is a legitimately perfect human being

I know this is just a goofy bit of anthropomorphization of animals that have zero concept or need for human sexuality, and who are spayed indoor female cats and therefore for all intents and purposes entirely non-sexual beings, and of course inherently non-romantic and non-attraction in any way whatsoever, and that their close bond to one another cannot be legitimately described in any human terms, but…

… I sure do deeply love my perfect beautiful lesbian cats

Kira Yoshikage is Terrifying

So, when Reimi tells Rohan and Koichi her story she ends up showing them the wounds on her back. These wounds are deemed so gory that they don’t get shown in Jojo, a series where we have seen a guy’s head get ripped off and pulled into a canteen amongst other things. Pretty much everyone takes this as an indication of the exceptional brutality of her death, and by extension, Kira. This is important to me because Killer Queen’s bombs, while deadly and merciless, lack the visceral impact of blood and guts. Since we never see Reimi’s back, the brutality never really sets in all the way.

Now, my theory revolves around the fact that later on Reimi also states that she can recognize when someone has died by Kira’s hands even though she never saw his face and had no idea who he was/is. She says she can do this because their ghosts all share the signature wound. We see Shigechi and Rohan’s ghosts as they are blowing up into chunks of dust as they go off to “heaven”, so we know what that looks like. Where this gets interesting/scary is that Reimi says this manner of wound is Kira’s signature and that all these people bare the same wound and she does on her back, and that that is how she knows it’s him in the first place.

Now, until I gave this more thought, I just wrote this off as her being confused or an unclear translation, because an explosion is clearly different from a stabbing, and all of the victims would still be clearly connected because they’re all blowing up and thus recognizable. However, eventually I DID give it more thought, and asked “Could she be saying that Kira brutalized her so badly with a knife (likely a kitchen knife from her own kitchen), that it looked as though a bomb had gone off in her spine?”

Under the assumption that this is, in fact, what’s being hinted at, I looked up images of blast injuries on google (don’t do this if you have a weak stomach btw), and suffice to say, that if 18 year old entirely human and stand-less Kira Yoshikage did, in fact, inflict knife wounds that resemble the type of damage done by a bomb, it makes him 100% the most legitimately terrifying villain up to this point. Like, he actually, legitimately scares me.

Furthermore, if this is the case, it makes perfect sense that Araki didn’t draw Reimi’s back because:

A.    That would have been A LOT of hard work

&

B.    It would easily be the most gory/terrifying thing so far.

In Donald Trump’s America, the mere act of reporting news unflattering to the president is held up as evidence of bias. Journalists are slandered as “enemies of the people.”

Facts that contradict Trump’s version of reality are dismissed as “fake news.” Reporters and their news organizations are “pathetic,” “very dishonest,” “failing,” and even, in one memorable turn of phrase, “a pile of garbage.”

Trump is, of course, not the first American president to whine about the news media or try to influence coverage. President George W. Bush saw the press as elitist and “slick.” President Obama’s press operation tried to exclude Fox News reporters from interviews, blocked many officials from talking to journalists and, most troubling, prosecuted more national security whistle-blowers and leakers than all previous presidents combined.

But Trump being Trump, he has escalated the traditionally adversarial relationship in demagogic and potentially dangerous ways.

Most presidents, irritated as they may have been, have continued to acknowledge — at least publicly — that an independent press plays an essential role in American democracy. They’ve recognized that while no news organization is perfect, honest reporting holds leaders and institutions accountable; that’s why a free press was singled out for protection in the 1st Amendment and why outspoken, unfettered journalism is considered a hallmark of a free country.

Trump doesn’t seem to buy it. On his very first day in office, he called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”

Since then he has regularly condemned legitimate reporting as “fake news.” His administration has blocked mainstream news organizations, including The Times, from briefings and his secretary of State chose to travel to Asia without taking the press corps, breaking a longtime tradition.

This may seem like bizarre behavior from a man who consumes the news in print and on television so voraciously and who is in many ways a product of the media. He comes from reality TV, from talk radio with Howard Stern, from the gossip pages of the New York City tabloids, for whose columnists he was both a regular subject and a regular source.

But Trump’s strategy is pretty clear: By branding reporters as liars, he apparently hopes to discredit, disrupt or bully into silence anyone who challenges his version of reality. By undermining trust in news organizations and delegitimizing journalism and muddling the facts so that Americans no longer know who to believe, he can deny and distract and help push his administration’s far-fetched storyline.

It’s a cynical strategy, with some creepy overtones. For instance, when he calls journalists “enemies of the people,” Trump (whether he knows it or not) echoes Josef Stalin and other despots.

