cultural cues

'callout culture' is a blight on social justice

1) It creates a culture of fear and intimidation and discourages people from participating in social justice out of fear of mistakes

2) It is not about holding people accountable and stopping harassment, just about preening with a bunch of self-congratulatory posts about how the person/thing is bad and how they are inferior to you

3) It’s often a giant game of telephone where tons of misinformation about the person/thing you’re calling out is spread

4) It invites minute character dissections/judgments of strangers based on superficial interests, often harmless opinions, and ignorant mistakes, and turns simple social media interactions into a perpetual trial by jury, which can be particularly damaging if you’re young or have little positive socialization outside social media

5) IT DISCOURAGES DISCUSSION and the healthy and civil sharing of ideas and opinions!

If you want someone to learn from their mistakes, you must be able to forgive them for their mistakes. Harassment and the spreading of ‘receipts’ on people only breeds fear and resentment. Healthy discussions come from being patient and kind with people and not treating their every mistake like an irredeemable character flaw.


Continuing the party! Here’s Juro- feral child hero of the Yellow Faction in Shardbound
Kickstart with us:

He’s a rascal- more in tune with his pack of wolflike Primals than with his human compatriots. He has the ability to transform into a powerful creature at will, and imbues his attacks with the magic that stems from the deep link he shares with his pack. Finding his design was a balancing act of cultural cues, story, and consistency with the level of tech in the world- we settled on this direction, based in cold environs, with armor tied thematically and literally to the Primal creatures for which the faction is known. A touch of Rufio and we have us a charming troublemaker and hothead. Not much I love more than working with characters that help to tell the story of the world and their culture through their design!

anonymous asked:

I just wanted to drop by and say that first of all, I love your theories and analyses. They're so good and I cry daily about them. Secondly I wanted to express my... I guess dissatisfaction with the lack of fan analyses about John and Dave's friendship, in particular from John's POV. They are basically the only proclaimed pair of best friends whose relationship didn't waver during the course of the whole comic, and I just wish people talked more about their influence on each other!

Ok so first of all I have to say that the idea that Dirk and Jake’s relationship seriously wavered on any level but the superficial “are we officially dating” one is, imo, inaccurate. The boys are in love, they love each other and are best friends and this is true across the board for the Alphas.

Thanks a lot for your message though, and I’ve been meaning to say something about John and Dave’s relationship for a while now so sure, I’ve got a bit to say for you. 

predictably as hell this got really long, so meet me under the cut.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I apologize if this has been asked before, but would someone who had minimal training but can read body language really well be able to defend themselves somewhat competently against a trained fighter?

No, because that’s not how body language works. Usually, when people talk about reading someone’s body language, they’re actually looking for social or psychological cues someone exhibits.

Body language is affected by your cultural background. I don’t mean you can’t learn other cultural cues, but they do vary. So, your character might be very good in reading their native body language, but not really understand someone from another country.

In this context, reading the combat body language from a martial artist isn’t like learning a foreign language, it’s like trying to understand an alien one.

A couple things, combatants do have tells. Untrained or poorly trained fighters will give away what they’ll do before they strike.

One of the things training does is mute those tells. Some forms will generate false tells that are designed to mislead an opponent. A feint is the most basic form of this, but this can get pretty sophisticated.

When you’re dealing with someone who’s had the same training you have, reading their body language in combat is doable.

When you’re dealing with someone from an unfamiliar style (or even just someone with more training in your own style) trying to read their language can get you in trouble fast.

When you’re dealing with someone that’s been trained in multiple styles and is incorporating elements of what they’ve learned together, reading their body language is going to get very dangerous.


I think one of the things you’re missing (and it’s a common mistake) is the assumption that combat is an physical. You’re thinking: “well, even if my character has limited training if they could read the other guy’s body…”


Learning to mess with your opponent’s mind and mask your tells is part of the standard package. It’s such a natural part of the training package that most martial arts won’t actively discuss why they’re training you that way. It’s just a part of it. Martial arts training, all combat training really, works under the assumption that your opponent will try to read your body language to gain an advantage and works to circumvent it in the way it retrains the instincts, how you stand, how you move, etc. You see this commonly in the long lag times at the beginning of boxing matches or other fighting events where the two opponents spend a good long time staring each other down before either moves.

What are they doing? They’re reading the other person’s body language trying to get a beat on how they’ll react and they’ve got a very tight margin of error. Read it wrong and it’ll cost them a point, which can cost them the match.

Every martial art and combat style has different tells, different quirks, because they all have different priorities and evolved to combat different social expectations. Body language is a means of social communication, it’s how we communicate to each other in ways that are mostly tracked subconsciously. Body language is one way interacting with individuals who have certain mental disabilities can feel awkward for someone who is neurotypical (or has a different disorder) because the social cues you expect in their physical behavior aren’t there. (On the other side, having certain mental disorders means you may spend a lifetime trying to decode the signals.) As Starke said, body language is social conditioning, it’s cultural. Change cultures and everything you expect about boundaries and social cues shifts, changes. If you’ve ever visited a foreign culture, you may have learned that the physical social interaction can be just as daunting as the verbal language barrier.

The combat arts are built to subvert your expectations when it comes to physical tells. Many of the techniques and even the basic resting positions are meant to mess with the way the human brain tracks data and registers threats.

For example, your peripheral vision is a beautiful, beautiful early warning system when it comes to tracking movement and it’s a double edged sword. All it does is track motion, you can train your body to respond to that motion. It puts a priority on fast, circular motion coming in toward the head because it’s easier to track the hands when they’re outside the line of the body.

However, by coming up directly toward the face (as seen in common prison grabs which target the eyes with the fingers), you can engage a blind spot because the brain is slow react to movement camouflaged by the body. Attack the face and your opponent will instinctively move to defend it, thus leaving the rest of their body undefended. The second strike comes, almost at the same time, to the gut (or elsewhere). Having succeeded in their attack, they then proceed to work their opponent over a.k.a keep hitting them until they can no longer stand. You don’t need years of martial arts training to learn this or even a basic understanding of how the brain works. Kids on the playground will do an early variant of this in games of keep away. Training however, does make the individual a great deal more subtle.

