Any advice for someone who's god has left them? (Due to said persons own stupidity and stubbornness)
First, I’m terribly sorry you feel you’ve been left. That’s a really shitty thing to have to feel, whether from a human or otherwise. Second, sometimes, what feels to us like leaving may sometimes be when we’re being given room to work through things on our own terms, rather than having them to refer to.
I don’t know what your situation is, though it sounds like you’re blaming yourself. I could say definitively that it isn’t your fault, but that may be somewhat disingenuous so, instead, let’s acknowledge the fact that gods aren’t like us, shall we? After all, if they were like us, what would the difference be? We might as well be gods, mightn’t we?
Sure, many stories and sacred texts tell tales of the gods acting in ways we recognize as humans, but that doesn’t change what they are. They’re still gods, are they not? Even if they might once have been human, as is the case in some traditions, now they’re not.
A god is a god, even if you’re not sure what a god is It’s that difference, that sacredness which trips something in the human mind makes you go Bugger me, that’s a god, that is!
sacred (adj.)late 14c., past participle adjective from obsolete verb sacren “to make holy” (c. 1200), from Old French sacrer “consecrate, anoint, dedicate” (12c.) or directly from Latin sacrare “to make sacred, consecrate; hold sacred; immortalize; set apart, dedicate,” from sacer (genitive sacri) “sacred, dedicated, holy, accursed,” from Old Latin saceres, from PIE root *sak- “to sanctify.” Buck groups it with Oscan sakrim, Umbrian sacra and calls it “a distinctive Italic group, without any clear outside connections.” Related: Sacredness.
See that the quote above includes accursed? That which gods do is, to quote a certain German philosopher Beyond good and evil. Sure, gods can do things which might offend common morality, but that doesn’t make it good or evil in an absolute sense.It just makes it a thing a god does. Hell, I’m an Odinsman and my god baldly introduces himself as Bolverk, which translates as: worker/doer of harm, injury, ruin, evil, mischief, wickedness.
Does what it says on the tin, right? To human morality, killing nine thralls, tricking people, obtaining things by deception, are not OK. Yet here’s Odin, tipping his hat and giving us the proverbial wink.
Why this crash-course. this reminder of the ambiguous that comes with practical theology?
Because each god has an individual character, because they are persons and not people. You believe your god has left you? I assume you mean that you can’t/haven’t felt their presence? Or maybe they’ve told you goodbye?
I don’t know. I don’t know who you are, either. Shall I tell you what I do know?
I know you’re not the first to behave stupidly. You’re not the first to behave stubbornly. You’re not the first person to have felt their god have left them. Even Christians have a name for it - The Dark Night of the Soul.
Do you think that, in the course of an immortal being’s existence, you are the first one to fuck things up? Do you think a being who’s lasted generation after generation actually picked just you to walk away from, completely and utterly?
Nah. They’ve done it before, right? They have to have, otherwise, frankly, you’re disturbingly special. Are you, the one who behaved stupidly, and stubbornly, that special? Are you something and someone so special that, in another age, they’d compose a poem, an epic tale - The Saga of Anon the Stubbornly Stupid?
Think about it, seriously.
Because if you’re not that freakishly special, then you either belong to a select group of people from whom your god walked away, and you’re not as alone as you think. Or, the departure isn’t what you think it is.
It’s the old chestnut - when things pass beyond our ability to experience them with our senses, do they still exist? Only idiots and philosophers would question whether a person or a building might pop out of existence when they pass beyond our senses, Now, as a philosopher, I’d refine the question:
Does our felt sense or image of a thing cease to exist when that thing passes beyond our ability to sense them?
Obviously, the answer is yes, right?
Except, sometimes the obvious is just a surface reading. Because much of we sense uses memory to fill in the gaps. When we are able to sense a thing, think of it as a live update to the memory, recorded for later recall.
(And let’s not even get into the delay between things actually happening and us sensing them, because that’s a whole other story.)
Memory works on triggers - we recognize someone by their face, their posture, their speech, their clothes etc. But there are times when something changes that doesn’t jive with our memory. How many times have we had to say: I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there, or I didn’t recognize you with you new haircut/glasses - you look so different?
We rely on how things were rather than how they are now. The relationship you had with your god is over, done and dusted. Now, there, is only you and the kosmos, the All-That-Is. Mourn, grieve if you wish, there’s nowt wrong with that. Then dry your eyes, and take a look at the world.
You’ve probably been here before, and, back then, certain things happened which led to a relationship with your god. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, that things like that happen. That gods and spirits abound, and if you want them to be part of your world, you have to think and act in a way that isn’t exactly ordinary. You have to be observant (in all its senses) open to the rich and strange variety of the kosmos.
And you have to realize, deep within, that contact with gods leaves you different. You cannot be near them, or they you, without change:
Being a god is the quality of being able to be yourself to such an extent that your passions correspond with the forces of the universe, so that those who look upon you know this without hearing your name spoken. Some ancient poet said that the world is full of echoes and correspondences. Another wrote a long poem of an inferno, wherein each man suffered a torture which coincided in nature with those forces which had ruled his life.
Being a god is being able to recognize within one’s self these things that are important, and then to strike the single note that brings them into alignment with everything else that exists. Then, beyond morals or logic or esthetics, one is wind or fire, the sea, the mountains, rain, the sun or the stars, the flight of an arrow, the end of a day, the clasp of love. One rules through one’s ruling passions.
Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, ‘He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.’ So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them. - Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
Even by their supposed absence, the god influences you. Drives you to ask a question of me, makes you ask for advice, because there is a gap, a space-between, a difference between what was and what is.
Now, I’m no oracle, no prophet. Just some bearded frothing madman on the internet. You might read this post, and disagree with everything I’m saying, every secret, subconscious implications that the hidden part of your consciousness picks up without you noticing. Not because I’m a crippled Gandalf, casting spells on those who read my words, but because that’s the way language works.
Because language works, for good or ill. It conceals and reveals, guides the mind - and if it’s worked well, perhaps the soul as well.
So you ask my advice, seek my view. You ask of a man who’s had his own counselling session today, whose counsellor wondered at certain events and how to interpret them. You ask me what I see, what I sense, from your question; where it meets my experience and what it conjures up to type, to post here.
And, if you’ve read this far, I’ll let you into a secret: I stepped aside long ago, and let the conjuring bring these words forth. This is coming from a place that is different to an ordinary consciousness.
I’m no oracle, no prophet. Just a man with a mission of words, to answer every question I can. So, here’s the deal, laid out on the table, like blackjack. Just how much do want to remain as you are?
How much are you willing to protect the idea you have of the you-that-was? How much do you want safety? Because, let me tell you, it’s gone, Even if you’ve noticed some changes, I wonder how long it’s going to take you to notice the ones you’ve not noticed, until now?
I wonder, how long until you remember that everything is connected? How the difference between a blessing and a curse is merely a point of view? How distance and space are always filled with something - whether that something be something else, or your very own self?
Agree with this, or disagree because I don’t know you or your situation, because I’m just firing words at a page, and because things became richer and stranger than you supposed, maybe?
And also maybe, because it hurts, and you’re not sure what to do, or where to turn. Because what you thought you knew and trusted, is no longer so. Because I’m telling you what you already know - stimulating action and reaction. Each word, in each context, has meaning. Change the context, the meaning changes also. The cues, the triggers, connect to different memories, conjure different things.
I wonder what conjures you? What calls-you-forth in spite of yourself?
Because we can talk about summoning gods and spirits ‘til we’re blue in the face, but humans surely are not the exception. We too are spirits, wights amongst the vast thronging conclave of the Pandaemonic All.
One of Many, and so we might suppose that change is constant, and what we see as singular is in fact complex, multiple and interconnected.
Your situation is subject to multiple influences; your feelings, your reading of my words - how you interpret their flow, directed with a particular purpose by me - your background, your actions, inactions, and your relationship with your god.
As I’ve said, perceived absence exerts an influence, just like the spaces between and within the glyphs we call letters, which represent pieces of language, all put together with a particular aim.
An aim that loops and repeats, that comes again and again, like sea washing against stubborn stones, all roar and hiss and spray on the surface, all dark pulsing current below, infinite benthic patience. An ocean of time, composed of an obscene number of individual droplets, each moving into and out of each other.
Rocks erode, barriers dissolve.
Such are the actions of the gods.
As the Moon pulls the waters, so the salty tides ebb and flow and rise; water kisses skin as we swim, surrounded by the same. The lunar influence directs us, its gravity dictating, moving with the changes in temperature, Sun and Earth bringing conjoined influences to bear.
Are we not mostly water? Is our blood not salty as the sea?
And yet, do we not think ourselves free from such influences, with our lighted streets, our taps and faucets, our climate change and Prime Ministers and Presidents?
But still the gods cross into the sphere of our senses, interface with our bodies and minds, coil themselves in our blood, steal our breath and replace it with their own?
Still, the sheer madness of their existence in the 21st century, passed from tongue to text to television, brought forth from books and bodies. From the voices on the wind, the mounds of earth, the whispering leaves, the roar of traffic, the light-laden threads of fibre-optics, the sewer-swelling. From the cracks and the edges, from ancient statues held in climate controlled prisons-cum-museums.
(And lo, I do not recall typing prisons, but there it is. Statues of lion-headed goddesses, all properly open-mouthed. The falcon’s scream, all cold and seeking soaring thermals, full of cruel, sharp-taloned knowing.)
You, who feel bereft? Who feel a hole within your heart? Take a breath, and hold it. Bear down upon that random passing divinity, all unspoken, all unknown. Feel it surge, the blood pound in your ears, and then, when you can no longer bear the weight, and then let go.
Again and again; so you breathe. so you live.
Influenced and influencer, deep behind the skin of your mind, down deep and deeper still, is that which you do not know. That which changes, alters itself on the unseen altars. Believe me or not, all this, going fore and back, is true.
It is as true as your tongue, your teeth, your nails that grow and hair that pushes from skin and scalp.
By now, we’re lost, you and I, dear reader, in a labyrinth of words, as one without Ariadne. The unseen monster at the centre of the maze is a portal, a passage to divinity. It lives, it breathes, it shits, it drinks, it eats, it pisses.
It lives, just as you do. It has been at the centre of things since just after the Beginning, when Mother wove a cradle from the entrails of Father. Dwells in darkness, so it does, for all things have long since burnt out in competition with its starry shine.
