I've been thinking a lot about Anakin lately and I'm not sure if his sense of self is rooted in who he is as much as it is what he is. He's so used to thinking of himself in terms of 'I am a slave', ' I am a Jedi', 'I am the Chosen One'. He seems to relate to himself as a thing.
He really does. It’s even possible to watch the movies as the progressive breakdown of Anakin’s sense of self.
When we first meet him, it’s with the defiant line, “I’m a person, and my name is Anakin.” He’s very adamantly naming himself as a person, in distinction to the name that’s pushed on him, “slave.” But the defiant tone is important there. This is a kid who is insisting on his personhood in a world where that’s not recognized by those with power over him. It’s the insistence of a person trying to remind themself of what’s true when the world around them is constantly gaslighting them.
Then Qui-Gon comes along, and the Jedi Order, and now Anakin’s not a slave but he is the Chosen one. Fast forward to AOTC, and we’ve got Anakin primarily referring to himself not as a person before all else, but as a Jedi. (In light of this, the scene following the Tusken massacre is especially interesting. Padme says that to be angry is to be human, but Anakin responds with “I’m a Jedi.” Padme insists that he’s a person, but he seems to see being a Jedi as being somehow apart, more than (or perhaps, subconsciously, less than) human.)
By the time we get to ROTS, Anakin’s entire self-conception is focused around the Jedi and the war. Everyone keeps insisting to him that he is the Chosen One. It’s even one of the last things he hears from Obi-Wan. “You were supposed to be the Chosen One.” But he’s not, not anymore, because now he has a new Master who’s given him a new name and new orders.
He spends 20 years following those orders, and finally there’s ROTJ, when Luke explicitly tries to give him back his name - his name, not the name Palpatine assigned him - and all Anakin can respond with is “I must obey my Master.”
As Granny Weatherwax of Discworld says, sin is when you treat people like things, including yourself. And Anakin spends most of his life essentially viewing himself as a tool.
I am loving the top 10 lists!! Can you please do one that is like "top 10 vacation/travel stories"
Top 10 Vacation/Travel Stories:
10) The first time they go to Thailand to visit Phichit, they
both try and speak as much Thai as they can to practice the language and be
polite. The only problem is is that Viktor speaks about three words of actual Thai and
the rest of his technique is just have a go and learn along the way and Yuuri
has a really, really strong accent when he speaks Thai so Phichit spends the whole trip just laughing at
both of them
9) Once when they were sunbathing on the beach Viktor fell
asleep by accident and got sunglass tan lines burned onto his face and refused
to come out of the house for days until they faded
8) Once during the NHK Trophy, Chris and Phichit were skating
in it and Viktor and Yuuri had come to cheer them on and before the competition
they went out to get food together. Since they were in Japan they all made sure to go to a café that
was absolutely filled with posters of Yuuri just to watch him slowly die of embarrassment
7) On Viktor’s first visit to Japan he stayed in the onsen
so long that Yuuri was concerned he had drowned because he decided that hot
springs were the best things on earth and he never wanted to leave
6) During Yuuri’s first trip to Russia he met some of Viktor’s
neighbours and they were all really nice but whenever he saw them gossiping in
the halls of the building when he walked past he noticed they kept using the same phrase all the time before looking over at him and
smiling and laughing. He got kind of self-conscious and worried that they were laughing at him or
saying he wasn’t worthy of Viktor or something. When he repeated the phrase to
Viktor it turned out that all of Viktor’s neighbours in his apartment block had
taken to calling Yuuri ‘Viktor’s attractive foreign boyfriend’ and were usually
gossiping about how lucky Viktor was whenever Yuuri walked by
5) The one I mentioned in a previous top ten about them both
being on a long haul flight and Yuuri slept for the entire 15 hours and
felt great and Viktor couldn’t sleep at all and got bored out of his mind
because his boyfriend was asleep and not paying him any attention
4) Once Viktor and Yuuri both went back to Detroit for a
Skate Club reunion for Yuuri and all the skaters there spent the entire time
gawking at Viktor because A) Yuuri somehow managed to bag himself the Living
Legend and they were all very jealous/impressed and B ) They all remembered how
Yuuri used to be hell bent on beating Viktor and then the next time they see
him he has a ring and they spend the entire time calling each other pet names
and holding hands and generally being the cutest couple ever
3) The first time they visit Chris in Switzerland, Yuuri
secretly practices French because it’s what he always hears Viktor and Chris
talking in and he doesn’t want to sound ignorant or feel left out even though
Viktor had already promised to translate if need be. But then they arrived and
everyone was talking in German and Yuuri was like ‘what?’. And then they
travelled somewhere else and everyone was talking in Italian and Yuuri was like
‘what???’ And then they finally went to the French speaking part of Switzerland
but Chris offhandedly mentioned that there was also Romansh as another official
language and Yuuri was like ‘help, I’m not multilingual enough for this’.
