speakers up

concept: I’m able to fluently express myself in a wide range of languages. The eyes of native speakers lighten up when they hear me speak their language, complimenting me on my skills. I have now access to culture and people in a way I never had before.

i cant believe i main lúcio and i haven’t noticed until now 

that the things in his hair aren’t weird beads

they’re speakers

Beanies and Negotiations (Part 4)

Originally posted by dailyriverdale

Part one here    Part two here    Part three here

Anon requests: can you continue the beanies and negotiations series !!! it’s great btw i really wanna see where it goes !!

please beanies and negotiations part 4 it’s sooo good

Could you PLEASE do a part 4 of Beanies and negotiations?? It’s so good and I love your writing!

Part 4!

could please do a part 4 for beanies and negotiations it’s sooo good ! love your blog btw

A part four would be aWESOME

Beanies and negotiations part 4??

I think I’m speaking for everyone when I say we want more of Beanies and Negotiations!!!

Pairing: Jughead x Reader

Description: A flash to the past and a flash to the future

Warnings: none

Word count: 1,161

A/N: ok, I’m gonna be honest with you guys: I did not want to make a 4th part.  I had written the 3rd part hoping it would give you guys enough closure, but you requested more.  Now that I’ve written it, I couldn’t be happier with this ending.  Enjoy!!


(Y/N), Betty, and Archie were running around, playing in the park.  Their giggles resonated through the neighborhood, all the people down the street able to hear the children perfectly.  Archie’s dad sat on a bench, supervising them from afar.  He smiled at the three kids, happy to see his son so content with his friends.  Suddenly, (Y/N) halted, interrupting their game of tag.

“Look over there,” she said, pointing her finger.  She was pointing at another kid who appeared to be their age, scrawny and alone.  He sat on a swing and stared down at his shoes. There was a grey beanie perched on his head, but it was much too big on him.

“(Y/N),” Betty hissed, “my mom said it’s rude to point.”  

“Fine,” (Y/N) replied, putting her finger down.  “I won’t point.”  Instead, she marched over to the lonesome boy.  His head snapped up when he heard footsteps approaching him.  “Hi,” she greeted him.

“Hi,” he replied, looking puzzled as to why this girl was talking to him.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Jughead.”

“That’s a funny name,” she laughed, but she noticed his angered face and stopped.  “I’m (Y/N).”  Jughead nodded.  “How old are you, Jughead?”

“I’m four,” he replied, sticking out his hand to show the number on his fingers.  (Y/N) beamed.

“I’m four, too!” Jughead smiled at her and the two children fell into a small silence.  Finally, (Y/N) broke it when she asked, “Why are you alone?”

“My sister is sick,” he responded, slouching.  “So now I have no one to play with.”

“You can play with us!” (Y/N) offered, pointing at her two friends who were watching from afar. Jughead’s face lit up.

“Really?” he asked, jumping off the swing.  (Y/N) nodded enthusiastically.

“Really!  And then we can all be best friends.”  She grabbed his hand and led him over to Archie and Betty. “Archie, Betty, this is Jughead.”

“Hi,” Betty smiled, sticking out her hand.  Jughead tentatively shook it.  “I’m Betty.”

“And I’m Archie,” he waved. Jughead waved back.  The children quickly resumed their game of tag, this time, Jughead joining them.  They played for hours until the sky began to darken, Riverdale turning orange under the sunset’s light.

“Kids!” Archie’s dad called out, standing up from the bench.  “It’s time to go.”  The four kids exchanged bittersweet smiles, waving goodbye to their newfound friend.


After that day, Betty, Archie, and (Y/N) started begging to go to the park every day from dawn till dusk. The four of them soon became attached at the hip, and you could not see one person without the other three close behind.  Soon, all of Riverdale grew fond of the tight-knitted friend group.

Two years later, the four inseparable friends found themselves in Archie’s backyard.  Their shrieks of delight filled Mr. Andrews, who was watching from inside the kitchen, with warmth.  They had just grown bored of a game of hide-and-seek, and while Betty and Archie just sat in the grass, Jughead and (Y/N) continued to chase each other around.  Suddenly, Jughead stopped, causing (Y/N) to turn around.  He took off his beanie and, grinning madly, got down on one knee. Betty and Archie gasped as they ran over to watch.

