using that term loosely

Listen. To. Me.

Everybody is NOT your friend, don’t set the bar so low. A friend is someone reciprocates the energy you bring to them. Just because y'all are mutuals doesn’t not mean you are friends. Stop telling everybody ya business, learn how to accept that some people are temporary, & stop using the term so loosely.

A Study in Hypocrisy #1

Or why the Avengers’ relationship to Tony was unhealthy at best, Steve isn’t fit to be a leader, and why I’m Team Iron Man to the end.


WHY STEVE ISN’T FIT TO BE A LEADER

While the Civil War dispute between Tony and Steve might have started because of the Accords, it very quickly turned personal for Steve. He put each and every one of his “teammates” in danger for the sake of one man (more about that later), and even though I love Bucky and everything (I really do!), Steve was extremely dumb about the entire situation. In fact, I don’t think he could have gone about it in the worst way. 

He could have gone to “rescue” Bucky in disguise—God knows that, with his serum and brute force, he certainly could have done exactly what he ended up doing— but he went instead with the American flag all over himself. He didn’t stop to consider the implications, the possible consequences or bulldozing into a foreign country and engaging in a car chase in the middle of a populated city. He didn’t even stop to consider that there was no guarantee at all that Bucky was innocent. 

He could have, you know, talked to Tony. Tony, who has the political experience and the material means and influence to get Bucky the best help there is. Tony, who’s been playing this game for so long, who knows how to get what he wants, who to go to, how to formulate things. Tony, who would have been his most precious ally. 

And he was. Before he found out about his betrayal. Tony negotiated so hard to make sure no one would get hurt. After the Berlin disaster, he managed to get the UN (that’s 117 countries!) to agree to make the past 24 hours legal and to get Bucky to a facility where he would get the best help for his triggers, help that of course Tony himself would be paying for, because let’s be real, the Avengers are funded by Tony at this point, which is yet another thing that doesn’t sit well with me, but I’ll come back to it. 

Back to why Steve isn’t fit to be a leader: the essence of a leader is that they are supposed to do just that. Lead. But to do that, they need to be fair and treat their men equally. They need to be able to put aside their personal feelings and look at situations objectively. Because their duty is to protect their men and have their back, just like they will have his. 

A leader leads, sure. But they must know when to listen, too, and defer to somebody with greater expertise than themselves. In that case, Tony obviously knows better than he does, if only because he read the damn papers. That’s also something that doesn’t sit well with me regarding the rest of Team Cap. Not one of them paused to read the Accords. Hell, Scott had no clue what the hell was going on. He heard “jump,” and he did.

Yet, here comes Steve, putting the lives of not two, not three, but five (six, if you count Sharon) people at risk, all for one man. He drags in Clint and Scott with no regards to their families and personal situations, and all the while keeps information to himself. Do you think Sam knows that he could have avoided prison and exile? Do you think any of them know about Tony’s deal? Do you think Scott actually knew what was going on? Hell no! Because Steve is calculating enough that he won’t lose manpower to such a pesky thing as compromise. 

How about Steve’s constant habit of putting the blame on Tony’s shoulders? “You did that when you signed”? What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re the one who keeps refusing to compromise! 

Steve never treated Tony as an equal. In fact, none of them did. (Again, more on that later.) But the thing is that when it came to a life-altering secret that affected both his teammate and “friend,” and his childhood friend, Steve decided that it was his right to keep that information from both parties, which. 

NO. Being “friends”—and I use the term loosely—with Howard doesn’t give Steve the right to such a decision. This is a traumatic event for Tony, something that affects personally and directly. He had a right to know. And as it has been demonstrated in previous movies that his capacity for forgiveness is immense, he would have had the time to process the information and the Siberia disaster never would have happened. 

Furthermore and finally, Steve Rogers was never actually a captain. The title was just for show, a tool for propaganda when he was sent on a tour to sell war bills. All of his training comes from that short bootcamp for potential serum candidates, nothing more. He’s not actually part of the army, or a ranked officer. The only reason they let him keep the title was because he’d been lucky enough to bring back the 107th when he disobeyed orders, and then proved useful enough to both war efforts and morale. 

Steve Rogers is not a leader. A leader treats everyone equally and gives respect before expecting it. A leader does not keep secrets from his men to serve his own agenda. A leader does not leave a man behind in a freezing, deserted landscape with no way of calling for help. 

If anything, Tony’s the leader of the Avengers. Why? Ask yourselves the following questions: 

  • Who feeds the Avengers? 
  • Who houses the Avengers? 
  • Who clothes the Avengers?
  • Who arms the Avengers? 
  • Who handles their PR? 
  • Who pays for the destruction they leave behind?
  • On the battlefield, who has a global view of everything that’s going on? 
  • Who is so smart that they can predict and analyze battle scenarios, and adapt to the unexpected in a flash? 
  • Who’s considerate enough to leave their former teammate to his retirement because he’s just that, retired with his family?
  • Who cares about everyone equally and would give everything to protect them all? Who goes above and beyond to provide them with everything they need? 
  • Who has the political experience required to handle their supervisors and foreign policy?

That’s right. Tony Stark. 

Not Steve Rogers. 


Masterpost

Part 2.1: Natasha | Part 2.2: Steve | Part 2.3: Thor

Spirits Can Eat You

& Other Ways that They Can Harm You in the Physical Realm

Mostly my UPG but I have heard similar information from others’ experiences

*Always make sure to look into medical and mundane reasons for any harm that may have occurred before ascribing the cause to spirits. *


A human walks along a craggy coast in the middle of the night. The waves violently churn and sputter beneath their feet as they hop from rock to rock. Under the surf something waits, carefully watching the human’s movements. The being has soft, gray skin and a beautiful cerulean tail whose scales reflect the moonlight, but the human lacks the ability to see this. They also don’t see when the creature darts out of the water, sinking her nails into their etheric body and pulling it into the depths. The human stops, gut wrenching, heart pounding, such weird symptoms seemingly brought on with no reason. But then they collect themselves and continue down the beach, feeling oddly different from before.


