the tragedy of existence

I exist. Outside of being your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter, I exist. I exist as a human first, as a being that experiences joy and suffering, beauty and learning, life and tragedy. I exist because the universe chose to put me here for a purpose higher than my relation to men. I exist because the stars died to give me life and planet blood runs through my veins. So the problem is not my existence. The problem is how you perceive it as so small, you do not believe I can exist at all apart from my bonds with men.
—  Nikita Gill, From “The Moon Dragon and Other Feminist Fairytales”

rising signs often represent the lenses with which we see the world through soooo yeah. this is very archetypal so take that into consideration.

aries rising lenses- these rising signs have two, highly contrasting and opposite lenses (they see things in black and white- no grey). the colors are enhanced and bright, but opposite on either side. there’s a reddish tint on both of the lenses however, and they tend to focus on the positive and exciting aspects of life.

taurus rising lenses- taurus rising lenses help the person see the beauty in everything. they’re a green tint, and pinks are enhanced. they exude a sense of calmness and tranquility. these lenses don’t hide the bad however, just focuses on the beautiful.

gemini rising lenses- these lenses are yellow tinted, and are also transition lenses. each setting the gemini rising goes to, their view changes. these lenses help them attain all the knowledge the world has to offer. changeable, fluid, and youthful.

cancer rising lenses- cancer risings have blue lenses, a somber and soulful view of the world. the lenses help them see the souls of others and empathize deeply. tend to accentuate their large, moony, eyes. sees the world in emotions.

leo rising lenses- orange and golden lenses allow the leo rising to exude confidence and elegance. see the world as a place to perform, everyone around them being an audience member. sunsets and bright lights are enhanced.

virgo risings lenses- grey/blue toned lenses. a sobering and realistic view of the world, with an eye for the pain that exists all around them. stands out to only those who choose to see them. sees the world as a responsibility yet also a library.

libra risings lenses- rose tinted glasses quite literally. this rising gives the ability to exude positivity, kindness, and friendliness. ignores and escapes the reality of the world. similar to the taurus rising, focuses on the beautiful.

scorpio rising lenses - deep, purple tinted lenses. sees the world intensely and passionately, with the darker side of life enhanced. tends to see only the harsher side of the world, all the tragedy that exists. exudes mystery.

sagittarius rising lenses- bright green tinted lenses. this allows the sagittarius rising to see every possibility. optimism, luck, and friends are often acquired. they see the world in every variation and in all of its’ diversity. notices and appreciates culture.

capricorn rising lenses- black and white lenses. these make the capricorn rising think they are seeing the world how it really is, but in fact is a highly pessimistic view. exudes restriction, elegance, and wisdom. sharp criticism and ambition.

aquarius rising lenses- neon blue lenses. sees all of humanity with their lenses, and acts as a messenger to the people, bringing knowledge and information at lightning speed. embodies electricity, friendliness, and eccentricity

pisces rising lenses- rainbow lenses. in each setting, a certain color can be presented as they are mutable and fluid, to fit whatever situation they’re in. sees the world in every possible way. both exudes naivety and wisdom.

The Ten Types of Supernatural Episode:  an Illustrated Guide.

1.  The Generic:

This is the kind of episode fandom veterans fondly refer to as “Old School Supernatural.”  Features a 70s rock soundtrack, a classic (yet in hindsight, relatively nonthreatening) ghost or monster, comically bad special effects, and body horror.  Probably from season one. 

Examples:  “Wendigo,” “Bloody Mary,” “Bugs.”    

2.  The Classic:

Not to be confused with the Generic, the Classic is the kind of episode that everybody remembers and everybody loves.  It’s infinitely quotable, carefully toes the line between hilarious and absurd, and is still frequently blogged about even if it came out 7+ years ago.  Almost definitely features Gabriel. 

Examples:  “Tall Tales,” “Mystery Spot,” “Changing Channels.”

3.  The Life Changer:

Once you see this episode, you will never be the same.  Whether it introduces a beloved character, kills them, or raises them from the dead, the Life Changer is the episode that either sends you into a downward spiral of unhealthy obsession, or merely accelerates it.

