In the SU Wanted special that aired two months ago, we were introduced to MANY new gems. And before then, we introduced to two new gems: Aquamarine and Topaz. In the Wanted Special, we were introduced to Zircons, Fluorite, Rhodonite, Padparadscha, and Rutiles. For this post, I’d like to focus on the Rutiles in specific.
We’ve learned the purpose of Zircons, they’re made to be counsels and prosecutors for gems going on trial in the court.
Fluorite and Rhodonite are fusions.
Padparadscha is supposedly a defective Sapphire.
We can easily assume the purposes of Aquamarines and Topazes from the 3 episodes they appeared in.
However, we know next to nothing about Rutiles. All we know is these two twin Rutiles, who emerged as conjoined gem twins.
So, here is my question: What are Rutiles made for? Why are they presumably mass-produced in kindergartens, and what are they sent out to do?
Well, I have a theory. First, let’s talk about rutiles as we know them in our world.
Pictured above: the best photo I could find of a real-life rutile.
Rutiles are a major mineral source of the element titanium, commonly known as a tough, powerful element on the periodic table (if i paid attention in science class). They are about 60% titanium and 40% oxygen. It ranks 6.6 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Though rutiles can exist on their own, they are most commonly found as red spikes in minerals of many different types.
Rutile in quartz.
Rutile silk in sapphire.
Rutile in opal.
Rutile in peridot.
There are many other minerals rutile can be found in, but I wanted to use gems that we’re familiar with in Steven Universe.
Rutile is most commonly found in quartz.
Back to the rutile twins.
Notice their design. The lack of a nose or ears. The simple buzz cute. The full-body, simply designed uniform, with a lack of a diamond symbol.
Seems like if you fused with them, not much would change.
So…what am i getting at here?
Because rutile is so commonly found included in other minerals, and the rutiles are manufactured with such simple forms, I believe that rutiles in Steven Universe are made for the sole purpose of fusing with other gems.
“But, Cookie,” you interject. “Isn’t Homeworld AGAINST fusion?”
Yes, fusion is majorly outlawed on Homeworld.
However, it is accepted for one thing. Combat.
Rubies in particular are commonly seen fusing for the purpose of combat.
So, you have a gem like rutile, which is majorly made up of titanium. That’s great for strength and hardnes. If you fused a rutile with another gem, not much would change in the other gem’s appearance, so the resulting fusion would not be entirely different.
Rutiles seem as if they’d be great for fusing with other gems, potentially providing extra strength and hardness in battle.
It only makes sense to me they would be designed for fusing with. And plus, Rebecca and the crew pay more attention to gem meaning and geology than you may believe.
I could very well be wrong, and there could very well be another post exactly like this somewhere else on this site. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about this, and had to get it out here.
Hi guys! Here’s a little masterpost of quotes from children’s books that you can use in your bullet journal, or anywhere else you feel like!
THE LITTLE PRINCE (ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY)
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
“You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.”
“You - you alone will have the stars as no one else has them…In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…You - only you - will have stars that can laugh.”
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
A LITTLE PRINCESS (FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT)
“If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”
“When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn’t said afterward. “
“There’s nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in–that’s stronger. It’s a good thing not to answer your enemies.”
“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that–warm things, kind things, sweet things–help and comfort and laughter–and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.”
“Somehow, something always happens just before things get to the very worst. It is as if Magic did it. If I could only just remember that always. The worse thing never quite comes.”
“But I suppose there might be good in things, even if we don’t see it.”
“You don’t forget, but you bear it better.”
LITTLE WOMEN (LOUISA MAY ALCOTT)
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
“It’s wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can’t have the one you want.”
“Love is a great beautifier.”
“Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.”
“I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”
“Conceit spoils the finest genius.”
“Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds.”
“Life and love are very precious when both are in full bloom.”
“The only chivalry worth having is that which is the readiest to to pay deference to the old, protect the feeble, and serve womankind, regardless of rank, age, or color.”
“Books are always good company if you have the right sort.”
“The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them.”
“Now and then, in this workaday world, things do happen in the delightful storybook fashion, and what a comfort that is.”
MATLIDA (ROALD DAHL)
“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”
“I have found it impossible to talk to anyone about my problems. I couldn’t face the embarrassment, and anyway I lack the courage. Any courage I had was knocked out of me when I was young. But now, all of sudden I have a sort of desperate wish to tell everything to somebody.”
“I’ve always said to myself that if a little pocket calculator can do it why shouldn’t I?”
“There is little point in teaching anything backwards. The whole object of life, Headmistress, is to go forwards.”
“I’m afraid men are not always quite as clever as they think they are.”
THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH (NORTON JUSTER)
“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”
“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
“Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life. ”
“You must never feel badly about making mistakes … as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.”
“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between.”
“What you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do.”
“What you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.”
“Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way.”
THE GOLDEN COMPASS (PHILIP PULLMAN)
“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.”
“We are all subject to the fates. But we must act as if we are not, or die of despair.”
1-As long as I can remember I always knew I was a girl. I was just very feminine, not because I tried to be, but because it was just natural. I remember when I was in elementary school everything was separated by girl and boy, it was confusing for me because I was a boy physically, but was a girl with my heart, mind and soul. It was not until I was in the 6th grade that I came across the term transgender and when I did so many questions I had started to be answered. I finally felt like I knew who I am. I knew I could trust it because it made me feel complete, that confused feeling was no longer there, but it was still a secret.
2. It was not until I was in the 10th grade that I came out as transgender. I was really difficult because I was so used to hiding myself, but when my friends gave me the courage I needed I was unstoppable. I was finally being myself. I was wearing make-up and the clothes I wanted to wear. I truly believe I was a happier person once I came out. I started to regain that light I lost as kid. I wanted to spread my pretty colors everywhere! I had to show everyone that I had found my place in this world and that is anywhere I choose to be.
4. It is really different living as myself. I never thought that this would be happening. Before I felt like I was always trying to squeeze into jeans that were 6 sizes too small, but now it feels like am in jeans that were made just for me. I don’t feel uncomfortable. I am not always sad or overly upset. I am free. I now feel like I have a purpose. I no longer wake up hating myself or this world that does not understand me. I wake up with a smile, not because my life is so great, but because I love who I am. We will not hide anymore!
5. Have people you know been supportive?
Yes, I have a really great support system. My friends and family loves me for me and I am so grateful, but I mean not everyone I have told supports me. It is something that comes with being transgender. People come and go in life and it hurts, however life goes on. I was told by my aunt that I am not in charge of anyone’s happiness, but my own. I strongly agree! If you support me I have room your opinions and ideas, but if you don’t you should have nothing to say about what I am or what I do in my life.
Jimin tilted his head as if to ponder the idea before tugging you across the bed until you were leaning against his chest, curious eyes catching your own.
“Sure, I mean one day. One day, far, far away,” He said, pointing his finger off into the distance jokingly.
You laughed, hand skimming along the back of his neck. “Yeah, me too.”
“Any particular reason why you’re asking?” He said as he began playing with the strands of your hair.
“I dunno,” You shrugged. “We’ve been dating for a long time, just thought that it’s something we should know about each other.”
Jimin nodded, “No, you’re right. It’s kind of something you should figure out before things get too far in the relationship… Guess we waited a bit too long, but we’re on the same page, so that’s good,” He smiled, leaning down to place a short peck against your lips.
“So that means you think that information will be put to good use one day?” You asked, quirking your brow to insinuate.
I love working with the element air, it’s my personal favorite out of all the elements for a few different reasons that I won’t get into (I could make pages upon pages on why I love the wind but that isn’t what this is about) This post is about how to work more closely with the wind. Enjoy dearies!
Here are a few ideas on how to work with the element Air:
Conjure up the wind by singing a sweet melody from the heart (like your all time favorite songs), whistle, or use a singing bowl.
Go to a park or trail and walk around for as much as you would like and just feel the wind wrap around you. If leaves/flowers happen to fall upon you, collect them. NOTE: Make sure you do your research if you collect. Never pull or cut leaves/flowers unless you know what you are doing. Also, make sure you don’t collect anything that is harmful to your health.
Go to a park/field/backyard and practice yoga. Allow the wind to help form your body while the earth keeps you steady. Stretch, relax, breathe.
On a windy day go outside and just sit there. Close your eyes and feel the air. Breathe in and out deeply, let it fill your soul.
