Blessed are the readers, for theirs is the archive.
Blessed are the betas: for they help us write the stories we see in our hearts. Blessed are they that kudo, for they reassure us that someone likes what we’ve done. Blessed are the rebloggers and reccers, for they help the readers find our work. Blessed are they which leave comments on a WIP that say something other than “write more please”: for they comfort us when we feel taken for granted. Blessed are the commenters; for their words bring us joy. Blessed are the loyal fans, for they keep the fandom alive. Blessed are the fan artists, for they bring our worlds to life before our eyes. Blessed are they which read an entire long fic and comment each chapter, for the string of comment notifications fills the writer’s heart with delight. Blessed are ye, who rec our fics in public and tag us, for seeing that we made somebody squee is the light in our days. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in fandom.
One thing I’ve always wanted to clear up is the ‘Keith is cold-hearted’ thing. I can see how the scene of him being ready to leave Allura behind might come across as such, to quote Hunk: “Keith, that’s cold-hearted even for you.”
But that is not how things actually are. Let me explain why he acted the way he did back then, because Keith has had just as many emotions about it as everyone else.
Keith is rational, observant and tends to state stuff exactly as it is, with all facts lied out to make sure that everyone gets the whole picture. (see: how he explained his board in s1e1, how he argues with Lance at the beginning of s1e3 etc.) He has been known to accept critique pretty well - he actively tries to work on his temper (“patience yields focus”) and accepted that Lance’s plan was better than his in s1e7. In turn, however, he expects people to treat him the same way. If there isn’t any evidence to contradict it, he takes things people tell him at face value and accepts them as facts. It is one of the reasons him and Lance clash often, Keith can be found constantly correcting Lance’s statements and Lance doesn’t appreciate that.
This is coupled with his rational personality. I have no doubt that part of that comes from having been forced to grow up without a family and people to comfort him when he was feeling lost, he has had to deal with reality screwing him over quite a lot of times already. He is extremely cautious and protective of his friends when a possible threat appears (see: how he placed himself in front of the team when Klaizap appeared in s1e2), probably exactly because he knows that when they are gone, they are gone. That happened to his dad, that happened to Shiro.
And now he thinks the same thing has happened to Allura.
It is not that he doesn’t want to help her - because he does. He really does, he even said so himself. (And he wasn’t lying. We all know that Keith is an absolutely horrible liar.) In his mind, there were four facts battling with one another: 1) I want to save my friend; 2) “the ship that is headed to Zarkon’s central command?” “the place that’s way too dangerous for us to attack?” (a direct quote from an exchange between Hunk and Keith from s1e10. Keith had accepted that information a fact); 3) we are fighting against an enemy we know next to nothing about; and 4) I am responsible for the entire universe and I can only protect it with Voltron, for which Allura technically isn’t essential.
So he stands there and goes through all the facts. And he comes to the - absolutely logical - conclusion that it is too dangerous to go to Zarkon’s headquarters. He could lose even more friends. He could lose the universe’s only hope. So he does what he always does: suppress his emotions for the greater good. He did that there, he did it when he decided to give up the blade in s2e8.
But then the others turn against him. We can’t see his face when they begin to vehemently protest against his statement-
-but I have no doubt that it would be serious and reflective. The backlash would have made him reconsider the conclusion he had come to. Because that’s what he does when he faces critique: take a step back and reevaluate. Obviously, fact 2) wasn’t quite right. [Also note how open his body language is, he is more than willing to discuss this.]
And once the execution of their plan starts, which means an actual chance for getting his friend back, he is right at the front of the group again.
Keith isn’t cold-hearted. Not at all. Does this look like the face of a cold-hearted person to you?
Because that is the face he made when he came to the conclusion that it would be too dangerous to save Allura. He is not happy about it. He genuinely believed that she was already lost and they were about to condemn the universe for a suicide rescue mission. If there is anything he can do to save his friends, he will do it. Like, seriously - he had never seen Zarkon before that episode. For all he knew, Zarkon could be 5ft tall, wield magic and be immortal. But as soon as he saw a normal-sized Galra in armor, Zarkon suddenly became less of an abstract concept and more of something that he has an actual fighting chance against. Look at how his attitude towards him changed in season 2, at the end of it he volunteered to infiltrate Zarkon’s base on his own!
