the sum of our parts

On Hot Pepper Gaming

Hot Pepper Gaming had its last episode today and I wanted to write something personal about it. I had this joke that I would always say when somebody talked to me about the channel - that it was sort of silly how the most successful thing I’ve ever done was the dumbest idea I’ve ever had. Classic self-deprecation, but the more I said it the more I realized just how important this dumb idea was to me.

Myself, Erin, and Jared started HPG half as a joke and half as a creative outlet to sort of prove that we knew what we were talking about. When we began, we were all lower-rung creatives working predominantly at Maker Studios - a YouTube multi-channel network. My only claim-to-fame at that point in my creative career was that I had something small to do with the Harlem Shake becoming a thing, and I really, REALLY didn’t want that to be the only accomplishment I had in my life.

I approached Erin about the idea, who called up Jared to join up with us. With a borrowed camera, $20 worth of craft supplies, and a weekend of work, we had shot the first three episodes of Hot Pepper Gaming. We planned to post weekly for a couple months regardless of if it gained traction or not, but on the first episode we were already growing faster than we could follow.

It’s sort of a funny thing how collaboration works. I remember being completely fine with filming Hot Pepper Gaming on a white background, but Erin’s simple suggestion that we use a yellow backdrop meant so much to the branding and style of the channel that I don’t think we would have succeeded without it. Erin, Jared and I all had something to contribute to the project, all of which combined together to create something much bigger than the sum of our parts. And because of this we were able to travel around the world, interact with fans, and sit in rooms with people we respected not only as their creative equals, but later on as their dear friends.

There’s so many great stories that I’ll post whenever I get nostalgic about Hot Pepper Gaming, but for now I just wanted to say something small that I think might describe my feelings better than me droning on about this will. We used to film Hot Pepper Gaming out of Erin’s old apartment, and after the first shoot we decided to grab dinner at a bar next door. I remember us all sitting at the bar, eating pub burgers and toasting to whatever the hell we just did, in our post-pepper andrenaline-rushed euphoria. I remember one of us asking hey, what if this actually does well, and then us all shrugging and laughing.

I’m currently on a flight back from Montreal, Canada, where Jared and I participated in Square Bowl, a yearly charity event that this year supported Doctors Without Borders. We were sitting on a balcony of an apartment in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, watching the sun set over a park that was freshly-covered with snow. He and I talked for a while about how we were raising money for an important charity with a group of friends and creative collaborators we loved; and how so many of them we knew, specifically, because we had hurt them with hot peppers.

I don’t know what I would say to 24-year-old, fighting-tooth-and-nail-to-create-stuff-and-have-people-care-about-them Vernon if I had the chance, but to think about myself then and see myself now is surreal. I owe so much to this dumb little project, and I’ll never forget it.


S A P P H I C  S O N G S

jessie’s girl // mary lambert | whatever you like // anya marina | can’t help falling in love // hayley reinhart | girls like girls // hayley kiyoko | midway // bad bad hats | night go slow // catey shaw | i do adore// mindy gledhill | jenny // studio killers | you picked me // a fine frenzy | nobody love // tori kelly | sing to me // mary lambert | she keeps me warm // kat robichaud | sum of our parts // mary lambert | i love you // beatrice eli | she // jen foster | skinny love // birdy | everyone is gay // a great big world | explosion // zolita | i didn’t just kiss her // jen foster | only a girl // gia | boyfriend // tegan and sara | ghost // halsey | girlfriend // icona pop | tee shirt // birdy

+{ listen }

When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
—   John Green, Looking for Alaska
Healthy Rick Vs. Toxic Rick

This episode is another great example of Rick and Morty emphasizing that nothing is black and white and everything is subjective. Even if you remove all your “toxic” qualities there is no all good or all bad part of you. And we really are the sum of all our parts. Who else breathed a sigh of relief when we finally get Rick back together?? I know, I did.

I’m seeing a lot of talk about which version of Rick cared for Morty and whether that care was healthy or unhealthy. And I think it’s pretty clear that both halves do.

Healthy Rick shoots Morty and says he doesn’t have the same feelings about it as his slime counterpart. And while I take him at his word that isn’t the full story. Healthy Rick doesn’t care in the same way Toxic Rick does. Toxic Rick has that fierce, devoted, take-a-bullet-for-you love. Healthy Rick has a detached and greater good type view. Healthy Rick even says toxic Rick is “incapable of seeing the bigger picture.” However, Healthy Rick’s end game is to force his counterpart to merge back with him. Because it’s the right thing to do, because Healthy Rick still cares!

