I am TWENTY MINUTES into The Phantom Menace and I am in absolute tears, Qui-Gon Jinn is the funniest person in this entire franchise, he basically doesn’t sense shit about anything hinky on this mission and doesn’t care, he calls the Federation types all a bunch of cowards, he calls Jar Jar Binks brainless and says the ability to speak doesn’t make you intelligent, that man cannot stand that Gungan from the word go, and he is the one who starts bullying Jar Jar to get him to reveal where the Gungan city is, Obi-Wan joining in with the shit your pants level terrifying things that are coming for them that they do to this Gungan, like they are seamless, they have clearly done this before, Qui-Gon has very obviously bullied people and gotten his Padawan to tag-team them with him, then they go to Otoh Gunga and Qui-Gon busts out the Jedi Mind Trick which is reasonable the first time, but then he pauses for a moment, clearly considering, and then is like, well, how about a transport, too? and his delivery on the line had me weeping with laughter because his voice goes up at the end like, oh, well, as long as we’re here....? because he just realized oh he absolutely can fleece these idiots blind, this man has no morals so far, he only brings Jar Jar along with them instead of leaving him to be executed because Jar Jar will be useful, then there’s the trip through the core of the planet where he sits in the back because hell no he’s not sitting next to Jar Jar and he deadass does not engage in any of the conversation in asking more about what happened with Jar Jar, he leaves that entirely up to Obi-Wan, and then Qui-Gon Jinn does not give a single solitary fuck when the Goober fish is eaten, he’s just like, yeah, same shit different day, meanwhile Obi-Wan is in the driver’s seat staring into the middle distance for like a solid five seconds that feels like ten goddamned minutes while he’s questioning every single life choice he has ever made, then Jar Jar keeps freaking out and Qui-Gon uses the Force to calm him and he borderline passes out because that man wanted that Gungan to shut the fuck up and even Obi-Wan is like, “You overdid it”, and I AM ONLY TWENTY MINUTES INTO THIS MOVIE, I AM CRYING, QUI-GON JINN IS THE FUNNIEST PERSON IN THE MOVIES.
Everyone rolls a d20 and a d100 to work out what year their character was born. Then the DM does the same to work out what year the game is set.
"Sorry Chris, you won't be born for 400 years"
thinking about jonny’s diary entry from today where he mentions his compulsive need to write everything in the diary. love it when horror protags realise they might not make it out, so they become paranoiacally obsessed with recording all that happens to them. everything. not a single word missed — because they think it’s for posterity, as proof of the reality of their circumstances, as warning for those in the future unfortunate enough to require that warning. but in all honesty? it’s for the audience. we are the ones benefitting from the recording. we are beholding it from the safety of our screens
I've been struggling since Saturday to make my thoughts about the episode cohere into a single whole, but this ep made me think about...FEEL about so many different things, so I think I have to approach it differently. I had so many scattered thoughts; on gratitude and guilt, the nature of forgiveness, and the mess that is Kinn and Porsche's feelings.
It's important to understand two things:
Porsche has never been in love. He is having these feelings for the first time, in the middle of an intense, crazy and turbulent period when his life has literally been upended. And he has no frame of reference to organise his feelings, no way to put them in perspective, and nobody he can talk to about them. I'm amazed he can remain upright far less process it all. And Kinn doesn't make it easy for him at all. He gives mixed signals. He kisses him. He takes care of him. He seeks him out. He crosses lines with him. But he also punishes him. He scolds him. He ignores him. He casts him out. But then he shows up at Porsche's door and demands that he come 'home'...to him.
Kinn has loved, but that love was betrayed. He knows what it is to soar, to feel like the luckiest person in the world, and then to have his heart broken, the pain and despair of it. And he closed away that part of himself, only Porsche has ripped the door to that room right off its hinges. Porsche drives him CRAZY, in good and bad ways. He's feeling old feelings and new ones, complicated by the relative positions of he and Porsche in the firmament of his life. And he doesn't understand why he feels this way, and he also has nobody to talk to about it.
They can't understand each other, they can barely understand themselves. And yet, there is something there that has hit them both like a freight train. Kinn and Porsche are fighting private wars within themselves, struggling to understand what this THING between them is. And now they're marooned together, bound together, unable to escape. The world is gone, it's just them. And they say and do things when they're in that time out of time, that place outside of the world. They exposed parts of themselves to each other and even if they tuck those bits back away they will never forget what they looked like emotionally naked. And when they thought it was goodbye, they said and did things that they are going to have to face now.
When you think you are saying goodbye, you will let yourself indulge your feelings to some extent because you won't have to deal with the aftermath of that. In kdrama they always put 'sorry' and 'thankful' together. Thank you for all you do. I'm sorry for all I'm not. Gratitude and guilt. That final scene, was that idea writ large. Porsche and Kinn had been through this ordeal together, trauma bonded in some way, and thought they would never see each other again. Now that that isn't the case they're going to have to deal with the emotional fallout, all that guilt and gratitude, while returning to a situation where all eyes are on them and there are rules and strictures and hierarchies and people to consider other than just themselves. Oh no, nothing is resolved at ALL. The fallout continues, the consequences grow.
On the nature of forgiveness and atonement, I think a lot of people misunderstand it. Forgiveness isn't saying 'it's cool that you did what you did to me'. Atonement isn't saying 'this good I am doing will erase the harm I've done'. It isn't cool, it'll never be cool. A wrong is a wrong and what's done can never be undone. Atonement is saying 'I hope that I can do enough good to dwarf the harm'. Forgiveness is saying 'what you have done to me cannot be undone, but I choose to leave it behind us'. You forgive for yourself, because you choose to be free of whatever anger and sadness and hurt you feel at having been wronged. Forgiveness is a choice and making that choice does not diminish the wrong, it puts it in perspective. Pluto never changes in size, but it's giant compared to a human and minuscule compared to the sun.
So Porsche can forgive (debatable if that is full forgiveness just yet) Kinn what seems so easily because he has wanted to put that night in a perspective. He does not WANT to feel bad about what happened that night. He admits to Kinn that he basically doesn't know how to feel or how to behave around him since then, because a line was crossed, and that line was not just having sex with a man or having it happen while he was drugged, but that man being his employer and also having his feelings be involved. For Porsche sex is casual, the satisfaction of a physical urge. This was in no way casual or it never would've happened. So Porsche has FEELINGS for Kinn, and that complicates his processing of that night. Basically, he was already inclined to forgive if Kinn showed he cared about him. Of all the violations, the worst one for him was Kinn's casting him aside.
Forgiveness is also not just one step, it's a journey. Porsche started on that journey when Kinn showed up at his door; he let him in. And this whole episode is part of the journey of Kinn's atonement and Porsche's forgiveness. And neither journey is completed.
building off of the ideas in this post [Link]
I Do think that there’s actually pretty interesting ways to read into c!tubbo’s characterization and actions during the exile and bedrock bros arcs with the perspective of what’s come out of his character in season three (and to a lesser extent, season four).
