parallel threads

how goddamn brilliant was this episode, though, in terms of storytelling? you start with these two separate stories, plots, threads - running parallel to each other, seemingly unrelated - both evolve in a way that gives you this growing sense of unrest, a sense that keeps growing, like two trains on the inevitable track to crash - how utterly fantastic was that? i imagine people are gonna overlook this, because this was the second episode in a three-parter, and it’s always the beginning and the end that interest people most - but for an episode that could easily have been a dull filler, that was masterful

Fic Rec List

Hi, sorry for the late reply; uni is eating up my time. 

To be perfectly honest with you, I doubt you have never read the fics listed below since the fandom is kind of small in comparison to others (and you know, death and other assorted things have not helped) but maybe you’ll re-stumble on a fic you loved but can’t seem to find or something. ^^ (Also I admit that I have yet to review all these, since I take a long time to express myself because I am silly that way, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate an author’s work and I shall get to reviewing soon). I’m not sure what you mean by underrated, and drama is kind of lacking in a fandom that is assumed to be crack (which I will never understand because NejiTen is plausible and I don’t see it as a crack pairing), but I shall just rec away:

Drama/Angst

coda in d minor by metaphorically blue

Summary: She doesn’t look like her father. /And children can’t recognize grief./ /future!fic, sort of Team Gai/

(Notes: This is one of the best next-gen fics/one-shots I’ve seen for this pairing. I have no idea why it’s not more popular; maybe it’s because it isn’t categorised under the pairing but under Lee. Wonderfully written, especially the hints of character parallels and the steady thread of sorrow and confusion weaved into the narrative.) 

scarborough fair by seleneswan

Summary: Remember me to one who lives there; for once, he was a true love of mine. —Neji/Tenten.

(Notes: I’m a sucker for references to nursery rhymes. (All the King’s Horses, anybody?)  Though I may or may not agree with certain sentiments, I liked this well enough.) 

A Night to Die by January Friend

Summary: Neji, Tenten, and a tragic love story played out in the shadow of death.

(Notes: An alternative to the could-have-been-better-written canon we were given. Although I think Romeo and Juliet made their own tragedy instead of having it forced upon them. But then again, I suppose that’s the entire point of star-crossed lovers and choosing destiny over fate.)

The Game  by DrerrRedclaw

Summary: One man dies: chaos, order, and everything in between ensues. Character studies, ShikaTema, NejiTen. Futurefic, expect OOC due to age and experience.

Shelved by BlueGreenApples

Summary: Post-Cannon. NejiTen. Fears of fraility divide them, life lessons will bring them back.

(Notes: I just really like work dealing with life and loss and the nitty-gritty of shinobi life that a lot of fics gloss over, so sue me.)

A Little Rain Your Way by Yugao

Summary: She didn’t get why it was always raining. NejiTenten

(Notes: On strength, weakness, and needing, which seems to be a particularly popular discourse for the NejiTen pairing.)

Beloved by ncfan

Summary: -Neji x Tenten- “What would you do without me?” AU.

(Notes: The author also does nice character studies.)

Pavement by Lacewood

Summary: Neji, Tenten and a chance meeting on a street. The past is behind them, on a growing stretch of pavement

Humour/Assorted

Conversation by crysthur and artheph

Summary: The boys have some introspective dialogue on their relationships. Generic pairings. Short oneshot.

(Notes: Because whipped ninjas are never not hilarious.)

Jewel by Ariel32

Summary: A Cinderella story that neither of them could have predicted would come true. AU NejiTen.

Rainbow by Ariel32

Summary: Their years together are like a rainbow. [NejiTen, some Team Gai]

(Notes: Colour theory is always welcome in my book.)

Of Hashigasms, Shipping Wars and Sasuke’s Sparkly New Ambition by HighQueen

Summary: And the epic unending clash between the Minato and Itachi fanclubs. Because manga chapter 631 was full of all that crack. Featuring Sakura, Sasuke, Hinata, Minato, Kushina, Madara, Tenten, Ino, Shikamaru, the fanboys and more! And a sulking Neji who still hasn’t quite recovered from his traumatic death sequence. Parody. Naruto 631 spoilers. naruhina sasusaku-ish

And that’s it for now! For any other favourites not mentioned, you can visit my profile here

5

René Descartes, Principia Philosophiae (Les Principes de la Philosophie; 1647), dedicated to Elisabeth of Bohemia, c. 1644.

reverse-inversion-deactivated20  asked:

So, JJ tells me you figured out why is OUaT steadily turning into bigger and bigger pile of crap? ;)

Oh. A slight exaggeration (though the crap part is completely, validly true) but accidentally I did stumble onto something interesting when I was, just for shits and giggles, looking into OUaT subtitle forums (to nab ep translations as… uh… valid work-related research in the field of contrastive/comparative analysis and cross-language translation theory and colloquialism syntax? ;) and got curious about general discussions. Now, perhaps we’re all a little (like a little a lot) spoiled with the levels of insightful, intelligent meta on tumblr (especially among SQers, where levels of discourse tend to render one speechless) but this was… big hey woah. I was blown away with the superficial, insipid and the dull.

