why yes i am way too invested in this twitter stuff

The Inception "Are You the One?" AU
  • : I watch “Are You the One?” I’m not proud of this, but, at the same time, I admit I enjoy it, because you don’t have to think very hard about it, but it *is* an interesting premise.
  • : If you don’t know the show, they throw together twenty contestants, ten girls, ten boys (it’s geared toward straight cisgender relationships). There are ten “perfect matches” among these twenty contestants, according to some “experts” MTV has pulled together. The contestants have ten weeks (or ten “match-ups,” I’m unclear how long they go between match-ups) to find their perfect match in the house. If they all find their matches in time, they win a million dollars (and theoretically have met the love of their lives). If they fail, they all lose. Every episode, a few couples win challenges and go on dates to get to know each other better. The house votes one of those couples into the “truth booth” to see if they’re a perfect match. The only other information they get about the matches is at every match-up, where they take turns choosing who they think their perfect match is, and the show tells them the total they got correct, but not which couples. So they know they have two perfect matches in the arrangement they’ve given the show, but they don’t know which the matches are.
  • : It’s a fascinating show to watch, #1 - because I desperately want a version of it with people in their mid-30s instead of early-20s to see how different it would be; #2 - they all “fall in love” with each other INSTANTLY and then can never fall out of love because how can you turn feelings off so quickly (never mind that they turned *on* so quickly); and #3 - they are constantly fighting about whether they should follow their heads or their hearts, because theoretically you should be able to win this game just through, like, logic-puzzling it out.
  • : So, anyhow, I was watching the show, and it occurred to me that I really want an Arthur/Eames AU of this show. I mentioned it on Twitter and @involuntaryorange and fandomkatie joined in and I think this fic would go something like this:
  • Me: Arthur would be the player on “Are You the One” trying to get everyone to stay focused on winning through strategy. Meanwhile, he would be annoyed at how attracted he is to the smug, smirky, smarmy Brit with the ugly clothes who is obviously not his match.
  • IO: I have never heard of this show.
  • Me: OMG it is such a terrible trashy show. It’s a reality show on MTV. I watch because I like thoughtless TV. 20 people are stuck together. “Experts” have found their perfect matches for them. Now they have to weed through the group. They are TERRIBLE at it, omg. TERRIBLE. And it’s so frustrating because IT SHOULD JUST BE A LOGIC PUZZLE. JUST THINK. Like, they’re given periodic information and if you kept track, you should win REGARDLESS OF TOUCHY-FEELY EMOTIONS.
  • IO: TBH this show sounds AMAZING. Does the audience know whose match is whose?
  • Me: No. But I know people who do the charts and stuff and keep track LOGICALLY to try to figure it out. You can play along.
  • FK: I am suddenly All About This. (I’d never heard of this before but 10/10 YES for Arthur using spreadsheets.)
  • Me: It’s, like, the perfect reality show for them. It is explicitly spreadsheets vs. flirting.
  • IO: And outwardly Eames would look like he wasn’t paying attention, but he’s actually better at strategy than Arthur.
  • Me: EXACTLY. At the very last match-up, Eames pulls out his own chart and is like, “Here’s your million bucks.” And Arthur is just like, “...Fuck, how long have you had this figured out?” And then Arthur is like, “...Wait, you have us down as a match.” Eames: “Yeah, that’s where your spreadsheet kept going wrong, darling.”
  • FK: Eames: “I am everyone’s perfect match, darling. Put me down for a check mark in every column.” Arthur: >:(
  • Me: HAHAHAHAHA. And then he would try to work his way through everyone in the house just to make Arthur jealous.
  • Me: Arthur would be like, “My match isn’t the weird squinty one?” Eames: “You’re an idiot. His match is the hot French chick.” “...*That’s his match*????”
  • FK: You would get to write twitter fic again because you know they’d be viewer’s otp. Well. First Eames would be the fandom bike but, you know, toward the middle, it would be really really obvs. Early on Arthur would be like, “How are you keeping track if you don’t have charts?” and Eames would be like: “I’m using a more...frictive approach.” *leers leers leers*
  • Me: And Eames would keep giving Arthur earnest speeches about “following his heart” and Arthur would roll his eyes. And then when he sees Eames’s spreadsheet he’d be like, “You hypocritical son of a bitch.”
