I’ve never really liked this scene with ARISE commenting on everything they know about muse. I feel like it sort of… undermines Nozomi, in a way? Like that was Nozomi’s whole thing in season 1: she watches over everyone, and she knows things about them that they have yet to figure out. Then ARISE shows up and does the same thing, but more vocally, and it almost feels like they’re bragging about doing it because they’re superior where Nozomi kept quiet because her knowledge came from a place of caring. You could argue that everything ARISE says is superficial (Umi’s lyrics, Hanayo’s voice) while Nozomi focused on more emotional things like Maki’s insecurity, but I don’t think that makes it better. The show spent a long time building up to Kotori’s maid job and Eli’s ballerina past, but these side characters apparently know those secrets too.
ARISE has always been that untouchable and perfect rival. I can’t tell if this episode is trying to enforce that (which it doesn’t need to do, because they’re more perfect if we don’t get to see them be characters) or if it’s trying to make them more human and equal to muse (which this scene does the opposite of).
I yearn for you. I love you. I hate you. I made horrible mistakes but I’m not the only one. While I wear them proudly, you say no one ever loved me like you did. Does that mean that they were emotionally abusive and manipulative? I want you to realize the damage you’ve done. I want the guilt to swallow you like it did me. I want what’s best for you, but let it be clear that you lost it when you lost me.
J: I mean, like, are you ready? Because you weren’t when I was pregnant. M: Okay, come on. I - It was pretty shocking. We were engaged, it wasn’t mine. J: I know. M: But it’s not some theoretical baby any more. It’s Mateo. So yeah, I’m in. I’m in.
I just really love this scene of them looking proudly at Ahsoka as she trains the rebels. Kind of a small moment to show how far she’s come by season 5 (which makes everything that happens later even more heartbreaking)
Gom+kagami going to pick up their female s/o who goes to an all girl school at the end of the day but finding out she's almost as popular with girls as kise?? (hope this makes sense!)
AKASHI: He was more than surprised to see a stream of girls following you as you stepped out of the school gates. That was when the hoard of girls threw glares his way, obviously seeing him as a threat to their precious leader. You smiled sheepishly, “Hey, Sei. Uh, these are some of my schoolmates.”
“I see.” He raised an eyebrow. “I hope they’ll allow me to take you home without biting my head off.”
You laughed, lightly nudging him. “Funny. They’re perfectly innocent.” However, looking at the look in some of their eyes, Akashi highly doubted your judgment.
AOMINE: Shit. What the hell? His midnight blue eyes was trained on you who were walking out with a group of girls still asking for pictures and shaking your hand as if you were an A-list celebrity. Reminded him of Kise. Odd. Should he be worried? Competition, maybe?
“Dai!” You called out and threw your arms around him, pecking him on the lips. “You made it. Thanks for coming.”
“Uh, no problem.” If he had something to be worried about, it wouldn’t be competition but for his life. The girls had deadly glares directed his way and he was terrified of losing his manhood at that point.
KAGAMI: Wow, he was impressed to say the least with your popularity. You continued to speak to some of them even after seeing him, giving him a signal to give you a minute to finish up. People were even asking for autographs. A proud smile spread across his face as you approached him and grinned. “Wow, you’re famous, aren’t you?”
You blushed, “It’s not that big of a deal. These are just some of my classmates.” You gestured to the girls who were standing behind you.
Kagami, oblivious to their threatening stares, only bowed and said, “Thank you so much for taking care of her. I hope you continue to be good friends with her.” That came to their surprise and Kagami was easily off their hit list.
KISE: His eyes narrowed at the many girls who were trailing after you, some even chasing after you from behind, a few waving from the top window. Pouting, he quickly tugged you into his arms, away from the grabby hands of the other girls. “Mine,” he said immaturely.
You laughed, patting his head. “Ryō, what’s gotten into you?”
“How do you have more fans than me?! We’re going to count them and I’ll make sure that I have more than you. I promise you!” You just sighed. Of course, only Kise would get competitive over such trivial things.
