insurmountable

ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN: Contributor’s Roundtable

The very first decision I made about this week (before, in fact, Hendrik had even given me the go ahead) was that if I was going to do it, I wasn’t going to do it alone. Part of that was self-preservation: Green Day are a massive band, with a three-decade-long career and insurmountable amounts of energy. It’s a lot for one person to tackle. Even between the five of us, we’ve barely managed to scratch the surface.

But more than that, there was this nagging feeling that’s only grown more powerful over the course of this week, that it would really just be a shame if only one person wrote about Green Day. They belong to everyone. They’re there for the people who need them, when they need them, for whatever they need them for. Yes, they mean the world to me. The thing is, they probably mean the world to you, too.

So I put out the call on Twitter and my blog (restricting it somewhat to my circle of acquaintances by doing so, unfortunately, but this did make me more comfortable with asking in the full knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to pay any contributors for their work), and I got lucky: most of the people I was secretly hoping would offer to write about Green Day did just that. And, oh man, did they write. I can’t express how proud I am to have been able to give those pieces a platform, and to have myself and my writing associated with them and their writers. I was so impressed with the generosity and honesty of everyone’s writing that I wanted to hear more, and so I suggested the idea of a roundtable, where we could all come together to talk about our mutual topic: Green Day. This is the result.

All of us, this week, have touched on notions of belonging and acceptance in our pieces. There’s been an undertone, throughout, of the notion of Green Day as a safe space of some sort - whether it be for kids to start to figure themselves or the whole punk rock business out, or in the crowd at gigs, or as not-male or not-straight music fans. Do any of you have any more (or more specific) thoughts about this? Is this a feature of Green Day’s music, or the band themselves, or something else entirely? (Despite my piece on punk, I know it’s not as simple as that, as I’ve been in more than one punk space and met more than a few punks who made me feel unsafe - there’s a difference between ideal and reality, always.) What is it that makes a band feel “safe”?

KJ:  I think I thought of Green Day as a supportive space for all sorts of people who were different, and therefore avoided owning up to liking them because I didn’t want to be thought of as different? Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that.

Jessie:  For me, it’s a combination of factors. Some of it has to do with the punk thing. Green Day weren’t the first punk band I heard–that honor goes to another East Bay band, Operation Ivy–but sometimes I call Green Day my first punk band because it was around the time I first heard them that I started thinking of punk as an identity. I have definitely felt unsafe in punk spaces/around certain punks, and I guess Green Day sort of represented some utopian ideal of punk as this super welcoming club for nerds, freaks, and outcasts. I’m not sure why that is–maybe because of the scene they came out of, or maybe, because I said in my piece on “She,” it felt like they understood what it was like to be freaks and outcasts. Which leads into the second reason they felt safe to me, and that was entirely about their music. I was being bullied pretty much constantly during the time when I first heard them, and it just felt like they understood that. Like they’d been there. I mean, Dookie had a song (“Having A Blast”) about getting revenge on the people who bullied you. (More on that song later.) The third reason they felt safe to me is a very personal one, and it may sound weird, but–they felt safe to me because I didn’t have a crush on any of the band members. From the age of 12 to around 17 (or maybe even older, but that would lead into some topics that are beyond the scope of this roundtable), I usually ended up getting a crush on at least one member of every band I liked. I mean sexual fantasy-type crushes. And I was sort of terrified of my burgeoning sexuality (for many reasons). But with Green Day, I thought of them more like cool older brothers than people I wanted to get with, and that made them feel safer to me than a lot of other bands.

Jacqui: Jessie, I’ve never even thought about it the way you put at the end there, but now that you have I completely agree. I’ve also never had a crush on any of them, and it does make a difference. There’s something a lot safer about wanting to swap guacamole recipes with Mike, for instance, than ever having been properly attracted to him would have been. 

Alice:  It was much the same for me, though I think Green Day was my first punk band (or, possibly, The Offspring). But Green Day also was sort of a gateway drug, in terms of pop punk, and I think that in so many ways the pop punk scene of the early-to-mid-2000s was my safe space. It’s like we’ve said, that punk in reality isn’t always the safe space it is supposed to be - and of course, it is different for everyone and we are ignorant, of certain things, when we’re young. But when I was growing up, in Alabama, there weren’t many spaces for me. The pop-punk boom/resurgence of the 2000s was a saving grace, I think. Those bands - Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, etc. - and the people I met through them, mostly online, became a huge part of the ways in which I reckoned with myself and my identity. Between “Well, maybe I’m the faggot America / I’m not a part of the redneck agenda” and Bert McCracken (of The Used) wearing a shirt that said “Gay is OK”, I felt included and comforted by these group of weird punk misfit dudes.

This is perhaps a corollary to the above: as far as I know, everyone who’s written for this week is, in some way or another, not-straight. One of my favourite things ever written about Green Day, Cristy Road’s coming out memoir Spit and Passion, is also, obviously, written by a not-straight woman. I know that when I think of Green Day, I think of a band that is Not A Straight Band, in smaller ways and larger ones (I’m thinking of Billie Joe, of course, and of certain lyrics, and safe spaces, again, and of the secret-community like collection of “Coming Clean” tattoos I’ve seen over the years). What do you think?