Most of the time, when a spirit “physically” harms you the damage will be applied to your etheric body. However, sometimes that damage can be translated over into your physical body in some form. For example, a god of cadavers once touched my arm causing a necrosis in the cells of my etheric body that expanded until my skin was a deathly black and the bone was exposed. My physical body was unharmed and showed no signs of the damage that was done to my etheric body however, I did find that the spot was less sensitive until my etheric body was healed. Even now the spot that he touched occasionally feels “off”.   

Eating

Just like humans, many entities need to eat to survive. They can eat the etheric copies of organisms and objects in the physical world as well as eating other spirits. Unlike entities, most ghosts don’t need to feed but they can if they want to. When a spirit eats it can be described as them absorbing the energy of their food and assimilating it into their energy. However, there are many different biologies and ways of feeding that might follow a different process.

Humans, physical and ghosts, are often prey for predatory species. Don’t think that just because you have the “energy of a dragon” or whatever that no one will attempt to eat you because of that. There’s always someone bigger.

When an entity eats a human they can either take out chunks of your energy or the whole damn thing. This can leave you feeling strange, empty, not fully “there”, and it can definitely affect the strength your magical workings. If you ever do get eaten, fear not! Energy with ties to the physical world (aka your meat body) will eventually reform over time although this can take up to years and can lead to long-lasting damage if a large amount of your energy was taken. So maybe fear a little.

Some entities are parasites that will hide in your etheric body and drain your energy from the inside. Parasites can also be large, regular looking entities that subtly drain you when they’re in your presence.

Entities can also feed on the ambient energies that you give off. For example, a despair demon might feed on the ambient energies of someone who is going through a depressive episode. A feeding like this isn’t directly harming you and can actually be helpful if you have a trusted entity feed on energies that you don’t want lingering around. However, it can be the opposite where an entity will try to milk these energies out of you by, for example, instigating depressive episodes and making you feel shitty.

Attacks and Abuse

Just like physical humans, spirits can punch you, kick you, sexually abuse you, etc. This harm usually takes a form similar to my example with the cadaver god. Depending on the extent of the damage sometimes this can manifest physically. Examples being feeling pain in your face after being slapped by a spirit or having scratches appear where they clawed you. They can also emotionally and psychologically abuse you.

*Always make sure to look into medical and mundane reasons for any harm that may have occurred before ascribing the cause to spirits.*

Possessions

Not as rare as everyone makes them out to be but still not as common as the others. In my experience this can come in three different forms: possession of the body, possession of the mind, and both combined. When a spirit possesses the body of a human, it can control their movements but the human’s mind is still conscious. When a spirit possesses the mind of a human, it can do things such as hack into their third eye, steal personal information from memories and the like, or even rewire their brain. Possession of the mind is usually a more gradual and subtle process than possession of the body. While this is a post about ways that spirits can harm people I figured that it might pay to mention how possessions aren’t always dangerous and can be done with the consent of the human (I loosely use the term “channeling” to describe consensual possessions).  

Influencing Auras

I mentioned earlier that humans can give off ambient energies that attract spirits, well spirits can also give off their own ambient energies. A spirit’s ambient energy is often an extension of its true energy. This energy often blankets wide areas of space, usually around where the spirit resides, and can influence the events or behaviors of organisms and other spirits that enter it. One example would be a species of spirit that I met called lunar soldiers. When they gathered together, they created an ambient energy of lunacy where those who entered it would behave erratically and often violently. Other examples could be the ambient energy of a murderer’s ghost that influences physical humans around them to commit murder and assault or the ambient energy of a forest causing people to be forgetful and get lost easier. Of course, not all entities have negative ambient energies or even ambient energies at all.

The Myths Don’t Lie

My final point is about how the myths and legends of spirits are often correct in describing the harm that spirits can do. Gorgons can turn your body to stone, vampires can feed on your blood, mermaids can drown you (or have ambient energies that make people around them more likely to drown ;D ), etc. It’s just that, most of the time, these things will happen to your etheric body and not your physical one.  

*Always make sure to look into medical and mundane reasons for any harm that may have occurred before ascribing the cause to spirits.*

Black Girl, NYC

Greetings people. I identify as a Black female who was born and raised in NYC. I am slowly progressing through my study of education and history in college. Other then that, I spend (probably) an unhealthy amount of time reading and writing sci fi and fantasy. But by high school, I got sick and tired of the same story featuring blonds and brunettes saving the day with their straight, lean male heroes so I turned to my librarian seeking something new. She pointed to Octavia Butler and the rest was history. I’ve been seeking diversity in media ever since.

Family life and Culture

I grew as the middle child of six siblings with my single mother and grandparents. Yes, my working-class household fits the stereotype. We even have an absent father *sighs* But, hey shit happens. And with the biological father turns out not to be the best father figure, shit had to go right out the door. Yup. But make no mistake that this is a norm. Most households on my block do have both parents involved in their children’s lives. Our circumstances called for us to have one. That’s all.

The house was full, loud and rambunctious. We made up a good portion of the children on the block (unsurprising) and basically ran it. There’s a whole novel that could be fleshed out of my childhood if I wanted to. Our neighborhood is very tight knit. Next door neighbors were treated like Aunts and Uncles. When summer came around, we were sometimes divided into groups as the parents who were off from work overlooked us while braiding our heads. Blackouts became an all night bbq and sleepover on each other’s porches. Crooklyn by Spike Lee was a good representation of what it was like in fact. Somewhat. Minus the brownstones, plus a couple more fights (lol).

