rebloggable by request

i want you to imagine you’re at a dinner party, and for dessert, your host is serving apple pie. now, you’re not really an apple pie sort of person normally — you like it from time to time, but you’re awfully picky about it, and if it’s not done just right, it’s not for you — so you pass on taking some when it gets passed around. but then everyone else starts exclaiming about how delicious this pie is, how crisp it is, how flavorful, how amazing it was in star trek, so you take a piece just to see what all the fuss is about. and sure enough, it’s delicious. it’s so delicious, in fact, that you start asking questions about it, bothering the host for the recipe, paying a lot more attention to what a well-made pie it really is. and then it turns out the pie studied english literature at berekely and sometimes gets photographed reading to small children, that the pie regularly walks around in hilariously failtastic hipster-douche plaid and engages in ~intellectual competitions~ with other pies it knows, and the more you learn, the more the taste of the pie starts to curdle in your mouth. it’s so delicious that it’s TOO delicious, and probably you’re going to have cravings for this pie now whether you want them or not and you don’t, you don’t want those cravings, you don’t even LIKE apple pie. so you try to tell yourself you don’t like it that much really, that it’s not that good, that it’s probably the sort of pie that’s a total dick in real life and not in the endearing way like it comes off in interviews either, but it doesn’t help. it doesn’t make the pie any less fantastic, it doesn’t make you enjoy the pie any less, and you become consumed with your frustration at this fact — how dare this pie come along and make you hunger after it? how DARE this pie be so crisp and flavorful and fantastic in star trek? HOW DARE THIS PIE GO TO MUSIC FESTIVALS WITH A SALT AND PEPPER BEARD?? — until eventually you are standing on a table in front of the whole party, an empty pie dish held over your head, screaming “WHY WOULD ANYONE EVEN MAKE THIS PIE”

and that’s why i hate chris pine.

The Character Wardrobe Meme

Send a number to my ask box along with a character of your choice, and I’ll draw up the ensuing ensemble! (If the character chosen wouldn’t wear the option given… go ahead and sub in something else!)

DRAW YOUR CHARACTER WEARING…

  1. Underwear
  2. Casual clothes
  3. Work uniform
  4. Night clothes
  5. Swimwear
  6. Formal gala garb
  7. Lounging, lazy-time stuff
  8. A party outfit
  9. Date night threads
  10. Something outdoorsy
  11. Interview outfit
  12. Tourist/travel wear
  13. A costume!
  14. Their sick day scrubs
  15. Summer clothes
  16. Winter clothes
  17. Um, spring clothes?
  18. Why not - fall clothes!
  19. Workout wear
  20. Last minute throw-ons
  21. The most expensive thing they own
  22. A fig leaf

Feel free to add, subtract, or alter as you please to fit your character bunch!

What kind of lifestyle would each sign prefer?
  • Aries: would be prefer a life where their actions have the most gentle of consequences, where their dreams are in reach and each new day sparks a new adventure. But also one at the end of the day they can turn in to a relaxing night and a comfy bed, content with the little things, and maybe someone next to them.
  • Gemini: would prefer a life where they can do as they please and not be judged for it. Where they can be a scientist one day and an actor the next. A life they actually feel a part of instead of just an observer.
  • Taurus: would prefer a life where their worries always work themselves out, with minimal effort. They have simple wants, needs, and pleasures, if only their problems could be handled the same. They want a life where their important things are close, and can fall asleep with a smile on their face.
  • Cancer: would prefer a life that they can operate from home. Not that they won’t want to go out and do things as well, in fact they would! But being able to do things at their pace in the comfort of their own space? Wonderful. A life where their loved ones are smiling, and they have a companion to share with.
  • Leo: would prefer a life that finally meets their expectations. Including the expectations they have for themselves. One where they feel valued and important for who they really are, and not what they are forced or try to be.
  • Virgo: would prefer a life where they can finally relax. One where they can just shake off their stress and turn off their brain for a while. Where their hobbies are finally more important than work, where they can care for themselves like they do others. Where they please those they love as much as themselves.
  • Libra: would prefer a life of peace. One where worries are inconsequential, and fantasy is just a word away. They want a life of pleasure, where they can be tended to and cared for, because that will allow them to care and give back even more freely. One where they feel acceptance, and not like they’re bottled up.
  • Scorpio: would prefer a life where they feel like they can finally open up. They have so much to give and share, and they just want a place and a person or two they can do that with. One where they aren’t judged, where they are finally free from their self-imposed chains, and can just pour themselves out.
  • Sagittarius: would prefer a life where they can go and be whatever they want to do an be. Not necessarily drop everything and go, maybe even bring a person with them, but where they can live as many lives as they can in the time they are given.
  • Capricorn: would prefer a life where they can give, and finally get back. Where their words are listened to and their feelings mattered, where their serious mask can break off and they can be loved for what’s underneath. A Life where their efforts finally pay off, and they get their return with interest.
  • Aquarius: would prefer a life of simple freedoms, where they can not wear shoes for a day and then a ball gown the next. Where they can quirk however hard they want and the eyes around them only hold genuine smiles with open arms. Where they are accepted.
  • Pisces: would prefer a life of love. Where their love is felt and their smiles are shared. Where they fall asleep and wake up next to the person they cherish most, and the other person reciprocates. Where they can do what they love and therefore never have to work a day in their life. A life where they can turn their music up loud and just listen to their dreams.

