see you next year when i attempt to make quality posts that are interesting

So I saw this perfectly delightful post, and my immediate response was “oh yes, of course Tali writes fanfic! She just doesn’t tell anyone because she’s afraid they’d never let her live it down.” (And as regards Garrus she’s probably right.)

Because obviously what Tali writes is schmoopy self-indulgent Shallicus, mostly for her own pleasure/comfort, and the prototypical Tali fic is 90% romantic fluff and 10% incredibly accurate and detailed descriptions of hacking. Shalei and Bellicus might spend most of the fic having a long romantic walk around the Presidium, but with amazing regularity they discover that they need to hack a terminal during said walk.

Tali is also that person who writes impassioned essays about how misrepresentation of quarian culture by the non-quarian parts of the fandom (which is most of it) is offensive, and that they either ought not write anything set on the Migrant Fleet for the fandom or at least ought to do a modicum of research. (She’s not wrong.) She does this all under the pseudonym Chatika63, because of course she does.

But my next thought was… you know who else I could see writing fanfic?


We know Legion plays MMORPGs. And we know that they have an interest in attempting to understand how organics think (in part, in the hopes of convincing organics not to attempt to destroy them on sight). And what better way to get inside of someone’s head than to… well… get inside their head? Write from the perspective of an organic? Given how awful they were at the Fleet and Flotilla visual novel (”Hopeless”), they probably have some awareness that this understanding is not a strong point, and trying to work it out via fanfic is certainly less risk-prone than trying to work it out via interaction 

At first, Legion just downloads the 100 most popular fanfics for Galaxy of Fantasy and Fleet and Flotilla and analyzes them, breaking them down in terms of both general plot structure, scene structure, and even all the way down to sentence structure. Then they use that analysis to generate new fics, dump them on Space AO3 under a variety of pseudonyms (the sheer volume of Legion’s output would make posting under a single name look awfully suspicious–even the notably prolific salarian writers don’t write that fast), and wait.

(Space AO3 is a fascinating place. Some of the asari-written WIPs have been going on for centuries now, Support has to spend something like half its time mediating all the times when krogans write thinly-veiled bloodthirsty revenge-fic against anyone who posts critically about their stories, and the hanar fandom gift culture is… unique, to say the least. But that is another post for another time.)

Anyway. Those first attempts of Legion’s basically read like Mad Libs written by someone unclear on the concept, which, in effect, they are. But the thing about Legion is that even though they don’t have a great grasp of how shipping and etc. work (see above re: the Fleet and Flotilla visual novel), they are in fact not a mindless computer process but a highly intelligent AI. They learn.

In this case, they learn by analyzing feedback, hit counts, and upvotes. They break the stories down again, analyze what they discovered worked and what didn’t, and adjust, and post again.

Story quality actually takes a dip for a bit–it turns out that chasing popularity doesn’t necessarily translate to quality–but then begins to rise, slowly at first and then steadily. They learn what works and what doesn’t, what rings true to readers and what feels stilted or artificial. They store witty quips and bits of banter and felicitous turns of phrase between crewmates in long-term memory to slot into stories later. When they’re performing a task that doesn’t require the attention of all 1,183 programs, they let some of the idle processes spin out projections for how this or that scenario might be received, based on the current databank of information.

(In short, like all authors, they begin to eavesdrop, and to daydream, and to treat everything as grist for the mill.)

They rapidly become well-known, under several different pseudonyms (having ditched the early pseuds with their hideously awkward mix-and-match prose). Under the pseudonym VarrenRider13, they’re known for an epic romance set in the world of Galaxy of Fantasy, which is well-known for its sensitive portrayal of asari romance and its detailed worldbuilding. Under the pseudonym MorningWanderer, they’re known for a number of Shallicus fics for the Fleet and Flotilla fandom, including the fandom-famous “And Stars Danced” series and the underappreciated standalone “Breaking Bread.”

tl;dr: The One Where Tali’s Favorite Fleet and Flotilla Fic Writer Is Actually Legion.

(She never has a chance to find out before Legion’s death.)

age gap

♡ some of these are fluff, some are angst, some are a fucking joke, but i think they’re all what you expected lmao i wish. thank you for requesting! also, um, these are vvvvv long, sorry bout that 

Kim Seokjin.

 Netizens are losing their minds. Your ship name is trending worldwide and the number of negative comments is almost unbelievable. Jin had tried so hard to keep you out of the public eye and for so long but seems like all his attempts of doing so had gone to shit in a matter of minutes. The power of the media can’t be compared to anything, and you’re both well aware that fans are not going to let of this any time sooner. Because the rumors are true after all: Jin is eight years older than you and there’s not way you can convince them otherwise now that the cat is out of the box.

 The boys are gathered around the living room in silence. Jin is holding you tight while you sobb nonstop, even though you’ve been a crying mess for an hour and a half now. Jin’s shoulder is soaking wet thanks to your tears and the front of his shirt is wrinkled because of how hard you’ve been holding onto him. The others don’t know if  there is even a way they can make you feel a little bit better about the whole situation. Namjoon remembers warning Jin about this when you guys decided to formalize things but now is not the time of saying ‘I told you so’. Jin knows he fucked up bigtime and is desperate to find a solution.

 He’s not worried about him. He’s so used to people making up bullshit about him and his brothers that he wouldn’t be surprised if suddenly there’s a million rumours about you being hired by the company, or even abused and forced to be with him. He knows how to deal with speculations, but you don’t. You’re so young and innocent and you shouldn’t be going through this crap. And right now there’s no words he can say to you because he can’t deny feeling surprised and exposed, so he keeps holding you tight, making sure you know by his actions that he’s not leaving you by yourself.

 Min Yoongi.

 He’s holding the phone with both hands, while Jimin looks over his shoulders carefully, expecting his reaction. You’re sitting next to him, resting against his leg, furrowing your eyebrows. The quality of the video is horrible and the person’s hand is shaking a lot, but still you can see clearly what is being filmed. There’s a lot people crowded in the dim lighted room: in the first two minutes of the video you can only see Hoseok and Namjoon chatting with Jackson and Yugyeom from GOT7, a little bit to the right are Jin and Jungkook sitting on two small but chic couches, laughing uncontrollably and pointing to someone. Then the camera turns around and reveals two young girls smiling like fucking idiots. When the camera is focused again on the dancefloor-like room, there’s no Jin nor Jungkook, nor any other boy.

 Here comes the night by DJ Snake starts playing and two lovers appear on the screen. Yoongi scrunches his nose at the sight, you just shift uncomfortably in your seat and Jimin takes a deep breath because he has seen the video already. You seem to be dancing slowly, Yoongi’s left arm wrapped around your waist while he holds a cup of something in his right hand. Both of you are smiling innocently at the each other until the second chorus of the song comes. By then, you hold Yoongi’s face and smash your lips against his. Hard. For the rest of the video, there’s only you and Yoongi making out as if there was if no tomorrow. When it ends, there’s silence. Yoongi starts scrolling through the comments, seeing nothing but “isn’t she too young to be in a club?” “is that yoongi’s personal whore?” “he can go to jail for that” “is she eight?”.

 He gives Jimin’s phone back, sighs heavily and looks at you with this glance mixed between serious and unfaced, “I guess I’m your nanny from now on, kiddo”, you just slap him in the shoulder between laughs. You both that  even if you’re eight years younger than him, your mental age doesn’t compare to that. 

 Jung Hoseok.

 “So a fan sent us a set of recent pictures of you arriving to LAX”, all the boys nod, while Namjoon explains everything about their promotion campaign in America. Hoseok is too focused on his friend’s words to even notice the pictures are being projected on the big screen behind them, and only turns around only until Namjoon’s voice is replaced by his nervous giggle, “Oh, I haven’t seen that before”, says a shocked Eric Nam, trying his best not to look embarrassed because he had definitely seen that before but agreed with the production not to show it on the big screen for obvious reasons. Hoseok looks at the picture behind him and then to the front, with his signature J-Nope face.