(Learning The Body Line: stand facing a mirror. Hold your elbows and hands outside your body, then bring them in so your elbows touch the front of your chest. Keep your fingertips up, loose, but touching. If you don’t immediately notice, close your eyes and count to ten. Then open your eyes and look for your hands. If you’re not drunk this will happen pretty quickly, but not fast enough. If you are drunk, it’ll happen really goddamn slow. That’s how the body line works. You have now learned one of the simplest, basic mechanics of mental manipulation and body camouflage built into almost every martial art. Congratulations.)

Whether attacking or defending, combatants don’t want their opponent to see what they’re doing until it’s too late. When you watch the early movies with Jackie Chan and Jet Li or other martial artists, ask yourself “when did they switch their ready position”. To the casual observer it often seems like they just go, “bam” they’re in the obvious ready position and then they’ve attacked.

However, it actually starts much earlier than that. These actors actually move to a ready position the second their character’s register that they’re in danger. Often, it can be as much as a full five minutes before the fight even begins. Watch the first twelve seconds of this clip from Kiss of the Dragon. As Jet Li walks down the hallway, he’s already in a quasi ready position. His head is up and alert, his shoulders are squared, his arms are slightly tensed (you can tell by the curve at the elbow as they move out from the body and moving with very minute swings). When the desk is kicked through the glass, he steps back, but instead of staying facing fully forward his body turns on a slight diagonal, his hand comes up (to guard his face from the glass and in general) in an automatic response. He’s slightly caught off guard, but he’s already instinctively moved to protect himself in response to the action. (This is trained instinct, not natural instinct.)

These are the barest, barest of basics. The psychological aspects of camouflaging movement are so built into most martial arts that the practitioner isn’t even going to think about it. They might unpack it later at higher levels or if they develop an interest in exactly how the physical side of martial arts affects the mental side and vice versa.

You’re not going to learn to look for these tells unless you’re learning to fight. If you are learning to fight, then you will start training yourself to look for tells in your practice partners. You may be told what to look for, you may not. As you improve your technique, you will get better at hiding your tells

It’s a vicious cycle.

The short is: everyone is already looking for signs that someone is going to attack them. Those signs do not usually cross-confluence with the usual social expectations of threatening behavior until the first strike happens. They often come off as distinctly non-threatening.

Even if they can figure it out, the amount of lag time between when their brain figures out the person has moved from threatening to actually attacking and when the hit connects probably won’t leave them enough time to respond if they haven’t been trained to. This will all take place within a few fractions of a second and if you haven’t been working on building up the response times and mental connection to different parts of the body, if you have to think about it, then you’re already moving too slow.


anonymous asked:

So I have no idea if you've seen Les Miserables, or what your opinion on the 2012 movie is, but if they ended up watching it with their s/o, which of the paladins would be into it, and which wouldn't? Who would cry?

bless u nonnie for gifting me this ask, i love les mis like you wouldn’t believe akjsdfghjkjh

funny story: i bought the cheapest tickets for a matinee (14 pounds-ish), sat at the crappiest corner of the theater and still cried my eyes out towards the ending even though i couldn’t see half of what was happening. bless west end for still carrying this show


  • okay, this man may not be the most knowledgeable on musicals, but he’s definitely heard of Les Mis 
  • you want to give him the full experience, so of course, you both book tickets for a show (both of you are packing the dough as compensation when the garrison sort of launched you to your certain death nbd)
  • at first, he’s amused at the energy in the theatre and sort of like goes “so this is how a real theatre is, huh?” and you’re like “whatever you do, pls don’t get the overpriced popcorn or the water.” 
  • he gets the popcorn anyway, and it’s not half bad
  • when the show starts, he’s already entranced with Jean Valjean and his story and probs teared a little bit when he heard Valjean defending himself from the accusations of the pub patrons
  • it hits a nerve with him and he’s quickly invested in the story
  • may or may not have resisted the urge to yell at Javert when he wouldn’t give Valjean a break bc he’s so engrossed
  • during the ‘Confrontation’ between Valjean and Javert, you would have to hold his hand bc “Y/N, there’s a fricking rifle on the stage!! A rifle–oh God, he just shot it!”
  • you would have to shush him and rub the back of his hand with yours bc it’s a little unnerving when Valjean fires the shot and you’re afraid it might reignite his PTSD.
  • but Shiro’s fine with it and you don’t have to ask who his fave character is
    • “he carries Marius all the way underneath the sewers of Paris?? what a man.”
    • “oh my God, he’s in love with Fantine, isn’t he?”
    • “he gave. Cosette. A home.”
  • full on bawling at the finale and is clapping with tears in his eyes. so yeah, you can say he really liked Les Mis


  • like Shiro, he doesn’t really understand the workings of a musical
    • “so they just walk around stage and…and sing?” 
    • “yeah, that’s how it works, Keith.”
    • “so, it’s like Bollywood??”
    • “the fact that you know Bollywood better than what a musical is, frankly, astonishing.”
  • despite the fact that he doesn’t know Les Mis as well (”wasn’t it like, one of the longest books written in history next to the Ulysses?”) he goes along with you bc you’re so excited
  • at first, he’s a bit bored bc all they’re doing is singing and he can’t follow the story line, but he slowly gets it and becomes invested
  • he’s immediately drawn to Marius’ character bc he reminds him a lot of himself for a reason (impulsive, loses all his friends…lmao, what do you mean, Keith?) 
  • he’s not really into the scenes with Fantine, but he does recognize ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and surprisingly sings along to it under his breath
  • when you ask him how he knows, he would reply “Pops played it once when we took a long road-trip. Told me I best get cultured or something.”
  • totally gets goosebumps when he hears ‘One Day More’ and tries not to cry when Marius holds a dying Éponine in his arms
  • smiles throughout the whole exchange when the Thernadiers get what they deserve
  • his efforts to hold back his tears are for vain when he hears ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’ and sees Marius’ haunted over the loss of his friends
    • will steadfastly ignore your teasing bc you never expected Keith to have a reaction like that to Les Mis
    • he digs it as well


  • ohh boy does he love musicals
  • totally a slut for Rent and Idina Menzel’s portrayal as Maureen in ‘Take Me or Leave Me.’ when you suggest Les Mis as a date night, he’s all about it
  • 10/10 the kind of boyfriend to buy theatre merch for you, never mind that it’s a bit expensive
  • “oh c’mon Y/N! pick a shirt– we’re only going to be here once in our lives!” 
  • you agree bc he looks so goshdarn cute when he’s so excited and you can’t help but be pulled along
  • he’s already read up on Les Mis but seeing it live blows him away and he’s immediately drawn to Éponine bc he sees a little of himself in her
    • when she dies, you have to pat his back bc he’s silently sobbing and when he hears ‘Bring Him Home’, you have to pass him a whole packet of Kleenax cause the pain in Valjean’s voice gets him
    • dw you both are sobbing bc it sounds like something that would’ve applied to your life in space
  • you both clap loudly and stand after the finale. 
  • when you both leave the theatre, he’s gushing animatedly about the show as he recounts all his fave moments
  • he looks so adorable that you have to kiss him bc you can’t– he reminds you of an excited puppy
  • you’re both still glowing from the experience tbh and can’t wait to tell your friends. 