(Also. He was the one that asked Allura if she was sure that she wanted to come with them: “I’m sorry, princess, did you say ‘we’?!” in s1e10. He was worried for her. There is no way he didn’t want her back.)
Keith constantly watches out for the greater good. It’s what he told Pidge when she wanted to leave to go look for her family - “everyone in the universe has families!” - and what he did when he gave up finding out about his past in the Trials of Marmora. He pushes his own emotions down because he genuinely believes one person’s life and/or comfort isn’t worth putting the entire universe at risk. And that does not equal being cold-hearted.
tl;dr: Keith has had perfectly valid reasons why he hesitated to go on the rescue mission. He wanted her back just as much as everyone else. He is not a cold-hearted asshole.
Iz Explains Stuff So You Don’t Have to: The Nightwing Debacle.
Hey guys! As promised, here’s a write up of what’s currently making waves in the DC/comic fandom today. Given that this subject somewhat related to the Hydra-cap nonsense, I thought it should be something I cover as well, just to sorta give non-comics fans/DC comics readers who might see this and want some context.
1. Who is Nightwing?
You guys know Robin, Batman’s sidekick who they almost always leave out of movies? This is the first (yes there’s more than one, but that’s a topic for another day) and possibly most iconic one to pop-culture. Named Richard “Dick” Grayson, Dick is the son of the flying Grayson’s , two circus acrobats who died due to mob interference during a show (he also has Romani heritage (which the comics often ignore) This will be important later). Bruce took Dick in and the rest is well history.
Dick probably has the most screen time over any Robin in film/tv adaptations, including Teen Titans, Young Justice, The Lego Batman movie, the original Adam West series, and Batman Forever. He’s arguably the best known Robin to non-comic’s readers.
Because time does pass in comics occasionally, Dick grew up and after a series of events that have been retconned so many times it’s not worth getting into, ditched the Robin mantle. He would later take up the title of Nightwing.
2. Why the name Nightwing?
Dick is a HUGE fan of Superman (no really, Superman is pretty much his uncle) and after he ditched the Robin title, Superman and him had a talk where Superman told him of two legendary kryptonian heroes Nightwing and Flamebird. Inspired by the story, Dick would take on the name of the former (the latter name has a much more varied history).
3. Okay, so what’s the big deal besides the Robin thing?
To compress a lot of history into a paragraph, Nightwing is the one DC hero that like almost every other DC hero trusts and likes. Most of the Justice League has known Dick since he was a little kid and trust him implicitly for both his general good nature and reputation of being like, a really fucking good guy. Like a really good guy. A good enough guy that when Batman was told to let his own world die to let a better more “ideal” world survive, he asked if Richard Grayson was in it to make his choice on if it actually was a better world. (Dick was not in this world, which made Batman hard pass on that shit. Really. This is a thing that happened.)
Dick has also led multiple successful superhero teams, worked on the league himself, and donned the Batman title for awhile.
4. Okay, got it. So what’s going on?
Today DC announced a new six issue limited series in an elseworld (which is a world that takes place outside of canon. Think an AU.) This is the summary:
NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER is the story of a future world without “weapons”—where superpowers have been eliminated and outlawed. The man responsible? None other than Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Nightwing, now leader of a government task force called the Crusaders who are charged with hunting the remaining Supers. But when events transpire which turn the Crusaders’ aim toward Grayson’s own family, the former Boy Wonder must turn against the very system he helped create, with help from the very people he’s been hunting for years—the last metahumans of the DC Universe.
5. OH NO IS THIS HYDRA CAP ALL OVER AGAIN?
Yes and no. So far, it’s safe to say that this series does echo Hydra Cap in a paragon for good and justice becoming the figurehead of a fascist regime. However, everything else is kind of more murky.
For one, this series is an elseworld, which means unlike Hydra Cap, it doesn’t take place in the regular DC universe. This is not the fate of the Dick Grayson we know and love, nor is it him; it’s a version of him in a different universe. It’s also a limited run, so we got an enddate on this sucker off the bat.
