you should really watch the video to get to this point

Someone else on tumblr pointed out that PASSENGERS might have been a more meaningful movie if it was about just THE ONE person dealing with being alone on the ship for the rest of their life.  And if, to cope, they go through and make it a point to learn everything they can about all of the other people on the ship.

And I just keep thinking about this idea.

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ok but imagine Pidge as the Toddler From Hell™ terrorizing teenage Matt and Shiro (but mostly Matt)

  • Shiro comes over to hang out with Matt and they’re left home alone to look after Pidge. Somehow Shiro accidentally lets the f-word slip in front of lil toddler Pidge and suddenly Pidge is running around the house screaming “FUCK” at the top of her lungs.
    • Matt is chasing her, completely pale and trying to shush her while Shiro just: “SHIT I’m so sorry oh wait cRAP I DIDN’T MEAN TO–ohmygod I should shut up now I am so sorry….”
    • Pidge: “FUCK!! SHIT!! CRAP!!” (Matt is screaming in the background)
    • Later that night at dinner….
      • Sam @ Pidge: “So, sweetie, did you have fun with Matt and Shiro today?”
      • Pidge: “FUCK!!”
      • Matt goes white as a sheet, Sam turns red, and Colleen nearly faints
        • Matt takes the fall and says he accidentally said the f-word in front of Pidge, not Shiro
      • Years later, Pidge is like “holy crap isn’t Shiro the one who actually taught me the f-word” and Shiro’s like “oh fuck, I meAN SHIT I MEAN I DIDN’T, IT WASN’T ME IT WAS MATT!!”
  • Pidge tattled on Matt ALL THE TIME. Like the time he wanted to try driving their dad’s car and backed it into a trash can. Rip Matt.
  • MATT FALLS ASLEEP ON THE COUCH AND PIDGE DRAWS ON HIS FACE WITH SHIRO’S HELP
    • Shiro actually caught Pidge in the act but he decided to join in rather than stop her
  • PIDGE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES WITH MATT AND SHIRO AND WINNING BECAUSE (of course) THEY LET HER
    • Later she secretly watches them play from the doorway when she got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night aND SHE FIGURES OUT THEY WERE GOING EASY ON HER SO SHE SITS HER ASS DOWN AND THROWS A FUCKING TANTRUM RIGHT THERE
    • The next time they play, Shiro and Matt play fairly per Pidge’s request, but of course she loses and proceeds to throw another tantrum :’)
  • Matt brings home a girl he has a crush on and PIDGE SHOWS HER HIS DIARY
    • Matt: “That is NOT MINE”
    • Pidge, with her hands on her hips: “Well my name isn’t MATT” *points at where Matt signed his name at the bottom of the page*
    • Shiro pops in to drop off something he borrowed from Matt and notices Matt and the girl are getting along really well and calls out, “Oh so you told her you like her?? That’s great buddy!!” and gives him a thumbs up. Matt wants to crawl into a hole and die.
      • The girl leaves 30 mins later and Shiro’s casually hanging around the kitchen like “uhhh sorry man I didn’t mean to fuck that up for you” and Matt just gives him A Look.
  • PIDGE TACKLING MATT TO THE GROUND WHEN HE’S PLAYING VIDEO GAMES AGAINST SHIRO AND YELLING “GO SHIRO GO KICK HIS BUTT AND BEAT HIM UP!!!” AND MATT’S LIKE “SLFAHJF GET OFF OF ME” AND SHIRO IS JUST FURIOUSLY HITTING BUTTONS ON HIS CONTROLLER
    • Shiro wins after Matt finally gets his tiny sister off him
    • Matt: “You’re my sister!! Who’s side are you on?!?!”
    • Pidge, sitting in Shiro’s lap with a sHIT-EATING GRIN ON HER FACE: “Shiro’s” :DDDDD (MATT FEELS SO BETRAYED)
  • Now Matt questions how he even dealt with Pidge as a kid and she’s just like “idk but you still love me so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

In honor of my 5th semester in a row of all A’s (hell yeah boiiiii) I’m going to make this post. I don’t know how I did it because I am honestly so lazy.

  1. Grades are reflective of your work ethic and your ability to strategize, not your intelligence.
  2. Be real with yourself. Are you sure you are ready to commit to perfect grades? Are you ready to work, day in and day out, when it sucks and classes are boring and hard? Are you ready to feel satisfied for all of the hard work you put in? If the answer is yes, congratulations. You are on your way to becoming a straight-A student.
  3. Prioritize classes. Not every class requires the same amount of work, and you should find out the hardest classes early on in the semester. These will take the most time, and you will have to spend extra time and effort to get a good grade. When choosing classes, make sure you will be able to handle them. Make sure you will be able to ace all of them, at the same time. That being said, don’t shy away from hard classes. You have to challenge yourself. Take a few AP’s. They are worth it.
  4. Make friends with teachers/professors, especially the ones that teach hard subjects. I am very close with my chemistry professor, and this has proved invaluable because I am able to get free tutoring, as well as a great recommendation letter for college apps.
  5. Have other goals. You need to do something that is not studying to keep you productive. I would highly recommend joining a sports team or club. I exercise (usually running and weightlifting) at least 2 hours a day, usually more. Playing 2 sports made me more healthy, social, and productive. Running calms me down, and weightlifting makes me feel strong. Do whatever makes you feel good, as long as it’s healthy.
  6. Learn to manage time well. How do I play 2 sports, get straight A’s, have a studyblr, and have time to spare? The answer is that I take care of myself well. I go to bed at 10:30 or 11 each night so I can get 7 ish hours of sleep. I do homework during lunch or in class so I don’t do it at home.
  7. Slack off. Yep. I said it. I complete assignments strategically, spending the most time on things worth the most points. Things that will only take a few minutes can occasionally be done in class right before the teacher is collecting homework. I have done this all too often. That being said, small assignments really do add up so make sure you do an acceptable job and turn them in on time.
  8. Turn something in. It is ok to sometimes slack off in quality, but if something is due, you better turn something in. Something is better than nothing. Getting extensions on assignments for no reason will make the teacher think you are lazy, or don’t care about their class. Every single essay and worksheet does not have to be your best work, but make sure you fill the basic assignment requirements, and it should be enough. 
  9. Extra. Credit. Some classes don’t offer this, but if they do, just freaking do it man. Knowing you can miss an assignment because you did extra credit earlier is the best feeling, especially when doing that assignment would have meant losing sleep. 
  10. Plan (sort of). I have a bullet journal where I write important assignments down. As I said, there are some assignments not worth your time that you can half-ass. The ones I write down are the ones I need to do well. If you write down every. last. assignment. you will burn out and stop planning altogether. 
  11. Sometimes, go above and beyond. You know that subject you really like? With an awesome teacher? Spend time on it. Make your project extra beautiful, and read ahead in the textbook. Watch video lectures online, and maybe even make a studyblr post about it. Your extra work might not be turned in for credit, but it will make you feel a whole lot more knowledgeable on the subject. Do this for classes you hate, too. Maybe it’s not as bad as you think it is. The extra effort might allow you to see the beauty in a subject you used to despise. 
  12. Be real with yourself (again). This past semester, I had a B+ for a few months in a subject I really love. I wasn’t mad, and I didn’t stress about it, because, honestly? It doesn’t really matter. Eventually I brought the grade up again, but it would be fine to me either way. 
History of YOI fandom

As a YOI fandom grandparent, I felt it was my duty to write out all the fandom explosions for the newer fans who weren’t there to witness the big bang and gradual week-by-week creation of this universe. All the arguments, people blowing things out of proportion, blaming characters, death theories, awesome fans clearing up miscommunications, YOI breaking the internet… 

This isn’t a post to call out specific people on their arguments and theories - I’ll stay respectfully away from restarting flames and picking fights, thankyouverymuch. Rather, this is an overview of the topics and conflicting views that swept across hundreds and thousands of people and prompted strong reactions. I’m doing this now, because I know that 6 months later, 1 year later, 3 years later, etc. there will be new fans who will have many of the same exact arguments. We’ve been there and done that. I see fans now who say things without knowing where the spelling/quote comes from, or who don’t realize how much has changed, or don’t know why there are certain perceptions of characters. So here’s a little bit of passing down history.

I also don’t want to forget the crazy ride this was. Laugh with me at the silly theories; smile with me at how deeply YOI has impacted our lives.
For those of us old-timers, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Remember when…

—————-
(Large arguments will be italicized or bold. Special thanks to @sachiro for reminding me of a bunch of stuff I missed, and looking over the draft in its various stages of being written and edited.)

Pre-series

  • Idea that there would be a love triangle (Yuri P.–Yuri K.–Victor)
  • Some fans started spelling Yuri Katsuki with two “u” in order to tell them apart.
  • Victuri ship name created for Victor x Yuri K. (in a comment to the PV)
  • The title
    • “lol ‘Yuri’ on Ice? Where are all the lesbians?”
    • “When it said Yuri on Ice, I thought we would get girls. Y’know what I mean?”
    • “Yuri on Ice? More like Yaoi on Ice! amiright?”
    • etc.
  • J.J. misspelling (English spelling “Jean Jack” instead of French Canadian “Jean-Jacques”)
    • you can see the remnants of this in the audience banners during the episodes, but it was corrected to “Jean-Jacques” on the official website and the in-show text
  • Phichit x Seung-gil ship created (there was more art for this than for Victor x Yuuri)

Episode 1

  • Victor vs. Viktor spelling arguments 
    • Although “Victor” is the official spelling and seen in-show, people argued that the creators are wrong and that we fans know better than them about Russian culture - thus the “Viktor” spelling was born.
    • People argued back that spelling is subjective and you can spell a name multiple ways and still be correct - thus transliterating his Russian name into English as “Victor” would be just as acceptable.
    • The YOI wiki held fast for a time on using official spellings and information from the official website, but the transition of power led to a new team that started using agreed-upon info rather than solely using official info. “Viktor” replaced “Victor” on the website.
      • this change from “Victor” to “Viktor” on the wiki happened around episode 2~3, but the arguments were in the page comments since episode 1 – with moderators explaining their reasoning with sticking to official sources.
  • Victor is a flirtatious over-the-top character who will seduce Yuuri
  • Victor is the overwhelming seme and Yuuri is the shy whimpering uke.

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4

I’ve been thinking about this game. Personally to me it represents a lot of lost potential - it’s a great concept but it’s brought down by a less than stellar execution. The cartoon designs look more like stickers than anything, just barely resembling a stereotype of a stereotype of the 1920′s-30′s cartoon style. While I don’t like complaining about people’s choices in design and art, I guess the theme is one that I’m rather passionate about, and a little bit of research from the developers would bring the game to a much greater level of quality than it is at the moment. The monsters in the game are also just unimaginably lame, and to me represent just plain blowing off the original idea in favor of more “serious” horror.

(Continued under a readmore because I say a lot; tl;dr I talk more about where the game went wrong in my opinion and how I would recommend changing it.)

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Dead Fandoms, Part 3

Read Part One of Dead Fandoms here. 

Read Part Two of Dead Fandoms here. 

Before we continue, I want to add the usual caveat that I actually don’t want to be right about these fandoms being dead. I like enthusiasm and energy and it’s a shame to see it vanish.


Mists of Avalon

Remember that period of time of about 15 years, where absolutely everybody read this book and was obsessed with it? It could not have been bigger, and the fandom was Anne Rice huge, overlapping for several years with USENET and the early World Wide Web…but it’s since petered out. 

Mists of Avalon’s popularity may be due to the most excellent case of hitting a demographic sweet spot ever. The book was a feminist retelling of the Arthurian Mythos where Morgan Le Fay is the main character, a pagan from matriarchal goddess religions who is fighting against encroaching Christianity and patriarchal forms of society coming in with it. Also, it made Lancelot bisexual and his conflict is how torn he is about his attraction to both Arthur and Guinevere.

Remember, this novel came out in 1983 – talk about being ahead of your time! If it came out today, the reaction from a certain corner would be something like “it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that tumblr is at it again.”

Man, demographically speaking, that’s called “nailing it.” It used to be one of the favorite books of the kind of person who’s bookshelf is dominated by fantasy novels about outspoken, fiery-tongued redheaded women, who dream of someday moving to Scotland, who love Enya music and Kate Bush, who sell homemade needlepoint stuff on etsy, who consider their religious beliefs neo-pagan or wicca, and who have like 15 cats, three of which are named Isis, Hypatia, and Morrigan.

This type of person is still with us, so why did this novel fade in popularity? There’s actually a single hideous reason: after her death around 2001, facts came out that Marion Zimmer Bradley abused her daughters sexually. Even when she was alive, she was known for defending and enabling a known child abuser, her husband, Walter Breen. To say people see your work differently after something like this is an understatement – especially if your identity is built around being a progressive and feminist author.


