and then we get a version 4 that actually addresses the problems

Arophobic Microaggressions: On the Ace Community and Should-Be Allies

Just some technical things, before I start talking: The bulk of the post will be under the cut, and you can find a version in Google Docs here. Non a-specs need to keep comments in the tags or to themselves, as this is an intracommunity issue, and REGs need to keep their hands off: you are not welcome in my community nor on my posts. Please be aware that I do respond to replies, publicly, especially if they’re hateful or in disagreement. If you want a private conversation, message me. If you’d like to read more, check out the Google Doc linked above for recommended reading or my aromanticism page. Thank you to @aro-allo-positivity for his help in editing this post.

In the past couple years, we’ve talked a lot about ace issues - from oppression to validation, and from discussion to action. Activists have campaigned to be included in LGBTQIANP+ organizations and succeeded in being recognized to various degrees. As an aroace woman, I’m very happy to see issues I face being talked about, and action being taken to bring awareness to my orientation. Interacting with acespec bloggers also means I see the problems, and arophobia is a pervasive problem in acespec communities. I’ve talked about it in the past, a bit, but only at surface level. The last post I made about arophobia got 1,700ish notes, and is still getting reblogged today. After making that post, I started noticing more and more arophobia, coming from even large acespec bloggers. I decided to write this post to help people notice arophobic microagressions (the macroaggressions are pretty obvious, generally) and be better allies to the aro community. 

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Voltron Season 4

A continuation of this! Because I can’t get these ideas out of my head, but I haven’t actually gotten around to writing any of it yet. 

I wrote my version for season 3, so now I’ma just keep eventually going through all 6 seasons, lol. Which means we’re getting into my personal headcanon territory as well as original ideas, so read at your own risk (people who have read Serendipitous Fate know what we’re in for here).

SO ANYWAY! The team is all back together following season 3 and so we’ve got to change our direction a bit. The characters that got the most focus in season 3 were Hunk, Lance, and Keith, with a bit of Allura and Pidge on the side. So season four is going to revolve more generally around Shiro, Allura, and Pidge, with the other three doing things more subtlety in the background. What does this do? Well, mostly it allows for a way to address the issues between Keith and Lance without making them center stage. Hunk—following his development in season 3 and his want to keep the team together—will act as a kind of middle man as these two get their shit together in the background of the main narrative, as I think Hunk has mainly been only in Lance’s corner previously.  

So, the season will open up following the battle with the Galra. Everyone is finally back together and with the stress of the situation no longer weighing on them, the actions they took last season will begin to trickle in. There will be implications that everyone is basically caught up on what everyone else was doing, so we don’t have to view that summary. Keith and Lance will, at some point early on, address the rift they created at the beginning of season 3 with apologies and the decision to try and listen/understand one another better. It will be kind of a sweet moment, but then be interrupted by Hunk or Pidge and it won’t last. Why? Because Keith and Lance, though they be trying, will still struggle to get along and so we can’t have the moment be too heavy. Lance is aware of his insecurities and that he projects those onto Keith, and Keith is aware that his tendency to go off on his own and make solo decisions tends to grate on the others. They both struggle to control these things however, and so still argue, but are making clear attempts to get along better. Hunk, now feeling more comfortable in his position as the rock and the one bringing others together, is less dependent on Lance for validation and making efforts to get to know Keith as well, which results in him making a good middle man between the two when they fight and a good voice of reason in pointing out the mistakes both are making. This is kind of their status quo throughout the whole season and we see in the background as they make slow steps toward better relations with one another, like gradual building blocks. This also makes a better opening for Keith to connect with them, as Hunk taking a more active role opens doors to Keith that weren’t there previously. It’s also important to note that, as a result of season 3, Keith is now also making better efforts to connect with the other paladins just generally.

So that’s the background story. Up front we have Shiro, Allura, and Pidge. Shiro has been trapped in the astral plane, basically, and as a result, was both kind of helpless as well as able to better recall all of what happened when he was captured. Not in the strictest sense, but more like the effects of the astral plane (which we will learn more about later) have made things more accessible to him. Which means Shiro is going to be suffering more heavily from PTSD with more frequent flashbacks to his time as a prisoner. Which is important because it will not only help us gleam more of his character, but of the Galra as a whole. As well as their technology and the effects if has.

During this beginning time, we’re also going to be getting hints of Allura learning more about her magical abilities and what that means/the connotations that come along with having the ability to use magic (there’s a lot of negative stigma). This was something that was kind of ignored in season 3 because, well, Allura was ignoring it, but because of some battle or rescue, it comes to the forefront and Allura has to confess that she has these abilities and that she basically doesn’t know how to use/manage them.

The driving plot point for the beginning of the season, however, will be Pidge and her father. Her father (his name is Sam I think?) explains that after Matt was injured by Shiro, he was sent to the same work camp and they were reunited. Gradually, rumors of Voltron came in and out with prisoners and Matt was able to, as a result of Shiro’s sacrifice for him, inspire a revolt within the work camp. They managed to escape and basically started a kind of underground resistance movement of their own, where they flew around to prison camps and started freeing others, mostly in attempts to find Shiro on Matt’s end.

Sam and Matt got separated at some point, however, and that was when Keith found Sam and brought him back to the Castle of Lions. The team, probably in episode 1, decides that locating and forming an alliance with this resistance movement, which Sam explains has become quite organized, is a good move to make. So they set their sights on that, which Pidge is grateful for because of her brother, obv. It’s in the following character building/filler eps that we get the Shiro flashbacks and the Allura magic issues, probably while they’re answering distress calls and learning more about the resistance.

Lotor is also causing problems. He’s abandoned his battle, which basically makes him a traitor, and so he can’t return to the Galra. Yet, for how much he hates his father and the Galra, he still wants to be a part of them (it’s his home, after all) and so we get a little bit of Zuko behavior in which Lotor basically harasses team Voltron every once in a while. This is also what leads to Allura’s magic outbreak, as Lotor is also a magic user and it’s him that somehow inspires her own magic (likely during battle) to show itself. In this way, Allura and Lotor become very clear foils for one another (more so than the obvious already makes them). Basically Lotor figures that if he can capture Voltron, he can regain his standing in the Galra empire and the luxuries that come with it.

So all these stories are kind of working together, unlike in my season 3 where everyone’s arc was very clearly divided (symbolism!). So we’re into episode 3 or 4 when they manage to come across some of this organized resistance that Sam spoke of. Matt’s not with them, but they raise some issues of their own in how they’re dealing with the situation. Maybe they’re trying to recuse some prisoners and are a little dramatic about how the sacrifice of a few to save many is worth it and Shiro and Allura have to kind of step in and be like, no, that’s not how this needs to work. Maybe Rolo and Nyma are there and it’s through them, because they’re more willing to listen to team Voltron, that they get through to the resistance that they need to correct how they’re doing things if they want to do things “right.” They end up saving everyone, of course, but both Pidge and Sam are uncomfortable with how the resistance seems to be functioning. Especially since Matt was supposed to be in charge (maybe there’s a nice Shiro comforting Pidge moment).

So we let that plot point lie for a little while and turn our focus back to Shiro. A lot of what inspired Matt to start the resistance was Shiro’s actions, and so The Champion has kind of become a beacon of hope/inspiration/hero to the resistance, thus making Shiro feel guilty for the relative mess it’s kind of become as a result of what is interpreted as his brutal actions. He also feels guilty over the fact that team Voltron fell apart while he was gone, so he’s just generally down on himself. He’s had more and more of his memories as The Champion coming back and he’s more and more displeased with what he’s finding out he did. Turns out he was actually pretty brutal in some respects, even if it was just to survive, and so some of what the resistance thinks of him is justified. Basically this episode will lead to Shiro being more introspective about what happened—as painful as that may be—which leads to considerations about his arm and its mysteries.

The Galra technology is something that takes the life force of other living things and turns it into fuel (sounds like FF7), so it’s logical to assume that Shiro’s arm, to a certain extent, is infused with this life force to function. As it turns out, it’s his arm that acts as the key to the astral plane and is what allows him to access it (what Hagger meant when she said he could have been the most powerful weapon she’d ever made). He probably finds this out during some kind of tense situation in which he disappears by accident and then reappears again.

Which leads to Allura and Coran explaining what, exactly, the astral plane is (probably in a following episode). Turns out it’s kind of like another dimension where quintessence shifts in and out with the death and creation of planets/life/etc. It’s also where magic is said to come from, as those who use magic have a link to the astral plane (which is kind of why it’s frowned upon). However, magic users can’t access the astral plane directly as Shiro can, which is why he’s so vital. It’s one thing for one’s “essence”—as Shiro and Zarkon had done in the past—to shift between realms, and quite another to be able to physically go there, as Shiro can do.

Allura determines that Shiro’s ability must have been a rare breakthrough for Haggar and is why he’s considered so dangerous. Someone with direct access to the astral plane could, logically, have unimaginable power. Good thing Shiro doesn’t want unimaginable power, unlike certain villains who are probably recovered following season 2’s finale.

In this way, however, Allura and Shiro’s stories begin to overlap a bit, though that fact won’t become totally clear till later seasons. Lotor comes back into the picture, probably, and ends up taking on Allura one on one or something. We learn some about their past together—how they probably grew up together or something and how Lotor turned evil alongside his father. He likely taunts Allura for her weakness, as they’re battling using magic and she’s at a clear disadvantage due to lack of training. And while I’m all for Allura being able to take care of herself, I do want Shiro to step in here and redirect Lotor’s power to the astral plane with his arm. Which likely shocks Lotor and sends him fleeing, again (until next time, hu hu hu, team rocket style).

Maybe we’ll get a heart to heart between Shiro and Allura at the end, where Allura expresses her sorrow at her abilities as well as her weakness in using them properly, and Shiro tells her something about how it’s not the power itself that is evil, but what she chooses to do with it, just as he’s turned his curse of an arm into something useful, or how Keith uses being Galra to their advantage. Which helps her put a more positive spin on her situation and shows that, as a result of using his arm for good, Shiro is dealing with his own issues.  

Next episode (we’re probably into the later side of the season by this point), we’re back on focus with Pidge and Sam. But the Blade of Marmora is back as well and they’re pissed because the resistance isn’t tactful at all and they think they’re making things worse all around. Which puts some tension on Voltron as they do have alliances with both factions. It quickly begins to escalate, as Sam—despite having grievances with how the resistance is functioning—is willing to defend it, and so there’s some arguing to be had between him and Kolivan. The Castle of Lions is already headed to the resistance’s home base (it moves all the time, which is why Sam didn’t know where it was), and so they calm Kolivan a bit by promising to talk to the resistance leader about what’s happening. They think the leader is Matt.

Well, they’re wrong. When they get to the resistance’s base, they aren’t greeted warmly. They’re actually attacked and asked to leave. When hailed to speak with the group on the ship, it’s made clear by some alien dude (who’s apparently in charge) that they’re just fine without Voltron and could care less about the alliance made previously with the other chunk of resistance members. They’re convinced they can deal with Zarkon on their own. Sam makes it quite clear that a lot of members of the resistance don’t agree with this stance and that leadership appears to have been taken over by a group of extremists set on destroying as much of the Galra as possible without much consideration for how many lives they actually save. He probably knows the leader alian dude due to previous problems caused within the resistance or something.

So, obviously, this is not good. The resistance doesn’t want anything to do with Voltron and so it’s become dangerous to approach. But the base will be moving soon and Pidge doesn’t want to lose it, not so long as there’s a chance that her brother is aboard. Thus, we get Pidge sneaking out in order to then sneak aboard the base and search for her brother. She gets caught, however, by Keith, who quickly learns of her plan. It’s at this point that he makes it clear he’s going with her, so we get some Keith and Pidge bonding time. He probably explains that he understands why she has to do what she is—he did the same for Shiro in season 3—but that he learned from experience that going off alone isn’t the best option. Pidge agrees and they set out together in the green lion (because invisibility). They probably also share in some discourse about why Keith isn’t angry she’s more focused on her family than the big picture, and Keith admits that maybe they’re not as different as he initially claimed. Shiro is like a brother to him, like Matt is Pidge’s brother, and so he’s more sympathetic to her situation now that he’s basically done the same thing she’s aiming to do. He just doesn’t want her to make the same mistakes he did. It’s all very touching, blah, blah.