“(Y/N),” Jughead started, holding out his beaning like a ring, “will you marry me?”  (Y/N) beamed as she stared at her best friend.  She took the beanie from his hands and placed it on her head, then helped Jughead stand up.

“We’re much too young to get married, Juggie,” she responded, and Jughead deflated.  “But-” he perked up, “ask me again when we’re eighteen and I’ll say yes.”

“You promise?” Jughead asked, holding out his pinky.  (Y/N) smiled and nodded, hooking her pinky with his.

“Pinky promise.”


Flash forward twelve years, after the first proposal and Jason Blossom’s death.  Past the beanie incident and the flannel, jacket, and sweater incidents.  After the kiss at Pop’s, and many more that happened after that night.

Twelve years after Jughead proposed to (Y/N) with a grey beanie, they graduated.  Through the years, their friend group grew to include others, such as Kevin and Veronica.  After the graduation ceremony, they went to the Lodge’s house for a celebration.  The party was in full swing: music blasting from the speakers, snacks filling up tables, and graduated high school students dancing everywhere.  (Y/N) had managed to get Jughead on the dance floor, both of them laughing at each other’s lack of dancing skills.  She wore his grey beanie and a wide grin.

The party began to die down, everyone growing tired after their long day.  Most people were sitting on the couch, quietly chatting amongst themselves.  (Y/N) sat on Jughead’s lap as they both conversed with Betty and Veronica. Suddenly, Jughead got up from under (Y/N).

“Excuse me, can I have everyone’s attention?” he yelled, successfully silencing the guests.  “Thank you.  Now if you didn’t happen to already know this, (Y/N) and I have been together for quite a while.”  Everyone in the room chuckled.  (Y/N) looked up at Jughead with a puzzled smile.

“What are you doing, Juggie?” she whispered, although everyone was able to hear her.  Jughead winked at her and continued.

“But something most of you probably didn’t know is that I proposed to (Y/N).”  The crowd gasped dramatically, and Jughead smirked.  “When we were six.”  Everyone rolled their eyes and laughed.  Jughead grabbed (Y/N)’s hand and made her stand up with him.  “And she said no!  Something about how we were too young,” he scoffed, and she giggled. “But she did promise me she’d say yes one day.  When we were eighteen, in fact.”  He got down on one knee, and everyone gasped, including (Y/N).  

“Oh my god,” she muttered under her breath, her hands covering her mouth in shock.  Tears began to cloud her eyes.

“(Y/N),” Jughead began, fishing around in his pocket.  “I have loved you since the day I proposed to you.  For a long time after that, I thought we were just friends, and I thought that you liked it that way.  And it took me a long while to realize it, but with the help of some of our friends-” Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Kevin shared a smirk, “I realized that we were meant to be more.  Now, I’m gonna try this again, and I’m hoping this time you’ll say yes.  Because, you know, you pinky promised you would when we were six.”  Jughead pulled out a small box and opened it, revealing a beautiful, sparkling ring.  “(Y/N),” he asked, eyes full of hope, “will you marry me?”

(Y/N) couldn’t speak. She gleefully nodded, attempting to wipe some of the tears off her face.

“Yes,” she finally managed to choke out, laughing.  “Yes, of course, Juggie.”  The whole room burst into cheers, and Jughead shot up, placed the ring on (Y/N)’s finger, and kissed her.

Betty turned to Veronica, smiles plastered on both of their faces, and whispered, “Thank god for that beanie.”

Skyline

Warnings: None

Pairing: Peter Parker x reader

Word Count: 1.8k

A/N: Thank you to all those who followed me and read my first fic!  I’m thinking of doing a part two to this one, so if you like it, let me know!

Your fire escape had always been your favourite part of your apartment.  Situated outside your bedroom window, you had spent countless hours of your life lounging on the metal steps, reading a book or catching up on some homework.  Last summer, you had wound a string of fairy lights around the rails, which were coated in shiny dark paint.  Your landlady had protested at first but, after you proved that they weren’t endangering the use of the fire escape in any way, she had let you keep them.  The small victory had brought a smile to your face, and now your escape was even cozier than before, and was still just as cozy a year later.  This year’s summer brought scorching heat and clear nights, and you spent most of your free time out on your escape, trying to catch a breeze.