Robotech

I try to break up my sections on dead fandoms into three parts: first, I explain the property, then explain why it found a devoted audience, and finally, I explain why that fan devotion and community went away. Well, in the case of Robotech, I can do all three with a single sentence: it was the first boy pilot/giant robot Japanimation series that shot for an older, teenage audience to be widely released in the West. Robotech found an audience when it was the only true anime to be widely available, and lost it when became just another import anime show. In the days of Crunchyroll, it’s really hard to explain what made Robotech so special, because it means describing a different world.

Try to imagine what it was like in 1986 for Japanime fans: there were barely any video imports, and if you wanted a series, you usually had to trade tapes at your local basement club (they were so precious they couldn’t even be sold, only traded). If you were lucky, you were given a script to translate what you were watching. Robotech though, was on every day, usually after school. You want an action figure? Well, you could buy a Robotech Valkyrie or a Minmei figure at your local corner FAO Schwartz. 

However, the very strategy that led to it getting syndicated is the very reason it was later vilified by the purists who emerged when anime became a widespread cultural force: strictly speaking, there actually is no show called “Robotech.” Since Japanese shows tend to be short run, say, 50-60 episodes, it fell well under the 80-100 episode mark needed for syndication in the US. The producer of Harmony Gold, Carl Macek, had a solution: he’d cut three unrelated but similar looking series together into one, called “Robotech.” The shows looked very similar, had similar love triangles, used similar tropes, and even had little references to each other, so the fit was natural. It led to Robotech becoming a weekday afternoon staple with a strong fandom who called themselves “Protoculture Addicts.” There were conventions entirely devoted to Robotech. The supposed shower scene where Minmei was bare-breasted was the barely whispered stuff of pervert legend in pre-internet days. And the tie in novels, written with the entirely western/Harmony Gold conception of the series and which continued the story, were actually surprisingly readable.

The final nail in the coffin of Robotech fandom was the rise of Sailor Moon, Toonami, Dragonball, and yes, Pokemon (like MC Hammer’s role in popularizing hip hop, Pokemon is often written out of its role in creating an audience for the next wave of cartoon imports out of insecurity). Anime popularity in the West can be defined as not a continuing unbroken chain like scifi book fandom is, but as an unrelated series of waves, like multiple ancient ruins buried on top of each other (Robotech was the vanguard of the third wave, as Anime historians reckon); Robotech’s wave was subsumed by the next, which had different priorities and different “core texts.” Pikachu did what the Zentraedi and Invid couldn’t do: they destroyed the SDF-1.


Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Superheroes was comic set in the distant future that combined superheroes with space opera, with a visual aesthetic that can best be described as “Star Trek: the Motion Picture, if it was set in a disco.” 

I’ve heard wrestling described as “a soap opera for men.” If that’s the case, then Legion of Super-Heroes was a soap opera for nerds. The book is about attractive 20-somethings who seem to hook up all the time. As a result, it had a large female fanbase, which, I cannot stress enough, is incredibly unusual for this era in comics history. And if you have female fans, you get a lot of shipping and slashfic, and lots of speculation over which of the boy characters in the series is gay. The fanon answer is Element Lad, because he wore magenta-pink and never had a girlfriend. (Can’t argue with bulletproof logic like that.) In other words, it was a 1970s-80s fandom that felt much more “modern” than the more right-brained, bloodless, often anal scifi fandoms that existed around the same time, where letters pages were just nitpicking science errors by model train and elevator enthusiasts.

Legion Headquarters seemed to be a rabbit fuck den built around a supercomputer and Danger Room. Cosmic Boy dressed like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror. There’s one member, Duo Damsel, who can turn into two people, a power that, in the words of Legion writer Jim Shooter, was “useful for weird sex…and not much else.”

LSH was popular because the fans were insanely horny. This is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the thirstiest fandom of all time.  You might think I’m overselling this, but I really think that’s an under-analyzed part of how some kinds of fiction build a devoted fanbase.  

For example, a big reason for the success of Mass Effect is that everyone has a favorite girl or boy, and you have the option to romance them. Likewise, everyone who was a fan of Legion remembers having a crush. Sardonic Ultra Boy for some reason was a favorite among gay male nerds (aka the Robert Conrad Effect). Tall, blonde, amazonian telepath Saturn Girl, maybe the first female team leader in comics history, is for the guys with backbone who prefer Veronica over Betty. Shrinking Violet was a cute Audrey Hepburn type. And don’t forget Shadow Lass, who was a blue skinned alien babe with pointed ears and is heavily implied to have an accent (she was Aayla Secura before Aayla Secura was Aayla Secura). Light Lass was commonly believed to be “coded lesbian” because of a short haircut and her relationships with men didn’t work out. The point is, it’s one thing to read about the adventures of a superteam, and it implies a totally different level of mental and emotional involvement to read the adventures of your imaginary girlfriend/boyfriend.  

Now, I should point out that of all the fandoms I’ve examined here, LSH was maybe the smallest. Legion was never a top seller, but it was a favorite of the most devoted of fans who kept it alive all through the seventies and eighties with an energy and intensity disproportionate to their actual numbers. My gosh, were LSH fans devoted! Interlac and Legion Outpost were two Legion fanzines that are some of the most famous fanzines in comics history.

If nerd culture fandoms were drugs, Star Wars would be alcohol, Doctor Who would be weed, but Legion of Super-Heroes would be injecting heroin directly into your eyeballs. Maybe it is because the Legionnaires were nerdy, too: they played Dungeons and Dragons in their off time (an escape, no doubt, from their humdrum, mundane lives as galaxy-rescuing superheroes). There were sometimes call outs to Monty Python. Basically, the whole thing had a feel like the dorkily earnest skits or filk-singing at a con. Legion felt like it’s own fan series, guest starring Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day.

It helped that the boundary between fandom and professional was incredibly porous. For instance, pro-artist Dave Cockrum did covers for Legion fanzines. Former Legion APA members Todd and Mary Biernbaum got a chance to actually write Legion, where, with the gusto of former slashfic writers given the keys to canon, their major contribution was a subplot that explicitly made Element Lad gay. Mike Grell, a professional artist who got paid to work on the series, did vaguely porno-ish fan art. Again, it’s hard to tell where the pros started and the fandom ended; the inmates were running the asylum.

Mostly, Legion earned this devotion because it could reward it in a way no other comic could. Because Legion was not a wide market comic but was bought by a core audience, after a point, there were no self-contained one-and-done Legion stories. In fact, there weren’t even really arcs as we know it, which is why Legion always has problems getting reprinted in trade form. Legion was plotted like a daytime soap opera: there were always five different stories going on in every issue, and a comic involved cutting between them. Sure, like daytime soap operas, there’s never a beginning, just endless middles, so it was totally impossible for a newbie to jump on board…but soap operas know what they are doing: long term storytelling rewards a long term reader.

This brings me to today, where Legion is no longer being published by DC. There is no discussion about a movie or TV revival. This is amazing. Comics are a world where the tiniest nerd groups get pandered to: Micronauts, Weirdworld, Seeker 3000, and Rom have had revival series, for pete’s sake. It’s incredible there’s no discussion of a film or TV treatment, either; friggin Cyborg from New Teen Titans is getting a solo movie. 

Why did Legion stop being such a big deal? Where did the fandom that supported it dissolve to? One word: X-Men. Legion was incredibly ahead of its time. In the 60s and 70s, there were barely any “fan” comics, since superhero comics were like animation is today: mostly aimed at kids, with a minority of discerning adult/teen fans, and it was success among kids, not fans, that led to something being a top seller (hence, “fan favorites” in the 1970s, as surprising as it is to us today, often did not get a lot of work, like Don MacGregor or Barry Smith). But as newsstands started to push comics out, the fan audience started to get bigger and more important…everyone else started to catch up to the things that made Legion unique: most comics started to have attractive people who paired up into couples and/or love triangles, and featured extremely byzantine long term storytelling. If Legion of Super-Heroes is going to be remembered for anything, it’s for being the smaller scale “John the Baptist” to the phenomenon of X-Men, the ultimate “fan” comic.

The other thing that killed Legion, apart from Marvel’s Merry Mutants, that is, was the r-word: reboots. A reboot only works for some properties, but not others. You reboot something when you want to find something for a mass audience to respond to, like with Zorro, Batman, or Godzilla.

Legion, though, was not a comic for everybody, it was a fanboy/girl comic beloved by a niche who read it for continuing stories and minutiae (and to jack off, and in some cases, jill off). Rebooting a comic like that is a bad idea. You do not reboot something where the main way you engage with the property, the greatest strength, is the accumulated lore and history. Rebooting a property like that means losing the reason people like it, and unless it’s something with a wide audience, you only lose fans and won’t get anything in return for it. So for something like Legion (small fandom obsessed with long form plots and details, but unlike Trek, no name recognition) a reboot is the ultimate Achilles heel that shatters everything, a self-destruct button they kept hitting over and over and over until there was nothing at all left.


E. E. Smith’s Lensman Novels

The Lensman series is like Gil Evans’s jazz: it’s your grandparents’ favorite thing that you’ve never heard of. 

I mean, have you ever wondered exactly what scifi fandom talked about before the rise of the major core texts and cultural objects (Star Trek, Asimov, etc)? Well, it was this. Lensmen was the subject of fanfiction mailed in manilla envelopes during the 30s, 40s, and 50s (some of which are still around). If you’re from Boston, you might recognize that the two biggest and oldest scifi cons there going back to the 1940s, Boskone (Boscon, get it?) and Arisia, are references to the Lensman series. This series not only created space opera as we know it, but contributed two of the biggest visuals in scifi, the interstellar police drawn from different alien species, and space marines in power armor.

My favorite sign of how big this series was and how fans responded to it, was a great wedding held at Worldcon that duplicated Kimball Kinnison and Clarissa’s wedding on Klovia. This is adorable:

The basic story is pure good vs. evil: galactic civilization faces a crime and piracy wave of unprecedented proportions from technologically advanced pirates (the memory of Prohibition, where criminals had superior firearms and faster cars than the cops, was strong by the mid-1930s). A young officer, Kimball Kinnison (who speaks in a Stan Lee esque style of dialogue known as “mid-century American wiseass”), graduates the academy and is granted a Lens, an object from an ancient mystery civilization, who’s true purpose is unknown.

Lensman Kinnison discovers that the “crime wave” is actually a hostile invasion and assault by a totally alien culture that is based on hierarchy, intolerant of failure, and at the highest level, is ruled by horrifying nightmare things that breathe freezing poison gases. Along the way, he picks up allies, like van Buskirk, a variant human space marine from a heavy gravity planet who can do a standing jump of 20 feet in full space armor, Worsel, a telepathic dragon warrior scientist with the technical improvisation skills of MacGyver (who reads like the most sadistically minmaxed munchkinized RPG character of all time), and Nandreck, a psychologist from a Pluto-like planet of selfish cowards.

The scale of the conflict starts small, just skirmishes with pirates, but explodes to near apocalyptic dimensions. This series has space battles with millions of starships emerging from hyperspacial tubes to attack the ultragood Arisians, homeworld of the first intelligent race in the cosmos. By the end of the fourth book, there are mind battles where the reflected and parried mental beams leave hundreds of innocent bystanders dead. In the meantime we get evil Black Lensmen, the Hell Hole in Space, and superweapons like the Negasphere and the Sunbeam, where an entire solar system was turned into a vacuum tube.

It’s not hard to understand why Lensmen faded in importance. While the alien Lensmen had lively psychologies, Lensman Kimball Kinnison was not an interesting person, and that’s a problem when scifi starts to become more about characterization. The Lensman books, with their love of police and their sexism (it is an explicit plot point that the Lens is incompatible with female minds – in canon there are no female Lensmen) led to it being judged harshly by the New Wave writers of the 1960s, who viewed it all as borderline fascist military-scifi establishment hokum, and the reputation of the series never recovered from the spirit of that decade.


Prisoner of Zenda

Prisoner of Zenda is a novel about a roguish con-man who visits a postage-stamp, charmingly picturesque Central European kingdom with storybook castles, where he finds he looks just like the local king and is forced to pose as him in palace intrigues. It’s a swashbuckling story about mistaken identity, swordfighting, and intrigue, one part swashbuckler and one part dark political thriller.

The popularity of this book predates organized fandom as we know it, so I wonder if “fandom” is even the right word to use. All the same, it inspired fanatical dedication from readers. There was such a popular hunger for it that an entire library could be filled with nothing but rip-offs of Prisoner of Zenda. If you have a favorite writer who was active between 1900-1950, I guarantee he probably wrote at least one Prisoner of Zenda rip-off (which is nearly always the least-read book in his oeuvre). The only novel in the 20th Century that inspired more imitators was Sherlock Holmes. Robert Heinlein and Edmond “Planet Smasher” Hamilton wrote scifi updates of Prisoner of Zenda. Doctor Who lifted the plot wholesale for the Tom Baker era episode, “Androids of Tara,” Futurama did this exact plot too, and even Marvel Comics has its own copy of Ruritania, Doctor Doom’s Kingdom of Latveria. Even as late as the 1980s, every kids’ cartoon did a “Prisoner of Zenda” episode, one of the stock plots alongside “everyone gets hit by a shrink ray” and the Christmas Carol episode.

