you can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him

anonymous asked:

I have no objections with people liking Nesta but I don't understand why people would ever want Cassian to get with a woman like Nesta. He deserves someone better than anyone that is set on demeaning him. He is lighthearted and a good person. He deserves better.

Sigh…you got me in quite a mood dear anon so deep breath and rant ahead.

You have been warned.

So…I never understood the concept of love being a reward for someone’s ‘good’ form, character or behavior. And I am not even going to get into the whole glamorization of love as an emotion and the concept that is something solely good and pure and only ‘good’ people and certain ‘characters’ and ‘snowflakes’ experience it or should experience it.

I will stand on something different though.

People are not objects and trophies and prizes that one should get for being good and for deserving ‘better’ (and BTW, I will get to that too in a while).

Relationships are not about deserving and about perfection and about what works on paper. Relationships can come in many forms and bonds and it is about people that find something in someone else and then they work through their shit (and in this case both Nesta and Cassian have a lot shit to work through) because they care enough to make their relationship work. Because you get to fall in love for many reasons and you get to love the flaws and the imperfections. You get to like a person because you are attracted to them for whatever reason logical or illogical. Because they intrigue you. Because of lust or intense emotion. Because they take you by surprise. Because romance usually is about personal conflict and growth and collision. Because in fiction this brings drama and it is interesting for many people especially when it includes complicated characters with many layers and depth that help each other’s characterization progress and development in many ways.

But hey. I get not liking a character or a ship. It is your prerogative. You might not like the chemistry of two characters. You might not get it. You might be allergic to it. You might not care for it. You might not understand it. You might hate it. You might not be able to tolerate the story or a character or a concept. It is your right. I am not here to dictate to you what to like and what not to like. Something is not your cup or tea and your personal taste is different from that of another person. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

But here you are in my ask box. I get not liking a ship but why would you come to the blog of someone that likes it with such comments? What do you gain? Stick to your lane and ship and let others ship.

Also…seriously…I am in awe.

You are here to tell me that the half a millennia winged Illyrian Fae warrior who is basically a LORD OF FREAKING WAR that is leaving mountains of corpses in the battlefields and has been shedding blood for centuries is not deserving of a 20-22 year old woman with limited experience that she is just start beginning to understand what life is after leading a very restricted and limited one. This is what you are telling me right? That the man that brings horror and is capable and able to bring nations to their knees and is known by the freaking Bone Carver as the Lord of Bloodshed is not deserving of a …young girl while he is the winning prize in the lottery for Nesta. Am I getting this right?

The superficial way people view certain characters astonishes me.

Cassian is not a ray of sunshine and not an innocent lighthearted and most of all balanced person. Cassian is one of my most favorite characters in the acotar series (Top Five easily). But he, as many characters of the book, is a grey character that can often be amoral. You don’t get to become THE General of the Night Court and the commander of the Illyrian forces and part of the Inner Circle by being solely moral and good and …nice.

Cassian is dangerous. Like Alpha Male dangerous. He is an experienced man. An experienced OLD man. The fact that he looks hot and young and is energetic with a six pack does not change his age or his position in life or who he is. And if you put that in contrast with a young girl with Nesta’s history that has not even traveled the world yet -while this was her dream- then who ‘deserves’ who can become a very long argument.

Cassian is indeed a good man but he is carrying a load of crap and baggage on his shoulders. He is over half a millennia old. He is a FREAKING GENERAL from crying out loud. The fact that he cracks jokes and is supportive of his family and friends does not take away all the blood he had shed or the scars that has left on him (and he will bring those scars to whatever relationship he enters). It does not take away that the bone carver called him the Lord of Bloodshed. Cassian is a killer. A professional one at that. No matter how noble he is (and he is) that does not change that it takes a certain kind of bloodthirsty savageness and mindset to rise to where he is now. Cassian views fighting and cutting through people as if it is an art. He walks hand in hand with death. He commands the Illyrian forces of the Night Court.

