but it plays a small role

6

Tony Stark is seen munching on Burger King burgers after he’s rescued. While on a bender, Robert Downey, Jr. was driving around with a trunk full of drugs and stopped by a Burger King to get something to eat. He took one bite and found the burger to be so disgusting that he had to stop and take a moment to seriously consider what he was doing with his life. Realizing that he needed to shape up and take responsibility for himself, he immediately drove to the ocean and threw out the drugs he’d just bought and proceeded to clean up his life. Downey had the Burger King products placed in the film to acknowledge how the company played a role in his getting healthy enough to play Tony Stark. (x)

4

“I still have moments where I think, ‘Any day now I’m gonna be too old to play the [superhero] role and I don’t know what I’m gonna do.’ But then I realized, ‘No, wait a minute, that’s totally backward thinking.’ It’s the other way around. It’s like how incredible that the world has realized that women are probably at their most powerful in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.” — Evangeline Lilly on Aging in Hollywood

10

She got killed. Still no arrests. How come, I wonder? Because there ain’t no God and the world’s empty and it doesn’t matter what we do to each other? I hope not.
- Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand)

2

“Walking past Amma’s room, I saw her sitting very properly on the edge of a rocking chair, reading a book called Greek Goddesses. Since I’d been here, she’d played at being Joan of Arc and Bluebeard’s wife and Princess Diana—all martyrs, I realized. She’d find even unhealthier role models among the goddesses.” – Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn

kids, the animal world & gender

This morning, my 5yo asked us if his new boy-kitten would grow up to be a daddy cat. We said that no, he wouldn’t, and were about to explain that this is because the kitten is desexed when my son said, “Oh, that’s right - because if you don’t grow up to be a mummy or a daddy, then you’re not a boy or a girl, you’re just a person!”

It turns out, he’s been lowkey assuming that there are three grown-up genders: mummy, daddy, and adult, such that anyone who isn’t a parent is, in some sense, nonbinary. We explained that, while he’s right in thinking there are people who aren’t boys or girls, your adult gender isn’t determined by whether or not you have a kid, and used examples of people we know as proof. He accepted this with a nod, then went off to play with the kitten, 

We had a related conversation at bedtime last week, when the “story” he’d chosen was a book of facts about Australian animals. One of the entries we read was about the barramundi fish, which are all male as babies and only turn female during spawning season. This prompted him to ask if human boys could turn into girls, too, and while he was a bit too sleepy for a detailed conversation, I said something along the lines of, “yes, there are some people who look like boys when they’re little, but who realise they’re girls and change when they get older.” He accepted that, too, and then we read another entry about a particular type of bat.

These are only two small examples, but it’s endlessly fascinating to me to watch how kids are trying to figure out what gender is and what it means from the world around them. There have been times when my son has come home saying that pink is for girls, because that’s what he heard at school, and so we have a conversation about how colours are for everyone. The point is not only that children absorb what’s going on around them and try to process it through an individual lens, but that how adults answer their questions plays a massive role in comprehension, too. Don’t tell kids they’re silly for asking these sorts of questions or act as if the truth is obvious: they’re not, and it really isn’t.

7

The film set or the theatre rehearsal is a wonderfully, sobering, and refreshing practical place to be, where you’re just back to doing what you set out to do. The reason you went to drama school, the reason you did school plays is just because you like it. You like the collaboration, you like telling stories, you like trying to nail a role. Even the research that goes with it. Having never been to university, that scratches that itch. I’m reading stuff, I’m finding out about things, even dipping my toe in learning skills that I’ve never would’ve tried. That’s the thrill of it. There’s an eagerness to get back to that place, it feels like my natural habitat.

Happy Birthday, Colin Firth (September 10, 1960) 

4

Campaign 2 Episode 24: 

Mollymauk ‘Gender: Pan??’ Tealeaf

6

“Tony Stark created Ultron to satisfy his own ego and play god.”