Anyway, they sneak into the base, there’s some tip-toeing around, and they eventually find Matt. He’s not exactly a prisoner, but he certainly doesn’t have the freedom he did when he was leading the resistance. He was basically booted from being leader because the extremists said he wasn’t acting decisively enough, as “The Champion” would have done. And while Matt admits that he wants to find Shiro, he’s not quite in line with what the new leadership has in mind for getting rid of the Galra and finding Shiro, who they basically want to be their leader once they find him. Pidge explains that Shiro is with them—that he’s a paladin of Voltron with her—and that he wouldn’t agree with what the resistance was doing either (which Matt obviously knows). Keith soon interrupts the reunion, explaining that if they’re going to get Matt aboard the Castle of Lions, they’d better leave soon.

Matt objects, however. He can’t leave because all his work and research is aboard the resistance base. He explains that he’s working on a project that will make it possible to intercept satellite waves all over the universe and broadcast messages, giving him a way to communicate with potential allies as well as warn ignorant planets (like Earth) about the threat of the Galra. He’s also planned to use it to find Shiro. And seeing as this is a pretty important project, Keith and Pidge ultimately end up leaving without him, much to Pidge’s distress. She’s afraid that if her brother stays, he’ll eventually be put in danger by the extremists. And so she and Keith sneak into a control room where she downloads all the resistance intel before they escape back onto the Green lion.

Shiro is not pleased once he finds out what they’ve done, but the intel does prove valuable. Not only does it further illuminate just how much the extremists worship Shiro (much to his discomfort), but it also reveals a plan within which the resistance plans to rally their forces and take their base directly to Zarkon in a move that is both deadly and direct, just as “The Champion would do.” Clearly, team Voltron knows this is a suicide mission—the resistance has no idea what they’re up against and aren’t nearly big enough to take on Zarkon alone. Many lives that could otherwise be useful will be lost to a leader that is too disillusioned by power to know what he’s doing.

Which means it’s time to Voltron to step in, which the Blade of Marmora is more than happy about. Upon Voltron approaching the resistance base, however, they’re attacked (as expected). They have the aid of the Blade of Marmora, however, who agreed to sneak into the base and capture the leader while Voltron provided a distraction. Naturally, however, things don’t go as planned and Voltron, the Castle of Lions, and the Blade of Marmora end up in an all-out firefight with the Resistance.

And things only go from bad to worse when, lo and behold, Lotor shows up too. There’s a reason he knew where they were, I just haven’t thought about it yet. Anyway, he shows up and sets his sights on getting to Allura, who he views as Voltron’s biggest weakness—put her in danger and Voltron comes running. It’s important to note that he and his magic have been bothering the team for the past two seasons, so he’s a pretty dangerous/annoying threat.

So everyone’s focus is scattered, things look shitty, Lotor is being a dick. Maybe this is a three episode finale or something, or maybe only two. Either way, this ep ends with everything in disarray, Lotor probably aboard the Castle of Lions, and at the very last minute, a giant Galra force shows up (probably Lotor gave them a clue or something). Things only go from bad to worse.

Final episode. Voltron has been separated. Keith is with Pidge aboard the resistance’s ship looking for Matt. Lance and Hunk are on the battlefield. And because it’s the season finale and everyone deserves their moment, we get to really see why Hunk and Lance work so well together. Lance uses what he learned in season three to inspire the resistance—maybe against their leader’s orders—to side with Voltron and the Blade of Marmora against the Galra (who are attacking by now), while Hunk—being an awesome lieutenant—keeps it all together and organized. They’re the ones that kind of deal with the battle.

Shiro has gone back to the Castle of Lions upon learning from Coran that Lotor is aboard. We’ve seen by now that Lotor and Allura are facing off again, but know that Allura can’t really compete. Shiro knows this as well and also knows he’s the only one that can stop Lotor. Which is why he’s going back. There might be a bit of time where he notes that Lance is doing well at being in charge while he’s gone, or maybe it was at Lance’s encouragement that he go back to help Allura in the first place. But it’s a very small piece of development.

Meanwhile, Pidge and Keith are still aboard the resistance’s ship. They meet up with the Blade members who were there and make a plan. Basically Pidge goes alone to find Matt while Keith goes with the other Blade members to find the leader. Pidge finds Matt, but he still refuses to leave, even at the threat of the ship being potentially destroyed. Which infuriates Pidge and they get into an argument in which Matt accuses her of not seeing the big picture. The argument escalates, Pidge makes it clear to Matt just how much she does understand/how much she’s grown. He’s surprised and we get a more blatant reference to all the development Pidge has had. Matt agrees to go with her, despite how unfortunate it is that he has to leave his research, and they make an epic escape in which Pidge does some awesome, smart, impressive things.

Keith, meanwhile, is fighting through the ship with the few blade members to the leader. They get there, but it proves challenging. The leader alien is no one to take lightly and Keith eventually ends up in a desperate situation (after a sick display of his combat prowess, of course). Which when, out of nowhere, a kind of wormhole/portal opens up and out comes the Galra Keith saved inside the weblum in season 2. It’s also the same teacher type that Lance met during season 3, but only the viewers know this, not the characters. The mentor didn’t come with Lance to save the Castle of Lions in season 3, because reasons, and so no one but Lance knows them, which is why this miscommunication works.

They basically come in and disarm (kill? Or is that too much?) the leader, saving Keith. There’s an important moment where Keith loudly questions the person, wanting to know who they are, but they’re still masked and refuse to answer. Instead, they both get distracted with what’s going on outside the ship’s windshield. Namely, with Lance, Hunk, and the Castle of Lions.

Hunk and Lance are still out fighting, leading the charge against the Galra, but something happens and both Hunk and Lance know that the castle—which is too busy with Lotor to be focused on the battle—is in danger. So they head in to protect it.

Aboard the Castle of Lions, Shiro has reached Allura and Lotor, probably in the control room. Coran has probably been injured/disabled. Sam too maybe. Allura and Lotor are struggling against one another’s magic. There’s lighting, it’s intense. Shiro tries to step in the same way he had before, but Lotor is ready for him this time and manages to keep him at bay/blast him back/injure him before he can intercept the magic and divert it to the astral plane.

Allura is on her own and, while she’s doing a good job of staying on her feet and fighting back, it’s clearly inevitable that she’ll go down. There’s probably some words shared between her and Lotor that make her look like a boss going down, as she should. Shiro, meanwhile, is struggling to crawl back toward the fray. He can’t really get to Lotor, but he gets to Allura. Just as she’s about to go down, he touches her—maybe he gets to his feet and manages to place his robot arm on her shoulder or arm.

Which is when things get interesting. Together—with Allura’s power and Shiro’s ability to access the astral plane—they become a sort of unstoppable force of power. There’s a very impressive display of Allura’s power, maybe some glowiness, and Lotor basically doesn’t stand a chance against her with Shiro’s support. In fact, Lotor tries to escape, but Allura’s power overwhelms him and keeps him prisoner. All the magic is sucked right out of him and he ends up passing out right there in the castle.

Both Shiro and Allura are weakened by the exchange as well, but they don’t have time to be thinking about it, as things outside the castle have gotten worse. Maybe the castle jolts to the side or something and they look out to see that the yellow lion has just pushed them out of the way of a tractor beam (after all, the black lion was seen going into the Castle of Lions, so why not take the whole thing?). Lance is trying to distract the main ship, while the Blade of Marmora and the resistance beat back the Galra forces.

Keith is still watching from the resistance ship, as the timeline makes it so it’s only been moments since the leader was disarmed.

Pidge and Matt are in the green lion, headed in to help, but they’re too far away to do much.

Lance, in his efforts to distract the main ship, gets caught in the tractor beam intended for the Castle of Lions. Hunk, who’s the closest lion, tries to get to him, but he’s too slow. In Lance’s attempts to protect the Castle of Lions, he’s kidnapped by the Galra, who know they’re losing. Basically, the commander has settled for one lion and manages to escape as soon as Lance is on board.

We’re left floating in the silence of space, all the members of Voltron shocked and horrified to realize what’s happened. Especially Shiro, who gets the last scene. He knows what’s in store for those captured by the Galra, after all, and his fear and horror is the last thing seen before credits role.  

Originally posted by littlemisspaladin

the-cynicall-insurgent  asked:

Appologies if this touches on some painfull memories, but how effective were your issued body armor against assault riffles? And what kind of wounds were common should one get hit but not have its vest pierced?

It’s kind of you to be considerate! I’ve never personally been in combat, so for future reference I have no combat associated trauma.

 But I’d like to make clear for the peanut gallery that most soldiers don’t see combat or get shot at. The vast majority of soldiers aren’t intended to see combat, and over 70% of our foreign casualties are a result of explosives. As an example, S. L. A. “SLAM” Marshall’s book Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command estimates that only about 1 in 4 soldiers actually fired a weapon at the enemy, even in infantry units. That’s 25% of soldiers who are SUPPOSED to be in combat; obviously the numbers are even lower for those who serve other purposes.

Considering this estimate was taken during WWII, I’m inclined to speculate that number is even less now because we aren’t in a ground war and most military assaults these days are air strikes. Just something to keep in mind.

Regarding our body armor, nowadays we call it our IBA: Interceptor Body Armor

Our IBA is part of our tactical gear. It’s also included when we say CIF gear – Central Issue Facility, meaning any number of non-combat items assigned to us through the army such as sleeping bags, canteens, and wet weather gear – and “battle rattle,” which is our gear that we specifically use for combat such as the IBA, the ACH, (helmet) and magazine pouches.

There’s an updated version called the “IOTV” but we never called it that like even when people were wearing the IOTV we just called it the IBA because we hate learning new acronyms. Marines have completely abandoned the IBA to my knowledge.

The IBA is about sixteen pounds. It’s basically just a vest that has special pouches you can put slabs of armor

inside. The reason we do this is partly so we can break down the IBA easier, but mostly because each armor slab is only rated for taking one shot. Can they take more? Maybe, perhaps, probably, but its structural integrity is weakened upon impact. We aren’t supposed to go out in an IBA that’s taken a bullet. Supposed to. 

It’s worth noting that even operational body armor can fail. It’s not a perfect system. Guns are weird and bullets are weird and you never know just what circumstances can come up that can shift their velocity and angle just right.

You specifically asked about assault rifles, so as is my tendency I’m going to go into several unrelated weapons for posterity.

Against pistols, you’re probably safe. The vest that holds the armor plates is (supposed to) protect against pistol fire on its own. Maybe not from repeated shots, but most rounds from a pistol don’t have the velocity to break the armor. You’ll probably have little to no injuries as a result, maybe some bruising. 

Shotguns against IBAs are like…okay…? Like…the scatter is more likely to hit an area of you not covered by the IBA and the multiple impact points will at the least severely affect the integrity. 

A .50 cal or some other high power rifles will probably break the armor. I never want to say it’s 100% guaranteed, but the armor we wear just isn’t rated for that kind of round. 

Machine gun fire isn’t supposed to be accurate; it’s supposed to hit as many people as possible. Thus that odd shot or two that would otherwise hit the mark should be stopped. But the impact will still hurt and knock the wind out of you, leaving you vulnerable, and if the shooter is having a good day the armor won’t stand up to multiple rounds.

Body armor essentially protects best against single fire. A hit from an assault rifle, if the IBA holds, will feel like punch in the gut. You might be knocked back or even knocked down. You’ll almost certainly have some serious bruising and tenderness. The armor itself just stops the bullet from breaking through and fucking up your insides; the full impact and velocity of a bullet flying some 2,000 feet a second is still a very hard hit. You might be able to get up and walk around immediately or you might actually be doubled over in pain.

There have been times where body armor has actually sort of…imploded at the impact point, where it caught the bullet but the armor was basically punched out in that spot and it just thunked right into your body. Think of it this way: by the time a bullet is blocked by the body armor, the damage to you is translates more to bludgeoning damage. So for example, if you were looking at our ballistic helmet, it’s possible to get a concussion from taking a shot to the head even if the armor completely blocked the bullet. It’s possible for there to be internal damage, organ ruptures and whatnot.

As you can see above, the whole vest isn’t armor. It’s unfortunate, but rifle fire can sneak through cracks. If the round misses the armor, it can be very difficult to remove the IBA to address the wound or to even locate where the bullet entered the body. 

There have also been tests done by people on YouTube regarding the actual integrity of the vest with and without armor plates and there’s been at least one case I know of where the vest alone withstood a 400 yard rifle shot. If you’re just looking to see how the IBA holds up against gunfire, there’s plenty of videos of gun enthusiasts doing their own experiments.

As is often the case, it’s both believable for a bullet to be stopped by body armor and for it to not be stopped by body armor, so feel free to take your story where it needs to go! Just remember that it’ll still probably hurt, and it’s not a permanent or invulnerable solution.