My grandma was a nurse who’s pretty big on us knowing our family history. She made sure to talk a lot about our Gullah Geechee roots. We also had some Dominican culture influence since her closest friend and our Madrina was, well, Dominican. But she is fairly strict on gender norms and how my sisters and I should act especially with brothers. She antagonized me the most growing up because I continued to ignore this. We don’t get along but i can’t say i don’t get why she’s the way she is. She has a pretty dark past. My mother, a latchkey kid of the finest stock, is more laid back and gives all of us free range to make our own mistakes. Most times. Other times, she’d rather lecture us. Depends on our crime.

I don’t know what my grandpa used to do. He retired waaaaay before my grandmother. I also don’t know much about his culture. He’s 1st gen Jamaican who fully assimilated into American culture. Well, beside his food choices. Now, he gambles and goes to church. When I was younger, he used to teach us how to gamble too. And how to cheat and not get caught. We got a lot of free fast food while he taught us. He has gotten more frugal the older he got. And more isolated.

Dating and Relationships.

I don’t date. I have no interest. Well, no, that’s not exactly true. I’ve considered it but I rather have not seek out anything outside of platonic right now. I have a tight knit circle of friends and several other groups of friends I associate with depending on the activity. I’m realizing it seems like I’m using the term “friends” loosely but I swear I’m not. I’m a virgin and I feel nothing about being one until someone goes “*gasp* You’re a virgin really?” and then I end up on high defense saying “So?” Believe or not, that messed with me a lot.

My love life and lack of interest in having one has always been a struggle. In middle school, the group of friends I hung with were becoming more infatuated with love and sex. Yes, middle school, fifth through eighth grade, ages nine to thirteen. But, when they would talked about who’s hot or not, they would look at me funny when I didn’t join in the discussion. Instead of explaining myself, I simply copied other’s reactions and gushed along with them. This instinct followed me through High school til stopped out of annoyance. I became a listener and adviser in their relationships because I really do love stories in many shapes and forms. And I would never turn down hearing a story.

Language

My primary language is English and AAVE. I’ve been living in a neighborhood filled with Blacks and Latinx. Most of my friends are Black and Lantinx. I didn’t meet a white person my age until college. Okay that’s a partial lie. I’ve been in a summer camp that was made up of predominantly white children. But as the only black kid in my age range, I was sorta uncomfortable. I never made lasting friends there. After High School, I spent a year abroad in Tena, Ecuador where I learned Spanish and Kichwa. I still suck at both languages.

Clothing

Lots of my clothes when I was younger were borrowed or hand-me-downs. Half of them still are. It’s like thrift shopping without the hiked prices thanks to its popularity by rich white people (Thanks rich white people!) All my siblings’ taste varies. In my case, I’m fond of combining loose and tight clothing (tight jeans and a loose sweater/ baggy jeans and a tight top). No makeup. Silver accessories.

I used to have a short bob cut permed. I hated it. But I rather a perm then getting my hair straightened with a hot comb because the back of my neck and big ears would always get burned. It wasn’t until I made a friend with a natural afro that I realized my natural hair was even an option.

Academics

Lol I was a nerd with bad grades.

Religion

My family practices Santeria, which has historical roots in both Catholicism and Yoruba thanks to slavery (Yay slavery!). However, because the religion is not fully accepted or well-known, I tend to say I’m simply Catholic if asked. Apparently, a Black Catholic is hard to believe. It is assumed all Black folks are Baptists or some branch of Christianity. I have no idea where that stereotype came from. But I can give some guess. (*cough cough* Tyler Perry….).  

As I stated before, I love scifi and fantasy. I especially love urban fantasy involving witches. I blame this love on Practical Magic and Eve’s Bayou, my childhood faves. It’s because of this love that I wish to see more stories with witches of color. And no, I don’t mean that one evil/mysterious southern/Caribbean Voodoo/Hoodoo witch hollywood loves to portray so much. That always plays into the “Black is evil” trope. Give me some damn variety!

I would squeal so hard if the mythology involved in a story isn’t even Eurocentric. I’m not joking. This is serious. When my religion was simply hinted at in the Raven Boys series (It was also a great way of making even more obvious that the character was definitely not white.) and Kenya Wright’s Habitat series, I squealed. All the authors did was write the names of some of the Orishas and I couldn’t help but put my phone down for a moment and inwardly scream with glee. That being said, if a writer does decide to use afrocentric or any religion involving “witchcraft” as a basis, I would personally ask that they make sure is is not a closed religion.

Santeria is, in fact, a closed religion. And while I don’t mind mentions of it in fantasy and even a main character stating they practice it, do not go any further than that. Don’t even research the practices within the religion other than what is public knowledge (And if you don’t have any public knowledge, just ask) Respect that there’s a limit. Anything further spelunking  is consider rude, disgusting, disrespectful and dangerous. There’s things that I don’t even know because I haven’t been properly initiated. And the internet has a lot of these practices exposed when it shouldn’t be so please don’t look into it. Please.

Food

Most of the cooking in the house has been done by my grandmother. Because of her various relationships, our food has always been a mixture of Black American, Gullah, Lantinx and Caribbean influences. It is so good. So, so good!

The only thing I don’t eat of hers is her seafood gumbo because I don’t like shellfish. One of my sisters said I should have my “black card” taken for my distaste. I said she could take it if she can name more black movies than me. She still can’t take it. My other sister wishes we could switch places because she loves crab but is allergic. The crazy girl actually sends her husband to buy some benadryl so she can eat some if we ever have some on the table. Smh. Siblings.  

Holidays

My family on both sides are quite fond of reunions. On my grandpa’s side, the family uses Fourth of July and Christmas to get together. On my grandma’s side, they tend to host annual summer reunion and send out RSVP invitations complete with schedules of the whole two to three day event. I didn’t mention this under my family life, but both sides of my family are boujee to different degrees. Lots of black sorors and frats members on both sides. I can’t believe that slipped my mind typing.

