enacting

I do think there’s a problem with traditional masculinity, traditional femininity, and traditional narratives in general being vilified and excluded from western comics. All traditional masculinity and male power fantasies get branded as “toxic” or “sexist” when male characters experience them, which is really unfair to guys. Then female characters are exclusively put into roles where they enact traditionally “male” power fantasies with more traditionally “female” power fantasies being excluded and considered “sexist”, “weak”, or “shameful”. It’s another kind of misogyny. Meanwhile narratives with staying power just get called stale or cliché or problematic and thrown out instead of interrogated and examined from new angles.

There’s nothing wrong with having things that diverge from tradition, but I think there is an issue when tradition is basically forbidden. We don’t have a western, superhero Sailor Moon equivalent where girls can enjoy beauty and femininity, interpersonal and literal power, grace, protecting the home (like Joan of Arc even!) as opposed to conquest. We look down on princesses and dresses and bows and long hair, all “impractical” in a fistfight so therefore worthless as fantasies. Being able to attract and transform a lover’s identity from the inside out, that’s just romance and to enjoy romance is sexist and weak these days. Women who look traditionally sexy and beautiful are problematic and “body shaming” and need to be covered up, because finding power in something like that can only be “brainwashed by the patriarchy”. Anything that happens to make men or lesbians happy too, that can only be bad for straight women right? We can’t all have nice things and we can’t have personal ideals we aspire to or even simply admire.

The old girl comics with Patsy Walker were funny in a Mean Girls kind of way, written by and for girls who seemed to really enjoy them. You can’t see even a trace of that in Hellcat now. Like other comics everyone has to be covered up, everyone has to be sterilized and sexless with “morally pure” personalities. Women have to act masculine and men are only allowed to act feminine if they’re acting traditionally anything. Trying to protect another person is now just “damsel in distress” and bad no matter whether it’s a man or woman. People can’t experience or grieve loss in comics anymore because that just gets called fridging.

Maybe things were imbalanced before, but going to the opposite extreme hasn’t fixed it and honestly I think we’ve lost something in our stories. More or less everything should be allowed to exist. We don’t need all women to have She-Hulk’s muscles or Captain Marvel’s short hair or a jacket that buttons up to the neck and no lower, the same way we don’t need all women to have plunging necklines and GG boobs, pouty lips and hourglass figures. Men don’t all need to look or act like Thor, but they don’t all need to be pacifistic activists lecturing each other on women’s rights either. Diversity of personality and ideas are also valuable.

Why are you paying to give your DNA away to a capitalist biogenetic conglomerate like the government is literally out here trying to crack codes to figure out how to best enact individualized biochemical warfare on us all

Loljk you all just got scammed

anonymous asked:

What's your take on the world ending for the Greek Gods? Or when they cease to be relevant to mankind, and what happens to them? Would Athena, Aphrodite and Artemis take the streets and march for Pride? Would Demeter be the manager at a zoo?

Time passes. The world changes. Temples fall. People now speak their names as if they are fairytales.

The gods are dead.

~

Apollo’s chariot lies broken and forgotten in the ruins of a city no one knows the name of anymore. He watches the sun crawl across the sky of its own volition, without him to push it forward.

“Do you miss it?” Artemis asks him, appearing by his side.  They stand at the top of a sparkling glass building, almost the same as ever. She walks among the mortals more than he does, she always has, and She’s dressed like one of them. Tight clothes and half her head shaved, sparkling gems curling up the delicate shell of her ear. She looks like one of the teenagers that fill his concert stadiums.

He thinks of the way his chariot threatened to escape his grasp every morning, the oppressive heat of the sun beating down on him, the burns and the undercurrent of fear that one day he would lose his grip on the reins and plunge the world into darkness.

Apollo leans his head on his sister’s shoulder. The sun rises slower without him, but it rises just the same. “No. Not really.”

~

Hephaestus’s workshop has evolved with the times – from a volcano base to a modern lab, but always a workshop bursting with creation. The cyclopes are still his best assistants.

Aphrodite steps over discarded parts and expertly walks around frantic cyclopes carrying bubbling concoctions. Her dark hair is swept up in a bun and she wears chunky glasses and a blood red pantsuit that almost hides the fact she’s the most beautiful woman to walk the earth. “I have a client, try not to blow up the house. Again.”

“Yes dear,” he says, but doesn’t looks away from his soldering. She hadn’t expected him too. His prosthetics are off and on the floor besides him, and he’s seated on a too-tall chair to compensate for the loss of height.