For centuries he is mixed to a dysfunctional emotional triangle with both of his best friends in a way that hurts one of his two brothers -because this is what Azriel is for him- and he is in a complicated mess with Morrigan. He has codependency issues with Morrigan, Rhysand and Azriel. He has shown to have suicidal tendencies (add homicidal to that too). He is not all sunshine and charm and jokes. He goes to the battlefield to kill and to count the dead and inform their families. It takes a certain kind of heart and soul and violence to wage war. To kill people. To do that for half a millennia. He is feared and terrifies his enemies. He has self esteem issues and even depression signs (as surprise surprise so does Nesta). He is haunted by ghosts of the past. He is afraid of commitment. He is menacing. He has sent monsters into the prison of the Night Court. He is ready to cut through his enemies like butter or condemn them to an eternity of imprisonment.

He has lived lifetimes. He has experience both on the light side of life and the dark side of life.

Say what you like about Nesta and her behavior but in the end she is just a..girl. She is not experienced with life or men for that matter. She has been sexually assaulted and sheltered. She wanted to travel but did not got a chance. She is very young and thrown in a life and nature she had not wanted. How old is she really? 20-22? And for you a 22 year old -tops- girl with limited life experience does not deserve a 500+ years old man because that man is somehow an optimist and an extrovert and so good? You are seriously going with that right now?

Because Cassian needs to be coddled and a bitch like Nesta is not a good fit for …him? Because a man needs …deserves…as sweet woman as a reward right? Because a woman has to apologize for everything in her character and become less so to fit the needs of a man because of what he deserves and if not then…she does not deserve him. (My mind’s wires are short cutting right now I kid you not).

If anything it would be more healthy for Nesta to not get involved with a man like Cassian until she has some decades at least on her back and a lot more experience.

Many people say that Nesta is mean with Cassian. And she has bitter outbursts with him that is for sure true up to an extent but no one ever pointed out how Cassian when he first met Nesta had already formed an opinion over her as if he had the right to do so only because his new friend (which he barely really knew) told him (mostly alluded) some things that did not involve him in any way. From the very start Cassian had judged Nesta and played judge and jury with her and had condemned her without even exchanging a word with her. Not even Rhysand that was Feyre’s mate did that.

Nesta was right to tell him that “You know nothing about who I am, and what I’ve done and what I want.

Why wouldn’t Nesta be hostile with him? The guy has boundaries issues. And was quick to judge her. He is a centuries years old persistent (borderline obsessed) Fae male that …can’t stay away. Romance aside let us not start glamorizing certain people and acting as if Cassian is perfect. He is not. He has flaws. There are no saints and sinners in this equation. Nesta has not treated Cassian right all the time but Cassian has not always treated Nesta right either. And if we take their character traits into account this was bound to happen.

Yes Nesta is an asshole. But guess what? Cassian is an asshole too. He taunts, he mocks, he insults, he provokes, he uses his sexual experience as a weapon of choice, he intimidates, his uses his body as a way to make others step back, he throws tantrums, he hides behind jokes, he is reckless, he is hard. In the first sign of true intimacy he backs down and alienates people. He has been all those things with Nesta. He originally was surprised and even took offense because Nesta ignored his good looks for crying out loud. Cassian even in Wings and Embers tried to intimidate her while he barely knew her. A human 22 year old girl that could crash with his little finger while he could tell that she had no experience in physical combat or men. He used his nature, his body, his words to make Nesta less of who she was. To make her feel uncomfortable. His game was less than honorable back then. And when that did not work his infatuation started to run deeper and they both entered a game of push and pull and love-anger/hate and bickering and…understanding.

That does not make him a bad person. He is a good man. A messed up mortally grey good man with honor. In the same way Nesta is also a good woman.  A messed up angry woman with a moral code that for getting to see you need to watch past the surface. A woman that got inspired by Feyre’s and Cassian’s honor and made Cassian proud. A proud woman that has made mistakes but is learning from them and tries to better herself with actions. Something that Cassian sees and respects and maybe even has also done in his long life because everyone starts from somewhere and faces difficulties and trauma in different ways and learns and grows and moves on.

