the bright young people

Les Misérables (1862) but if Lemony Snicket was the author

to Enjolras–darling, dearest, dead.

Chapter One

If you’re seeking a story whose tragic beginning is followed by a less-tragic middle and an inevitably uplifting denouement, this book should be avoided at all costs. The approximately six hundred and fifty-five thousand words that are about to follow contain the tales of several bright and brave young people who each meet an unfortunate end and several less-bright, less-young people, including myself, who unfortunately survive to recount the events. “Unfortunate” is a word which here means “luckless” and “miserable”, the latter definition having been used for the title of this novel, designed to dissuade you, the misguided reader, from continuing past the cover page.

There are other techniques I have employed in this book that are designed to stop you from yourself becoming miserable by reading this story in its entirety. Firstly, the physical novel, which as you may notice shares the same dimensions and weight as a standard housing brick, for the utmost inconvenience. Secondly, I have included several hundred pages of information which are both uninteresting and have little bearing on the grander story in the meager hope that you will come to your senses and place this novel back on your shelf or better, in a lit fireplace, where I solemnly believe it belongs. 

For example, the use of candlesticks. The word “candlestick” is derived from the purpose of the item itself, that is an object, most often metal, commonly silver, in which one can stick a candle. Many dictionaries define “candlestick” as  “an often ornamental holder for securing a candle or candles”. “Candleholder” is another, less commonly used word for “candlestick”. Candlesticks come in a variety of forms and sizes, and can contain a variety of numbers of candles often demarcated by their names-a “trikirion” contains three candles and a “menorah” contains seven. If you have had the fortitude-a word which here means “strength of mind”-to make it this far through this dull paragraph, it may be of some note to say that the candlesticks with which we concern ourselves in this story are single candlesticks, that may each contain one candle. 

Thirdly, not only have I named the main character in a redundant manner-Jean Valjean-I have decided to tell you here that Jean Valjean perishes on the final page of this novel. That is my story’s conclusion.

With all this information in mind, and having the ending already known, I now give you my final warning and pleading suggestion to forget about this book. Put it down. Hide it away. Bury it in a cemetery late at night with the assistance of a man named Fauchelevant. Forget it ever existed. For now the story must begin.

It begins in a town called Digne, on a grey and dreary night under the roof of a very kind but elderly and poor man, the bishop of the town, whose name was Myriel.

The Dragon Angus Theory

I don’t know how many people know about this particular TAZ Theory but I discovered it last night in the TAZ Subreddit. There are thread discussions about this here and here. There could be more but these were the two I found.

In summary, the theory in general pertains to the fact that Angus might not be all that he seems, and that he might be a dragon in disguise. Specifically a Silver Dragon. Under the cut because this came out really long! (Don’t worry there’s a tldr at the bottom)

Keep reading

The Bright Young Things, 1920s

“What about the attention to… well, young people always pay attention to their appearance but it seemed to be, not excessive but they had a lot fun with it didn’t they?”

“Oh absolutely and there’s certainly a sense that girls were dressing as boys, boys were dressing as girls. There was a massive influence of Hollywood, so everyone slicks their hair down like Rudolph Valentino.”

- Reel History of Britain

The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists.. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.
—  Banksy

anonymous asked:

Do u think the justice league put bets on Batman's identity?

not the big seven obviously because even on non-secured intercoms they call each other by their first names, but like… the smaller heroes? the newer groups? absolutely. it’s the first thing they try to find out after initiation, it’s become like… a sorority thing. every time a bunch of new heroes get into the justice league, there’s this thing hal someone coordinates. “try to shadow him and follow his every move until you find out where he lives. that’s what makes you an actual, real justice leaguer”. and it sounds so much like bait material, these are capable, young, bright, absolutely not foolhardy people who made it into the big leagues because they can get the job done, but then you think about how the flash or wonder woman had to do it too or something and it gives you a sense of honor. so you do it. and hal laughs

and the best part is i imagine bruce letting them tag along during his gotham patrol, pretending he didn’t detect them five milliseconds after they got on his tail, and just blatantly leading them to some forested grounds outside the city at dawn or something and reaching a tree, right? just getting near a tree and not moving for the rest of the day. he’s just standing there for at least seven hours because you know he can do it and nobody has moved because they might make noise, so you see all those heroes with their bright costumes hiding behind a bush and going “holy crap he’s sleeping standing on his feet hwat the fuCK bob???”

Part 4

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

@shulkie suggested pining Levi so here we go.


Levi watched as Jean draped his arm around Eren’s shoulders and said something into his ear with a wide grin. Eren laughed and poked his tongue out, and Jean pulled a face and pretended to recoil.

But they stayed close, those two.

