I’m still alive! Just in Chicago, and with really crappy internet!
I do, however, have an announcement: despite my being almost unreasonably attached to my Tumblr handle, I am changing my username to ‘akathecentimetre.’ This will sync up with my AO3 account, and help me wall off my Fandom Self from my Work Self a little more firmly as I start to gear up some new professional projects; I’ve also gone through and untagged ‘gpoy’ from most photo posts of myself, and will be more circumspect about putting up my face in the future. I also have a new username that I’m using across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., but those of you who know my real name will still be able to find me using it.
Otherwise, it’ll be business as usual around here! I hope you are all FABULOUSLY well. <3
Story time: The Day I Blocked my Grandmother on Facebook
Setting the scene: My grandmother is a very conservative lady who thinks sexism is over because women can vote, racism is over because we elected a black president, the gays have an agenda, the muslims are taking over, and that global warming doesn’t exist, NASA and the UN are just in cahoots with the Japanese who invented the idea for profit (???). My grandmother has a facebook and because she’s retired and has nothing better to do she likes to reblog usually completely false or misrepresented information in the form of alt-right articles/memes all day long. I unfollowed her. The problem, though, is that if I like or comment on any of my friends posts about, say, concern RE Trump’s education/environmental/healthcare policies, she feels the need to comment. When I or one of my friends give her evidence that her claims are incorrect, or her news sources unreliable, she either stops posting, or accuses us of being brainwashed by the liberal media (yes, she includes research/statistics published by NASA as “liberal media”). Fun. Over the past few days she’s been in high form with all the women’s march photos going around (they have the right to vote what more do they want?, they don’t have jobs, they hate men, they’re all there because they want abortions and handouts), so my patience was already wearing thin. Which brings us to today.
The day begins when I like a friends post about the pro-life movement perhaps being more effective if they A. advocated for scientifically accurate sexual education and B. stopped trying to shut down Planned Parenthood, because they they provide a massive amount of both education and easily accessible contraceptives. Grandma jumps in to say that PP “primarily provides abortions.” I respond with evidence to the contrary. She changes her argument. “Well abortions shouldn’t be federally funded anyway.” I provide evidence that they haven’t been for a while and that federal funds used by PP are allocated for other services, while private funding is used for abortions. “Well I don’t trust them. They’re sneaky and are probably using federal funds anyway.” Ok, grandma.
At lunch she finds a new thread to comment on, a meme about “alternative facts” in which she claims that the liberal media is brainwashing us and there were, indeed, 1.5 million people at the inauguration. During this she somehow also condemns the middle east as being part of that brainwashing, and, strangely, PBS (a “liberal rag”) enabling it. Ok, grandma.
Shortly after lunch, she comments on two more women’s march pictures (I’ll spare you) and one NPR article about the DAPL. Here she also calls NPR a “liberal rag” and continues on the whole brainwashing thing even after multiple people provide multiple alternate sources for her that say exactly the same thing including Slate and the The Washington Post. Apparently none can be trusted because they are biased ( “liberal rags” was used yet again). Ok, grandma.
Here’s where I hit my limit. She tags me in a video by Live Action (I’m sure you know the one, heavily edited implying that Planned Parenthood was selling fetuses–you know, the video that was proven false by a federal investigation TWO YEARS AGO). I untag myself as quickly as possible and post an article on her wall about the investigation and its findings. I preface it by saying that citing Live Action is the equivalent of citing Breitbart in terms of journalistic integrity. This is what follows.
And that’s the story of how I blocked my grandmother on facebook.
Creepy Weeb from OKCupid can't take no for an answer
So, this story starts on OKCupid, the breeding ground for inappropriate, creepy men, and how I met the creepiest, most inappropriate one of the bunch. Oh, and of course he is a weeaboo.
He messaged me with “Hi :)” and I checked out his profile. His pictures were of him in Assassin’s Creed and Ash Ketchum cosplay and he said some pretty weird ass shit on his page like “i will always be there for my friends no mather what, after all…i made a promise to her that i would…” and about he is the “nicest person you will ever meet”, how he is a Pokemon master, etc etc. I thought it was weird but whatever, I’d try to talk to him.
On my profile I have it set to “Looking for: Friendship, Short Term Dating, and Casual Sex”, but he only seemed to be interested in a friendship with me, thank God. We talked for a while about anime and cosplay and stuff and he was actually pretty pleasant and normal, so we added each other on Facebook. He was normal at first but then things got weird.
Finally found some more full body pics of me! (I untagged myself from them on facebook) Surprisingly this isn’t even my highest weight. I gained another 20lb afterwards! I’ve lost 90lb this year, and if you’re unhappy with your weight and need some inspiration send me a message, I’m always happy to help. Good luck to everyone!