Nesta grew up with the same superstitions Feyre grew up when it came to Fae people. Do you remember how Feyre herself acted with the Fae at the very beginning before she grew to know them? And yet Nesta allowed Fae men to get into her home. Nesta’s interest when it came to Cassian himself surpassed her prejudices before she was even thrown to the Cauldron and turned to High Fae herself.

Nesta was traumatized after been thrown in the Cauldron. And so was Cassian when he had his wings shredded… but he could not stay away from Nesta despite the boundaries she was trying to put between them. It was his choice to go over to her over and over again despite being rejected. No one from the fandom ever speaks of the trauma Nesta had been subjected too and how Cassian’s needs should not surpass her needs over this. But sure.. Nesta is mean so Cassian’s needs must go first. But just maybe this is not about romance or about what a man deserves. This is not about Cassian getting to feel better. And yet somehow this is what it all ends up too.

Introvert vs Extrovert. Young age vs Old age. Man vs Woman. A man that has lived his life to the fullest vs a woman that has not yet lived. Who deserves who.

Does Cassian deserve Nesta? Does Nesta deserve Cassian?

In my opinion who deserves who is a bullshit argument to make for this sort of subject. I can give you a dissertation of why Cassian does not deserve Nesta too. Or why he does deserve her. And vice versa for the other way around.

Truth is that in my opinion they complete each other. It is not just opposites attract. Cassian found an equal in Nesta despite their differences (that are many). Mentally and intellectually they are equal and similar even.

Blade and fire made flesh. Death made flesh. They fit each other.

Cassian is a killing machine and Nesta now holds death in her fingertips. While Cassian always walked in death. But more so aside those parallels that mirror each other they also click as characters.

Cassian shares the same values with Nesta. The same need to protect others. Nesta kept saying how she wanted to help families and children. Cassian has the same view point with her. It is in his very core the need to protect others and this was in the end what Nesta was ready to sacrifice herself for.

Nesta that is so cold on the outside because she feels everything more intense than any other in the inside. Cassian that is so easy going on the outside because he is broken in the inside. Nesta that uses cruel words as a shield. Cassian that uses jokes as an armor. Nesta that hides her emotions and vulnerabilities. Cassian that does the same in different ways. Nesta that is afraid to let others in. Cassian that observes everything both in the battlefield and outside of it. Nesta that scares people. Cassian that is not and could never be afraid of her. Cassian that intimidates people. Nesta that refuses to be intimidated by him. Nesta that throws insults. Cassian that throws tantrums. Cassian that turns his pain to playfulness and his weakness to anger and battle. Nesta that does not allow anyone to see her as weak and turns her rage to ice and her pain to faux indifference and hostility. Cassian that gets his power from his warrior nature and training. Nesta that wants to be empowered and get agency in different ways. Cassian that leans to order and anarchy. Nesta that leans to order and freedom. Nesta that is now the emissary of the Night court. The bridge of the human world with the Fae world trying to balance an understanding between two worlds. Cassian that is always trying to create an understanding between the Illyrians and the rest of High Fae and the man that becomes a bridge when he has a death count in paper and has to inform all the families of the lost. Nesta that her power is now connected with death. Cassian that has been walking in death. Nesta that is too serious. Cassian that is too aloof. Nesta that is too proud and disdainful and willful. Cassian that is arrogant and cocky and prideful. Nesta that is all about manners and propriety. Cassian that is insolent and all about wrecking buildings. Cassian that is serious when needs to be and Nesta that needs to relax and laugh more. Nesta that prefers a book and solitude and Cassian that in silent moments shows a more grounded version of himself. Cassian that people overlook his intelligence. Nesta that people overlook her humanity. Cassian born in a world that does not value bastards. Nesta born in a world that does not value women. Nesta that does not let others in. Cassian that is not making any serious commitments and relationships. Nesta that is so afraid of what she feels for Cassian that prefers to keep him in arm’s lengths using insults and distance and Cassian that is so terrified of what he feels for Nesta that gets completely out of sync when she shows him tenderness and interest. Cassian, the Prince of Bastards, that wanted to find his place in the world and be a man with value despite his heritage and Nesta, the terrible Queen, that after loss and building emotional walls wanted to go out to the world and see what a woman could so and leave her mark in the world. Nesta and Cassian that both dream of a better more equal world for bastards, children and women. The same coin from different sides.