2) On Yuuri’s first trip to Russia he finally got to
experience the dubious joy of Viktor’s driving which mainly consisted of him
hanging on for dear life in the passenger seat like ‘we’re going to die, we’re going to die, Viktor I DON’T WANT
TO DIE IN A PINK CONVERTIBLE’
1) Once Viktor and Yuuri were walking around Tokyo on a trip
and lots of people were looking at them and Yuuri was just like ‘oh Viktor,
look how many people are looking at you! There must be a lot of skating fans
here.’ And Viktor was just sort of side-eyeing him like, ‘Yuuri do you think
they’re looking at me, the Russian tourist, or you, Japan’s Ace who has won
multiple gold medals for this country and whose face is on a billboard literally
right across the street from us?’
❝I came to see what the famous Class A was like, but you seem pretty arrogant. Are all the students in the hero course like this? Seems something like this makes me disillusioned. There are quite a lot of people who enrolled in general studies or other courses because they didn’t make it to the hero course. Did you know that?❞
“looking good y/n” Calum whistled, eyeing me up and down as Luke and I entered the crowded house. I smiled shyly and looked down, muttering a thanks just loud enough over the music so that Calum could hear me. “no problem sweetheart, enjoy the party guys” Calum smiled, patting Luke’s shoulder as he disappeared back into the crowd.
I felt Luke’s grip on my hand tighten but I ignored it and focused on the scene in front of me. A house party, one of Calum’s specialities and this one was no different. Loud music was blasting through the whole house and people where scattered everywhere, drinks in their hands.
It pisses me off so much how in the books Parvati and Lavender are just pidgeon-holed as ‘fashion obsessed hair heads’ for most of the books?
I mean, they might not be, but that was the impression pre-teen!me got from reading the books?
And now I’m all … okay, okay Hermione is awesome and we all know it.
But that doesn’t mean Lavender and Parvati are stupid just because they are geared differently from Hermione.
Fashion is hella hard and it requires a lot of memorization and attention to detail? And honestly Lavender and Parvati seem to be pretty nice people, in the little glimpses we get of them?
And all I want is Harry, following the Weasley without getting noticed (because he is used to sneaking around without disturbing people or attracting their attention, owing to the Dursley for that) and getting through the barrier and on the train.
And Lavender’s father helping him out with his baggage, jokingly asking him to keep an eye on his little girl? You seem like a good lad, my Lavender is the most beautiful girl, I need a strong gentleman to keep an eye out until she gets to Hogwarts and she starts to learn magic, so are you up to it?
Which is, of course, not true. Lavender has been going to self-defense lessons for years.
But the man noticed that this was a little kid with no parents around, looking all alone.
He thought 'hey, maybe I can stick him with my kid and they’ll make friends’
(btw, as Lavender is not, as far as I know, confirmed as pureblood in canon, I am going with half-blood or muggleborn for her, I’m thinking muggleborn for this specific AU?)
And Lavender is all “Daddy!” and apologizing to Harry for her dorky dad the moment he is out of the door.
And very nicely avoiding to comment on his clothes because she knows how it feels to be conscious of how your clothes look on you and it’s clear to her eyes that the way Harry is dressed he is probably from some orphanage or something because those are huge hand me downs.
(Because fuck you 90s, being fashion conscious doesn’t mean you are an elitist bitch).
And her parents are looking at her from the Platform and instead of asking about Harry’s life, not wanting to put him on the spot, Lavender waves to them and starts talking to Harry all “Those are my parents, they are so fascinated with the idea of magic and what I will learn at Hogwarts, I can’t wait to write to them all about the castle. My dad works in an office as an accountant and my mother has a column in –” Insert popular teen magazine for 90s UK.
And Harry is a bit overwhelmed but Lavender isn’t staring at him, she is not forcing him to talk and she looks nice.
So he kind of starts to tell her about the Dursely y'know, not like he did with Ron about how terrible they are, but about Vernon working for Grunnings (Lavender giggles and says 'Oh I am so sorry but it just sounds like a really silly name? Grunnings.’ and she tries to stretch the word a bit and Harry laughs a little and says yes, because it does sound silly the way she’s saying it, he just had never thought about it. 'I think it’s Swedish or something’ he offers and Lavenders nods sagely because yes, that makes sense) and how Petunia lives at home and reads all sort of gossipy papers, but not teen ones so sorry, he has never seen Lavender’s mom’s column.