Well, I’ve read the whole thing now so- 

the Utena anime’s message is that there are no “good” princes in this world and people have to save themselves. Anthy had to take the step to free herself from her abusive relationship- Utena’s support and the fact that Utena learned to treat Anthy like a person w/o victim-blaming or condescending and then reached out to her even when things were at their worst helped, but it had to be her choice.

The whole thing about the anime was also that it was NEVER about Utena being “inspired” by or emulating the prince- it was about helping Anthy because the prince was useless. Utena just forgot about that initially and it became distorted.

But in the manga, everything is straight up on the surface what it seems- Utena was saved by the prince. She was inspired by the prince. She emulates the noble prince and saves the helpless, innocent Anthy. Anthy never saves herself or asserts her own autonomy-nope, she just starts emulating Utena instead and carrying around that “power of Dios” because yeah, they need his power to revolutionize the world.

It doesn’t subvert or tear apart fairy-tale tropes at all and doesn’t say anything new. The prince/helpless princess deal is still in place, it’s just saying the prince can be a girl sometimes, provided she’s imitating a man. That makes for an entirely different, and less interesting story.

OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

okay, brief thesis statement: as you like it is the play where you most directly see shakespeare trying to cope with marlowe’s death.

i’ll explain that in more depth, but first, a little bit about marlowe!

christopher (kit) marlowe was not only another playwright in the period—he began writing before shakespeare, and he basically created elizabethan theater as we know it. he was lower class (the son of a shoemaker), and had by some miracle managed to get scholarships to posh schools, starting with the king’s school in canterbury and continuing up through cambridge, where he studied classics. and by “studied classics” i mean “became the first person to translate ovid’s deeply filthy sex poems into english,” because that’s the sort of person marlowe was. he subsequently quit academia to go into theater, which was, as my prof put it, basically the equivalent of announcing today that you want to put aside your ivy league education for a career in porn.

let me give you a sense of the kind of person kit was

  • we know a lot about his life from his arrest record
  • he might have been a spy???
  • by which i mean he ~mysteriously came into money~ while at cambridge (we know because we have records of the moment when he started buying drinks for everyone. kit.)
  • he might have been an atheist???
  • whether or not he was, he definitely was fond of telling people (in 16th century england!!!) that jesus was gay
  • i’m not kidding
  • he’d walk up to people and be like: “so, jesus christ was totally fucking his apostles. thoughts?”
  • IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND
  • so it is probably not surprising that he died violently at a young age (*quiet sobs*)
  • he got stabbed in the eye in a bar fight at age 29
  • but wait! even his death is mysterious!!!
  • twelve days before his murder, a warrant was issued for his arrest on vague charges of blasphemy. ten days before, he was called up in front of the privy council, but they didn’t meet for some reason. there were rumors that he was going to implicate some pretty high-up nobles in a SECRET RING OF ATHEISTS.
  • there’s more, but basically, there was SHADY SHIT going on, and in the coroner’s report, it says refers to the fight as being over “the reckoning,” which could either be SUPER OMINOUS or be about who would pay the check.

which brings me to as you like it! given the coroner’s report, the lines quoted in that post i reblogged read a little differently:

When a man’s verses cannot be understood, nor a
man’s good wit seconded with the forward child
Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a
great reckoning in a little room. (III.iii.9-12)

ha

hahaa

hahahajsdkh;aseljdlk;fgjehoirjasfd;lk

(and this comes in a scene where the characters discuss poets/poetry and whether to be “poetical” is to be honest, and how truth can be communicated through fiction aaaaAAAAAAAAAAHHH)

