So, what's your input on the bootyful fanfictions about Kyle & Stan? (since you won't answer in-character)
OH I GOT SOME INPUT
Okay, lemme just- it’s the tropes. The goddamn tropes. I’ll make a list of a few then tear them apart in a massive rant.
I’m about to spam your dashboards.
Ultra wimpy nerd Kyle
Super sensitive Kyle
Mr Man Stan
Perpetual bottom-top dynamics
»> Shota-shorty Kyle- There are too few people in the South Park fandom that believe in a tall Kyle. I am one of them. Here’s why: Matt and Trey loosely based Stan and Kyle’s friendship off their own, and by extension, they based the characters loosely off themselves. Matt’s a tall guy (6’2) with tall hair. In comparison, Trey is 6’ even. If he’s based off Matt, there’s no reason why Kyle has to be so fucking short in every picture ever. The only way it makes sense for him to be shorter than Stan is if someone tries to excuse it with genetics, saying he’s shorter because his mother’s shorter than Sharon Marsh. But, even that’s not a viable excuse because his father is at least the same height as Randy and a lot of people grow to be taller than their parents.
I’m just really sick of Kyle being excessively short and Stan being some kind of giant.
»> Ultra-Wimpy-Nerd Kyle- While it was said in the ‘Elementary School Musical’ episode that Kyle enjoys studying, and from the first ‘Mysterion’ episode- Kenny does think Kyle is the smartest kid in their class, nothing in the show makes Kyle out to be a stereotypical nerd.
In reality, there are two classifications for ‘smart kids’- Kyle is often depicted as the quiet bookworm type (the ‘nerd’) in the fandom, but from what we see in the show canon, he’s actually the outgoing top-of-the-class type (the ‘overachiever’). The difference is in what a kid does outside of class. A ‘nerd’ generally doesn’t do many clubs and what they do is always academic related, they almost never do sports because they’d rather sit on the sidelines and read a book (which Kyle always fucking does in bad fanfiction- he fucking sits at Stan’s games and reads a goddamn book), and they’re usually physically weak because they care more about intellect than strength. Meanwhile, an ‘overachiever’ will make good grades but also play sports and join competitive clubs. They’re those assholes that everyone hates because they can juggle a crazy-hard course load as well as a fuckton of extracurriculars.
In the show Kyle is shown playing nearly a dozen different sports, and he’s been a leader among the kids several times (TSOT and Free Willyz to name a few). He’s constantly depicted as tough when it comes to the boys rough-housing (we’ve seen him beat the shit out of Cartman who’s twice his size wide, in the Ice Man episode he fights Stan and is generally the one on top as they wrestle, not to mention that in TSOT he’s one of the strongest kids to fight without taking any zombie potion). Also, he’s never described as bookish- the only time he reads for fun on the show is on the ‘Toothfairy Tats’ episode when he’s trying to understand reality and the universe. In the episode where they write Grody McBoogerBalls, he makes fun of Catcher in the Rye just like the other boys.
So, we can conclude that Kyle does like knowledge because he does pay attention in school, but he’s not an introverted bookworm, he’s just a smart guy who likes to be informed.
It seems like people just want their jock/nerd trope. And, when people knock Stan’s intelligence down a couple notches to make Kyle seem smarter so they can fit this trope, it makes me want to kick puppies.
Kyle: ”That’s not true, fatass! I have red hair, and I don’t have to avoid the sun!” Eric: I was getting to that, if you will let me. Some people have red hair, but not light skin and freckles. These people are called “daywalkers.” [shows picture of Kyle, with “daywalkers” written underneath]
It’s fine that people give Kyle freckles sometimes, but he’s technically described as not having them and it really peeves me when people describe him as a ‘ginger’.
»> Super-Sensitive Kyle- Fanon Kyle is easily insulted and often insecure and overly-emotional. I think this might be some people’s way of trying to translate his short-temper into their own words, or they’re trying really hard to project their own feelings onto him, but it’s gross and I want it to stop.