But it’s an effective strategy. Such attacks are politically expedient at a moment when trust in the news media is as low as it’s ever been, according to Gallup. And they’re especially resonant with Trump’s supporters, many of whom see journalists as part of the swamp that needs to be drained.

Of course, we’re not perfect. Some readers find news organizations too cynical; others say we’re too elitist. Some say we downplay important stories, or miss them altogether. Conservatives often perceive an unshakable liberal bias in the media (while critics on the left see big, corporate-owned media institutions like The Times as hopelessly centrist).

To do the best possible job, and to hold the confidence of the public in turbulent times, requires constant self-examination and evolution. Soul-searching moments — such as those that occurred after the New York Times was criticized for its coverage of the Bush administration and the Iraq war or, more recently, when the media failed to take Trump’s candidacy seriously enough in the early days of his campaign — can help us do a better job for readers. Even if we are not faultless, the news media remain an essential component in the democratic process and should not be undermined by the president.

Some critics have argued that if Trump is going to treat the news media like the “opposition party” (a phrase his senior aide Steve Bannon has used), then journalists should start acting like opponents too. But that would be a mistake. The role of an institution like the Los Angeles Times (or the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal or CNN) is to be independent and aggressive in pursuit of the truth — not to take sides. The editorial pages are the exception: Here we can and should express our opinions about Trump. But the news pages, which operate separately, should report intensively without prejudice, partiality or partisanship.

Given the very real dangers posed by this administration, we should be indefatigable in covering Trump, but shouldn’t let his bullying attitude persuade us to be anything other than objective, fair, open-minded and dogged.

The fundamentals of journalism are more important than ever. With the president of the United States launching a direct assault on the integrity of the mainstream media, news organizations, including The Times, must be courageous in our reporting and resolute in our pursuit of the truth.

An alternative to “Love Never Dies”

(Warning: I do rag on LND a fair amount in this, but I’m pretty gentle. Please don’t feel got at if you happen to like it. My issues with it are plot and character-based. The music’s fine. Except the sex song. Ew.)

Watching the 25th Anniversary of Phantom of the Opera completely reignited my love for the musical, especially since I could now look at it with an adult perspective and do all this fun character analysis.

I found the Phantom - Erik - engaging for similar reasons I found Josh Washington from Until Dawn engaging. A human being that does despicable things, but who is still understandable and sympathetic. If anything, Erik is worse than Josh, because he actually goes into full jealous-lover-control-mode, and he kills a couple of people. And yet I still really, really like him and would have loved to see him get a happy ending.

That said, I still think Phantom’s ending is perfect, because it has Erik making this huge jump in character and performing his first act of legitimate true love: letting Christine go. It’s brilliant, and beautiful, and bittersweet.

Which is why I take such enormous issue with Love Never Dies.

Now look, if you enjoy Love Never Dies, then that’s absolutely fine, more power to you. I absolutely understand why it must be cathartic and gratifying to see Erik and Christine as a legitimate couple. No one should ever try to take that away from you. I have pieces of media that I love, even though I know they’re riddled with flaws and other people might hate them.

The reason I hate Love Never Dies so much is because it removes everything about Erik that I find interesting or even sympathetic. He has tons of money, a support network, already had sex with Christine offscreen somewhere (which I feel totally invalidates the kiss she gave him at the end of Phantom), and a kid - and yet he still acts like he did in the last one, threatening and bullying. It’s like he learned nothing. He’s no longer a tragic character whose actions are understandable: he’s just an entitled douchebag. Also, making Madame Giry and Meg the villains and killing Christine; what the heck was all that about? What in the last story made it even plausible that this is where things would go?

I don’t feel Phantom honestly needed a sequel; the ending was perfect and wrapped up all the loose ends. We don’t know what happens to Erik, but we don’t need to.

That said, the sheer screwing around Love Never Dies does with the story and established characters made me so mad and got under my skin so much that I felt the only way I could purge it from my mind was think up my own sequel idea, one that I tried as hard as I could to keep in line with the story of the original. So that is what I humbly present to you today: my sequel idea to Phantom of the Opera, in place of Love Never Dies. As yet it has no title.

So where could the story go after Phantom? The only thing I could honestly think of was continuing the lesson Erik began learning, i.e how to love. How about he learns about a different kind of love? Say, platonic love, maybe?

Let me tell you a story…

It is five years after the events of Phantom. Christine no longer works at the Paris Opera house, and instead has disembarked to a smaller one elsewhere in the country, where she is much happier with a relatively successful career as an opera singer. Amongst the regulars is a young girl of Romani background whom Christine has taken under her wing. Let’s call her… hmm, what’s a traditional name from that period…? Maria. Let’s call her Maria.