KUROKO: In all honesty, Kuroko had been terrified for his safety when he saw the swarm of women surrounding you. But his heart quickly bloomed with joy when he saw how well they treated and welcomed you. You kissed him on the cheek, “Hey, Tetsu. Ready to go?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “It looks like you’ve got a great bunch of friends.” He nodded over to the girls who were waving and fangirling over you. You reddened a little and shrugged. “I’m glad you’re surrounded by people who take care of you.”
“They’re great. I love them.” You announced proudly and gave one last wave to all of them and made your way home with your equally as great boyfriend.
MIDORIMA: Lucky item, please, please work. He prayed to the heavens above, to whoever was listening, that none of these savage-looking girls would attack him when he went to pick you up from your school. He thought the Generation of Miracles was scary on its own, but this was on a whole other level.
He cleared his throat and cautiously came up to you, “Are you ready to go home?”
“Shin!” You grinned and hugged him tightly. “Girls, this is my boyfriend, Midorima Shintarō. Please take care of him too. He’s great.” Midorima was highly doubtful that any of these girls’ intentions was to ‘take care of him’ unless it meant taking him out to limit competition for your attention.
MURASAKIBARA: Murasakibara’s presence was terrifying based on height alone. The girls around you instantly quieted down at the sight of your boyfriend. Each of them were probably calculating a mental plan on how to take down the giant that could be a threat to you. However, you were quick to jump to his defense. “This is my boyfriend! He’s lovable and I hope you guys will like him too.”
“Boyfriend?!” That one-word question rang across the school field as they all stared up at Murasakibara’s long purple locks and the fact that he was lazily nibbling on a popsicle.
“Yes, he’s a little big but he’s really friendly.” Judging by how he nursed that popsicle, all the girls figured out fast that all they had to do was give him food to get on his good side.
That watched as you waddled down the hallways. They weren’t carful and the had gotten your pregnant but you still had to go to school even with your by swollen belly.
For you and him it was understandable since you were married. But married in the supernatural world, not the human world. So to others you were knocked up girlfriend, but you were so much more than that. You wee their wife, the love of their life and you were carrying their child. So right in front of everyone, everyone that were whispering and poking fun. They came up to you and kissed you.
Smiling, down at you, as he laced his hand through you’re and held you close.
“How was class?” He questioned, as the whispering stopped.
“Ok.” You shrugged.
“Then let’s go out just the two of us.” He offered, “Perhaps we can get a puppy.”
Once he pulled away he acted a disapproving glance around,
“Honestly baring a child is a natural part of life and a wondrous thing. The fact that you are looking down on her is ridiculous. Instill you scorn her and laugh at my reasons to stay with her, made up reason. How many of your boyfriend would stay with you if you got with child? How many of them love you?” He arched his eyebrows, “I can proudly say I love mine.”
Pulling away he picked you up bridal style and carried you to the car.
Sitting you down once you reached the car, he helped you in and then came in himself. Then orders the driver to leave, not even caring that his brothers were still al school. Now without ride.
“Where do you wish to go princess, let’s do whatever you want.” He grinned.
“Ugh I didn’t like France. French people are racist”“Go to Italy! They’re so friendly and I hear they love black women”“Do Germans even have black people outside of the military?”
It’s something almost every black traveller fathoms before venturing abroad. How will my blackness be perceived in this predominantly non-black space? It’s a valid concern. At best, our otherness might put us on a flattering pedestal. At worst, we might get mistreated. Even traveling to remote areas of the U.S you will find people that stare at you and ask aggravating questions like “Can I touch your hair?”. I certainly wondered about how I’d fare as a black woman before moving to France.
But this post is really not just about me. Yes I am black. Yes I am in Europe. But that really doesn’t make me special. Because even though only a small percentage of African Americans travel to Europe yearly, there are tens of millions of black people that are already there: Afro-Europeans.
Black people don’t just live in Africa and the United States. Thanks (but like, no thanks) to colonialism, the African diaspora truly reaches some of the most unlikely corners of the earth. Most African Americans make the mistake of assuming that we are the only group of african descendants living as the underrepresented, mistreated, systematically oppressed minorities in predominantly white spaces. Tell that to the 55 million Afro-Brazilians. Or the millions of black descendants in the UK, Italy, and France.