And really this is not about a competition. You do not fall in love with someone that is perfect for you in theory. You get to fall in love with …people. With imperfect people. You get to love them exactly due to those imperfections that make then unique. I cannot stress enough that this is not a matter of what someone ‘deserves’. It is about what someone feels. It is about what makes a heart tick. It could be the most weird combination. It could be insane. And volatile. And easy going or difficult until it aches. In the end it is all about understanding and Nesta and Cassian can understand each in a deep level that is mostly instinctual at this point. It is lust and attraction and sexual tension (like …seriously!) and struggle (because nothing that is worth it comes easy in life) and it is understanding and feeling and silent communication and attraction in all levels.

And guess what… Cassian deserves this. He deserves a person that won’t use him as a sexual object so to get out of predicament and then use him as a shield against his best friend and create conflict in him and in the relationships that define him. Cassian deserves a person that won’t be afraid to stand up against him and with him. That won’t be charmed by his superficial sexiness and distractions. That will be an equal to him. That will shout to him miles away to get him out of danger and he will hear that voice calling him to safety. Cassian deserves a touch. Deserves to fall in love. To have a person that can see when he is hurt. Cassian deserves to get a chance with the woman he is choosing to fight with him and die with him and the woman that he is ready to search to the other life just so to have a chance with her and not regret not spending time with her. The woman that when he in bleeding and unconscious he will try to defend till his last breath. The woman that has a name that he keeps hearing in the wind. Cassian deserves a person that can see beyond his facade. Nesta that understands how dangerous and how noble Cassian is because he sees what others don’t. Because he sees beyond the surface. Because he sees who truly Nesta is. And who Nesta is is someone that Cassian not only wants but would be damn lucky to have. A woman that will stand up next to him and won’t allow anyone to offend him and she won’t judge him for his past. A woman that will surprise him. A woman that will shield him with her body against death itself. A woman that will try to carry him away from danger. And if she can’t help him she will stay with him till the end. She won’t run. She won’t lie. She won’t be dishonest. She won’t see him as a charity case. She will stay for the good and the bad and for hell itself. Cassian has been a bastard that had found family to the inner circle of the Night Court and friends and family but something has always been missing. A sense of true belonging. To have someone stay with him as the world burns and protect him as he protects others. To have someone truly understand him and use honest actions instead of words. Yes Nesta and Cassian are in a clash of wills but also in a clash of hearts.

But sure thing. Cassian surely does not deserve this and I do not get why people like Nesta and Cassian as a ship either.

Pro-Karin rant: Karin in the interrogation room

Recently a saw a couple people hating on Karin because of this page: 

They then said that Karin was disgusting for betraying Sasuke for food and that Naruto or Sakura would’ve never have done such. Every single aspect of their comment angered me, because i think they missed the whole point of this scene and what it said about Karin.

Before I say anything else, Karin is a morally grey character and you have to keep that in mind when judging her. If you judge morally grey characters on the same scale as morally white characters you miss almost all the complexity of their character, a mistake I made with Sasuke that caused me to absolutely detest him for years. Naruto and Sakura are morally white characters, so they act in morally white ways. Karin’s actions can’t be judged on a black and white scale because all her actions as a morally grey character have positive and negative elements along with reasons that must be considered. 

Firstly, Sasuke betrayed her. He stabbed her and almost finished the job. He used her then left her for dead. She had every right to completely turn around and give everything she had on him. Sasuke thought he could fend for himself and left her to do the same. She acknowledged that here:

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A few personal thoughts on ichigo re: love

So. I’ve been covered in ship feels pretty damn hard, and I can’t fucking rp unless I get these damn things OUT, so I decided I’d write down my personal interpretation of how ichigo sees love n’ shit.