Maria has a very pleasant voice which Christine sees a lot of potential in. Unfortunately the girl lacks technique and has poor breath control. Christine thinks she could become a great singer with the right training, but because Maria comes from a difficult background, no one is willing to spare the time or the money to train her, and because she abandoned her star role at the Paris Opera, and has a growing family, Christine cannot fund her training either. She attempts to teach her herself, but Maria’s progress is slow.

Christine is tempted to send Maria to Paris, hoping that the Phantom may still be living there and might teach her. Her husband Raoul, understandably, is not keen on this plan. (They’d probably have a long duet here weighing up the pros and cons.) Maria overhears their conversation and insists she is not afraid. Eventually they decide it’s possible Erik might have changed and it may be worth the risk. They send Maria to Paris with some funds, a letter for Madame Giry and Meg who are still working at the opera house, a letter for the Phantom if they find him, and a young man Christine employs to look after Maria. This chap is Auguste and he wants to be a doctor. He’ll be important later.

In Paris, Maria and Auguste are greeted by Madame Giry and Meg, who manage to find them some rooms to stay in. Madame Giry and the owners audition Maria and agree that while the girl’s technique is all over the place, if she improves, she may land a job as a chorus girl. Maria and Auguste intend to go searching for the Phantom, but Meg warns them against searching for such a dangerous man. When Auguste and Maria point out that getting lessons from the Phantom is the only reason they are here, Meg reluctantly admits that she believes the Phantom made a new lair somewhere in the Paris catacombs. The next day, the two enter the catacombs, but quickly lose each other in the darkness. Auguste gets out offscreen, but Maria hears eerie organ music playing and follows it, only to come across a dark chamber and the Phantom, though all she can see is a vague silhouette (they could have a lot of fun here with lighting and effects). The Phantom is now sporting a black half-mask instead of a white one, because why not.  At first he doesn’t believe that Christine has sent Maria, thinking that she would have tried to forget him. Maria insists:

“She has not. She speaks of you often.”
“What does she say of me?”
“She says that you were her teacher, and that you were the best.”

The Phantom is still reluctant, but he asks her to sing for him anyway. Maria ends up singing an exercise she used to do with Christine, which turns out to be one which the Phantom taught her. This finally convinces the Phantom to begin training her.

Cut to a month or so later, and under the Phantom’s tutelage, Maria’s voice has grown strong enough that she now has a job as a chorus girl. Hijinks ensue at the Opera house when one of the bitchier girls, Jeanette, sabotages Maria’s performance, but later slips on a wet patch on the stage, earning her a twisted ankle. Auguste cares for her, being a trainee doctor. Meg and Madame Giry wonder if this could be the Phantom’s doing and fear that he may have returned to the opera house, but when they check his original underground lair, they find nothing. Still, stories begin to spread about the opera ghost’s return.

Maria, suspicious, attempts to quiz the Phantom in their lessons, but he keeps the topic strictly on their task, snapping at her if she tries to change the subject. He reveals to her that he is still writing music, and has in fact written a short aria intended for her. Maria is shocked and doesn’t think she’s even close to being ready to perform a solo. The Phantom assures her - surprisingly gently - that he has put in many short phrases, to help with her breath control, and that he believes she will soon be skilled enough to perform it. Thrilled and full of gratitude, Maria kisses his cheek before she leaves, leaving the Phantom stunned.

Later Madame Giry and Meg overhear Maria singing her aria backstage. They suggest she submit it to the opera house’s current owners, and ask the identity of the composer. Maria makes an excuse and leaves, eventually voicing her concerns to Auguste. She has grown to care for the Phantom (basically he’s been playing Grumpy Dad to her), and she wants his music to be heard, but knows he is not welcome here. Christine never told her why, but she did mention the Phantom’s deformed face, so Maria assumes it’s because of that. 

To her surprise, the Phantom agrees to submitting his aria, and they put it in under his real name, “Erik”, to avert suspicion.

Rehearsals are under way and the opera house has an unexpected guest: Carlotta, with her new partner. Turns out lovably bitchy Jeanette is her niece. Carlotta expresses distaste that this young gypsy upstart with little experience is going to sing a solo - reminds her of another unfortunate series of events that occurred not too long ago. Cue over-the-top grieving for Piangi. When Maria asks her to elaborate, Carlotta tells the story of how the Phantom abducted Christine and killed both Buquet and Piangi, before disappearing. She insists that the Phantom’s influence alone was what started Christine’s career, that she was never truly talented, and after he disappeared she had nothing left, hence why she moved away.