Second, this is more general fascism instead of nazi brand fascism. The first cover echoes other fascist/oppressive regimes but it applies to multiple besides the Nazi party. In the DC universe, metahumans aren’t coded as a minority group (though smaller subsets are, like the Superfamily being coded Jewish), so it’s more sci-fi than an allegory for real life oppression (though if depending on the details of this event, that remains to be seen. The writer took to Twitter to state there is absolutely no genocide here in this book but the first few pages imply otherwise and long story short, I’m not convinced). The group Dick works with is also entirely new and unlike Hydra has no link in history to the Nazi party, making the claim that they’re a general “evil fascist villain” hold water.
Third, unlike Hydra Cap, this book is branded as Dick learning the error of his choices rather than a long saga to try to convince us he has a point. I doubt we’ll see the same extent of “we should feel bad for Dick oppressing all these people” that we see in Hydra cap. However, this also remains to be seen. Long story short, it’s never gonna try to get us to root for the bad guy.
6. So it’s fine?
Now I wouldn’t say that. Making an iconic character a fascist is still something to side eye, and a lot of my above caveats can change if the story itself decides to make those connections (i.e if there are prison camps for example). It’s also important to note, that making a Romani character a fascist, and one under the label of “crusader” is in terrible taste, considering the Romani people’s history with both.
The writer is also someone I don’t have a ton of faith in when it comes to nuance. (though to his credit, he is assuring and validating concerns on twitter rather than laughing us all off as SJWs).
What I’m saying is that it’s gonna be hard to figure out exactly this is going to play out until I see the first issue. I think the storyline and the advertising is something we should be critical of, but a lot still depends on how the book approaches it. This isn’t to say you should “give it a chance” only that we might want to hold off from saying DC is promoting fascism until we see if they’re gonna take this from a “feel bad for Dick angle, not all fascists are bad” or a “Dick fucked up hard” angle. We can just say this storyline is at the very least insensitive given current events and Dick’s ethnic roots.
Plus, Dick turning on Superman is just weird, and the preview pages are not helping my concerns.
So be critical of the concept but be careful not to declare what the narrative is trying to say until we know what the narrative is.
7. And if it does come out to be “feel bad for Dick, not all fascists, narrative supports the fascist regime for just wanting the best for us” angle?
Then go crazy guys. Though even if it does go that way, it still won’t be as Hydra cap. Because at least it’s still only a elseworld. Which is like the worst consolation prize ever.
i know retroactively ascribing highly specific contemporary labels to dead historical figures is unproductive because our sense of language, experience, and identity will always be different from theirs but daphne du maurier was a trans man oh my god
“Tell me how it is to be a nurse, how is it to be a doctor?”
Questions that perhaps give us the most pause.
Except, if you ask us, the work on the frontline feels anything but explainable, anything but extraordinary.
We wake up in the morning, we dread going to work, we hit the snooze button like any other, wishing the day wasn’t Monday, wishing the 12.5 hours stretched before us wasn’t today, wishing we could snuggle under the covers, away from the world. We surface, kick the covers off obstinately, brew our coffee/tea, curse the obnoxious commuters. We resemble any responsible adult when we go through the motions of everyday life.
Except; the responsibility hasn’t even begun.
We punch in, walk onto the unit, surveying the waiting room as we walk in - a determinant of how the shift may be; large groups grieving, families arguing, solemn looks, crash cart lined up outside the room, empty nursing station warning trouble in one or more of the rooms, and we want to turn around and walk back off the unit.
Except, we don’t.
We take our assignment for the day, the patient who is crashing in room 12, and another supposed low maintenance patient, awaiting step down unit. We peek at the low maintenance patient on the way to the crasher, heart already feeling the guilt that we are about to neglect this patient today while we deal with the storm next door.
Except, we don’t have time for guilt - yet.
We spend the day in what could only be described as chasing our own tail; watching patients mercilessly who state “I won’t fall,” accepting blame when they do during the four seconds we turned the other way, we scurry back and forth titrating drips, sending copious labs, adjusting ventilator settings, participating in rounds, admitting, discharging, and transferring patients…and ready to begin it all over again before the room is even properly dry from being bleached clean….we spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning up after doctors, and other providers, a trail of empty gauze, sodden dressings, syringes, tape, packaging and other assorted items so they do not become trapped under patients, or invade what little personal space they have, we dedicate moments, and sometimes backbreaking hours with patients, turning and positioning, and tucking them in snug and warmly - not just because a damn hospital policy tells us to, but because it’s the one little thing we can do to give them a little dignity, a clean environment while this room and this bed is their home. We escort families in, and tactfully shoo them out with the frequency of cleaning the escaping diarrhea around the flexi-seal tube, somewhere in the middle of this reflecting on the harsh realities and visuals of nursing that television shows will never depict.