Kyle is no more sensitive to insults than the other boys- in fact, he seems to have tough skin because he puts up with a lot of shit for being Cartman’s favorite target. In ‘Here Comes the Neighborhood’, he cooly explains to Token that everyone has something they get picked on for and no one should be a pussy about it (I’m guessing he means that the proper response is anger- typical nine year old). He does show some insecurity in a few episodes- like when he thought he was voted ugliest kid in the class, but rather than shutting down and getting depressed about it, in his typical fashion, he gets angry (and tries to burn the school down).
Kyle generally isn’t emotional. Stan’s the sensitive one in that meaning. It’s safer to say that Kyle is a little emotionally-distant. He can sympathize with someone once they’ve explained to him what’s wrong, and he’s gone out of his way to help people who’re having tough times (Free Willyz, Night of the Living Homeless, Crack Babies, etc), but he seems to have trouble noticing when there’s an emotional problem (Assburgers episode), and he can’t comprehend letting tough times get in the way of living life (Rasins- goth!Stan episode). So, while Kyle has the capacity to be understanding, he does lack some empathy.
When it comes to sensitivity as far as how Kyle treats people, the fandom makes him way too kind. He’s not the perfect gentleman. While he almost always fights for just causes, he can be just as ruthless with his insults as Cartman and like I said, he doesn’t always practice sympathy. He’s caught between the influences of Cartman’s manipulative cunning and Stan’s loyalty to helping people. But, we see in the Crack Babies episode, he likes to look to Stan for a moral compass because he knows Stan is better with empathy and he wants to be good to people.
I think the Style fandom is really missing out on some lovely clueless Kyle looking to Stan to keep him on the right path.
»> Super-Jock-Cock Stan- There are about a billion episodes of South Park that have the boys playing sports, but in every one- all the boys play that sport together. Even Cartman in most cases. The only episode that has Stan playing a sport that none of the other boys are playing is ‘Stanley’s Cup’- and he’s not even playing hockey, he’s coaching- kinda…not really.
I’m not sure where this troupe that Stan would grow up to be the big South Park Cows football-star came from, but I don’t understand it. There’s literally one episode where the boys play actual football (not Sarcastaball) and it’s way back in season one, “Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boat Ride’, and in the episode, Stan is the quarterback for the Elementary School team and he can throw really well and the town is hailing him as their star quarterback, but he cares more about the fact that his dog is gay than he does about playing football. Kyle is the one that Chef picks to fill in as quarterback when Stan ditches on his gay adventure. Kyle is the one constantly pestering the guys to go to practice. Kyle is the one that Stan immediately throws to, and Kyle is the one that runs the ball for the touchdown.
It would make so much more sense for Kyle to at least be on the team, but the fandom always puts Stan on first and ignores the fact that Kyle actually liked playing football.
»> Mr Man Stan- Stan is constantly depicted as the ‘man’ in the relationship which- first of all isn’t how gay couples work, second of all is sexist as hell, and third- isn’t how Stan behaves. He’s strong-willed and badass, but he’s not an alpha-male personality type (and Kyle is anything but submissive). While Stan is usually the calmer more level-headed of the two, there are countless instances where Kyle is the one that takes initiative or leads the way.
The only way we see Kyle being submissive to Stan is that he allows himself to rely on Stan to back him up (TSOT), and he gets upset when Stan doesn’t (Queer-Eye for the Straight Guy, Assburgers, Guitar Queer-O). But really, none of those things make Kyle submissive- that’s just friendship.
I think this trope rises up from the fact that Stan’s come to save Kyle several times- (Indian Hair Tampons, Smug Alert, Ginger Cow, etc). But, what people don’t consider is that Stan’s need to protect Kyle arises from his emotional dependance on him which we he admits to in ‘Assburgers’ and ‘Guitar Queer-O’. Stan needs Kyle in his life- maybe to maintain some kind of balance, I dunno, it’s just what he said- my point is that it’s true.
When Kyle’s supposed to be there for Stan, he shows less drive to attempt the impossible (Imaginationland, Assburgers). Kyle’s naturally just a little more self-absorbed than Stan is, that doesn’t make him the ‘girl’ in the relationship. I’ve already established that he’s not short, weak, and nerdy- and that Stan’s not a macho jock. Quit assigning fucked up gender roles to this ship.
