self effacement
Harry Styles: Singer Opens Up About Famous Flings, Honest New LP
One Direction's Harry Styles goes deep on love, family and his heartfelt new solo debut in our revealing feature.

January 2016. There’s a bench at the top of Primrose Hill, in London, that looks out over the skyline of the city. If you’d passed by it one winter night, you might have seen him sitting there. A lanky guy in a wool hat, overcoat and jogging pants, hands thrust deep into his pockets. Harry Styles had a lot on his mind. He had spent five years as the buoyant fan favorite in One Direction; now, an uncertain future stretched out in front of him. The band had announced an indefinite hiatus. The white noise of adulation was gone, replaced by the hushed sound of the city below.

The fame visited upon Harry Styles in his years with One D was a special kind of mania. With a self-effacing smile, a hint of darkness and the hair invariably described as “tousled,” he became a canvas onto which millions of fans pitched their hopes and dreams. Hell, when he pulled over to the side of the 101 freeway in L.A. and discreetly threw up, the spot became a fan shrine. It’s said the puke was even sold on eBay like pieces of the Berlin Wall. Paul McCartney has interviewed him. Then there was the unauthorized fan-fiction series featuring a punky, sexed-up version of “Harry Styles.” A billion readers followed his virtual exploits. (“Didn’t read it,” comments the nonfiction Styles, “but I hope he gets more than me.”)

But at the height of One D–mania, Styles took a step back. For many, 2016 was a year of lost musical heroes and a toxic new world order. For Styles, it was a search for a new identity that began on that bench overlooking London. What would a solo Harry Styles sound like? A plan came into focus. A song cycle about women and relationships. Ten songs. More of a rock sound. A bold single-color cover to match the working title: Pink. (He quotes the Clash’s Paul Simonon: “Pink is the only true rock & roll colour.”) Many of the details would change over the coming year – including the title, which would end up as Harry Styles – but one word stuck in his head.

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SKAM’s mains & colour palettes

I’ve seen a few people talk (and gotten a few asks) about what could the stark blacks and whites in Sana’s season could possibly mean.
So far, I haven’t seen any opinion on this I really agree with so I’ll add my personal interpretation to the mix.

Each season has a different colour palette (and filter added in post-prod) that corresponds to its main and, by extension, their personality and how they see the world.

I picked a selected pictures from each season to illustrate my point. Sometimes, the main isn’t in the picture, so as to show you how much they influence (because it’s their season and their POV) the characters around them.

Eva’s colour palette is very earthy with yellows, greens, greys, creamy whites… The type of clothes she (and the people around her) mostly wear are wintery, cosy, and soft.
The whole season’s picture seems quite dimmed/faded (probably a filter) that goes with Eva’s self effacing personality and how she feels she blends in the background. The only times she dresses in all black with heavy makeup is when she’s out of her comfort zone: namely, at parties.

Noora’s colour palette is saturated (but the colours/filters dim when she’s not feeling well, like when the stuff with Niko happens) with pop-y blues, yellows, oranges…
The colours (and clothes) go with Noora’s joyful and spirited personality.

The types of clothes she (and the people around her) mostly wear are quite fashionable.
As for the filter, to me it looks like a cold yellow but people have also suggested that the filter might “just” saturate the colours.

Isak’s colour palette is dark with army greens, burgundy reds, dark greys, … To me, it goes with how low (and even depressed) Isak is feeling during most of his season.
The types of clothes he (and the people around him) mostly wear are very casual and unremarkable. This goes to contrast with how different Isak feels from the people around him, how he feels that (ultimately) he doesn’t fit and has to blend as much as possible and mimics the “normal” attitudes around him (ultimately he embraces who he is, that he doesn’t have to behave or dress one way or another to fit his true self, that he is his own “blend”).
A bluish filter is used. Blue usually indicates sadness and melancholy (”feeling blue”).

And now we have Sana…

Sana’s happy colour is black. Her season’s colour palette is black&white with, obviously, blacks and whites but also colours “in between” like greys and browns.
The clothes she (and people around her) wears are casual and sporty. She wears lighter/warmer colours and makeup the more comfortable she is. And her makeup gets darker and heavier, as her clothes get darker too and less personable, when she is uncomfortable and closed-off. This goes with Sana’s badass and active personality (as well as her love for basketball and hip hop music).
The filter used is warm earthy yellow.