And then the door to their compartment open and Parvati and Padma’s mother (I don’t know if they are pureblood but I’m headcanoning them as pureblood for this one) politely asks if there’s space for two more girls and when Lavender and Harry, after looking at each other, agree, Madam Patil levitates their trunks in (much to the amazement of Harry and Lavender) and settles them above and then guides her daughters in.
She introduces them, putting her hands on her shoulders, cautions her girls to not get wand-happy and wishes everyone a happy Hogwarts year and then leaves them there, going back to the Platform to join her husband and tell him how she left their daughters in the presence of Harry Potter.
“He looked dreadful. Hard up at the very least. I think you should look into his family situation. His clothes, at the very least, were terrible.” She murmurs, softly. “I am sure our girls will adopt him before the ride is over, so you should look forward to hearing about him in their letters.”
Her husband, who knows all about his beloved’s wife tendency to take people under her wing and adopt dangerous animals and fell in love with her for it (as well as for other qualities she has) because he’s very much the same, smiles fondly at her for the last bit and nods seriously at the first one.
It doesn’t matter who the boy is. Well it does, because Harry Potter of course, but it also doesn’t matter because no child should be mistreated.
Also it’s kind of strange that Harry Potter would look hard up, considering it’s common knowledge his parents left him handsomely provided for, full tuition to Hogwarts already paid.
Lavender gushes about how beautiful the Patil twins are, which immediately conquers Parvati, who gushes right back at Lavender’s sparkly accessories.
(Look, I might be wrong because this was the UK and not Italy, and if I am please let me know, but I was a child in the 90s, I bought italian teen magazines, sparkly shit taped to the cover under a plastic sleeve was the shit with fashionable people.)
Of course the moment Harry introduces himself, the Parvati twins try really hard not to goggle, though they do look at his scar, and then Parvati starts asking a storm of questions about where he grew up, whether the Harry Potter adventure books right about all he did since he was a child, if not that what did he do since beating You-Know-Who.
Harry 'Do you mean Voldemort?’ is greeted by soft gasps, right until Lavender asks 'Who?’ and then Parvati starts telling her all about the horrible Voldemort and how Harry and his parents saved them all from that monster.
Padma’s brain on the other hand is whirring and she is the one who reassures Harry that he will do just as fine as everybody else, when he says that.
Lavender and Parvati interrupt their convo because Lavender needs to assure to Harry that she’s muggleborn too, so they will have to learn together and he will be just on par with her, while Parvati explains that magical kids do get a leg up because some of them are allowed to practice at home but that really, she will make sure Harry is up to date with everything that is 'stupefy’ about the magical world.
At which point, Lavender asks what 'stupefy’ means and Padma explains that it’s the stunning spell, so don’t say it while pointing your wand at anyone and Parvati adds that it means, well, the most stunning things around.
(What? Wizarding children should have their own slang).
So by the point Hermione and Neville come by, the group as already made the first basic ties and while Neville is greeted and introduced by Padma and Parvati to the rest of the group, Hermione goes on fine right until she hears Harry’s name.
Padma and Parvati thinks it’s … whatever wizarding equivalent is there of gauche, that Hermione would throw that torrent of words at Harry and just … presume to know about him.
Lavender is just hella protective of her new friend.
Tightly knit protective of Harry formation is achieved in 0.2 seconds.
Neville, who has been around other pureblood children but has been condescended upon by most of them (not Padma and Parvati, given that Parvati will stick up for him later on, but still, it was a general tendency towards a potential squib) has found in Hermione one person who has been nice to him to the point of going out of her way to help him look for his embarrassing toad, so he gets protective of Hermione right back.
So basically, Parvati tells Hermione that she should not barrage people with informations like that, Neville replies timidly that Hermione didn’t mean anything bad, she just like quoting sources, Lavender tells Harry that he doesn’t have to worry, they’ll look up all that stuff when they get to Hogwarts, Hermione gets huffy because of course she didn’t mean anything bad, she just thought Harry would know about that stuff, Padma asks why Hermione would think that when Harry has been raised in the muggle world, Neville goggles at the news that Harry was raised in the muggle world.
It’s a mess.
And then Draco Malfoy arrives, because he’s been making the rounds of the train to look for Harry Potter (saying hi to family allies on the way).
