this occasion is so great i changed my avatar for it

makaveli-the-avatar  asked:

Katara's abandonment issues when it came to Aang REALLY should have been focused on at some point in time in their relationship. Just re-watching The Winter Solstice and the scene where Aang sees Katara and watching her look so forlorn and defeated at he and Sokka's disappearance REALLY set that in. We know, and she probably knew, they were going to come back, but simply the fact of them being in a place where they couldn't reach each other disheartened her to the core. Dammit Aang.

I cannot emphasize enough how a girl with severe abandonment issues does not belong in a relationship with a character who has “abandoned the world” as his fatal character flaw.

Katara’s sensitivity to family members’ abandonment of her is well documented. Look at how distraught Katara is when Aαng is leaving her behind to go on Zuko’s ship, even though she just met him: 

Aαng’s comforting words don’t help at all, considering her mom’s last words to her of false reassurance: “Go and find your dad, Sweetie. I’ll handle this.”

Then there’s her difficulty accepting the reality that her father had to leave her to join the war:

Katara: (crying) I understand why you left. I really do, and I know that you had to go, so why do I still feel this way? I was so sad and angry, and hurt. 

So if that forced separation in Episode 2, which was not in any way Aαng’s fault, deeply affected Katara, just imagine what it feels like when he actually does walk away from her.

Aαng abandoning people who need him is an ongoing problem that he has to struggle with throughout the show. And that’s fine from an individual character standpoint; it gives him three-dimensionality and room to develop. But there’s no denying that this character flaw hurts Katara, not once, but on several occasions. From Aαng literally leaving Katara holding the bag to go after the shiniest new friends on Kyoshi:

Katara: Oh, good! Can you help me carry this back to the room? It’s a little heavy.
Aαng: Actually, I can’t right now.
Katara: What do you mean you can’t?
Aαng: I promised the girls that I’d give them a ride on Appa. Why don’t
you come with us? It’ll be fun!
Katara: Watching you show off for a bunch of girls does not sound like fun.
Aαng: Well, neither does carrying your basket.
Katara: It’s not my basket. These supplies are for our trip. I told you, we have to leave Kyoshi soon.
Aαng: I don’t want to leave Kyoshi yet. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something I really like about this place. 

To proving Katara wrong after she’d tried to defend him:

Katara: Aαng is the bravest person I know! He has done nothing but help people and save lives since I met him. It’s not his fault he disappeared, right Aαng? Aαng? What’s wrong?
(Aαng has been backing up while Katara has been telling off the old man. When she is finished, he flees, opening his glider and taking off towards the mountains.)

To leaving the GAαng stranded in the desert, forcing Katara to shoulder the burden of everyone else’s survival:

Aαng: That’s all any of you guys care about: yourselves! You don’t care whether Appa is okay or not! (Aαng stalks off, sulking angrily.)
Katara: We’re all concerned, but we can’t afford to be fighting now.
Aαng: I’m going after Appa.
(Aαng flies off. Katara calls after him, running towards the spot from which he took off.)
Katara: Aαng, wait!

To exacerbating Katara’s parental abandonment:

Hakoda: What’s wrong Katara?
Katara: He left. 
Hakoda: What?
Katara: Aαng. He just took his glider and disappeared. He has this ridiculous notion that he has to save the world alone. That it’s all his responsibility. 
Hakoda: Maybe that’s his way of being brave.
Katara: It’s not brave. It’s selfish and stupid. We could be helping him. And I know the world needs him, but doesn’t he know how much that we need him too? How could he just leave us behind? 

To failing to support his friends when they were desperate to salvage the war effort after the Day of Black Sun:

Katara: Aαng, can we talk about you learning firebending now? 
Aαng: (Cut to a close up of Aαng as he feigns deaf) What? The wind is too loud in my ears. Check out this loop. 
(Cut to an overhead shot of the mist as Aαng maneuvers his glider into a loop and Momo mimics his actions in perfect sync.) 
Sokka: Aαng, I think we should be making some plans about our future.
Aαng: Ok, we can do that while I show you the giant Pai Sho table.  Oh, you’re gonna love the all-day echo chamber. 

To worrying her on the day of Sozin’s Comet, when she had quite enough on her plate:

Aαng: Then when you figure out a way for me to beat the Fire Lord without taking his life, I love to hear it! (storms off)
Katara: Aαng, don’t walk away from this. 

