this is your daily reminder that men can be abusers. women can be abusers. non-binary people can be abusers. i don’t care what you are, if you’re abusive then you’re an abuser.
if i see one more person going “people are only defending johnny because he’s famous!” i’m going to throw things. we’re not defending johnny because he’s famous and attractive and a good actor. we’re defending johnny because he tells things plain and simply without painting himself as a perfect angel who's never done anything wrong in his life, as opposed to little miss "i looked into his eyes and i only saw black uwu" who talks like she's starring in a cringy yn x bad boy edward cullen fanfiction and hasn't once admitted that she punched - sorry, hit johnny, because that makes everything better. we’re defending johnny because it's clear from the audio recordings now that most (if not all) of the times he lashed out were as retaliation from her provoking him. we’re defending johnny because there's audio proof of the so-called macho abuser trying to hide in the bathroom and de-escalate the situation whilst she laughs at him and tries to push him to fight with her. we’re defending johnny because even amber's staff have confirmed that there were no bruises on her face. we’re defending johnny because there are multiple instances of amber clearly lying under oath. we’re defending johnny because amber turd poses for pictures of her "crying" so she can look like the victim. we’re defending johnny because the way that amber's lawyers are acting just makes it even clearer that they don't have a case and they're struggling to find evidence. we’re defending johnny because if you still don't believe that this whole thing was planned to ruin his reputation, amber hired a private investigator to follow him and go back decades into his past and not one person said a bad thing about him. we’re defending johnny because the woman who diagnosed amber with ptsd, in confliction to dr shannon curry's diagnosis, has a long history of supporting female abusers for the sole reason that they are female. we’re defending johnny because i'm a feminist who has seen the effects of domestic violence on somebody close to me, and this is not feminism, this is victim blaming. we’re defending johnny because amber laughed in his face and told him to tell the world that he, a man, is a victim of domestic abuse, and he said yes. we’re defending johnny because it's the right thing to do. so, stop defending amber heard just because she's a woman. thank you and goodnight.
that winter in camelot is the coldest merlin can remember. the snow lays coffin deep in the courtyard, and when he tries using his magic to keep gwen's chambers warm, she scolds him for giving her preferential treatment. he hasn't quite gotten the hang of warming the entire castle, much less anything beyond that, so he settles for enchanting the stole leon had gifted her in secret and using his energy to keep every fire he can going.
it's all he can do, these days, to keep a fire going. gaius has him on a number of draughts and dried herbs he's carefully stored since the summer solstice, but they do little in the way of keeping merlin's heart from stopping every time he sees a flash of golden hair.
it's in the wake of the third snowfall that he hears from his mother.
ealdor is blanketed in white, thatch roofs bending and bowing under the freezing weight, and there's a teenaged boy he recognises in the unsettling, removed sort of way adding another log to his mother's dying fire.
his knees give out. a familiar feeling rises in his chest: that he wishes he could make his mother's bed more comfortable, give her the plushness only royals are privy to. he thinks of gwen's stole, of her lavish pillows, of her fire raging, and thinks of his mother, dying on a bed of straw.
she's days away from death, if that. it will be the second person he's lost this year, and merlin has come to terms with eternity's cold grip, no longer has the fight left in him to uncurl its fingers from its tight grasp.
he grips her frail fingers and does everything he can to keep the fire going.
to say, "i will never forget you."
she smiles at him. "that," she tells him, "is how i know you love me."
it takes him a few more winters to understand, fully, what his mother meant. in those years, he loses, and loses, and loses, until grief is a friend that walks beside him. when he realises that death will never come for him, but rather will flirt with his friends, seduce those he loves until they leave him to pick up their shadows, it hits him. to love someone is to remember.
so he begins telling stories. he's not good with words, at first. doesn't know how to tell anyone about arthur in a way that makes what he was make sense. he was more than my king. he was insufferable. he was half of me. he was arrogant and foolhardy and stupid. he was my destiny.
how do you say that? how do you find the words for that? how do you describe gwen-- beautiful, kind gwen, who deserved the world over? how do you describe gaius-- wise, complicated gaius, who harboured him when no one else would? how do you describe gwaine, and lancelot, and leon, and percival, and elyan, and morgana, and mordred, and--
how do you make your love into a legend?