We grapple with decisions, weighing the risks and benefits of what we’re about to do and often it occurs without anyone else in the room, the enormity of the responsibility so overwhelming, yet we cannot think and stew on it until the day is done.
Except, try as we might, we’re not sure we could articulate it well to the masses, either.
We forgo meal breaks when a patient is decompensating; not because we desire the glory of trudging on, but because for this day, this patient is our world, our responsibility, and one hour away from them in an understaffed unit - with a fellow nurse watching them alongside of his/her own catastrophic situation - well, it isn’t a meal break we will enjoy peacefully, so we tell ourselves we’ll just catch up a bit more, then go. Just another 10 minutes, then 10 minutes becomes just another hour… until it becomes just two more hours to change of shift, just one more hour, just thirty minutes.
Except, on most days, we aren’t even aware of how much time has escaped and we’re catching up on all the vital signs, the hourly intake, the interruptions and time seems to stand still in the moment when the patient arrests and the room is flooded with doctors and nurses trying to save this life.
Time stands still, even though an hour has passed and the patient is successfully resuscitated, and we go about the ordinary tasks of maintaining human function that the media will never portray, we go about cleansing the grime and gore that won’t stop gushing from all orifices - a sight we endure that’s by no means extraordinary, but an ordinary function of what we do, we spend time that feels like hours scurrying after orders while patients circle the drain, when our voices have grown hoarse over days and weeks from pleading with the doctors to grow some balls and tell the families honestly their loved one isn’t coming back, and it’s time…time to stop slaughtering them with invasive treatment, time to do what’s humane, not what’s good for ego, time to to stop and let them go….even though our hearts are shattered to admit defeat too. Most days we tell ourselves ordinary has to feel “enough” as we stare at the ceiling while sleep won’t come.
We spend sacred minutes, which is more than likely scattered moments with patients who are suffering, end of life, experiencing the agony of distressing news. We are at the bedside during painful procedures, we are at the bedside when no one else is there, no families, no friends, no one to speak of, We are the comfort of the brave, the solace of the strong, the restful place of the tired, and dying. And somedays we cannot leave it all there, so the caregiver role strain, the responsibility, the extent of what we see and feel in one day cannot be captured in any articulate sentence,
When someone asks us how our day was, we’ll just say, “fine”
When someone asks us what it means to be a nurse, we are likely to simply say “responsibility.”
So, Prison Break will be back in a matter of hours.
And to a lot of you, that may mean nothing.
But it means a hell of a lot to me.
Prison Break first aired when I was fourteen. I don’t remember much about the night itself, but what I do remember is kicking up a real fuss when my brothers outvoted me on the choice of programming, the two of them commandeering the TV remote and forcing me to watch the pilot of this new prison show instead of the episode of House that I had apparently very much wanted to watch at the time. After that night, though, House certainly never took precedence in my schedule ever again, because I had fallen hard for Prison Break in a way that I never had with a show before (or since), my soul already eagerly sold to it before the credits were even rolling on the first episode.
For the next four years of my life, it was my obsession, my joy, my greatest love, the one thing I could talk endlessly about (particularly any part related to MiSa, my OTP of all OTPs), and the mere thought of which would always make me happy. It led me to my first fan forum, to amazing friends (who I am still in touch with to this day), and also brought me into the world of fanfiction, which in itself became (and remains) a hugely important part of my life.
As it went on, the show not only taught me life lessons like sacrifice and making difficult decisions and taking responsibility for your actions; it also taught me about myself, and what I wanted and valued and believed. And, as with any show that truly pulls you in, the characters were always far more than just actors spouting lines– they were like family to me, and I celebrated and struggled and grieved with them through four incredible and traumatising seasons. I genuinely cried more tears for them and their pain than I ever did over anything else in my own (obviously very fortunate and privileged) life.
