perilous

transcription of all of arin’s stories in the battle kid finale

2:11 - “rasputin.. is.. ready.. i don’t know what i’m doing, i have a hard time keeping my cool in situations of stress”

3:50: “this battle is for real. i have a good feeling about this one, i’m bringing it downtown, y’know? right? i’m- i’m playing music on the street, i’m getting a noise complaint but y’know what? i don’t even care! because this is my art, and no- FUCK

4:16: “one day i was walking down the street and i met a guy named carl. carl was nice because he gave me some ice cream, and- AUGH DAMMIT

4:37: “mark mistakenly ordered me nine pizzas. i wasn’t sure if i should keep them or not because i really enjoy pizza, but when i opened them up, it was pineapple and ham. and i don’t like ham, and i’m allergic to FUCK

5:08: “rocket the hedgehog was a lonely young hedgehog in the sonic the hed- DAMMIT

5:25: “i knew a guy named jesus. i asked him, ‘hey, isn’t your name pronounced jésus?’ and he said, ‘no, my mom is very religious.’ and i said, ‘wouldn’t that have prevented you from having the name jesus?’ and he said FUCK

5:56: “radical republicans really wreck my… rectal reAAAGH

6:14: “purple plants make me feel uncomfortable when i walk towards them. they say ‘hey arin, how’s it goin?’’ and i say, ‘it’s goin’ okay,’ but it’s not really going okay, i just didn’t wanna share my emotions with the purple plant! cuz fuck, i don’t know him! he’s not dAMMIT

6:52: “jerry wrestled bears for a living, but he wasn’t happy with it, so instead he changed his profession to golfing. he wasn’t happy with that either. he just realized he was an unhappy dude in general. so he saw a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist- fUCKING GOD DAMMIT

7:21: “jennifer dumped me”

7:38: “recklessly, i touched a car that didn’t belong to me. it was a very nice car, a 1978 bugatti. that’s not even a real car model! i made it up! and i dAAAGH! DAMN

8:06: “register now at your local supermarket for the rewards card. it will save you 10% on FUCKING GODDAMN BULLSHIT FUCK

8:27: “my mom’s a nice lady, but sometimes, y’know, UUUUGHH

8:42: “i was caught murdering some man named steve. i talked to the police and i refuted i had anything to do with the murder. the police said, ‘wait. wait. then why are you stANDING ABOVE THE DEAD BODY GOD-

9:09: “my dad really likes that i’m doing music right now. but he’s kinda disappointed that i’m not good, at it, because, he spent his whole life writing music, and i’ve only spent a couple FUC- GOD- I- I. AM. NOT OKAY.

10:08: “as a child i always wanted to be on who’s got-”

10:25: “legends of the hidden temple was one of my favorite shows of all time. i always wanted to be on it. kind of a considerissive- continuation of the last story, however, i have to say, i am very close, TO BEATING THE GODDAMN PLANT MONSTER! but he’s not dying! and we’re not stopping! this is happening! i’m so,, close! i’m like a god damn jiggalo, ready to burst, and she’s saying, ‘no, three more minutes, at least.”

11:26: “why is there a plant here? what is he doing? what’s his purpose? why did he have to open up when i showed up here? he coulda just been hangin’ out and then i coulda just shot ‘im in the fuckin’ butt! it woulda been fine! nip it in the bud, they say! that’s the term! i’m getting close! why do i have to point that out?! it always makes me worse! aah! haah! FUUUCK! i was so, goddamn close!

12:03: “ 🎶 gerrymandering politicians always get their way unless you veto their vote in a voting booth! 🎶 you have the power! as a citizen of the united states! register to vote! at your local dmv! so that you can control the fate of your country, at least somewhat, i mean there’s the electoral college and everything, but i don’t know! i don’t know much about how politics work! GOD FUCKING DAMMIT I’M DONE! I’M FUCKING DONE! THIS IS BULL SHIT! RED PLANT, PURPLE PLANT, BLUE PLANT, THIS IS SOME… [ross comes in]”

Seven perilous cakes

1. The sponge cake. This particular baked good is only perilous if left uneaten. An unattended-to sponge cake will soak up everything in its vicinity: conversation, atmosphere, witticisms, merry thoughts and the like. In a matter of minutes, lively gatherings can be reduced to awkward silence. Of course, once eaten, any soaked up matter will slowly release during the process of digestion. However, the time delay can render its appearance entirely useless, with sparkling wit left to pop aimlessly off into the midnight darkness. The only solution, should your gathering be host to an invading sponge cake, is to consume it at once.

2. The cup cake. Although it pretends to be an alternative to a cup, this cake has only limited waterproofing qualities and is often not of a standard size. If you fill your cupcake with hot coffee it will in short order be dripping out of the base, causing stains, scalding and sleep. Similarly, if you are making an entirely different cake, using a cupcake to measure out the ingredients will lead to crumb infiltration. Once infected, your cake will more than likely develop into cupcakes itself. Thus does this deceptive dessert reproduce and spread.

3. The fruitcake. Once you have picked them, these are perfectly delightful and no source of peril at all. However, getting close enough to a cake tree to pick the fruit is not straightforward. Be aware that the cake tree regards you as ingredients. Also that in order for the fruit to reach maturity, they must be baked, which required the tree to have a symbiotic relationship with dragons, salamanders and/or phoenixes, all of whom may want to set you on fire.

4. The Brownie. This small supernatural being is similar to an elf or a goblin, but for some reason more culturally-acceptable to eat. You might not believe that consuming a brownie is a perilous act. However, in common with all fairy-derived beings, they contain a great many small and magical bones. Not only will these stick in your throat, they will probably also do so whilst singing a song about their owner’s demise.