Prisoner of Zenda imitators were so numerous, that they even have their own Library of Congress sub-heading, of “Ruritanian Romance.” 

One major reason that Prisoner of Zenda fandom died off is that, between World War I and World War II, there was a brutal lack of sympathy for anything that seemed slightly German, and it seems the incredibly Central European Prisoner of Zenda was a casualty of this. Far and away, the largest immigrant group in the United States through the entire 19th Century were Germans, who were more numerous than Irish or Italians. There were entire cities in the Midwest that were two-thirds German-born or German-descent, who met in Biergartens and German community centers that now no longer exist.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a lot about how the German-American world he grew up in vanished because of the prejudice of the World Wars, and that disappearance was so extensive that it was retroactive, like someone did a DC comic-style continuity reboot where it all never happened: Germans, despite being the largest immigrant group in US history, are left out of the immigrant story. The “Little Bohemias” and “Little Berlins” that were once everywhere no longer exist. There is no holiday dedicated to people of German ancestry in the US, the way the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day or Italians have Columbus Day (there is Von Steuben’s Day, dedicated to a general who fought with George Washington, but it’s a strictly Midwest thing most people outside the region have never heard of, like Sweetest Day). If you’re reading this and you’re an academic, and you’re not sure what to do your dissertation on, try writing about the German-American immigrant world of the 19th and 20th Centuries, because it’s a criminally under-researched topic.


A. Merritt

Pop quiz: who was the most popular and influential fantasy author during the 1930s and 40s? 

If you answered Tolkien or Robert E. Howard, you’re wrong - it was actually Abraham Merritt. He was the most popular writer of his age of the kind of fiction he did, and he’s since been mostly forgotten. Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has said that A. Merritt was his favorite fantasy and horror novelist.

Why did A. Merritt and his fandom go away, when at one point, he was THE fantasy author? Well, obviously one big answer was the 1960s counterculture, which brought different writers like Tolkien and Lovecraft to the forefront (by modern standards Lovecraft isn’t a fantasy author, but he was produced by the same early century genre-fluid effluvium that produced Merritt and the rest). The other answer is that A. Merritt was so totally a product of the weird occult speculation of his age that it’s hard to even imagine him clicking with audiences in other eras. His work is based on fringe weirdness that appealed to early 20th Century spiritualism and made sense at the time: reincarnation, racial memory, an obsession with lost race stories and the stone age, and weirdness like the 1920s belief that the Polar Arctic is the ancestral home of the Caucasian race. In other words, it’s impossible to explain Merritt without a ton of sentences that start with “well, people in the 1920s thought that…” That’s not a good sign when it comes to his universality. 


That’s it for now. Do you have any suggestions on a dead fandom, or do you keep one of these “dead” fandoms alive in your heart?

2

A man talks about his sick baby. Cries constantly. It’s an uncomfortable video to watch at times. It really is.  A little too raw and emotional for live TV.

At the end, he is relieved his sick baby is OK and hopes other sick babies can be OK. There’s a (subtle) acknowledgement of his status and wealth and we, the viewer, understand his kid got the best treatment possible. (He’s a rich talk show host, after all.) 

But his point is: He doesn’t think it should matter if a sick baby is poor: they should get healthcare. He knows the system is unfair and wants to fix it. He saw all those other families at the children’s hospital and understood they weren’t like him and didn’t have his money.

 And he gets called a snobbish elitist for this. (Um, isn’t what he is saying the opposite of elitism?)

When you realize how deranged, cold-hearted and hypocritical the GOP has gotten. You’d rather call him “a Hollywood liberal” than cope with the truth of what he is saying.

Back To School Tips Master Post!

I had a few people asking me to do a back to school tips/ how to do well in school post so here it is. I’m a sophomore in college and an honors student so I plan on sharing the things that have helped me succeed. Even though these tips are things I use now in college, most of them I also used in high school so it can be applied there as well. 

Organization                                                                                                           The most beneficial thing you can do is stay organized.

  1. Get a planner.- I bought mine this year at Walgreens for around $7 but it has a plastic cover so all paper ones are even cheaper. A planner is good for keeping track of when everything is due. When I get my syllabi for my classes I go through them and write down the due dates of homework, essays, tests, etc, on the day they are due. You can color code your classes or just write the class next to the assignment. This way you can look at a whole week and see everything you have due for all of your classes in one place. It’s also easier to add in things or make changes if your professor decides to due so.
  2. Use a white board- I know white boards can be expensive, so if you can’t afford one, expo markers will write on laminated paper which you can get for around $4 on Amazon. I use this to keep on my wall and write the next really important date for each class. So I have all my classes listed on the board and let’s say my next big date in Psych is a test. I’d write that date on the board, then after the test, I’d erase it and write the next important date. These dates should be in your planner as well but it’s nice to have them right in front of you at all times so you don’t turn to the next week in your planner and realize you have a test on Monday. 
  3. Buy durable folders- If you’re going to be using your folders all year make sure they’ll last all year. You want to lose any of your assignments. I get plastic folders at Office Depot for $0.39 a piece. I chose a color for each class and write the class at the top in sharpie and I’m good to go!
  4. Notebooks too!- You’re going to be taking a lot of notes so make sure to keep a notebook for each class as well. Mine were $3 each at Office Depot but they have a plastic cover so if you need to save some money get the paper covers because you most likely wont reuse a notebook.
  5. Get a pack of loose leaf paper- Sometimes you have to turn things in and if you’re like me then you hate tearing it out of your notebook. But if you don’t have a problem with that then don’t worry about it!
  6. Use some sort of bag/backpack- This will help you not lose anything plus you can put water, snacks, etc in it as well!

Study Tips                                                                                                               Tests are often the biggest portion of your grade so knowing the best ways to study will help you out the most. 

  1. Figure out what type of learner you are- This can greatly improve your study skills. There are visual learners; these people learn best with charts, graphs, and anything that show a visual relationship between information. So if you’re this type of person, to help study you could make charts, graphs, tables, draws arrows between points of information, or watch videos. Anything to help you see it. There are also auditory learners; these people learn best when hearing the information. So the best way for these people to study is to recite information out loud, or if your course has an audio book to listen to it. You could also have a friend read information to you and you say it as well. Some people are reading/writing learners; they do best when reading the text and writing down important points/taking notes. This is the type of learner I am so to help me study, I write out my own flashcards, I copy power points into my notes, and as I read my chapters I write the important information.  Something else that is good for these kind of learners is to make little quizzes for yourself. There are also kinesthetic learners; they learn best with more hands on activities. This can be hard to do especially with some subjects. If you can physically do what you’re studying then do it. If not, make a game out of it. For example, ask yourself questions and if you get it right take a shot at a basketball hoop or a soccer goal (if you don’t have these things use a paper ball and your trashcan or anything you can substitute. Figuring out which learner you are will greatly improve how you study.
  2. Don’t wait until right before a test- Cramming your brain with all the information a few days before a test will not help you remember and only stress you out. This is called Massed Practice and is proven to be a waste of time and information is not retained well. Study a little everyday or every other day. This is called the Spacing Effect and is proven to improve retention and recall of information. So it is best to do short sessions of study over a long period of time rather than a long session all at once.
  3. Find a good place to study- If you like quiet places and your house/dorm is too loud go to a library or outside if it’ s a nice day.  If you like a lot of background noise play some music or go to a coffee shop.

Overall Tips                                                                                                            These tips are still really important but I don’t have enough that fit together to make another header.

  1. Work on what’s due first- Some people think it’s always best to work on the important things first but that’s not always the case. If your essay is due in two weeks and you have an assignment due in a few days then finish the assignment first. You’ll still have plenty of time for your essay. I suggest doing all your work but if something happens to where you just can’t then yes do the more important thing because it’ll be a bigger part of your grade.
  2. Writing Centers- A lot of colleges/universities have writing centers.  If you’re not the best at writing or just need some help you can make an appointment at the writing center where someone highly qualified in writing will read your paper/essay and help you with grammar, punctuation, idea flow, overall organization etc. I highly suggest checking to see if your school has one of these.
  3. Check your email/Blackboard/whatever your professor uses- This is where they may add extra assignments/ cancel class and not mention it in class. It’s always important to check.
  4. Try to relax- I know it can be hard, especially for students with depression, anxiety, and other mental/physical illnesses but it’s important to always take a moment and calm down. Take breaks from your work and do something you enjoy for at least a few minutes everyday. If you need a nap, take a nap. just set an alarm to pick back up on your work later.
  5. Don’t worry about being perfect- This is still something I’m working on myself but getting better at. Last semester I got a B for the first time since my sophomore year of high school and it bothered me to no end. But, I told myself I did my best, and as a person with bad social anxiety I’m okay with my B in public speaking. So for anyone else who feels like they have to keep their 4.0 all 4 years, don’ t panic if you don’t. There’s nothing wrong with not being perfect, almost no one graduates college with a 4.0. Always do your best, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I cannot stress this enough.
  6. Take classes you enjoy- Hopefully you’re in a major that you enjoy so you wont hate your classes too much but it’s still important to try to take a fun class every once in awhile. If you like art, take an art class. Then, you’re still doing work but also doing something you like.
  7. Get a tutor- If you’re not doing as well in a class as you would like, don’t be afraid to get a tutor. Most universities offer tutors who are students that would love to help you and wont be judgmental at all. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little extra help and tutors are often people who have already passed the class with an A so they’ll be very good resources.
  8. Take care of yourself- Overall, make sure you’re eating well and drinking water throughout the day. Sometimes it’s impossible, but try to get enough sleep. If you go out to party watch out for yourself and others. Practice self care and if things get too stressful and you need help don’t be afraid to ask.

I know this post is very long, but I wanted to share everything I could for anyone who wanted help. If I think of anything else I’ll definitely add it later. I hope everyone has a great semester and school year! Good luck to everyone!

Revenge on homophobic dad

So I came to visit my dad on Easter and I’ve never heard so many homophobic words in 6 fucking days. He went full on how gross and disgusting and all that homophobic bullshit and then - of course - he fetishised lesbians, because “they are nice to look at”. I got really pissed when he started to wonder if Church will let him change godfather for my brother, because the one he has Come out as gay couple weeks ago… I was like “what is wrong with you? I honestly want to know?!?!?”

I tried to use reasoning but it failed so now I’m in the middle of making my revenge in couple simple steps:

1. Go on yt and watch so many gay (les too but not two attractive models making out) videos ad you can so recommendation on yt will always show gays.
2. Go to his porn account (I just happened to know his login and password to everything so that’s not a problem) and also watch gay (this time male/male only) videos and like them, comment maybe so it will also jump on in recommendation.
3. Say you are gay. Bonus: Suggest having a gf and say that “those sleepovers you let me go to were total fun”
4. Trick him into watching gay movies(:
“Brokeback mountain” may not be a good to start with, because most people knows it’s gay. Better start with some less known movies) then watch him storm out the room when he reliased what he is watching.
5. Made him read gay ff - must be slowburn. I will tell him that I wrote it and he - as a good father and shit - should support my dreams and read this. Make him fully invested before he reliase it’s gay love story.
6. Find out how many celebrities he likes are gay. Watch movies with those people and when they appear on screen say “Did you know he/she is gay?”
7. Find out how many historical figures and his idols may be gay and destroy his image of them.
8. After this he will probably start to fight: “its not important that he is gay, because he did something and he is my Idol”. Make a face and make him understand what he just said.
9. If 8 happens give him a break because he starts to get it.
10. if 8 does not work just jump straight here and be as gay as possible. Mention things about pride during meals, show how much LGBT community suffered over the time, try to make him understand something (if he doesn’t plan vacation and place him in one room with gay uncle)

MAKE HIS HOMOPHOBIC LIFE A GAY HELL, BECAUSE HE DESERVES TO KNOW WHAT BIG ASSHOLE HE IS.
(I’m currently at point 2. Revenge Is on)

UPDATE (which i should add a while ago but I’m shit so yeah): https://futurepast56.tumblr.com/post/159791268652/revenge-on-homophobic-dad

fireminer  asked:

When did the Arcade really become something? Was it before or after the Pinball machines became popular?

Arcades actually go back to the early 1900s in the US, where they were called Penny Arcades, and while they had slot machines and pinball, they also had things like love testers and Edison kinetiscopes where you could watch a woman take her clothes off.

People are often surprised to hear that the pinball machine didn’t have flippers until 1947 and they weren’t even at the bottom of the playfield until the early 1960s. Pinball (at least in the form it currently exists) is a lot newer than you think and is barely a decade older than the arrival of video games. The original form of pinball was basically a game of chance where a ball was dropped only to ding off metal pins at random and fall down holes with different payouts, very much like the modern game of pachinko.