  • Me: The audience would *love* it, because Arthur would be *so frustrated* by his spreadsheets failing him. And everyone at home would be like, “ARTHUR, YOUR MATCH IS EAMES, DO YOU SEE HOW HE LOOKS AT YOU??????” “ARTHUR, EAMES IS THE ONLY PERSON YOU EVER SMILE AT IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE, ARTHUUUUUUUUURRRRRRR.” And he, poor thing, would just be so oblivious and unhappy and blush throughout the reunion show.
  • FK: They wouldn’t be on kissing terms by the reunion show?????
  • Me: No, they would be, but Arthur would be embarrassed it took him so long. The host would tease him.
  • Me: The only problem with this fic is that couples get to go to “truth booths” periodically to see if they match. I’d have to come up with some reason Arthur and Eames would never go to one, to keep up the suspense. Wait. You get go to go to a truth booth if you pick each other for a date. Maybe Eames never picks Arthur. And Eames tells all his dates, “Arthur’s my match, but I want him to realize *on his own.*”
  • FK: I need to watch this to have a proper chat about it. How early would Eames know? How do you figure it out?
  • Me: Theoretically you’re supposed to figure it out through your “connection” but these people all fail. Which is why Arthur would be like, “Forget about ‘connections,’ let’s just strategize it out.”
  • IO: He and Eames get into long-winded arguments about whether intellectual or sexual compatibility is more important. Arthur manages to completely overlook the fact that these arguments prove their intellectual compatibility.
  • Me: Because Eames keep suggesting they give the sexual compatibility thing a try and it keeps throwing Arthur’s focus.
  • FK: Fascinating. I feel like during the science v. romance conversation Arthur would keep accidentally saying hilarious sad things. Eames is going to laugh about it later, but only after he, y’know, becomes the outlier. These horrifically sad things about his abysmal dating history that Eames has to pretend he doesn’t hear. “A relationship doesn’t need spontaneity, Eames. My last boyfriend and I planned out coitus and kept track of stats for a year to ensure fairness and maximum enjoyment and that was satisfactory all around.” Every time Arthur talks about previous partners he sounds like an accountant at the end of the fiscal year. “No staggering losses, 10/10 will invest again.”
  • IO: Like, “I mean, I dated a guy who would only have sex with the lights out, but we had really good conversations and sometimes if the sex lasted long enough my eyes adapted to the dark and I could kind of see his face.”
  • Me: OH MY GOD. And I feel like Eames would be like, “So why did you break up with all these great boyfriends?” And Arthur’s got this whole, “I think I’m afraid of commitment, I self-sabotage my relationships, I don’t want to be happy,” etc. Like: Arthur, you don’t marry these losers because they don’t make you happy. But Arthur has to see it first. And Eames is thinking, No, your self-preservation finally kicked in and you started thinking clearly.
  • FK: OR. Even sadder: “I don’t. typically. break up with people.” Because like. He thinks things were okay, y’know.
  • IO: Or, worse, he’s like, “Oh, they all broke up with me. They said I was too demanding. And see, that’s why intellectual compatibility is so important!”
  • FK: YES. SAME PAGE. He’s never had a thing with a lot of passion, so he keeps accepting companionship, grateful.
  • IO: And also, Eames has never had a good relationship either, because most people are just into him for his looks.
  • FK: His Big Ex is basically a bastard Arthur: brilliant, cool, collected. Eames was super attracted to the way he has a lot of really interesting ops but he never lets Eames gets a word in, treats him like dumb armcandy.
  • IO: His constant joking is a defense mechanism that he’s developed. OH MY GOD THIS FIC HAS BECOME SO SAD.
  • FK: THE HORROR FELT WHEN HE REALIZES HOW FOCUSED A IS ON INTELLECTUAL COMPATIBILITY. Like damn, self. Not again.
  • IO: Oh, I was thinking he’d be happy! Because obviously Arthur isn’t going to use him for his looks.
  • FK: That, but if he worries A doesn’t think he’s smart because of how he presents he’d definitely have heartsink. Because he’s like, “I shouldn’t have to dampen my personality and whip out my degree to be taken seriously.” But of course, eventually: TRUE LOVE.
  • IO: I guess the happiness could come after the horror. When he realizes Arthur likes arguing with him.
  • FK: No, I think you’re right. I went overboard with sad. Eames’s fondness comes early and hard. Arthur’s a dear.

