Parody or otherwise, Romeo and Juliet is about suicide being taken lightly by two teenagers and their families. Please use discretion.
  2. You may use this script (scripty thing kind of) to: show to your class, show to your teacher, perform, film, write a song about it, show it to your friends, read it to your dog or whatever you want to do with it. However, I do ask that you credit me for it using my tumblr url and also my first name and last initial, because my full name is currently not mentioned on this blog. (Jessie M will do.) I also ask that you don’t make any money off of it. Which can get tricky if you’re performing it, I know. Sorry. If you’re performing it I would love to see it filmed if you can! (No idea if people will actually like it enough, but I thought I’d cover myself.)
  3. This is a parody of Romeo and Juliet, and I know some people have really been interested in hearing the rest, so sorry if it doesn’t live up to its hype, but I did try.
  4. This was written and is set in 2013. I wrote it with Australia and specifically my own town in mind, because it was for class, but I don’t mind where you set it if you perform it.
  5. If you can think of something I haven’t answered please send me an ask and I’ll add it.

Here it is under the cut. It’s long for a tumblr post. You have been warned.

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bluestarsaber  asked:

Of all the villains in the dreamworks HTTYD franchise both dragon and humans in a list what would rank from least to best?

This is such a fun question! I know there is no possible way for me to answer this objectively; my list of least to best villains is going to be highly subjective and will not necessarily list off villains from most to least popular in the fandom. Lots of people will probably disagree with my list, but that’s totally cool! On different days, I might have written a different list, too.

I know I won’t be including all the times the dragons are villains; there are single episodes where Changewings or Speed Stingers are antagonists, for instance, but they’re portrayed as evil or bad overall. For that reason, I’ve excluded dragons which were antagonistic for only single episodes.

The way I will judge HTTYD’s awesome array of baddies is by several factors: 1) unique skills, 2) memorable personality, 3) antagonistic “chemistry” with Hiccup, 4) intimidating presence, and 5) ability to get the best of Hiccup and the gang.

Honorable Mention: villain!Valka, from the original draft of HTTYD 2

I will rave about villain!Valka for eternity. I adore the concept of her. We can’t judge her in this list because she technically never happened, but there is some really cool and crazy stuff that would have happened had the first script of HTTYD 2 become the final one.

15. Savage

Savage is not an intimidating villain at all. He’s pretty cowardly by and large and keeps himself alive by bowing to the highest authority. He serves under both Alvin the Treacherous and Dagur the Deranged, and is in every single season of DreamWorks Dragons thus far, but still ultimately fails to make an impression to viewers. He’s done nothing scary. Rather, Savage serves as a narrative device to make the other villains look scary rather than him. Savage has his place in the narration of the DreamWorks universe, but if we want to rank him alongside the other villains, we’ve got a lot of other bad boys who outrank him.

14. Captain Fiske

Captain Fiske is the antagonist of the sixth Riders of Berk graphic novel, Underworld. While his backstory with Stoick the Vast is interesting, his character overall feels rather forced. He’s a stiff, typical villain bent on vengeance… but the vengeance story is convoluted rather than convincing. He does manage to tie up Hiccup and all his friends, but he’s also very quickly taken out by the teens, too. Captain Fiske emerges from the underground, but just as quickly fades back into the dark.

13. Arngrim Dammen

Dammen’s upbeat, salesman-like personality is interesting, but his story isn’t too memorable over time. Like so many other characters - Eret, Drago, Ryker, and Viggo - he’s someone who takes dragons and uses them to his personal advantage. Dammen is interesting in the fact that he manages to kidnap Stormfly, yet ultimately what is most interesting about the adventure in The Ice Castle is how Astrid reacts to events… not anything Dammen himself does throughout the comics. He glumly surrenders after Hiccup and Astrid begin an ill-coordinated attack in his home territory.

12. Mildew

Mildew’s personality is meant to be grating, and the writers succeed in making him grate against you. This character by and large is not likable; people seem to dislike Mildew so much that I haven’t seen any chatter about appreciating him as a villain. An old, grouchy man who complains to Stoick half the time isn’t extraordinarily intriguing storytelling by and large, and a lot of the plots in which Mildew takes the antagonistic side don’t feel very high stakes. Mildew is the most active during early Riders of Berk episodes, during which the biggest problem is mainly whether or not the dragons are allowed to stay on the island. This repeated story is frustrating to audiences rather than threatening. 

Nevertheless, Mildew’s later actions in Riders of Berk make him climb in rank above lesser-known villains like Captain Fiske and Arngrim Dammen. First of all, people tend to remember Mildew as a villain before Savage’s name comes to mind. It’s because Mildew is more memorable and does more damage. Second, when you think about what Mildew does, he actually does deserve some applause for his antagonistic schemes against Hiccup. His tension against Hiccup starts as guilt-tripping… but ends in kidnapping.

Mildew is one of two people who concoct the idea for Hiccup to be tricked and kidnapped by the Outcasts. This man, who has presumably lived on Berk more or less peacefully (well, “peacefully”) for many decades. However, he ultimately chooses to betray his long-term place of residency, his very home, because he cannot tolerate how Berk has changed. The fact Mildew holds allegiance to Alvin potentially suggests that Stoick and Alvin’s rift decades ago caused some controversy. But I digress. The point of the matter is that Mildew outsmarts Hiccup, and has enough acting skills to do it twice. Mildew might be the most loathsome and intolerable personality on this list, but we do need to laud the fact this old man and his sheep gets the prince of Berk manacled and thrown behind bars.

11. The Skrill

Dagur’s skrill has been seen in a grand total of three episodes. The poor creature doesn’t do much except fight Hiccup, fight Dagur, and fight everybody… but the way it fights the gang is electrifying. The skrill is a very formidable dragon, and it’s hard for Hiccup to ever get the upper hand on it. It makes this dragon a bit more intimidating than the average draconic antagonist; our intelligent dragon trainer ultimately has to block the skrill and retrap it in order to save the day.

10. The Purple Death

The Purple Death is quite the destructive dragon. Though the Purple Death only has a brief stint in the fifth Riders of Berk graphic novel, the dragon’s attack has the distinction of taking place on Berk itself and causing some serious damage. Not even the Screaming Death had the pleasure of collapsing Berk buildings, yet the Purple Death’s attack is memorable because of how close to home it hits - literally home. However, while the Purple Death is meant to be a more exciting “power up” version of the Red Death (and a great call back to the original book series), the fact that Hiccup can successfully defeat the dragon without touching a scale on its back makes it a little less intimidating in retrospect.

9. The Screaming Death   

The Screaming Death makes its mark much more than most draconic antagonists. The force of this creature is unreal: it can go about destroying entire islands. This threat - and its enormous jaws - follow Hiccup and his gang for an entire season. The idea that a dragon can disrupt the ecosystem of dragons and destroy entire islands is memorable, but its interactions with Hiccup’s crew are largely just straightforward chase and fight scenes. The dragon riders flee from the Screaming Death, the Screaming Death chases them, and it tries to open up its jaws to bite them in two. That’s about the extent of this dragon’s screentime, and after a while, it doesn’t feel that new.

8. Ryker Grimborn

I like Ryker Grimborn. He’s got an attractive personality and a foreboding presence. Nevertheless, when you think about what he accomplishes, the answer is… not much. Ryker is physically strong and he manages to act as a superior over Dagur (amazing feat in itself), but he’s the agent of someone far more powerful. It means that Ryker, while a thug with a good personality and recognizable facial hair, is still a thug who underestimates Hiccup and his gang like everybody else. Arguably Ryker is more competent of a villain than someone like Alvin, but by this point in time, we’ve seen a lot of villains like Alvin and Ryker around, so Ryker doesn’t contribute too much in terms of looking for something “special.”

7. Drago’s Bewilderbeast

You might have noticed that I grouped most of the dragons together. They tend to follow pretty similar patterns when they play the role of an antagonist against Hiccup. Drago’s Bewilderbeast, like many dragon species, is just acting according to its nature and environment. The beast is abused, forced to act against Hiccup. Yet this dragon is MUCH more powerful than anything we’ve ever seen before: it can breathe ice, control entire nests of dragons, and even force Toothless to kill a beloved friend. That’s pretty unique - and a very dangerous arsenal.

The Bewilderbeast isn’t ranked as a higher villain for a number of reasons. First, it’s not totally a villain. This Bewilderbeast is a victim of cruelty. Second, and related to point one, Drago is the real culprit for the Bewilderbeast’s actions. Third, the fact that this dragon is always being controlled by something does lessen some of its villain stats. The Bewilderbeast is huge, it’s tough, and it’s a ginormous problem… but the brains behind this poor beast’s brawn are more intimidating when you sit down to think about it.

