narrative intersections

getting a good grade as a “gifted” child doesn’t like actually feel good for very long or allow you to be happy with your success or anything ime, it just means that you’ve escaped the immediate necessity of self-castigation & proven that you’re not completely worthless THIS time, so you’re just briefly relieved and then immediately have to start worrying about the next grade that you’re going to get

also there’s not really much of a thing as a “good” grade, there’s an “acceptable” grade which is 100% of the points that you could have earned on something, and an “unacceptable” grade which is anything else and which will lead to self-reproach no matter how “good” other people might think it is
‘Good Booty’: The Sexual Power of Music
By Franz Nicolay

“Tutti frutti, good booty,” ran the pre-bowdlerized version of Little Richard’s hit song, one of the lyrics the NPR music critic Ann Powers cites to demonstrate the intersection of evocative gibberish and open, transgressive eroticism that, she says, is “at the heart of American popular music.” The line encompasses sexual frankness, piratical rapine, the backside in fetish and dance and a wordless endorsement of the pleasure principle. All this through the flamboyant vessel of a performer who himself embodied complexities of sexuality, race and the slippage between the spiritual and the carnal.

And “embodiment” is the relevant term for Powers. Her argument, that “we, as a nation, most truly and openly acknowledge sexuality’s power through music,” is intimately tied to the body: enslaved and objectified black bodies, the erotic sublimation and liberation of dance, the dialogue between charismatic performer and enraptured audience and the problem of “cyborg” singers like Britney Spears. She stresses the primacy of the voice, the flesh and the communion of bodies in a room together over the atomized experience of listening to disembodied sound (while acknowledging new forms of intimacy introduced by the age of recording). Powers connects her early attraction to popular music explicitly to its “erotic pull,” the “physicality” of live performance, and the centrality of music to the sexual awakenings of herself and her friends. She decided, she says, “to write a book about American music and American sex, one that would really be about American dreaming, violence, pleasure, hunger, lies and love.”

It’s a self-consciously ambitious program (the jacket copy prepares the reader for a “magnum opus over two decades in the making”) befitting one of the rare rock critics with a national audience, and a key female voice in the field. It’s also one that Powers admits will be necessarily incomplete: “To talk about what’s revealed within the sexiest moments of American music … is to recast its history in terms that are more inclusive, and less dominated by old ideas of artistic genius or great works. … This retelling of American popular music doesn’t always focus on the big stories. It has gaps.” Powers does spend time with obscure artists like Florence Mills and Jobriath, and fruitfully explores the colorful, gender-fluid world of early gospel music. However, her story hews to a broadly conventional narrative — the intersection of African-American expression, white curiosity and appropriation, and the dialogue between the spiritual and the secular — that begins in Congo Square ring shouts and leads with inexorable circularity back to the New Orleans of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” Familiar figures like the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison stand in for “the sexual revolution and its discontents,” while Madonna and Prince do the same for the MTV ’80s. Meanwhile, the centrality of eroticism in Powers’s narrative necessitates a de-emphasis on canonical artists without an obvious erotic component to their personas (Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan), and inconclusive glosses on others (Chuck Berry, Michael Jackson) whose sexual and racial stories are more complicated. [Read More]

hewlett & abigail!!!

Things I love about this teaser:

  • Two of my favorite characters having real, substantial interaction at last!!! Just in time before the series is done!!! (They’ve technically met before, of course, and have both heard much about the other via Anna, but they’ve never really talked.) 
  • Hewlett comforting Abigail!!! Taking her hands, kneeling, apologizing for frightening her!!! I LOVE IT
  • And of COURSE he’s gonna help her get to Cicero. He is A Good Man.
  • ~Anna mention~
  • Plus Ben mention = potential fake love letter mention…?
  • Abigail knows that Anna was engaged to Hewlett and legitimately had feelings for him (see 3.08). With the right prompting, might she tell him what Anna told her?
  • Even if she doesn’t, Abigail says she intends to go to Washington’s camp and appeal to Anna. In 4.01, Anna encouraged Abigail not to give up hope of seeing Akinbode again. Given that Abigail is now trying to do just that (reunite with Akinbode as well as Cicero, that is), and given the subtle parallel or two this season has seemed to draw between Abigail/Akinbode and Annlett, wouldn’t it be nice … if Abigail mentioned to Anna … that Anna has a chance to see a man Anna thought gone for good, too…
  • Did I mention I love both of them and I get so excited whenever characters who have always been in completely separate spheres of the narrative FINALLY intersect??