Examples:  “Lazarus Rising,” “Abandon All Hope,” “Lucifer Rising.”

4.  The Black Comedy:

Though much of Supernatural revolves around a unique cocktail of horror and humor, the Black Comedy is almost impossible to miss.  From famine-induced cannibalism, to a would-be antichrist, to a killer pagan Santa Clause, the humor of these episodes is darker than Batman’s worst nightmares and probably at least twice as depressing, yet manages to be oddly magical all the same.

Examples:  “Yellow Fever,” “My Bloody Valentine,” “A Very Supernatural Christmas.”

5.  The Crack Fic: 

These are the episodes whose only real purpose is to make you wonder if Supernatural is some kind of elaborate fever dream.  Neither advance the plot nor provide much further insight into its characters, but still entertaining in terms of pure absurdity. 

Examples:  “Man’s Best Friend with Benefits,” “It’s a Dog Dean Afternoon,” most of season seven.  

6.  The WELL-WRITTEN Crack Fic:

Despite having the same brand surreal absurdity of the Crack Fic, the WELL-WRITTEN Crack Fic not only serves to further character development, but will also tug at your heartstrings, make you laugh, and very likely make you cry. 

Examples:  “Monster Movie,” “Sam, Interrupted,” “Hunteri Heroici.”

7.  The Meta Fiction: 

Some shows break the fourth wall, but this one comes at it with a sledgehammer.  From directly addressing the fandom and its terminology to the show itself, the Meta Fiction episode is usually surprisingly enjoyable and well-done, if you can get past the sheer mindfuck of it.

Examples:  “Fanfiction,” “The French Mistake,” “Don’t Call me Shurley.” 

8.  The Tearjerker: 

This one specializes in one thing and one thing only, and that is emotionally destroying you.  May disguise itself as other kinds of episodes, like the Crack Fic and the Meta Fiction, before swiftly and efficiently moving in for the kill.

Examples:  “the Rapture,” “After School Special,” “the Man Who Would be King.”   

9.  The Tragedy Porn:

Do you enjoy watching your favorite characters suffer and die horribly for no particular reason?  No?  Well in that case, you picked the wrong show, my friend.  From the heart wrenching pain of Dean being forced to kick a newly-human Cas out of the bunker, to the soul-destroying injustices that were Kevin and Charlie, the Tragedy Porn is an episode that exists for no other reason than to make you want to crawl into a hole and die.

Examples:  “I’m No Angel,” “Dark Dynasty,” “Rock and a Hard Place.”

10.  The Grand Finale: 

The Tearjerker, made ten times worse with the addition of “Carry on my Wayward Son” and a cliffhanger ending.  Specializes in metaphorically ripping your heart out, making you sob like a pre-adolescent girl, and psyching you up for the next season, no matter how emotionally exhausted you may already be.

 Examples:  “No Rest For the Wicked,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Swan Song.”  

One of the greatest tragedies in existence is that Peter Jackson’s Smaug is one of the best rendered CGI dragons in cinema history, but I can’t watch him for more than a few seconds before getting enraged at how he wasted the literary dragon’s potential as a character.

You: “James McGraw is the enemy.”