Jessie:  I don’t know why so many not-straight people are into Green Day, but it certainly does seem to be true. I didn’t know that Billie Joe identified as bi until way after I got into the band, but when I found out I was like “Hell yeah! Yet another reason to love them!” Dookie came out the year I realized I was bi (though it would be another four years or so before I actual felt wholly comfortable with that label), and though there were no explicitly queer songs on it, it goes back to what I mentioned above–so many Green Day songs seem to speak to that sense of being an outcast, being lonely, being bullied, and one of the things that made me an outcast and that I was bullied about was my sexual orientation and gender expression. Another theory as to why so many not-straight folks love Green Day: they are not an uber-macho band. Billie Joe has often been seen wearing makeup, nail polish, even dresses; I’ve seen Tre in eyeliner, too, and he’s just sort of goofy-looking (I mean that as a compliment!). Mike is probably the most ‘masculine’-looking of the band members, but even he is not some meathead. There are just so many rock and punk bands that are so so into the whole machismo, look-at-me-I’m-a-man thing, and Green Day are not one of them and it’s great.

Cat: So, haha, funny story, Billie Joe is sort of the reason I admitted to myself that I liked girls. I mean, God knows every single person in my life knew I wasn’t straight, I was bullied for it relentlessly from the ages of eight to eighteen, but I was really terrified of this idea of “not being normal”. Small town, small school, white picket fences and 2.5 kids - I had this really clear idea that there was a Right way to live your life, which was “how everyone else was living it”, and that there was a Wrong way. And then I read that Advocate interview - which I was so happy to find again in your post about Coming Clean, Alice! - and Billie Joe says there, I think everybody is born bisexual, I think everybody fantasizes about the same sex. Which I disagree with as a point of view these days - but at the time, it was exactly what I needed to hear, to understand that my thoughts and feelings about girls weren’t just a random fluke that I needed to suppress. And then later I was able to move into a more mature standpoint, i.e., “oh, it doesn’t actually matter if this is normal or not, it’s okay anyway”, and also, “oh, I’m actually way more into girls than guys.” But I really, really needed that Advocate interview to get me to that place.

Alice: Thanks, Cat! Yeah, as I mentioned in my piece, I didn’t read The Advocate interview until much, much later. But I read it - when I was seventeen - exactly when I needed to read it. I don’t think that I ever connected Green Day, and the ways in which their music always meant so much to me,  to my being gay until that moment. It was a moment of satisfaction, reassurance, almost. Like oh this is maybe why they always felt like home to me.

KJ:  I have a very vivid memory of frantically late-night Wikipedia-ing a “list of bisexual celebrities” and feeling utterly relieved when I saw Billie Joe’s name. Like, if this guy who I looked up to could be bi, so maybe could I? Not for the first or fifteenth time, I thought about starting a band.

[ continued under the cut ]

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For those who don’t know the general direction/plot of Class of 198X…there ya go!

“It’s Cow Chop vs. D&D vs. the ’80s in CLASS OF 198X! Join Cow Chop as they roleplay four high school misfits brought together by a horrifying alien menace invading their local mall. They’ll battle monsters, teen angst, and one another as they overcome insurmountable odds to rise from zeros to heroes to save their hometown.“

Attention people who don’t have horses:

Sorry to break in with this on a very much Sherlock-only kind of blog- I promise not to make a regular thing of this, but this is something that’s happened TWICE now. 

This is Beyli. He’s a two-month old foal and he’s adorable. He belongs to a friend of the family. 

So adorable, in fact, that a member of the public spent a nice afternoon feeding him. You feed the ducks and that’s ok. right? It’s a nice thing to do. 

They fed him turnip. He choked and gave himself a stomachache as a result.

The problem is that horses can’t really burp and horses can’t vomit. Their digestive systems are fine-tuned and when they go wrong, they go really wrong. Colic in horses is difficult to treat and in Beyli’s case, like many others, proved to be insurmountable. With pain medicine not working, after 4 hours of doing their best with no improvement, the vet called time on his suffering rather than let him go on to a very slow and painful end. 

A horse needlessly suffered and died because someone fed him the wrong thing. They weren’t necessarily malicious, they were just hugely ignorant. And worse, they were hugely entitled. There were already signs asking people not to feed the animals. As I said, this has now happened TWICE to the same family, and they’re by no means alone. 

PLEASE Don’t feed horses that don’t belong to you. 

Horses can have disorders, diabetes, allergies and dietry requirements and you have NO IDEA if what you’re giving them is acceptable or not. Even ‘safe’ things like carrot and apple could be ‘wrong’ for this particular horse. Grass clippings? Not okay. Grain? Not okay for a horse that hasn’t been regularly eating it. 

Don’t assume. i have seen walkers pull up random plants and offer them over the fence INCLUDING TOXIC, DEADLY weeds like ragwort. I’ve seen horses offered dog-biscuits and bread. I’ve heard of horses being regularly fed by strangers thinking they were being under-fed, when the horse in question was on a vet-given diet to control weight and other conditions. 

Don’t feed horses that don’t belong to you even little treats and things like sugar cubes because it gives them bad manners. They start biting and harassing people. It’s bad for their teeth and too much sugar is terrible for them.

In some places if the owner has liability insurance, if you can be identified, YOU will be legally responsible for the vet’s bills. And if you’re thinking ‘well, they’d never identify me’, then that’s besides the point. 

Please. You wouldn’t feed someone’s dog without asking, I hope. You definitely wouldn’t feed someone else’s child. 

TL;DR: Don’t feed other people’s horses. You can make them SERIOUSLY ill. Treat animals in fields like animals at the zoo: you’re welcome to look, but don’t meddle with their care. 

PLEASE DON’T FEED OTHER PEOPLE’S HORSES. 