Burn a loose incense containing herbs that relate to air. (ex. lavender, lemongrass, pine, star anise, sage, etc) Meditate and connect to the element as the fragrance fills the room. You can burn an oil using essential oils for the same purpose. NOTE: Be careful burning anything; use a fireproof bowl, make sure it won’t fall, make sure the room is well ventilated, and most importantly, make sure you do your research. Do not burn herbs/oils that are harmful to your/others/and pets health.
Make a sigil that means “I am protected by the winds.” or something along the lines (Personally I am not a sigil maker but I see others make damn cool ones so I’m adding it, haha) Wear it on you wherever you’d like while you are out and about so your always protected.
Make a special air altar underneath a window, preferably facing East. Fill it with feathers, incenses, athame, a music player, your favorite books, colors of yellow and pale blues, whatever you’d like!
Paint, dance, read, draw, sing, play an instrument, etc, Be creative.
Learn. Do research. Gain as much knowledge about subjects you love.
Talk to the wind, communicate with it. Tell the air your problems, the joys you have felt, the pain you endured. No matter what, always your message is heard.
Research fairies. Most fairies are related to element of air but there are some that live within the other elements. Find the fairy folk who live in the clouds, in the winds, and fly with the birds; work with them if you would like. NOTE: Be careful with working with fairies as you would with any spirit. There are so many different kinds of posts on how to communicate with them so I will list sources. (This is a very small list of sources regarding fairies but ones that I found informative.)
Imagine your boss, Dean Winchester, flirting with you every time he can.
“And last but far from least-” you let a small sigh, looking at the door in case someone was coming “Mr Fury asked to see you.”
“Fury? As in Nick Fury?” Dean raised and eyebrow, his interest peaking.
“Exactly. It either has to do with the damage you and Mr Stark caused on your small trip around town or-”
Dean chuckled, leaning back in his chair “Come on (Y/n), we were drunk!”
“That does not justify it. On the contrary, it was reckless to go take his suits while being drunk.” you said with a pointed look and his smile turned into a softer one.
“You know-” he leaned forward so that he was closer to you “I love it when you care so much about me.”
“Mr Winchester.” you scolded softly, not meeting his eyes but still unable to hide a small smile from your face.
“I thought that by now we had agreed on that, sweetheart. It’s Dean.” he said, sounding a little disappointed.
“You know that can’t happen, Mr Winchester.” you mumbled, starting to place all of his files in place. Anything to keep you occupied from looking him in the eyes “I’m your assistant.”
“Well then we can arrange that. I could always fire you.” he gave you a cheeky grin as with wide eyes your head snapped to him.
“What?” you stood there frozen for a second until he started laughing at your expression.
“Just kidding. There’s no way on Earth I would fire my most trusted worker.” he shook his head “Besides, this enterprises would crumble down without you here to be honest.”
“Glad you appreciate my job then, Mr Winchester.” you chuckled with a small sigh of relief, shaking your head at your boss.
He rolled his eyes for a moment “That’s just not going to go away easily, is it?” he huffed, almost disappointed and you bit the inside of your cheek; still not looking at him.
“Wish it could.” you mumbled and saw him from the corner of your eye get up and walk towards you.
“You know it can-” you almost jumped at how close he had gotten without you realizing it, his breath only fanning over your cheek and his hand on your back “It’s all up to you.”
“Mr Winchester please-” you glanced at the door nervously “Someone might walk in. I just- I don’t want them to think I am taking advantage of-”
“Of who? Me? Sweetheart by all means, do so.” he gave you a boyish grin and you couldn’t stop a chuckle at his words, shaking your head.
“No. Of the time I spend with you. I- I worked hard to get this position.”
“I know, I saw it for myself.” he frowned slightly “That’s why you got the promotion.”
“Yeah, well if they see us like this they’re not going to think exactly that Mr Winchester. I don’t want people to assume I am here because I am sleeping with my boss.” you placed a hand on his chest, regretting it but still pushing him away. You couldn’t even dare look him in the eyes, you couldn’t take the heartbroken look on his face.
“But they don’t have to see us, if that’s the problem.” he suggested after a long pause and you frowned.
“I mean if that’s what you’re most scared of- we don’t really have to tell everyone. Let them find out on our wedding day.” he added with a wink and you couldn’t help but giggle at him.
“Mr Winchester-” you started with a small whine but you knew you didn’t have an excuse good enough. Honestly you were mostly trying to convince yourself that you couldn’t be with him than him in the first place. Besides, it was your own feelings you had been battling with mostly these days than your boss’s advances and flirty remarks.
“Come on, just give me a chance. You’ll see I’m not that bad!” he threw his arms in the air and you bit your lip.
“Mr-” you stopped yourself “Dean, I know you’re not.” you confessed looking him in the eyes “And I know that if the circumstances were different- I wouldn’t have hesitated for a second. Especially after such a surprise.” you added with a chuckle and he grinned.
“You like them?” he remembered the flowers he had sent to your apartment. One of his many attempts in getting you “Took my brother’s advice in it.”
“The flowers were amazing, really.” you admitted “But I was mostly referring to the sweets, especially the pie.”
“Well, that one was my idea actually.” he confessed, full of pride and you giggled.
“Oh I bet!” you shook your head with a laugh.
“Say-” he spoke up, a hand again being placed on your back “How about I take you out… for pie and burgers and we can make a fresh start?”
“Dean” you sighed “You’re not going to give up, are you?”
“Hell to no.” he confessed.
“May I ask you- why are you so interested in me? Up until a few months ago I was just one of the secretaries until I became your personal assistant. But still- nothing more.” you dared look him in the eyes, only to see confusion written all over his face.
“I think we’ve made it clear that you got this position because you are the only one that actually puts effort into their work. Plus, you’re the only one that knows me so well and doesn’t dress up on purpose to show off and turn me on.” he shrugged, before pressing you close to him “That happens either way.” he added and you rolled your eyes at his cheekiness.
“I’m only wearing a white blouse and pencil shirt.” you mumbled.
“As I said- too fucking hot.” he growled almost in your ear and for the first time you let him kiss your cheek without you pushing him away.
“Dean” the way his name left your lips was definitely something you weren’t planning on.
Dean grinned widely “See? Already getting there-” he licked his lips “Do you really want to know why I am so interested in you?” he said in a low rough voice “Because you’re special. Because every morning you have walked in my office, hair a mess, no make up on and clothes a little a little wrinkled with a few buttons undone-” he paused for a moment, his eyes roaming your body “I can only think of how gorgeous you look, and how I’d love to see this sight every fucking morning. Especially after an intense night of-” he paused grinning up at you, only to see a hint of red on your cheeks.
“Gosh I would so love that.” he breathed out huskily, his breath tingling your lips as his face stood only a few inches away from yours.
“I’m- I’m not that-”
“I swear to god, if you complete that sentence I am just going to grab you and prove you wrong right here and now in any way you can imagine.” he said with a slight growl and you swallowed the lump in your throat, feeling yourself shiver when his hands started traveling. You couldn’t deny you liked it a little too much.
“Do you even know the things you do to me when you lean over my desk?” he whispered, resting his forehead on the side of your head; his lips brushing past your ear “With those tight, black skirts. I’ve had such a fucking hard time concentrating during meetings just because of you. You don’t even have to touch me, hell not even say something and I know I am a goner. I can’t think straight when you are in the same room. And gosh, you’re not even doing it on purpose. You’re so clueless.” he grinned “So adorably clueless.”
“Mr Winchester” you whispered, fisting his suit jacket in your hand.
“And the way you say that- I hated it so much at first, it felt like you put a wall between us. I still do but at the same time-it sounds so innocent, so unintentional that you can’t realize how cute and hot it sounds at the same time.” he chuckled and you bit your lip.
“And as if all of that is not enough you- you are such an amazing woman. You actually listen to me when I need it, you try to understand me and you- you love rock too. You listen to me ramble about my car when my own brother always tries to make me shut up when I do. You actually know so much about me, every side of me, that no other woman I’ve been with has ever known. And that’s only because you are the one interested.”
“I can’t help it you know.” you whispered, looking at him through your eyelashes.
“I know. Trust me baby, I know.” he breathed out, cupping your face and before you had the time to react he crashed his lips to yours.
The Talmud makes a challenging statement. If you have the desire to spill blood, say the Rabbis, become a butcher, and if you have the desire to steal (in other words to take hold of and possess) other people’s money, become a collector of charity. In other words, take the desire you have, and use it for a good purpose.