You sat on your fire escape now, wearing a lightweight hoodie and pajama shorts, doodling in a journal.  School was out for the week and tomorrow didn’t require a six am wake up call, leaving you free to stay up late and admire the Queens skyline at night.  It was nights like these that you loved the most; nights that seemed like they were pulled straight from a movie scene, with stars that glimmered like flames, a full moon bigger than you had ever seen before, and the sounds of the city mixing in with the quiet melodies that drifted out of the speakers propped up on your window sill.  You would be content for the rest of your life if you could keep moments like these forever.

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bts scenario: they finger you

thank you for your request! i have a bts hand kink so i love this so much xx

requests: open

commissions/donations

++++

jin: jin’s fingers slowly traced the inside of your thigh as they slowly traveled up the soft skin. a shiver went down your spine as you realized what was happening.”jin,” you said breathily, trying to close your legs. he merely tsked and pried your legs apart with his strong hands. “i know you want it baby,” he whispered in your ear, “you love having my fingers inside you.” your head was thrown back as he reached his destination, slowly pushing a finger inside you.

Originally posted by blackandwhitebangtan

yoongi: yoongi was rough, pushing your legs apart and growling, “mine.” the word made a shiver travel down your spine as you shook under yoongi’s intense gaze. his finger trailed over your slit as you gasped impatiently, “yoongiiii.” a chuckle rumbled through his throat and he suddenly slid two fingers inside you, roughly pumping them. “that’s right baby,” he growled again, “say my name.” broken syllables from yoongi’s name fell from your lips as he continued his ministrations.

Originally posted by jungsooneul

hoseok: hoseok couldn’t help the smirk that pulled at his lips as you writhed underneath his touch. three fingers pumped steadily into you as you couldn’t control the loud moans falling from your lips. “f-faster,” you begged as your hands gripped the soft sheets underneath you. hoseok happily obliged and pressed his thumb against your clit, making your back arch. “that’s it,” he praised, “good girl.” his fingers continued to take you over the edge.

Originally posted by bangtannoonas

namjoon: namjoon’s fingers slowly edged under the hem of your dress as you were focused on the speaker up on the stage. your eyes widened as namjoon’s fingers got dangerously close to the hem of your underwear. you gasped and swatted at his hand. namjoon merely smirked before lifting the edge of your underwear and trailing his finger across your slit. “j-joonie,” you pleaded, “we’re in public.” he chuckled “exactly,” before slipping a finger inside you.

Originally posted by https-km

jimin: jimin had one hand pressing against your abdomen to hold you down while the other was pumping in and out of you. “so good for me baby,” he praised as you keened under him, “so wet.” the force of his movements increased as pleasure continued to pool in your stomach. “j-jiminie,” you pleaded as you pressed down on his fingers. “be patient, baby,” jimin’s fingers curled inside of you, reaching a place that made you see stars.

Originally posted by sugaglos

taehyung: taehyung was ruthless, pressing fingers deep inside you and placing kitten licks on your clit. “you like that, babe?” his voice was deep with lust, “like the feeling of my fingers inside you, huh?” a whine left your mouth at his words and your head trashed against the pillow beneath you. taehyung’s fingers moved faster and faster as the pleasure inside you was reaching it’s breaking point. “cum for me, princess,” he said before sucking on your clit, causing you to cum immediately.

Originally posted by yhkkx

jungkook: jungkook slowly traced his hand up your thigh and under the hem of your skirt, pushing against your slit, making you gasp. “are you alright, y/n?” jimin asked from across the table. you frantically nodded as you tried to close your legs. jungkook growled low enough for only you to hear while whispering in your ear, “you better open your legs right now princess,” a finger moved your underwear to the side and you could barely hold in a moan as a finger slipped inside you. 

Originally posted by dearvmon

A Good Thing

“Bobby, you can’t keep doing that to him.”
Bob raises his eyebrows, putting down his fork. “Doing what, Alicia? Corralling our son into talking about his crush?”
“Exactly.”