(this is tagged as Ichihime only simply because dawg, that be what I ship ichigo in and what I believe has a good chance of being canon. Also because jesus CHRIST I do not want to get in a fight about how I headcanon Ichigo and romance, I have no fucking time for that shit anymore plz don’t.

Also possible anti-ichiruki if you squint?? I do talk on how I feel people misinterpret him so :V)

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Of a little Guardian Angel - or “Why do I love OkiKagu development in the last arc?”

At the beginning I was not a big OkiKagu fan. Of course I liked them, no doubt here. I liked them, but not as much as other (potential) pairings in Gintama. Then the Farewell Shinsengumi Arc came, the arc which changed my opinion of those two by 180 degrees. The beautiful and well-written arc showing how interesting their canon relationship is. The arc I want to analyze a little now, because I think there are many things that may be said. 

(to be precise - I talk about canon scenes and the OkiKagu relationship just how it is shown in the manga, so no real romantic material is included here)

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Under the cut you can find 50+ of my favorite one liners. None of these are of original content, all credit goes to their original owners. I simply found all of these online and picked my favorites to put in this masterpost as requested by anon. You can use these for bios, descriptions, gif chats, in paras or even in daily life. Some mention God so if you would be triggered or bothered by that I suggest you don’t use this masterlist, also I give warning that not all of them are G rated. Enjoy!

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anonymous asked:

Do you know some vegan "quotes" please ? ☺️ it's to write in my art journal

Just some of my favourite vegan quotes I thought I would share with you ❤︎

“I like saying ‘To you it is just a meal, but to them, it is existence itself.’”
- Unknown

“All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt ? What harm can you do ?”
- Buddha

“Before you ask someone why they’re vegan, ask yourself why you aren’t”
- Unknown

“If slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”
- Paul Mcartney

“No animals need to die in order for me to live. And that makes me feel good.”
- Howard Lynan

“Nothing will benefit health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as the revolution to a vegetarian diet.”
- Albert Einstein

“We all love animals. Why do we call some ‘pets’ and others ‘dinner’?”
- K.D.Lang

“But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light and that proportion of life and that time it had been born into the world to enjoy.”
- Plutarch

“Veganism is not about giving up anything or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing non violence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable.”
- Gary L

“We don’t need to eat anyone who would run, swim or fly away if they could.”
- James Cromwell

“Animals are not ingredients.”
- Barbara Thompson

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” 
- James D. Miles

“There earth was made for all beings, not just human beings.”
- Unknown

Vegan: Somebody who has the nutty idea that hurting animals is a bad thing

“My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.”
- Da Vinci

“Compassion for the suffering of others is not weakness. Acting from compassion when those around you do not, takes more courage and strength of character than going along with everyone else’s cruelty.”
- Unknown

“The greatest ethical test we’re ever going to face is the treatment of those who are at our mercy.”
- Lyn White

“Being non vegan IS taking a side. It IS taking the side of the oppressor. It is NOT a neutral position. It IS a proactively violent position. Switch sides. Go vegan.”

“Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy.”
- Gary L. Francione

“Animals are living beings. They are not products to be sold on a supermarket shelf.”

“We will never have peace on earth as long as we have suffering and death on our tables and on our backs.”
- Gary L. Francione

“Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends.”
- George Bernard Shaw

“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”
- Dr. Paul Farmer

Be the change you want to see in the world. 

Leather stinks. Animals are not fabric. Wear your own damn skin. Thank you. 

anonymous asked:

I just saw a post going around about a girl who made a song about Niall, called "boyband", that was initially believed to be about Harry. It's not a very flattering song. I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything, but I've heard quite a few rumours that Niall is sexist and objectifies women and this song reminded me of them. I really like Niall, and I get so sad for having these doubts about who he really is, but sexism is something even my educated, open minded male friends reproduce :(

I saw that post and I think it makes many logical errors.  I don’t agree with the conclusion the OP came to at all and I think it should be treated as an unsubstantiated rumor.  

It’s no more likely to be true than any of the girls that claimed to have slept with Zayn or Harry.  It’s not necessarily more true than the songs Taylor Swift writes about her “relationships” or than Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t” was.

