the gulf between

The McDonald’s french fry is unbelievable. When you bite into it, you think: It’s so tasty, it can’t be real. As soon as it gets cold, it turns to lard and flubble. I mean, have you ever tried to eat a McDonald’s french fry that’s gone cold? That’s one of the circles of hell. The gulf between the warm, fresh, lightly salted McDonald’s french fry and the cold McDonald’s french fry is as great a gulf as any I know. - Viggo Mortensen, Esquire magazine (x)

You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw - but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of - something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clapclap of water against the boat’s side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it - tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest - if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say “Here at last is the thing I was made for.” We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
—  C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

the only personality dichotomy that means anything is

people who find vast places and concepts like the ocean and the infinite nature of the universe deeply unsettling and fucking offensive;

and people who can only calm down around vast places and concepts like the ocean and the infinite nature of the universe

“If you’re not a survivor, don’t...”

I don’t know exactly when or how the discourse around cultural appropriation got expanded to encompass trauma survivors. The logic seems to go like this: we’re all more or less in agreement that it’s wrong to lay claim to the racially specific experiences of marginalised groups to which you don’t belong. Surely the same thing applies to trauma: if you don’t share personally in the experience, you’ve got no right to talk about it. Leave those stories to the people who’ve actually lived them. Stay in your lane.

But here’s the thing: survivorhood is not a stable identity marker in the way that something like race is. ‘Appropriation’ is only a relevant concept when the experience we’re talking about is an exclusive one. It is impossible for, say, a non-Chinese person to ever become ethnically Chinese, or to understand from personal experience what it is like to live as a Chinese person. By contrast it is very, very possible for a non-survivor to become a survivor. That’s … actually kind of the whole point of trauma, you know? The ‘in-group’ is an open and ever-changing roll call that spreads itself out across all demographics. People can and do become members of the group overnight.

Given those circumstances, there’s something very ugly about the idea of trying to claim ownership over the universal human experience of trauma. People who’ve never lived through trauma themselves have a legitimate stake in trauma narratives because they’re aware – assuming they possess normal, adaptive levels of foresight and caution – that it could just as easily happen to them as anybody.

How do you identify a person as a survivor or a non-survivor? Trauma is an inherently subjective experience; a person can suffer catastrophic psychological damage from an incident that a different person, under different circumstances, might completely brush off.  There are people who’ve survived extremely painful and dangerous ordeals but who wouldn’t dream of identifying with any kind of survivor ‘community’. There are people who’ve been legitimately traumatised by an ordeal so small and strange that they feel like impostors if they call it ‘trauma’ at all. There are people with second-hand trauma, people who’ve survived ‘near miss’ incidents, people who’ve lived relatively safe lives but still live in fear of the endless ‘what-ifs’. All of those people have perfectly good reasons to want to talk about trauma, to share stories about it, to create their own narratives about what trauma means and how they should interact with it. They have no moral obligation to defer to any old stranger who comes along claiming superior trauma credentials.

Locking people out of conversations unless they clear some arbitrary bar of ‘traumatised enough’ isn’t just misguided – it’s damaging and offensive. It others people with traumatic personal histories and creates an artificial gulf between ‘survivors’ and ‘non-survivors’. It discourages empathy by treating trauma as something that happens to a distinct group of People Who Aren’t You. It pressures people who’ve lived through trauma to embrace the abuse that’s been inflicted on them as a defining aspect of their identity. It demands that people who are already suffering subject themselves to painful scrutiny over whether their experiences have been bad enough to ‘count’.

And I can’t speak for anyone else, but let me tell you: I have spent an upsetting amount of time in so-called ‘progressive’ circles feeling obliged to carry my pain around like a pass card in my wallet, ready to pull out for inspection whenever someone challenges my right to speak or read or write about trauma. It’s messed up. Trauma is not an axis of marginalisation, it’s not the domain of any one minority, and it’s sure as hell not a debate-hall trump card. We need to do better.

I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being - not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don’t have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn’t play any parts or make wrong gestures.

Persona (1966)
Ingmar Bergman

Mr Styles.

[Not an AU, set throughout 2014]

Harry enjoys the finer things in life; the fine dining, the fine wine, and fine entertainment. He’s takes a liking to a waitress in his favourite Mayfair restaurant, making sure to ask for her every time. She gives him excellent service, he gives her excellent tips in return. The tips don’t quite cut it though and she finds herself with a second job to cover her time at university in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Harry discovers her second job in a less than chaste circumstance and makes an offer she can’t resist.

