Born on this day in 1909, Ernestine Davis was a popular jazz singer
and trumpeter of the LGBT music scene. Nicknamed “Tiny,” she gained fame with The International Sweethearts of Rhythm which was the very first fully-integrated, all-female big band in the United States.
Tiny was often called “the female Louis Armstrong” (x).
Tiny was born on August 5, 1909 in Memphis, Tennessee. She
was her parents’ youngest child out of seven and grew up with 4 older sisters
and 2 older brothers. She attended Booker T. Washington High School and it was
there where Tiny first picked up a trumpet and discovered her natural musical
abilities. When the family moved to Kansas City in 1935, Tiny joined a band
called the Harlem-Play Girls but she was forced to leave the group a year
later with the birth of her first child from her marriage to Clarence Davis.
In 1941, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm jazz band
severed its ties with the Piney Woods Country Life School of Mississippi which
had founded the band back in 1937. Now based in Virginia and free of all
financial responsibilities to Piney Woods, the 16-piece band began recruiting new
members. Tiny was one of three musicians who the band picked up for this new
era and during her 7 years with The International Sweethearts, Tiny toured all
across the United States, performed at The Apollo for celebrity musicians such
as Louis Armstrong and Eddie Durham, and took part in a USO tour during World War
Tiny performs “How ‘Bout That Jive?” with The International Sweethearts of Rhythm.
In 1947, Tiny left The International Sweethearts and started
her own band called The Prairie Co-Eds, which was later renamed to The Hell
Divers. Her new band enjoyed a successful career of touring throughout the Caribbean
and Central America and recording for Decca Records before disbanding in 1952.
From the mid-1950s until their deaths, Tiny and her partner Ruby Lucas – who
was also a musician and was the bassist for The Hell Divers – operated a club
in Chicago called Tiny & Ruby’s Gay Spot. Tiny regularly performed at the
club well into her old age and passed away on January 30, 1994. You can learn
more about Tiny in the 1988 documentary dedicated to her over 40-year long
relationship with Ruby titled Tiny &
Ruby: Hell Divin’ Women!
Our favorite males just hanging out, drinking. Read the rest of my Nessian crap: Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.
Cassian braced his forearm against the table and stretched his other hand out, making grabbing motions in the air. Rhys slid the bottle and a glass over to him. He poured a thumb’s length, swirled it, and inhaled. The rich aroma filled his nose and he took a sip, rolling it in his mouth before swallowing. It burned a fiery trail down his throat, spreading heat through his stomach. Leaning back in his chair, he held the glass up to the waning light, studying the color. “That’s some good shit. Where you been hiding this?”
His brother was leaning back in his chair, eyes closed, rubbing his temples. “Under my bed.”
Cassian snorted. “Under your bed?”
“How the hell else was I going to keep it from Mor?”
“Good point.” They sat in silence for a while, sipping their drinks, wings extended, soaking in the last of the warmth as the sun dropped behind the rooftops and faelights bloomed out around them. “What the hell am I doing?” he finally asked, almost under his breath as he leaned forward and rested his face on his arms.
Rhys crossed his arms , dropped his chin on his chest, and looked at him, just a touch of humor playing around his mouth. “You’re a glutton for pain, brother. This is just another battlefield and you’re going to keep throwing yourself in there and damn the consequences.”
Ah, well, he couldn’t argue with that. Neither of them even looked up as Azriel dropped out of the air, landed lightly on the roof, and stalked over to pour himself a drink. He slumped into another chair, and eyed the other two. “So I take it things went well,” he said drily. “No mates tonight?” He took a sip of his drink and raised the glass, squinting at it. “This is nice. Where did it come from?”
“Under his bed,” Cassian replied. Azriel just nodded in response, as if that was a logical source of high-quality, and no doubt very expensive, spirits. “And I’m sitting here drinking because of my so-called mate.” He sat up again and rubbed a broad hand up the back of his neck, ruffling his hair. “The camp tour went better than expected, actually, except for that one prick you already took care of,” he expanded. It was true. Not only had they found Sabine and Brisa to help with female integration among the warriors, but the new camp lords were all managing to introduce the policies Rhys had laid out with relatively little grumbling. One advantage of being able to hand-pick people, he supposed. “Now we just have to win over the rest of them. Which means visiting more of them. Which is also why I’m sitting here drinking.”
Rhys rustled his wings. “How’d it go with the two you and Mor picked up for me?” Cassian felt a twinge of guilt. He’d forgotten Mor had brought the female here in all the chaos that he and Nesta had landed in at that second camp. While he had been recruiting Sabine and Brisa, Rhys had gone ahead to straighten out the shitstorm that had arisen. A veteran from the war had taken exception to a female who was training with Siphons and had beaten him in what was supposed to be a friendly target competition. He’d waited until she was returning to her tent that night and attacked her with a knife, nearly severing the main muscle on her left wing before her screams brought the rest of the camp. The warlord had thrown the prick in the holding cell where he had sat for two days awaiting the High Lord’s arrival. Rhys, in a cold rage after seeing the female’s condition, had nearly misted him on sight but fatigue of bloodshed had stayed his hand. Instead, he’d called in Azriel to mete out the shadowsinger’s version of justice. This had caused a near-brawl between the old guard who thought the warrior had been well within his rights and the younger generation who wanted him to pay for his crimes, one that only fear of Rhys’ power had kept from turning into slaughter until Cassian and Nesta had dropped into the middle of it. The sight of the Commander who had fought so valiantly in the war snarling at them, Siphons flaring, had finally subdued the protest from the older camp males but there was still tension.