I want to look at this purely from an in-universe perspective, with no hangups about writing or execution or any of that.
the cookie outpost was, at it’s core, tubbo holding quackity responsible for something he hadn’t done because tubbo wasn’t safe being angry with the person who’d actually hurt him and who he was actually scared of.
I’ve talked about this before, but we know that tubbo’s retelling of the red festival is wrong. we Know that quackity was begging schlatt and techno to stop but was physically overpowered himself and afraid, that he was trying to get them to stop up until technoblade took him out in the crossfire of shooting tubbo (albeit, a non-canon death). but the way tubbo told it, quackity had forced techno to kill him when techno hadn’t wanted to.
and the fact is, tubbo wasn’t allowed to be angry at techno.
techno beat tommy to a non-canon death in a pit just for the right to refuse acknowledging that what he’d done was wrong at All. he’d denied that what he did mattered all throughout pogtopia, refusing to do anything to repair their relationship in the meantime. and when techno had Threatened To Hurt Them, it was quackity who’d talked them into taking action, who’d talked them into being Allowed to be angry.
and they’d all gotten hurt for it. quackity had lost a life for it and they’d all lost their Homes for it. technoblade shouted about tubbo’s death not mattering while he was burning his home to the ground right in front of him. while he was threatening to kill them.
and then in the direct aftermath of his best friend being beaten to death techno shows up at his house to threaten him again, to Make Sure that he didn’t build another community that techno didn’t approve of. he made fun of him for feeling like he had to take extreme measure to protect himself. he made fun of the idea that tubbo would even be afraid in the first place. but in the end techno gave him his approval. tubbo refused to allow himself to be angry, and in response techno let him live. in response he didn’t hurt him.
so when tubbo reaches some kind of breaking point, when he feels the need to lash out to scare people away from hurting him and his family, he doesn’t point his anger at technoblade because technoblade Isn’t A Safe Person To Be Angry At. technoblade is a person who will destroy him and take away everything he loves and come back to make fun of him over it.
but quackity is someone who has never intentionally hurt him, quackity is someone who he could Defend Himself Against even if he did choose to hurt him, and quackity is someone who he’s had some level of trust in while still having direct ties to very traumatic moments in his life.
tubbo picked a fight with quackity because being angry at quackity was Safe. using quackity as a scapegoat to unpack his trauma Was Safe. and that wasn’t fair to quackity, but they were on relatively even footing all things considered.
that’s why tubbo was able to make up with quackity afterwards, because he’d never Really been angry with him. it’d been a repository for all of the stress and fear and anger and indignation that he hadn’t been able to express in the months he’d been on this server. it’s not a healthy coping mechanism, but it Is a coping mechanism.
and it’s something that we saw happen again with aimsey. with tubbo funneling his anger and frustration and grief over ranboo’s death to an innocent party because they were an Easy Scapegoat.
the difference here, though, is that they weren’t on even footing. this wasn’t someone with mutual trust built between them who was in a position to understand what was happening and why. and this wasn’t a situation where he was Redirecting his anger in a less destructive way.
he killed aimsey because he was an easy target, because she wouldn’t fight back.
and I think we can follow this line back to tubbo’s actions during the exile arc.
the link at the top goes into more detail, but the fact is that tubbo was in a position to be Fully aware of not only exactly how and why dream was overstepping boundaries to unfairly target tommy. he Knew that nobody had ever been punished for griefing before, he Knew that dream was a dangerous person who’d both stalked and murdered tommy before, he Knew that tommy had both given his life and his discs for the sake of l’manberg (and for Him before).
but he was also Scared. he also knew Exactly how cruel and how violent dream could be, Would Be, when he didn’t get his way.
tommy was the scapegoat for tubbo’s anger because it wasn’t Safe for to be angry at dream. because if he didn’t roll over and give dream what he wanted then they were all fucked.
which ended up hurting tommy and hurting his relationships with the other cabinet members because he wasn’t tempering his reactions here. he was treating tommy as if every accusation dream was wielding against him were true despite the fact that All of them knew that the trial was circus. and this was something that tubbo Didn’t Put Down. it’s not a reaction that he Examined.
quackity had been angry with tommy during and in the aftermath of the trial too, but he hadn’t been there to see Why exactly everyone was afraid of dream. he knew he was strong, he didn’t know that he was a murderer and he didn’t know how dream had treated tommy before he got there. but the moment he started understanding the danger that tommy was in he tried to protect him. protect him from being exiled, protect him with the butcher army, protect him during doomsday, protect him during the disc war finale.
likewise, tubbo made up with quackity during the cookie outpost conflict because he recognized that what he wanted wasn’t actually to be angry, it was to feel safe.
and that’s not to say that tubbo Wasn’t Capable of seeing what he was doing during the exile arc. but rather that he was pushing himself hard into denial specifically Because it would hurt him to recognize how he was hurting tommy. because it Did hurt him the moment he was forced to step back and accept the situation for what it was.
because he Did snap out of it. he snapped out of it the moment tommy stepped back and apologized. the moment tommy unequivocally Chose Him. put Himself in danger to do the right thing. and tubbo chose him back in an instant. was willing to fight and Die for him in an instant.
He Was A Little Too Willing Actually.
it was after the green festival and after doomsday that tubbo designed the dead man’s switch, that he went into the disc war finale knowing fully well that either they’d die or dream would, that he stood in front of his own death and said that it was his time.
tubbo’s casual suicidal tendencies weren’t Entirely due to his guilt over tommy, But It Definitely Played A Big Factor. and that’s exactly why he Couldn’t let himself acknowledge it for so long. why he’d Stayed in denial for so long despite it only making the situation worse. because the moment he acknowledge it it would break him.
and that’s a very human reaction, but it’s also one that ended up hurting the people important to him severely in a way that he can’t take back. and while he made an effort to change his Actions. to stick by tommy (at least, following doomsday, the disc war finale, and tommy’s death), he’s Continued his avoidance and denial. he’s not processed what’s actually happened and he’s refused to talk about it. which has left it a sore spot for him and of course made it difficult for tommy not to feel insecure in their relationship.
because tommy still doesn’t know what happened or why. he doesn’t understand tubbo’s reaction, he only has to act on faith that it won’t happen again. and in the meantime tubbo’s pulled back from him without explanation.
and if you take their entire relationship in full, examine it all together, it seems to me that tubbo is pulling away from tommy again because he can’t handle the emotions attached to him anymore. Because he’s never worked through those heavy, difficult emotions. Because tommy isn’t a safe person to be angry at anymore, but he’s not a safe person to love uncomplicatedly anymore.
because thinking about his relationship with tommy hurts, he’s now Minimizing that relationship without examining the details of Why.
I mean I guess that proves Eda’s recipe was better if even Lilith’s preferred it. Poor Lilith even her own work is throwing her under the bus and she really can’t win at anything (besides glyphs), but as she reminds herself in the letter, it’s not a competition and trying to make it that is why she resorts to dubious, reckless tactics that end up being her undoing!