If you felt engaged or enlightened by the above post, would you please consider checking out my Patreon? Your small contribution can make a huge difference for me. Thank you for your support! 

5 Things from the TDB Rewatch: Showmance

1. Oh, this is why Finchel came to hold people’s hearts. Look how sweet they are.

I have lots of disjointed thoughts about their dynamic in this episode:

  • When Rachel noticed Finn freaking out about the social suicide of performing Schue’s song, I looked at her and thought, is it possible that she’s thinking of something beyond herself? So much of Rachel’s story is about learning to see herself as more than her talent, but along the way she also slowly becomes “a real girl” by letting others inside,  starting to understand that they are real. I think it starts here.
  • In their conversation in the hallway, Lea’s approach is just so spot on. The little almost imperceptible shake in her voice when Rachel invites Finn to practice with her is just such an aching reminder of adolescence; I can just feel that wanting. And Cory matches her beat for beat. The way he just glows when she praises Finn as a singer. You can see all the tension this boy carries around just fall away. 
  • That picnic on the stage is Rachel’s version of Kurt’s harem room. She knows what she’s doing; this is a seduction. And it’s so ridiculously over-the-top.
  • I think these actors have chemistry, but boy, are these kids plagued by miscommunication (which, after all, is a tried and true way to tell such a story). We know what’s happening with Finn; his problems with premature ejaculation and his shame about that have been shown to the audience, but NOT to Rachel. So she interprets his shame as being about her.

2. “Pretty fly for a white guy.” So when Mercedes says this, Mr. Schue assumes she’s talking about him, right? But she’s talking about Artie. Like, she’s looking at Artie as they sing, not Schue. This tiny moment = Schue’s on his own journey , and is as self-involved as any teen because in reality he IS one, and he still needs to grow up. AND–these 3? Maybe 4, including Kurt? remain invisible to him.

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“The Final Problem” Survival Pack [NEW UPDATE, 28/1]

This is the third update of the original TFP Survival Pack posted on 20/1. It contains all of the information in the original along with the most recent meta.

New highlights include:

  • A section addressing concerns and counterarguments
  • Meta on specific subtheories, such as John going blind on one eye
  • Clues about January 29th

Search Ctrl + F + “[NEW]” to look at only the new information.

(Note: if the section is labelled [NEW], all meta in that section is new.)

Still screaming over that crazy episode? Some hope remains! This masterpost and theory table collect the fandom’s last hopes—and they’re less crazy than you’d think.

The main takeaway is that the episode contradicts the rest of the show and real-world events far too much for it to be just a mistake. In fact, the evidence suggests that there will be a fourth episode.

“What? That’s ridiculous!”

That’s what I thought at first, too. But things in real life don’t add up, and they can’t be explained by bad writing. At this point, a rug pull is simply the most logical explanation. And if we’re wrong, well…it can’t really get any worse, can it?

This pack has 6 parts:

  1. Issues: Everything within the episode that makes TFP not only a dumpster fire, but a (literally) unbelievable dumpster fire.
  2. Clues: Real-life weirdness such as cast quotes that don’t fit, scenes missing from filming, and strange new promos that hint at a fourth episode.
  3. Descriptions of the two main theories
  4. Theory table: Compares which theories explain which issues
  5. Resources: Links to meta that explain specific issues or the episode’s weirdness as a whole
  6. Conclusions: What it all means, and why we should hold out a little longer.



Disclaimer: Everything in this post is speculation. If you don’t want to get your hopes up, by all means skip it. However, I’d suggest at least waiting until January 29th before going full-out against Mofftiss (reasons below).

=============== Issues ================

Everything weird about that episode. With over 70 nontrivial plot holes, it’s hard to view the episode’s quality as an accident.

(The bolded phrases are descriptions, not the actual titles.)

Within the episode:

Unresolved plot holes and narrative problems:

=============== Clues ===============

Real-World Inconsistencies

The Missing Scenes

Scenes that were filmed but that we’ve never seen? Quotes that make no sense with TFP as the finale? Something is up.


It’s in Sherlock’s Mind

Everything in Season 4, since either the end of TAB or Mary shooting Sherlock, is in Sherlock’s mind as he is comatose. This theory requires all three episodes to be at least partly imaginary. A main variation is that John is talking to him as he is comatose, and that what John describes influences what Sherlock imagines.

For meta on variations of this theory, including EMP and John’s alibi, please see the TST Survival Pack.

It’s in John’s Mind

Everything in TFP is in John’s mind after John is shot. Variations include:

  • TST and TLD also took place in John’s mind.
  • Mary shot John, not Eurus.

This one is starting to gain more ground, particularly because it would make the whole season an adaptation of “The Three Garridebs”, leading to canon Johnlock, etc.

==============Theory Table=============

Green = Completely addresses this issue

Yellow = Addresses this issue somewhat plausibly, but not the best solution


[NEW] A Brief Rundown by @myminionsandieatcereal

Sherlock’s POV

John’s POV

Clue/Multiple Versions Theory

Clarifications and Misinformation

[NEW] Addressing Concerns and Counterarguments

[NEW] Subtheories/Independent Theories

[NEW] The Importance of January 29th

On Issues in the Episode


Meta on a single issue that specifically support one theory are labelled [John’s POV] or [Sherlock’s POV], respectively.

On the Whole Episode:

On Breaking the Fourth Wall (and Why):


They broke every rule of writing unless it’s a rug pull. The filming, cast and crew quotes, promotional material, and subtext within the episode make no sense unless a fourth episode reveals that it took place in John’s or Sherlock’s mind. The reputation of the whole show relies on them successfully revealing the real season finale.

So when would they reveal this fourth episode? When would it air?

They’ll air it on 29/1 or announce it on 29/1 and air it soon afterwards, via:

“The Final Problem” is either sheer stupidity or utter genius. Either way, let’s enjoy one last conspiracy.

The game is on.

I will be updating the table and theory list regularly.

  • If you have theories, issues, or meta to add, please comment.
  • If you think a theory does address an issue that the table says it does not address (or vice versa), please comment.
  • If I described your theory inaccurately or you just want to add something, please comment.

If I tagged any of your meta above: I would love to add any other work you’ve done that I haven’t seen.  If you’d like to add something, please comment it and I would love to include it in the next update.


Tags under the cut.

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An Autistic Reviews Mr. Robot

So, I just watched the first episode of Mr. Robot, and I really enjoyed it. I think that as a show, it uses a lot of cliches, but handles them deftly, and I am excited to see what comes next. The main character seems to be on the autism spectrum, and also mentally ill. While I have seen people talk about the mental illness aspect of the show, and the addiction aspect (which could very much be linked to Elliot’s autism), I have seen very few people speak about the autistic aspect of Elliot personality. So, here I am to do that. Here’s what I think:

Most of the time when a TV show has an “autistic” character, it feels very exploitative. Especially when the TV show refuses to name the developmental disorder, even though they have picked and chosen the “best” or “coolest” traits to use. It feels as though my disorder is being taken advantaged of, and I do not even get any representation out of it. Sherlock BBC, while much loved, is an excellent example of this. As is The Bridge, and at times, Bones, which is doubly sad, since there are so few female autistic characters. Don’t even get me started on The Big Bang Theory. 

I did not know going into Mr. Robot that the main character, Elliot, was autistic. That wasn’t the reason I began to watch the show. In fact, going into it, I had very little information, other than it was about a hacker guy and it was good. To my surprise though, as the character revealed his autistic traits, I was not cringing or covering my eyes in embarrassment. Elliot feels very real in his autism. I especially liked that the show did not bash you over the head with his autism, it was revealed little by little. It mingles with the mental illness that Elliot has going on as well, which is common for real-life autism. They show the good, the bad, and the ugly with Elliot, which I loved. Now, I have only seen the first episode, as I stated, so I do not know how the character will be in the future. Here are some of the things I loved about the portrayal of Elliot’s autism from the first episode:

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Taming The Brat Pt.8

And in the spirit of posting tradition I am once again posting yet another chapter I’m not 100% sure on… Okay, fine, I kinda like the smut in this one… A lot-ish.
Anyway, sorry it’s taken a little while, I’ve rewritten this so many times and I don’t think I can make it any better.
Also, I’m sorry if there’s any grammatical/spelling errors, I write on my phone and I’m terrible at spotting them when I’m editing. I hope it isn’t too distracting if there are any and I’ll edit through again a little later to make sure. Anyway, sorry for rambling, and I hope y'all enjoy ^^

Lil Disclaimer
Genre: Angst/Smut/Nora’s AU
Requested: Sort of
Warnings: NSFW, 18+ Content, long af as always, crude af, swearing, pretty big time skip, roughish sex, BDSM themes, D/s relationship setup, Daddy kink

Pt.1 | Pt.2 | Pt.3 | Pt.4 | Pt.5 | Pt.5.5 | Pt.6 | Pt.7 | Pt.8 | Pt.9.1 | Pt.9.2 | Pt.10

Originally posted by bangedhim

Originally posted by spooky7

At many points during pregnancy and throughout the stages of raising an infant, there will come many periods during a parents journey when numerous self appointed experts will come out of the woodworks to offer them copious amounts of varied and vast advice they’ll soon realise they never actually asked for, nor do they want. Luckily enough, along the way it gets relatively simple to sift out the worthwhile advice from the busy body, and one of the few people I now willingly accept advice from is my own mother. Though I’ll admit, I haven’t blindly followed along with everything she’s suggested, but I’m of the opinion that what she doesn’t know I’m not doing won’t hurt her.
One of her many recommendations I am glad I agreed to take up though, happens to be yoga and meditation.
Okay, technically my mom recommended Pilates, but all that extra apparatus didn’t exactly speak to me on a lazy ass soul level, so I opted for the version where all I need is my living room floor and a yoga mat. It’s great exercise, for both the body and the mind. I too, would recommend it to anyone. The thing I love about it though, aside from the whole healthy benefits malarkey, is how much it relaxes me. Almost always to the point where I end up falling asleep on the floor. According to my mom, this isn’t exactly the objective, but it’s been working great for me so I see no reason to fix my technique. Besides, it’s not like I fall asleep every time. Some days I force myself to stay awake and actually go through some of the steps. The only catch is that when I’m forcing myself to remain upright, I cant switch off my brain, and I often find it wandering. Today, my little family, asleep on the couch to the side of me, is what has my full focus.

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Martial Arts delusion and how it hurts women.

“I want to be able to protect myself.”  From the hundreds of fellow martial artists I’ve talked with about why they train, this phrase sticks out at the top of the list. Over the years, I’ve become less and less convinced that martial arts actually does relate to “self protection” goals.  There are ways in which almost everyone who does martial arts may be “safer.”  (Exercise is healthy, improving balance and learning to fall safely will protect against common accidents…).   Some people, like law-enforcement officers or people who live or work in really bad neighborhoods, may have specific risks that martial arts can help them address. For the rest of us…it’s a great hobby.  It’s nice to feel like a badass.  It’s good for bonding with people.  Discipline, strength, confidence…it’s a hobby (or lifestyle, or obsession) worth pursuing. I can’t recommend it highly enough.  Many martial artists train for those reasons, for sport, or just because it’s fun.  Wonderful reasons.

But the “self-protection” delusion is a problem.  I would like to see that delusion sliced open and its guts strewn in the dirt: in martial artists, in school marketing, and in the general population.  I would like to see women’s self-defense training that addresses the real risks taught more widely, and see things that are not women’s self-defense marketed accurately “women-only martial arts class” rather than “women’s self-defense” for instance.   

It’s a big problem. Specifically, it’s a huge problem for women, whose risk profile is entirely different from men’s.  Women are led to believe and trust that by studying martial arts they will be safer from the risks they face, and that is at best a very small partial truth and at worst outright wrong.

When men come to martial arts to learn how to fight off an attacker, it’s an active shooter, a violent mugger, a carjacker, or a drunk in a bar.  Risks that (other than the aforementioned LE officers and people in sketchy neighborhoods) they are beyond unlikely to face. For most people those are some of the least likely actual risks in their lives.  Giving up fried food, taking a defensive-driving class, and updating an eyeglass prescription would eliminate more risk from most people’s lives than decades of martial arts training.

So the harm to men from martial arts training is that they get a great hobby with a lot of benefits, for reasons that are mistaken.  That’s even sometimes acknowledged among us, that we have to be crazy to do this stuff when it’s almost certain never to be needed. 

When women, however, come with the purpose of learning self-protection, it’s sexual assault and abuse that they’re worried about.  “I want to learn to protect myself” means “I want to feel safe from rape.”   That’s where the delusion becomes a problem.  A big problem.  