Or, A fic about Bob and Alicia noticing Jack’s feelings for Bitty before even he does.


Bob Zimmermann is kind of messy, only a bit of a smart ass, and just a tad hard of hearing. Yet even without perfect hearing Bob can’t miss the affection in his son’s voice when talking about a certain line-mate.

Bob Zimmermann is many things, but he is no idiot.

“Did you get that paper done for your…what was it again- american pie class?”

Bob looks over his shoulder just in time to see Alicia send an appraising look from the couch. He catches a hint of a smile.

He winks back and she rolls her eyes in return.

Bob turns again to the large window, the white light blinding him for a moment. The large expanse of grass is still littered with snow, lining the way down to their lake. A blank sky hugs the horizon.

“Women, food, and American culture, Papa.”

“Right. So how’d you do on the paper? Did Eric help you out?”

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the spy au that @philosophium ordered !!


Andrew slips through a slit in the crowd, brushing through the sleek trains of expensive gowns, rich wool suits jackets catching on his own. He’s on his second flute of champagne, and the tartness keeps him focused. His attention is on the flavour and the rim of the glass and the warp of faces through it. His earpiece crackles and whispers.

He can see his mark on the opposite side of the room, surrounded by servers and liars and pretty things. One of them is all three, Andrew can tell: a waiter’s vest, a seam of over-applied foundation, and bright blue eyes.

He’s distracting, flighty, a rubber band pulled all the way back. He looks like the memory of a case file, and a name occurs to Andrew one second before Kevin hisses it into his ear.

“It’s fuckin’ Charlie Pilot. Don’t engage, Minyard, we’re not here for him.”

Andrew doesn’t make any effort to reply, just takes another pull of champagne. He’s not really watching the troupes of entertainers or the clockwork security or the velvet and silk blooming under bowing chandeliers. He’s not even watching the man he’s either going to rob or kill, who’s laughing and weedy, red in the face from the alcohol. He’s stuck on Pilot –  next to his target, holding a heavily stocked tray of appetizers, his expression pleasant and empty.

He’ll be an irritant to what should be a straightforward plan, if he keeps hovering. Andrew takes a loaded step forward and the voice in his ear complains.

“Don’t even think about moving in until Pilot leaves. He’s probably doing reconnaissance for Matt. I bet he doesn’t even know about the file.”

Andrew watches Pilot’s face tick, the way he blinks like he’s on a timer, the way he’s worrying the inside of his cheek with his teeth.

“I bet he does,” Andrew murmurs, and he drains the last of the champagne. He plucks his tie pin away from the fabric and drops it in the empty glass, leaving it on a passing tray.

“What— what the fuck Minyard, we’ve lost visuals. Do you hear me? Andrew? Andrew?”

Andrew weaves through the rest of the golden crowd, ignoring the buzz of Kevin’s reprimands in his ear. He finds a new spot on the outskirts of the crowd where Pilot has installed himself.

“Do you know how fucking expensive those cameras are? You’re such a piece of shit operative,” Kevin says. “When you inevitably come back without the intelligence and without our equipment, it’s costing us to keep you around, do you realize that?”

Andrew’s more focused on the way Pilot’s shoulders are turning to face him, the slim line of his tailored pants, that eyelash-thick smudge of un-blended make up.

“Shrimp?” Pilot offers, swaying the tray in his direction.

“No,” Andrew says, but he stays uncomfortably near, feeling along the edges of his boundaries without finding any seams. Pilot’s composure is still and reserved as a frost-ravaged garden.

“Have a good evening then,” Pilot says graciously, turning back towards the host that Andrew should be sizing up but hasn’t even looked at. He glances at him for a sliver of a moment, finds himself uninterested, and looks back at Pilot.

Andrew catches him suddenly by the arm, but relaxes his grip just as quickly, caught off guard by his own impulsivity. His own disguise is just an invitation and sun bleached hair; he isn’t playing a character like Pilot is. He’s neutral for a living, but Pilot is a new weight on his scale, unbalancing him so that he can’t quite settle at zero.