“If my boss catches me, he’ll haul me in to the kitchen and throw my hand in the deep fat fryer.”

17.5k // Daddy kink-lite, if I could even call it that.

Be nice.

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Any other trans women feel a weird gulf between themselves and girls who started their transition earlier? Like, as someone who came out just last year and start hrt right before 25, idk why but the experiences of trans chicks who started in their mid to late teens seems so different to me.

A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma

by Catherine Woodiwiss

1. Trauma permanently changes us.

This is the big, scary truth about trauma: there is no such thing as “getting over it.” The five stages of grief model marks universal stages in learning to accept loss, but the reality is in fact much bigger: a major life disruption leaves a new normal in its wake. There is no “back to the old me.” You are different now, full stop.

This is not a wholly negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life — warts, wisdom, and all — with courage.

2.  Presence is always better than distance.

There is a curious illusion that in times of crisis people “need space.” I don’t know where this assumption originated, but in my experience it is almost always false. Trauma is a disfiguring, lonely time even when surrounded in love; to suffer through trauma alone is unbearable. Do not assume others are reaching out, showing up, or covering all the bases.

It is a much lighter burden to say, “Thanks for your love, but please go away,” than to say, “I was hurting and no one cared for me.” If someone says they need space, respect that. Otherwise, err on the side of presence.

3.  Healing is seasonal, not linear.

It is true that healing happens with time. But in the recovery wilderness, emotional healing looks less like a line and more like a wobbly figure-8. It’s perfectly common to get stuck in one stage for months, only to jump to another end entirely … only to find yourself back in the same old mud again next year.

Recovery lasts a long, long time. Expect seasons.

4.  Surviving trauma takes “firefighters” and “builders.” Very few people are both.

This is a tough one. In times of crisis, we want our family, partner, or dearest friends to be everything for us. But surviving trauma requires at least two types of people: the crisis team — those friends who can drop everything and jump into the fray by your side, and the reconstruction crew — those whose calm, steady care will help nudge you out the door into regaining your footing in the world. In my experience, it is extremely rare for any individual to be both a firefighter and a builder. This is one reason why trauma is a lonely experience. Even if you share suffering with others, no one else will be able to fully walk the road with you the whole way.

A hard lesson of trauma is learning to forgive and love your partner, best friend, or family even when they fail at one of these roles. Conversely, one of the deepest joys is finding both kinds of companions beside you on the journey.

5.  Grieving is social, and so is healing.

For as private a pain as trauma is, for all the healing that time and self-work will bring, we are wired for contact. Just as relationships can hurt us most deeply, it is only through relationship that we can be most fully healed.

It’s not easy to know what this looks like — can I trust casual acquaintances with my hurt? If my family is the source of trauma, can they also be the source of healing? How long until this friend walks away? Does communal prayer help or trivialize?

Seeking out shelter in one another requires tremendous courage, but it is a matter of life or paralysis. One way to start is to practice giving shelter to others.

6.  Do not offer platitudes or comparisons. Do not, do not, do not.

“I’m so sorry you lost your son, we lost our dog last year … ” “At least it’s not as bad as … ” “You’ll be stronger when this is over.” “God works in all things for good!”

When a loved one is suffering, we want to comfort them. We offer assurances like the ones above when we don’t know what else to say. But from the inside, these often sting as clueless, careless, or just plain false.

Trauma is terrible. What we need in the aftermath is a friend who can swallow her own discomfort and fear, sit beside us, and just let it be terrible for a while.

7.  Allow those suffering to tell their own stories.

Of course, someone who has suffered trauma may say, “This made me stronger,” or “I’m lucky it’s only (x) and not (z).” That is their prerogative. There is an enormous gulf between having someone else thrust his unsolicited or misapplied silver linings onto you, and discovering hope for one’s self. The story may ultimately sound very much like “God works in all things for good,” but there will be a galaxy of disfigurement and longing and disorientation in that confession. Give the person struggling through trauma the dignity of discovering and owning for himself where, and if, hope endures.

8.  Love shows up in unexpected ways.

This is a mystifying pattern after trauma, particularly for those in broad community: some near-strangers reach out, some close friends fumble to express care. It’s natural for us to weight expressions of love differently: a Hallmark card, while unsatisfying if received from a dear friend, can be deeply touching coming from an old acquaintance.

Ultimately every gesture of love, regardless of the sender, becomes a step along the way to healing. If there are beatitudes for trauma, I’d say the first is, “Blessed are those who give love to anyone in times of hurt, regardless of how recently they’ve talked or awkwardly reconnected or visited cross-country or ignored each other on the metro.” It may not look like what you’d request or expect, but there will be days when surprise love will be the sweetest.