Because Pinball was for gambling, there was a huge moral crusade against them in the early part of this century. On a personal note, my grandma used to tell me to stay away from “hooch, wild women, and pinball” (sorry Nani, I failed you on all three).

New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia declared war on pinball, and vowed to smash every single pinball machine that existed. Technically, pinball has only been legal in New York City since 1976.

What the Penny Arcades of the turn of the century actually had to offer wasn’t quite as important as who visited them, who the audience was for them: they were designed as cheap entertainment for the huge wave of American immigrants in big cities who had a little bit of money to spend. A major part of the reason movies were always a universal art form accessible to everyone (as opposed to something like ballet or theater) is that they had their origins with kinetiscope amusements consumed by immigrants in penny arcades, along with the nickelodeons that showed things like sports reels for boxing matches aimed at working class sports fans.

If I could be allowed a little digression, this is always why something like “upscale” movie theater chains like the Alamo Drafthouse make my skin crawl. Movies should be for the poor and for everyone, not for people who can shell out $14 for a bad order of hot wings, or a milkshake with wine in it. It’s a sinister sign of how wealth is massively concentrated in our new gilded age that these upscale theater chains target a shrinking percentage of the population with disposable income instead of the impoverished masses. The selling point of upscale movie theaters is that they automatically kick out anyone making noise, too, to create a “genteel” movie experience free of riff-raff, which I think is the kind of snotty crap a bad guy in a Rodney Dangerfield comedy would do. Recently, Alamo made waves for having all female showings of Wonder Woman. I have nothing against this idea (why would anyone be offended by this when you can see the movie in a thousand places?), but it comes off as phony grandstanding when done by a chain who’s sole reason for existing is delivering an experience for rich people. The living version of this image below: 

Returning to the original point, the key thing to remember about video games is this: in the beginning, they didn’t start off in the arcades, but were marketed toward bars and bowling alleys. This is why the marketing for these games in the early days was extremely adult. It kind of reminds me of how, come 2007 or so, the discussion around the Nintendo Wii was that it was a toy that could get you laid. Little by little, video games started to creep into the arcades.

The tipping point where the momentum shifted toward video games over pinball in the arcade was definitely Space Invaders in ’78, which was so wildly successful it showed that arcade video games were here to stay, and that they were a bigger moneymaker than the pinball machines were. There’s a story that Japan had a shortage of the ¥100 coin because of Space Invaders, which unfortunately is just too cool to be true, but it does go to show how it was a new cultural force that came in. 

Yall know the drill. 5 miles, BNHA episode recap

  • Every single one of my Group Project With Terrible Group Members anxieties was on fire within 30 seconds of this episode
  • Me, quietly, under my breath: Clearly Deku is trying to do the work it’s his partner who’s not helping tell the teacher Deku deserves an A its not his fault hes in a shitty group.
  • For real this is almost a tongue-in-cheek commentary on schools handling bullying. Turns to the person clearly only being victimized who’s done nothing wrong. “Now I think you BOTH need to work on your get-along skills hmmm?”
  • They sure like to name episodes as “[Character name]: Origin”
  • I really like how Shonen Logic:tm: works where characters can be smashed through buildings and be fine, but Bakugou whapping Deku in the nose with his stupid gauntlet leaves Deku wincing on the ground.
  • and by “really like” i mean “im really fucking hurt. Deku looked so hurt he didnt deserve that”
  • Look at him. Look at him he didnt deserve that. Someone please kick Bakugou’s ass.
  • Status update: the rest of the episode is All Might kicking Bakugou’s ass. Nice. Prick.
  • Bakugou: [yells]
    Deku: [yelling] stop yelling!
  • All Might proceeds to shut Bakugou up. Nice All Might good job listening.
  • I’m so happy for All Might. He’s having the best time being a villain. You know he’s giggling like a five year old on the inside you know it. He gets to just break shit and be evil. I love it.
  • [Obligatory Sans Undertale joke]
  • OKAY SO ALL MIGHT’S NOT FUCKING AROUND ALRIGHTY THIS IS FINE.
  • HI WELCOME TO U.A. THE TOP SCHOOL IN THE WORLD OUR CURRICULUM IS BEATING THE ABSOLUTE FUCKING PULP OUT OF YOUR CHILDREN ANY QUESTIONS?
  • That’s not even hyperbole Bakugou got his breakfast beaten right out of him RIP Bakugou yikes
  • NGL the changing angle made it look for a moment like All Might impaled Deku with that fence and like….little dark, All Might.
  • “You will be my successor Midoriya when I pass the torch on oh shit fuck right you needed those internal organs. Ive lived without mine so long I forgot they were there. My bad. ……Should I move the fence?”
  • Bakugou: “I’m going to beat All Might with my own two fists!”
    All Might:
    -punches Bakugou’s breakfast right out of him-
    Bakugou: “Never mind!!!! Turns out I suck!!! Test canceled!!! I quit!!!”
  • Deku: -slugs Bakugou- listen u shit I’m not throwing away my A for this.
  • “We still have to fight All Might!!” Okay Vomit-Mouth.
  • Poor Deku, for the whole alley scene. Bakugou’s just fucking screaming at him 2.5 inches away and Bakugou won’t wipe his damn mouth like damn at least pop a breath mint or something if youre gonna harrass Deku point-blank like that it’s gross.
  • I LOVE ALL MIGHT’S RUN HE LOOKS LIKE A DOOFY VIDEO GAME CHARACTER
  • Deku: “Finally, with Bakugou’s gauntlet I can use a quirk without breaking my own arm.”
    Deku: -breaks his arm from the recoil-
    Deku: “Oh fucking come on”
  • I love Bakugou just blast-zooming through the air while he and Deku talk it’s like those long-ass Naruto scenes where they hop 2945 feet between branches. Except poor Deku’s gotta like, actually run. Offer him a ride Bakugou you animal.
  • Deku: “That gate’s fucking kawaii and I’m kinda insulted considering how I’ve been nearly killed to death like four times in this thing but okay whatever.”
  • DORK
  • ALL MIGHT THEYRE CHILDREN GODDAMN

I BEAT A MOTHER FUCKER WITH ANOTHER MOTHER FUCKER

  • Bakugou: -uses his quirk to fucking launch Deku toward the goal like a sack of potatoes-
    me, thinking back to the physical tests of season 1: Haha call back.
  • ALL MIGHT THEY ARE C H I L D R EN
  • Bakugou: “what!!?? YOU THOUGHT DEKU WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD BREAK ALL HIS ARMS AND SCREAM!!? I CAN BREAK MY ARMS EVEN FUCKING BETTER THAN HE CAN”
  • ALL MIGHT THIS IS NOT HOW MERCY WORKS
  • this is physically painful to watch im like upset
  • theyre kids theyre just kids leave them a l o n e
  • also Bakugou trying to bite All Might’s hand as a last ditch effort is just….real sad? It hurts? This all hurts?
  • Im glad Deku punched All Might he was being a real jackass today.
  • Recovery Girl, for the 19375th time: “The absolute fucking shit I put up with because of you people”

and here i bring you yet another kara/lena au that nobody asked for but that i’m sharing with y’all anyways because what else do i have to do with my life at 12:00 am.

  • james wins two tickets for the upcoming lakers game in national city but comes to find out that he can’t go because he has another important thing to do that night (i don’t know what thing exactly but the point is he can’t go), so he’s left with two tickets for the lakers and he’s not sure who to give them to, so of course he goes to kara: “i know you don’t like basketball, but seeing it live is such a different experience, you’ll enjoy it!”
  • problem is that kara doesn’t know who to ask to go with her, alex has a date night, winn is not going anywhere near a basketball stadium (highschool trauma), j’onn says he has no time for games. lena is one of her first options, but main reason she doesn’t want to ask her is fear of rejection. she’s a ceo! she probably has no interest in spending a friday night with her.
  • alex tells her she’s being ridiculous, lena’s her friend and she’ll enjoy spending time with her regardless of the activity, she pratically drives kara to l-corp so she can ask lena to go with her.
  • lena knows nothing about basketball, for a second she actually confuses it with beisball, but kara looks so cute and how can she say not to that face? so she agrees and kara pulls her into the biggest hug.
  • because lena has never, ever gone to a basketball game she shows up to kara’s apartment with a tight dress and high heels, her makeup on point as always and a big ass valentino black bag, meanwhile kara’s wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, maybe even a snapback if you want the complete Gay™ look.
  • lena is so confused the entire time, she watches as the players pass the ball to each other and hears the crowd roar when they make a triple. kara is no better, but she at least knows the basics because james explained them to her prior, so she gets into it after the first ten minutes, she claps with the audience, screams in chorus with the other people. she asks lena if she’s having fun, if she wants to leave but lena says no and kara probably buys her popcorn or something, popcorn that by the way kara ends up eating. 
  • halftime rolls in and lena takes the opportunity to answer all the messages that are unread on her phone, “i’m so sorry i swear i’ll only take a minute,” kara smiles and tells her to go ahead. 
  • lena is answering to one of her business partners when she hears kara choke on the popcorn and everyone around them whistling and clapping, so she turns to see what is wrong to find kara looking at the enormous screen in the middle of the stadium with a pink blush on her cheeks and wide eyes. the camera is focusing both of them with a heart around their silhouettes and “kiss cam!” written on pink letters just above their heads. 
  • everyone in the stadium starts cheering for them, “kiss! kiss! kiss!” over and over again, the damn camera doesn’t seem to find anybody else as interesting and though kara wants to laugh and write an enormous sign that reads that hey, they’re just friends! she catches the way lena’s heartbeat speeds up and how her breathing becomes uneven and okay, maybe a little kiss won’t hurt, after all they’ve become close after the recent events and what’s wrong with maybe platonically kissing your friend on the lips? a little peck and that’s it. 
  • however, once they turn around to look at each other kara notices just how green lena’s eyes are and how pale her skin looks and also how her red lips part to meet hers and when they finally kiss the screaming and whistling, all the noise around them disappears and kara can only focus on how soft lena’s is and how her lipstick tastes like strawberry and oh, god, when she feels her tongue caressing her bottom lip kara is sure she’s going to pass out. 
  • they’re both a little breathless when they break apart, a young lady sitting next to them gives kara a high five and then the second half of the game starts but kara can’t focus on anything anymore because she still tastes lena on her tongue and she realizes that shit, she wants to kiss her again. and again. and again. 
  • the lakers win by three points and lena’s driver is already waiting for them outside the stadium when the game ends, but the crowd is huge and she fears she’ll lose lena in the sea of people so she interwines their fingers together and walks them towards the exit ignoring the warmness that goes through her entire body at the feeling of lena’s hand against her own.
  • the car ride is kind of awkward, neither of them speak, they’re on each side of the car struggling on how to break the silence. lena sometimes catches kara looking and her and viceversa until it’s too much and kara blurts out: “i really liked it, the game. and also kissing you” and lena laughs before sheepishly nodding and saying “me too. i mean i liked kissing you, i didn’t understand the game at all.”
  • they make out until they get to kara’s apartmet. (。♥‿♥。)
  • before kara falls asleep she receives a message from lena that says “thank you, i had a great time.” with maybe a smiley face and two hearts and kara hides her face on her pillow.
  • the next morning when she wakes up and goes to work, everyone’s looking at her and whispering behind her back and kara’s afraid she might have a mustard stain on her white cardigan (it wouldn’t be the first time that happened). and then james sees her and before she can even say hello and ask what the hell is going on with everyone, he motions to the screens where a video of her and lena kissing is projecting, the entire internet has gone wild about it. the video that was originally uploaded to youtube has for title “lena luthor kisses cute stranger @ bball game.” kara wants to die on the spot.
Night in the Woods!!

