In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.
George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”
Me, on a date:
So, what do you think of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon?
It was incredibly inferior to the original Luigi's Mansion, and quite frankly, it's not a game I would play again. The atmosphere didn't carry over game-to-game and Dark Moon's bosses were far too easy. Overall, it was a joke of a sequel.
Me, shoving the Dual Scream into my pocket:
I'm sorry, I need to go.
Pairings: Billy Hargrove x Reader Words: 691 Warnings: Swearing Request: Hi could you do number 1 from the christmas prompt list with Billy Hargrove?? Maybe where he gets in a fight with his dad and reader invites him to their house? idk just some fluffy billy. love your writing! 💖 A/N: I will try to keep the next stories short as well so it won’t take me as long to post them. Also, I don’t know why, but the Billy ones seem to be appearing in my head out of nowhere right now?? Don’t worry, tomorrow I will try to switch things up.
Summary: After a particularly bad fight with his dad, Billy reaches out to you.
“Here,“ you gave Billy a can of cola, so he could press it against his swollen face. As soon as the cold material touched his skin, he hissed at the sensation.
"Thank you,” he whispered, closing his eyes and dropping his head.
The two of you were leaning against his car, parked in front of the mall that was swarmed with people doing last-minute shopping. It was truly a Christmas miracle that he’d somehow managed to find a spot in the parking lot.
You crossed your arms over your chest, feeling the cold air of the December afternoon creeping under the layers of your clothing. You took a shy glimpse at Billy’s posture. He wasn’t bothered by cold but something heavy was dropped on his back, changing him into a mere shadow of himself. After the fights with his dad he would always look vulnerable but recently it’d got even worse. The splits were getting deeper, the bruises forming under his eye were bigger and he was behaving more hostile at school. So when he stopped by your house this morning and asked for your company, you couldn’t help but see a fair light of hope in that.
Billy sighed and his breath was perfectly visible due to low temperatures. He threw the can into his car and turned his head towards you.
“I should drive you home,” he stated. “You’re cold.”
Fandom opinion from what I have gathered so far tends to either characterize Teru as this pure boy who has a crush on or lives for the attention of Mob and gets nervous and anxious over it like a shoujo heroine, OR this somewhat edgy yandere that fucks a girl every week and would probably choke and abuse Mob or something… and I fucking cringe.
Both are so wrong I don’t even know where to begin and I know both characterizations are passive aggressive wars between “antis” and “nasties” but lol, that’s something I am not coming within a 20 ft pole of and I can’t stand when ppl warp characterization to piss off the other parts of a fandom instead of reading carefully with canon… but I digress.
I think what’s jarring and easily misinterpreted is Teru’s change of behavior following his battle with Mob.
There was a great Tumblr post awhile back (which seems to have been deleted, argh) that hypothesized that Teru’s change in personality is an example of altruistic surrender.
Altruistic surrender refers to an ego-defence mechanism postulated by Anna Freud by which a person internalizes the values of another person and lives his or her life in accordance with those values.
I never took a psych class so I’m not going to delve into this further but this makes a lot of sense, since Teru’s previous identity and system of values took such a huge collapse that it’s impossible for him to formulate and rebuild it quickly, so he latches onto and internalizes Mob’s values, which does ultimately change him for the better and is a powerful driving force in him learning to reform his own personality, but does clash with his inherent personality traits to an extent.
Teru says during his battle with Mob that “people can’t change that easily” and that point is simultaneously right and wrong regarding himself. On the surface, it seems like he’s suddenly changed, but that’s because his entire world has been uprooted to the point he can’t return to it so he’s substituting believing in (and thus admiring) Mob until he figures himself out again.
However, for a person with stubborn pride like Teru, when that pride is shattered it doesn’t smooth out immediately, but impales the person on its pieces. You definitely see flashes of those gaping wounds post-defeat - an example being when he intimidates Ritsu, which I believe was both genuine advice and a way to vent frustration with his own former self.
In the manga, you see that Teru gets addicted to developing and refining his psychic power and learning multiple techniques. Sure, it’s probably because it’s useful if he and Mob ever have to fight a shady organization again (and they do), but on some level he’s still trying to surpass Mob in some way. He’s not demanding Mob acquiesce to his values like he did initially, but he’s trying to prove, perhaps both to Mob and himself that he’s an equal - since he can’t match Mob in overwhelming power reserves, he makes up for it in versatility. And from my point of view he seems to be always, on some subconscious level, trying to figure out why he wants to prove himself to Mob - as a friend? A rival? Maybe both? Why? Does he simply want peace of mind by proving that point? Or does he want to ‘repay’ Mob for ‘saving’ him? Shrugs, we can never know exactly but those are both possible.
It’s interesting that Teru’s catchphrase is “I am an ordinary person” and it seems like something he both accepts and fights at the same time. He accepts it in that he’s gotten through to his head that psychic powers don’t make him a better person inherently, they’re just another talent, etc. He fights it because he simply has too much ambition to sit quietly and not be outstanding in some way (“through effort, I have become an exception”).
Unlike Mob, he doesn’t easily accept being ‘nothing’ and having ‘no presence’ - he doesn’t quite have the strength of heart to embrace that ideal without looking back. But I do feel like this time the way he deals with it is healthier because he wants to stand out for genuine hard-earned achievement, not arbitrary factors he was born into.
Now, I’ll address the characterization in most TeruMob fics of Teru as the “nervous blushing shoujo heroine” and WHY I think people make that mistake a lot of times when writing fluff. Those writers aren’t 100% utterly WRONG in reading how Teru would act towards Mob in a romantic fanon context but they oversimplify his internal thought processes and fixate too much on the tropey outwards actions.
Teru has never had a real friend before Mob because his previous “friendships” were for status and ego boosts. Mob saw through that facade while everybody else bought into it.
There’s a lot that could give him anxiety re: forming his first friendship because it’s new and difficult and he’s learning as he goes along without being able to skip any steps, and also because Mob is particularly difficult to read as is. Teru and Mob, in the earlier stages of their friendship (outside of the necessary temporary alliance in the Claw infiltration arc) would probably be very awkward as both of them can easily be concerned with what could go wrong.
Mob is bad at reading the atmosphere, and Teru is not the greatest at genuine communication without putting up a front, so you can imagine how that goes.
Now if we’re going the route of implying Teru having romantic feelings for Mob, that complicates things further. Teru’s dated girls for show but when it comes to somebody he genuinely likes… given the way he’s handled facing his own emotional problems thus far I’m inclined to think he’d be in denial. While Mob’s clinical, pathological compartmentalization of his emotions made him a literal time bomb of sorts, Teru is more of the “self-aware but actively avoiding” type is my interpretation. And frankly speaking, there’s a lot that could go wrong should he get into a relationship with somebody he has genuine feelings for because he has too much to unpack about himself. His admiration of Mob in general would prompt him to also keep those feelings under wraps because the friendship is already an intricate maze to navigate.
Again, everything I’ve just explained is probably where TeruMob fic writers are coming from but they tend to gloss over or skip depicting these parts and thus end up with a hollow shell of what could have been. Also, for anime-only watchers, it’s easy to not get a good grasp on Teru (because you miss out on his technique-developing obsession and what that implies) I feel.
It’s so good that The Sun has taken the time to point out that the rise of the Far Right is A Bad Thing. Thank goodness we have a responsible press that wouldn’t dream of feeding a poisonous atmosphere of racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic hate over a period of months and years because like I said, that would be A Bad Thing.