This short is funny but there’s an implicitly sad undertone to Lilith’s desperate need to win once again backfiring... I dunno if the chibi shorts creators made this ahead of time before Season 2B premiered with Lilith’s latest design, but it does fit with what audiences saw and knew of Lilith in 2A! Honestly, I can see this short actually being canon and happening in the two-week period between seasons 1 and 2, which would add to Lilith’s insecurity still being a potent thing that hasn’t cooled down quite yet.
But hey; At least Luz appreciates Lilith’s work and there’s something so precious to me about Luz understanding her aunt and validating her, as a dweebus who’s also fond of Eda and not a natural to magic like others are, and feels insecure over that; Even resorting to not the best methods to keep up (even if she doesn’t intend to sabotage or one-up others) like stealing the training wand for example. She gets it and that makes moments like Luz validating her aunt’s hyperfixations all the more wonderful.
Kinn’s voice in episode 6: aka Kinn’s Camp Rock “this is real, this is me” era
So I genuinely didn’t even know where to start with this episode. There’s just SO much going on vocally, and it’s not necessarily as easily broken down scene-by-scene as in previous episodes. I’m honestly still frazzled, devastated, blown away by the episode as a whole to the point that I feel like half my thoughts can be summed up with that bizarre noise Emma Thompson makes at the end of “Sense and Sensibility” in that proposal scene (iykyk).
But I’m going to do my best to put my thoughts in actual words, so bear with me! There will be some tangents along the way that aren’t strictly voice-related, but hopefully it all comes together in the end!
Starting with the wandering around scene.
I went with this screenshot because it’s fucking hilarious, but also because of the fact that I literally couldn’t get a clean, clear frame of him in this particular exchange where they’re doing Rock Paper Scissors. He’s moving that fast.
What’s striking about this whole extended scene of them bitching at each other and going in circles is how unrestrained Kinn is. More than that, how much that lack of restraint is completely removed from any performance of power. He’s being forceful, yelling at Porsche, swearing at him, fighting for control of the situation, but with absolutely no real attempt to replicate the classic voice that would actually make him sound powerful and in control. He has absolutely no real authority in this forest, and even before Porsche calls him out on it, Kinn knows it.
They’re both clearly frustrated, Kinn especially, trying to navigate unfamiliar terrain while shackled together. But having seen the entire forest arc play out, the rewatch experience in this particular moment is...something.
Now we know that this entire time, Kinn could have taken those cuffs off, making a difficult situation slightly less so and giving him the freedom to go where he wants. But of course he doesn’t. He keeps the cuffs on, argues with Porsche, bickers with him, throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, and generally plays at being just as unhappy with the state of affairs as Porsche seems to be.
But he doesn’t take the cuffs off. He would rather be here, in this moment, sweating and dirty and lost, fighting with Porsche, than back home in his fine suits, air conditioning, and position of authority. He’d rather have a defiant, annoying, pain-in-the-ass Porsche than not have him at all.
I say all of that because listen to how Kinn sounds underneath all that unrestrained yelling and complaining. He sounds giddy. His voice is higher, more lightweight, more youthful, all the power and control hollowed out. He’s likely still running on some adrenaline from their dramatic night fighting off kidnappers, but more than that, he’s using volume and a more dynamic tone (voice falling and rising almost at random, from soft to hard, hoarser to airier, projecting without actual force) to distract from the very subtle, excited tension in his voice. If you listen closely, in certain lines you can actually hear a bit of a vibration, a nervous energy.
Kinn just so readily, so eagerly leans into this newfound freedom without the constraints of power, position, and class standing between him and Porsche. He allows himself to get excited, to be juvenile and competitive and expressive. He allows himself to mirror Porsche’s energy and even escalate it, exhilarated by this side of Porsche. It’s not that he’s never seen Porsche like this; it’s that now, finally, he’s able to respond in kind, to react more honestly to Porsche without having to think about how it looks.
And as soon as the two of them hit the water during their tousle, all his vocal bluster and posturing immediately falls away, and we see what a thin disguise it was to begin with.
The creek and truck scenes.
I couldn’t pick a screenshot because it’s all just AHHHHHHHH. The second he drops the whole frustrated act, his voice is just full. Listen to the laugh he lets out in that moment from the second screenshot above.
This is Kinn completely devoid of airs and masks. He’s just happy, here with Porsche, finally allowed to be carefree and not have to bother with the persona he’s crafted so painstakingly over the years.
Even when they get a little exasperated again later on as they head up the road, once again that exasperation fades away instantly when they find a new object of interest and usefulness (the truck).
For personal reasons, I will be replaying Kinn’s cute little “Hey! A truck!” on a loop for the next week. He’s a whole babie.
I really don’t even have much to say about Kinn’s voice because it’s just so straightforward in these early scenes. And that’s exactly the point! He’s reverted to a simpler, more honest, more open version of himself without need for artifice. There’s not much to analyze because he’s just in his element and focused on basic, uncomplicated emotions: excitement, giddiness, even joy. He’s not thinking too deeply, just allowing himself to feel and be without self-regulating.
I have literally no commentary on the fire scene other than what a fucking dumbass Kinn is in his most natural state. He literally woke up and immediately pointed an invisible gun at his “attacker.” And then pouted and called Porsche names when he realized what he did. Kinn, if anyone is a moron, it is definitely you. (Said with all the love in my heart.)
He’s just a pouty princess honestly. Like look at the petulant little retorts he throws back at Porsche, how he acts put-out when Porsche teases him, his bitchy little side-eye at Porsche. If I were Porsche, I’d almost think Kinn was flirting, albeit very badly.
As an aside, I think it’s at about this point that Porsche starts to fall for Kinn. Look at his expressions in this scene, how fascinated he is by this different side to Kinn, how enthralled he is by the version of Kinn that’s silly and cocky and childish and carefree and excited by the simplest things. Porsche would never have fallen fully in love with Kinn the Mafia Prince, but this Kinn? This Kinn seals the deal.
The fishing scene.
Once again I’m struck by how difficult it is to get a clean shot of Kinn during so much of his dialogue, because he’s moving around so much! He’s practically vibrating, bouncing in place, fully giving into his expressive, passionate nature.
I said toward the beginning that it’s harder to analyze this episode scene by scene, and it’s true because once again I don’t have much to break down here that I haven’t already said above. Kinn’s voice is just, once again, giddy. It’s straightforward. His voice is achingly honest in these scenes, because he’s not thinking beyond the simple pleasure of this moment, standing next to Porsche, learning something new, surrounded by nature, finally free just for a little while from the heavy weight of family, responsibility, and obligation around his neck.
Later on in this scene, when he and Porsche are sharing the fish they caught, even though Kinn is calmer, more laidback, his voice still has that very subtle vibration to it, almost a kind of musicality. It’s not smoothed over, polished, crafted to be what he needs for any given moment. There’s a complete lack of modulation that allows his voice to go lighter, sweeter, more melodic.
The dream jobs scene.
Oh. OoooooOOOOOoooooHHHHhhhhhHHhH this scene.
