dark subject matter

Why We Need Stories about Dark Things

One of the things I get tired of from time to time is the perspective that if something shows evil behavior then that means the story, song, game, whatever, is inherently bad. But there is a difference between illustrating evil behavior and promoting it.

Not all appearances of bad behavior invite bad behavior.

While one purpose of storytelling is to entertain, another purpose is to teach or educate–a purpose that in today’s world, most people seem to have forgotten.

A long time ago, there used to be all sorts of horrific stories told. Open Grimms’ fairy tales, and you’ll see that Cinderella really isn’t that Disney-friendly. But often some of those older stories were meant to teach a lesson or scare children into behaving (that latter point is one I personally don’t condone). Horrific things happen in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon). We can often learn from these accounts, but some of them are simply a record of what happened (if you believe in that), whether you like the content or not. It is what it is. Conspiring incest, rape, slaughter, and even cannibalism can be found in scripture stories. In today’s world, most people have been conditioned to believe that stories are only meant to entertain. Or entertain and uplift.

Those two things are valid. But what I get tired of, though, is the perspective that all stories should be full of puppies and rainbows (yeah, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean), and that’s what we should be writing, and if a story is dark, it’s “bad” or lesser or … something.

The World Needs Stories about Dark Things

It’s important we write about what I call “the big and heavies”–rape, addiction, suicide, massacre, societal brainwashing, etc. And when I say “we,” I don’t mean specifically that you or I HAVE to; I mean “we” as in us, writers and creatives everywhere. The world needs creatives who delve into the big and heavies, and here’s why:

1. Stories provide a safe means to explore and discuss dark things

The big and heavies are vital to discuss for a healthy society. We shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to dark deeds. We should be turning the right eye to them. Literature offers a safe way to explore and discuss these issues. It offers some distance (because it’s usually a work of fiction) while simultaneously having the ability to offer closeness–empathy.

Also, fiction provides a type of lens to view these behaviors through. Speculative fiction might have a more exaggerated or symbolic lens, such as the fashion industry of Panem in The Hunger Games, or the discussion of pure bloods in Harry Potter. A lens lets us view the issues in a way that may emphasize certain points or give us a new perspective on them, and again, the distance can provide a bit of a “safe” buffer for readers. We aren’t talking about racism; we’re talking about magical blood–and we can have a whole discussion on it that correlates with issues seen in racism, and no one needs to feel uncomfortable because this is about wizarding blood. Even realistic fiction provides a perspective, though less exaggerated, to see these issues through.

2. Powerful, emotional ramification drives home a point or idea or lesson.

Unlike reading text books or the news, fiction writing often works off making the audience feel something. It appeals to emotional experience, even more than intellectual experience. It is one of the only mediums where we can put on the skin and thoughts of another person.

In parts of society, we try hard to divorce intellect and emotion, but powerful emotional experiences are often what cement ideas and lessons into our minds. Back in the day, fathers used to take their children out to their property line and beat them so that the child would never forget where the property line was. We’ve seen similar conditioning with training wild animals. Both are crude examples, of course, but the emotional experience drove home the lesson. While negative emotions are powerful, this same thing can happen with strong positive emotions. We remember powerful feelings of happiness and of love, and if there are any lessons or insights associated with those, we recall those too.

In fiction, emotional experiences can drive home powerful lessons. And they stick with the audience.

Strong emotional experiences in fiction amplify the conceptual ramifications of dark deeds, and cements into the reader the weight of such behavior, in a way that pure intellect cannot. Once we “experience” an issue, we care more about it. Fiction is a vehicle that allows us to develop and fine-tune our empathetic skills, so we can better understand and relate to those who’ve dealt with such issues.

3. Explore, cognitively, the causes, consequences, and facets of the big and heavies

In the real world, we live our own lives in our own perspectives, and that’s it. In literature, you can include several perspectives of those involved with an issue. You can often see the issue’s causes, consequences, and facets to a degree you may not in your own life. You can see far-reaching effects in a matter of hundreds of pages, rather than decades or hundreds of years. This opens up new ideas, new perspectives on the topic, which leads to more discussion.

