-A woman confided in me about how rude and unhelpful the service was when she called to activate her Target REDcard. This comes as a great shock to me, as I have always considered the automated directory that handles activations to be as sweet and compassionate a computer as they come.
-While rolling by my register, a toddler stared at me and froze up, pointing and screeching, “GAY! GAY!” I am absolutely flabbergasted that this toddler is so uncool as to blow my cover and out me in this way.
-A five year-old looked at me and squeaked, “Pikachu!” With minimal hesitation, I gave the previously agreed-upon countersign, a curt nod and half of a smile. As planned, he picked up his stuffed Pikachu, hugged it closely, whispered about how soft it was, and walked away. We have successfully completed Protocol 25 flawlessly, pulling it off without a hitch. This bodes well for Phase II.
-Tonight, I find the store flooded with guests from abroad. Hailing from all parts of Europe, Asia, and South America, we have now become a United Nations retailer. I am excited to be a part of this progressive new world and look forward to spreading stickers around the globe.
-Three gangly tween boys did not bother hiding their excitement as they purchased a few pieces of sour candy, discussing their plans of recording their painful experiences and uploading it to YouTube. These boys were steadfastly sure of their oncoming viral fame. I admire their confidence and wish them the best of luck and view counts.
-As I went to clock out for the night, I let out the slightest of sneezes. This echoed around the store with tremendous force to the point that I could hear distinct repeats of the noise even after my sneeze had concluded. This was a troubling moment for me, as the high fidelity of the echoes made me momentarily worried for the surrounding invisible men and their crippling allergies.
I know what you mean… I hope to see keith become confident as a leader, not at the expense of his bond with Shiro, but be able to really feel like he is whole the way he is. To understand that he doesn’t need shiro to function… but at the same time obvy I don’t want shiro to go away and I want them to remain close!! It’s hard, I want the angst but I also want the development
Well yes, I agree. I don’t want Keith needing Shiro for anything, I want them both to become complete people on their own, and support eachother from that place.
But I’m talking more from like the story telling point of view I guess?
Like…. we get that Keith loves him.
We got that from like the second his eyes got all wobbly when he saw him on that table.
I dunno, maybe I spend too much time in the sheith fandom that over analyses every little detail and scene so it’s very clear to me just how much he loves Shiro haha, but like this is nearing a point where it’s like “OK WE GET IT!”
This whole episode is basically this:
Keith: I LOVE SHIRO
Everyone: yeah we know that Keith… but
Keith: BUT NOTHING, I LOVE SHIRO! DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME??
Everyone: yes Keith.. we understand he’s very important to you.. but
Keith: I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU ALL KNOW THAT I REALLY LOVE SHIRO I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW THIS
Everyone: we love him also, Keith.. but the universe..
Keith: SCREW THE UNIVERSE!I LOVE SHIRO!
Like this is what it sounds like to me haha.
And I’m not trying to criticize Keith here or anything, his reaction is understandable, specially considering how much focus there was on his fear of losing Shiro. This is more about how it’s written and presented.
Like… Do they REALLY have to keep showing us that? Is there anyone who didn’t get how much Shiro means to him from like the 2 whole intense dramatic Shiro/Keith heavy centered episodes and the I dunno, 50 other scenes and moments that show Keith melting around him and dotin on him? (I mean besides the “you know whos”.. haha)
I think by this point everyone should realize already that Keith is very affected by this loss, so it’s not something that really needs to be shown.. and at least not to that extent?
I dunno if I’m explaining myself well here haha
Like I expected them to show Keith react ofcourse, but like in a quieter way? Like in some scene where we see him trying to hold it together when he’s alone or something. Because I think that’s all that was necessary to show us the state of mind he’s in and how this affects him and how truly broken he is about this.
Because WE KNOW, the fact that he loves Shiro and is scared of losing him was hammered into our brains by now.
But instead of one emotional scene we got a whole episode of Keith shouting “THE UNIVERSE IS NOT WORTH SAVING WITHOUT SHIRO IN IT SO SCREW EVERYTHING” of the roof tops haha
And I always think that fandom (especially the shipping side of it) are reaching. Always. Like reaching is fun, shipping is fun, but there are some things I just know fandom exaggerates about.
But not with this, this is like getting all those memes of Keith lying on the floor crying while Shiro is gone and “what do you do when I’m gone?” “Wait for you to get back” stuff thrown at your face in canon!!!
I’m…I’m just not ready. I’m never ready for any of the Shiro and Keith stuff haha. I’m always surprised with just how far they go with them.
I dunno if it’s just cuz my expectations of canon are so low, maybe I’m missing something I dunno… I’m just always surprised.
And I’m not really getting why they do this… Like why so much focus when one scene could have had the same effect? (which is to show us Keith is really heartboken and scared of leading)
LIKE THE FUCK THEY BUILDING UP TO WITH ALL THIS??? Should I be scared? Excited? Like what do you do when the show itself gives you “shipper reaching level” stuff? I just dunno how I should feel about this haha.