It led Magi to Bethlehem, burning in the hollowed heavens, bringing offerings to a King amongst them, things that the Anointed would use to rise as premier Magus above all.
And there, standing at the crossroads, we find the sacred heart of All, blood flung in all directions - hallowing the world entire.
Signs and wonders, anon, portals and portents, things that happen, are happening. Symbols rise and fall, are seen and unseen, coming together with us when we are in the right time, place, and state of mind to receive these Strangers, these visiting dignitaries and potentates from Behind-and-Within-and-Through.
It is not about you. You have have been touched, changing even now as I write, You are becoming. When the change arranges for you to receive, then and only then does the unknown become known, the familiar become strange.
You wanted advice, and this is it. Serve yourself, and realize that it was never was, what you think it was. And neither are you who you thought you were.
Reflecting on 2017 is challenging when the, at this point predictable, headline of the day is our Commander In Chief, tweeting childish diatribes toward TV personalities. So far, the year has felt more like an unending hangover from the destructive bender that was 2016 than a fresh start. (The only lingering presence worth keeping has been Frank Ocean; keep droppin’ singles, Frankie. Please. We need you.)
The last six months haven’t been all bad, though. Despite facing its fair share of adversity (PWR BTTM, venues closing, the impending threat of defunding The National Endowment for the Arts, among a ton of other shitty stuff), the underground music world has continued to produce some of the best, most important artworks of this tumultuous era. Now, more than ever, artists of marginalized identities are holding the spotlight and using it to showcase fascinating, unique and incredibly valuable perspectives that were formerly sidelined by the rock music machine. The industry is shifting, and we’re graced with the opportunity to witness its metamorphosis.
Here’re 50 pieces of music that prove creativity is thriving in an age where we need it most—and 2017’s only halfway over. (Every album title is a link to the music so you can listen while you read!)
Adult Mom – Soft Spots
In terms of albums that speak with more emotion than any other, Soft Spots is one that takes the entire cake. Adult Mom’s use of poetic lyrics help decipher situations in life that showcase how people feel. Every delicate glance, every minimal conversation and even the way people think are analyzed within the length of this LP. I generally like to play this on long walks, just to analyze and think over every little thing ever, if only to realize that I need to be more in tune with Soft Spots.
Big Thief – Capacity
Very few artists in today’s world are able to find the balance between beauty and agony as well as Brooklyn, New York quartet, Big Thief. Throughout the band’s sophomore record, Capacity, a ghostly shadow hangs off every note, leaving a bittersweetness on the tongue. Vocalist Adrianne Lenker’s quivering whispers float above the soft instrumentation, propelled forward by an emotional honesty that is almost unmatched by their peers. Songs like “Shark Smile” and “Mythological Beauty” showcase Big Thief’s poetic, storytelling prowess that have made them the band they are today. Capacity offers a less-is-more approach to their sound, stripping back the layers and leaving their insides entirely exposed. The vulnerability and rawness captured on Capacity establishes Big Thief as some of this generation’s finest songwriters.
Charly Bliss – Guppy
This indie rock superband is like fireworks packed into a fishbowl. From Eva Hendricks’ epic, guttural punk yowl on tracks like “Percolator” to their bouncy, playful lyrics, Charly Bliss set off a storm in the world of punk rock with their sparkling debut Guppy. Charly Bliss embodies the 90s more than jean jackets and plaid skirts, and by the sound of this record, they listened to more than a little bit of Bikini Kill and Veruca Salt while they were writing. But while it’s attractively grunge, their sound is also pop-punk, and this album is a laudable effort for being feminine in a genre that so often condemns women and their work. It’s catchy, and fun, and a refreshing new take on the genre whose songwriters are often scared of truth. On “Percolator,” Hendricks effortlessly convinces the audience that “it’s cool, I’m in touch with my feelings.” Guppy is confident and angsty, but not annoying or too self-important: “I’m everybody’s favorite tease/put your hand on my knee/that’s what friends are for.” In true riot grrrl fashion, it lauds girls for doing what they want and stays away from shame: “I want to touch you/I want to cry/floating above you/I think I might.” I could keep quoting the fantastically feminist lyrics, but you’d be better served by listening yourself. Guppy echoes with truth—and awesome guitar parts. The songwriting is smart and fresh, and the music is quick and addictive like poppy music should be. Overall, Guppy is ready to square up against the boring boy band pop-punk albums that this scene has (rightfully) outgrown.
– Lucy Danger
Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound
Back in January, I wrote a review of this record, and I still stand by everything I said. The more I listen to it, the more it grows on me. It’s more polished, has a more elaborate theme compared to the bands previous releases, and it still rips. The energy and confidence that oozes out of this album is contagious. Fueled by a more cushioned sound, Cloud Nothings combine hard power chords and a fast paced drumming/bass backbone to provide what I consider to be their most coherent and complete work to date.
Cool American – Infinite Hiatus
Almost a year after Cool American released one of my favourite records of 2016, they came right back and put out another solid full length. The Portland, self proclaimed, “Dorito-pop” indie rockers take their music one step further on Infinite Hiatus. Full-bodied guitar riffs and catchy-as-hell choruses help turn a laid back, loafer type lyrical experience into something that delves a bit deeper; that is to say that life is essentially disappointing, so why not have some fun while we’re at it.
Deer Leap – Wind & Words
Deer Leap have always been on the cusp of something more, but have always been tethered to the basement. Wind & Words is their way out. Featuring a jam packed 20 minutes of soul-vibrating bass, winding guitars, and haunting vocals, these 6 songs are perfect for summertime drives. The first half is invigorating; a light and pleasant soundtrack to admiring the scenery as you drive along, while side B leaves you contemplative, nostalgic for something you haven’t even found yet.
– Chris Musser
Diet Cig – Swear I’m Good at This
Diet Cig is a return to what I think pop-punk should be; simple, catchy songs that pack a lyrical punch. They’ve put together one of my favorite releases this year with their debut record, Swear I’m Good at This. Check out “Tummy Ache” or “Sixteen” to see for yourself what all the hype is about.
– Ryan Manns
Eisley – I’m Only Dreaming
The melancholic vibe across I’m Only Dreaming is littered with delicate love songs and Eisley have stolen the most listens to an album (by me) of this year. Released via Rory/Equal Vision Records, Sherri and Garon DuPree took the helm of the family band and proved their vision of Eisley is just as powerful as before. Featuring pop refrains that bite with emotion, instrumentals that breathe with heart and an ambiance that feels like its floating, I’m Only Dreaming is an record that deserves to be embedded in your very soul, like it is mine. “Song For The Birds” also happens to be one of the best songs of this year.
The Flats – Auburn in the Everlast EP
For a songwriter, the past can often serve as a place to dwell. For The Flats’ Chris Kerekes, there’s no time. On the Toledo band’s latest EP, Auburn in the Everlast, they burn the past like fuel, venerating their uncertain future with wide-eyed excitement. From the explosive first moments of “Electric Light,” to the hypnotic refrain of “Transparent,” to the peppy guitars of “Unviable in your World,” The Flats consistently prove themselves to be one of the most dynamic and fervent groups in indie rock right now. They even have a song about Bernie Sanders (“Is the War Worth the Cost?”). This six song short-player came out in January and i’m still finding new things to enjoy with each listen.
– Riley Savage
Girlpool – Powerplant
As a lover of everything twee, Girlpool’s Before The World Was Big was an instant favorite of mine in 2015. Whereas that album featured Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad crafting ornate harmonies as a bass+guitar duo, Powerplant adds the drums that I feared may prove to be too much for their delicate songs to handle. Fortunately, Powerplant not only handles adding a drummer but also manages to exceed the hype that accompanied Before The World Was Big. In widening their musical scope, Girlpool have also found that the world doesn’t feel as big as it once was, as their songs deal with the anomie of entering one’s early twenties. On “Soup” Tucker and Tividad sing about the overbearing burden of potential while on “It Gets More Blue” they liken this modern-day malaise to “always digging in trash”.
Gnarwolves – Outsiders
Outsiders is once more responding to the sense of moral displacement engulfing the UK, and similarly to Los Camp’s Sick Scenes it’s with pensive altruism rather than thoughtless anger. Being heavy rock devotees, Thom Weeks and company have always existed in the margins of socially conservative rural England; but the rise of Right populism has alienated them more zealously, as true outsiders. They’re at their most melodic and soulful here – though perpetually threatening a hardcoreish breakdown – to acutely represent their sense of isolation, loss, and their battles with mental health. Outsiders is a state-of-the-nation speech, but with Max Weeks’ murdering his drumkit in the background.
Grayscale – Adornment
Grayscale’s latest offering Adornment is an impressive and coherent record, showing growth since their debut release last year. The personal songwriting certainty required vulnerability but it allows for listeners to explore their own emotions within a space that varies from optimistic to reflective on past pains. Instrumentally the record is experimental but strategically uses acoustic moments, provoking guitar work, and more to make the lyrics even more heartfelt.
– Hannah Hines
Half Waif – form/a EP
Throughout the stunning new EP from Half Waif, Nandi Plunkett (who also plays in Pinegrove) confounds upon and transmits her many moods, emerging with the year’s strangest and most therapeutic pop record. On last year’s Probable Depths, Nandi built complex orchestral pop songs that were simultaneously airy and percussive. But on form/a, her songs are perfused with a multitude of synthetic bells and whistles; song after song, her stirring double-tracked vocal melodies are enveloped by layers of gloomy electronic production and fortified by a strong, vibrant low-end. What really sets this release apart for me is how focused and reflective it is. On form/a, Nandi contemplates with her words and with her music.
– Riley Savage
Heart Attack Man – The Manson Family
There are many kinds of sadness, and many ways to combat negativity. On the debut LP from Heart Attack Man, frontman Eric Egan expresses a familiar sadness — one that seeks to understand the world around him but gets more frustrated the more he learns. It basks in loneliness and boredom, belabored at the thought of his personal relationships. So where do we go when we need some deliverance? The same place Egan himself went: to the proverbial garage for some noisy catharsis. The Manson Family is a purgative rock record — a relatable and thoughtful temper tantrum that, despite its anguish, feelsreeeally good as a listener. Heart Attack Man consistently pen sharp riffs and sticky hooks throughout the record, overshadowing some less-than-flashy percussion and a few inconsistent vocal performances (stuff that sounds better with each listen anyhow). The Manson Family is a therapeutic experience where both band and listener can air out their Caufieldisms for 35 minutes. I mean come on, at some point we all feel like we’re “Surrounded by Morons.”