4. To provide hope and uplift, in spite of darkness. To overcome.

I sometimes see this weird idea that an uplifting story needs to not cross some invisible line too far into the dark. In some ways, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve had friends come up to me and talk about how they’re disappointed that the stories got darker and darker. Maybe I’m weird (okay, there’s no “maybe” about it), but I like that. I like stories getting dark. I like when they get darker and darker. I like my evil, evil. I want the Voldemort who tries to possess Harry to get Dumbledore to kill him. I want the Voldemort who tortured animals as a small child and who murdered others to split his soul into seven pieces. The world is often an evil place. And how much more powerful is it to overcome the bowels of the most wicked, than it is to overcome a guy who shoplifted? I like my evil, evil. Not because I want to be part of the dark, but because I like seeing people overcome it.

A story that includes dark materials can be just as uplifting, if not more uplifting (because of the contrast) than a story that doesn’t. The idea that a story can’t be dark and inspiring is just unfounded.

Every Christmas season, I become a fan of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra all over again. If you’ve never heard of them, you may still recognize some of their most iconic Christmas songs, some of which have gone viral on synchronized Christmas light videos.

What many people might not realize is that each of their Christmas albums actual tells, and comes with, a written story. If you see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live, they will read the story to you bits at a time, interspersed with music. But not all their stories are about happy sleigh rides, warm fires, Christmas hams, and decorated trees. There are parents who abandoned their disabled children, babies born addicted to crack, love that has been lost. But the stories and albums are uplifting, not because the creators avoided dark subject matter, but because they illustrated the power of overcoming–overcoming difficult times and personal mistakes. It’s hard to make it through one of their performances with a dry eye through the whole thing.

5. To render reality–others’ reality or your own

But some stories aren’t necessarily meant to be about overcoming the dark or inspiring an audience. Some stories are just about reality. Human nature. The natural man. Experiences that people actually go through. Some stories are simply meant to render, often for reasons 1-3. It’s a statement. It’s meant to create social awareness, empathy. Maybe it’s meant to start a discussion. Those stories need to exist too.

Closing Thoughts

Keep in mind that many audiences only see stories strictly as mediums for entertainment and, on a subconscious level, a reinforcement of a positive, maybe even sugary, feelings and ideas. Those audiences may (on a subconscious level) refuse anything that is otherwise, and consider any mention of the dark and heavies as something that shouldn’t be there. That is their right.

And in some cases, they are correct. Some stories do not need and should not have dark content. It doesn’t serve the purpose of the story, it messes up the tone of the story, and it can ruin what was already working. You wouldn’t, for example, put in a serious plot line in The Office about Pam being legitimately raped. It doesn’t fit.

And with all that said, you shouldn’t feel forced to write content you feel very uncomfortable writing. Your work should reflect the writerly you.

Next week, I’ll talk about how to write about dark things without promoting them.

The Problem with Fujoshis (aka Straight Women who are Obsessed with Gay Men)

1. They’re Obsessed with Gay Men Getting Abused: I’m fine with people wanting to explore dark subject matter in fan fiction but oh my god, straight women have got to stop with this disgusting obsession with seeing gay men in abusive situations. It’s disgusting and also just really disturbing

2. They’re Racist: When it comes to a lot these ships, it’s rare to see any black men. IT’s usually two white dudes. Now if the ship features a Japanese man, it gets worse because its stereotypes galore! 

3. Biphobia, Panphobia and Transphobia: These women are basically fine with gay men and that’s it. Apparently, bisexuals, pansexuals, and transmen aren’t sexy enough for them.

4. Also Lots of Sexism: I don’t see this happening as much as it used to but a lot of writers would just straight off kill a woman because she solely got in the way of a gay romance. Today, they just hate on female characters for no good reason and try to disguise it with extremely flawed ‘opinons.’

5. Obsession with Incest: Do I have to explain this one?

6. They Think Shipping is All About Them: Every time people bring up problems concerning shipping, these ‘fujoshis’ make it all about them. No, this is not about you and no is shaming you for your fantasies. We’re shaming you because you don’t realize what you’re doing is harmful and if you do realize it’s harmful, you don’t care. Gay men deserve to have good stories. That’s the bottom line. This wouldn’t be an issue if straight women stopped being so goddamn selfish. The feelings of gay men are much more important than your porn.