Azriel’s cold face remained impassive but he didn’t try to keep the hatred from his voice or his shadows from curling around him as he told them what he’d done. How the male had protested that no bitch was going to be able to hold up under the pressure of battle, that they should all be clipped so they could breed more male warriors whether they wanted to or not. How he’d used Truth-Teller to create the same injuries the male had inflicted on the female, then dumped him in the middle of the mountains. If he made it to a camp, he could call in a healer. Otherwise… “But the female is doing fairly well. The camp healer did a good job getting her stabilized. Mor said they should be able to save the wing. But I’m not sure how it’ll affect recruitment for that camp.” It was a good point. Other females may be reluctant to join after the assault.
“Hopefully they’ll remember that the other members of the camp stepped in and stopped him before he did more,” Rhys said, “and realize that we won’t tolerate abuse of any recruit, male or female.” The other two nodded and fell back into silence. Cassian tipped back the last of his drink and reached for the bottle again, pouring himself a more generous measure.
Footsteps sounded on the stairs, and Lucien emerged then pulled up short. “I didn’t realize you were back. Is this little gathering open to people without wings?”
“Yes,” Rhys replied, “as long as you’ve got a cock and balls. We’re mate-free tonight.”
Cassian snorted, eyeing Lucien. “Not sure you qualify, Fox Boy.”
Lucien just grinned. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”
“Now, now,” Azriel interjected, “that sort of thing should be done behind closed doors.” Cassian shrugged and held the bottle out to Lucien. Rhys procured a glass, and Lucien poured his drink and sat, an amused glint still evident in his russet eye.
“What’s eating you?” he asked, gesturing with his chin at Cassian.
“It’s more a question of who’s not,” Azriel murmured. Cassian shot him a glare while Rhys and Lucien chuckled.
“Trouble in paradise?” Lucien asked innocently.
Cassian bristled at the red-headed male. It was one thing for his brothers to tease him, but this sly new member of the court hadn’t earned the right. “Shouldn’t you be taking care of your own mate?”
“I already did,” Lucien replied smoothly, “then came up here for some fresh air. I hadn’t realized I’d just be choking on testosterone and frustration.” The three warriors stared at him for a second before roaring with laughter. Rhys raised his empty glass at Lucien in a silent toast, then snagged himself a refill. “No, seriously, were there problems on your trip?”
Rhys shook his head. “Nothing more than the usual. It’s not easy trying to bring an entire culture around. But I agree it appears something is chafing my brother’s ass and I too would love to know what it is.”
“Other than his undersized pants?”
Cassian shot Lucien a look while he decided what to say. “Well, you might not know but Nesta and I…”
“We know,” chorused the other three males. “By the Cauldron, we know,” Lucien added under his breath.
“Right,” he said, feeling oddly self-conscious, “well, when we were flying to the camp that first day Nesta may have suggested that we try something new. In the air.”
Azriel inhaled his sip of liquor and started sputtering and coughing, and Rhys got up and went over to clap him on the back. Lucien sat up straighter, rubbing his chin. “I’d never thought of that.”
“Of what?” Cassian snapped.
“That you guys could do that. It certainly would add variety.”
Rhys gave him a knowing look. “It’s surprisingly challenging, though.”
Cassian and Azriel gaped at him. “You’ve done it?”
Rhys snorted. “Of course. Are you honestly telling me in the past five centuries you guys haven’t?”
“Not until now,” Cassian replied while Azriel shook his head. “Wait, have you done it with Feyre?”
“Well, no. Not yet.”
“An oversight,” he said with a shrug. “One I must rectify immediately, come to mention it.”
“Just don’t do it anywhere Nesta might see you,” Cassian warned.
Lucien was leaning back in his chair, watching them with a smirk. “I have never been jealous of the wings until this exact moment.”
“Don’t get me started on you,” Cassian warned. “You should be more cognizant of the fact that family members might be flying overhead the next time you have Elain go down on you up here in broad daylight.”
Rhys and Azriel both started and looked to Lucien, eyes narrowed, but Lucien was utterly unembarrassed. “Cognizant?”
“Yeah, it means -“
“Oh, I know what it means,” he interrupted, smile broadening, “I just had no idea you could string so many syllables together. I’m impressed. And will take that under advisement.”
Cassian shook his head. “Just be glad I didn’t have Nesta with me. Or Feyre. And you should be jealous of the wings,” he said, as he slowly stretched them to their full span, “for lots of reasons.”
Azriel cleared his throat. “So what happened?” Returning them to more pressing matters.
“Well, first I dropped her -“
“I caught her again!” Defensively. “And then we figured it out and it was…perfect. Well, not perfect, it’s really hard to control your altitude when things are happening, but you get it. Then afterwards, it seemed like that…barrier she holds was coming down, you know? Like I was going to finally be able to, I don’t know, really reach her through the bond. But as soon as she realized that she froze me out again, and it just hasn’t been the same.”