I just explained my issues with executive dysfunction to my dad and holy shit he gets it!


I described it like this: 

Imagine you’re back at AllPro(where he worked) with fifty phones and they’re all ringing. You want to answer them all because they’re all equal priority. That’s an environmental cue– phones are generally a ‘respond immediately’ cue.

Picking up a phone is a simple thing. You know it’s as easy as deciding which phone to answer and reaching out to pick it up, but your brain is saying “I must answer all of them!” The phones are ringing, and you can’t make your body reach out to pick one up because you don’t have fifty arms to reach out, you don’t have fifty ears to listen with, you don’t have a brain that can process and respond to fifty conversations and you don’t have fifty mouths that can all say different things all at the same time. 

Either you do it all simultaneously or nothing will happen. You can want to do it so bad it makes you cry, and you can’t make a decision because no choice seems like the right one. So the task stays unfinished and you get frustrated every time somebody reminds you to “just do it, it’s not that hard!” Because yes, it really IS that hard.

Now, if you had somebody who could point to which phone to answer, you can do it fine. That’s a prompt. Prompting removes the ‘middle man’ thought that says ‘do it all at once’ and gets you to focus on tasks one at a time instead of seeing them as some towering insurmountable mess.

Dad looked at me for a couple of seconds and said something to the effect of, “I didn’t know doing things were that hard for you.”

This is a major, major, major breakthrough between us because dad had it in his head that I left things messy because I didn’t care. While that’s crappy of him to assume, teaching him how that’s not the case and having him really understand it is a huge deal.

KING JUNGKOOK

LOST: Drowning in an ocean of control far below the surface of carefree innocence, dwelled the juvenile king. Only at birth had he breathed the air of innocence before he was plummeted into the depths of the infinite waters. Day by day, he sank deeper and deeper until he was shackled to the ocean floor by a seemingly limitless power. Thus began his reign in a selfish attempt to return to the surface. However, the shackles were insurmountable, and instead, his kingdom sank to the ocean floor with him, in the place where innocence dies.

Psstt: if you look through the reblogs, you’ll see that there is a developing story you could contribute to 😊

No, Wait, You Got it All Wrong

You know what there’s not enough of? Canon compliant future fic where Stiles is a cop and he runs into Derek again. What’s that you say? There’s a ton of that?? Yes, true, but NOT ENOUGH.

“…. so then he says, ‘No, Officer, I swear to God this is the first time I’ve ever smoked up! I’ve never been in trouble with the law in my life! And I say, Billy, my man, you’ve been in trouble with me personally twice this month.” Stiles snorts at the memory. “Kid was so fucking high.”

Amanda must be halfway past tipsy, because she laughs uproariously into her beer at the mediocre punchline.

Stiles smiles. He’s satisfied with her reaction, with the warm murmur of the bar, with the buzz he’s got going… with just about everything, actually. After tonight, he’s looking at two full days off before he’s back on the beat, and the night’s still young. He leans back in his chair and takes a pull of his beer, savoring it.

Amanda glances towards the bar, probably considering a fourth round, and then visibly perks up as something near the front catches her eye.

“Oooh, Stiles,” she croons. “Look over at the door, like, just glance over.” She’s adjusted her gaze down at the table now, faking casual disinterest. Badly.

Stiles raises his eyebrows at her.

“This dude just walked in, he’s so your type,” she hisses. “C’mon, look! I’m telling you, six feet two inches of ‘yes, please, give it to me’ muscles, with some salt-and-pepper scruff icing. Unff.”

“Eh,” Stiles says, tipping his weight forward to hunch over the table. It’s not that he isn’t interested, exactly, but this is a cop bar and he doesn’t want to shit where he eats. Metaphorically.

“No, really,” Amanda insists. “He's… oh my God, he’s looking over here. He’s looking at you. Oh my God, Stiles, he’s coming over here!”

“No, he isn’t,” Stiles scoffs. He’s filled out a bit from high school and he’s finally competent at styling his hair, but he’s not that hot. Only Amanda’s sitting straight like a rod, eyes fixed on a point behind him that’s about where a six foot two man’s eyes would be.

“Stiles?”

He turns then, shooting to his feet before his brain’s quite caught up, because that voice is familiar like the back of his own hand.

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The violin scene at the end of The Final Problem is truly one of the most impactful moments (if not the most) in all of BBC Sherlock. I honestly am still speechless that Moftiss wrote something so profound. Eurus was beyond communication with the outside world after the events of this episode, back to the untouchable genius in her glass cage. But Sherlock. Sherlock, this incredible and kind man, who had lost so much to this woman, understood her and still reached out to help. He wasn’t encouraging her to play her own song, he was initiating a duet–so she wasn’t alone, even in her music. It was a conversation, it was understanding, it was connection. This man went beyond words, where others had failed and stopped trying, and showed her that she wasn’t alone. Sherlock has become- or perhaps he always was- one of the best men I’ve ever seen.