Martial arts training is a hammer, which makes every “protection” problem a nail.   Everyone has heard “the vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone the woman is acquainted with.”   But when women sign up for a martial arts program, what they’re getting is stranger-attack skills.  In the real world, women’s acquaintances are not hiding in the bushes or in deserted parking lots to leap out and subdue their friends.   Spending just a little time thinking about the on-the-mat skills taught in almost every martial arts school anywhere, and comparing with the scenarios encountered routinely by 1:4 women in their teens and twenties shows the obvious.  That isn’t training for the risks those women will encounter.

Assault by friends, boyfriends, husbands, co-workers, teachers, bosses, and relatives, the monumental majority of assaults inflicted on women, start with emotional manipulation.  Controlling behavior.  Envelope-pushing behavior. Boundary erosion.  Manipulation.  Creation of ambiguity.  Drugging of drinks. Encouraging of more alcohol or drug use than a woman intends.  Undermining confidence and self-worth.  A vast array of behaviors that can make an assault into a loathsome morass, a situation where punching and kicking are worthless. Different skills are needed.  

Kayla Harrison is an example of exactly that.  She was already a gifted Judoka when she was assaulted.  If anyone could defend herself with martial arts, probably even as a small child, it would have been Kayla Harrison.  If martial arts skills are supposed to apply to acquaintance rape, and she couldn’t apply them, then people with no athletic skill walking in to a random school a couple of days a week surely can’t.  But that wasn’t the problem.  Kayla’s skills were not the problem.  Many women martial artists are raped every year in spite of their belts, training, and ability to put a foot directly through a man’s abdomen.   Martial arts skills are the wrong tool for that situation.  Totally and completely wrong.

Knowing what skills are needed starts with risk analysis.  Risk analysis is something woefully deficient in most martial arts training. Most martial arts instructors enjoy various combinations of: punching, kicking, grappling, throws, chokes, locks…they enjoy sparring, rolling, using various weapons, they enjoy winning.  This is what those folks are great at, they love it, and they teach it. Looking beyond that takes a lot of effort.  The easier thing for people who have a subject they love is to believe that it can solve all problems.  The hammer.

When it comes to studying, martial arts instructors might enjoy looking at old scrolls, or watching video of other martial artists, reading books about martial arts. When they research “modern attacks” they watch video of inmate interviews describing stranger attacks and how victims are chosen.  They watch security video of knifings and shootings.  Unless they’re the guy who wrote “The Gift of Fear,” (Gavin DeBecker…good stuff…read that) they rarely study the “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” or study women’s risk profiles from other sources.

Studying martial arts the usual ways means reinforcing teaching martial arts the usual ways, and the delusion that martial arts can protect from “attacks.”  Regardless of the reality.   Delusion is like that.

But some martial artists are women.  And women are a great target demographic.  And sometimes, the need for “something else” breaks through the comfortable idea that if you are just good enough at punching and kicking, then all situations can be handled.

Enter “Ladies’ Self-Defense.”  Almost every martial arts school sometimes offers a women’s self-defense class.   Sometimes it’s even taught by women students or instructors.  And that’s where things get complicated.  Those classes are almost always intended just to bring in new students.  They serve a good purpose: an easy on-ramp to martial arts training.   We know that women often find it hard to walk in the door to martial arts, and such a ramp is a big help.  

But it also reinforces the delusion.

Advertised as “women’s self-defense,” the classes generally just teach a women-only version of whatever the school usually teaches.  Maybe a pink-washed version.  Maybe with “make this a slap instead of a punch,” or a hair-pull tossed in.  But really, it’s just the same stuff.  No different in addressing real risk for women than for men.  Nothing “women’s” about the self-defense except that no men are in the class.

Sometimes there are classes in real women’s self-defense though.  That does exist.  Almost exclusively taught by women, and mostly not teaching any physical techniques at all.  Once in a while it even comes from a martial arts school.  Women who train sometimes go out of their way to learn women’s risks, to learn and develop curricula to address those risks.  Books and classes are out there.  But from the perspective of a woman with no background, there’s no distinction between a pink-washed regular martial arts class and a serious women’s self-defense program.

Women coming in off the streets with no expertise, and just a vague idea  “I want to be safer” encounter confident martial artists who think that their hammer can address any nail (pun fully intended).  Those women can spend years and thousands of dollars learning skills that don’t address their real risks. They may love their art, they may become Kayla Harrison, they may never regret walking in the door of their school…but they’re not learning what they came to learn.

The troublesome part of this is that many women who train in a martial art know all of this.  We have been saying this for a long time.   We care about women’s risks and the very alarming occurrences of those risks. (Comparing men who are unlikely to ever be attacked in any way with women who have a 25% chance of violent attack in their lifetime is stark).  We study, we read, we learn in other contexts.  In my case, I learned about women’s self-defense through a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum when I was 13, and again in my twenties when I became certified to teach that curriculum.  I learned more in training to become a Crisis Response Advocate for sexual assault and domestic abuse survivors.  I learned by reading real research and talking with real survivors (many of whom are fellow martial artists).  I know many other women martial artists and instructors who have sought out that information and those skills.  We learn that specialty, and we sound like broken records talking about the need to teach real women’s self-defense.

But schools still mostly don’t teach those skills.  The delusion of “martial arts makes you safer” persists.  One reason is that it is vaguely true that martial arts makes you safer.  The “learning-to-fall-safely,” the “longer-life-through-exercise.”  The reduction of already-infinitesimal risk of stranger attacks that apply to men and women.  Those things are real.  Not that important, not that useful, but real.

Also, it’s easy for the (mostly male) senior people who run schools and styles to pass off their female students’ concerns with an occasional seminar.  That feels like enough for a concern that doesn’t seem real to them.  They have no personal stake.  They’ve never guarded their drink like Fort Knox.  They’ve never known a dozen friends who have been pressured into sex by people they trusted and thought “that could have been me.” Never faced losing a job or a home if they didn’t sleep with someone.  Risks for other people are easy to pass off.

Martial arts Instructors feel like warrior protectors, who think that if they are with a woman she is safe.  Which is the diametric opposite of the real risk analysis which says that a woman is safer walking alone than with a male acquaintance (don’t take that as advice).  Those men can believe in their punching-and-kicking hammer, wholeheartedly, as a panacea, point at the “women’s self-defense” class (that isn’t women’s self-defense) and be annoyed by the insistent nattering of the women students or junior Instructors who say otherwise.  Badgered to think uncomfortable thoughts when they could stay on solid comfortable ground instead.

There are other reasons. Economic reasons.  It doesn’t pay for most martial arts schools to let students think too hard about real risk analysis.  Some places teach an art that is beautiful and has nothing to do with self-defense, and the school doesn’t pretend it does.  I’m guessing that a Zen Archery teacher presented with a prospective student who said “I want to learn to protect myself” would point the prospect in another direction.  But in schools purporting to teach modern defense…either the instructors don’t know what the real risks are, or they just don’t want to think too hard about it.  They want to cling to the idea that “martial arts makes you safer” and take the money. They probably even believe it and are just bad at math.

I prefer the Macy’s approach. Sending a prospective student elsewhere if what they need isn’t in the house.  Honesty and integrity and cutting through delusion.  If a woman comes looking for risk-reduction, and a martial arts school doesn’t offer real women’s self-defense, then sending the prospect to a class at a Crisis Response organization, or even another martial arts school (if there is one teaching those actual skills nearby) is a way to get more students, a better reputation, and loyalty from their own women students.  Doing otherwise is a breakdown in integrity, a crack in the facade that can run deep.

There are worse reasons. Some schools are run by men who have no business running anything.  Men who see the women in their school as their personal dating pool, or worse.  Men like Kayla Harrison’s early teacher.  A far-too-common thing in an industry full of alpha-males and narcissists.  Those men have zero interest in teaching women to protect themselves from the emotional manipulation they use.  The mindsets of those men could be a book all its own. We don’t like to talk about that, but Kayla Harrison’s situation isn’t as uncommon as it should be.

The most innocuous reason for this delusion is that schools teach certain skills, the people running them may not get into heavy discussions about the whys and wherefores with their students. Many schools are fun, happy places where deep discussion isn’t a thing.   It’s just “caveat emptor.”  People need to do some research before they sign up to spend a lot of time and money on a hobby, to make sure it’s a hobby that will serve their actual needs.

But what is the harm?  People train in a martial art, maybe get a black-belt even.  Enjoy themselves.  Make friends.  Feel like a badass.  Look cool.  They exercise.  They get discipline, and self-control, and endurance.  Martial arts is an outstanding, awesome hobby that I personally think everyone on earth should try.  It’s been a major life-changing thing for me.  If an acquaintance says “I’m thinking about martial arts” they get from me “YES, you should do it! You’ll love it!”  So where is the harm?   This article is about the harm.  

If you try to buy a car, and you get a giant cake shaped like a car, you might love the heck out of that cake…but it’s not what you paid for.  If you then try to drive somewhere in an emergency, you’re screwed.  (Please substitute a better analogy in your head).   

If a woman, (or the parents of a girl) walk into a school and say “I’d like to learn to protect myself” or “I’d like to make sure that my daughter can defend herself,” and everyone involved knows that they mean “I want (for her) to be safe from rape” and the school takes thousands of their dollars over the years without teaching them easily-acquired skills that will make them appreciably safer from that risk…that’s a harm.  

Even if the women become badass black-belts.  Even if they love training.  Even if they wouldn’t trade that time in for anything else.  They still didn’t get what they paid for, and in the 1:4 chance that they encounter a situation they’re not prepared for, they are screwed.  That is the harm.  That’s a failure of unconscionable proportions.

But there are more insidious harms as well.  Some of those women and girls are exposed to those narcissist teachers who exploit them.  Many of them will go about their lives and suffer acquaintance-rape.  When that happens, my experience has been that it’s been worse for women martial artists than for other women in some ways. The difference between “I couldn’t protect myself” and “I should have been able to protect myself and I failed” is crushing.  

One benefit of martial arts can be a feeling of almost super-hero-like ability to handle whatever is thrown at you.  It’s a positive, and a negative.  It reinforces the idea that martial arts is a hammer and every kind of problem is a nail.  Because we train, we can do anything.  Confidence helps us solve problems, but not all problems can be solved that way.

People who train to punch and kick on mats in an air-conditioned and well-lit school don’t suddenly have skills that make them safe walking blindly down a mountain in the middle of the night, or the ability to whip a perfect merengue, or to perform an appendectomy, or to spot the red flags that often signal a controlling relationship that can lead to sexual assault and abuse.  Specialized skills require specialized training.  

Martial artists like us really want to believe, as our instructors do, that the skills we’ve acquired through years of blood, sweat, and tears will serve us in many ways.  They do.  But they don’t substitute for other training.   And when women (or girls) who have learned to beat the tar out of an opponent on a mat feel that they are safe from rape, and then it happens, that is crushing.  It immediately undermines belief in themselves painstakingly built on a foundation of martial arts training.  They suddenly go from walking through the world as a black-belt to feeling like a victim and a failure.   This is not the fault of the woman, it is the delusion perpetuated by martial arts school culture and an abject failure to teach them the tools they need to protect themselves from easily-predictable and common attacks they are likely to encounter.  

Putting aside the men and women law enforcement officers and the people who live or work in dangerous neighborhoods; men who train in martial arts are studying because it’s a hobby, not because it’s a sensible use of resources to make them safer.  Men mostly don’t need martial arts.  Women have a high risk profile.  We can expect that 1:4 will be raped, and mostly that will happen when they are in their late teens or early twenties.  Women need appropriate training and the knowledge and skills to be taught are readily available. Martial arts schools routinely fail to serve the demographic that needs them most and schools lead women to believe that they are getting what they need to protect themselves.

All of this for a delusion.  The path with integrity is this: First and foremost, Instructors need to recognize that women’s self-defense is a specialized skill set, and not one that comes from being a black-belt in any normal martial art.  It’s not shameful for men who teach martial arts to acknowledge that they need to learn new skills or outsource some training for the good of their school.

Those skills can benefit all students.  Emotional manipulation happens in many contexts, to men and to women.  Male students would benefit from learning women’s self-defense tools.  It would make them better partners, instructors, and human beings.  

Regular training needs translation.  Don’t assume that just because regular techniques can be interpreted to apply in different situations that students will be able to do that on the fly in an emergency.  Training needs to be interpreted on the mat, in safe environment, before it’s needed in the real world.