*muffled weeping*

see, shakespeare and marlowe were really, really close. they had a friendly rivalry and were having all the sex. their plays constantly reference/one-up each other. marlowe wrote the jew of malta, so shakespeare wrote the merchant of venice. marlowe wrote edward ii, so shakespeare wrote richard ii. and so on and so forth. in each other they each found an intellectual equal, someone who could not only keep up, but challenge them—something pretty rare for both of them.

and then, out of the blue, marlowe dies.

a lot happens out of the blue in as you like it. the plot moves forward with these lightning-strike revelations (suddenly, they’re in love! suddenly, a lion! suddenly, the duke goes to live in a monastery!). it’s comic, but also disorienting, and the characters struggle to keep their balance as their world shifts around them.

the through-line of love at first sight, which constitutes several of those sudden, shocking events, isn’t subtle, and is most clearly pointed out by phoebe when she says:

Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,
‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?’ (III.v.82-83)

want to know why that bolded line is in quotes? because it is a quote.

from marlowe.

specifically, from marlowe’s poem hero and leander.

so, shakespeare bases the main plot conceit of ayli on a quote taken directly from marlowe (ABOUT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT I’M GOING TO DIE) and then proceeds in the same play to reference the “great reckoning” and to write, in a speech by jacques: “the scholar’s melancholy, which is / emulation” (IV.i.10-11).

THE SCHOLAR’S MELANCHOLY, WHICH IS EMULATION

THE SCHOLAR’S MELANCHOLY, WHICH IS EMULATION

*lies down on the ground*

*tries not to cry*

*cries a lot*

okay i’m losing the ability to talk about this coherently but basically shakespeare was devastated by marlowe’s death and as you like it is his tribute to kit and it destroys me

[made rebloggable by request]

oh yes please anon, let’s talk about flagellants.

Because it didn’t just happen in one town, or one country—although “countries” weren’t necessarily a thing in the 13th to 15th centuries—it happened all across Europe through multiple centuries. Not even the Catholic Church telling everyone to stop hitting themselves worked. And, as you noted, it tended to follow in the wake of enormous tragedies—the widespread famines of the 13th and 14th century were the inciting spark, and then the movement was revived after the Bubonic plague.

(Actually, by the later parts of the movement, it was noticed that wandering flagellants sometimes brought plague with them—because even without germ theory people aren’t stupid. Some towns barred their gates, but the major cities couldn’t or didn’t, which is why we know so much about the movement.)

The really interesting thing is that the extreme poverty and physical sacrifice of the flagellants (they ate and drank very little, wore sackcloth, whipped themselves, etc.) was seen as a means of protest against the decadence of the instated Church. In Germany, the flagellants claimed their blood would raise the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, who had been notorious for his clashes with papal authority. In Italy, a large group of penitents marched on Rome, and only stopped when the pope burned their leader at the stake. The pushback from the Church only got stronger when, later in the movement, flagellants became associated with heretical groups the Church was already working to suppress.

(This is also why one of the duties of the Inquisition—which was really only hitting its stride as flagellates were dying out—was to quash any flagellant groups. Also there was a papal bull.)

Anyway, yes! Sometimes the rags the flagellates used to soak up their blood were treated as relics—holy objects by those who followed them. But I don’t think it’s quite…loving the prophet in the same way? Because the whole thing about disciples loving a prophet is that searching for a very human love in the divine is doomed.

Whereas I imagine flagellant groupies—my god, the things I type for this website—are attracted to the person’s asceticism, the extraordinarily physical quality and the way they are stripping themselves of it for the sake of the divine. It works in the opposite direction. Wanting the divine in the very human, as opposed to looking for the human in the divine.

He thinks he might try being a tattoo artist in this universe. Torchwood feels stuffy and oppressive, makes him fidget and itch. He’s been quite surprised to discover he is tired, tired of everything about his old life. Tired of nonstop adventure, tired of threats, of yelling and running and violence and so much death. He still craves the rush of adrenaline (and it is adrenaline now, with this human body and this human endocrine system) that accompanies the sensation of falling, of doing something permanent and making a decision that cannot be undone, though.

“That tickles.” 

He looks up from the expanse of Rose’s skin he’d been drawing on, pulling himself up a bit so he’s hovering over her, twirling the blue biro between his index and middle fingers.

