its creepy and i love it with a passion

maybe it’s only because it’s sunday night and i’m feeling slightly mushy, but i’m thinking about the sheer amount of creation that goes on in every fandom i have ever been part of, and just???

we have as fangirls created an entire dialect (anyone who’s spent any time on tumblr can speak it/recognize it, and it’s very distinctive and expressive and the way it compensates for being a text-based medium without inflections/facial expressions and the other things that usually go into a language are endlessly fascinating for me). we come up with off the cuff headcanons. we write vast volumes of insightful and sophisticated media critiques/meta pieces/theories and speculations (and sometimes put more thought and care into it than the actual writers, alas). we get so much meaning out of every look/line/scene. it’s astonishing. we liveblog, we flail, we cry, we enjoy (and bewail) the experience without holding back, and spend so much genuine energy on the Very Real Need for Those Idiots to Just Kiss, and i love it.

we spontaneously and easily create full-length stories that are often better than many published books, or just a snippet to support or flesh out a single piece of narrative/spoilers. we interact and encourage and inspire each other in constantly flexible and fun ways in doing it. we eagerly and happily consume these stories and create more from them in turn.

we spend hours on edits, or gifsets, or drawings or sketches or digital paintings, or other beautiful pieces of art, and the talent is just amazing. simply because we love something and want to make something pretty. after all, all this creation is happening for free, in ordinary people’s off-hours. nobody’s an expert, nobody’s getting paid for it. everyone can participate. yes, there’s the whole question of fandom culture and its problems/issues, but that’s beside the point in terms of what fandom itself is.

see, this is why i am suspicious of any author/creator who proclaims to hate and/or dislike/not encourage fanworks. yes, some of it is creepy and strange and that goes with the territory. but honestly i think that ignoring or discounting the sheer amount of passion with which people love stories, and want to be part of their creation in imaginative mediums, is a mistake.

and because of all this creation, we talk to each other. we become friends. i have people i met here who i text all day every day about my life, regular things, non-fandom stuff (although there is certainly lots of that as well). i count on those people to be there and to support me and to turn to when i need someone to talk to (and try in return to be the same for them).

the world is stupid, the world is dumb, the world is scary. we need more creation. we need more connection. we need more of whatever this energy is that drives us to question and explore and care and make shit and enjoy it together and to tell a new and better story as a result. we need to move it beyond tumblr, sure – but i also think it’s a hell of a start.

so yes. this isn’t anything that hasn’t been said before, obviously, but it struck me tonight for some reason, and i wanted to say something.

i love you guys. keep being awesome.

Book Review- THE RAVEN KING (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

(The review below DOES NOT contain spoilers. However, if you press the ‘keep reading’ button, that’s where you’ll find spoilers abound. You have been warned.)

Prophecy and premonition come to a world-shattering climax as Gansey, Blue, Ronan, and Adam begin the final steps of their increasingly dangerous quest for Glendower. Everyone knows the end is near, and everyone knows the risks are heightening exponentially. A demon is ruining Cabeswater. Gansey’s time is dwindling out. Enemies are closing in on Henrietta, the teens, and their journey. But as close as the friends are, secrets still remain. Secrets that will rewrite this quest, and secrets that will rewrite each other. The last installment of The Raven Cycle pulls out all the stops for a heartwrenching finale, and tragedy seems inevitable.

I first began this series about a year ago, after a lot of pestering from my friend Edna and Tumblr as a whole. Intrigued by the interesting dynamic between Ronan and Adam, I decided to delve into The Raven Boys and ended up getting invested in far more than just those two. Of course, The Raven King maintains the vibrant characterization and vividly real relationships that make the series unique; it also furthers the crazy magic and mayhem unique to this one-of-a-kind story. I fell in love with these guys from page one of book one, and it was indescribably heartbreaking to bid farewell to them.

I spent a good deal of time wondering what would happen in this installment. There were things I assumed would happen (most did not, and that’s a good thing), many things I wanted to happen, and some things I most certainly wanted to happen, but hardly dared to dream of….and it was those things that came true, which is pretty awesome. My favorite parts were definitely the evolution of the romantic, platonic, and familial relationships that we’ve been waiting for. It was well worth the wait, let me tell you. 