I think the rumors about Niall objectifying women are likely either misunderstandings, outright lies for attention, planted, or caused by the fandom attitude towards Niall resulting from the smear campaign (more subtle, yes, but still a smear campaign) that 1DHQ has been running against him for years.

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Canvas #4 — ARTIST 360

Fans, Friends, and Followers: 4 Tips for Succeeding at Social Media

Twitter and Facebook were created a little over 10 years ago. I was already a grown man by that time, but I can’t remember how I connected to my peers and contacted my heroes before then. Weird, isn’t it? That is how much social media has permeated our personal and professional lives.

But over the years, I’ve discovered that there’s a difference between simply being ON social media and effectively USING social media. Here are some things that I’ve done in my networking that I feel have been effective in helping Imaginism Studios gain fans, friends, and followers:

1. Birds of a Feather

In our everyday lives, we are brought together by our common goals and interests. It’s no different online. Search through your social media platforms for people and posts that relate to those things that you’re interested in and engage those people. You will start off as strangers but hopefully that common thread will help open up communication and you will quickly become friends.

Likewise, if you achieve some prominence and one day someone who shares your interests contacts you, take a minute and connect with them. After all, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes.

There’s nothing as powerful to a star as the memory of the person who was kind to them before they went supernova. As you dream for greatness, don’t be afraid to look for that person; once your dreams have come true, don’t be afraid to BE that person.

2. Don’t be One-Dimensonal

Just because you’re an artist doesn’t mean you should post about nothing but art. Don’t be one-dimensional; post things you find interesting or helpful and re-post or re-blog-or re-tweet worthwhile things that other people have posted, blogged, or tweeted. In between those things, post about things you’re promoting as well as your own work, of course.

Try posting your thoughts in addition to pictures. Let your followers get to know the real you, not just your work. And in knowing you, they will have a greater emotional investment in your career and future success. After all, who doesn’t love to proclaim to their friends, “I followed that person before they got big!”

Variety is key. In our world of bite-sized media, being repetitive will bore people, and they will look elsewhere, so be eclectic and well-versed. Be a whole person, not just a gallery of artwork.

3. Timing is Everything

Well okay, maybe good timing isn’t EVERYTHING, but I know from experience that BAD timing can definitely cause SOMETHING to amount to NOTHING.

Consider this scenario: you are an up and coming artist from Florida and while you’re relatively unknown in America, your work is quickly becoming popular in Japan. So at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday in Florida, what time is it in Tokyo?

You might have never left your home country, home state, or even your hometown before. But by being online and participating in an international community, you have to take time zones into account. Think about your followers that you engage with regularly and where most of them are from. Time your posts to when they are most likely to be active. In the previous example, posting after lunch at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday in Florida to your audience in Japan would probably be useless because at that time, it’s 3:00 a.m. Friday morning in Tokyo and most of your followers are likely asleep. By the time they wake up, tweets and posts from other people will have already pushed your post to the bottom of your fans’ feeds, thus denying you an opportunity to engage with them.

In addition to the time of day, also take into account the day of the week. If you have a young fanbase, they might be out socializing with friends on the weekends and not following you as closely; if you have an older fanbase, they might be swamped with work on Mondays and Tuesdays and more likely to catch up with your news on Thursdays and Fridays. Experiment with the timing of your posts and note when you get the most engagement and on what topics. Every group of followers is different but once you are able to tap into the high attention periods of your fans, you will have an easier time engaging with them and getting your work seen, commented on, and shared.

Timing works in reverse as well: if you discover someone you’d like to follow, try and note when they are the most active and follow them at that time. This way, you will increase the chances that they will follow you back.

4. Old-Fashioned Social Media: Socializing in Person

This article was going to end with the previous tip but Ben pointed out that a lot of younger artists want to meet industry professionals at conventions or workshops but are shy and don’t know how to do it, so maybe I could mention something about that.

The single most important tip I can give anyone who is about to talk to a stranger is this: whatever you’re going to say, before those words leave your lips, imagine yourself as the person you’re speaking to and think about how you would react if you heard what you’re about to say. If by doing this, you realize that what you’re about to say can be taken the wrong way, re-phrase it so that your meaning is clear and cannot be misunderstood.