Because ALL that people commented on (and it was four different forums, in four different countries and in three different languages) was in terms of: watta cool twist, this is so awesome, my favourite fairytale when I was a kid, fun ride, zomg Hook is so hawtt, who’s the next week’s guest character, Rumpel rocks, good Regina is so boooring bring on the Evil Queen and… you get my point? Absolutely no intelligence, no critical thinking, no standard and/or brain whatsoever. Just funtimes and cool rides for kids in a show for a bunch of grown up, shallow, easily entertained children. So that’s when it dawned on me. That is their target audience: the mundanes. The lowest common denominator, easily entertained masses that will give ratings (and evidently, they are driven by marketing research only) which now explains not only the horrific quality plummet, but also why some of us feel our IQ leaking out of our noses and dropping, when we watch it? Because this sheep mentality (the need for tasteless, unimaginative romances without basic character understanding), heteronormativity that isn’t really enforced because this is basically a ‘family show’ written by two middleaged white men for average ciswhitehet masses (and why we are all so ‘delusional’ to see things that mundanes don’t, and why SQ is such a gasp-shock-you’re-all-a-crazy-bunch-of-homos thing) and hey, in the end - why the writing has lost its layers (remember the parallel, opposite-directional narrative threads entwined with individual storylines of the week?) and has become so insipid?

We are SO not the right demographics for this show anymore, my friend. Because the GA, the mainstream - they only care about fun plot of the week and shallow romances (hence their interest in CS and OQ, despite their alarmingly worrisome nature) and we were only suckered by that promise of redesigned, modern fairytales that would redefine the stereotypes and the role of a woman. Well, that and Regina Mills in her powersuits and that aroused nose flare - that first time Emma Swan stood up to her.

*sigh*

Fucking mundanes.

Why the games press won't talk about ethical corruption

As an ex-journo turned internet-monkey, I’ve spent the last week carefully toying with the idea of producing a video about the belief that the traditional games media is ethically compromised and/or corrupt.

After much consideration, I’ve decided that this would be a massive waste of time for one simple reason: It isn’t a rational belief. I gave up arguing against irrational viewpoints when I realised that repeatedly spending entire evenings arguing about religion with strangers wasn’t a good use of the £5 it cost to get into most student nightclubs. It really doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong - no change will occur as a result of the conversation.

A large part of the problem is the misuse of language, with many who use logic and rationale as their banner having twisted the scientific basis of these words completely out of shape - adding a powerful new variable to the deduction process that entirely fucks everything up: Intellect.

It takes a genuinely outstanding level of arrogance to believe that your personal (or even crowd-sourced) intelligence can make up the rest of the gaps in any theory. This isn’t restricted to gaming, of course - the study of Psychology largely boils down to learning to quickly identify when wanker academics are using big words to cover up the fact that their claims of correlation are entirely based on half-baked theories.

Games industry conspiracy theorists take things to the next level, stepping up from correlation (the claim that two variables are somehow related) to full-blown causation (the claim that one variable is directly influencing another). These leaps are made without any actual evidence, using bastardised ‘logic’ to plug any gaps. It’s a risky system that entirely relies on the person involved being Sherlock-fucking-Holmes.

In the same way that duff psychologists make leaps because they want to reinforce specific theories they already believe to be true, accusations of corruption or ethical wrongdoing gloss over genuinely whopping gaps to further reinforce the strength of a theory that simply hasn’t been proved.

I bring up the parallel between forum threads and academia to point out that this isn’t about specifically pointing the finger at teenage boys or hardcore gamers - it’s a shitty pseudo-scientific practice used by shitty people in all walks of life.

Packaging arguably unrelated pieces of information together and presenting them as being linked without concrete proof is entirely irrational behaviour, which makes the process of arguing against it a bloody big waste of time for everyone involved. That’s the main reason that a huge number of the gaming press openly refuse to engage in the conversation.

Of course it does remain entirely possible that the real reason they don’t want to debate this issue is because they’re trying to silence the issue as part of some ongoing conspiracy, but again - if we’re sticking to the traditional use of the word, this argument isn’t rational - which makes arguing against it a big waste of time. Until any form of actual concrete evidence is presented, we might as well argue about the existence of ghosts.