Levi sort of thought they would have mentioned it if they were actually together, but with the way they acted sometimes he honestly wasn’t sure. It wasn’t really his business, he supposed, only that it was; Eren had told him flat out that he was good at shutting down their arguments, and doing that for a couple seemed weird and inappropriate.

Levi was ushered forward next, to be included in the photograph. The label still wasn’t sure how to ‘massage him into the band’s core brand’ as one of the bright, interchangeable young PR people had put it and Levi wished he didn’t even have to try. Some bullshit never changed.

They wanted him to watch all the band’s old interviews, and Levi put on a dutiful look and agreed, but secretly it wasn’t such a hardship.

They were both gorgeous, those two; fresh faced and charismatic, and Levi watched them joke and giggle and prod each other, squirming across a variety of TV talk show couches, along with their ex-bandmate Reiner. They’d always been all over each other, apparently, and Levi wondered why the PR people hadn’t told them to put a stop to it. Some of their comments were downright suggestive.

Levi didn’t need the mental images of the lean, leggy young men wrapped around each other like that, their stories of sharing hotel rooms and the back of a van working all too vividly on his imagination.

He didn’t know what to make of this whole situation sometimes; no one gets a second chance like that, a rediscovery and the opportunity to return to the stage after all those years. That alone seemed too much to expect, and here he was with two frankly beautiful young men who apparently saw in him nothing but good things. Even after they found out about his stage fright they seemed to think it was just something to manage rather than a deal-breaker.

He should be more grateful, and stop imagining them naked at the very least.

“At least you’ve done all this before,” Jean said when the shoot was over and they were heading back in the car. “It was a hell of a learning curve for us.”

“Mm.” Levi didn’t feel like discussing it; he’d felt like a third wheel for most of the time, and he doubted no amount of massaging the message was going to change that. How could it? He was a decade older than they were, and they’d almost literally found him in the trash.

He could almost sense them looking at each other, trying to work out why he was in a bad mood. Did they really know him so well so fast? Or maybe it wasn’t him at all, and they were silently communicating about more personal things.

“We should work on our narrative,” Eren said, when they’d retreated back to the boys’ apartment. Levi had sort of wanted to leave, but they had work to do. “They’re gonna keep bugging us until we have something.” He frowned. “We need something.”

Levi watched Eren return from the fridge and choose a seat across from Jean, flopping into it and somehow managing not to spill his drink. They always pulled apart when he was with them, and it was starting to bug him a little. He wasn’t prejudiced or anything.

“You don’t have to do that, you know,” he said.

“Do what?” Eren asked.

“Act distant with each other when I’m here. I’m not going to be bothered,” he lied slightly. It didn’t bug him for the obvious reasons at least.

“We’re not?” Jean looked puzzled.

Levi rolled his eyes. “You were practically sitting in his lap earlier.”

“Oh that!” Eren laughed, a little awkwardly. “It’s for the cameras, you know.”


“The fans love it,” Jean explained. “The idea that we might be fucking in private. They get really invested. So,” he shrugged. “We play up to it a bit.”

“Don’t worry, Levi, we won’t make you do it,” Eren assured him.

“Too old?” Levi suggested wryly.

“No. I mean, you wouldn’t like it, right?”

He could feel their eyes on him, and he resisted the urge to squirm in his chair. He wished desperately he’d never raised the topic to start with.

“I wouldn’t really mind,” he said eventually. “I mean, if they like it.”

“Well that’s great!” Eren said, with more enthusiasm than Levi thought was necessary. “We know our narrative now, don’t we?”

Levi got the distinct impression they were communicating via eye contact again.

“And he was so good!” Jean declared, beaming at the host. “We were like, we have to get this guy to play with us.”

“And then we got him out of those overalls,” Eren said, leaning against Levi on the other side. “And look at this!” He grabbed Levi’s bicep and Levi flexed good-naturedly as the crowd oohed.

“Oh my God, those arms,” the host said, pulling a shocked and delighted face for the camera. “Can I touch them?” she asked.

And Levi, firmly wedged between his bandmates, Jean’s thigh pressed against his own and Eren’s breath tickling his ear, wasn’t sure if he was in heaven or hell, but he wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

This took the form of a very expensive looking oblong parcel which in its glossy splendour made one suppose that it must contain something of the highest value. When my aunt opened it she found two pieces of bark from a tree which where, according to Tennant, of the most exquisite and subtle beauty. Virginia didn’t agree and was rather cross.
—  Quentin Bell, on a hostess gift from Stephen Tennant to Virginia Woolf
libra & aquarius

They say,
“when you meet your soulmate, you see everything in color”
but I haven’t seen in black and white,
my colors now just happen to be bright

They say,
“young love does not last”
but two people who are meant to be,
they are stronger than their past
and their talks are deeper than the sea