6

-The Astro Witch Project-

  • Aquarius - Heart Witch: The most humanitarian of all witch types, they can easily adapt to the energy that surrounds them. A witch who uses her various abilities to help the world. Empathetic and Helpful. They are adept at spirit communication and are versed in the telepathy and healing. They enjoy wandering around, getting lost, meeting familiars and befriending creepy all types of individuals. Their craft is usually a mix of traditional witchcraft and meditation. They are very warm, hospitable individuals, but you should NEVER cross a Heart witch. They are not afraid to curse your ass. These witches favor the healing powers of love, enjoy mixing potions, reading next to a roaring fire and being surrounded by their friends and family. 
  • Pisces - Storm Witch: This breed of witch is both terrifying and thrilling. Compassionate yet fearful. They have a great sense of humor, and are usually very cryptic. They give zero fucks what people think of them and march to the beat of their own drum. Are usually very friendly, so they often find themselves in a company of very different people. Storm witches are selfless, they are always willing to help others, without hoping to get anything back.They whistle up the winds and summon lightning. Their overly trusting nature makes them an easy target for the ill-informed, but be careful, because these witches are very exceptional at cursing and fear nothing. They like horror movies, cloudy weather, and casting emotionally charged spells. They are empathetic individuals and always feel things to the extreme, there is often no middle ground with them. It’s black or white. 
  • Aries - Energy Witch: Witches that perform all of their magic internally. Their magic is one of pure energy that they pull from their courageous hearts. Using circles casts in their heads and their imaginations, they can bring their will to life. Are usually shy and keep to themselves. But they are also fiery and energetic. They enjoy divination and astral projection. Also called Intrinsic Witches. 
  • Taurus - Portal Witch: An undying need to always be surrounded by loved ones and hedonism, Portal witches possess superhuman agility and the ability to teleport with the aid of magical portals. This type of witch also uses easily obtained items and weaves magick into every aspect of their life. These witches have the ability to see things from a grounded, practical and realistic perspective.They are particularly fond of cooking, arts and crafts, sewing, cleaning, gardening and baking. They are skilled in potions, herbology, and subtle magick. Reliable and devoted, these witches are described as the original earth mothers.
  • Gemini - Shadow Witch: A witch that lives between two worlds. They easily cross over into The Fade, the shadowrealm, a dimension only accessible to these witches. They can be in both realms at once, or split from their shadows and be in one realm together. Very gentle and curious, they know how to fun with their abilities! Ever lose something 5 seconds after putting it down? That was probably a shadow witch joking around with you! Being in two places at once can be useful! Being in two places at once all the while undetected…dangerous! They are also clairvoyant and have a number of other psychic abilities. 
  • Cancer - Sea Witch: Highly imaginative and emotional! Loyal and sympathetic, these witches hone their craft near a body of water, and center their practice around it. Some sea witches will work with fresh water, such as rivers or lakes (in which case they will usually call themselves ‘river’ or ‘lake’ witches), some with the ocean. Sea witches without immediate access to a body of water are called ‘land-locked’, which can cause them to become a bit moody or pessimistic. They often form connections with fish of all kinds, know their local areas very well, are good at predicting the weather, and are friendly with the nymphs, fae and dragons of their region. They enjoy collecting sand and seashells and are adept at storm and sun magic.
  • Leo - Pop Culture Witch: A branch of Urban witchcraft. Witches that craft their spells based on popular music, movies, books and poetry. They are very adept at pyromancy (fire magic). These witches are very creative and passionate about everything that they do. Their mystical abilities are influenced by various aspects of their character. No pop culture witch is the same as another. They are artistic and very educated and love to laugh. Energetic and Dominant. Loyal, yet headstrong. Do not cross them. They can also curse the hell out of you. It’s not all Disney movies, folks. 
  • Virgo - Hedge Witch: A witch that can not only communicate with all wildlife, they can also share consciousness with them. Thier natural loyal and hardworking nature allow them to do so with ease. They can also manipulate the size of any creature, configuring its scale to accomplish any task! Though skilled at working with animals and magickal creatures, they can often struggle with opening up to others. They use their relationship with animals to accomplish unimaginable things. Often tender but also very careful, they are very organised and practical about their craft.These witches are also very adept at spirit communication, energy work, and levitation. Also called Omega Witches. 
  • Libra - Urban Witch: Fair-minded and peaceful, these witches have an expressed intellect and a keen mind. They can be inspired by good books, insurmountable discussions and interesting people. City witches who graffiti sigils on abandoned buildings, grow herbs in pots in their apartments and are very technologically savvy. Technomagic is their jam, usually rocking enchanted headphones, weaving spells from their favorite songs and using their cell phones as scrying mirrors. 
  • Scorpio - Spirit Witch: Mysterious and seductive, Spirit witches are one of a kind. A witch who communes with the dead spirits of humans, animals, and others entities. Some can even communicate with the spirits of trees, rocks, and man-made items. They are usually very outspoken, opinionated people, though only show their full force when completely necessary. They use spirit boards and pendulums, among many other tools. They enjoy taking strolls in graveyards and having casual chats with the dead. Also called Mediums. 
  • Sagittarius - Moon Witch: A witch whos abilities change depending on the phases of the moon. The full extent of their power being at full potential during the full moon. They are particularly fond of comedy shows, group activities, spell crafting with fellow witches, and collecting. They are very skilled in herbology and dark magick. Generous and idealistic, these witches incorporate magic into their optimistic goals. These witches know how to transform their thoughts into concrete actions and they will do anything to achieve their goals. Also called Lunar Witches. 
  • Capricorn - Chaos Witch: A witch who uses baneful magick in their craft. They will sometimes use demons, storm magick, blood magick, and cursing in their practice. They fear nothing. Commonly mislabeled ‘black’ or ‘dark’ witch. Which is not correct. Tsk tsk. These witches are responsible, disciplined, have more self-control than most, and are very good managers. They pull most of their power from their love of family and tradition. Their powers are very practical and are considered to be the most serious of the witch community.