6. Alvin the Treacherous

At one point in time I would have ranked Alvin higher. Of all the antagonists in Riders and Defenders of Berk, he’s probably my personal favorite because of his personality. Alvin the Treacherous is a pretty standard Viking chief - brutal, fierce, war-oriented. He’s also a pretty typical villain - controlling, cruel, ready to kill, and bent on power and revenge. By and large Alvin is a rather prototypical villain in the world of villains.

Nevertheless, there’s great character chemistry “between” Hiccup and Alvin. Alvin’s presence feels like The Natural Antagonist to Hiccup, so when the two of them are facing off with one another, it feels like the protagonist-antagonist fight meant to be. Part of that is that Alvin is derived from Hiccup’s main enemy in the book series, but the dialogue of DreamWorks Alvin himself works very well with DreamWorks Hiccup. It’s great to see Hiccup sassing Alvin, Alvin mocking Hiccup, and the two of them going off on adventures on each others’ islands trying to gain the upper hand.

Alvin has the distinction of being the first villain to kidnap Hiccup or any of the other characters. As is such, it comes as the biggest surprise to viewers. The plan to lure Hiccup to the Isle of Night is immensely clever, and Hiccup falls helplessly into Alvin’s grasp. It’s a bit of a shock to see Hiccup pinned to the ground and Alvin emerge the first time one watches “We Are Family”! That’s a great villain moment for sure. 

Alvin also is implied to do some of the worst things to Hiccup of any of the villains. He starves Toothless for several days, leaving the dragon muzzled, chained, and suspended in what’s sure to be an uncomfortable position. Hiccup is chained, imprisoned, and threatened to be executed. If this weren’t a children’s show, the way Alvin would be trying to force Hiccup to work for him might have involved some… corporal pain… as well. It’s no wonder how worried Hiccup is about Alvin by “Live and Let Fly.”

However, Alvin as a leader is by and large hapless, if you think about it. His Outcasts can’t do anything right, and the fact it’s so easy for Hiccup to get out of Alvin’s grasp certainly diminishes his presence as a villain.

5. The Red Death

The Red Death might be smaller and less powerful than the Bewilderbeast, but there’s a greater sense of novelty when you see the Red Death. This is the first enormous dragon you ever see in the HTTYD franchise, and the first antagonist in the entire DreamWorks world. The Red Death makes an impression as a frightening, hard-to-defeat boss, especially for a Viking civilization that’s never even ridden a dragon before, much less tried to fight one the size of a mountain.

The Red Death inflicts major damage on Berk before taken down. The dragon - with a SINGLE blow of fire from its jaws - burns down Stoick’s entire fleet, killing a number of Vikings undoubtedly in the process. The entire tribe fighting against this dragon quickly realizes they’ve engaged in a suicide mission, and the best Stoick and Gobber can do is buy for time. They fully expect to die while allowing others to retreat. Hiccup and his inexperienced dragon riders do manage to defeat the Red Death, but it’s a narrowly won victory, and comes at the cost of Hiccup losing his leg.

4. Dagur the Deranged

At another point Dagur would have been ranked way below Alvin the Treacherous. He’s never been a favorite villain of mine, but I can’t deny that he’s done some pretty crazy and dangerous gestures against Hiccup, even moreso than Alvin. Dagur manages to kidnap and nearly kill Stoick; Dagur manages to oust Alvin and take over the entire Outcast Tribe; Dagur constantly manipulates others with whom he is “working”; and Dagur is the single most destructive villain. Wherever Dagur goes, horrible horrible horrible things happen. Because he is a psychopath, he goes much deeper into evil deeds than someone like Alvin would ever dare to do.

Aside from Drago Bludvist, Dagur is the villain who has to have killed the most people in his lifetime. Drago probably only beats Dagur in death count because he has a dragon army on his side. However, of all the villains, Dagur is the youngest (Hroar is probably younger than Dagur is by RTTE, but Dagur in ROB would be younger than Hroar). This horrific man commits patricide to take the Berserk chiefdom. He commits genocide by laying waste to Heather’s village, killing all the people on the island aside from her. He actively thirsts for blood and kills with very little provocation or reason.

The truth of the matter is, Dagur is terrifying. Although the writers keep the screen child appropriate, it doesn’t take much imagination at all to know Dagur’s true capabilities. This man would stop at nothing - be it even torture or rape - if he were allowed to take over the screen on his own free will without restraints.

Dagur might act deranged, and he certainly is a little kooky, but he’s also very crafty, which makes for some interesting plots against Hiccup. His interactions with Hiccup on screen are also distinct in the way he calls Hiccup “brother,” though the revenge and blood lust he has isn’t all too unique for a villain. By and large, while Dagur isn’t my favorite villain, perhaps because he feels a bit two-dimensional at times, I will certainly acknowledge that he’s one of Hiccup’s worst enemies out there.

Recent developments with him in RTTE make him cooler. He’s growing on me. The fact that he defended Heather and even released her is shocking and makes for someone more three-dimensional.

3. Drago Bludvist

Many people seemed unimpressed with Drago Bludvist when he first appeared on screen in HTTYD 2. I, too, didn’t find him too intriguing when I went into theatres the first time. However, by the second and third viewings, I started to grow in appreciation for Drago. Though there is little seen on screen with him, the more you think about him, the more ominous and horrifying this character becomes.

Drago is Hiccup’s most formidable opponent. This man isn’t simply a brute, tall and powerful, but someone who conquers by crushing spirits. Drago will defeat people, but not just any old way: he defeats others by breaking their spirits before he kills them. Every single person who falls victim of him is subjugated to realizing they have been defeated, and that on the face of it all… they are powerless… they mean nothing. 

Drago knows how to make people feel powerless. He almost succeeds in crushing ever-resilient Hiccup, even. This man turns Hiccup’s best friend against him; it’s HORRIFYING that Drago could make Toothless almost kill Hiccup. It’s scarring. Stoick dies, and Hiccup is so distraught that he loses his rationality on the spot, freaking out over daddy’s death with no recognition he’s operating by pure emotion and no ration. Hiccup chokes up during the funeral and says he doesn’t know what to do; only the encouragement of his mother makes him realize he needs to step forward and be chief. Drago’s action almost succeeds in breaking Hiccup’s spirits, and getting the best of the boy without even killing him. Yikes.

This man is so powerful he has forced a mountain-sized dragon under his complete control. This man is so powerful that he has an entire army following him, doing his bidding, even though many of his followers are terrified of him and would probably rather be halfway across the world. This man is so powerful that he’s conquered nation after nation - his army is multicultural. This man is so powerful that twenty years ago, he was already powerful enough to murder a room full of war-trained Viking chieftains. This man is so, so, so, SO powerful. For at least twenty years, if not thirty, he has consistently won battle after battle after battle with a dragon army. He’s built an empire. He razes everything down. This man is a ravenous, cruel, psychologically crushing juggernaut. And while Hiccup wins one battle against him in HTTYD 2, Hiccup certainly hasn’t won the war.

We’ll learn more about dragon in HTTYD 3. His character introduction in HTTYD 2 might not have been executed flawlessly, but he’ll feel less two-dimensional once the third movie comes around and we get his promised backstory.

2. Hroar

This character from the Riders of Berk comic The Stowaway is someone I wish could appear on screen. Though he has a minor appearance and arguably not much impact, I’m rating him this high because I like him and see that there would be a lot of potential in him were he ever to be expanded upon. I know he should be lower on the list, by all accounts at least lower than Drago (the man who killed STOICK), but I just can’t help but smile whenever I think about what Hroar could have been.

First off, Hroar has charisma. He’s a legitimately attractive, confident, charming man, and acts genuinely friendly in many instances. Hroar is an infiltrator and an Outcast, so it’s likely he’s done some faking, but it seems like he actually isn’t a bad person by-and-large. He just… happens to have grown up in a tribe that’s enemies with Berk, and believes the dragons need to be taken care of.

Hroar is extremely skilled in fighting, but he’s got an even more unique talent: he’s basically a dragon charmer like Hiccup is. However, instead of calming dragons and befriending them, Hroar knows how to incite them. Hiccup and Drago are largely foils, but Hroar and Hiccup mirror each other even more. They are both young men of their tribe, talented at controlling dragons; they’re both smart, charming, and likable in their own non-typical ways; they’re both completely unique for their tribe; they’re both willing to go to crazy ends to get what needs done. 