She reaches out and carefully touches the corner of his eye. Crow’s feet have started to work their way onto his face. They’re getting old. “It’s the couple that’s fighting because he wants kids and she doesn’t want to carry any kids but doesn’t want to say that. It would probably be easier if I just told them to adopt and threw them out the window.”

“Yes dear,” he repeats, sparks flying. A few land on her, but she doesn’t burn. Of course.

She moves her hand up and pushes it through his hair and resists the urge to pull him from his work and abandon her own so they can make out on his worktable. “I love you.”

Aphrodite turns to leave, but Hephaestus grabs her wrist and pulls her back. He holds up a single copper lily, the edges of the petals still glowing with heat it had taken to shape them. He carefully slides the stem into her hair so it sits at the base of her bun. He grazes her bottom lip with his thumb as he pulls his hand back to his side. “Yes dear.”

~

Demeter rages.

She makes imprudent deals to control an earth that no longer falls under her domain, and she enacts her revenge against the mortals in whatever way she can. They have forgotten her, forgotten the earth, and in their ignorance they seek to destroy it.

She shakes the bedrock and splits it open, but still they do not learn, and as the temperature of the earth rises so does her temper.

The sea is not hers to command, her power is of earth and of earth alone, and even now she gave more than could afford to lose to keep her grasp on it. But these mortals do not learn.

Demeter goes to the sea and makes an inadvisable bargain. She goes to the crumbling remains of Olympus and makes an even worse one.

Typhoons and hurricanes whip across the land. If they seek to destroy her, she will simply destroy them first.

~

Hera sits on a pure white couch in an elegant mansion, smiling for the journalist seated across from her.

“What do you think is the most influential decision you ever made?” he asks, “If you could pinpoint the success of your business to one moment, what would it be?”

She tilts her head as the light of the camera flashes. “Why, divorcing my husband, of course.”

“Would that be your advice to young women hoping to be as successful as you?” he asks, “To not get married?”

Hera thinks of thousands of years by Zeus’s side, and how little it got her. She thinks of Hestia’s men, and Artemis’s women, of Hephaestus’s love for Aphrodite, of the way Hades softened the sharpest of Persephone’s edges.

She says, “Do not get married to someone who makes you less than you are. If you are not a better person for being together than apart, then do not be together. It’s as simple as that.”

Simple, but not easy.

Leaving Zeus was the hardest thing she’s ever done.

~

Persephone isn’t forced to spend half the year on the mortal earth anymore. She goes when she pleases, which isn’t often.

Sometimes she’ll sit by Artemis’s side while she brings a new life into the world and holds the warm, wriggly child first. She visits hospitals and makes the flowers bloom out of season, and spends long hours sitting under the sun and feeling it’s warmth touch her face.

Hades left his realm rarely before, and even more rarely now. More people are being born than ever, meaning more people are dying than ever. Their realm is massive, comprising of all the dead of several millennia. Hades and Hecate spend their days as always – desperately trying to expand the realm so that they don’t all have to live on top of each other.

“Have you heard?” she asks one day, seated on his desk and leaning across it so he can’t work on the latest draft for another level of their realm. “The gods are dead.”

He gives up on attempting to tug it out from underneath her. “Are they? That’s odd, none of them are here.”

Persephone doesn’t bother to hide her smile. They haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe they never will. But when death comes for them, as death does for all, it will be to Hades and Persephone’s door they are brought. Hades himself will usher Gaia and Amphitrite into the underworld, when the time comes.

That time is not today.

“Darling, I really do need to work on this,” he ineffectually tugs on the map again.

She pushes him back into the chair, climbing on top of him and pressing their foreheads together. “No, you don’t.”

“No, I don’t,” he agrees, and obligingly moves his head so Persephone can nibble at his neck. He manages a whole thirty seconds before going, “I mean, I really do, Hecate said if I didn’t have a plan by the time she leaves for the mortal realm tomorrow, I’ll either have to wait until she gets back or do it by myself, and I’d really prefer to do neither–”

Persephone kisses him to shut him up, twisting and pushing them through the realm so they land on their bed. “I’ll help you finish it later. Focus on me now.”

Hades doesn’t answer, but he does flip them so he’s above her and reaches below her skirt, so she’ll take that as agreement.