So full disclosure: I have an extremely low tolerance for cringe. I had to skip the actual singing the first time I watched because I simply Could Not. The second Kinn opened his mouth I knew what was coming. So the fact that I forced myself, in UTTER AGONY, to sit down and watch the singing bit when writing this post, is an Achievement.
Kinn’s voice is lower in this scene, a little calmer, but still has that melodic expressiveness to it. When he admits to his childhood dream of being a singer, his voice goes so soft, so wistful. He’s showing his belly in this scene, allowing himself not just to be himself but to share himself.
Note: Look at the way he glances repeatedly at Porsche, eyebrows lifted, eyes searching, actively seeking encouragement from Porsche without saying a word. He wants assurance from Porsche. He cares so much about what he thinks.
There’s also a barely automatically tremor in his voice as he starts talking about the singing competition and his theory that his dad essentially bought his win. It still stings, all these years later, to have had a dream quietly shattered, first by his father’s interference, and later by his brother’s trauma.
As he opens up further about Tankhun, he’s letting uncertainty bleed into his voice, vulnerability. He’s speaking to Porsche as an equal, asking for his input, trusting him with the doubts he’s never shared before. He knows that his questioning of Tankhun is more about him—his fears, his regrets, his grief for the life he might have had—than any genuine resentment toward his big brother. He’s trusting that Porsche will see the question for what it is: a request for validation, for someone else to empathize with where those thoughts come from while also reassuring him that they’re not true, that he can trust what he sees.
This extended scene just eases through so much character so naturally that you don’t even realize how much ground it’s covering on your first watch. We hear Kinn’s voice slowly open up, become softer, shyer, more vulnerable, as he gives more and more of his secrets to Porsche. He’s testing the waters, so to speak, to see how it feels to be honest with Porsche, to see how Porsche responds. And Porsche keeps meeting his honesty and responding in kind.
You can think of this conversation, in fact this entire episode, almost like a spiral, with the deepest truth at the center. At the outer edge, we begin with Kinn exposing a different side to his personality: impatient, unrestrained, excited. We go further into the spiral and see his childish side, his youthful joy, the pleasure he can derive from simple things like learning how to fish or finding an abandoned truck to sleep in for the night.
In this scene, we traverse a lot of ground deeper into the spiral toward that Big Truth, but we don’t actually get to the center. Kinn apologizes for the wrongs he’s done to Porsche, speaking gently and almost pleadingly, but he doesn’t actually name them. He’s shying away from the truth both because he’s afraid to talk openly about it but also because he’s not sure what Porsche is willing to hear.
So his voice, when he apologizes, is hesitant, halting, unsure. His eyes are shifting to and away from Porsche, trying to gauge his reaction to know if he should take the apology a step further. But in this moment, Porsche, who’s been meeting his honesty throughout the scene so far, doesn’t respond in kind. He thinks for a long moment, opens his mouth a little like he’s debating saying something, but then chooses to nod and give a vague acknowledgment.
Kinn knows, from Porsche’s reluctance to match Kinn’s first attempt at candor, that this isn’t the time to talk about it, to get to that Big Truth. So he lets it go.
The ravine scene.
This moment above has turned out to be one of my favorites in the entire episode purely thanks to Kinn’s voice.
On its own, Kinn’s first couple of lines spoken while they’re sitting opposite each other aren’t really that profound. But the way he says them? Holy shit.
Think about what happened immediately prior to this. Porsche was trying desperately to find a way to climb out of that ravine, frustrated at the handcuffs for making that escape impossible, asking, “Why do we have to be cuffed together like this?”
Kinn watches him in that moment, and even without his line (”But this makes us know each other so much better.”) you can see everything on his face. The reality, one of the truths sitting right smack next to the center of that spiral, that he’s holding Porsche back. He’s trapping him against his will, not out of malice, but out of selfishness, out of his own yearning for Porsche, without fully considering how Porsche must feel.
That moment, when he watches Porsche’s brief outburst, is when Kinn decides to take the handcuffs off. To let Porsche go.
But first, he’s going to be selfish for just a little longer. He wants a little more time, one more chance to talk to Porsche, to be honest with him as best he can. To get as close to the center of that spiral, that Big Truth, as he dares.
That specific context is why his voice in this scene is so interesting. It’s still soft, still low, still open, but there’s more control there. He’s making more of an effort to modulate his tone, not out of any need to manipulate or exert influence, but to express himself as carefully and intentionally as he can. This is the last chance he has to talk to Porsche, and he wants to do it right.
He doesn’t waste any time, choosing to share with Porsche that when he first heard his name being called, he didn’t want to leave. He’s trying to bare his heart to Porsche, haltingly, not sure how best to go about it, but trying to so hard to make his words count.
You can see that he’s forcing himself to keep going, that he’s determined to give Porsche as much truth as he can while he can, in the hopes that it can make Porsche feel better, but also ease his own guilt, make it easier to bear watching him leave. He pushes through his apology, knowing that Porsche may not be entirely ready to hear it, but also knowing he has to say it anyway. He keeps his voice gentle, soft, trying to ease the tension of the conversation as much as he can.
And Porsche, although visibly awkward and struggling for words, at last meets his honesty with his own. It’s vague, sure, and maybe not all he has to say, but at least they’ve acknowledged another truth, chipped away a little more at the space between them.
It’s enough for Kinn. It has to be. “Then from now on,” he says, even more gently, “we won’t have any doubts between us.”
The goodbye scene.
Otherwise known as the scene that ruined my life.
As stated above, Kinn decided hours ago to let Porsche go. And that decision gives him the freedom to finally be 100% open with Porsche, to let his voice really fill with all the tenderness, all the sheer feeling he has for Porsche, as he tells him to go home to his brother, to his life and his future and his dreams.
Kinn’s voice trembles here. You can hear the knot in his throat, the way he’s trying so hard not to let his own pain color all the hope and love he feels for Porsche. He wants Porsche to be happy so badly, is desperate for him to live the life that he wants away from Kinn’s world. And it only takes the slightest prompting from Porsche to admit it openly: “I like it when you’re happy.”
@clandestinegardenias said it so much better than I ever could in her post here about the line “Just go! That’s an order!” This is Kinn starting to step back into his old persona, all so he can give Porsche the out he needs to leave. Kinn is reclaiming the power that he gave up in the forest, all so he can use it for Porsche’s sake, selflessly, unhesitatingly. He orders Porsche to go because he knows that by giving Porsche the illusion of a command rather than a choice, he’s giving him the chance to leave without guilt.
The implications of that are...staggering. This is what Kinn can do with the tiny sliver of power that he has. When given the chance, Kinn chooses to use that power out of love, to protect the people he cares about. Every day he makes the conscious choice to sacrifice his happiness for his family, his role, his inheritance. He’s lost so much of himself, his childhood, his personality, his life, to doing the selfless thing. And here he does it yet again, not because anyone is asking him to, but because he knows it’s the most honest expression of love he can give.
That’s the center of that spiral. That’s Kinn’s Big Truth. That he loves Porsche, enough to give up his power, enough to hold onto him, but most of all, enough to let him go.
