homestuck re read

youtube

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jMzJaztnFs)

Act 2 and Repression

One of the best things about re-reading Homestuck is discovering more and more things that completely went over my head the first time through. I was fatally bored by John’s Wiseguy on my first read-through, and didn’t understand why I was being forced to read it. Now I do: the theme is repression!

John dips into the book to study a trick about punched cards (2530), which inspires his innovative use of the alchemy system (2531) and allows him to create the Pogo Hammer (2535). John says he only uses the books for the diagrams, and comments that he never understood the relation between the author (Caveney) and the magician (Anderson).

Here’s some clues:

  • Caveney gets jealous of the people Anderson entertains at a bar
  • Caveney muses that Anderson’s greatest trick is probably his immense personal magnetism
  • Caveney says Anderson can “waste everyone’s valuable time, and have you love him for it.”
  • Caveney calls Anderson an elf, on the basis that Caveney is 2.5 ft taller. He follows by asking Anderson “how he felt about climbing into the hollow of a big tree to bake some cookies or something”

The last one bears a structural resemblance to Dave’s “im your 300 pound matronly freight-train and my gaping furnace is hungry for coal so get goddamn shoveling” (300). It suggests that baked goods may have subconscious sexual connotations for John, giving another dimension to his strident aversion to cake and his irrational hatred of Betty Crocker. Those are venues into which John has packaged (non-exclusively!) the struggle with his nascent sexuality – again, we are given clues to his symbol language.

This isn’t the first time repression is suggested. Dave ribbed John about his “gross man-bro crush on matt macconahay” (2010), Rose accused Dave of “flagrant homosexuality” for not doing what she wanted (2233), and Dave called the slimer scene in Ghostbusters II “manbro bukkake theater” (2153). Those moments could be passed off as jokes, but the Wise Guy excerpt is the point where Husssie points out that repressed gay thoughts are a theme and you should probably start taking the jokes seriously.

Though it’s not like that’s news at this point.

Subtlety at its finest.

Just finished re-reading homestuck in 20 days :P

Honestly all the problems I had with the ending seem really small after re-reading it. I still hope for a small epilogue that answers the 2 biggest questions left by act 7 (wtf did alt callie even do and how the fuck did the ‘going back to defeat lord english and getting trapped in the house’ even happen) and a book or something released about classpect that actually gives some true answers, but honestly i’m ok/happy with how homestuck is. I can easily still recommend it to anyone who is actually willing to put in the time and effort.

Vriska Serket: It's almost 2015, she's still a dick

I’ve been re-reading Homestuck, and one of the things that’s interested me most is how simply and step-by-steply Vriska’s character has been laid out since dying.

VRISKA: We’ve amassed a coalition of eager volunteers ready to lay down their ghost lives for a worthy cause.

VRISKA: We should 8e very gr8teful for their 8ravery. They are making a no8le sacrifice for us all.

This is how Vriska wants John (and everyone else) to see her - a gr8 hero who is so awesome and respectable and cool that people are ready and willing to die for her cause.

But when Tavros points out that those ghosts AREN’T volunteering and DON’T want to be enslaved or murdered, her tone changes pretty quickly.

VRISKA: You’ve got to understand, John. Most of these people are pretty self a8sor8ed. They just needed a little 8it of persuasion to join the cause.

So she goes from singing their praises to insulting them for not wanting to die for her. Suspicious.

JOHN: yeah, but…
JOHN: isn’t that still kind of, um…
JOHN: dickish?
VRISKA: 8ut all these stu88orn jackasses are going to dou8le die anyway if we don’t all work together and kill this guy!
VRISKA: This is WAR, John. In times of war, difficult decisions have to 8e made with the lives of many.

When John continues to express his lack of appreciation, she gives more insults towards the people she’s enslaving and murdering, now with the addition of her insisting that it’s the only way and she’s taking the burden upon herself. Borf.

Later on, some shit happens, Vriska explodes at and abuses Tavros one last time. He flies off and tells her to fuck himself, as do Sollux, Feferi and Nepeta. Brave, sacrificing Vriska’s very mature and understanding response to this is:

VRISKA: GOOD RIDD8NCE YOU 8ACKSTA88ING INGR8TES!
VRISKA: I HOPE LORD ENGLISH E8TS YOU 8LL!!!!!!!!

John reveals that he has the ring, but rather than offering it to Vriska he says that he’d like to get going too, which is pretty understandable. Vriska is quick to change her tone.

VRISKA: John, w8!
VRISKA: I hope we’re not parting on 8ad terms here.
VRISKA: You aren’t holding all this treasure hunting shit against me like Tavros is, right?
VRISKA: We’re still cool, right John?
JOHN: uh…
VRISKA: If you have to leave, I get that, 8ut I really want us to stay friends!
VRISKA: I always felt like we had a special 8ond, John. Like we’re 8oth always in the position of having to take charge as leaders, even if we never asked for that responsi8ility.
VRISKA: And I don’t wanna pressure you into anything, 8ut I would really appreci8 it if you’d at least think a8out me next time you take a nap with that ring on!