~

Hestia sits around a bonfire, watching a group of teenagers get drunk and dance around the flames. They’ll never be younger than right now, never feel as much love for each other as they do right now.

She is besides an old man who warms his hands from the fire coming from an abandoned trash can.

She lies on a bed as a girl lights two dozen candles around it as a surprise for when her lover gets home.

She watches a young man make dinner for his boyfriend for the first time and burn the chicken on both sides. They eat it together anyway.

She sits on the kitchen counter when a sister takes out a pie from the oven, made special for her little brother’s birthday.

She is there when a father ticks the thermostat up high in freezing dawn of morning so it will be warm by the time his wife and children awaken.

Most people don’t have hearths anymore. But there is warmth, and love, and for Hestia that is enough.

~

As their names fade from existence, as his name is called less and less on the battlefields of mortal men, the more Ares sleeps.

He falls asleep in too tall trees and on park benches. He sleeps in seedy motel rooms and naps in every one of Athena’s libraries. He sleeps curled up on a chair in Aphrodite’s office, and on the floors of a lot of veteran resource centers. As fast as he can tell, that’s the most they help any veteran.

Still, his favorite place to sleep is the underworld.

He goes knocking on Orpheus’s door, who is always willing to play for him. “Hades is here,” Eurydice says, “Would you like to me to go get him?”

He shakes his head, “Persephone is home. I wouldn’t want to intrude.”

Eurydice and Orpheus share the same look of faint disapproval, but neither of the say anything, for which he is grateful.

He lies in the soft grass of the garden Persephone made, and lets Orpheus’s playing lull him to sleep.

Later, he’s woken by strong arms picking him up and holding him against a familiar chest. He doesn’t even have to open his eyes to know who’s holding him. “I can go,” he yawns, his actions at odds with his words as he pulls himself even closer the warmth coming off the king of the underworld.

“No,” Hades says. “Stay.”

Ares lets out a content sigh as Hades presses his lips to his forehead, and he’s not great about touch, about people laying their hands on him and getting in his space. But Hades has always felt safe, felt like home.

He stays.

~

The gods are dead.

Long live the gods.


gods and monster series, part xiv

read more of the gods and monsters series here

I die a little inside every time someone says history is boring. History is one long, epic adventure with battles to be fought, royal scandals to be gossiped about, human rights to be protected. It can be comic and tragic, and it exhibits both the very best and the very worst of human nature. History is all about seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and that is why we all want to be remembered by it.

youtube

The History of the World: Every Year

Since 200,000 BCE, humanity has spread around globe and enacted huge change upon the planet. This video shows every year of that story, right from the beginning.

q&a: Kieran

princekierz said:

Hi Cassie. This is about Lady Midnight, not Lord of Shadows, so I may be a little late but anyway. People who hate Kieran are constantly bringing up the fact that he tried to convince Mark that he being with his family again wasn’t real in that note he sent him and I really can’t understand why he did it? What was the true purpose of that note? Can you please tell me? I love Kieran, and I don’t like when people are unfair with him. Thank you.

That’s interesting – I have to admit it never really occurred to me people would be confused by what that note meant/was about. The below contains spoilers but not major ones, so skip if you are avoiding even mild spoilers.

First I should say it’s fine to dislike a character. There is no character I have written or read about that someone hasn’t disliked for some reason. If that character is in a love triangle, multiply that by 100,000,0000000. (That may not be a real number but you get the point.) I’ve been thinking a lot about liking and disliking characters and the act of reading with empathy, which I will get to more at the end of this essay. Right now I’m just going to talk about what that note meant, and the way in which Kieran is a complicated sort of character generally.

We read for lots of reasons. To see our own experience reflected (a “mirror” reading experience) and also to see experiences that are not ours. (A “window” experience.) One of the interesting things about seeing the judgements of Kieran is the expectation that he is meant to act like a mundane human being (one who has dutifully read not just many relationship-help tomes but also all the Shadowhunter books – thanks, Kieran! – and is well acquainted with the Blackthorns despite never having met them). At very least, he is expected to act like a Shadowhunter, and not at all like a Faerie – despite the fact that a Faerie is what he is, and as a Faerie, he is not like us. He does not have typical human cultural beliefs about love (in good and bad ways), or commitment — he doesn’t mind at all whether Mark has sex with other people — or what promises mean, or what is personal space (a ridiculous idea to a Faerie.)