So yeah: to me, not everything has to be just symbolic for the sake of.
TV shows and movies are visual arts and colours are, as a result, very important. You don’t need to dig deep into symbolic to get a feel about a character based solely on the colours used. A character dressed in white doesn’t automatically mean goodness and purity.
Sometimes, when a character is in white and all the others around them are in black, it’s just that the director wants us to focus even more on that character in white.

Special thanks to @imagineisak who helped a lot with the colour lingo and who you should go harass so they write us a deeper meta on the use of colours in SKAM. Lots of thanks to the skamily discord chat as well. <3


“Niall is a solid guy whose focus is right where it ought to be: on songwriting. He’s got the Irish charm and a healthy, self-effacing sense of humor, which is an essential ­survival tool in this business. I think that Niall will evolve into a resonant, thoughtful voice for his generation.”  — Don Henley on Niall Horan, Billboard (June, 2017)

I may regret voicing this into the Tumblr void, but this thought has been rolling around in my head since I saw the first criticism of Tom Holland’s performance on LSB yesterday. And now I’ve seen it said a few more times and I just gotta express something. I’ve seen some people saying they don’t think his performance was that great because it wasn’t really that great of a drag performance. I would be inclined to agree, IF he had actually been doing a drag performance. 

He was doing something different and far more rare for TV. And that’s being incredibly sexy but also incredibly masculine in an outfit and arena that is traditionally very not masculine. Drag is about a play between femininity and power, but not masculinity. With the exception of a few moves in his performance, most of tom’s body language was still very much male. In that way i don’t feel it was a drag performance. At the same time Tom did all that without making it a joke, or a parody, or using self-effacement, or “throwing a wink” at the audience (as in, saying to the audience “hey everybody isn’t this funny, i’m dressed like a woman!”). His performance was genuinely sexy AND completely casual about ignoring the boundaries between gender roles. Casual to the point of being nearly oblivious, which is the exact opposite of drag in fact, where the siege of those boundaries is highlighted and amplified to 1000. 

It is just this, the casual dismissal of the shock that typically has accompanied the infringement of gender roles that made this special. And THAT ladies and gentlemen is something we’ve only recently ever seen on tv ever in our culture. 

Billboard: Niall Horan Braces for Stardom Outside One Direction, With Advice From Justin Bieber & The Eagles

When Niall Horan decided to move from London to Los Angeles in early 2016, it’s no surprise that he chose a house in Laurel Canyon, the epicenter of ’60s folk-rock culture. Horan was the one ­toting a guitar in One Direction, the British boy-band juggernaut that was just then going on a hiatus, and he’s got the soul of a singer-songwriter: He’s charismatic, witty and sensitive, but also easygoing and no-nonsense. Viewed alongside his bandmates – born rock star Harry Styles, “sensible one” Liam Payne, “funny one” Louis Tomlinson, moody R&B prince Zayn Malik – Horan, 23, is sort of like the middle brother: the most ­approachably handsome, the second-most popular across social media (29 million Twitter followers; 19 million on Instagram) and the most likely to lust after a gig at the historic Los Angeles rock club The Troubadour. “Playing for, like, 500 people. What more do you want?” says Horan. “I’ve had some good moments with screaming ­teenagers, but I like when the room is completely dead. It’s a ­different kind of respect. People are actually listening.”

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Ask Horan for a celeb story, and he’ll tell you about the time he met those very Eagles at a gig of theirs in Toronto. He’ll break out his Joe Walsh drawl to share a bit of wisdom from his favorite guitarist: “You better enjoy the ride, because one day you’re going to be sitting on your own balls.” Then he might add, far too ­casually, “Don Henley and I talk every couple weeks or so. It’s mad. I call him ‘Dad.’ He calls me ‘Son.’"…Henley himself gives Horan a hearty endorsement: “Niall is a solid guy whose focus is right where it ought to be: on songwriting. He’s got the Irish charm and a healthy, self-effacing sense of humor, which is an essential ­survival tool in this business. I think that Niall will evolve into a resonant, thoughtful voice for his generation.
—  billboard
Niall is a solid guy whose focus is right where it ought to be: on songwriting. He’s got the Irish charm and a healthy, self-effacing sense of humor, which is an essential ­survival tool in this business. I think that Niall will evolve into a resonant, thoughtful voice for his generation.
Jeremy's fan letter

The following is an excerpt from Bending the Willow by David Stuart Davies:

One incident that David Burke recounted brought the house down at the Northern Musgraves’ Jeremy Brett Memorial Lunch. it is a tale that reveals not only Brett’s humour and eccentricity, but also his endearing, self-effacing qualities:

“Jeremy said to me on one occasion, “I was feeling so low the other day that I sent myself a fan letter.”