»> Gaylord Kyle- Okay, this one’s difficult because it’s headcannon and it’s based around a lot of factors that I tried to explain above. But, there’s this thing within the Style fandom where Kyle is immediately the one that’s gay and he knows he’s head over heals for Stan but Stan’s totally clueless. And, for the reasons I outlined in the last explanation, that doesn’t make sense to me. So, lemme see if I can explain why I think Stan would come out first before Kyle would begin to see himself as anything but ramrod straight.
Other than the fact that he’s emotionally distant, Kyle is somewhat out-of-touch with love. He has four episodes wherein he acts in a childishly romantic way. First is the Clubhouses episode where Bebe wants to date and kiss him and he’s grossed out (he’s eight). Second is the Monkey-phonics episode where he thinks he’s in love with Rebecca (because she’s pretty and she showed him up at spelling), but his version of love is very…eighties romcom- he’s romanticized and oversimplified love and he jumps at it because she’s just as clueless as he is. Then in Bebe’s Boobs, he thinks he likes her because of her boobs- just like all the other boys. Then, in ‘Cartman Finds Love’, he gets interested in a girl as soon as he thinks she likes him. Each time he has to have some kind of push before he thinks about dating- an opportunity comes to him.
In ‘Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boatride’, Kyle couldn’t give a shit if Stan’s dog is gay. When Mr. Garrison comes out- still couldn’t give a shit. Kyle notoriously doesn’t give a shit where people wanna put their junk- he barely gives a shit where he wants to put his own so long as somebody likes him first. It’s probably because he’s nine years old. But, in comparison to Stan and Kenny, Kyle seems slow to consider the idea of being with somebody- male or female.
Meanwhile, Stan has liked Wendy since the first season. Their relationship is a little naive because they’re both so young, but Stan actively pursued Wendy because he knew he liked her. At a very young age, Stan has some idea about how relationships are supposed to work whereas Kyle doesn’t even know how to fall for someone yet. Kenny’s been talking smut about girls since he was eight, and even Cartman had a crush on Patty Nelson, but Kyle hasn’t had any active crushes because he doesn’t think about romance until it’s shoved in his face.
Trey Parker’s even said that Stan would be the most likely to realize he’s gay because he’s the most in touch with his feelings. So, I think to say Kyle would realize he’s gay without prompting is a stretch. To say he’d realize before Stan is stupidity.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Kyle would try and fight it if he started to realize he likes boys. He’d be perfectly cool about it like- okay, I like dick too, that’s fine. I just don’t think he’d really consider it until someone gave him a reason to.
»> Ultra-Hetero Stan- This goes hand-in-hand with ‘gaylord Kyle’. So, it’s mostly already explained. It just bugs me that, if he’s going to be described as gay or bi in fanfiction, Stan’s often really in denial about his sexuality. Stan was broken of any homophobia in ‘Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boatride’. Throughout the show he’s described as very accepting, so why would anyone think he wouldn’t be able to accept himself? And, like I said, he has a better understanding of love than any of the boys. I don’t think he’d have too much internal turmoil if he thought boys were hot.
Now, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t keep it secret to avoid making things awkward- especially if he liked Kyle who’s often pretty dense with those things, I could see him wanting to hide that.
»> Perpetual Top-Bottom Dynamics- You’d think we’re all a bunch of diehard yaoi fangirls with how often we fuck Kyle’s ass dry. The poor guy is susceptible to hemorrhoids, but for some reason, Stan never gives him a break…that or Kyle just loves it up the ass so much he never takes care of Stan instead. Which, I dunno, maybe he could prefer to bottom- maybe it’s one of those things where people who like to be in control also like to give it up to someone they trust. I’ve got no proof for or against who we put on top or on bottom. I just don’t understand why Stan like always tops.
Notes: Well my love life got interesting again, so I wrote about it lmao. This is a little shorter than the rest of the parts and I think this is going to be the last part unless a bunch of you guys request a part 4.
After the devastating blow Jungkook had landed on you, you really couldn’t like him anymore. Sure he was still attractive, but you couldn’t like him in the same light as you had. He was cocky and a little more self absorbed than most people. He had let you down in more ways and times than you could count.