The same year that Prison Break ended, I graduated high school and was accepted into medical school, a career that I had chosen for several very good reasons, not the least of which was because my still-forming teenage self had looked at Dr Sara Tancredi and had seen exactly the kind of woman I wanted to grow up to be. About five years after that, I was freshly graduated as a doctor, and finally got the chance to meet Went, Dom, and Sarah at my first Comic Con, and was able to thank them in person for the beautiful thing that they had helped create, and which– in Sarah’s case in particular, of course– had helped to create me.
Today, I’m exactly a month shy of my twenty-sixth birthday, and have been a doctor for almost two and a half years, having even worked briefly in the prison system during that time, among many other things. I may not have the posters hanging on my wall anymore, and the cardboard box full of memorabilia and carefully folded cranes might be tucked away in a closet out of sight, but even still, this show has never left me. It’s in the “Be the change you want to see in the world” ring that I’ve worn every day for the last nine years. It’s in the tiny origami flower that has been tattooed on the back of my left ear since I was nineteen. It’s in the crane that was tattooed on my left wrist two years ago in Chicago, with those same old forum friends beside me, all coming together for the first time in our ten-year friendship to visit the city and the prison that had been the setting for the story that had brought us into each other’s lives. But even more than the marks on my skin, its mark is still inside me, a permanent building block in the foundation of who I am.
In the last eight years, there’s only one thing about this show that I’ve always regretted, one thing that I have literally wished (on shooting stars, four-leaf clovers, birthday cakes, 11:11, dandelions– you name it, I’ve wished on it) that I could change. Of course, I know that happy endings don’t always exist; that reality is hard and cruel and whatever, so supposedly TV should be too. But that never stopped me from wishing that there could have been just one more happy ending out there to give to this story.
Then, about two years ago, something happened. Stars– both astronomical and celebrity– aligned. Whispers like ‘reboot’ and ‘season 5′ floated around, and then suddenly, startlingly, my dream had started looking like a possibility. A possibility that eventually turned into a miraculous definite, the confirmation followed by months of filming and promoting that I promptly did my very best to ignore or hide from, because I was convinced that if I thought about it too much– let myself hope too much– it would somehow all disappear again; would revert to being merely an elaborate fantasy that I’d concocted in my head, a silly fangirl’s headcanon to rectify her OTP’s heartbreak as well as her own.
But tonight, it’s all becoming real. Tonight, for the first time in eight years, I will turn on my TV and see my character-family again; will experience that old feeling afresh. And though there’s certainly always the chance that the new season will somehow be a disappointment, or will only add more pain, it’s a chance I’m so very willing to take.
A chance that I’m so, so grateful even exists.
So, if you can, tune in tonight (9/8c on Fox). Even if you’ve never watched before, even if you think that frankly I’m probably just overhyping it and it’s actually nowhere near as great as I claim. Do it anyway, and show the network and showrunners that what they have done means something to the viewers out there– to the people like me, who got far more from this show than just a fascinating story, who might have been a very different person today if they’d managed to wrestle the TV remote off of their brothers on that one night a dozen years ago. And who knows; a success for Prison Break now, like with The X-Files and Gilmore Girls before it, could mean reboots– and therefore justice– for even more beloved shows down the line, and even more opportunities for other fans to re-experience the things that helped to shape them into who they are.
And, well, this moment may have been eight long years in the making– but whatever happens, it was worth it.
DSOD spoiler warning: Thoughts on and implications of Ryou’s flashback
Seeing Ryou’s flashback scene in dsod makes you wonder how much of Ryou’s memories Bakura messed with - in the anime we get a quick glimpse of Ryou’s father buying the Ring, but that version looks NOTHING LIKE the dsod version. Where did the dm anime version of Mr Bakura come from?
Regardless, what’s really exciting about the erasure-of-memories possibility is that it implies a distinction between Zorc and Bakura/TK - he didn’t have to make Ryou forget his father’s death and transplant in this idea of his father living abroad; hell, it would have been easier and made more sense for his plan to make Ryou keep those traumatic memories and convince him it was the Pharaoh’s fault.
But he didn’t.
Also makes you wonder how Ryou survived afterward. Was his mother alive at that point? Did he stay with extended family who just never brought up his father’s death (or did Bakura made them forget too)? Did Bakura have to go out stealing money each night, and somehow convince a kid Ryou that his father was sending him money to live off while he was away? (I’d say that last one was farfetched but… this is an anime we’re talking about…)