Inspired by this post

i genuinely have a lot of thoughts on the hunger as a final boss, and how the final form it takes will reflect on the general philosophy of the podcast as a whole piece of art. i really like the way jon/the hunger has been written so far, because I think the only way to make a villain this abstract interesting is to make  their motivations equally abstract. philosophically it’s kind of true that if you reach a certain point from a certain perspective, destruction and ascendence can often seem like the same thing, and I think griffin is going down a very smart path by keeping his heroes normal, grounded people–the suffering game arc and this arc are doing that very effectively. it’s worth noting that so far the 7 crewmembers (and especially THB) are holding up the tolkein-esque ideal of the average, small person who can stand outside a seemingly abstract conflict where temptations and power seem insurmountable and still make rational moral decisions—not inhumanly perfect decisions, but extremely human decisions (or elvish or …dwarvish decisions. you get me.). and maintaining this balance is even more of a conscious decision when you consider that the game mechanics of d&d would 100% result in the characters going “god mode” if that was the choice griffin and wanted to make. i also am really, really feeling how much this show cares about art, as dumb as that sounds–i actually can’t think of a single piece of media that treats creativity as a palpable, powerful essential force in the universe, and that’s really fuckin cool. and while I wasn’t sold on the whole ‘bonds make up the universal power’, i think it’s becoming clear that what that actually means is that living, and more over living your life as a differentiated individual who relates to other differentiated individuals, is what runs the universe. that’s different than “the power of love”–it’s actually a middle finger in the face of a moral relativist “we are all the same and therefore no one is anything” philosophy. i can’t wait for the finale. 

Mouth o’ Mine

Harry X Reader: Angst, smut

In which Harry’s no good with his words but he sure is good with his mouth.

Request? Yes:

some harry face sitting action maybe?

Author’s note: This is a continuation of “Mess o’ Mine.” I would suggest reading that first, if you haven’t already. I thought this was gonna be the end but then I fucked up so… there’s also a part 3. Hope you enjoy! I did!

Part 1: Mess o’ Mine // Part 3: Mind o’ Mine


You’ve been running through the events that have occurred, confused at the escalation and the outcome. No issues have been resolved, and there wasn’t really a conversation or discussion. You don’t know any more than you did when you heard Harry singing your poems. Has he used your writing in more songs on his album?  Has he read your whole journal? God, you hope not. One poem is bad enough.

Harry hasn’t been around, hasn’t tried calling for the two weeks since he showed up on your doorstep. You’ve flipped the channel whenever he shows up on your television and scrolled at record speed when he’s popped up on your social media feeds. Maybe you should feel relieved and cleansed of his toxicity, but you don’t. Instead, you feel a little broken, like your stomach is splintering into pieces, and your mind still feels split open. Not only that, but you can smell him, feel the weight of him on top of you, taste the foreign flavor of his mouth. This isn’t what you need.

A whole other wave of confusion has rolled over you in terms of your relationship with Harry, if there still is one. The two of you have crossed a line without any prior thought or contemplation. Years upon years of friendship have been threatened, and you’re not even sure how it happened. Why did he kiss you? How did the two of you end up in bed, naked between the sheets? If you were confused about it before, trying to figure things out has only worsened your introspection.

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Humans Are Weird

Every race in the universe is well aware of the humans’ ability to survive, to adapt, to push through against insurmountable odds. The humans walk on broken legs to return home, they charge into battle when loved ones are threatened, and their behaviour from one moment to the next can be as different as night and day. There is no stopping the humans. They persevere through fire, water, earthquakes, and hurricanes, through war and personal trials of every kind. Humans are at the same time revered and feared for their extraordinary feats.

Knowing this, Humhu was all the more surprised when she found Human Cooper stomping around his office and sucking on one of the appendages on his right forelimb.

“*human expletive* paper cut!” he snarled around the skin.

but what fucks me up the most about moonlight is the scene at kev’s restaurant, near the end of the film, where they reunite — specifically, the part where kevin makes chiron a plate of food and they sit at the table, talking and catching up. the camera angles, the lighting, etc. the way this scene is filmed, you really can’t help but think “what if” as you realize just how much love and just how many experiences were stolen from chiron. you can’t help but think, fuck. if it weren’t for the pervasiveness of toxic masculinity inciting other guys his age to turn on him whenever they felt their manliness was put to question, if it weren’t for the violent insistence of homophobia and misogyny forcing chiron to stifle any urge to simply dance or to be touched softly or to love, if it weren’t for systematic anti blackness and poverty and mass incarceration and the biased judicial system and the school to prison pipeline, shutting every door of opportunity in his face until chiron didn’t even look for ways out anymore, if it weren’t for all these invisible shackles, and unwritten chokeholds, and intangible gates, and insurmountable hurdles … then maybe — no not maybe, but almost certainly … things would have worked out differently for chiron.

because maybe, instead of meeting up with kev, after spending time in prison and then all the years following on the streets (for simply standing up for himself once in high school) and after not seeing the first guy he’s ever loved for over a decade, he and kevin would have never separated to begin with. or maybe, chiron would have had other relationships before they reunited. maybe he wouldn’t have felt so deprived for so long. and maybe he wouldn’t have to talk to kevin over dinner at a public restaurant, under the guise of just two friends catching up and swapping stories. maybe instead they could have been together already. and they could be talking over their own dinner, at their own house. and kev wouldn’t have to play love songs for chiron on the juke, he could play them on their home radio. and they could hold hands, and stand close. and maybe they could dance. and maybe kevin jr. would have been their son. maybe they could have been dads, and better parents than either one of them has ever known. and maybe chiron would have never had to change and get “hard” and toughen up so damn much that people barely recognized him anymore, just to get by, just to be respected. maybe instead. chiron could have been happy. maybe he could have been happy with kev. and maybe they could have been at the center of the world together, a lot sooner, instead of struggling in its shadows, miles and miles apart.