2

Splitting of The Breast is remarkable for its striking, supersaturated visuals. It’s no accident that the episode is marked by such high contrast, light and dark, when the subject matter involves Shinji embarking on a psychoanalytical voyage within the surrealist confines of a shadow. The “angel of the week”, Leliel, is a massive floating behemoth in black and white – diametric opposites – and likewise the entire episode is built upon complementary inter-textual contrasts: the rational vs emotional, parent vs child, boy vs girl, physicality vs the soul. After 15 episodes of relative tame and exposition, Episode 16′s harsh colors, formalist diagonal structure, and oppressive shadows allow the more arcane Freudian undertones to finally take their command.

honestly, i feel like DC’s hanna-barbera comics are (for the most part) the best thing to come out of DC in years

like, the juxtaposition of the flintstones or snagglepuss with dark subject matter and an uncomfortably realistic artstyle is pretty funny in itself, but then you see that it’s actually well-written, too - somebody put genuine effort into the most ridiculous concept and it actually worked

not to mention, when they approached the writer of the flintstones book with the project, he openly admitted that he never liked the flintstones and DC was just like “that’s not a problem”

and reimagining wacky races as a mad max-style wasteland where the cars can talk because fuck you is absolutely incredible

Everyone needs to go watch Hotel Beau Sejour on Netflix right this second. You have to be comfortable with subtitles and dark subject matter but it actually is a really good show. A lot of people claimed it was boring when it first came out because it is slow moving in a sense, but it’s still worth watching. The acting is very believable and it has both chilling and upsetting moments that make the show worth it. 

Basically the plot is a girl wakes up at the local hotel and finds her body in a bathtub where she runs around town trying to communicate with people. Though it’s clear she is dead, a few select people can actually see her. The one thing everyone seems to have in common is that no one knows why she was killed. 

Across the Stars, Chapter 4

Prologue   Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4    Chapter 5  Chapter 6  Chapter 7  Chapter 8

AN: Trigger Warning! This WILL show a…rather graphic description of Rhys having sex with Amarantha. And though she doesn’t necessarily tie him up or hold a gun to his head, he is having sex essentially against his will, which is rape. So please be advised and stay safe my darling readers <3

On that note, in case anyone was wondering why I’m writing a fanfiction that deals with such dark subject matter…One of the things that plagued me about Rhys after I read ACOMAF was just how abusive his relationship with Amarantha was. And how toxic Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin ended up being (I don’t necessarily think it started out that way). We read these books and we think ‘Well, of course. If I saw that, I’d KNOW I was being abused!’ But that got me thinking…would we? Especially with Tamlin…It’s far more subtle and he certainly isn’t doing it on purpose. He truly does everything out of love. But thinking more and more about it made me feel even more strongly about both of these characters (if that’s even POSSIBLE omg Feysand 5eva) and…well, I really wanted to explore those parts.

That being said. If any of you HAS been abused, and I am portraying it incorrectly or devaluing what you and so many others have gone through…please, please do not hesitate to tell me. You can send an anon with a parenthetical that says ‘Please don’t post!’ and I will not say anything at all. And know that you are all loved <3

In the end, Feyre couldn’t bring herself to tell Tamlin about Rhysand. Not when he’d been in such an unusually good mood when she returned home from the café. She stared at the ceiling of their bedroom, watching the light of the late morning dance through the windows. She stretched, her muscles pleasantly sore from the previous night. A twinge of electricity shot through to her toes as she remembered why her muscles were sore, as she remembered why there were a couple of little bruises on her hips and her stomach, and trailing up her sternum…

She grinned and pushed herself up on her elbows, the thick blankets falling from her shoulders as she did so. Tamlin hated sleeping in, so it wasn’t a surprise to her when she woke up and the bed was empty…but for him to let her sleep in until ten o’clock without waking her up with his lips on her breast and his fingers gently nudging her legs open…

She got up from the bed and picked his oversized thermal shirt up off the floor where she’d thrown it the previous night, pulling it on over her head and savoring the way the forest green cotton felt on her skin, smiling as the hem fell to the tops of her thighs. She hugged herself and crept toward the door, and that’s when she heard voices.

“Your time is almost up, Tamlin,” a voice she recognized almost immediately growled.