– Riley Savage
Hundredth – RARE
Rarely (ha) does a hardcore band make a transition into a new genre as smooth as Hundredth did on RARE. The Hopeless Records staple of a band decided to tackle a bold challenge (that was entirely cathartic and genuine) and produce a shoegaze record. Known for their steady rhythms, RARE showcases beats that push instead of pull, melodies that are not forced into screams and an overall pace that is perfect to work out to. Don’t sleep on this record, or the band’s new sonic identity.
Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Back again and bringing that noisy rock that I love so much, Japandroids have set themselves up as one of my go-to “listen to this” bands. High energy and a lot fun, you can take them anywhere. Listen to the title track “Near to the Wild Heart of Life” or “No Known Drink or Drug” and tell me it doesn’t make you wanna dance.
– Ryan Manns
Jay Som – Everybody Works
On her album Everybody Works, Melina Duterte—aka Jay Som—sings of fantasy and being comfortable in one’s situation. “I like the bus,” she sings on “The Bus Song,” “I can be whoever I want to be.” She makes the mundane magical, accompanied by airy guitar and flowing percussion. Spacious isn’t usually an adjective used to describe drumming, but that on Jay Som is such. She waits, and watches, and absorbs the world around, taking the listener along with her experiences. Everybody Works reflects on all the tiny actions that make up our daily lives, which create our world. It grows sonically from the soft “Lipstick Stains” to a fuzzy speed on “1 Billion Dogs,” and sinks back into personality and fear on “Baybee,” but never loses the catchy, smart song structure. Listening to this album is like viewing the world from below a fishtank: the light is filtered and colored so that we can notice the specks that make up our view. The world is a much more interesting place hearing it through Jay Som’s perspective. As one of her song titles asks: “One More Time, Please.”
– Lucy Danger
Joey Bada$$ – All AmeriKKKan Bada$$
It’s hard to talk about Joey Bada$$ without talking about how he started. A half-decade ago, Joey was many things: a true-to-life teen rap prodigy, the leader of New York’s Pro Era collective, and a militant voice for the disparaged. 5 years later, Joey is still prioritizing lyricism and raging against the machine, but he’s kept a remarkably open mind about hip-hop and the process of creating music. Last year, he dropped a song called “DEVASTATED,” an on-trend radio banger that would become his biggest hit to-date. And while it was a departure for Joey, the shoe seemed to fit. The album that would follow fell in the shadow of Kendrick’s “April 7th” proclamation — a release date Joey had set more than a month beforehand. While DAMN. ended up dropping a week later on the 14th, AABA’s hype was temporarily swallowed by the success of “Humble” and the prospect of new music from K Dot. But once the clutter subsided and fans sat with the new LP, it was clear that Joey had delivered his most diverse and formidable release so far. On AABA, Joey reinvents himself seamlessly, dipping into other genres and gracefully pushing beyond his rapper’s rapper reputation. That is not to say that Joey sells himself short with his flows on this album; if you want bars, you’ll find ‘em on songs like “Y U DON’T LOVE ME?,” “ROCKABYE BABY (feat. Schoolboy Q),” and others. But what really makes AABA such a compelling listen are melodic, soul-infused records like “FOR MY PEOPLE” and hooky pop-rap triumphs like “TEMPTATION.” Its exciting that in 2017, we’re still discovering new things Joey can do with his voice, and with his mind.
– Riley Savage
Kendrick Lamar – Damn.
If Good Kid M.A.A.D. City demonstrated Kendrick’s flair for visceral biography, and To Pimp A Butterfly his credibility as political historian and commentator, Damn.—more straightforward in self-comparison but by no other means—showboats his virtues as poet and storyteller. Less conspicuously grandiose, but still hella ambitious and pristinely refined; whether he’s dragging pretenders to the throne on ‘Humble’ or conjuring a Best Picture nominee in four minutes on ‘Duckworth’. This record concentrates on banging, but never tactlessly. Kendrick continues to operate on an entirely different planet to everyone else in rap, and if anything Damn pushes himself even further away.
Kevin Morby – City Music
With the likes of Kurt Vile, Angel Olsen, Courtney Barnett, Mac Demarco and, hell, even Big Thief, there really isn’t a shortage of breezy, 70s-ish, folky, sometimes psychy rock acts floating about today. Nevertheless, Kevin Morby, with his best Dylan impression in full swing, still managed to put out one of the most pleasantly warm and irrefutably lovely albums of the year. Despite sounding like a million different things, City Music is a masterful display of both punchy soundtracks for sunny walks and lilting stretch-outs for nighttime drives. Although the record’s title first struck me as corny and sickeningly nostalgic for the globalized United States of 2017, it quickly won me over. Morby crafted 12 songs that convince even this city slicker that I’m wearily gliding down the Midwest interstate, catching my first glimpse of the distant metropolis glow. Even in an age where it’s difficult to associate anything vaguely American with anything other than a dystopian nightmare, City Music makes me want to hop in the back of a VW Bus and trek out to L.A., fulfilling the the rock ‘n roll prophecy Morby’s cherished forefathers spoke of. Anything that gets me that gooey about the 50 states in this era must be pretty damn compelling.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana
Do we need more King Gizzard? Probably not, but the Australian psych-rock seven-piece keep giving us reasons to want more. Flying Microtonal Banana was the first of supposedly five new albums they’re planning to drop this year (last week they dropped their second, the three-part sci-fi concept record Murder of the Universe) and it’s somehow even more of a ride than last year’s widely praised Nonagon Infinity. Something about this record just feels more focused, more groove-driven and easier to down than the quite literally infinite roar of Nonagon. Plus, the Eastern-influenced guitar effects that sound like the entrancing tunes of a cartoonish snake charmer are endlessly fun and far wackier than anything bands of their caliber have put out in recent years. Given we still have at least two more releases from these guys this year, we’ll have to wait and see how this holds up come December. For now, though, “Open Water” is the jam.
Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes
A four-year interval between No Blues and Sick Scenes has hampered neither the caliber of Los Camp’s songwriting, nor the pertinence of their message. Responding to a UK increasingly pilloried by economic inequality and political atomisation, Gareth David’s lyrics are somber and disquieting, but also generously non-judgemental, and even a little hopeful (a hope vindicated by June’s General Election result). Still, a homelessness of values, of identity, circulates Sick Scenes, propped by some of their shrewdest, most lovely arrangements and ideas; and even when encumbered by political heft they’re as self-effacing, witty, and delighting in detail as ever. One of their best records to date.
Lorde – Melodrama
Young pop superstar Ella Yelich-O’Connor, as anticipated, has come back roaring with her new album Melodrama. Four years isn’t that long, but in the world of music, it meant fans constantly asking Lorde when she would be releasing her next installment. Four years of the 20-year-old Lorde’s life is a significant portion, and just as her life has changed and developed in that time, so has her work. As she said to Tavi Gevinson months ago, her music is a reflection of “the inside of her head.” For the deep and vivid picture that she paints on this album, I don’t know a listener who hasn’t had the (even fleeting) desire to live as colorfully as Lorde does throughout Melodrama. She documents love’s end the way only someone who has experienced it can. She whispers conspiratorially about partying and closeness, and infatuates her listeners with images of chasing those existence-less “Perfect Places.” She feels without abandon and for herself. The addictive aspects of her first album are audible at times, like in “Sober II (Melodrama)” and “Supercut,” but she is clearly living in a world so much more lush, four years later. From the soft guitar introducing “The Louvre” to the weeping vocals on “Writer in the Dark” and “Liability,” to the screeching sounds of what sounds like furniture being rearranged on “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” all listeners can do is grab Lorde’s hand tight and take in all of herself that she has to offer on Melodrama.
– Lucy Danger
The Maine – Lovely Little Lonely
While Lovely Little Lonely is actually the 6th full length studio album for The Maine, it may be the first many people are taking the time to listen to. Alt-rock elements reminiscent of Third Eye Blind mixed with more instrumental indie pop moments you’d expect from The 1975 create an appealing and dynamic listening experience. While not exactly a concept album, LLL is certainly a concept with a deeper lyrical narrative and song transitions that beg for that start to finish spin. It’s admirable that The Maine is still DIY at heart, using the record label turned-community 8123 to release their music, as well as their friends’. Songs such as “The Sound of Reverie” and “I Only Wanna Talk to You” sound even more cinematic in the context of summer.
– Hannah Hines
Meat Wave – The Incessant
Another record I reviewed at the beginning of the year, Meat Wave kicked 2017 off on the right foot. Released in February, The Incessant is still a regular, almost daily listen for me. Its in your face nature packs a punch. The addicting guitar hooks along with the snarly vocals do a great job of snatching your attention and keeping you intrigued throughout this true punk record. The Chicago trio ultimately produced a record of self-reflection and embarked into new territory; hitting their stride in what I consider their most complete and cohesive album yet.
Milk Flud – Flake
As a self-proclaimed wimpy emo-revivalist, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to hear that I know just about nothing about hip-hop, “beats”, and any sort of sound-bite driven music. It’s not something I particularly go out of my way to listen to, and thus I haven’t spent much time with the genres. That’s why I felt so stupid when I listened to LA based beat-maker Milk Flud’s latest album, Flake, and realized I was depriving myself of so much great music that exists in a whole world of personally unchartered territory. I found through by its association with Making New Enemies—a cool, Portland based, record label and creative collective. Catchy hooks, interesting sound clips, and varying dynamic aesthetics immediately draw you in and keep you listening, as the album flows song to song seamlessly. Indie-elitists beware, Flake will hook even you.
Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
In April of 2017, I had the honor of booking Mount Eerie to headline my college radio station’s music festival in Portland, Oregon. It started back in January, when I emailed Phil Elverum the day after “Real Death” premiered and in the midst of a city-debilitating snowstorm. Elverum called me the next day and we spoke on the phone for eight whole minutes. When I first heard his voice I almost dropped my phone, my favorite musician and my idol was actually talking to me about playing a show. During the concert itself, he played A Crow Looked At Me from front-to-back, all the way through, including two other unreleased songs at the bookends of the set. When he began plucking the notes on “Ravens”, my favorite song on the album, my head was in my head and my palms were soaked in tears. Eventually, someone next to me in the crowd put their hand on my shoulder throughout the song, and to me, that was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had. Death is real, but we don’t have to deal with it alone. Folk musicians have had a growing obsession with death recently (Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, Sun Kil Moon’s Benji) but none have written an album as critically reflexive, as genuine, or as powerful. This is album is truly a masterpiece.