This is a crucial idea within Judaism. There are two aspects to who I am as a person: the gifts and desires I am given, and what I choose to do with them. Everything we are given in this world, however challenging this may sometimes be, is ours for a reason. We all go through life with our own little package, our own suitcase, full of our talents and skills, desires and foibles; all the things that bring us up, and all the things that bring us down.
There isn’t much we can do about that. Each of us has a suitcase, and whatever we think of it, it is ours to keep. Some are born tall, maybe they will become basketball stars, and some have musical talent, and others, the gift of knowing when and how to smile. Many of these talents we do not really earn, they are ours to develop. The question, however, is what we choose to do with them. And if everything comes to me from G-d, then even my weaknesses can be a gift, if I will only find a way to channel them for the good.
If I have a desire to steal, it must come from somewhere, and therefore there must be a way to make good of it. Our challenge in this world is how to do just that.
Synopsis: Imagine admitting
to Loki that you never manage to orgasm when are with men, making him smirk
mischievously in response.
“Is that a
challenge, my dear?”
So for the
next couple of hours, he magically locks the two of you in your room and makes
it a challenge as to how many times he can make you cum in a row. He pleasures
you with his soft hands, his skilled and long fingers and his silver tongue before
he fucks you roughly.
Pairing: Loki x Reader Rating: M Chapter: 1/1 (Oneshot) Words: 4040 Warnings: smut. a lot of smut.
Call me a terrorist and threaten my pay? Enjoy your nuked careers, yuh heathens.
(long story. tl;dr is at the end)
I used to work in hospitality in a metro known for it’s obscenely huge tourist population, you know, the city built around the Mouse. I was a manager for the recreational division of the hotel. So one day, my boss (who we’ll call Mary for the purpose of the story) comes into the shared managers office and starts rummaging around for something, and strikes up a small conversation about work related minutiae with me. It’s important to note she is actually 2 tiers above me, but was acting as head of the department while searching to replace my previous boss who recently quit (great guy by the way, huge loss to the company).
As we’re talking, she abruptly stops and says “By the way, you need to shave your beard, you look like a terrorist and I don’t employ terrorists”. Haha, funny joke between colleagues, right? Nope. I am half Indian and I do look middle-eastern, and have been taking this kind of shit since middle school. Plus, we’re not close, at all. So I reply as calmly as I can muster, “Hey, I get you’re trying to be funny, but on my end it comes off as pretty ignorant, so I’d appreciate it if you chilled out with the terrorist stuff” to which Mary retorts “Oh, I’m ignorant? We’ll see how ignorant I am during your annual review”, and proceeds to walk out of the room in a huff. My jaw dropped so low I could taste the floor.
Okay so I just wanted to keep a track record on how many damn parallels Julie is giving us this season with Isaks…because this isn’t her being lazy and doing what makes people happy….noooo this is her setting us up for something we will not be ready for. So for us to work out what that is going to be, it might be easier if we look at what exactly has been paralleled so far with Isak’s season.
1. The Intro
Season 3 and season 4 are the only two seasons to start out by using the same powerful concept of introducing our mains current world with flashes of images of things that are happening everywhere that are connected and actually have an impact on the mains story very much. It shows how important everything that happened around us can be to our own personal small individual worlds. That just because it hasn’t happened to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, that is doesn’t effect you or have a connection to who you are and what you’re going through. And Both Isak and Sana’s seasons show us this in the first minutes of their story.
2. Group Dynamics
In both seasons we have gotten a similar scene with Sana/Isak, eating lunch while their friends discuss sex which makes both mains feel alienated and uncomfortable within the group. We see how different they both feel within their group dynamics and this feeling of never being able to “fit in”. This parallel almost sets up that Isak and Sana are both in a similar mind set. The feeling of not being able to connect with the people close to them.
3. The heartbreak party scene
This parallel was way too similar. The mains both see their love interest with someone else which both hurts and prompts them to question everything they have felt and seen so far.
4. The Crush Stalking in Biology
I don’t think I need to say much on this one because oh my god this whole clip was a repeat of Isak’s biology clip. Even from the title we go from ‘Even’ to ‘Yousef’, the setting, Mikael, even Isak interrupts Sana just like Sana interrupted Isak. This was a very blatant parallel and I feel like this is Julie’s way of making sure that we know these parallels and repeats are in no way a ‘coincidence’ there’s a purpose and I am so keen to see what it is.
5. “I’ll fix it”
So when we go back to Isak’s season the drama all starts with Isak losing Mahdi’s weed. we get this conflict when Mahdi tells him it’s 1000 kroner and Isak tries to calm him by affirming to him that he well “fix it” and thus this is how he ends up getting blackmailed by Sana to go to the kosegruppa where he meets and Even and boom all the drama plays out. This then parallels Sana who says the exact same thing to the girls when they tell her they cannot afford the bus. So just like Isak’s season it seems like this is where all the drama is going to start. With Sana determined to do anything to ‘fix’ this.
6. The cute kitchen bonding
I loooooved this new clip so much it was so fluffy and cute and it gave me the feels but guys…..it also made me feel incredibly suspicious…why? This is another blatant parallel of the iconic evak bonding domestic kitchen scene from episode 2 of season 3. Even the positioning of Isak/Sana and Even/Yousef is eerily similar. We also have the love interests preparing food for the main as they give them the hearteyes (same) and then they laugh and giggle over cute things and it’s all so perfect.
this is the 6th parallel and I feel like there are more but these ones are the most obvious to me. Clear easter eggs Julie is giving us to freak out over (which I am) she wants us to see this parallel. To notice the Evak reference just like we did with the R+J reference in s3.
she wants us to see it, so when she pulls back the curtain and reveals the true reference we will once again be thrown off our feet.
ahhh I am so nervous.
Feel free to add on any other parallels you guys have seen <3
I’m about to do
something I wouldn’t normally do, and share bit of drama concerning another
company. I’ve been trying to keep this professional(ish) but recent happenings
have pushed me to want to talk publicly about it and to make folks aware of
what has been going on.
So you folks might remember I began making Otocinclus
plushies in around November 2016, and they were a big hit! I can’t remember the
exact inspiration that brought me to making suction cup mouthed plushies, but
it was certainly influenced by their name “suckermouth catfish” as
well as other plushies I’d seen online. Little did I know, this would be the
beginning of DRAMA™.
In January 2017 I posted some photos of my Otos in some
local fish groups and was snapped up by a local aquatics shop called New
Concept Aquatics (who are now my business partners, woo!). I gave them some examples
of my work including a suction cup Oto… who was promptly snatched up by a
writer for The Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, UK and was featured in the April
issue! Exciting Stuff!
… However, throughout all this the owner of the company
called Green Pleco, who produces suction-cup mouthed Pleco soft toys, got in
contact with me. They claimed to hold a patent for “soft toys in the shape
of fish with suction cups for mouths” since 2013, demanded I limit
production to 25 a year or pay them royalties for each one sold.
Which would be fair, I suppose, if they actually had a
patent for this. I stopped producing Otos whilst I negotiated with them. They
were not able to give me a patent number. They’re based in the US, and I am in
the UK so even if they did the patent would probably not even exist over here.
At the same time I was doing whole bunch of patent searches
and research, including getting some help from friends and some trainee patent
lawyers on Reddit who couldn’t find this mysterious patent either.
Another hole in this story is that there’s loads of examples
with soft toys with suction cups attached “in the wild” already prior
to 2013, including Plecos! Here’s some examples I could find easily by the
plush artist I admire, Whittykitty:
I actually contacted
Whittykitty and it turns out they’d been contacted by Green Pleco too, despite
their Plecos being made in 2011, before Green Pleco even started making
plushies! Their advice was to just ignore them, and after all this research I
I contacted Green Pleco stating pretty much all this, and after
being unable to come to an agreement they said they’d put me in touch with
their lawyer, which never happened.
I was ready to move on with my life, and Green Pleco had
faded into nothing more than a joke (I’m sorry, you can’t do X because I have X patented). One day I stumbled over to
Green Pleco’s page again, only to see…
Now, this could be some kind of magical coincidence that
Green Pleco has suddenly branched out into a totally different style of printed
fabric, but it does look extremely similar to the plush fish I’ve been
producing recently. HMMMMM.
Oh, look, apparently these are patented too.
Here’s my Corydoras sterbai for comparison:
I’m pretty annoyed, but the purpose behind this post (other than for me to publically vent my rage) is
mostly to let you guys know I have nothing to do with the plushies Green Pleco
are producing; they’re using their own artwork and patterns and are nothing to
do with me.