This might sound flippant or dismissive, but you have to understand that it categorically isn’t. Theories based on unproven assumptions are almost always a lot of fun, but you can’t bring a theoretical knife to a knife fight.

Over the past decade we’ve seen a couple of examples of times when editorial values have been compromised - with both examples having large repercussions for the industry. Gamespot’s Jeffy G fiasco tore the site’s reputation to shreds, while reasonable questions posed about the freebie culture following a promotion at the GMAs saw the vast majority of professional media outlets cracking down further on a phenomenon that was largely already handled reasonably well. If this isn’t true on the websites you visit, it’s time to start visiting websites that aren’t shit.

Every time I’ve seen reasonable criticisms made I’ve also seen a shift in the way press operate, and yet I’ve never seen any kind of reduction in the deeply-held belief that games media are inherently ethically corrupt. Unfortunately this leads to only one conclusion - there is nothing that can be done to change this.

Which leads us back to the ultimate question: with so little evidence proving it to be true and attempts at reparations so quickly dismissed, why do so many people fervently believe that the traditional games media cannot be trusted? Why do people who often align themselves with the importance of rational thought and unbiased opinions hold so much faith in a belief that is - on paper - undeniably irrational?

I don’t really have an answer for that, but I’d argue it’s likely a swirl of factors whipped up into an anger-meringue by an outside third-party that I now represent. People don’t like traditional games media for a wide variety of reasons. They feel like the biggest gaming websites only represent mass-media bollocks. They feel like their hobby is changing in ways that isn’t aligned with the elements they love. They feel like games media don’t talk about games in a way that personally speaks to them.

All of these points are entirely reasonably things to be unhappy about, but they don’t represent a systematic problem. The belief that the root of these problems is caused by some sort of systematic injustice, however, is undeniably intoxicating. It allows us to fabricate a tangible solution to an impossible problem: creating the illusion that if we fight hard enough we can force the world to change to suit our personal needs.

As with all the best illusions, it’s one that can’t be broken - no manner of action or shows of goodwill will erode this belief, as the endgame criteria remains impossible. Short of every traditional media outlet entirely shutting down, arguments will still remain that the truth has simply been buried deeper - the same shadowy agendas are still running the show.

Notably over the past week I’ve seen every attempt to openly refute unwarranted claims with actual facts quickly countered with newly fabricated unwarranted claims. The content within these conversation simply doesn’t matter - if it did then the vast majority of these claims would have since been dropped. Information which damages the stability of a well-established illusion cannot be accepted as truth at any cost, which is why we’ve still got climate change deniers and people who think dinosaurs are just a big lol from God. 

It all boils down to dissatisfaction, which is where the meringue comes into play. Look back at the history of any regime change and you’ll observe clear patterns, but step one is almost always the same: discredit your predecessors. The way many YouTubers have used this tactic has been absolutely reasonable, and the rise in their popularity is inarguably linked to traditional media’s failure to provide a changing audience with what they want.

But that hasn’t the only front of the battle, and blows from both sides haven’t always been above the belt. While arguably sparked from the disdain and jealousy that many games journalists feel towards YouTubers at large, many YouTubers have harnessed this culture of dissatisfaction and distrust as a springboard for personal success. Working as underdogs this made sense, but now I just feel like I’m watching big dogs kicking dying dogs to death.

But again, this isn’t a conspiracy - it’s just an unjust side-effect of the way things have panned out over the past ten years; a butterfly effect of individual agendas swooping back later to cause a storm. Context has shifted dramatically: For those who’ve managed the ascent into internet stardom, “Games media are corrupt” has gone from being an effective way of building a fanbase to being a largely well-respected viewpoint, legitimised by nothing more than a larger audience that believe it to be true. No more facts, no more proof, just a considerably bigger church.

It all comes back to community, and the idea that thousands of people can’t possibly be wrong. When of course if there’s anything that history has shown us, that’s one of the only things that thousands of people have consistently been.

So yeah, we could debate about the blatant ethical corruption that’s rife within gaming media, but to be honest I’d rather debate about ghosts. Either way I’ll probably be wasting my time, but at least I get to run around with a sheet on my head shouting “WOOOOOOO.”

BYE!

Meanwhile... // Derek + Eileen

Parallel thread to Ivy + Tom:

“I’ll say it again,” Derek said as he slouched down in the plush purple chair. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you.” He stretched out and swung his legs up, resting his snappy Oxfords on top of the railing that surrounded his private box.

“For the seats. For smuggling me into the theatre. For aiding in my covert activities.” He reached over, took Eileen’s hand in his, and, lifting it to his lips, gave it a gentlemanly kiss. “I can always count on you.”