merlin tells stories until his throat goes raw. he spends centuries spinning tales. there once, he tells countless, wide-eyed children, was a great king named arthur. and one day, he will come back.
to love someone is to remember. and merlin commissions paintings, reads poetry, watches plays where the actors try to mimic his friends.
all those centuries later, his heart still stops at a flash of golden hair.
in those first years, merlin had wondered if arthur knew how loved he was, how much merlin loved him. so merlin crafts him a world that knows his name, so that when he comes back, there will be no question.
arthur comes back to him in winter. there isn't snow on the ground, but his skin is chilled from lake water, and merlin does everything he can to keep the fire going.
as he's warming up his king, combing his hair, drying his hands, he dares to ask.
"do you remember me?"
it's a question larger than the words that contain it. but arthur turns to him, and honest to god rolls his eyes, and speaks, for the first time in several lifetimes.
"i could never forget you, merlin."
and merlin thinks, he might love me, too.
I scrolled through your whole time capsule! so cool to see how your style has changed over the years. Are there any of your suuper early works that you still have particular fond memories of?
haha, it’s a ride, isn’t it?
i have positive memories for most of the pieces i added to the time capsule, but i’ll highlight a few standouts!
this was art of my and my best friend’s (at the time) sonas. hers was a cat and mine was a tanuki, except i definitely thought tanukis were just brown raccoons and didn’t really know anything about them.
the frog prince. i was so incredibly proud of this drawing at the time but i didn’t even remember to reflect the moon properly lol
this is when i started making little fairy tail comics. at first they were all takes on existing fairytales and ended in weird jokes like this. this is the very first one i ever made and this was very much during the RAWR xD i’m so random phase of the internet, when jokes like this were considered funny.
here’s the phase where i drew a lot of bridges in an attempt to appease my art teachers and do Something Other Than Comics
also i used art from this era as the art marina drew in monsterpop
ah 2009… the end of high school, beginning of college. i was trying to get more into digital art but this highlight isn’t about that, because here’s a page from a webcomic i was making that got a daily deviation lol. i was extremely proud of myself.
the start of me and my bittersweet short comics. this is before i realized i was queer so at this point it was all straight couples.
got into homestuck. realized i was queer. made fairyfail, which i posted on tumblr and it popped off (by my standards at the time). i was still very much in my bittersweet romance phase and this was before the “kill your gays” trope got the sort of widespread disdain it now receives (no one in fairyfail died but it does have a sad ending). i was still really confused about my identity and didn’t really know what to do with it or myself.
i made and posted “how to be a mermaid” and it got even more of a response than fairyfail. i also started making and posting monsterpop!
and oh boy i’m out of images! guess i’ll have to reblog this to add more. sorry for how long this post is gonna be lol
My favorite arc in LotR is actually “Gandalf & Pippin’s Questions.”
The core of this relationship is that Pippin likes asking questions and Gandalf only sometimes has the leisure to answer them:
'What are you going to do then?' asked Pippin, undaunted by the wizard's bristling brows.
'Knock on the doors with your head, Peregrin Took,' said Gandalf. 'But if that does not shatter them, and I am allowed a little peace from foolish questions, I will seek for the opening words.'
(“Undaunted” is such a good word for Pippin re: Gandalf. He’s clearly never feared an authority figure in his life. Meanwhile, Gandalf is like “Pippin is a good kid but if someone doesn’t squelch him when necessary he’s going to do something REALLY stupid.”)
Later, the continuing saga of “Gandalf doesn’t like unnecessary questions” returns as soon as he does:
'Then Gandalf came back to us, and he seemed relieved, almost merry. He did say he was glad to see us, then.
’"But Gandalf," I cried, "where have you been? And have you seen the others?’
'"Wherever I have been, I am back," he answered in the genuine Gandalf manner. "Yes, I have seen some of the others. But news must wait."'
Note Pippin’s tolerant familiarity with “Gandalf giving useless answers.”
