retroactively

anonymous asked:

I'm just so confused like wtf was that episode I mean Lo please tell me you are too. Aaron was devastated on Friday he could barely say the word "baby" now he's changed his mind and wants to help Rob wtf he'll be buying baby clothes now. R has a scare medicinal professional tell her she has to stay in over night but she leaves I thought she loved her baby and wants to be a mum she didn't take the medical advice and left. My head hurts this story is getting more ridiculous

anon, I’m hilariously confused oh my g o d

Aaron started off the episode angry, spent all of Friday devastated and unable to process it and being made to question his relationship with Robert now, here we are, canonically on the next day and he’s like WE’RE GONNA BE DADS ROB I’M GONNA BE THE BEST DAD

i mean…. he’s cute and adorable and everything but i’m also concerned he’s been abducted by aliens

Rebecca’s decision to not follow her supposed medical advice but instead get on a plane

Robert’s sudden care for the kid’s wellbeing

Victoria not even blinking an eye at the fact that Robert had an affair and expecting Aaron to be chill about it as well despite what she’s going through

The only characters who made any sense were Larry, Chrissie and Adam

And I’m still sus about Chrissie being super supportive, so

It’s like the writers took Robert’s disappearing money and turned it into an episode. Oh my god.

Matoran

The Matoran are the primary biomechanical maintenance workers within the Great Spirit Robot. They were the first beings created by the Great Beings for the Great Spirit Robot. There they would mitigate the issue of breaking down system by constantly repairing Mata Nui.

The Matoran were physically based upon the Agori. The prototype Matoran were the Av-Matoran, with elemental light powers allowing them to channel defenses blasts of light and to change their colouration. Eventually the design was refined into a slightly smaller design with only slight elemental abilities. These newer Matoran were also given the Toa-Turaga evolution, and that was retroactively applied to the Av-Matoran. The new Matoran were:

  • Ta-Matoran, of fire, with heat-resistance.
  • Ga-Matoran, of water, with greater swimming ability and lung capacity.
  • Le-Matoran, of air, with increased agility.
  • Po-Matoran, of stone, with increased strength.
  • Onu-Matoran, of earth, with night-vision.
  • Ko-Matoran, of ice, with cold resistance.
  • Vo-Matoran, of lightning, with electrical resistance.
  • Su-Matoran, of plasma, with light and extreme heat resistance.
  • Ba-Matoran, of gravity, with pressure resistance.
  • De-Matoran, of sonics, with acute hearing.
  • Fa-Matoran, of magnetism, with greater directional sense.
  • Fe-Matoran, of iron, with greater endurance.
  • Ce-Matoran, of psionics, with mental shielding.
  • Bo-Matoran, of plantlife, with innate botanical knowledge.
  • Ke-Matoran, of kinetics, with resistance to fatigue.
  • La-Matoran, of crystal, with a greater spectrum of vision.
  • Io-Matoran, of salt, with corrosion resistance.

Matoran have the full knowledge they need for their work built into them. They do not fully understand the nature of the Matoran Universe. Nor are they built with an inherent disposition towards pleasantness; this is mostly the result of being inducted into the pleasantness of Matoran society.

In this universe the Awakening was intentional, though I’ll talk about that later.

Matoran can evolve into Toa, and then into Turaga. These two forms were originally built as entirely separate species by the Great Beings, but were made into Matoran evolutions after the Great Beings began giving the biomechanicals the ability to replicate, along with some other reasons.

The Toa are a fighting-machine made specifically to protect the Matoran from hostile forces, either from life Mata Nui discovers or from Matoran Universe denizens that go wrong. They were based upon Glatorian and the Elemental Lords. They have great physical strength, access to Kanohi powers and full ability to manipulate their elements. They also have the ability to make use of their Toa power, either to create more Toa or other uses.

The Turaga were conceived as wisened leader-guides of the Matoran. The originals were built with leadership skills pre-installed, while Turaga made from were assumed to have the experience to make good leaders. Contrary to typical interpretations of Bionicle, in this universe they are not elderly; they in fact resemble Agori more than any other Matoran form. They have limited elemental power, and the capacity to use Kanohi.

I am instituting a new rule. If you ever make anything for/inspired by me, I definitely will want to see it. So given that tumblr shows a complete inability to consistently notify about tagged posts, please message me a link. Even if it’s:

[link*screams and runs away*

Because I always, always want to see it, you will not bother me, and apparently we’re going to just have to work around this hellsite.