I think, too, that part of the reason why this episode and this arc is hitting so hard is because it wound up being a really intensely honest portrayal of depression and substance abuse in a livestreamed D&D game. That’s… not something you necessarily expect to be signing up for when you start watching, especially since that particular character arc started off as purely comedic.

Sam has talked about how the whole cast has played the same characters for so many years that they feel a real responsibility to be honest and genuine with their choices, and he’s also said that he feels he owes it to the people he knows who’ve been through this not to take it lightly and to portray it as accurately as he can.

And the thing about that kind of honesty? It really hurts to watch, especially if you’re not sure whether resolution and catharsis are coming anytime soon. I had a rough time getting through 85, because both Scanlan’s lashing-out and understandable-but-unfair attacks on his friends and VM’s well-meaning but just-the-wrong-thing-to-say responses were deeply, personally familiar as the things you hear both from folks who have never been through it and from folks who know exactly where you’re at but whose depression manifested in a different way that happened to catch fewer people in the crossfire (Vax in particular comes to mind there—he was saying the things he needed to hear from a friend back then, which were not the things Scanlan needed to hear in the moment). It hurt because it was raw, because there’s no easy way to put somebody at fault for the conflict, and because the other players were reacting so genuinely with such a familiar combination of betrayal, defensiveness, anger, frustration, and above all hurt and concern.

For me, personally, the episode was cathartic in a strange sort of way, because Scanlan was able to remove himself from the part of his life that was the epicenter of his misery, and he was able to recognize that the only thing that had a chance in hell of pushing him toward recovery was getting to know his daughter as a person rather than as a symbol he couldn’t disappoint (sound familiar to his relationship with Pike?). Sam’s talked and hinted for a while now about how Scanlan’s been putting more and more pressure on himself to be something different since he met Kaylie, and you just know that a lot of Scanlan’s “how could you not recognize there was something wrong with me?” comments were directed toward himself as well as the group.

And to me, the thing that kept the episode from descending into a horrible morass of hurt feelings was the moment when everyone in the argument sort of took a step back and had that realization of “okay, this is a fight, this is a serious fight we’re having, and it’s because we’re family”. Because this show’s always, always emphasized the validity and importance of the family you make, and despite some very serious conflicts that come up between them, the love’s always there and no conflict is flat-out insurmountable. Some conflicts can’t be resolved with constant painstaking conversation, some wounds can’t keep getting exposed to the air if you want them to heal properly, and Scanlan recognized that things were just going to get worse if he didn’t have some time to himself for a while.

So… it’s rough, but one of the biggest strengths of this show is its ability to evoke pathos without wallowing, to find hope and humor and fun even in the worst places imaginable, and this whole mess with Taryon felt like the best possible way to keep that narrative going while still giving the characters agency and treating this thing with the gravity it deserves. It’s going to be challenging, and everyone’s gonna be raw and grieving for a while, but I honestly think the end result’s going to be worlds more positive and hopeful than what would’ve happened had Scanlan stayed on and continued to spiral. If nothing else, I have a whole lotta trust in these players’ devotion to giving their characters development that isn’t just pain for pain’s sake, so I have no doubt that Scanlan will return at some point.

I joked about how great it is that the group can now band together through their dislike for Taryon, but that’s actually really true—the worst part of 85 was the moment when it looked like the rest of the party might fracture over this loss. But in the end, they all sought each other out in ones and twos throughout the night and came back together in the morning. I’m honestly very excited to get to know the new Vox Machina that survives this (and also kind of wants to kick Taryon’s ass).

Change sucks. No question. But this, to me, felt like a change that was necessary but also hopeful. It felt like the only way forward that didn’t end with a body, and that’s something this show and these characters have always put in the effort to find.

Why Larimar could be the Lapidot fusion

For day three of Lapidot Anniversary Week (prompt: “fusion”), I’m going to be doing some theorising about why I now believe that Larimar will be the Lapidot fusion, based on the properties of the stone and its usage in crystal healing.

(Source:  w w w . crystalvaults . com / crystal-encyclopedia / larimar – please remove the spaces, I’ve written it like this due to issues with posts not appearing in the tags if they contain external links)

“Larimar is the embodiment of the tranquil Sea and Sky energies”

This immediately reminds me of both Lapis and Peridot.  Lapis, of course, has complete control of the sea and she can fly – and Peridot can also fly when she has her limb enhancers (as well as being the pilot of the Hand Ship in Jailbreak).

“It brings the ancient wisdom of Atlantis”

Hi, Peridot!

“Larimar is one of the cardinal Water element stones, yet is born of Fire in its volcanic origins”

Originally posted by giffing-su

The fact that Larimar has volcanic origins is extremely interesting when you consider that real-life Peridot can be formed in the earth’s mantle (along with Peridotite) – which is something that Peridot herself mentioned in Gem Drill!  We also have the connection to water again as well, making it have relevance to Lapis too.