Marketing needs to have integrity.  Women’s classes are not “women’s self-defense” unless they actually are teaching skills specific to women’s risks.  Classes can still be easy ways to get women into training without misrepresentation.

The cost of integrity is getting out of the comfort zone, stepping into uncomfortable territory, and cutting through ego-driven delusion.  In theory, that’s what martial arts is about.  Fixing this longstanding culture delusion would be a huge change, and a huge opportunity to cut through delusion, do the right thing and demonstrate the value martial arts actually brings to our lives.


The person who dared to talk about the elephant in the room-An open letter to Moffat-

“It is infuriating, frankly, to be talking about a serious subject and to have Twitter run around and say, oh, that means Sherlock is gay. Very explicitly it does not. We are taking a serious subject and trivializing it beyond endurance,” Moffat said.

Mr Moffat, I wanted to write directly to you, in order to discuss your above statement, as well as addressing a few other things that have been troubling me recently. I sincerely hope that this finds it’s way to you somehow.With that said then I shall begin.

In regards to your statement above:

It is you ( not the fans) who has taken a serious subject and trivialised it beyond endurance.

What do you really know about the Johnlock/TJLC element of your fan base?A selection of drawings or fan fictions of compromising positions and plotless porn, picked specifically to raise some eyebrows and generate a few smirks on a show like Graham Norton, maybe?Look closer at us please.For the majority of us it is not simply gay sex that fans lust after at any cost to plot line or character development.It is rather the confirmation that (sexual or not) John and Sherlock are in love and are in fact in a deep, meaningful and exclusive relationship with one another.A relationship that is stated, not simply implied, and that transcends friendship to the point of it being the most enduring and important of their respective lives.People can be in love and be absolute soulmates without ever consummating it in a physical sense.The TJLC community is fully aware of that fact and respects it as a lifestyle choice, as equally as they respect any other representation of sexuality.If you think that this passion from the fans for these two characters, simply boils down to a bunch of rabid and hormonal young teenage girls wanting a cheap thrill by seeing Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch shag on a BBC screen,then you really don’t know the fans,the TJLC or the LGBT community tied to this show at all.You really don’t understand a thing about this and why it matters to so many people.Trivialising a serious subject?How can a group of people be trivialising a serious subject, when the entirety of them are either supporters of or LGBT themselves?How are these people therefore trivialising it?Trivialise the subject?How so?By backing your versions of these characters and placing their trust in you because they believed the story you were actually telling ( using credible and talented A list celebrities) could be ground breaking, monumental and would actually give them the representation that they desperately deserve on the scale that they desperately deserve?


No Moffat, trivialising would be to knowingly involve yourself in queer baiting for seven years in order to exploit an element of the audience that follow your show.The actions of someone dramatically letting down an element of society who are relying on them.

I’m sure you are already clued up on the expression that defines what you are doing but I’ll remind you of the specific definition just in case…

“In a fannish context, queer baiting (or queerbaiting) is a term used to describe the perceived attempt by canon creators (typically of television shows) to woo queer fans and/or slash fans, but with no intention of actually showing a gay relationship being consummated on screen.”

I’m not going into all the examples of your queer baiting in Sherlock. Quite frankly, there are too many embarrassingly BLATANT instances purposefully loaded throughout every one of your episodes.I’m therefore going to ask the TJLC/Johnlock fans that you seem to view with contempt for ‘trivialising homosexuality’, to think of their most obvious example/s and then ask themselves this key question?

Knowing what you know (of the show as it stands), who has really succeeded in trivialising sexuality beyond endurance in this instance?Yourselves or the creator of this show?The one I am currently addressing..

My brother is about as big a fan, and as knowledgable,of the original canon as yourself. he has told me that he is actually slightly uncomfortable with the way you are, ‘including completely unnecessary gay subtext/references in every episode’.He suggests that their wasn’t a need to allude to that in his fav version (Jeremy Brett) in order to make it successful, so why the need now?

Seeds have to be planted in people’s minds for them to grow.Even those non TJLC viewers like my brother are able to see it.

So please feel free to answer the perfectly reasonable question from a non TJLC member.Why exactly have you felt the need to include so many queer references?

Do you need some reminding of these references?Very well…

You began your first episode with a dinner conversation between the two main male leads regarding boyfriends and girlfriends all being fine.You made it sound like John was coming onto Sherlock and Sherlock was rejecting him.You made the land lady believe that they were gay ( time and time again you had her mention it).If you had stopped there and never said another damn word about it after that first episode,or even season, then I ( and others like me) would have likely forgiven you and accepted the mild queerbaiting at the beginning of your show. Accepted it as a way to simply address the notion that some people believed the relationship to be more than what ACD actually imagined it to be.


You continued it… continued it through most ( if not every) episode you’ve ever written.You continued to make the gay jokes/the relationship jokes.You continued to plant the seeds and water them for seven years and now,when the garden is blooming in all the colours of the rainbow, you are complaining about the suffocating landscape!

If what you have said in your interviews turns out to be the truth (platonic bromance and not romantic relationship) then how dare you attack and mock those poor fans (whose only crime in all of this was to actually be tricked into believing your blatant lies through the narrative you presented to them).

You might still be wondering what could possibly have been the catalyst for such a rant from myself.Well read on because there’s an East wind coming….

I just watched a video of the Q and A section at the screening and you completely let yourself down Mr Moffat.So rude and abrupt to a person who clearly has their heart invested in your show. I am Embarrassed and mortified to call you a fellow Scot because that kind of attitude is why people wrongly assume we are miserable c**** at times!

The thing that really made my blood boil ( apart from your condescending tone and borderline sexist remark to that person )was the fact that you actually had the audacity to jump down their throat for daring to mention something which your OWN show members/staff have been tweeting and teasing for months.That damn elephant in the room ehhhh! Always causing problems….however self inflicted it is..

In that screening, I watched you completely cut that person to the bone as you callously talked over and demeaned them. You said something really patronising and sarcastic about Sherlock and John going away to do the dishes now ( because they asked about their relationship).Something about them solving crimes cause that’s what the books say they do ( like the person isn’t fully aware of ACD and his far superior narrative ).

You felt it was a good idea to Mock someone for their ‘lack of knowledge’ of the original canon, whilst you yourself are arsing up your own fan fiction version of the canon by choosing to M Night shamalan it to bits at the final curtain call. It’s now at the point where it’s got that many gaping plot holes,that it resembles Sherlock’s sitting room wall during a particularly complex case! It’s not even remotely clever any more! Has anyone had the balls to actually tell you that to your face?Through all the gushing and fawning has anyone provided a reality check this season?I mean the simplicity and brilliance of series ½ compared to series ¾.Moriarty just being wonderfully Moriarty in those seasons, to what we must endure now…Scooby Doo villain reveals …to name but one…
If you are so virtuous and true to your beloved ACD and his books, then why did you have an entire season of Mary and even introduce a baby?Do you honestly think that ACD would ever have enjoyed or wanted the Watson and Sherlock sitcom that we got landed with for a time?Coupled with the ridiculous Mary/Assassin backstory. Don’t even get me started on the secret sister/ evil genius plot.

Jumping the shark much Moffat?

This ain’t lesbian aliens and their assistants from Doctor Who that we are dealing with after all.It’s ACD and we can’t offend him by changing or defining the relationship of his two male protagonists, can we?

You have the cheek to mock that person at the screening for asking about a Johnlock relationship ( specifically where it goes from here) when you yourself cultivated and encouraged fans like them to latch onto and care about that very thing. Perhaps you did do that in the beginning to hook a certain type of audience in order to generate a cult popularity.However the show got massive very quickly and you still continued it. So I ask the question again.Why did you continue to do it? You seem to despise and deny it’s very existence at every opportunity, so why continue it?One mention (by an eager Johnlock fan) about the Johnlock relationship (fuelled by your loaded subtext) made you completely lose your cool in front of an entire room of people on Thursday. A member of an online community who ( on the most part) have done nothing but shower you with admiration,warmth and kindness in the last seven years.You let that person down on Thursday.You let us all down in that instant.They probably went home with red rimmed eyes, a trembling lip, the memory of a partially mocking audience, laughing at them, pitying them,and what’s worse, the memory of someone that they trusted and held in high regard,treating them with contempt, to the point that they probably now feel that they are somehow wrong for thinking the way they do about TJLC.The person who dared to question the elephant in the room was not wrong to do so….and Moffat you stood there and spoke to them like that whilst being fully aware of that fact.That is what is truly disgusting about your actions on Thursday night and why I simply couldn’t stand back this time and let this go without saying something.You are fully aware that all the person was guilty of is picking up on your queer baiting and questioning you about it. You are perhaps embarrassed that they asked you that elephant question because you know you’ve led people right up the garden path.Are you ashamed about that,so your first response (rather than simply own up to it) is to lash out to prevent anyone from calling you out on it?


You bet your ass you have Moffit…..

Now be prepared because there’s an East wind coming and you’re going to have to face up to it very soon.Maybe you could start that process by apologising to the person who dared to talk about the elephant in the room.

Remember….elephants never forget and we certainly won’t be forgetting this anytime soon…

Episode 15: "Those women longed for the touch of others' lips, and thus invited their kisses" - aka "Dismantling Wish Fulfillment, Self-Loathing, I Must (Not) Run Away"

Oooohhh boy.

I know I maybe say this too often, but this time I mean it like never before: shit is getting intense here. I won’t hesitate to praise Eva’s SF aspirations (because the stuff it gets up to is legitimately inspired and I love it to bits), but the real strength of the show lies in the circuitous human-interest stuff taking place between and behind the scenes where the genre takes center stage.

And this episode sidesteps almost entirely around the SF matter. This really is the hinge-point of the series, where it undertakes the challenge of telling its story without resting on the crutch of the giant robot conceit - the only thing keeping the audience tied to what goes on is the strength inherent to the characters.

Which is fascinating, because a lot of what this episode is about is highlighting the widening gap between the way the children and the adult cast experience the overarching conflict of the story. Fitting, given that the Big Evident Theme this time is the reconciliation of adolescent conceits with maturing interests.

Asuka, for example, wrestles with something I’m tempted to say is kind of a recurring component of Gainax heroines’ personal struggles. It’s most obvious, I think, with Mamimi in FLCL, but it deserves wider attention and closer thought - perhaps from someone in a less privileged position than I.

But I’m getting off topic. I was talking about recurring conflicts among Gainax heroines, as relevant to Asuka. Asuka is frustrated.

Okay, there’s a strong argument to be made that everyone in NGE is frustrated, but Asuka specifically has some particular issues in that regard, because, well, Asuka is Asuka, and Asuka is all about her facade of control. Asuka won’t stand for anything that won’t fit into her all-conquering personal narrative, and while it helps her cope with living that approach makes things complicated when it clashes up against things that are bigger than her.

In this case there are two things Asuka’s approach clashes against: patriarchy and, well, NGE’s plot. Let’s address the patriarchy first.

Part of Asuka’s control system is built around her approach to men/the appeal of men, and it boils down to this: if they dissatisfy her, she shuts them out/down. She will not allow a man into her life except on her own very specific terms. 

She’s also big on taking what she wants. She’s the Hero; she can do that kind of thing.

Asuka makes the rules. Asuka’s decisions are final. Asuka will tell you when to breathe and when not to if she wants, because that is how she does things.

And she is completely unafraid of saying when she is unsatisfied. She will walk away when she wants to. 

This is great! Asuka has constructed a persona that demands control and consent in everything she does, and more power to her for that ambition.

Here’s the problem: patriarchy isn’t friendly to that identity. Her growing interest in the sexual as an adolescent means that that identity is brought into direct conflict with the powers of patriarchy, and through the lens of an outside patriarchal observer that identity is warped into a vile parody of itself - it becomes tsundere. A conflict emerges, then, between Asuka’s self-concept and appetite for human attention/connection and the engines of exploitation and objectification made manifest through the male cast. 

And of course there’s the matter of Kaji - the man Asuka wants. And again we have to ask why? Just… why?

Because again, Kaji is scum. Kaji exploited Misato’s survivor’s guilt and intoxication. There are so many better ways you could reaffirm Misato’s sense of self-worth here; Kaji demonstrates here that his chief interest is not so much restoring Misato’s morale as it is reestablishing an emotional chokehold on her. Misato establishes in this episode that she sees much of her father in Kaji, and what we know about her father is that he was an abusive jackass; I’ll let you make the inference.

Misato pushed Kaji away for a reason. It was a very good reason. 

Because Kaji is scum. I cannot say this enough.