I just finished this beautiful video game called Night in the Woods that I am now absolutely in love with and here is why: 

  • Casual LGBT representation - the protagonist is canonically bisexual (maybe pan!) and is best friends with a gay couple that have very lifelike relationship problems (that have nothing to do with being gay), and the protagonist continually refers to God as “they.” I’m a fan of the ship Maebea, but it’s not openly canon.
  • Deep talks that are accurate to life - emotions, relationships, beliefs, abuse, mental health, it’s all there and it’s all important.
  • The CHARACTERS. They are so unbelievably loveable and iconic, and have such a range of emotions and specific reactions to the events in the game that make them all very real as well. They are also all cartoon animals (the protagonist is a cat, and her friends are alligators, bears, and foxes, and her neighborhood includes penguins and raccoons).  There’s a character that just tells you a weak poem every day and has no other real significance but to tell you this poem. 
  • The plot is simultaneously about a cult of ghosts and a dissociative disorder, but more on this later
  • Good comedy at no one’s expense 
  • Lots and lots of fantastic one-liners
  • Fantastic graphics, fantastic game mechanics (platforming!! It’s so much fun because there really are no limits. You can walk on the sidewalk or on top of cars or along a powerline, whatever you want) 
  • A+ art style - it utilizes color to set mood and determine setting (or state of consciousness, considering the playable dream sequences left up to interpretation) and even converts to sihlouettes in some places where it’s most chilling to do so. They use the eyes of the characters to show most of the emotions. The music that was chosen for this game is absolutely perfectly placed to get the most out of the storyline. 
  • A+ suspense - the writing is beautiful and compelling. The comic relief is timed perfectly, but I still teared up in multiple chapters of the game. The game starts out where our protagonist just dropped out of college to go back home, and is hanging out with her old friends, but takes a lot of sharp turns to get into a much deeper plot over the little subplots we started. Part of me wonders if the game would change very much if I chose different dialogue options so I may find some playthroughs later, but for now I’d just like to appreciate how smoothly the plot progresses despite how quickly it descends into very deep topics.
  • It is a long game with a lot of story, but that’s part of what I love. It’s just long enough to be satisfying and I’m still sad I finished it already. Despite complications in the plot as the story continues, it’s very easy to follow. Anything that doesn’t make sense is intentionally confusing to highlight the mindset of the character you’re playing as, and I think that’s the best way to do it. 
  • There is also a lot that they don’t explain, a lot to reveal through theorizing only. I could think about this forever and not come up with every theory to be pulled from this. 
  • One of the topics they keep coming back to is the assumed mental illnesses of the different characters, even the protagonist (I only say “assumed” because they never directly say that the characters have any mental health issues, but the way they talk about their fears and the way they view reality points toward very well-portrayed and lifelike mental illnesses, mainly dissociative and anxiety disorders.)
  • Nihilistic existential dread (part of what I love about it, but could trigger some dissociation in people who are more sensitive to that kind of thing. Subtly breaks the fourth wall once to talk about how video games are just shapes and will never exist) 
  • P A R A L L E L S
  • Solid “moral” to take from the story, not even eye-roll-corny
  • What a beautiful ending

The game is about $20 on steam, but if you can’t afford it or prefer to watch games rather than play them, jacksepticeye has flawless voices for all of the characters and some good theories going so that’s the one I recommend

smile ✦ peter parker

summary : as the adopted daughter of none other than tony stark, you have a myriad of responsibilities. babysitting peter parker probably wasn’t supposed to be one of them. not that you’re complaining.

word count : 4.7k (also known as the longest thing I’ve ever written)

author’s note : ur adopted b/c not everyone is white and i don’t want anyone to feel excluded from reading this due to the fact tony is white (and yes ik there are interracial couples i just want everyone to feel included i want to make sure whoever wants to read this can without feeling weird about it b/c i know it is something that bothers people in the fanfic community okay bye enjoy my loves.)

   Tony Stark was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was the billionaire, he was the genius, the philanthropist, and the notorious playboy in his younger years. Most notably, however, was that he was Iron Man. He was marveled at by the entire world, him and the group of heroes that stood beside him; the Avengers, as they called themselves. To you, however, he was your father. 

   A terribly overprotective one, at that. 

  Of course, this was only to be expected of a father, even a foster one, but the lengths the man went to in order to keep his only daughter out of whatever he deemed trouble were rather extensive. You rarely ever left the Avengers tower, and if you did you were accompanied by a team of people you could only describe as rip off Secret Service men. Sometimes, Natasha would replace them, or Steve, but that was a rare occurrence. You were homeschooled by the best tutors his money could pay for- this particular move was less about refining your education and more about keeping you away from any boy in the five boroughs. 

   You chose to spend majority of your time reading in your room and training, always wary of anyone who approached you about being a friend. Your surname meant everything to people, especially the girls that wandered around Manhattan desperate to become the bestie of the daughter of the richest man in New York. You loved your dad with all your heart, but the stigma that ran with the Stark name would never stop irritating you. 

   That, and the impromptu plans he threw at you on a regular basis. 

   “Miss Stark, your father is requesting access to your room. He knows you hate it when he barges in.” Vision drifted into your room without warning, making you jump. You yanked your earbuds out of your ears, giving him a look. 

   “I hate when anyone barges in, Vision. That includes you, too.” You pushed your chair away from your desk, placing your pen on the desk and shutting your notebook. “Tell him he can come in if he lets me become an Avenger.” You raised your voice at this, knowing he would hear you. 

   “He says that he’ll consider it if you let him in.” 

   You raised your eyebrows. “Touché.” You motioned for the door to open, and your father walked into the room, immediately taking his pristinely polished shoes off and lying down on your bed. You stared at him.“Dad, it’s not cool to wear sunglasses inside. You look lame.” 

   Tony Stark rolled his eyes at you. “It’s called a look, sweetheart.” You laughed, pretending to nod in agreement. He placed his hands behind his head as you spun your chair back around to your desk. “What are you working on?” 

   “Something for Bruce,” you muttered, pen cap between your teeth as you continued to jot down important points from his numerous lab reports. You were going to have to hand in a full analysis of his findings for your end of term science paper, and he was more than willing to aid you. “Science report.” 

   “My daughter, beautiful and intelligent, my flesh and blood,” Tony declared proudly. 

   “Dad, I love you to the death, but I’m still not your biological kid,” you smiled all the same, though, and he knew behind the tough exterior you were happy to hear his expressions of admiration. 

    “Who needs a biological kid when I’ve got this great, wonderful adopted one right in front of me.” 

   Not looking up from your notebook, you said, “You’re really laying it on thick today. I’m all of those things, obviously, but I know you want something. So, what is it?” You paused, then said, “Thank you, by the way.” 

   “You sure we’re not related?” He sat back up, clasping his hands together. “What do you say about Germany?” 

   “Nice enough place I guess, interesting history, why?” 

   “I kind of need you to go there for two weeks with me.” 

   With a groan, you dropped your pen and held your face in your hands. “Another surprise trip? Dad, I have school. I have homework! Do you see this?” You held up the thick stack of reports from Banner’s lab, waving them around. “This is gonna be, like, my life’s work.” 

   Tony shook his head. “Kids these days and their homework. Seriously. When I was at school I would have taken any opportunity to shirk my responsibilities.” 

  “You did do that.”

    He waved his hand. “Technicalities. Anyway, as you know the Avengers have been disassembled. Sokovia Accords and all that bullshit. I assume you’ve been keeping up?” 

   “Hard not to.” It was true. Anything in the news was about the great split of the infamous team, Captain America vs Iron Man. It was impossible to turn on the television without hearing about it. And, considering you lived underneath the same roof as half of them, it was quite literally not an option to be ignorant to what was going on. 

   “Good,” he grinned proudly again. If there was one emotion that the man felt whenever he was around, it was proud. Nearly everything you did made him beam with pride, and if you had been placed into an actual high school, there was no doubt in his mind that the person at the top of every single class would be you. You excelled no matter the circumstances. “So, to sum up, there’s gonna be a big showdown in Germany. Western style, naturally. Guns blazing and everything.” 

   Your eyes lit up and you nearly flew out of your chair, rushing over to him. “Oh my god, are you finally gonna let me fight? You’ve seen my training, right? I’m getting so good. I’m like, practically Natasha level good. She’s been showing me that move where I can snap people’s necks with my thighs and-” 

   “First of all, your thighs are not going around anyone’s neck, so jot that down,” he interrupted. Your enthusiasm visibly deflated. “I need you to kind of watch over this kid who’s coming with us. He’s from Queens. You love Queens.” 

   “You’re making me babysit?” You flopped down on your bed, staring up at the ceiling. “C’mon, dad, I’m sixteen. That’s practically an adult. I think I should be allowed to fight this time. I’m Avenger worthy.” 

   “Practically an adult is not the same as literally an adult, as in over eighteen.” You groaned again. “Don’t call it babysitting, anyway. He’s your age. Well, he’s a few months younger, but that doesn’t matter. Just call it… hanging out with a good kid that’s fighting for your dear old dad and making sure he doesn’t get into trouble in Germany or annoy Happy too much.” He patted your knee, standing up. “We leave in the morning, kiddo, so pack up.” 

   “How come he gets to fight if he’s younger than I am?” 

   “’Cause he’s not my daughter. Goodnight, light of my life.” He kissed your forehead before leaving, giving you another encouraging smile.

   “Goodnight, pain my ass,” you grumbled as he left. He popped back in, a stern expression on his face. “If I watch your new protégée can I become an Avenger?” Tony rubbed a hand over his eyes. Teenage girls were exhausting. 

   “We’ll talk about it.”


   You’re sitting at your breakfast table with suitcases piled next to you when Peter Parker strolls into your life with happiness in his every footstep because he is just so, so glad to be there. You’re spooning cereal into your mouth when he sits down directly across from you, a video camera cupped in his soft looking hands and the little red button clicked on, meaning that he is recording you. You place your spoon back into the bowl of milk that is dusted with cinnamon sugar from the Cinnamon Toast Crunch you’ve been eating for the past ten minutes. 

   “Do you mind?” 

   “Mind what?” He asked, peeking up from behind his camera. You gestured toward it, wiping your mouth with your sleeve. 

   “The camera. I’m kind of still in the middle of eating breakfast in my pajamas,” you leaned forward, switching it off. “You must be the Spider-Boy.” The chestnut haired boy feels a blush creeping up his neck and settling along his cheekbones when you say that. 

   “Oh, did Mr. Stark tell you that?” He rubbed the back of his neck, laughing awkwardly. “Um, it’s Spider-Man, actually.” He mumbled the man part, knowing fully well that he didn’t look like much of a man in the eyes of anyone, his eyes casting down as he fidgeted with the strap on his camera. 

   “Oh good,” you nodded. You took another spoonful of cereal. “I like that better. Nicer ring to it.” You grabbed your box of sugary breakfast and pushed it toward him, an offering. 

   “Huh?” He was a bit dazed. He stared at the box in front of him and then realized he had been doing that for far too long of a time to be considered normal. “Oh, right, um, sure, thanks!” He opened the box and took a handful, shoving it in his mouth. You kept eating your cereal, silently staring at the bowl and willing yourself not to laugh at the boy in front of you. With all his nerves, he was still a bundle of energy and cheerfulness, and, well, let’s face it, he was sort of adorable. “So, you think my name’s cool?” He tried to sound suave, charming, as he said it, tried to smirk at you, but he stopped when he realized that he looked stupid.

   You gave him a half smile. “It’s pretty good.” His face positively lit up with happiness to be taken seriously, and you knew the feeling too well. You stuck out your hand. “Oh, forgot to introduce myself-” 

  “Y/N Stark, adopted daughter of Mr. Stark, probably the smartest girl in all of New York and, uh, correct if I’m wrong but… Black Widow’s best student as well as Bruce Banner’s apprentice.” 

   You gaped at him. The blush he had been sporting crept up to his ears and made his nose turn the shade of a strawberry. “Well, uh, yeah,” you said, flustered. “Should I creeped out or flattered?” 

   “Flattered, please.” The genuine worry in his eyes as he leaned forward made you laugh. He had an endearing personality. 

   “Flattered it is.” You watched the slow sigh of relief leave his mouth, his hands flying up the mess of hair atop his head and fixing it distractedly. Your dad walked into the room, and Peter practically fell out of his chair trying to stand up and seem presentable. Your slouch was indicative that you didn’t care much. He was just your dad. “Morning, pops,” you slid the box over his way.  

   He frowned at it.” Y/N, that stuff is crap. I don’t know why you eat it.” 

   “Wanda and I like it,” you said defensively, a slip of the tongue. You knew your dad was going to get annoyed at the mention of the Scarlet Witch, who had evaded and ignored his attempts at keeping her powers under control. “It’s good. High quality. Right, Peter?” You whipped your head toward him. 

   He felt his heart give a little tug. He grabbed the box out of your hand and shoved more cereal in his mouth, the cinnamon sugar sticking to his lips. “Yeah, Mr. Stark. Best stuff ever,” he said through a mouthful of it. Tony gave them an amused glance, picking up your two heaviest suitcases and beckoning you both to the landing strip. Peter swallowed his food. 

   He didn’t even like Cinnamon Toast Crunch that much. He was just thrilled that you knew his real name.


   Everything about this kid was infuriatingly dorky in the cutest way possible. You came to this conclusion as you boarded the jet with ease, sitting in your usual spot by the window and greeting Happy with your typical friendly smile and idle chitchat. Peter stumbled onto it with awe written across his features as he stared around the place, touching nearly everything much to Happy’s dismay. 

   “Haven’t you been on a plane before?” The man asked, growing irritated with the way the kid was filming everything. You saw Peter zoom in on Happy’s face and grinned out your window. 

   “Nope, never!” Peter exclaimed, his video camera still in front of him as he captured every detail of his trip. 

   “Well, sit down so we can take off,” Happy said gruffly, grabbing Peter’s shoulders and forcefully placing him into a seat. 