There’s nothing I can do in this situation, because unlike GP I’m
not claiming to own a patent to “soft toy fish with digital designs
printed on fabric” that I don’t have.
It doesn’t mean to say I can’t be a little bitter about
this, though. Bastards.
Submission: As a queer, nonbinary person and an animal educator, I’ve thought a lot about the issues recently being discussed on this blog and I wanted to share some of that here. I’ve tried to be as calm and clear as possible, but this is an emotional issue for me so it might be a bit emphatic.
Serveral people in this discussion have mentioned already the problems with questioning the existence of bi/pan/trans/ace/aro animals, but not questioning the existance of straight, cis animals. You’ve made passing mentions to this, but I think it’s actually really important to step back and reframe the entire discussion in this context, if you want to be fair and accurate both to the animals and to the people emotionally affected by this issue.
In particular, this passage: “However, the animal science world uses gendered pronouns to denote physical sex in an animal, because that is how efficient and accurate communication about the animal is ensured” raises some massive red flags for me. Yes, it’s important to clearly communicate with your vet about the body parts an animal does and doesn’t have, for ease of treatment. However, pronouns are far from the only way to do this, and definitely not the most efficient. The pronoun “she” doesn’t tell you if a dog is unaltered, spayed, in heat, pregnant, or menopausal - information your vet definitely needs to know. It’s the work of half a moment to state “my dog is a spayed female” at the start of an appointment, regardless of what pronouns you use after that. In fact, many trans* people have already learned to talk with their doctors in specific terms about their hormone levels and organs they do or don’t have, and cis people need to catch up. Part of the reason this is such an emotional issue for trans people is that the argument, “your doctor needs to know the gender you were assigned at birth! Therefore everyone you meet needs to know, and it should be on your ID, in case you get in an accident and we have to tell the doctor!” is often invoked. (I wish that was an exaggeration. It’s not. This is in spite of the fact that, as a trans* person, knowing the gender you were assigned at birth is more likely to lead to false assumptions about your health and biology than true ones.) So yes, your doctor needs to know about your biology and your vet needs to know about your pet’s, but gender pronouns really aren’t the way to do it.
Outside the vet’s office, insisting on cisgender-equivalent pronouns for your pet leads to a world of problems. I volunteer at an animal shelter, and I see people misinterpret animal’s actions through their percieved, anthropomorphic gender roles constantly. They’re more eager to read aggression from a male animal and affection from a female, which has the potential to lead to massive problems, since both of those behaviors can be dangerous to misinterpret. I would personally argue for the stance that people would be more able to accurately interpret the behavior of animals if we refered to all non-human animals with gender-neutral pronouns, to more accurately reflect the fact that animals do not have gender. Even in social animals that do have sex-differentied social roles, those are completely different from human gender roles and should not be confused with them by the use of human gendered pronouns. If the biological sex of an animal matters in a particular context, you can mention it in that context, rather than applying it all the time as though it was part of their identity.
I do understand that some people find it reassuring to observe that the social roles of biologically male or female animals are different from those of humans, and that they too can be as nurturing as a male penguin or as fierce as a female hyena. So I understand that sometimes people will want to refer to those animals as male or female, in the same way that I want to refer to a cuttlefish as genderfluid because it makes me feel happy and validated. I just want cis people to understand that those interpretations are exactly equivalent.
As for how this perspective affects the emotions of humans impacted by this issue: claiming that gendered pronouns are a form of scientific terminology that accurately reflects the biological sex of an animal is, intentionally or not, supporting the idea that there are biologically and scientifically two genders. It gives fuel to people who try to force that mindset onto humans, and believe me, they use it. I’ve met many people who become enraged if I use the wrong pronouns for their dog, but refuse to respect my identity and pronouns. The attatchment of gendered pronouns to biological sex in non-humans is absolutely reflected back into humans by most of the public, whether that is your intention as an educator or not.
Using gender pronouns as scientific terminology also muddies issues significantly as soon as you leave the field of mammals, where it quickly becomes clear that a male/female dichotomy is far from absolute. Do I use female pronouns for the hermaphroditic flatworm who lost the penis-fencing match and is now carrying eggs? Will those pronouns still apply after the eggs have hatched? What if they win the penis-fencing match next time and contribute sperm instead? How about a worker bee, who is genetically female but has not developed reproductive organs and plays no reproductive role? Do I use male pronouns for a fish who was born genetically male, but isn’t able to engage in sexual behavior and fulfill the male sexual role until mating is initiated by the supermale? How about for the supermale, who is genetically female and used to be reproductively female but has since morphed to be reproductively male due to being the largest fish in the school? Is it even accurate to say “genetically female” of a species where both major reproductive roles are carried out by the same genetic category of animals, and those born “biologically” male only reproduce at all by swimming into the middle of the mating dance, ejaculating, and hoping for the best?
A similar issue exists with the assumption that animals are straight. I’ve seen some cringe-worthy anthropomorphization of male/female pairs of animals, including calling them “married,” referring to them as being “in love,” and a lot of analogies to human married-couple behavior, but I’ve never seen this criticized or significantly discussed as an issue of anthropomorphization. But every time I see a post about lesbian birds or trans fish, this issue comes up. I don’t think that animal educators are doing this on purpose, but I do think it is an indicator that many animal educators have not sufficiently deeply challenged the cultural narrative that straight and cis are “normal” but queer and trans* are “debatable” and should be challenged and argued about.
Science is an ever-changing field, and scientific terminology becomes outdated and is changed as we realize that it reflects our social assumptions more accurately than in reflects reality. The terms we use to discuss sex, gender, pair-bonding, and mating behavior are all deeply intertwined with human social assumptions of cisgender, heterosexual, monogamous life-time bonds that are simultaneously romantic/affectionate and sexual in nature. Scientific communication would be improved by dropping those assumptions and the terminology that comes with them.
I don’t think I have much to add to this - it’s really well thought out and well said - so I’m going to boost it as is as part of the continued discussion.
Scientific communication would absolutely be improved by changing the terminology to something more accurate. I don’t know if it’s something that would currently be feasible - because of a myriad of things that make attempting that type of change across so many cultures and languages and historical/social contexts difficult - but I definitely support the idea.
As always, these are my rambling nonsensical thoughts on the episode, but disclaimer, my stream lagged so i missed maybe 30 seconds to maybe a minute of the episode. Let’s begin.
Jon and Tyrion’s conversations had to be some of my favourite scenes from this episode. That shared smile between them when Jon first lands on Dragonstone and they greet each other was so pure. There is potential for a great friendship between them. They both have an understanding for each other that they don’t share with anyone else. Jon as a bastard and Tyrion as a dwarf. This was evident in earlier seasons too, but more so now that they have both found their places in the world. They respect each other, but they’re fighting for very different causes (and for different reasons) and I wonder if this fledgling friendship will become a point of contention for them later in the story.
Anyway, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say that one of my favourite scenes had to be Tyrion and Jon’s conversation about Sansa. What I loved about this scene was although it was fleeting, it still gave us Jonsa feels (if you’re inclined to read the scene this way anyhow).
When Tyrion says, “does she miss me terribly?” Jon is very quiet and they let that silence play on long enough for it to be a significant marker in a conversation. Jon didn’t want to talk about it. It wasn’t an awkward silence; it was absolutely an annoyed, aggravated silence. And then what’s great is that Tyrion immediately went on the defensive and says that the marriage was never consummated.
It’s a strange thing to say, especially when they were so friendly earlier. Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that if Jon had any suspicions that Tyrion had hurt/touched Sansa against her will that exchange would’ve gone very differently? There was clearly no need to mention it at all, but yet Tyrion did and Jon’s response was “I didn’t ask” in a clearly annoyed tone that suggested if this topic didn’t end soon someone was going to get choked out. Either Jon really hates the thought of Sansa with another man he turned into grumpy kitten Jon or he doesn’t want to think about his sister having sex at all. But bear with me here, if it’s the latter, why have this dialogue at all? There’s no narrative reasoning for this whatsoever unless Jonsa is a real possibility in the future and we’re supposed to continue to think about Jon, Sansa and ‘sex’ in the same line of thought.
Okay, okay, admittedly my shipping goggles are on, but I still maintain the fact that it’s a weird piece of dialogue to have. If all they wanted to do was establish Sansa as a real political player, they could’ve cut that entire 2-3 lines out and just went straight into:
“She’s smarter than she lets on.”