Katara: Zuko, don’t worry, we can take Azula.
Zuko: I’m not worried about her, I’m worried about Aαng. What if he doesn’t have the guts to take out my Father? What if he loses?
Katara: Aαng won’t lose. He’s gonna come back. He has to. 

[Keep in mind, although Aαng swam to the lion turtle in a trance, once he was lucid, it never even occurred to him that people might be worrying about him, or that he should try and let his friends know where he was.]

This is worse for a relationship than something like Zuko’s betrayal, where Zuko never committed to being on Katara’s side to begin with, and once he was committed, he never looked back. It was also a weakness that Zuko eradicated through a desire to change himself. But this flaw of Aαng’s never resolves itself in a way that keeps Katara safe from a fear of abandonment. Even after Aαng has gone through his entire development arc, Katara feeling abandoned by him is still a problem:

And worse, it extends to how he treated her children:

Tenzin: Yes, he has. It’s so nice to get to spend more time with my family. Isn’t that right, my little Rohan? (Rohan smiles and coos) And I’ve really enjoyed having you two around. Reminds me of all those great vacations we took as kids with Dad.
Kya: Uh, I think your memory is a little foggy. Bumi and I weren’t on those great vacations. It was always just you and Dad.
Tenzin: No, that can’t be right. What about the time he took us to Kyoshi Island to ride the elephant-koi?
Kya: Nope. We weren’t there.
Tenzin: Hmm. Oh, remember Ember Island? Those amazing sand palaces we built on the beach?
Bumi: You mean you built. We never saw the place.

If Katara were a solitary type who enjoyed being alone and wouldn’t take Aαng’s disappearances so much to heart, this wouldn’t be as big of an issue. But Katara, while she is independent, is also very community-oriented and depends on her family to be there for her. When they aren’t, as Bato says of all Water Tribe, the pain of separation is worse than a battle wound. How many wounds did this flaw of Aαng’s give Katara over the course of a lifetime of marriage? He already couldn’t be there for her all the time due to his responsibilities as Avatar, and to add to that a tendency to take off at a moment’s notice without telling people when he’ll return…let’s just say it does not bode well for Kαtααng and their marital bliss. It makes me wonder why this is the so-called fluff pairing of A:TLA while Zutara is supposedly “all about the angst.” It also leads me to postulate that Katara’s gentle, non-confrontational approach with Aαng (as opposed to her bossy mom attitude toward Sokka and Toph) is due to her faith in Aαng as a symbol of hope mixed with her fear of abandonment—and a deep-seated worry that if she ever gave Aαng more than a gentle nudge, he might just nudge himself out of her life forever.

Nohrian Festival: Kamui and Leo (Normal) Conversation Pt. 1 & 2

So I’ve (Kiyoshi) been sick for the longest weekend I have ever experienced. Today is the first day that I have been lucid enough for this conversation to make any sense to me. 

Sorry that this request took so long! Kamui, male or female, is a very stupid older sibling. Leo understands this very well.

EDIT: I reread the translation and realized how inconsistent my pronouns were. I was reading the Male Avatar and Leo conversation so the term ‘brother’ just popped up a lot and I just kept putting it in without thinking about it. I’m trying to keep it gender neutral so I’ll fix it. 

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Sparks Flew - Chapter Six

TITLE OF STORY: Sparks Flew
CHAPTER NUMBER/TITLE/ONE SHOT: 6/18
AUTHOR: freudensteins-monster
WHICH TOM/CHARACTER: Loki
GENRE: Humour, Drama, Angst…
FIC SUMMARY: Loki is magically shackled to his brother whilst he serves out his community service sentence as an unofficial Avenger. He doesn’t make it easy for Thor, or Jane, who turn to Darcy to take over as his babysitter warden.
RATING: M
WARNINGS/TRIGGERS/AUTHORS NOTES/FEEDBACK/COMMENTS: Just a few snippets of Loki and Darcy’s growing friendship. I had a few other longer scenes, but I wasn’t sure about them and so they got cut. I might add them back in later, but for now I just need to keep this moving or I’ll never finish it. As always, thanks for reading. xoxox

Previous Chapters - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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5

Artists in Action!

Meet Sarah Marino, a Background Painter on Shimmer and Shine! We sat down with her to talk about her career, what inspires her, and (of course) Kenan and Kel.

Read on to learn more about this wonderful artist!

1)    What is your role here at NAS? How long have you worked here?
I’m currently a Background Painter on the Nick Jr. show Shimmer and Shine. I just had my two year work-iversary in February!