  Peter sat still for a moment, then hopped over to the seat next to you. He placed his camera in front of him on the tray table. “Y/N, smile for the camera. I’m recording.” You looked at him, then turned to the camera and gave it a deadpan stare. You even threw in a slow blink. “Good enough,” he shrugged. He kept it recording as he shifted in his seat so that his entire body was facing you, his chin resting in his hand and his elbow on your armrest. His gaze was sort of nice. “So, Miss Stark, I have a few questions.” 

   “Um, okay, shoot,” you closed your book that you had open on your lap. “I’m not that interesting, just so you know.” 

  “I think you’re interesting,” he assured you. You heard Happy let out a choked laugh at Peter’s flirting attempt, but it was just another thing you found sort of lovely. It was a genuine compliment. “What’s your favorite subject in school?”

   You’d been expecting the typical what’s it like being Tony’s daughter spiel, and you were pleased to get an actual question about yourself for once. “I like everything, I guess. I kind of love school, but I don’t go to a conventional school, so. Training is cool, I like that a lot.” 

   “You train with Black Widow, I have to ask- can you show me some moves? I need to refine my technique before the fight,” he explained.  

    “Do you wanna learn how to crush people with your thighs?”

   “Wow! Do you think I could? Could you teach me? That’s so cool,” he beamed, turning to the camera for a split second with an overexcited look. 

   You pursed your lips, staring out your window for a minute. You were up in the air by now, and there was long flight ahead of you. “Maybe. If my dad is okay with it. I have to check.” Peter looked confused, 

   “Why wouldn’t he be?” 

   “He’s, you know, really overprotective.” You put your first against the cheek, leaning the same way that Peter was. You sighed. “I don’t have a lot of friends. Which is fine, but I can’t even attempt to go make any because I have a whole freaking SWAT team on my ass the minute I step out of the tower because he’s so worried about my safety.” You let your head hit the window, your eyes rolling skyward. “And that makes no sense because-” 

   “You’re really strong and stuff. You can protect yourself,” Peter finished. 

    “I think you know me a little too well, Peter,” you said, poking him lightly in the arm. “But… yeah, exactly. I don’t really get to do anything fun. I don’t have adventures. Sure, reading is fun and studying is fun for me and training is great and I love hanging out with everyone in the tower but I’m still a teenager. No fun for me, though. My life is pretty boring, sorry if that makes your little video diary suck.” You stuck your tongue out at his camera.  

   “No worries,” he said, taking it off the tray table and turning it toward you. “Tell me every boring detail, Miss Stark.” 

   “As long as you stop calling me Miss Stark.” 

   “You’ve got a deal.” 

   It was a seven hour trip, and you both passed out by the three hour mark after Peter had pried every excruciating detail from your life out of you. You hated sleeping on airplanes, but your head was slumped against his shoulder and his arm was knocking against your own and his sweatshirt was as soft as pillow. You remembered the shy glance he had given you just before you knocked out on his shoulder for the remainder of the flight. He had a sweet smile. 


    Peter filmed absolutely everything. He filmed himself getting off the plane and then filmed you getting off the plane and nearly shoved the camera in Happy’s face until he threatened to break it and Peter backed off. He radiated enthusiasm. “Look at this, and this, and this, oh shit wow that’s so cool look at this! Oh man this is good stuff!”

   “Peter this is literally just the airport how am I supposed to take you around the actual city?!”

   “OH WOW Y/N have you seen this!” 

    “Yes, Peter!” 

     He zoomed in on your face, your devoid of emotion look appearing again. “Are you ever gonna smile for the camera?” He gave you a pout, doe eyes and all. You turned away. 

   “No. I’m supposed to be babysitting you, please be behave.” You touched your fingers to the bridge of your nose, dragging Peter to a couch. “Please sit. We’re getting the hotel reservations checked.” 

   “Do they juice boxes? I’m really thirsty.” He was just trying to make you laugh at this point, and annoying you was kind of funny for him. You let out an involuntary chuckle when he pretended to claw at his throat, throwing himself on the ground. 

   “I’ll make sure they have juice boxes for you, Petey. You’re such a seven year old, geez.” You pretended to gag. 

   Looking offended, Peter replied, “I’m actually twelve.” 

   Jokingly, you said, “You’re a twelve year old that’s going to get a punch in the face if you don’t settle down right now.” He stood up, directly in front of you with his light eyes and little grin, another feverish looking heat burning at his face. Nevertheless, he still said, “It’d be an honor to get beaten up by you.” 

  His voice, the sincerity he carried within it despite the ludicrous statement, made you feel those famed butterflies fluttering inside you. Maybe it was the way he looked into your eyes as he said it. Maybe it wasn’t. But something within you was starting to like Peter Parker, and you’d barely known him for twenty four hours. 

   Then again, it was hard to not like Peter. The kid was just so damn likable. 


   He had known it from the moment he first set his eyes upon you that day in the tower that he was a goner. If he had known it then, just from sitting down across from you with nothing to him but his lanky figure and a suit that resembled a onesie more than it did a costume fit for a hero such as he, he was sure of it now, a week and a half later. 

   Every day had been the same routine. He’d be up bright and early in the morning so you could help with him his training, teaching him how to utilize the suit your father had given him with ease rather than his usual tactic of jumping into everything blind. You’d been the one to help come up with nearly all of the web shooter combinations. He didn’t know all of them yet, or close to half of them, but he was progressing wonderfully. 

   After training, you’d give him the tour of your favorite places around Germany, close enough to where you’d both be able to get back to the hotel before dark. He filmed the both of you constantly, but you shied away from the cameras every time without fail. He couldn’t understand why, but he didn’t push. He just liked filming in general, and would accept you not smiling in any of his clips as long as you were still in there. 

   There was a beautiful sense of normalcy that came with hanging around Peter. You reveled in it. No one had ever made you laugh so hard with his ridiculous attempts at jokes or made you smile so much at his shy flirting skills that clearly needed to be revisited. 

   It was okay. You didn’t mind. And the fact that you didn’t tease him for it made him so, so happy. 

   Then, came the day of the fight. Peter had his camera out, he was dressed in his spidey suit, and you were standing there next to him dictating who he should and shouldn’t go after. 

   “Don’t go after Wanda ‘cause she could obliterate you in two seconds and Cap could crush you, too, but he won’t ‘cause he’s really nice like that. Bucky won’t care as much, though, so don’t do that- Ant-Man seems pretty cool and harmless but I don’t have as much intel on him and Peter if you get hurt you have to go hide somewhere-” 

   “I’m not gonna get hurt,” he said confidently. 

   You ignored him. “I’m gonna be in your earpiece, figuratively speaking, so I’ll hear everything you do and if you talk I’ll be able to hear you and you can hear me. So, just… keep me updated.” Peter took off his mask for a second, hair sticking up everywhere from the static. You leaned up, smoothing it back into place. Everything about him was soft. You wanted to curl up in it and stay there for as long as you could. 

   “I’ll be fine, Y/N, don’t worry,” Peter placed his hand on your shoulder. You felt your face heat up. 

   “I- I’m not worried.” You totally were. “I know you’ll be fine.” You didn’t want him getting hurt. “I just want you to be careful.” You didn’t want him to fight. 

   You could’ve sworn his face fell a  bit when you said you weren’t worried, but he squeezed your shoulder anyway. Without a moment’s hesitation, you threw your arms around him, your nose pressing against his neck as you took a deep breath. He stood there for a second without doing anything until he realized that if he didn’t hug you back, he’d be the dumbest person on the face of the Earth. You felt his surprisingly defined arms hug you back. 

   You didn’t look at him when you pulled away. You stared at the spider emblazoned on his chest, gave him a quick good luck, then departed from the room. You sat on your own hotel bed with a rapidly beating heart.

    The nerves were killing you. Ten more minutes. You opened your laptop and pulled up the system that would allow you to communicate across Team Stark. You were more focused on your dad and Peter. You tapped into your dad’s earpiece after placing the headset on. “Dad?” You spoke into the microphone. 

   “Hey, kiddo, everything okay?” 

   “Y-Yeah I just-” you took another breath. “Be safe. I love you.” 

   “I love you too, Y/N. Are you sure everything is okay over there?” 

   “Can you just make sure Peter gets out okay? If he gets hurt, bring him right back, please. That’s it.” Maybe it was a stupid request in someone else’s eyes, but you needed Peter to make it back in one piece. Tony Stark looked over at Peter Parker, crouching in his hiding spot and fumbling around with the gloves of his suit and gave the kid a knowing smile. Of course that was the one his  daughter fell for in the end. Perfectly fitting. 

   “I’ll make sure.” You knew your father couldn’t see the grateful smile on your face, the sigh of relief that fell past your lips when he spoke these words.

   Peter Parker, I swear if you make it out of this, I will smile like an idiot in every single one of your stupidly adorable video diary things. I swear. Just be safe.


 “Your black eye is awful,” you told him, dabbing at it with more cream. “Totally ruins your face.”

   “I think I look manly.” 

   “You think incorrectly.” You stepped back, your fingertips tilting his chin up so you could examine it further. “I think I got the worst of it. You did really well, Peter. Exceptionally well.” His face was glowing from your compliment. 

   “Can I get on that tape?” He asked excitedly, ducking under his hotel bed for his camera. You nodded, and he switched the camera on. He held out his arm so that you were both in frame. And you smiled. He forgot all about what you were supposed to say the moment that beautiful smile appeared there. “I- wow, Y/N.” 

   “What?’ 

    His stare was kind as it usually was. “You just-” he paused. “Your smile is really, really beautiful.” There was no way for you to turn away from the camera this time and you were left grinning like a lovestruck idiot at the boy in front of you, leaning up on your toes to press a kiss to his cheek. 

  “Thank you.” 

  You slept the entire plane ride the way you had the last time, curled up against Peter. This time, it was intentional. One of your arms was flung across his waist and his was wrapped around your shoulders, the sweatshirt he had came in now swaddling you cozily. There were two separate cars waiting for you. You stood in between them when the flight got off, the sleeves of his sweater hanging off your hands as you reached out to grab his. He felt you push a piece of paper into his hand. “You better call me, Peter Parker. I’ll be really upset if you don’t.” 

   He wrapped you suddenly in an embrace that lifted you off your feet just a little bit, his lips pressing against your temple. “I’ll call you every day.” 


   He kept true to his word. Every day without fail, your phone rang with a call from Peter, and you fell asleep on the phone with him more often than not. If you weren’t on the phone with him, you were texting him, and if you weren’t doing that, you wished that you were. The consistent communication was better than nothing, but regardless, you missed his presence. You missed the way you felt walking next to him as he explained why chocolate ice cream was so clearly better than vanilla. You just missed him. 

   “Peter?” You held the phone to your ear, nestled in your blankets already even though it was barely nine o'clock. His sleepy voice mumbled out a yes? “Would it be stupid if I said that I missed you?” 

  She could practically hear his wide smile through the phone. “Of course not. I miss you, too. So much. Probably more than you miss me.” 

   “That’s so not true!” She scoffed. 

    “Wanna bet?” His tone was mischievous, no longer the hoarse, pretty voice of a boy just waking up from his nap. “Open your bedroom door.” 

    “Are you joking?” 

    You hung up the phone, throwing back your covers and not caring one bit that your hair was a dripping mess from your shower or that you were wearing  a terrible set of hello kitty pajamas that weren’t meant for anyone over the age of ten based on the size of the top. You nearly tackled him to the ground when you saw him standing in your doorway, a happy squeal escaping your lips. You were surprised he even got in, considering your dad wasn’t home, but you figured Vision had let him in. Vision always had a way of knowing. 

   “Have I ever told you that you have a really pretty smile?” Peter’s lips hovered over yours, almost hesitant. You took the initiative to kiss first, your hands delving into his silk-like hair. There was no point in waiting anymore. Your noses bumped together clumsily when he tilted his head back, admiring. You could feel your whole being light up when he gazed at you the way that he did, in that admiring, careful, Peter way of his. 

   “Careful, Spidey,” You warned, hands on his chest as you stared right back up at him. 

   “Careful of what?” He quirked an eyebrow. 

   “You’re going to make me fall in love with you one of these days if you keep looking at me like that.” It was only the truth, and you were a honest person.

   “That’s sort of the plan,” he shrugged in a seemingly careless way, but he couldn’t hide it. He was an open book. An open book who loved you, and the way that you smiled at him when he pulled back his sleeve to reveal a web shooter, a strange glint in those brown eyes of his as he said, “You up for an adventure?” 

Cute Bus Stop Guy

Sterek, Teen, 2K words, Meet Cute AU


Stiles groaned and took a very long swig from his travel coffee mug as he hitched his messenger bag up higher on his shoulder. It was barely eight in the morning, and consequently, he could barely keep his eyes open. He was a grad student for fuck’s sake, and it was understood that in order to make up for the shitty stipend and the whole working-around-the-clock thing, he got to sleep in until 10. At least. After all, if he was up until 3 working, it was only fair. But noooo, his advisor—fuck you, Finstock—had insisted on an early meeting today.