5. The Victoria Sponge. This is a more selective version of the standard sponge. Instead of passively absorbing its local environment, the Victoria Sponge actively seeks out people called Victoria, subsequently attempting to cover them in its creamy digestive juices and swallow them whole. A Victoria sponge that has recently made a kill can be identified by the dribbly red stuff. I know it looks like jam. It is not. You would be advised to check on your Victorias at once.

6. The cheesecake. A cake composed of insincere grins, pick-up lines, cheap sentiment and with the addition of at least 20% ill-advised key changes. You can eat it if you want, and perhaps it will make your teeth sparkle just a little; but you will never be sure ever after if one of those key changes is about to slip out and complicate matters.

7. The mooncake. There are numerous perils attached to this cake, including but not limited to: attaining the necessary height required to bring it near your face; breathing when out of the Earth’s atmosphere; its exceedingly high rock and dust content; not eating so much of it that the tides are affected; and the difficulty of getting it on a stick.

I’ve always loved the poem that Count Olaf recites to Kit just before he dies in The End, and by love of course, I mean I bawl my eyes out every single time I read it. He only reads the last stanza aloud, but here is the poem in its entirety:

         They fuck you up, your mum and dad.   
              They may not mean to, but they do.   
         They fill you with the faults they had
             And add some extra, just for you.

         But they were fucked up in their turn
             By fools in old-style hats and coats,   
         Who half the time were soppy-stern
            And half at one another’s throats.

         Man hands on misery to man.
             It deepens like a coastal shelf.
         Get out as early as you can,
             And don’t have any kids yourself.

                  - Philip Larkin

Obviously, we can understand why Handler didn’t want to include explicit profanity in a book written for middle grade children, but I really do love the fact that the first two stanzas are left unsaid and the reader, if interested actually has to go and research them and find them out for themself, because that is one of the points of the poem and one of the points of the series - that people don’t tell you the whole story and that things are always much more complicated than they seem - even things that seem like black and white morality are always so much more complicated.

Yes, your parents mess you up and ruin you, just like the Baudelaires find out in The Penultimate Peril and The End that their parents were not perfect and possibly even are the reason why all this horror has been happening to them, but the story is more complicated than that and the Baudelaires (and the readers) are left for themselves whether or not they want to leave it be - just read the last verse - or they want to explore for themselves and maybe not like what they find.

Ever since The Austere Academy, the Baudelaires have been told that the VFD was a noble organization and filled with volunteers that will help them, but the noble side of the VFD also produced lots of people who did horrible things: the Baudelaire parents, Jerome Squalor, Lemony and Kit Snicket. The VFD taught them to follow blindly and so they blindly followed and they accepted authority at its face value and as a result they became corrupted by those in power.

Ultimately, this poem is about the cycle of abuse and misery in this world. “Man hands misery onto man”, we inherit our trauma from each other and we create our own demons out of the demons that have been fed to us, and we tell ourselves that we won’t do the same, but we indubitably will. To be human is to be messed up, and the kindest thing you can do in life is to not bring any more people into the world.

But particularly interesting to me is Count Olaf’s recitation of the poem. Because in the passage, he’s not reciting it to to the Baudelaires, he’s reciting it to Kit, as she gives birth on a coastal shelf. On a personal, theoretical level, I have always used this as evidence that Beatrice II was Count Olaf’s biological daughter, but also it acts as a symbol of Count Olaf’s journey - he is an awful, awful man who has hurt the children put into his care time and time again and probably messed them up on some psychological level for the rest of their lives, but he too was messed up and turned out by the world by the people who raised and shaped him, and ultimately the root of evil goes back much further than we’d like to think. We’d like to think that Count Olaf is just a cruel, uncaring man who acts the way he does out of cold-blood, but the world doesn’t work that way and he’s trying to tell Kit that he is the way he is because of his history, that he was jaded by the world young and he never managed to escape, and that he’s not actually a bad man. But even as he recites the poem, he laughs, because he recognizes his complicity in everything - he has handed down his misery as well and he has brought a child into the world against all warning. It is him recognizing his crimes and his irony, something the Baudelaires and Kit never thought he would do.

It also serves a larger purpose in that Count Olaf has always been described as unintelligent and dismissive of intellect and reading and the orphans have always maintained that if a person is well-read they must be a good person and that reading is what makes people good. Because Count Olaf is not good, and yet he is able to recite an obscure poem - written by a librarian, no less - in the blink of an eye. Throughout the entirety of The End, Count Olaf has defied his stereotype by proving to be intelligent and capable of empathy and eschewing everything we thought we knew about him. Things are always more complicated than they seem and go back further than you’d like to think, and the world itself is a messed up place - a conundrum of esoterica, if you will - and defies any pithy explanation you might try and force upon it.

netflix really dont know it’s shit. they said that asoue is the most expensive production until now, but they don’t seem to actually care about the show. they advertised poorly season 1 and the advertising of season 2 was honestly ridiculous, asoue never got a youtube commercial or something, they don’t support enough their young actors who need more appreciation, when actors teased us with pics and stories or instagram they immediately deleted them, they cut off daniel handler from the production, they don’t made actual asoue merch, they promote literally any other dumbass show and movie expect asoue and we are (probably) two months before season 3 premiere and we don’t fucking know our SHIT about s3. We don’t know some of the cast, we haven’t see a decent detail or information, we don’t even have an actual poster or teaser. because of their bad advertising they don’t even have enough audience. the majority of people who watches the show is 17-30 years old people who grew up with the books. But maybe if they wanted asoue to be a BIG thing they probably should pay attention to it a little more, because they fucking made a great show. So if they think that with this way they are building hype or smth with being so cryptic about season 3, they are just advertising it badly, in this essay i will-