This notion in the fandom is highly incorrect. Tony did not create Ultron because he had something to prove to the world. His role in the creation of Ultron stemmed from his crippling fear of losing his friends. There’s a reason that his nightmare scenario was the most vivid and prolonged. There’s a reason that there’s so much emphasis given about Tony’s “vision”, it’s because it didn’t effect him the way it did others. He couldn’t take a deep breath and a stiff drink and forget about it. Tony Stark is a futurist. A futurist and a scientist who genuinely thinks he has a shot at stopping all the chaos and evil in the world. His debilitatating PTSD + depression also contributed to it’s creation. Before you minimize a character to their ego or take anti-character posts too seriously, watch the movies with a clear concise mind.

5

HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY, ZENDAYA 
September 1st, 1996

“I don’t feel like a role model because I’m not playing a role. I’m not pretending to be someone that I’m not in the hopes that people will like me. I’m a real model. I keep it real, I do what Zendaya does, I do what Zendaya feels right doing.” 

4

Campaign 2 Episode 25:

Mollymauk ‘I make Caleb’s detect magic ping’ Tealeaf

Rhodey + Leg Braces

Rhodey wears leg braces. There’s an entire community of people (myself included) that wear leg braces, but rarely see any representation in movies/TV, ect.

Yes, there’s prosethics and hand/knee braces seen in the entertainment industry (commonly used when someone is injured and may recover) but I have only ever seen 1 well known film depict leg braces. Forrest Gump.

I love Forrest Gump, and understand the time period differences. But he wears polio leg braces, something not as common nowadays.

Originally posted by bubbagumps

And he does something I’ve dreamed of: he doesn’t need them anymore. He “runs” them off. As if I work harder, I won’t need the braces I’ve worn all my life. Like the leg braces are a choice.

Furthermore, Gump wears KAFOs, Knee Ankle Foot Orthotic. Rhodey wears HKAFOs, Hip Knee Ankle Foot Orthotics. Hiding leg braces isn’t always easy, or possible- but many are taught to be ashamed of their assistive device. Rhodey gets them after he’s injured in Civil War- and he doesn’t hide his under baggy jeans. He wears them OBVIOUSLY. Out for everyone to see. That sends a message of “You don’t have to be ashamed of them. They’re meant to help you. Help correct gait, manage pain, improve mobility. They’re not necessarily a BAD thing. You don’t HAVE to hide them.

As I child I faced many questions: "what are those?” “What happened to you?” “What’s wrong with your legs/knees/body?” “Those look like shin guards, do you play soccer?” (They’d be embarrassed after I explained the braces are a medical device to help me walk, and that I can’t run, let alone play soccer) Many people know what a wheelchair, a walker, a cast (from a broken bone), or a cane are. Very, very few know what a leg brace is.

For me, Rhodey gives me representation I’ve never had. In ways I’ve never seen or heard of before, he’s a superhero like ME. No one I know is talking about how important this is to so many kids. To say “he’s got leg braces too mommy look!!!” When a bully sneers at whatever those weird things are- -the child can say “It’s ok, I’m like the War Machine from Marvel.”

This teaches able-bodied kids about a real life difference they’ve probably not seen before. This shows disabled kids that it’s ok, you’re not alone, there are people just like you.

Don Cheadle is my superhero for playing a character that has a small role with a big impact.

Alright RPC – We Gotta Talk About Passive Replies.

This is one of my worst pet peeves in Role playing or doing any collaborative writing with other people. It’s something I myself have been guilty of, especially if my muse is running low and I am forcing out replies. It’s something I see a lot of even from very good writers. It’s a widespread problem, that is exhausting for an RP partner to deal with in threads especially if it’s every reply.

And just like any problem – the first step in resolving it is looking out for it and realizing it’s there to begin with. Being conscious about this I personally believe separates a good RP partner from a great one.

I’m talking about passive replies.

Passive replies come in various forms. They can be anything from a novella sized reply – to a one-liner but they all share a similar trait. They do not contribute to pushing the action of a thread forward. They tend to be a summary of the reply preceding it through their character’s eyes with a small verbal or nonverbal reaction to the character they are interacting with. They do not add any new information for the other character to react to because the reply is pure reaction without any proactive elements.

