pb lovers

#LoveHacks, Book 2, Chapter 3: My Thoughts

I’m just going to warn you now. There is probably more swearing in this than usual. Which says a lot.

Am I going to have to pay diamonds to cosplay? I’m gonna be real upset if I do, tbh.

FUCKING HELL I DON’T WANT TO PLAY AS SEREENA I DON’T EVEN LIKE HER LET ME BE ME AND HAVE MY BEN

It’s Sereena’s first day of the new quarter at Strickland University and we instantly get to last chapter’s ‘next time’ moment. We bump into a cutie pie and fall to the ground. I hate Sereena, so I’ll blame this on her. Probably is her fault anyway.

Sorry, my bad.

She helps us collect our things and Sereena mentions how her professors already hate her. I don’t blame them. Can we please get this chick’s name and move on, please? I have a con and a man waiting for my arrival.

She’s headed to Lecture Hall C as well, so clearly they’ll walk together and I’m guessing a lecture hall is just a classroom so they’ll have the same class too?. For once I’d like something not so rom-com-y. Make this chick not gay at all but Sereena still falls for her and then the chick realizes she’s maybe falling for Sereena (somehow ‘cause lmao that bitch is terrible) and IMMEDIATELY like shuts her out because how do you deal with your life changing like that and then Sereena is all ‘oh god wtf do i do now what did i do wrong’ and honestly I wouldn’t be mad if they didn’t even get together in the end of this book. Drag that shit out a little bit, make it a bit more realistic than, say, someone getting three marriage proposals and still not knowing which one they want to marry after they already have a fucking husband-to-be selected.

Can we please get this woman’s name already? She claims she’s got an in with the professor, so she won’t go too hard on Sereena. Let that bitch rain acid on her, idgaf.

Aiyana. How do you say that? I-Anna like Anna from Frozen with an I in front of it?

(E-Glesias with a I!)

Wtf is a tizzy?

Someone’s breaking out the obscure words.

Blah, blah, blah. More dialogue that doesn’t give me anything important other than Aiyana wanting to impress Sereena without trying to, and Sereena being impressed for some fucking reason and denying it.

They get to Lecture Hall C and hoo boy, I hope she’s not majoring in that crap. Apparently she’s been kicked out of that classroom and the new class in there is Environmental Studies, who are apparently snobs. I hope Aiyana is an ES major.

Even better, she’s the TA for it. ‘Bout time Sereena got some sort of clapback.

God, I’m glad that shit is over with. Back to me! And my Ben, of course.

Ah hell, she’s spoken one sentence thus far and I feel a diamonds option coming on. Fuck you, PB. I would love to dress as Starfall, because I know Ben would love it. I’ll pass on Kenna because MC looks weird in it. I suppose I’ll go in my everyday wear.

Not everything has to be about money. Somewhere along the line, you forgot about having a fun, enjoyable, playable game, PB. Though I can admit this isn’t nearly as bad as the baseball game where Ben specifically says not to wear purple and WE HAVE TO FUCKING WEAR PURPLE.

‘These Cosplays Are Only As Good As The Real Thing If You Have Money To Waste’

There’s my sweetheat!!! We head to the con!

It’s even more awesome in person!

Edgar!

Ben’s last name is Park? Benjamin Park… Hmm, I prefer Benjamin Burnley, myself, but that’s fine. Park is close to Parker… As a kid (let’s face it, even as an adult) I bet Ben imagined himself as Spider-Man. What little boy or girl hasn’t?

LOVE. ME. SOME. HIM.

He asked for Ben’s autograph! How cool! I’m so proud of him. 

I’m here with a real-life celebrity!

Just about everything is a perk when it comes to Ben.

We see fuckface from ROE, and then play a VR demo of The Crown and the Flame. Oh great, we’re at the Iron Empire. I wonder if wearing the Kenna Rys outfit changes this scene up in any way.

A soldier appears and attacks high, so we duck. Then we deflect his sword ‘cause I don’t even know if we can cut through his sword. All we have is Kenna’s short sword!

He lunges for us and holds us up in the air. We kick him in the gut. Then we force him to surrender.

We beat it on the first try, and apparently nobody else has. Sweet! Ben says the Venus Corps panel is about to start, so away we go.