  • he’s kinda on the fence about musicals bc he hasn’t seen one before, but his curiosity got the better of him
  • he prefers traditional plays, but he thinks ‘what the heck’, you’re excited and he can’t refuse you when you’re practically bouncing on your feet
  • he walks in expecting to be bored, but the moment he sees Fantine and how her life plays out on stage, he’s hooked
    • “why are her employers such cruel mofos??”
    • you almost don’t expect this language from him, but when Fantine dies, he’s crying softly
  • lowkey really loves Cosette and feels enraged when she’s being mistreated by the Thernadiers
    • “Fantine gave them money to treat her daughter like crap??” he’s indignant and you would have to reassuringly shush him that things would get better
    • cheers when she meets Marius and enjoys their blooming romance
    • “he’s just so sweet to her and after all that she’s been through…girl needs love.”
  • like Keith, he can’t help but grin when the Thernadiers get what they deserve, but he’s more hung up on the wedding
  • leaves the theatre admitting that it was a good show
  • “thanks for bringing me along, Y/N. I really enjoyed it. We should watch more shows together!” he’ll say sweetly and you can’t wait to introduce more musicals to him.


  • they’ve seen Rent once when Matt dragged them along 
    • he had a phase and wouldn’t stop singing ‘Seasons of Love’ in the shower (horribly ofc, not many people can hit that high note) so they know what they’re getting into
    • they’re kinda neutral on musicals tbh bc they’re attention wonders easily when it isn’t calculations or technology.
  • will most likely comment on the overpriced popcorn much to your chagrin, but you still get one for them just to hear them squawk in indignation 
    • “Y/N, the popcorn is inflated to ten times its price! we could’ve used that money for video games”
    • you’re pretty embarrassed cause they say this in front of the usher, but Pidge’s a savage and they don’t care who’s listening 
    • would steal your popcorn anyway
  • they’ve watched the movie, but the live production’s another whole story. Pidge’s transfixed on the costumes and they admire how Javert still remains a villian towards the end
  • “at least he got his redemption in the books, but I kinda like ‘forever evil’ Javert” 
  • they don’t admit to crying at Valjean’s death, but tbh everyone is heartbroken one way or another
  • they lowkey love it but isn’t trying to show how excited they are bc they doesn’t want you to think that they’ll watch more musicals
    • they’re still pretty much scarred from Matt’s constant singing so they try to not to get too immersed in musicals less he starts teasing them about it
    • “look at how much my lil Pidge-Podge loves musicals! You’re starting to get more cultured !!”
    • cue Pidge rolling they’re eyes so hard that they almost get lost behind their head.

anonymous asked:

When Remus is telling Harry about spying on the werewolves he says "I bear the unmistakeable signs of having tried to live among wizards". What are these signs??

What do you think of when you imagine an average, colonized werewolf? Of someone who chooses or was forced to live on the fringes of society? Not Remus. Remus, who probably has clean clothes and is tame compared to the wild looks of the werewolves we encounter in book. But what might be a real, blatant giveaway, especially to someone who can spy? There are a couple of things that come to mind.

  1. The first is that Remus has history among humans. Remus was bitten young, like Greyback is known to do serially. I would wager there are a lot of young people, but then a healthy collection of people who were bitten later in life and fell into misfortune rather than sprouting in it. These are people who would look visibly different from the traditional man on Diagon Alley. Remus would likely appear a bit healthier than they do, he would have an aversion to stealing, he would have clean clothes and his hair would be cut properly. He would have different mannerisms: he might knock before entering someone’s space, he might choose to eat with a fork instead of just with his fingers. For all intents and purposes, Remus is like the fresh inmate: it’s both obvious to everyone because he’s new, and because he doesn’t act the part. He doesn’t look the part. And he couldn’t: the social cues, the cultural rules–they all betray him as someone else, an outsider, until he learns.
  2. He’s educated, and people can tell. More than having gone to Hogwarts, which can be disguised as a childhood love of books, probably–Remus is clever. Remus is knowledgeable, and well-learned. That’s obvious when he speaks. And without knowing his history, it’s reasonable to guess that he was brought up in an environment where those things in  him were nurtured. A place very unlike the desolation of a colony.
  3. Remus has a wand, and can do magic. In fact he may need to have kept this part of himself particularly well hidden, and may be the reason we see him able to use the flames in PoA (wandless spell, fire for survival?). Werewolves are hinted at having to steal and commit crimes to survive, something which is blamed on their savage nature but which is really more a side effect of their social status. If they serve a stint in Azkaban, what becomes of their wand? What happens to their wand when they transform? What happens when you’re bitten young, too young to get a wand, and you certainly won’t go to school? I suspect fully realized wizards and witches are a rarity among the colonies, and that things like potions are where they can excel at magic. Tonics for full moons, and such.
  4. Perhaps scars have something to do with it too. Remus doesn’t run with a pack for most of his life, and how do you expect a large population of werewolves to stay locked up when they haven’t homes? I expect they run free in the countryside, far from people to bite unless they’re–ahem–otherwise motivated. Most want to stay out of that sort of trouble, though. But running with a pack provides stimulation, mental and physical, that Remus doesn’t get in his monthly stints in solitary. It might become clear when he runs with them that he’s not used to this, both when in wolf form and in human.
  5. Remus also advocates for humans, for the Ministry, for Dumbledore—for the society at large. He goes to the colonies with that purpose, but it helps that Remus believes what he says: that humans and werewolves can eventually coexist, and that working with Voldemort is a fool’s road. The general idea of werewolves we’re given is that they’re bitter folk, and for good reason. But here is someone who’s obviously from a better place, coming down to preach about how people who hate you can help you? Nah.
  6. He also refers to himself as “a werewolf”, but never says, “we werewolves”. It’s always “the werewolves,” and “they”. He doesn’t consider himself one of them. He never does. He never did, and he never will. And no matter how good a spy he is, that sense of separation leaves little crumbs behind that others can detect, whether it’s the slight frown in his face when the werewolves talk about Dumbledore or about the visible rigidity in his spine when they talk about the idea of creating other werewolves.