Mostly what I’ve seen complaint-wise about Kieran is that he is manipulative, which is true only to the extent that he has grown up in Faerie, where everyone is manipulative. Because they cannot lie, they have created a complex society of misdirection and manipulation and Kieran, growing up as Prince, would have been raised in the heart of that. He would know no other way to behave, and indeed has only been learning, slowly, different human patterns of behavior. He is actually really terrible at being manipulative — not a patch on Julian, for instance — and mostly he is neither good at it nor does it that often. But we can certainly look at what he has done.

So, on to the note and the vague six words it contains. (I don’t really understand what “he tried to convince Mark that he being with his family again wasn’t real” means, because Mark was obviously with his family and not, say, on a balloon tour of Cappadocia. I don’t think even the Seelie Queen would have tried to convince him otherwise, because that is not manipulation, that is waving your arms around yelling “Mark! They’re dosing you with PCP! That’s not really Ty! It’s a huge bunny!“ which is not going to work and nobody would reasonably think it would.) So I’m just going to gather that some sinister goal is being implied here and talk about why Kieran did send the note.

Remember that none of this is real. Why did Kieran say that? Because he was worried about Mark and thought it was the truth. Not for another reason. I gather there is an assumption that the phrase "remember that none of this is real” is somehow about Mark’s family, but it wasn’t. If Kieran had wanted to say “don’t trust your family” or whatever, he would have said that. The note was about the entire world of the Nephilim. Nor was it anything Kieran didn’t entirely think was true.

Nor was he entirely wrong.

Kieran was cast out of the King’s court because he was well-liked and the King saw him as a threat. He spent his years in the Wild Hunt with Mark watching as Mark’s heart broke every single night when he counted out his family’s names on the stars. He felt Mark’s agony when Mark saw Simon, and thought Simon had come to bring him back to the Nephilim, only to find out the Shadowhunters had abandoned him like garbage. Experiencing the agony of someone you love is worse than experiencing your own. After living through the horror of Mark’s despair and crushing loss, is it particularly surprising that Kieran might be wary of Mark getting attached to his family again only to be ripped away from them again – which is in fact what pretty much everyone in Lady Midnight thought was going to happen? Like, nobody thought this majorly fuckerated offer from the Fair Folk was likely to have a good outcome? Julian was terrified what it meant for the kids and thought it might be better if Mark had never come back? Kieran is unlikely to have a more positive view of the kindliness and honestly of the Clave (or the Courts of Fae) than Julian does.

Here is what Kieran knows to be fact:

Shadowhunters hate Faeries.

Mark was abandoned by his people. The Nephilim, certainly, his family, perhaps. Kieran knows they never tried to get in touch with Mark, and he is unaware of the Blackthorns’ complicated circumstances, that they were forbidden to look for Mark, and that they needed to protect Helen. There is no way he would know about those things, unless he had read the books. (Read the books, Kieran!).

He knows the Shadowhunters have enacted the Cold Peace, a series of racist laws punishing Faeries. He knows Mark will be in danger from this.

He has no reason not to think that when Mark is returned to the world of the Nephilim, using his family as bait, they won’t chop his damn head off.

That is what Kieran is urging Mark not to think is real. Nephilim promises. The idea that he will be safe outside Faerie in the Shadowhunter world. And Kieran is not exactly wrong either. We are all glad that Mark is back with his family….and if the Cohort gets into power they might chop his damn head off. Maybe he would have been better off back in the Wild Hunt.

Kieran can’t lie – and he can’t lie in writing either. He said what he said in his note because he was frightened for Mark, and he wanted him to stay safe. In no way did he mean “Your family doesn’t love you,” because if he thought that, he would actually have said it at some point, ever, rather than being incredibly vague in a note that, since he has never said anything remotely like “Your family doesn’t love you” to Mark, Mark would find incomprehensible. Mark understands the note perfectly, because the idea that Nephilim as a group are not trustworthy is not new to him nor is it a huge surprise Kieran would feel that way. (There’s also a lot of numinous stuff to get into about what real and unreal means to faeries, in a magical sense, but there’s no room here, alas.) Kieran has lots of opportunities to say bad things to Mark about his family if he wanted to, but IIRC he never does.