Things I do not love about this teaser:

  • “Then I will leave this cursed country for good” oh no you DON’T mister you are NOT getting the deed to Whitehall just to SELL IT you sit your skinny idiot butt back down RIGHT NOW!!!
Destiny, Tragedy, and Radiants: Character Arcs with Two Parts

Okay, bear with me for a moment, I’m gonna ramble for a moment about the Mistborn Adventure Game Guide. In the Adventure Guide, they have a very interesting way to build character arcs into the narrative of the game. During character creation, you come up with two things: a Tragedy, which is the worst thing that ever happened to your character, and a Destiny, which is what that character is supposed to be, why they are a hero. It’s also noted that the DM can come up with their own destiny for the character, that the character doesn’t know–because characters don’t always know what’s going on and the DM might have a better idea. 

Over the course of the game, heroes have to grapple with and overcome their Tragedy and achieve their Destiny–and neither should be easy. The other factor is that the further you move trying to overcome your Tragedy, the harder it gets, representing being weighed down by painful things of your past; the further you get in your destiny, the more power you get. 

So I was thinking about that with the way Sanderson handles his characters, and I was especially thinking–because I’ve been reading it–about the Stormlight Archive. 

The way Radiants work, their Tragedy is inherent in the fact that they’re Radiants. They have to be broken somehow in order to get their powers. We’ve seen some of these: the worst moment in Kaladin’s life was either when Tien died or when Amaram betrayed him. The worst moment in Dalinar’s life was when he was drunk and asleep when his brother was murdered. So on and so forth. 

I’ve been rereading Words of Radiance, and I’m finding it particularly hard to go on to the next part, because Kaladin has been thrown in prison, and I know how dark his character arc gets here–when before, he had been almost ready to admit he was a Radiant to Dalinar and show his powers openly. But putting it in terms of how these character arcs work, what happened was Kaladin’s two narrative arcs intersected–and one of them was stronger than the other. We’d been getting for a while that Kaladin’s hatred for Amaram–mechanically speaking, his tragedy–was starting to overshadow his arc toward being a Windrunner.

The duel–him interfering to protect the Kholin brothers–was a high point of him being a Windrunner, and also led him toward realizing things about spren and Shardblades. And Sanderson followed that high with a powerful low in what happened next, with Kaladin’s tragedy–basically, he was betrayed yet again by putting his trust in lighteyes. 

And so that’s why this next bit is so painful–Sanderson gave us an idea Kaladin was going to be on an upward trend for a bit, and then slapped him back down, painfully. 

I don’t know, I’m just rambling, but I like this way of looking at characters–it makes their movement and arcs more dynamic. 

jibrails  asked:

in case u don't find the post: black women are almost never depicted w long hair in media (and if they are it's w relaxed, straight hair and never w natural hair) so making allura have short hair reinforces that racist eurocentric-conforming narrative. it also intersects w the "angry black girl" trope in the sense that black girls aren't allowed to be (hyper) feminine or soft and always have to look """intimidating""" in some form or manner. it's racist jan

oh my god thank you, i was having a lot of trouble finding it. But yes this it and while for white women cutting your hair/having short hair is shown as empowering. Black women it is the opposite since they don’t get the same representation in media (obviously)

anonymous asked:

'(I could say a lot about the narrative intersection between the lazy/sleepy hero and the need for heroic sacrifice and why it works so well, but also why it’s a trope in itself.)' I would be VERY interested in hearing more about this.

Here’s the thing, the hero is by definition active. They do the thing (they’re destined to do the thing, the thing happened to them and now they want to happen to the thing in revenge, they fucked up and now need to fix it, etc). That’s why they’re the hero. Here’s the thing, though. The hero is not necessarily the protagonist. The protagonist is the dude you’re following about with the metaphorical camera on their head like those funky go-pro helmets for bikes, with the narrative twisting itself into knots around them. That doesn’t necessarily make them the most important character about or the one who’s calling the shots or the hero of the story. The protagonist is just the dude you’re focused on because everything in the way the narrative is structured is building this glowing ass giant arrows pointing at them and all but screaming “YEAH, THIS GUY, THIS GUY IS THE REAL DEAL.”

