beyond status quo

Right, so now that I have revealed myself to be actual Ladybug trash, time to make this one post that’s been on my mind for a while. If you don’t follow me for Miraculous Ladybug stuff (a.k.a. all my followers) then sorry about this.

So, a big fad throughout the fandom at the moment is giving Miraculouses to the supporting cast, and I am SO BEHIND THIS. It would develop the show beyond the status quo and freshen it up spectacularly across seasons, because if it keeps being a magical girl monster-of-the-week show with wacky antics ad nauseum then I’m going to probably lose interest fairly quickly. Some of the most popular miraculous assignments are Alya receiving the fox miraculous, Nino receiving the turtle miraculous ( @thelastpilot ) and alternatively Lila receiving the real, actual fox miraculous. I’m going to throw my two cents in on what thematically would work with the rest of the show.

First of all, we know three miraculous holders for definite and one for almost definite. Marinette is Ladybug, Adrien is Cat Noir, Master Fu is the unnamed turtle hero and the likelihood is Gabriel is Hawkmoth/Papillon. The thing is, if you look at miraculous holders and their miraculouses, a pattern of character starts emerging.

Let’s start with Marinette.

Marinette is, in short, a clumsy klutz with terrible luck, who normally you wouldn’t trust with giving an ounce of responsibility to – not because she wouldn’t take it seriously, but because she seems totally incompetent. The ladybug miraculous, on the other hand, is the miraculous of luck itself, with the most responsibility of all the miraculouses – and indeed, when Marinette transforms into Ladybug, almost all her clumsiness goes straight out the nearest window and she gains HUGE amounts of responsibility – she’s the one responsible for cleaning up the mess after an Akuma attack. The miraculous is not given to Marinette because she’s the best person for the job – far from it, she acknowledges in the origins episode Alya would be a far better fit. However, what’s important is that she has the capacity to grow into the role of Ladybug – and she well and truly does.

Now, let’s look at Adrien.

Adrien is a rich kid who’s incredibly lucky – he’s had everything fall into his lap from a young age, and has had competence (fencing, multilingualism etc.) drilled into him, at the cost of not being able to loosen up and socialise. His miraculous transforms him into Cat Noir, the poster boy for destruction and bad luck, with a kwami, Plagg, who’s constantly getting himself into the kind of destructive shenanigans you’d expect from Marinette through his own hedonism. See the pattern? Adrien and Marinette both receive the miraculouses that don’t represent them – they represent everything they aren’t – but everything they could be if they developed.

Now let’s look at Master Fu and Gabriel, because they’re a little different, but equally as important.

Master Fu, on the surface, seems like an ideal fit for the turtle in terms of alignment. The turtle in symbolism represents age, wisdom, protection. Master Fu stands for all these things – but Master Fu is a miraculous holder beyond his prime. He is at the end of his development. I have a feeling if we ever saw young Fu, we’d see him as a figure of youthful energy, who just wants to let loose and have fun, possibly even be anti-authoritarian when it comes to adults. This should sound true of another character in the show, and I’ll get back to that.

Gabriel, if everything is hinting at what we think it’s hinting at, however, does not fit the butterfly miraculous at all. The butterfly represents stages of life, and change, moving on, transformation. It’s heavily hinted Gabriel’s wife is dead – at the very least, Hawkmoth/Papillon has Adrien’s mother’s picture in his locket. Hawkmoth/Papillon’s goal now seems to be to attain the miraculouses so he can resurrect his dead wife. He’s not accepting death, and he’s not accepting the creed of his miraculous – he’s rejecting it, twisting it, corrupting it, thus becoming the supervillain who uses his Kwami’s powers against their will.

When a miraculous is granted to an owner, they can choose to learn from it, or reject it. But most importantly, they are granted to people who lack the qualities their miraculouses represent – their character flaws are what the miraculous works to iron out. That being said, let’s look at Lila.

Lila is a compulsive liar. Her Akumatised form is presumably the actual hero that emerges from the fox miraculous – a hero of lies and illusions. This is unhealthy for her – the miraculous isn’t helping her overcome her weaknesses, it’s only accentuating her character flaws. Lila will never grow as a person if she truly becomes Volpina.

So who actually needs secrets, lies and illusions in their life? Well, it’d be someone for whom truth is all-consumingly destructive. Someone whose self-destructive pursuit of the truth puts not only herself, but other people in the line of fire, and whose Akumatised form represents truth at all costs. I’m talking, of course, about Alya.

This is why fox!Alya appeals to me so much – because Alya would be able to learn and grow from the fox miraculous, because it represents traits that she needs to attain. Now, let’s look at the other popular miraculous assignment – turtle!Nino. That thing I mentioned earlier? Here it comes again.