Hroar and Hiccup, ideally, could be archnemeses. You could imagine a world where Hiccup and Hroar are pitted one against another, dragon boy against dragon boy. Most other villains try to capture, enslave, and subdue dragons through force. Hroar just stokes them up with a more natural touch. It makes him more powerful with the beasts and more adept with them. If Hroar really wanted to return to Berk, he and Hiccup could have a freakish go that would force Hiccup to work in monumentally different ways.

It’s true that Hroar is pretty easily defeated through an oversight. But then again, most of the HTTYD villains have this happen to them the first few times they run into Hiccup. Alas, Hroar has a lot of potential going for him, but I doubt we’ll ever come across the Outcast lad again.

1. Viggo Grimborn

I have only seen two episodes with Viggo Grimborn, but he’s already at the top of the list. You’ll likely be seeing me rant about Viggo for the next few weeks because I am so stoked about this character’s concept.

Viggo is everything the other HTTYD villains are not. Most villains are angry, passionate, bloodthirsty, and vengeful. Viggo is cool, collected, and merely intrigued at Hiccup. Most villains are intelligent but think in typical Vikingly matters. Viggo is a mastermind who can outmanipulate even the revolutionary mind of Hiccup Haddock the Third. Most villains shout out their orders and command their people to follow them through intimidation and force; Viggo manipulates through a creative combination of fear, trust, strategy, and verbal charisma. Most villains are pretty clearly “bad” in how they think and act; Viggo sets himself up in his opening monologue as a morally gray character, who sees one man’s evil as another person’s righteousness.

Viggo sees through everybody. There’s no tricking Viggo, there’s no outmanipulating him. He outmanipulates manipulators. He sees right through Heather, but manipulates her into luring in Hiccup’s entire dragon riding gang into a trap. Then he plays a game with Hiccup, toying with the life of Heather as the stakes. In this game, Hiccup loses to Viggo three times in a row.

Hiccup doesn’t lose that much, and that quickly, and that soundly to anybody. Furthermore, Hiccup even went into this challenge knowing he’d have to be on his best to confront Grimborn. However, Hiccup quickly falls into a trap, surrounded by dragon hunter archers, just as he fell into Viggo’s first trap the night before. Viggo outright declares Hiccup would be dead if he willed it, but instead lets Hiccup get a head start. Humiliatingly for Hiccup, Viggo catches the boy despite the head start, and this time outright paralyzes Hiccup and Toothless before they can do any damage at all. This would be a second time Viggo could just kill him. It’s a cat playing with a mouse; Hiccup might finally leave the dragon hunters’ camp alive, but Viggo gets the Dragon Eye and everything he wanted. Hiccup was just sport for him, he won every battle, and it comes to the point that Hiccup emits out a long, drawn scream of frustration.

Everything about Viggo is amazing, from his poetic speech to his mesmerizing presence to his calculating mind to his manipulative tactics to his calm collectness to the fact he completely, repeatedly kicks Hiccup’s butt in the course of one and a half episodes. If the writers continue to keep Viggo so challenging a villain to beat, then he’ll establish himself as the number one villain in the HTTYD universe.

Glastonbury: Arcade Fire interview 

It is fair to say that Arcade Fire didn’t have the best of times at their Glastonbury debut. Their sole previous appearance on the pasturelands of Worthy Farm in Somerset, where the Canadian group were promoting their second album, Neon Bible, was acclaimed by all who saw them. But in meteorological terms that year – 2007 – was one of the giant British rock festival’s more challenging outings.

Or, in the words of the frontman Win Butler later that same year, the Grammy- and Brit Award-winning band found Glastonbury not an iconic, hallowed high point on the global festival circuit but ‘a f***ing nightmare… a mudpit’.

Seven years and nine million album sales later, Butler is more forgiving. Slightly. ‘We had this amazing experience,’ Butler, the singer/guitarist, says. Offstage he’s a sincere, sober chap, but his demeanour – and his previous comments – suggests it wasn’t quite what they had expected. ‘Our friend was getting married in Ireland, so we flew in to the UK and took a cab. We said to the driver, “Glastonbury, please…” And he said, “Where’s that?” He was from Bangladesh, and he got us on site and we just drove through all the humanity,’ Butler says with feeling, the image of 177,000 bedraggled music fans clearly still etched on his retinas, ‘along a wooden trail, through everyone. And the driver said, “Woah, this is so much crazier than Bangladesh.” There were drunk people putting mud patterns on the windshield of the car,’ he says, ‘and we were beeping and there was no one from the festival [organisation] clearing a path. There was no way to get backstage at that point; you had to drive through the whole crowd. It was kinda, ah, amazing,’ Butler says again, still not entirely convincingly.

His guitar- and keyboard-playing brother, Will, is slightly more forgiving. ‘When Glastonbury is hellacious it’s still really fun,’ the junior Butler, 31, two and a half years younger and rather more smiley than his brother, says. ‘It’s legendary for being hellacious! I’ve always known Glastonbury as being thigh-deep in mud. But it is so rooted in contemporary culture and Sixties culture and pagan culture and medieval culture. It is deeply, deeply British.’

Actually, he adds, the father of the band’s guitarist/accordionist/keyboard player Richard Reed Parry was ‘a medievalist into passion plays and Morris dancing. So Richard’s experience of carnival is explicitly British. And it’s all the dressing up, putting on a mask, becoming someone else and the social order turning upside down…’

You might say that is a pretty accurate summation of the spirit, or ethos, of the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. It is also a fair description of where Arcade Fire see themselves in 2014. Touring the world in support of their wildly acclaimed fourth album, Reflektor, the six-piece from Montreal are taking to the world’s stage with gimmicks including wearing papier mâché heads, performing from within the midst of their audiences, requesting that fans attend shows in fancy-dress, and augmenting their line-up with brass, string, Haitian percussionists and visual effects by the party-load. It is, they say, about shaking up the precepts – the limitations – of what a rock concert can, or should, be. ‘We did look into doing this tour playing from the floor and raising the audience up a little – we actually did the math,’ Win says. ‘But it was cost-prohibitive.’

Who better, then, to headline Glastonbury’s main Pyramid Stage on the opening night this year?

It is the first Friday of May, exactly eight weeks before Arcade Fire’s appearance at Glastonbury. The band are in Atlanta, Georgia. Tonight they play Aaron’s Lakewood Amphitheatre, a 19,000-capacity venue just outside the city that is half-covered, half-open. This hot afternoon several band members are idling in the backstage area, groggy after the overnight bus ride from the previous evening’s concert in Nashville.

Régine Chassagne, co-singer and the wife of Win Butler, admits that today she is feeling ‘fuggy’ and ‘fuzzy’ in the head. Chassagne is also distracted by the seemingly random noises drifting from the stage. She is, like all of her bandmates, a multi-instrumentalist. But her musical ear seems keener than most – all she can hear are glitches within the soundcheck that is just starting up.

Win is an imposing figure at 6ft 5in, even when he is under the weather: he is snuffling, sniffing and coughing with a tour cold. A fitful night’s sleep in an extra-long bunk on the tour bus hasn’t helped. ‘I never quite get used to the bus,’ he says heavily, cradling an Eye Opener juice from Wholefoods. ‘But it’s better than going to the airport every day.’

Last night’s concert sounds like it was quite a show, the band’s impassioned fans fully embracing the fancy-dress request. ‘There was a guy dressed like Jesus who stood up on someone’s shoulders with his arms out for the encore,’ Will says, laughing. ‘A little distracting!’

Chassagne explains Arcade’s Fire enthusiasm for audience participation. She is of Haitian descent, and is keen to evoke the free-flowing carnival spirit of her homeland. Thus the band’s gigs are ‘not a recital,’ she says emphatically in her Québécois accent. ‘It’s a communal experience, and we’re making that happen together. The audience inspire us to be even more into it. The more they’re into it, then we’re even more into it. And it goes up and up and up and up!’ she says giddily.

Arcade Fire formed in Montreal a dozen years ago. Transplanted from the oil-company suburbs of Houston, Texas, where he grew up, Butler was the son of a geologist. He had come to Montreal to study scriptural interpretation, and there he met Chassagne. She was a jazz singer and player in baroque and medieval ensembles. Around the couple coalesced Win’s brother Will, plus Canadians Parry, Jeremy Gara (drums, guitar) and Tim Kingsbury (bass, guitar). Arcade Fire self-funded and self-released their debut EP and album – financial independence, they reasoned, begat creative independence. Funeral, their first album, was released in September 2004 in Canada, with a British release five months later. They were an instant critical success, with Britain falling particularly enthusiastically for their anthemic and widescreen yet literate rock music. Little wonder that U2 were early adopters, using Arcade Fire’s rousing Wake Up as the intro music on their 2005/6 Vertigo tour, and later inviting the band to support them.