That’s just from the top, so if anyone else thinks of something to add to this be my guest!

Twi’lek vs Rylothean

starwarstheorist replied to your post “Dressing for the skies with Hera Syndulla”

What makes Hera particularly admirable and fascinating is that she comes from a culture (Twil'lek) where women are normally slaves and dancers.

This is actually something that I’ve discussed before at length, both privately and publicly, and I tried to address here. It a perspective that appears to be pretty common in the fandom and  I feel disappointed every time it comes up.

Hera doesn’t come from a culture of slaves and dancers. And even if she did, it wouldn’t be her look that made her admirable, it would be that she made something of herself independently. Hera’s species is Twi’lek. Hera is Rylothean, and so that would be the root of her cultural cues. Not only is she Rylothean, but she is the daughter of a political leader and planetary hero. A family that is of high standing (enough that Cham Syndulla ran for office against Orn Free Taa, and had the means to lead two resistances) and higher regard. That means that she would have been even further removed from the galactically held view of twi’leks as commodities. Her species, and particularly her gender, has a history of objectification and enslavement, and if I recall correctly this was due to outside forces taking twi’leks. In a post-Republic world, as we saw in Lords of the Sith, many aspects of this have been brought home to Ryloth with Twi’leks being forced to serve their new Imperial overlords, or choosing to collaborate out of necessity. I forget exactly when Lords of the Sith takes place, but it’s safe to say that Hera was already be actively taking steps towards her fight and not a part of this subjugation.

Rylothean women:

Syndulla family portrait, note how well dressed they are, particularly Hera’s (nameless) mother.

Rylothean women from various episodes in The Clone Wars, including civilians and freedom fighters.

Numa and Hera, contemporaries both in age and in origin - young Rylothean women who grew up in the darkness of war and have come to fight for freedom (Hera was/is of a higher rank than Numa.) Their aesthetics are not so different, suggesting that this basic attire is a favoured and practical look for free(dom fighting) Rylothean women.

Culture and species are two separate things, though often intertwined. In the case of Star Wars and Twi’leks, what we have seen are creators working backwards from a starting point of objectification (Oola.) A difficult thing, allowing space for what ultimately appeals about the species and respecting what has already been established whilst creating depth, substance and history. These sort of responses diminishes the extensive world-building work and balancing act and dismiss the characters. For instance: Yes, Aayla Secura wears a revealing costume, but that does not mean she is enslaved or subjugated. The two Twi’lek women in the current Han Solo comic, Nowk and Sotna, wear form-fitting suits with low-cut trousers, but they are padded and obviously pilot gear (and they are furious when it is suggested that they are slaves.) A woman can show flesh, her figure, and be empowered. It is based on the individual and on decision, and clearly Twi’leks do not shy away from skin. Flesh is not in itself slutty or demeaning. An alien species will not have the same taboos and standards and conservative western earthlings. Likewise, because Hera - and I guess Numa - covers up, she is not ashamed of her body as I have repeatedly been told in various conversations. The way Hera presents, holds and moves herself does not indicate any body shame. She is a woman who dresses for her job: Rebel pilot. (Of course this could be headcanoned, but do not tell me that it is fact when there is no evidence.)

Some of this work gets muddied in the recycling of models in TCW: typically the bodysuited Twi’lek women are indicated to be sex-workers, performers, or slaves, whilst those wearing dresses or other costumes are implied to be free, but this sometimes swaps around. A good example of htis work, though, is in the differences in twi’lek dancing in TCW. We see a lot (a lot, but that is a whole messy conversation I don’t have the energy for right now) of different twi’lek performance in the wider galaxy, including glamorous Temple of Doom style showgirls and out and out table dancing:

These are, obviously, performative for a specific audience, calculated and rehearsed and for a purpose. It’s a job and a commodity. Or rather, a means to sell the commodity of the twi’lek performer’s body. In contrast, we see dancing on Ryloth:

This is a group activity, a celebration that is joyous and shared. Dancing for dancing’s sake. Stylistically and performatively, half a galaxy away. The culture of these dances couldn’t be more different, and Hera would have grown up in this society that celebrated performance and beauty rather than tried to sell it. These examples also clearly indicating the two main looks the show worked with. 

As I’ve said before, discussing the sexualisation and objectification of twi’leks is hard, as every word runs the risk of sounding like an apologist. There is so much more to the conversation than ‘Twi’leks slave, skin bad.’

Next Time: The path unfollowed: the heroics of Padme & Leia

Last time: The historicity of Satine Kryze

Sometimes I get a story idea that’s frustratingly visual. Reading the Shorty Squad at the Ren Faire comic, I got an idea for a fluffy Amedot follow-up.

Peridot is annoyed that humans keep mistaking her for a child. I sympathize. (Being nearly 30 and mistaken for a high school student is annoying.) Amethyst sympathizes too. When Peridot doesn’t believe that that’s a problem Amethyst has, Ame shape-shifts into her “Story for Steven” era design to demonstrate when it does happen to her. I mean, that design makes her look like she’s five while being the same size. When you’re short, it’s just something you have to figure out a way to work with, emphasize or de-emphasize to suit the impression you want to give.

Then Amethyst shape-shifts into Peridot like she did in “Logdate 7 15 2,” and together they start brainstorming ideas for the next time Peridot reforms. In the process, Amethyst slips in mentioning what features on Peridot she finds particularly attractive and worth playing up. Peridot praises Amethyst’s shape-shifting skills and knowledge human culture and visual cues. There’s blushing on both sides. I keep thinking that describing the visuals in detail would be really boring and I wish I was both good and fast enough at drawing to turn this into a comic.