“Are you serious?”

“I’m absolutely serious.”

“What did you write to yourself?”

“Dear Jeremy, I would just like to say what a wonderful actor you are. Your Sherlock Holmes puts every other attempt at the part in the shade. Basil Rathbone is not fit to clean your boots; and Douglas Wilmer and Robert Stephens should beg you to give them lessons. You’re much prettier than all of them, for a start. There is only one word for your performance–magic. Please send me a signed photograph. Yours, Joe Bloggs. P. S. I’ve heard that you’re a really nice person, too.”

”Did you really write that?”

”Yes, I did.”

“Did you send it?”

”Yes. I put a first-class stamp on it. I wanted to get it as soon as possible. It came the next morning.”

“And did you read it?”

”Of course I read it. I read it a dozen times. I felt wonderful afterwards.”

”Well, did you send yourself a signed photograph?”

”David, I may be mad–but I’m not barking mad! In any case, the bugger didn’t send a stamped addressed envelope!”

On who the Real Showrunner is

We’ve always known that the psychopath monster Mary Morstan makes us vomit with disgust over her pure unadulterated evil, but the level of her supposed cleverness in being the actual title holder of Moriarty the criminal organization (or as Sherlock called it in the released S1 scripts, “Crime Ltd.”) really does make her a virus. The virus.

Mary Morstan Infected the Real Story Tellers

She has utterly corrupted the Story Tellers - Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss - that they are no longer recognizable as the writers who gave us S1 to TAB.

Did she reprogram Mofftiss? Drugged them with a powder from a folded paper? Tampered with their IV and threatened them while drugged and injured to “Never tell John” aka never tell us the true story that’s 130 years overdue?

Shot them for making a funny face?

She announced her fake birth in a far-right UK broadsheet as if she were either British or Queen-and-Country-ish. Of which she is neither.

She tried - and is successful so far - in usurping the title Story Teller from Steven and Mark that she tried to tell the story of her fake baby herself, making sure to throw shade at Sherlock in those very few words, and pass it off as a joke. Just to drive home the false point that Sherlock cares not about the “baby” nor John.

Mary Morstan Infected the Characters

She hired a cartoonish has-been (or never-was) actor who gave the most offensive portrayal of gayness and mental illness (the existence of which is offensive itself when perpetually paired with gayness), turning him into the stereotype of the creepy stalking sexual predator with the irritating antics of an attention-seeking 8-year old boy.

Mary hired an annoying caricature to make nauseating gifs and nightmarish soundbites that she could upload to every screen in England and Azkaban.

Then Mary killed him shortly after he says, “Nah, you talk big.” Thus rendering him forever a failure in “burning the heart out” of Sherlock. Was the irony lost on her or is she really that homophobic such that it was deliberate?

One could say Jiminy Creeper gave his life for his art. Or did he? If Mary can access MI-5 from a phone in seconds, then she could make up an entire public backstory about “Richard Brook” the allegedly multi-awarded actor. But is actually an over-the-top nobody.

Mary Morstan Infected the True Story

Mary Morstan’s presence all throughout S4 was intrusive (or as better writers have put it “it felt chaperoned”) because Mary was telling us S4 with the arrogance of a self-inserting malevolent author. Mary gets the last word in S4 (and far too many words besides) because she is its Story Teller.

Mary Morstan is also S4’s alt-right propagandist, conjuring a dystopian tale where Greg, John, Sherlock, and Mycroft are redundant, abusive, gullible, and spineless - respectively. Where POCs are rare, and stupid when they show up. Where little old ladies are road hazards. Where teams of government officials dedicate an entire room and resources for surveillance and nepotism. Where cross-dressing uncles lock up their 6-year old gifted nieces in prison.

An alt-right world Mary force feeds us through John’s and Sherlock’s drugged state where she recycles her homophobic script for the long-dead Jiminy Creeper and speaks them in a woman’s voice, another caricature of gayness and mental illness.

A bizarre world in which Molly is a sickeningly pathetic 40-year old woman with the emotional maturity of a 16-year old while her self-important nagging is ignored, her medical degree ultimately useless, and her public humiliation and torture make her come back for more.

An un-buy-able world in which Mary Morstan is a self-effacing, saccharine letter writing, saintly mommy with a cheating husband, but is “cute” and “better” than her army doctor husband as a crime-solving match for Sherlock.

A surreal world in which a smart, educated, insightful, articulate fan base of Sherlock is systematically engineered to paint them as sex-crazed gay fetishizers who, in their genius, could be nothing else than unnatural.