Here’s the thing, your protagonist can be the villain. Your protagonist can be a decoy to make the emergence of the REAL protagonist/hero more poignant. These are not interchangeable. But here’s the thing, your protagonist is usually the hero, and that’s because when the narrative is wrapped up around them and showing you every step of the way, you’re building an emotional connection to them because you’ve been through so much with them that you can’t wait to see what happens next. Familiarity breeds affection and attachment, after all.

Heroic sacrifices hinge on the understanding that whoever is sacrificed will end. They’re gone. No more. There’s no changing that. Heroic sacrifice works well with a protagonist, because you’ve been following them around and suddenly you realize all that time and emotional effort you’ve invested into their fictional antics was building up to it. It’s cathartic, on some levels, to see the conclusion of that journey. Sad and emotional, sure, but satisfying in its own way. (This is why when people molligan a heroic sacrifice through bullshit of some kind, people get mad. I’ve mentioned before, writers are emotional manipulators. That’s our job. We write things to get an emotional reaction out of the people that read our work. But when you undo a heroic sacrifice for the sake of having a happy ending, after all the buildup required for it, it usually makes people angry. Because you basically break the writer-reader contract and reminder that, oh yea, I’m here just to make you feel shit, man, didn’t you feel sad when they died? Now you can feel happy because they lived! :D :D :D And this is why people get punched in the mouth. Just saying. It’s cheap and empty and takes out all the pathos of the story because now nothing matters at all, nothing has weigh and status quo reigns free.)

So. Heroic sacrifice. It packs a punch when it’s your protagonist. It packs a punch when it’s your happy, cheerful, hopeful, upbeat main character that’s throwing their life away in exchange of the greater good. That’s a timeless story. It works, because you know how much they loved life and the fact they’re giving it up for others means something.

But then you have the lazy/apathetic/sleepy hero. The hero that doesn’t jump to the call, but rather has the call grab them by the ear and drag them along as they claw back every step of the way. The hero that really would prefer not to be involved in all this shit. These tend to be the more relatable heroes, in the long run. Because sure, we all want to think we’d jump at the call and throw ourselves into adventure if it came knocking, but then you stop and think about what it really means to throw everything for the sake of The Greater Good and honestly. Protagonists have a shit lot in life, in general. It’s dangerous and often unrewarding and most of the time, that’s what makes the story worth reading: following along these characters as they meander about and overcome obstacles and grow as people. The lazy/apathetic/sleepy hero tends to be the outsider, withdrawn. For them adventure is not just doing The Right Thing, but also the journey of discovering themselves. Of learning that there are things worth fighting for and saving and their heroism tends to be more about going from selfish reasons to selfless motivation.

And thus when they give it all up, in a big heroic sacrifice? It hits you harder, because this is someone who didn’t want to do this. Who probably mentioned they could be doing something else. Who had different values and priorities, and now at the end of the road, the journey has changed them so much, has shown them so much value in what they’re protecting/saving that they’re going to give up themselves for the sake of what they’ve found. And that’s a very powerful story. Most lazy/apathetic heroes walk down the road to heroic sacrifice of some kind or other, because that’s what they’re best suited for, in the sense of weapons in a writer’s arsenal to bring in the feels.

My bone with XV is not so much the heroic sacrifice - it was foreshadowed to hell and back, everywhere you care to look for - my bone is how it was set up. Mostly because I think what ticks me off the most is the fact they built up this as an office. This was literally a job, the tiny print at the bottom of the contract. And the way the world was built around it doesn’t make sense.

I’m gonna go kill giant monsters for a bit and get my thoughts in order, and then maybe I can write something more coherent about this, but my bottomline is this: Noctis should not have been a King/Prince/Royalty. Or rather, being King/Prince/Royalty should not have been an integral part of the heroic sacrifice narrative. It just. It guts it and takes the wind right out its sails.

The greatest, gaping hole in the entire narrative is the fact they took his archetype and his journey and his destiny, and shoehorned in The Chosen One into it. 

You had one fucking job, writers. How did you fuck it up so badly?


SIDESHOW: Sometimes there are other ideas that I think would be awesome. So think of these as guest blog entries from other sections of my brain. (See all Sideshows here.)

This is from a Tumblr that doesn’t exist called Brangela Davis. All captions are quotes from American political activist Angela Davis. All images are of Game of Thrones character Bran Stark.


replied to your



so I finished the main story for ffxv and…

You should have expected this considering the main story in Realm Reborn and then again in Heavensward.