He passed the bus stop and realized that at least he was lucky in that he lived close enough to campus that he could walk instead of dealing with public transportation at rush hour. Small condolences, really, though.

He yawned and accidentally bumped into someone walking past him. Stiles tried to apologize, but the word got stuck in his throat when he opened his eyes and caught a glimpse of the person he’d nearly knocked over. He was about Stiles’ height but bigger, all broad shoulders and muscles capped off by really great hair and an unfairly attractive face. “Uh.”

The guy gave him a curt little nod and neatly sidestepped him, continuing on his way. Stiles snuck a look over his shoulder, and yep, the rear view in those tight slacks was pretty good, too. The guy stopped at the bus stop, leaning against the sign, and Stiles sighed. It was a dreamy sigh, even he could admit that.

He had a feeling he was going to become a morning person.

Keep reading

Can Conscious K-Pop Cross Over? BTS & BigHit Entertainment CEO ‘Hitman’ Bang on Taking America

On April 2, BTS played the fifth and final date of a sold-out U.S. arena run, performing to the shrieking fans who helped the group’s second full-length album, Wings, become the first K-pop project to crack the top 40 of the Billboard 200 in 2016. Since debuting in 2013, the seven-piece boy band has become a commercial behemoth in its native South Korea while continuing to make inroads within American pop culture. “Change,” an English-language hip-hop collaboration between BTS member Rap Monster and U.S. star Wale, was released three days before the kickoff of the stateside run.

“Change” touches on topics like voting rights and online harassment, while some of BTS’ biggest hits have addressed mental health. “Worldwide, our young generation shares the same issues socially and politically,” says BTS member Suga. Although K-pop music generally steers away from controversy, Rap Monster says that remaining outspoken “is important to us. And the bigger the voice we get, the more powerful our words become.”

A new BTS album is already underway and more U.S. dates might be on the way later this year. Bang Si Hyuk, the CEO and Executive Producer of label/management agency BigHit Entertainment who is better known as “Hitman” Bang, hints at “special features” designed for international listeners but thinks BTS will continue playing to its base.

“I’m not a believer in releasing full English songs to the U.S. market, like many K-pop artists have,” Bang tells Billboard in his first-ever interview with American press. “We must focus on what we do best as K-pop artists and producers and maybe add some special features to which international or U.S. music fans can feel attached. That is the best way for me to put K-pop into the mainstream U.S. music market and, in that regard, BTS will participate and perform in a way that is not much different from what they have been doing in the last three years. We’re adjusting and improving the way we do shows on the tour to meet the international or global level and expectations so that anyone, regardless of their culture and background, can enjoy BTS music and performances.”

Bang is sure to add that the group will be “very active and responsive in releasing new songs that would come out of collaborations with international artists, like 'Change.’” And, looking ahead, both the CEO and band see their most recent accomplishments as inspiration to achieve even more in the future.

“I’m so excited and thrilled at the response to the U.S. tour,” Bang says. “It’s still overwhelming and unbelievable at some point. I even further feel responsible for producing better music and production for fans around the world and I’d definitely think harder on what makes fans enthusiastic and passionate about BTS music and the band.” Meanwhile, the ambition within the group is perhaps best felt when member V winks that the group has “grander goals”; as if arena shows are just the beginning of what he and his band mates plan to accomplish around the world.

Below read on for an extended interview with BTS held before the tour kicked off. All member answers are taken via a translator except for Rap Monster.

With five arena shows, this tour is so huge and I think the main reason for that and why you guys are doing so well in America is because you sing about personal topics. Why is that so important to talk about in your music?

​Suga: Worldwide, our young generation shares the same issues socially and politically. I think that young people feel the same way about similar issues and BTS wants to cheer them up with our songs and talk about our feelings and social issues.

Rap Monster: These topics, like you said, they’re important, right? They should be told by someone. Someone should talk about it. And if someone should talk about it, then it feels like we have to talk about it. It’s very much an honor that we get power and attention from our fans them when we use our voices more. It’s important to us and the bigger the voice that we get, the more powerful that our words become.

These topics – loneliness, mental health, bullying – you don’t hear about in K-pop or even Korean culture much. Or, really, in American pop music either. Have you ever worried it might get a negative or opposite response?

​Suga: There are people who think negatively and there have been people who react negatively towards BTS’ music. But I think it’s way more important to make music with those issues because I think it’s important to encourage people to fight for those issues and, through the music, have a resolution for those issues. But I’m going to continue to talk about those issues through the music anyway. [Laughs]

Do you think K-pop needs to get more personal to gain a wider audience? Would you like to see that more in future?

Rap Monster: We still need some party songs, we still need some light love songs. I love to listen to them and feel the vibe from that. Everyone has their luggage and their shadows, but it’s up to everyone’s own [devices]. But we’re us. I think if we talk about it and if it gets more voice and attention, then maybe there are a lot of people in the world that accept us start to talk about those issues. I think that’s the change.

I thought “Spring Day” was a really big musical moment for you guys. Not only did it do really well on the charts, but this time you were showing a progression in thinking and a message of hope. The idea of recovering and winter moving to spring. Was that a conscious decision?

Rap Monster: It’s just like what you said, that was one step further. We’re always talking about the crises, the sorrows and youth’s feelings of getting lost. In many [television] programs, when we’d introduce our new album, I’d always talk about the word “recovery.” Like you said, it’s all about the recovery. Winter going to spring. The middle of the winter going to the spring. You got that.

​Suga: In addition to being what we are as BTS, we wanted to bring some changes and we actually wanted to evolve as a group. We wanted to show our many colors, but we still want to console others and give hope to others.

Something that was unique was all the solo songs on the Wings album. You’ve done mixtapes, but instead of full-fledged solo or unit releases, you got to show your different sides of yourselves. Why was that necessary?

Jin: The solo tracks were important because it was personal, an individual story and it was represented in the way that we are good at it. We worked a lot on each track and that’s why it was important to each of us.

Rap Monster: When I get questions about why is K-pop is so popular; I always tell them K-pop is like a great mix of music, videos, visuals, choreography, social media and real-life contents. Making the solo tracks on the album was quite a venture, but it’s connected to the concept. Like, when you watch the “I Need U” video, everyone has their own crises and characters. It’s kind of connected to our real personalities and characters, but the solo songs have their own characters and personalities. It’s all connected. It’s a mixture and that’s why people get interested in the concepts.

Speaking of solo songs, “Change” recently came out. Rap Monster, you and Wale are talking about different-but-similar issues when South Korea and America are both having interesting political times. Did you guys have a chance to discuss your different viewpoints?

Rap Monster: We didn’t have the time to get into it deeply, but I’m always watching the news about Trump and America; I always watch. When he first suggested a collaboration, I was like, “What should we do?” We could just do you know, a common hip-hop song, but I wanted to do a little more special. We have our political situation in Korea and the students are very angry. So, I think, if we talked about what’s going on, then we’ll have a real special collaboration. I think my guess was right and it became special.

Do you see or feel your influence among other groups in the industry?

​Jungkook: When we debuted back in 2013, we were influenced by our sunbaenim [Korean word for “senior”]. Over the years, as we watched other younger groups, we know they talk about us, they cover us and they follow us. I think they’re saying in interviews that they learned a lot from us and that makes us feel great. Being a sunbaenim, we want to be a good influence and be a better role model to other groups.

Last question, are you happy?

V: For now, we are very happy as we are, as a group, together. And I think we are happy because we are walking on the same path, walking the same direction. We wanted to get Daesang [Best of the Year award], but we have it already so our goal is to make great music, to share it with our fans.

Rap Monster: And a worldwide, stadium tour. That’s the goal.

V: We have grander goals.

© Jeff Benjamin @ Billboard

anonymous asked:

Hi, 7goodangel. I am here to ask you about PaperJam as a shy, smol and innocent being (mainly thegreatrouge made him be). There has been some conflicts regarding his trait. Some said his canonical personality is a jerk, like what you wrote in his bio / info and some said that is severely wrong and being shy, (which made him shipped with Fresh), is his canonical personality. What are your thoughts about this? I mean, it is your character and people are taking control of it. Don't you disagree?

Well… I have talked to people and seen public conversations and this has happened several times to me over months. I guess I’ve gotten a little numb to it now… or maybe it’s due to school that I haven’t given it the attention that it deserves. Probably due to school. 

I just can’t update constantly like others - even though some others in school were and are able to update constantly. I can’t keep going around and holding up my bio of PJ and police people. It’s exhausting to me… it really takes up the small bit of free time I have. 

I think after I get a solid job that I’ll be able to go around better… but anyway - back to your question. 


While I love seeing interpretations and do not want people to be limited by something and have their imaginations go forth… it’s proving that a huge con comes with that mentality - which you have pointed out. A lot of people swear that PJ is the cute, innocent interpretation that really, did get PJ popular in the first place. While I did have him as a jerk from the beginning - I kinda kept that info to my RP blog - so you could say it is my fault this is all happening and I do think that. I could of done something to make it not as bad as it is now… 

It’s just like the NSFW stuff… people just assume the first thing and run with it. And it really does make me feel like I really am not needed for my own character at points. 

It’s a struggle - I don’t want to have people stop interpreting PJ within AUs… but I also don’t want people to just see him as an innocent child to ship with Fresh. 

And I’m still trying to find the best solution to it. 

But… I feel like the damage is already done. It’s too late for me to talk to all of these people going around swearing on their life that PJ is canoncally like Rouge’s interpretation/AUs. It feels like an hopeless battle to me. 

And I guess I needed someone to ask me this question so then I can fully say my thoughts on this. 

So in short, while I love creativity and don’t want to snuff it out (considering some people would probably think I’m doing that already with saying “No Sin”), I still don’t like it. It irritates me, irks me, frustrates me, and I feel like even as the person who thought of PJ in the first place, my voice isn’t enough. Communities seem like they don’t care about artists unless they reach a ‘certain goal of popularity’ or seem like they have a more professional style of art. I know I do not reach either of those titles. 

People misspell my username all the time - I actually claimed ‘7goodangle’ on tumblr for that reason.

People still say “I’m too lazy to find who made PJ” when they clearly mentioned they looked at the bio on the wiki. 

People still go around arguing others on the canon ship of OmniPJ and swearing that FreshPaper is the true canon ship, when all people are pointing out is that they need to keep the canon ship in mind when going around with information.

Even just basic personality traits… and these things are happening on sites that I do not nor want an account for. 

I still want others to have fun - to be happy; but I don’t know… I guess I’m cutting out my own happiness to get everyone else happy? I want to eventually write a version of PJ within his own universe and story… and he is more like the version I created within the UT verse. Not exact - but close. Though who knows… I might shove PJ to the side and replace his role with another character. I’m still weighing options.

Cause PJ was the first character I ever put this much time and thought into… my first character that was balanced, well rounded…

And what happens?

…well.

You said it Anon. 

They took it - changed it (initially as an AU but now people think it’s canon) - and I can’t do much about it. Due to school and not much free-time… due to how many don’t know the true creator… and just back talking anyone who is just mentioning it to people who swear by it. 

As an artist and a character designer…

It makes me not want to show designs, characters, and stories ever again online.

Considering if this is how I was treated on the first one… why even take a chance at a second one? If it has brought me so much stress, frustration, and time… why even try it again?

I said I was only going to do fanart so if anyone stole it, it didn’t really matter. 
I think I should have stuck with that thought process. 

In conclusion, there are some major things to take away here. First – that yes, I do not like how it has skewed this far to the point of arguing over a fandom version with the canon. Canon is canon and I get the different AUs – this is too far. Way too far. I am emotionally drained from this – from this whole mess that I have been defending throughout majority of PJ’s lifespan. I will state this – Paper Jam is my character. He is my original character that I created more than a year ago. And the UT AU fandom took my character and warped him to something he is not and all of his original meaning is lost. I do not like to hurt others or make other sad – but I must put my foot fully down. This miscommunication needs to stop. I am tired of repeating things over and over and I have past my breaking point time and time again. I just want people to see PJ how he really is… and I wish that people could be focusing more on the reality of him instead of the alternate that they all claim as truth.

Final words: I still like Undertale – I still like creating characters and having fun – but the Undertale AU fandom is ridiculous now. The Amino UT community is insanity in an app, and there is a lot of stuff that has made many artists and creators to their breaking point and leaving the fandom entirely. Everyone in this fandom needs to take ten steps back and look at what they are doing. Go back to the game. Play it again – watch your favorite let’s player’s videos of it again. 

And just… food for thought… please don’t jump the gun on someone else’s OC’s personality and actions. 

I do not want anyone to experience what I had.

A Life Less Ordinary by Jebiwonkenobi

It takes a few years but eventually they manage to agree on something; Derek Hale is an asshole, and Stiles Stilinski is in love with him.