Rhys was looking at him with an incredulous expression as he said, “What the hell are you two usually doing? We could hear you all over the camps! You’re worse than Feyre and I ever were!”
“That is so not true, you did not have to live with you when you first got together,” Cassian snapped. Rhys looked vaguely puzzled while he tried to untangle that. Lucien looked slightly ill. “Besides, that’s not even what I mean. It’s just, I thought she was finally going to accept me, the bond, but now…It’s never going to happen.” His voice was forlorn. Rhys and Az exchanged looks, not sure what to say. Silence fell for a few minutes, broken only by a clink of glass against the table as Lucien set down his drink.
He leaned forward, fingers splayed across his knees. “Let me get this straight. You are talking about an Archeron sister.” Cassian nodded. “The most, er, challenging of all the Archeron sisters.” Cassian bristled at this characterization of his mate but Lucien continued, oblivious. “You’re complaining to Rhysand and I, who are mated to the other Archeron sisters, about the difficulty of establishing the bond. When both of our mates were in love with other males when we met them. Hell, they were both engaged! Rhys had to put Feyre back together when she basically wanted to die before she could recognize the bond, and I had to try to build a relationship with Elain when she had had her heart broken by Graysen and was completely traumatized by the Cauldron and terrified of her visions. I had to make myself leave when I wanted nothing more than to stay, so she could have enough breathing room to start to heal. We did everything we could to be a stabilizing force for them, to figure out what they needed when they couldn’t or wouldn’t tell us.” Lucien was breathing heavily, golden skin flushed, russet eye hard. “But after you and Nesta saved each other in the war, you walked away from her. You promised her you would fight for her, then you walked away and more or less ignored her for months. And you expect it to be easy? She can barely let her own sisters see who she really is, and they’ve always been there for her. You expect her to just drop her barriers and welcome you on in?”
The three Illyrians were staring at him, mouths agape, identical expressions of pure shock on their faces at the outburst. He stood up and leaned across the table at Cassian, snarling, the most aggressive expression any of them had ever seen on his face. “Buck up. Get over yourself. She’s willing to let you in her bed, accept that miracle for what it is and be patient. Figure out what she needs and stop thinking about what you want. Don’t run again or you’ll never get another chance.”
He turned to head back downstairs to Elain, shaking his head, muttering something under his breath.
“What was that?” Cassian challenged, recovering his voice. Lucien stiffened and turned slowly.
“I said, ‘Cauldron boil me, how the hell are you not still a virgin?’” he half-yelled across the rooftop. He turned back again to come face-to-face with Feyre. She seemed to be warring between anxiety and amusement at the lot of them. “I’m not sure you’re allowed up here,” he said to her, “unless you can use your shape-shifting to grow…never mind.” He pushed past her and went down the stairs.
Feyre shook her head as she approached the males still seated around the table. Cassian was opening and closing his mouth but nothing was coming out. “Lucien got your tongue?” she asked innocently. He just stood, shook his head, and launched into the air. She turned to her mate. “What the hell are you guys doing up here?” She spotted the nearly empty bottle on the table. “Besides drinking all the good liquor.”
The two remaining males broke down into helpless laughter. “Cassian just had his ass handed to him by Fox Boy,” Rhys gasped out.
“That was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” Azriel added.
Rhys stood, gathering Feyre in his arms and kissed the top of her head. “I have a new project for us,” he said into her hair. She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into him.
“Okay. I’m tired though, can we just go to bed?”
He chuckled and pulled away a little, putting an arm around her shoulders. “Of course. Just remind me to tell you in the morning. ’Night, brother.”
Azriel nodded in response and spread his wings. “Cognizant,” he said to himself, shaking his head, and shot into the sky before wheeling towards the House of Wind.
“What was all that really about?” Feyre asked.
“Cassian was feeling sorry for himself and Lucien wasn’t having it. You Archeron sisters. You’re going to be the death of us.” He squeezed her shoulders and planted a kiss below her ear. “And our salvation.” She leaned into him and they looked up at the night sky, lost in the starscape above them, lost in the depth of their bond.
AN: Yeah, so, I headcanon that when Tamlin dies, the power passes to Lucien and he becomes High Lord of the Spring Court. Why, you say? Not because I think Lucien would be a good High Lord (not that he’d be bad!) but because ELAIN IS PERFECT FOR THE SPRING COURT. So yeah. And yes, I know, I will be posting Across the Stars (which you should all check out!) today, but I got excited about this one first. This is dedicated to the other two Night Court Queens @illyriantremors and @kitashiwrites!!! Enjoy!!! (Also, I’d like to say that this is NOT where I thought this fic was gonna go, but I’m so glad it did!)
“Sit still, my goodness!” Elain frowned as Lucien, once again, shifted uncomfortably in her lap and yanked the stem off of one of the daffodils in his hair. She threw the ruined flower back down in the sun-warmed grass.
Lucien grunted. “You’re taking too long.”
“I’m almost done,” she replied, wrapping the stem of the bright yellow flower around a long strand of his hair. “I would have been done fifteen minutes ago if you hadn’t crushed all the petals in my lap.”