But our egocentricism isn’t entirely our fault. I, too, had no idea exactly how many black and brown people lived in Europe until I came here. I assumed based on films, television, and images I had seen growing up that Europe is one homogenous white continent. Full of sameness with very little variation of color or culture (or at least not culture from an ethnic standpoint). It’s the invisible diversity of Europe. In the same way African-Americans lack representation in almost all facets of our society, Afro-Europeans lack it even more.
I had met a lot of people my first couple of months in France but I still felt something was missing. I yearned to connect with people that were like-minded. People in which I had an inevitable bond with. In short, I needed to make black friends. It sounds silly to some but anyone a part of a minority group in some way (race, sexuality, etc) understands this desire.
The problem was never the lack of black people, but how to organically make friends with them. Making friends as an adult is not an easy feat. When you’re a kid it’s so easy! All you have to do is say this:
But how do you tell a random person you think they’re kinda cool and we should hang out in the most platonic way possible without being creepy?
Several months later and I’ve met friends of friends, connected with random people through social media, and have even joined a Black Expats in Paris meet-up. By speaking with people I’ve gathered quite a few perspectives.
African Americans are both admired and envied in France. Believe it or not, we have the type of global visibility not afforded to others of the African Diaspora. African Americans are the examples of cool, the creators of pop culture. Our celebrities are their celebrities, our favorite TV shows are their favorites too. African Americans are vocal in periods of inequality and reactionary during times of social injustice. Mike Brown & Trayvon Martin are not only names uttered on American soil. “I Have a Dream” is familiar to all European ears, the “Black Lives Matter” cry has been heard around world and the Civil Rights Movement is a part of their curriculum just as much as ours. In short, the Black American experience has left a definite mark in world history.
For Black Europeans, however, their history tends to get shoved under the rug. I am not AT ALL an expert on this topic but here is a concise history of European colonization in Africa in my own words.
**Anndi’s Quick and Over-simplified History on the Conquest of Africa**
In the late 1800s, several European countries such as the UK, France, and Portugal had set up port cities in Africa for trading goods and resources. Everything was cool until this dude named King Leopold II of Belgium was like, “you know what would be awesome? My own territory in the Congo”. So homeboy sliced out a chunk of the Congo for his own PERSONAL benefit, not even in the name of Belgium. The other European powers (UK, France, Italy, Portugal, and Germany) started to freak out and thought, “Damn my ego is super big, how can I make it bigger?”. So they had a meeting in Germany, found a map of Africa, and literally cut the continent apart like slices of pizza. It’s worth mentioning that none of the African countries in question were invited to said pizza party. So NINETY PERCENT of the continent was colonized without permission, MILLIONS of Africans were forced into labor, resources were exploited, men were killed, women were raped, children were maimed, feuding ethnic groups were mixed…all under the guise that they were “saving uncivilized savages from eternal damnation”.
Flash forward several decades and the European Powers finally started to leave. Whether they left on their own accord or were driven out by revolutionary groups, the heinous effects of imperialism are evident for several African countries by way of corrupt governments, tireless civil wars, and psychological trauma.
**The End** ….Except not the end because these heinous effects still linger.
I’ve noticed a slight lack in community for Afro-French people. For African-Americans, there’s this idea of fictive kinship. I may not know you from Adam, but if we are the only two black people within a predominantly white space then we will acknowledge one another. But that’s only on a micro-level. On a macro-scale, we have become masters of creating spaces for ourselves. Hair salons & barbershops, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, BET Network, NAACP… we have a black national anthem!! All with the intent of uplifting and strengthening one another, for validating our place in a society not made for us.
But our sense of community derives from our shared experiences. Many of our ancestors were slaves. Many of our living relatives grew up in segregation. For France, and many other European countries, the experiences of black europeans, while similar, are not identical nor are they shared. At any rate, its hard to have a sense of community when you don’t even know how many people of African descent live in your country. Apparently, taking an ethnic census is constitutionally banned in France.
For Afro-french people, they’re not bound together by race as much as their family origins. If you’re a black woman from Guadeloupe, you might feel a bigger bond to people from the West Indies than to those from West Africa. Honestly, I envy greatly that Afro-Europeans know exactly where they come from and even have family that still live in those countries. I have never felt so shameful about not knowing my roots until moving here. Every time I meet an Afro-french person for the first time, the conversation goes as follows.