Keep reading

Silence (2016)

Hi friends!! I watched Silence (directed by Martin Scorsese) last night and I cried a LOT, such an unbelievable movie about religious persecution within Japanese history. Just wanted to know if any of you have seen it and have any thoughts (problem areas, what you enjoyed, etc) ? I went into the movie knowing very little about the history of Christianity within Japan but I think Scorsese & his team did a fantastic job of making the film accessible (hard to do when tackling such dark, intricate subject matter) while lending sympathy to all parties involved - the Christian Jesuit priests, Japanese civilians practicing Christianity, and Japanese systems of law. Personally, I think it’s an amazing film that tackles issues of identity, national pride, validity of religious institutions and agendas along with SO much else that I will have to think on… So comment if ya want I’d love to hear from u all!

anonymous asked:

how have the trends in art style in the warriors/cat animator community changed over the years? i only joined near the end of the reign of spottedfire25, so i'm not really sure.

disclaimer: i’ve only been in this fandom since 2008, so i’m going to start from there! any earlier and i’m out of my depth. i’m going to begin with allikatnya and end in the present.

in 2008, allikatnya uploaded her iconic “bones shatter” amv. this amv introduced two incredibly important things to the then-tiny warriors fandom: frame by frame animation and the anime art style. allikatnya’s work mimicked the style of kimba the lion (the japanese predecessor to the lion king), and her style gained a lot of traction for a couple big reasons: it had anime influence (which was exciting to a lot of middle school weaboos i.e. the entire fandom at the time), it was well-suited to frame by frame animation, and it was accessible. allikat’s art style was easy to mimic, and it gave a ton of kids who otherwise had no artistic ability a chance to participate in the fandom. many more artists entered the amv scene around this time and the fandom became a sort of anime art style arms race…

darkkokiri generated interest in the fandom with their famous “frontlines” amv…

and flightfootwarrior’s art brought darkness/graphic violence to the fandom that hadn’t really been there before, which excited a lot of fans because it was “edgy” and “portrayed the dark subject matter of the books accurately.” i know their art sure excited ten year old me for both of these reasons… more importantly, flightfootwarrior’s exclusive use of paint and windows movie maker encouraged an entire generation of kids, who had previously been discouraged by a lack of access to “proper” art programs, to draw. if they could make videos using only default programs, so could everyone else.

ssswarriorcats rocked everyone’s world with the highest quality project to date: a mock opening they’d made in a style reminiscent of a lot of classic 90′s anime.

since all of the fandom’s best work was being done in an anime style, that style took over for the next six years. almost every big animator in that time period (i like to call 2009-2012 the “golden age” of warriors fandom in my head, but that’s just me) had an anime-influenced art style: sitavara, chrissietheeevee, spottedfire25 (as you mentioned, anon), duckfeatherz, ryulovestsute, silverwolfnyght, myself… i could go on for hours but this post is already long enough, haha.

there are two animators that are “anomalies” to the anime art style popularity rule, though: tribbleofdoom and bluekyokitty, whose art had more of a classic cartoon feel to it. both boasted fantastic animation and influenced the fandom in really huge ways.

blue’s mastery of ms paint was incredibly inspiring to beginner artists trying to master the program themselves, and unlike a majority of popular warriors artists, he spent time drawing elaborate backgrounds and scenery. he also had distinct, consistent designs for every cat and was experimental with markings, which pushed the fandom to new levels design-wise. his tigerstar design in particular gained a lot of traction… you’d be hard pressed to find one in the fandom even now that escaped his influence.

tribbleofdoom’s videos, on the other hand, were inspiring because of their length. they were the longest in the fandom by far and are still pretty substantial, even now; every video of theirs averages six minutes and has thousands upon thousands of frames. their style of airbrush shading was popular for a while, and their lip syncing animations were the most advanced the fandom had to offer for years.

but then something happened in the warriors fandom in 2012: the animators got older. most of us had spent our middle school years in the fandom and had gotten tired of the constant bickering and emo rock, and high school/college were fast approaching… so we left. i like to call this period the “mass warriors artist exodus.” i honestly have no idea what happened in the fandom from 2012-2014 because i wandered away, so if anyone wants to fill me in, that’d be awesome! what i do know, though, is that when i came back, things had changed significantly.

ginjaninjaowo’s work had become a fandom favorite, and for good reason! i remember being blown away by how exquisitely animated, sharp, and professional her work was when i returned to the fandom last year.

velocira’s work was also noteworthy to me upon my return because of its minimalism and distinct style. the experimentalism present in many of her videos (especially her creative incorporation of text and her skill with lineless art) inspired a lot of artists to think outside the box.