“Larimar cools tempers and calms fears, relieves stress…”

“Larimar is a crystal of serenity, promoting relaxation in every aspect”

“Larimar is a powerful emotional cleanser and healer, especially for phobias, panic attacks, stress-related imbalances, and excessive anger or fear”

“It helps us moderate aggressiveness and deal with rage”

Originally posted by doafhat

Originally posted by starberry-cupcake

So, it could greatly benefit both Lapis and Peridot.  They’ve both had more than their fair share of stress and fear, and are both prone to exhibiting very bad tempers and/or aggressive behaviour at times (with Peridot’s explosive tantrums, and Lapis’ brooding and often unforgiving rage).

“The more intense the blue and contrast within the [Larimar] stone, the rarer and higher its value”

This jumps out at me for the fact that this principle also applies to real-life Lapis Lazuli.  Incidentally, Lapis in the show also has a Gem that’s pure blue (as opposed to having any pyrite/calcite inclusions)…

“Larimar is a wonderful stone for mothers”

If you interpret Pumpkin as being the Lapidot “child”, then this certainly takes on some relevancy! Especially considering Peridot’s comment in Gem Harvest about missing the “pitter-patter of full-sized Gem soldiers” (a reference to the expression “hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet”, which is used when talking about people who are imminently going to have a child) when explaining why she and Lapis decided to grow their field of vegetables in the first place.

“As a soothing Water element stone, Larimar cools hot tempers and guides excessive passion into peace”

Peridot has generally become much calmer since being around Lapis, and seems much more settled nowadays.  Her passionate side is still there, but it’s very much being used for good and peaceful activities nowadays (such as “meep morp” and vegetable-growing).  Could a fusion into Larimar with Lapis help to further calm her, then?

“Larimar is an excellent stone for finding a soulmate”

As Peridot and Lapis barely leave each others’ side, I don’t feel like this point needs any explanation.

“It facilitates the healing of unresolved issues or fears, trauma to the heart, or past-life relationships”

Originally posted by giffing-lazuli

I like the idea that Larimar can help with trauma – considering that Lapis has had a very traumatic life and would appear to be suffering from PTSD and depression as a result of this.  I know the article here is referring to “past-life” relationships, but it could still hold some relevance when you consider the living nightmare in Lapis’ past that was Malachite.

“Larimar assists in identifying self-imposed limitations and self-sabotaging behavior, especially toward martyrdom, and encourages taking control of one’s life. It is particularly useful in admitting guilt, when guilty, and in bringing about a sense of peace in truthfulness.”

Originally posted by venomade

Lapis started to express real guilt for her past actions in Alone At Sea (one such action, of course, was effectively martyring herself in order to protect Steven from Jasper - but deliberately hurting Jasper in the process).  There’s a lot of horror in her past that she still needs a helping hand to cope with.  Likewise, I believe that Peridot is also burdened with a lot of guilt for some of her past actions; which is something that she appears to be bottling up.

Therefore, fusing into Larimar could help them both to make peace with themselves and begin to let go of their pasts.

“It aids in breaking down the walls one has built around the heart for defense, and allows for emotional release and the clearing of deep emotional patterns. It helps one to reconnect to a previous, more natural state of playfulness and joyful childlike energy”

Originally posted by plugeth

I feel like this also has a lot of relevancy.

Again, Peridot is bottling a lot of things up – and quite often, Lapis appears to be putting up a front in order to hide her inner turmoil.  The pair of them do have a lot of playful energy at times, so Larimar could encourage (and completely embody) this.

“It emanates vivaciousness, humor, and a sense of one’s own power”

Peridot is the definition of vivacious!  She and Lapis also have a shared sense of humour (as seen in Gem Harvest, in particular) – and Lapis wields an insurmountable power over water.

“Light blue crystals [such as Larimar] help us accept the life we have, develop patience, reconcile differences, or seek forgiveness. They’re excellent for recovery efforts from addictions or destructive patterns, aid in curbing tempers, and help us become more dependable and cheerful. Light blue crystals also assist in dealing with grief, letting go of the past, and curing guilt”

I really think that this speaks for itself.

“[It] tempers excess, restores calm after a storm, relieves stress, and neutralizes extremes”

Originally posted by cartoon-epileptic

This scene in particular was both a metaphorical and literal “calm after the storm”.

“Larimar also utilizes … a fresh, welcome energy that moves us to serenity as new growth and life emerges. It brings hope, discovery and balance”

Much like Lapis and Peridot having a fresh start on Earth, discovering this wonderful new planet together… and even creating new life together.

Absolutely love this shot from the extremely talented Nicholas Buer. Reminds me of this awe inspiring quote from physicist Brian Greene about the challenge humanity faces to understand the cosmos:

“We all love a good story. We all love a tantalizing mystery. We all love the underdog pressing onward against seemingly insurmountable odds. We all, in one form or another, are trying to make sense of the world around us. And all of these elements lie at the core of modern physics. The story is among the grandest – the unfolding of the entire universe; the mystery is among the toughest – finding out how the cosmos came to be; the odds are among the most daunting – bipeds, newly arrived by cosmic time scales trying to reveal the secrets of the ages; and the quest is among the deepest – the search for fundamental laws to explain all we see and beyond, from the tiniest particles to the most distant galaxies.”
Brian Greene