(And of course, as we learn a few minutes later, enough to die for him.)
Honorable mention: Porsche’s “FUDGE!”
I cackle like a witch every fucking time.
I’ve run out of room in this post so I’m going to leave it here, although there were so many wonderful vocal moments in this episode that some inevitably didn’t make it in here. If you’d like to read my previous voice analyses, links are below, and I keep a masterpost of all metas I do pinned at the top of my blog for easy access.
Why Kinn’s voice fucks me up: a silly little analysis (episodes 1-4)
Kinn’s voice in episode 4: basically my man is losing it
Kinn’s voice in episode 5: Kinn, respectfully, go to therapy
So Kinn, this hardened mafia heir (who is openly gay in a world so removed from kindness) has a self imposed rule of never kissing someone, yet he gives his kisses to Porsche willingly, freely.
Kinn, who presents his toughest exterior to the outside world, still fidgets and wrings his hands and stammers over his words in front of his father, someone he's probably scared of deep inside him (and someone who knows exactly what to say, to hit where it hurts the most), because somewhere deep down, he's still a young boy with a caring heart, thrust into this world of bloodshed and distrust against his will.
His father, who points out that Porsche is probably becoming a weakness, and Kinn, warring with his conscience, believes him anyway, because in their world, weakness is preyed upon and that price is paid with life. (And even if he didn't consciously realise it then, Porsche's life is not something he's willing to exchange, for anything in this world.)
Kinn, who says that all of his people are equal in his eyes, almost loses his mind with worry when Porsche goes missing, so much so that he doesn't even trust his best bodyguards to look after an unconscious Porsche when he's finally found.
Kinn, who never got to be a child (because really, his childhood was probably snatched away the day Tankhun got kidnapped) gets two whole days of freedom, and lets Porsche see him. His inner child.
For the first time, he doesn't have to suppress his laughs, doesn't have to watch his back for the next bullet, doesn't have to weave webs of complex words, doesn't have to flail open debtors. He gets to be excited about fishing, gets to marvel at a sunset sitting on top of a rundown truck, gets to share his dreams next to a campfire, gets to wake up slowly and peacefully, gets to breathe.
Kinn, who probably never sang after that one competition in his childhood (how could he, when his father bought the first spot with money) sings awfully just to please Porsche, because he's become just that comfortable with him. Become just that okay with Porsche's gentle teasing and goading, even wants it, just to see Porsche laugh at his expense.
Kinn, who trusts nobody, not even his closest and best bodyguards or his handful of friends and even keeps a distance from his overbearing father, is helpless in the face of Porsche's unbridled openness, his carefree smiles and his unwavering loyalty, and grows to trust him, almost against his will.
Kinn, who tastes his freedom in Porsche in those two days they are handcuffed together, but makes up his mind to let him go, just so Porsche could live his dream when he himself couldn't.
Because Kinn, who had had his heart broken before, chooses to fall in love again anyway.
talking deathclaws directly symbolize hope and to excise them from the fiction is a deafening gesture of cynicism & the claim that tim cain has ever spoken against them is a bold-faced lie send post
A touch of security and shelter
When do you think was the last time Kinn slept next to someone he really cared about? We know that his boytoys are brought back home after their work. They serve as a momentary distraction, a stress relief, and for pure satisfaction. Real closeness does not develop, even if they have sex with each other. But as we already know, kissing is not in it for Kinn, who draws a strict line between sex as an act of satisfaction and sex as an act of affection.
The last few times Porsche has woken him up, Kinn held out the gun (or a sweet empty fist where he would normally hold the gun) to him. Always tense, fearing the worst, Kinn is constantly aware of how dangerous his life and how important protection is.
And with Porsche by his side, in this unreal environment of all places ,where wild animals could attack them at night, he sleeps for the first time, relaxed and blissful. And when Porsche wakes him up, when he sinks next to him on his shoulder, the first reflex is not to attack the enemy and protect himself, but to look almost lovingly at the man next to him and quietly just be happy.
We know that there apparently has been an important man in Kinn's life before, and that he has been hurt. So when was the last time Kinn felt so secure. Knowing the end of the episode, it's heart wrenching to see him so relaxed and happy. Deeply inhaling the smell of Porsche and nuzzling his face into his hair. In that moment, he's just happy...and relieved because he's gotten the first part of his apology out there. And despite everything he has done to Porsche, Porsche chooses his shoulder to rest on and snuggles up to him.
In the way Kinn breathes in and out, you can tell how relieved he is. How some of the guilt has fallen away from him that he's been carrying around since that fatal night.
Both have found a safe haven in the other, a place where they can be safe and a person with whom they can be themselves.
And then the camera moves out, zooming out further and further.
The two become smaller and smaller, blending into the environment, and this truck becomes their little world, their little cosmos of safety. On both sides the abyss threatens with the untamed water on one side and the unreal landscape of the jungle on the other. And the road as a connection to civilization can be used by anyone who can bring them back to reality. Only in this truck they have their small perfect world without the rules of the underworld but also without the past and guilt.
ik a lot of people have been saying this but to add on i really do hope we don't get the "L'Manberg was always corrupt" thing and i really should've talked about my thoughts on that before. But my qualms with it are not just because it is false, but c!Eret's character who was also tricked and dealt with c!Dream betrayed L'Manberg and caused people they considered friends to die, and he watched as c!Dream and that country continued to crumble. But instead of saying good riddance, they build a museum, they dedicate themselves to preserving L'Manberg's history first and then works on other parts. He does what Ghostbur did, the ghost of the man he betrayed and eventually watched lose the home that started as that simple van recreated in the middle of museum. Like it not only is frustrating but it does not in my mind fit with c!Eret's character growth and work towards forgiveness to still believe "well actually...it was never meant to be" because c!Eret has shown so far that is not what she really thinks anymore imo.
Feel free to add on !
Hint that your NPC is a werewolf by making your players roll animal handling while talking to their human form.
I think sometimes people take Jiang Cheng/Wen Ning/Madam Yu/etc at face value, but Jiang Cheng has always been a very good cultivator? He's not as good as Wei Wuxian, but he's quite talented and works hard to make the most of his abilities. I just brush past this from his haters frothing at the mouth about how he's mediocre and not even sexy enough to capture the interest of all the straight women in the fandom, but I've been seeing this in some meta from people who actually do like him. He's good! That's the thing about Jiang Cheng, he doesn't actually have anything to feel insecure about from an objective standpoint. He's hot and talented and hardworking and a hypercompetent administrator and leader, and he is still, somehow, not enough.
SOUTH PARK FANDOM ENTITLEMENT: or, how discourse (and entitlement) ruins things for everybody.
I’ve been wanting to write something like this for a while, and here it is; 4k words on the causes, effects, and dangers of discourse (headcanon discourse, in particular) within fandom. Discourse (and entitlement) is the primary killer of creativity and connection within fandom, and in order to stop provoking it, there needs to be a collective consciousness about what we, as a whole, actually want out of a fandom space. So, without further adieu, here’s my manifesto on fandom (but more specifically, South Park) entitlement, complete with five sections and eight subsections. Let’s get into it!