Maria, of course, tries to protest this, but there are too many questions now, and too few answers. She knows that there’s something really iffy going on and that the Phantom and Christine have both kept lots of things from her. Once again she has a conversation with her teacher, which becomes pretty fiery. 

“You know everything you need to.”
“You are a man with two faces! You tell me your real name, but you won’t let me see the truth! Christine told me what that mask is concealing; surely it cannot be worse than what I have imagined! I’m a gypsy - I’ve seen my fair share of freak shows!”

The Phantom is incensed, and almost kicks her out, but the sound of the Masquerade music box makes him hesitate. He calms.

“I will tell you - after your performance. As soon as I know your future as a singer will be secure, I will tell you anything you want to know.”
“Do I have your word on that?”
“You have my word.” He touches his hand to his mask. “You have earned it.”

Première night comes, and Auguste drops a hint to Maria that the Phantom may well attend, in disguise, to watch her sing. He reckons the old grouch has grown - gasp - fond of her. As the final act begins and Maria prepares to sing her aria, she notices a masked figure slip into Box 5 next to Auguste. She sings and gets a round of applause, then pleads with the crowd to meet the composer of the aria, hoping that the Phantom’s different mask (not the half-one this time, but a full-face one vaguely similar to the one he wore during Masquerade) will disguise him.

Unfortunately Carlotta remembers the Masquerade incident and recognises this man as the one who killed her husband, so interrupts and accuses him of Piangi’s murder. When the Phantom doesn’t deny it, Carlotta’s boyfriend, who is a trigger-happy chap at the best of times, fires two shots at him. The first misses, but the second catches his mask a glancing blow, shattering it. Erik flees back to the catacombs and chaos descends on the opera house.

Maria sets off for the catacombs to find Erik, but Auguste begs her not to go.

“I need him to tell me the truth!”
“I’ll come with you!”
“No - no, I daren’t. He’ll trust me better if I go alone. Get help. Hide outside the lair in case something goes wrong.”
“Maria - how can you think of going there alone, knowing what he is?”
“I’ve always known what he is - but if we don’t give him the benefit of the doubt, he’ll only act as we expect him to. He deserves one chance, Auguste.”
“All right. For pity’s sake be careful, Maria.”

She reaches the lair just as Erik arrives, now back in his black half-mask. She is furious with him and gives him a huge mouthful: is it true that he committed those murders? Did he lie to Christine? Has he been lying to her? Should she truly have been afraid of him all along?

Erik denies nothing, and when she’s run her mouth for a while, he admits that it’s true, all of it. Why did she think Christine gave her all those warnings about him? He hoped that by teaching her as Christine requested, and looking out for her, he could atone for the dreadful things he did. But now he knows that the people will never accept him, not just for his deformed face but for the severity of his crimes. He removes his mask to demonstrate: he is a monster inside and out, and he knows it. He cannot run from it, however hard he tries. No wonder Christine walked away.

Then he collapses. Turns out the first bullet did hit him, in the side. 

“He shot you!” exclaims Maria. “I didn’t know…”
“Of course not. I never said.”

Maria is horrified as she rushes to tend to him. Erik of course goes through that usual tirade that ‘it’s better this way’ and ‘better kill the monster before he harms anyone else’. At this, Maria snaps.

“I don’t think you’re a monster! You’ve never been a monster to me. You were good to me; you taught me. You were strict, you were stern, but you were patient. Christine warned me, she told me to be wary, but you never gave me a reason to fear you. Not even your face.“

Erik is deeply touched at her words, and wonders if by caring for her he has earned a place in heaven, as before him stands an angel, in a form he recognises.

Of course it’s not an angel. It’s Christine. She came to hear Maria sing his music. Because despite the bad history between them, she still cares for Erik, too.

“Why did you return?”
“Because I believe you still have so much to give to the world. Hearts soared with your music tonight. You made people happy.”

She’s so proud of him. She heard what Maria said. She feels he’s finally learned to love, and earned someone else’s love in return. It’s not the romantic love he always craved, but it’s love nevertheless.

Following her is Auguste, Meg, Madame Giry and Raoul - and of course Auguste is a trainee doctor. Maria begs him to save her teacher. Auguste says he’ll try - but the wound is very deep… (lights down! Cliffhanger! Aaah!)

An unspecified time later, the opera is preparing for another performance. Madame Giry meets with the opera house owners. It appears the dramatic première night only served to sell out tickets.

“Nasty business, though, very nasty business. You say the man died?”
“Indeed Monsieur, there was nothing that could be done.”
“Do we know if he truly was this so-called ‘opera ghost’?”
“As he died before he could give a confession, I feel we may never know.”
“Pity. He may have been a criminal, but the chap wrote good music.”