Rereading Cloud Roads

…and, having gotten to know Stone and Raksura culture by now, the early scenes where Stone has straight-up kidnapped Moon are unbelievably funny.

[if you haven’t read The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells and you don’t want spoilers, SKIP THIS POST]

Consorts are super, super precious and highly-regarded and not terribly numerous. Culturally, they occupy a space equivalent to ‘fairy-tale princess’, ‘First Lady’, or ‘dowager queen’, depending on age, mated status, and the status of their mate. They know it and everyone else knows it from infancy.

Finding one outside of a colony would be ridiculous to even imagine. Finding one alone, wearing raggedy groundling clothing a long-ass way from any colony at all, is unheard-of.

Stone is a consort himself, BUT he’s long since old enough to be in the ‘dowager queen’ category, has always been something of an odd duck, and has the advantage of being able to transform to roughly the size of a bus. He also happens to be on a mission matchmaking for his very eligible great-great-granddaughter. Might as well look, no? Even if this lone consort’s in exile, it’s good to know what the other courts are doing, maybe gain a little gossip for leverage.

Lone consort is quick and mean and wily, and gets away. (Again, Stone is is the size of a bus… because he’s CENTURIES OLD, with corresponding experience. The Little Princess gave Fin Fang Foom the slip.) Lone consort is next seen drugged, beaten, and shackled to the dirt by groundlings to be eaten by a local monster. Lone consort has torn himself bloody trying to get free and is making a solid effort to defend himself with rocks.

Stone is like, okay, clearly I need to learn what this kid’s deal is and see if he at least has an eligible sibling consort somewhere.

Then he picks him up, very slowly teases the story out, and, from Moon’s perspective, accepts the whole thing with equanimity. After picking up three books & change worth of cultural cues and personal backstory, though, it’s pretty clear that Stone is internally doing the wise-grandpa equivalent of ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.

A rough timeline of Stone’s thought processes:
- Trying to strangle me with your bare hands? Seriously? I’m a few hundred years past your weight class; you’ve got either a serious concussion or more violent instincts than sense.
- Holy shit this kid is some kinda mean and suspicious for a consort.
- Why does he think I am going to poison him? He’s acting like I’m a crazy groundling.
- Kiddo, what did your colony even do?
- Obviously you’re not Fell, fool; I might only have one eye I’m not DEAD…
- He can’t be asking me what species I am. He’s either drugged or trying to pull one over—
- He doesn’t know what his own species is?
- This is the saddest fucking thing I’ve ever seen and if any of his court are still living I am going to shred them so fine the Arbora will have to use them for fertilizer.
- After all that, he still thinks I’m going to kill him and eat him. Fucking hell.
- Pearl is going to lose her shit when she sees what I brought home.

How can I explain my love for General Hux? Let me try…..

• Hux is a character that was written and portrayed as pure evil. Bad, bad, bad. Normal people were meant to recognise the cultural/social cues and hate him. Normal people. ‘Normal’ is so overrated. Fuck cultural/social cues.

• Those of us with special talents can easily fill in the backstory for this man. He shows no remorse and is completely, arrogantly confident that his way is the right way. But the pressure he must have been under as a boy to succeed with the father he had, coupled with the need to avenge the destroyed Empire that he worshiped drives him. He fully believes that the actions he takes are right and just.

• I love baddies in fiction, I always have. I don’t like them in real life though, I tend to be quite peace loving. But in the world of fiction, all gloves are off. I like powerful, ruthless, strong characters. They are interesting and it’s quite a turn on. When portrayed by Domnhall Gleeson they are dead sexy.

• Hux has the best lips in the galaxy.

• We who love him know that he would make a superlative evil emperor. With his Dark Knight by his side.

• His speech rocked. It was insane, it was an epic in itself.

•He’s vain. He struts, he preens. He knows he’s better than anyone else. He fights dirty. He’s a sexy, bad motherfucker. 

• I love his freckles. Thank you, all the artists out there!

• He’s such a cat person, aloof and superior. Hux having a ginger cat is inspired.

• I would offer to have his love babies. But he is obviously gay for Kylo Ren. (And he wouldn’t push Mitaka out of bed for farting, either.)

• I and all his fans around the world hope against hope that he will be given a great story in episode 8. But we are prepared for his inevitable death. And he will live on in the fandom’s art, stories and hearts. Forever.


Happy Birthday Marsha Film

Reina Gossett, a Black trans woman who is an artist and writer doing important work with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, along with Sasha Wortzel, are fundraising to produce the film Happy Birthday, Marsha. This film is one telling the rich histories and experiences of the often erased trans women of colour and friends, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, from Stonewall. The film will capture their histories, choices and lives that lead up to Stonewall; the reality of friends facing street harassment, police harassment/abuse and racism/sexism/transmisogyny in general. 

As noted on their Kickstarter page (which has a short video as well):

It’s been 45 years since the Stonewall rebellion yet the leading role that street queens, trans women of color and gender non-conforming people had during the riots hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. By making Happy Birthday, Marsha! we are seeking to change that.

As of this post, they are at $23,877, but the project will only be funded if they reach the goal of at least $25,000 by Friday, August 15, 2014 9:59 AM! That’s only $1,123 left!

Please DONATE or signal boost if you cannot afford to donate! ❤  

AU where Shiro works for the Galra but he ends up helping Matt escape. The two of them were friends and Matt has feelings for him. So Matt vows to save Shiro and bring him back to earth. Matt becomes a paladin and when they go on the Galra ship, Matt meets Shiro and convinces him to come back with them. Cue awkward cultural readjustment for Shiro and LOTS of PDA

correction to my Stan headcanon: Stan getting a Ph.D. in art history, mechanics and engineering, AND archeology bc That Special Interest.

Upon finding out Ford teases him mercilessly (really Stanley, at least my majors all go together and they’re all useful with each other and with what I want to do, why would you need to know art history while treasure hunting?).

however, after graduation Stan’s majors work really well together. scarily well. they compliment each other so much. Stan can make his own equipment or fix equipment he buys if need be. the art history helps date things when he can’t date them quickly other ways, and helps add cultural cues. (maybe he took an anthro class or two, sue him it was required).

Ford never heard the end of it.


Anon wanted a Takumi analysis!