“She’s starting to let on.”
And now that we’re onto the topic, I absolutely believe the mention of Sansa’s intelligence here serves two purposes. The first is to establish Sansa as a real political player here. She’s been underestimated by everyone in Westeros, but she’s far smarter than anyone gives her credit for (yes, even Jon).
In fact, jumping straight to Winterfell, you are given a whole scene of Sansa demonstrating that intelligence – not only in keeping everyone fed, but in keeping the soldiers protected. She understands what it takes to rule. But what I love about this sequence of scenes is Littlefinger praising her then going on to claim to know Cersei better than everyone and Sansa just shutting him down, saying she knows her better. Once again, we’re being forced to consider all that Sansa’s learned from Cersei. She just didn’t learn how to play the game but she learned Cersei herself. If anyone can outplay Cersei, we’re being led to believe it’s Sansa.
Why I think this is important is how this episode also demonstrated that Cersei is once again one of the smartest and most devious rulers in Westeros. She completely outmaneuvered Tyrion, Daenerys and Olenna. People think her ‘madness’ from losing her children will make her weaker, but she’s still as shrewd as ever. She is very much Tywin’s daughter, but she’s much more ruthless. Tyrion may be smart, but thus far? He’s not as smart as his sister.
But who is?
Well, there’s a ‘queen’ in the North who is, and the more I think about it, the more I think this quote is actually referring to Sansa:
“Aye. Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.”
Because Cersei is right. Dany is a revolutionary, not a ruler. She can conquer and free slaves, but she doesn’t know how to rule. She’s not nearly as intelligent as Cersei in playing the Westerosi game, but Sansa is. She’s learned from the very best after all. Whether I’m wrong or right, I am convinced Sansa’s role in this war will be far greater than just ruling Winterfell in Jon’s stead.
Its second purpose is basically to reaffirm Jon’s faith and trust in Sansa and her judgement. But what I found interesting is the way he says it is almost in an exasperated way, like he knows she is and she continues to “twist him in a way no one else can” because she’s too smart for her own good. But alas, the shipping goggles are on, so take that what you will.
Now onto the big anticipated meeting. Honestly, I enjoyed Jon and Dany’s interactions. The juxtaposition of them as individuals and rulers were pronounced in the last episode, but they were even more glaringly so in this one. While Dany continues to talk about her rightful place and her indignation that he refuses to acknowledge what is hers, Jon continues to fight for his people and the war up North. I mean that’s just the thing, isn’t it? Every mention of Dany being this benevolent ruler who cares about the people doesn’t actually come from Dany. She doesn’t actually say she wants to save the people of Westeros. It’s always someone else because maybe, just maybe it’s not really her true purpose here in Westeros. Yes, I don’t believe she would be indifferent to the loss of innocent lives, but if it was the only way to get her to that throne, wouldn’t you think she’d do it? Wouldn’t Dany say ‘to hell with all of it’ and fly her dragons and burn everything in sight for that throne? If it was her only option, she would choose herself over the people.
Hell, she even says it. After her speech about all she’s overcome, she says the only way she’s endured any of that was because of her faith in herself. While it’s a good speech if you take out the context, Dany’s survived and persevered this long because of her unwavering belief in her birthright, which was to rule on the Iron Throne. Everything else comes second to that. And I refuse to believe that the ultimate hero of the story is someone who believes themselves a hero and entitled to a kingdom.
Whereas Jon was thrust into his position. He would choose the people over himself and that difference was emphasised by this quote they just had to repeat twice:
“…took a knife in the heart for his people.”
Also, the fact that Jon cut Davos off before he could blab about Jon’s resurrection and Dany’s fixation on this feels highly foreboding. It’s definitely going to come back up, but in what way, I don’t know.
Objectively speaking, I could see how Jon3rys could be hinted in this episode, as Jon and Dany come to understand each other, but personally, I believe it’s a tentative alliance at best that borders on an impasse rather than actual understanding. Right now, they can work because Dany has bigger fish to fry and Jon needs dragonglass. But when their objectives clash? What then? You could even see this opposition highlighted in the way they were filmed on that cliff. They’re standing together yet they’re facing opposite directions. They spend far more of that scene looking away from one another than looking eye to eye. Having their first one-on-one interaction being filmed in the light is also quite telling. The sun can be a symbolic source of goodness, but it can also be an oppressive force. Actually, it made me think of this quote from Albert Camus’ The Stranger:
“The sky was already filled with light. The sun was beginning to bear down on the earth and it was getting hotter by the minute. I don’t know why we waited so long before getting under way. I was hot in my dark clothes […] it was inhuman and oppressive.“
Jon is a man of the North. His season is winter. I’ve said in previous metas that having Jon’s resurrection coincide with Winter’s arrival was symbolilc. Where usually in literature winter represents a time of stagnancy or even regression in the hero myth, for Jon, it represents rebirth and growth. Winter is a time for Starks. Having such sunlight bearing down on them in this scene (looking more like summer than winter) and Jon still wearing his furs seems to forewarn perhaps bad consequences with this alliance.
For my Jonsa shippers, this is the exact opposite in how Jon and Sansa’s scenes are shot. They’re almost always in dimly lit areas or surrounded by candlelight, and snow is usually falling. Their reunion also coincided with Winter’s coming, so don’t despair if you are over Jon3rys meeting.
Speaking of how scenes are shot, Sansa and Bran’s reunion couldn’t be more of a stark (ha ha) difference to Jon and Sansa’s. Yes, he was never going to run towards her, but she didn’t nuzzle him. I’ve always said the choice of having Sansa nuzzle Jon’s cheek was a bizarre one. It’s just odd. People don’t nuzzle their family members. But maybe she wasn’t in the nuzzling mood, fine. Go to the godswood scene though and there just seems to be such a distance between Sansa and Bran. I think that’s partially Bran being the Three-Eyed Raven as well because the distance was also entirely about who he is now as well.
Anyway, Clearly in the books Bran’s importance and power is more obvious, so they had to demonstrate somehow that Bran as the Three-Eyed Raven can see everything. But why does he bring up Sansa’s wedding? If they wanted to show off his power, they could have him bring anything else up, so why her wedding? Why bring up Ramsay at all? Shouldn’t Bran know better than that? Especially to tell her she looks beautiful that day after already implicitly saying he knows what Ramsay did to her. It feels unnecessarily cruel for Bran who, while seemingly distant, does love her. It has to serve a purpose for them to write that in. Perhaps foreshadowing a future wedding in the cards for Sansa? Perhaps a fake one to LF? Or maybe something further down the line where it’ll be the opposite of everything she had with Ramsay. No godswood, no beautiful white dress, no snow falling, but with someone she loves and who loves her. I don’t know but I’m just speculating here.
Moving on to my favourite scene in the episode though: Cersei with Elaria. Honestly, Lena Heady is a phenomenal actress. Everyone is so focused on Cersei being this horrible evil villain, but you forget the real nuances to her character. When she asks Elaria why she killed Myrcella, it was delivered in such a vulnerable tone. You really, truly get a glimpse of the heartbroken, grieving mother who just tried to do her best for her children (whether that best was actually good or not), but then immediately after, you get the vindictive, cunning and formidable Cersei as she kisses Elaria’s daughter. It was amazing. Horrible but amazing.
Second favourite scene had to be Olenna’s. What is there to say? She is the Dowager Queen of Badass Bitchery and Snarky Comebacks. Give me a great, complex female villain any day! I wouldn’t even call Olenna a villain tbh. But what I mean is I would 150% take morally grey or morally corrupt female characters over your atypical one-dimensional girl-next-door ones any day, week or month.
Stray thoughts that I don’t have time/energy to write about:
Did anyone else get flirty vibes between Tyrion and Dany?
And does anyone think Jorah’s “perhaps our paths will cross again” sound entirely too foreboding for Sam?
I am seeing a lot of posts saying how calling out what happened at SDCC as homophobic is ‘ridiculous’. I’d like to address first the scope of what homophobia is, then move onto how the incident was driven by homophobia.
When you hear the term homophobia, it conjures up images of assault or of slurs being thrown out in the open. This is often not the case. Incidences of homophobia can range from the above to smaller instances that make you question whether of not you’re being ‘hysterical’ or ‘dramatic’ for thinking you’re being discriminated against or not. Merriam-Webster defines homophobia as: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.