Nino is the epitome of youthful vigour in the show – everything from his style to his DJing to his horribly outdated slang in the English dub (seriously, who the hell is a Totally Radical Dude in the 21st Century!? No-one. No-one is who.) His Akumatised form is Bubbler, a childish clown who tries to exile all adults. If there’s one person in the show who NEEDS the turtle miraculous and its traits of wisdom, age and protection, it’s Nino. This miraculous was MADE for Nino – right down to the outdated slang, providing an added meta bonus to the English dub that Nino becomes a massive allusion to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This is why I love fox!Alya and turtle!Nino – because they work thematically with who has already received miraculouses. This begs the question – what happens to Lila?

I’d like to suggest something I think no-one else has thought of. I present, a digression: Peacock!Lila.

Peacocks are about vision, kind-heartedness and integrity – the peacock miraculous represents everything the fox miraculous doesn’t. If Lila became the peacock miraculous hero, she’d learn and develop SO MUCH MORE than if she became Volpina. She’d truly have the redemption and character arc that she needs – she’d learn there are more ways to solve a problem than lies, and that truth can be just as valuable. Likewise, this is why Peacock!Alya would actually be unhealthy for her – because it would only drive her even deeper into her already destructive drive for truth and justice.

This is what I call the Miraculous Character Development Theory. I dunno, it was just a thing that occurred to me.

tl;dr: fox!Alya and turtle!Nino work thematically and so does the rather outlandish peacock!Lila. Sorry this has been a mile long post about a god damn kids’ show. I have… several problems.

A progressive is someone who makes progress.

Hillary Clinton

I disagree with her definition, though I think it explains why she keeps calling herself a progressive. 

A progressive is someone who pushes beyond our current system. Hillary Clinton is firmly within the system and while she wants to make changes within the system, she isn’t willing to change the system itself. The problem is that the system will never allow the kind of changes that a true progressive would push for. That’s why Bernie Sanders is advocating a political revolution. To fix our problems we have change the way we do things. We have to push beyond the status quo. 

Winning a presidential election would give Republicans the overwhelming preponderance of political power in the United States — a level of dominance not achieved since the Democrats during the Great Depression, but with a much more ideologically coherent coalition. Nothing lasts forever in American politics, but a hyper-empowered conservative movement would have a significant ability to entrench its position by passing a national right-to-work law and further altering campaign finance rules beyond the Citizens United status quo.

anonymous asked:

Now that we know the Dragons Riders weakness', what are their strengths?

From this.

All the dragon riders have hoards of great virtues and strengths! I’ll only highly one strength each for them, and talk about how I think it’s cool and telling of their character.

Hiccup: Inventiveness

I never grow weary saying Hiccup thinks outside the box. For me, I believe this is one of Hiccup’s greatest and most unique positive traits. This young man is able to think beyond the world he’s currently in; he can envision something beyond the current status quo.

Whether it’s creating new inventions, or coming up with an idea to outsmart an enemy, Hiccup never does what is typical. He doesn’t act according to the customs, regulations, and predictability of the Hairy Hooligan Viking Tribe. He is, as Stoick points out, different - from the time he can crawl, different.

It’s the fact Hiccup can see outside the box that he befriends Toothless. He doesn’t look at the situation as a black-and-white war on humans and dragons; that inventive analysis of the war is what ends the war, and allows Vikings to live with dragons peacefully.

It’s the fact Hiccup can see outside the box that he can invent so many new, extraordinary items: his bolas launcher, Toothless’ tail, his crossbow shield, his flaming sword, the aqueduct system of Berk, and his flight suit.

It’s always how Hiccup acts, and it is what makes him a strong leader. It’s this inventiveness, this unique perspective on the world. He doesn’t look at the world as it currently is. He’s not hindered by the facts of the present time. He looks beyond it.

Fishlegs: Curiosity

Fishlegs is a timid soul, yet his curiosity for knowledge is extremely strong. He dives into knowledge about what he loves, and he does it without outside motivation or influence. Studying is an intrinsic joy for the boy: he does it because he loves it. He’s a dragon nerd who’s memorized all the dragon statistics by the time of the first movie, and he can even look at a new dragon like the Red Death and analyze her weaknesses and strengths given her appearance. By the time of the television series, Fishlegs can brag about anything and everything dragon-related, speaking very verbosely about Gronckle calls or the eel reaction test.

Fishlegs curiosity for dragon knowledge even outweighs his nervousness and cautious personality. Multiple times throughout the television series, Hiccup convinces Fishlegs to go forward with a dangerous dragon investigation. Fishlegs complains, “I hate that about me!” but goes forward to learn more about the dragons he’s investigating. There’s even one point where the entire island of Berk is nervous about their skrill discovery… except Fishlegs, who whoops and hollers excitedly for finding that mysterious - albeit very deadly - dragon.