I am not sure who says what to whom for most of the ‘chat’ but what I am sure of is that by the end of it, Neville and Hermione are going to be best friends forever and an united front against snobby purebloods, Padma has icily informed 'Mister Malfoy’ that she will be writing to her father about how low the raising standards of the Malfoy have fallen to produce Draco as a result, in response to a snipe Draco made about telling his father about the Patil twins and the rabble they are sticking with, Parvati has informed Crabbe and Goyle that she had not thought they were better than this but they definitely need to find themselves friends who don’t just treat them like dumb muscle and Lavender has vowed to herself that it doesn’t matter to her how cute Draco Malfoy is or how attractive his silver hair are she will spell his hair and robes to look like something an 80s hairband groupie would wear, just as soon as she learns the necessary spells.
To make it simple, battle lines have been drawn, metaphorical blood has been spilled on all sides and the Harry-Lavender-Parvati-Padma friendship has been set in stone.
Ron, if you are curious about him, found a compartment that had Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas in it and spent a really amazing first ride to Hogwarts.
They both made sure Dean knew how Gryffindor was the best house there ever is and then they explained Quidditch to him and became fascinated when Dean explained football (to americans: soccer) to them, especially once Dean started sketching out schemes and stuff.
There are too many players, but it looks like exactly the kind of team effort chasers have to put together only spread through eleven people and that’s just wow.
-Reigen has never followed a budget. Ever. He’s tried multiple times but always fails within .5 secs
-do I need this absolutely not I would like 5 please
-Used to be terrible at body language. Couldn’t read people for shit
-He ended up reading some books on body language and trying to mimic them in the appropriate situations
-He may have gone overboard but he stopped caring and now it’s just a Thing
-Was a little punk. But it was more of a ‘If I’m a tough fuck then nobody will mess with me’. Went overboard there too.
-When you gotta beat someone’s ass behind the dumpster at 2 but volunteer at the dog shelter at 3
-Still volunteers at the dog shelter
-Nobody talks to him because He’s Weird but he doesn’t notice because Dog
-Used to have a booze stash at the office but then Mob started working there. Gotta at least try to be a role model
-Has had multiple anxiety attacks over whether he’s actually done any good for Mob
-Can and will fall asleep anywhere in any position
-Mob keeps a list of places he’s found Reigen asleep
-Dimple and Ritsu get in on it and they make a game of it
-Ironically has bouts of insomnia. Usually after a particularly dangerous case
-Has never met Mob’s parents
-Kinda wants to but isn’t sure how to approach the ‘your son comes home from work a bloody pulp every other week and you have nEVER CALLED ME NOT ONCE’ subject
-Kinda worried that Mob will turn out like him but then thinks that Mob is already better than him so he’ll be fine
-Makes up cases just to let Mob and his friends have a fun outing
-Used to wish he had a little sibling
-No longer wishes and is perfectly content with it
-Has learned first aid since hiring Mob
-Has been scolded for not taking better care of himself by Mob (and Ritsu 'my brother looks up to you at least try look like you know how to be human god when was the last time you ate can you please try to act like an adult for once in your miserable life’)
-Has secret stashes of cash all about the office and his apartment but then forgets about them
Tyler Dillot was 27 years old, not good looking, and very
much “out of shape.” The last time he had been “in shape” was back in high
school at Regis Prep when he had been on the track team. Back then he had gone
by Ty, the Dill Man, or Dildo (only by his closest companions). Then college
had come and gone, as had his physique and his innocence, and then he became “out
of shape.” In fact there was no shape to him. He wasn’t a rhombus or a
quadrilateral or even a parallelogram. He was a torso and limbs. But he was
determined to make a change.
It was a Calvin Klein advertisement that prompted the sudden
urge for physical enlightenment. The billboard was on the corner of East
Houston and Lafayette and depicted a half naked woman and half naked man embracing
while only wearing Calvin Klein underwear. The half naked woman was beautiful and Tyler
had seen her before on some Instagram feed on one of his late night rabbit
holes, but the man on the billboard was otherworldly. The man’s body was
rippling with muscle, and Tyler very quickly became aware of how sweaty he was
under his thin t-shirt, even though it was only 65 degrees out and breezy and
not even mid April and all he had done that Saturday morning was wake up at
11:20, eat a bagel, drink an almond latte with an extra shot of espresso, check
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, then Instagram again. He could feel a pimple
forming on the back of his neck.
“I am going to join a gym,” he announced to the world.
“Shut up,” said a stranger passing by.