A low chuckle rumbled in Lucien’s chest. He plucked a blade of grass and examined it idly. “I do not regret that.”
Elain’s cheeks colored rose. She pressed her lips into a thin line and focused on the flower in her hand.
Lucien resisted the urge to twist around and look up at her. The only thing that kept him still and staring at the cloudless spring sky was the fact that he might ruin his mate’s loving handiwork—even if he didn’t particularly want daffodils strung in his hair. “Do you regret it?”
Her hands stilled for a moment in his hair, and for a split second, his heart grew wings and whirled in a fluttering panic. But her hands resumed their work and she cleared her throat delicately. “Not at all.”
Straw Man all you'd like, but you can't do it here
Dear Anyone still watching Sleepy Hollow/those who see no problem with the current situation,
I’m really tired of you trying to use the ichabbie ship to invalidate our very real grievances.
“They’re just mad because half of their ship died.” I’ve seen you say, suggest and hint at that sentiment. So why don’t we just be honest? You don’t get what the big deal is.
Behold: our grievances, in the interest of honesty and in no particular order:
1) Trying to pull off the “strong independent black woman” trope is bad (It’s a hurtful, racist stereotype. And if you don’t understand why, I suggest some research. There are many beautifully written blogs that expound upon that point in general and a quick search will turn them up), but trying to break that stereotype by having a main character’s boss initiate a kiss without consent, in a glass office at her place of work?
And before you say, “But Jenny–
Jenny isn’t a main character. A beloved secondary (at least in the first 3 seasons. I will not watch the 4th) but not a main. Jenny’s rolls in the hay with Hawley and viciously ended relationship with Joe a) have their own problems and b) have nothing to do with how this show treated one of it’s suposed leads (except maybe for colorism). Which brings me to
2) Killing Scully? Bad. But killing Scully with a, “my whole purpose in life was to guide you forward”? AND then getting her name wrong on her tombstone?
3) Killing off or disappearing just about all your characters of color? Bad. Killing off or disappearing just about all your characters of color for no discernable reason? When they did not have to vanish for the story to remain interesting and coherent? Andy? Gone before Moloch is resolved. Luke? Just disappeared. Frank? Shabbily patched up exit after being asked not to return. Abbie? See 2. The rest of the Irving family? THE ENTIRE SHAWNEE TRIBE? In fact the only person of color whose exit has some connection to plot (though it did not have to) is Reyes.
4) Creating a Quaker witch/battle field nurse/ spy (?) and placing her opposite Ichabod’s intelligence and wit? Fantastic actually. Squandering that super interesting premise/ internal charcter conflict with breathily whispered lines (a choice I’m sure Winter had not much say in) and defining her only in relation to other men? Bad. Throwing in a noncon demon baby pregnancy? Worse. Disposing of her character with a, “oh women are all about their babies to abstraction! A mother’s love will always blind her! Even to the mission she’s been carrying on for over 200 years whilst trapped and on the run in purgatory uwuuu.” Find your own adjective ‘cause I’m done with you.
5) Trying to introduce a white dude bro Indian Jones type character when there is already a better integrated black female version? Bad. Trying to solve #1 by tossing said dude bro between the Mills sisters? Ugh. (AN: I don’t even think many of us minded the idea of Hawley with Abbie (or Jenny) for a time. UNTIL IT BECAME OBVIOUS HE WAS DISRESPECTING THEM BOTH.)
6) Wasting perfectly awesome storylines that would have given the remaing POC refugees something positive to engage in? Petty and not the fun kind. I mean would the Orion storyline have disappeared if he had been female and showing interest in Ichabod?
7) I told myself I wasn’t going to do it, but here’s one I’m laying at the feet of the Ichabod/everyone but Abbie shippers: Not shipping Ichabod and Abbie? Whatever your perrogative. But making a straw man of the ichabbie ship? Making it out like we’re rabid shippers and “Ichabbie right now this instant even when it doesn’t make sense in the current plot because Ichabod is faithfully married” or whatever the case may be? Do better for yourself. There is no ichabbie shipper who would have wanted that pairing to manifest in a way that was not done thoughtfully. Slow build would have been fine, preferred even. Our complaint is the, “Nope. Never these two. In no known universe,” response the writers and some of you have when this pairing is brought up. Really? Never? Despite their obvious chemistry? Why? Now that you know we’ve never advocated for a hamfisted coupling of Ichabod and Abbie plot be damned, you’re going to have to find another reason you disagree with that ship. If Scully and Mulder can do it, why not these two? And before you say, “why do all mains have to get together,” stop. Why does THIS pairing in particular have to be the one that takes the platonic hit? One of the only interracial couples in genre fiction? One of the even fewer with a black woman? One of the even fewer that didn’t start with the mains as a couple? When these conditions are met in genre fiction (or even general fiction), which is rarely, the mains are almost never paired romantically (see 1). So when you say “all mains” you’re talking about white mains. And if that bothers you, the lack of platonic white co-leads, then go ahead and holler. I’ll holler right alongside you. But that logic does not belong here. Not when black women have historically been discriminated against when it comes to having and being romantic prospects. Not when that discrimination sharpens if the other party is the male, white lead.