I just felt they seemed a little uncomfortable and a bit unenthusiastic about the game like they're only playing it to keep the majority happy. This might be because I've seen other let's plays of the game from people who seemed to have more fun with it but I got the vibe that they were not really wanting to be there, which is absolutely fine! I did find some moments nice and entertaining but overall not my fave and idk about seeing it as a series. I'm open to others thoughts though!
idk? it was a bit too fanservice-y for my taste. just didn’t feel very genuine.
i’m going to respond to these before i write a post about what i loved about this video. to start, i’m genuinely surprised to hear that you thought dnp seemed uncomfortable or disengaged with the game. i couldn’t disagree more? to me a disengaged play through would be if they just read the dialogue really quickly, didn’t provide any commentary, weren’t amused by any of the plot developments, and generally seemed bored? but i honestly perceived them as being incredibly excited about this game. they reacted so positively to so much about it. they appreciated and acknowledged little details like the character design and the art, they really seemed to like that there was a deeper emotional backstory to the central character (dan almost seemed to like put himself in the shoes of the dadsona at one point, when considering how one would handle a situation in which their partner has passed away), they laughed pretty frequently at the dialogue, they had fun playing the bragging contest game, they actually took the time to think about the implications of each new character, discussing the pros and cons of their personalities.
it’s hard for me to even envision what they would have needed to do to seem more engaged if i’m being honest. like i can’t imagine it? should they have ,, talked more? like? paused every few minutes to earnestly look each other in the eyes and say they’re having so much fun? i’m honestly baffled. to me, if anything, they seemed concerned about getting through each scene quickly but that seemed v obviously bc they wanted to make sure the video length wasn’t horrendous. it’s possible that their quick reading and clicking through each line of dialogue is what struck some people as disinterest? but idk how anyone could read through every bit of that dialogue (there was so fucking much holy shit!) and stay completely high energy and excitable about every line. imo, that approach is what would be fake, disingenuous, and over-performed. i appreciate that there may have been other youtubers who played this game and were much higher energy but that just doesnt seem like dnp’s general demeanor to me? i’d compare this game to their undertale play throughs bc of the sheer length and the amount of clicking around and reading they had to do. dnp, at least in my opinion, very rarely displayed high energy levels during undertale episodes. they would get excited when there were particularly intense fights or when something dramatic happened in the plot, but the vast majority of the game was them being super chill and clicking through the various screens, while still demonstrating that they were excited to see what would happen next and appreciative of all of the beautiful aspects of the game. hell, that’s also how they were in mark of oxin and that’s phil’s own game. to me nothing about their demeanor in this vid was different than in those past longer vids that we know they genuinely liked, so comparing dnp’s energy levels to other youtubers just seems unfair bc thats just not how they’ve ever acted during longer play throughs.
im gonna be honest that to me this fear that dnp secretly hated this and were doing it all for the sake of the audience seems more like a product of a general fandom insecurity, namely that if dnp are doing anything remotely queer then it must be to please fans. i hate this audience instinct so much bc it doesnt leave room for the possibility that, hey, dnp might actuallybe queer and be totally okay with the occasional queer-seeming comment or remark or, in this case, play through of a pretty queer game on their gaming channel. if they’re really so down to please fans with queer content lbr they wouldve cashed in on a fucking chapstick challenge five years ago. i understand that in this case the game genuinely was such a popular fan request and they may not have played it if the audience hadn’t requested it so much (and also if nearly every other gaming youtuber hadn’t already played it), but i think the concern is unwarranted. if dnp were really uncomfortable with a game, they just .. wouldn’t play it. like. (i feel like i say this so often on this blog) they’re in control of their brand and their content. they’ve passed on playing plenty of immensely popular fan requests before (life is strange? mystic messenger? monopoly live stream?) in summary: just bc fans want dnp to do something, it doesn’t mean that dnp inherently don’t want to do it.
to me there is nothing but positivity to be taken from the fact that dnp felt comfortable playing this, that there wasn’t a shred of discomfort or quibbling over the fact that it was a game about dudes dating dudes, that instead they treated it as completely normal, as just a totally valid, run of the mill (if not exceedingly wholesome and cute) dating simulator. that speaks volumes to me about their growth, about how far they’ve come with what they’re willing to share and explore in their content, about the fodder that theyre okay with providing for audience assumptions and analysis and gifs and screenshots and squealing in caps lock. if they were maybe a tad bit more aware of the audience whilst playing, that just makes sense? this game is pretty much breaking a boundary for them, and they knew going in that it would be discussed to death by their viewers. but i’d rather focus on the fact that there wasn’t a singular comment from either of them that communicated they were uncomfortable or that tried to dilute the queerness of the game. instead they honestly kind of reveled in it? they went out of their way to express what they liked about each new man they saw? they were completely positive and empathetic about a situation in which a man was raising his child on his own after his male partner died? they commented on the dudes’ appearances like it was second nature?