Why, then, does Asuka show an interest in him? Thus far, Asuka mostly refers to Kaji as “a real man” or “the only real man around.” But what the hell does that actually mean?

I can muster a hypothesis. Asuka is more perceptive than she’s perhaps been given credit; she recognizes that there’s more to Kaji than meets the eye and his superspy mystique fits him right in to her personal hero narrative in a way that makes him simultaneously interesting and powerful but also nonthreatening to her own position of prime significance. She sees a James Bond in him. He’s also an adult - something that Asuka, as has been alluded to before, has a bit of a thing about. To Asuka, adulthood is all about composure, about becoming your mask, and it’s a trait she finds depressingly but not unexpectedly lacking in her male peers.

But Kaji has it in spades.

What Asuka glosses over is that 1) it’s not safe to be James Bond’s love interest; 2) Bond is a loathsome asshole; 3) Kaji’s mastery of the adulthood game makes him an inveterate bastard; and 4) a mask is not a face no matter how well it’s worn.

Let’s shift gears some, and talk about Big Ideas.

Just for clarity, the text in yellow is a soap opera playing in the background. It’s also what you ought to be paying attention to.

As I’ve mentioned before, the interaction between media and how people who consume said media let that consumption inform their behavior is Kind Of A Big Deal in Eva, for good reason. Take note; the J-Drama playing in the background here has strong resonances with Misato and Kaji’s actual conversation. 

(this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened in-series, btw; there was a stretch a few episodes back that I neglected to comment on with Misato and Shinji talking in the car, while a radio host talks under them about gross dudebro entitlement - short version, it was fitting)

I would say that this staged conversation taking place in the background is meant to be reflective of what’s going on in Misato’s head; this is how she wants the Big Inevitable Conversation with Kaji to go. Note that this is pretty much the exact opposite of what happens; Misato’s whole self-effacing argument hinges on the idea that she’s remained stagnant.

And then we’ve got to take the scene in juxtaposition into account:

And here it is, people: A Major Thesis Statement of Eva:

Misato is dead wrong.

Keep in mind, she’s advising Shinji to follow through and try to connect with Gendo.

Let me repeat that.

Misato tries to convince Shinji that hard work and dedication and a steadfast will to progress will fix Shinji and Gendo’s relationship.

This is without question a catastrophically bad idea. 

At this point, Misato hasn’t realized the possibility that maybe it actually is okay to run away. Maybe sometimes you actually really must run away, because the situation where you are isn’t fixable. Nothing in the world could make Gendo less of a shit. Nothing in the world could de-scum Kaji.

It is okay to run away from the people who abuse you. It is okay to turn away from shitty systems that cannot possibly be fixed. It does not make you a coward. It does not make you weak. It does not make you less worthy.

And, if the juxtaposition means anything, it’s that this idea that Just Pushing Forward Will Fix Everything is something sold to us via Media. Misato sells this notion because it’s what’s on TV; it’s the story we hear told, it’s the line we buy the moment we tune in.

And Eva, as it’s becoming clear, is all about beating that notion in with a very big stick.

inlovebynecessity-deactivated20  asked:

Sherlolly, 4, pretty please. Cause teacher/single parent au's give me life!

It takes her two knocks to answer the door.

“Miss Hooper.”

“Mr Holmes.” Scruffier than her usual neat appearance, with eyebrows raised high, her clothing isn’t based on fruit but cartoon cats. A real-life version shoots past her legs into the house, a sleek grey line of fur sliding between the gap of the door. His son’s primary school teacher sinks her features into a frown, perhaps fully registering his presence for the first time.

“How did you get hold of my address?”

Sherlock holds up the reason for his visit. She stares at the proffered stack of paper in surprise.

“Marcus’ science homework.”

“I marked it, yes.”

“I made a few adjustments.”

She opens the door a little wider, adopting the stance of a teacher, a straight back and blank face only slightly exasperated. “Mr Holmes, though I know parents do help their children with their homework on occasion, official policy does state that children complete assignments on their own—”

“To your marking.”

She blinks. Offence crosses into the teacherly expression.


He takes back the paper, scanning through it. “You mentioned here somewhere that a discussion of the Coronal heating problem was not necessary for the homework you set. You set a question about planetary orbit, did you not?”

“Mr Holmes—”

“Ah, you also mention that discussion of the cause of the Maunder Minimum is irrelevant—”

She scoffs, cutting him off. “I never said that!”

Before he can reply, she grabs the paper from him, scanning the neatly typed up words. “If you actually look at my markings, I said – wait – why have you written wrong across it? In all capitals?”

“Because your theory was wrong.”

“I was positing an alternative! And,” she breathes, gathering her composure, “if we could return to the actual point – look, what I said here. ‘This is very interesting, but isn’t related to the question.”

“The Maunder Minimum is extremely relevant to the question.”

“If you’re writing a university physics paper, Mr Holmes, yes. However, your son is in Year 4. The Maunder Minimum isn’t on the—” She comes to an abrupt stop, glancing behind him. He turns, eyebrow raised. An elderly woman, curlers in her hair, is staring at them from the doorway house opposite, frowning with disapproval in her prune-like face.

“I could hear you two over my television programme,” she says, sniffing and glaring. Molly shrinks under the admonishment.

“Apologies Mrs Fenwick,” Molly replies, her hand grabbing his arm. With surprising strength, she tugs him into the house, shutting the door, giving a wave to the disapproving neighbour. “Sorry!”

She turns on him, and all argument fades from her face. He chuckles, the chuckle becoming a full-blown laugh.

“Shut up,” she says, throwing herself forward and wrapping her arms around his neck. He catches her with ease, letting his laugh fade as he kisses her. She eyes him when they pull apart.

“Did you really have to lecture me about my marking on my doorstep?”

“I came over earlier, noted your delightful Mrs Fenwick hadn’t fallen asleep yet.” Sherlock shrugs. “A necessary precaution. As was, I assume, your pointed question about me getting hold of your address?”

“You’re not the only one concerned about neighbours. Seriously, though – Marcus is a child genius, but you’ve got to slow him down.” Molly skillfully ignores his wandering hands as she speaks, so he kisses her neck. She moans, but pushes her hands lightly against his chest. “The other kids feel like morons. And I work in a school that caters specifically for child geniuses.”

“It doesn’t help that he’s got Sherlock Holmes for a father,” she adds, though her playful smile gives her away.

“I’ll talk to him. Now – shall we argue until your neighbour falls asleep or go upstairs?”

Molly answers him by grabbing his hand and leading him upstairs to the back bedroom. Removing his coat, making to remove her dressing gown, he kisses her, nibbling on her bottom lip.

“I really do have some queries about your marking, however, Miss Hooper.”

Molly unceremoniously pushes him onto her bed in reply. “We’ll discuss them later.”

Send me a ship and a number and I’ll write you a short fic!


Characters: Dean x Reader

Words: 1181

Summary: Dean pushes to find out more about the dreams, and the reader is closer and closer to fully cracking from the emotional pain from the dreams.

Part 8 in Reincarnation Series. Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, Part 5 here, Part 6 here, and Part 7 here

Here we go- Part 8!! I’m so happy you all are really loving this series, I couldn’t ask for more. We are getting closer to the end, but I’m super excited for it. Enjoy!!

Keep reading

2015 3ds

new 3ds will launch in the rest of the world coming 2015 and we have several titles coming 2015 or maybe not depending on localization. I’ll mention stand out japenese titles as well as titles confirmed for the west. All also mention a few titles from the past that may have a shoot at being localized.

 Fossil Fighters Frontier: I’ve heard some not so great things about this title but it’s still a dino based monster hunting JRPG from nintendo so I doubt it’s horrible.  Maybe Average but for sure it won’t be horrible. 

Code Name S.T.E.A.M: While art direction wise the game isn’t stunning the game actually seems like a ton of fun. Every time I see more of this game I warm more and more up to the game in every aspect. It has online and local vs, it has a pretty unique king of gameplay style, and it has freaking Abe Lincoln and Tom Sawyer as people who can be in your party. I love the idea of taking these public domain characters, throwing them in this steam punk alien invasion universe and just going to town with strategy. 

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: Capcom has proven one thing, they don’t fuck up when it comes to putting together a monster hunter game. They even understand that if they are going to release an ultimate edition of a monster hunter game they may as well wait for that one to release it in the west since westerns won’t put up with buying the same game twice but they do like getting a ton of content.  I’m not a big Monster Hunter fan yet although maybe that will change when I play more of my Wii U monster hunter 3. Regardless I don’t see one monster hunter fan I know that isn’t creaming their pants in excitement for this title. 

Majora's Mask 3D: Majors mask was a game I played a lot as a kid but never understood. I know I managed to turn back into normal Link and all that but never had I beat the game or likely even gotten close. This is a very, very fan demanded rerelease so i’m very happy fans fighting for this will finally get it.

Story of Seasons:  The actual new Harvest Moon game is going to finally see it’s release in 2015. Life siming and Date siming it’s way to a hoedown like always. I haven’t personally played any Harvest Moon games (unless you count Rune Factory) but I intend to correct that eventually. It honestly looks like a lot of fun. 

Etrian Mystery Dungeon: I’ve not yet got past playing a demo of an EO game and i’ve never not given up on a mystery dungeon game. Still fans of both or ether are going to love this game. It already has day one dlc planned so you know Atlus “needs” the money or what ever. Still the game should be solid enough. 

Lords of Magna (Forbidden Magna): I think I’ve been talking about this game for what feels like two years but maybe has only been one. I think it looks really exciting with some nice SRPG stuff going into it.  Xseed just registered the domain name for Lords of Magna not to long ago so I’m assuming like many others that’s what Forbidden Magna will become in the west (Or at least North America). I intend on doing a full everything you need to know post about this game once we have a confirmed release in the west and I can make sure I know everything.

SMT Devil Survivor 2 break wallet: (Picture above illustrates “real” Atlus fans crushing anyone “fake fans” who question base god atlus.) Break Wallet is another one of Atlus’s 50 dollars because we know fans will pay it and bash anyone who disagrees games. The game “Doubles” The content of the first release of DeSu2 for whatever reason so that makes it worth an extra 10 bucks. Fuck this game but if you want it the battle system is good, it will be fully voice acted (Seemingly pretty poorly) and it isn’t as good as the first that you should buy if you haven’t.

Gunman Clive 2: This games gonna be 3 bucks on the eshop. The first one was totally worth the 2 bucks it costed so I’m going to make a safe bet and say this will be well worth the 3. It’s just a little platformery side scroller where you shoot what’s in front of you, get hit, or be a duck and try and doge everything. The games got a great art direction and while likely to be only a bit longer then the former game in the series it will still be totally worth checking out. 

Yokai Watch: Another title I’ve been talking about for years is Yokai Watch, With the anime launching in japan the game had went from it’s humble maybe 300k sales to over one million units sold. The 2nd games in the series (Split into 2 versions then a 3rd like pokemon) have sold over a million in japan as well. Finally with the image above Level-5 teased with the very corner of the image that Yokai watch is going to come out 2015 (The anime is also planned for release 2015 I believe). These games are similar to Pokemon in that they are a monster tamer game but in this everything is based on japanese folk lore. For the most part they are ghosts but some oni’s and the like are thrown in. I’m really excited to try out the game first hand since it could be really good or really bad but I love monster tamers. 

Bravely Second:  We don’t know the games coming out in the west but Square was so impressed with western sales they admitted they had been fucking up with JRPGs. So I very much expect Bravely Second to release in the west as well. I’m honestly not very trilled with what i’ve seen of the second game so far but that could be attributed to a lot of things. We could see a delay of this games release for a second version to be created and released world wide similar to the first game. 

Final Fantasy Explores: Here’s another game we don’t know for sure is hitting the west but Square would be crazy not to. It looks really solid, they got their bullshit dlc stuff already planned (but it’s mostly cosmetic). The games more or less Monster Hunter X Final Fantasy although people have said it’s more like a variety of other games then monster hunter.  The game has some cool systems in it, monster taming, turning into famous final fantasy characters (and lighting), and online multiplayer. It’s seeing mixed reviews in japan claiming the main story is fun but the post game (the majority of the game) isn’t as fun.  The problems could easily be addressed in some super omega version since game companies love rereleases and that could be the localized version.

The Great Ace Attorney:  Will it be digital only? Most likely but will it come to the west, I think so.  This is a different Ace Attorney game going in to the past and attempting to mix up the series a bit. I’m just about to dive into the series my self but I know a ton of fans will be lining up to experience this game when it eventually does see a western release. 