niftyapplestar, on the other hand, had mastered her unique style of both art and animation over the years and set the new standard for just about everything. her work boasted fantastic animation, awesome color theory and very professional concept art/character design, which introduced the fandom to the value of individualistic, distinctive character design. artists set out to destroy “same face syndrome,” something that had been plaguing the fandom for years.

i’m not sure if it’s because young artists these days have easier access to good art, or if it’s because the warriors artists who returned to the fandom have come back older and wiser… but lately the work the fandom has produced has been more experimental and, for lack of a better word, “artsier” than it’s even been. here’s a frame by hullumel from one of allikat’s maps that displays what i’m talking about pretty well…

one theory i have is that since maps (multi animator projects) have taken over the warriors youtube community lately, consistency is no longer as important as it used to be. artists/animators are given a handful of seconds to show everyone what they’re capable of and what their artistic vision is, and since every map has a different theme/set of rules, artists’ work is expected to vary drastically from part to part. this allows for a much broader range of experimentation than before. here are a couple quick examples…

gingajeketsutei’s work plays with texture and color in a lot of fantastic ways!

and artists like xishka and maplespyder are introducing digital painting to the fandom, which is amazing.

overall, the fandom has gotten infinitesimally artsier and more diverse, and i’m really excited to see where it heads next!!!

I know taking something fairly lighthearted and doing a ‘dark gritty’ reboot is generally a total bullshit move but like….Pluto is actually a rare example of this that’s done really really well. It’s Astro Boy reimagined as a murder mystery/psychological thriller and it should be ridiculous and terrible, but instead it’s SO GOOD. I cried several times. I think what makes it work is that even when he’s telling some very dark and grim stories, there is always hope and humanity in Urasawa’s work. Urasawa writes about a lot of dark and disturbing subject matter, but I could never call his work 'grimdark.’

Quick note: I reserve the right to decline to publish submissions, and will not do so if the prompt you submit is incorrectly formatted and/or contains subject matter inappropriate for this blog.

I guess the main guidelines would be:

1. This is a dialogue prompt blog. All prompts should be formatted as spoken dialogue, not exposition.

2. While I can get into some dark subject matter, there are topics on which I prefer not to touch. I decide this on a case by case basis, but your submission will probably not be posted if it includes or relates to: sexual assault, racism or other bigotry, slavery, current politics, explicit sexual content, and profanity.

Submissions that are published will be edited for grammar, clarity, etc.

Chapter 3: Morla the Aged One

I’d like to take this moment to throw out my thoughts on children’s literature, here we go, I hope you’re ready: The best kind of children’s literature is the kind that doesn’t underestimate children. A lot of adults run around like, “This book has dark, complex subject matter and that just isn’t for children,” and you should never entrust a child to these people.

youtube

Covers that I feel are far superior to the originals.

The Midnight Meat Train

6.1/10 - IMDb

(2008) Rated R - 1hr 40min

A photographer’s obsessive pursuit of dark subject matter leads him into the path of a serial killer who stalks late night commuters, ultimately butchering them in the most gruesome ways imaginable.

You might like this if you like:

Scream

Would You Rather

Hush

Me to a tee: The Five with a Four-Wing: “The Iconoclast”

The traits of the Five and those of the Four reinforce each other in many ways. Both Five and Four are withdrawn types: they turn to the inner world of their imagination to defend their egos and to reinforce their sense of self.

  • They both feel that something essential in themselves must be found before they can live their lives completely.
  • Fives lack the confidence to act, and Fours lack a strong, stable sense of identity. Thus, Fives with a Four-wing have difficulty connecting with others and staying grounded.
  • People of this subtype are more emotional and introverted than Fives with a Six-wing, althrough paradoxically, they tend to be more sociable than the other subtype. As a result of their Four component, they are also more interested in the personal and intrapsychic. The two types also have some significant differences in their approach.
  • Fives are cerebral, holding experience at arm’s length, while Fours internalize everything to intensify their feelings. Despite these differences–or because of them–these two personality types make one of the richest subtypes, combining possibilities for outstanding artistic as well as intellectual achievement.