And then we say,
“we’re sorry for the curse,
but goddamn you have no idea,
together we hold the universe

anonymous asked:

hello! what podcasts do you listen to I'm looking for a new one to binge listen to thank you!!!!

what a good question, friend! i listen to a whole bunch of podcasts. here’s the rundown (and sorry it got a little long…):

wolf 359: look. if you haven’t heard this podcast idk how you found my blog. space shenanigans and strong female characters abound. go listen to it.

the penumbra podcast: gay space detective noir! canon nonbinary characters! everyone is queer and i’m in love! also– heartbreaking pain!!! seriously honestly go listen to this one too.

the bridge: a podcast that has very quickly and surprisingly rocketed to the top of my list. what happens if you build a bridge across the atlantic ocean? giant goldfish and immortal characters lots of shenanigans and really, really good storytelling. i highly recommend checking it out– and there isn’t too much of it yet so you’ll catch up quickly!

the bright sessions: another classic. young people with superpowers go to therapy. it’s the thing I needed when I was like 12 and also a thing I need now. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m going to highly recommend every single one of these, but I highly recommend this one too

ars paradoxica: super duper complicated but REALLY COOL science and time travel business! asexual representation! female scientists! the best audio engineering I’ve ever heard! if you have the brain energy to really really pay attention, check this one out!!

welcome to night vale: i mean, duh. my podcast gateway drug– I started listening back in 2012 or so. if you haven’t heard it, you need to hear it.

the adventure zone: my current binge! i’ve heard 38 hour long episodes in the last week and honestly I don’t know what’s real and what’s dungeons and dragons adventures. I was reluctant to start it because I’ve never played dnd but you catch on real quick.

limetown: THE SPOOKIEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD. there’s only like 13 episodes and i haven’t heard anything if they’re making more, but it’s soooooooo cool. like serial, but fictional and scary as shit.

honorable mentions go to the strange case of starship iris (only has one episode but it’s super cool), kakos industries (ridiculous and entirely nsfw, like if night vale were a corporation that– oh wait it’s desert bluffs), alice isn’t dead (i haven’t finished it yet but I need to), eos 10 (idk why I’m not as in love with this one as everyone else seems to be), and jim robbie and the wanderers (because they had a HANUKKAH SPECIAL BLESS THEIR HEARTS).

I think the future is bright actually, because so many young(er) people are open, compassionate and attempt to step into the shoes of others, to see things from their experiences, even if they are vastly different or more challenging in certain ways from their own. I don’t think it will be easy, but I think we will get there.

The Impersonation Party, 1927.
Back row: Elizabeth Ponsonby, in wig as Iris Tree, Cecil Beaton on her right.
Seated: Stephan Tennant, as Queen Marie of Rumania, Georgia Sitwell, with false nose, Inez Holden, Harold Acton.
Foreground: Tallulah Bankhead, as Jean Borotra.

Photo & caption featured in Bright Young People: The RISE and FALL of a GENERATION 1918-1940 by D.J. Taylor

Wizards don't have a concept of sexism. (AKA SIDING WITH THE PUREBLOODS)

For as far back as wizarding history goes, there seem to be a fair many female leaders. Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, (hogwarts founders) Seraphina Picquery, Emily Rappaport, (MACUSA presidents) Millicent Bangold, Artemisia Lufkin, Josephina Flint, Ottaline Gambol, Hortensia Milliphut, Evangeline Orpington, Priscilla Dupont (Ministers for Magic, among many others), Isolt Sayre (Headmistress of Ilvermorny)…

None of this is questioned. It is accepted as normal for witches to be equal to wizards, by basically every wizard (with exceptions I’ll get into later) Why? Because there is not and never was any reason for them not to be. Witch magic is as powerful as wizard magic. Furthermore, there is no need for one partner in any given couple to stay at home and clean while the other does heavy physical labour and never was. Witches could easily prevent pregnancies much earlier on, and child mortality in wizards is lower, so there’s no reason to disproportionately shield women from danger or regulate their sexual activities. The patriarchy never formed in wizarding society because there was never any reason for it to do so. (Yeah, I’m arguing the patriarchy isn’t just an evil plot, it’s actually a holdover from back when gender roles were a necessary or at least generally advantageous part of human endeavour. I know. Shocker.) Even the clothing at Hogwarts tends to be gender neutral. All-female quidditch teams play all-male quidditch reams and win.

Voldemort’s got straightup mysogynistic tendencies. He didn’t learn those in school- he did it at the muggle orphanage. He brought them into the magical world. However, as a result of not having a patriarchy to begin with, the wizards he accumulated behind him didn’t recognize his failure to take women seriously for what it was.