Some Pokemon main series game: I’ve wrote about this not to long ago but Pokemon is now an annualized series. My prediction is Pokemon X and Y 2 to be announced since I believe they don’t want to release the just one version of any Pokemon game they can get away with selling two of. OR/AS totally let me down but I’m a massive Pokemon fan so I’m sure they can seduce me back into bed with them.


Xenoblade Chronicles (New 3ds only): i’m really not feeling that this is new 3ds only. The new 3ds is this odd in between  being a new handheld and not being one. Here’s an exclusive physical game but also it’s not a replacement still buy our old systems as you wait? Maybe Nintendo has a handheld plan intended to slowly phase out handhelds without upright replacing them. Similar to androids where some games just won’t run on your old phone but plenty still do. Oh yah also Xenoblade is a really good JRPG we should all play. 

That wraps up the games I personally think will be released 2015 or know for a fact will (If delays don’t happen.) It’s 15 games ( Although not all are confirmed ) and I mean that’s at least 15 more exclusives then Xbone has lined up for next year (Drumb Sound effect). I didn’t count any indie games outside of gunman clive because I think the rest are at least hitting PC as well and I’m not really up to date on indie 3ds titles. Nintendo is known for holding their game releases close to the chest as well so we could see several titles releasing for the 3ds that weren’t announced at all until after this post was made. We also have many, many japanese 3ds games that are coming out or have been out with no plans of localization that we know of. These include a buddyfight game, a pretty cool looking one piece game, ace fighters combat, and like 10 dragon quest games. I’m pretty hopeful that 2015 will see the release of plenty of 3ds support. 

I wish I could love A-force, a spoiler heavy review.

So A-force was one of the most exciting titles coming from Secret Wars to me. All female cast, with two female writers (both whom are great), with some of my favorite characters, set in a paradise.  Yet somehow I ended up really not liking this book, Maybe Post Secret Wars A-force will redeem this story but I can’t recommend this zero volume. Beyond this point spoilers dwell so do beware.

This comic has several problems going into it. One of the major issues i have with it is the setting of Secret Wars, they can’t avoid it but the setting potential is actually made worse. Arcadia is an amazing concept, as is A-force but being set inside Secret Wars make the characters of a feminist paradise ruled under cruel males. It’s super annoying but I figured maybe it would have a pay off where these betrayals were to break Arcadia free of the patriarchy, no the story here is it would have been better if they had not angered their god and things would be normal if a non binary female had not ruined it.  Doom really damages the story and the story they wanted to tell was further ruined by them not really addressing it. Many other Secret Wars titles did so this book not doing it has no excuse.

Next major issue is the way Nico is written here. So far out of 4 issues she has cried in every single one. They also all follow the same basic beats. Something bad happens in issue 4′s case it was the reveal that Loki was the traitor, they punch something, then Nico Cries. That is A-force, that’s it. Nico and She Hulk are the only characters given real speaking lines outside of our baddie Loki nether do anything particularly interesting for their character. It’s amazing to see She Hulk as a leader, it’s amazing to see a happier Nico at the start. However, both these things are crushed, i’d much rather seen any other day in Arcadia then the day they are giving us. A smaller note is the choice to use everyone’s most iconic costume here meaning a lot more bad costumes being put on display here and that takes away from even the cameos.

Other complaints include, Zombies at the end are a totally lame left field kind of thing when there is obviously a ton more room for better storytelling outside of let’s have a last stand against zombies. I know they tried to set it up with the shark toss scene but it really felt like this is a random element in this storyline that could have been tighter. Then we have an ad in the middle of a two page spread that’s on marvel but it’s still really annoying. Nico has always been a pretty white passing Asian character but when only white woman and her get a speaking role in this book and they actually use the same white in the coloring as Loki’s skin it’s a little lame. That one is a nit pick and I might even be reaching she does have Asain features it just bothered me near the end likely just because that point I might have been looking for things to be upset about. 

Let’s go on to my least favorite thing about this book and that’s Loki’s betrayal of Arcadia. Creating the portals to overthrow Arcadia and become queen was all Loki’s doing. First off just to gain power is a totally weak, cliche, outdated villain goal. We have so many more dynamic villains but this version of Loki is made paper thin. This also makes the touching scene in issue 1 with America Chavez totally pointless. Then she proves to be petty as well another classic oh look how evil I am thing. She blows up the Shield and lets zombies come in to kill the people of Arcadia.

Loki being bad is bad on so many levels it’s not even funny. First off Loki being bad is the most obvious option A writing possible. Who did a bad, must be the trickster god. We have it being bad for this story because it ends up making it a story of woman against woman in a very corny way. It’s bad because this is a league of cis straight women against the one LGBT+ non binary person in the book. Gay is bad in this book of powerful woman and straight is good. If lesbians were in this teen + rated comic maybe it would be too feminist, grrr. At the very least Loki’s fight against A-force was pretty cool although not even as cool as that could have been since it was really just vs  She Hulk and Nico. It just angers me how we can’t just let Loki change, can’t we be over this whole evil Loki thing. 

This book in the end didn’t leave me feeling empowered, inspired, or even really having a fun time. Maybe if this was more cotton candy a mustache twirling baddie loki would have served it. However, here it does it no favors. I even bought a variant cover for this books issue one plus a second copy to have both issues and I was just so let down. I’ve done everything I could to support this book and I feel like i’ve been slapped in the face by it. Dropping the series, sorry to G. Willow Wilson who might have amazing plans post secret wars but you’ll have to to work harder to get me back. Until then I’ll see you in Ms. Marvel.

The Sims 4: New Game Patch (July 14th, 2016)

❗ Remove all MODS and Custom Content before updating your game ❗

Update: 07/14/2016 – PC Version / Mac Version

Hello Sim fans, Simmers, Simians, and Simsters,

We have a couple of new bits of this and that…

Nannies have arrived!

The nanny is now available to hire from the phone (Hire a Service, in the Career/Household menu). The nanny will take care of your little ones when you don’t have time to… they will play, mentor, and care for their needs.

Hired nannies will stay for up to 24 hours, or until dismissed. They do charge an hourly rate, but for the parent with a need for a nap, no price is too high.

Some smaller news

  • Lights can now have their color and intensity modified per room. In addition to the “this light” and “all lights” option, you can now modify lights via the “this room” option.
  • Changing outfits will now bring up a visual outfit picker to choose your Sims outfit.
  • Click on the active Sim and choose “Outfits…” and then “Change Outfit…” – this will open up an outfit picker that you can choose from between all your available outfits on that Sim, or filter using the filter options in the dialog.
  • No longer will you have to say “what was Everyday 4?” – Now you can see what each and every outfit is that you have created for your Sims.

And even smaller than small news

  • You can now use the space bar to cycle between Sims in Create a Sim.

General Issues

  • You should now be able to complete the ‘Feed a Cowplant’ whim by feeding a Cowplant.
  • Mounted fish with an emotional décor rating will now be able to have the emotional aura turned on and/or off.
  • We addressed an issue with “in progress” Sim inventory items (such as the songbook that is in your inventory when you are composing a piece of music) that allowed them to be dragged to the ‘sell this item’ option in the inventory panel, and resulted in a broken inventory state.
  • Woodworking sculptures should now have a proper appearance when placed into your Sims inventory, and will no longer appear as a non-informative star, in a black and white circle.
  • If your mom told you and your sibling to use the cup on the table,
  • We have addressed an issue with stacked rugs, where they were not respecting their sort order on non-active (your neighbor’s lot) lots.
  • Placing a Drink Tray on your lot will no longer satisfy the ‘Own a Bar’ goal for Sims with the mixologist aspiration.
  • Curtains will now appear properly lit depending upon their interior or exterior placement, rather than as a result of the orientation of the window they are placed upon.
  • We fixed an issue that resulted in see through walls.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in male children not being able to change their eye color in Create a Sim.
  • We fixed an issue that was causing the dancing shoes (unlocked at level 5 of dancing) to be non-wearable for some Sims.
  • Children should now get social motive when being read to by an adult.
  • BTW… since we are on the subject, we also re-addressed an issue that was preventing relationship from being gained when chatting with other Sims on the Slablet.
  • And now… a Grammar Corner moment…
  • This Grammar Corner moment has been brought to you by The Internet. The Internet, serving brains for over 30 years.
  • It turns out, that is an invalid use of the ‘and/or’ grammatical conjunction. As much as I believed the ‘/’ was a replacement for ‘or’ (thus resulting in the phrase being ‘and or or’) it is actually x or y or both (or… And or Or or And and Or).
  • Sounds like a zombie café…
  • Those items will no longer be draggable, and instead have an option that appears when clicked on them to remove them from the Sims inventory (if you so wish).
  • …and you both poured your OJ into the glass at the same time without realizing the other was also doing so,
  • …then you might wonder what this has to do with texture space, and the problem caused by cfTop_EP01HoodieShortSleeve and cuShoes_SP07Sneakers.
  • Let me just say, the hoodie asset will no longer cause the wrong color to appear on the heel of the sneakers asset.
  • And you should always make sure your sibling isn’t pouring their OJ into your cup.
  • Rugs now remember their order no matter how you view them. Unless you are viewing them in a mirror, then they will be reverse vertical order but the same horizontal.
  • This had to do with the wallpaper disagreeing with the visibility state of the wall, and thus turning itself and the resulting part of the wall invisible.
  • Yes it was broken, and we fixed it’s “was broken” state, but then it’s “was broken is fixed” state was broken, and now it’s “was broken was fixed is broken” state is fixed.
  • In case you were curious… “was broken was fixed was broken is fixed” is the resulting state.
  • That issue is also “was broken was fixed was broken is fixed.”

Hope you have/had a happy July (if you’ve been following along up to this point… have or had or both July).


How do you give the player hints?

One advantage open world games have over linear games is that in open world games if the player is having trouble with a specific enemy/dungeon/puzzle they have the option of leaving it alone and coming back to it later (if they want/need to come back to it at all). The more linear a game is the greater the need for the player to be able to deal with and get past whatever challenge is currently in front of them.

The advantage of linearity is more control, which can lead to a more consistent difficulty curve and a more cohesive narrative. You also know what mechanics the player has seen and is familiar with because you know which puzzles and areas they have already dealt with.

This huge necessity to be able to deal with the next given problem is more pronounced and problematic in puzzle/adventure games then in action games. This is because in action games it is generally more clear why you failed: you didn’t dodge enough, you weren’t reading the enemy’s telegraphs well, you tunnel visioned on the wrong target, and so on. Puzzle games though use a great deal more lateral thinking and with unclear solutions comes unclear reasons why you haven’t solved the problem.

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So long, Junior.

It’s been a week (to the hour) since you passed. I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve had this week while mourning you and experiencing my first real taste of absolute, gut-wrenching loss.

- This is so very worth it. I would change nothing. There wasn’t a day or even a span of hours in your life when you were taken for granted. There wasn’t any show of love that wasn’t reciprocated tenfold in either direction. This was the upside of having two dads that work from home and it’s why we’re all (yes, still) as bonded as we are. You resided mostly at our feet, helping us accomplish whatever task was at hand. You’d spend a couple hours in Dave’s office, then prompt him to let you come out to my studio for a bit, then reverse and repeat all day, every day. This was never a nuisance, never got old and never failed to fill us with as much joy as it did you. Naps were always the best and you were the best partner in the crime of day sleep. I’m having a lot of trouble napping on the huge beanbag - which you LOVED - without tears happening first. It’s been hard for both of us to sleep at night without you at the end of the bed, alternating whose legs you’ve got your back pressed up against. The prospect of bed-sharing is partly why I insisted on a non-shedding breed - the reason we were led to you - but I had no idea what else we were getting with the package.

- I am starting an entire, possibly larger, second phase of learning everything you were sent to teach me. It’s an awful lot and it’s weird to realize that in 40 years of living, some of the most basic things a human needs to know about themselves and the world can be non-verbally communicated through a uniquely gifted non-human like yourself. But then, you kinda were human. Given the amount of human activities we included you in, it’s not surprising that you practically changed teams. You never really fetched, had only a brief interest in any dog toys (certainly not for lack of us continuing to buy them), stayed closer to us off-leash than on, and try as we did with the food training, you just preferred to eat when we were eating. Like family. A couple times a day, you’d see or hear a squirrel and need to be immediately let out so you could run full bore at it, which was the most doglike activity you engaged in. (Wheatens are an Irish breed that chase vermin out of barns and off properties for their hardworking farmer/owners, so there it is. Who’s a good boy?!?)