Boku no Hero Academia Fiction Recommendation Master Post
I have decided my new favorite anime and its fandom deserves some appreciation. Every work I recommend are - in my personal opinion - beautiful and I want everyone to read them. If you see your work up here that’s cause I loved it to the moon and back! I welcome suggestions too!
U.A.’s Heroics Division’s Class A was graduating. Moving on. Never coming back. And Izuku is going to be left behind, solidly trapped in a prison of his own making. There might be a few things that could make it more bearable, though.
Summary: Todoroki felt his own breath drop in temperature as the nerves settled in, steam rising with each steady exhale. He continued to stare, as if expecting the same to happen to Midoriya when he caught a whiff of cool mint as the boy spoke, face inches from his. In which Midoriya has a better grasp on the changes happening in Todoroki than Todoroki himself.
Summary: There was no magical moment that played a part in Midoriya’s realization that he liked Todoroki. The thin red string that greeted him every time he looked down at his hand was an obvious factor, yes, but it wasn’t love at first sight either. It sorta just… happened over time.
Summary: The law is clear: whoever correctly answers three riddles will marry the prince, while all who fail are to be executed. The people live in fear as more challengers try and fail, and the throne grows bloodier with every passing year. But a young prince, nameless and in exile from his home, believes there may be more to this brutal challenge than meets the eye. Of course, there’s only one way to find out: ring the gong, and take the trial.
It’s been judged safe to send the students of UA home to their families for the first three weeks of summer, much to the relief of everyone whose name isn’t Todoroki Shouto. Luckily, Midoriya has a solution for him, and Midoriya Inko has a lot of love to give.
Summary: Izuku has never been one to curse but the only way to describe himself as his mother hugs him goodbye that morning, is royally fucked.He’s really, truly glad no one in their class has a mind-reading quirk because from the minute his feet touched warm sand, his mind has been screaming in tune to the same famous classical overtures Tenya listens to when they study together. Occasionally, the music pauses just long enough for his brain to point out observations about Shouto that make Izuku want to stick his head under the waves and just breathe in.
Note to self: don’t accidentally fall in love with a prince who’s in an arranged marriage keeping your kingdoms from declaring war against each other. Especially when you’re spying on him as his manservant.
Summary: It starts —like all ideas that inevitably lead to one’s downfall do— with something akin to this: Midoriya Izuku. Midoriya Izuku and a five-story house by the beach, completely devoid of any entry-fee –save for the one where Todoroki has to pretend to be Deku’s boyfriend. All-in-all though, not an awful price to pay for the vacation of their dreams, right? Right?
It’s Wednesday morning when Izuku’s mother texts him to remind him about his cousin’s wedding coming up the following weekend, and it’s Wednesday evening, when Izuku’s back in his room after classes and has time to call her, that she tells him she can’t go to the wedding with him.
Summary: In his third year at UA, Todoroki Shouto works in a burger place, catches on fire and falls in love. Only two of those things are on purpose. Or…Todoroki Shouto’s exciting adventures in customer service.
Shouto Todoroki is a cold Pro Hero who never uses his fire side. He refuses to be like his father, Endeavor, but every day it seems like he’s becoming more like him. Shouto meets up with Izuku Midoriya, a quirkless Pro Hero counselor and discovers that his power is his own. Also… he might be falling in love with his counselor. // AU where Deku never received One for All and became a quirk counselor instead!
Summary: … It wasn’t that he was annoyed. Okay, maybe he was a little annoyed, but that was just the lack of sleep talking. Because a certain explosive punk thought it was a good idea to test the flammability of his sheets at 2 in the morning. Every single morning. (In which Bakugou’s quirk wakes Kirishima up, and Kirishima gets way too invested in his bro’s well-being.)
Summary: "Hey! Wake up you piece of shit! Are you alive?!“ The man winces and scrunches his face in pain but Bakugou continued to hold him in place. Good, he’s alive- Piercing red eyes flutter open and gaze lazily straight at Bakugou’s face and Bakugou feels his heart skip a beat. Oh, Fuck- AKA merman! Kirishima au
Bakugou sleeping in the common areas like it’s no big deal seems to give everyone else permission to be just as bizarre, and little by little Kirishima starts learning things about his classmates he never knew.
Bakugou Katsuki and Kirishima Eijirou are paired together for a winter survival assignment! It’s inevitable that the two clash, but neither of them could have predicted an accident at the height of their tension. Trapped in the wilderness at the mercy of the environment, how will the two cope with finding help and mending what was broken?
Summary: “You’re a popsicle biter, you fucking animal,” Bakugou says. “You’re not?” Kirishima says around a mouthful of ice cream. “No,” Bakugou says. “I prefer my teeth unfrozen, thanks.” He wraps his mouth around the popsicle and Kirishima realizes his mistake very, very quickly.
Summary: Bakugou works at a convenience store, flirts like a loser, blows up nineteen aprons, gets a hashtag trending for all the wrong reasons and maybe manages to make a friend. Or…being Bakugou Katsuki is suffering.
Summary: With phone, money, and keys in his pocket, Kirishima wandered around the city for an age. With his legs on auto-pilot his mind wandered too. To the new movie that peppered the streets in posters and trailers, a new move he wanted to practise for another basketball play, wondering about how the current arcs for his favourite manga would turn out in the next issue of Jump. And, of course, he thought about how many of those things he could see and do with Bakugou.
Summary: Once upon a time a lonely beast lived in a manor deep in the forest. He dreamed of the day his true love appeared to break his curse… When a beauty finally appears in his life, it is not quite as he imagined. For who could have thought a beauty would be more of a beast. Or the beauty and the beast AU nobody asked for but here it is.
So, a long-ass time ago, Rose and Dave had a conversation like this:
TT: After you go, what do you think will happen to me?
TT: Will I just cease to exist?
TG: i dont know
TG: i mean your whole timeline will
TT: Is there a chance it’ll continue to exist, and I’ll just be here alone forever?
TT: I’m not sure which outcome is more unsettling.
TG: the thing with time travel is
TG: you cant overthink it
TG: just roll with it and see what happens
TG: and above all try not to do anything retarded
TT: What do you think I should do?
TG: try going to sleep
TG: our dream selves kind of operate outside the normal time continuum i think
TG: so if part of you from this timelines going to persist thats probably the way to make it happen
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game
is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word “self” and
still understand what we’re talking about.
This is the most important sentence in Homestuck.
I am dead serious.
Well, OK, I mean, it’s pretty important for understanding some major
Homestuck themes and shit or something like that.
Also, I totally should have said: Pre-Retcon Doomed Timeline Non-Dreamself
Rose but ultimately about to become Dreamself Rose who semi-merged with
Pre-Retcon Alpha Timeline Rose and Doomed Timeline Dave aka Davesprite AKA
future Davepetasprite^2 or as we all call them around the office, Davepeta, had
Maybe you begin to see what I’m going to talk about here.
One of the major frustrations a lot of people had with the retcon was that
the characters we ended up with at the end weren’t the ones we’d come to love
and know throughout the story. Was it even worth it, to lose the characters we
loved to the tyranny of Game Over? The victorious kids, with the exception of
John and Roxy, were other people, with other histories, other goals, and other
Allow me to submit that that may be the whole point.
SBURB is cruel. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s cruel not as Caliborn
is cruel, but as the cosmos is cruel, as a supernova is cruel. It wants what it
wants, and doesn’t care about how that intersects with the needs of humanity.
It wants to make universes through a complex game-playing method, and drags
hapless, vulnerable adolescents along for the ride. And most of the time it
doesn’t even succeed, leaving its champions to rot in a doomed timeline or
similar! Skaia’s victory is an amoral creation myth where individual human
beings are just the carved pieces on the chessboard. (I mean, the other ones.
Not the carapacians.)
Again, let’s consider the theme of VIDEO GAMES vs. REAL LIFE.
Homestuck, let’s be real, is basically some postmodern horror timey-wimey
Jumanji. For a generation way more familiar with pixels than cute little tokens
It’s easy for teenagers and in fact, basically everyone, to fantasize about
escaping their life and slipping into some game world forever, where they get
to do awesome things and be a heroic person.