2)    How did you get started in Animation?
After graduating from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2009, I relocated to Dallas, Texas, where I freelanced for the commercial division at Reel FX.  After freelancing for a year, I started full-time as a production assistant in February of 2011 on the Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas special. I then worked as a production coordinator on the “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem” ride before I was promoted in April 2012 to a visual development artist on Reel FX’s second feature, The Book of Life. I had the wonderful opportunity to come out to LA and start at Nickelodeon in 2014, and it’s just been amazing. A lot of hard work, persistence, and networking helped get me to where I am today!

3)    What is your day-to-day like? Any interesting routines?
Come in, eat breakfast, check emails, queue up my Hulu, Netflix and YouTube shows, then get to work! No two days are exactly the same at my job, as I’m constantly painting fun new environments and characters drawn by the design team. Our world of Shimmer and Shine is growing, and I can’t wait for everyone to see Season 2!

As for unique routines, every morning while I’m getting ready for work, I listen to the Diane Rehm show on NPR. It helps keep me informed on what’s going on in the world outside of my happy animation bubble! During the work day, I always try to take an afternoon walk around Downtown Burbank – I get a little sun (vitamin D is necessary, people!) and it’s a great time to catch up with coworkers.

4)    What continues to motivate you to be an artist and work in animation?
Telling stories that resonate with people of all ages.  Knowing that what you’re doing matters, even if it is just a silly cartoon to some, because for others it makes a world of difference.

5)    What are your favorite parts of the job?
My coworkers! Nickelodeon really has the most wonderful, talented, and fun people in the entire industry! That, and getting to tell stories for a living. Could anything be more awesome?

6)    Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
Speaking on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con last summer was definitely a career highlight! I loved getting to share my story with people, and how there are careers out there that will totally embrace you and your weirdness. And even though I’ve now had several credits in both TV and film, the feeling you get when you see your name on the screen is just as awesome as the very first time you saw it. I always make sure to sit through the credits of anything I watch – so many people work so hard to entertain us and I love to acknowledge them in my own way.

7)    What/who inspires you?
I’m inspired by so many things! From movies to anime, books to music – I am a nerd through and through (and I’ve got the action figure collection to prove it)! As for artists and creators who’ve inspired me:

Naoko Takeuchi, Hayao Miyazaki, JK Rowling, Annette Marnat, Pascal Campion, Yoshitaka Amano, Erwin Madrid, Studio Trigger, Chris Appelhans, Mary GrandPre, Loish, Tadahiro Uesugi, Edmond Kiraz, Tetsuya Nomura, John Singer Sargent, Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Kazu Kibuishi, Lisa Keene, Eyvind Earle, Paul Lasaine… and SO many more!

8)    What is your advice for aspiring artists or people interested in entering animation?
Work hard and be humble! Having a great portfolio is a way to get noticed, but being a great person is the way to get hired! Social media and networking are so very important. Don’t be afraid to put your work out there!

9)    Who was your mentor and what advice did they give you that inspired you to continue pursuing your dreams/career goals? Advice you’ve give to aspiring artists in the industry?
I’ve had so many kind, generous, and talented people help me along the way; from my parents, to my teachers, to my friends and coworkers. It’s hard to pinpoint just one person. I think that’s really important – find people you trust, that are honest with you and rooting for you, that will be there through the good times and the bad. I wouldn’t be who I am without my support network and I’m eternally grateful to everyone who has helped me get where I am today.

10)  What are your favorite hobbies?
Drawing, playing video games, watching cartoons, cosplay… not much has changed over the years!

11)  What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?
Choosing which glitter brush is most appropriate for the occasion.

12)  What is your Spirit Animal?
Ilana from Broad City...

13)  Favorite Nickelodeon Show?
Doug and Avatar!

14)  Favorite Nickelodeon Quote or Catch Phase?
“Who loves orange soda? KEL LOVES ORANGE SODA.”

(I asked my sister what she thought of my choice, and she said: “I think that is your favorite quote. At least it def was in 1998.” Sister approved.)

15)  Favorite Snack?
Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus.