- I keep thinking about an evening - around maybe 4 or 5 months of having you - when we were still crating you anytime we left the house. Because we were around so much, there was some separation anxiety to contend with early on. Dave remarked “He is 100% emotionally dependent on us and I guess we’ll have to address that.” Funny now to realize who was actually emotionally dependent on who, and how thoroughly you tricked us. I later taught you the phrase “You’re gonna stay here”, which made it easier for you to swallow the news of your not coming along with us wherever, find a comfy spot and enjoy some solo time. Because we all need solo time. That’s when you tended to do your heaviest sleeping, as you tried to be awake as much as possible when we were home. It was really, really hard to catch you with your eyes closed; maybe happened 3 times for me in those 10 years. (I have one picture of it, but this isn’t it. That one’s strictly between us.)

- Sneezing was your version of standup: it happened in groups of 8-or-so. But yours were as violent as my own, which both you and Dave can attest to. Your head would nearly shake right off of your neck, and between each one in the series you would have around 3 seconds to look right at us with a very concerned “Umm…what the HELL was that?” with all the hair on your face sticking out. Then onto the next until the fit subsided. You’d end up looking like mid-1980’s Tina Turner and it took you a few minutes of primping to get all the hair on your face back in place. Oh, we’re gonna miss you, you goof.

- Grieving- turns out we had no true experience in this department and you are teaching us a tremendously important life lesson. We’ve gotten into it. We’ve welcomed it, embraced it and let it run its course. No, I’m not done with it yet, but having surrendered to it the moment you passed, I’ve found it to be a pretty beautiful process. Don’t get me wrong, this is a kind of pain I didn’t know existed and I’m not excited about its next visit. I’ve now lost all 4 grandparents - the last one just a month ago, which hey…thanks for getting me through that, man - and 3 of them lived long, fruitful lives. There was an equal amount of celebration folded into the grief because of that long, full life. But Junes…you let us know something was wrong literally on your 10th birthday. (I’ve been having many bizarre thoughts about that, by the way.) Most sources told us that the Wheaten life expectancy is around 14-16 fully energetic years, so we had planned to do so much more with you. More trips to wine country, more trips to the beach, another NYC sublet for a few months, more dog park visits, more walks, more 3-mile runs and endless patio dining experiences all would have happened. And you wouldn’t have missed a beat so long as we were all together. Sure, we were lucky to not have lost you for whatever reason any sooner, but still. The bizarre, unforeseeable suddenness of your passing paired with your early exit has added many layers to our grief. Again, you are totally worth every exhausting moment of it, little man. And since you suffered only the briefest, if any, pain in the end, we have no problem bearing that load for you.

- Thank you for helping make Dave and I the people and couple that we are. It’s like your 12-week-old self showed up, said “These guys are doing pretty well, but they could use a little help; I’m just the guy for the job.” and just went to work. You sniffed out our incredible sensitivity the day we met you - which is why your sensitive self chose us - and once we became a family, you set about expanding our hearts while always filling them to the point they might burst any moment. It was love for each other and for you. My entire body has ached in flu-like fashion throughout the past week of grief, and I think it’s because my heart finally did burst and scatter throughout my being when you left us. We’re wrangling the many pieces of our hearts back into our chests and piecing them back together. The portion of it that binds the two of us stayed in place, is as strong as ever, and that’s partly your doing.

- Thank you for also growing so many others’ hearts. It’s impossible for non-owners of a dog - certainly for non-dog lovers - to have the same experience or connection its owners do, but you certainly gave that a run for its money. A few friends were lucky enough to housesit for us and get a glimpse of how little you asked for and how much you gave. When it was time to be happy and excited, you were. Otherwise, you just wanted to chill out together. You preferred smaller, more intimate hangs, but handled life in our ‘revolving door/borderline community center’ home with aplomb. When numbers got up there, you’d stick close to us or find an introverted soul hanging in the margins and cozy right up to them. I can think of at least 4 friends who began the search for their own dog after spending a little time around you and experiencing our family. You taught some of their dogs how to play and always shared your home with them remarkably well. We watched a variety of dogs for friends and you were a champ at making them feel right at home.

- Oh, buddy boy, I could go on forever. But it’s time to wrap this up. The thought of saying another Thank You or Goodbye instantly fills me with tears and heartache due to the finality of it. We already did that a week ago when we last got to touch you, smell you and clip a couple locks of hair from your ears. But if we’re to make these happy tears at some point, we have to accurately define your current and future status. We have to focus on the fact that you’re always going to be here with us. No, we can’t touch, smell, see or hear you anymore; those suddenly feel like selfish acts anyway. I now realize your real presence has always been just as strong, if not stronger, in the non-physical sense. You’re irremovably in our hearts, minds and souls. You will continue to live there, forever doing your best, most loving work.

Why the SQ movement should be stronger than it is...

This isn’t a pessimistic post about our chances as a ship, subtextually or maintextually. It’s a reflection based on my days shipping Xena/Gabrielle and the differences and similarities and the ultimate point is that we SHOULD be a stronger movement. Because Swan Queen isn’t just about one ship, it’s about a whole set of challenges to the core of what is absolutely wrong with euro-american ‘ownership’ and reimaginings of fairytale mythologies. At the core of what is so very wrong about Disney’s hegemonic ownership of these stories IS heterosexism, racism and sexism. But when the Swan Queen movement became about celebrating the fairytales themselves, we were sort of set up to lose a bit of our kick as a group…so, in order of 'could we please just thoughtfully address these issues’…

#1: OUaT writers/creators did not have the absolute right, on behalf of Disney, to repackage and ’re-imagine’ fairytales without challenge from women, PoC, queer folks and just about anybody who is marginalized by the propaganda that is Disney. Disney on a good day creates something like Frozen. Disney on a bad days says 'shut up about the homo.’ Disney films have included some of the most racist shit and it’s for good reason. The American propaganda system is dependent on certain subjugations based on race–the little 'Indians’ that you see in Peter Pan are there to shore up a certain heterogeneous colonial logic. We should have been more critical of this from the start and less celebratory of Disney’s ability to make us all buy the same version of Snow White 50 times. Disney has gay days but from what I understand as of late, they also have a code of resounding silence around their ability to convince queer folks to give them money while remaining conservatively heterosexist. 

#2: Fandoms, from what I’ve observed, are way too individualistic and not celebratory enough of group accomplishments, on things like twitter and tumblr. Both forums encourage a kind of popularity that was definitely there in the Xena days, but there was still a bigger sense of 'ok, we need to really gather together ALL 15000 fanficts written and put them ALL into this master library’ that really nurtured a movement. Some of this is a temporal issue that we can work on just by utilizing master sites like fan fic . net to a more thorough degree (or Archive) but some of it involves rallying editors who rec a larger number of stories without being overly critical about specific head canons and other things that get in the way of a more robust library. For this we need people to stop leaving when they’re angry at the show and to actually do the work of plugging a movement AS a movement. Why? I mean largely this is about #1. Adam and Eddie  DO NOT GET TO GET AWAY with what they’ve done to OUaT. It isn’t 'their’ show, they don’t own fairytales and neither does Disney, so to bring in some of the most regressive, toxic elements of general pop culture–namely rape culture which really throws most people over the edge and pushes them out the door while drawing a DANGEROUS and LOUD audience in their place–this is deserving of far more critical discussion, re-storying, and challenge. 

#3. What I JUST said, keeps getting labelled as 'hate’. And I mean by people who should know better. Critical thought is not 'hate’. And I mean critical thought of Disney’s bullshit as well. So you love the movie Pocahontas–does that mean that I’m ruining your life if I point to the obviously colonial elements of that cartoon? No, I’m improving the state of the world by creating a space for truth telling. Same goes for the worst excesses of OUaT. We should be welcoming of critical discussion in a way that also allows for some growth as a movement not shrinkage. 

#4. Xena fandom members were way more politicized in some ways (less in others) around the need for representation and the link to Queer Women’s rights. We do not live in a post-gay era but the American media wants us to think that we do, while networks like ABC practice very heavy-handed control tactics to maintain the overall illusion. This is very specific and it’s based on something I read recently about conservatism in The Gay Community (a conservative concept). When same-sex marriage and basically a kind of blending into 'normal’ life became the sole goal of queer political campaigns, we lost things that I’m not sure that a whole lot of people have talked about in the OUaT fandom (other than to drastically misunderstand concepts like bi-erasure and to appropriate them in order to validate heteronormativity) and I’m not sure that we can fix this larger political problem to create some unity around queer shipping in 2 years. I’ve found myself wondering about the many faces of Ellen as a kind of symbolic movement from a politicized Lesbian rights movement and interconnected Queer rights movement, toward an almost assimilative Gay rights movement and then a post-Gay ideal in which mainstream conservative Gay politicians and commentators are able to get away with saying that we no longer have to push for anything, we just need to shut up, wait our turn, and the American Dream will happen for all. Uhhh…yeah. Look, the Xena fandom was really overwhelmingly eurocentric at times and way too focused on Greek mythological origins of all things Western (I’ve not yet dealt with the show’s odd appropriations of Indigenous realities yet but I will someday) but at LEAST it wasn’t an audience that had anybody within its ranks who would ever fall for mainstream producers saying 'wait your turn, this has to be earned’. We pushed and pushed and pushed EVEN WHEN SO FEW OF US WERE WATCHING THE ACTUAL SHOW (can I say that any louder). And we didn’t say 'you should have known, I told you so’ when the Rift happened and a misogynist domestic violence storyline was used in season 3 to try to distract from the huge Queer/Lesbian movement behind the show. We raged in really constructive and eloquent ways and there was permanent records of it all, including academic dialogue and other non-fandom forums. And Xena, I mean…do we really think that we’ve progressed or have we lost some serious ground? Xena was also a Trans-inclusive show in many ways so we’ve lost a lot more ground than I think we realize…I mean I’m actually really worried right now about how much ground we’ve lost that needs to be regained. We need to remember why GLBT became the ordering of letter that it did, where Queer Nation politics came in and how the re-ordering of letters followed years of dialogue about important challenges to gender binaries and heteronormativity while also looking at the ways that anti-colonial politics shifts the conversation even more drastically. That history-telling is being left up to mainstream Hollywood film and really conservative media. Communities are struggling economically so the insult there is deep–that two white dudes get to repackage the formative myths of an oppressive system is insulting is also true because of class and economics and who has ACCESS to this kind of re-storying. Which loops back into the fanfiction movement and why MORE AND MORE writers need to be encouraged and more and more stories told in better ways.  

5. Time. Balance. I mean how much do you pour into a fandom based on a show that doesn’t want its Queer fanbase (or women who aren’t into Twilight) anymore? I say you pour MORE time because nobody gets to tell us to go away from a show about fairytales and happy endings. That insult deserves more attention in ways that create happy endings and stories by us and for us and also as a push back. Don’t let this CS rape-culture bullshit take over, I say, push back! Unfortunately, there’s that odd fine line between promoting a ship and promoting a show. A&E did not have the right to repackage, in subtext, a story about a divorced Lesbian couple (I use that word strategically and I’m going to use it more often I think) only to back off on their queerbaiting storyline, only to straight-sanitize the whole matter. 'Swan Queen’ isn’t 'sunk’ because it’s about way more than just this show. So we should do something about that. Don’t just go silent, silence doesn’t speak to the assholes who scream about how dreamy Captain 'no means yes’ is, while telling Queer shippers to die. At the same time, people are going to need space and time to process. But in the timelines of tumblr, it’s forgotten in two days. Less than. Because the dashboard keeps floating quickly along. So we need a better anchor. The Xenites had anchors based on older internet ideals–main websites that few of us want to shell out money for any longer. Buying domain names and all of that, why bother when there’s tumblr? But tumblr shapes our memories in odd ways and our dialogues. 

Personally, I’m going to continue fanfic writing. I’m also going to write academically about OUaT. It’s time to bust the lid off the show, not to back off and worry about the 'stahp the hate’ nonsense that keeps throwing people off their game. It’s all about more than 'shipping’, it’s about re-visioning and storying the world we want our great grandchildren to live in. 

Internet Support Group 5 - danisnotonfire (transcription)

Disclaimer: this is an audio transcription designed to be used as an aid when watching Dan and Phil’s videos for those who have hearing issues. It is fan-made and I don’t claim to own any of the content of these videos. There may be a few minor mistakes; if you notice one, feel free to let me know! 

You can request any videos you want transcribing here

Key for all my transcriptions:

[words in square brackets] = actions taken on screen/other notes from transcriber

(/./) = very short pause

(.) = short pause

(2), (3), etc = pauses graded by length (not by seconds, but relative to other pauses taken in the video)

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