Meanwhile, Christine, Raoul and Auguste watch Maria sing her final aria. The music swells. The audience applauds - and in a dark, distant corner of the opera house, a man in a mask can be seen, watching.


…Okay, so it is fanficcy, but y’know what, it’s lot less fanficcy than what we got in Love Never Dies. I hope I managed to keep all the returning characters in-character, with their development from the first story intact. No drunken, gambling Raoul, but a sympathetic and cautious one. No villainous Giry or Meg who are loyal to the Phantom for some reason; they’re a neutral force as always. No kid whose parentage drives the plot. An active Christine who makes her own decisions and isn’t treated as an object for the guys to fight over. God, that pissed me off!

Honestly, there was no chance of Christine and Erik getting back together. Their romance is toxic, sorry guys. And their story is over when he lets her go. That said, I didn’t see why Christine couldn’t be part of his later character development. Erik does still angst about her, because she’s the only person who has ever shown him compassion, and she still walked away. Christine could be the catalyst to help him start changing, but for the main lesson, I had to start him afresh with someone else.

I like to think Maria is not a Mary-Sue - for a start she doesn’t hook up with Erik, and she isn’t a singing prodigy like Christine either; she’s got potential, but she needs a lot of work. She doesn’t go searching for Erik in an attempt to ‘fix’ him; she needs something from him. He’s her teacher who at first she cautiously respects, but later grows more attached to as he does legitimately nice things for her. At first Erik only does this to honour Christine’s request, but later it’s because he genuinely wants to. He learns to love, and he also learns that yes, his deformity is a huge social handicap, but if he’s kind and does good things, he can still earn love. That was the best reward I felt I could give him - but he had to earn it, and he couldn’t have everything. After all, this guy’s a murderer. So no, he doesn’t get accepted into society, he doesn’t get Christine - but he does earn applause for his music, he earns Maria’s love, his relationship with Christine becomes a whole lot healthier - and he becomes a better person.

So yeah, if you hate Love Never Dies as much as I do, I hope that was cathartic - at least as much as puncturing an abscess could be.  And to be fair, there is one good thing that came out of that wretched musical: the ultimate Phantom/Christine power duo that is Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess. They met through LND and have since forged a friendship that is the purest, sweetest, cinnamon-coated bond I’ve ever seen. And when they’re playing Erik and Christine, their chemistry is so hot you could fry eggs with it. I absolutely understand why they were picked for the 25th Anniversary version. And they make LND almost tolerable. Almost.

(Disclaimer: this post is aimed at fellow allies; I should not and would not tell oppressed people what they are obligated to do)

I think a lot of Tumblrguments, specifically about media, run on the assumption that any sincere attempt would be perfect.

It’s kind of easier to illustrate by example. Like, if a show has a trans character that just exists to be the butt of jokes and stereotypes, the people responsible for it pretty clearly don’t care about trans people at all and deserve all the flak they get. But if a show has a trans character who’s a legitimate character treated as a complex human being, except the writers clearly made some embarrassing mistakes – getting terminology wrong, or saying/doing something that makes 99% of trans viewers go “I would literally never say/do that,” it seems more clear that the writers tried and failed. Less like the result of outright transphobia and more like the regional accents being off.

(two big caveats to the above statement: transphobia does still play a role there, in that important information about what a trans life is like has a difficult time spreading in a transphobic society; and the comparison to accents is not meant to exoticize or demean trans people, but to reframe it as an issue of the rigor of research)

(secondary followup: I often hear “they should have a trans writer then,” and I’m sure any writing team working on a show with a trans character would love having a trans writer to help – they just have to work it out with the editors, the directors, the producers, the advertisors, the Screen Writers Guild, do they have to sack one of the current writers? If not, now you have to sell the higher-ups on increasing the writing budget. If it’s a small independent project, it can be just as difficult: introducing a new person into a tight-knit group that had already developed a certain shared style is really hard, no matter who that person is)

A lot of ppl on my FB are super mad about Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston apparently getting together and whenever I ask them why they’re mad they give me this laundry list of reasons why Taylor isn’t a good person and why they think she “isn’t good enough for Tom” 

And I’m like

that’s not why u mad

You could give me 10,000 reasons why you’re mad at Taylor Swift for being with Hiddles but not at Hiddles for being with Taylor but here’s the deal

That quick a kneejerk hateful reaction isn’t because Taylor Swift is a “bad person” 

It’s because you’re either jealous, or sexist, or both. 

It’s because there’s something legitimately wrong with you that you think people getting into a relationship, regardless of it being public, is grounds for you to suddenly treat the woman in the relationship like you know her enough to tell she’s gonna be a shitty girlfriend. To call her a bitch, a slut, a whore because you think the guy is a perfect gentleman. 