After Isengard and Pippin’s first sight of the palantir, we see its influence showing itself in Pippin’s stronger and angrier irritation at Gandalf's uncommunicative ways:
'You had the luck, Merry,' said Pippin softly, after a long pause. 'You were riding with Gandalf.'
'Well, what of it?'
'Did you get any news, any information out of him?'
'Yes, a good deal. More than usual. (...) But you can go with him tomorrow, if you think you can get more out of him--and if he'll let you.'
'Can I? Good! But he's close, isn't he? Not changed at all.'
'Oh yes, he is!' said Merry, waking up a little (...)
'Well, if Gandalf has changed at all, then he's closer than ever that's all,' Pippin argued.
We all know how that ends. Boy steals rock, boy looks into rock, boy gets his mind filleted by the Enemy, Gandalf evacuates with him to Minas Tirith.
But then! While Gandalf is quite clear that Pippin should have known better/talked to him before resorting to stealing (and he’s right, obviously), he also responds to this incident by changing his own behavior. He starts talking more.
'What did the men of old use [the palantiri] for?' asked Pippin, delighted and astonished at getting answers to so many questions, and wondering how long it would last.
And he seems to make it clear that this IS in response to the palantir incident, and is him attempting to take Pippin’s desire for information more seriously.
'But I should like to know--' Pippin began.
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?'
'The names of all the stars, and of all living things, and the whole history of Middle-earth and Over-heaven and of the Sundering Seas,' laughed Pippin. 'Of course! What less? But I am not in a hurry tonight. At the moment I was just wondering about the black shadow.'
(I love that Pippin laughs and says “If I have the option, I want to know everything, obviously,” partly because he’s making a joke so soon after that nightmare incident and partly because it’s the first time we see Pippin expressing a desire for real, comprehensive knowledge. Even if it’s a joke, this is also the point in the narrative where—having lost both Merry and Frodo—Pippin’s horizons start being forcibly widened, and we’re about to see him taking in an unfamiliar world by himself.)
Despite Gandalf’s “How much more do I have to say?” protest, Gandalf keeps talking and telling his passenger stories, even when Pippin’s falling asleep. <3
Pippin became drowsy again and paid little attention to Gandalf telling him of the customs of Gondor, and how the Lord of the City had beacons built on the tops of outlying hills along both borders of the great range, and maintained posts at these points where fresh horses were always in readiness to bear his errand-riders to Rohan in the North, or to Belfalas in the South.
After we get to Minas Tirith, they both have less time and less peace, but we still get a glimpse of Gandalf trying to balance Pippin’s questions with his other, weightier duties:
'There are evil days ahead. To sleep while we may!'
'But,' said Pippin.
'But what?' said Gandalf. 'Only one but will I allow tonight.'
(I don’t remember the exact question, but it was after they’d seen Faramir, and Pippin was disturbed by the fact that Frodo and Sam were traveling with Gollum. He wanted Gandalf to give an explanation, which Gandalf didn’t really have.)
Finally, two notes on the subject after the destruction of the Ring. Firstly, there’s this exchange when Frodo and Sam are first reunited with Merry and Pippin in their knightly armors:
'But I can see there's more tales to tell than ours.'
'There are indeed,' said Pippin turning toward him. 'And we'll begin telling them, as soon as this feast is ended. In the meantime you can try Gandalf. He's not as close as he used to be, though he laughs now more than he talks.'
And later in Minas Tirith (when Aragorn is keeping them around for his wedding, but he and Gandalf both refuse to tell them that’s why) Frodo teasingly recalls that line.
'Pippin,' said Frodo, 'didn't you say that Gandalf was less close than of old? He was weary of his labors then, I think. Now he is recovering.'
(Frodo, of course, also has a great deal of experience in “Gandalf not answering your questions even when he thinks he IS.”)
I don’t really have a point to this, I just love the shift in Gandalf & Pippin’s relationship over the course of the books, and I also love the change from Pippin’s sulky “if Gandalf has changed at all, then he's closer than ever >:/” to his merry, affectionate “He’s not as close now as he used to be, though he laughs now more than he talks.”