I’m a little iffy with Christmas. It’s more of a holiday for the older generation and our niece and nephews. The younger generation, however, don’t particularly care for the holiday. For some of us, it’s because it’s not really Jesus’s Birthday and Santa was whitewashed. For others, it’s because we don’t care to feed into the corporate holiday. For most of us, it’s a combination of the two. But we do love getting together when we can. My older sister and I have conspired to celebrate kwanzaa instead for the past two years. So far, it hasn’t grasped the interest of anyone else in the family.

Struggles

  • Being nerds from a young age, my siblings and I have been called “Oreos” or“Not really black” by kids in school on more than one occasion. We shut them down by fighting. Probably not the best strategy but it was best one I could think of in middle school and below. Made it easier to go back to reading my manga.

  • I got compared to my sisters a lot. It was the absolutely most annoying thing ever. And a major source of my insecurities growing older.

  • Need I address colorism? My highschool was filled with it. #TeamLight v #TeamDark. I was on neither team, because in the region I live, skin color was a pretty long spectrum. I fell in the between. Who came up with this?

  • I’ll admit it. I hate my own tears. They make me feel weak. Which isn’t true…I know. But, it is a mentality I always had. I have depression and PTSD. This isn’t really a secret. I tell people if I’m asked. But have you ever had someone look at you and say, “Really? You don’t seem like the type.” ……

  • I am a black female. I’ve been labelled “Strong” and “Independent” the older I got. By my mother. By my siblings. By my peers. And I get those labels. Even from friends. I loved those labels. I call myself by those labels. I mean, who doesn’t want to be seen as strong and independent? Those are positive affirmations, right? I think they would be. If that wasn’t all the positive labels we could get. Somehow, society has decided we are beings that are incapable of being multifaceted. I was indirectly taught to hate my own tears because black girls don’t cry. You can’t cry and be strong. What a terrible mantra fed to black girl at a young age. So, instead you tell everyone “It’s fine.”

I told my therapist it was fine. Until she told me straight up it was not fine. And it was okay to cry. I don’t like to cry. But I still (involuntarily) did it.

Things I’d like to see less of/Things I’d like to see more of:

  • I’m sick and tired of seeing black and latinx folks being portrayed as only fantasy gangs members. We are not only gang members. That’s a terrible popular myth the media put out there and I hate it even more so when it’s portrayed in SFF genre..

  • I’m tired of having one black person in a novel being described as having skin the color of “midnight.” And he’s (it’s always a he) not even that important to the story

  • I hate how every time someone decides to add a person of color, they have to be ambiguous brown. I’m not saying ambiguously brown don’t exist and don’t need representation but is it really that had for a dark brown skin person to play a major role in a story that’s not about slavery? Speaking of which….

  • Why we always gotta be slaves? Or better yet….

  • Why don’t we exist at all in High fantasy stories? Urban fantasy? Brooklyn wasn’t always the gentrified white town it is now. Still isn’t. How are you erasing people of color from NYC??? We make up way too much of the population to be completely erased

  • Stop racial coding other creatures to surround your white human characters. Especially as the bad guys. That’s just shitty writing. Step up your game!

  • I love Black love

  • I love Gay love. I wish more would follow moonlight’s example and show poc are gay too and gay doesn’t always equal to stereotypical femininity.

  • I love interracial love HOWEVER, can we pair people of color with other people of color as well? I’m starting to hate seeing it always a white person paired with a Poc. Variety damnit!

  • Friendships between boys and girls that don’t transform into love.

  • Friendships between girls that didn’t start out as a rivalry.

  • Different body types besides the skinny and tall. Make a main character that’s fat for once. It’s not a problem.

  • Magical characters of color that aren’t “Noble Savages” or “Wise Monks” that used their magic for personal gain for once instead of waiting for the white hero to come.

  • Nerdy black characters who aren’t 100% competent and cries. One that isn’t in a five token band that always gonna be compare to the white main character. Make the nerd the main character!

That’s all I can think of at the top of my head. But my list really does go on. 

Love Conquers All (On Sherlock Season 4)

I’m currently re-watching Season 4, simply just to indulge myself, and mainly because I personally loved it. I thought I was done expressing everything I have to say about the matter in this post, but there has been an unending sh*t-storm still looming over S4 that has gone beyond what I had expected. Not to mention that things I’ve seen on Twitter earlier regarding the so-called Norbury movement.

I am not dismissing the fact that this season had its flaws, but there’s a significant meaning to it all that some people are dismissing because they’ve been blinded by their own illusions that I would want to highlight. For someone who had cried over and mulled over these episodes more than the past 3 seasons, this season gave my love for existentialism a baseline that tugged at the heart – the very reason why I wanted to talk about it.

Originally posted by esterlocked

Just a brief explanation, existentialism is the belief that life has no meaning in general. To quote Moriarty, “Staying alive… So boring, isn’t it? It’s just… staying.” However, what I like about it is the idea that society or any other factor is not responsible for giving life it’s meaning – it is solely up to the individual to discover it on their own.

With that said, I think this is why this season resonated with me so much, and I find the chaos in some parts of the fandom frustrating, especially to the point that the writers are being attacked for this. So as usual, I have to say something about it. Because instead of writing articles for work, I’m thinking about Sherlock.

Anyway, I’m just gonna go ahead with my point.


The Six Thatchers : Horrors Of The Past

This may be my least favourite among the three, but the message of this episode is clearly simple: we all have horrors that will come and haunt us in the future – and how we face it all comes down to the path we choose. 

We live hundreds, and even thousands of roles throughout our lives. And we all have our past; things that we regret, hate, cringe at, miss, still believe in, etc. But whatever that past might be, what I got from TST is that you can never run from your past as it catches up to you, but it is one facet of your life does not completely define you.