The funny thing was, he still expected you keep up your streak on snapchat. It was not something that ranked first on your list of important things, but you still did it, despite your brain telling you it was a stupid idea keeping him in your life.
Summer came and went and now it was time for school to start back up again. That means that you and Jungkook would finally be separated, you could not have been happier, but a part of you would still miss him. You blamed that part of yourself on your teenage hormones.
Your last of day of work was not the same as Jungkook’s, so when he left you asked him if he still wanted to keep up the streak you two had.
“Of course I want to keep it. Why wouldn’t we?”, he asked you.
“Well we’re going to college and I’m not even going in the same state as you. It just seems kinda stupid to continue it when we will probably never see each other again”.
“If you get to 100 days then we get a special emoji”, he said excitedly.
“Ummm okay, if you want to”, you said sheepishly. You really didn’t want to continue it, but if he still wanted to then you’d play along. It was basically harmless, he would send you pictures of his feet with the caption “streak” and you would send the same back.
It was 1 week after you moved into college that Jungkook contacted you again. This time he called you, drunk. You argued with yourself if you should answer and you did, but it was probably the worst thing you could have done.
“Y/NNNNNNNNN, what are you doing”
“You saw my snap story, you know what I’m doing Jungkook”, you answered immediately. Your tone was laced with annoyance, you had finally been able to go out with some friends and you were enjoying yourself until Jungkook called you.
“I’m sooooo drunk right now”
“Yeah, I can tell”, you deadpanned.
“Okay okay, but lemme say this. There’s this girl right, her name’s Brooke”, he slurred.
“Jungkook sit down, I don’t want you getting hurt”
“But but, listen. Every time I talk to her it’s ahhhh it’s just perfect. Everything is perfect. I think i like her, maybe lover her”, he said to you.
At that your resolve seemed to snap. Here he was drunk calling you about a girl he probably met at a party and barely knew and he said he loved her??? Why was he calling you if he claimed to like this other girl, wouldn’t his logic be to call her? After all, he did know that you had liked him, maybe he was trying to make you jealous, it just made you pissed off.
“Jungkook shut the fuck up. I don’t want to hear about this girl you “love”, why the fuck are you even calling me? I liked you okay? You were my first real crush and now you’re just throwing this in my face? What to make me jealous? Fuck you Jeon Jungkook”, with that you hung up on him. Your friends around you gave you sympathetic looks, not knowing your past relations with Jungkook they seemed somewhere between confused and understanding.
Your phone started vibrating again and Jungkook’s name appeared on the screen. You hit ignore and rested your head in your hands. You were so over his game. That night you and your friends drank, they drank for fun, you drank for your broken heart.
The following morning you woke up to no messages from him. You had expected at least an “I’m sorry” from him. Maybe he was so far gone that he didn’t remember what happened last night. Either way, you were not continuing the streak, if he didn’t contact you, you would just let your relationship die. He didn’t mean anything to you anymore, just another guy playing with your heart. You felt good that you no longer had feelings for him, the question was did he still have feelings for you.
I just love that one headcanon where Kingsley was the fifth guy in the Marauders' dorm
If I’m honest I kind of hate any ‘fifth marauder’ type headcanons
It’s just we know from canon that the four of them were a very tight knit group and so if there had been a fifth person in their dorm, that means they would have elected to exclude him from their group and I refuse to believe Remus or James would do something like that
Peter and Sirius I can believe. I love them both but they have a tendency to be a little bit more self absorbed. Peter would probably have somewhat enjoyed belonging to an exclusive club whilst Sirius has a slightly judgemental edge to him
But I still won’t believe it of Remus or James
Remus came to Hogwarts fully expecting to be shunned by everyone he met. He never anticipated anyone even liking him, let alone creating the strong bond the marauders shared. Remus loved his friends fiercely and would never take their friendship for granted. I can’t believe that someone who expected to live their life as an outsider would exclude someone else in their dorm from the group
And James, well we all know James can be cocky, arrogant, and a bit of a git at times, but James’ real strengths lie in his loyalty and devotion to his friends. It was a huge part of his honour code and I’m sure he would have viewed it as very anti-gryffindor to form such a tight knit group whilst leaving one person out
The marauders were a foursome, and while it’s possible there were other people that they shared their dorm with I’d rather choose not to believe that as it goes against everything my personal interpretation of the marauders stand for
I have a question about the new album. Your old lyrics made me feel like i was towering over trees, i don't get i same magical feeling with this new album. Before you would say something like 'even the smallest words cling to the roof of my mouth' but now you would say something like 'Cathy was nervous'. -Why did you decide to go with such simple lyrics on this album compared to your older albums?