Me, an Intellectual: James McGraw Flint is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a morally estranged character. He is a man of grand ambitions, fueled by the trauma of losing his lover to the greatest empire of the western world, and he repeatedly uses violence, dishonesty, and cruelty as a means to achieve his goals. But Black Sails is described as a “novelistic” television program precisely because it forces the audience to engage with the narrative of the monster- akin to the work of great novels, Flint’s story speaks to the experience of being othered by a militant empire that discriminates, exploits, and destroys the marginalized identities within its reach- women, black and African folk, queer and disabled people. Furthermore, the narrative does not flatly condemn Flint for his flaws. Certainly, like Teach, Vane, Eleanor and any other character who upsets the moral system of the Black Sails universe, Flint is a character who is doomed to meet the consequence of his misdeeds. But the narrative still  regards him with profound sympathy, almost chiefly because Captain Flint would not exist had the violent systems of homophobia and militarized masculinity that crucified James McGraw existed first- the tragedy of James Flint lies not only in his battles with madness and grief, but in his lost potential as a good man. The titular “battle with the world” of Black Sails speaks to Flint’s own experiences of invalidation within English society and his further rebirth and destruction in the margins of society, i.e. Nassau and the sea.The James McGraw revealed in season two speaks to the life he could have led as a good English citiszen and soldier- honored, financially stable and socially celebrated, but emotionally inauthentic to his true identity as a gay man. True to Eleanor Guthrie’s own battle with patriarchy, Flint tries to assimilate to a culture that hates him for the sake of survival and, when he attempts to do so, this very system destroys him, Miranda, and Thomas Hamilton all the same. In a show that is built on the graves of so many victims to systematic prejudice and violence, Flint is as much a subject of victimhood and tragedy as those whom he has lost despite or, perhaps, precisely because he is no longer a good man. By consequence, there is something innately admirable in Flint’s audacious determination to desecrate the world that destroyed him. His is the power fantasy that any marginalized identity can understand- not feasible, not easily imaginable, but emotionally accessible all the same. Ultimately, the beauty of his role as the central protagonist and a rich, dimensional character (for, certainly, there is a difference between a good person and a great character in any text) is rooted in the duplicity of his identity- will our protagonist end as James McGraw or as Captain Flint? What is gained and, more importantly, what is lost when one is consumed by the other? And, in a show so fixated on the importance of narrative, how will his story be told and remembered by those who survive him? Just as one cannot understand Shelley’s aims in Frankenstein if they do not at some point anguish for Victor’s monster, if we cannot engage with Flint in sympathy, we have automatically forfeited an understanding of the fundamental aims of this show. 

“Why Did Bellamy Fall in Love with Clarke?”

So I recently got an anonymous message asking me this question and I was preparing myself to answer with the typical “because she’s supportive and he respects her and trusts her and blah blah blah” response which definitely isn’t WRONG, and are definitely reasons why I ship Bellarke, but I also feel like it goes a lot deeper than that. 

I haven’t written a good, solid meta in awhile, I feel like, and this question hit me really hard for some reason, so I am going to answer it separate from the ask in more depth. And, since I’m feeling extra, I’m probably going to make another post answering why Clarke fell in love with Bellamy because - yes - this ship goes both ways and I am sure as hell going to take every opportunity I get to prove that.

To start off, I don’t really think that there is one particular reason why Bellamy fell in love with Clarke. You can’t really go about it by saying “well, Bellamy really likes this trait and this trait and this trait - therefore, he loves Clarke because she encompasses all three” because I don’t think that’s really how love works. I do think that she has traits that Bellamy really likes and respects, and I think that’s how they became friends. But then he fell in love with her and it wasn’t just about those traits anymore. Because love isn’t selective. He doesn’t just love some parts of her and not the others. He loves Clarke as a whole, as a person. He loves all of her pieces and parts and fragments. He just loves her.

But why?

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my favourite podcasts: welcome to night vale

and now, a continuation of our previous investigation into whether I am literally the only person in the world, speaking to myself in a fit of madness caused by my inability to admit the tragedy of my own existence. leland, our newest intern, recently brought me a cup of coffee. he is no longer in my field of vision, but I do still have the cup of coffee, which is well made and is giving me the needed pick me up to continue considering this terrifying possibility. is it possible that I only imagined leland and forgot making myself this cup of coffee? but then, who would have grown this coffee? where was this cup procured from? oh. leland’s back in the room. he’s waving at me. hello leland.

Car Sex AU

Like a crystalline diamond, sunbeams scattered and enveloped the air. Lexa shielded her eyes from the last reaching grasps of sunlight as dusk settled the winding roads they chugged along, radio blaring, mind occupied with the girlfriend texting away beside her, she licked her lips and smiled because amongst all the tiny tragedies of life, blissful perfect moments like this existed too.

“My parents are home.” Clarke whined and threw her phone beside the seat in a huff. “I’d invite you in…”

“But your mom would give me the Spanish inquisition.” Clarke pouted and nodded at that, leaning over to kiss her girlfriend’s neck. Lexa sighed into it, smiling as she did. “Remind me, why did we tell her the truth?”