FUCKING HELL I. DO. NOT. CARE. ABOUT. SEREENA. OR. HER. STORY. I. CARE. ABOUT. MINE. AND. BEN’S.

Sereena is a legit cunt. I hate her. So much. She provides nothing but disaster to this series. Your classroom got moved, so fucking what. You probably received an email about the change, but are too irresponsible to check the damn thing. Just because they study the environment, which is pretty god damn important, doesn’t mean they don’t believe in ‘equal rights’. And I’m not sure how Women’s Studies equates to equal rights?

If you’re all about conserving resources, why do you hog student resources?

Like, really? Why is this such a big deal to her? More people are interested in a class that teaches about the environment than one that teaches about women? What even about women does it teach? Will it get you a fucking job? Does Sereena even have a job? Or is she still freeloading off of Brooke and MC?

She deserves the embarrassment. She’s being an asshole for no reason other than to be a brat.

Then she thinks she’s in love because someone schooled her ass.  What a self-absorbed cunt. Just because your friends are unwilling to defy you doesn’t mean that the rest of the world will follow suit. That’s not love, idiot.

Why does she even sit through this lecture? For someone who cares so much about Women’s Studies, she had no problem ditching it for something she doesn’t even like.

Aiyana says she hosts a campus radio show, so she’s Outtie 5000. I would be too if I had to come face-to-face with Sereena. She invites her to come along as a special guess, but I will be damned if I spend diamonds on Sereena. I didn’t even spend any for Ben.

She sees someone playing Dopey Cat and then we’re finally back to the con!

It’s post-panel now, and he’s signing autographs while we wait! Love him.

Oh fucking hell, that dude Evan from last book is here. It’s good to see you. It’s not, but I don’t want to be rude. I don’t even remember that date, but I guess he was a jackass and has now apologized for it. Apology accepted. Then he goes off too his friends.

And what was the point of that?

Ben comes back. Believe me, honey, you won’t lose me. I’m far too attached.

I HAVE THE CUTEST BOYFRIEND EVER!!!!!

I HAVE THE CUTEST BOYFRIEND EVER PT. 2!!!!!

AWWWWWW MY BABY IS MOVING UP IN THE WORLD! So the people in charge of Venus Corps are planning a spin-off about Starfall’s teen sidekick, Solaris, and they want Ben to illustrate and write for it!

I am announcing this to you all as if he is a real person and actually my boyfriend.

I need a man. A real man.

OH SHIT ‘BOUT TO GET LAID!

lmao what the hell is up with this weird screen like this isn’t a outfit change scenario

and why is he standing all defensive like that? And bby we need to buy you some jeans. Blue jeans. Idek what color those pants are.

We invite Ben to stay and celebrate!

We change into something more comfortable and poor baby’s too distracted to order food.

Good. >:)

MC makes him focus on the menu, so he decides on champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. We drink some champagne and he tells us the story how he got his job in the first place.

We drink some more and then MC goes for a strawberry. We feed Ben a strawberry because it’s not really celebrating him if we eat them all. We kiss him after he’s taken a bite. He deepens the kiss and pulls us to his lap as he sits on the bed and I’m like yo where were we at in the first place?

Kissing from the ear to the collarbone and back? This boy is too sexy. TOO SEXY!

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if Ben had some pudge to him. I don’t need a six-pack. I can deal with some love handles just fine. >:)

Don’t stop!

MC, how in the hell are you going to wear a red bra underneath a black piece of lingerie?

Ben and MC get it on and I wonder if his glasses stayed on the whole time? Did they fog up? Did they fall off at some point? I need answers, PB. Also, this wasn’t that great of a scene, guys. Kind of a waste. Only reason it isn’t is because I spent it with my babe.

Great, what was a perfect night turns into more Sereena playtime. Gross.

 We’re at a coffee shop and Horatio is behind the counter. Lovely, more of this bullshit.

He’s too much of a perfectionist for this job. I appreciate the effort, but a little faster’d be nice.

So Dopey Cat is getting popular. Mark doesn’t seem to know. And I’m like… How?? My blog isn’t popular in the slightest and I’m all over a single like, dude.He says he doesn’t know because he’s got in phone on silent due to emails from something called Kablammo. Cole douses Horatio in a spit take. I also hate Cole.