Mary Morstan’s wresting the story away from Moffat’s and Gatiss’ hands - and rewriting Mycroft as someone who would date a colleague old enough to be his mother (possibly because his own mother thinks him “very limited”) - is a heist that the literary, cinematic, artistic, and philosophical world has to either solve or else live with.

Mary Morstan Infected the Strong Woman Narrative

March is Women’s Month, today March 8 is Women’s Day. Mary Morstan’s idea of an empowered woman is one who murders her friends, betrays her colleagues to their deaths, abandons her infant daughter (fake as it is) to escape the consequences of her crimes, uses her husband as a human shield from the murderous colleague she betrayed, and runs away while his best friend lifts a table to shield her husband instead.

Mary Morstan has overtaken both the fictional and real universe even before S4 aired in her quest to quell the truth of the 130-year old tale. She infects every hopeful heart, hacks every clue to the truth, reformats perceptions, and distorts memories of all that is good and right and noble and beautiful and true.

And she laughs with glee in every available platform online and off each time a troll destroys hope for resolution.

Mary Morstan is a rogue character escaped from a fictional universe wreaking havoc in her wake. It’s about time we went after the actual villain and not the discredited heroes. Waiting 2 years for an acquittal with only the Andersons among us speculating and repenting is such a grave miscarriage of justice.

It’s time to take down Mary Morstan the Moriarty figurehead. Kill that virus.

Unleash the secret.

anyhow i just think that the billboard article has such a nice, casual tone? like, there’s no air of celebrity or mystique except for the genuine mystery of how niall’s such a normal guy, and that question only comes up as the interviewer gets to know about him (like how he had to figure out how to take care of himself from a young age but knows don henley well enough to call him ‘dad’). and how all the quotes from niall are looking at things through this frame of having been in one direction, whether that means still expecting the other fellas to be there sometimes or developing his knowledge and self-awareness of music, and having the presence of mind to get away for a little while and not lose sight of the fact that the band was extraordinary, and in that vein, not exactly normal. but then like, all the quotes about niall from don was and don henley and steve barnett and even shawn cannot big this guy up enough, they’re so full of warmth and praise. that just strikes me as a really nice contrast between being self-effacing and humble and the way people who love u and believe in you will vouch for you. also i noticed there wasn’t really a question of why he’s striking out on his own and going solo, which i was almost expecting? but it seems like the answer’s as obvious as because he loves it. it’s nice. 

(Not) Killing Your Darlings: Parallels Between ACD Canon and S4

I’ve slowly been working my way through a reread of the canon stories, and although I am used to finding phrases and plotlines among the stories that have been adapted within Sherlock, what surprised me towards the end of the canon is that the writers of Sherlock appear to be adapting the way the stories are written, as well. We’ve talked a lot about the idea that Mofftiss have Reichenbached the show in Series 4, but I’m beginning to think they have Case-booked it (and His Last Bowed it, a little, too). This will probably sound grim at first, but I remain an optimist when it comes to Sherlock, so bear with me. These are Princess Bride “pit of despair” times; I figure if we have to be here, we may as well look around.

As a quick reminder, Doyle published the short stories as:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905)
His Last Bow (1917)
The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes (1927)

I’m going to start at the end of His Last Bow and the later stories, because they best parallel Series 4, then look back very briefly.

Breaking the fourth wall

His Last Bow breaks the pattern of the Sherlock Holmes story collections in a few ways. It begins with a brief preface written by John H. Watson; he addresses the reader directly to explain that he and Holmes are still living, though ageing:

”The friends of Mr Sherlock Holmes will be glad to learn that he is still alive and well, though somewhat crippled by occasional attacks of rheumatism… Several previous experiences which have lain long in my portfolio, have been added to ‘His Last Bow’ so as to complete the volume.” (His Last Bow, preface)

… lots more under the cut.

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I’m Not Promise, I Drunk (Pt. II)

Part One 

Fandom: Riverdale

Pairing: Jughead x reader, BestFriend!Cheryl

Request: Yes (I can’t find it)

Summary: After confessing her feelings for Jughead at a party she never wanted to go to, [Y/N] realises that Jughead has been avoiding her and ends up going to his friends for help.

Warnings: None

Word Count: 4,567

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anonymous asked:

But you don't know Benedict.

Ah, now this is a topic I’ve been lucky enough to discuss with some dear mutuals over the years, so let me see if I can do an answer justice.

Of course, we can never know the man, not truly; that is only for the very lucky few that are a part of his life, his world.  But there is so much we can deduce of him, based upon his work, his words, his public deeds and behavior.  