The only negative comments I’ve seen from reviewers stems from the wild, sometimes inexplicable magic that this quest revolves around. And, to an extent, I agree there were certain points where I wasn’t 100% certain what or why something magical was happening. For the overwhelming majority, however, I was intrigued and invested in everything going on– both magical and social. As customary with all the previous TRC books, the first 75% of the book maintains a gripping, electric pace that engages completely; the last 25% is something along the lines of DJAFK;JDSAK;FJDKJFKDJFKDJCNNNFJFJ MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC AFJDKAJFDS;JFDKLFJK SACRIFICE SACRIFICE SACRIFICE AFJDK;SFJSKDJFKDS;AJF. It requires very complete attention, and is very, very, very good. 

I cried quite a few times. I laughed a good deal. Swooned, sighed, smiled. Mostly cried. This ending was such a good hurt. It is very rare that such highly anticipated final books can live up to my soaring hopes, so I rarely let myself get too hopeful. But The Raven King sincerely, wholly took my hopes and listened to them all; it seems ironic, since upon closing the book, I curled over myself and dissolved into body-wracking sobs…but the best way I can describe The Raven King is as a book of hope. 

I keep waiting for the emptiness that comes after saying goodbye to a beloved series and characters who are more like friends than words on pages.  I feel a bit of that hollow ache, but only because I miss them so much. However, I don’t think emptiness will really come, and that is precisely why The Raven King is so perfect in my mind. Even though I’ll never read about Blue and her wonderful raven boys again, I feel so full after this ending. There’s nothing else I could have asked for; nothing else is wanting. Everything is dreaming.

After all, the best endings are just hidden beginnings.

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MTVS Epic Rewatch #41

BTVS 2x17 Passion

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

Stray thoughts

1) So I didn’t expect this episode to affect me that much after having watched it A LOT of times, but it still does. BTVS knows how to break my heart into a million pieces every single time.

2) You know shit is about to get real when an episode starts with a “Previously on…”

3) Angelus might be one of the worst psychotic murderous villains in all television history, but he was quite the poet. I’m sure anyone who has watched this episode at least once still remembers the opening and closing voiceover.

Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping, waiting. And though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir, open its jaws, and howl. It speaks to us, guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have?

Just brilliant.

4) See, Twilight? When a guy creeps into your bedroom in the middle of the night and watches you sleep, it’s not romantic! It’s creepy, disturbing, TERRIFYING!

This is not something that should be romanticized. This should be a huge warning sign!

5) I love when a show makes fun of itself.

Xander:  Excuse me, but have you ever heard of knocking?

Jonathon: We’re supposed to get some books. On Stalin. 

Xander:  Does this look like a Barnes & Noble?

Giles:  This is a school library, Xander.

Xander:  Since when?

6) Is this a thing that happens for real in American schools? Do teachers really get to choose one of their students as a sub without checking with the school authorities first? 

7) Giles’ face when Jenny reveals she’s in love with him, though.

8) Oh god, I just noticed this and it broke my heart.

Jenny: I just wanna be right with you. I don’t expect more. I just want so badly to make all this up to you.

Giles:  I understand. But I’m not the one you need to make it up to.

See, if Giles hand’t said that, then Jenny wouldn’t have tried to find a way to restore Angel’s soul so that he and Buffy could be together again and Angelus wouldn’t have tracked her down and then oh god Jenny would have lived. Do you think if Giles ever wondered if things might have been different had he been more forgiving of Jenny? If he hadn’t pushed her to mend fences with Buffy before they could be together again? This is just so sad.

9) “Don’t tell me. He’s changed. He’s not the same guy you fell for?” That’s the understatement of the century.

10) So Willow was feeding her fish but didn’t notice the lack of fish in the aquarium?

11) RIP Willow’s fish, though.

And I’m grateful she didn’t have a puppy, too. That’s something I couldn’t have stood to watch, just the thought of it gives me the creeps!

