Hi! I saw your tags on that James Olsen gifset and I eas wondering if you could elaborate on them?
tbh i think that the whole guardian storyline is a steaming pile of horseshit and the peripheral implications of it are really gross.
like, i think it’s bad writing because it doesn’t make sense. james demonstrably has been surrounded by superheroes for years, but suddenly now has a crisis of conscience and decides that He Should Be Doing More. because He Can. because he has a black belt? i mean, okay. sure jan. you have a black belt, which is more than most people, but you also got it in a controlled environment of a gym, so that doesn’t exactly qualify you to go off fighting criminals who play dirty. that’s not even accounting for the fact that criminals often have guns. you know what a black belt is good for against a gun? Very Very Little.
but back to the motivation. they’re trying, and failing, i think, to write james as a foil to mon-el, where mon-el decides to be a hero because of a pretty girl, and james decides to be a hero because it’s the right thing to do. mon-el has certainly made dumb choices, though not as dumb as i think fandom likes to think, but that isn’t the point here. the point here is whether james is making the choice to be a hero for the right reasons. and, well, no, jimmy, your justification so far that you have repeated many many many times is that You Are Meant For This punchy punchy heroing. okay, well, what about the other heroic work you’ve been doing for years, the part where you help inform the flow of information to people and capture stories that they wouldn’t otherwise get to witness? remember that whole thing in S1 where cat grant was the person who stabilized national city after the earthquake through media, not punchy punchy heroing? remember how cat grant is now on sabbatical and james is literally sitting in the smae chair she used for that and he could be doing that but oh, no, why try to make a difference on a macro scale when you can go off punchy punching criminals in a micro sense? totally makes sense.
basically his entire justification for being the guardian– and guilting winn into helping him with it– is that he sees himself as a hero who just needs a stage to prove it, and that stage is helping people. this is not “people need help and i have the capability to help them”, it’s “i am a hero and i will help people to prove it.”
then there’s the fact that james’ Hero Epiphany came in the first six months he spent around supergirl. despite spending years being superman’s boyfriend best friend he never felt the need to put on a suit of armor and go off gallivanting around the streets to get his punch on. but suddenly he’s around supergirl, the girl he’s ostensibly in love with, who’s beautiful and wonderful and can lift a building over her head with no discernible effort, and suddenly NOW he feels the need to get all hypermasculine punchy punchy?
yeah, okay. doing it for the right reasons. sure, buddy.
honestly i think that the whole storyline is bad, but that if they had to do it then ther ewas a much better way they could have done it, which would have been to build it off of him disagreeing with kara and the deo about holding aliens and maxwell lord in prison in S1. he’s already demonstrated that he doesn’t agree with how they do everything, and hey, look, the show also introduced A DETECTIVE WHO IS BIG ON PROTECTING ALIENS FROM GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS in this season. if you have to do a stupid james-goes-punchy storyline, base it on that, an existing platform where he’s already disagreed with kara, and build it into somewhere where he’s actively giftwrapping bad guys and/or bad aliens to give to the NCPD, who then are meant to provide them due process. this is a significantly more meaningful storyline for james than him getting pissy about mon-el and strutting around posturing and writing stories about himself where he basically calls his vigilante persona Ripped Shredded 8-Packed SuperDuperDuperHero Who Is Most Magnificent. but eh, why write a storyline that builds on your existing characterization of james olsen that oculd also conveniently tie him to one of the other poc on the show when you can absolutely destroy said characterization?
Holly Blue always comes across as way way way more abusive than motherly to me, based on personal experience. She gaslights the Famethyst and shoves and yanks them around with distain (especially for mistakes and little things) and calls them cruel names. But I saw in your analysis of her you and some other asks had other impressions. Thoughts?
The specific word I used was “matronly” not “motherly.” And I was very deliberate with that choice because a matron by definition is someone like a chief nurse or attendant at a hospital, dormitory, or boarding school. We’re looking at someone whose job it is to keep people in line while at the same time watch over them. It doesn’t imply a sense of nurturing intimacy.
As for gaslighting, its very definition is to discredit and cause people to doubt their own feelings and thoughts, sometimes even memories and experiences. I don’t think she’s treating the Famethyst the way they deserve but this isn’t what she’s been doing.
What we have heard is her calling them mean names because they’re from Earth. There’s a very specific instance in That Will Be All when she says, “Even your vein of Quartz” should be able to welcome the Diamonds properly.
So there’s definitely condescension and that’s not a great thing. As for the rough way she handles them, I would point to the post you’ve already read. Soldiers roughhouse and play-fight. They’re grabby and punchy. Just watch Garnet punching Bismuth. Watch the Rubies smack each other during the baseball game. And the context is indeed that of a group of rowdy soldiers.