If you look at his work alone, you see incredible natural talent that he has refined through dedication & physical and mental discipline; you see a love of the written & spoken word; and most especially you see a keen & compassionate understanding of the human condition–for how else could he bring such breathtaking truth to all of his characters?  Even the wicked ones, like Khan & Richard III–he makes us feel that even they have reasons for the things they do, often rooted in emotional/psychological pain.  Though the evil they do is no less evil, we can sympathize to some degree, with what brought them to that place.  In my lifetime I have seen no player more truly & more lovingly—in Shakespeare’s words—hold the mirror up to nature.

In interviews & public appearances, you find a humble, self-effacing man, a bright wit, & sense of humor generous enough to make himself as likely a target of jesting as anyone or anything else.  He values home, hearth, family, the environment, although he could easily give over to hedonism on his bank account. How many times do we see him wearing the same clothes, carrying that same blue water bottle on set, even brown bagging his lunches at times?Choices, I’m sure, that reflect his commitment to simplicity and to reduce his carbon footprint. Benedict’s charitable works have been well-recorded on this site, so I’m not going to research it, but when I run across a post about it, I’ll be sure to reblog for info’s sake.

I won’t speak at length about his personal relationships, except to say that’s a man who loves his wife thoroughly. It would frankly break my heart to learn he had the same feet of clay of so many other public figures & celebrities in this regard—what I see tells me he and Sophie have the real thing. And that he guards his little family’s privacy so jealously is further testament to that.

In short, (though this runs long) I trust my eyes & ears, and they tell me to trust in the public image that is clearly on view.  I see a man who gives as much positive energy to the world as he can, and embraces life with complete joie de vivre.  And as I believe in the human soul, I see a most spectacular one that shines luminously, not only enhancing his unique physical beauty, but reminding me that true good is possible in a world that is often quite selfish & mean.

I could probably go on with dozens of more examples, but let me just finish with one of my favorite photos of him, which for me reflects (I hope) a bit of what I’ve written here.

Thank you for your ask–it was a delight to answer! ❤❤❤

Look at the eyes. They can be green, blue, brown or black, but they’ll be piercing with hypnotic intensity. Most people feel nervous and ill at ease under Scorpio’s steady gaze. You’ll have to break the spell and look away first. He’ll outstare you every time. It’s a foolproof identification of the Pluto personality. Scorpio eyes bore deeply into you, mercilessly, as if they’re penetrating your very souL They are.
Next, listen to him speak. The tone can be velvety soft, husky or sharply cutting, the speech slow and measured or clipped and staccato, but what he says will never be self-effacing. Scorpio has total ego. He knows what he is and he knows what he is not, and nothing anyone else thinks will change this knowledge. Insults roll right off his back, and compliments don’t move him a fraction of an inch. He needs bo one to tell him his vices or his virtues. At best, he’ll calmly agree with your appraisal; at worst, he’ll suspect your motives.


Linda Goodman


Through her conversations with Mike, I was able to add the most important quality to my list, the most revealing of them all, as simple as it was rare. Bella was good. All the other things added up to that whole—kind and self-effacing and unselfish and loving and brave—she was good through and through.

Elizabeth: Ciel’s Morning Star

I get so irritated when people dismiss Lizzy as a character who’s “not deep” or hasn’t suffered enough torment to earn our sympathies. Have we become so desensitized as a society that someone has to undergo intense psychological torment in order for us to like them?? And for the record, Lizzy HAS suffered—she’s suffered emotionally and mentally and for a character whose entire being is rooted in love, this is suffering. She’s spent her entire life feeling both weak and brutish—feeling weak because she lacks the power to help Ciel and feeling brutish because she possesses phenomenal physical strength.

Think about it this way: a 14 year old girl whose entire life has been a masquerade—a theater show for the boy she loves best. Outwardly she is kind, sweet, and an unknowing angel—a true English rose; on the inside, however, she suffers from intense fear. Fear of losing the boy she loves; anguish at not knowing what’s happened to make him this way; deep sorrow and frustration that he refuses, outright, to tell her anything. Her mind is a myriad of contradictions and her heart bleeds because she is unable to offer any comfort to the one she wishes to protect. All this she endures silently, without the knowledge of others. All this she does while wearing a bright, beautiful smile and feigning ignorance of all the world’s troubles.