 The incident is forgotten soon after, when no one really comments on the picture of you and Hoseok hand by hand, with matching face masks under your chins and big smiles on your faces. It had caused a big fuss when it was first posted on a fansite and the comments about you being way too young for him were soon under every single tweet posted on BTS’s account. Honestly, the incident was so old already and even now, Hoseok never bothered to explain his relationship with this pretty and jovial girl. Not even when it was exposed on Koreaboo that she was eight years younger than him. The lack of of everybody’s interest on the topic was so big that the interview was not affected by someone’s mistake of projecting the picture and they were able to conclude the show without any trouble.

 Right after they were sent again to their dressing room backset, Hoseok was quick to give you a call just to ask you about the episode. You never answered the phone so he was relieved when he remembered that was exactly the time of the day in which you take a nap. He knew you didn’t care about any of that too, but still, you were too young to receive any kind of hate and specially get affected by it.

 Kim Namjoon.

 It’s been awhile since one of you said a word. The silence that came after the worst argument you have ever had was killing you inside,but you were too prideful to speak first and so was Namjoon. You were looking at the back of his head with your arms wrapped around yourself, rethinking about all the horrible things he had said to you due to the heat of the argument. They were probably going to hunt you for quite some time. You could see he was breathing heavily judging by the way his back was raising and you wanted to sooth him with the soft touch of your hands but at this point, you didn’t know if one act that simple could annoy him or not.

 Namjoon was angry enough at you for acting so immature and just remembering the way you way you were yelling at him for things he couldn’t control got him worked up again. He was decided to lecture you once again when he turned around and faced you but his heart was broken the instant he saw the way you were standing, all vulnerable, scared of his next move. You were not one to blame; he was stupid enough to think you were going to be able to manage this yourself. He also forgot he had promised you were going to move on together if that some point things got difficult, but apparently those promises were erased from his memory the moment you complained about the unnecessary attention you were getting.

 And it wasn’t your fault. None of this. It wasn’t your fault that you were born eight years after him. It wasn’t your fault that he didn’t know how to deal with all the attention that was starting to get too overwhelming. It wasn’t your fault that he was so madly in love with you he thought sharing you to the world was gonna do any good. Now he was ruining your life, your young life. Was he really such a bad person?

 Your eyes were closed when Namjoon came closer and hugged you, and your first reaction was to jump away. He looked at you with wide eyes as his lower lip started quivering, “I didn’t… I’m sorry Namjoon” “No, it’s… it’s okay”, but you couldn’t let him go with the idea of you being afraid of him, even when his screams were the most terrifying thing you had ever heard. So you took a few steps forward and rested your head on his chest, his arms automatically going around your narrow shoulders. The age gap was bringing you a lot of trouble, but Namjoon was too good to let go, and so were you.

 Park Jimin.

 “Eight years?”, the boys are looking at him as if he was some kind of strange animal. Jimin is annoyed and is trying to hide the fact that he’s not enjoying their reactions at all, but it’s a shame he’s so expressive because he can’t never get away with anything. He’s introducing you to them for the first time and the way they’re acting to you being way younger than Jungkook is making him wonder if he should just tell cancel plans with you and go somewhere else for your date night, “You don’t have to like her, just be nice”, at this point Jimin is practically begging them to treat you as if you were one of them. He knows how hard it is for you to get used to people and if they’re not comfortable with the idea of you being basically a kid, he’s not gonna make you go through this, “You’re misunderstanding, Jimin. It’s not that we don’t like her because we don’t even know her. What I meant by that is that, well… this is no easy life, the one we have, you know? Don’t you think it will be hard for her and for you if one day everything comes to light?”, of course he’s aware of that, but Jimin loves you so much he’s willing to give up his entire peace just so he can be with you, “Of course I know, and I don’t care about what the media or anyone says. Can you just give her a chance?”, the boys look at each other, worried that Jimin is committing a huge mistake by getting involved with this girl, younger than him for eight years. But they let him be and promise they’ll act as natural as ever.

 To say they were shocked by your persona when you arrived to the dorms is little. You surely didn’t look like you were eight years younger than Jimin and by the way you expressed yourself, you certainly didn’t have the mentality of the typical rebellious teenager. You seemed very mature and able to maintain a serious conversation, and what surprised them the most is that you could melt Jimin with a single glance.

Kim Taehyung.

The absurdity of the article is in so many other levels that your first reaction when reading the headline is to blink. That’s right. You blink, tilt your head like a confused puppy and read the headline again. “V from BTS spotted near the Han River with younger sister”. When it clicks a certain buttons in your head, the only thing you’re able to do is burst in laughter. You’re screaming so hard it doesn’t take long for someone to go down starts to make sure you’re not losing your mind out of nowhere. Taehyung is glad to see you so happy but he’s curious self gets the best of him and now he wants to laugh with you, “What’s so funny?”, he asks. You’re not even able to explain to him the situation because you’re literally choking of laughter so you just throw your cellphone at him.

 His reaction is very similar to yours. He doesn’t seem to get it at first, but when he does, he looks between the cellphone and your dying figure before starting to crack up too. Soon there are tears rolling down his cheeks and he doesn’t know if he should be worrying or not. Even if he tries to worry, he will end up laughing again because when in hell did his parents gave him a grown teenager sister? You’re calming down a little bit right when Yoongi and Hoseok appear at the bottom of the stairs, the first with an annoyed look on his face and the second showing an amusing smile, “What is wrong with you two?”, says Yoongi under his breath, scratching his butt and disappearing in the kitchen. Instead of following, Hoseok takes the cellphone that is in Taehyung’s hand and reads the article too.

 Now there are three people laughing hard and rolling on the floor, this meaning the whole situation will never not be hilarious, “You’re so small they thought you were his younger sister, this is gold”, says Hobi between laughs and grabbing at his stomach, “This wouldn’t be possible without you baby, thank you so much”, you do your best to control yourself and you succeed, cleaning yours and Taehyung’s tears in the process, “I’m not ten” you smack him right in the head, earning a small welp from him, “Are you sure?”, he says with a straight face before breaking in laugh once again, you following soon after.

Jeon Jungkook.

This was madness. You were warned that going through the airport was going to be quite an adventure but you never expected this many people. And they were aggressive. You didn’t have any issues with crowds but you also appreciated your life and sadly, all you could was hold Jungkook’s hand tight and hope for the best. That was your first mistake.

Their manager had told you it was best if you just holded onto his arm and looked down the whole walk to security but the moment you putted a feet out of the car, the sea of people launched towards you. Your first instinct was to hold your boyfriend and follow his way. Girls were confused, shocked and triggered so they did what they were best at: trash you as much as they could. From comments like “who the fuck is that bitch” to “let go of the maknae”, the ones that got your total attention were the ones that mocked your size and your apparent age. You honestly didn’t give a single shit about all that but you knew Jungkook did.

 Just to make sure he was not about to murder someone you lifted your head slightly, catching a glimpse of him before your head was pushed back down carefully by Jin that was right behind you. Jungkook looked flustered and his neck vein was popping so much you were afraid it would burst at any moment. He hated being judged but what got to him the most was the fact that they were being so rude towards you when they didn’t even know you. He never said anything the rest of the trip, not even when you were in a safe area, but he held you. Jungkook is a sensitive guy and his emotions were always overwhelming so instead of asking him about it, you held him back, soothing him with a sweet touch on his biceps, “Don’t worry. I may be younger, but I’m not dumber” “That rhymed”, it’s his smile what you wanted to see and know that he’s staring at you with happy eyes, you can’t ask for more.  