Let’s preface this by saying that I think it’s awesome you connected with our old lyrics, but as a writer- both musically and lyrically, don’t expect me to stay stagnant and keep doing the same old thing just because it’s comfortable and what I’m familiar with. What It Takes was written over 5 years ago (along with the Football, etc. split you are referencing), and I am not the same person that I was when I wrote those albums. I don’t write the same way as I used to, and I am all the better for it. If I did, as a musician and an artist, then I have failed.
I get wanting a band to stay the same if you like it. Some of my favorite bands have changed and written in a different style and I no longer love what they are doing. And as a fan, that was a hard thing to deal with at first. But as a band, I get it. I totally empathize the need for a musician to grow and came to an understanding that even if I don’t like what a certain band is doing now, I can appreciate the fact that they are growing and changing. So now I listen to things differently and more objectively. And if I don’t like it, it isn’t bad- it’s just not for me and I can still listen to the old recordings I loved from the band if I want. I certainly don’t write it off as easily as I did when I was younger.
When Empire! started out, my writing style was very different. It hid behind metaphors, it could have meant anything and it was way more open to interpretation. I could tell you what the song was about, but it probably isn’t what you thought it was. There is credence to that writing style- people take it and make it about what they want and are able to connect with it in a way that they feel it is theirs and the song was written about or for them. That was never my intention, but that is a marked characteristic of that style, and a lot of bands utilize it. It’s still an interesting style, but it’s one that no longer (at least, currently) interests me.
If you follow the band through the releases, you will see a gradual change of how we arrived here. It isn’t something that happened overnight, it took years. People are noticing more now because it’s a full length and not just random splits and the fact that we ourselves called attention and told people to pay attention to the words. I think there is beauty in being very straight-forward and literal. That really began with Home After Three Months Away, and followed from there.
You ask what the agent of change was? There are a lot of answers, but chief among them are that I have aged. What It Takes is a bitter and angry album that is filled with a lot of self-pity and righteousness. It was a dark and confusing time for me, I was dealing with a lot. It’s raw, it’s brash, it’s judgmental- it’s me in my early 20s. I totally understand why people in that age connect with that album, because with lyrics like that, you can apply those songs to your life and rage/be depressed for a while. Early 20s me and early 20s you are probably on the same page.
I am now 32. I’m not angry, I’m not brash anymore. I’m actually really happy. I know my band is never going to “make it”, and I am ok with it. I don’t feel like I deserve anything like I used to. I don’t feel betrayed by the slightest criticism or build things up inside anymore. I don’t think the same way that I used to. I feel really lucky to have been able to do the things we’ve done. I am a man at peace and feel like reflecting on my life and the things that shaped me and made me the man I am today. The album is really 11 short stories of events that shaped who I am, though maybe unknowingly at the time.
I don’t expect you to relate to these in the same way as I might have with my older work. These are all things that happened specifically to me in my life, and they certainly didn’t happen in yours. My goal was to put you, the listener, into my life and picture yourself there- not to reshape and apply it to your life. I wanted you to be an observer, for this not to be about you.
I also am more well read than before. I got deep into a lot of classics, and in particular, Steinbeck. I really admire his style. Reading his work taught me a lot about language and the weight and beauty of being “simple” and direct. Being simple is way harder than you might think. To keep things clean, to cut words that are extra baggage and be concise, to be able to paint a picture that allows the reader to feel like they are watching the story the author is weaving- that takes way more talent than keeping things vague. I’m not saying that anyone else thinks I have accomplished that, but I feel really proud and confident of my lyrics. I they they are miles above my old lyrics.