anonymous asked:

i just got into 1d a few months ago and i am so confused and creeped out by this insider anon/update account stuff. i've been in fandom for nearly a decade at this point and i've never seen anything like it. it's bizarre and SO FUCKING INVASIVE. how did this get started? why is this just the norm with this fandom? i've seen people blame management, but could you elaborate a bit?

It’s explained in a very, very limited way in This is Us. Essentially, part of the marketing strategy for One Direction at the very onset of One Direction (per Sony leaks and other knowledge), was internet promotion through social media platforms such as Twitter and tumblr. Twitter was essential in the boys rise, and there were (and still are) paid/comped social media promoters. Simon Cowell calls them “super fans” and I don’t think One Direction is the first case in which he’s utilized them, but definitely the first case in which they’ve worked to the extent that they have. So yes, they’ve been here since the inception of the band. In 2015, there’s been a driven effort to dismantle the stalker culture that surrounds this band, but let’s be honest… even Larries dig.

Because the perfect storm that was created with this band is duplicitous and double-sided. On the one hand, you’ve got a band that found it’s crux on that social media. One Direction has lived and died within the recesses of Twitter. People spread information via social media. On the other hand, you’ve got a band who is hiding and keeping secrets. I’ve no doubt in my mind the boys themselves would happily tell the world their version of events in a brilliant no-holds-barred fashion if they could, but they can’t.

As is pointed out by the lovely Vee ( @verily-i-say) in a recent episode of The Darkest Larrie (or in this case The Drunkest Larrie), Simon Cowell’s contract language is ridiculous in it’s depths. The first time I read a Cowell contract (not the boys contract for anyone wondering), I laughed several times. A derisive laugh, not a happy one. It’s essential to point out that these contracts contain the phrase Vee mentions during TDL. “In perpetuity and throughout the universe”. That means that in order to speak out against Simon Cowell, you would have to travel somewhere never discovered by man and wait forever. With that born in mind, it’s important to know that 1D was not the first band to use “super fans”. I used to have friends who were Jonas Brothers stalkers. I know people who are Taylor Swift stalkers. We’ve seen people with the boys who are professional celebrity stalkers. Because they serve a purpose. When the boys need their faces to circulate on social media, when their whereabouts need to be known, it’s easier to take a single picture and spread it than to hire a bunch of paparazzi and be papped.

That’s the culture that’s been created here. Those in positions of power take a measure, the boys hit back, the retaliation happens.. it’s all one giant game of tennis. (Think Isner v. Mahut circa 2010 and that’s the level of volleying we have happening here). This year, it would seem we’re seeing a systematic destruction of update accounts, however the “insidery anons” continue. And the reason why is because you’ve got a fandom whose desperate to know the most recent happenings. We are, above all things, emotionally invested in these boys. We want to see them have their happy ending and we want to know when it’s going to come about. I truly think the boys know how this fandom operates. They’re inside the fandom themselves, I’d say. (I’ve seen too many fandom referential clues dropped via RBB and SBB to think otherwise), with that in mind, of course they’d want us to have a more clear and accurate picture of what’s happening behind the scenes. On the flipside of that, you’ve got truly mean spirited people who spread false information. That’s actually something we know they’ve done, is plant false stories to distract the virtual game of telephone we’ve got going on in this fandom.

It’s extremely complex and layered and one of the more fascinating aspects of this fandom, I agree.

Replies to the Fanfiction and Kudos Question

First of all, thank you very much everyone who replied. I had around twenty five replies, on here and twitter, so whilst I would share everyone’s opinions, that would be an incredibly long post.  Instead I shall summarise and pull out some of the more pertinent points.

So here are the points I raised and a selection of comments under each of them. 

Do you leave kudos on everything you read because you think the author’s done well finishing and publishing?  

Most people said they left kudos, but it was somewhat conditional on whether they enjoyed the fic/had managed to finish the fic. 

 No, because there is some stuff I just don’t enjoy for various reasons: shitty writing, shitty characterisation, or stuff that makes me feel really uncomfortable or is a dull carbon copy of almost every other fic in that AU/UA, that sort of thing. Or sometimes it just isn’t my cup of tea. - @museicaliteacup

As for giving kudos, I generally leave kudos on fics that I found good; hey don’t have to be particularly mindblowing but if I enjoyed reading it then I leave kudos, and a comment if I have something in particular to say. -anon

Keep reading

Musings on Madam Secretary 2.16

HISH-ree-ah. HISH-ree-ah. HISH-ree-ah. If anything comes from this episode, it’s that I now know how to pronounce “Hijriyyah.” I’ve spent weeks wondering how you say that damn word.