Digimon Stage Play - Part One

Sorry, my friend introduced me to Tiger and Bunny, which is why this was delayed ;;; This is everything up until curtain for half time, rest will be up within the next 12 hours, sorry!!!

Aight, so tl;dr: great show, actors are perfect, Yamato is beautiful beyond belief, Mimi is UGHHHHHH in the good way and I’m bitter that the whole show isn’t sold out and whoever was in charge of promotion should be forced to eat nothing but the hottest of hot chillies for the rest of their life.

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Fabulous Olicity Fanfic Friday - August 25th, 2017

Happy Friday! So this is my attempt to both thank awesome fanfic writers for their amazing work and offer my recommendations to anyone who is interested. Here are the fantastic fanfic stories I read this week! They are posted in the order I read them.

Take Your Breath Away by @green-arrows-of-karamel and and @tdgal1 - When the police find another victim choked to death, wide-city panic spreads like wildfire. Felicity Smoak, an SCPD detective, is determined to catch the murderer. To that end, she goes undercover to Verdant, the most famous fetish club in town. Its owner, Oliver Queen, is the prime suspect in the killings. While she infiltrates deep into the BDSM world, she never expects to feel a dangerous attraction towards Oliver, which puts her at risk of getting caught in dark and lethal pleasures.

A Message in a Bottle multi-chapter by @vaelisamaza - Felicity Smoak has come home to run the family farm and tasting room when an unexpected visit from a member of the Queen Family gives her the opportunity to re-examine her career and choices in life.

Our Love Will Never Fade Away (I’ll Bear Your Mark On My Skin For Eternity) multi-chapter by @charlie-leau - Felicity Smoak started taking the Med that cut the emotional connection between her soulmate and herself when his family sent a mediator to her. The man told her that they did not think she was worthy of their son and she therefore needed to give up on her soulmate’s rights. Now, four years later, Felicity just moved in Star City and is desperately trying to run away for her past. There, she meets Oliver Queen, heir to the Queen’s legacy and soon to be married to the cold and mysterious Isabel Rochev, who quickly becomes both her boss and friend. Lines quickly start to blur between Felicity and Oliver as they found themselves drawn to each other for no apparent reasons…

Dreaming Away by @geneshaven - Post 5x23 fic

The Bridesmaid Wore Peach by @wherethereissmoak - Alternate first meeting for Oliver and Felicity, as they are members of a wedding party. Felicity is not a fan of her bridesmaid’s dress.

Family Outing multi-chapter by @geneshaven - Oliver and family and friends go camping. Part 4:

Blue Eyed Angel: Sleepless multi-chapter by @tdgal1 - Oliver and Felicity spend some quality time together

If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right) multi-chapter by @smkkbert - They live in a society where the Ministry for Procreation decides who you get to marry. Once you get the letter with the contact details of your partner, you are supposed to marry within few months. Sexual relationships with any other partner are forbidden, even before you receive the contact details. Everyone who disobeys that law will be punished brutally.  Oliver and Nyssa have come to terms with that. Although they are married, Nyssa can secretly be with Sara, and Oliver can do whatever he wants to do. When Oliver decides to make changes, he falls madly in love with Felicity. Therefore, his life takes a pleasant turn because although they cannot publicly be together, at least they can be in secret. Things soon get complicated, though, when Felicity receives a letter that shall change her life.

Tumblr Drabbles multi-chapter by @dreamsofolicity - This is a collection of small drabbles I posted on Tumblr that come from prompts.

Sleepless in Starling by @wherethereissmoak - What if Oliver missed the opportunity to signal the fishing boat at the end of S5 flashbacks because of his fight with Kovar? Marooned on Lian Yu once again, he gets rescued in the most surprising way.

Best Birthday Ever by @emmilynestill - What if Felicity hadn’t decided to go with a team surprise party for Oliver’s Birthday? What if she decided she was sick of baby steps and wanted to take some big girl steps? What if Felicity decided the very best way to celebrate was to make Oliver’s birthday cake and present…well, her? A sort of “Choose Your Own Adventure” off-shoot/AU of Don’t Let Me Go, branching off after Chapter 3 into a whole other universe.

Untitled by @oneofakindxx - Olicity disagree about sleeping together

Untitled by @oneofakindxx - Oliver does household repairs

Untitled by @dust2dust34 - Based on the prompt: “Oliver, if we didn’t get blown up, how do you think our date would have ended?”

Oliver’s Revelation by @tdgal1 - After getting hit in the head, Oliver wakes up in the hospital where he can not move or talk but can hear everything that is said to him. Suddenly he sees what is going on around him, how people feel and act when they think he is in a coma. LOVED THIS!!

Love is the Cure by @tdgal1 - After Lian Yu, Oliver and Felicity deal with his PTSD.

Thursday by @someonesaidcake - There is something about the girl next door that Oliver Queen is only now noticing… Felicity is moving to college just down the road from where Oliver is a senior.  He suddenly becomes very protective of the girl next door.  Thursday night dinners might not ever be the same again. This story gets better and better!

No Kissing by @lostolicityscenes - Felicity won’t let Oliver kiss her during their “meeting”

Time for a Story multi-chapter by @smkkbert - This fic shows Olicity and their life as a (married) couple with family. Although Olicity (and their kids) are the protagonists, other characters of Arrow and Flash make appearances. YOU NEED THIS STORY IN YOUR LIFE.

“Before He Is Lost To You Forever” by @geneshaven - Felicity’s thoughs after talking to Ra’s in 3x20

Bound to You multi-chapter by @bindy417 - Felicity is an ARGUS agent and Oliver with the Bratva but they met long before that! This story gives the past and the present. SO AWESOME.

Felicity Sneaking in Oliver’s Apartment Every Night After William’s asleep, and Sneaking Out Before He Wakes in the Morning by @eilowyn1 - William and Oliver talk

Felicity Smoak - Model, International Star and Murderer? multi-chapter by @tdgal1 - Oliver is called defended international Star Felicity Smoak when she is charged with murder - I can’t express how excited I am about this!

Exactly Right by @dust2dust34 - Season 6 Olicity spec - VERY HOT -

Summer House multi-chapter by @laurabelle2930 - Oliver Queen has been missing for two years. On the eve of his 2nd anniversary the local paper with the families consent has decided to run a memorial article since one was never done when he first went missing. Sara Lance was assigned the story at first but know the paper’s hotshot reporter Felicity Smoak has been assigned the story. Felicity must now put her personal feelings aside as she searches for the truth to Oliver Queen’s disappearance.

Soup for the Soul by @missyriver​ - Felicity tries to deal with the death of Billy Malone alone and learns its okay to cry. 

September 2045 - Galloway Position - Pieces of You (Flash Fic) by @so-caffeinated - Will and Amelia from Beth’s POV

Adrenaline Rush by @emmilynestill  -  For the first month away, the excitement of escaping and being in love and the almost constant sex was more than enough.   But after a while, Oliver had started to feel that itch.  He’d confessed as much to Felicity one night.  How he missed the rush, the physical exertion, even the danger. Quick piece of fluff about how Felicity and Oliver found ways to indulge their need for Adrenaline during their summer of love.

One Plus One Equals Three multi-chapter by @perfectlittlesoul - a glimpse into the happy married life of Olicity - super sweet

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How To Handle Your Finances In Your 20s

Lets start from scratch! Because with constant new releases, from beauty to skincare, seasonal fashion trends or even attending every social function, managing your finances can become a little too overwhelming! If you’re in your 20s, you’re always debating whether you’re too young for major responsibilities or too old for spending your entire wage over that newly released Gucci Marmont matelassé bag. Here’s going back too basics…

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You had been sat here for a few hours now – solitary. Stark Tower had become the base of operations for the Avengers whom you had reluctantly joined. Your reputation for insane combat skills and your tough exterior got you onto SHIELD’s radar - though not necessarily in the best way. The only reason you were not chained up and left in a rotting cell was because you were more useful working with the Avengers than against them. You neither liked them or disliked them - they were your team-mates; colleagues and nothing more.
Their relationship with each other, on the other hand, was more jovial than you cared to think about so when Stark suggested playing a game of cards, you retreated from the room forthwith. On one of the upper floors, you sat at the bar with a glass of whiskey that you swirled slowly around the glass. You were used to your own company and found that time alone with your thoughts was valuable. However, being frequently in the company of the Avengers had begun to acclimatise you to being around people. It irritated you that you were beginning to miss the sound of laughter and conversation when you were usually so content without it.