And I would stress that she’s condescending to everyone who isn’t higher ranked. She talks about why anyone would trust Rubies with a ship. She snidely remarks how chatty Pearl is and talks about her as though she weren’t there. She viewed Steven as a “barking” animal. It’s a consistent thing.
For the “little mistakes” I would posit something also in the post. They’ve been together thousands of years. Every single time BD visits they go through the same routine. And thousands of years later, she’s still correcting those same mistakes. Resulting to physically tossing her wards around isn’t right, but we can also see the pressure and frustration that underlies it.
The thing is, we haven’t seen their interactions in regular situations. We haven’t seen what it’s like when the camera is off and Holly and the Famethyst are alone. Because if Holly always made them feel bad and meant it, they wouldn’t receive her the way they do. They wouldn’t feel it was okay to prank her. They would actually have followed through on the corrections.
I mentioned already that Holly, an Agate meant to “terrify” hans’t been doing a great job. It wouldn’t make sense if she were everything described in the ask because even inthose stressful moments, her armour cracks and we see how non-threatening she is to the Famethyst and in general.
I think their relationship is more similar to the early Pearl-Amethyst dynamic. Pearl felt she always had the moral high ground and it led her to impose a lot of her beliefs on Amethyst and who the latter should be as a Crystal Gem and as a follower of Rose Quartz. And we know that Amethyst didn’t come out of that perfectly unscathed. It did leave her feeling inferior.
This kind of behaviour is just not as overt as people are making it out to be. And even good intentions can lead to harmful actions. Like Pearl, Holly is in the position that she wants the Famethyst to be the soldiers they were supposed to be. She’s very hard on them not for anything but because she wants them to do their job well. It doesn’t hurt that it reflects on how well she mentored them and her allegiance in turn to Blue Diamond.
So the answer is, it’s complicated. But that kind of complexity is what has always given this show depth.
super brief, but I have been feeling this since I played awhile back: the fight at the end. outstanding.
I have some qualms with Neil’s writing, and I was super wary of him, Mr. Grimdark, taking over the mantle here. But the last fight sequence is one of those touches that you have to appreciate from Naughty Dog.
Really look at the fight. Look at the choreography of it. You have two men, Rafe Adler and Nathan Drake. One a pampered man through and through, the other, a man who has struggled with his identity for nearly his entire existence, which is outside of his fight to survive. Adler never has that fight, and he tells you as much.
I adore this fight because it showcases so much of what I love in narrative. Just little hints here and there, small ticks, small giveaways. It begins with Nate trying to dissolve the tension with a quip, and Rafe straight up interrupts and yells at him to shut up. Rafe (ha) strafes around and executes really fine swordsmanship. He does what you should do (albeit, you know, with an extremely clouded focus, so uh, that’s an error there), he’s very fluid, he’s quick. When the fighting begins as Nate picks up the sword, he pulls a Nate, and he taunts him.
The fight has over and over Rafe outdoing Nathan in technical skill. He’s a very flashy fighter, which is a valid tactic for a fencer, to distract your opponent (and I’m sure anyone who also played on crushing can attest to how frustrating his flashiness can get…cause he does it well, and it messes with your brain noodle on where he’s gonna go).
But Nathan, man. When he actually parries Rafe and gets his shots in, he’s not using his sword. He slashes wildly around when he tries to get the upper hand, but when he’s played a defensively strong game and has the chance to attack Rafe, he specifically does not use his sword. He punches the shit out of that guy. He uses the sword to block, cause obviously he can’t block a sword with his arms. But he doesn’t use it to attack. He elbows Rafe, he punches him, he kicks him. But he doesn’t use the sword.
It says so much about Nathan, as a person and as a contrast to Rafe. Nate has never been a hero that wanted to be a hero for the sake of being the Legend that Rafe tells him he’s heard of. Now, I do think Nate doesn’t mind being heroic, and I don’t really agree that he’s a reluctant hero in the sense that someone like idk, Wolverine is or Rogue, or like in the Campbell sense. I think he likes being able to save people, I think he also just wants to be the nerd he is and experience the world and the journey of exploration and excavation while maybe, hopefully, making a few bucks, and then just being able to skate by and survive since he gets his ass into trouble all the time.