She pulls the ‘Oh poor me’ shit regarding Tavros’s 'betrayal’ of her, tries to emotionally blackmail John into relating to and continuing to be nice to her, and then -genuinely politely- asks him to at least think about giving her the ring. A stark contrast to how she’d asked the same thing of Tavros.

John, to his credit, doesn’t fall for her manipulative shit, and nor does he tear into her. He bluntly states that he’s not comfortable with the shit she’s doing, and that clearly it’s not just a case of her 'being a troll’, which is the excuse she gave him for all of her actions even three years ago. He makes it clear he’s not giving her what she wants. Vriska responds appropriately.

VRISKA: Look, you made yourself perfectly clear. You think I’m a heartless monster, and you don’t want to help me out.
VRISKA: Whatever!

More emotional blackmail and outrageous statements to cover up her own pain, and to try and put the focus on John for 'not wanting to help’ rather than WHY he felt that way.

Then she gives her infamous '8y 8eing me’ speech, which is nothing more than a masturbatory bid to save face. The only people it managed to fool were some members of the fandom, who didn’t seem to think about how -actually terrible- it is when a character outright states they don’t care about being a good person.

VRISKA: I only ever wanted to do the right thing no matter how it made people judge me, and I don’t need a magic ring to do that.
VRISKA: You don’t have to 8e alive to make yourself relevant.
VRISKA: And you don’t have to 8e a good person to 8e a hero.

Even so, that makes sense. Vriska is clearly setting herself up to be the gr8 grim antihero who did the right thing no-one else could no matter what the cost. Right?

Except later on….

VRISKA: Like that whole dramatic speech I gave when I jumped into the flaming pit.
VRISKA: Was that really a genuine thing, or like, a desper8te last attempt to 8e who I think I should 8e?

When even Vriska herself admits her 'inspiring speech’ was a load of shit, you KNOW that it was a load of shit.

And even more damning is this line:

VRISKA: May8e the truth is I don’t even care all that much if anyone stops Lord English.
VRISKA: I think all I really cared a8out was getting to do it myself.

Straight from the horses mouth. (lul horse)

Vriska NEVER cared about anything being saved - all she cared about was BEING the savior, and how that would make people, including herself, think of her. And at the end of it all, when she’d murdered all of those innocent people entirely for her own ego… She decided not to use the weapon she’d sacrificed them all for. She didn’t even have the globes to go through with what she’d started. If it hadn’t been for John getting his powers from it - and that wasn’t her plan, either - their murders would have been for absolutely nothing. Not that she cared, of course.

So in conclusion:

1. Vriska would MOST LIKE to be seen as a gr8, altruistic hero who saves the day with style and awesomeness.

2. If she can’t be seen as that, then she’ll try and write off her 'grey’ morality by insisting it’s not THAT bad, geez! Still totally a hero.

3. If that doesn’t work, then she’ll pull a huge, whiny, emotional shitfest dubbing herself a horrible nasty person who will STILL save the day for all the ungrateful assholes around her, even though she won’t get a lick of thanks. Classic antihero!

4. But underneath all of that, we really see that Vriska ISN’T a hero at all - she just wants to be one. It’s all about her, never anything or anyone else for even a moment. At the end of the day, she’s a stupid kid trying to prove herself by reaching the end goal and never thinking about the actions she’s taking to get there.

Man, it sure would be great if people would recognize this. If I run into another RP Vriska who the rper clearly thinks is a good, heroic person underneath all the abuse, murder and complete self-obsession, I am going to puke.

Note: I love Vriska as a character, and she’s probably the character who’s personality and motives I have the most interest in out of the whole comic. I don’t have to delude myself into thinking she’s nice and noble DEEP DOWN to appreciate the hell out of this fascinating wreck of a girl, and neither should you.

2

Unlike trolls, who have 4 categories to describe their romantic/platonic relationships, humans have 2. They would be equivalent to the flushed and pale quadrants, paralleling as sexual and romantic attraction.

Since trolls don’t have gender bias, they don’t have orientations like humans do, so they only have 4 (basic) relationship titles (aka the quadrants).

so I’m re-reading homestuck and guess what part I’m at

In light of the recent upd8, I went back to re-read some stuff and

I don’t think Meenah left (Vriska) just because (Vriska) is vulnerable and she’s afraid to hurt her.

I think Meenah is also running away from (Vriska) because (Vriska) makes her feel vulnerable.

3

I am re-reading Homestuck - actually trying to catch up to the group re-read that will finish by 4-13. I just got to the “?????” around Karkat and Terezi’s conversation above and it’s my first time back at this page but knowing what lies on the other side of that password really sucks. I remember the first time through trying to convince myself that it didn’t mean Karkat but looking at the timing how could it not?

I have come to the conclusion that this may be the saddest part of the webcomic - to me anyway, and I am a davekat shipper so…Is it weird that the death of a ship would be more crushing than some character deaths? But, I guess it’s really the loss of their close friendship in the retcon timeline more than anything that sucks and I was not expecting the reread to have more feels than the first time through.

Well enough rambling, I’ll go find some art to reblog.

-Sailorluna