As you sat, silently scolding yourself for wanting company, somebody entered the room. Their entrance would have been almost unnoticeable had you not felt the hairs on the back of your neck shift slightly at the displacement within in the room. Placing your glass down gently, you waited a few seconds until you could be sure the person was behind you. When they were, you pushed back off the chair and threw your leg up in a kick that collided with the chest of the assailant.
You watched as their figure flew backwards through the air before hitting the pillar in the middle of the room where they slumped down. Their long hair covered their face so that it took you a minute to determine who it was. With a quick flick of the head, the man was able to reveal his face to you.


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someone, who requested to not be named, asked me to try to convince them in a post as to why Jinbei should join the Straw Hat crew. first, i’d like to start off by saying that i, personally, have been rooting for Jinbei to join the Straw Hats ever since Luffy popped the question back on Fishman Island. and there was no doubt in my mind that Jinbei would eventually be a part of the Straw Hat crew, and it really only became a matter of when will he join since then. 

so… to those who oppose to or express their dislike of Jinbei as the next Straw Hat member for reasons such as, “he’s not ‘straw hat material’!!” or “he’s too serious to be a Straw Hat…” or “Character A, B, or C should join the Straw Hats instead of Jinbei!!” blah blah blah… and to that, my initial reaction is:

but on a more serious note, when some of you say Jinbei’s not ‘straw hat material’, what exactly do you mean by ‘straw hat material’?? last i checked, there was never a specific set of qualities a character had to have in order for them to become a Straw Hat member. literally, and i mean LITERALLY, the only thing that made one a Straw Hat is based on whether Luffy had invited you to join his crew or not (with Robin being a special case, but that’s not the point here). everyone in the crew has very distinct personalities, so i don’t get this whole ‘straw hat material’ reasoning. 

and let me just break this down for those who come up with the reason of not wanting Jinbei to join because he’s “too serious” to be a member of the Straw Hats. so, we were first officially introduced to Jinbei’s character back in Impel Down, and learned that he was imprisoned because he was opposed to the impending war between the Marines and the Whitebeard Pirates. being surrounded in such a grim situation, where you’re trying to prevent a whole damn war from happening, there was no time for Jinbei to even be fooling around. then next, the story delved more deeply into his character during the Fishman Island arc. however, this time he’s found in a sort of similar situation where he’s trying to prevent history from repeating itself. so yes, to some, he may have come across as being a rather serious character up to this point. but if you think about it, there haven’t really been many instances where Jinbei could let loose and show other less serious sides of himself, but that doesn’t mean that his seriousness is all there is to him. in fact, Jinbei has shown that he can be kind of a dork at times too, and his devil-may-care attitude. (***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** for those who haven’t read the manga) we hear from Aladdin that Jinbei has been talking incessantly about Luffy for over the past 2 years since the timeskip, to which Jinbei actually BLUSHED when he realizes he’s been talking about Luffy that often (reminds me of two certain older brothers of Luffy who can’t stop talking about their lil bro either…). and Jinbei also literally laughed in the face of danger while blatantly telling Nami that he’s rebelling against Big Mom. it’s been mentioned time and time again throughout the current arc that no one who ever walked away from Big Mom’s crew has ever lived to tell the tale, and yet here Jinbei is, LAUGHING as he outright declares he’s rebelling against Big Mom. (***END SPOILERS***) so yeah, Jinbei has often showed his serious side when it’s time to be serious, but that’s definitely not all there is to him. and frankly speaking, i think when it comes down to it, if there has to be one absolute requirement to become a Straw Hat, it should be based on whether one is an inherently good person or not; it should go without saying that Jinbei is probably one of the most selfless characters in One Piece.

oh, and let’s not forget how many times Jinbei has saved Luffy’s life too. not once, when he tried to protect an already unconscious Luffy, who just lost Ace, from a direct attack by Akainu… not twice, when he stayed by Luffy’s side during his lowest point and reminded Luffy that he still had reason to live despite just losing Ace in the war… not thrice, when he donated his blood to Luffy, who at the time desperately needed a blood transfusion after losing a large amount of blood back on Fishman Island… and (*SPOILER ALERT*) last but not least, when he saved Luffy from ripping his arms off in a desperate attempt to get out of Mont D’or’s book… (*END SPOILERS*) all in all, Jinbei has saved Luffy 4 times in total… has anyone else saved Luffy from the brink of death more than 4 times, HMMM??? yeah, i didn’t think so.

if you ask me, i honestly think Jinbei is MORE than qualified to be a Straw Hat… like can you just imagine, despite being such a small crew, how much their strength as a whole would multiply with an ex-shichibukai joining them??? what’s more, he can call upon whale sharks too. that’ll surely come in handy with 4 DF users on board, though i’m sure Jinbei is more than capable of easily saving all of them if they were to ever be thrown overboard. and with Jinbei joining, he’ll take over Brook and become the tallest among the crew! Brook will finally have someone to literally look up to. it’ll also be very interesting to see someone like Jinbei being part of the Straw Hat shenanigans!! but most importantly… LARGE FISH UNCLE GIVING HIS TINY (by comparison) CREW MEMBERS A RIDE ON HIS BACK/SHOULDERS!!! 


Soriku Fic Recs

Part two! Adding onto my original post (which will [eventually] be edited to feature these now), here’s some solid pieces I’ve stumbled across lately. Once again, not into sexual content, so nothing is exclusively about such matters. Bolded works are those you damn well oughta look through.

Have a good read!

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Fic Rec Mega Post!

Been a while since my first one of these, which is bad. But! It means I have a whole lovely twelve (well, fourteen if you count individual series instalments) fics to tell you all about, which is good! As usual, there’s a mix of old and new, and most of these are on the longer side. Speaking of which, this post is gonna be big, so I’ll try not to be too long-winded about it (*scoffs at self*).

First up, then, is Tides of Fate by nightliferogue (@slashyrogue). Will Graham finds his life going from bad to worse when he is rescued from one group of pirates by another, who just happen to be led by the fearsome Captain Hannibal Lecter, with whom Will has a turbulent and painful history. Stuck together on the high seas, the two argue, obfuscate and try desperately not to fall back in love. As ever with slashy, this is boundlessly entertaining, with Hannibal as a devastatingly sexy pirate and sassy!Will in all his (sea) salty glory.

Next, a couple by TigerPrawn (@desperatelyseekingcannibals), one old and one new. The new is Write Here, Write Now, a Hannigram AU in which Will is a one-hit wonder literary author and Hannibal is the successful, populist pulp-pedlar he despises. Which is awkward when it turns out that not only is Hannibal seated next to him at the convention they’re both attending, but that professional loathing might not be the only feeling Will’s harbouring for him. Literary snobbery, cannibal puns and a totally smitten Hannibal abound in yet another of DSC’s completely delightful fics.

The older one is Past and Future Designs, in which, post-fall, Will’s subconscious is trying to deal with his new (ahem) attraction to Hannibal by dreaming about a certain pair of Samartian knights. Tristhad meets Hannigram in a not-quite reincarnation AU, and a good, fun, very seriously sexy time is had by all. There’s also a companion fic to this, Past Redesigns, which fleshes out the Tristhad relationship and is equally charming.

Onwards, to mokuyoubi’s (@moku-youbi) The God of Appetite. Vampires and Hannigram are just such a perfect combination, don’t you think? Certainly in this wonderful period-set fic, in which Will is an academic tasked by Jack Crawford to prove that a vampire is responsible for a slew of murders centred on a small Lithuanian village. While there, he is aided by a certain doctor who has cold hands, sharp teeth and a definite interest in getting to know the young professor. Beautifully written, with the same lyrical sensuality as defines the show, this is a gorgeous and inventive reframing of canon.

Now some Spacedogs for you, in the form of Cell 30 by VictoriaSkyeMarsters (@artbyvictoriaskye). The cute idea behind this is that Adam’s uncanny resemblance to a certain former FBI special agent leads to him being flung into a Romanian jail cell. Fortunately, his cellmate is a very bad man from Bucharest, who’s rather taken with the blue-eyed spaceman he’s suddenly bunking with. Putting Spacedogs in jail works brilliantly, with the trademark Adam and Nigel fluff transported to a dangerous and brutal environment. VSM has a fantastic grip on the character’s voices and their unlikely connection evolves beautifully, despite being shot through with pain at the seeming impossibility of things ending well.

Next is A Room Without Doors by cartouche (whose tumblr, if it exists, I could not find). This is an amnesia AU in which Hannibal loses his memory, after attempting to kill Will for figuring out he’s the Ripper. While Hannibal deals with the shock of finding out he’s a monster, Will deals with how to relate to this new version of his friend, and they both deal with their growing feelings for each other. There’s a yearning, aching quality to this fic that’s at once heartbreaking and hopeful, exploring the ways in which our pasts define us and how these two men just fundamentally fit together to make a whole.

I’ve been looking forward to Cathexis by Weconqueratdawn (@weconqueratdawn) ever since I subscribed to the first chapter (the no-reading-WIPs rule is a hard one to keep sometimes). Happily, it doesn’t disappoint in any way. This is an s1 non-cannibal AU, in which Will finds a complement to his submissive desires in Hannibal’s dominant ones and the pair navigate their way through how this works as part of a romantic relationship. The thing I love most about this fic is that, despite their dom/sub markers, Will and Hannibal are absolute equals, both capable of making mistakes and both with complex needs and emotions. It rings absolutely true as a relationship, with numerous bumps along the way and an ever-growing understanding between the two that quickly becomes something neither can do without.

So, I’ll be honest, I was a little uneasy about diving into Gweezle’s (@gweezle) All Flesh Consorteth, given that the tags make it clear this is “Daddy Kink taken to its logical extreme.” Yep, in this AU, Hannibal is Will’s father, which does not mean that he finds his boy any less appealing when Jack insists that Will interview him in the BSHCI. If you’re squicked by incest, run now. For everyone else, this is dark, twisted and utterly compelling, with a sadistic yet seductive Hannibal and an ever-darkening Will at its core. There’s a kind of hypnotic fairytale quality to Gweezle’s writing, which works beautifully here as the tension and forbidden intimacy twists itself between the characters, luring the reader into the darkest of places.

Pirate AU number two (I know, how awesome is that!) comes courtesy of PoisonChocolateCake (@poisonchocolatequake) in the form of The Pirate Bride. And not just any pirate AU but, as the title suggests, a Princess Bride one in which Will finds himself taken on as valet to the Dread Pirate Lecter (“Goodnight Will, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning”). Cue swashbuckling adventures, plenty of sexual tension and a crazy rescue attempt when Will hears that his friend Abigail has been forcibly engaged to marry the awful Prince Humperdinck.

Some Tristhad AU loveliness next, courtesy of BloodToInk, bonelines and howlscastle (@bloodtoink, @bonelines, @hxwlscastle). In Opia, Galahad is a psychic being sold into sex slavery, who decides that Tristan, despite his outwardly fierce demeanour, is the best choice of a bad lot for his new master. Tristan, however, is not so easily convinced. What follows is a night during which both men have their pre-conceptions overturned and find that connection and understanding can come when you least expect them. The short timeframe of this story gives the authors plenty of time to build the intensity and power of this unexpected relationship and the result is a compelling, truly lovely (and pleasantly smutty) fic, with a pleasantly fresh take on the original madancy pairing.

There seems to be fairly wide agreement that the moment Will initiates a physical relationship with Hannibal, the cannibal won’t be able to contain himself. Lunarwench’s (@lunarwench) marvellous Cheap Motel takes this notion and runs with it, as the murder hubbies’ first kiss results in Hannibal dragging Will to the eponymous establishment to have his way with him. Of course, there are feelings to be sorted through first (yes, the bone saw comes up) but suffice it to say, nobody leaves that motel room unsatisfied.

And finally, I know I’m late getting to TheGlintOfTheRail’s (@theglintoftherail) Revelation series but that ain’t gonna stop me raving about it! The first instalment, Silence in Heaven, sees Will, post-fall, strike a deal with Hannibal: if he can stop killing, Will will stay with him. The Mark of His Name, meanwhile, picks up two years after the fall and finds Will struggling with his own killer instincts, while still trying to keep Hannibal on a leash. The question of exactly who Will is going to be after he emerges from the water is one that’s had plenty of attention paid it. But I think this is one of my favourite approaches, its patient examination of Will’s sense of himself while Hannibal hovers, ever-ready to watch how Will transforms, is intelligent and thorough. And the climax it works up to is both thrilling and powerful (and left me bloody desperate for further instalments!).

Wow, that was long. I hope somebody finds it of use ;) If there are bad links, or I’ve miscredited anything, do please let me know and I’ll fix it ASAP.

Words: 7,983
Cas x Reader
Warnings: death of a character, grief, angst, mildly graphic description
A/N: This is the final installment of the In Our Time series. Find all the parts listed on the Master List. Thank you for sticking with this story to the very end. I hope you all find closure in this part. LOVES. Thanks for your patience waiting for this part. It’s double the length to make up for it…

Your name: submit What is this?

The quality of the light at this time of day was truly astounding. The shadows were still blue from the last edge of night that was hanging on by its fingernails, but with the sun starting to shoot golden waves over the horizon it was like the meeting of warm sand and cool water. You wanted to drink in every single drop of sunrise and memorize the way the dawn was chasing off the shadows. You couldn’t take your eyes off it.

And perhaps this was because you knew it could be one of the last sunrises you would ever see. When you were honest with yourself, this seemed to be the more likely outcome of what you would attempt.

”Tea,” came the deep voice from behind you. Cas was there, cradling a mug between his hands, spirals of swirling steam disappearing into the morning air.

”Thank you.” You gave him a small smile as you accepted the mug.

”Actually, its just hot water right now. I didn’t know what kind you would prefer so,” he reached into his pockets and withdrew two fists full of tea bags, “I brought out one of every kind we have.” He glanced down at them. “I wasn’t aware that we had so many. I’m now realizing that perhaps this was foolish and maybe I should have just asked you.”

A laugh crept up on you and bubbled out. You set the mug down on the railing and grabbed ahold of Cas, planting a kiss on his lips. “You are—just perfect,” you said.

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I haven’t been reading as intensely in the CAPTAIN AMERICA fandom, but I do still pull out the occasional longfic or grab one from a favorite author or one that was recommended to me, because I do still have a lot of Steve/Bucky feelings or just want Sam and Natasha and Steve and Bucky to be okay and so I need all the fic for that. ;__;

Capture the Flag by Shiny_n_new, steve/bucky + sam, dark au, 9.4k wip

Bucky has always been willing to do Captain America’s dirty work. This was no different. Sometimes, the day isn’t won by high ideals or bravery or compassion. Sometimes, it’s won by monsters.

Memories are Made of This by eleveninches, steve/bucky & natasha & sam, 13.2k

Nearly a year after turning himself into SHIELD and the Avengers, Bucky struggles to find himself in the 21st century. Unfortunately, no one told him about the aliens.

but hey, you’re all right by beardsley, steve/bucky + other marvel characters, 5.5k

Yes, this is the story where the Winter Soldier is a Russian mail-order bride. Everything goes about as well as you’d expect.

Out of the Dead Land by emilyenrose, steve/bucky + sam + natasha + nick fury + other marvel characters, nsfw in one scene at the end, 62.7k

Someone is building machines that look and act like people. Meanwhile, the Winter Soldier tries to be Bucky Barnes.

devil’s gonna follow me (wherever I go) by Lyaka, steve/bucky + avengers, written pre-tws, 63k

The man who used to be Bucky Barnes lined up his shot. His finger twitched, only once, very precisely. Help me, the bullet sang. Ninety-eight floors below him, the bullet glanced off a vibranium shield with a musical ping. And Steve Rogers looked up.

I Left Myself in 1943 (Who the hell is Bucky?) by originalblue, steve/bucky + sam + natasha + other marvel characters, 21k

You have a mission, but your mind is being split in two, and there’s a man on the bridge, and you know him. You don’t know why, but you know him.

sam deserves better than these assholes by lazulisong, steve/bucky + sam + natasha + other marvel characters, 10.7k


This, You Protect by owlet, steve & bucky & everyone else, humor, 64.3k

The mission resets abruptly, from objective: kill to objective: protect

By Choice or By Habit by Sholio, steve & bucky & natasha & clint & tony, 6.4k

He is useful. He holds onto that. He is useful and a useful tool will not be thrown away. (For illumynare’s request: How about something with Bucky realizing the Avengers actually think of him as a person? And off I went to the utterly shameless h/c place.)

5 (+1) Times Bucky Was Already a Supersoldier by chaya, steve & bucky, 1k

Erskine made it plain for Steve - the serum makes you stronger, faster, harder to kill, and it amplifies your existing qualities. Barnes, though, didn’t get any such heads up.

Thaw by dvs, steve & bucky & sam & natasha, 7.5k

The Winter Soldier tries to find Bucky Barnes.

Brothers In Arms by copperbadge, steve & bucky & sam & sam & tony & pepper & clint + background tony/pepper, 11.4k

Bucky Barnes gets a tune-up, a new pet, and a home.

You Know How I Feel, aka, The Adventures of Bucky and Muffy the Dinosaur by ifeelbetter, bucky & avengers, fluff, 4.5k

Bucky saved a tiny dinosaur and took her home to Avengers Tower and on the way remembered how to laugh and sleep in soft beds.

full details + recs under the cut!

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Rurouni Kenshin Analysis: Fight Sequences Part 1: Introductions

Hello everyone and welcome to the first portion of a new 3 part series. I’d like to take this moment to explain precisely what this is and what to expect in the future! This is a project I am very excited about and one that I have been planning for a really long time. After months and months of research, I’ve finally have enough information (and confidence) to go ahead and carry out exactly what’s going on here! 

Just as the title mentions, this is the first part of a new three part series of posts centered around the film grammar behind the fight sequences of Rurouni Kenshin’s live action trilogy. If successful, I will launch into the largest project I’ve ever done, which would be a fully detailed analysis of everything RK in terms of filmmaking. I plan on releasing each part on a weekly schedule as I will go through an extensive revising and editing process as well as draft high quality gif files and explanations for each section of these breakdowns.

The goal behind doing this is to deepen the appreciation of the Rurouni Kenshin films, as well as film in general. After all, love it or hate it, Rurouni Kenshin has made a cultural statement for two years (2012-2014) in a row with three successful live action film adaptations of a manga series and has become an international phenomenon and this is partly due to the thing everyone loves: The action sequences! So what is there to talk about exactly? Here’s an overview of the next two posts in sequence:

  •          Filmmaking and the composition of an action sequence

This will be a breakdown of the various components that make up an action sequence in general and how to spot a good one by analyzing film techniques such as cinematography, direction, editing and so on, as well as be an attempt to understand Rurouni Kenshin’s fight sequence in film’s rich grammar. This will help us understand why they’re so appealing, as well as creating a contrast of why other films might not be as appealing.

An action sequence is more than just stellar choreography and crazy stunts, action sequences, especially fight scenes, have a very specific method behind them and certain requirements they need to meet. This will hopefully raise questions in your own mind when watching an action film: Is the fight choreography good? The lighting? How’s the directing? Is the action on screen legible? and so on. 

I will be defining each of these terms, describing an example, and try to remain as simple and direct as possible in doing so. I hope this enriches and enlightens many people who may not be “film literate” or otherwise extremely invested in the art that goes behind making movies, so we could see all the details and thoughts that went into the film that we might take for granted! 

  •   Narrative and how action sequences progress the story.  

The third and final installment of this series is how action sequences express the narrative and its place within the story. Can the story progress without conflict? How does RK lend itself to these action sequences? Do they make narrative sense? Do they express characters in any sort of meaningful and enriching way?

The idea behind this particular post is because writing one of the most important elements in filmmaking, and many writers in a lot of big action blockbusters seem to neglect that fact when it comes to action sequences. Conflict is one of the basic elements of any story and without it, a story might not be as grabbing or as interesting. It’s one of the corner stones of not only cinema, but storytelling in general. This segment will take apart the action sequences in a narrative sense and discuss how the conflict leads to action sequences, how the grammar discussed in part one portrays the conflict just as much as the writing, as well as different types of fight sequences pending on tone. 

I especially look forward to this post and I hope you guys love it. Let the fun begin and I’ll hopefully see you all here next week!

trailer-park-jesus  asked:

for the record anyone voting for Donald Trump is fucking hot flaming trash that needs to be sent to the fucking sun, but still, Clinton's voter demographic should rethink their whole fucking pathetic liberal lives

That would then be my whole fucking pathetic liberal life we’re discussing, yes? Just so we’re clear. :) Because I’m pretty sure I’m in the demographic.

I think the last time you shared a generalization of this kind with me regarding All Clinton Voters, most of my reply to you was:

But you know what? That response was a bit abrupt (though valid). Let’s try this again. Specifically, I’ll lay out a few details about this Clinton voter’s political experience and how it maps onto this particular US election, and then we’ll see about the rethinking.

I’m sixty-four this year, and this will be my twelfth US general election: I’ve voted in every one since 1972. The first of those votes happened in New York, as I’m a native New Yorker, born in Manhattan. (This could doubtless be taken as an excuse to classify me in the absence of better data as a “New York kneejerk liberal.” To which the only response necessary is that the kneejerk is the body’s shorthand for a reflex response designed to save your life when you’re in danger.) Other votes happened in Pennsylvania and in California, where I’ve lived longer (in the US) than anywhere besides New York. My last US residence was in LA, so I now vote as a Californian.

(Adding a cut here because this has run a touch long…)

As an Irish citizen I also have, running in parallel with this, a quarter century’s living and voting experience in a country with multiple political parties that are to greater or lesser extents viable at the national level. To put it mildly, it’s interesting watching the parties’ relationships shift, watching coalition governments form and fall apart, watching new parties form and old ones die. I kind of wonder (casting an eye over the present political situation in the US) whether, with an eye to its present—I hope!—near-miss brush with ochlocracy, it’s up to coping with that kind of institutional instability in the immediate future. I also wonder whether I’d really enjoy the spectacle of a country going through the ructions of a three- or four-party general election for the first time, still wobbling on its training wheels, while it’s also got the power to traumatically destabilize the world economy. (Again.)

But right now these are hypotheticals. What I know from watching the process close up is that truly viable and effective third parties are only built slowly and over significant periods of time. I know this is frustrating, but it’s true. If by some bizarre alternate-universe airport-novel outcome either of the present third-party candidates could be elected president, they would still be incapable of successfully governing because they have no legislative support whatsoever. To be of any use once elected—assuming such an outcome was possible with the present US system of governance (and the chilly mathematics of the situation say clearly why it’s not)—such a President would need a significant portion of the House and/or Senate backing them up. Then there could be horsetrading with the two major parties… but not a second before. (A few interesting articles on this here, here and here, though in each case you want to be alert to the axe each specific writer and organ has to grind.)

You want that working third choice? Then start now. Start downticket and start backing third-party senators and representatives. With any kind of luck, and with a ton of work and persistence, by the end of your lifetime it might happen in the US. If this election cycle invariably leaves you frustrated, well, that’s the way the cookie’s crumbled this time out. Better luck with your next election. And the one after that, and the one after that.

This has to be said too: Since (unlike on this side of the water, where national/general elections are triggered at less regular intervals) it would’ve been plain for some time to anyone who can count that there was going to be a general election this year, I hope you were already actively canvassing and fundraising for third parties a couple/few years ago! If you weren’t, that would make it look like you’ve been just sitting around and hoping that whatever happened in the primaries would by great good luck throw up a candidate you felt comfortable with. That’s not exactly the strongest position to be coming from when opinionating about the quality / lack of quality of other people’s political choices.

That said, I have no idea what your political life looks like except from what I see on your Tumblr: so let’s give you the benefit of the doubt for the time being and move on.

Here’s a useful image to consult before I get into particulars. Some nice person has composed this “quick comparison” chart, and as far as I can tell all the attributed positions are correct. (I am not going to add cites to this or anything that follows, as I have work to do today. Got doubts about anything? Google is your friend.)

As regards the candidates. I routinely cross party lines in my voting, guided by fairly ruthless pragmatism in my choices of who I want representing me. Yes, it would be wonderful if “is this a good person” could be the only issue in one’s voting, or even the major one. But it’s not. My concerns are: Can this person do the job? Can they do it well? What do they say they want to do? What are the odds they’ll be able to do it? Are the positions they hold that I don’t like sufficiently balanced by the ones I do? (Because successful politics, the kind that actually does something useful for the electorate, is always, always the art of compromise.) Do they have sufficient political experience to manage themselves in their new position (assuming they’re not running for re-election) and avoid being negatively exploited by the other party / their own party? Do they have the fiber / the support to carry their intentions through? Will they be good for their country, both politically and economically? Will they be able to steer it successfully in its international relationships? Will they be able to give the country’s enemies serious second thoughts about messing with them / it? (And there are a lot of other things in the balance for me as well, but those should do to start with.)

On the majority of the above counts, for me, Clinton fills the bill. (And particularly on the last one. I can just see Vladimir Putin—who has been getting increasingly brazen and shameless lately—covering his face and going OH FUCK NO at the prospect of having to deal with a President who, as SecState, is already quite familiar with his nasty wily post-KGB personality and his sub-rosa machinations, has dealt with them up close and personal, and now has even more power to continue that work. Nor do I have any truck with / time for the ridiculous “hawk” narrative that the Republicans have attempted to plaster Clinton with, or any of the rest of two decades’ worth of frustrated, sheerly misogynistic, spite-fuelled propaganda. In my opinion Clinton is and remains the best-prepared candidate for this job for many decades.)

Do not imagine that I think Clinton’s perfect. She’s not. But she is unquestionably the best of the electable people on offer this year. Additionally: I left NY too soon for her to be my own senator, but I know people who had problems and sought her office’s intervention, and she was personally helpful to them because they were her constituents and she was their senator and it was her job to be helpful. (In these days when half the Senate doesn’t appear to know what its job is, this is pretty refreshing.) And her work record in the Senate is eloquent enough for me as regards her persistence and effectiveness in getting legislation handled.

Now, to other issues. For me, experience really counts. Which is why none of the other candidates make even a blip on my radar. Trump has no experience in public office whatsoever, but even if he did, he’s also (as has been obvious for a long while, especially to a significant number of my fellow New Yorkers) not at all good at being human. (Sudden thought. Could it be that simple - that he’s one of those zip-up aliens from Doctor Who? God, it would explain a lot. Maybe even the hair.) (Sorry… sometimes it’s hard to stay out of SF-writer mode.) Anyway, as for dumping his followers in the sun? Naah. They may yet see some other light. Him, though? Don’t tempt me. (…But then again, no. I kind of like the sun. For me, consigning him to the endless dark outer cold has more appeal. I hear the region between Pluto’s orbit and the Oort Cloud is nice this time of year.)

Anyway. Stein is not an option for me either. Running for office is not the same as holding it; she has no actual experience in a political position of any kind… so from my point of view she’s already disqualified. But regardless of any position she may or may not be holding on the issues today, she’s already committed what is for me an unforgivable sin. She is a doctor who refuses to come down unequivocally in favor of vaccination. This means one of two things. (1) She either genuinely doesn’t believe in science or thinks somehow that you can cherrypick the bits of it that you like and ignore the others. This is a truly bizarre position for a doctor to take, but we’ve seen it before in the primaries in the form of at least one candidate who made it plain that being capable of brain surgery doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re otherwise rational. (A realization I had to come to grips with decades ago as a student nurse when scrubbing in on brain surgery during my med-surg rotation. Wow but some surgeons are weird.) Or: (2) She’s so mercenary in her vote-seeking that she’s unwilling to cleanly cut her ties to antivaxxers. And that, for me, is worse than not believing in science. It makes her a doctor gone rogue; someone who’s supposed to be saving lives, but is now playing politics with public-health science for her own purposes, and is therefore potentially destroying them. Her unsubstantiable mutterings about the putative influence of Big Pharma on vaccines don’t convince me in the slightest. She is blatantly in violation of her medical oaths, and from where I’m sitting has irrevocably positioned herself beyond the Pale and beneath contempt.

Johnson comes off a shade better in experience terms, as he’s at least served as a state governor. But otherwise I’m left unimpressed. He wants to get rid of the minimum wage and do away with Social Security and dismantle Medicare? He wants lower taxes for the rich? He supports Citizens United? Really? Bzzt, wrong answers. (And what the hell was that thing he came out with about the Sun going out, the other week? Five billion years is a little too far down the road to kick the climate-change can! But this also speaks to his gifts [or sad lack of them] as a politician. Johnson should know by now that when you’re on the campaign trail, almost all jokes but the most harmless are off limits. And some are off limits whether you’re campaigning or not. Who remembers “In five minutes we bomb Russia”? As if this week we need any more illustrations of the dangers of the live microphone.)

So as regards the candidates, I’ve said my piece. Now, with all this behind us:

You might feel tempted to suggest that I’m too old to have useful opinions in this climate—that I’m inherently part of “the establishment” and “part of the problem.” Were you to say so, I’d be tempted to suggest—as gently as possible—that you spend a little more time making it plain to your followers in what ways you’re part of the solution. In service of that goal, you might want to consider laying off the recreational substances for a couple of weeks* while you do some hardcore Googling and find out how—and whether—your internal realities actually map usefully onto the external ones: and then lay out your findings for us in more than one- or two-sentence posts. Perhaps you’ve done this already? Please point me at it, if so. Otherwise, if you find the time to get around to it, I’ll view the results with interest.

Finally: just a word about people “voting their consciences.” Most people do, but some do it far better than others. A good sign that you’re really voting your conscience is when you’re doing it not because it makes you feel better, but because you feel your vote is going to benefit the body politic as a whole, your countrymen as a whole, and not so much you and your feels. Sometimes this means voting against your own inclinations or preferences. And at such times  a sign of having truly voted your conscience is that doing so leaves you feeling bruised and uneasy and not particularly satisfied except at the intellectual level, where you know you did right. 

So. I have a job to do and today is not a day off for me, so (having already voted) I’m going to go do my work. Meanwhile, thanks for the excuse to get this written. And as a last thought: perhaps you’ll have a look at this post about the election and the new voter, which comes (as a quote) from my old friend David Gerrold. It’s worth a read.

All the best,

— DD

(And one note in closing to the folks who follow me: please don’t be filling up this guy’s inbox with stuff on my account. He’s got his own thinking to do. Let him get on with it in peace.)

*Disclaimer here: at one period in my post-college days I had access to unlimited amounts of marijuana, just for the asking. I smoked quite heavily for a while there until I suddenly realized that the resulting tension relief meant I was also being relieved of the tension that drove my urge to write. I immediately stopped using, and haven’t smoked weed since except for the occasional strictly social toke at a party—one hit, one fake inhale, pass it on. But anyone who thinks I don’t know how to get the best out of a bong should disabuse themselves of the idea tout suite. :)

The Moonlight Witch’s Top 10 anime of 2015: Part One

2015 has come to an end and it’s time for me to look back at my favorite anime shows of the year. 2015 started off well with a number of great shows, and by the end of the year, it was not difficult to find more than 10 shows that I would feel happy including on this list.

While picking a top ten I could be satisfied with was easy actually ranking the shows was not! I agonized a great deal over how to order these shows and, to be honest, I’m still not completely happy with my final rankings. In particular the top three shows are virtually interchangeable, with all of them being solid candidates for first place, so please take my rankings with a grain of salt!

If you haven’t tried all the shows on this list I would highly recommend doing so. There are a variety of different shows here and many of them won’t be appealing to everyone, but they are all worthy anime. Note that this list is defined as shows that ended in 2015, so currently airing shows that began last year are not included. The list is also divided into three parts since it’s kind of ridiculously long.

10 Noragami Aragoto

The first season of Noragami never quite clicked with me. I enjoyed watching it but I wasn’t eagerly awaiting each episode and I somehow never resonated all that much with it’s characters and themes. Nevertheless, I liked it as a show and was perfectly happy to pick up the second season when it aired. And I’m glad I did because this time around I ended up being far more attached to it.

This second season blows the first out of the water, both in terms of technical skills and in it’s storytelling. By limiting the story to two separate arcs, rather than the somewhat more messy structure of the first season, there was plenty of time to build up tension and deliver powerful emotional payoffs. The shows visual’s and direction have gotten a noticeable upgrade, and as the first show was already remarkably technically competent this is quite an achievement.

The first arc is hands down one of the best anime arcs I’ve ever seen. It’s a cohesive moving tale that finally succeeded in drawing me into rooting for these characters and more than once moved me to tears. The second arc, while weaker retained the strong emotions of the first and finished off with an excellent finale that fully satisfied me and left me eagerly awaiting the possibility of a third season.

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Good job Noragami, I’m excited to see what you’ve got in store for me in the future.

9 Kekkai Sensen

Kekkai Sensen or Blood Blockade Battlefront was one of my most anticipated shows of the year - and for good reason. Directed by Rie Matsumoto of Kyousougiga, based on the manga by Yasuhiro Nightow the writer of Trigun, and animated by Studio Bones it would have been a surprise if this show had been bad or mediocre. Fortunately for something with such high expectations awaiting it the show was more than capable of delivering.

Set in an alternate version of new York City where a portal between another dimension has forced monsters and humans to coexist, Kekkai Sensen is one hell of a ride. I think I had to watch the first episode three times before I felt I had a reasonable grasp of what had happened. This is one busy show - it packs as much into one episode as most shows would pack into three! In the hands of a lesser director, this would result in disaster but Matsumoto handles it with aplomb. And the show is certainly worth the close attention that needs to be paid to understand it. For this reason, it’s also one of the few shows that I would unreservedly recommend the dub over the sub. It’s much easier to catch everything when you don’t have to read subtitles!.

It’s obvious that when sitting down to make this show the creators had so many things they wanted to include and Kekkai Sensen is remarkable for just how much it’s able to cram in. Not just into the plot but also background shots, characters, animation - everything is very very busy. This contributes greatly to the sense of fun and adventure and also strongly establishes the frenetic atmosphere of the place these characters are living in.

If I had to pick a flaw for Kekkai Sensen it would be that there’s just not enough of it. The busy packed plot didn’t always gel well with the standalone adventure of the week stories, but at the same time, I can’t imagine giving up either of those things. When my biggest critique of a show is “there’s not enough of it” that’s a very good thing.

8 Owarimonogatari

The Monogatari Series is a mixed franchise. At it’s worst it’s a wordy tedious exercise in some of the grossest anime cliche’s there are - at it’s best it’s a tour de force in both visual and verbal storytelling. After the lackluster and somewhat uncomfortable Tsukimonogatari I was concerned about what Owarimonogatari would have to say, but fortunately, while it doesn’t quite match up to the heights of Second Season it’s definitely a return to the franchise’s strengths.

Araragi is not one of the show’s most compelling characters but Owari offsets this by pairing him with some of the shows best. The first arc has a strong focus on Ougi Oshino one of the show’s most mysterious and frightening characters and a main focus on new character Oikura Sodachi who holds her own well against the more established cast. My personal favorite Tsubasa Hanekawa also gets time to shine and the uncomfortable dynamic between her Araragi and Ougi is one of the best and most tension-filled parts of the show.

The second arc begins much weaker with a focus on tired comedy between Araragi and Suruga. We’ve seen her character grow strongly in Hanamonogatari so the older interactions here feel somewhat stale. However the arc improves drastically as it goes on, with the final two episodes featuring some of Monogatari’s most stunning work, and stellar scenes from Suruga and Senjougahara more than making up for it’s lackluster beginning and giving the show an immensely satisfying finale

Owarimonogatari proved that this franchise has not yet lost its appeal and I’m eager to see what comes next.

7 Hibiki Euphonium

Euphonium is an interesting show in that one of it’s most compelling aspects could also have been it’s downfall - the compelling and heavily romantically charged relationship between it’s two female leads that ignited a storm of debate over whether this was a genuine attempt to portray a romantic relationship between two girls - or just queerbaiting.

I admit to being torn over the matter myself. On the one hand, the hints of romantic interests in men coupled with the lack of an actual kiss scene between the two would seem proof that the teased relationship was just that: teased. On the other hand, the scenes between them were so charged it’s hard to imagine how anyone watching could interpret this show another way, and the general quality of the writing was so high that it’s hard to imagine that the writers would make such a blunder.

But mostly I find it unfortunate  that this debate has in some ways ended up overshadowing the show itself because Euphonium is an excellent show in its own right. Beautifully animated and directed Euphonium is a remarkable work balancing nostalgia with hard unpleasant realism. The show is wonderfully made, with everything created with careful attention to detail and a strong focus both on small character moments and large and sweeping dramatic moments. Euphonium had me hooked right from the first episode and even though the events of the finale were entirely predictable it still had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next.

This show is definitely one of Kyoto Animation’s most stellar pieces of work and with a second season coming I am both eager and anxious to see what this show has lying in wait for me next.

(part 2) (part 3)

Arrow 3x21 - Al Sah-him

Coming into the final run of the season, it’s getting harder to think of the episodes as stand-alone affairs that begin and end in 42 minutes. This time last year, the final three episodes of the season took place over one night, and they felt like a three-hour movie. That’s what this upcoming run is feeling like, sort of like a trilogy, an interconnected movie, each part of which is significant to what comes next. That may be why it took me so long to write this review. I just couldn’t find a way to get into analysing this episode without wanting to skip forward and talk end of season theories. I’ve tried, as far as I can, to avoid that, because I think that this episode does deserve a space of its own. 

Apologies for the delay. I hope you enjoy reading this review!

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