Horatio again thinks the universe has sent him a sign, and Cole says Kablammo is a major game publicist. They most likely want to talk to him about Dopey Cat. Why not read the damn emails, Mark? These characters (with the exception of my Ben) are all morons.

He reads the emails and they want to buy the rights to Dopey Cat. he could be rich.

The end.

Until next time!

The Tarot Card Symbolism in ‘Adventure Time: Stakes’

Around episode four of ‘Stakes’, something occurred to me: almost every single one of the vampires from Marceline’s past is named after a card from the Major Arcana of a Tarot Card deck. Not only that, but the entire mini-series is soaked in references to the cards and their meanings. This is my attempt to try and analyze at least the most obvious symbolism, though knowing the subtly of this show and my own relatively limited knowledge, it’s very possible/likely I’ve missed some things. 

But anyway, let’s get started with:

0: The Fool

The Fool is the very first card in the Major Arcana; it represents boundless potential and the beginning of journeys, something which distinctly mirrors this vampire’s role in Marceline’s story. He’s the first ‘main’ vampire that Marceline slays, the one which starts giving her the abilities to take down the others’. Notably, the traditional depiction of the Fool is of a young child with a dog, taking a step off of a cliff; a wonderful parallel to the young Marceline with her own dog, enjoying the power of flight for the first time.

3: The Empress

This card, as you might expect, depicts a regal woman- usually blonde- sceptre in hand, a picture of control. This is the card of female power, representing beauty, creativity, fertility, luxury, grace and love.

Obviously, the vampire with this name embodies certain aspects of this over others. This Empress is all about luxury, being served upon and drinking the finest of blood (with flecks of gold in it!) She literally controls others through mind control, and though Ice King is immune to those effects, he is insnared by her beauty (and her sexuality). 

Grace and love, though? Eh, not so much. However, the greater scope of the episode ‘The Empress Eyes’, is all about love. It’s about Marcy coming to try and save her old friend Simon, even though he (as always) doesn’t even realise he needs saving. At the end, it’s about her apologising for going out of face the vampires alone, and accepting her friends’ help and love.

5: The Hierophant

Sometimes called ‘The High Priest’ or ‘The Pope’,  this card usually depicts a religious figure with his hand raised. He represents religion, obviously, but also tradition and conformity. This, of course, perfectly captures the vampire with this name. He is described as an ‘old vampire’, rigid in following the traditions and rules of the past, even when they actively work against him in this new world of Ooo. He refuses to make a truce, or to switch over to a diet of red or even animal blood, despite now existing in a world with virtually no humans left. Ultimately, he is killed by his rules, burned alive after being thrown into a house (read: Jake) without invitation.

However, I think the Hierophant’s existence in the story plays a larger symbolism. ‘Stakes’ is, ultimately, a story of change. Marceline chooses to give up her vampirism, in order to give a chance to grow up and mature, only to discover herself frightened by the uncertainty of the unknown. She is then given a choice; conform to the old traditions, kill the vampire king and become a vampire again, or break the cycle. By choosing the latter, she affectively avoids the same self-destruction of the Hierophant.

Not that the Hierophant isn’t an entirely negative card. In fact, it can mean a call to spirituality, or advise someone about joining a group. Considering this story is about Marcy self-growth, and coming to accept her friends’ support and solidarity, it would be foolish to ignore this interpretation.

18: The Moon

This is the card of intuition, the subconscious, and dreams. This makes sense considering that throughout ‘Take Her Back’, Marceline is trapped in a coma, experiencing vivid dreams. This card usually depicts the moon over a pool of water, explaining why this his vampire made her home on a boat. This card deals with fears, securities and anxieties, which we see demonstrated in Marcy’s dreams. One, features Marcy herself, living in Bonnie’s cabin, having grown old and near dying, while the still eternally young Princess Bubblegum sings with her. This, presumably, suggests that Marcy wasn’t as unconcerned about giving away her own immortality as she pretended. Earlier in the episode, we also see her dreaming about Simon and Betty; now both cured, happily married and acting as the parental figures they were never able to be. It shows her own regrets about her inability to help her dear Simon. However, the purpose of the Moon card is coming to recognize your anxieties, and channel them into a positive way- an emotional healing. Having internalized the Moon suggests hopeful things about Marcy’s future.

4: The Emperor (The King?)