This means your thread basically becomes the equivalent of a conversation like this:

Hey, you! 
Oh, Hey!
How are you?
Oh, I’m good.
What are you up to?
Nothing much, really.
Have any plans?
No. Not really.

It’s a functional conversation – sure, but it’s one-sided and relies on one person driving the action while the other simply responds. It is exhausting for one mun to constantly be the one driving the action of a scene forward. It makes things harder to respond to because you’re giving your RP partner fairly little to work with. The example above is obviously an extremely simplified example - but I hope you can get the gist of what I am getting at.  

Even if your character is shy, or anti-social, or maladjusted in someway – your replies can still play and active role in the situation. Being an active participant in a thread doesn’t meant that your muse has to be crazy and outgoing. It means that you have to do more than simply react to what is happening. Every reply should add at least one new thing for your partner to react to.

This can be anything from adding to the conversation – not just reacting to what was said prior. This can be your character doing some non verbal action. This could be and NPC or outside situation or the weather doing something to react to. No matter what the situation is – there are things your muse can do to be an active part of the scene, and not just a reactionary prop.

If your replies or even your starters are one of these two things:

1) Expecting someone to find or stumble upon your muse in someway. Or relies on your partner to initiate some action between your characters.
2) Is just a summary of what happened in their reply through your character’s eyes without adding anything new.

It’s a passive reply – and by nature harder to respond to. It means you should consider looking over your reply and tweaking it to give the other character something more to work with to take the pressure off and your partners should be doing the same for you. After all a conversation like this:

Hey, haven’t seen you in forever!
I know right? What have you been up to?
Honestly – nothing much. Work’s been murder. What about you?
Ah that’s unfortunate. I’m the same, but I’m going out for drinks later want to come?
I can’t tonight, have to wake up early tomorrow. Maybe we can catch up later?

Is a much more interesting conversation because both parties are doing their part to drive the action forward.

It’s easy to say that passive replies are spawned from laziness or poor writing. But they’re not (the vast majority of the time anyway). Even good writers who make beautiful replies do it. I personally think it spawns from equal parts insecurity and good intentions. People don’t want to rock the boat, or take risks with their writing in case they accidentally step on any toes. Not realizing of course that they are putting strain on the writer they are working with by letting them drive all the action.

It can be exhausting.

Roleplaying is a collaborative writing experience. A great RP partner is someone who works with you as a team to tell the story of both your characters. Each person should be putting forth new things to react to and being an active part in building something awesome. It makes for a more interesting read and more dynamic plots and quite frankly more chances for characters to build genuine chemistry.

Otherwise, you end up with a lopsided plot and a burnt out RP partner. No one wants that.

Maternal Instinct

For context, a friend of mine set up an amnesia campaign for a small group (myself and two others), and in our first session we woke up with no knowledge of our whereabouts, our classes or our races, save small clues (our Bard’s charisma was set at 20 from his roles, and I, having played Dwarves before, know that Dwarves have a -5 speed disadvantage for their stature and weight putting speed at 25), but other than those small clues we had no idea who we were or what was going on. After our Bard, in a bear costume, released us from our cells with a lockpick (and in my case by using sheer strength to break the door down) we came across a young pirate boy that our DM said was about twelve. Immediately I like this kid.

After questioning him and learning nothing of use besides that we were on a pirate ship, we had this exchange, which told me both my class and race, and got me a son.

Me: Do you even get paid for this, kid?

Kid: No. 

Bard: Do you guys have a union? Do you have healthcare?

Kid: *Just shakes his head sadly No*

Me: Don’t worry kid, things’ll get better 

I laid a hand on his shoulder to comfort him, accidentally using Lay on Hands to heal him and learning I was a Paladin.

Kid: Gee, thanks Miss, I’ve never met a Dwarf like you before!

Me, OOC, to DM: Can I keep this child? Please? Can he be an NPC party member, please? Can I keep him?

DM: The kid likes you, so I don’t see why not? 

Me, loudly, a few minutes later during a combat, after a hostile NPC aimed his crossbow at my son: Don’t talk to me or my son ever again! 

He was only the first kid we adopted. Our DM is fed up.