9.  Whatever doesn’t kill you …

In 2011, after a publically humiliating year, comedian Conan O’Brien gave students at Dartmouth College the following warning:

“Nietzsche famously said, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ … What he failed to stress is that it almost kills you.”
Odd things show up after a serious loss and creep into every corner of life: insatiable anxiety in places that used to bring you joy, detachment or frustration towards your closest companions, a deep distrust of love or presence or vulnerability.

There will be days when you feel like a quivering, cowardly shell of yourself, when despair yawns as a terrible chasm, when fear paralyzes any chance for pleasure. This is just a fight that has to be won, over and over and over again.

10.  … Doesn’t kill you.

Living through trauma may teach you resilience. It may help sustain you and others in times of crisis down the road. It may prompt humility. It may make for deeper seasons of joy. It may even make you stronger.

It also may not.

In the end, the hope of life after trauma is simply that you have life after trauma. The days, in their weird and varied richness, go on. So will you.

anonymous asked:

Let's say... 1. How would Jane Eyre be different if Jane Austen wrote it? 2. How would P&P be different if Charlotte Brontë (or any of her sisters) wrote it?

They’re…kind of different genres, to my mind. Any hero Austen might write would not be remotely like Rochester, and there’d be none of this overwrought deathless-devotion-supernatural-connection-between-two-souls nonsense. And Charlotte Brontë rather famously despised Austen’s writing, so I couldn’t see her writing anything so funny as P&P or any of Austen’s novels.

Charlotte Brontë is the writer of that Serious Romance which Austen insisted she could never write to save her life, and Jane Austen has a sense of humour which is entirely absent in 99.99% of Brontë’s work. (That Jane Eyre immediately tells Rochester he’s Not Handsome even after he explains that he’s hella rich is funny, but not funny in the same way that Darcy is suddenly less handsome when he’s a total dick, despite everyone knowing how wealthy he is, if you see what I mean?)

I think if Emily or Charlotte were writing P&P, this would be the issue. Anne had a lighter touch than her sisters, and would have had a wry awareness of reality which would better suit Austen’s tone (like look at the shit she got for The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and pointing out that, no, the Byronic douchebag is in all likelihood NOT a great choice of husband, while her two sisters are like ROCHESTER HEATHCLIFF PLEASE EMOTIONALLY TORTURE ME BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT TRUE LOVE IS…and Anne’s just like “…nah.”)

Stylistically, there’s a huge gulf between the Brontës and Austen, so despite the tendency to package them together as 19th-century* daughter-of-clergymen-authoresses writing about young women finding love, there’s really more that defines their differences than draws them together or would make it feasible to swap their story lines and characters.

*Barely so, for Austen. Her work is much more influenced by 18th century works she was reading, and the pseudo-comic beginnings of the Gothic style; whereas the Brontës had several more decades of that sort of writing (with a much more sentimental/serious bent) to draw from in the influences on their own work.

anonymous asked:

*curtsies* Your Grace, my lit professor was talking about The Bacchae and how he believes it condemns Dionysus/the gods rather than praising them. He also specifically singled out Dionysus as a senseless, upstart party boy unworthy of worship. What is your opinion on this? (and please defend Dionysus, it hurt my heart to see him so insulted)

*Curtsies* Okay, I’m gonna full-on maenad-level rage about this because it pisses me off just as badly as the Diomedes thing. 

First things first: Anyone who insists that Dionysus is strictly one thing has automatically already proved they have no business talking (much less teaching) about him, because Dionysus’ entire essence is characterized by contradictions. As Alfred Henrichs puts it “Virtually everybody who has an informed opinion on the subject seems to concede that a balanced and unified view of Dionysus and his place in history is not only difficult to achieve but is essentially incompatible with the complexity of the god and with his disparate manifestations.” Dionysus isn’t ‘just’ the god of wine or ‘just’ the god of anything. He’s at the same time Theban and foreign, human and divine, masculine and feminine, life and death, frenzy and tranquility, joy and horror, ecstasy and rage, mercy and revenge. Most of the Orphic and Homeric hymns give him epithets like ‘two-faced,’ two-formed,’ ‘twice-born’ (more on this in Walter F. Otto’s book, Dionysus: Myth and Cult). Beyond all that, he’s the god of theatre and masks and deception and dissembling, so insisting that he’s any one thing is plain and simply shitty scholarship even if you have no respect for the mythology because it’s (a) incredibly reductive and (b) just fucking wrong.