We begin with the latest news brief from CNN, or what feels like it. The center of this week’s always-timely Madam Secretary is a rescued boat full of refugees. Watching Elizabeth, Conrad and Russell discuss what to do with the 200+ people who were willing to risk their lives for the remote hope of simple securities in a foreign land was like watching a presidential debate. Do we keep them? Do we send them back? What if they’re terrorists? Is it worth the risk? Granted, this incident had special circumstances because of Moussa al-Mukhtar’s claim to know where Jibral Disah is, but in general, this is a debate many countries are being faced with. Throughout the episode, Elizabeth dropped several truth bombs, including the extensively exhaustive asylum vetting process, the fact that only a minute fraction of refugees admitted to the U.S. have ever been arrested on terrorism charges and that the dirty bomb from 2.14 was perpetrated by an American-born citizen. She also brought up the plaque on the Statue of Liberty (give me your tired, your poor, etc…) and basically shut down any argument with “These people matter and they’re not going back.” BOOM. That’s my Elizabeth! Yes, I’m an unapologetic social liberal.

This situation leads to quite a first day on the job for Henry. Can we talk about how I cheered in a room by myself when he walked into “Murphy Station” and I saw not only Jill Hennessy but Molly Price, as well? Talk about a room of badass chicks. Of course like everything else, my excitement was literally blown up about 10 minutes later, but what a glorious 10 minutes that was. Henry, tasked with finding Disah, spent most of the episode trying to determine if al-Mukhtar is a true informant, a jihadist or is merely trying to buy more time. With his background, it makes sense that Henry should be in that position, but the jury’s still out about how I feel regarding this career change. There’s something slightly off about it. When Jose said, “We do our job right and a whole bunch of men are gonna die” and Henry responded with “All in a day’s work,” I wasn’t buying it. The religious scholar and ethics professor can’t simply shake off the death of anyone at his hands, despite their potentially violent intent. Russia proved that. He takes everything to heart, failing to separate his personal feelings from the professional lines that need to be drawn. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It actually makes me appreciate his character. However, it’s setting up more mental ping-pong for a dude who has yet to deal with repercussions of his former job. Or radiation poisoning. Or his father’s death. You get the point.

Further proving that point, when Mimi met an untimely yet predictable death (why can’t we have nice things?), Henry took it to heart. Who wouldn’t, honestly? Before flying over for the interrogation, Mimi personally asked Henry how confident he was in his assessment that al-Mukhtar wasn’t radical. Jose even chimed in with “You better be right, professor.” Of course he wasn’t and Molly Price is off to guest star fabulously on yet another TV show while Henry beats himself up. He obsesses about what happened so much, even Elizabeth tried to reason with him. I counted at least 3 “babes” that came out of her mouth, and we all know that word is only used when she’s desperately trying to connect with or reassure him. Like with Russia and Dmitri and Ivan, Henry is internalizing his guilt, even keeping Elizabeth at an arm’s length. She could be an invaluable resource for him emotionally not only as a wife, but as a former CIA operative. She knows how he’s feeling, relates to why he’s obsessing and understands the toll it takes on a person. They briefly hit upon it while snuggling in the windowsill during “Catch and Release,” but he’s still not fully opening up. She even tried to take him to bed (FOLLOW HER, HENRY!! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU??) and instead was left to watch her love beat himself up by looping a traumatic video countless more times. Even though they can finally talk about their work with each other, they’re not truly communicating about it and the ramifications. They’re close, but there’s still distance between them. Can I just get a Henry breakdown before the end of the season? And Elizabeth joins in? And they just sob themselves stupid about all they’ve encountered and lost? Is this too much to ask? *taps mic* Is this thing on?

Of course the dynamic duo working together does provide some aww-worthy opportunities. Whether in the Murphy Station or the Situation Room (still odd to see Henry in there, by the way), the two gravitate towards each other like magnets. Yes, I realize a lot of it has to do with camera blocking, but let me have my fun. Elizabeth sweetly touched Henry’s elbow before she left the room. They grasped each other’s hands while watching the live stream of Mimi. Little touches that almost appear automatic, grounding each other, reassuring each other. It’ll be interesting to see how Elizabeth reacts to Henry heading overseas… because we all know a McCord getting a stamp in their passport is never a good thing.