Yes, Elizabeth has not been kidnapped, tortured by a cult, and forced to sell her soul to a demon. Yes Elizabeth has not had to discover the murdered bodies of both her parents and yes, Elizabeth has not been forced to undertake responsibilities no child should ever have to endure. But does this make Lizzy any less of a compelling character? I’d say not. In fact, I’d say that if every character we met had a Greek tragedy background it’d get rather tiring and furthermore, Elizabeth is supposed to be the heart of Black Butler. That’s why her faults are so blatant, why she can provoke ire and indignation in some readers—Elizabeth is the most human character in all of Kuroshitsuji.  

She is the physical representation of humanity. Humans are selfish, self-righteous, prone to self-pity and possess traits that are the epitome of aggravating. But humans are also kind—capable of deep compassion and endless love; humans can be altruistic, understanding, and, while flawed, are capable of recognizing their faults and improving upon them.

I’m going to get analytical here and I want you to please set aside your ship biases and think clinically for a few minutes. Elizabeth, while possessing blatant physical strength (no one can dispute me on this), also possesses a quieter and more discreet emotional strength. She has been able to weather great losses, adhere to paradoxical teachings that require her to be both strong (the wife of the queen’s watchdog) and weak (an unknowing angel); has endured the deaths of her uncle, two aunts, and Ciel. Because the Ciel who rose from the dead is not the Ciel that Lizzy remembers—he is cold; he is changed; and he is cruel.

But does Lizzy disparage him for that? Does she hate and loathe the emotionless Macbeth that’s taken her cousin’s place? No. Lizzy continues to love Ciel unconditionally, she puts him before herself and this kind of emotional strength—the fact that Lizzy loves Ciel without being expected to be loved in return—is a strength that’s equal to any display of physical strength from either demon or reaper. Elizabeth is self-sacrificing and self-effacing—this is the girl (the 14 year old girl) who endures all of Ciel’s dismissals, secrecy, and callousness all the while wearing a loving smile and keeping an open heart.

And (because I know some people are going to cry foul and say that I’m only writing this because I’m a biased bitch), I’ll be the first to admit: Ciel can survive without Lizzy. He’s a survivor—selfish, shrewd, and ruthless—but because of Elizabeth’s presence, Ciel has not lost all connection with humanity. Elizabeth is the spark of light that’s keeping him tethered to earth—tethered to life—she’s the only thing keeping the bruised and battered scraps of his heart from decaying. She is the constant reminder that goodness, kindness, innocence, and love still exist. In my view, every citizen Ciel saves and protects is a reflection of the virtues Elizabeth represents—it’d be so easy for Ciel to despise all humans after what he went through but instead, Ciel still has a scrap of emotional decency left in him because of Elizabeth. She is the counterargument to all of Sebastian’s degradation (that humanity is evil, hateful, and unworthy of redemption) because Lizzy personifies light and integrity and unconditional love.

And that, I believe, is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

(Further discussion is encouraged though I ask that you please refrain from utilizing derogatory terms, unsubstantiated arguments, and “proofs” from certain Tumblr posts that’s caused so much strife in the Black Butler fandom. Thank you.)

fantasticalnonsense18  asked:

Lately I've been pondering the development of Beauty and Beast's relationship, chiefly in Villeneuve/Beaumont's and Disney's versions, and of course you're own; each retelling is unique in its own way, and each has different lessons to teach. My question to you is, how has this relationship developed over the centuries (i.e. how we interpret it), and who do you think learns more from the other, or has more character growth, due to this relationship: Beauty or Beast?

Ooh, that’s a GREAT question, and not one I can really give a short or glib answer to…

Most older variants of the story are interested in Beauty getting what she deserves —wealth, station and an appropriate mate. This makes sense, as it’s a story about a woman told by women —first at great length in Villeneuve’s novella, and then in a much shorter bowdlerized form by Beaumont. The primary concern of the story is Beauty being respectfully courted by a remarkable patient and good hearted, but ugly, individual. This is, heartbreakingly, a deeply romantic fantasy when we consider that its authors were women who had been foisted into loveless political marriages with less than kindhearted men — it’s the story of hoping the man with whom you are forced co-habitate will turn out to be a kind prince, in spite of first seeming to be an unknowable monster.

The details of the characters aren’t precise —these are fairy tales after all. The Prince has no name, and neither does the heroine (she is so pretty people call her a beauty — this isn’t actually her name). Villeneuve glories in setting her stage and painting her set details, but never gives us much idea of the characters’ emotional lives. Beaumont trims the fat (and the backstory) but leaves us with even less to build upon. All we really know is the Beauty is kind, optimistic, hard-working and good, and her Beast is patient, self-effacing and perhaps a touch melodramatic.