I wanna make a broad disclaimer about my lack of familiarity with historical Japanese fashion. I’m sure there are elements here that say extra things to a more knowledgeable eye, but it’s not something I’m deeply educated in. I’ll try to keep to things I think are demonstratively true without relying on cultural cues I don’t understand. If you know more, feel free to add something! Still, I feel that it speaks to the strength of the design work that the thrust of a character comes across cultural lines.

I’ve mentioned this before, but Takumi is the only Hoshido sibling whose major color is blue, rather than red. It’s an ironic choice – blue is the traditional color of the player’s army in Fire Emblem, and Takumi is hostile to you in every route (to the point of being Nohr’s final boss). Even on the cover of Hoshido, Takumi is facing in another direction, setting him apart from his siblings. 

The pelt at his waist is a nod to his prowess as a hunter, and gives him a slightly savage edge next to his clean-cut siblings (even characters famed for their battle prowess like Ryouma and Yuugiri are not wearing trophies).

It’s subtle, but something else that sets him off from his siblings is the prominence of triangles in his design. As a design cue, circles and curves tend to be most prominent in the Hoshido characters (you’ll remember that the Hoshido emblem is a starburst in a circle), with triangles being what the Nohr crowd favors.

Even Ryouma’s armor, which, by virtue of being armor, has to be pointy and intimidating, incorporates many curves and decorative circles. Takumi, on the other hand, from spiky hair to his collar to his kerchief to the negative space created by his pelt, is covered in triangles.

He’s got interesting hair, doesn’t he? His retainers share the same basic messy ponytail structure, making them feel very close to one another. Both Hoshido brothers have long hair to contrast their short-haired sisters; the Nohr siblings have the opposite setup. I’m afraid I don’t know enough about historical Japanese hairstyles to comment on specifics, but even to an ignorant eye it’s a complex style, and there’s an implication of being high-maintenance. That’s quite a lot of hair to comb and wash, after all. Though just as long, Ryouma’s haircut is much simpler, reflecting his more straightforward personality.

Another funny thing about color – Ryouma shares his hair color with Sumeragi, Hinoka and Sakura have red shades, but Takumi is the only Hoshido sibling with such pale hair. It’s another thing that sets him a little more apart from them. In fact, the person his hair color is closest to is the (ironically unrelated) Kamui. Though it’s only strictly applicable to the Nohr path, the resemblance subtly elevates him in importance.

The artbook shows beta Takumi with reddish-brown hair; @amielleon notes how far he diverges from traditional notions of Japanese beauty (dark, elegant hair) in that respect and wonders if he’s supposed to give off a white-haired psychopath vibe.

I feel that it is not coincidence that Takumi is so closed-off from his siblings while being a unit that can only engage in long-range combat. There’s a lot of archetypes associated with archery/sniping; while Takumi is far from emotionless, he’s isolated and consistently has trouble reaching out to others, even to his eventual doom. In being an archer, a unit with traditional inability to engage an enemy face-to-face, there’s the classic symbolism of fragility and enforced distance (I didn’t mention it because the entry was long enough already, but you can actually argue a bit of this with Zero as well). He’s distant from his siblings, and his emotional fragility makes him vulnerable to the corruption of Hydra and Macbeth.

Casting Characters from Aladdin in Disney Roleplays

Having reviewed a few Disney roleplays, and with more in my future, a question I took it upon myself to investigate is, “what ethnicity should characters from Aladdin be?” Since this appears to be a point of contention, I figured I’d share my research.

TL;DR: Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese or Jordanian would be acceptable, possibly Persian, and in no way Indian.

There were a few questions that needed to be figured out.

What is the Origin of Aladdin?

Aladdin is (loosely) based on One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of folk stories compiled during the Islamic Golden Age in Arabic. Most notably, the stories are folk stories from the Caliphate era (Arabic), though the “frame” story (the woman telling her husband stories for one thousand and one nights to avoid execution) is inspired by the Pahlavi Persian work Hazār Afsān, and a few of the folk stories have notable Mesopotamian, Indian and Egyptian folklore inspirations.

But, in whole, it’s safe to say this work is heavily rooted in the Middle East.

Where is Agrabah?

Despite being a fictional city, Disney provides a very real location for Agrabah right in the opening when our narrator says: “Welcome to Agrabah. City of mystery, of enchantment…and the finest merchandise this side of the River Jordan, on sale today, come on down!”

I don’t know if I really need to go into it, the map kind of does it for me, but basically Agrabah could exist in Syria, The West Bank, Israel (but would have taken place before that area was Israel, so casting someone who identifies as Palestinian would be more appropriate), or Jordan. Edit: or Lebanon. I guess I missed that the first time around.

That said…there can be, in my opinion, a case made for casting a face who identifies as ethnically Persian:

The art direction by layout designer Rasoul Azadani and character designs were not pulled from this region, but instead strongly based off of Isfahan, Iran (which is a beautiful city!)

This, however, is a bit of a slippery slope, but it’s basically a question of deciding, in Disney’s totally not problematic at all treatment of the Middle East as one generic mass, whether the stated location (which most people miss) takes precedent, or the architectural and cultural cues of the story. I don’t have an answer for that. If someone does, I’d be happy to know.

Why is India not appropriate/The Palace is clearly based on the Taj Mahal!

In short, India is not appropriate because the Jordan River is nowhere near India, was not ever part of India, and the Agrabah Disney shows us does not resemble India in culture, dress, architecture, etc. (Not to say it perfectly resembles anywhere else and doesn’t take its own artistic liberties with Persian culture, but if you’re familiar with the art and architecture of the Middle East and India, the differences are HUGE.)

With the exception of the Palace. Let me give you an art history lesson, though, friends. There was a period of time in India called the Mughal Empire. This was a “Persianate” Empire made up of Turkic and Chagatai (Mongol) forces heavily inspired by the Persian Empire (it doesn’t entirely make that much sense to me, either, in how all that rolled down, but you can delve deeper if it interests you and make sense of it for me) that spanned much of the Indian subcontinent, and since India is a beautiful country, the Shah’s of the Mughal Empire based their kingdom in parts of India.