If it were really about Tom Hiddleston and what’s good for him then your first reaction would be to be happy for him and to cautiously hope the relationship works out. But it’s not about Tom. It’s about you being a shitty human being who needed a new excuse to hate on a woman. 

85% of the reactions on my feed alone are a lot of angry cursing, calling Taylor a bitch, or some variation of hate and disbelief mixed with a shitton of insults

0% of any reaction I’ve seen ever are negative towards Tom Hiddleston

Seriously: if your first reaction to their apparent relationship was something along the lines of “what the fuck” or “that bitch”, then believe me when I say you’ve got a serious problem. 

Trump isn’t simply a “bad candidate” or some SNL skit gone wrong — he’s flat-out dangerous. He’s incompetent, inept and so ridiculously unqualified to be president that I’m legitimately afraid he could start WWIII on accident.

Is Hillary Clinton perfect? No. Does she have flaws? Of course. I’m not here to tell anyone that she’s some flawless candidate who can do no wrong. But I will say, without hesitation, that she’s one of the most qualified human beings to ever run for president.

Saying she’s the “lesser of two evils” when comparing her to Trump is like saying a college kid arrested for selling marijuana out of his dorm room to help pay tuition is the “lesser of two evils” when compared to Charles Manson.


– Allen Clifton, forwardprogressives.com

The whole thing about “You can like someone who’s problematic. You can enjoy an actor’s work or the characters they play even if the actor is a horrible human being.” thing would go a lot further if people who like an actor/artist’s work weren’t so quick to proclaim “LOOK AT THIS LEGITIMATELY PERFECT HUMAN BEING I AM LITERALLY IN TEARS WITH THE PERFECTION OF IT ALL HOW CAN ANYONE NOT LIKE THIS PERSON WHEN THEY DID A THING?”

The whole idea behind “your fave is problematic” isn’t to winnow out all the failed human beings whose work you’re no longer allowed to admire. As the fact that the phrase is non-specific points out, no one meets the perfection test. And that’s the point. Putting people on pedestals stops you from seeing or acknowledging (or challenging) their faults.

As Fitz “Get’s Closer to the Woman He Loves”

So after I was done jumping up and down about this (:D !!!!) it got me to thinking if it’s some sort of cryptic foreshadowing? 

So in the interview it says that Fitz will start to rethink getting Will back as he learns more about him and as he gets closer to the woman he loves. 

At face value, this is disturbing because with your ordinary-onesided-love-triangle goggles on it looks a lot like they are saying Fitz is going to get jealous or insecure and think about leaving Will on the planet. I mean really consider it as an option. And I know that Fitz isn’t perfect, and part of a creating a good character is giving them flaws and I do like that he gets jealous (loosing his temper, agreeing that Will is a hogface) but this particular turn is REALLY dark, especially for him. 

If we assume that Will is good (if we must :P) then what they are trying to sell us is that Fitz is legitimately going to consider leaving a human being to die all alone in the dark with whatever monster lives on that planet just because he thinks he might come between him and Jemma. I don’t know about you, but a decision like that, even just considering a decision like that, would haunt me. I’d see him every time I closed my eyes. And if he even came close to going through with it, do you think he’d ever be able to look at Jemma again without knowing that? What kind of screwed up love story is that?! Fitzsimmons bring out the best in each other not the absolute worst. I have to believe they wouldn’t write Fitzsimmons this way. 

This storyline just a bit too twisted for me. It’s just too wrong for me to accept. And so I’ve come up with an alternative.

If we assume that Will/ the planet is evil and Jemma’s story is NOT 100% true, that hint could mean something else entirely.

As Fitz starts to research Will he notices inconsistencies in Jemma’s story, he notices that Will isn’t entirely what he said he was (maybe he notices that he’s supposed to be a lot OLDER than he appeared to be…*cough*.) He notices that something is wrong with this guy.

As Fitz gets closer to Jemma, he notices inconsistencies with her as well. I’m going to speculate that their relationship is going to get physical and that maybe they are going to begin sleeping together in the next few episodes (if not sex, sleeping in the same bed). If  (big IF) they see each other naked, maybe Fitz notices marks on Jemma’s body that she can’t/ won’t explain. Something happened to her on that planet, something really bad, and there is psychical evidence left over from it. Maybe she talks in her sleep, wakes up from nightmares (like she did the first night with the shiv). She says thing that don’t add up when this happens. Maybe some creepy stuff like “don’t take me to the cave” or “don’t let them do it again” “don’t let them get me” Then, one night she wakes up terrified, begging Fitz not to bring IT back to Earth. The next morning she remembers none of it. 