Little wonder, also, that the band they are most often compared to is Radiohead. Win Butler describes hearing the band’s 1995 album The Bends as something like an epiphany. As a 15-year-old at an exclusive boarding school in New Hampshire – his father’s alma mater – it was British guitar music (Radiohead, Joy Division, the Smiths, the Cure) and writers (George Orwell and John Kennedy Toole) that spoke most to him. (Their album Neon Bible was named after Toole’s first book, written when he was 16, but published posthumously, after A Confederacy of Dunces had made him famous.)

A decade since the release of Funeral, Arcade Fire are one of the biggest rock bands in the world, feted by fans, critics and stars. David Bowie is a guest vocalist on Reflektor, and has joined them on stage; Bruce Springsteen has covered their song Keep the Car Running; David Byrne and Lou Reed were enthusiastic attendees at the band’s shows.

Filmmakers, too, have been drawn to Arcade Fire, partly through Win Butler’s evocative lyrics. Terry Gilliam, another of Win’s heroes, filmed them for a YouTube film at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Terrence Malick shot them for an as-yet-unreleased film set in the Austin, Texas, music scene. And Spike Jonze directed a film, Scenes from the Suburbs, scripted by the Butler brothers and a companion piece to their album The Suburbs. Arcade Fire returned the compliment – they wrote the Oscar-nominated score for Jonze’s recent film Her. Asked about his own film-making aspirations, Win says almost in passing, ‘I’m sure I’ll do something in film at some point.’

They have been touring Reflektor since its release last autumn. It is a double-album that, aside from Bowie’s guest spot, features Rodin’s sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice on the cover; references Greek myths; and pays homage to the rhythms and carnival culture of Haiti. Their current single is equally ambitious and freighted with meaning.

On one level We Exist is a funky, singalong pop song with a Billie Jean bassline. Dig a little deeper – and quiz Win on his lyrics – and its narrative emerges: it is the story of a gay teenager in Jamaica fighting for acceptance. The video features the actor Andrew Garfield playing a transgender character. The clip climaxes with Garfield, in woman’s dress and wig, stumbling on to the stage of April’s Coachella Festival in California, rocking out while Arcade Fire perform their headline set.

Arcade Fire are a band of equals, but some are more equal than others. Win Butler leads from the front, his vision and faith as robust as it always was, even when he was a teenager in the sprawling, well-to-do suburbs of Houston. It was a faith that lasted throughout his schooling. Didn’t his father – a scientist, and presumably rather empirically minded – ever question his son’s professional direction? Something along the lines of, ‘I paid for this education – you’d better use it’?

‘No, he really never pulled that one,’ Win says. ‘I mean, I’m sure he had some doubts at times. But I was pretty self-assured about the whole thing. I never had a lot of existential doubt about whether I could be a musician.’

The alternative career that he briefly considered was filmmaking. ‘But I got a whiff pretty early on of how corporate that was, of how much money you need. If you have an idea, the steps to actually execute it involve so much loss of control and so much outside money. So very early I remember having a feeling for that and thought, no, I’d rather be by myself with a guitar and have creative freedom.’

It sounds as if he had an unshakeable confidence that the music would come good. ‘I just don’t even think about it that way,’ he says, frowning slightly. ‘If you’re a musician, if you’re supposed to do it, you do it. Maybe it’s different for those who see themselves more as performers.’

To illustrate his point, he mentions an interview with Britney Spears that he saw ‘a few years ago. She was in a singing competition when she was a little kid. And the first time she heard that applause was the first time she knew she wanted to be an artist.’ Win shrugs. ‘To me those are the two schools. Either you’re in it for the applause, or you’re in it because it’s what you were supposed to do. More of a vocation.’

The Butlers were raised in a Mormon household, and religious imagery and language swirl about many Arcade Fire songs. But as with the lyrics of Nick Cave, it is there to lend wings, depth and mystery to the art rather than to speak of innate godliness. In any case, Arcade Fire are not wholly cast in Win’s image. He is an uncompromising character but the band will challenge him. He seems to relish the creative flux that goes along with building a band of six opinionated, creative and very active musicians. (Earlier this month, Parry released an album of classical compositions on Deutsche Grammophon.)

‘Yeah,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to be a f***ing solo artist. There’s a certain amount of give and take involved in being a band. But the positives far outweigh the negatives. It’s not even worth talking about. Almost every band that I think is great has multiple songwriters behind it. It’s people doing their best at whatever they do, in that moment.’

Chassagne had met plenty of players on Montreal’s vibrant music scene, and was no fan of rock’n’roll, and even less enthused by rock’n’rollers. But in Win she recognised someone who was serious about music. ‘That is how we connected,’ she says. ‘I didn’t believe it at first. He said, “Oh, I play a little guitar, a little piano…” I thought, “Yeah, like everybody does.” But then he played me a few songs. I am so deeply, deeply into music and I had met someone else who was.’ She gasps, lost for words. ‘So it was kind of special.’

The romance didn’t get in the way of their work because they are both so committed to songwriting. ‘Just writing songs and writing songs and writing songs… It goes together. If there’s a nice day where nobody bothers us and the phone doesn’t ring too much, we write a song. Every time,’ she beams.

So that’s date-night for the Butler-Chassagnes?

‘Writing songs. Seriously! We just write songs. It’s so great. I love it.’

Later, at the soundcheck, Arcade Fire work through versions of Radio Free Europe by REM and Hey Ya! by OutKast, Georgian artists both (the band do a site-specific cover of a song by a local band at every show). Both Chassagne and Butler move purposefully about the stage, conferring with and guiding the musicians – a dozen in all.

The show itself is a sensation. Some of the band arrive on stage from among the audience, their big papier mâché heads bobbing above the cheering crowd. All of the band are elaborately costumed. During Flashbulb Eyes, as Chassagne bashes merrily at steel drums, Will Butler plays keyboards while wearing a square LED box on his head.

For My Body Is A Cage – only the fourth song – streamers fly from the stage; every song, it seems, is treated like an encore. During We Exist, a back-projected video shows four hairy builders doing slinky formation dancing. In another song, Chassagne suddenly appears, singing, on a tiny stage within the throng of the crowd. For the first actual encore, 10 ‘bobbleheads’ – fans wearing papier mâché likenesses of Bono, the Pope and other, more indeterminate public figures – cavort across the stage.

All things considered, Glastonbury 2014 couldn’t have picked a better opening night headliner. And for his part, Win Butler was genuinely excited about the prospect of a return engagement, especially when I told him of last year’s glorious weather conditions. On top of that, his and Chassagne’s one-year-old son will be with them, which only adds to the good spirits. During our interview, Butler brightens up immediately when the smiley blond infant toddles over. Purist to the last, the couple ask me to not divulge his name. But their child is fully embedded within the Arcade Fire party; he has his own Reflektor onesie, stitched by a woman in Butler’s parents’ church. He even has his own tour bus – an inflatable playpen in the shape of a VW camper van.

‘He’s coming everywhere. On tour it’s great, cos there’s a lot of downtime. We watch a lot less TV now,’ Win says wryly. ‘That was my dad’s only real advice: you just learn to be more efficient with your time. You choose your hobbies more wisely. Which is a good thing. A 34-year-old guy should haven’t that much free time. Songwriting, bit of basketball maybe, and I’m good.’

anonymous asked:

with social media the audience is having a much louder voice concerning the media they consume and the producers of those media cant not escape their voice but how much influence do you think they should have in the story.


I have a one word answer to this, but giving just that feels overly simplistic and partially inaccurate, so bear with me.

One of the most interesting debacles in recent television history is the ending of How I Met Your Mother, a show I don’t watch, but know enough about thanks to the controversy. It ran from 2005 to 2014, also known as too goddamn long, and while generally a hangout comedy descended from Friends, had one basic concept: Boy Meets Girl, but Who is the Girl?

When this show began, it established one romance: Ted was in love with Robin. Robin however had different goals from Ted, and in a shocking twist, was revealed as Aunt Robin at the end of the series premiere. Which, duh. You need something to complicate the audience’s expectations that Boy and Girl will get together in the end. Otherwise there’s no drama. Nothing like the future telling us NOPE to get a bit of that in, and given a short run, this would be nothing but fun. A challenge to the audience members who are crafty enough to know it for what it is, and an obstacle for those who just want in on the ride.

Except the obvious: It was not a short run. It was, again, too goddamn long. Interest in Ted/Robin waned. Adoration of Barney/Robin thrived, to the point where the show in its final year structured its entire season around the event of their wedding. While there were still some holdout fans of the original endgame couple, generally most fans bought what the show appeared to be selling: That ultimately Ted outgrew his affection for someone who actually wasn’t particularly right for him, and they both found better matches. Which is why millions of viewers and hundreds of thinkpieces have since ranted at length over the show’s ending, which decided to stick to the plan they had all along: Ted and Robin forever, haters and literally everything they set up to the contrary to the left.