The Obsessives – The Obsessives
Whatever The Obsessives were eating between this and their debut needs to be tested for artificial growth hormones. The Philly duo made an enormous leap from forgettable alt-emo into one of the most entertaining bubblegum slacker-rock acts in existence on their 2017 self-titled, slamming through a grab-bag of gratifying hooks, riffs and clever lines about shoplifting snacks, boredom and the hazy growing pains of your early twenties. The band leave their shameless Pixies indulgences right in plain sight on the addicting standout “Surfer Rosa,” a whimsical gesture to the origins of their musical mindset but also a cheeky challenge that bangers like “It’s Ok If,” “If You Really Love Me” and “You’re My God” honestly qualify to contend in. There’s enough 21st century synthwork, fuzz-drenched chugging (“Violent,” “Now She’s Smoking”) and youthful fervor on here to stand a good 50 yards from any easy comparisons, though. The Obsessives is yet another testament to the infinite half-life of enjoyable pop-rock.
Oso Oso – the yunahon mixtape
Collectively decided as emo’s crowning jewel of 2017, the yunahon mixtape is a masterpiece. Released all the way back in January, entirely unannounced, this album made its way into our hearts. Impeccable lyricism marries with some of the catchiest riffs around as the album unfolds before us; nothing but a testament to the abounding songwriting and musicianship abilities Oso Oso mastermind, Jade Lilitri, possesses. the yunahon mixtape is a tender, sweet, warm album that showcases an unparalleled thoughtfulness in both its content and its quality. It’s selectively polished production offers a refined aesthetic that truly allows all aspects of the album to shine as best fit. Simply put, the album has made itself comfortable at the top of 2017’s best lists, and surely not without reason.
Palehound – A Place I’ll Always Go
“I’m with someone new/and I know that you would love her if you met her,” frontwoman Ellen Kempner mutters quietly yet clearly beneath her breath during the last few lines of “If You Met Her.” It’s a song about reflecting on her best friend’s passing and wishing she was still alive to meet her new partner. It’s a feeling I’ve fortunately never dealt with, but Kempner’s somber yet catchy delivery over the minor-key bassline, along with her sparing use of distorted guitar, give the song a sense of stream-of-conscious sincerity that hits me harder than almost anything I’ve heard all year. The rest of A Place I’ll Always Go is equally direct, but the tracks are so consistently captivating that it’s almost like there’s two ways of listening to it: either reading along and allowing yourself to empathize as best as you can (the loss of Kempner’s friend is the central theme), or cranking it and jamming along to some of the most rewarding and subtly adept indie rock of the year. Either way, it’s a trip.
Paramore – After Laughter
Quite simply there isn’t a bad song this band can write. While After Laughter took many by surprise as a drastic aesthetic change for the band, I actually found it to be a rather logical progression for their musical catalogue. Prior to the album, Paramore’s self-titled took the band in a much poppier direction, leading to their eventual 80s synth-pop revivalist current state. The upbeat, bubbly, production-driven album is a surefire soundtrack for the summer, featuring bangers like “Rose Colored Boy”, “Fake Happy”, and “Caught in the Middle”—all guaranteed to keep your sun-soaked fun going all season long.
Pile – A Hairshirt of Purpose
Pile has been one of the most inventive and unique punk bands over the past decade, but their 2017 release A Hairshirt of Purpose is their most focused effort yet, showcasing a band that’s truly honing in on the things that set them far apart from most other rock bands. The album brazenly changes moods and motifs on a dime, demonstrating an understanding of restraint, composure, and purpose through their trademark deconstructive songwriting. A sequence of four particular songs in the middle of the album, “Texas”, “Hairshirt”, “I Don’t Want To Do This Anymore”, and “Dogs” serve as a perfect introduction to Pile’s contribution to modern rock music.
Priests – Nothing Feels Natural
A politically charged album, Nothing Feels Natural is a deeply groovy post-punk record that has a lot of meat on its bones. It doesn’t sacrifice the raw force that the band is known for. Lead singer Katie Alice Greer carries their unique sound by means of snarly attitude and hate-fueled emotion to ultimately make music for the people who don’t want to take the bullshit, but instead, fight back. And in times like these, this record sure arrived right on time.
Remo Drive – Greatest Hits
Earlier this year, the music video for a song called “Yer Killin’ Me” by Remo Drive caught fire on Youtube and crept onto the playlists of any indie rock fan with their ear to the ground. This is for a few reasons. For one, the video is an endearing goof with all the charm of suburban Minnesota. Secondly, the song is really fucking good. And third, they may have gotten a little co-sign from the internet’s busiest music nerd. RD newcomers like myself would soon find that “YKM” was hardly a fluke. The band’s debut LP, Greatest Hits, expounds upon the positives of the single, delivering a project full of sharp melodies, clever lyrics, and noisy pop-punk sing-a-longs. The production on this thing is anything but polished, but that seems to work in its favor; because most of Greatest Hits is so raw, the potent humor and emotion of the record remain in focus. Frontman Erik Paulson is a particularly self-deprecating lyricist, and an especially talented vocalist. Like Barry Johnson or Steve Ciolek, Paulson’s singing voice is stylish and emphatic — so much so that it makes an album full of pop-punk instrumentals sound like one of the year’s best indie rock records. Catch me bumping “Art School” all year as I anxiously await the follow-up to Greatest Hits.
– Riley Savage
Run The Jewels – RTJ3
Run The Jewels (the rap group comprised of NYC’s El P and Atlanta’s Killer Mike) started 2017 off with a bang, releasing their 3rd full length album as a group just as the year began. I honestly thought they couldn’t do better than RTJ2; that record combined frantic beats and top notch lyricism. Forgive me for ever doubting them. RTJ3 built upon what the pair did in their first 2 albums, and then broke through the ceiling and pushed the bar to the clouds. This is the political album the world needs in the age of Trump. “Choose the lesser of the evil people, and the devil still gon’ win.” These 2 rap about the real deranged world we live in, “Can’t contain the disdain for y’all demons. / You talk clean and bomb hospitals / So I speak with the foulest mouth possible.“, and they have for a long time, check Mike’s “Reagan” or El P’s Funcrusher Plus. I feel like I’m learning something listening to their bars, and that’s because I am. Their minds are clearly on the pulse of the universe. RTJ3 is proof.
Rozwell Kid – Precious Art
After proving themselves as objectively one of the best riff-machines in modern music via 2014’s Too Shabby and their stellar 2015 EP Good Graphics, Rozwell Kid took the time to tighten, polish and then wax their signature sound for their proper breakthrough, Precious Art. Singer/songwriter Jordan Hudkins’ voice sounds better and more confident than ever on tracks like “Total Mess,” “Michael Keaton” and even the outrageous interlude, “South By,” where he reaches a falsetto we never knew he was capable of. The band as a whole sound effortlessly cohesive on “Boomerang,” “Wendy’s Trash Can” and “UHF On DVD” as well, clearly the payoff from dedicated gigging. Although no Rozwell Kid is bad Rozwell Kid, there isn’t really anything on here that the band hasn’t already played with previously. Nevertheless, the Virginia foursome are blowing up, and all of the new fans inevitably flocking to this thing (largely due to SideOneDummy pushing it, the absolute perfect label for these guys) will have plenty of chances to attain Rozwell Kid enlightenment by the time it’s over and ready to be replayed.
(Sandy)Alex G –Rocket
After the singles “Bobby” and “Proud” dropped, DIY-bros who swear they just stopped listening to emo music collectively took to the internet to ask the asinine question: “Is Alex G country now lol?” As if sounding vaguely like country music is even supposed to be an insult, (country music is good, don’t talk shit on Blake Shelton) it is safe to say that Alex Giannascoli’s latest release Rocket is not a country album, rather it’s his most diverse, multifaceted, and challenging album yet. It’s also the most cohesive collection of songs in his career. Whereas previous Alex G releases were generally united by their lo-fi production, Rocket maintains a yearning, curious, and self-aware aesthetic from start to finish.
Sinai Vessel – Brokenlegged
Most of the time I’m searching for a record to complement the season surrounding me. So it comes as a surprise to myself that I’ve been spinning Sinai Vessel’s Brokenlegged nonstop since it was released. Vocalist Caleb Cordes’ pain and yearning manifests throughout every note sung, every string plucked. I feel desolate and alone; at the end I’m left introspective and awkward. I didn’t write this record, but it’s so relatable that I’m open and vulnerable as if I had been singing this entire time. It takes courage to dig below the surface, and Sinai Vessel do it with a running start on Brokenlegged.
– Chris Musser
Slowdive – Self-Titled
Shoegaze legends have been reuniting left-and-right, usually announcing a string of tour dates including a music festival near you, and then in some cases, making plans to write a new album. While My Bloody Valentine’s mbv felt like a footnote to Loveless and has lost its luster since 2013, Slowdive’s new self-titled album, their first in 22 years, sounds exactly how a Slowdive album in 2017 should sound. Combining the ambient, spaced-out atmospherics of Pygmalion and the majestic, lush shoegaze of Souvlaki, Slowdive is one of the best reunion albums in recent memory. Every song creates a vast soundscape with dense, sensuous textures to get lost among. Back in April I tweeted that “It’s the kind of album that should play while I make summer memories, at night”, imagining something “like a montage of me and all my super hot friends (who are models, by the way) playing at the waterfront and kissing and drinking rosé as Slowdive plays”. Now that summer is coming, I can finally make this Twitter dream a reality.
Smidley – Self Titled
Foxing is great, but Smidley is happier. The self-titled debut from Conor Murphy’s solo project is anything but fantastic. The songs are infectious as shit, led by opening song “Hell.” The record is a stand still portrait of Murphy’s current life, filled with stories and aspects of being in a touring band, constantly feeling fucked up and enjoying every second of life that needs to be enjoyed. The album features a plethora of guest musicians, making the record actually more of a fun and vibing party than a business. Hell, it’s a fucking art piece.
Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else – Enjoy The Great Outdoors
There’s something beautifully paradoxical about a record’s title that encourages its listeners to turn off the stereo and go outside. Though, the timberland textures and cool, earthy atmosphere of Enjoy The Great Outdoors resemble a tranquil trot through the woods in its own right, providing a similar opportunity for wandering thought that a trail in Vermont does. For his second full-length with Run For Cover, the consistently hermetic Spencer Radcliffe enlisted a team of hikers (Everyone Else) to accompany him on a venture across 10 tracks of shaded, groove-driven indie rock. It’s still got the hand-crafted feel of his previous works, but the brisk bassline and rustling instrumentation of a track like “Static Electricity” embody the ascent to a mountaintop. It’s one of those songs that sounds like a living organism, and it might be the best thing Radcliffe’s ever left his footprint on.
The Spirit of the Beehive – Pleasure Suck
When I first heard this album, I was blown away by the boundaries that were pushed by the Philadelphia group. Pleasure Suck, being their third release, is arguably their most ambitious and way-out-there work to date. From start to finish the band produce a wide range of dense noise that’s puzzling at times, yet gratifying nonetheless. All that said, it should be known that layered between the beautiful palettes of soundscapes are the hooks and melodies that make Pleasure Suck an immersive experience.
SZA – Ctrl
Since 2012, Solána Imani Rowe has turned heads with her diverse blend of musical influences that make up her brand of R&B. Rowe, who performs under the stage name SZA, quickly rose to popularity, turning heads with her unique voice. Her RCA debut, Ctrl, shows off her growth since her previous mixtapes, blending bubbly melodies and soulful bellows. Lyrically, SZA pairs painfully honest lines with the quirky and humorous, making each song relate to the listener in a different way. Ctrl draws on influences beyond standard hip-hop and R&B boundaries, wearing traces of alternative/indie rock and electronic proudly. Ctrl is a masterfully crafted record that possesses a little bit of everything, allowing everyone to find something beautiful in SZA’s emotional debut record.
Tall Ships – Impressions
There’s been a strain of theme in indie rock this year about self-reflection and interiority; reacting to the tempest of our external reality, we should become hypersensitive about how we engage with each other, and ourselves. While David Bazan and Craig Finn have produced beautiful records touching on this, they’re not Impressions. Weaving indie rock guitars into the intricate web of math rock and post rock chords and signatures, their despotic meticulousness supports Ric Phethean’s gorgeously emotive ruminations on regret, loneliness, the arbitrariness of everyday choice, the imperative and futility in seeking meaningful connection. Their music is opulent and nourishing, Phethean’s verse even more so. Easily one of my favorite albums of the year so far.
Tigers Jaw – Spin
It took me seeing these songs and this band live to really appreciate just how special spin is. Tigers Jaw are known for their downtrodden melodies, but here, they have choruses that bounce with a different kind of energy. Riddled in looking at the past and how things have gone, Tigers Jaw stand tall with introspective lyrics that feel too damned familiar to just let them slide by. No, the entirety of spin needs to be sung loud.
Turtlenecked – Vulture
Although Turtlenecked may not appreciate the comparison, Vulture is essentially the art-rock response to Car Seat Headrest. Like indie rock’s 2016 trophy, Teens of Denial, this record is grand in its approach yet lo-fi in its texture; a marvelous and, at times, overdramatic performance of a young man’s precocious tendencies. Vulture is a far more deranged, nuanced and experimental work than Will Toledo’s, though. The second full-length from the Portland, Oregon project of singer/songwriter Harrison Smith is a wacked-out flurry of manic garage rock, pre-90s punk, bedroom-learned key/synth noise and a basket of different vocal approaches: baroque falsetto, spitfire mumbling, soft crooning and demented yelping. Smith is as melodious as he is berserk and unpredictable, making this a record that truly does ripen with age as you begin to make sense of all the moving parts. From start to finish, this is one of 2017’s unearthed gems.
Vagabon – Infinite Worlds
Who was it that said “every really great rock album is under 10 songs and 45 minutes”? Laetitia Tamko’s release Infinite Worlds certainly follows these guidelines. Aptly titled, this album is a world of beauty packed into a short 28 minutes. “I’ve been hiding/in the smallest/space/I am dying to go,” Tamko sings on “Fear and Force,” a track that transitions from her soft, reedy voice to a bassy, percussion-heavy song and back again in under four minutes. Vagabon has stories to tell, and does so poetically and beautifully. She entices the listener to trust in her and look inside themselves for the grace with which she sings and plays. From the fuzzy, romantic “Mal á L’aise” to the cathartic, sprawling “100 Years,” Vagabon has transcended the “boring” stereotype of indie rock and made something huge, fascinating, and lovely.
– Lucy Danger
Vasudeva – No Clearance
An instrumental that speaks more words than most albums with a message, No Clearance is an experience. Vasudeva prove that time and time again they can make their melodies ring louder than any scream. For some reason, I have really grown to this album while cooking. No idea why, but taking No Clearance out on a long drive with beautiful scenery does the job as well. This Skeletal Lighting release is one for the ages.
A Will Away – Here Again
This record is a thrill of a listen, starting with the opening song (just so happens to be the title track). The guitars are bright, instilling a feeling of inner joy that comes out in the rarest of fantastic albums. Here Again is just that, finding A Will Away in the center of soaring hooks and tremendous melodies. The vocals across the entire album are beyond catchy, almost downright innately pleasing. A soothing release from a band continuing to make the climb to bigger places, A Will Away’s Triple Crown Records debut pleases in every season, every year and every play through.
White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band
Despite my initial failure back in April to fully “get” this album, along with my conscious effort to dislike it simply based upon how blatantly unoriginal it is, I finally cracked. A name that smirks as widely as The World’s Best American Band is bound to break through any ardent rock fan, no matter how tough the exterior, and it was the tongues-out, water guns-out solo in “Eagle Beach” that delivered the final blow. This will be one of the most unapologetically kick-ass slices of rock ‘n roll to come all year, perfect for Friday-at-5PM fist pumps, beach day boogies and beer-chugging…uh…chug-alongs. Oddly enough, the best tracks, “Daisies” and “Another Day,” don’t come until the last few swigs of the record, perhaps purposely on White Reaper’s part; saving the former for hyped-up-howling and the latter for crushing your cans, soaking your living room and scurrying outside to catch your Uber. If this isn’t the soundtrack to your weekend, you ain’t livin’.
Here are a few more albums that didn’t make the cut for one reason or another, but are still very much in the consideration for end of the year lists, and warrant another listen:
Free Throw – Bear Your Mind
Harmony Woods – Nothing Special
Sampha – Process
Two Inch Astronaut – Can You Please Not Help
Stef Chura – Messes
Freddie Gibbs – You Only Live 2wice
Captain, We’re Sinking – The King of No Man
Sorority Noise – You’re Not As _____ As You Think
Ratboys – GN
The 50 Best Albums So Far In 2017 was originally published on The Alternative
I'm pretty sure most "anti-anti" discourse will ultimately just be used as a tool to deflect any and all criticism, or to accuse critics of being terrible people themselves. Especially with you all patting yourselves on the back about how morally superior you are.
deflect criticism of what? fanworks?
Hm. I can see how it might be easy to conclude that, depending on your previous fandom experiences, but I have to disagree on the whole.
What is ‘anti-anti discourse’ in this instance? I’m going to guess you mean ‘telling people it’s okay to ship what they like, write what they like, and do fandom how they like, even if others find their ships and fanworks to be uncomfortable’. In other words, advocating for fandom to stop weighing content on its moral value or kid-friendliness.
If you come from the school of thought that fandom must be made across-the-board ‘safe’* by no longer allowing fans to create or share headcanons, theories, or fanworks that contain amoral, dark, or nsfw content, I can see why the ‘ship what you like/your kink is not my kink and that’s okay/just tag your shit and do whatever’ attitude towards fandom feels like it’s setting up for all criticism to be ignored. If your frame of reference for fandom is evaluating everything on how safe and moral it is, saying ‘actually, everything is permissible in fiction’ means there’s nothing you can possibly criticize.
But fandom didn’t wait for morality and social justice to become the centerpiece to criticize fanworks and fan spaces; we used the original canon and liberal values as our ammunition instead of purity points. We wrote long meta about why slashfic was bad, then about why slashfic was good, then about why mlm fic was so much more popular and common than wlw fic, then about how to write mlm fic in realistic/respectful ways. We’ve debated repeatedly on what’s appropriate to write about and what isn’t, and if we need to cross decency lines, how do we protect people who don’t want to see it? We’ve had massive ship wars over which ship was more canon (instead of which ship was more moral, and thus most deserves to be canon). Nor did we wait for current minors to complain about adults to figure out ways to make fandom spaces safer for people to navigate. We created tagging systems to help people avoid content that disgusted or harmed them. We then criticized each other’s tag usage and demanded more and more specific tags to help us weed out fics that would squick us (or find fics that hit the right kinks). We created 18+ only spaces on our geocities websites and mailing lists, and locked 18+ content on our Livejournals so that underage people who wanted to get access had to lie about their ages, knowing that what they were about to encounter was not intended for them. (figuring out how to make this work on web 2.0, designed to bring us all the content no matter what, has been very difficult.)
But mainly, we just assumed everybody was on the same page about real world morals: incest irl was bad, dating a minor irl if you were an adult was bad, abuse of any kind irl was bad. We might debate about how to respect the online spaces of others, but we didn’t doubt that everyone knew these things were shitty.**
You’ll notice some of these debate points aren’t that different from what antis and shippers ‘debate’ today. But when we debated these things without assuming that the morals of people with opposing views were fundamentally fucked up, it allowed a much more open, nuanced dialogue because people weren’t on their guard, waiting to be personally attacked. When we stopped treating ships and kinks as personal preferences but rather as personal value statements, we lost the ability to have nuanced conversations about the underlying reasons these ship types and kink types were so prevalent.
I can never reply without writing a novel, can I? But my point is this: ‘Anti-anti discourse’ doesn’t stop people from critiquing fanworks, or figuring out ways to make fandom safer for both teens and adults, or talking about the potential harm that dark content can cause. By asserting that deeply personal things like what kind of romantic dynamic pings you or what sexual kinks you have are personal, and you are free to indulge that (and others are free to avoid/ignore it), it actually makes fandom criticism less loaded, more nuanced, and more enriching, letting everyone think for themselves instead of being scared into silence.
PS - I’m so curious why you say anti-antis are ‘patting each other on the back for moral superiority’. Do you think I feel morally superior because I don’t direct personal attacks at anti-shippers? Is ‘patting each other on the back’ the act of reblogging from others because you agree with them? Or is it something else?
Cause I’ll tell you what: I don’t really care about the moral superiority of anybody. All I care about is people taking the time to be just and kind to one another. And I’m trying to do that myself (though who knows how much I succeed).