Second things second: The Bacchae. Has your professor actually even read the fucking play? Because if he has he’s completely missed the point. The whole reason everything goes to shit is because Pentheus is a self-important Socratic dickbag who refuses to acknowledge Dionysus for exactly the same reasons your professor is using to dismiss him. How he could have missed that irony is utterly beyond me. But what happens to Pentheus? He ends up up a tree in a fucking dress and gets his fucking head ripped off by his own mother because she’s being punished, too, for refusing to believe her sister when she said that it was Zeus who got her pregnant. (Sidenote: Why is that even so hard to believe? Fucking Zeus gets everybody pregnant.) But I digress: HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY MISS THE POINT THAT BADLY? Even Nietzsche, who spends like 90% of The Birth of Tragedy bitching about how Euripides ruined Greek theatre by undermining the Dionysian impulse, insists that the Bacchae is the apology play, that Euripides realized he was wrong all along about Dionysus and wrote it as a form of weird literary vindication of the god: “The god Dionysus is too powerful,” he says. “His most intelligent adversary–like Pentheus in the Bacchae–is unwittingly enchanted by him and in his enchantment runs to meet his own fate… This is what we are told by a poet who opposed Dionysus with heroic valor throughout a long life–and who finally ended his career with a glorification of his adversary and with suicide, like a giddy man who, to escape the horrible vertigo he can no longer endure, casts himself from a tower” (trans. Walter Kaufmann). In order for your professor to have missed all this he might also be a self-important Socratic dickbag, and he should probably watch himself because things usually don’t end well for people who like to laugh at Dionysus.

Last things last: Let’s talk about the wine. Yes, Dionysus was famously the god who gave man wine. But what a lot of people clearly don’t understand is that wine had a very different status in ancient Greek culture than it does in ours. Wine was not something that existed just to make your tongue happy and maybe get you shitfaced. Wine was fucking sacred. The Greeks didn’t understand how fermentation worked, so they literally regarded wine as a divine gift from the gods–partly because it was one of the few things they could drink with relative safety because of its alcoholic content, but also because it literally brought them closer to the gods. Wine had huge religious significance, and not just as a libation or offering. Part of the reason Dionysus is so often dismissed as the party god is because the Dionysian orgy–much like wine in ancient culture–is so vastly misunderstood. The Dionysian cult was not built on a tradition of getting hammered and fucking your brains out in the woods. This is another major point of the Bacchae which your professor seems to have completely missed. The Dionysian orgy often involved no sex at all. Instead it was about human communion with nature and with god. Because wine induced intoxication, adherents of the cult believed it actually enabled them to see the god and to enter into spiritual union with him and each other which overrode their selfish, individualistic impulses. It’s not about sex and over-indulgence. It’s about the opposite, about returning to the purest possible state of man wherein he is no longer a man but part of a larger natural whole and a rapturous group psyche. And this is part of the function of the chorus in Greek tragedy–to speak for the the whole, to be the voice of something greater than the individual. Forgive me but I’m going to quote Nietzsche again: “This is the most immediate effect of Dionysian tragedy, that the state and society and, quite generally, the gulfs between man and man give way to an overwhelming feeling of unity leading back to the very heart of nature.”

I have a lot of feelings about this and I’ve been reading a lot about it lately for research reasons, so I could probably go on about it for hours. The last thing I’ll say is that it’s people like Pentheus and evidently your professor who ruin mythology and religion. As soon as you try to rationalize it and make it sane and ridicule anything you don’t understand, what you’re left with isn’t religion at all but a form of moral government that has no need for spiritual experience. And–like Pentheus–I think you kind of deserve to get your shit wrecked by angry maenads. Duke out.

the anthropologist //

come dip your toes into
yet another world
you don’t know how to belong to..
learn to be like humans, learn
to assimilate:
come gauche and keen and
come on too strong..
maybe the last place you had to
split too soon to learn
anything useful;
but you were just
passing through anyway, right?

this time, maybe stay
at the edge of the circle -
observe, take notes,
cause a measure less offence
keep your cards
closer to your chest and try
for god’s sake to heed
the gulf between you and the game -
all those cameras and notebooks and
abortive longitudinal studies
will help make believe
the distance
is something you choose.

look, but do not reach out;
cause and effect here
work only one way round, perhaps.
learn something
of the language, make
a few good sentences of it but
come not close enough that
anyone might hear the faint
betrayal of your accent.
tell yourself again how you have
itchy feet,
tenure elsewhere
a date to keep,
and a whole universe
to try and
fail to touch.
just passing through,

come, sow storms and doubts
with all your artless ways of reaching out;
come gadarene, and stay a stranger here-
stay just long enough to reap the
onerous winds that will carry you
to the next favourably atmospheric spinning rock,
full of fragile artful people
you might know how belong to.