“Does it?” he leans up, pressing a kiss to her lips, then returns to his previous spot, sprawled out perpendicular to her on the bed, on his stomach, his head resting on her hipbone, her flat stomach his canvas. She combs her fingers through his hair slowly, dipping down occasionally to scratch the damp hairs curling against the base of his neck.

“What are you drawing, anyway?”

He doesn’t answer, just keeps marking her with short lines, a circle here, an X there, moving up to her ribs, and then the underside of her breasts. Here is a swirl, there an arrow. She giggles, kicking her feet a little as he tosses the pen aside and lifting himself up so he is fully over her now, poised and waiting.

“So?” she asks again, “What have you drawn?”

He gives her a wicked smile and dips his head to take her nipple in his mouth. The word “Start” is scribbled just next to it.

“Treasure map,” he says, and follows it. 

A Little Problem

Prompt: On a heist to steal something valuable the reader butts heads with Captain Boomerang, who is actually after the same prize himself.

Inspiration: “I may be small but I won’t hesitate to kill you" 

Pairing: Captain Boomerang X Criminal Fem!Reader

Warnings: Cursing, sexual suggestion, fluff galore!

Originally posted by despairingfever

“Damn, that was too easy.” You giggled to yourself as you opened the door to the safe, the lock you picked seconds ago falling to the floor below you. Glancing into the small safe you grinned ear to ear at the sight of a small velvet box. “Finally.”

A few weeks ago a wealthy collector in Gotham had hired you to find a certain necklace, the one in this exact safe. He was a prestigious collector of historical jewelry, ones that belonged to historical figures or famous individuals. There was a festival of some sort taking place in Central City in the next few days, at said festival there would be fun historical exhibits where people could enjoy all the galleries and exhibits.

You couldn’t quite remember who this necklace had belonged to make it so desirable..  possibly British Royalty or even something as trivial as the Wife of the first Mayor of Central City. Hell, you didn’t remember. All you knew is where it was supposed to be held and what it supposedly looked like.

Reaching in you carefully pulled the velvet case out of the safe and opened it, your eyes gazed down and studied the brilliant rubies encrusted in the golden necklace. “Looks about right..” You mumbled to yourself before shutting the case and tucking it safety into your bag.

Feeling relief that this ordeal was almost done with you were ready to leave, which would involve climbing out of the vents and back out through the roof. After that, all you had to do was take the train out to Gotham and you’d have a big fat paycheck waiting for you upon arrival. Gotham, it was a gross city but in your line of work, it was a cesspool for easy money.

“Com’on now Darlin’!”

You jumped in surprise as a big booming voice filled the room. Without skipping a beat your hand reached to your side, attempting to pull your gun out of the upholster, but something hard slammed against your hand, causing you to drop your weapon on the floor. A Boomerang?

You gritted your teeth, damn did that hurt! Quickly you spun around to see a man across the room, he seemed to have just entered from the side door, the employee entrance.

“I didn’t realize I had to make an appointment to be the first one to break into this place.” 

Studying the giant before you, it was almost hard to hide your intimidation, but you managed to do just that. Standing at 6′1 he had broad shoulders and big bulging arms, which held boomerangs. Of all things boomerangs! You knew better than underestimate weapons of any sort, being from Gotham you had seen your fair share of outrageous things.

“You’re too late for the party.” You chortled, sarcasm heavy in your voice as you attempted to mask your anxiety. Quickly, before the man had a chance to react, you snatched a knife from your boot and held it up in defense.

Chuckling at your response the man stared at you, caressing your body with your eyes. You wanted to feel angry but his soft blue eyes intrigued you. “You ain’t from ‘round these parts, are ya sheila?”

“Central City isn’t my normal territory no.” You responded casually, starting to feel at ease. You were only after one item, maybe this guy would let you be on your jolly way. “Just came here for work, but-” As you spoke, knife still in hand, you started to walk to the side of the room, towards the air vents, “-If you let me be on my way I’ll be out of yours, and all the other thugs in Central City’s hair by morning.”

“Oh, well nice to see a pretty face.. All the fuckers in these parts look about as appealing as an ass!” He cried, a crazy gleam in his eyes. “What ya got in the bag there, sweetheart?”

Shit. “Just one thing, the thing I came for.” You answered in a stern voice. “The rest is yours.”