Notewothy examples of this subtype include Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenburg, Friedrich Nietzsche, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Cage, John Lennon, k. d. lang, Laurie Anderson, James Joyce, Emily Dickinson, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Buster Keaton, Gary Larson, Stephen King, Tim Burton, Clive Barker, Franz Kafka, Umberto Eco, Jean-Paul Sartre, Oriana Fallaci, Glenn Gould, Peter Serkin, Hannah Arendt, Kurt Cobain, and Vincent van Gogh.

In healthy people of this subtype, we find the union of intuition and knowledge, sensitivity and insight, aesthetic appreciation and intellectual endowments.

  • Fives with a Four-wing are likely to be involved in the arts as writers, directors, designers, musicians, composers, choreographers, and so forth.
  • The subtype has been somewhat overlooked in many descriptions of Fives because they do not fit the stereotype of the academic/scientific Five (the Five with a Six-wing).
  • This subtype is more synthetic in its thinking, pulling things together and seeking out new ways of looking at things, Also, Fives with a Four-wing tend to utilize their imaginations more than the analytic, systematic parts of the mind which are more the domain of the other subtype.
  • If they are involved in science, Fives with a Four-wing are drawn to those areas in which there is less emphasis on experimentation and data collection than on intuition and comprehensive vision.
  • This subtype is particularly aware of–and on the lookout for–the beauty in a mathematical formula, for example. For this subtype, beauty is one of the indications of truth, because the order which beauty represents is a confirmation of the objective rightness of an idea.
  • One of the foremost strengths of healthy Fives with a Four-wing lies precisely in their intuition, since intuition helps them uncover areas of knowledge where their conscious thoughts have not yet ventured. The Four-wing adds a desire to find a unique, personal vision to the curiosity and perceptiveness of the Five, and the result is a propensity to “tinker” with familiar forms until they become something almost unrecognizable.
  • In talented Fives with a Four-wing this can lead to startling innovations in their chosen fields of endeavor.

In Average Fives with a Four-wing, the Four-wing adds emotional depth, but causes difficulties in sustaining efforts and in working with others.

  • Fives with a Four-wing are more independent than Fives with a Six-wing and resist having structures and deadlines imposed on them.
  • There can be an off-putting detachment from the environment, both because they are involved in their thoughts and because they are introverted and emotionally self-absorbed.
  • Analytic powers may be used to keep people at arm’s length rather than to understand them more deeply.
  • Emotionally delicate, people of this subtype can be moody and hypersensitive to criticism, particularly regarding the value of their work or ideas, since this impinges directly upon self-esteem.
  • Both component types tend to withdraw from people and be reclusive.
  • They can be highly creative and imaginative, envisioning alternate realities in great detail, but can get lost in their own cerebral landscapes.
  • The Four-wing gives a propensity to fantasizing, but with the Five with the Four-wing, the subject matter tends toward the surreal and fantastic rather than the romantic.
  • Individuals of this subtype can become highly impractical, spending most of their time reading, playing intellectual games, or specializing in trivia.
  • There is often an attraction to dark, forbidden subject matter or to any way of self-expression which would disturb or upset others. Some Fives with a Four-wing become fascinated with the macabre and the horrific.
  • As they become more impractical and fearful about their possibilities in life, one typical solution is to find emotional solace in various forms of self-indulgence–in alcohol, drugs, or sexual escapades.

Unhealthy persons of this subtype may fall prey to debilitating depressions yet be disturbed by aggressive impulses.

  • Envy of others mixes with contempt for them; the desire to isolate the self from the world mixes with regret that it must be so.
  • Intellectual conflicts make their emotional lives seem hopeless, while their emotional conflicts make intellectual work difficult to sustain.
  • Moreover, if this subtype becomes neurotic, it is one of the most alienated of all of the personality types: profoundly hopeless, nihilistic, self-inhibiting, isolated from others, and full of self-hatred.
  • Unhealthy Fives with a Four-wing retreat into a very bleak, minimal existence, attempting to cut off from all needs. The self-rejection and dispair of the Four combines with the cynical nihilism of the Five to create a worldview that is relentlessly negative and terrifying.
  • Social isolation, addiction, and chronic depression are common. Suicide is a real possibility.