The Taj Mahal was built during this time (specifically 1632-1648 CE by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved Third Wife). Which basically means the Taj Mahal is a piece of Turkic-Chagatai architecture imitating Persian architecture built in North India, so basically this isn’t a very good reason to cast your otherwise extremely Persian/Middle Eastern-coded characters (living along the Jordan River) as ethnically Indian. It’s sort of like saying that Hercules could take place in the United States instead of Greece because the Founding Fathers of America (occupying/forcefully taking Native American land) were inspired by Classical architecture for their state buildings.

Hopefully this has answered some questions, and if anyone has any corrections on this information or further knowledge on the subject, please let me know!

Check it out, Sources…Kinda.

Rasoul Azadani’s inspiration: Pop Up Fun Facts (DVD). Aladdin Platinum Edition Disc 1: Walt Disney Home Video. 2004.

Basically all my knowledge on architectural history/the Mughal period came from my class on Non-Western Art (I fucking hate that terminology) and Gardner’s Art Through The Ages: Non-Western Perspectives was the textbook for the class, though I’m pretty sure I didn’t read much of it.

"Americanah" Review

Every Monday I review media as part of my weekly “Media Review Mondays” series. This is the 2nd  installment of this series.

Believe the hype, Americanah is absolutely fantastic.

[image description: The cover art of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a white cover with a red border on the top with a pen descending from this border to dot the “i” in Americanah]

This afternoon I completed Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and I’m still gripped by the story and the power of Adichie’s pros. Americanah traces the journey of Ifemelu, an Igbo woman who emigrates from Nigeria to the US seeking opportunity and to escape “the oppressive lethargy of choicelessness.” Ifemelu, an amazingly complex and dynamic female protagonist, has her time in the US marked by tremendous ups and downs, relationships with both a white and African-American man and her gradual understanding of race and racism, which are simply not a factor in her native Nigeria. She starts a blog, “Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-­American Black” which chronicles her various observations about race in America, but eventually her path leads her back to Nigeria after many years.

I, like Ifemelu, am an Igbo immigrant to the US, although I am 2nd generation and not 1st generation like Ifemelu. Like her younger cousin, Dike, I cannot speak Igbo and have visited, but not lived for a significant amount of time in Nigeria since I came to the US permanently as a child. But Ifemelu’s journey is one that resonates with me in many ways. My family, coming to the US, had a limited understand of race at best. Being “black” is simply not a consideration in Nigeria, although for them being mixed race the idea of being “half-caste” (biracial) was. But we came to the US by and large unequipped for the racial politics we stumbled into. We ate Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s, simply not understanding why they were seen as offensive, and when race inevitably cropped up as an issue in our lives, it was discussed in an only cursory fashion. We attended a black Catholic church, but largely spent our time with other Africans in the church and not African-Americans. In college, like for Ifemelu, the choice poised for me was one between the Black Students Association and the African Students Association, and I sided with the latter. It was as if it was all very much a zero sum game where you had to “take sides,” and given our limited understanding of race, we aligned with our cultural affinities.

It wasn’t until nearly 20 years after we arrived in the US that my family began to have frank discussions of race at home. In many ways, we were dragged kicking and screaming to this realization—we didn’t want race to be a factor in our lives, but it inevitably became one for us living as black people in America. Although, in retrospect, I can clearly see the anti-African American sentiment that underscored many of these views, like Ifemelu I am very conscious of the fact that as African immigrants our experiences are simply not the same as African-Americans. As Ifemelu struggled in many ways to navigate her relationship with Blaine, an African American Yale professor, due to personality but also cultural differences which transcended their shared blackness, I have also struggled to come to term with these same cultural differences in my own life.

For me as an African immigrant, the African-American experience is one which I deeply respect but am always a step removed from. We do not eat the same food, I miss so many of the cultural references and cues made by my African-American friends and they miss many of mine, our collective memories are not the same—these are all real differences which exist making solidarity difficult in many instances. But at the same time, like Ifemelu we come to understand that at the end of the day we are all still black. This relationship, like hers with Blaine, can be incredibly complicated but these are differences which we must acknowledge and not run away from.

However, unlike Ifemelu, as a second generation immigrant I feel even more adrift in my sense of place and “home” than she does. Ifemelu eventually returns to Nigeria, but the idea of “going home” for me, particularly as a gay Nigerian-American, is basically a non-starter. We not only face a cultural gap with African-Americans but with our own people as well, who immediately code us as “American” (“Americanah” from my experience tends to be reserved for 1st generation immigrants who return to Nigeria) and when you slap on the 14 year and death penalty sentences for LGBTQ individuals, this relationship becomes even more complicated. Her younger cousin Dike experiences some of this estrangement when he visits Nigeria for the first time since he was a baby, lamenting about his inability to speak Igbo. Even Ifemelu finds herself estranged in many ways from her childhood memories of Nigeria upon her return, and it takes her quite some time to rediscover that sense of true connection. Disconnection on all sides is the underbelly of the immigrant experience which is typically given short rift, but which Adichie explores with both seriousness and tremendous humor.

Overall, though, as a Nigerian-American, Americanah resonated tremendously with my experience. I laughed, cringed, came close to tears and experienced the full range of human emotions over the course of the novel. At the end of the day, this is a human story, which many people should be able to relate to even if they are not African immigrants (or “Non-American Blacks”) themselves. We all love, we all want to belong and connect, and we all want to find that sense of home which provides us with solace and peace. These are universal experiences and narratives which bind us together across difference, and despite beginning a bit slow, by the end of the novel, I simply could not put it down. So, yes, believe the hype and the praise Americanah is getting- it’s fantastic and I highly recommend this book not only to African immigrants, but to everyone. Adichie truly is one of the literary voices of our generation.

If you have suggestions for other media you would like to see reviewed as part of this weekly, “Media Review Mondays” series. Please submit those requests: HERE.

This is the result of the need to vent and put my frustration into words – even if it falls apart like most of my writing. Basically about intl k-fandom and its (sometimes sadly exploitative) social justice ventures. I honestly don’t want to stir drama or continue spreading the negative energy but this was just a little therapeutic thing to write so feel free to ignore! With my insecurity this will be deleted soon anyhow. What am I even doing?!?.