Misguided is not the same as manipulative. To be manipulative means that you’re playing on someone else’s hopes or fears to achieve selfish ends without regard for their well-being. But the idea that Kieran is a cold-hearted bastard who didn’t mean a word of the note (despite not being actually able to lie) and is a consummate actor doesn’t really jibe with anything we actually know or observe about Kieran. Far from having Julian’s ability to play others like guitar strings, mostly Kieran blurts out what he means when he means it and never even tries to pretend otherwise. He can be petulant as hell and annoying, showing up to see Mark when he’s not supposed to and sulking about whether Mark likes someone else. He can be manipulative in the way he sometimes kisses Mark when Mark is trying to be logical because he’s insecure and he trusts Mark’s desire for him even when he can’t convince himself Mark really loves him (but this doesn’t really work, which is what I mean by Kieran not being great at manipulation). He very foolishly interferes with Mark’s dream in Lord of Shadows because he wants to talk and he thinks giving Mark a dream in which they’re having a friendly conversation means he’ll find out what Mark’s hiding. (Which is another example of him not really understanding human issues. All he wants out of the dream is a talk — “Because you are not truthful with me. Your heart is closed and shrouded. I cannot see it,” Kieran said. “I thought, in dreams, perhaps …” — and the dream starts out with them sitting and talking while one bandages the other, and Kieran manages to get in the idea that he knows Mark is lying to him. Things take a sexy turn, but not because of Kieran. He can’t control Mark’s dreams in every detail: if he could, there would be literally zero point in a dream in which he’s hoping Mark will volunteer to tell him the truth. Mark has to have free will in the dream or there’s no point in what Kieran straight-up says the dream is for, and again, Kieran cannot baldfacedly lie. And Kieran is right — Mark is lying to him, in fact the whole family is gaslighting him, which is why it pains Mark when Kieran recalls the phrase “remember that none of this is real.” Because none of it, in this case, IS REAL. Kieran is being lied to by EVERYONE. However, Mark is still right that Kieran shouldn’t be poking at his dreams — and he shouldn’t. Kieran, as a faerie, doesn’t really get that: dreams aren’t private to him, and besides, Mark has allowed Kieran into his dreams before, so Kieran assumes it’ll be okay now, because Mark said it was all right previously. But this is where Kieran needs to learn not to make assumptions, and to value Mark’s privacy even if he doesn’t really get it. Does he? He seems to: he listens to what Mark says, and he never touches his dreams again. In fact, they actually have a pretty useful, healthy conversation about it, though we have to wait until QoAD to see how any breakthroughs they make in LoS play out.)

So yes, Kieran can make spectacularly bad decisions, with the worst of them being when he thought getting Mark hauled back to the Wild Hunt for an infraction was a good idea and wouldn’t result in any collateral damage. And Kieran deserves to be blamed and to feel guilty for that, nor do I mean to excuse him – and I have no interest in doing that; that wrong that he did is a building block of his flawed character. As I saw someone say on twitter the other day, which probably means you’ve all seen it many times, characters are not all either angelic cinnamon rolls or problematic monsters. Like people, because they are intended to reflect people, they exist on a continuum of behavior: some fail and learn, some fail and never learn, some have good intentions and some bad, some grow and change, some are changed by grief or shock or maturity, some cannot grow and are tragic figures. Committing a manipulative act doesn’t damn you forever unless you keep committing manipulative acts forever. If people (and characters) were rendered garbage by past mistakes, there would be no need for therapy or books, since both are about how people learn to change.

As Kieran says: “Everyone is more than one thing. We are more than the single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil.” That was in Lady Midnight, and it’s possible he was thinking about the fact that he never tells Mark in that book that the reason he wanted Mark brought back to the Wild Hunt so badly – the reason he turned Mark in, hoping he’d be dragged away from the world of Nephilim – was not so that he could date Mark, but because he had been told Mark was going to be murdered. That Mark’s head was going to be chopped off NOW. That doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it makes it a lot less manipulative in two ways: he actually wasn’t acting for a selfish end, but to protect Mark from death, and he never tells Mark that in LM, letting Mark blame him. He lets Mark break up with him and walk away from him with only quiet resignation as a reply. He does nothing to try to make him stay and attempts no manipulation at all, nor is he manipulative when he shows up to help save Tavvy – he offers help, gives it, and expects nothing in return. Only when Kieran is in shock over having been lied to, and his sudden recollection of his own mistakes, does he tell Mark that he was in fear for Mark’s life – which makes a big difference to Mark, who is able to recognize what that means about why Kieran did what he did.

[Kieran said] “Iarlath had hinted you would not be safe in the Shadowhunters’ world. That they were planning to lure you back, only to execute you on some trumped-up charge. I was a fool to believe him. I know it now.”