Homestuck makes that literal. Congratulations, everything you ever knew is
dead. You will never see it again, except your internet friends, who turn out
also to be your family and other important people. I mean, from a distance,
SBURB sounds like an awesome game, right? You figure out who you are and get to
wear a cool costume displaying that identity. You get to make anything you want
and enjoy this hyperflexible mythology tailored to YOUR CHOICES. HS fans talk
all the time about how cool it would be to play a real version of SBURB. That’s
a big part of the appeal of SBURB fan adventures. They put you and your friends
in the story. Or your favorite characters! It sounds like a fantasy come true.
The thing is, as fantastical as it is, it’s also really fucked up, and
ultimately you and your friends are being used. By a giant frog to let it have
its babies. By the universe. By a smug blue cloud thing that doesn’t care about
you at all.
SBURB does not care about you at all.
The funny thing, SBURB features a mythology with so many layers and nuances
and seemingly human motifs about growth and self that you might search for some
grand ultimate meaning behind it, but it’s not even human enough to have a
personality, to be something you can argue with or fight. It just is. It’s all
the cruelty and power of a god without any of the dazzling personality. It’s
empty. It just wants to make universes all day long, or fail trying. It is a
great, weird tadpole-making machine that eats children.
One of the big ways it doesn’t care about you is its attitude toward the
self. Humans and trolls and whatnot prefer not to be relentlessly duplicated.
SBURB says, oh yeah, let’s make tons of copies of the player characters and use
them for a lot of different purposes.
There’s the dreamself, an essential bifurcation of identity (you are now and
were always the dream moon princex) that sometimes gets merged into god tier
but sometimes doesn’t. There’s doomed timeline selves, who exist ultimately to
augment an Alpha timeline whose Alphaness is decided very arbitrarily and
frequently by Lord English. There’s the you who exists before a scratched
session and the you who exists afterward, who are two different people but
started as one baby in an act of ectobaby meteor duplication, your player self
and your guardian self. Dead timeline yous fill up the dreambubbles made by the
horrorterrors and get endlessly confused with each other. Any one of these
could be the you experience being at any given moment, and which one it is
entirely arbitrary. Don’t like being Dead Nepeta #47? Tough hoofbeast leavings,
To top it all off, in Terezi: Remember, we learn that every single time we
thought someone changed from one self to another, was resurrected or something
like that, it was another act of duplication. For every time someone’s died,
there’s another version of them waiting in the Dream Bubbles, surprised that
they’re not the main character anymore. And we have no way of knowing which is
which. Even John, good old everyman John, may or may not be the person who died
three or four times. It’s really impossible to say whether we’ve been following
the same person throughout our story, or just the illusion of the same person,
like a horrifying cosmic flipbook.
The retcon is a return to this same theme. Ultimately, there’s very little
new in the changes John makes to reality except that they drive the point home.
John’s friends all died. John and his friends won the game. These things are
both true at the same time, except those things may not have happened to the same
people. There was a happy ending. Hooray! For, um, some folks who may or may
not be the ones we care about. In fact, it’s very confusing, because from
Rose’s perspective, Roxy is dead but came back to life, and from Roxy’s
perspective Rose is dead but came back to life, except also she came back to
life as a weird tentacle catgirl of pure id and self –indulgence. So there’s
that. Um. Which Rose are we rooting for again?
Or wait: is it none of them, because the first Rose died in a doomed
timeline, hundreds of panels and a number of years ago?
There’s a tension here which one experiences between saying it’s okay
because it’s still the same people, and saying it’s not okay, because it’s not
the same people at all. This tension is exactly what we’re meant to wrestle
with. To put it another way, Homestuck asks if identity can work in aggregate.
Are all Johns John, all Roses Rose, and do they all share in what they
accomplish? Or are the final victors only accidents created by the whims and
needs of the frog baby machine?
What I’m saying, basically, is that the retcon, in the sense that it pointed
out our confused relationship with these characters, was already here.
In interviews and questions put to him over the years, Hussie constantly
compares HS and SBURB to other video games, particularly Mario, which he
frequently returns to as a baseline of comparison that most of his readers will
know. One answer, from a recent Hiveswap interview, is particularly revelatory.
To the question of “Why do you kill off all your characters?” Hussie replies:
[…]HS is supposedly a story that is also a game. In games, the characters
die all the time. How many times did you let Mario fall in the pit before he
saved the princess? Who weeps for these Marios. In games your characters die,
but you keep trying and trying and rebooting and resetting until finally they
make it. When you play a game this process is all very impersonal. Once you
finally win, when all is said and done those deaths didn’t “count”, only the
linear path of the final victorious version of the character is considered
“real”. Mario never actually died, did he? Except the omniscient player knows
better. HS seems to combine all the meaningless deaths of a trial-and-error
game journey with the way death is treated dramatically in other media, where
unlike our oblivious Mario, the characters are aware and afraid of the many
deaths they must experience before finally winning the game.
The big man hass the answer.
Homestuck is the story of those dead Marios.
Other works, like Undertale, have engaged with this topic as well. But one
of the major differences between Undertale and Homestuck is that in Undertale,
between “lives,” one’s consciousness is preserved. In Homestuck, it’s discontinuous,
and the value of the overall trial-error process is called into question by the
fact that you, the player, may not even get to experience the victory. What
meaning does victory hold if that is the case?
So, to put it in a nice thesis format:
One of the central themes of Homestuck is the challenge of reconciling an
arbitrary and destructive pattern of growth and victory with the death and
suffering you experienced along the way. Homestuck asks: is victory worthwhile
if you’re not you anymore? And would you be able to know?
What even is the self? Is there such a thing?
If you were left feeling somewhat disconcerted by our heroes’ tidy victory
and departure to their cosmic prize, or by how which Rose gets the spotlight is
so deeply, deeply arbitrary, there’s a good reason for that. You’re supposed to
The philosophical problem of Wacky Cat Rose is insignificant next to the
bullshit of SBURB.
And don’t forget—John and Roxy’s denizens helped them achieve the retcon.
Ultimately, the victory they achieved was mediated by the same amoral system of
SBURB, and was a victory over an enemy, Caliborn, whose power was created,
perpetuated, and ended by that same system.
Okay, so here’s where it gets contentious. There’s an argument to be made,
which I’m not sure how I feel about, that some of the character development
that could have been in post-retcon Act 6 was left out precisely to push this
feeling and play up this tension. Note that this is not the same thing as
saying that they were deliberately badly written, but that they’re deliberately
written to make us uneasy.That Hussie deliberately played with the balance
between making these retconned characters feel familiar and making them feel
eerily different to leave us feeling uneasy with the result.
I’m not sure I like that idea. It smacks a little too much of that
“everything is perfect” thinking that comes sometimes from the far Metastuck
camp. Some of the differences may also be the result of flawed writing. (See:
Jane and Jake’s character arcs, which I might talk about later.) And I want to
be able to critique those flaws. Ultimately, I think we still needed more time
and development to figure out who these new people were—even if our goal was
ultimately to compare them to their earlier selves. And again, more conscious
acknowledgement of the problem from our heroes—especially John, the linchpin in
this last and biggest act of duplication—might have helped drive this theme
Still, I think the Problem of Dead Marios is one of the most fundamental questions
of Homestuck, maybe THE biggest question. It’s essential to understand it to
understand what Hussie’s doing—or attempting to do— in the retcon and the
I don’t know that Homestuck offers us a clear answer to that question. There
are some confusions around the issue, too. Where do merged selves fit in,
exactly? Clearly they’re a big part of the discussion, because Hussie spends
some time in Act 6, especially near the end bringing the identity-merging
powers of the Sprites to the forefront. (See also: the identity-merged
nightmare that is Lord English.) Can we even come up with a clear answer
to what it means when a dead Mario returns to life grotesquely fused with Toad?
How does he beat the game? Does he tell himself that the princess is in another
castle? Or what if he merges with Peach? Are they their own princess? How do
they know if they’re in the right castle?
Interestingly, it’s not all grotesque—spritesplosions suggest that
personalities that are too different don’t stay together long, so a fusion
might rely on some inherent compatibility between the two players. Erisol’s
self-loathing, sure, but also Fefeta’s cheerfulness. Davepeta seems to be a way
of bringing out the best in their players, a way of getting Davesprite past his
angst and Nepeta past her fear. Honestly, I know a lot of people don’t like
Davepeta as the ending of these two characters’ arcs, but I can’t help but love
it. They’re the ultimate coolkid. Cool enough to know they don’t have to be
cool. Regular Dave got there, too, of course. But was his retcon assist from
John ultimately any different?