 I think maybe, if her memories have been altered, that she might know the truth subconsciously. Which is why, in sleep, like what happened her first night back, she remembers what actually happened and she is very, very afraid. And the close Fitz gets to her, the more time he spends with her, the closer he comes to realizing that. 

anonymous asked:

Can we talk about despite having relatively severe anxiety with extreme media scrutiny Taylor is literally the most grounded, self-aware person to exist maybe ever and also she's smoking hot. I'm emotional bye

You forgot intelligent beyond intelligence like this woman is un-fucking-real I stg I don’t get it. I legitimately do not understand how she is all of these things in one body, in one being….in one spirit. It’s so stunning, completely overwhelming sometimes but so stunning because she is a rarity. There is no other human being in the world like her and I will argue anyone down till I’m blue in the face about this NO. OTHER. BREATHING. HUMAN. ON. THIS. EARTH. IS. LIKE. TAYLOR. SWIFT. You can’t even call her perfect because she’s definitely not but she’s normal. She’s extraordinarily relatable and respectable. I have been trying to grasp the concept that is her presence on this Earth for the longest and it still doesn’t make sense to me how someone so beautiful inside and out, ordinary yet rare, down to earth and well versed in life as if she’s lived it a million times, is sharing the same time and space as us. In this moment, we’re sharing seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months…..years with this unbelievably striking individual and it’s a privilege because those before us didn’t get to be here for the beauty she has put in the world and sadly those ahead of us will have to be told and presented with the fictional non-fictional story that is Taylor Swift and her constant growth and magnificence I have not stopped crying.

"I'm Not Like Those Other Girls", or "How Striving To Be The Low-Maintenance Perfect Woman Has Actually Harmed My Relationships"

Warning: the language used in this post is going to be fairly heteronormative-sounding due to the usual types of relationships and interactions that seem to bring on this toxic issue. However non-hetero people can and do fall into the same traps.

We’ve all heard it when we’re starting up a relationship. “You’re amazing,” he says, in awe of you. “You’re so laid back, you’re into all the stuff I’m into, you’re not dramatic or high-maintenance… you’re not like other girls.”

It sounds so nice, doesn’t it? It sounds like a compliment. Like you’ve risen above your basic evolutionary failings as a girl and you’ve grown into a confident emotionally mature (and therefore attractive) woman. You don’t stoop to those low levels of backstabbing catty jealous girlhood, which is something everyone seems to quietly agree is “the norm”. You’re not like those other girls - you’re better.

It works for a while, doesn’t it? After all, your relationship is going well. You have so many things in common, you feel confident in his devotion to you. You’re in love and when you’re in love there’s no need for drama, no need for insecurity, no need for arguments and demands (all of which are clearly failings on the Other Girls’ end). He goes on and on about how this all makes you the Perfect Woman.

But it doesn’t last, does it? Suddenly you start noticing little things here and there. Logically you know it probably means that New Relationship Smell is fading away. Which isn’t a bad thing, you’ve become established as a couple. But it means you’re suddenly needing more. You aren’t as comfortable with him blowing off important things in favor of his own hobbies and interests. You aren’t okay with the way he teases your shortcomings. You aren’t as easy-going when he forgets to call or text when he’s out late drinking or partying with his friends to make sure he’s safe. All seemingly easy things to work on, right? Unless you’re still striving to be his Perfect Woman.

It’s not easy, is it? You have to make a choice. Do you sacrifice your status as The Perfect Woman and bring up these issues? Do you ask him to make changes to improve your relationship? Or do you stay silent, because his insistence on your attractiveness being rooted in your lack of “Other Girl”-ness seems vital to your relationship.

So now what? You have a choice. You either smile and nod and pretend these things still don’t bother you the same way they didn’t bother you in the beginning (which, despite what he might say, is not hypocritical… people change)… or you fight for your relationship to evolve and grow and demand the same level of respect and compromise from him that he demands from you. In the first scenario, he stays comfortable. He stays happy. He still sees you as this paragon of girl-ness, this amazing hero of femininity that doesn’t come with the awful complications thousands of movies and books and TV shows and comedians insist exists in every woman… but you sacrifice your own happiness in pursuit of this ideal of “perfection” he’s encouraged. In the second scenario you stand your ground and insist on your own happiness’s importance, and you strive for an adult and equal relationship… while running the risk of losing the person you love because his illusion is shattered. In an ideal scenario he’ll appreciate your candor and independence of his vision of you. He grows to love you as the individual and not as the dream. But that’s not always how that ends - you know this. And loneliness is a powerful fear. Is it worth the risk?