*’safe’ in scare quotes here because I so entirely disagree with the concept of a heavily censored space being ‘safe’ that I have to point out this is really, really not safe by using scare quotes.
**And maybe that assumption was a bit of a blind spot - a generation gap between fans who grew up without the internet and fans who grew up with it.
right, but what about whiskey/tango coming out to dex b/c they think he's queer and will support them and dex having his internal sexuality panic right then and there
Dex dropped his backpack beside the couch with a thud. He was normally more careful with it, but he’d been awake for the past 27 hours with no sleep, he’d only barely met the deadline for his Gender Studies essay, and Professor Rezendes had decided to hold back his class. For an extra 20 minutes.
The only thing that Dex wanted to do was fall into a short coma, but sometime around 3 a.m. Tango had texted him asking if they could talk. And his 3 a.m. self thought that it would be an excellent idea. 2 p.m. Dex, however, was at the level of sleep deprivation that put him dangerously close to either homicide or insanity.
Still, he did love the tadpoles.
“What did you guys want to talk with me about again?” He asked, grabbing a stray snickerdoodle from the plate on the coffee table, actually looking towards the Tadpoles for the first time and-
Okay. So he had at least half of an idea about why Tango wanted to talk.
They were sprawled out on the couch, Tango tucked into Whiskey’s side. Dex can’t say that he’d never suspected anything (Tango was about as close as you could get to being an open book), but he’d always thought it was one-sided. Given the lovestruck way that Whiskey was watching Tango right now, apparently not.
Tango squinted expectantly at him. “Is it not super obvi-”
“We’re dating.” Whiskey interrupted, side-eyeing Tango, who looked back at his boyfriend with a ‘no shit, Sherlock’ expression.
He’d totally called it, but Dex still stared blankly at them for a moment, processing the fact that the two freshman he and Nursey had practically adopted had somehow fallen in love, that he was watching his children grow up (damn he felt like Bitty), before his face split into a smile.
“Congrats, dudes,” He said, flopping down across from them in an empty arm chair, before taking a slightly more serious tone. “Also, like, thanks for trusting me with this moment.”
Whiskey snorted. “Bitty said the exact same thing.”
“Shitty taught us well,” Dex shrugged. “Speaking of, um, I should probably know who you’re out to, so I don’t accidentally say something to someone that you guys aren’t comfortable with.”
“Just you and Bitty,” Tango answered cheerfully. “We don’t know when we’ll be ready to tell the others, but we felt like we could tell you two.”
Ha, he thought, so the Tadpoles trusted me more than Nursey. Nursey can suck my ass they think I’mmore- wait what?
“That’s totally cool and I respect that,” Dex asked, “But like, why not Nursey?”
Tango fidgeted a little with the sleeve of Whiskey’s shirt. “Well, we weren’t sure if he’d be totally, um, chill, with us dating. And like, also, you know…”
He did not know, and it must have shown on his face.
Whiskey rolled his eyes. “Also, you know, Nursey’s not queer. We figured it would just be easier to come out to you and Bitty for now.”
Dex’s entire world seemed to shift on its axis.
“I’m not gay,” he snorted incredulously. “Like, I’m glad that you guys felt comfortable enough to come out to me, but why would you even think that?”
Tango looked quizzically at him. Whiskey raised a single, well-manicured, judgmental eyebrow. None of them spoke.
“Are you sure?” Tango asked at length, still obviously doubtful. “Are you sure you’re not at least a little gay?”
“Um, yeah?” Dex said. “I’m pretty sure I would’ve noticed if I was into dudes by now.”
“But what about your crush on Chris Pine?” Tango asked.
“And your sexuality rants in the dining hall?” Whiskey added.
“And how you always get onto the Lax-douches for saying no homo?”
Dex’s brain almost short-circuited from a combination of exhaustion and shock. It almost felt like he was being fucking interrogated or something. He took a slow deep inhale before he started explaining.
“First off, I wouldn’t say I’m gay for Chris Pine. He’s cute, but, like, even if I were gay I don’t think I’d be into him. He’s twice my age. And I rant about gender and sexuality stuff because Shitty made me promise to ‘keep the tradition alive’ when he left for Harvard and said that he trusted me, as, and I quote, ‘the angriest, most passionate motherfucker on the team’ to carry on his legacy. It’s the same reason I get onto the Lax Bros. Fuck those dudes.”
The silence was somewhere between awkward and understanding. Dex could practically see the way the gears were turning in Tango’s head. His thoughts must’ve settled after a second or two though, because Tango’s 1000-volt smile returned.
“Sorry for assuming, Dex,” He said. “We should’ve known better. It was nice of you to take it in stride, though. I knew we could count on you.”
Dex smiled back, exhausted and relieved, but still glad that Tango and Whiskey felt comfortable around him. “No problem dude, we all jump to conclusions sometimes. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff Nursey used to think about me.”
Tango’s eyes widened comically, “No! Really? What did he-”
A buzzer went off in the kitchen, piercing and annoying. Tango’s nose wrinkled and Dex almost flinched at its sound.
“Give me a second, I told Bitty I wouldn’t let his pie burn.” Tango said, disentangling himself from his boyfriend. Whiskey watched him leave, his eyes following his boyfriend all the way to the kitchen, but as soon as the door shut his eyes were on Dex.
“Are you fucking with me? With the gay thing?”
Dex was halfway between laughing and pounding his head on the table.
“I already told you guys that I’m not gay. Jesus, calm down.”
Whiskey leaned forward. “Then why are you always looking at Nursey like you want to fuck him senseless, move into the suburbs, and then adopt ten kids with him?”
He scoffed, “I don’t-”
It was like several things clicked at once.
“I’m not into Nursey,” Dex rebutted with no actual force at all.
Whiskey raised both well-manicured, judgmental eyebrows at him this time.
“I’m not. I’m not into Nursey. I would’ve noticed or, like…” Dex trailed off as shock set in.
Whiskey leaned back, nodding slightly.
“Oh,” Dex said quietly. “Fuck.”
Whiskey only hummed in solidarity. Distantly, Dex could hear Tango knock something over in the kitchen. Or maybe several somethings.
Whiskey sighed. “I’m going to go help him, but you-” he said with a pointed look- “should probably go get some sleep. You look like you’re about to pass out or something.”
Dex shook himself into being awake and functional enough to process that. “Yeah, sounds good.”
He grabbed his bag off of the floor, but Whiskey grabbed his shoulder before he could leave.
He almost looked like he had no idea what to say. “Dude, honestly just chill. You can figure everything out when you don’t look like death. I probably- shit, we probably shouldn’t have gone all Spanish Inquisition on you when you look like death. No offense or anything. Also Bitty’s gone for the weekend, so you might as well crash in his room.”
Dex sighed, practically sobbing at the thought of getting some sleep and just not thinking about how in love he was with his best friend anything. “Yeah, I get you. I’ll just.. go crash there now.”
Whiskey let go of him gently, as if he was afraid he would tip over.
“Cool.” He said, then looked over his shoulder towards the kitchen. “I gotta go help with whatever that was.”
Dex nodded, already halfway in the hallway. He wanted to sleep so bad, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Nursey.
“we’re just kids. we aren’t supposed to be heroes.”
i am constantly seeing over edits and gifs of teen heroes/protagonists. and it is complete bull shit. the mindset some some of you damn people have the thought of a child character doing anything even remotely heroic terrifies you. you get so damn scared of the thought of a child/teen being in danger that you project that fear onto fictional characters and that is BAD.
the message you send is not “protect the children”, its that kids cant go on adventures, they cant save the day, that if something is wrong, they don’t get to do anything about it.
i am sick and tired of middle aged adults in the comic book industry trying to write some philosophical think piece about how terrible it is that teen heroes/sidekicks exist and how terrible their lives are
im tired of teen heroes being treated like crap in order to send some sort of message on how fragile and helpless teens are and how they get hurt in battle or about child solders or some other bull shit. if adult superheroes get to live their lives and be heroic with out being killed off in some bullshit attempt to be deep why should teens?
a superhero having a kid sidekick isn’t child abuse. comic books are not real life. superman shoots lasers out of his eyes and the police allow and trust weirdos in brightly colored costumes to fight crime. kid sidekicks are a important part of comic book superhero lore. the reason they go through so much more crap than adults is because writers think they are sending some sort of message .
the reason why teen heroes have worst lives than half of adult heroes is because they are written that way. people keep purposely writing teens in worse situations than adults.
so many writers build up this perfect kid hero doing what is right and saving the day only for them to be scared for life by going through a unnecessary tragedy to make that ~~~~~grow up~~~~~.
you are not being deep. you are being edgy
if you are writing a story arc with teen protagonists, take a second to think, “hmmm, can what im writing be compared some how to ‘titans/young justice: graduation day?” if yes, stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200, rewrite your entire story because i can assure you that it is shit and unoriginal.
no unnecessary death, no talk about how bad their lives are, no wake up calls, no disbanding of the team, nothing.
you are completely missing the point of superheroes in the first place and it pisses me off. not everything needs to be sad and angsty. super heroes are about doing good things and helping the world,
i know how shitty the world is, move on to a different story, that one has been done
i don’t want to here about how fucked up their lives are because at the end of the day they are not. they should be allowed to be heroes as much as the adults do.
write teen heroes. write teen protaganists, and for gods sake stop killing them off
title: of jealous bamboo trees and clingy koalas description: jungkook’s been a little too salty after the running man episode. author’s note: based off of this video
It was just for show, he tried to convince himself. It was just so Kwangsoo didn’t steal any of their boxes. It was just Jimin looking after them. It was just Jimin being Jimin.
Jimin being Jimin as in Jimin being super clingy to practically everything that moves and being an over all super adorable fluffball that just so happens to make Jungkook both want to smother him in kisses and push him in front of a bus.
Because it seemed that Jimin has a knack for making Jungkook jealous.
It was just a game. It was just a game for fun and good times, so why was he feeling like this? Why is it that, whenever he’d look over in Jimin’s direction as he ran towards their assigned truck with a box or two in his arms, he’d see the older clinging on to some other man and Jungkook would feel his stomach churn?