————
Follow Sarah to see all of her amazing work: 

Tumblr: @sarahmarino
Twitter: @sarahmarino 

Last Stand of the Baby Boomers

A few days ago it occurred to me there’s a subtext to the 2016 election that hasn’t been much discussed, buried as it is under the massive weight of Donald Trump’s misogyny, stupidity, and general awfulness, along with the media’s obsession with the right-wing obsession over Hillary Clinton’s emails. And that’s the bizarre symbolic nature of this campaign – not the obvious fact it’s a battle between an incompetent sexist man and a hyper-competent gender-dissed female, but that, in many ways, it’s literally the last stand of the Baby Boom generation.

In one sense, it’s pretty weird that both major political parties would simultaneously step back a generation to nominate two candidates for President after eight years of leadership by a member of the following generation. Usually only one party does this (and usually, it’s the more conservative party, for obvious reasons). Yet in 2016, both candidates are Baby Boomers, something that hasn’t happened since 2000. And what Baby Boomers – in Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton we have the perfect avatars of the Sixties generation. My generation.

Trump, of course, represents all that was bad about my generation: entitled, self-indulgent, arrogant for no reason, crude and demanding, with an unrepressed id that saw the Sexual Revolution as a license for demeaning women and pursuing the basest of libertine impulses. Trump is the avatar of the Baby Boomer whose unearned self-importance produced the economic calamities of the last thirty years – the boorish Boomer who assumes his central position in the nation’s economic and political life somehow represents personal achievement rather than an accident of history and inheritance. Heir to a powerful legacy built by the efforts of his parents, Trump destroyed that legacy while insisting he made it better– all while insuring that he got his, no matter what damage he left in his wake. Trump is the worst of the Baby Boomer ethos writ large.

Hillary, by a remarkable trick of fate (or, as I believe, by the inevitable pressure of history), represents all that was good about the Sixties generation. As a woman, she stood on the front line of the first generation to fully engage the expectations raised by the Woman’s Liberation Movement. A child of the best educated generation in American history to that point, she embraced knowledge and learning and rational discourse, using her education to pursue the idealistic goals of her generation. She combines a passion for Progressive policies with an awareness of the limits of the political process gained by growing to maturity during the turbulent years of the Vietnam War, the Chicago DNC protests, the Nixon administration and Kent State, Watergate, the Church committee, the Carter and Reagan administrations. She understands how politics works, and like many of her generation, she’s experienced waves of idealism followed by painful disillusionment. Like most women who came of age in the Sixties, she’s been frustrated by sexist expectations. Like other idealist Baby Boomers she’s been the recipient of mockery for her early enthusiasms, and she’s struggled to maintain her idealism against relentless attack from cultural critics who view her generation as entirely corrupt and mendacious. Despite it all, she remains committed to those early ideals. What others see as cynical pandering is the true core of a Baby Boomer who embraced the call for greatness laid upon her by a society that watched in awe as she and her fellows came of age.

Two avatars of the Baby Boom: Donald Trump, the crude and self-entitled frat boy, and Hillary Clinton, the earnest and idealistic feminist. Locked in combat in the final battle to define the legacy of the Boomer generation.

It’s a mixed legacy up to now. Many problems we face as a nation were created by the Boomer generation – an unequal economy, exacerbated by financial deregulation promoted by Baby Boomers like Clinton’s husband (in a well-meant effort to compensate for the inevitable loss of manufacturing jobs due to globalization, a historic development caused by forces beyond the control of national governments); the continued assault on African American males due to social issues left unaddressed by Boomer leadership; historic levels of governmental dysfunction, resulting from Boomer-led Culture Wars relitigating the social changes of the 1960s; an out-of-control military industrial complex, reflecting unresolved Boomer guilt over the outcome of the Vietnam War. (An argument can be made that Baby Boomers George W. Bush and Dick Cheney promoted the invasion of Iraq at least in part because of guilt over their cowardly behavior evading combat service in the 1960s.)

Those problems were either created by Baby Boomers or left unaddressed by Baby Boomers when it was our turn to lead the country. We, as a generation, have an obligation to leave following generations a nation in better shape than we found it– and we failed in that obligation. So it’s no accident this election is a struggle between Baby Boomers – in a way it’s an historical inevitability. The Boomer generation is seizing one last chance to define its legacy. Through Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton we are deciding how we want to be remembered:

Will we be remembered as self-indulgent louts, brash and entitled, destructive and crude, an embarrassment to the country that saw us as beacons of hope?

Or will we be remembered as a generation that tried and failed but tried again, and finally found a way to merge idealism with practical politics, rising at last to the occasion, and ending our days not as a joke, but with a little bit of class, humility, and modest accomplishment?

I’m hoping for the second.