Them: So where are you from?
Me:I’m from the U.S!
Them:Yeah, I know. But like where are you really from?
Them:What’s your family origin I mean to say.
Me:Um…I don’t know? My ancestors were slaves so…
Me:…..Nice meeting you!
In general, there’s this idea that black people are never really from whatever predominantly white country they reside in. Afro-french people can be born and raised in Paris and never feel or be seen as “french”. Even when I meet White Europeans, they are generally skeptical about my origin story but for a different reason. Because I have a lighter skin tone than most Afro-french, many assume that I am “métisse” or mixed. During my trip to Italy, an italian man told me “You’re beautiful. I love mulatto women”. The assumption really bothers me because black and beautiful are not mutually exclusive concepts homeboy! But I do love their faces of disappointment when I tell them I am proudly, undeniably, 100% BLACK.
But let’s discuss some positives, for there are many. While Black French don’t organize against injustices in the same way we do, that doesn’t mean they aren’t having these important conversations. The Afro-fem movement seems to be really big here. I’ve seen countless articles, youtube videos, tweets, and have even been invited to conferences by Afro-feminists to discuss the interesting balance of race and gender.
I’ve met so many black french women who are smart and woke. Clever and funny. Women who want to be a voice for their community. Women who are artists, poets, and singers. Women who are beautiful inside and out. Women who are writers. Women who are fly. Women who are college educated. Women who want to uplift and strengthen their fellow sisters. Women who want to be a vessel for serious change in their society.
So don’t sleep on Afro-Europeans. They have a very real place in our world.
I would be remiss not to mention the Strolling Series by Cecile Emeke, which was in truth my personal introduction to Afro-European voices. Cecile Emeke is a British woman who brilliantly decided to film black individuals across the African diaspora. The result? Unraveling the generalized blanket of our black experiences into singular, personal threads of testimony. Emeke has filmed in the Netherlands, Italy, Jamaica, and many other countries and its widespread appeal has garnered a huge Youtube following. Of course, you’ll hear the familiar stories of micro-agressions, respectability politics, and self-love affirmation. But you’ll also hear views on mental health, sexual orientation & expression, capitalism, veganism, colonial reparations, and a plethora of other subjects not often heard from black standpoints.
So what does it mean to be Black in Europe? I have the same answer for someone who would ask what its like to be black in the U.S. There is no simple answer. The culture, the attitudes, the ideas, the joys, the struggles of black people are not monolithic. They are varied. They are nuanced. They may intersect but they don’t coalesce.
I write this to say there is more to the black experience than what you have experienced personally. I think its important not only to have conversations on blackness within the US but in a global context as well. And lets remind ourselves that as Black Americans, our global visibility gives us a certain level of privilege. The next time you say #BlackLivesMatter, mentally expand that demand outside of North America. When you think of the black community, challenge yourself to think beyond your own borders.
And if you’re able, travel abroad. Talk to people. Have these discussions. Your eyes and minds will open wider than you know.
Wait so you know from people in harry/louis's inner circle that they are engaged? This isn't some tumblr rumour?! Is their relationship like common knowledge among most people they associate with?
It’s common knowledge among anyone, anon! That’s why I’m so surprised/annoyed by antis’ void quarrels, because…like, they must know deep down, right? I mean, are they really cut off from any real info? Or do they just prefer to shove the truth back down in the same closet they pretend doesn’t exist?
I had never crossed One Direction’s path before I started getting interested in their bts happenings. As soon as I started being aware, it was so very normal and so very easy to find little things about them. About a month after I got into the fandom, I had a colleague from my own company, totally different role and sphere of action, come to me and naturally say “Hello, Maya, were you living in Wonderland?!”, like they were taken aback by me acting like I had discovered some exciting news that everybody seemed to be aware of.
And I think it’s fine to say so, because from what I understand, it’s Louis and Harry themselves who want this. They do nothing to hide themselves, nothing to pretend they’re someone else when the spotlight isn’t burning their faces and they can interact with people who won’t bother or judge or even care about them. It’s not a secret, they’re not living it as a dirty affair, they’re very proud of who they are and who they are with. And what they’re going to accomplish together. I highly dislike people taking this away from them.