But if you look at him in say, Drake’s Fortune, his character model very specifically shelters himself. He flinches at bullets when he’s in cover, and he holds himself close. A lot of this doesn’t go away. Nate’s always been able to handle himself through the magic of videogames as a one-man army, but his model and his demeanour also show that he’s not so cool with it, he’s not The Hero the way that guy is sold. So when he fights, he brawls. He isn’t trained like some big Hero and he grew up on the streets. He isn’t refined like Rafe in his fighting (or Nadine, as her fighting is a really good contrast since she also prefers hand-to-hand), but he wins out most of the time because he’s crafty (and might slap you with a sturgeon) and he’s wily, and that’s because he has to be. Even though he can’t fence, which is supposed to be indicative of some sort of culturedness as it’s associated with wealth which is associated with culture (just look at Evelyn’s mansion, that’s the vibe I’m talking about), he’s the one who knows everything. His love of adventure I think was showcased a lot more in UC4 and not his love of history and knowledge and culture as was showcased really well in UC2 and UC3, but that’s the guy we know him to be. He’s not a brute, but he punches and he kicks. He’s not wealthy (well…then), he’s not the picture of what it means to be classy and refined, but he’s a better man than Rafe. But still, his power is often never enough to outmatch his opponents. They’ve got wealth and status and actual Power with a capital p, and many other things he doesn’t, but he always weasels out a victory. And each time it’s with his wit.
So in this fight, when going toe to toe with a great fencer, he beats the shit out of him cause it’s the only way he can fight. It’s what he knows and it’s who he is. But he doesn’t beat Rafe like that, he can’t. And ultimately, Rafe has his own power, his own latency, and he cuts through the sword Nate was using to mask his brawling. But Nate still wins. He, rather horrifically actually, crushes Rafe under the treasure. Now obviously, this is supposed to be dripping with irony. And that’s all great, fine, whatevs. But as always, Nate wins out by using his own brain noodle. He kicks the shit out of Rafe, doesn’t work, dude’s got too much class and too much power, and it’s just not gonna work. In the end, he would’ve lost. But Nate will always outmatch his enemies because he’s a conscientious man, and he’s always thinking, and he uses his wit to outplay his enemy and to try their patience. He starts this fight with wit and a quip, and he ends it with wit and a big chunk of treasure.
(also: Nadine. Love her (though not…Laura Bailey). Her leaving is a fantastic touch. It’s also just one more thing that Rafe doesn’t get to have control of, and one more show of him being the weakest link.)
Other names: Not-so-delicate Flower, Petal Puncher, Petty (only by Star)
-The nickname “Petal Puncher” comes from her punchie nature, not from punching flowers, which she doesn’t like to do.
-She has a typical tomboyish attitude.
-She’s also bullheaded, hot-headed, independent, headstrong, acts-before-thinking, and is not afraid to get dirty.
-She prefers to use punches as opposed to using bombs.
-She’s very high-energy, especially when angry, so she always has to find a way to channel it out or else she’ll lash out.
-Very strong; exercises a lot.
-She often finds ways to channel her energy, and can be surprisingly creative with how she does it. She’ll often build stuff with the parts she finds lying around.
-This creativity is why she has a spaceship that doubles as a home.
-Once she starts on a project, she’s nearly dead set on finishing it.
-Despite this, she always has to make time for her little brother, wanting to make him as happy as possible.
-She’s very protective of him.
-She isn’t exactly as social as her little brother.
-Isn’t afraid to get into a fight with someone, whether or not she started it.
-She used to have a belt with a flower insignia, and still does, but it is old and worn out.
-She doesn’t like girly things.
SEA WORLD…at the Hawaiian Punch Pavilion where refreshing beverages and
snacks are served. 1720 South Shores Road, San Diego, California.
Hawaiian Punch aired animated television commercials in the 1960s featuring the character “Punchy” who would approach thirsty, unsuspecting men and ask them if they’d like a “nice Hawaiian punch.” They would answer “Sure!” Punchy would then serve punch, in the form of his fist, to their face.
Sorry, but I will NEVER truly stay dead. I am basically undeadable. After all, I still have a Mission to carry out before my restless soul can finally find peace:
And this mission, for some reason, always comes back to watching small boys scream at huge toilets. Well, who am I to question my calling
Actual Asshole troll vs. Pretend Asshole troll
Aaaaaaaand the Cancerous Cantankerous wastes no time in attempting to catch his enemy off balance with a stream of CASUAL, YET BITING SARCASM This is a signature move of his, a quick, blunt and unrefined attempt to establish dominance right off the bat, which will likely have LITTLE TO NO EFFECT on someone as vile as his current opponent
…and indeed, the ever-venomous Lady Longlegs deflects the attack with a HINT OF UNSETTLING FLIRTATIOUSNESS and what may very well be a quick jab at his INFATUATION WITH TEREZI