However, Toxic Rick also has all of Rick’s fears of loving and being loving, unwillingness to open himself up, anger at himself for for being so closed off. Toxic Rick is all the parts Rick hates and fears about himself.

But both pieces care. Healthy Rick realizes he can’t truly feel a deep connection when he smacks Morty. But his immediate next move is to try to fix that. Sort of like the Tin Man missing a heart, but crying anyway. Rick realizes he can’t really love and instead of that being a relief to him it is something he wants to fix.

When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
—  John Green

bloodofwinter  asked:

Do you know any fics where Dean is openly bisexual from the beginning and flirts with Cas?

Here are a few mostly fluffy fics that fit the bill!

I. Openly bisexual!Dean with lots of flirting:

II. Closeted bisexual or bicurous!Dean:

For more fic recs, check out the following tags: bartender!deanbicurious, secret affair and coming out

anonymous asked:

Any fics that include portray cas’ otherness? It doesn’t have to be the focal point.

This is an exciting but rather wide topic and definitely a YMMV one. So, we are just pointing to the tags where you could start looking and then reccing some of our faves from those tags. Our main criteria for Cas’ otherness fics on this rec list is his way of thinking, not just his appearance. 

I. Fics from SU (canon verse) tag and trueform!cas tag that pay special attention to Cas angelic nature/ memories/ bewilderment with humanity

II. Fics from Supernatural AU tag, wingfic tag and creature!cas tag. Cas may have corporeal wings/ is a creature/ has an elaborate past different from canon.

III. Fics from sci-fi tag - robot, android, AI Cas

Note: After five years and nearly 1500 reviews and recs, this is by no means an inclusive list - that is what our tags page is for!  Instead, these are a selection of favorite fics that in our opinion fit the ask.

When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
—  John Green

anonymous asked:

Oh my god I meant JohnLock ! Not JohnKock omg I'm sorry !


I have a list of recs here, but I haven’t updated practically since I started this blog :/

Here are some others I’ve been meaning to add to this list (but…jeez there are so many more! and some of these are repeats from today’s angst recs). Sorry, I don’t have an order here, this is just “the cream” from the record I keep of everything I read:

Eek….that turned out to be a butt load….and I already cringe at keeping some out!


Nirvana feat. Kim Gordon - Aneurysm (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ‘14)

I watch this video every now and again. I return to it because it makes me feel alive in a way most other music and art does not. And while the vid features the surviving members of Nirvana, that doesn’t mean much to me. The focus here is Kim Fucking Gordon.

Whenever I try to sit down and write something, I feel there is no way to say what I want to say with mere words. I pray for magic and hope for forgiveness and understanding from the audience. I’m pointing towards something. A strange brutal ceremony perhaps. Something like Kim Gordon just letting it all out in a hideous beautiful way that exceeds the sum of its obvious parts. I want to fuck the loss of our tedious frightened minds. I wanna get into it, like a wild animal sacrifice that is the intricate flowering godhead. I want to turn our bullshit into something jarring and transcendent. A feast of death and rebirth and a life finally lived.

I used to have a serious obsession with John Coltrane. Before I joined the Army, my best friend gave me a cassette tape with “A Love Supreme” on one side and “Giant Steps” on the other. I had an old tape player with auto reverse, so it played the tape constantly in an endless loop for 3 months straight until the tape finally broke. I needed that music like oxygen. There was something in it that saw me through an impossible darkness.

Several years later, a Best Buy opened up in my town. They had all these great rereleased John Coltrane CDs. I bought a new one every week and listened to em like a monk studying holy texts. I drew pictures of Coltrane and ordered the only 3 books in print about his life. Eventually, I owned over 20 CDs.

John Coltrane died of liver cancer. He destroyed his liver as a heroin addict when he was younger. The album “A Love Supreme” was made after he kicked heroin cold turkey. Some say Coltrane died from exhaustion. He played from sun-up till sundown every day. He cut 10 records in 1965 alone.

After making some of the greatest jazz music ever, Coltrane became increasingly avant-garde until most of his band quit. He started playing with young experimental guys and a lot of the music sounds like screaming, wave after wave of noise colliding and being torn apart. Some people hate it, but I just couldn’t get enough.

When Coltrane died in ‘67 the young musicians he’d taken under his wing played at his funeral. One of the young guys took the horn out of his mouth and actually screamed while he played. I guess I can’t think of anything better to say to a dearly departed friend. The unabashed tore-open love of being fucking real.