There are arguments out there for how viewers misunderstood the point of the show. Some point to a fixation on the mother, when the show was always about Ted. Others, to the show’s own words about how no matter how many women he encountered he returned plenty of times to Robin. But that’s just the thing. Did viewers misunderstand their intentions? Absolutely. 

Was the involved staff responsible for not responding to that misunderstanding by course-correcting the writing?  I think also yes, absolutely. Again: The entire last season is essentially about Barney and Robin’s wedding. They have obstacles–they overcome them. Throw in a lot of care and attention put into making the audience care about the actual titular mother, and I don’t think it’s a question that the writers failed to do right by their audience. 

You can’t please every fan. You can’t make things 100% clear to every fan. But there’s a huge difference between 1% of the audience being wrong and 99% of the audience being wrong, and in their case, it’s clear which one it was. 


Which is where it gets complicated though. I strongly believe in the above. Enough that I even tried to sit through the series finale. I just don’t think that’s the same as influence–and in terms of influence, I actually think the answer is the audience should have none. 

Now, should there be feedback? Yes. Concrit is an incredibly important part of the creative process, particularly when it comes to TV. In a book, you could say it begins and ends with the written word, that one can work to make ambiguous elements clearer but that there’s not a lot of room for the story to escape the writer’s intentions. In TV though, there are practically infinite ways. Direction, cinematography, performance–all of these things can alter the original scripted intention, and sometimes, it’s a lot easier to consider the reaction than it is to regain objectivity and see what actually came out of the final product. 

Example: Bryan Fuller has gone on record as saying that Will and Hannibal’s relationship was a response to what had developed beyond his original desires. If you watch the show, honestly, you can see this. There is a clear shift that I’d put at around mid-season 2 where they begin to play a little more with the energy, and then by 3, it’s just one long romance as they commit. Ultimately, however, that was his call to make. He was not siding with anyone when he did this, and if–God willing–the show continues, I suspect a lot of people will be disappointed with how the relationship plays out from there, if they felt he was. All Fuller did is listen. He considered what the actual story was saying beyond what he had meant it to say, and he found he agreed with the reaction–with the idea that the reaction was speaking to a true thing. He could have also disagreed, and course-corrected, and that would honestly also be fine and respectful–so long as he actually did course-correct, so as to not promise something he did not mean to give.

Again: You can’t please every fan, and rarely are the numbers as simple as 99% and 1%. Different social media sites often have different majority voices, and even within fandom/Tumblr, you can have clear dissent. Everyone has an opinion and thinks they have a good reason for it. Everyone thinks, due to the nature of the internet and the human mind and a slew of factors (confirmation bias, echo chambers, et cetera) that their opinion is backed up by others. Picking from that when one actually sees the full range of thoughts is impossible, and even if one could pick, who’s to say if it’s right? Fans think wrong things all the time. 

ALL THE TIME. 

ALL. THE. TIME.

So, in my opinion, the healthiest response any fan can have with content is to believe it closed and immutable. To believe that they can speculate and theorize and critique as necessary, but not expect their voice to be reflected within the content. Partially because actually I’d like to think this would inspire more change, not less. It’s hard to imagine a show continuing to queerbait, for example, if no one keeps watching it. If there’s no hoping they can change the staff’s minds with write in campaigns and tweeting and, essentially, free publicity that is perceived to have weight because of the investment involved, but which is being freely given and thus does not need to be rewarded. Because as you say: social media has immeasurably changed the conversation between creator and consumer. But it does not necessarily change the power dynamic. The voice of the consumer is always escapable–it’s called the back button. It’s called block and mute. Hell, some people like Jeremy Carver don’t have a social media presence period–they’re not hearing anything unless they actively seek it out. 

In the end, a voice is only as good as the ear listening to it. It’s the rest of the body that can move and act and really make itself known.

So, for those of you who happen to be new to following, let me catch you up on something my longer term followers are aware of:  I go through certain tags. I used to try and engage them (not very nicely, mind you) but these days I’m a little too involved.

Plus, they have, for the most part, blocked me.

So what I do is screen cap posts I see in the tags. Tags are open and free to everyone – all tags. I find particularly pathetic posts and bring them to light in order to continue the process of pointing out how some people who folks think are cool and doing a good thing are actually lying to you fairly constantly.

So, here is one example of such,  All of the above answer can be summed up in a single sentence:

Because I say so

But the woman in question (who is not thirteen and is a college student, she claims, but still acts like a 13 year old boy who hates everyone) is at least somewhat aware that her saying that has no real value so she lies to people in order to cover up the fact that the only reason she says that is that she thinks it makes her cool and hip and part of the group of people she wants to pal around with (transphobes who cling for all they are worth to a racist ideology that ultimately harms her).

So let’s go down the line:

1 - Her assertion here has yet to be proven.  It is, on her part, an assumption. Additionally, her stating that is an act of gendering things, and is also an outright act of violence, as I explain in depth, with sources, here.

2 - They did not have boyhoods. They had girlhoods and were raised by people who mistakenly thought they were boys and really wanted them to be boys. SO she is lying to you. while being violent and abusive and actually truing to speak for two people about whom she knows next to nothing.

2a - It gets better: she uses a stereotype of women and men that was created by the patriarchy in order to make her point, and is actively using a form of gender behavior that is directly tied to the notion that men are a certain way because biology and women are a certain way because biology when science has definitively established, over and over and over again for the last 75 years, that none of that is factual.  Indeed, this same person has made the exact argument that people are not that way because of biology.

2b - She also proves that she does not understand what male and female are, what socialization is, and uses a hilarious circular reference (they are socialized to be masculine when saying they were socialized to be men – failure of logic and comprehension there). We know she does not understand what socialization is, because if she did understand it, she would know that men and women are socialized the same, but that it is part of the social constructs of men and women that make people think of men and women in those manners. This is the compete failure of critical discourse on their part, because they cannot be honest.

3 - Here she repeats herself – in a binary system of the sort she is actively arguing with and using as a tool of oppression and that is used against her, personally, there is only one or the other, and her failure to remember that is why she decides that she needs to say the obverse of the previous point, essentially repeating herself for rhetorical effect but also subjecting herself to the same failures and misogynistic, violent, abusive, ignorant, incompetent aspects that we covered in 2, 2a, and 2b above. And she has no idea that in doing so she is also supporting anti-blackness and white supremacy, as well as imperialism and colonization. Again, because she lacks any sort of valid understanding of oppression systems and dynamics.

4 - Here she presents a personal supposition that is fairly obviously biased and false, given that the women she is referring too rather obviously do have an understanding of what it is, since they are, again, women. She then justifies this personal assertion (an opinion without any merit or validity) by describing womanhood in such a manner that she herself cannot have fully experienced womanhood. Again, because she is incompetent and ignorant and lying through her teeth at you thinking that you cannot possibly have any understanding of these concepts and so she is, actively, relying on your ignorance on the topic and so is intentionally using you to further the oppression she is enacting.

5 - Next up, she proves that she does not understand what trans women are (because she continues to argue that they are not actually trans people, but instead “crazy” cis people, since she is, as she continues to prove above, ignorant and incompetent) and that she also does not understand what privilege is, which you can find out here.

5a - in the process, she establishes that she is dedicated to a concept that makes no sense: sex based oppression.  Any critical theory analysis worth a damn that is based on science will understand that sex is presumed in a gender system, and that it is not actually oppression based on sex, but rather the presumption of it enacted through gender. So here she is literally arguing against the very thing she wants to end because she does not understand what she is talking about. I will, because I am going to be nice, not go into any depth about how if her arguments about socialization are correct, and the implication and assertion that socialization is absolute and that you cannot escape it, that she, herself, is apparently not socialized, since she is not being, in her own standards, submissive, passive, or feminine.

6 - She now makes an argument that claims that you can tell someone is a man because they are pompous misogynists, yet here she is being aggressive, unfeeling, not submissive, not passive, pompous, misogynistic, violent, abusive, and then takes a scripted series of statements created by a team of writers, and specifically credited to an award winning woman, and then assigns that entire bit of acting (of pretend and make believe, mind you) to the actress who is playing the role that scene is written for. She is immorally and unethically being dishonest and deceitful with you when she says this, but worse: she believes this and refuses to see the inherent flaws in her own arguments, which have no logical consistency or merit. Especially when you realize that trans women do not get to design their own vaginas because hey, they aren’t the surgeons doing the work. Ignorance is bliss, they say, but only for the ignorant. OR is that arrogance. In any case, in this part, she essentially says that under her own rules for what it is that makes a man, she is a man.