I’m the first person to admit that I have difficultly letting go of things. I’m picky about who and what I open my heart to, so when I do and I ultimately end up losing them I find that loss insurmountable.
When I find little pieces of happiness in people or places, I love them with an intensity you can only imagine when I explain to you that it’s a lifetimes worth of love condensed into the short time I have them for… because I know that it won’t last, it never does. And perhaps that’s why I hold on for so long… Maybe what I’m really doing is keeping the things I love in my heart for the length of time I wish I’d had them in my life. Or maybe I love them for as long as I would have if I’d never lost them at all… Maybe that’s why I never let go.
the signs as questionable lessons i learned rewatching “teen titans”
  • ARIES: “Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or by its content, either. In fact, you should just never judge books, period, because if you read any of them, ever, you’re probably being manipulated by an evil dragon-wizard.” (“Spellbound” — season 3, ep 6.)
  • TAURUS: “If you ever get separated from your friends in an unfamiliar environment, don’t go looking for them because it will probably get you killed. Instead, stay where you are and get the royal treatment from small creatures who worship you for simply existing.” (“Stranded” — season 4, ep 8.)
  • GEMINI: “Life lessons are totally pointless. Let’s just go get pizza?” (“Episode 297-494, OR: Don’t Touch That Dial” — season 4, ep 1.)
  • CANCER: “Always pay attention to your friends, or else they will be kidnapped by aliens and turned into pets.” (“Every Dog Has His Day” — season 2, ep 2.)
  • LEO: “When facing insurmountable odds, the best plans are hope and the power of friendship. But if you can’t make those work on your own, then magic, explosives, and giant axes are fine.” (“The End, pt. 3” — season 4, ep 13.)
  • VIRGO: “You should always do research into what foods are good and bad for your pets, or they will grow to enormous size and be turned into adorable murder-beasts by supervillains.” (“Can I Keep Him?”— season 3, ep 10.)
  • LIBRA: “When you’re scared, don’t repress your feelings or else you will make horrific eldritch monsters manifest themselves and try to kill your friends.” (“Fear Itself”— season 2, ep 5.)
  • SCORPIO: “Taking a new person in your life to prom and holding your city hostage with giant bugs of doom will probably get you punched in the face. But it will also make your datemate feel sorry that they dumped you, so it’s probably worth it.” (“Date With Destiny” — season 2, ep 6.)
  • SAGITTARIUS: “All you need to succeed in life is friendship, enthusiasm, and occasionally weaponized flying squirrels.” (“Revolution” — season 3, ep 7.)
  • CAPRICORN: “Digital piracy is evil and implicating your friends in it will make them hallucinate, attempt to eat stop signs and destroy all computers in a 100-mile radius, and think you are a talking pineapple.” (“Crash” — season 3, ep 4.)
  • AQUARIUS: “If your boss has trouble learning your name and doesn’t answer all of your questions, all the time, it’s probably because they’re actually sentient super-powered tofu from outer space.” (“Employee Of The Month” — season 4, ep 5.)
  • PISCES: “If your older sibling ever gives you presents and starts being nice to your friends, it’s probably because they’re trying to ruin your life. Also, they’re probably an intergalactic criminal now, or something.” (“Sisters” — season 1, ep 2.)

Right so I’ve made posts about this before but I just wanted to say something, speaking as someone who has never had credit stolen and has really only seen a couple friends experience that as well. My point being, I’m not just coming from some emotional self righteous place. I’m coming from a place of being a human being who believes in the common sense that if somebody created something, they should get credit for it. A fact which is apparently lost on or ignored by many people.

Let’s get some things straight:

  • Tagging or captioning something “not mine” does not make it okay to post without credit.
  • Saying “thanks but that’s not mine” when people compliment your post does not mean you’re giving credit.
  • People who create original content deserve to be credited. Some posters may have spent hours creating something, only to watch it be posted by someone who didn’t put in any of that effort, and gain recognition and likes and what have you without crediting the person who made it exist in the first place.
  • It doesn’t matter if it’s a photograph or a drawing (those seem to be the most common). Give credit to the creator.
  • It takes. So. Little. Time. To credit. Ideas in descending order according to length and effort:
    • Reposted from ____
    • Originally from ____
    • Posted by ____
    • Credit to ____
    • From _____ (that’s literally four letters, plus a link or username. I think you can handle that)
  • If you can’t find the original post via reverse Google search, at least link back to the source URL. It’s simply the decent thing to do.
  • Who really enjoys stupid, stressful arguments over credit? The offenders get defensive and mad, the posters get hurt and even angrier, and it all could be prevented by the simple act of crediting.
  • Like seriously. If for no other reason, just credit the damn person to avoid clogging people’s dashes with angry posts, wasting everyone’s time in blocking you, and getting into fights with internet people you’ll never see in real life.
  • Isn’t plagiarism bad? I mean the school system, internet, and life failed you drastically if you’ve never heard of plagiarism. People get suspended, failed, and expelled for it. So clearly that’s not cool.
  • As a final note, it would be very nice of you to even consider ASKING permission *gasp* before reposting. What a NOVEL idea! Let’s look at some options, shall we?
    • I wish I could *insert skill here* like you. Maybe you could give me some pointers? In the meantime would it be okay if I reposted this for inspiration/reference?
    • Hi! I really love this post and I was wondering if I could repost it to my *insert social media here*
    • Hey! Do you mind if I repost this? (oh DAMN look at that, that one took me less than 30 seconds to type. Holy shit the miracles of giving credit)

Long story short, JUST GIVE CREDIT. I cannot wrap my mind around why people find this such an insurmountable burden. Usually you got the photo directly from the source anyway, so you know where it came from. And it takes less than 5 minutes to do a reverse Google image search; if you can’t find ANY information, either consider not posting it and asking permission to repost something else, or at least put down the URL to indicate that this is not original content.

THE END.

P.S. Give credit. Please.