I recognize that this album and this lyrical style is more of a challenge. It’s more of a commitment and I think some people might have to work at it more to “get” it. That wasn’t my intention, but in hindsight, I see that now. I don’t think it’s unfair of me to ask that from the listener- and for those that get it, I feel like they are listening a little more and absorbing more and allowing it to grow. Sometimes music can be a challenge, and some of my favorite albums of all time were the ones I had to work at a bit and listen to a bit more to understand.
We wrote the album we wanted to write, in every aspect. We don’t write music for you, though we certainly hope you like it. I have no regrets and am really proud of what we have done.
I think it’s amazing that you love our old stuff. If you can’t come along with us as a band, that’s ok. Thanks for listening, and the music you loved- that music will never change, it will always be there. Our new stuff ended up being what most would consider a “grower”, but give it time and maybe you will love it just as much as the old stuff. Or more. But honestly, it’s a different album. It isn’t a sequel to What It Takes or anything else we’ve done, it’s its own work of art. I find what we are doing now way more magical- but if I didn’t, then it would be time to hang it up.
Because you all know how much I love thinking about all the weird ways alien can make babies. This is actually pretty safe for work.
In order to reproduce, a Gem fusion is required. It’s not only limited to too parents–any number of Gems can be involve as long as they can hold the fusion together long-term. Most often it is done with a 2 or 3 Gem fusion, but some have taken it higher. Gems are sexless, and any gem can reproduce with any other.
Once the group of parents if fused, reproduction can begin. It involves the gem of each parent having an equal piece broken off of it. If there are 2 Gems, each will have half taken, and if there are 3, each will break off a third, so on and so forth. These gem pieces coalesce into a single new gem. The baby will be the same gem type as the fusion of the parents. (Pearl and Amethyst would make Opal, Ruby and Sapphire would make Garnet, Ruby/Sapphire/Amethyst would make Sugilite, etc.) Once the child’s gem is created, its buried underground or in a cliffside where it can grow its body.
Reproduction takes a lot out of the parents. Because their gems are now incomplete, they need to stay fused so that they have at least one gem between them all to keep themselves alive. In this time, the fusion Gem goes into a state of lethargy, where they do little more than rest and absorb energy from their surroundings as their gems heal. Depending on how much of their gems were broken off, they will have to stay like this for anywhere between a few hundred and a couple thousand years. They stay conscious the entire time so that they can protect the baby growing underground if necessary and raise it once its grown. For these reasons, it’s extremely important that Gems find other Gems who they are fusion compatible with if they want to have a child–not only do they need to stay fused for a very long time, but they need to get along well enough with the other minds to not go completely nuts that whole time.
Once the child is done growing in the ground, it will come out with its fully adult body. It will only stick around its parents for a hundred years or so before setting off on its own. Gems do not maintain a relationship with their parents, nor do the parents try to stay connected to their children.
When two Gems fall in love, they often have the urge to fuse long-term as a way to test whether they would be able to survive reproduction together, sort of like the gem equivalent of dating. This is what Ruby and Sapphire did. Some gem cultures are more accepting of this practice than others.
The link between fusion and reproduction versus the usefulness of non-romantic fusion during battle has caused a lot of confusion over the place of fusion in society. How taboo fusion is varies between gem cultures and time periods. Some consider it incredibly inappropriate and discourage fused gems from even going out in public, while others are very relaxed about it and have friends and coworkers casually fuse all the time for practical reasons. Many cultures have views in between these poles.
When a Gem and a human reproduce, the human is unable to contribute any gem material, so the Gem parent must sacrifice their entire gem for the child. The Gem then dies because there is no portion of their gem to recover from, or the portion is so small that it cannot sustain the recovery process. This is what happened with Rose Quartz, Greg, and Steven.
If this is right (which is probably isn’t), the Kindergartens might be a method of creating more Gems quickly and efficiently without sacrificing the working ability of adult Gems. Natural reproduction takes a long time and can only make a single child every few hundred years at most, so the Kindergarten might be part of a project involving artificial reproduction. The gems grown there might be made of shards from old dead gems, synthesized materials, regular old gemstones mined from planets like Earth, or something else, maybe even a combination of many of those. These Gems could be manufactured in large numbers and drafted into Gem armies.