7 - Here she sums it all up in the manner I noted previously: they are men because she says so, and so there, harrumph, tongue sticking out and everything.

Now, lest you think this is an aberration, keep in mind that when she is informed that doing the above is violence, her response is that the person telling her this does not understand what violence is.  As I have covered this topic previously, and linked to it both above and now here, you can see that, in truth, the one that does not understand what violence is is her.

In addition, she establishes her own racism, and her own homophobia, and, even by her own standards, her own misogyny when she makes a couple of nasty comments about an image of four naked men and just before that talks about how she needs to stop calling herself a feminist until she stops watching porn.

So she is, without any effort, a hypocrite, abusive, violent, lying, misogynist, transphobic, homophobic, racist, and generally really fucking nasty.

Which is sad because she could actually spend her effort towards genuine social change and improvement of her kiths, but instead decides that she is going to be a miserable bag of dicks because she has this hate boner for trans women of color.

If I was really mean, I might say its pretty typical for a man – but my standards for being a man are not patriarchal and binary and ignorant as all hell.

buzzfeed.com
"Veronica Mars" Star Jason Dohring Takes A Return Trip To Neptune

Veronica Mars star Jason Dohring opens up about the show’s humble beginnings, the twist of fate that won Logan a place in Veronica’s heart, and what fans can expect from the upcoming feature film.

I didn’t wear my Veronica Mars T-shirt to interview Jason Dohring, but the thought did briefly cross my mind. After all, I was one of the few (well, 2.5 million) viewers who obsessively watched the teen sleuth drama from 2004 to 2007, first on UPN and then The CW.

I integrated Veronica’s vernacular into my vocabulary, purchased Marsmemorabilia, asked my parents to buy me a T-Mobile Sidekick (Veronica’s cellular weapon of choice), and when series creator Rob Thomas asked for my money in 2013 to help fund a feature film, I happily donated.

And I was not alone.

By now, the story of how Veronica Mars became 2013’s most talked-about social media event is the stuff of legend. Heck, my father even asked if I donated to “that Pluto movie” (he’s trying, guys) when I was home for Thanksgiving. But for those of you who just emerged from underneath a rock, here’s the quick version:

On March 12, 2013, Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn his beloved neo-noir series about a teenage private eye into a movie. He gave himself two days to raise $2 million. That goal was met in 10 hours. But the Kickstarter clock kept counting and the donations continued to pour in, eventually topping out at $5,702,153 (a new Kickstarter record). So, the film was funded, the movie was made, the T-shirts were silkscreened, and that brings us to the present day, when I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor of a Los Angeles office with Jason Dohring — who played Logan Echolls, the show’s bad boy with a heart of 24-karat gold — talking about the March 14 release of Veronica Mars’ feature film.

External image

“This was the dream role,” says Dohring of Logan. Clad in black high-tops, dark denim, and a simple gray T-shirt that barely contains the biceps that were so often throwing haymakers on the show, the 31-year-old still enthuses about his most iconic role like it was day one of filming. “And the fact I got to play him for three years — and now plus the movie — is amazing.”

Since Mars ended in 2007, Dohring played a 400-year-old vampire on CBS’ short-lived drama Moonlight and guest-starred on a smattering of procedurals. And while he never felt typecast as Logan, Dohring recalls, with a laugh, “I’ve walked into so many auditions and the casting director couldn’t look me in the eye because of Logan. But that’s all good.”

Looking back, there was a decent chance that none of this would have happened, particularly Dohring’s casting as Logan, initially the type of character that television viewers love to hate, until they — like Kristen Bell’s Veronica — actually started falling for the darkly rebellious Hollywood heir. Back in 2003, Dohring actually auditioned for the role of Duncan Kane, Veronica’s sweetly guileless all-American ex-boyfriend. (The part ended up going to Teddy Dunn, and the character was written off the show midway through Season 2.)

“I stupidly went in and played their leading man as this dark, brooding, James Dean kind of guy,” Dohring recalls, with a wry laugh. “The [casting agents] were like, ‘Uh, that’s a little dark,’ and suggested I read for the character who was bashing out headlights in the pilot.”

One quick parking-lot prep session later and Mars had locked in its Logan. That’s when the fear set in.

“I always seem to get the roles that scare the shit out of me,” he says, laughing. “But ultimately, when you have to be absolutely free and totally let go, it’s so much more fun. That’s truly the thrill of acting.”

Dohring would soon to come discover another thrill of acting, one that’s unique to working in episodic television: the evolution of a character. Initially, Logan Echolls was tasked with kicking ass and taking names…when he was sober enough to remember them. But his palpable chemistry with Bell was obvious to everyone, particularly the show’s creator, and Thomas decided to place these two adversaries on the road to love.

“Around Episode 6, Rob pulled Kristen and [me] off to the side and said, ‘OK, so, you’re going to end up together,’” says Dohring. “It was like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?!? No way!’” But he stresses that pairing off Veronica and Logan — or “LOVE” as their fans have adoringly come to call them — was just one more example of the creator’s brilliance manifesting itself in an unexpected storyline. “I always love Rob’s ideas. He has this very quiet way of speaking, but when he talks to you, you can’t help but get excited by what he’s saying.”

Still, turning the bad boy into a leading man posed several problems for Dohring, one of which brought him back to that ill-fated Duncan audition. “I didn’t know how to play ‘the leading man,’” he admits. And after countless hours of developing Logan’s dark side — both on-screen and off, where Dohring says he would retreat to the cul-de-sac by his house to scream and throw rocks in order to “really get what it’s like to be hateful” — he was also worried the audience wouldn’t buy it. “How could anybody like that character? He’s was so bad.”

But then Thomas dropped a bombshell on the viewers. “When they added in the backstory with his dad,” says Dohring, “that’s when I noticed a change in people’s reactions to me.”

“We did this mall tour when the show started and everybody would kinda rush by me to get to the next guy. They were all like, ‘Fuck you, you’re the dirty guy.’” But after revealing the emotional and physical abuse Logan suffered at the hands of his father (Harry Hamlin), Dohring remembers sensing a noticeable shift in the fans. “It became him against the world. He could do all this horrible shit and people would still love him.”

No one more so than Veronica herself.

Their volatile relationship has as many supporters as it does detractors within the fandom; half adoring their star-crossed love story and half feeling like Veronica would never truly consider Logan her soulmate.

Dohring falls firmly into the first camp — although he can’t quite pinpoint exactly why Logan and Veronica’s dynamic worked. “I really don’t know why it worked,” he says, stroking his temple. “The dialogue was some of the best on TV at the time, but as far as I am concerned, it all boiled down to each believing they were better and smarter than the other. We had that back-and-forth that people really responded to.”

For all three seasons, Veronica Mars filmed in San Diego, far from the lights of Hollywood, and, perhaps more significantly, the actors’ friends and families. “We were by ourselves in these tiny apartments just trying to make the best show we could, and…that made us a family.” That cast closeness manifested in a deeply meaningful way when it came to bringing Veronica and Logan’s relationship to life.

“A lot of that emotion was very real for me. I think I was in love with [Kristen] for the three years we made that show,” he says. “Like, I truly felt like I would die without her, and I think that’s what underlined everything people loved about them as a couple.”

Which is why many fans were taken aback by the revelation that the film — which picks up 10 years after the series finale — would revolve around the characters’ first meeting in a decade. “When Rob explained the movie to me, I thought it made sense they would have gone their separate ways,” says Dohring. “When I read [Rob’s] writing, it made sense. He just knows the voice. I kept thinking, Yep, that’s what Logan would say. Yep, that’s what Logan would do. Yep that’s how I would feel about Veronica. Reading [the script] and seeing those names on the page again really got to me.”

Veronica Mars: The Movie reunites the former flames when Logan is accused of murdering his pop star girlfriend and calls Veronica to help clear his name. And while the film is designed to appeal to both diehards and new audience members, Thomas very intentionally included characters, catchphrases, and scenes that would resonate much more deeply with the impassioned fans.

“There were these two scenes in particular where Rob kept saying, ‘This is what the fans paid for, man, this is what the fans paid for.’” True to Logan’s propensity for keeping secrets, Dohring kept these specific scenes firmly under wraps.

The fact so many had donated their hard-earned cash to make the film possible stayed front-and-center in everyone’s minds throughout the production — quite literally at times, considering one of the Kickstarter rewards offered backers the chance to be an extra in the Neptune High class reunion scenes.