idk. to me it’s awesome, emotional, and incredibly uplifting that they played this game at all, even though they could’ve easily just skipped this fad altogether. but the best part is that they didn’t just play, they seemed to have fun playing, they seemed to really appreciate it. i don’t think they could fake that. they’ve never been v good at acting :)
1. Get out- When it comes to the best movies of first half of 2017, consider this situation… Fucking Handled! Yo, Jordan Peele made the best movie of 2017 so far and it’s going to take a hell of a movie to knock it off. I had my reservations about this movie because movies that get this kind of hype on Facebook and social media never pan out but this one did! This movies comes correct from the first scene of my beloved Lakeith Stanfield walking through a, “superb,” in a situation that every person of color has feared would happened to them. A lot of praise should also go to the leading man Daniel Kaluuya too, his physical acting is incredible and as he’s required to change demeanors so many times during the movie and he never wavers for one moment. There’s so much to talk about with Get Out. All the white people come correct and are genuinely horrifying. I guess Lena Dunham isn’t the biggest villain on Girls. A true hallmark of an important movie is how it can change or shape your perception of a certain person, group or situation. While it sheds an incredible light on how most minorities and especially african american minorities feel about living in this country the most image altering part of this movie is that Jordan Peele made the fucking TSA cool. There has to be an award for just that alone.
2. It Comes at Night -This film is a “horror” movie that isn’t interested at all of scaring but instead it wants to horrify you. This movie relies on tone and atmosphere than actual jump scares to create the his dark (literally because most of the movie is in the dark) tense canvas for their characters to live in and instead of a big bad monster waiting at the end of the hall the true horrors are the people themselves, well intentioned individuals who because of circumstances are forced become the most desperate version of themselves. Those circumstances are left incredibly vague throughout the movie with only just subtle nods and hints to what’s actually going in the outside world and that allows us to not worry about the world but more so on the character themselves. Nothing is ever really explained in this movie but it relies on the viewers basic understanding of a humans connection to family, a teenagers connection to sexuality to a mothers connection to a son and so on and so forth. If you come to this movie to be scared you will be disappointed. But if you come for a gorgeously shot, tense and dark character study of human survival instincts you will be blown away.
3. Lost City of Z - Lost City of Z is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen in a long time. All the shots in the Amazon are breathtaking. James Grey has so much respect for all the beauty that the world has to offer and lets his camera linger on shots that a lesser director would have just blown through and moved onto the next one to service the plot. The way scenes fade in and out of each other is also masterful and makes me wish for nothing more but to leave my life behind and go exploring the amazon. Lost City of Z is also an incredible piece of period filmmaking. From the opening shots to the courthouse drama you’re submerged into 19th century Britain and that comes with it’s own baggage. Especially when it comes to Sienna Millers character who gets treated like an afterthought half through the movie. But the first half of the movie she’s terrific and her character is given a lot to do and deserves to be respected.
4. Win it All - As a person who enjoys people meeting and interacting with each other I can’t say enough about Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson and their collaborations. Everything about this movie feels so real from the people, the relationships to the stakes. And by stakes I don’t mean just the gambling stakes, I mean the stakes of what it means to have a job, a girlfriend and have your life figured out. Shouts to my man Jakey J for now and forever. It may not have been as good as Drinking Buddies but for what it lacks in substance it makes up for with it’s absolute delightfulness. I never thought in a million years I would be saying a Joe Swanberg movie was, “delightful.”
5. Wonder Woman - I don’t really care for Super Hero movies that much anymore but Wonder Woman blew me away. Yeah the third act has issues and falls for the same old comic book tropes but everything leading up to it is amazing. From watching Princess Diana discovering what ice cream is to her walking across No Mans Land and unleashing hell on those machine guns all the way back to seeing baby Wonder Womans face on the big screen knowing she was going to be the hero of her very own story! It does justice to not just the woman part of it’s title but the wonder as well. It’s a wonderful movie.
6. John Wick: Chapter 2 - Spoiler alert: the dog live in this movie. Which is about the only real criticism that the first John Wick had and now that they fixed that they take this surprisingly successful franchise to new heights. Keanu Reeves is absolutely terrifying in this role especially considering I see about 5 Keanu Reeve’s look a likes walking the treadmill at the gym everyday and they’re all more likely to be doing someone’s taxes than they do gouging peoples fucking eyes out. But to each his own!
7. Logan - When all the fanboy dickriding and Johnny Cash settles you’re left with a really good superhero movie. All the action is terrific and is a very emotional movie.Jackman and Stewart play their f bomb dropping and eye gouging versions of their iconic characters perfectly and this movie is honestly a very nice course correction after visual garbage that was X men Apocalypse.
8. Split - M Knight back? Possibly. This a very good movie with no discernible twist. Unless you count Jame McAvoy getting buff a twist, which I knew he had that in him the whole time (apparently he did too). But this a very good movie for the uneasy and tense thriller genre even though the most uneasiness to this movie comes from the real world horror and not the big bad swoll James McAvoy himself.
9. Kong - This movie is like going into a test and expecting a D and getting a B- and sitting there and realizing you could have had an A if you really tried a bit harder. This movie has so many moments of pure joy and pleasure but the over saturated World War 2 soundtrack and some over the top Unle Sam-ification of Samuel L. Jackson bogs this down from being a truly special movie.
10. Free Fire - Although I would have much rather this movie have more shoot em up scenes than, “hey are you still alive?” scenes I enjoyed the hell out of Free Fire. As much as I’d like to say queen Brie Larson was the best part of this movie and she’s terrific but it has to be Sharlto Copley and his A+ suit.