Note that Fishlegs’ thirst for knowledge extends beyond dragons. He’s got a clear love of botany, too, and the fact he understands meditation in Race to the Edge brings up some fascinating aspects of his personality, too. He even seems to have some knowledge exploring other languages, based upon his fascination with the Dragon Eye’s writing system. This is one knowledge-loving - and knowledge-seeking - young man!

Snotlout: Boldness

Snotlout is bold in both word and action. While sometimes this lends to problems, there are many times where Snotlouts’ forthright approach is virtuous and lifesaving. He courageously enters the middle of the action in “Cast Out Part 2,” an action Hiccup admits was reckless but which ultimately saved the day. This same boldness was what led to Snotlout’s success defeating the Titan Nightmare alongside Hookfang. Snotlout, by marching into a situation without hesitating, but charging forward at full determination, wins many situations he otherwise would not.

Most people don’t think of Snotlout’s bold speech as a positive. Astrid warns Snotlout not to think, and others frequently groan when he opens his mouth to talk. Nevertheless, I do think it’s important to recognize the positives of Snotlout’s boldness. He’s willing to speak out his mind, dig up logical pitfalls in a plot, and bring up information or hypotheticals others ignore. Snotlout’s voice is actually critical in some ways: though people don’t listen to him, his world would help ground the group in reality and practicality.

Snotlout is a man with a warrior’s heart. The willingness to go out and “go get it” is important, and in many ways, admirable.

Ruffnut: Self-Expression

I think this is one really cool thing about Ruffnut that gets frequently overlooked. Ruffnut is not a woman obsessed with the status quo, but in many ways breaks it. While sometimes she follows along with Viking tradition, she never does it blindly or willfully; she does it because it aligns with her character and she’s fine going that route. She’s free, then, in many senses, to be who she wants to be: she adopts cultural customs as suits her, then goes off and does as she desires elsewhere.

Ruffnut is fine entering Dragon Training and learning how to fight. However, she’s also just fine charging off and becoming a follower of Loki, something that’s probably not popular with the rest of the tribe. She’s perfectly content being a bit of a pyromaniac anomaly of her tribe; it’s who she is, and she’s going to pursue that enjoyable avenue. Only rarely do we see Ruffnut worry about how others might think of her, such as the time Tuffnut insults the size of her butt… but even then, she responds by marching up and punching her brother straight back for those uncalled for words.

Tuffnut: Humor

It is true Tuffnut can become frightened and nervous, but he by and large does not let stress overcome him. Compared to the other youths, he’s much more chill and able to take life in stride without enormous worries. It’s an attribute to him that is so undervalued and not appreciated enough amongst his peers. Tuffnut is someone who knows how to be content in a situation.

Beyond that, he’s also able to put jokes and humor into ongoing events. Sometimes it’ll be unintentional humor, speaking obliviously, but there are other times he’ll pop up jokes and pranks. This is a guy who likes to have a good time. To be frank, Hiccup could learn some things from Tuffnut in this area. He could learn a lot of things about Tuffnut’s nonchalant nature.

Astrid: Empathy

I have a full analysis written of Astrid appreciation. I’ll take one of the sections from that and reemphasize that Astrid is empathetic. It’s not just that she’s a kick-butt fighter… she’s also someone with amazing heart, unique to the rest of the dragon riders.

It is true that Astrid can be a belligerent and affrontive individual, aggressive and sharp of tongue, with a mind oriented towards passionate action in times of duress. However, she also has a very tender, soft side which is astoundingly empathetic. She is probably the most empathetic and encouraging of all the dragon riders. Astrid knows how to listen to someone, understand them, and bolster their spirits. She does not give them the answer to their question, but instead empowers them to solve their own problems.

We see Astrid do this again and again. In the first movie, Astrid asks Hiccup what to do before the Kill Ring scene. Afterwards, when Hiccup feels like giving up, she tells him it’s important he was the first Viking to ride a dragon, and then encourages him to go off and do something crazy and stupid. In Riders of Berk Astrid supports Hiccup on his treasure hunting quest because she knows he wants to impress Stoick. In HTTYD 2 she tells Hiccup that the answers to his identity questions are inside his heart, butshe goes off flying with him on the map project anyway because she knows it’s how he’s handling his own restlessness. She lifts Hiccup up and then supports the choices he makes. I cannot talk enough about how she especially supports Hiccup. What she does is amazing!

She not only does this with Hiccup, but we see this occur with Heather as well. Astrid and Heather are able to bond in Race to the Edge and become fast friends. She understands when Heather needs to leave Snotlout and the larger group as a whole, taking her away for one-on-one girl bonding time. Later, when Heather wishes to go after Dagur, Astrid understands this is dangerous and knows when to say “No.” But she cares enough for Heather that - as foolish of a decision as it is - she changes her mind. It’s because of how much she cares.