Oh, it’s not that it surprised me. It didn’t. I called this mess around chapter three when Noctis narcolepsy stopped being a one time joke and more of a character trait. (I could say a lot about the narrative intersection between the lazy/sleepy hero and the need for heroic sacrifice and why it works so well, but also why it’s a trope in itself.)

The outrage is more that the people who’ve known me for years, who know the shit that tickles my brain and makes me mushy all the way to the marrow of my bones would see me pick up this wreckage of a game and not shriek “NO, FI, DON’T!” at least once.

I’ve got a ton of things to say about this game, mostly that I love it and I love the characters and the writers need to be individually corralled and shot for several choices that despite their emotional effectiveness are down right fucking stupid and unforgivable and OH MY GOD, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU FUCKS.

Mostly I’m gonna wallow in this outrage for as long as I can because Rie is writing for this fandom and as soon as I run out of outrage I’m gonna sit down and weep in terror because Rie’s kiss-your-soul-goodbye prose and infallible command of spot-on-perfect characterization, combined with these characters and this theologically untennable, fucked up mess of a world, and a sincere promise to stay canon compliant as much as possible and I just.

I’m gonna die, man. This is the one that kills me. Roll on the theme song and the chapter title and the achievement.

This is the one that will absolutely fucking kill me.

Daveed Diggs in Word Becomes Flesh. [A] series of performed letters from a young, single father to his unborn son, [the] play integrates hip-hop theater and contemporary dance performance to deconstruct black male identity in the 21st century. This show critically, lyrically and choreographically shares one man’s personal experience of fatherhood—and in doing so examines the legacy of patriarchy and male privilege, the continuum between fathers and sons, and the relationships of women and men. Together these narratives confront the intersection between the reality and the mythology of the black male body—from the cotton field to the athletic field and all spaces in between.

anonymous asked:

hi, I saw where you tagged a post about Ginny Weasley as a "death shrouded girl." I searched your the tag on your tumblr but all that turned up was a post about Eowyn. Can you explain the tag?

So, I’m terrible at tagging things. Death shrouded girls, though, my friend. Death shrouded girls. 

I just have a thing for female characters whose narratives spring from, intersect with, circle around, obsess on, or defy death. I dunno, man. They’re just great. They tend to end up being my favorites. 

Susan of Narnia, the last Pevensie, who buried her parents, her brothers, her baby sister– who lived through it, who carried those ghosts all her long life.

Allison Argent, she of the lethal arrow, the silver knife, the silver bullet, who dragged her self and her family screaming out of a death-driven code of war. Lydia Martin, who resurrects and screams and survives. (Death shrouded girlfriends, there, alright?) 

Eowyn of Rohan, she of frosted sword steel, the girl ready to shatter, looking for death and calling it glory. 

Ginny Weasley, who carried a ghost in her eleven year old chest, who died on that cold Chamber floor and came back, who lived loudly for the rest of her life. 


Intersections: Narratives of Queer Students of Color by Cuyler Otsuka ‘14

Black History Month: Feminism and Inclusion

“As a woman of color, Black History Month holds a special significance for me. In particular, it allows me to reflect on my personal experiences and perspective, not just through a gender lens, but also that of an African-American.

Since beginning my tenure at the Ms. Foundation for Women, I have embarked on a comprehensive listening tour, traveling around the county to hear from community leaders of all backgrounds. From our grantees to grassroots leaders, these are the people on the ground propelling grassroots movements that affect thousands of lives everyday.

We continue to work to ensure that the lens of race and gender are not left out of our current social justice movements. Whether fighting for reproductive justice or environmental protections, the voices and experiences of all women must be included. Much like Harriet Tubman and the forgotten women of Selma, highlighted in Ava DuVernay’s recent film, feminism has a leading role in shaping progressive movements to be inclusive, while striving not to be ambivalent of race.

That is why I am calling on you to renew your commitment and dedication to building diverse and powerful movements for equality. Together we can bring more people to the table by expanding feminist narratives and acknowledging the intersection of issues within the larger movement for women’s empowerment. We must acknowledge, that to strengthen our movement, we have to address inequality as all women experience it.

Also know, that I am committed to upholding our obligation to continue building diverse, inclusive movements for equality, and we promise not to rest until we have justice for all.”

- Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, The Ms. Foundation for Women

Read the full piece here