Just got home from Disneyland/California Adventure! My sister and I were bummed we didn’t go yesterday, which was their official “Gay Day” and had a lot more stuff going on, but people were celebrating today too. It was nice to see so many LGBTQ+ couples being open with their love and proudly owning who they are. The main color of this year’s Gay Day was red, and there were so many folks dressed up in red “I Love My Husband/Guy/Wife/Girl” shirts or “Gay Day 2016” shirts or just red shirts in general. Even if we live in a state as liberal as California, people here can still be biggoted and it’s really comforting that a place as big as Disneyland/California Adventure would openly support our community. That really means something, y'know? To have that safe space for a whole weekend and have a company like Disney as an ally is amazing. Stuff like that doesn’t happen every day.
And trust me, they were really supportive. I didn’t realize they went all-out for occassions like this. I mean, they had cast members all over Disneyland holding rainbow picture frames for folks to snap photos with. At restaurants (I only went to one but I’m positive they sold them everywhere throughout both parks), they sold rainbow cookies, slices of rainbow cake, and reusable cups decorated with the Disneyland castle in rainbow colors (I bought one of those and now I’ll be toting it around all over my college campus). And that’s only stuff I saw today! I bet yesterday had even more LGBTQ+ festivities going on!
I just wanted to share because it made me so happy to be there on this specific day/weekend. Made me so eager to come back and get onto this blog and share my experience with all of you – maybe even put a smile on your faces.
And to make it even sweeter, just imagine McCree and Hanzo walking around Disneyland/California Adventure on Gay Day. Imagine them holding hands or throwing their arms around each other while proudly sporting matching “I Love My Husband” shirts. Imagine them sharing a slice of rainbow cake or splitting a rainbow cookie. Imagine them stopping to take a picture in every single rainbow frame they find. Imagine them interacting with other LGBTQ+ couples and constantly retelling the story of how they (McCree and Hanzo) became an item. Imagine them both acting like little kids when they sit down and watch any of the parades. Imagine them kissing under the fireworks and allowing themselves to get caught up in the joy of the moment. Imagine them leaving the amusement park with the biggest smiles on their faces, a balloon in McCree’s hand, a few shopping bags in Hanzo’s, and their fingers laced together while they try finding their car in the big ass parking structure. (Hanzo is convinced they parked on the Mickey Mouse level, but McCree is positive they’re parked on the Goofy one.)
I wanted to do a Christmas follow forever, but I got kind of lazy, so here I am now. 2015 was an interesting year for me and it had its own ups and downs. That’s when I got into K-Pop, discovered many beautiful groups and artists, bought my first album, but most importantly - met so many wonderful friends. I’m so happy that I got to know a lot of lovely people and I can proudly call them my friends. So I just wanted to thank you for being here, for talking to me, for making my days brighter and for being amazing! Of course, there are people that I don’t know that much about yet, but I love every single one of my followers and mutuals, so don’t hesitate to talk to me, I promise that I’m very friendly and gentle. To finish off this message I’m going to wish you all happiness and love, I really hope 2016 will be a great year for you and others.
mutuals*/friends ;; (*I may not talk to some of you that often or at all, but I want you to know that I really appreciate you and I love your blogs, so keep being awesome and I really hope we can talk someday)
And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society
I’ve been hearing this quoted in an Apple commercial lately and it always jumps out at me because Romance as a whole – as a fiction genre, as a part of a movie or tv show – is often looked at with disdain; mocked and belittled. Fans of romance especially get nose-thumbed over it, as if love and romance and beauty that touch the heart and inspire the mind are meaningless, unworthy, childish pursuits of the most insipid nature, an activity that shippers should be ashamed of, when these elements - beauty, romance, love - are part of the most universal hope that exists: to find and be loved, to connect with another soul who accepts you as you are & be at “home.”
As another ad, this one for Google Play, so aptly points out, “The Heart just wants to feel.”
I make no apology for being a romantic, a lover of romance fiction, nor a shipper of any tv couple’s love story. I proudly own them all. I hope you do, too.