So, the UMBC mascot, True Grit, has basically looked like this for most of its history.
OK, you get it. Oh here’s a fucking dog, an angry chesapeake Bay Retriever, look at him dance and do push ups and pump up the fifty parents who came out for the basketball team tonight. Fairly normal looking mascot though right? In fact, it’s a great looking mascot. I’d follow that thing into hell.
Anyway, when I first went to school, the mascot looked similar. I think it was light brown, not dark brown. I thought it looked good. Not as sleek as the current dog, but if a stranger saw it, they’d be able to connect the dots and say “Oh, I recognize what that mascot is supposed to represent.
BUT THEN, for one awful year, they changed the mascot. They changed it into something HORRIFYING. It looked like the type of creature you meet at the end of a maze.
It hung around for a year, and then they brought “Angry dog” back, thank GOD. Not only that, it was almost impossible to find a picture of it. Like the AD gave a specific order to eliminate all traces of it from the record. Nobody remembers it either! “hey guys did you remember that ugly UMBC mascot” and they’d say “No, I never went to a single sporting event on that shithole of a campus.”
For ten years I’ve been searching in vain for a picture of this fucking creature. I’d almost given up. But fortune favors the persistent and my friends
I present to you.
Where to start? The half horse half dog mask? The gigantic hips? The FUCKING TALONS. Look at those nails! I wonder how many cheerleaders got lacerated by that thing. That’s some alpha predator shit, don’t let the “smile?” fool you. The Athletic Director had to feed that thing chunks of human flesh every night, lest it break it’s chains and start devouring Information Systems majors.
ORANGURU Oranguru live solitary lives deep in the forests and do not usually take much action. Instead, they position themselves high up in the trees to meditate. Long ago, people thought that Oranguru were humans who dwelled in the forest depths, so they called them “the people of the forests.” Oranguru is kind to the other Pokémon living in the forest, providing medicine for injured Pokémon and food for the hungry. Oranguru sometimes act on their own initiative and will use items that only humans normally use. From a Trainer’s perspective, they can be hard Pokémon to handle at times. Allegedly, there have been sightings of Oranguru using Poké Balls! The fan-like objects held by Oranguru are handmade by the Oranguru themselves. These fans appear to be made of layers of leaves bound together with Oranguru’s own fur.
When Guzma and Kukui were rejected as captains by Hala, what do you think the reasoning was? For Guzma, it could certainly be inferred that he seeks to crush the opponent rather than teach them, and for Kukui, you could probably reason that he was focusing too much on the moves and not enough on his Pokemon or whatever. Understandable flaws, really.
But it’s something that Hala says after you beat Guzma for the final time that got me wondering. He says to the player that he’s going to take Guzma under his wing and he hopes that it will serve as penance for whatever wrongs Team Skull did. Normally, this wouldn’t be that strange, as a mentor (forcibly) taking a student to learn from under them to rehabilitate them is a common trope. However, it’s the tone of the conversation that interested me.
The conversation in question:
Hala: Oh, Guzma…when will you understand? Only when you respect your opponent’s skill will it bring out the best in you. You miss the true meaning of battling. The goal is not to beat your opponent down, but for both Trainers to grow stronger!
Guzma: I don’t care what you say to me, yo. Beating people down is all I know!
Hala: But the battle I just saw seemed a bit different. While you may say you’re only interested in crushing your opponent, I sensed a desire to defeat (Player Name) deep in your heart.
Guzma: What do you know, old man?!
Hala: If you continue on this path, you’ll never be able to defeat (Player Name)! Guzma, admit the worthiness of your opponents! Only then can you become even stronger than you already are! Allow yourself to know the people and Pokémon you encounter, and look deeply into your heart.
Guzma: You’re still trying to front like you’re my master, huh? I gave up on you a long time ago.
Hala: (Player Name), allow me to handle this foolish young man. I will make a fine Trainer out of him yet, or I’m not an island kahuna! I hope that can be considered penance for the wrongs he and Team Skull have committed.
It looks all straightforward, doesn’t it? But it’s anything but. Notice how Hala puts the onus of responsibility for Guzma’s failures on him, yet by the end of the conversation, Hala ends up taking responsibility for Team Skull’s wrongdoings. One can say that he’s being the adult and trying to clean up a child’s – in this case, Guzma’s – messes, but it seems a bit deeper than that.
This might just be speculation, but what if Hala did indeed feel responsible for what Guzma became? It makes sense considering that it’s implied they had a loose master/student relationship going on in the past, but then you have to wonder what the hell happened for things to turn out this way.
My guess? Hala was much more of a hardliner traditionalist regarding island customs and was quite conservative years before the game began. Sumo has a long history of adhering to tradition itself, so it’s not such a reach to assume that it helped hardened his views. Being the island kahuna, it’s possible he was fairly rigid when it came to such things.
For proof, we can look to one thing: Hau’s father leaving the islands and his family entirely. The son of a very well respected kahuna just up and abandons his family to go somewhere abroad; don’t you think that’s strange? The NPCs remark that it’s possible that Hau’s father just couldn’t take living in his father’s shadow and left, but to the point of leaving his wife and child behind?
From that, we can assume that Hau’s father and Hala parted on bad terms. Why else would a son go so far away just to get away from his father? It’s a mystery as to why he left his wife and Hau behind, and it’s unknown if he’s supporting them with money from working abroad. We don’t even know if he still talks to them, although it’s easily possible given the technology.
Another point goes to an NPC in Hala’s house saying that Hala had been so angry one day that Hau became inconsolable just from looking at his face. From that day forth, Hala took great care to hold himself back in front of his grandson, but what if it was also a turning point for something else? Perhaps he was softening to new ideas, or reconsidering his stance – reconsidering just what drove his own son away from him.
So, if he was as conservative as I’m imagining he might have been, it sheds a new light on how he might have treated Guzma and Kukui in their youth. He correctly identifies their shortcomings, but he’s not very kind or flexible about it. Perhaps his mentorship over Guzma had been riddled with this too, leading Guzma to ultimately give up and run away.
The Hala we meet in game has had years think over past events and has changed accordingly. Maybe he realized his mistakes and wants to avoid that again with Hau, or maybe he regrets the way he treated Kukui and Guzma, even if the former has a respectful relationship with him. If so, it would make perfect sense as to why he suddenly takes responsibility over Team Skull’s wrongdoings in the end, because it’s a new chance for both himself and Guzma as master and student again.
Now, what do you do when life gives you lemons?
Take them. Free shit is cool.
You eat it, obviously.
It could be a lucky item someday.
Lemon peels can be used as a skin tonic!
What even, Kise-
Throw it away. What would you even need that shit for?
I believe that the proper thing to do when life gives you lemons is to sincerely thank life for the gift, and then squeeze it into the eyes of your enemies, while laughing as you watch them sink to their knees in tears.
What? Why is everyone giving me that look?