Later that day he had joined Equinox ($200 initiation fee,
$250 per month), bought a new pair of Nike Free Run Trainers ($130), three pair
of Nike Flex Running shorts ($45 per pair), and three Under Armour t-shirts
He had wanted to get Nike shirts as well, for he hated
mixing brands almost as much as he hated wearing brands, but the Nike tops were
all too tight on his chest and made his nipples feel exposed. Being self
conscious about ones nipples is one of the worst things in the world, aside
from global hunger and YouTube personalities who play the ukulele, so he went
with the Under Armour shirts which were more forgiving on both his physique and
He would have to phone home and let his father know about
the additional charges to the card, but he was still skiing in Aspen and
wouldn’t be home for another week. The charges wouldn’t be an issue, he just
wanted his father to know so he could be proud of his son for the effort. His
father was rich and the rich are always happy when their children spend money.
If they don’t have any children, they spend their money on Porsches or plastic
surgery, both of which have a near 100% success rate.
Tyler had planned on getting into the gym early the next
morning but had drank too much that evening at Erik Brennan’s 32nd
birthday party. Erik was from an improv class Tyler had taken when he first
moved to the city, and had recently made a video where he interviewed people on
the street and asked them what their favorite sexual positions were. Then Erik
explained to them if they were subconsciously sexist or not. The video had gone
viral and been featured in both Vox and Bustle that morning and subsequently
retweeted by Ellen. It was important work and Tyler had shared it on his own
Facebook page with the caption “funny + thought provoking work = Erik Brennan.”
The party was at a Mexican bar in the East Village, and
Tyler had a few beers, said hi to Erik, had two shots of tequila, sang Erik
happy birthday, had a Sangria, said bye to Erik, then ate 2 slices of pizza
(one sausage, one sausage and pepperoni), and left at 2 AM. When he got back he
ate a spoon of peanut butter straight from the jar (for protein) and fallen asleep.
He woke at 11 AM, checked Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, than
Instagram again, where he liked one of Erik’s photos from the party, taken
after he left. “Good friends, good timesss” he commented. Then he got dressed
and went to the gym, stopping only to purchase a green drink ($7), a Smart
Water ($4), and a protein bar ($3).
Equinox was packed, like church on a Sunday morning, only
with more self-righteousness and sweat and judgment, and Tyler felt as if
everyone was staring at his nipples. He had planned on pairing with a physical
trainer but none were available when he arrived at noon, so he sojourned into
the unknown, alone.
The treadmills were all full, as were the ellipticals, and
he briefly entertained the idea of trying out the rowing machine, before
realizing he had never rowed a boat in real life, why would he start on a lie.
So he made his way to the floor of free weights and barbells.
Tyler did a few reps on each arm of the twenty-pound
dumbbell then moved over to one of the benches where a muscular man with a tan
was just finishing up a set with a large amount of weight. He was grunting and
panting as if mid-coitus, and when he finished he let out a moan of pleasure
Tyler had never released in all of his life.
“Are you finished with the bench?” Tyler asked.
The tan man took one of his headphones out.
“What?” he replied.
“Are you finished with the bench?” Tyler repeated himself, a
little louder this time.
“No need to yell bro, all yours,” the man with the tan said
as he walked away. Tyler watched him make his way over to the water fountain
and noticed a tattoo on the back of his bulging neck. “For Strength &
Honor” it read in a cursive font worthy of an encyclical.
Tyler smirked and made a joke in his head about how any neck
tattoo should really just say “unemployable,” then thought about tweeting it
and ending up typing it out and saving it in his drafts to tweet out later that
day when he was likely to get better circulation.
He sat on the bench and checked the weight on either side of
the bar. It was 150 pounds, forty pounds less than what he weighed. He knew he
wouldn’t be able to do any reps of it, but he was curious as to see how heavy
150 pounds really was.
“For strength and honor,” he whispered to himself,
He lay back, ducking his head to fit under the bar. He
reached up and gripped the steel, still wet with sweat from the tan man’s
hands. He exhaled then pushed up slightly. The bar didn’t budge. Then he pushed
slightly harder and felt it move a bit. Finally, with a grunt like a small
boar, he pushed up with all his might. He felt it lift up a little then raise
into the air just an inch.
The bar was already wet from the tan man’s hands, and
Tyler’s soft palms were oily and sweaty and added to the steel’s slippery
state, and so as slippery things often do, the bar slipped.
It fell from his grasp and rolled just over the edge of the
cross beams meant to hold the bar secure. 150 pounds came crashing down onto
Tyler’s throat and crushed his windpipe, severing his intake of air. He
screamed but nothing came out and the tan man with the tattoo couldn’t hear him
due to his headphones being noise-cancelling.
By the time he noticed it was no
use. Tyler was finally in shape.