regressing forward

Hard for Emma to forgive Neal because she actually loves him

JM said (paraphrasing) that Emma would have a hard time forgiving Neal’s betrayal(s). Most of us were stunned since we understand all the horrible things Hook has said and done, while Neal is, well, as good and kind a character as was ever written.

But JM’s comments DO make sense. Why? First of all, Emma doesn’t know the full horrors Neal’s real back story. Thanks to A&E, she never will.

Emma also doesn’t know all the awful things that Hook actually did. We in the audience saw it; she didn’t. He lied about his relationship with Bae. Emma actually thinks Hook protected and took care of Neal in Neverland. This would definately earn him brownie points (too bad it’s BS) in her book. She thinks that he helped Ariel. Most of what she thinks about Hook is based off of the self-serving lies Hook told her.

But most importantly, Emma doesn’t care about Hook’s repeated betrayals because she never cared about Hook. At all. Neal leaving her ONCE hurt because she loved him then and she never STOPPED loving him now. Hook couldn’t hurt tough-as-nails Emma Swan anymore than any sleazy bail jumper she ever trailed.

It is harder for Emma to forgive Neal because he actually means something to her. Hook does not.

Remember that time when someone in middle school was a total jerk to you? No.
Remember the time some ass at a bar made a vile comment? No.
Could you ever recognize him if you fell over him? Nope.
Remember that mean girl in elementary school who bullied you? No.
Remember the guy who dangerously cut you off in traffic a few weeks ago? No.
Remember the rude guy at the store last week? Nope.

Remember when your boyfriend forgot your birthday in high school? Oh yes!

Remember that awful fight you had with your parent(s) or sibling(s) 10 years ago? Yes.

Why? Because you loved your parent(s) and sibling(s) and you still do. You loved your boyfriend. In the grand scheme of lousy things people do to each other, forgetting your birthday is nothing compared to the brat who bullied you for years in elementary school or the creep who almost caused you to get into a car accident, but now it hurts more to think about your SO forgetting your birthday because you cared about your SO, and you didn’t and don’t care about or value the bully or the bad driver.

Yes. Emma would have a hard time forgiving Neal. As she said, she loved him and still loves him so much that the potential pain of losing him again was more than she thought she could bear.

Hook? Emma never cared about him. He wasn’t ever on her radar except as an annoyance. Hook couldn’t hurt Emma the way Neal or Walsh did because Hook never meant anything to her.

It’s easy to forgive someone when they can’t hurt you. Hook couldn’t and can’t hurt Emma because she never had any real feelings for him and she still doesn’t.

That gross make out session at the end of the Season Finale? Emma kissed Hook because of Misattribution of Arousal from their adventure, and Rebound from Walsh.

I can’t help but wonder if some of the CSers are so defensive because on some level they realize that Emma hooking up with Hook isn’t moving forward, it’s regressing back to when one night stands were as far as her relationships ever went. Emma said feeling nothing is better than feeling something when what you feel is awful.

Walsh was using her.
Neal is dead.
Her illusion of a happy life in NY is shattered (thanks, Hook).
She now has to watch her baby brother (named Neal!) live the life that should have been hers.
Regina is back in Henry’s life and is mad at her.

I think Emma wants to feel nothing.

And that’s what she feels for Hook: Nothing.

Decided to post this picture because it is one of those real life moments. I was not feeling strong, I felt the exact opposite of lean, I was in a terrible mood, and felt like I was regressing rather than pushing forwards. Sometimes this happens. Not everyday feels like a victory. But the sun is gonna rise no matter what, and you have to keep going. Remind yourself that nothing in nature blooms all year, so you cannot expect yourself to always do so either. Some days wont be your best, and that is okay. But just remember to pick yourself up and fight off the thoughts that tell you anything that doesn’t build you up or push you forward.

I write this after a lot of thought and messages from many people over the course of the last 24 hours.  Other producers have made similar mention of this.  Earlier today I basically said the same thing during a livestream.  But I write it here for quicker access.

I woke up to a world that has attempted to choose hate and fear as its leader.  We live in an uncertain time.  This affects everyone.  There are many people who believe that this does not affect them.  If I were ten or twelve years younger, I might also be in the same position.  I grew up in a rural white community with few financial problems.  When I complained about things, I had no earthly idea what I was complaining about.  I was white.  And my problems seemed so big, but after so much time away from that community and having lost almost everything I ever knew, I learned that things could and do get so much worse.  Not just for me, someone who worries about keeping the roof over my head or the lights on, someone who can’t afford health insurance, but also someone who, after sexual assault, learned very quickly that I’m not quite as equally human as someone else.  But others have it worse than me.  I empathize, though cannot possibly fully understand, the fear and hate that people of other ethnicities see every single day.  How members of the LGBTQ+ community fear even their own family members and the way the rest of the world with treat them.  How immigrants will be tolerated by hateful people who now feel like, because we selected someone who preyed on people’s fears, it’s open season on anyone who doesn’t look like them or believe like them.  

The world is watching us.  This is bigger than just America.  It’ll start with the underprivileged communities.  Then the angry white aging blue collar folks will come to realize that the things they were promised were lies, and their livelihoods will also be affected in ways they didn’t expect.  And furthermore, the rest of the world will react.  They will judge us based on our behavior and the behavior of our leaders.  How will that affect trade?  Travel?  Immigration?  Emigration?  It’s too early to tell, but the world is already in fear of us.  And a large fear I’ve always had is the knowledge that all empires eventually fall.  America rose so fast, and I wondered if I’d see the fall of the American empire in my lifetime.  Granted, again, I don’t know that this will happen.  But there sure is a violent and scary divide happening within our world right at this very moment, and I wish we weren’t in it right now.

I stayed up late into the night on election night, into the next day, to hear the President Elect give his speech.  I cried as I listened to the propaganda, spoken in calm words but with an element of urgency, as if America wasn’t already great.  And using words that were completely backward from everything he’d ever said over the last year.  Using tactics of abusive relationship, tactics psychological manipulators use to gain control over their victims (and, believe me, I’ve all too sadly seen that sort of abuse first hand, and it haunts me every day, and to see those tactics being used by someone whom I will have to call President astonishes me).

I slept much of the day, since I’d stayed up so late.  But I was also emotionally drained.  I had considered so many things.  I thought about how much pure evil there is in this world.  In one day, it seemed so completely insurmountable.  I had spent so much time trying to abolish little pieces of evil within my personal life.  And then the seedy underbelly of the country decided it didn’t need to hide in the shadows anymore, and it showed the world its face.  And I just thought, “Why bother?  Why fight?  What’s even the point anymore?”

But I received messages from people.  One in particular said to me, “Well tomorrow we continue as normal, entertaining people and making sure we can make the next two to four years work in the right favor.  People like you and me are needed even more now.”  

Every so often, someone sends me a message like this, even before these elections happened.  I have had a history with self esteem issues.  My community is very small, especially in comparison to many of my other content producers.  And I have some extremely dark days, battling guilt.  More often than not, I’m pretty okay, and I manage to get through my days without thinking about it.  But then I’ll wake up one morning, and the first thing on my mind will be, “Hey, remember that time you deeply wounded that person you claimed you cared about?  Yeah, you don’t deserve to be happy, and nobody would be by your side if they all knew the details.”  It’s mostly lies that my head tells me, but the best lies have a grain of truth in them.  I’ve hurt people I loved, and if I had the option to go back and do it again, I would have done things completely differently.  But I can’t.  And so I have to move forward and just solemnly swear to never be the person I was seven to ten years ago.  But the truth is, there are people who listened to me, listened to my story, listened to me pour out my guilt.  And the truth is, for the most part, nobody abandoned me.  They stood by me.  They saw in me someone who is horribly flawed and was capable of unexpected things, but saw deep regret in my heart and a desire to change.  And against all odds, they stuck with me and helped me become a better person today.

Because of all that, and because of those wonderful, beautiful, loving people who stood by me in my life and helped me grow and morph into a different person, that’s exactly how I know that my head is doing nothing but lying to me.  And that giving up on trying to be better, on trying to influence good in this world, would be the most painfully selfish thing I could do.  It would be me taking years of backwards steps away from positive change, just the same way it feels like this country has attempted to regress in its forward, positive movements.

And so I thought more deeply about this idea that the world needs entertainers, even such small fries as myself.  And I was reminded of all of the other times that someone has left me a message or a comment.  Even as recently as this past week before the election, during a livestream, one particular viewer told me that they’ve been suffering from depression and haven’t always known how to get through it.  But to be able to come to one of my gaming livestreams to be able to talk to me, to fellow viewers in my chatroom, and to be entertained by what I’m sharing with them has given them a way to relax and escape from the pain that would sometimes try to take hold of them.  

That idea is so humbling, and I feel so unworthy of being that beacon of happiness in someone’s life.  How can something like a livestream of a silly stupid video game like World of Final Fantasy even remotely be enough to help someone?  Aren’t there much bigger problems in this world that we need to look at?

But that’s the thing, isn’t it?  Heroes take a whole lot of different forms.  There are the obvious ones.  The soldiers that have fought for centuries to make sure this country and the rest of the world can live with some kind of hope for the future.  The police officers who truly believe in keeping real peace and aren’t in it for the egotistical power trip.  Firefighters, social workers, doctors, and yes even the politicians who are doing their job because they believe they’re trying to help their community and not because it’s a cushy job with a decent paycheck.  Those people perhaps are the most obvious heroes.

But going to work and performing an everyday service for someone, that’s another form of heroism.  You feed people, you clothe people, you do paperwork that affects the lives of people you’ve never met.  You do the tech support that runs businesses and homes, that if these people didn’t have then their livelihoods might just collapse.  

And then there are the entertainers.

There are those who entertain not because it has any meaning in anyone else’s life, but only because it fulfills their own selfish needs.  That’s probably true of anyone in any position anywhere, though, really.  You’ll find the sociopaths and psychopaths that are more than happy to milk opportunity in any aspect of life, even if they aren’t rich and famous.  Chances are you’ve met someone like that at least once.  But to be an entertainer also carries with it a lot of weight, power, and influence.  For a famous Hollywood actor or musician, your platform is enormous.  Whether you like the idea of it or not, people hold a lot of fascination for the rich and famous.  And so when a celebrity openly speaks up and takes a stance on a given topic, one that they truly believe in, their words carry more power than maybe even they know.  The words of celebrities will influence elections, charities, and more.  Unfortunately, not every celebrity is truly qualified to talk about the things they’re promoting.  There are those who try to publicly speak on topics such as a link between vaccines and autism (when the reality is that there is no such link).  In these sort of cases, the immense power of celebrity also has the potential to do a lot more harm than good, even in a situation where the person spreading the information thought they were truly doing the right thing because they believed in it and were so personally convicted with it.  But ultimately, there are those celebrities that know that, with their platform, they carry a voice that can be used to do such monumental good.  Those are the ones that are worth looking up to.  There’s a certain amount of heroism in that.

But on the other side of that same coin, more than simply having a platform and using it to speak on important topics, an entertainer is a hero simply by doing their job - entertaining.

If you’re an actor, this means that you create worlds and breathe life into characters that otherwise don’t exist.  New universes are born when you take on new roles.  And it’s not just the actors.  The directors, producers, stage hands, grips, concept artists, foley artists, continuity directors, animators, and so many other uncountable positions.  You create work that brings joy to countless people.  And for these people, suffering with demons in their own lives, escapism is the one thing that lets them keep going.  I’ve seen so many folks frown on escapism, telling you to snap back into the real world.  I think we all deal with the real world, but still struggle with how to purge the toxicity from our daily lives.  If that means that someone wants to watch a movie, play a game, read a book, etc. in order to make life worth living again in the next 24 hours, then let them have it.

And in this time where I wonder if we chose hate over love, in a world where I look around and I see fear and confusion on the faces of such a large population of the country, that’s when I realize, I can’t just sleep all day.  I’m an entertainer.

There have always been those who mock YouTube content creators and tell us to get real jobs.  It’s true, we’re doing our passions with uncertain pay, on an unstable platform, and with no benefits.  But if I was told to give only one argument in favor of the idea that what I do is a real job, I would simply say that, it has taken me many years to realize, but I finally found just enough self esteem to realize that the work that I do actually matters and legitimately touches people’s lives.  I will confess that there were times when people told me this over the course of the last 8 to 10 years and I was grateful for the things these people told me, but I never internalized it for myself or took it as seriously as perhaps I should have.  For that, I have so many people I don’t actually know that I need to apologize to.  I was always grateful for your love and your passion, but never fully accepted what a great gift you gave to me, in knowing that my life carries weight and meaning.