Originally posted by akajustmerry

Death has been played with through the past seasons that it seemed all too mundane to us now, in terms of the context of the show. But S4 is here to correct this notion in Mary’s persona. With Mary saying that Mary Watson was the only life worth living, it showed that we get to choose which part of our lives we live out the most.

Same with John and his ‘cheating’. To be fair, I’m pissed at the fact that this was completely out of character. But when the series culminated, I understood why they have to do it. We saw what we wanted to see in these characters as they were presented to us – John was supposedly honourable, kind, and courageous, but what is this? Who is this new John? 

This is where I head to my next point. 


The Lying Detective : Being Alive And Human

This episode made me cry buckets, to be honest. And it is because this is all about changing what you know about these characters and seeing them all in a different light. 

Here we see a Sherlock not led by the mind but the heart, a John who was weak against temptation, a cheater, someone who looked jealous from having the spotlight all on the detective – it showed that no one is ultimately good and that someone’s facade is not who they entirely are. It shows that everyone has their ups and downs because that’s what humanity is about. It illustrated that everyone was capable of being angry, desperate, conceited, weak, lonely, alone, etc. It highlighted how these characters are broken – especially Sherlock – and how redemption can mean so much more to a person. 

We all have our flaws, our downfalls, our agonies; but who are we really, at our most vulnerable? And who are the people willing to believe in us even if we’ve shown them our true, and sometimes, faded colours?

Originally posted by halloawhatisthis

“Taking your own life. Interesting expression, taking it from who? Once it’s over, it’s not you who’ll miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everyone else. Your life is not your own, keep your hands off it.”

This is a plea. That shutting down and ending your life is and should never be the answer. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of dialogue I have ever heard, and it’s a very upfront message about warranting a value on your own life. And for people to threaten the writers of the show that they are the ones who caused the lives that are put in the line or the self-harm that will happen due to their distaste for TFP is devastating to me.

And yes, there have been people tweeting Mark and BBC that they are and will be responsible for these lives, which is just unfair.


The Final Problem : On Love And Redemption

I’ve seen people questioning why Benedict said ‘love conquers all’ in one interview before the season aired. There has also been statements that this season will be ‘groundbreaking’, which others failed to see why, leading to the claims that the showrunners are queerbaiting.

Now, every single show, every single actor, not just in Sherlock, but basically everywhere, is being put in the microscope because they need to identify with something, and that they need to represent a cause — which I get! I advocate for this! But, just when the world is being careful about mixing up their characters or when they are inserting a gay character just because now, society is demanding them to, Sherlock had already presented that years before (note that some TV shows only became more open to having gay characters around late 2014, early 2015-ish onwards because people are becoming more vocal about it as inspired by those bold enough to make a first move, e.g. Glee). 

Here, we have an openly gay character (which is still another topic of debate but I stand by it when I say Irene used the term gay loosely), had openly gay actors play brilliant and unstereotypical roles, and for God’s sake, Mark Gatiss is a gay man who is behind this brilliant show, and  that’s the very reason they passed it off as normal. They didn’t do it in a way that we always have to be reminded that the character is gay, that there has to be a sex scene just to prove that they’re gay… it’s just there – again, as one facet of the characters. Sex, as something that has been explicitly expressed in the show, isn’t the only thing that defines a character or their relationships with someone else, and I appreciated that. They had a story to tell – the story of these characters as a whole and not just one side of them. 

And personally, I did see why they made their claims as indicated by my chosen title. When this season ended, Sherlock who claimed to have never been attuned to his emotions, had his eyes open and had embraced that he was also human, flawed, and is capable to love IN ALL FORMS. 

Originally posted by fangirlhani

He learned to value his life because of what happened to Mary, he had admitted that he also succumbs to his impulses with Irene Adler (texting or beyond that, depends on what you want to believe), he fully realised that he would never ever want to hurt and make Molly feel like she’s being used by him because she’s his friend, he was able to extend a more human side of himself to John more than he did before, he finally understood and accepted Mycroft’s intentions and actions which I think mended their relationship significantly (this one hits me to the core so much), and lastly, he discovered that if he was left in the air in isolation, he might have ended up like Eurus, which is why he never wanted to make her feel alone again. 

To me, it is groundbreaking because it left that cliche of someone running off into the sunset in the end and it’s all butterflies and rainbows. They wrapped it up with the characters still broken, but living through it day by day because someone chose to love, accept, and help them heal despite their flaws. 

It is what it is, they keep on saying, because that’s how life is. It can be unbearable and it can most certainly be shit, but in the end, whether you ship Johnlock, Adlock, Sherlolly, Sheriarty, Mollstrade, Mystrade, etc., if we all let love – self-love, romantic love, familial love, platonic love – all kinds of love in our lives, it will help us conquer all, within and beyond this show. 

So the final Agni Kai...

Obviously this has been said time and time again, but, like… the music. This is my absolute favorite bit from the soundtrack. What I like best about it is that they were smart enough to let the score evolve. It didn’t stick to a single tempo or melody. It’s incredibly clever because it allows the music to express all the emotion and themes that are involved in this scene. They could have used an overt, grandiose, high-energy score but what they chose to do ended up being so much more expressive. A constant high-energy score would have drawn more attention to the physical action and fight sequence (which is amazing and brilliantly animated, don’t get me wrong), but the music they chose drew more attention to the actual emotion and tragedy of it all. A brother and sister fighting to the death, one fighting to do the right thing and the other rapidly losing her sanity. And that’s just the first part of the track! The song evolves. The music starts as a sweeping, slow, epic, tragic melody that builds and falls and builds and falls, stops, then returns with a high-paced and frenetic tempo as Azula prepares the lightning. It increases the intensity of the moment within seconds, indicates the presence of danger and unpredictability while signaling the arrival of the climax of the scene. Then, in the second Azula releases the lightning at Katara, the music returns with the same somber, sorrowful melody and once again, pulls the attention away from the action, away from the presence of a dangerous, imminent threat, and redirects it back to the actual emotion of the scene, to the realization and fear that Zuko is about to lose someone about whom he truly cares, the shift from the defense of oneself to the protection of another, to the display of loyalty and love shown through heart-breaking self-sacrifice. Conclusion: everything about the music in the scene was stunningly well-done. The melody rises and falls, the tempo shifts multiple times, and overall, the music exists and evolves to place focus on each and every moment of significance and emotion and pain during this scene. I want filmmakers and musicians and artists and writers to just take as many lessons as they possibly can from this, because it truly falls under the category of “most powerful scores of all time”. This music was perfectly constructed to express the significance of this scene, has left an unbelievably deep impact on me, and continues to have the same heartwrenching effect every… single… time I listen to it and every… single… time I watch the scene.