Burn by night by thebrotherswinchester

Sheriff Stilinski has been kidnapped by Alpha werewolves. As bait. For his own son.


Cupboard Love by mklutz

He’s carefully balancing the sandwiches and the two biggest tupperware containers he could find that both had functioning lids when the front door opens and he almost drops everything right there in front of the stupid fountain.

If that’s Derek Hale, he’s definitely not a mountain man.


Daddy’s Do’s by apocryphal

“Hi Mr. Stilinski!” Lydia said pertly. “My name’s Lydia, and this is my daddy. His name is Derek Andrew Hale and he watches all of your videos on YouTube a lot, but he still can’t braid.”

[Stiles is a celebrity YouTube hairstylist. Derek may or may not have a crush. Lydia just wants a French braid for school picture day.]


Everything’s Better Under the Sea by tryslora

Everything changes when Derek goes under while surfing, hits his head on a board, and sees a man with a tail swimming away. He wants to know who that was, and what it has to do with Beacon Hills, the one place he never meant to come back to.

Keep reading

My interpretation of the MOON signs

(You could probs relate your sun if you want maybe even your rising)

Aries: they take up your life: being loud, leaving mess on the stairs, creating arguments out of thin air and always filling the void with their drama. Very self-centred but oblivious to it so I’ll let it be. Problems they hav always someone else’s fault. Very loving and cuddly and express passion easily. Never stick to hobbies after announcing that its there biggest passion n cant survive without it. Though, they don’t wait around for things to be handed to them - they are always up to something interesting. Independent.

Taurus: they are great to spill your words upon and never flinch when u say something deep or shocking so it makes u chill af cause they are…Most of the time…they can get angered when things aren’t as it should as they are very stubborn. don’t like people who aren’t committed to friendship or plans/dreams and dont like people who dont give their stuff back. Seemed to hav cows eyes: very deep n dreamy and long eyelashes -often brown eyes that i know of or watery blue eyes. lov food or other luxuries.

Gemini: childlike, like everything light hearted and humorous. there has to always be words to fill up the quiet spaces otherwise they start to get agitated. Dont like boring people and will blatantly walk off or something. Nervouusss people. Tapping all the time. When they’re in a goood mood they’re goofy but can become detached and cold and become a bit of a smart arse. Like knowing their shit.

Cancer: homely people. Warm and loving to fault as they are always let down by others who do not give the same warmth and pure emotions back. I think they could probably guilt trip u many times. emotions are not hidden which is good and bad because shots are firedddd and their words filled venom when there really cheesed off. Like lots of nice things. also love cute fluffy animals. Love their family to be always near - protective can become smothering. Talk about the ‘good old days’ 24/7.

Leo: why are you so posey and dramatic? They like to tell a tall tale - love to add bits to the truth to make it more exciting - which is actually interesting to hear tbh so good job :) they love to be centre of attention obvs. Also hold their heads high and always seem taller than actually are. Full of exuberance. & they often believe in their abilities so they achieve good grades and r smarttt!

Virgo: lovs when people do little silly things for them because they like when people are as detail orientated as them. expect too much of people becaus they do too much for others. Nervous but lowkey cause their earthiness sort of makes it hum in the background. Has potential to be shady. I love their organisation, chills me the f out. Some reason i feel they be really good at ASMR videos because of their voice & movements. and they r actually quite talkative but its usually nothing too intellectual or snobbish just good natter. Bites their nails!

Libra: i dont get them. They dont make an imposing impression on me as they’re delicate and not too in ya face. Loves knitted jumpers and wearing light colours Ive noticed. Sweet n gentle. Probs could get away with murder. Gets really into things like a celeb or tv series for a while. Has fan blogs probably. like to talk about things such as kpop, clothes, items in their neat pencil case and make up. Idkkk

Scorpio: protectivveee. Intense. Passionate about theirs hobbies and interests. Can become lost in their own intellectual, abstract world forgetting what is truly important until they realise and become regretful and then hold many unresolved grudges. They are e m o t i o n a l but try to hide it - constantly simmering and on the verge of erupting. Though they are quite interested in their own passion - they’ll hype u up about yours and talk for hours about theirs and your own dreams. Abstract knowledge that seems to appear out of no where when they speak -unconventionally smart.

Sagittarius: want to escape reality. Someone i used to know would read a lot of books - probs erotic - she also used her work as escapism? her husband wouldn’t take her on holiday:( another i know comes across very cool and full of knowledge and like to says corny things like ‘you might as well live your life to the fullest because you’ve only got one’. acts like a philosopher. Has gooood taste in music. knows everyone and can keep good relationships with all of them.

Capricorn: thinks they’re are funny af but peeps often laugh at their jokes cause they’re just a bit shit. Tries to come across cool 😎looking for a for job but isn’t working out lol. Wants fame n fortune. they love to talk deep and intellectual without getting too personal. probably quite lovey dovey but it is buried deep inside them. likes to keep it light by listening to music or watching the telly otherwise there thoughts overwhelm them. ( i hav cap moon so might look like a different viewpoint to the others moon signs)

Aquarius: loves to make a point that they are different lol. Intellectual af cause they really smart. Can talk for hours on end but still likes down time. they are the world’s friend but they only let a few know the real them (if thats is actually the real them ). Quirky sense of humour. Hav big dreams and most likely succeed in pursuing them. they are very open about weird stories and experiences they hav had which is fun to hear. will hav something to say about every topic on earth - love to share an opinion.

Pisces: too kind for their own good. They know your weaknesses/insecurities from first time you meet. i think they have melancholy spells which they find themselves in a trance - i catch them staring blankly quite a lot. Love to ask if you’re okay. Mooody. Let down by humanity. Very chatty and has of cool things to say. Music may rule their life - musically talented in one case ik (probs used as escapism). Can be burdened with very unsettling thoughts of not being good enough; making sure they keep there reputation for being the nice guy which means getting pushed about

Hit Korean boy band BTS is ready to take over Anaheim

Rap Monster, one of the seven guys in the South Korean boy band BTS, says it was only at the end of 2016 that he and the others realized how huge their band had become around the world.

“Somebody in the company sent me a message: ‘You got No. 26 on Billboard OMG congratulations,’” says Mr. Monster, the 22-year-old rapper born Kim Nam-joon, by phone from Chicago where BTS was set to play on Thursday before hitting Honda Center for a pair of sold-out shows on Saturday and Sunday.

“At first I thought, 'Ha ha, your humor isn’t really very good,’” says Rap Monster, the leader of the group and its primary songwriter. “We didn’t believe it.”

But as more messages started to ping onto their phones he says the BTS boys realized it was no joke: Their sophomore album, “Wings,” entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 26 after its October release, making it the highest chart position for any K-pop act – not to mention one that sings primarily in Korean – and offering a bit of foreshadowing for Billboard naming the record the best K-pop album of the year.

Since then things have only gotten sunnier for Rap Monster, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. In February, “Wings” was re-released in a new edition as “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and the combined editions have since sold nearly 1.5 million copies worldwide. Music videos for “Spring Day” and “Not Today” were released a week apart last month as well and exploded on YouTube where they’ve currently racked up 59.2 million and 60.1 million views respectively.

“When we heard that and really got that, I was saying, 'OK, this is going to be a whole other world,’” Rap Monster says of the significance of the Billboard chart success and all that followed. “And I feel like we should do something more, and dream something more.”

This past week they’ve taken a step toward something more, playing their first headlining and sold-out arena dates in the United States, after previously having mostly played on multi-artist billings at KCON conventions held here.

“So many people just to see BTS was really an honor,” Rap Monster says of the opening pair of shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. “It feels dreamy these days.”

Not, mind you, that it’s been anything like an overnight success or an easy road for him and the other BTS members.

He grew up a top student in his school who loved American rappers such as Eminem and Nas, performing even as he attended high school and eventually catching the attention of BTS future manager Bang Si-hyuk at BigHit Entertainment in South Korea. And though he says he gave up on music when he was 16, lacking confidence in where he was headed, he says Bang encouraged him to stay strong, believe in himself, and sign on as the first to join BTS, even though at the time he wasn’t sure who or what it would end up incorporating.

“I was not aware of the other members,” Rap Monster says. “But I like the company and I respect them. And he promised to me, 'I will make you do your music and get big someday, so please believe me.’

"So I believed him.”

The other six members soon were selected, each of them bringing different talents on the mic or on stage. Songs were developed by Rap Monster and the other members, with a team of producers working to craft the best music from the raw material, the melodies and beats, that they created.

“Our chemistry is different from other groups,” Rap Monster says. “Everyone has their own points and characteristics. If I’m a bad dancer, a good dancer teaches me. If I’m a good songwriter, I help the others with a good melody.”

We ask the obvious question: Are you a bad dancer?

He laughs and answers: “Yes, I’m a bad dancer.”

Their music is different from a lot of K-pop acts that have made ripples on the American airwaves. They’re not popular because of the novelty aspect of their songs – think “Gangnam Style” by Psy from a few years back. And they’re not quite as bubblegum as a group such as Girls Generation or as eclectic as the synthpop of f(x), the first Korean band to play the South By Southwest festival.

Instead, BTS often aims for that sweet spot where R&B and rap get together, the kind of stuff Justin Bieber might be doing if he sang in Korean and there were six Bieber variations with fashionable hair and eclectic yet unified fashion choices.

“BTS music sounds like it’s from America,” Rap Monster says. “We decide to always watch the trends and watch what’s going on over the world. America’s the No. 1 market in the world so that’s why people in America prefer us.”

As for communicating through the language divide, Rap Monster says that’s partly handled by the group’s wildly enthusiastic social media following: “Fans translate our lyrics and interviews,” he says of a following that has landed them at the top of Billboard’s Social 50 list for a total of 17 weeks since “Wings” dropped in October. “They’re able to say, 'OK, BTS is talking about us and our lives.’”

And it’s partly addressed through lyrical subjects that express the common hopes and dreams and fears and worries of any teenager or young adult in any country.

“Our lyrics are mostly Korean but we always talk about the young people’s lives and their minds,” Rap Monster says. “There’s something similar between every young person in the world, in America or in Korea. We share something together even if we use different languages or live so far.”

American fans are also the savviest music lovers in the world, Rap Monster says, which made heading out on this brief headlining tour a little bit intimidating at first.

“We actually were scared of performing in America as a solo act,” he says. “Their playlists are the best in the world. I was really nervous for them.

"But after we were on stage our fear disappeared. They’re like everybody, they’re like friends. Singing along all of the lyrics even through the raps. They know how to play, the rhythms and the dances.”

An aside here to share our favorite piece of Rap Monster trivia. You might be wondering whether he spoke through a translator. He did not. His excellent English skills were polished in the classroom but also at home through what he refers to as “a Korean mothers syndrome.”

“'Friends’ was really famous for the mothers in Korea for English education,” Rap Monster says of the hit American sitcom from the '90s. “It was kind of like a syndrome. Korean mothers make their kids watch 'Friends’ even when they were eating food or playing.

"I think it really helped. It has like 10 seasons, I think, and I watched it like more than five times through the 10 seasons. They use the gestures and expressions, like, Americans use, right? I think that naturally teaches me how to speak or how to make a gesture when you try to express some emotions.

"Thank you, 'Friends,’” he says, laughing. “God bless 'Friends’!”

Rap Monster recently collaborated with the American rapper Wale on the song “Change,” which like some of BTS’ other songs – and unlike most K-pop – touches on politics and societal issues. He says he’d loved Wale’s music for a few years when the opportunity to do the song came along last year “like a miracle, like a dream come true.

"The song has already come out and we shot a music video together, but still sometimes I lie in my bed and think, 'Did I really do something with him?’” Rap Monster says.

He knows that boy groups from Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync to the Jonas Brothers and One Direction tend to have a finite lifespan before members get restless to move on solo projects, acting gigs and other opportunities. But he thinks the variety of interests and musical genres that individual BTS members have can be handled on the side or even within the group, and BTS itself can carry on.

So while Rap Monster says he’d love to collaborate with Drake or Miguel one day, Suga feels the same way about Kanye West and Flume. Jungkook seems more inclined toward pop R&B – his dream musical partners would include Bieber or Charlie Puth. V is a little bit old school, having mentioned Norah Jones and the Fugees as on his wish list. Rap Monster ticks off the rest of the band: Jimin digs Chris Brown, J-Hope is into the similarly initialed J. Cole, and Jin is a fan of old-school showman Bruno Mars.

“I always tell them that every time we have hits under the name of BTS we shine the best when we are a team,” Rap Monster says. “I know all the seven members, they love music, and I know their No. 1 wish is for us to perform and make music and sing and dance.

"Maybe someday someone will want to be on a television show or be an actor,” he says. “I just hope they know all of the popularity and fame and money is from the name of our team. That’s not one person, everybody contributes to the team.

"Nobody knows the future. I just hope it can last as long as possible.”

Peter Larson @ OCRegister