There’s such a weird fixation in media about “firsts”. Beauty and the Beast boasting disney’s “first gay scene” is the one I’m thinking about in particular, and Power Rangers with the “first gay superhero”, and in both cases it’s a blink and you’ll miss it thing, something that maintains plausible deniability of queerness within the film itself, but establishing explicit queerness in everything outside the film. We know Lefou is gay because the interview told us he was in disney’s first gay scene.

And most of these discussions of firsts devolve into which first is first. Bill gets announced as the first gay companion on doctor who, and then follows the argument of whether Jack counts as companion, whether he was the first pansexual companion while Bill is the first gay companion, whether Amy or Clara was ever canonically bisexual and should that be a factoring in calculating firsts as well. (I remember a similar argument going on when Martha was announced as the first black companion, and people were like “but Mickey?” And there’s definitely commentary waiting about contentious Firsts and characters of color, but my white ass has nothing incisive to offer on that front except the hope we are kinder and better towards Bill than we were towards Martha.) And meanwhile, here is Bill, a black gay female companion, and while that fact has definitely not gotten lost, it is still very very cool and good that she is the companion even if she is not the Absolute First.

The language of Firsts is everywhere when you start looking for it, the idea that this show/movie/video game is doing something New Never Before Done Whoa Look At The Unprecedented Gay. And when this trend worries me, it’s because:

1) it gives off a strong whiff of performative representation, where the representation isn’t as important as people knowing you’re doing it

1a) the corollary being that the emphasis on First First First makes me worried that creators are not interested in Second Third Fourth. That having had the First *spins wheel, throws dart* Lesbian Asian Marvel character (a guest star in three episodes of the Defenders, maybe fifteen minutes, every gif set celebrating her has the same three quotes because that’s all there is), they are now exempted from every having to write a Second Lesbian Asian Marvel character. Because they already did that. Didn’t you see the article in Entertainment Weekly? It was a very big deal.

2) the trend of press on the First Gay Thing tends to vastly outscale the actually gayness, which traps us in an endless loop of hype and disappointment (versus Dumbledoring where the gayness is revealed retroactively for a previously ambiguous character or relationship, and it’s a weird combination of vindication because you thought they might be gay, surprise because you didn’t expect them to be gay, and disappointment because why didn’t the work just say they were gay)

And this, even more than the rest of this post, is a personal grievance but 3) queer fandom has spent decades finding representation in subtext, in coding, in wishful thinking and disciplined literary analysis of the text. This whole First thing seems come with a subtext that every other character who had significant ambiguous relationships, was flamboyant or butch, was in anyway queercoded? Not queer. This here is the first gay thing, and we’re very brave for being the first to have done it. Gay characters must formally come out to count.

Putting aside explicitly queer characters (which exist! Which have a history that creators and fans are welcome to build upon instead of thinking they have to invent gay representation every time they launch a franchise), queer history and queer art has always entailed writing and reading in between the lines. Which requires there be lines. If the new trend is unwritten in text, out and proud in press, what does that offer? I’m happy that Explicitly Confirmed Queer is a thing that’s happening, I very much am, but if a gay child who has never read a think-piece cannot recognize themself in your Brave Unprecedented Gay Character because they didn’t read your interview with the av club, then what use is that character? What was the point? What have you actually contributed to us?

And you pull this umbrella from the skeleton’s grasp. The skeleton actually looks up at you, almost like it’s acknowledging your presence. And as you finally wrest it from its grasp, the skeleton and the bright crimson robe both disintegrate into ashes.
—  griffin goddamn mcelroy way back in episode 5, in what is retroactively the saddest thing ive ever heard in my life

Hi here’s another list of things I’ve read that are really important to me, on the loose theme of ‘fantasy urbanism.’ I still haven’t read Dhalgren.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. This is the most essential thing to read if you are even tangentially interested in anything about this list i think. Revelatory to me as a pulpy-literalistic fantasist.

Imaginary Cities by Darran Anderson. Inspired by the Calvino book, an enormous overview of planned or dreamed cities that were never built.

Kalpa Imperial by Angélica Gorodischer. Some of my favorite secondary-world fiction I have ever read. Short stories from the history of an empire at the ludicrous extreme of size, depth, history. The English edition was translated by Ursula K. Le Guin who is my favorite.

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar. Beautiful book and deals with an invented setting and urban spaces with a more densely intellectual approach than I have ever seen.

Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas. An architectural history and “retroactive manifesto” for Manhattan, but some of the most interesting bits are about Coney Island in particular. Huge futuristic conflicts underlie every modern city.