“Orientalism can be discussed and analyzed as the corporate institution for dealing with the Orient—dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restricting and having authority over the Orient.” – Edward Said, Orientalism

If I were to describe the issue I have with international kpop fandom (or to be more accurate, from my perspective in mostly Shinee fandom), this quotation would cover it. Oftentimes, kpop fandom is a community that shows love towards their idol group(s), passionately expressing and promoting their unadulterated love for the music, dance, and people – despite the obvious barriers from language and distance. In my naivety, I used to think, this is a benefit of globalization, the sharing and acceptance of different cultures. However, as more time passed, it pained me to find that no, the situation is not as ideal as I had imagined.

Instead, what I found is that the divide still exists: “the us” vs. “the other” mentality.

To be short, much of international fandom is only there to consume the parts of Korea they desire, the romanticized image portrayed in kpop and kdramas. That is when fandom is ready to show affection and attachment to Korean culture. But, when other parts of culture (deep culture – cue the iceburg diagram folks!) appear, something that is likely not familiar to a “Western” perspective and no longer dealing with surface level fetishizations of Asians, such as Korean beauty standards, the valuing of the group over the individual, or the relationship that exists between different East Asian ethnicities, that is when international fandom plays the distance card. No longer are they the kpop fan, but the rational and objective (and implicitly superior) person passing judgement on how this other culture should be, how it should function. Beyond being blatant ethnocentrism, this behaviour of choosing when to embrace and detach from a culture serves the very function of Orientalism (well maybe a bit of a modern twist on it), placing Western society as the more civilized and ethical culture over those in East Asia.

Moving on from my theoretical babbling and placing it in a more lived scenario, international fandom often wonders why Korean fandom and media (usually but not always) ignores their demands for change. It is because of this reason – because most of the time (I have seen beautiful exceptions of course, but not often enough) international fandom pushes for change through a lens of perceived cultural authority: My western reasoning and logic, which I take as universal, is the right way and yours is wrong. How many times have I seen international fans argue “you can’t use Korean culture as an excuse”? Then may I counter argue, why are you allowed to erase the cultural reasoning of another population while yours receives the privilege of remaining perfectly intact? To be perfectly blunt, this behaviour is a similar replication of the American government sticking their nose into other countries’ businesses and trying to act as the police of the world. There is little or no effort in trying to understand another culture, yet the magical assumption is that somehow the right is granted to be involved in change for that culture. Please then, don’t be surprised if Koreans don’t respond the way you want (or other cultures for that matter).

But hey, does that mean other cultures should be untouchable and that international fandom shouldn’t be involved in addressing problematic issues? No, that is not what I am saying at all. What I would hope could take place is a respectful dialogue. For all the pretense of those in fandom who claim to take an educated stance, what should be a part of that is critical thinking (oh gods yeah I’m going there). What being critical means isn’t tearing apart another side to bits; what it means is researching and understanding multiple perspectives and comparing them with your own – and only once that information is gathered and synthesized, do you take a stance. And even then, you still negotiate that stance once you have engaged another person in dialogue. It’s troubling when I read so many social justice posts concerning Koreans and immediately think, this person has never spoken to a Korean person in their life (or even an East Asian who might be a little more familiar with those issues that can touch more broadly on East Asian culture). Honestly, again, how can you demand change of a culture when you don’t even involve the very people of that culture?

I would include a little organized paragraph here about how during a dialogue, one must also consider paradigm shifts, which are changes in thinking that are initially met by a stage of discomfort to confusion to change in reasoning to acceptance of new knowledge – and that these take time – and that you’ve been allowed this time to formulate your own values and must allow the proper time for others to accept unfamiliar ways of thinking and to not forcefully push just because your reasoning isn’t immediately accepted – But I’m too tired.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough and understand that I probably haven’t been the most coherent and that even I may have to negotiate my own perspective in this post based on feedback and information as it comes – but I just wanted to end on a bit of a reality check too. I offered dialogue as a solution and realize it isn’t an easy task (it’s easier than approaching overriding systems though, which really should be targeted but again far out of steam to explain). But it is the respectful and engaging method and hey, unfortunately you’re going to be rejected more than once but that’s just the reality of these things.

tl;dr: If you are going to pass judgement and place demands on Koreans from a one-sided ethnocentric view (yes believe it or not your western view is not universal), dismissing and disregarding their perspective, do not expect an ounce of respect or consideration. Oh and realize behaving that way can be just as problematic or damaging to cultures (and people) other than your own.

anonymous asked:

Kinda random fem Spock head canon. Vulcans, like most mammals on earth, reabsorb their uterin lining so no bleeding during menstration. Spock, being half human, does bleed. Heavily. And during her first period Amanda is off planet and Sarek has to deal with his daughter confusion and heavy bleeding. The healers are perplexed. And Amanda explains it a tad awkwardly and the vulcans find it all very illogical. Spock gets teased for such an illogical human trait and is very ashamed of it. (Part 1)

(Part 2) then when she goes to the academy and meets Jamie and Leona they eventually find out about her insecurities and teach her all the tips and tricks of managing it. Keeping track, what helps with cramps, how to prevent pantie distruction. Ect. This head canon got a little out of hand and weird. Apologies.

(I don’t think it’s weird so w/e it’s a great headcanon imo)

I’d like to think that Lenore brings Spock chocolate the first time she hears that Spock’s on her period and Spock is horrified because she would NEVER imbibe chocolate. Cue cultural confusion and hilarity.

Also, I’d love to see some old Starfleet Fart say something like “Women can’t command starships, they get their time of the month and next thing you know, we’re at war with the Klingons” and then he comes back to find his office covered in tampons. Jamie gets investigated, but she passes all the lie detector tests and no one can prove it was her. Of course, no one would ever suspect Spock.

I’ll trade you a headcanon for a headcanon

Cara | Epilogue

Previous Chapters: Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven | Chapter Eight | Chapter Nine | Chapter Ten | Chapter Eleven | Chapter Twelve | Chapter Thirteen | Chapter Fourteen | Chapter Fifteen | Chapter Sixteen | Chapter Seventeen | Chapter Eighteen | Chapter Nineteen | Chapter Twenty | Chapter Twenty One |
Cara Mia (one shot which was the inspiration for this story)

Loki/Cara manips: Collection one | Collection two | Collection three | Collection Four | Collection Five |

AN: Big thank you to evieplease for betaing this whole fic.

AN2: Thanks to everyone who supported me in writing this. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for some humour, and some news!


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