“Because she’s not stupid and I’ve never cared so much about AP Calculus in my life.” Clarke chuckled, dragging her mouth along the exposed section of shoulder between Lexa’s vest and neck.

It was good whilst it lasted, Lexa thought. It all started innocently enough, she was assigned to Clarke as her student assistant. The theorem of integrals and tabular data quickly turned into long study sessions and Gossip Girl binges, which then turned into sleepovers, which then turned into desperate quiet sex with hands covering gasps and pillows absorbing helpless moans whilst her parents sat downstairs marvelling at their daughter’s academic one-eighty.

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Monika’s Pen, or: how DDLC turned the fourth wall into a Shakespearean tragedy.

You remember the ending to ‘What’s Opera Doc?’ 

The short itself is a classic and  considered by critics to be the best of the looney tunes short. But the ending features Elmer Fudd coming across the body of Bugs, as carries him away in tears he sadly says to himself: ‘What have I done? I killed the wabbit.’ while the music swells, Bugs comes to, turns to the audience, and for the first time in the short, speaks without a tune: ‘Well what did you expect in an opera? A happy ending?’ 

Now if you went up to me and asked what that was, I’d tell you that it’s just a fourth wall break. 

Since most everyone knows what the fourth wall is, I won’t explain it here, just wanted to give a quick example, is all. But the thing about the phrase, braking the fourth wall, is that it’s always been seen as a form of comedy, nothing but a clever wink and nod to the audience meant to get a rise out of you.

Lately though, story tellers have been using the fourth wall in a different way. The Dark Tower novels used the idea of creations meeting creators to bring up some fun ideas, and while I haven’t seen it yet, I’ve heard Wes Craven’s new Nightmare has fun with creators being chased by creations. But where those were just something the writers no doubt were playing around with and testing out, another format of stories have begun using the fourth wall to tell rather disturbing, thought provoking tales. 

Video games. 

Underneath the keep reading tab is my thoughts on what this all means for the future of story telling. But it does contain spoilers for both Doki Doki Literature Club and Undertale, two games that you REALLY should go into as blind as possible, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

And please keep in mind that this is just my opinion, I’m just telling you the realization I had after playing both these games. 

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anonymous asked:

do you think at the end of tg, we'll get a happy ending for Kaneki?

Certainly yes. If Tokyo Ghoul was supposed to be a tragedy, :re shouldn’t even exist, the entire story should’ve ended in chapter 143. The original manga had a perfect tragic character arc for Kaneki, but :re gave him a second chance. What was the point of all this if he fails to change and dies tragically like in V14? What a waste of time. I’ve seen some people mention the possibility of him dying heroically for the coexistence of ghouls and humans since the original manga didn’t solve that issue, but I don’t think that was the point of :re. A death like that wouldn’t be a heroic positive thing for someone like Kaneki, it would be another tragedy. The manga has over and over again painted Kaneki’s suicidal tendencies and the desire to have a stylish martyr death that makes everyone love him as a bad thing, something he needs to grow out of. Everything about that flaw of his represents Kaneki’s worst aspects so if he got what he wanted in the end, it would most certainly be a tragedy. It doesn’t matter if he dies selfishly or if his death is a heroic thing that saves the lives of many, it is still a bad thing, because Kaneki has been desiring death all this time. I believe Tokyo Ghoul is a story about Kaneki finding the resolve to live and you simply don’t write a compelling narrative by rewarding a character for refusing to grow. That is not what Tokyo Ghoul’s message has been all this so I doubt Ishida would suddenly change his mind. The message is to live even if it is not stylish so it would be rather strange to make the main character die stylishly. I doubt Ishida would make Kaneki get over his sucidial tendencies and then kill him anyway either, because what even was the point of his journey then? The World, the last card of the Fool’s Journey, is about accomplishing your goals and feeling fulfilled therefore Kaneki has to get what he wants in the end. He has to be happy and content with the way things ended up going. Like I said before, there is no way the narrative is going to let Kaneki become a martyr and die heroically so it must be something else that Kaneki accomplishes. What is a better goal than the desire to live? There’s a lot of things that support Kaneki getting a happy ending like TG’s themes, the fact that we have a sequel, Fool’s Journey and how you write a compelling character arc. When you put all those things together, the only logical way to end Kaneki’s journey is to give him a happy ending. I expect he’ll live happily ever after with Touka surrounded by people he loves without desiring death ever again. It might sound a bit cheesy, but unlike a lot of happy endings in fiction, it’s not forced at all. It makes perfect sense, more than a tragic ending at least.