The McCord kids had some play this week, mainly Stevie and her quest for love. Admittedly, as long as Stevie isn’t causing issues for her parents, I’m fairly ambivalent about her dating life. However, even Jareth and his British accent won me over…. despite his name. (Apologies if you or someone you love is named “Jareth.”) With this guy, Stevie is proving true the stereotype that people date someone who reminds them of their father. Jareth gives off serious Henry feels. He knew how to prod and lead Stevie about what was bothering her without pushing too hard, much like Henry does when Elizabeth is upset. He was gentle and comforting and didn’t run when their relationship got a bit messy. He even made her laugh when she was crying and promised a brighter tomorrow. If that isn’t the swoon-worthy Dr. McCord at play, I don’t know what is. My only criticism of Jareth is that he didn’t realize Henry and the kids were at the conference during the bombing. That would’ve been front-page, lead team coverage, top of twitter, trending on Facebook news. He just…. didn’t know? I’m not buying it, but I also don’t care enough to focus on it. As for Alison and Jason, there’s something bugging me about them. Alison seemed uber stressed, more than even a perfectionist student should be for midterms. Jason continues to be a bit on the angry/hostile side. I think the entire townhouse needs to burn some sage.

Even as the world is literally blowing up around them, Elizabeth and Henry prove that first and foremost, they’re parents. While watching an extremely tense operation go down live halfway around the world, Elizabeth asked, “Did you remember that Jareth dinner tonight?” to which Henry replied, “That was tonight?” Just another example of how two people are trying to make it work, despite their stressful, high-profile jobs.

Can we have a moment of appreciation for the perfection of Elizabeth McCord in the kitchen? Perhaps I’m overly invested in the constant nod to her lack of cooking skills because I’m a disaster in that room myself. The way she smashes eggs? Me. Dropping stuff all over, creating a bigger mess than what’s needed? Me. Tossing food on a plate and not giving a crap about presentation? Me. It was like looking in a mirror, so much so, a friend (you know who you are) even texted me: “Elizabeth was all you in the first shot.” My lack of skills are that notorious. “Should I cook? Of course not. What should we order?” I’ve personally had that little one-woman conversation countless times. If someone dies or is in the hospital and needs meals, I’m the person who donates money instead of food. My approach is that if you already feel like death, my cooking doesn’t need to push you over the edge into the abyss. You’ve suffered enough already. However, in Elizabeth’s world, she’s making an effort as a wife and mother. “Make sure your father finishes his breakfast.” I adore her for it.

“Is it still our sacred duty to protect the American way of life or am I missing something?” Russell, I’ve never liked you more… except when you opened up about PTSD in the McCord kitchen.

Senator Morejon: “I’m guessing you know the answer to that.”
Elizabeth: “Of course I do. I’m the Secretary of State.”

Elizabeth: “Hell, your boat made it here. What do you care, right?”

All the bloops in Bloopville at those two exchanges. Elizabeth single-handedly took down the senator much like she did the governor of Texas last season: slyly, expertly, peacefully. She even ended their exchange with “You have a great day,” which I like to think is Elizabeth speak for “Eff off, jackass. We all know who just won this.”

Other things:

–Elizabeth’s British accent. It was so bad, it was good. Add that to Elizabeth’s face when Stevie asks if Henry is coming to dinner, the way she closes the wine refrigerator and how she mouths “He’s hot” to Stevie. Téa’s slight comedic touches during drama bring such realism to the show and her character.

–I laughed at Jane’s and Henry’s faces when he snarked about not having to take orders from her anymore. Slight smirks and knowing grins. It felt like a Tim and Jill moment, rather than Jane and Henry.

–“So code names, not your gift.” – Henry

–“It’s press conference o’clock.” I’m stealing this and using it at work. Thanks, Blake.

–The coloring of Stevie’s shots on campus seemed blue-ish. I understand this show has a major love affair with that color, but the poor girl looked frostbitten or on the verge of death. Or maybe my TV coloring needs adjusting.

–Was there a kiss cut out or am I just desperately making this up? I’m talking about when Elizabeth and Henry were in the kitchen after they discussed dinner with Stevie and Jareth. I swear they were leaning in and it cut away to the next scene. Now I spend my entire day rationing every second with reporters and editors, so I understand how critical every single one can be. But don’t cut a kiss! Cut out…. anything else. I’m sure Conrad sighed and looked quizzically off into space at some point. Cut that instead.