I get a little sad when I hear people going “Hunk is not fat, he’s muscular” because like…

Let’s just take a brief look at our beautiful boy here:

I like this shot, even though it’s technically everyone, because this nicely demonstrates both of the important things here. The important things here is: Hunk is both fat. and muscular. Absolutely. He has a soft tummy and big dang beefy arms. 

Keep reading

On Fae and Spirit work.   (A master post)

In my perspective, as well as experience, Fae (I can only speak of those in North America and Central America) are spirits. As such, it is not likely you’ll ever see them physically manifest. Like other spirits, (Ancestors, Angels, Demons, Djinn, plant spirits, etc.) Fae exist within a hierarchy of both age and size, which generally go hand-in-hand. In fact, there is a hierarchy that is recognized by all spirits.
(When I say “size” I am referring to how powerful they are, not how tall they are.) 
-SJW warning: Things within this post are 70% learned from direct experience, 25% taught to me by a practitioner of Curanderismo, & 5% book/internet research.


Dealings with Fea:

If you must, despite the warnings from the community, seek out a Fae, you should know a few things:

1- Where to find them.
2- How to locate one within that place and convince them to commune with you.
3- Ways you can protect yourself and others around you.
4- How to “befriend” one.
5- How to close communion.

A few useful things to have on you: fresh mint, fresh lavender, really any common flowering plant in your region (All must be harvested respectfully because the Fae will feel it.) As well as buttons (the older- the better), red wine, moon water, and/or a small potted plant (if dealing with a Fae within a building)

Without knowing at least a few of these things, I surely would have been subject to all kinds of spiritual, physical and mental torture/harassment. 

#1: Where to find Fae
Fae do not necessarily reside in woodlands, deserts, swamps, mountains, forests, or lakes (etc). They can and do live in cities, suburbs and places like Walmart.  However, places like Walmart aren’t very attractive to them, and they will likely only live there temporarily. 
Fae like to be left alone, like most spirits. They will always nestle into a place that is secluded and rather quiet. The more foliage, the better because Fae do prefer more natural areas. They only exist out of nature due to urbanization. It’s actually really sad. If you find a Fae within a building, PLEASE be careful. They will likely not be too friendly. 
So, think of a place that is near you, where there is little human traffic that has at least some foliage. Then, once you have communed with a few Fae (That are in a more preferred habitat), and think that you could handle it, look in the dark secluded places in buildings. 

#2: How to locate and speak to a Fae if they reside in that area
You will need your intuition here- in fact, you will be relying on it nearly wholly. 
If in forests, mountains, and woodlands: they will likely be found near groves of old trees, running water, large boulders (That are covered in moss AND fungus), on mounds with flowers, secluded clearings in trees, and small caves. 

In deserts:
secluded caves, atop mesas, near water, oases, and around clusters of larger plants.

In swamps:
Near the oldest tree in the area, running water, large rocks that are being devoured by moss and mud, in tree branches, as well as nearly all over the place. 

In plains/prairie:
You will only find younger and/or smaller Fae. They will be clinging to the base of the grasses, hiding under yucca, near cacti, resting near wildflowers. 

In buildings: They will be found in dark corridors, abandoned buildings, attics, storage rooms that are barely used, the roof, and elevator shafts/empty stairwells.

Once you think you’ve found one, lay out an offering without looking directly at them. It is always best to look directly at the ground. Once the offering is set, bow your head to the ground- touching your forehead. Then speak aloud the reasoning for leaving that specific offering, while being as respectful and genuine as possible. Then give an offering of energy. (Before doing this, be sure to have protection [see #3]) This energy needs to be appropriate for the vibe of the Fae. 

Then, begin to speak aloud to them. Tell them about yourself, and your craft. You must be completely honest. Lying to a Fae can result in their anger. Ask if they are comfortable speaking to you. If they aren’t you’ll feel it. If this happens, bow again and stand and leave respectfully. Be sure to give a blessing to their home as you are leaving it. 

#3: How you can protect yourself and those around you
Objects you can carry that will help prevent them from: Following you [F], Leeching energy from you [L], Cursing you [C], Messing with your Psyche [P]. 
{”-” before a symbol means that it makes it easier, rather than preventing.)

-Iron (Nail, bar, wire, ball, key, etc.) [L]
-Tiger’s Eye [P] 
-A feather [F]
-Fresh Romero [L] [P]
-Copper [P] [-L]
-Rutilated Quartz [C] [P]
-Amethyst [L]
-Obsidian [C] [L]
-Turquoise [F] [P]
- Shungite [-L] [P] [C]
-Fresh Ecineccea flower [L] [C] [F]
-Salt [F] [L] [C]
-Sigils drawn on flesh or paper (potentially [F] [L] [C] [P] [-F] [-L] [-C] [-P])

There are a few energetic way to protect yourself as well.
Creating a shell of neutral reflective energy around you, building and maintaining a flame in your heart energy center, astral weapons/shields, tulpas/servitors/thought-forms, and blessings. 