Then, of course, we come to Davepeta’s speech to Jade in one of the last few
updates before Collide. Davepeta suggests that there is such a thing as an
ultimate self beyond the many different selves one piles up throughout the
cosmos. A set of principles that describes who you are that’s larger than any
individual instance of you. Your inherent Mariohood. (Maybe this is comparable
to your Classpect identity, which attempts to describe who you are?) Davepeta
even tells Jade, strikingly, that one might learn to see beyond the barriers
between selves. Be the ur-self, in practice, rather than theory. This would be
incredible news for Jade, who wrestles with the issue of different selves
perhaps more than any other character. (There’s a lot to say about Jade.)
Honestly, I wish this ur-self idea had been developed more, and I honestly
expected it to be. It doesn’t fully come to fruition, I feel. (Same goes for
Davepeta’s character. Ohhhh, ZING!) I’m not sure it entirely makes
philosophical sense, especially with fusion—I mean, doesn’t Davepeta themself
disprove it? Or at least complicate it? Like, are they part of the ur-Dave or
the ur-Nepeta? They seem to imply they’re BOTH? Does that even work? Does that
mean that Marieach is all the Peaches and Marios at once?
(In fact, Bowser/Peach/Mario are but the three manifestations of one eternal
principle. Also, Bowser/Peach are the true power couple. Read my fanfiction
And what, say, of Dirk, who ultimately ends up rejecting aspects of his
other selves? It feels like there’s a lot more you could say here, and I wonder
if Hussie would have said more, if he’d had time. What’s weird is, none of our
victorious kids never reach an ur-self (though to their descendants, they
become archetypal to some degree), which one might have expected. They’re just
individual selves who happened to get lucky. Does that make them representative
of the whole? It feels like something’s missing here, or like something got
dropped at the last minute.
Same goes for the idea of the Ultimate Riddle. You’d be forgiven for missing
it, but there’s been this riddle in the background lore of SBURB that seems to
have something to do with personal agency in this overwhelming, overarching
system. Karkat called it predestination, saying something like “ANY HOPE YOU
HAD OF DOING THINGS OTHERWISE WAS JUST A RUSE.” But others have interpreted it
more positively. My favorite interpretation, from bladekindeyewear: the answer
to the Riddle is that YOU shape the timeline through your existence,
personality, and choices, even when it looks like it’s all predestination.
Ultimately it’s your predestination, your set of events, based deeply on your
nature, that you are creating. Someone like Caliborn can use his innate
personality to achieve power; someone like John might be able to use it to
I definitely expected something like that to be expressed more explicitly.
Like, a big ah-ha moment that helps John or Jade or whoever understand how to
escape Caliborn’s system. Something like that would have been very helpful for
a lot of our heroes, actually, who’ve been pushed around by Skaia and SBURB
together, in finding a cathartic ending. Once again, I wonder if something
was dropped or rushed because there wasn’t time to put it all in. There’s
places where you can see hints of that Answer being implied, maybe? But it’s
kind of ambiguous.
You can see how the Answer to the Ultimate Riddle ties into some of
Davepeta’s ideas. If your personality, the rules of your behavior are a
fundamental archetype that goes beyond each individual self, then the answer to
whether it matters if one self of yours makes it through to victory is an
emphatic YES. You are all of those people, and by winning one round with Skaia,
you’ve won the whole game, despite all the arbitrary challenges and deaths it
heaps upon you along the way.
This may strike some as too positive for Skaia’s brutality, or again, some
way of excusing flaws in many characters’ arcs, or unfair things that happen to
them. To be fair, I don’t know that Davepeta’s necessarily meant to be taken as
authoritative or the voice of Hussie. They may simply be offering a
Hussie not choosing to come right out and engage with the Ultimate Riddle
leaves the question of Dead Marios and what they mean for the victorious
versions of our cast very open. I like that in some ways—let the reader
decide—but I can’t help but wish we had more to work with in making that
decision. Plus, it might have brought the thematic messages of Homestuck all
the way home to tie them more closely to our characters and their
experiences—character development being one of the things most people found
most lacking in the ending.
Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader Rating: Explicit - 18+ only Summary: Reader, being reckless gets hurt
on a mission. Days later, when she gives her final report to her boyfriend
Steve, it provokes an argument between them. Word Count: 3.5k Genre: general fiction containing
explicit sexual content. Warnings: argument, mild swearing, mentions
of death. NSFW/SMUT: makeup sex, praise kink, soft dirty talking, nipple
play, oral sex (female receiving), slow fingering, overstimulation, multiple
orgasms, and semi-protected sex. - This fic assumes Reader is on the pill.
[Cover your stone before you bone!] Author’s Note: especially written for @always-an-evans-addict‘s writing challenge. I hope you like this one, sweetie.
New Avengers Facility
“Steve, you read my report and
Wanda told you what happened. That’s it. Can’t we just move on?”
“That’s it? That’s it?!”
Behind the closed door of your
boyfriend’s office, you uncomfortably explained yourself, keeping in mind that
people around you could probably sense the walls vibrating under the force of
You’d never thought that blowing out
the last Hydra base found in Argentina
would provoke such a drama within the team, or between you and the super
soldier. Usually, you and Steve argued about the group’s mistake, not yours.
When the incident happened in South America,
you realized that if Wanda hadn’t been there, you probably wouldn’t be alive
Cultures, like anything, take time to build. They are what define a people and what make their customs. It’s complicated and integrated into their society. It changes as the people change but the fundamentals often remain unchanged even centuries and millennia into the future.
When creating new worlds, if it’s not set in the world that we know, then the people, while being similar, will be different. What they hold as value will be different. That’s where new cultures come in. countries will be define by something and way out of the way towns will have things that are connected to them. Making new cultures can be a messy process, and I am by no way an expert, but there are at least five things that define a culture and should be present and known.
Customs are a traditional ways of doing something specify to a set of people or place. If you can’t think of any, think of some traditions that are from where you’re from. For example, in America and many other countries, it’s traditional to put up a tree for the winter holidays.
If the story you’re writing centers around a new culture, then the customs of its people is something that should come into play, even it’s something small. Maybe it’s someone coming of age. Maybe it’s someone passing away. Whatever the case, customs are a personal thing that people share. Be sure to not overlook them.
Art is a way people share their thoughts that are hard to convey. A way to pass on knowledge and to capture the emotions. Perhaps they capture their history in tapestries and artisans make paintings for a living.
Not only that, body art is an important part of many cultures. Maybe tattoos mean something at a certain age or it’s something like a brand. Perhaps they’re just decorative and meant to look flashy.
social institution is a group of people who are together for a common purpose such
as economy and government. These institutions are a part of the
social order of society and they govern behavior and expectations of
For example, a charities and
other nonprofit organizations fall under this category. In this culture you’re
writing about, how do they feel about such organizations? Are the promoted? Frowned
upon? Not only that, but this includes the education system, cultural groups,
how families are defined, health care, market values, politics, and religions.
Each of these things may not
hold equal value, or perhaps they all have the same weight. Are the church (in
this instance used only to refer to religion) and state separate or together? Is
the market, trading goods and services, more important than anything else? What’s
the health of the people like and what methods do they use for healing?
Achievements, in this case,
are defined as things the people have done to better and further themselves. What
are some of the things these people have done since they became a people? Was something
medical? Was it something that benefited not only them, but the people around
the as well?
However, the achievements
don’t always have to grand. It could be something small like finding an easier
way to make paint or a way to make their weapons. Achievements are things that
are well earned and come from something small like inconvenience or big like a
And not all that glitters is
gold. An achievement can benefit the majority, but what about everyone else? Is
it useful to everyone? Does it need to be? More importantly, what was the
reason? It doesn’t always need to be known in detail, but things happen for a
reason. As the writer, you, are the very least, need to know.
We all know that there are
somethings that are frowned upon in modern culture. Things like people with
breasts going around topless or anyone walking pants-less through the streets. There
are certain things people just don’t do because of the consequences and the
What are some of the things
that are okay for people to do? What are things that are harmless yet frowned
upon? There are things that are widely accepted and if these normal things are
challenged then it should be explain if it’s not something carried over from a
If there are things that are
carried over from real cultures, then that’s a tricky ground to walk on if you
don’t know anything. Research and asking are an important part of this process
if you want to do this. Carrying over form real cultures is fine as long as it’s
not a bastardization of it.
Of course, like I said in
the beginning of this, I’m not an expert. I
don’t really know everything there is to know but this is what I’ve realized
when making new cultures myself.