When their eyes meet, the polite, curious waiter snips out of existence. Charlie Pilot stares at Andrew, with eyes like the bluest part of a fire.

“There’s a conflict of interest,” he tells Andrew calmly. “And your interest will lose.”

“I’m not interested in anything,” Andrew says broadly.

“Hm,” Pilot says, unconvinced. “You’re lying.”

“I don’t lie,” Andrew says. He’s always saying it; it’s a novelty that employers enjoy and enemies challenge, amused.

Pilot raises his jaw, mouth twitching. “No, you wouldn’t, would you.” His eyes flicker to the side of Andrew’s face, where Kevin is breathing furiously through his earpiece, then down to the grip he still has on his forearm. He lowers his tray down until the rough edge is pressed to the root of Andrew’s hand threateningly. “You’ll want to let me go, Andrew, or you’re going to end up needing a longer armband.”

Andrew feels genuine surprise squeeze his fingers around Pilot’s wrist. He hadn’t noticed the black fabric extending a whiff beyond his crisp white sleeve. He lets go, and Pilot tucks his shoulders back, satisfied. His hair is too dark to match his freckles, Andrew notes quietly. It is, perhaps, what the make up was meant to cover up.

“You are not going to win, Charlie,” Andrew says. “We’re the more capable team.”

Pilot smiles indulgently. “‘Charlie’,” he repeats, mouth curling around the name. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been Charlie Pilot.” He jostles his tray from one hand to another, and loosens his collar with his freed hand. “And I don’t think you understand how much farther ahead we are than you. If you’re looking for information, we already have it. If you’re trying to find the connections this place has to the Yakuza, we’re the ones undoing them.”

“Who’s we? I don’t remember seeing anything about loyalty in your case file. You’re just a runner.”

Pilot looks briefly bothered by this, and he juts his chin again. “I’m loyal to whoever’s doing the work that needs to be done.”

“That doesn’t answer my question. Who are you?”

He looks down, at Andrew’s empty hands, at the hip where he’s hiding his gun. His expression is warped and sad when he looks up, like the real filling in his strange costume is finally oozing out.

“You can call me Neil,” he says, and drops the whole tray of food so that it clatters and rolls into the host’s feet. There are gasps and yelps, partygoers dodging and stooping to catch the runaway platter. Andrew looks impulsively down to track its progress, and when he looks sharply back up into the knot of activity, Neil is gone. Of course he is.

He doesn’t have time to think about where he might have disappeared to, just steps neatly into the opportunity that’s been afforded to him. He uses the distraction as a doorway directly into the offices behind the coddled host.

Kevin is asking repeatedly for updates, and Andrew fishes the earpiece out and tucks it into his breast pocket. He likes to be alone for this part, when the most important door closes behind him and everything makes as much sense as a ticking clock.

He keeps thinking of Neil’s reaction to ‘runner’, of the vulnerability trussed up in his persona. He finds himself sick to his stomach wanting to know what his real hair colour is.

He tries every door in the polished row of them, finding all of them locked. He picks the lock on the door farthest from the burble of the ballroom behind him, and cracks into what looks like a room built for business arrangements and drinking. There’s a snifter next to a half dozen tumblers on a cart along the wall, and extensive cabinets under the desk.

He feels his way along the underside of the desk, and opens each drawer, idealistically left unlocked and unprotected. He finds useless information and shady information and heaps of anonymous, unlabeled tapes.

He finds the safe in the floor, facing up patiently under a wingback chair and a panel of floorboard. He stoops so that he’s face to face with it, shrugs his jacket off like a dead skin onto the floor, and puts the heart of a stethoscope to the face of the safe.

He’s sweating, spread out surreptitiously on the floor, but the safe is flimsy. It cracks in under an hour, the party wilting two rooms over, pressure taking him by the hair. Andrew flicks the door open impatiently, unwinding the stethoscope from around his neck.

It’s filled top to bottom with paper, and he reaches for the first file, carding his fingers through the spill of sheets.

Got you, it says. Over and over again, in unassuming little typescript. And on the next page, got you.

Andrew’s fingers flex. The next file is the same, and the next. A million taunting, twirling repetitions: got you. Got this. Got here first.