“Just one thing?” He questioned, starting to stroll over in your direction. He seemed completely unphased by the fact you had a knife in hand. “Must be pretty valuable if that’s all ya takin’?”

Standing your ground you stepped back, glaring at the tall bearded man. “I wouldn’t say that.. Now be a gentleman and let the lady through.” Your voice was playful, you had come to realize that coming off as confident in cocky in the criminal game went a long way when intimidating others. Unfortunately this guy saw right through you.

“How ‘bout instead of being a good and proper girl you be a nasty lil’ bitch..” He chuckled, now towering right above you. “You ever fucked in one of these banks before?” Reaching down he placed one of his big gloved hands on your hips, giving it a friendly squeeze. “You’re a small lil’ sheila.. Let’s see if those legs can spread wide enough for me.”

Growing scared, and frankly angered, you punched the cocky Aussie square in the jaw and spat in his face. Your strength caught him off guard, for he stumbled back a bit and his eyes opened wide. Suddenly a wicked grin overcame his face.

“I may be small but I won’t hesitate to kill you!” You hissed, blindly swinging your knife in his direction to warn him off. Only slicing his cheek you darted out the side entrance before you could see his reaction, what a freak!    

You weren’t even halfway down the street when you heard that scumbags voice again, he was shouting at you. 

“Wait! Hold up!” You ignored him and kept running. “Babe, wait! Next time you’re in Central, hit me up for a good time! Captain Boomerang, don’t ya forget it!”

You had never missed Gotham more than you did at this very moment.

I’m a cis white guy who really loves your blog. You manage to fight for equality and justice in an eloquent, polite way that’s really admirable. Keep being awesome!
External image
 Anonymous

This? Don’t do this.

When you hold me up as “polite” and therefore “admirable”, that’s obviously in contrast to other people who are impolite and therefore less admirable.

And yes, I do have a certain skill with words that I’m not going to be falsely modest about, and I know that there are certain words society codes as “angry” and “rude” that I don’t choose to use on Tumblr… but still.

Don’t do this.

Two days ago, I told a young white cis woman that she was giving me the impression she cared more about looking like a good person than she did about not actually hurting other people with her privilege, and she went off on me. She wrote me off as someone who was not looking to have a productive dialogue, she considered everything I wrote a personal attack, she ignored the very long and detailed post I wrote to her describing how her stand was problematic to trans* people because obviously I was just a rude, angry trans* person who had a personal problem with her and wouldn’t give her proper credit for how nice she was to me.

And then another person, an apparently cis person, came along and took her by the hand and explained to her that she was being overly defensive and she was protecting her image rather than listening and that her privilege was leading her to see criticism from the marginalized as attacks… all things I had said to her… and she listened to this person. And thanked them. And then threw in potshots at me, contrasting how awful I was compared to them.

And you know what? That’s the worst anybody has made me feel in a long time. The absolute worst. To have my words written off as an angry outburst, to have even the idea of my anger dismissed as not being worthy of being listened to, and then to have someone else who was packaging essentially the same message but presenting it as an observation from one person of relative privilege to another rather than a direct report of “You are doing this to me now and I wish you’d stop it” be listened to and not just listened to but have their words used as another excuse to belittle and dismiss me…

It’s awful.

And it doesn’t often happen to me, because I’m white and I’m culturally upper middle-class and because I have the kind of English language education that is a marker of class and of whiteness in the United States.

It usually happens around me, when other white people thank me for being “the reasonable one”, or whatever.

So don’t do that. It’s great if my personal style of communication reaches people that other styles wouldn’t reach, but there are people who will use my “politeness” as a sign that it’s no big deal and we can just agree to disagree but who would get the message if they heard it from someone who came out breathing fire.

And frankly, people who won’t listen unless they hear it phrased “politely”, they’re douches. They’re spoiled, entitled douches. Especially when it gets to the point where they’re completely self-aware about it, to the point that they’re telling people they won’t listen/won’t learn unless everything is presented in a way that’s too their liking. Because at that point it’s a conscious choice.

(Nota bene: I’m not talking about different learning styles, which are a real thing.)

So, again, to sum up: no, please don’t do this. If you think I’m awesome, if you like the way I write, whatever, please say so. But don’t do so in a way that sets up a hierarchy of people who are “fighting for equality and justice” in a better way than others.

Especially since… well, it takes a certain level of remove to even be fighting for equality. Like, if we’re on a boat, and I’m up on the deck, making sure everybody who went to the beach has sunscreen and a life preserver… yay, look at me! I’m fighting for equality. I have a clipboard and a checklist and there’s a line, it’s all very nice and orderly and nobody’s shouting. So civilized.

But imagine there’s someone who got pushed overboard before they could even get in line for a life preserver? They’re thrashing around, splashing and shouting and trying to call attention to the fact that they, right here and right now, desperately need a life preserver, more so than anybody who’s in line for one, and then additional help like a life line or a ladder and then possibly medical attention.

If you’re going to stop and judge the two of us based on how calm and quiet we’re being, I’d obviously win, but why are you comparing a dry person with a clipboard and pen to a person who’s actively trying to keep from drowning? The question seems ridiculous.

Heck, I really like this analogy, so I’m going to keep going. Imagine that I hear the cries of distress and then leave the head of the line to go through the person a life preserver, and the people who are in line start saying, “Wait a minute, this isn’t fair. We’ve been waiting, let them wait their turn.”

Wouldn’t that be ridiculous? The expectation that a person in immediate need of assistance should wait until everybody else has their turn?

Now imagine that I process the line as quickly as possible and then go to throw the drowning person a life preserver, and I get stopped again.

“Hold on, hold on. They didn’t even get in line. If the want a life preserver, they need to come over here and check in like we did. If we can do it, so can they.”

And then maybe someone who already has their life preserver jumps in the water to show how easy it is to stay afloat. “See? It’s not so bad.

My point is, don’t confuse fighting for equality and struggling for survival. Don’t compare people who are engaged in a direct fight for their survival or for their rights with someone who is abstractly advancing the concept of “equality”, especially if your metric is how nice and orderly they can be.

There really is no comparison.

See the difference? “Fighting for equality” is what we do up on deck, when we have the leisure to do so. If somebody seems to be making more noise and a bigger splash than what you would associate with “fighting for equality”, chances

Sociopathy!
Do you have any tips on writing sociopathic characters?

 booksturnmugglesintowizards

Sociopathic characters can be hard for people for obvious reasons, but a few (said the crown prince of understatement) pieces of advice:

  • There is a lot of talk about how it’s easier for sociopaths to be successful if they aren’t held back by empathy, etc., and that means that writers often like going for the manipulative and superficial charm bits of the typical profile. Keep in mind that managing to rise to a position of power or appear perfectly normal is something that requires a smart sociopath with comparatively good self control. This is because
  • Sociopaths typically have poor impulse control (authors tend to forget about that). This is why you’ll find many of them in the prison system or generally on the outskirts of society. Impulsiveness plus seeing other people as objects or dumb animals tends to equal socially unacceptable behavior.
  • Sociopaths aren’t very risk averse- that is, the threat of negative consequences for their actions isn’t a deterrent. That’s one more reason why they often end up as criminals or otherwise outside of the community’s good graces- losing jobs, being cut off by loved ones, going to prison, and other such things don’t really motivate sociopaths to change their behavior.
  • Sociopaths like to be in control- power can be a reward in and of itself. Manipulating someone can be its own end.
  • Remember that sociopaths are described as emotionally shallow. Part of that is the fact that their empathy is nonexistent (unless they’re deliberately putting themselves into somebody else’s shoes), so they don’t mirror other people’s feelings like neurotypical people. Also part of it is that their negative emotions are limited- no guilt, no fear of punishment, etc. 
  • Also remember that no empathy means that, on an emotional if not intellectual level, other people are basically objects to be arranged and manipulated for your own benefit.
  • Sociopaths are not necessarily antisocial- forming interpersonal relationships and interacting with others is still rewarding.
  • None of this means that sociopaths are necessarily bad people, just that their morality isn’t motivated by emotions like shame and guilt.

Basically, remember all of that when you write your sociopath, otherwise you shall incur my wrath. There are a lot of cliches and stereotypes that come into play when writing a sociopathic character, and a lot of them are just flagrantly ridiculous. Also, please find more information on your own. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around, so do your research, and take things with a grain of salt.

-Emerson

Ro Laren, Kira Nerys, and how Nana Visitor (probably) changed everything.

jcatgirl asked: hi, i don’t know what being graycatted means, but i am v interested in hearing why the creation of kira nerys and the casting of nana vistor is important.

Oh, my sweet summer child. You don’t know what you’re getting into with me, but you’re about to learn. Okay. I feel like I’m constantly drafting the ultimate Key to All Mythologies Ode to Kira, and never managing to do it proper justice. But I’ll try to respond to this. Here we go. (FYI: graycatting, defined.)

First of all, I write this with deep affection and respect for Ro Laren. Because Ro Laren is important for a lot of reasons. Her arc is one of coming to terms with trauma. She is a ferocious, rule-breaking woman whose rule-breaking we are meant not only to empathize with but, ultimately, to esteem. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here for my brand-new Trekster friend, but y’all know what I’m talking about.) But Ro Laren is also representative of an archetype of Tough Girls on television, especially in genre shows: so powerfully repressed that she can’t access her own emotions or forge adequate relationships. (That said, two important things that TNG does better than most: one, the person who helps Ro to resolve some of this is GUINAN, not some pushy dude-romantic-interest; and two, ‘Pre-emptive Strike’ is so intelligently the story of her learning this about herself and finding a path appropriate to herself.)

Now. It seems clear to me that the pilot of DS9 was written with Forbes’ (very brilliant) portrayal of Ro in mind. If you’re familiar with Ro, when you first meet Kira, gesticulating and shouting in Sisko’s office, Nana Visitor can come off as an incompetent ham. What the hell is this woman doing, I thought, the first time I saw ‘Emissary.’ Where’s Ro Laren? I miss Ro Laren. This lady’s overselling it, throwing a fit instead of seething at a low burn like she’s supposed to.

Because the pilot was written for Ro Laren, but Nana Visitor was already playing Kira Nerys. I have no way of knowing what went on in the minds of DS9’s writers and directors, or between them and Nana, in those early days. But I would be willing to bet cold hard latinum that they saw her explode into a role that had been written for repression and bitterness, and crafted the character to follow accordingly.

And that gift of Nana’s for a controlled performance of wild, complicated, sometimes self-contradicting emotion is what makes Kira Nerys as important as she is.

And Kira Nerys is important because she breaks the mold in which Ro Laren is stuck. Kira Nerys is a Tough Girl who shoots first and asks questions later, who’s all instinct, all impulse, and who is also entirely, availably emotional. And that part of her, the part of her that’s all feeling, is seen by the other characters and by the frame of the show as her strength. ‘Her presence,’ as Terry Farrell put it, ‘is her strength.’ You just do not see that on TV, that combination of toughness with feeling. (The sole other example I can think of is late-series Gabrielle of Xena: Warrior Princess.)

She also gets to have powerful, healthy relationships. Lots of them. Friends and mentors and lovers and co-workers and mentees, with whom she lives and learns. The key example, I think, is the evolution of her relationship with Sisko over the course of the first season. Sisko sees just how volatile she is, just how impulsive, and he trusts and respects her for it. Even when he knows she’s wrong – and she often is, those early days – he lets her play it out, whatever it is, lets her learn on her own terms, and never forces her hand. (Again, trying to avoid even minor spoilers, but see my ‘soph rewatches ds9’ tag for some recent installments in my incoherent thoughts on this.) 

She is a survivor of trauma, not a captive to it. This is the most important thing about Kira, and the rarest thing in women on television. No matter how much she loses – and she loses so much, over and over – she continues to grow, to be in feeling and in relationship in ways that allow her to grow, to survive in the fullest sense of the term.

And I think it’s all down to that explosiveness of Nana Visitor’s in the pilot. She took the frame she’d been given, and she broke it open into something new and revolutionary. I have never really been one to fangirl actors, but Nana Visitor is the one I truly want to meet in real life, if only to say: ‘Thank you. You made it possible for me to stop apologizing for being intense and emotional.’ I think she made that possible for a lot of women. I can’t begin to measure the value of that.

Fuck yes I am a Ruby fan. 

Not only is she a badass female who has her own motivations, but she’s a friggin complicated one. This has been talked about before, but I think in season three, she genuinely wanted to help. 

Well. Genuinely wanted to kill Lilith. Sam was just how she was going to get there. 

But then she went to Hell, and heard about Lucifer, and was probably promised glory— and the best part was, raising Lucifer still fit with her original goal. (Seriously, what went down with those two?)

Anyway. Yeah. So she’s awesome and manipulative (“It’s kind of in the job description.”) and difficult to figure out. And she’s got her own goals and emotions (I personally think she did love Sam, in her twisted, demon way— in her fantasy, they were going to raise Lucifer and be Prince and Princess together, or something) and it doesn’t hurt that she at one point or another is three different races. 