Part 1: So, what is discourse, and what is entitlement?
Discourse, as we all know, is a staple of the fandom experience. You would be extremely hard pressed to find a fandom entirely free of discourse, whether the explanation is unrealistic similarity in views or differing views with no desire to prove one as more “legitimate” than another. South Park is not one of these fandoms; in fact, its discourse is widespread in both time and space, occurring since the early 2000s and spreading throughout all social media sites with a South Park fandom presence. However, what counts as discourse is debatable (and IS frequently debated), and to be able to properly analyze the causes and effects it has on the fandom, we need to define it.
Oxford Languages defines discourse as “written or spoken communication or debate”. This definition, while not specific to fandom, is relatively accurate to what I’ll be discussing in this post. However, for clarity, I’ll also be providing a fandom-specific definition, which comes from Fanlore. Fanlore defines discourse as “a fan term for discussion, debate, and/or arguments”.
Okay, great! We have our definitions of discourse. However, for the purpose of this argument, I’ll be narrowing the definitions down to the latter parts - namely, the parts relating to debate and argument. Communication, while relevant to the argument, is not the issue with discourse; actually, it often ends up being the solution. But really, discourse isn’t the main purpose of this post; discourse is simply the cause of the greater issue of entitlement. So, in order to analyze entitlement’s effect on the fandom, we need to define that too. I promise this post is more than just definitions.
Once again, we’re going to be using Oxford Languages and Fanlore for our definitions, to achieve both an outsider and insider perspective of what entitlement actually means. Oxford Languages defines entitlement as “the fact of having a right to something”. Fanlore, on the other hand, does not have a specific page for entitlement - but it does have one for fan entitlement, which we will be using instead. Fanlore defines fan entitlement as “words or actions by a fan that imply (or sometimes even outright state) that the creators of a canon or other fans owe that fan something.” The creators part isn’t really relevant here, so we’ll stick with the part relating to other fans.
Now we have our relevant definitions, and we can all be on the same page while exploring what these two terms actually mean for the fandom. However, the introductory sequence of this post isn’t done yet. Before we really get into this, we need to talk about some relevant examples of discourse, specifically in the South Park fandom. I promise the part discussing examples of entitlement will come later.
So, what counts as a debate/argument within the fandom? I can come up with a few off the top of my head;
Is Kyle short or tall?
Is Stan a jock, or is his sportiness played up by fandom?
Is Butters pure of heart, or is he secretly kind of a dick?
Is Tweek ‘soft’ or ‘feral’?
What the fuck is going on with Craig?
These debates (though most specifically, the first one) have been going on for a long time. I know the intricacies of the first two debates the best, so I’ll be using them and their commonly used arguments as examples throughout this piece.
Now we can be done with the introductory sequence! We know what discourse is, we know what entitlement (and fan entitlement) is, and we’ve seen a few common examples of how discourse presents itself in the fandom. However, most of you already knew all of that. Now, we can actually get into the meatier part of all of this, namely, why is this a thing, and how does it actually lead into entitlement?
Part 2: How does discourse start?
The root of discourse in any fandom is hard to pin down, but we can narrow it down to two general categories; canon-led discourse, and fanon-led discourse.
i. Canon-Led Discourse
In this section, I’m not going to be describing how people originally used canon to come up with their fanworks. I think the concept of headcanons is relatively well known to all of us. However, I am going to be describing how people use canon to facilitate discourse. There are two different ways this happens, and surprisingly enough, they both directly contradict each other. So, let’s get into the canon paradox.
Let’s start with the first way; weaponizing canon. For this example, we’ll be using the short Kyle vs tall Kyle debate, with Post-Covid being the canon we’re weaponizing. Post-Covid, much to the chagrin of much of the fandom, gave us canonical adult designs - or, at least, as canonical as designs as we have so far. There are many aspects of these designs that people began to dissect and discuss, but one of the more discourse-y ones was Kyle’s height. Heights in Post-Covid were often inconsistent, but in most scenes, Kyle was depicted to be taller than Stan. As such, there were many ‘I told you so's' among the fandom. Another example of this would be the trans Kyle headcanon; Kyle is canonically AMAB, and people in support of trans Kyle are relentlessly criticized and reminded of this in order to devalue their headcanon. This is one way that canon-led discourse is facilitated; canon is taken as absolute gospel, and those who defect from it are punished and criticized.
The second way directly contradicts the first way, but is often used by the same people. The second way involves deviating drastically from canon in response to canon-based headcanons one doesn’t like. Let’s take jock Stan as an example of this. We all know that Stan is a sporty person, and his interest in sports isn’t exclusive to the first season. Evidence of this can be found all over his room. People who use this method of discourse will understate this in order to undermine the headcanon - for example, claiming that Stan’s interest in sports is exclusive to the first season, and those who support the headcanon are making a mountain out of a molehill. How do these two ways exist simultaneously, especially among the same people? How can you weaponize canon in one scenario and undermine it in the next?
The answer is that it’s not really about what’s canon. It’s about stifling and undermining opposing views, and creators, in any way possible.
ii. Fanon-Led Discourse
Fanon-led discourse refers to ways that people in the fandom utilize their fellow fans, as well as fandom tropes, to create discourse and convey their displeasure about concepts and headcanons that they don’t like.
One way in which this is common is the martyr-ization of ‘unpopular opinions’, in which those who share these controversial opinions (whether through Twitter threads, specific blogs, or any other variety of post) believe that they are ‘martyrs’ for doing so, and that it is honorable that they’re brave enough to risk fandom persecution in the process. This is obviously a ridiculous concept - we are, after all, discussing headcanons about South Park - but the effects of it are very real, and those effects are often what lead into entitlement. Finally, we’ve gotten to that part! So, let me introduce you to the discourse to entitlement pipeline.
This concept of fandom persecution is not uncommon in any fandom - those who deviate from the norm will always feel as though they are being inherently punished by the lack of content supporting their ideas. This is what causes the entitlement. Due to this ‘punishment’, those with ‘unpopular opinions’ believe that they deserve content catered to them. They deserve content that entertains them. They deserve content that adheres to their headcanons, and when met with a lack of this content despite their efforts, their frustration gets worse, and they believe they deserve the content even more. The frustration is normal. It sucks to be part of a fandom where very few people agree with you. But there are also better ways to handle it. This cycle occurs on all platforms, and it occurs in varying levels of severity - some are serious enough to engage others with hostility on their own posts. Others will post about “let’s leave [x] in the past” and “come on, artists and writers, change it up a little!” Some will try and lessen the effects of this entitlement by instead saying that “it’s fine to write whatever you want, but [x] is just less interesting…” or “this was good, but I wish there was a proper [x]...”
These are different variations of entitlement, but they are entitlement, all the same.
Part 3: So, why does this matter?
i. Content is not made specifically for you.