The safe was already cracked. The list of names was already stolen. Neil’s face winks and swarms when he closes his eyes, furious. If you’re looking for information, we already have it.

He roots around for the bud in his pocket and pops it back into his ear. He leans back, splayed away from the spill from the safe, the stacks of failure. He enunciates clearly into the microphone sewn into his collar.

“We have to find Neil.”

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Having no real concept of privacy anymore due to the spirit possessing you.

Wearing a GIANT GOLD PYRAMID so said spirit can possess you.

Being the most polite guy in your group, but still imagining girls’ skirts flying up with glee.

MATING with your best friend.

Trading porn with said best friend AT SCHOOL.

Thinking of the guy who has tortured and tried to kill you and your loved ones as a friend.

Thinking of THAT OTHER guy who has tortured and tried to kill you and your loved ones as a friend.

Seeing your grandpa’s mad about the new game store across the street… Going to its grand opening.

Staying in a burning fucking building just to see and talk to your partner one last time.

Setting up the girl you’ve liked since you were twelve on a date with the guy you’ve liked since you were sixteen.

Being a genius with all games and capable of defeating world champs… Unable to pass a simple math test.

Being near the bottom of your class in high school… Still ending up class speaker at your graduation.

Saving the world at least three different times as basically just a side consequence of supporting and protecting your friends.

……..just Mutou Yuugi things.

NHL!Bitty, Part X - Body Issue(s)

ESPN Magazine comes calling. Eric makes a creative choice. Jack gets excited.

NHL!Bitty Masterpost!


Cold. Colder. Freezing.

“The Body Issue, Bits. You can’t turn this down, and if I did it for you, you have to do it for me.”

Actually, a three-hour naked photoshoot on ice is definitely something he can turn down, but he promised Jack he would participate if asked. Granted, it was a sleep-deprived, post-coital promise, but a promise just the same. 

A copy of the spread from Jack’s issue is already tastefully hung in the master bathroom of his townhouse. Eric will have to get his framed to match.

It’s not about the nudity, except, maybe it is a little bit, but he’s worked hard to get his body to look this good. His ass may never be in the same arena as Jack’s magnificent backside, but hell, if the whole world got to ogle Jack, why can’t Eric get some love, too? 

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OH HEY I HAD MY MERMAID PARTY YESTERDAY

Good news- the small child was perfectly enchanted by her mermaid surprise unlike the first mermaid party I did where the birthday girl wanted to be as FAR AWAY FROM THE MERMAID AS POSSIBLE

they wheeled me out on a desk chair which was pretty hilarious but actually worked a lot better than a Throne of Dads

and then omfg to get me in the pool

they put me in one of those disability chairs that you sit in and it sloooooowly lowers you into the pool

so I just sat in it, princess-waving for a full 5 minutes while I’m majestically lowered into the water. hilarious

Unlike the last party I actually was SWIMMING the whole time! They plopped me right into the deep end and I paddled around with the kids (who had floaties on and were swimming with their parents). Birthday girl was more than happy to show Marina the Mermaid how she can dunk her head in the water and jump off the side into her mom’s arms (she had just turned 4). Super cute.

MERMAID SUCCESS. I DIDN’T DROWN

Okay here’s a scene I would have liked in BvS.

So it’s the end of the movie, and Bruce and Diana are getting into his car and Bruce checks his phone and is like, “Ugh, do you mind?” And Diana shrugs and Bruce plugs the phone in and hits speaker and starts up the car and his phone goes, “You have 47 new messages.” And Bruce just rubs his forehead and sighs and the screen goes black. And the credits roll and it’s just 9 minutes of all the Robins and former Robins yelling at Batman via answering machine. 

“Bruce this is Dick. What’s this I hear about a bat brand? What the hell, man, seriously. Also Oracle wants you to call her back. She keeps muttering about how you’re making Alfred do all the IT now but she’s probably exaggerating..”

“Bruce, it’s Tim–you would not BELIEVE the nasty smear campaign the gazette’s running on you. I decided to do some investigating and—man they must have gotten some next-level professionals on this because everyone keeps saying you actually branded people! They believe you branded people! This is big and it goes deep, Bats. Lots of dead ends. But don’t worry! I’ll get to the bottom of this and clear your name!”