These are just the grievances I recall at the moment. I haven’t even touched upon the dearth of Asian Americans (after Andy’s second? Third death?) or the complete absence of sexual orientation and gender minorities in the first three seasons. Now you can never say you did not know. Take a good hard look at your relationship with this show. Are you okay with it because these problems don’t touch you and your experience? If so, you may want to rethink your status as an ally. And before you ask, “Why does everything have to be about [insert social issue here, usually race]? Can’t I just enjoy my show?” Don’t. It’s the definition of privilege, not having to think about your [insert social issue here, usually race] and illustrates the very inequity that has most of us up in arms in the first place.
If Saturn represents our struggle with the external world and with our own difficulties living in it, Pluto represents our struggle with ourselves. Saturn and Pluto must be best friends, because they sure do know how to make life a living hell. More accurately, they make life a living hell when you resist their influence. And as Carl Jung said, “What we resists persists.” This is Pluto’s tagline. Pluto, the sign it rules over (Scorpio), and the house it rules over (The Eighth House) all represent the human shadow. The dark side of life. The things we don’t easily own up to. The sides of ourselves we’re more comfortable projecting onto others. It’s much easier to view ourselves as perfect beings of light, and to point the finger at all the people out there in the world that are evil and bad, than to recognize that we’re all human. Jessica Lange’s character Sister Jude in American Horror Story might have been right when she said “All monsters are human.” There are true horrors in this world and sometimes we get lost in news stories of this murder and that war. We’re all quick to condemn and judge our fellow humans committing atrocities. But do we ever stop to think, what made them that way? What happened to them? What is their place in the great cosmic story? Could causing others pain possibly be their life purpose, or has a tragic childhood forced them to wander off their divine path?
These are questions that I have grappled with recently. They’ve made their way into this piece but I don’t necessarily have the answer. I do know that the greatest force in this world is love, the greatest connection empathy. Libra is the sign of relationships, and afterwards, Scorpio comes strolling along. Scorpio and the Eighth House are the things we share in a relationship. Shared finances are relegated to this pair, along with the distress they may cause. As everyone knows, sex is Scorpio’s thing. Taurus, Scorpio’s sister sign, can lay claim to it, too, but Taurean sex is candles, whip cream, and foreplay. Scorpio is bondage, whipping, and power-play. The darker side of emotional intimacy, the power struggle. Scorpios are known to be fiercely loyal and possessive. The Eighth House is where bodies and souls melt together, where transcendence is found through unity with another soul. Scorpio is known to be a psychic sign, in tune with the undercurrents in the room. Especially the darker ones. The collective shadow. They’re known to love the taboo, the occult, the mysterious.
Astrology, by relegating the darker side of life to this sign, shows that it has its place in our lives and the universe. And don’t think you can escape it by not having your Sun, Moon or Rising in Scorpio. It will rear its head in whatever house it’s in, wherever Pluto is in your chart, and in your Eighth House. It must be faced, or it will be repressed. Freud, who was Scorpio Rising, spent his career investigating the id, our instinctual side, and how repression of it leads to neurosis. The id is composed of our sexual urges, our aggression, and our death drive (thanatos). All very Scorpio. And all very human. I think this has been an especially hard thing for females to integrate into their lives in the past, as they run counter to what society thinks a woman should be. Lilith, an asteroid in astrology, may in some ways be the female expression of the Pluto principle. I wrote a little about it in an answer to a question, here. The struggle with Plutonian energy, though, applies to all genders and all peoples.
So how does Pluto operate in our lives? It’s the farthest planet, so its cycle through the zodiac is the longest. It spends about 21 years in each sign, so it is the most generational. To see how this force manifests in your personal life, look to its house placement. Wherever Pluto is, you will be prone to some extreme transformations. When it comes to the darkness, it’s always trying to be noticed. I read somewhere that Buddhists, rather than exorcising demons, would invite them to a grand feast. After being fed and paid attention to, the demons would transform. You see, we cannot fight our demons (or drown them - “they know how to swim,” as Bring Me The Horizon sings in “Can You Feel My Heart”). We all have inner demons, darkness we hide from others, that tears us apart when we are at our weakest. It’s a sad fact that most people don’t talk about this, putting on a show of happiness. You aren’t alone in this struggle, it is life on Earth.
We overcome our demons by looking at them, taking them for what they are. Bringing the darkness to light. Although Carl Jung parted ways with Sigmund Freud because the latter was too sex-obsessed, Jung never repressed the shadow in his studies. He’s made so many important statements on the human shadow that I must include more than a few:
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
“Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light but making the darkness conscious.”
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”
“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.”
“There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.”
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”
“God is the name which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse.”