Oh man, you’re gonna make me open this can of worms?
For Old World species (or Psalmopoeus or Tapinauchenius species) the answer is no, no, no, absolutely not, why would you even want to do that? That’s a great way to needlessly land yourself in a lot of pain (or the hospital) and the hobby in a lot of legal trouble. For quick, flighty, jumping-prone species (probably most arboreals) the answer is also mostly no, simply because you could so easily drop or lose your tarantula.
If you want to even consider handling your tarantula get a species that is good for handling (a slow, calm, terrestrial New World species). Even then you should take precautions, such as carefully observing the tarantula’s mood, gradually getting it used to handling/human contact, not handling too often, and only holding it over a solid surface.
Now, there are people that think even this kind of handling is needlessly risky and without benefits. Those people are absolutely welcome to their opinion (I think this is a decision each keeper must make for themselves), but I would like to address some misinformation that often gets thrown around in this debate.
1) “Tarantulas cannot learn or become accustomed to handling”
As someone with a degree in both psychology and biology this is simply not true. Pretty much any organism that is capable of registering pleasant/unpleasant stimuli and remembering it can learn. There are even studies suggesting that plants can remember and become desensitized to recurring stimuli. Scientists repeated the famous “Pavlov’s dog” experiment with cockroaches and the results were pretty much identical. Although they have very different nervous systems from ours invertebrates can absolutely learn.
Firing up the body’s flight/flight systems takes a lot of energy so if something frightening occurs repeatedly without anything actually bad happening it is in an organism’s best interest to stop reacting fearfully to that stimulus (or at least to dampen the reaction).
When socializing future education tarantulas I’ve watched them go from standing on as few legs as possible the first time they walk on your hand (what I call “tiptoes”) because they don’t like the texture of human skin to crawling over a hand as if it were just another familiar part of their environment. Some tarantulas also seem to show a marked preference for familiar human hands over unfamiliar ones; it’s been proven that hissing roaches can recognize individual humans and will not hiss when someone familiar picks them up (I would love to see a study like this done with tarantulas).
2) “A tarantula always perceives being picked up the same way it perceives being attacked/grabbed by a predator”
If you handle your tarantula correctly (using what I call the “be the ground” technique) then picking it up should not resemble a predator’s attack. There is no tarantula predator on earth that gently scoops the spider up from below. Spiders hate being breathed on and generally dislike being grabbed from above because those stimuli resemble something they would experience when being attacked by a predator (and so trigger their fight/flight alarm systems very strongly).
However scooping from below does not resemble a predator attack (assuming you’re not looming over the tarantula and breathing on them) and once they are in your hands most tarantulas will treat the hand as an inanimate surface not as a predator or even part of a larger animal. They don’t really have the senses or cognitive abilities to think “a giant animal is holding me”. More like “the ground moved and now I am standing on a weird new surface in a different place”.
The reality is that the handling of appropriate species is an enormously useful tool in educating people about tarantulas and dispelling fear. Can you educate people about tarantulas without handling them? Yes. But as someone whose full time job is to care for and educate people about arthropods I can tell you with 100% certainty that it does not have even close to the same effect.
Where I work we have dozens of beautiful, naturalistic enclosures displaying gorgeous rare tarantulas from all over the world. But the thing that gets people excited, wide-eyed, and asking questions is the highly-trained docent handling one of our well-socialized education tarantulas. There is something about seeing a person interact with the tarantula outside of a cage that makes it real for people. They ooh and aww and adults that were shrieking about how much they hate spiders while walking through the facility will say things like “I never realized how pretty they are up close” or “her feet look so dainty and gentle”.
So, while I respect every keeper’s right to decide what their comfort level and policies are when managing their own animals, I work at a facility where we handle some calm, well-socialized tarantulas and I (gently, occasionally, and with lots of precautions) handle one of mine. But it is certainly not something that people should do willy-nilly with any tarantula and without putting a lot of thought into doing it properly.
okay I really did enjoy “shut up and listen” but I’m frustrated to see that the show is able to discuss real world discrimination…..when it is either analogized through aliens/ai’s……or when it applies to a white person. like am I supposed to really believe that minkowski has faced discrimination not only as a child but as an adult in her career for the sole reason that she’s an immigrant……..but lovelace has never faced discrimination until becoming an alien copy????
like yes, having a Polish accent and not knowing English like native speakers is hard. as a person who is part Polish on my white side, I have family who have come here not speaking English and have strong accents and it does cause legitimate hardship sometimes. I can see how frustrated my babcia is when she tries to speak and no one understands. I know it must be painful for such a brilliant, resilient person to be seen as less capable; to speak English and then have people demanding translation because she is seen as incomprehensible. but she would be the first to say it isn’t anything on what my black immigrant family goes through on a daily basis despite speaking multiple languages flawlessly. whiteness will always act as protection, no matter how conditional and incomplete. being a white immigrant to North America is not the same as being a person of colour here, immigrant or otherwise.
and you cannot seriously be telling me that the only time this show wants to deal with real world discrimination against human beings is when it’s xenophobia against a white person from eastern europe. even with cold war politics factored in, I can’t accept that in the world of wolf 359, xenophobia and cold war paranoia exist, but not misogynoir. and if minkowski’s experiences are worth talking about, why is no other form of discrimination ever mentioned. why is there no acknowledgement of racism, of homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc. we’re talking about characters predominantly coming from a military background, but the only person to ever face bigotry or be held back in her career is Minkowski, not even for her accent, which she has concealed, however painfully, but for her name????