Be sure to ALWAYS salt all thresholds in your home before leaving to commune with Fae. Brick dust, iron shavings, and Pipestone dust can be used in place of salt. 

Also, NEVER underestimate the power of respect, intuition, and understanding.

#4: How to “Befriend” a Fae
I use the term “befriend” very loosely, hence the quotation marks. It’s more like a trade deal. 
This can happen once they feel comfortable speaking to you, and you can then make a request- but not without compensation. If a request is made without compensation, they will likely take something of their own choosing. 
For example, I met a really old Fae that recently migrated to a conservation area near me. (by recently I mean within the last 100 years, which is like a week or two to her.) Once she was comfortable speaking to me, I asked her for guidance and assistance in my craft- as well as to join my circle of spirits in the direction of the North. In return I offered to ward her home- to this, she scoffed. Instead, all she asked for in return was my faith in her and her home- as well as to never mention her name around or to any other humans. (I can’t even write it in my Grimoire- I checked)

#5: How to close a communion with a Fae
If a Fae is gracious enough to commune with you, you should always end with a statement of honest gratitude.
Ways to physically show gratitude and respect could be as follows:
-placing your forehead on the ground
-kissing the ground
-manifest your aura as butterflies or another flying creature depending on the vibe of the Fae.
-Bow after standing up (If you were previously sitting)
-Bow before leaving.
-Facing towards the center of their home, as you are leaving, and placing your forehead on the center (Try, if you are able, to face south when doing this)
-Leave a second offering. 
-Draw a sigil of gratitude in the air with your energy.


There are some Fae you should strive to avoid!
-Faeries (Not Fairies): They will blatantly lie to you and will almost always be insulted and/or disgusted at your presence.
-Fae that feel palpably angry- most likely found in abandoned buildings.
-Fae that live in a lone tree. 
-Fae that live in poisonous/toxic plants
-There are a few more- but your gut will honestly be your best tool.

IF YOU CAN HELP A FAE THAT HAS HAD ITS HOME RIPPED AWAY FROM IT DUE TO URBANIZATION- DO IT. WITH ITS PERMISSION, HELP FIND IT A NEW HOME- AND BE SURE TO GET THE PERMISSION OF THE FAE THAT LIVE IN THE NEW LOCATION AS WELL. 




anonymous asked:

100% agree on your analysis of Jimin as a Slytherin!!! I know a lot of people (including myself) are shocked Namjoon put himself in Griffindoor over Ravenclaw though. I'm dying to hear your thoughts on this!!

HELLO and thank you! I’m glad you agree! And if anyone is curious here is a link to my thoughts on why jimin is the perfect slytherin. EDIT: And here is why Jungkook is a Ravenclaw!

//cracks knuckles MY TIME HAS COME

So… Namjoon. I, like you and a ton of other people, was really confused about him being in Gryffindor. But, the more I thought about it, the more I really came to not only accept it, but believe that he is a Gryffindor through and through. And please be advised this is going to devolve in to me gawking over how great of a human being Namjoon is, so if you don’t want to read about that please close your browser and think about why you don’t agree that he’s better than everyone else. okay?

okay.

Namjoon is a Gryffindor to the core, not a Ravenclaw

First of all, Namjoon supposedly sorted everyone else, but I have a small sneaking suspicion that he may not have sorted himself. We know he’s a fan of the movies at least, and he’s fluent in English, so if he’s a fan and he has access to sorting quizzes on Pottermore and other sites, is it so hard to believe that he hasn’t at least tried a few? Seriously, even the most casual of fans have tried getting sorted. It’s not that crazy of a thought. So… What if they put him in Gryffindor over Ravenclaw?

(I mean, when asked to do a British accent the first thing that he quotes was “Shut up Malfoy!”. If that ain’t the most Gryffindor thing…)

Also, Namjoon is a really humble guy. If he DID sort himself, I feel like he’d be the type of person who would shy away from saying “I’m smart, so I should be in Ravenclaw”. He’s always been pretty modest about his intelligence. And just because he is, doesn’t mean we should be. Seriously, Namjoon can be a goof but if you’re ever in doubt about how crazy smart he is, please watch this.

He has no problems recognizing the intelligence of others though – he raves about Jungkook being good at everything he does, and even gave him the nickname “Golden Maknae”,  so is it such a wonder he put Jungkook in Ravenclaw? (It should be noted that Ravenclaws also have a reputation for being eccentric and quirky. Prime example, Luna. If that isn’t a perfect descriptor for Jungkook idk what is)

So let’s look at what the common traits of Gryffindor are, shall we?

Such character traits of students sorted into Gryffindor are courage, chivalry, and determination. They can also be short-tempered. [x]

Okay so, courage. I could go on and on about how brave Namjoon is but like… we’ll be here all day. So let me keep this short and point you in the direction of one thing in particular that he has done. THIS TWEET.

It’s Rap Monster. A song about homosexuality. I heard this song before but I didn’t know the lyrics, now I know them and I like the song twice as much. I recommend Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Same Love. http://hiphople.com/subtitle/619392

I have a lot of feelings about this tweet. And a lot of theories about WHY he tweeted that too – but no one wants to hear about those so that’s for another life post.

First – speaking out in support of homosexuality in Korea is a pretty huge deal, because homosexuality isn’t a really accepted lifestyle there. (It isn’t really accepted anywhere, truly, but you all know that.)

Here’s a pretty recent list on idols who support LGBT communities.  It’s a pretty god damn short list. I use the term ‘support’ loosely bc this article seems to equate ‘having gay friends’ as being a supportive ally. But Namjoon stands out pretty hard in this list because he doesn’t just say ‘i love my gay friends!’, he outright spoke out in support of homosexuality.

But Kiki, you say… Namjoon is hugely popular. He’s one of the biggest stars in Kpop. He could say whatever he wants now, right?