The Malfoys did however look with some disdain on people like Harry and the Weasleys for being too Muggleish- Molly being very housewifey, the whole group often falling into pretty restrictive muggle gender norms. Ron whines about traditional wizard’s robes being girly. He also slutshames his sister and heavily implies he learned it from his mother. It’s hard to know what the Malfoy family looks like internally, and it may be that Draco internalized the disdain without understanding its context. Narcissa looks perpetually disgusted when faces with the Weasleys because she doesn’t understand how backwards they are. (also because of class issues, I’m not excusing them entirely).

Muggleborn - or rather, muggle raised - witches and wizards are dangerous, because they come in and upend a system that had always worked well. They elect nothing but male Ministers for magic for six straight terms around Harry’s time. Muggles think it’s ok to hurt women. Snape’s mother learned that to her detriment, and this is why he wishes he were pureblood, because no wizard would be so damn stupid about a woman’s place.

Wizards are often and unapologetically what might be termed by muggles “effeminate”. Long hair is normal to wizards. Purple and pink are worn by wizards, all the time. Queer wizards and witches are normal. Trans wizards and witches are rare (because it’s hard to feel you don’t align with your gender when you don’t really think of gender as having any kind of rules) but those that are can easily use transfiguration to better align.

James tortured Snape. When Snape snapped and called Lily a mudblood, he was throwing a slur in her face… but he was also reminding her that she doesn’t get wizard culture. Doesn’t understand that James flipping him upside down is sexual assault there, as it should be, because wizards (purebloods) fucking get the concept of consent really, really well. Muggles (especially pre 1990 muggles….) not so much. Muggles don’t understand the horror of being forced to do something. Remember the three unforgivables.

Next to death and torture, coercion.

Muggleborn witches and wizards are scary as shit. They don’t know the rules. They don’t understand why forcing someone to do something is wrong even if the person doesn’t (can’t) fight back. They don’t understand that picking on women is creepy and strange. Yet they have the power to back their brutal, neanderthal behaviour.

Grindelwald got all this. Grindelwald was raised in a time where people like him, queer young men, were ostracised at best in muggle society. His best friend’s sister got beat up by muggles because she was female and therefore physically weaker and he knows, he knows that the muggle hangup about gender is at the core of that.

He loves Albus. He wants to show him the world, wants to kiss him on street corners.

Can’t do that in the muggle world, not in 18fucking90something, you’d get lynched.

Why aren’t they allowed to defend themselves? Why can’t he just obliterate all the obstacles, he has the power.

He fights so hard to make the world right, and safe, and free, until Dumbledore decides to fight him. Until his reason for fighting is fighting him, and there’s nothing he can do. Put me in Nurmengard, he says. (Dumbledore was his greater good.)

Voldemort hates muggles, and the people who loved that bright young wizard for his hope and his feirce protectiveness, the people who sided with him because muggles were a menace that needed controlling… All they see is another bright man, another young soldier fighting the good fight. They don’t understand that he’s everything that’s wrong, everything they wanted to get rid of. They think he’s on their side. After so many years of this bullshit, of male leaders shoved down their throats because “the prime minister is easier deslt with thst way” and “We just can’t take a woman seriously”… They were desperate. Voldemort promises a new order… A return to the old order, really, where the magical folk have the power and they dictate what’s what.

Until he hurts their children. (Narcissa) Or their loved ones (Snape). Until he does what they were all terrified a mudblood would do, even as he pretends to be on their side.

On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning

by Haruki Murakami

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she’s not that good-looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn’t young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl,” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.

Maybe you have your own particular favorite type of girl - one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you’re drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I’ll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can’t recall the shape of hers - or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird.

“Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl,” I tell someone.

“Yeah?” he says. “Good-looking?”

“Not really.”

“Your favorite type, then?”

“I don’t know. I can’t seem to remember anything about her - the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts.”


“Yeah. Strange.”

“So anyhow,” he says, already bored, “what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?”

“Nah. Just passed her on the street.”

She’s walking east to west, and I west to east. It’s a really nice April morning.

Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and - what I’d really like to do - explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.

After talking, we’d have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.

Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.

Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.

How can I approach her? What should I say?

“Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?”

Ridiculous. I’d sound like an insurance salesman.

“Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?”

No, this is just as ridiculous. I’m not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who’s going to buy a line like that?

Maybe the simple truth would do. “Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me.”

No, she wouldn’t believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you’re not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I’d probably go to pieces. I’d never recover from the shock. I’m thirty-two, and that’s what growing older is all about.

We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can’t bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She’s written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she’s ever had.

I take a few more strides and turn: She’s lost in the crowd.

Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started “Once upon a time” and ended “A sad story, don’t you think?”

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

“This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.”

“And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.”

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.”

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

A sad story, don’t you think?

Yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.