I’m frustrated because every time we’ve brought up problems with the show, or asked that there be better representation of queer characters, of characters of colour, and of the challenges those identities come with, we’ve been told that the focus is the story. we’ve been told that those issues of discrimination or real world marginalized identities aren’t the focus. but that isn’t true. this show wants to deal with these issues of alienation, marginalization, and identity–just not when it comes to people of colour, queer people, disabled people, etc. no, we get analogies. we get an AI and an alien to relate to (and I do truly relate to them but come onnnnn), and a single gay character who’s dead, and unresolved violence against the only character voiced by a black woman (but of COURSE it wasn’t MEANT to be about race and no one ever considered the implications). in the handling of Minkowski’s past and struggles, the crew shows that they very much understand how discrimination impacts people, and how to talk about it, so why is that nuance and sensitivity not applicable to groups that are directly marginalized?
like if they really wanted to talk about discrimination and Minkowski, I think her character being canonically Jewish would make a lot more sense in the context of both Poland and America. It would certainly be a more realistic and compelling reason for her to experience discrimination, and would have also explain why she would leave Poland, which is notoriously antisemetic. but all this over being a white Pole? I don’t believe that, and I certainly don’t believe it is the only instance of real-world discrimination experienced by anyone in the show.
anyway, those are my complicated, frustrated feelings about this episode. but before I finish, I would like to say one final thing: if you’re gonna talk about the significance of Minkowski’s name to her heritage, and the hurt caused by Eiffel’s careless, pervasive mispronunciation, at least get it right. because if the crew had bothered to research anything about Polish naming, they would know that as a woman, Minkowski would actually be Minkowska. and I feel like if you’re going to discuss the microaggression of having your name butchered by English speakers, you should at least be using the right name.
RTD, no question! And why? Well, I just don’t think Moffat is that great at writing female characters, and since the main full-time companion usually is a woman, that’s…a bit not good. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Amy and Clara, but that’s mostly due to how they were portrayed by their respective actors. Especially Jenna Coleman’s performance kept me from giving up on Clara because I really didn’t like her character a whole lot in S7. When you look at them, they’re pretty much the same character…the one kind of woman Moffat can write because he’s Moffat and apparently (and obviously, judging by the problematic things he has said over the years) has a very weird concept of women. They’re both feisty and sassy and on a surface level he wants them to appear super independent and kickass, but their lives revolve around the Doctor. Amy met him when she was just a young girl and had been obsessing over him ever since, up to the point where it actually affected her life quality (all those therapists she had to see), and Clara was literally ‘born to save the Doctor’. Yes, they both made some choices that didn’t include the Doctor at some points further down the line, but still, it’s really irritating to me. Same with River…’I live for the days I see him’. Like, no. Stop writing women whose sole purpose in life is some guy, what kind of message is that? But for Moffat, that’s literally all there is to them…being a companion to and being with the Doctor, a man. They don’t really get their own story, no family, no past that isn’t intertwined with him, which also results in them being kinda two-dimensional.
Now, RTD’s companions were fleshed out and also relatable. Rose had a job in a shop (before the Doctor blew it up), a working-class background, lived on a council estate, was close to her mum because Jackie raised her by herself after Pete died, she had Mickey who she was sort-of dating at the beginning and who was pretty much part of her family after his grandma died. She was also really unhappy with her life because she had no idea what she was doing with it and it seemed to just be the same day after day - I can relate. And then the Doctor showed her that the whole universe was out there, so much for her to see, so much she was able to do and achieve. Martha was ambigious and training to be a doctor, she had parents that had currently split up which caused tensions within the family, a sister she was close to and who was just as ambigious as herself, and a brother she seemed to love a whole lot. She also didn’t really know her worth and fell in love with a guy who couldn’t love her back because he was still hung up on someone else and because…he just didn’t - I can relate. And then her time with that guy made her realise just how amazing she was - she saved the whole damn world pretty much all by herself! - and that she deserved respect, so she made the decision to get out and away from someone who couldn’t treat her better and the way she deserved to be treated. Donna was a temp and unemployed a lot, she had just lost her dad, she had a mum who emotionally abused her on a regular basis and made her feel small because Sylvia was also hurting after losing her husband, and a gramps who lived with them and helped them out and who treated Donna the complete opposite and loved her somewhat fiercely and wanted her to be happy. She also felt like she was worthless and nothing special because she hadn’t really achieved anything ‘important’ in other people’s eyes - I can relate. And then the Doctor showed her the universe and she did all those amazing things, she nudged HIM towards doing the right thing more than once and kept him grounded, and he treated her like an equal and like she was simply fantastic because she WAS. Even though all of that was taken away from her again (against her will, which is the one thing I will never forgive RTD), she got to see just how special she was. Those three are, really, ‘ordinary’ women with all kinds of different lives and backgrounds and problems (and we got to see all of it!), but they’re so special and can do brave and great things nonetheless. No matter who you are, what you are, where you come from, you’re important and have so much worth…that was such a beautiful message to me back when I started watching Doctor Who when I was wee 14 year old, and it still is all these years later.
Amy and Clara, on the other hand, don’t really have any of that. Also, Amy was only interesting to the Doctor because there was a crack in her wall which was a rip in time/space and because she was ‘the girl who waited’, and Clara was ‘a mystery wrapped in an enigma squeezed in a skirt’ (ugh) to him because he kept meeting her since her whole life was apparently destined to be spent with the Doctor and she threw herself into his timeline, splitting herself into pieces and killing herself. Not really everyday relatable people…but maybe that’s just me lmao. The way Moffat writes and imagines his Doctor also comes into play here, obviously, I’m not really a big fan of that either because apparently it’s not enough anymore to just be a ‘normal’ person to be worth his time, but that’s maybe a topic for another day and doesn’t belong here.
I’m gonna stop babbling now, I didn’t even plan for this to get so long, sorry - I started out with one thing and then threw in all kinds of different thoughts, lol. But yeah, RTD, definitely.
(P.S. I don’t really know anything about Bill yet, I didn’t wanna expose myself to spoilers in regards to her, maybe he wrote her differently than all his other female characters. All I know is she’s gay, which is a whole different sea of possible fuck ups for Moffat considering how he handled most of his lgbtq+ characters in the past. I’m open to be pleasantly surprised though.)
I hope you're feeling better after that break, time to breath is always important. Now that your back, I have a question: how does one deal with the raw emotion a character may experience when they realize they aren't who they always thought they were? Like they end up being the descendant of a murderer who had killed someone important to them? The sort of thing that shocks a person to their core.
Thank you for understanding :) That’s a very interesting problem! I don’t have any “rules” for you, but my personal method would be to mimic the stages of grief. After all, your character will be grieving their previous self-identity, so it would make sense that they go through the same process of loss. That means:
Denial: “This can’t be true.” “You’re lying to me.” “I’m dreaming.” “I’m not talking about this anymore.”
Anger: “I can’t believe they’d do that.” “This is all someone else’s fault.” “Why did no one tell me?” “Why would this happen to me?”
Bargaining: “This doesn’t change anything really.” “They probably had a good reason.” “This doesn’t affect who I am.” “I’ll just forget about it.”
Depression: “I’ll never be the same.” “I just want to [drink/smoke/etc.] and forget.” “What do I do now?”
Acceptance: “I can’t really change this.” “It is what it is.” “It’s a part of me now.” “I know who I am despite this.”
Of course, as with any kind of grieving, these stages don’t have any particular order, nor are they all necessary to include. It really depends on your character’s personality. If they have a strong sense of self, they’ll probably lean on denial and bargaining – if they’re more self-conscious or emotional, they’ll tend toward anger and depression. Also consider how your character handles their emotions on a regular basis. Do they express them? Bury them? Invalidate them? Eat, drink, smoke, or drug them away? This will all play into how they navigate the 5 stages of grief, and every situation in between.
You’ll also need to be aware of how this particular situation changes a person’s self-image. So for your example of being a descendant to a murderer: the character would likely become more aware of their anger and self-control, as well as any violent tendencies. A lot of moral questions will arise – some trust problems, and a question of their own judgment of character, are inevitable. They’d probably want to know more about the homicide, the ancestor, and the victim. Then they’d take this information and relate it to their own life (e.g. if the Ancestor killed Mrs. Ancestor, your character would wonder if they could ever possibly lash out at their own spouse).
Other than that, I think it just depends on your character. If you need more help, send another ask and I’ll gladly answer :) Thanks again, and good luck!
I didn’t find Rayna dying a surprise. You don’t move to a new network and keep all your stars. Either Juliette, Rayna, or both were going to exit the show (i.e. die because they’re women and women hardly ever exit a show without dying).
Rayna has been getting her affairs in order all season. Maddie was back home and they were a family again. She went on a self-discovery, found her music roots, and decided to write an album with Deacon. The album writing part was filmed in her home so now there’s a kind of home movie to remember her by. The future of her label is bright with her new partner. Juliette came back to Highway 65 and resolved any unease with Rayna.
Even Scarlett found more of herself and became more confident / accepting of herself as an artist and woman, which wraps up Rayna feeling like she needed to watch out for her. Rayna fully acknowledged things weren’t always great with Deacon and he’s hurt her, but they’ve had happy, good times, too, and they chose to continually stand beside each other through the good and bad.
There were lots of family moments between Rayna, Deacon and the girls. Maddie’s been dating an older young man, which prompted her and Rayna to have serious talks about relationships. Daphne got her period and became a woman, which Rayna was able to talk to her about. Daphne and Maddie have both been growing into their own separate lives and while they still need their mother, they aren’t children anymore.
The stalker plot always felt off to me, too sudden and no purpose, but it served as a way to force an accident and death that wasn’t for shock value. Rayna didn’t die for shock value. The stalker could have just killed her at the end of the episode, but instead her death was framed as a tragic accident. It also allowed her time to accept her death as the end of her journey. It could have easily been car accident -> hospital scene -> flatline -> dead. Instead, she was given time and a scene with her dead mother to reach closure. Her family and even Juliette were given time to say goodbye.