“Oh,” said Mark. The knowledge unfolded in him, realization edged with relief. “You thought you were saving my life.”

Kieran nodded. “It makes no difference, though. What I did was wrong.”

(Emphasis mine.) Kieran is flawed, he screws up. He is also capable of acts of great nobility – his willingness to testify to protect the Blackthorns at the end of LOS being one of them. Kieran spends LOS being lied to and manipulated by everyone around him while his memory is gone. He is trapped in the Institute, a place so full of anti-Faerie magic that it makes him so sick he can barely eat. He suspects Mark is jerking him around in some way, he turns out to be right, and he’s still willing to testify in the Blackthorns’ defense. He is also able to see when he is/was wrong, and acknowledge it. None of this makes him a perfect person, but it certainly complicates him away from the oversimplified reading that he’s a manipulative horrorshow and that’s the end of the story — especially when a huge chunk of the story has yet to be told.

My suspicion, since there are plenty of other flawed characters in these books stumbling along messing up, is that Kieran’s true crime is being part of a love triangle. Having been through this before I remember well the long essays about how Will was a horrible person and the Wessa relationship was toxic and Jem was a horrible person and that relationship was toxic because dying people should know not to bother other people with their feelings (seriously). That is how people talk about love triangles these days; it seems to be a contest about which relationship is perceived as healthiest, which people are the best and most deserving people of the prize (Tessa, or in this case, Mark). There are a couple problems with that: one that is an unhealthy relationship can become healthy. (It obviously depends on the relationship, some absolutely cannot and should not be fixed, but there would be little need for marriage counselors if relationships could not be made healthier.) The second is that if you want to hate a character, you can convince yourself they are evil even if they spend a whole book saving bunnies, nuns, and salmon who can’t find the salmon cannon, so the arguments do get a bit circular after a while. Certainly I have come across plenty of essays about how Cristina is terrible and should go away because Kieran doesn’t like her (he does like her) and Mark doesn’t want her (not true) and she isn’t so great (I think she is so great and so do they.)

So I will say three things:

1) Kieran is not what is keeping Mark and Cristina apart, any more than Cristina is what is keeping Mark and Kieran apart. Kieran and Mark have a relationship that needs to be worked on to be healthy, and Cristina and Mark have to get to know each other better outside the magic of the binding spell. These things would be true regardless.

2) I know that this essay will garner plenty of people announcing that this means I ship Mark and Kieran or am in love with Kieran, and I know this because this happens whenever I post anything about them, or a piece of fanart of them, even if I post a piece of fanart of Cristina and Mark shortly after. I can only say what I have said for ten years, which is that I don’t ship my own characters or “love” them in the way a fan loves a character — all the characters are pieces of myself in some way or other so that’d feel very odd. I know there may be other authors who feel differently, but I can’t “ship” a couple when I’m primarily interested in their relationships in terms of theme, craft and writing the best story I can — I need the distance of being a reader, not a writer, to “ship” something. (I would also note that male authors rarely ever have people talk about how they’re in love with their characters or they write about them because it’s a “fetish” or “they get off on it”: only women get that narrative, but that’s another post.)

3) I remember reading online that writers should write with “savage empathy.” I’ve always thought that was great advice, as it reminds us to always stay in sympathy with characters and write from a place of their humanity, in all the vastness of humanity’s capability for complexity: for the same person to be capable of immense selfishness and immense nobility, or deep gentleness and great cruelty. It reminds us that we strive to reflect what is human rather than what is either entirely perfect or entirely evil. I feel like it’s also been good advice for me as a reader. It reminds me to look at things from the characters’ point of view, to not expect them to know what I know,* to remember the circumstances of their lives and the ways in which they may behave differently than I would because of the way they were raised/what their culture prioritizes. It has helped me be less judgmental of characters and while I don’t think it’s made me unaware of the problematic, I think it’s made me a happier reader. Even when I don’t forgive, I can understand, and that reminder of the eternal complexity of the human soul, and its capability for change and redemption, has enriched my reading life. It’s wonderful to realize that you can enjoy reading even more than you did before, and I can only hope for the same for all my readers.