Over the course of a year, I talk to a lot of people, some of whom I seek out, some of whom seek ME out. When I approach someone I admire, I speak to them in the same way that I would like to be spoken to.

I always start off by being extra polite. Now granted, some people don’t like too much formality, but when I realize that, I can always dial it back and won’t offend anyone. However, if I approach someone who has never met me before and I’m too casual or familiar with them while they highly value respect and manners, I can’t dial up the formality and expect to start with a clean slate five minutes into the conversation. Therefore, be extra polite and err on the side of caution.

If at all possible, I try to research the person I’m going to meet before I meet them. This way, I’m up to date on who they are, what they’ve been up to, and possibly what topics of conversation to bring up or avoid.

If I’m there to speak to them, that’s what I try to talk about: THEM. I’ve found that when I’m genuinely interested about someone, they tend to become genuinely interested in me too.

I try to be myself, not who I think they’d like me to be. When I’m genuine, I find that people respect that and also tend to be genuine in return. Certainly, people can sense falseness. Think about it, most of us have at some point met someone who was so obviously fake that we were kind of offended that they thought they were fooling us with their false front. Don’t be that person.

Along that same vein, if a topic comes up that you’re unfamiliar with, ask questions; don’t pretend that you have knowledge that you really don’t. I did this once and regret it to this day.

And when the conversation is over, take your leave and walk away. Nothing is more awkward than speaking to someone who has run out of things to say and has resorted to just staring at you silently. If you make a clean exit, you can leave a good impression and always come back later.

In all cases, practice makes perfect. Many artists, myself included, are naturally shy but the more you try to socialize with people, whether online or in person, the better you will get at it. And when you have a good interaction with someone, think about it afterwards and try to figure out what you did to engage people. Analyze it from the other person’s point of view (remember my single most important tip?) and keep making adjustments. Like art, socializing—online and off—gets easier the more you do it.

My thoughts on ep 5x15 - "Bash"

OK, it’s morning and I’ve had a chance to mull things over. This was not a flawless ep by any standard. The pacing was poor, and way too much time wasted on less important storylines (will get to that in a minute), but there were some really amazing moments here.

First, the opening. Absolutely flawless in how it was staged. I’ve attended (sad to say) more than a few vigils in my life and even when you don’t personally know the person that you’re there to support, it can be a heartbreaking experience. For someone like Kurt who has been on the recieving end of physical violence himself, the emotions had to be overwhelming. Sadness that someone he knew, if only casually, was badly hurt. The fear that it could have easily been him. Being tired of feeling hunted and persecuted for who is. Chris’s performance was so layered and nuanced and it’s not a surprise that the entire scene ended up with the total focus being on Kurt because Chris’s absolutely masterful performance demanded it.

I think that the show took a wrong turn with diving directly into Mercedes and Sam renewing their romantic relationship so quickly. I don’t see any real chemistry between the two of them and while I liked the concept of the pairing back in season 2 when it was first floated, it works a lot less well now. Sam has been so badly degraded as a character that I don’t want to see him inflicted on any character that I like. And seeing his needing Star Wars fanfic bedtime stories contrasting with Mercedes grappling with the real concerns about public image vs personal life just made trying to force this pairing together even more jarring. For the life of me, I cannot understand why Mercedes would want to be with Sam. Sure, he’s decent looking (especially now with his new haircut), but he’s dumber than a post. Seeing him trying to impress Mercedes backup singers (and Sam, you never touch a black woman’s hair unless you’re in the act of fucking her and even then it’s a risky proposition) was just so painful to sit though. I felt Mercedes second hand embarassment vicerally. In the end, I came up with a ton of reasons why Sam and Mercedes should not get together, but race was pretty much the last thing on my list.