(Source: Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery By Don Richard Riso)

Today my hatred for being an enneagram 5w4 (a.k.a. myself) reaches new levels, especially in regards to this point - “they both feel that something essential in themselves must be found before they can live their lives completely”. This inherent lacking - or lack of wholeness - inhibits my ability to act, and to really engage in the world. I can only describe it as this feeling of unworthiness, like I have to become something/someone first, like I have to gain enough knowledge/wisdom/skills in order to be able to participate to society (only then can my life really begin). And this inability to act leads to self-hatred/self-blame, which then results in my withdrawal from the world. 

It’s exhausting….I’m so exhausted.

anonymous asked:

Edge is usually meant to insult/belittle anything that has dark subject matter or tone ((Or insinuate that the dark tone/themes aren't fitting for the work)). It's not really a positive thing in any way.

Ooohhhhhhh ok cool. Forgive a 31 year old man his lack of hip-ness.

WHY? DOES? NO ONE? IN THE SH FANDOM? TALK ABOUT? LOST??????

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9cAmdWI10c&list=PL7T-HA-IgKUmhSk05v9F4-vwJrFRt9_yt THIS IS SOME GOOD SHIT

YA’LL NEED MORE LOST IN YOUR LIFE LET ME TELL YOU.

I KNOW THE COVER’S NOT EXCITING BUT LETS JUST TALK ABOUT THIS.

First of all this is some classic Sound Horizon right here. I’m talking about DARK ASS SUBJECT MATTER, I’m talking about KICK-ASS MUSIC AND TONAL DISSONANCE, I’m talking about VAGUE AS FUCK FRAME NARRATIVES, I’m talking about MEMORABLE AND POIGNANT VIGNETTES, I am talking about PEOPLE FUCKING DYING, and I am, of course, talking about some MOTHERFUCKING MICHELE MALEBRANCHE

But in all seriousness, people write off Lost as just being confusing and not having much of a story, but let me tell you I think Lost is one of my GOD DAMN FAVORITE STORIES IN THE SOUND HORIZON UNIVERSE. It’s up there with Chronicle 2nd and Marchen. 

The story is, essentially, a series of stories about people experiencing loss being analyzed by a number of objective observers, as well as 2 biased entities, Lostko and the The Eternal Boy (as depicted on the cover). Symbolism of the water of memories aside, the idea is that Lostko, when people are at their lowest point, begs for them keep on searching to find new things to replace what they lost, while The Eternal Boy tries to convince them to give up and fade away.

What’s awesome about the vignettes these characters watch is how they manage to not double dip at all: every song seems to cover widely different themes within the topic of Loss. Let’s go over them, shall we?

WHITE ILLUSION (Shiro no Genai) (Track 2)

“I see green cow”

We don’t talk about White Illusion.

THE DAY I SHOT MY LOVER TO DEATH (Koibito wo Uchiotoshita Hi) (Track 3)

“The cold flames springing from my silver bow freezes the entire night sky above. Bravely and with and azure poem of our farewell, I shoot you to death my love…”

AIGHT SO THIS SONG IS FANTASTIC. It’s this upbeat pop song with the greatest synthetic trumpet part you’ll hear in your goddamn LIFE. However, the subject of the song is REALLY FUCKING SAD. So you got this boy who protects this girl from a beast, but he gets hurt in the process and cursed so that one day, he will become a beast too. Before he does, he begs his lover, the girl he saved on that day, to shoot him down with a bow and arrow. He wants to die by her hands if he is doomed to die. 

The girl, torn apart by grief, asks “In a world without my lover, what color flowers will bloom?” And with that, she shoots her self down with her own bow and arrow.

Their very meeting doomed them to one day lose each other. But, doesn’t every meeting inevitably result in loss? When that day comes, what is one to do?

Oh, don’t worry, shit gets even crazier. But for now, a little break.

SARABANTE THE MAGICIAN (Mahoutsukai Sarabanto) (Track 4)

“And then, the man made his wish…”

This is like, the only happy story in the god damn album. You’ve got this magician who lost his lover to death. Doesn’t say much more about him

A suspicious man wants to get his hands on a magical lamp that can grant him wishes, but he knows anyone who tries to get the lamp is doomed to die. He meets a young traveler, and he makes a deal. He pretends to have a bad leg that prevents him from entering the cave with the lamp. He agrees to tell the man the whereabouts of the lamp if he saves one wish for the old man. 

The two head out to the cave. However, the cave collapses on the traveler. He, in the middle of the darkness, hears a voice, saying that he can’t come here yet, he still has things to do. Instead of looking to the past, he should focus on what’s in front of him.