“BRUCE I JUST GOT MY HANDS ON A COPY OF GOTHAM GAZETTE. ANSWER YOUR PHONE, MR. ‘OH-JASON-WE-DON’T-USE-CORPORAL-PUNISHMENT’ BEFORE I HUNT YOU DOWN AND KICK YOUR ASS. ALSO WHY IS MY ROBIN UNIFORM THE ONLY ONE ON DISPLAY IN THE CAVE?!  I didn’t break in I was just picking up some of my stuff ALFRED LET ME IN. Do you have any idea how fucked up it is that you have the costume I was murdered in on display? CALL ME BACK.”

“Father. It’s Damian. I’m on a plane back from Mother. I see we are branding people now. Excellent. What other techniques are now permitted? Call me back or send me an updated list of permitted techniques.”

just a quick reminder that a black man invented heavy metal

(since it’s the last day of Black History Month and all)

There are those who will tell you that metal was born with Vincebus Eruptum, the 1968 debut album from San Francisco’s Blue Cheer. This is a favorite position of music snobs because the odds that you’ve actually heard Vincebus Eruptum are reasonably low, and thus so is the likelihood that you will challenge them on it.

It’s bullshit. Blue Cheer was nothing more than routine mid/late ‘60’s psychedelic rock, played–badly–at high volume, with as much distortion as was available at the time. One could almost argue that they gave birth to punk rock, if the attitude weren’t completely wrong, but metal, it is not.

Metal was first forged later that year in the form of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Jimi Hendrix. All the elements are present. Thunderous riffs, screaming solos, vaguely occult subject matter, driven by an unstoppable Juggernaut of a groove. But the primary reason I give this song the nod is the guitar sound. Razor sharp on the high end, heavy enough to crush bone on the low. Hendrix was not the first to use distortion, but before him, it all sounded thin and frayed, like playing through a ragged-out speaker (in fact, slicing up the speaker cone in the amplifier was how distortion was achieved before the proliferation of effects pedals). Hendrix was the first to make it sound solid, and with this song, he gave us the first instance of a true metal guitar tone. Before him, nobody had any idea you could get that kind of noise out of a guitar.

images: Moebius (top) and Bill Sienkiewicz (bottom)

Okay I gotta frigging infodump about this!!!

Optimus’ theme in the Transformers movies. It is literally, and I mean literally, the sound of his Spark-pulse.

Grab your headphones or pull a speaker up to your ear and listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thMRCRxJR8o

Do you hear that faint tink-tink-tink noise of violinists plucking instead of moving the bow? That’s the pulse of the piece. THAT IS OPTIMUS’ SOUL. That sound is present throughout the entire song. It’s the first thing you hear and the last thing you hear. It’s there, even when other instruments almost drown it out. It is still there.

Then you get this flute to establish the melody. I think it’s a flute, but it could be an oboe. They sound very similar to me. Anyway, why is it so sad? Because his Spark is sad. He watched his world die, and he’s part of the reason it had to die. He’s watching his war spread to another world that is totally unprepared. He can’t let that world die, too. But he feels alone, because who do you look up to when you are the one at the top? To be a Prime is to feel alone.

And suddenly that flute changes. Now there’s strings and brass playing the melody and voices come in as a bit of “coloration” that makes me think of light. That is the courage coming out. That is the Prime in Optimus Prime. That is where he is looking ahead and deciding he will do whatever it takes to protect other worlds from the same fate as Cybertron. That is hope. That is Optimus standing up and saying “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”

Here comes the percussion. The same melodic line played in the previous section repeats, but now it has percussion behind it. What is that? It’s Optimus charging into battle. It’s his determination to protect, to sacrifice and to fight for what is right. The voices rise and that is glow of his Spark brightening into his optics as he stands up for what he believes in.

Even Optimus’ beliefs can be shaken. Sometimes he loses sight of his goals. But, in the ruin of his doubts, he always rises again and again to fight for freedom.

And THAT is what is in his Spark and THAT is what his theme sounds like.