So tomorrow, and every day forward, even when things are looking bad, I will continue to do my job.  I will share the things that I find entertaining, and I will talk to you about them, and ask you for your input on the things I share and talk about.  I will ask you to join in my community and share your thoughts and feelings in a safe and loving place with others who are like you, looking for a happy place to escape to just for a little while so that life can continue to be worth living.  That is how I will keep doing my job, and I will do it with more passion and purpose than I’d ever had for it before now.

And if you are any other kind of creator, even in smaller circles and smaller fandoms, don’t stop creating.  If you’re a fan artist or fanfic author or a cosplayer, I can almost guarantee you that you have positively influenced someone somewhere.  Just like the rest of us entertainers, you have given someone a piece of escapism that, even if only for a moment, gives meaning and purpose to someone’s life.  Even adding the tiniest amount of joy to a person’s life makes the work absolutely worth it.

By not giving up, and by continuing to do work that influences the lives around you, or even if you’re depressed and wonder if life is worth living and all you can do is stay afloat and stay alive right now, YOU ARE A HERO.  Your existence has purpose and meaning.  If you were missing, if you weren’t doing your job, if you weren’t providing a service or a smile, or if you simply could not suffer the pains of this world anymore, I can guarantee you that the world would feel the loss.  You not being there to perform your daily heroism would leave a hole that perhaps you can’t comprehend the size of right now, but it would be there.

I am swearing to you, my personal online community, my local community, my country, and the rest of this world, I will not give up.  I have been shown that, even for this small task I perform every day, the world needs me.  And I am up to continuing to perform that task.  I pray that you’re also up to performing your own acts of personal heroism, too.

Thank you, my friends.  Peace and love be with you in this time of fear and uncertainty.


Trailer to my new short film about my girlfriend Michelle and I’s road trip to the PNW to see old friends. Full video coming next week.

I’m getting real tired of books that are set in the future and still have:

  • women as second-class citizens, like we transported sixty years into the past, instead of the future.
  • white being the majority race (that’s no longer true even today), with the two black people only characterized by the color of their skin
  • being something other than straight/cisgender still be taboo 
  • have only one gay character or maybe one gay couple (have you noticed that they’re always male, never female?)
  • a world without religion, yet somehow have most laws/societal ideas be reflective of extreme conservative, and historically religious beliefs 

I mean, if you even think ten or even five years ago; everything is so different now. You want me to believe that society basically stays the same? Unless you’re writing some nightmarish dystopia in which society regressed instead of moving forward– don’t pretend you’re writing futuristic novels if things are still the same ten/twenty/fifty years from now, with random spaceships thrown in.

This is something that’s been brewing in my mind lately. I think that we have found ourselves at a point where healthy explorations of sexuality at a young age are effectually impossible. The media and by extension we are saturated with distorted depictions of sexuality, with racism and sexism being branded as human nature. I’ve written about this before, but children cannot really make critical and moral distinctions when it comes to the media they consume, and that goes double for porn because that’s how most of us become exposed to human sexuality - or at least what wants to pass as human sexuality. Porn is for the last few generations of children a formative tool of sorts, a substitute for “comprehensive” sex ed, and also supposedly “real”, so that’s what children will begin to reproduce once they have grown into adulthood and even adolescence. I do believe that a lot of children find sexuality fascinating, I know I did. But within the current framework of violent sexualization of literally everything, it’s impossible not to internalize a lot of toxic shit in the process. Our perceptions of sexuality are molded within a warped cultural apparatus and are doused in misogyny (and racism and transphobia etc.), not just little “problematic” elements we can uproot from our individual sex lives or choose to embrace and reclaim; they inform every facet of our lives, so it’s useless to assert that what happens in one’s bedroom is their business only. Because what happens in one’s bedroom does not happen in a vacuum. It also happens in thousands of porn films that are watched by increasingly younger kids, who now think it’s okay to call women sluts and cunts and feel entitled to our bodies and to treat us in despicable ways if we somehow fail to fit in their box of acceptable femininity. Anyway. Yeah, I think sexuality is constructed in such a way that it cannot be manifested in a healthy way unless we view everything we know under a critical lens and unlearn and unlearn and unlearn, and this is a process that takes time, and it’s not linear, sometimes we regress instead of moving forward in our understanding of things. It’s not something a child can do, not even something a teenager can do most of the time, so we need to stop with this disturbing need to impose on fucking kids what they cannot understand and critically examine.