bbc.co.uk
BBC News: Ebook sales drop:why? (Diversity, Depth, but mostly Hope)

I wonder whether the authors of this article have looked at the rise in the writing and reading of fan-fiction, and the impact this has on traditionally published fiction.

Recently I went into a Waterstones and looked at all the new fiction spread out on a table. And I didn’t want to read any of it. I looked - I spent an hour there. I riffled and skimmed dozens of books. I bought nothing.

Firstly, most of it was about m/f relationships. There was nothing I could identify with as an ambi-gendered bisexual. LGBTQ characters, if there were any, were bit part players. I’m English-Irish white, and able-bodied, but had I been a POC, or differently able, then that issue of representation would have been there too. And, similarly, all such characters were bit part players.

Secondly, all of the books seemed to have a deadly sameness. There was nothing I found that had language you could wrestle with, that made you shiver. There seemed to be a tendency to dumb down. The books seemed formulaic, as if each author had been given a list of things to include. They were mostly the same length, allowing little character development.

Thirdly, there were no real happy endings. I understand they are unpopular, because they’re not realistic. And it’s true, they’re not. None of us ever achieves an unambiguously happy ending: it is human nature always to be just a little unsatisfied, because that’s who we are. But we all strive for them. We all covet them. We all hope. And flicking through a book, trying to engage with the characters, learning to love them, wanting them to succeed - that’s a real emotional investment, and sometimes one we make in hope when we are, ourselves, coming from a precarious place, where hope is flickering low. The hope of our characters’ happy endings sustains our hope of our own. ‘Look,’ it tells us, ‘at what remains in Pandora’s Box.’

And time after time, I found that each book, approached in hope, disappointed. I’m not asking for unrealistic perfection. I don’t need all ends darned in to the cosy sweater, or unrealistically neat endings. Real characters aren’t like that. But I did want hope. I wanted a strong sense of uplift, of renewed purpose. I wanted affirmation, development of character, development of love, a commitment to love. A sense of - I keep coming back to it - hope, that people could change, good things could come out of evil, love would triumph at the end.

And instead, I got dreary. Commonplace. Mundane. Dulled characters, beaten, defeated, settling. An unwillingness to post a happy ending, perhaps because publishers and authors feel that it’s too fairy tale, too unrealistic. In the end, I didn’t want to read any of it. I didn’t want to invest, and have my hopes dashed, and my tender feelings wounded by some cruel authorial twist, to have my emotions yanked this way and that, torn, twisted, bruised, and finally find out that that was all I would get.

I have suffered enough of that in my own life. For real. Why would I want to read books that give me more of it?

There is a reason that Greek tragedy existed. It was there to purge the emotions. Oedipus, unknowing, kills his father, and marries his mother. He fathers his own siblings. But over Sophocles’ great trilogy of plays, despite plumbing the depths of human misery, we move steadily to a calmness, an acceptance, a resolution that offers the possibility of redemption, and an ending that leaves us cleansed (catharsis is a cleansing, after all) but not lacerated, torn, and beyond healing. It offers, in the end, hope.

I read fan fiction because it offers me representation, because it is often beautifully written, but mostly because the authors who write it have not forgotten how to hope. They have not forgotten how to offer hope. They have not forgotten that we all need hope, that we all long for a little happiness, at least, in our endings, both personal and fictional.

And I wonder, when I read articles like the one I’ve linked, whether fiction sales are down because traditional publishers have forgotten all of these things.

Diversity. Depth. Hope. Find them in fan fiction. Fan fiction writers do this. Fan fiction readers love this. Publishers: take note.