Because mobile tumblr sometimes picks up untagged usages of a URL, I happened to see myself mentioned in a post asking for fic recs. Which is lovely, thank you! But it also came with a side of “I don’t read Shakarian because it’s so popular to make Garrus possessive/aggressive/jealous” and… okay, I have to stick up for what I perceive to be a majority of writers in the fandom (and most certainly in the corner I hang out in!) who don’tdo this.
I have, in the past, gone on at length about my own personal feelings on the subject of Garrus’ characterization and the characterization of Garrus/Shepard, which basically boil down to:
Protective is not the same thing as possessive; Garrus might worry (and he does, canonically), but he never stands in the way of Shepard doing her job. Ever. Ever.
If Shepard has flagged more than one romance, Garrus tells her respectfully he’s not going to be part of a stupid love triangle and to come back when she’s figured out what she wants.
Garrus’ aggressiveness/vengefulness/temper is saved for people he feels deserve it (see: Archangel, the Shadow Broker dossiers, his treatment of Harkin/Saleon/Sidonis). I’ve never seen any indication this brand of aggressiveness gets directed at anyone else, canonically, and certainly not at squadmates. He doesn’t even lose his temper with Shepard when/if she stands in the way of taking the shot at Sidonis.
Things like marking mates/turian uncontrollable primal urges/equating apex predators with rough sexual practices (humans are apex predators too, folks)/etc are fanon. If a story uses them and you don’t like them? Hit the back button and don’t give that story or that trope any more attention. A fic that wants to play with these ideas in a consensual relationship? Fine. That’s up to the author. Lack of consent or “I couldn’t help it because of X” is deeply problematic. And so is the notion that all turians behave a certain (fanon) way. Think about how many different sexual practices human beings engage in. There’s no reason an alien race, just because they’re alien, wouldn’t have just as much variation. Tarring every member of a species with the same brush, no matter what that brush (or species) may be, is dangerous.
Yeah, there are fics that’re really, really popular that have questionable or unhealthy characterization, but any given fic–even if that fic has lots and lots of fans–does not speak for a fandom. And yes, the popularity of a fic can have effects that trickle down through fanon, so yes, I know the kinkmeme and parts of the fandom I don’t come much in contact with do take Garrus to those places all too frequently. I don’t do that personally, but, more than that, I can name a dozen great writers off the top of my head who write the pairing and who don’t take him to those places, either. It breaks my heart a little to see people write off all fanfiction for the entire pairing (especially when they love the couple) because they’ve run into the dark side and they don’t know anything different exists, or they give up looking before they find it.
I’m not here to police what people write or read or enjoy, or to dictate their taste, and I’m certainly not here to impose my views on fandom as a whole. My Garrus is not your Garrus, and he does not have to be. The great thing about Garrus is that he’s so complicated and so many interpretations (shades of grey, heh) of him are possible. I am, however, here with some suggestions if you want to read fic about Shepard and Garrus that avoids that particular batch of fanon tropes.
Now, if you want authors to look for? I also haven’t read everything by everyone I’m about to mention, but all have written at least one I’ve personally read and enjoyed. Also, I know I will forget folks and that great people are writing great fic I haven’t stumbled across, for which I’m sorry. If you want additional recs, you could always ask some of these folks, since I’m pretty sure some of them will have read things I haven’t.
The corner of Shakarian and Mass Effect fandom where I’ve been fortunate to find myself may not always agree about everything, but it is mature, polite, respectful, delightful, and produces absolutely amazing fic and art and meta and fanmixes and conversation.
Now a plea: it seems like everyone knows about those fics that get Garrus and Garrus/Shepard wrong. If you know of someone (either mentioned here or, more especially not) who, in your opinion, is getting it right, please, please, please recommend them! Not just to me, but to everyone! Link to them! Write posts about why you love what they do (without making it about what you hate in other fic; negativity always begets more negativity, it seems like, and this is about loving things). Fic writers write for love and feedback, and, no matter who they are I guarantee hearing from you or seeing themselves recommended will make their whole week… and it might even encourage them to write more of what you love. If you love something, don’t keep it to yourself; sing its praises from the hilltops. It’s the only way people will learn about the work others are doing, and, frankly, it’s the only way that fickle tide of popularity turns.
Sherlock kept the morning dress he wore in John’s wedding in pristine condition. He looks at it with adoration in his eyes. That is the one of his best possessions. That’s the suit he wore in his best friend’s wedding. The best day of his existence.
His insides were filled with joy up to the brim on that day. His best friend kissed his lovely wife and started their happy married life. He wrote the most beautiful letter anybody could give to their best friend. He remembers smiling a lot. The happy photo sessions. He composed the most beautiful and cheerful waltz for them and played that with the biggest smile in his face. Then he got drunk and danced with them until midnight.
The best night of his existence.
Happy Halloween guys. 🎃 Sorry to spook you all.
You can kill me.