This is Pluto. This is the unconscious force inside all of us that changes our lives in drastic ways. Whether you’re orchestrating your own transformations by confronting your shadow, or if the only thing that can get you to change is some catastrophe hitting you from the outside, Pluto will destroy what you thought you knew and replace it with something much greater. It will be painful - Pluto is the planet of death, and we will have to die to ourselves many times over to get closer to our truth. Pluto is also the planet of rebirth, because every end is a beginning. Pluto is a big fuck you to the ego we’ve carefully crafted, and it can be hard to let go of an identity you’ve held for so long. But the unconscious has bigger dreams for our time on Earth. We are not whole until we integrate our shadow side. This is the true essence of power - being in contact with your whole being. No longer being unconsciously directed by your shadow side. I think we’re so quick to look down on the criminals and the neurotics of this world because we’d like to think we’re nothing like them. But the one that makes peace with his demons knows the truth, that one soul contains the collective experiences of all souls. The only thing separating us is the material illusion we’re all under - this is the true source of “evil” - thinking that we’re not all One. Peace on Earth will come when we feel in our hearts this Oneness - and inner peace comes when you become One with your shadow.
Pluto is an earthquake. Pluto is a force of nature. A disaster, a murder, a suicide. It is everything we’re afraid of. But that which we fear cannot have power over us once we accept it. Understand it. Integrate it into our lives. Just as we all must face the inevitability of our own deaths, we must face the fact that we’re better off leaving our old masks at the door, as we enter into a new chapter in our lives. Embrace change, and embrace the darkness.
Luckily, this month there has been talk of Pluto being invited back into the solar system after its exile. This spells of great change in our collective psyche :) It will be interesting to see if, as a society, we begin dealing with our collective shadow.
I think that in this whole Reyna drama you do need to take into account that the stereotype is a legitimate thing whether or not you have faced it or not. While Reyna would be the most badass lesbian around I think that if he was indeed going to portray her as bi, or gay he would have needed more of a set up in the past because yes bi girls have crushes on guys in the media in order for people to see someone as bi they need to see both the male/female side integrated or straights get >:(confused
i appreciate that this is actually like, an argument rather than just a misinterpretation of my posts lol.
but—giving reyna a girlfriend WOULD, in fact, develop her attraction to girls. quite a bit. this is not hard to do. it took one (1) conversation with percy for people to ship them (yeah granted i know it’s bc of heteronormativity but the point is…rick could pull this off). have reyna blush when she meets calypso. or have reyna take more of an interest in annabeth than jason or percy—oh, wait, that happened already.
anyway—who are bi characters for? bi people? like if you’re writing books to make straight people mad you’re just…going about everything wrong. representation in fiction is about creating lgbt characters that lgbt people can identity with. if you’re shying away from using common lesbian and bi experiences in your work because it’s stereotypical, that’s…not productive, to anything.
this stereotype can be debunked in under a sentence. all you have to do is show reyna have a meaningful connection with girls that borders on flirtatious—which has already happened, with thalia and annabeth. as far as stereotypes go, there are far more insidious ones than “lesbians are lesbians because they fail at heterosexual relationships” lol. like, the idea that reyna having a girlfriend is playing into this stereotype is 1. causally dismissing bisexuality as even a concept 2. true, for lesbians. we can’t do hetero relationships, it’s why we only date women. like yes OBVIOUSLY that isn’t the ONLY reason, our attraction to women is critically important, but like i said—that’s very easy to develop, and many argue that it’s already there.
the point is, “this character can’t date a girl because she has shown interest in boys” is a terrible mentality that represents far more negative stereotypes than the one rick is apparently trying to avoid.
I’m glad Arc-V has so many interesting female characters. I wish we could see more of them, but I’m happy they are there. We have mom’s actually exist and do stuff, the female duelists all actually duel and are known to duel, and we have several female characters who are integral to the plot. So many good things!
Interesting Things Disney Descendants Could Explore (But We’ll Probably Never See)
Arendelle and Agrabah as major trading ports, being the center of most commerce and economic activity in Auradon, beating even that of the capital. How did Aladdin, Jasmine, Elsa, and Anna handle the sudden influx of so many foreign traders, many of them with drastically advanced or ancient technologies than them, not to mention the culture? Did they adapt quickly to the new technologies, or did they suffer major culture clash between a new generation that was eager to get into computing, and one that liked their ledgers and ink just fine? What do their cities look like now, physically, especially that Agrabah now knows the magic of air-conditioning and Arendelle indoor heating and insulation?
Exactly what happened to Peter Pan and Neverland? Do they remain isolated from the rest of Auradon, or was it opened up to the point where you don’t have to take the second star to the right, and straight on till morning? Do you fly in there, do you board a ship, do you use an impressive underground tunnel? Has it become a tourist spot, like I wrote in the Girlfriend Gauntlet, their business relying mostly on people vacationing there? Or is it just an Island Nation, nothing really special about it, just more tropical? Do people still not age, or was that magic also neutralized? What happened to the native population of Native Americans, how did they integrate into Auradon?
What happened to Ancient Greece (Hercules)? Did the Pantheon also give up their powers and no longer have control over the environment, like Apollo no longer hauls the sun across the sky in his chariot? What happened to Demi-Gods if they still exist, the more benign mythological creatures like Satyrs and Nymphs? Do they also suffer from a lack of civil rights like the Sidekick League in the first book? Did Aphrodite start her own personal line of perfumes and fashion, the only thing she hates about is her perennial inexplicable theme song? (”Aphrodite/ Aphrodite/ Aphrodite…!/ The Goddess of Love!”)