Look, I get it. The ship is not your cup of tea and that’s cool. There are ships I can’t get behind. What isn’t cool is acting like Bull is abusive toward Dorian. Like??? What??? Bull is 100% a cinnamon roll. A lot of people are uncomfortable about the comment he makes about “conquering” Dorian. And trust me, I get that. But it is also pretty obvious through various dialogue that Dorian like larger men, and he mentions being kidnapped by “burly Qunari pirates” as something enjoyable (aka a fantasy). Bull 100% picks up on the fact that Dorian is tempted by him, and considering Bulls tarot card, The Devil, represents temptation…Well, you can see the point I am trying to make. We know that Dorian is afraid temptation will be the death of him. We know that he, as a Tevinter mage, is weary of Bull at first due to their countries being in a centuries long war, and their treatment of mages. Dorian puts on a big show about being sassy and snarky. So OF COURSE when Bull flirts with him, knowing that things Dorian says leaves him open to the flirtation, he’s going to act taken aback and uninterested. Keep in mind, when Bull realises that when Dorian did not mean to flirt in a way that lead to the “conquering” comment, he stopped. But Dorian is attracted to him, it’s immediately after this that Dorian seeks out Bull. Dorian SEEKS OUT BULL. And then end up together.
Some people say Bull doesn’t care about Dorian’s privacy because he talks about their relationship with others…But keep in mind, their dynamic tends to be a lot of Bull teasing to get a rise out of Dorian. And Bull does discuss his romance with the Inquisitor when asked about it. He also teases others if they are romancing the Inquisitor. Bull is a flirt, and he likes to tease those who are close to him. It’s how he shows his affection. He likes to get a rise out of people. He loves sex, and knows that Southerners are repressed about it, and talking about it makes them blush and stutter, but it’s also how he gets them interested in invitations and offers to his bed. Dorian is a 100% willing participate in their sexually activities, and their relationship. He enjoys being the bottom with Bull. He loves The Iron Bull eventually, and Bull loves him back. That is really driven home in Trespasser. Dorian, due to his background, is cautious at first. Bull has not experienced love before. Together they work it out.
It is also pretty obvious to me that there are those at BioWare (i.e. Mike, Patrick) who are also 100% behind the ship. Otherwise I doubt they would have written it into the game. And I doubt that would make it so lovey-dovey in Trespasser. They fucking ran with the Adoribull romance in Trespasser. They made it very very obvious how committed and in love Dorian and Bull are with each other. Bull cares a great deal for Dorian, otherwise he would not mount a dangerous rescue in a country that would see him killed or enslaved instantly if caught to save his Kadan. Patrick Weekes confirms that Dorian would have given Bull a communication crystal as well; AND he sneaks away to spend time with Bull when possible, despite knowing full-well what could happen to him politically and socially (and physically) in Tevinter if it was found out he was in a committed same-sex relationship with a Qunari. They stay together, despite the distance, despite the danger. Remembering also that homosexuality is frowned upon enough that Halward, Dorian’s father, attempts to “change him” with Blood Magic, despite that fact that Halward is apparently very much against Blood Magic. Imagine how people in Tevinter would react to knowing that a Magister, who is unpopular with many due to his sweeping reforms, is with in a same-sex relationship, and with a Qunari at that.
Bull is good for Dorian. Dorian is good for Bull. I have no doubt that Dorian grounds Bull, and gives him something to focus on so his fears do not come true. They need each other. They love each other. Also, when Bull talks about his sexual activities with Dorian, their relationship, it’s not just to get a rise out of Dorian. He is boasting. He is so proud and happy of his smol mage boyfriend. He fell for Dorian pretty hard, otherwise I doubt he’d invest so much time into getting Dorian to realise he was attracted to Bull. They were both attracted to each other to begin with. Bull picked up on it, and ran with it.
I personally, love Adoribull as a ship. I think it is one built entirely on mutual attraction and want, that develops into a proper romance. Sex is important to Bull, as well as Dorian, so of course there are overtly sexual elements to their relationship. You can draw the same conclusions from their romance with the Inquisitor. Both are used to casual dalliances. To being used. Both are surprised when the Inquisitor wants more. It is unsurprising then, that they continue what they are doing with each other. They obviously enjoyed themselves, and Dorian, knowing the Iron Bull’s open door policy takes advantage of it. Bull is likely very happy to have someone come back to him and have more enjoyable times together, considering a lot of people he beds likely do so out of curiosity and then never come back to him. Bull is a caregiver, and what he does with Dorian is a form of care giving. Dorian needs his relationship with Bull, one where they can be open, there is no judgement, and that they both enjoy. But that’s not to say that Bull doesn’t get what he wants or needs from Dorian either. Bull himself says that Dorian is a sweet guy, and that he hopes they are good for each other. AND THEY ARE.
So I get it, okay. Some people have gotten the wrong idea about the relationship, or don’t like the dynamic, or their physical compatibility, or the influence sex as on their relationship. And that’s fine. But please, please stop making out that Bull is abusive to Dorian. That their relationship is abusive. It is not. That is not what is happening at all. Please stop making anti-Adoribull posts that I can SEE in the Adoribull tag. I get that people may not like a ship. Like I said, there are ships I don’t like. But you know what I don’t do? Post about it. I don’t make people feel like arseholes just because they enjoy a certain VERY CONSENSUAL, ADULT (as in no one is underage) RELATIONSHIP. Canon as well. And before someone moans about it “not being canon because it didn’t happen in MY game”, it is canon. If it happens in universe then it is canon. If the writers, directors, artists and producers have a part in its creation, and it ends up in the final product, it is canon. And it is CLEAR that there are people at BioWare 100% for this relationship. I mean, they released a fucking picture of Bull picking up Dorian on a dragon’s head and spinning him around after Dorian’s Movember campaign ended. That are a thing that happened. Very recently. SO PLEASE. Stop posting shit about how shitty Bull is for Dorian, and how bad their relationship is. If you don’t like it, blacklist it. Don’t make people feel like shit because you, personally, do not like their romance.
I’m sure other people have posted far more eloquent and detailed posts then I have, with quotes and stuff. Search for them. I am not hear to hold your hand and give you all the facts that are already in the game. I’m just sick of trying to browse through the adoribull tag and getting all these anti-adoribull posts popping up.
I’ve been wanting to post this for so long but I’ve never had the guts, so here goes!! This is going to be a really long answer please prepare yourself…
I love Pete because he is legitimately the best person ever, he’s so down to earth, humble and has such a great sense of humour. Also he sticks up for everyone he loves and he’s loyal as fuck.
I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to some of his lyrics. I know they’ve helped me through so much and they’ve helped so many other people as well. Also Pete loves that, like whenever people ask him what it’s like to know you’ve saved peoples lives he says it’s awesome and he was saved in the process as well, what an angel. (tweet)
I don’t want to sound like really cliché and emo, but some of the stuff he says really makes me feel better. Especially quotes like this one which is probably my favourite quote ever, also Here’s To The Kids, I mean okay I know everyone takes the piss out of that because yes it’s emo but honestly I love that quote so much because I’ve lived a life of being misunderstood by pretty much everyone and it’s just nice to know someone /gets/ you. Also more recently in a tumblr post Pete wrote ‘Fall Out Boy has always been about inclusion. If you don’t fit in anywhere, you can fit in here.’ This is SO important to me because I’ve always felt like I don’t fit in anywhere. I’ve always had a lot of friends but I’ve still felt uncomfortably different, so it’s nice to feel like I belong somewhere.
He’s had a really long history with depression and bipolar disorder, it got to the point where he tried to kill himself in 2005 and that is probably my favourite thing about him (which sounds ridiculous, I know) but the fact he was at absolute rock bottom and tried to end his life but managed to get over that and managed to get through his depression no matter how serious it was is just downright the most inspiring thing, and although I’ve never been in a similar situation I know there are many people across the world who’ve been helped through their depression thanks to Pete.
Furthermore, his parents got separated when he was younger, he mentions it in this video as it being his worst childhood memory and this is a thing that’s helped me personally. My parents split when I was younger and it really effected me, so it helps knowing your favourite human on the entire planet went through something similar and still ended up okay.
He does so much charity work, he’s such a good person for example in this picture he is giving a homeless man a bag of food just because he felt like it, Pete pls……
He’s also been working with Invisible Children since 2006/7 like the main thing being shooting the ‘I’m Like a Lawyer’ music video in Uganda to try and raise awareness of the whole LRA/kony situation. He also took part in a campaign called Displace Me, where 65k people across the USA slept on the streets in makeshift camps and shelter type things trying to recreate what the LRA camps are like in Uganda to help try and raise awareness of what its like for the kids there.
Leading on from the depression/bipolar point, he spoke about his experiences and difficulties for the ‘Half of Us’ scheme, helping people everywhere with depression and suicide basically making people feel okay to not be okay and make sure they know they’re not alone. This is awesome because he managed to speak about his serious personal problems to try and help other people which not only is very difficult (because imagine how hard you find it talking to friends/family about your issues, imagine telling the world), but also a very good use of his power as a high profile public figure. (if you haven’t seen it you should really watch his videos)
Additionally, he took part in Larry King’s Disaster in the Gulf telethon trying to raise money for the Mexican people affected by the oil spill on the Mexican gulf, answering calls and accepting money from the people who were donating:
He is a supporter of Unicef, and ages ago he took part in a campaign trying to raise money for Haiti after the disaster there due to the earthquake. (you can read about that hereif you want)
Fall Out Boy took part in the PSA for dosomething.org to try and raise awareness about global warming and trying to make people do something to prevent it from happening. (video)
Pete is a supporter of LGBTQ+ and took part in the ‘No H8′ photo campaign, a campaign aiming to end homophobia, transphobia etc.
Additionally, Fall Out Boy made their views about gay marriage very clear in their latest music video ‘Uma Thurman’. (Pete wrote in a tumblr post ‘We hope you can support the hidden message at the end of our video’). You can read about it here.
Every single person I’ve spoken to about meeting Pete have said he is lovely to fans which I wouldn’t doubt for a second because he always does random acts of kindness to fans. For example, you might not remember but he does stuff like he dressed up as the Easter Bunny and gave the queueing Fall Out Boy fans pieces of chocolate. (video)
Also, he’s good to fans because he never denies people a photo. Look this photo was taken like a while ago and look at all the shit hes carrying and he has Bronx (his son) with him as well, but he still stops and takes a photo like no other celebrities would do that, well not many anyway.
Basically this post about one of his book signings made my heart explode.