“We really tried to make the experience special for them because they came for these 16-hour days, some standing in the back, wearing high heels, but all of them kept saying, ‘This is the best day of my life!’ One guy bought it as an engagement present for his wife. It’s truly unbelievable, man.”

For Dohring, the sacrifices made by these fans reinforces his belief that they truly had, and were once again, making something special. “You always want your creations to mean something; no one wants to just sleepwalk through a role,” he says. “People are deeply connected to this show and it’s all the more touching because that’s exactly what we intended.”

By all accounts, viewers will find the finished product wholly worth the wait. Therecently released trailer was met with universal praise, and Dohring feels they have, as Thomas intended, truly made a movie for the fans.

“I think they’ll be very pleased, but also at the same time, Rob doesn’t tie the story up with a bow. Nothing comes easy in Veronica’s world, so there’s a very melancholy/noir touch at the end that adds these cool layers.”

The question on the minds of all Marshmallows (as Bell lovingly calls the show’s fans) revolves around whether or not the Veronica Mars movie serves as a swan song or the start of a brand-new journey.

“Rob has mentioned [more movies] as a possibility,” Dohring says. “But it all depends on how the film does. The cool thing about Rob is that he writes interesting stuff, so it’s not like, ‘Oh, Logan got this girl pregnant. Oh, Logan’s in rehab.’ Despite everything that happened with this show, it was always so real. So I trust Rob would only tell the stories he wanted to tell.”

Veronica Mars opens in theaters on March 14, 2014.

Jarett Wieselman

gayscalyoctopus  asked:

Hey Kylee! I'm doing everything I can to stay organized and push myself to draw more and I'm wondering if you have any advice about keeping on schedule. I know you had gone through medical school AND continue to work on your nuzlocke which just seems.. SO difficult! Do you keep a calendar? Make lists? How do you mentally prepare yourself for something you don't want to do? Do you think your mental health (whether good or bad) effects your busy schedule? I don't mind if you publish this.

OH BOY we’re gonna get into some personal stuff with this answer…

Apologies for the delay on this ask, but I’ve had a rough month overall so I pushed this back until I felt like I am sane enough to address this. Putting this under a cut because my answer is ridiculously long

Keep reading

FAQ

After answering the same question about 200 times in the last week, I thought it might be a good idea to make an FAQ page. I’ve also updated some of the links at the top of my page.

Here’s the gist of it for any new followers and apologies to old friends who already know all of this <3


1. How did you become an Editor and what do I need to do to become one?:

By accident mostly. I graduated in the UK with my BA in English Literature and Linguistics, right at the same time my friend was promoted to Senior Editor in her publishing house. She needed an assistant to cope with her workload, and I needed a job.

I started at the bottom and worked my way up to being a final line editor, gaining experience in copy edit and formatting along the way. Usually a publishing house these days will require you to have a Masters in Publishing, but I got my know-how the old fashioned way through good old hands on learning, giving me a wealth of experience. Unfortunately I don’t have the shiny bit of paper, so unless I go back to school, I will likely never work for another publishing house again.

I’ve been working on and off as freelance over the years, but compared to an actual editing gig in a real publishing house, it’s hardly worth the effort and money. So if you’re serious about doing this as a career, talk to you career guidance councilor and look into post grad degrees in publishing and editing. There are also independent certifications you can get in proofreading and editing—I got mine from Publishing Scotland back in 2010, and if memory serves it wasn’t all that expensive, which will help you along the way. They won’t qualify you in the same way a Masters will, but it will help you toward becoming a more desirable candidate for the position you are hunting for.


2. Why did you move to the US from Scotland?:

I met a boy online almost a decade ago— before Tinder was a thing— and we really hit it off as friends. As things progressed we realized that we really, really liked each other, met up in person to see if we really liked Liked each other, then proceeded to date long distance over the ocean for 6-7 years. We got married in May 2013 and I moved to the US to be with him in 2014 and I’ve been here ever since.


3. Are your stories true?:

I get asked this fairly often, and people have gotten quite aggressive over it in the past. Yes, my stories are true, the one about Hugh Scott, the one about Crucifix Nail Nipples, the ones about my dad, the ones about husband and myself, yes, they are all true. I genuinely have had these experiences and wrote them down, either for my own enjoyment or figuring some of my friends might get a kick out of them. I never expected any of them to go viral, but such is the Internet. (I can only assume it’s because of my writing style.)

As for the common “no one has this much shit happen to them” rebuttal I tend to get a lot, I’m sorry you feel that way, but some people do lead eventful lives. For instance very few people would long distance date for 7 years over the ocean and wind up marrying that person and moving continents for them. That’s the stuff of romance novels and day time television. And yet I’ve got the expensive paperwork and the shiny new green-card as testament that it can and does happen. I’ve also got the scars, the signed copies of books from authors I’ve met, the family pictures and the testimony of friends that really, This Is My Life And Sometimes It Is Bananas. You can call bullshit and be skeptical all you want, but that doesn’t change the world from being round.


4. Please post Crucifix Nail Nipples, I want to read it!:

As stated previously, many, many times, I no longer have a full copy of the manuscript besides what is seared into my brain. It was nuked from orbit the moment the head publisher read it and made pterodactyl screeching noises of distress. And even if I did still have a copy, I am not about to steal someone else’s work and post it online without their consent. It’s one thing for me to vague bitch about it, it’d be quite another for me to take a manuscript in it’s entirety and post it online for free. That’d really ensure I’d never work in editing ever again. So no, I don’t have any copies, and please stop asking me to do something which is actually theft and illegal.


5. Will you edit my story?:

Sure! My fees start at $25 per hour for anything under 10,000 words, going up to $50 per hour thereafter. Oh you meant for free? Haha, unless I have already offered to help you with your writing or you’ve summoned me here by ways of black magic, then no, I will not edit your work for free. That’s not actually what the term “freelancer” means.

My general fees are as previously stated:
-$25 per hour for anything less than 10k
-$50 per hour for anything over 10k
-and depending on your length of script, if it’s over 10k I charge a minimum $50 ($100 if it’s a 100k+ manuscript) reading fee to tell you what I think of it and how much work I think will need done. This helps me give you a better quote of how much I think your actual editing work will come to, and also perhaps save you some money in the long run if I am able to point out small mistakes here and there which are easily fixed by you so you don’t have to pay me or anyone else to do it.

If you want to negotiate fees with me or need help with something (say a grad application) and are worried you wouldn’t be able to afford it, come talk to me, I still might be able to help. But please don’t try to email me a 100k manuscript and wave a $50 bill under my nose. You wouldn’t ask a structural engineer to just “do whatever you need to do” and slip them a $20 and hope your house wont fall down, why would you do the same with the manuscript you hope to one day make a living by?


6. You’re a writer, right? Where can I buy something you have written?:

Nowhere yet, but I hope to change that soon. I do create a lot of fanfic and people have been kind enough to throw a few dollars here and there into my Tip Jar (links to both in my description) if they’ve enjoyed my work. This helps me to keep writing as I have some serious medical issues that are hindering my ability to work, so throwing the equivalent of a coffee my way every so often really helps me to keep continue writing stories for you. And also y'know, not die.


7. Can I make a fic request?
Sure, ask box is open.


8. What exactly is wrong with you?:

How long do you have? Asking about my health is kind of a loaded question, because at the moment, we don’t really know what is wrong with me, and we’re still trying to find out. That’s why I have so many horrendous medical bills, testing is expensive. The basic gist of it is, two years ago my health finally fell apart completely after a gradual decline. Food which had never previously hurt me started to make me severely ill resulting in chronic digestive problems, and the sporadic bouts of joint/muscle pain which I’ve had most of my life pretty much became permanent. I’m exhausted 90% of the time and sort of functional the rest.

I also suffer from a general anxiety disorder which I should be getting help with but the thought of getting help makes my anxiety worse soooo there’s that to deal with. I also suffer from depression and have done for probably the last twenty years, and am prone to panic attacks and ocular migraines (not in fact oracular as I previously mistyped, I am not in fact Mrs Cake), so there’s just some days when I don’t have enough spoons to Person and need to sleep through it. If I take forever in posting something or replying to you, this is likely why.


9. Have you tried yoga/vegan dieting/gf/paleo/green tea/positive thinking? It really helped me when I was feeling down/I had a friend who…

I know you mean well, but telling a chronically ill person that yoga can fix them when you have no medical idea of what is wrong with them is not only pretentious unsolicited advice, but also potentially hazardous to their health. Yes, really, yoga. There are certain exercises and stretches I cannot do without risking my joints and I’ve been doing yoga for well over a decade. There are certain foods I cannot eat because they will literally kill me, most of them vegan. I cannot drink green tea or “detox” because it fucks with the fragile balance of my internal organs which I have spent the last two years trying to scrape back together by sheer force of will, and believe me, if I wasn’t already thinking positively I wouldn’t still be here typing this.