How is Ancient China (Mulan) handling the wave of Feminism? What happens when a traditionally patriarchal society is suddenly shown the benefits of females being integrated into their upper ranks and military, than kept at home to be married off and take care of the children? Did they also suffer a backlash where the males start lagging behind their female peers as they’re no longer sure of their place in the world, now that the future of their families is no longer automatically with them? What happened to their severe penalties like the aborted execution of Mulan for pretending to be a man? How is the Emperor, and what happened to his assistant? Does he use a tablet (digital) instead of a scroll now? How are the ancestors dealing with the temporal clash?
What is life like for the other 99% of Auradon? Where do the sons and daughters of woodcutters, shoemakers, and merchants who weren’t lucky enough to be blessed by fairies or marry into royalty go to school? What’s life like for your average citizen of Auradon? Why do they throw away so much perfectly good stuff like more than enough scones to feed an entire Island prison with a sizable population (the Isle of the Lost)? Is the income disparity pre-Great Uniting still existing, exacerbated even, with the peasants still living in mud huts and the royals in their castles? (Though, admittedly, said mud huts now have electricity, insulation, air-conditioning, heating, running water, indoor plumbing, and wifi.)
You may wonder why I love wasps and their kin–ants, bees, sawflies–more than any other animal on earth. I have many reasons. Wasps and their kin range in appearance from beautiful (e.g. cuckoo wasps) to adorable (e.g. Baeus species) to exquisitely frightening (the contorted face of a trap-jaw ant). Ants and bees are among the most dominant and ecologically integral animals in all terrestrial ecosystems. We are utterly dependent on bee pollination to grow many of our crops. Individually, ants are tiny, but all the ants in the world are thought to outweigh all the humans in the world. Parasitoid wasps keep countless other invertebrate species in check in a legendarily gruesome way. Fig wasps are the only organisms capable of pollinating fig trees, but horrifically their wings and antennae are ripped off and their abdomens fatally rupture in the process. Eusocial species are capable of impressive feats of teamwork (creating bivouacs and unsinkable rafts from living bodies) and crowd-sourced intelligence (swarming bees using quorum-sensing to choose a new nest site).
However, one of the biggest reasons why I love wasps is what they symbolically represent to me: female empowerment.
Contrary to popular belief, only female wasps/ants/bees can sting. Male wasps/ants/bees can’t sting because they have no stingers in the first place. Moreover, in all the eusocial wasp, ant and bee species, it’s the females that do every ounce of the work. The females construct the nest. The females feed the young. The females forage for food. The females defend the nest with their lives. The females go to war against rival nests. The males have one job only: to find a virgin queen from another colony and mate before they die.
Why, though, are only the females equipped to defend the nest? If stingers are so useful, why don’t males have them too? The answer is simple: a wasp’s stinger is a modified ovipositor. An ovipositor is a tube through which an insect lays eggs. Only females lay eggs, thus only females developed ovipositors, thus only females could go on to develop stingers to envenomate their prey and their enemies.
In other words, a wasp’s femaleness is integral to her strength. Female wasps don’t just happen to be powerful; wasps are a force to be reckoned with precisely because they are female. From a wasp-based perspective, “feminine” cannot ever be synonymous with “passive,” “timid,” or “weak.” Rather, to be feminine is to be strong, tenacious, resourceful, courageous, practical, and resilient.
This is also why I have little patience for ant- and bee-centric movies like A Bug’s Life, Antz, The Ant Bully, and Bee Movie. All of these movies squander a perfect opportunity to tell a story about powerful female characters that actually makes biological sense. Instead, they went the route of changing a quintessentially-female insect society into one where at least half the work force is male, especially the main character, probably out of some fear that a movie with a female protagonist would be seen as “girly” and would alienate male audiences.
Not to end on a bitter note, I know of a perfect antidote to these male-dominated ant and bee stories, and that is a comic book called Clan Apis, by Jay Hosler. It’s the story of a colony of honey bees, and it is told from the perspective of a female worker from her larval days to her old age. It’s cute, funny, clever, and about as biologically accurate as any story about talking animals can bee.
I wish I knew more people with DID who have gone through the integration process, I want to know if other people feel genderfluid after integrating male, female, and genderless alters together and if that usually goes away with time or if its like… real genderfluidity and not specifically an alter thing. because idk which mine is, or if its both.
I think I’ve been a little bit frustrated with the reaction to Root’s death and I’ve been struggling to articulate why because it just kept sounding like I was forcing my opinion on others which I don’t really want to do. I don’t really want to tell people they’re wrong for feeling betrayed or hurt or angry because who am I to do that? But I think I’ve had a breakthrough so here’s some thoughts on her death and the reaction it has received.
1. People who started watching the show just for Root and Shaw will never know what it felt like for Root and Shaw to be a surprise. To watch it evolve organically (like all the Swan Queens and Rizzles), to see the seasons go by and the relationship develop, but then hot damn it’s canon. Not just cop out canon (Korrasami, never really truly confirmed on screen), but a hugely relevant relationship for the show from that point on. It’s just so rare for that to happen - and I really want to say for anyone here, because of course there’s issues with representation and so few queer characters on TV but I can’t think of any straight couples I’ve shipped that this has happened for either. (What is it with show runners not recognising chemistry?)