Rachel… I’m so tired of feeling like I need to make special effort to cheer for Rachel’s ambitions because they make her into such an unpleasent harridan at times. I’m tired of her picking fights with people and making herself so self-righteous and unlikable that I want to see her fail. I can understand her being conflicted over her very difficult committments and I will agree that having a chance to play Fanny on Broadway is an opportunity that she could just let go. But how she handled things was so immature and if she didn’t quit NYADA on her out, Ms. Tibideaux would have had ample grounds to expell her. She made the mistake of thinking that because no one was telling her that she was slacking off in her classes and not performing up to standards that everything was okay, forgetting that this is college and teachers at this level aren’t going to go out of their way to try to make students who don’t want to be there learn. And assuming that Ms. Tibideaux would be fine with a duet performered for the critique when the point was for her to be graded on how she has grown and matured as a performer was another assumption that may well cost her. She can’t ever admit her own shortcomings either as a performer or a person so instead it’s NYADA and Ms. Tibideaux that’s the problem. Rachel may now think that she’s too good for NYADA and doesn’t need the school, but this decision may come back to haunt her.

And then there is how she treated Kurt. Frankly, I would not blame Kurt for giving up on Rachel because she makes it very difficult to be her friend. If you tell her something that she doesn’t want to hear, she turns on you like a snake. Accusing Kurt of immaturity after she just dropped out of school on a whim was absolutely laughable, as Rachel is arguably the most immature character on the show. One of these days Rachel is going to go too far and Kurt isn’t going to be so forgiving and after this (following so quickly on Kurt being a “traitor” because he didn’t immediately side with Rachel during her war with Santana), I wish that he would dump her. Having her appologize, however sincerely, only after Kurt is assaulted and she realizes that she can indeed lose him really doesn’t make me think that she realizes that she was dead wrong in how she was behaving. Maybe she felt honestly guilty over what she said and recognizes that she was way out of line and that Kurt in no way deserved how she acted, but she keeps doing this. I don’t see any emotional growth from Rachel at this point. We’re back to season 1 “I’m going to be a star and nothing will stop me!” Rachel.

The less said about Blaine, the better. Thankfully his role in this episode was very limited but we’ve gotten our first big mistep at NYADA and even though he gave the performance that Ms. Tibideaux originally demanded, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s now going to be labeled as something of a problem. And please… no more a cappella for Darren!

Now Kurt… he might have had the least amount of screen time (which really shows just how badly planned and paced this episode was), but he’s shown just how much he’s grown as a person since we first met him. Kurt has been on the recieving end of assaults and attacks of all kinds for most of his life, and he has never shied away from a confrontation even he risked injury. Most of the time his sharp wit and tongue saved him from a beating, but this is the guy who stood up to both Karofsky and Azimo to protect Tina. It is not too much a stretch of the imagination that he might run into a dark alley to save someone that he heard was being attacked.

This is also a result of a surge in confidence that Kurt has been steadily undergoing. It’s not due to any one particular thing, but a series of events in his life. His relationship with Adam (which helped repair his spirit after Blaine’s infideltiy), the success of his band, his acceptance into NYADA and his increasing success there… all have played their parts. So now Kurt isn’t just brave, but confident. Even though he ended up injured as a result of this event, he’s in no way a victim. He accepted the risk to his safety and judged it worth taking. Telling his father that he wasn’t hurting inside spoke volumes about where he is spiritually and it’s in a good place. He’s not living in fear or on guard any longer, and that’s a huge revelation.

And he didn’t rise to Rachel’s bait about not wanting to be a real adult (as if quitting school because you get called out for not keeping your grades up is mature). Kurt is smart enough to know that he needs the training that NYADA is giving him. Like Rachel, he’s remarkably talented but unlike her, he recognizes that he needs to be refined before he’s ready for the kind of career that he’s looking for. As good as he was before starting at NYADA, he’s even better (and more importantly, more confident now). The young man who was surprised at getting a standing ovation at his Winter Showcase audition now can accept it as well deserved. He’s hungry for this training and unlike Rachel, who only saw NYADA as a means to an end, sees real value in continuing his education. Kurt will be a star one day. Maybe he won’t get there as quickly as Rachel, or as easily as Blaine, but he will become one of those iconic performers that people will happily write roles for.