Well yeah, he can. But here’s the kicker! Look at the timestamp on that tweet. He tweeted that before they debuted

Namjoon was months away from launching his dream career, something he’d worked his entire life for. He was from a pretty small unknown company whose only claim to fame before that was that group that had two members blackmail an actor over something or another. He couldn’t afford bad press, and yet here comes Kim fucking Namjoon with his balls of steel willing to throw that all down the drain because god dammit he was going to tell the entire world about how much he supported the LGBT community and anyone who wanted to stand in his way of doing so could eat a fuckin dick. He could have kept his heckin mouth shut but he didn’t??? 

????

moving on.

Chivalry.

Chivalry is defined as:

1.the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp courage,honour, justice, and a readiness to help the weak

2.courteous behaviour, esp towards women

Courage, honor, justice, what I just talked about describes those things pretty perfectly.

I’d like to talk about honor for a sec though. Let’s look at a pretty famous Gryffindor – Ron. Ron was one of a shitload of children in his family. He outwardly always grumbled about not getting attention or whatever, but as a person, he was all about family. He put his family first, he didn’t gripe too hard about hand-me-downs to his parents because he knew they were trying their best, and he defends people he cares about.

There’s that famous scene (that I’m still salty they changed in the movies) where Hermione wants to answer a question and Snape gets mad at her for it. And he defends her – why ask the question if you’re not looking for an answer?

Ron always, always put his family first. So does Namjoon.

Take this gifset for example. The whole set is great and shows how much he really takes care of his members, his family, but this is what he does when he’s around them and also in front of people. Not all that surprsiing.

But please, please please please pay attention to the first gif. For people who don’t know the context, he was asked if he’d choose going solo or bangtan. He DID NOT KNOW HE WAS BEING FILMED. He could have shown his true colors and said that he preferred a solo career and all the glory, but even when given the chance to be completely open, his heart was still with Bangtan.

Another great example of Namjoon being completely selfless. Everyone here is praising themselves (and they have a right too, don’t get me wrong, you’re all great four for all of you) but when it gets to him, Namjoon says “We’ve always been pretty good.” We. Not I, not me, we. Everyone else is giving themselves some much deserved praise, but Namjoon is stuck on we are good, we’ve always been good.

Also don’t forget how important blood-related family is to him too.

And don’t you dare forget how important you, his extended family, is to him either.


Readiness to help the weak. I mean this goes without saying right?

And if you want to take courteous behaviour, esp towards women, literally, look at their glass-ceiling line in Not Today, that they said they used specifically knowing what it meant. and look who is credited for writing the lyrics! What’s that? It’s Namjoon? Wow, I did not see that one coming.

Speaking of lyrics – talk about having courage. Look at the lyrics he wrote for Reflection and Always.

They can also be short-tempered.

Okay so this doesn’t really apply to Namjoon. But I wanted to include it in there because it fittingly applies to another Gryffindor we know of… Namjoon wasn’t playing around when he sorted these guys. Bonus, here you can observe a hufflepuff and (fond) gryffindor in their natural habitat.


So let’s recap. Namjoon is pretty selfless, extremely caring of his friends and family, a feminist, an outspoken ally for those who are mistreated, and is so god damn intelligent everyone REALLY thought he belonged in Ravenclaw.

Wait a minute, I feel like I’ve heard about this person before… There was another Gryffindor like this, I’m sure of it… it’s on the tip of my tongue…

Ah right. 

I’m not saying Namjoon is our version Hermione Granger, but… that’s exactly what I’m saying.

Stop putting these things in dog’s ears.

Dogs get ear infections. Plenty of them. Because they are common, lots of folk come up with their own home remedies to treat or prevent them. I would really like this to stop, because most of the time it actually makes the ears worse. Sometimes it makes the ears so bad and painful that the dog starts biting any time anyone goes near its ears. Here is my list of stupid things people have been using to ‘clean’ their dogs’ ears, and I use the term ‘clean’ very loosely. 

  • water, plain old water
  • special dechlorinated water
  • pink Himalayan rock salt dissolved in water
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil (they rub it on)
  • diluted detol (no, stop.)
  • undiluted detol (NO! STOP!)
  • vinegar
  • Three year old antibiotic drops
  • Saliva from their other dog (he licks ‘em clean!)
  • shampoo
  • lemon juice
  • turmeric paste
  • tea tree oil
  • eucalyptus oil
  • hopes, prayers and wishful thinking

All instead of an over the counter ear cleaner that would actually work, or bringing the poor creature in to treat its infection. 

Seriously, as your local veterinarian I’m here to help your pet. That Facebook ‘pet health hacks’ or whatever page you get these ideas from doesn’t care, and doesn’t see the consequences. As your local vet, I will give you the advice that means your pet needs to come see me as infrequently as possible, because I have plenty of other work to do. The last thing I want to be dealing with on a Friday night is a drug resistant Pseudomonas infection in a dog’s ear. 

Counterpart signs as aesthetics
  • Aries and Libra: black and white and pastels, the smell of leather and perfume, hard words and harder apologies
  • Taurus and Scorpio: a garden of pink and red roses hidden by a wall of thorns, delicate tea cups filled with black tea, soft whispers in the hours between night and morning
  • Gemini and Sagittarius: old letters and plane tickets, jokes gone too far, drinking champagne in blanket forts
  • Cancer and Capricorn: cinnamon and vanilla cookies, warm fireplaces in the middle of winter, morning rushes to school or work
  • Leo and Aquarius: changing from party dresses to pajamas, elegant cats doing silly things, clinging on to something that's slipping away
  • Virgo and Pisces: plants at the edges of water, precariously placed glass, kisses on band-aids on cuts

Them: Raise you hand if the pirate and the princess have ruined your life.

Me: You’re gonna have to be more specific…

Me: Oh my gosh…I have problem…