(split, again
when it becomes obvious
that you are not of their kind either.
after all,
you were only passing through
here anyway



anonymous asked:

Them being connected as cousins is just not a compelling storyline, especially when we already have Luke and Leia who are twins, and Luke and Vader who were father and son. Also, Rey didn't feel this connection described about her and Kylo with anybody else. Not with Leia nor with Luke. She thinks Luke was a myth. And why would Kylo only feel this type of connection described with Rey than with his own Uncle Luke and his parents? Why do they have no pull on him the way Rey does? So cousins? No.

Yes, exactly. Having cousins whose destinies are intertwined is a strange and weirdly flat direction to go in, since ‘cousin’ hardly represents a close and vital familial relationship, especially given the ones we’ve had before in Star Wars. An epic romance where characters on either side of the light/dark divide overcome the massive gulf between them to achieve balance simply makes for a much more exciting story.

Chris Evans Fic: Unexpectant (2/2)

Warnings: some angst, topics of infertility and adoption.

@j-jewel-l tagged as per request :)


After settling Dodger in his bed for the night, Chris wearily ascended the stairs to your bedroom. Gently opening the door, he saw your sleeping form on the bed, fitful and uneasy. Quietly and slowly, he padded over to the bed and perched lightly next to you, watching your eyes flicker under your eyelids and your chest rise and fall with hitched breathing. He softly traced the tear tracks on your cheeks, wishing beyond anything that he could magic this all away.

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The Great Canon Divide

The Great Canon Divide: YGO and Source Material

An extract from an in-progress essay

…as you can see from the diagram above this is going to be a poorly executed geographical metaphor.

The original source material of YGO is - of course the magma manga, written by Kazuki Takahashi. Initially, Kazuki Takahashi did not plan to focus on the card game, Duel Monsters in his work. However, Duel Monsters is a cash-volcano, just sort of spewing movie exclusive cards and revenue out. This decision radically altered the direction the manga was taken in.

In the sub, this divide took place between two separate anime series, known to fandom as s0 produced by Toei Animation and also s1-5 produced by Studio Gallop and Nihon Ad Systems. Whereas s0 followed the early manga, s1-5 were more card-focused to reflect the later work.

Further dividing the sub and manga are the filler arcs, notably DOMA. Whilst Virtual World involved concepts brought up in Death-T from the manga, the anime-exclusive DOMA arc was written to give Takahashi further time to work on the Millennium World Arc (s5). In the end, the canon non-compliant DOMA was aired, and Takahashi removed most of his intended ideas for MW, leaving a number of subplots unaddressed or explored.

Nevertheless, the two slightly wonky canons of sub and manga remain a collective whole to their original audience.

However, the American Licensing Company, 4kids Entertainment (now, 4Licensing Corporation, because that doesn’t sound evil) then purchased the dubbing rights to s1-5 but not s0. Over-all, this decision was financial, but resulted in an natural gulf between the canon. Added to this, dubbing of the time also included a large amount of localization, as well as censorship (there’s a subduction joke in here somewhere) in order to soften the material for a western - and/or younger - audience.

YGO had a small problem then; the original source material is violent. This resulted in some sweeping changes to the already divided material. Examples of the changes 4kids felt it needed to make include seemingly random name localization (Yugi remains unaltered, Anzu is now Téa), odd voicing choices, and the creation of card game hell. Entire character arcs were invented and others stripped out.

The result of all this is that, whilst every fandom encounters rifts in its canon, whether due to continuity snarls, dubbing or other factors, YGO is a complete mess. There are radical differences between and within, manga, sub, and dub that are all technically canon, and as a fandom we are quite divided.

Further – the popularity of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, which is itself a parody of the dubbed material, but calls upon sub and manga when required. As an elaborate transformative piece YGOTAS commands a wide audience, and a wider canon of its own, separate from the original materials. However, are many places in the western fandom where YGOTAS canon overtakes dub, and even sub or manga canon, convoluting what is understood as canon further.

In order to begin any serious discussion of YGO as a series, not only is an understanding of this history pretty much required, but if you don’t address it at the onset, you’re just going to end up with cross-canon complaints.