He wakes up in the desert in front of a beautiful girl. She was trapped in the lamp for committing a great sin, and for releasing her she promises to grant him any 3 wishes. However, once the third wish is granted, she will disappear back into the lamp.

“The man makes his wish”.

The story closes with the traveler leaving town, with one extra camel in tow, the girl from the lamp riding the second one.

You know, now that I’m writing this, I realize it never really specified whether it was the old man or the young traveler who was the magician who had lost his lover.

THE GAME INSIDE THE CAGE (Ori no Naka no Yuugi) (Track 5)

“Remember, remember, until you forget. You’re not allowed to leave until you’ve lost it”

SO LEMME TELL YOU BOUT A GIRL NAMED MICHELE MALEBRANCHE. This girl. this GURL. Best character ever. She appears in so many of Sound Horizon’s musicals, and in this story we learn about one of her many exploits.

A woman sings about a man cornering Michele and then choking her to death. He hides her body, but something that sounds like a gunshot is heard, and the whole thing loops. She’s alive again. He loves her more than anything, and he can’t bear the idea of her living away from him, so he desperately tries kill her over and over again… for the rest of his life. It’s also in this that Michele drops a recurring phrase… “You’re not allowed to leave until you’ve lost it”… a phrase that is later repeated by The Eternal Boy. Repeatedly.

In the end, it wasn’t Michele in the cage. It was the man.

THE LOST POEM (Ushinawareshi Uta) (Track 7)

“Good or bad, feelings are flowers to be nurtured”

Okay, so this song is written in a fucking CONLANG. A FUCKING MADE UP LANGUAGE. Here’s the first verse.

Ay faw styul-li, ay fawnt layx.
Fo lof ti hayn, za tu fayn di el-mows.
Kuz el fi nos, styul-li er-ayz.
No wez wi, en fi lo stul-li.

It’s not even a series of random syllables. There is grammar and I think some latin roots to it. What the fuck.

The song is an excerpt from a lost poem, from a land and time that historians are unable to discern. It talks about how a single lie spread into a great conflict that destroyed her whole country overnight. It talks about hearts that trust one another, the opposite of the hearts that bred the conflict. It describes them as things we can’t afford to forget.

THE CRIMSON FLOWER (Hiiro no Hana) (Track 8)

“Here I am to trample on… myself”

A great war is being waged in a forest, and the nature is destroyed by the battle. In an act of revenge, a girl who serves the forest ties up and kills a number of soldiers.

In his final moments, he reflects on his actions and the irony of it all. How he lives his life, protecting the things he cares about by taking away things that other people care about. And here’s this girl, who is about to do the same to him. He describes himself as a flower, stained with blood.

CRADLE (Yurikago) (Track 9)

“If the boy and girl would even call that lost, then the blue sky of that day would expand without end, till it covered all”

A woman is walking through her town on the cape, chatting with her friends and carrying her child in her arms. She thinks everything is wonderful. But no one wants to break the news to her, either out of pity or of fear of her mental condition, the sad truth.

The baby she carried in her arms had died a long time ago, and now was nothing but a skeleton.


NOW LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE MEANING OF ALL THIS SHIT CAUSE IT’S SOME PREETY GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL STUFF.

The musical ends with a monologue from The Eternal Boy. He is in all of us, and trying to hide the darkness inside of us only makes it grow deeper. People are doomed to wander between loss and oblivion. It is best if we just disappear. This is the message he gives to us listeners

But throughout the play, in every song, Lostko repeats these words: “Are you forgetting something?” There is a topic of forgetting and of memories, and here’s what I personally think it means: When we lose something, it consumes our life. We forget there is anything for us but the despair of loss. This is why we give up in the face of it. These songs are about people facing the worst of loss. However, we forget that there is something else. We can keep on flowing, and even if we meet loss again, there is always something after it. As the lost poem says, the fact that there are hearts out there filled with trust, that there is good in the world, is something we can’t afford to forget. 

Lostko, in every song, when she asks them if they forgot anything, she asks them if they’ve forgotten all the good in the world that goes with the bad. That’s why she asks them keep going. Even if they’ll face loss again and again and again, they always have to keep on flowing.

It’s such a beautiful fucking message I love it.