I’ve re-watched Storm In The Room a bunch of times already and I will probably do so a lot more for the rest of my existence but I just wanted to write down my feelings on how it highlights once again one of my favorite things in Steven Universe’s storytelling: patience. 

As creators, it’s always difficult to regulate how you show information to your audience. You know a lot more than they do about your story and you’re most likely eager to tell them everything, so choosing how to present it and when is very important for the flow of the narrative as well as to generate whatever effects you’re looking for in your audience. I always looked up to Steven Universe because it’s one of the most patient shows I’ve ever seen, when it comes to exposition and narrative flow, especially for a kids’ show. It’s not slow, because the plot moves perfectly and information is released at all times, but it’s done in such small amounts that, when you reach an important point, you realize how much you needed to know to get there and how much you’ve already learned without even noticing. That shows great respect to an audience, from those who create, and great trust in the show, from those who distribute; especially when we live surrounded by content that is incredibly fast-paced and immediate, and even more so in kids’ shows (this is why I’m upset by irregular releases and how in some countries it’s aired out of order, that’s disrespectful toward the show and the audience, but that’s another matter). 

Steven Universe uses this patience with clear narrative intentions. For example, I’ve always found brilliant how Garnet was introduced as an individual character first (and for 51 episodes, at that) and an experience of Ruby’s and Sapphire’s love second, so people (especially kids, the true audience of this) get to know their love before they know them individually, before any sort of prejudice they might be carrying could influence their perspective. And by the time that arrives, denying their love would be denying Garnet’s existence, and who would dare do that? 

But the reason why I end up praising this again now is because this show is, ultimately, a coming of age story. It’s Steven’s story. That’s why the balance between human issues and gem issues is so important, that’s why every episode adds something. One of the issues I come across in storytelling (especially for kids) when a parent figure is missing is the simplification of the relationship that character has with the idea of the parent, especially when the parent/s are regarded as heroes by whoever is around the character. Steven’s relationship with Rose is never simplified and it’s detailed in breadcrumbs of information throughout the show, since the very beginning. When I imagined an episode like this back in season 1, I would have never known it would advance to such emotional complexity and moral dilemmas, but it all resulted from the sum of parts that where carefully placed in our way. I saw from afar the fandom itself going from seeing Rose as a distant and mysterious figure to intense moral arguments on what she had done and what point in the good/evil spectrum she was on. Because not only we learn things at Steven’s pace, we see how things affect him directly, not in a detached manner but in a close perspective. This is also influenced by the fact that Steven is a main character which people really like in general, which is something that doesn’t happen as often as it should. A lot of writers struggle when creating lead characters, they tend to end up with bland or simplified characters people aren’t as interested to read as the flamboyant side kick or the cool mysterious partner. Steven’s character development, the treatment of him as a complex individual and the way in which we see information as it’s presented to him, whether he interprets it the way we do at the time or not, is a winning combination. It allows us to be more than observers, to get involved

That is storytelling at its finest, that transformation of people’s perspectives, the moment in which you question what you thought and wonder and ask questions and don’t stand still. When you’re not just entertained but you’re actively participating in what you’re witnessing. And this would have not happened if we had known all this in seasons 1 or 2. If Steven had known from seasons 1 or 2. This crew is patient because it trusts its show and its audience and it has a handle on information that I admire as a creator and as a part of the audience. Their patience allows this level of complexity with an organic flow in narrative, taking subjects as heavy as war, political turmoil, social rights, equality, grief, identity and love and breaking them down to small pieces, which add up to a very complex scenario and pushes you to question your perspective and analyse everything you thought you knew or learn it for the first time. I just admire this show so much. 

auburndesolation  asked:

Hey do you have any fics where one of them (preferably dean) thinks the other died/is dead, but in the end they are either resurrected or weren't even dead in first place etc? So basically angst with a happy ending. :) Thanks!

Such fics on our blog are tagged with deathish tag. We actually answered a very similar ask quite recently but since OP asked for a “mistaken death” our fic selection was somehow different. In the light of season 12 finale we are making another list with a particular attention to canon verse fics and mourning by POV character. By definition, this is a rather “spoiler-y” list. None of these fics have Major Character Death (MCD). 

All links go to our reviews unless noted otherwise and were written prior to the season 12 finale. 

I. Canon verse (SU) or AU fics where Dean or Cas saw the other to die or it was very strongly implied/expected. In brackets, we mention the one who died or was about to die.

II. Fics with reunion in heaven (kinda spoilerish but eh, we all need happy end)