The City & the City by China Miéville. This isn’t a lot of people’s favorites of his because its fantastic elements aren’t the loudest, but it’s so smart and bewildering and develops an allegory for emergent social strata in urban spaces that is really compelling.

The Event Factory by Renee Gladman. Just finished this; it feels loose and dreamlike and engages very clearly with real feelings of exploring new spaces, radically repurposing urban environments…

Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy. Not as totally concerned with cities as the rest of the list, but a really exciting and unusual example of worldbuilding from an intentionally political/utopian perspective.

Surregional Explorations by Max Cafard. The first few essays in this book deal with Surrealist and Situationist approaches to urban space and the unconscious of cities; it’s a weird jumbled book but I liked it

npr.org
Here's The Fine Print On The Country's Biggest-Ever Free College Plan
Freedom's just another word for ... a full-ride scholarship, with strings attached. New York's vast new scholarship program has brought praise, and some nitpicking.
  • It only covers full time students.
  • Families can’t make more than $100,000 a year for the students to be covered (consider the difference in cost of living… you have to be relatively poor to get this scholarship).
  • Students must first apply for, and use, other money like federal Pell Grants, before turning to the scholarship.
  • if you don’t finish on time (2 years for community college, 4 years for 4-year programs), you lose the money… so… most students WILL lose the money and have to get loans to pay for their last year or so.
  • you have to stay in New York post-graduation for the same number of years you received the scholarship… or it retroactively becomes a loan. This is to ensure NY tax payers reap the benefits of paying for your education.

There’s this notion that I keep seeing that privileged people benefit from oppression of another class, and it’s an idea I never saw when I first started learning sociological theory.

Back in like 2012, tumblr was all about including men in feminism and talking about how feminism would benefit everybody because it would do away with homophobia/homoantagonism and toxic masculinity, etc.

Like… to say that privileged groups (if not individuals) actively benefit from oppression is to erase the performative aspect of privilege; entry to privilege is determined by the privileged (see: Straight determines Straight) and if you deviate Too Much from their expectations, they revoke your right to reap the benefits of membership.

For example, despite all the campaigns about how Real Men Cry or whatever, the prevailing cognitive understanding that society holds is that crying is not masculine, and men who cry are shameful. This is sets a very hard limit on the emotions that a man is capable of showing, which is absolutely a kind of marginalization (but not inherently oppression).

To put it another way, if a cis man wears a dress, would he not face tangible violence from society at large regardless of what he claims his gender is? Is it the same as systemic legal disenfranchisement? Of course not. But a cis man in a dress has less social power than a cis man following social norms. And that power difference is rooted in transphobia/transantagonism. Whether or not it necessarily is the same experience is debatable, but transphobia/transantagonism is inexorably linked to rigid gender roles and toxic masculinity and homophobia/misogyny and other systems that actively hurt both oppressed and privileged classes.

Orientation-wise, people have discussed how coercive heterocentricism can negatively impact people who have never thought about their own orientations before, regardless of if they would turn out straight in the end anyway.

Even aside from gender and orientation, does anyone really benefit from ableism? A student experiencing one-off anxiety will likely not receive any more accommodation than somebody with an anxiety disorder with no legal documentation of it. How often do able-bodied people feel awkward about using the elevator? And how many often do disabled folks feel similarly awkward about how soon it’ll be before somebody makes them justify their right to use accessibility features? Again, abled people are not systemically disenfranchised and stigmatized, but both classes would benefit from a world where nobody gatekeeps disability or bats an eye at accommodations.

The problem with the Us vs Them model of privilege and oppression is that it seeks to create new power structures alongside the existing ones, instead of dismantling the entire notion of power itself. If you let people do what they need to do (whether it’s using the elevator or wearing a dress) without trying to retroactively judge the validity of their experiences, then everybody gets an equal playing field to be themselves freely and openly. After all, the number of elevators (ie resources) that exist in a space should be determined by usage statistics, and not by some statistic of how many disabled people there are present.

Exclusive labels will always leave out a grey population or fringe groups of marginalization.  Everybody oppresses each other and that’s a fact of life and intersectionality. What needs to happen is an abolishment of the systems that keep everyone down; true revolution means aligning not through labels but through ideologies. Even Marx said that when the time comes to overthrow capitalism, some bourgeoisie will align themselves with the revolution. Disability and gender are social constructs that exist because people in power say they do, but those people in power would benefit more in the end from saying they don’t.