This is one of the main issues with entitlement, and the blatant violation of social norms that one commits by performing one of the above actions; when creators make their content, they don’t make it specifically for you. A creator has no obligation to adhere to your headcanons. They have no obligation to make their content more interesting for you. You don’t get to decide whether their works are appropriate, or close enough to canon, or even just outright good. This is not your job to decide that. To be entirely frank; your unsolicited opinion on someone else’s content or opinions does not matter unless they are explicitly comfortable with receiving constructive criticism, because IT WAS NOT MADE FOR YOU.
Art and writing can be a very personal experience. Some artists and writers do make content for the community, but many make it exclusively for themselves; because making that kind of content makes them happy. They aren’t asking for criticism just by putting their work out there. Publicizing their work, especially when that work doesn’t disparage anybody, doesn’t give you the right to decide whether it should have the right to exist. This is a very terminally online perspective. It’s very easy to lose sight of social norms and politeness when you don’t see the face of the person that you’re criticizing, but they’re there. They exist, and their works aren’t made exclusively for your criticism and consumption.
In 99% of scenarios, you have absolutely no right to police someone else’s work. If you have enough of a functioning hand to type out a statement claiming that one work should be left in the past, you have enough of a functioning hand to type out or draw a work supporting your interpretation. If you want work of your own interpretation, do it yourself.
But aren’t these kinds of people in the small minority? Why does it matter?
ii. Bad behavior in one area of the fandom encourages it in others.
The reason it matters is that it doesn’t stay as the small minority. In social psychology, this is called deindividualization - the process in which one loses their self awareness while in groups. The reason this happens is the belief that if one person is doing it, it’s more socially acceptable to do it. It’s the same kind of process that leads to witch hunts. One person being disrespectful makes everyone feel as though they have the same right to do so.
That first kind of entitlement I mentioned up there - the entitlement in which people are bold enough to harass others on their posts - lead into the second and third kinds, and those lead into even more subtle kinds. Kinds that involve being rude on tags in an artist's posts, along the lines of ‘this is good, but…’. Kinds that involve going into an author’s comment section and criticizing a specific part of their work, but doing it in a ‘kind’ way. It doesn’t matter if you do it in a kind way. You are still displaying entitlement towards an author’s work - you are still making the claim that the work is not good because it is not created directly for you, and you are still claiming that you are ‘owed’ something by the author. It’s fine not to like a specific type of content. It’s not fine to give unsolicited criticism to someone’s headcanon, artwork, fic, under the ruse of constructive criticism or kindness. Someone else doing it in a worse manner doesn’t make it okay for you to do so; it’s still unnecessary and hurtful.
iii. Entitlement decreases motivation, which is needed to keep fandoms alive.
One comment directed towards an artist or a writer may not do much, but the deindividualization effect - in which many people start to join the fray - diminishes the motivation of a creator. It’s hard to get yourself to continue making content when you’re met with relentless criticism and entitlement, whether subtle or not. The way people treat creators in fandom has been an issue for a long time - creators are met with death threats, with entitlement, with praise to their faces and slandering of their headcanons in an area where the creator can still see it. This doesn’t make people want to keep creating. It makes them miserable.
By being this entitled, or facilitating entitlement through discourse, one ruins the fandom for everybody. Things get actively worse when discourse becomes common - people start to leave, and those who don’t become disillusioned with creating. It’s hard to be part of a fandom where your opinion is not as common. But this is not the way to handle it. Cruelty towards a creator will often make a mark more than positivity does, and as such, it doesn’t matter if you leave a kind comment first. It doesn’t matter if you make a disclaimer that ‘you can write whatever you want’, because that’s not actually what you’re saying, and that’s not what’s actually going to affect the creator’s decision to continue creating.
To keep a fandom alive, people need to create content. Posting passive-aggressively about tropes you don’t like doesn’t count as content. Posts encouraging others to share the opinions they hate doesn’t count as content. Negativity is not enough to keep a fandom alive. Be grateful to fandom creators - they’re the ones who make fandom spaces the wonderful places they typically are. Allowing yourself to get caught up in the wave of discourse is the quickest way to ruin it.
Part 4; But isn’t there content that people shouldn’t be allowed to produce?
There are instances in which people will simply hate headcanons for no reason at all, but often, people feel the need to justify their hatred - and that hatred is often justified with the claim that the relevant headcanon/concept is inherently harmful. Content that directly harms people shouldn’t be encouraged in fandom, but doesn’t that contradict what I said up there? How do we reconcile these two points?
i. ‘Problematic content’ differs significantly in severity.
The South Park fandom has its horrifying content; in fact, that content likely occurs at a higher frequency than most other fandoms just due to the nature of the show. Anyone participating in the fandom for more than a few weeks will inevitably learn about these horror stories, ranging from horrifically antisemitic WWII aus to blatant racism. And these things should not be allowed in the fandom.
However, the term ‘problematic’ is broad, and applying it to the above tropes as well as less harmful ones (i.e. short Kyle, short Tweek and tall Craig, etc) dilutes the actual nature of problematic content, as well as promotes the idea that fandom as a whole needs to be cleansed. It doesn’t. There needs to be a more significant distinction between the above tropes before one can safely say that there is a subset of content that should not be produced under any circumstances - and a way to measure that is by asking yourself is this problematic, or could this be problematic? Is the content irredeemably bad, or can it be handled respectfully? Is the content unrealistic to the point where it could only be bigotry, or could it be a legitimate possible outcome for that character? Is it impossible to come to this conclusion without the influence of bigotry or stereotypes, or could that portrayal come with innocent intentions?
And beyond that; is this portrayal agreed upon by the large majority of the potentially affected group to be legitimately problematic, or is there a split? If so, who do you align yourself with?
ii. One person’s view is not sufficient for determining whether content is problematic; other factors have to be considered.
Legitimately problematic tropes and ideas, including the specific ones I mentioned above, are agreed by the massive majority of the affected group to be genuinely horrific. However, more questionable ones aren’t; the split is often even less than equal, with those finding it problematic being a part of the loud minority. So, how do you address this situation?
Firstly; not only is one person insufficient for determining whether content is problematic, but in a lot of cases, one group may even be insufficient. The conversation about feminine/gender nonconforming Kyle is particularly relevant here; the importance about the Jewish perspective on such an issue is impossible to overstate, but gender non-conforming people and feminine gay men also have a stake in the conversation. GNC people cannot determine what is antisemitic (unless they’re Jewish, of course) and Jewish people cannot determine what’s an anti-GNC stance (unless, again, they’re GNC), but both perspectives still must be considered. You can’t make a decision on how problematic a portrayal is without taking an intersectional approach, and as such, the perspective of one individual is not damning. It gets even more complicated when you consider that the perspective of a group is not necessarily cohesive - one person may find a portrayal offensive, while another may think it’s valuable. Both opinions are valid, but they’re also inherently contradictory - you can’t fully incorporate both into your belief system about the issue. Multiple perspectives are even more valuable in this situation.