12) Buffy admitting she cares too much about Giles to prevent him from being happy because of her grudge is the most lovely thing she could’ve done.

13) “Oh, thank goodness. I actually had to talk my grandmother into switching cars with me last night.” Bless you, Cordy. I’m sure your grandma could’ve fended for herself against the vamps.

14) Oranges, am I right?

15) So this is what the restoration spell is about, in case you were wondering.

As the orb is round in nature, as the earth is round in nature and the heavens are round in nature, so is the soul. Return from whence you were banished, using this orb as your guide - penetrate every ounce of the flesh, every sinew of the body and every tissue of the heart. Make what lays before you more than the empty vessel that is animal, that is beast  - make it man as God created when he separated the firmament of the heavens from the earth. Come forth now, return, return. As the orb burns, let life burn. 

It’s kind of beautiful, isn’t it? 

16) Now, Angelus didn’t really need an invitation to enter a public school building, did he?

17) And then THE scene…

I know Buffy is often (wrongly, in my opinion) labeled a “horror” show, because vampires + monsters = horror, I guess. But it’s not that often that the show actually delivers scenes that can fall under that genre. This is one of those rare instances. I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched this episode, but I can still feel the dread and the tension and the suspense building up. I’m rooting for Jenny, I almost hope Jenny will make it out alive every time I watch this episode. And I’m still heartbroken every time she doesn’t. It’s a testament to the awesomeness of this show that after all these years I still get chills watching this scene, as if I’m not expecting what I know will happen. (btw, if by any chance you’ve seen recaps or video reactions to this episode by spoiler-free first-time viewers, send them my way because I really really want to vicariously experience the shock from someone else’s first viewing)

What makes this death scene even worse, if that’s even possible, is the fact that Angelus doesn’t even act like a vampire, he’s just a psychotic murderer. He doesn’t try to bite her or feed from her or turn her. He just gets in vamp face to further scare her, not that it was necessary. He’s in it for the thrill of the hunt, the chase, and the kill. He doesn’t even look back after he snaps her neck. It’s all so vicious and depraved. 

18) 

Willow:  Oh, yeah. It went fine. Well, it went fine until Angel showed up and told Buffy’s mom that he and Buffy had… Well, you know, that they had… you know. You do know, right?

Giles:  Oh, yes. Yes. Sorry.

Willow: Oh, good, ‘cause I just realized that being a ibrarian and all, you maybe didn’t know.

Oh, Willow, as if you hand’t fantasized about what this particular librarian would know about that

19) And for once, Joyce did quite a decent job at parenting.

Buffy: I can’t tell you everything.

Joyce:  How about anything? Buffy, you can shut me out of your life, I am pretty much used to that. But don’t expect me to ever stop caring about you, because it’s never gonna happen. I love you more than anything in the world.

It was about damn time, Joyce.

20) I may or may not have started crying right when I saw this.

The way Angelus set Giles up is so much worse that any kind of physical torture he could’ve possibly inflicted on him. Angelus rejoiced in inflicting and witnessing emotional torture and pain and that’s definitely one of the most horrifying things anyone can do. Angelus was the worst, you know?

21) Exhibit B.

22) Didn’t the cops search Giles’ house, though? Didn’t they notice the trunk full of deadly (medieval!) weapons? Didn’t they have any questions? Didn’t they consider for just a second that the boyfriend might be the killer?

23) OF COURSE Xander would pull the “I told you so” card at the worst possible time.

24) Giles beating up Angelus gives me life, just saying. Even if it was just for a few seconds.

25) Break my heart, why don’t you?

26) 

Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank… Without passion, we’d be truly dead.

27) 

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t kill him for you… for her… when I had the chance. I wasn’t ready. But I think I finally am. I can’t hold on to the past anymore. Angel has gone. Nothing’s ever gonna bring him back.

28) And the most unexpected plot twist in history: everything depends on the Scoobies finding a fucking floppy disk.

28) I think I need therapy after watching this episode. K, bye.