It’s when we begin moving into cinema and the modern trend towards broader retellings that we start to see some digging into the character’s emotional state;

Cocteau’s film gives us a remarkable sensual Beast, and a stern, restrained Beauty. The story, abstract in places, relying on metaphor and surrealist imagery, can be taken as an emotional one — Beauty’s strange journey towards realizing her own sensual desires, as depicted by a man who seems to be an animal… or is he her brother’s friend? She’s not sure. They run together in her mind. Although Cocteau’s Beast is a powerful image with his smoking claws, his diamond tears, and his stalking bloodied through Beauty’s bedchamber, the emotional journey is not his.

Robin Mckinley gave us our next step in her fully realized novel, Beauty — a straightforward and no- nonsense story told from the heroine’s straightforward and no-nonsense point of view. Here, Beauty’s interior life is on full display. It is most definitely her story, her growth, and her revelations we care about. Her Beast is already more or less a complete person — one who is happy to rediscover his love of horses, yes, but not with any great emotional journey to make. Once more, it is Beauty who must grapple with herself, while the Beast waits patiently for her to come him as the inevitable conclusion.

When Disney arrives (borrowing much of McKinley’s Beauty for their own bookish, horse-loving Belle) they begin an exploration we haven’t seen before —one into the Beast’s interior life. Gone is the gentle patient soul waiting for the girl to open up to him. Here, suddenly is the angry young man raging against circumstances and lashing out at the world. For the first time, we have a Beast who is every bit as beastly as he appears. For the first time, we have a Beauty who is awaiting the maturation her partner, her own journey already complete.

Leading up to this point, we’d seen a number of explorations of the story that allowed the Beast to become a metaphor for Beauty’s awakening sexuality, her exploration of unconscious desire, or her self actualization. We hadn’t seen a Beast who was a person in and of himself since Beaumont trimmed away Villeneuve’s backstory of a boy cursed by a caregiver-turned-predator.

Since then, we’ve seen a number of adaptations concerned with the Beast’s journey back to humanity — Donna Jo Napoli’s “Beast”,  Alex Flinn’s “Beastly” , and Disney’s Broadway adaptation of the animated film among others. Rare is the appearance of the patient and polite monster suitor we originally knew. The Beast has become a masculine metaphor for self-loathing, for fear of one’s desires and impulses, and for the conquering of one’s aggression. His winning of love and subsequent return to shining humanity is a promise that even the most unlovable of us can grow and change and be redeemed. It is an interesting cultural shift, that this once very female-centred story is now often one of masculine growth and change.

So, in trying to sum up, traditionally Beauty and the Beast has been a story about a young woman’s journey to accepting an unconventional male partner. In the twentieth century, it become a popular metaphor for the awakening of female sexuality and power. Now, more and more, we see it as a metaphor for the channeling of negative masculinity into positive masculinity. The story evolves. We pull new meaning from it, stretch it this way and that, examine it in the mirror, and take it apart to see how it ticks. It changes to suit our cultural needs, and it will continue to change.

In my own work, I’m trying to move a step further — to write a story about equals. Two people growing in complimentary ways, rather than one partner awaiting the other. We will always have our separate initiation rites, but for now I’m interested in seeing how a relationship blossoms. A particular quote has stayed with me through the development of the comic adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and it is this:

“A generation ago, great writers and editors like Jane Yolen, Ellen Datlow… reclaimed the traditional heritage: dismissing soft-focus, Disneyfied Snow White and Cinderella, rediscovering grim truths and quick-witted, resourceful heroines. That’s fine, that’s excellent work. But what I’ve wanted to do is to reclaim the relationships. To bring the prince and the princess together, instead of sending them off on segregated initiation trials. To let them meet as human beings, as friends, and fight side by side.”

—Gwyneth Jones”
4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump
Trump’s younger supporters know he’s an incompetent joke; in fact, that’s why they support him.
By Dale Beran

This article is the absolute gold standard of tracking the evolution of a certain segment of online geek culture as it went from lonely snickering failures to unabashed self-aware Trump supporters.

I cannot praise this work highly enough, or excerpt it shortly enough to accurately encompass its scope and clarity and illumination into what I thought I already knew. I have never seen any examination of the borne-out consequences of 4chan “culture” that was as thoroughly wrought as this. It is brilliant.

It must be read in full to be understood, and it is a long read.