There is no card called ‘The King’; there is, however, one called ‘The Emperor’, which the Vampire King could have been thematically named after. It is the card of authority and structure, of father-figures. This embodies much of the Vampire King’s person. He is (or rather, was) the leader of the Vampires, and even after he expresses a desire to want to leave that role, he still does his best to guide and lead Marcy, to be a figure of wisdom for her.

And considering the sentiments expressed by the Vampire King, wouldn’t it make sense for him to the one vampire not expressly named after a Tarot Card? Which leads us to…

11: Justice

“I’m not afraid of the unknown! I have the power to change destiny! We are vampires! You weigh the scales of fate! Spill my guts, or face the unknown!”

Justice is the card of, well, justice- but also fairness, truth, and law. The Vampire King presents Marceline with a choice; she can do what she’s always done, and slay the Vampire King, even though he professes to have reformed. Just as the figure from the card holds a sword in one hand, Marcy holds a stake; but at the same time, she has a chance to deliver fairness. 

7: The Chariot

“My path runs straight into the void- on a sick, flaming chariot!”

The Chariot is the card of will, control, and determination. It depicts a man riding out on a chariot, away from civilization to find spiritual attainment. It is not difficult to see the clear parallels to VK’s decision in this episode; he is willing to face the unknown, in order to break free from the dark fate of being a vampire, and make his own decisions. 

10: The Wheel of Fortune

No, not the game show. 

‘By the way, I will not bite… but turning you would subjugate me to the Wheel of Fortune! For I am a king, not a hamster!’

The Wheel of Fortune is the card of cycles, of karma, of change, of good luck, and success. The themes of cycles, of fate- but also of the importance of change- are some of the most central themes of these eight episodes. See this first comment The Vampire King makes, when he’s trying to convince our heroes that he truly does wish to reform.

‘This is the Old Way… agents of darkness and light, in a tug of war. But now, a creature can step out of that struggle.’

Or again, later, this exchange he has with Marceline. 

VK: Tell me, what’s the one thing you’ve noticed about the world, since you beat me all those hundreds of years ago?
M: Everything repeats, over and over again. No one learns anything. Because no one lives long enough to see the pattern, I guess.
VK: But you’ve lived long enough.

VK resents the Wheel of Fortune, resents the cyclical nature of reality. He hates how he and everyone else in existence is forced to do the same thing, again and again, never learning or trying anything new. 

Marceline, ultimately, does see VK’s point. She cannot just continue doing things just because that’s how she’s always done it in the past, just because she’s afraid of the unknown. 

But this card is also about change, and that’s an element of it that both characters appreciate. The Vampire King, ultimately, wants meaningful change. Marceline, too, wanted the chance to grow up- to finally move past the unhealthy emotional state of arrested development she became trapped in when she was originally turned. The song of the mini-series, ‘Everything Stays’, is even about how change, though sometimes difficult to see, is inescapable.

Everything stays
Right where you left it
Everything stays
But it still changes
Ever so slightly
Daily and nightly
In little ways
When everything stays

8: … Marceline?

Even though it is never explicitly mentioned, I think there is at least one other Tarot card represented by ‘Stakes’; “Strength”.

In the final two episodes, The Vampire King asked to have his vampire essence removed from his body, so that he can become mortal. When this is accomplished, her returns to his natural state- an ordinary, tame, lion. Later, when his vampire essence is spilled, it transforms into a terrible dark cloud, vaguely shaped like a monstrous lion, which spreads destruction across the land. At first, Marceline refuses to fight, feeling exhausted and defeated, seeing no point in facing the uncertainty ahead. After an (accidental) pep talk from Simon, however, she finds her inner strength, and overpowers the vampiric lion spirit, taking it into herself. In the very final episode, she discovers that the Vampire King still resides in her- though whether as a literal, separate entity, or just some element of her subconscious, remains ambiguous.

So how about the eighth card of the Major Arcana, strength? Traditionally, this depicts a beautiful young woman, calm and peaceful, taking a lion by the jaws, subduing it. Often, above her head floats the infinity symbol.

Marceline finds her inner strength. She fights the lion, not with her usual anger and ferocity, but through peace and determination, and the lion yields to her. It comes under her control. And in doing so, she regains her immortal nature, having now finally been given the chance to grow, and to learn.

Marceline the Vampire Queen, too, is represented by a Tarot card. Strength.