Also, she might have helped with the apocalypse, but she did save Sam’s ass a zillion times. And Dean’s. And Anna’s. And there was that time she got tortured for them. And that time she kept Sam from killing himself. 

Also she’s hilarious. 

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Does anyone have a breath mint? Some guts splattered into my mouth while I was killing my way in here. 

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Ruby: I’m interested in you. 
Sam: Why? 
Ruby: Because you’re tall I love a tall man. And then there’s that whole Anti-Christ thing. 

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[About french fries.] These are amazing. It’s like deep fried crack. 

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Dean: I guess I owe you for… Sam. And I just wanted… you know..
Ruby: Don’t strain yourself. 
Dean: Okay then. Is the moment over?… good, ‘cause that was awkward. 

-

So. In short: 

She was the best of those sons of bitches. 

I don’t really hardcore ship anything in LoK. Linzin gives me angsty feels, but everything else is fair game

But Zutara

Oh god, don’t even get me started too late you asked for it

When Avatar was still airing, my sister watched it religiously, and I didn’t really. I saw a few episodes, but not enough to understand the plot. One of the random episodes I remember seeing is Crossroads of Destiny. That’s right. Zutara in the Crystal Catacombs. And let me tell you, watching that episode by itself had me convinced that those two were going to fuck. They were complete endgame. I saw that shit coming a mile away

It wasn’t until I decided to watch the series in its entirety about a year ago that I really shipped them. I mean, I went into it knowing that Kataang was canon, but right around season 2, I saw Zutara everywhere. And I couldn’t understand why it was happening—their chemistry was so intense that there was no way the creators didn’t know what they were doing (obviously they didn’t, but what else is new?). Besides Zuko and Iroh, I would argue that Zutara has the strongest relationship in the series. I mean, come on—that was some deep shit. They connected over their lost mothers. Zuko supported Katara in whatever decision she decided to make with Yon Rha (unlike Aang, who pissed me off to no end because he needed to get off his high horse and shut the fuck up about things he had no knowledge about). Zuko asked Katara to go with him to fight Azula (which I’m still confused about to this day, because Toph would have been just as useful). And then he fucking took a lightning bolt for her. He knew he wouldn’t be able to redirect it correctly, but he jumped in front of her anyway.

Someone tell me how the fuck a character takes a lightning bolt for another character and they don’t end up together. Bryke knew exactly what the fuck they were doing; that is so obviously romantic!!! And was that hug necessary if they weren’t ending up together wtf

But anyway, I always felt like the connection Zuko and Katara had completely trumped anything shown for their respective significant others. Even if I didn’t like Zutara, I would never like Maiko—it seems like a terrible relationship, and they are just not good together. I love Mai, but with Zuko, she is just not a good girlfriend. She is not there for him emotionally. And on the other hand, Zuko is a horrible boyfriend, constantly ditching her and actually forgetting that he left her in jail. That does not scream love to me, and it always pissed me the fuck off to go from Zuko taking a lightning bolt for Katara to Zuko kissing Mai like five minutes later are you kidding me??!?!?

As for Kataang, I actually ship that, because it’s cute. But looking at it from a critical level, I always felt that the emotion in that relationship was all one-sided—Aang had what I honestly feel was a crush on Katara, and Katara treated him almost like her son. She constantly babied him. And then Aang constantly pushed his feelings on her even though she kept saying no. And it all really felt like the “hero gets the girl” trope, because Katara didn’t really seem interested, but suddenly, two seconds after Zuko  takes a lightning bolt for her (how many different ways can I stress this, I wonder?) she’s suddenly sucking face with Aang? This is some serious booty. No bueno, Bryke.

I love Tenzin and Bumi and the airbabies and all of them, but the actual thought of Kataang procreating gives me the oogies. I think I’m also skeptical of the fact that Aang was fucking 12 years old and how the fuck would he know what love was and what it meant and how it felt at twelve? And how the hell does it make sense that he would end up still being with the girl he dated when he was twelve??? Not logical.

Idk, Kataang, while cute, seems too babyish to me. The very nature of Zutara’s relationship is mature. It is gritty, it is dark, it is passion. And after they finally understood each other, I don’t logically see those feelings going away so easily. Especially because

Zuko. Took. A. Lightning. Bolt. For. Katara

And idk about you, but I’m not doing that for just anybody okay

Also, Zutara fanfics and fanart are fucking perfect the fandom is so talented

So, anon, to sum up my answer,