Still, to give you an idea, here are some choice paragraphs to provide an incomplete skeleton of the fully-fleshed work:

And thus the campaign proceeded like the video game it wasn’t. Menus of “target lists” were drawn up, their enemies (mostly women they wanted to harrass) labelled “warriors”. 4chan users pretended a furious amount of mouse clicking and virtual action would somehow translate into a concrete reward appearing in their computer screens, like it does, say, in World of Warcraft.

All that work cracking Skype accounts with wordlists did not yield the tangible reward of evidence of a cabal. The real world behaves differently than a video game. There were shades of grey. It disappointed. What you did and what you got for your efforts were muddled. It was more challenging than the safe spaces of a video game, carefully crafted to accommodate gamers and make them feel — well, the exact opposite of how they felt interacting in the real world — effective. In the fantasy world of the game, actions achieved ends.

It was almost as if all these disaffected young men were waiting for a figure to come along who, having achieved nothing in his life, pretended as though he had achieved everything, who by using the tools of fantasy, could transmute their loserdom (in 4chan parlance, their “fail”), into “win”.


To younger generations who never had such jobs, who had only the mythology of such jobs (rather a whimsical snapshot of the 1950s frozen in time by America’s ideology) this part of the narrative is clear. America, and perhaps existence itself is a cascade of empty promises and advertisements — that is to say, fantasy worlds, expectations that will never be realized “IRL”, but perhaps consumed briefly in small snatches of commodified pleasure.

Thus these Trump supporters hold a different sort of ideology, not one of “when will my horse come in”, but a trolling self-effacing, “I know my horse will never come in”. That is to say, younger Trump supporters know they are handing their money to someone who will never place their bets — only his own — because, after all, it’s plain as day there was never any other option.


Trump’s ventures of course, represent this fantasy: this hope that the working man, against the odds dictated by his knowledge, experience, or hard work will one day strike it rich — Trump University, late night real estate schemes, the casinos. Trump himself, who inherited his wealth, represents the classic lucky sap.

But Trump also equally represents the knowledge that all of that is a lie, a scam that’s much older than you are, a fantasy that we can dwell in though it will never become true, like a video game.

Trump, in other words, is a way of owning and celebrating being taken advantage of.

Trump embodies buying the losing bet that will never be placed.

He is both despair and cruel arrogant dismissal, the fantasy of winning and the pain of losing mingled into one potion.

For this reason, the left should stop expecting Trump’s supporters to be upset when he doesn’t fulfill his promises.

Support for Trump is an acknowledgement that the promise is empty.

He is both the “promise” (the labyrinth”, the “alpha”) and the empty center (“the promise betrayed”, the “beta”), in a sublime, hilarious combination that perfectly reflects the worldview of his supporters.

In other words, we can append a third category to the two classically understood division of Trump supporters:

1) Generally older people who naively believe Trump will “make America great again”, that is to say, return it to its 1950s ideal evoked by both Trump and Clinton.

2) The 1 percent, who know this promise is empty, but also know it will be beneficial to short term business interests.

3) Younger members of the 99 percent, like Anon, who also know this promise is empty, but who support Trump as a defiant expression of despair.

And after that, the tone turns there-but-for-the-grace-of-god personal before providing further examination of how the left and its stance on gender fails to help that third pillar.

Excerpting more would only lengthen this post. Suffice to say, the last fifth of the article takes what is already priceless and shines it to a mirror finish. I want to keep it under glass on a velvet cushion.

Oh, and it turns out the author has a Tumblr, too. @daleberan. Go read his work. Read it and learn more about your world.
Video: Kate McKinnon Talks 'Ghostbusters' and its All-Star Female Cast
McKinnon appears on "Popcorn with Peter Travers" and looks back at the 1980s Classic and back on her SNL career.
By ABC News

Go watch the video! This is a really lovely, gentle, quiet interview. Kate seems to be very much at ease and has good rapport with the interviewer (who is really good at interviewing), and it’s a slightly different side of Kate here compared to say her appearance on Seth Meyers. It all comes across as rather light and sweet, with injections of humour at various points keeping it delightful, and Kate is thoughtful, self-effacing, open and relaxed.

They discuss so many different topics, from the Ghostbusters to Kate’s childhood and Nino and her SNL work and impressions and caps it all off with Kate’s lovely rendition of ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’. (P.S. Kate can really sing and her singing voice is lovely.) This is definitely one of my favourite interviews of Kate. It’s the equivalent of curling up in bed with a cozy warm blanket and hot chocolate on a cold day and will warm the cockles of your heart.

Kate getting comfy on the chair and being glad she’s not in a skirt and munching on popcorn throughout

Random shots of Kate being gorgeous:

And one of her being cute: