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

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.

cagedbirdsong  asked:

not really a question, but i always wondered about the significance of jamie telling randall "you owe me a debt," and claire shortly afterwards telling jamie "you owe me a life." xx

Remember that when Jamie wakes up in Wentworth Prison - in the first haunting, heart-crushing scene of 01x16 “To Ransom A Man’s Soul” - he croaks, “You owe me a debt.”

That’s because Randall had promised to kill Jamie when the night was over. Knowing that he wouldn’t have to live with the pain - and the shame - of what he had allowed Randall to do to him (even though he did it out of love for Claire) undoubtedly keeps Jamie going during that hellish experience.

So - because Randall does not kill him (though I’m certain he intended to - after all, we see him unsheath his sword right before the Great Highland Coo Charge), and because Randall is a man of honor (despite everything, he *did* let Claire go), Randall owes something to Jamie.

Jamie calls in that debt when he meets Randall in Paris. He can ask Randall to do something, and Randall (perversely) must acquiesce. So Jamie challenges him to a duel.

Now - there is a similar type of understanding between Jamie and Claire. Claire owes her life several times over to Jamie - and Jamie owes his life several times over to Claire. Because she saved Jamie’s life after Wentworth, he owes her a service. A favor, so to speak. So she calls in this favor by asking Jamie to spare Randall. And because Jamie is a man of honor (he even says so to Claire) who honors his debts, Jamie has no choice but to do what Claire asks.

It’s an odd turn of circumstances that Jamie is both the creditor and debtor of two very different - and yet hauntingly similar - oaths of honor. And in my opinion, he is a tad hypocritical - easily claiming a debt with Randall despite knowing that Claire will be angry with him, while becoming extremely angry and emotional when taking a debt with Claire.

They are both being selfish in how they claim their debts - and wound each other so deeply in doing so.

To me, this is the widest gulf we ever see between them. It’s even worse than when they weren’t fully communicating in 02x01-02x04 - because after enduring so much together, they know *exactly* how to hurt each other. Made even worse by the knowledge of cataclysmic events that are just around the corner.

The thing I hate about people comparing to Buffy/Giles to Faithsley is that while Faith and Wesley could have had a more traditional (or traditional-adjacent) watcher-Slayer/mentor-mentee dynamic similarish to that of Buffy & Giles, that’s never actually what they have in the canon. In effect, Wesley never actually got to be her Watcher. 

They can be written like that (see: my Iron Coin Chronicles series, or… god any number of other fics, like Mortal Coil by Aadler, Wesley’s Mulligan by Hotpoint, Jedi Harris/The Terran Jedi by the Dark Scribbler and those are just off the top of my head). But even then, I have a hard time imagining they could have a father-daughter dynamic like Buffy & Giles do… because Wesley isn’t that  much older than her (even with the oldest reasonably assumable age, Wesley can’t be more than 14 years older, at most,  and that’s not Father/daughter dynamic age difference, especially when the age difference is almost certainly not that big. It couldbe as small as 4-5 years)

They can also be written not like that, and paired together. (see, most Faithsley fics) Because their relationship in Season 4 of AtS is not one of traditionalish Watcher & Slayer, but more of partners working together. They have more than one way of interacting with he other.

And as long as, in the fic, Faith and Wesley never regard the other in a familial or family-esque way, then the idea them being paired together cannot be reasonably compared to that of

Faithsley, like a lot of non-canon pairings, operates heavily in undefined space because the show never showed them or teased them in a romantic sense. So how someone writes it or ships it can be highly idiosyncratic to certain contexts and AUs.

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.

Keep reading

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.

Dancing with the Devil : Interlude

So apparently people are still into this fic. Since I’ve forgotten my account password, I decided to post here instead. I haven’t seen all of season 5 yet but it looks amazing.

Um, yeah.

This is a quick blurb after the last chapter left off. I edited it for my own sanity as the writing is ten years old. (Holy crap) It’s a little spicy but nothing explicitly nsfw.

Okay yeah so ,without further ado, have some sad Jack/Aku

Keep reading

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.

Keep reading

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.


Hi kids!

This is a gentle public service announcement to let you all know that I’m no longer engaging in any more discourse about the kink meme. 

This has become a really polarizing topic, I think the fandom’s collective ability to discuss it in a constructive way has eroded quite a bit, and the “callout posts” about it have themselves begun to feed an alarming amount of sensitive or triggering content into public social media spaces, which, quite frankly, runs a far higher risk of landing in front of the eyeballs of someone who needs to avoid it than when it’s safely quarantined in spaces like LiveJournal and Ao3.

It is staying open for at least the next couple weeks, and I intend to keep writing Kabby fic for it and sharing that fic here, as well as on Ao3.  I’m a big proponent of people curating their own social media spaces, so if you need to unfollow, block, blacklist, etc. because that is a nope for you, that doesn’t bug me in the least and I don’t take it personally.  We all have to know where our boundaries are.

A few last words on this topic and then I’m done. 

(P.S. this post contains no potentially triggering references to any of the specific kinks or fics in question.  It’s safe for all.)

There are many fics on the kink meme and Ao3 that I can’t and won’t ever read.  There are many kinks that squick me out.  But if you’re asking me to condemn specific writers or specific fics because they upset you, just know I’m never going to do that.  Even if it’s a fic I would never read myself.  My position is always going to be that I’m a writer and I stand with writers.  Even when I disagree.  Even when what they wrote squicks me out. 

“But what about this kink? Surely you can’t defend that writer.” 

Yes I can. 

“Okay, but what about this???  This very upsetting thing involving your favorite character?” 

Yeah, even that one. 

Free speech is most important when it isn’t convenient.  It’s most important when you have to go to bat for the rights of people to say shit that makes you want to die inside.  It’s why the ACLU defends Westboro Baptist Church.  If I only held to my values when it related to people who agreed with me and did exactly what I approve of, then they’re not values, they’re personal tastes I’m trying to legislate on everyone else.

My best friend and I were discussing this on Twitter yesterday when this cropped up over there.  We have very, very different personal tastes.  As in, there are rarepairs I write for and kinks I enjoy reading that hit some places of really deep “please don’t discuss that fic while I’m in the room” discomfort for her.  And we’ve learned, over the past years, how to be sensitive and respectful to each other about those things.  I offered - without her asking - to write a censored version of one of my fics to remove a personal squick of hers so that she could read it and not feel left out of the fun the rest of the group chat was having.  She, in turn, never once judged or shamed me for writing the thing that made her uncomfortable in the first place … which is just as important. It’s crucial to our relationship that, just as I don’t judge her for her preferences, she doesn’t judge me for mine.  And I don’t judge other people for theirs, even when they’re MILES away from things I would ever consider erotic, or even feel comfortable reading.  Because another trigger which is very, very real - which for many of us is deeply lodged within our body and our sense of self - is the trauma of being publicly shamed, outed, maligned, or criminalized for your sexuality.

I am gay, and for eight years I was a youth minister at my church.  When I was in my mid-twenties, an anti-gay hate group found a video clip online of a documentary about LGBT Christians that I had been interviewed for, and they emailed it to the entire staff of the church where I worked, the school, and the office of the diocese.  Until you have been outed by force, against your will, to your pastor, your coworkers, your middle school health teacher, the school moms whose kids are in your youth group, and the fucking Archbishop, with a letter explaining that young people are in danger from your deviant sexuality; until you have been on the receiving end of a campaign of online harassment that went on for four years; until you have read a complete stranger write on her blog, not three months after your mother’s funeral, that she hopes your mom died without knowing she had a gay child, to spare her that humiliation; then you cannot possibly imagine the sense of sexual shame that I have carried for my entire adult life about the idea that the things I do in private behind closed doors, or even the things I think about in the privacy of my own mind, are fundamentally evil and wrong.  

This is why I do not make assumptions or judgments about other people’s sexuality.  There is a wide gulf between the things that turn you on in fiction and things that turn you on when done to live human beings (including not just your own sex life, but any other area such as the sex trade, trafficking, the porn industry, etc., where real human beings may potentially experience harm). 

If I can make a distinction between you enjoying a television show where people have murdered each other without assuming you are a murderer, I’m not going to come after anyone for what they masturbate to, no matter how squicky I find it, by assuming they would practice or endorse criminal sexual behavior in real life.  

If you were in a car accident, it might be really, really traumatic for you to watch movies or TV shows that show graphic depictions of car accidents.  That’s 100% legit.  It would be fair for you to expect a warning about that content so you know what you’re getting into and can skip that episode, close your eyes and look away during that part of the movie, or say “nope this isn’t for me, that’s not content I’m comfortable with.”  And nobody would judge you for that.  However, there are other people who have been in car accidents who might be fine with it.  It might not land in their body the same way.  They might find it cathartic to watch the thing that happened to them from a safe distance in a context which is fictional.  They might process the trauma they went through - which is the same as yours - in a way that looks totally different.  

None of this is universal.  There are no hard-and-fast rules about what sexual fantasies are and aren’t okay.  For example, I know at least two fics which I’ve seen alluded to as being content that should not exist because it triggers survivors of _____, which were written by survivors of that exact thing themselves.  You have every right to protect your own boundaries, but you cannot assume that everyone else’s boundaries are in the same place.  

This blog is and remains a primarily Kabby-only blog which I do care very much about keeping a safe space.  I have always, and will continue to, post occasional fic here with Raven or Bellamy OT3s, and am absolutely happy to help you out if there is a way I can be more helpful in tagging that content for you so you can blacklist it and keep your Tumblr safe if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable.  It is always, always okay to come to me with “hey can you tag this thing so I can filter it.” 

In terms of the kink meme, the fic I’m writing and sharing here is primarily Kabby.  I have written for some other pairings, which you can find on my AO3 in my collection of kink meme fills (Doctor Mechanic, etc.) but this is a Kabby blog designed for Kabby shippers, so the kink meme fics I’m writing are largely for them.  They are also all labeled very carefully when I share them to AO3 with the specific prompt I was filling, and a plethora of tags, in case the kink they’re about hits a button that is a nope for you. 

I am always, always open to helping you guys create safe internet spaces by opening up a conversation about ways I can tag fic more helpfully.  But just as I do not police who anyone sleeps with or what gender(s) they’re attracted to - because I remember on a visceral gut level the shame and trauma I felt when that was done to me - I do not police what anyone masturbates to, fantasizes about, is turned on by, writes about, or reads about.  

Before anyone gets the wrong idea that my inbox has been flooded with assholes, I should be clear that 99% of all the conversations I’ve had on this topic - whether people love the kink meme, hate it, can only handle parts of it, don’t read smut fic at all, or don’t care what anyone else does behind closed doors and just wants to go back to talking about whether Isaiah’s tweet this afternoon legit means Jaha got killed off??? - have been thoughtful and civil and great.  The Kabby fandom is awesome and the majority of the really ugly drama has been swirling around around at a distance from our happy little corner.  But I still get occasional anons about this which seem pretty clearly intended to draw me into conflict I have zero interest in, so I wanted to state, one last time, very clearly, that I’m not going to be engaging in any of those from this point forward, and explain as thoughtfully as I can the reasons why.


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.