There’s a general belief that chronically ill people, physical or mental, are just lazy and haven’t sought out the correct medical help or even bothered to try helping themselves because they enjoy being ill, which is a bit like saying you enjoy standing in a burning house because you like the warmth. People with chronic illness know their condition better than you do. We have tried everything, from mindful thinking to the $100 pill which took away one symptom and replaced it with another. Sometimes we find things which work for us, which you may not regard as actual recovery. But you have to realize that for some of us, even reaching a point where we can live with our illness and not despite of it, is a huge milestone not to be sneered at. So if you are of this persuasion then I urge you to take some of your advice, and be mindful of others. Be kind. You never know what someone else might be going through.


10. What’s your scone recipe?:

40g slightly salted butter (room temp, not melted)
225g self-raising flour
25g caster/baking sugar
large pinch of salt
150ml milk or cream if you want to be really indulgent.

In a medium to large sized bowl, mix the flour and salt together and then rub in the butter until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. Next add the sugar and then the milk until you have a soft dough (it should be sticky but not runny). Turn it out onto a floured board and knead v lightly until it stops being sticky and you can roll it out to about ¾ of an inch. Using a scone cutter or a round cookie cutter if you have one, cut into the dough and place your rounds onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Lightly knead the remaining dough back together and repeat until you have used it all.
(Alternatively you can do what I do in a hurry and skip the rolling and work the dough until it’s easy to handle then pinch sections off and roll them into individual dough balls. You get a more rustic farmhouse shape but it still works well.) next brush the tops of the scones with milk, and then bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated over at 220c or 425 until well risen* and golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then serve with filling of choice. Cream and jam is a personal preference.

*if they didn’t rise you might have over kneaded it. Try sieving the flour and salt at the start to create air pockets, and use a spatula to work the rest in. This isn’t a yeast bread, it doesn’t need too much kneading to make it stick. Think of it instead as a very crumbly cake mix. If you want to make them look shiny and professional use an egg wash on the top rather than milk.

(AKB-like world view) - Kizaki Yuria (17\10\2014)

If you’re interested in Yuria, be sure not to miss the first interview for this corner. That said, this article written by her is basically a look back, a summary about what happened ever since the announcement of the transfer. Many of the things written here were already expressed through other interviews, but there are some interesting extras, including some regarding the shootings of GTO. Enjoy :)

“It’s great to act with all one’s might.”

This year’s February, during the Reformation Festival event, it was announced for me to be transferred from SKE48’s Team S to AKB48’s Team 4. In that very moment I felt startled, and got like: “What? Me?”. The overall atmosphere created by the, just as startled, members surrounding me, was filled by their “What? Yuria…!?”

 It was my 5th year in SKE48.
I kept repeating, both during interviews and to the staff members, things like “I’m going to lead SKE48!”, which is why I was left shocked, and felt like “I see…so I wasn’t considered someone able to lead…”.
On the other hand, I wondered whether I was being needed by AKB for some reason. These two different feelings got mixed up together.
I also had the possibility to refuse the transfer, but I decided not to pick it. I thought that, just like any employee would have had to go where they’re told to, the right thing for me to do was to accept and go do my best there in AKB.

 I did feel sorry towards those who liked SKE48’s Kizaki Yuria, but I decided to work hard so that the day will come when they’ll feel like supporting AKB48’s Kizaki Yuria. 

 While expressing their sadness, SKE48’s members supported me a lot. Suda Akari-chan, who also is from my same generation (the 3rd) is the one person I trust and rely on the most in the whole AKB48 Group. I asked for her advices so many times, and she as well, often came to me to talk about her worries. To the me who was about to go to AKB48, she said: “You should feel more confident with yourself! It’s okay to be. Express all that you’ve been doing in SKE until now in AKB as well!"  My senior Nakanishi Yuuka encouraged me as well, saying: "It’s going to be good for you. You’re going to make lots of new experiences. Think of it as a chance and do your best!" 

 My junior Tsuzuki Rika, however, was disappointed and told me: "And yet I thought you were gong to build a new era here in SKE…”
The day of the transfer announcement, we were staying at a hotel and I was sharing the room with her.  I was literally exhausted.
Despite being always very chatty, that night Rika silently covered herself with the futon on and got to sleep. It looks like she was actually crying. What a cute junior I have, I thought.

 I moved from Nagoya to Tokyo in spring.
Truth is my desire of leaving my family and become independent was already quite strong. I graduated from high school in March and I realized once again that if I wanted to work in the entertainment business I couldn’t keep getting spoiled by my parents. I want to become able to do everything myself, without the need to bother them.
Well, I must say I’m still not able to cook for myself, though…

 By joining a whole new Team, I think I understood the feelings of a transfer student who knows nothing of the new class. In SKE48 I already perfectly knew all my juniors, but I barely knew anything about Team 4 members  When I was called [Kizaki-san] by them, I couldn’t help but perceive a huge strong wall…
In SKE, my seniors called me [Yuria], while the juniors would call me [Yuria-chan] or [Yuria-tan], after all, so the difference was incredible.

 I have the role of vice-captain in Team 4.
I used to think every single day about what was in my power to do.
One day I went out to eat with one of the members - Okada Nana-chan - and as I was opening up regarding my worries about how to become closer to the others, what suddenly came to mind was the idea of banning the “san” honorific. Nana-chan kindly approved my idea and together with Nishino Miki-chan she immediately started calling me [Yuria-chan].
I think the members felt perplexed at first, but then they all became able to call me [Yuria-chan] and the distance between us shortened considerably.

 After the transfer, it was decided for me to appear in the school TV series [GTO], which was going to start airing in April. My role was that of a student called Yurihara Satsuki. It was a very hard challenge for me. I also received an incredible motivation from all the actors and actress of my same age. I found it very enjoyable to discuss with them about the way of acting and expressing each of our scenes, while reading the script all together.

 Trying to act as another student of the same class wasn’t that easy either. Anyway, with one of the girls who was playing a classmate and to whom I grew really close, I started to get along in real life as well, aside form the TV series. 

 During the lessons’ scenes, even when when we had no lines to say, it’s not like we could just stay there sitting! It was important to think about the gestures and expressions to do in those moments. When it wasn’t my turn to play a scene, I would always attentively observe the acting of those who were shooting.

 Satsuki is a girl whose mind is filled with love and relationships. 
She was the main character of the 3rd episode.
At first Satsuki used a male student - Tokuyama Hironao (Horii Arata) - as if he were her wallet or something, but their relationship slowly changes in time.

 The Director had each one of us actors think things through, asking us “What would YOU do in the same situation?”. As I was feeling very unsure as for how to nicely represent the scenes in which I interacted with Tokuyama-un, the Director told us “Just think about it together”.
When we told him what was the answer we came to, he told us “Is that really the best you can do!?”, and so many times the two of us discussed about how really still inexperienced and unskilled we are.

 By the way,  there was a scene during the shooting in which I had to be assaulted by him as he was wearing an expression that looked like he was going to kill me, while saying “Why are you beaking up with me!?”. That was quite scary, and I ended up crying…
Tokuyama-kun was told “Don’t make her cry” but, right after that, when Satsuki gave a slap to Tokuyama-kun for real…well, that time it was him that ended up crying. At that point things were even, I thought. I realized that it’s great to act with all one’s might, and I was also able to understand the character better.

 In the scenes in which I got kidnapped by the group of criminals going after young girls, I was closed up inside a cage and I ended up feeling as if I had been confined for real. It was a very hard part to play, but I did all I could and I have no regrets! When the 3rd episode was over, the Director came to me and, telling me “You’ve worked really hard and you did great”, he kindly applauded me.

 It makes me happy to be praised for my acting and I enjoy myself absolutely the most while I act. Still, I’m not able to understand myself whether my acting is good or bad and when I see the scenes afterwards, I do nothing but harshly reflecting upon what I did, and I keep thinking about things like my expressions not being really good or the fact that I should’ve talked more slowly… 
But I think it’s okay, since I convince myself that worrying, thinking and feeling down will lead to my personal growth.

 I think the profession of being an actress, able to convey smiles, tears and a lot of different emotions to people, is really wonderful.
I want to become like an actor such as Mr. Nishida Toshiyuki, who’s able to play someone of the mafia as easily as a funny old man, and who can do amazing improvisations.
I know it’s going to be really hard to reach that level, but I’ll treasure every single chance I’ll be given!