So for those of us who have been watching all along (or at least early enough to be watching the show and not the Shoot Show), it can be forgiven for killing off characters three episodes from the end because it gave us that relationship in the first place. For those that got into the show because of the fucking badass representations of gender, race, sexuality and artificial super intelligence (or possibly just for Amy Acker’s heart eyes at Sarah Shahi), it’s understandable that they would be angry because 5x10 diminished that.
That was more than I meant to say on that part.
2. People are having a hard time distinguishing between ‘I do not like this’ and ‘this is bad’. It’s okay, lots of people have this problem. I like to credit my adoration of some truly dire movies for my own ability to see the difference quite well. In this particular instance it is awkward because both are actually true it’s just people are saying one when they mean the other (one of the things that’s been frustrating me, I think, because I can be pedantic like that).
Here’s a thing: tropes are not bad. Not even the ones we don’t like.
It is okay for gay characters in TV shows to die. We may not like it, but that doesn’t make it bad writing. Anyone who was in the fandom when If-Then-Else happened will remember a hugely different reaction to Shaw’s ‘death’ than the one Root is having, and at the time there was really very little hope that she’d be back (Sarah Shahi’s interview said something about taking two years off to have the twins). So what’s different this time?
Well we can’t ignore the visibility that the Bury Your Gays trope has had these past few months. There’s always backlash when any character dies but the sheer quantity of queer (and specifically lesbian/wlw) that have been killed off recently would look like a conspiracy if 2016 wasn’t also doing it to so many awesome real people. But it is that quantity that is causing problems. You finally get given representation; it gets taken away. You are promised an epic romance; it ends in tragedy. You find a new safe place; only for it to be ruined. Any one of these things hurts but the sum total of all of them, of it being repeated over and over can be soul destroying. But:
3. We can’t really blame one show for any of the others. It’s like the Bechdel test. Taken alone as it’s own separate instance the Bechdel test is worthless. The Bechdel test does not show that an individual piece of media is good or bad, or even that it is sexist. The only thing the Bechdel test does is highlight tendencies in Hollywood as a whole. You cannot rage at one movie for failing the test.
And so (I feel) you cannot use the frequency of the Bury Your Gays trope to rage at one show for killing off a queer character. It sucks and its awful that these characters are dying but a show is only responsible for itself. By all means praise the shows that don’t do it; by all means compile data on just how god damn many shows do; by all means campaign to put an end to it, at least for a while; but try to view each shows story as its own thing, and judge the reasons for the death (internal and external) on their own merit. And that brings us to:
4. Root’s death just wasn’t that great. Dying from a random gunshot wound that we can’t really see feels weird because she’s survived loads of those before, but they don’t really do anything to show that this one is worse than any of the others. So that’s odd. Briefly let’s look at Shaw’s sacrifice. Shaw gets the Big Damn Hero arrival, flirts over a shoot out, kisses the girl then pushes her away to save her and all their friends, goes down fighting, stares her death straight in the face. As she’s my favourite character, I didn’t want Shaw to go at all but at the time I was happy that it was such an awesome…departure. Moving on.
A much better comparison for Root’s death is Carter’s. Both (as far as we know) actually died. Both were main, badass female characters integral to the series. Both threw themselves in front of bullets to save their buddy. I’m going to skip over the arc that Carter had because the show was able to focus on her for that given it wasn’t the final season and they didn’t need to tie up everything else as well.
Both at least have agency in their deaths (poor Lexa). They both choose to take the hits. They both die as a result. It is totally in character for them both to do this. Carter dies in John’s arms, and Root dies…in the car? On the way to the hospital? In the hospital?
Root dies off screen, and that is the problem. I’ve seen the producers say that they wanted to maintain the tension so that you don’t know what’s happened, but as soon as Root was taken away I was convinced she’d survived because, well, because there’s only two reasons to kill a character off screen. The first is because you can’t get the actor in to do the death scene. And the second…the second is when you don’t actually kill them.
So the whole thing just plays kind of weird, and it has the overall effect of the show not caring to give her a proper death scene, which is just odd when they went all out for Carter and Shaw, so you know it’s not a gender thing or a sexuality thing and it’s probably just a no-one-gets-it-right-all-the-time thing.
They didn’t need to kill her off in Shaw’s arms, they didn’t need to have her sacrifice be for the machine instead of Harold, they didn’t need to change much of anything at all but they needed to actually show it.
I’ve just now realised how long I’ve been going on for and if I knew how to put it behind a cut I would but alas my tumblr fu is weak. Sorry!
So boys, what do you say? Isn’t it about time the Warblers stepped into this century and put to rest the archaic, masochistic rules of the past? This is my official bid to the Warblership for the unanimous integration of female students into our club. I personally bring to your attention, Jane Hayward. A three generation Dalton legacy with powerhouse vocals and a slaying stage presence. I’m fully convinced that she alone is our secret weapon and the key to yet another National Championship title. Your thoughts and feedback are not truly appreciated because I already know I’m right, but if you wish to comment you should say your piece here before this comes to an official vote. #keepcalmandwarbleon