On the subject of his book I don’t know if you’ve read his book Grey but it was the most EMOTIONAL thing I’ve ever read. It explains his life so much and lets you inside his head. It explains loads of Fall Out Boy lyrics so you should definitely read it because it made me love him 900x more than I already did, which was a lot. It has a lot of good quotes, including: ‘I wonder if killing yourself is the only thing you can control in your entire life, and that’s why it’s a sin. Because you’re beating God at his own game.’ (the book is quite dark)
He is a really great dad and loves his sons Bronx and Saint more than anything. He stated in the past that having children is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him because it helped him become less selfish as he believes in his 20s he was ‘the most selfish person alive’ (I disagree, look at all the stuff you’ve just read!) but he appreciates his children for developing him as a person. Also, Pete was heavily depressed again in 2010 following his divorce with Ashlee Simpson and has said Bronx is a main reason he pulled through it. Basically he’s as dependent on his children as they are on him.
He’s helped loads of musicians make it, for example Panic! at the Disco (another favourite band of mine), Cobra Starship, Travie McCoy/ Gym Class Heroes, etc. through his record label Decaydance and collaboration with Fueled By Ramen, so basically he’s enabled other musicians to achieve their dreams through his fame, and has therefore helped a whole lot of other people. (e.g people who are inspired by Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco)
One final thing, he really fucking loves Fall Out Boy fans.
A main point to remember is he is a super famous rock star who has been absolutely trashed by the media and the internet and pretty much everyone who isn’t a Fall Out Boy fan, yet he’s stayed true to himself and still as lovely as he was when Fall Out Boy started, if not lovelier. Keep that in mind because I can assure you there are not many celebrities who have experienced the same attention, fame, media backlash and abuse that Pete has who has stayed a lovely genuine person that he always has been.
Looking back over the past 8 years of loving Pete and Fall Out Boy, it’s amazing to see him grow as a person and become a better version of himself every day. The point is that people (myself included) thought Pete wouldn’t make it past 27 because he was so sad and so hooked on drugs and 7 years later he’s got his amazing band back, the best friends ever, two incredible sons and a beautiful girlfriend. I swear to god if that doesn’t give you hope in life nothing will, I am so so so proud of Pete Wentz.
anything you will want to learn is not about talent.
this is important, i used to think that a lot especially with art or music but its not true, its all about practice. be it learning a language, a sport you want to be good at, art, music, writing, idk anything, its all just practice ive always been the person with no kind of talents i never was good at anything from the first moment on which always gave me a lot of frustration because the people around me always seemed to be better at everything but im just someone who takes a lot of time and practice, so if you want to do something but you feel frustrated because you think youre hopeless and you will never be good at the thing you want to do:
1. youre not
2. the only thing youre lacking is patience
3. youre probably too perfectionist and have too high expectations of yourself, when you want to make music dont be like “im going to write a song” or when you want to draw “i want to make a finished artwork on A2 size” or these kind of goals, they dont work, they will only leave you frustrated because theyre high expectations which never work out because if one is a beginner it is essential to start small in order to have small successes one can be proud of. instead say “i want to write a small melody” or “i will make a small sketch” or with learning a language “i will record myself saying a small greeting” or sth like that and add after all of those an “-and! it! doesnt!! have! to! be! perfect!”
4. you will never be perfect, but with every attempt you make you are making progress, be proud of every tiny step you make
5. practice practice practice, you will have downfalls and feelings of i am shitty at this but thats okay because you know that you will get better because youre practicing and thats the key
6. dont! compare! yourself! to! others! i know how hard this is and its probably not avoidable but if you do that try to keep in mind that they have started out with where you are now too. no matter if people have talent and if they were good at things, you still have to practice if you want to reach a certain level, also you can be a lot prouder of yourself if you got where you wanted to when you worked hard towards it
7. it doesnt matter how old you are, i would always be so jealous of everyone who had done certain things from the day they were born as it seemed and i thought if i hadnt done music in my childhood i could never do it at all. thats not true, think of van gogh, he only actually started painting with the age of 27 and he is amazing. also what will you do with the rest of your life if you have already achieved everything you wanted with 20 haha
8. if you feel like you cant do it on your own, take lessons, dont be afraid to ask for help. pretty much every famous person or person being good at what they do that you can think of will have had lessons and professional help. and if you cant afford lessons, maybe ask someone you know who can help you, they will understand where you stand because theyve been there too and hopefully help you or the internet provides a lot of help too
9. dont give up and dont worry too much about giving up. you will keep practicing if you want to do it. maybe it also helps to have things that motivate you
10. sometimes it takes time to actually be ready to start practicing and pursueing something so if you feel like you just. cant. do it right now then have patience with yourself, if you wait, the time will come at some point, sometimes you need more self-development and changes in your life to get to a point where you realise that you can do this now and want to
11. things are usually simple. at the beginning it sometimes seems like the thing youre trying to understand is huge and abstract and youll never be able to understand because its way too difficult but think of school: when you were 6 years old anything the older kids did was so impressing and you would be like thats so difficult wow and when you get older you just slowly learn it and it becomes a normal thing
for languages, the better you get, the easier it is to find native speakers you can talk to at some point you will probably have native speaking friends and then you can talk to them and youll be super awesome haha have patience life will bring awesome things i had one of my best friends in 7th grade tell me that i cant draw even though i had already been drawing for a long time at that point and it took me SO long to get where i am today so dont give up, everyone you look up to will have had a looooong way to climb
Watch Out For Contracted Artist “Business Proposals”
like ok, this is in no way the first time this has happened but. Story time.
me and nafisah got the same shady job offer this morning (her via email, me via DA) from someone “planning on kickstarting a visual novel game~~” and this is what they were looking for in an artist:
they wanted ~30-40 full illustrated backgrounds each with alternate versions for the four seasons, designing buildings/architecture from a specific time period (japan OFC), villages and islands big enough to house 3500 residents, and openly expected the artist to be the lead designers (which is pretty speak for we’re responsible for thinking up all the ideas from scratch and they just speak up when they don’t like it) by August/September for- gasp- twooo thousand dollars. maybe an extra 500!!!!!!
Almost a years worth of work for 2,000 dollars. My mom makes 9 an hour- that’s about 3 months of work at a very low paying job- even not counting taxes, that’s 3 months. If you make more than 9$/h, you can see where I’m going with this. Anyone with a minimum wage job can see where I’m going with this.
If people offer you a lump sum that’s actually less money than you can make with minimum wage, it’s garbage.
it’s fun to laugh and talk shit about the shady new member DA accounts with no content that send you notes trying to convince you to do a billion art pieces for their mysterious up-and-coming company like “lmao wow do i look like i was born yesterday” but honestly after years and years of attracting nothing but that sort of spam it really starts to pick at my self esteem. I’d love to do some kind of cool commercial work. I’d love to illustrate a kids book or novel or cute website graphics or a mascot or whatever if it really spoke to me, if the commissioner spoke to me as a person. It really fucking pisses me off that there are artists out there that would be successfully manipulated by this thinking it’s the real deal when it’s simply a pretty dressed up scam.
And since i feel sort of shitty and riled up about this i’m gonna turn it into something good for my followers who may need this reassurance.
The idea of pregnancy is absolutely disgusting to me. But my mum really wants grandchildren and I'm an only child. She said just because I'm aro/ace doesn't mean I can't have kids—she googled it, even. I'm in a really tough place with her right now on the matter, and I think it would help to know if being grossed out by pregnancy tied into sex repulsion.
Is it her body? No? Then she has no goddamn right to pressure you for kids. It’s your body and your life and your decision.
This is something that really pisses me off. I get passionate about a lot of stuff, you all know that, but nothing takes me from calmly answering asks to full on, hands shaking, almost inarticulate rage than people pressuring other people to have kids.
Yeah, she’s right, you can technically still have kids. Anyone with even semi-functional ovaries and a uterus can have kids, even if it takes medical intervention. But the ability to physically carry an embryo to term does not mean a damn thing.
If you don’t want kids, you do not have to have them.In fact, if you don’t want kids, you shouldn't have them. There are more than enough unwanted kids in the world.
You are not a child-producing machine. Your grand purpose in life is not to have kids. You define your own purpose. And if you don’t want kids, then you don’t have to have them, no matter how much your mother wants them. It’s not her life.
She doesn’t have to carry the pregnancy. She doesn’t have to go through labor. She doesn’t have to sacrifice her time and possibly career to have the kid. She doesn’t have to feed and clothe the kid for 18+ years. She doesn’t have to put the kid through college. If she wanted another kid she should have had one.
I have gotten on my soapbox about this before. I’m starting to get incoherently angry, so I’m going to quote myself:
Kids are a huge fucking commitment and parenting is not for everyone.
Having kids is not like having an object, or even like having a puppy. Having a biological child involves 9 months of pregnancy for someone, many hours of labor (which, by the way, is the single most painful thing human beings go through without dying), then 18 years, give or take, of that child being completely financially dependent on you, not to mention the emotional toll of parenting. Yeah, there’s rewards, I guess, but for some people, those rewards pale in comparison to the costs.
She wants grandkids the way that I want a new TV - it’s something I’d like to have, but I don’t want to put effort into it. I want it to be there when I want it, and not a problem when I don’t want it. If she wants to actually have a tiny human around, she can go adopt one.
Now, your actual question… I’d be inclined to think that for some people, pregnancy could be tied into sex-repulsion. If you find the act that is traditionally part of becoming pregnant to be repulsive, then the whole thing is just a giant reminder of that. Or if you find genitalia repulsive, well, pregnancy involves a lot of stuff to do with your genitalia.
Disgust towards pregnancy could also be tied into dysphoria - I don’t know your gender identity and if you experience any, but that can be an element for some folks who have ovaries and a uterus.
One of the reasons I have such a strong reaction to this is that I, like you, find the idea of pregnancy horrifying and awful, and I have a profound dislike of tiny humans (anything under age 6 is unacceptable, and under age 10 is questionable). But focusing on the pregnancy thing… I know, for me, part of it is a little gender dysphoria, but most of it is a combo of sex-repulsion and control issues. Penetrative anything is an absolute no go for me. Pregnancy just goes on its ow, so the whole situation is out of the pregnant person’s control - which, for me, is terrifying. Having your body change without any control over the situation? God no. On top of it, the only way in which this body could ever get pregnant would be through rape, which adds another layer of “hell no” to it all.
Regardless of your reasons for not wanting to have biological kids, your opinion is valid and the only one that matters. It is your body and your life and you get to say whether you have kids or not. YOU DO NOT OWE YOUR MOTHER GRANDKIDS.