*This is why it is pointless to be angry at the Superhero’s girlfriend when he is off saving the city, and you know he is off saving the city but she doesn’t, so she’s just angry he didn’t make it to little Marcia’s bat mitzvah.

yknow that scene in madagascar where the zebra puts a thermometer in his mouth and they’re like that’s a rectal thermometer and he freaks out? i thought that was the funniest scene as a kid and my friends and i all used to enact it with a thermometer from my parents room and i later found out that that thermometer was, in fact, a rectal one

3

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

  • Issa Rae is hella casual about being one of television’s rising stars. The Golden Globe-nominated actress and executive producer of HBO’s Insecure demurs in interviews when media personalities mention she’s made it “to the top.”
  • Perhaps that’s why the show’s recent Emmy snub doesn’t faze Rae. To her, she’s still working her way up there. “It would have been amazing to get an Emmy nomination … but that just motivates me more,” Rae told Vanity Fair. “We’re gonna get on the radar.”
  • But to her core audience of young black viewers, Rae’s already buzzing at high frequency. The series — which pulled in 3.2 million viewers per episode in its first season — was renewed by the network before its debut season ended. 
  • Social media users erupted over the season one finale after Issa’s estranged boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis) enacts revenge and gets it all the way poppin’ with friendly bank teller Tasha (Dominque Perry). Whether fans were #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence, they knew one thing — they were ready for more, pronto. Read more. (7/22/17, 11:30PM)
The Last Jedi - A Hypothetical Breakdown

The below is a ridiculously elaborate breakdown of the hypothetical plot of The Last Jedi. I basically set myself the challenge of incorporating all of the known leaks, rumours and spoilers into a coherent plot that made sense for the characters we last saw in The Force Awakens. In other words, it is essentially informed fanfiction that should not in any way be treated as a full synopsis for the actual plot of the film. Nonetheless, I don’t think you should read on if you are nervous about spoilers, since while most of this comes from my imagination there are elements (particularly the locations and the basics of which characters are where) that are based on reliable spoilers for the film. In other words, proceed with caution!

I had lots of fun doing this, and found it very enjoyable to come up with my own version of what The Last Jedi might be. I hope you enjoy it too! I get lots of asks requesting my predictions for how I think the plot might go, so this is basically my ultimate response to that curiosity. Naturally, I’ll adjust and update this as new information comes out and my understanding of the story develops.

Do let me know your thoughts, and let me know if you’re inspired to have a stab at your own breakdown after reading this! I’d love to read other people’s takes.

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Random Politics For D&D

Use the following table to create a quick political profile for any medieval-style kingdom. 

Roll randomly only when required to come up with an idea on the spot—for example, when detailing a distant kingdom or a place the PCs merely pass through. 

If you expect politics to play a large part in your campaign, pick an item from the table, based on your story requirements and the environment your players prefer. 

Better yet, create your own unique variation. 

When rolling randomly, you can skew the result toward a stable, well-run kingdom by adding a negative modifier to the roll. 

To skew toward evil and misrule, add a positive modifier.

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Best Laid Plans

SPN FanFic

~Dean tries to go all chick-flick on you but fails miserably~

Dean x Reader, Sam

2,464 Words

Warnings: Gratuitous Fluff. Smidge of Smut (Barely)

A/N: This is for @lizmalfoywayland​ who sent me the amazing idea this morning. And for @bringmesomepie56​ in trade for Sammy (we’re even now)

~Feedback is the Crack that keeps the writing coming back!~

“So any big plans for tonight?” Sam asked his brother as they both reached for the coffee pot at the same time.

Dean beat him to it and let out a victorious chuckle. “I don’t know what you’re referring to,” he lied; a mischievous sparkle overtaking his green eyes.

“Good morning!” Y/N appeared in the archway, bouncing into the kitchen and running to Dean. Careful to avoid the hot mug of joe in his hands, she leaned up on her toes to kiss him hello. Dean closed his eyes as her lips distracted him, so much so that he didn’t notice Y/N had stolen his coffee until she pulled back and took a sip.

“Hey!”

Y/N cringed. “You forgot the milk.”

“I did not. That was mine,” Dean laughed, watching her float over to the fridge with a smile. She was adorable, even right out of bed, especially right out of bed. Her hair was a mess of tangles and unruly slept-on waves, her eyes were bright but sleepy, and her voice was crackly and low. Also didn’t hurt that she looked hot as hell in his old t-shirt that hung down to her thighs, almost completely covering the tiny sleep shorts she wore.

“I would have thought you’d at least make me coffee this morning, Dean.” Y/N poured a splash of milk into the mug and turned to give Dean a chance to defend himself.

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