I personally struggle with this constantly (even more so in poly when his other relationships might be a bit heavier on “drama” - it’s easy to want to be the stable thing he can count on). In every relationship I’ve started with a man, he’s fallen head over heels in love with the idea that I’m Not Like Other Girls. I match his interests and hobbies, I’m patient and relaxed, I’m confident, I’m selfless. Everything is drama-free and upfront, everything is good and wonderful and “perfect”.

Which has put me in a bind every time. Because when a problem does arise, suddenly I’m not sure if me fighting it is going to be seen as being an independent individual (with the confidence he claims he loves) or I’m going to be seem as Just Another Dramatic Girl.

The easy solution here is to stop seeing these Girls and Women as a hive mind. Every woman has a different heart and mind, every woman will be bothered by things another woman won’t, every woman will find some things fun and others frustrating. There is no “Other Girls” (In fact, I prefer not to be called a “girl” at all but that’s not the issue at hand here). I’m a grown woman, an individual. I’m not unique in this. I AM “like other girls”. I will have flaws and perks, I will have strengths and weaknesses, I will like one thing and hate another and it will be just as unique and different as every single other woman out there.

This is a flaw in everyone’s logic, men and women alike. Some women like to brag that “they’re not like those other girls” - I’ve been guilty of this same thing. This is, we think, a compliment. Girls are backstabbing, girls are shallow, girls are catty, girls don’t like “boy things” like cars and sports and geek culture, girls are fake, girls are over-emotional. Some girls backstab, sure. Some are shallow. Some are catty. But all of these traits, good and bad, are gender-neutral. But the assumption that women are the “other” whereas male is the assumed dominant gender means that it’s easy to lump them all into one category. It’s why stereotypes are assumed to be truth - the “default” needs to categorize and limit in order to, in their minds, “understand”. There is no understanding women, same as there is no understanding men. You can understand on an individual level only. Seeing an individual and limiting them to the stereotypes of their group is unfair… it limits them, it limits you, and it limits your relationship.

So yes, this has harmed my relationships, over and over. Because over and over I find myself not liking something a partner has said or done, and I stop myself before speaking. Will I be seem as too confrontational? Is this a legitimate problem, or “just drama”? Am I being unreasonable? All of these things are questions the “Perfect Woman” has to keep asking herself. Everyone has a limit, everyone has something they won’t be happy with when interacting with another human being. That’s not “drama”, that’s not “over-emotional”. It’s conflict, sure. But some conflict is healthy. Without conflict and individual cannot grow, and without conflict (from both outside and inside) a couple cannot grow either. I don’t mean constant fighting or anything, but a relationship should be between two individual personalities and people with individual wants and needs, and conflict is necessary and normal. It’s not easy, but it’s healthy.

This can’t and won’t be fixed overnight with me. Every time a man is excited that I’m not dramatic or jealous or reactionary, I worry that any negative in our relationship is going to shift his perspective and his vision of me will be destroyed and I lose that connection. In an ideal world I’d shrug this off with a “well I can do better - if all he wants is the idea of me and leaves the second I’m not as low-maintenance as he wants, I’m better off”… and as an idea that’s correct. But that risk is always going to be there, that concern and worry in the back of my mind… even if they’ve not really done anything to cause or encourage that concern.

The best way to rid ourselves of this is to accept that there is no “Other Girls”. Because I am like other girls, honey. I am. I am unique, yes, but so are they. There is no universal feminine trait, there is no hive mind. Do not compliment me by putting other women down. Not only do you insult other women, you insult me, and you set our relationship up for failure from the very beginning. Because now everything about me that you end up not liking will be lumped as a “woman” thing and you’ll either ignore it entirely (“Honey it’s just your time of the month, this isn’t a real problem” or “Why do girls always get so upset about this?” - which rids yourself of the responsibility as my partner to engage in this discussion and work on it with me) or you’ll feel betrayed because you thought I was somehow above the pack.

So, yes. In all ways I’m not like other girls, in the exact same ways that I am like other girls. Hell even you, male reader, are both like and unlike these mystical “Other Girls”. There are no feminine traits, there are no masculine traits. Jealousy, shallowness, cattiness, anger, avoidance, passive aggression… all of these and more as seen as “Other Girls” traits, but both men and women have them. Yes even that Perfect Woman that you think is exempt from human flaws.

Stop. Stop saying I’m not like other girls. Stop establishing early on that these flaws and hurt feelings aren’t allowed. I am like other girls. I am like other women. I am like some men, too. And until you realize we’re on the same page emotionally, we’re not going to work. The less pressure out there to be “better” than others in your group, the more we can have an open and honest and healthy relationship where we can BOTH discuss what bothers us and what makes us happy. Even if those things are “stereotypical”.