Her death is a tragedy, but she wasn’t killed without any buildup and she didn’t die purely to shock the audience. She didn’t even die for manpain. It was a tragedy that will affect her family, friends, Nashville, and the entire world. Her death was not something that was done to her by another person in her life or a villain of the story. It was framed, rightly so, as an accident. It was a pretty good death, all things considered.
They handled Rayna’s exit with a great deal of respect. Rayna dying was the only thing that made sense for her character. She wouldn’t leave her family. I can easily see her wanting to leave with her family (to get away from the music scene, to start over, etc), but it wasn’t realistic to write out Deacon and the girls, too. The only way you write out Rayna is if you write out her family as well.
Rayna was always written as a strong family person who hated to be away from her family. There wasn’t a realistic way to separate her from the story without taking her family with her. She knows what it’s like to grow up without a mother. She would never do that to her girls. Death was the only way she would ever leave her family.
Yeah, Rayna dying sucks, but it’s a gift we even have a season 5. Nashville easily could have stayed dead when ABC cancelled it.
Good Stuff - THE TROOF ABOUT STEVEN UNIVERSE - Part 3
WARNING: I have a part 2 and a part 2 ½ and I’m not afraid to use them, goshdarnit. Thank you, take care out there, and enjoy.
Steven Universe is a charming, popular show with a quad-polar fandom, and I’m only here to point out what I say is legitimately wrong with this cartoon. Simple enough? Fair enough. Previously, I talked about how their handling of villains has disrupted their focal story. And now, point number 3:
Okay, before I provide attention to our main gem heroes, I thought I’d give their home of Beach City a vocal point to express the diversity they offer and what makes them an essential drive for Steven and the Crystal Gems to protect the Earth by any means. I mean, they offer such valid representation for the show’s world building and can offer plenty of stories to tell to give us that slice of life vibe the show really needed. But I believe, after seeing Beach City time and time again over the course of 4 years, that I can summate its presence in the show with a single- Nay. With two simple yet comprehensible words.
Thank you, respectable actor Elaine Stritch. Rest in Peace
To continue, don’t get me wrong. Worldbuilding is more than essential for a story like Steven Universe, Berserk, Friendship is Magic, Legend of Zelda, and so on. Whether big or small, expanding a setting is important to giving characters a versatile way to look at their world in a differing light than before. But suffice to say, what world has Steven Universe built for itself?
*A populated province in the East Coast?
*Distant Gem Territory?
Aye, this troof is gonna be hard to explain. We just have locations, people. That’s it. They’re no special than the mini Galaxies from Super Mario Galaxy 2, only on Wii, Rated E for Everyone. A place can look cool and a population there can bring life to it, but they should have something for the characters to interact with and visibly wonder about what they might get into as they adapt and progress in some way. And by some way, I don’t mean insert plot devices that help make the characters do significant looking things, and I’ll get to that a bit later. But to sum it up, Steven Universe present locations, but those locations lack identity and coordination.
Stick around, Link, I might need your example
I got a short story to tell. True story. And this story provides my reason, above all else, for why Beach City doesn’t hold much water anymore when talking about world building, specifically after the show’s first season (or Full Disclosure).
There’s a comic book TV show called Preacher, premieres Mondays @ 9, only on AMC. Essentially it’s about a criminal turned Priest, possessed with a supernatural power, going on a cross country road trip to find the physical form of God with his
his mate who’s also a vampire and his ex-girlfriend. Pretty vivid premise, but see for yourself. The first season however sets up the road trip where the priest, his ex, and vampire friend stay in a small town in Texas to not only introduce them, the power that the priest gets, and the type of humor throughout, but flesh out a few citizens they encounter pretty well in a thematically connected turnabout for ten episodes straight. All seems good.
Up until the entire town loses their minds, after losing all faith in belief, which eventually leads to a methane nuclear sized explosion that wipes out everybody except the three main characters who exited a few scenes before.
Now, let’s talk relevance. If I ran Steven Universe, and I don’t think I can, and I pulled 👆👆 that on Beach City at season 1′s end. Erase everything you’ve seen, every citizen will be forced to disappear except the major plot oriented characters, basically resetting the structure. If I did that, how much would it change? What would we really lose? The diverse Beach citizens that don’t and can’t do shit against the enemies we’ve see unless they’re forced to get involved in some way which rarely happens?
You can put as many people of color and as many personalities in your world all you want, but effort should also be put into not just making them NPC levels of value to the point where a reset button wouldn’t put much a dent to the “world building”. The worst part is that it’s not like Batman’s Gotham City or Spider-Man’s New York; places where the villains are plotting while they’re within city walls. Steven Universe’s enemies have to either be brought out somewhere (gem monsters, Lapis) or brought to (Jasper, that red Eye, Aqua and Topaz) Beach City for the place to provide any significant or value. So…
Now if the whole series was like season one with the non “To Be Continued” slice of life episodes, then it would’ve work. Phineas and Ferb,Foster’s Home, and Friendship is Magic has done this well with keeping their main location (The Foster House, Danville, Ponyville, etc.) as their central hubworld for casual stories with a venture outside of them from time to time. I would’ve been okay with Beach City being the spot for Steven and his limitless squad to grow together like Rebecca intended at first. Then I’m reminded that there’s an world expanding story in this,
with bigger consequences and threaded arcs,
and I’m stuck between investing in the many things they give me, complaining towards full episodes that add up to nothing and went nowhere special, and whining about the lack of reruns it gets on TV compared to Teen Titans GO.
Bottom line, you had/have your comic series to commit to your slice of life genre instead of trying to keep it in the show.
Now, I’m at a disadvantage here. If I want to talk about the actual “SCIENCE FANTASY WORLD BUILDING”, then I’ll have to talk about the Crystal Gems’ involvement in them and I wanted to save that for another day. Luckily, I don’t have to, for SU has unintentionally played itself: when it comes to the Gem oriented locations outside Beach City, they tell but never really show. And turns out I don’t need Link’s example, but Samus Aran’s. Namely, her universe in the Metroid Prime series.
A key element to world building is the control and fun in exploration where you find and somewhat interact with aspects of an environment’s purpose and history while you’re on the go, giving the place more of an identity. Metroid Prime does this well where you journey through different parts of the Galaxy and with your scan visor, you can catalog and figure out the intricacies of the settings, the enemies within them, and info that seem trivial at first, but can offer much in progressing ahead in the game. Note the example before you…
And don’t stare deep into Samus’s blue eyes
Sure it’s an optional part of the game, and you can still trek on with or without having to continuously research the world’s lore, but it offers that versatility where you’re well in control in how to experience the game. Then again, this is a video game, where your skill in figuring things out is the only way to progress anything. What cartoon has this similar level of versatility? I mean, what else?
Gravity Falls may have stayed in one place, but it gives the characters and audience so much to explore and theorize on. They don’t tackle “everything” the world might have offered (bigfoot), but still give you so much to look out for without ever holding your hand or giving a cliffnotes version on a mystery of theirs. Hell, the fandom was hollering on Tumblr over predicting one of the show’s biggest mysteries being confirmed long before it aired. Hirsh didn’t just give those theory nuts what they wanted, his crew eased us in on how the narrative is taking a turn to someplace different and new without really forcing it on everybody. There was still that enjoyable sense of control that resonated in both the show’s direction and the audience’s experience.
I mean come on, this just oozes the moment of truth
Don’t get me wrong. The crewniverse offer very interesting locations and things that resonate with Gem stuff. My final problem with this is that when I think they might utilize these different places and things, they hold back to sharing but a glimpse of anything the show has plenty of utilizing potential for. Like…
Could this control room present more information about Homeworld’s plans for the gems than just the Cluster? “Probably not, it fulfilled its purpose. Let’s move on.”
What about these drills? Could we personally see how one works, like accidentally reactivate it to see how it functions? “Nah, they’re all dead. Let’s move on.”
Or what about the holes? Could we have some kind of flashback depicting how a gem leaps out the ground? “Nope.” Not even the off col- “NOPE.”
What’s that supposed to be? Is it something important to Homeworld? “We’ll get to that later. Let’s move on.”
Ooh, are there more ships like this the CGs could use for space travel? Maybe spruce ‘em up with Pearl and Peridot’s technical abilities? “Nah, this is all we got and Centipeedle lives there now so… Sorry.”
Man, this place looks cool. Connie might consider this since she handles weapons and might want something new, like armor or throwing weapons. “Look man, this tour is scheduled. You’ve seen it, we’ll get back to it later. Moving right along.” This tour sucks. “You paid for it, my friend.”
Egoraptor said it best: I’m not witnessing an adventure, I’m a guest at their theme park. This is Kingdom Hearts levels of dragging it along, and I know… “But Monkey Network, they might come back to all that stuff soon. It’s called foreshadowing, you whiner.” To that, I say HA! There’s a huge difference between foreshadowing and giving us cameos. And that is in…
Long story short, if it’s subtle and holds a threatening or vague presence, THAT’s foreshadowing. If it’s already out in the open and is not given a lot of screentime or detail, that’s cameo-ing and waiting for more. The last thing a show should do is hold back and have its audience wait like shoving a secret box in our face, and that’s all Steven Universe has been doing. That’s why so many rant about what’s filler or not. That’s why so many theorize on the most reaching of details. That’s why people proudly growl at what could be the crew’s simple decisions. Because when everything must come back to Beach City, post “Full Disclosure”, exploration can be limited, detail can be limited, and it’ll be up to the audience to speculate/construct the world-building for themselves, making the control and experience for the show feel one sided, therefore UNFAIR. To summarize, I can present the fandom’s frustration…through song.
Like I said, the things I’ve seen offer so much to think about, but Rebecca Sugar sack could’ve done better with presenting them in a better light than a dim mode. The fate of Steven Universe’s future is a mystery to me, and I don’t know what they’re gonna cram in season 5 this fall. All I know is MJ (or Mystery Girl) is fine as fuck and we’re all gonna get something good eventually. My man Ian Jones-Quartey said good world building takes time, and they sure are taking their time.