Another factor to consider is sociopolitical context - or, more specifically in the context of this argument, how are these groups actually portrayed? Once again, the question of GNC Kyle is important here - how often are GNC Jewish characters portrayed on TV, or in media in general, especially in a positive light? Fighting against stereotypical portrayals (feminine, nerdy Jewish men) is important, but the fact of the matter is that people who fit into that exist, and what good does it do them to remove all fandom representation out of fear of buying into harmful stereotypes? Attacking content relating to these fandom portrayals doesn’t necessarily help them; it actually just limits the rare positive representation that they do get. In this paragraph, I’m speaking about GNC Kyle, but the same concept applies to other groups; by directing anger towards portrayals that could be considered stereotypical, one tears down the vastly important diversity of the relevant group, and limits what people are allowed to see down to the most palatable versions. And that’s not the only issue that comes from insisting on exclusively palatable portrayals.
iii. There is legitimate harm in letting outside bigotry cloud your concept of a problematic depiction.
This is a common perspective throughout the fandom, and it’s diverse enough that it ends up being used in many threads of discourse; feminine Kyle and short Tweek being notable ones. It comes from a place of good intentions and of dispelling bigoted views and portrayals - but in the process, it attacks those that also come from places of good intentions. Short Tweek and tall Craig may be the most common example of this; posts about infantilizing Tweek are endlessly common in an effort to limit the commonality of such a portrayal. But in the process, the attacks on such a portrayal actually DO infantilize Tweek, as well as any actual short men. Accusing a couple with height differences of being “heteronormative” due to inherent bias from the creator delegitimizes gay couples with height differences. A similar perspective is cast onto feminine Kyle and masculine Stan - accusing the portrayal of being born of fetishization harms real life gender nonconforming people, as well as gay people in feminine/masculine relationships. In the process of trying to prevent problematic content, one is legitimizing the perspective of the bigot.
I know this portrayal comes from good intentions, but it comes at a heavy cost - the cost of determining what’s an ‘acceptable’ way for a character of a marginalized group to look, present, behave. Hatred towards short Tweek and tall Craig reinforces the perspective that gay couples with height differences are really just heterosexual lite. Hatred towards feminine Kyle and masculine Stan reinforces the same. Some people who depict these portrayals do have bad intentions, but many do not. It’s easy to forget that most people, regardless of what the news will have you believe, do have good intentions.
Entitlement on behalf of one’s own good intentions is still entitlement. You’re not entitled to someone else changing their portrayal because it offends you. It’s okay to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when there is reasonable basis for their portrayal. A character having some aspects that fit into a stereotype doesn’t necessarily mean the portrayer believes that stereotype is legitimate. It doesn’t necessarily make the character out of character, either; some people have traits that do fall into stereotypes, and that’s okay too. There IS some content that should be struck down immediately, but if there’s a question on whether the content could be bad, it’s okay to assume the best of someone until further evidence comes up. It’ll probably make your fandom experience much more pleasant in the long run.
Part 5; So, how do we fix all of this?
Discourse is, as mentioned earlier, a part of fandom. It’s inescapable. But there are ways to make it kinder; namely, buying into the ‘communication’ and ‘discussion’ parts of the definitions I mentioned way back at the start. Discussion is fine. Disliking a headcanon is fine. We all have tropes that we dislike, or even hate. But falling into the rabbit hole of entitlement crosses the line.
In order to decrease entitlement, we have to decrease discourse - and in order to decrease discourse, we need to stop providing opportunities for it. We need to stop providing opportunities to air out hatred for other peoples’ opinions, and we need to stop legitimizing and martyr-izing the suffering of those who don’t fall in line with the majority. It’s okay to have varying opinions. It doesn’t make you special. It doesn’t make you more deserving of content, because none of us inherently deserve special treatment from creators.
Getting involved in creating content is a great way to help fix the general issue of entitlement within the fandom. Draw art that falls exactly in line with your specific takes on the characters. Write fanfics and describe the characters and relationships in any way you want to. Everyone can draw, and everyone can write, with enough practice. Write meta. Make edits. Make playlists. All of these are valid forms of expressing your perspective on the characters - and all of them contribute much more to the fandom than posts striking at perspectives that may differ from your own.
The internet is a great place to say whatever the hell you want, and technically, you can. There’s nothing stopping you from typing out a hateful response to someone’s posts, or slipping a little criticism into the tags, or making a post intended to stir up controversy. But before you choose to do so, consider that everyone you’re attacking is a person, and consider that the large majority of them are genuinely good. The people with bad intentions are always the loudest, but that shouldn’t delegitimize any concept that they chose to back. Any interpretation can be pushed for unsavory reasons; it doesn’t mean other people who support those interpretations are inherently bad, nor that it’s your job to correct them.
It’s okay to have faith in your fellow South Parkie (lol), and when you don’t like something, it’s okay to keep it to yourself. Supporting the opinions you love and making content rather than trying to shut it down will make you a much happier person, and it’ll make the fandom a much healthier space.
Dunno if it’s intentional or not but I love the callback to Once Upon a Swap. King gets a taste of the powerful identity he wanted and believed he’d be a natural at, only to regret the drama it yields; So now he wants to return back to being himself and insists that he’s still King the baby child after all, with all of the love and care that comes from that.
Kid just wants to be normal again and go back to how things used to be, and what he took for granted after briefly losing it. But this time King is a lot more self-assured and assertive about reiterating who he really is, instead of desperate and scared; The growth of a boy who still has even further yet to grow! And funnily enough, King still became a teenager again after Eda undid the body swap, but at least he got to enjoy his time left as a prepubescent!
Something has been bugging me…
These new images that have been semi-recently released have me quirking my brow. Specifically in regards to their depiction of Zuko.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this but isn’t that what we do here? He just looks so…
Sometimes I really question if I watched the same show as everyone else, but by the end of the series I was under the impression that the new Firelord was a full-fledged ‘good guy’.
Compared to the other character art, his seems most ooc. It is this reason I could not bring myself to continue reading the comics, so I cannot speak on how these images align with them.
I have also noticed that all the merchandise I find in stores is book1!Zuko, when he was still very much the show’s main (but not only) antagonist.
I know I’m not alone in loving his redemption arc; it’s probably my favorite aspect of the entire series! So much screen time is devoted to winning over the audience and convincing us to root for him. And then.. it actually all pays off. He joins the team, proves himself over and over again, and we’re left LOVING him for it. His story and characterization elevate the show to a level where children, adults, and critics agree on its beloved status. I guess my question is: why so much push for angry, 2 dimensional Zuko?
I love my self-actualized, 3-dimensional, Kundalini awakened, sweet, dorky-but-still-badass Firelord Zuko.
And, like… his hair also?? Not just because he’s *pretty* by the end, but the cultural significance and visual story-telling (that has been discussed by others far more equipped than me). I’m speaking more on the ubiquitous merchandising of ponytail Zuko here.
Do they (the creators/money-makers) not want us to like Zuko? Is it a by-product of male-dominated systems? Is this backtracking because the girls (Katara) weren’t supposed to crush on Zuko so hard? Is it just lazy merchandising on an established franchise? Am I just over analyzing fictional worlds due to my deep dissatisfaction with my own life?
In Leech in the Rain, you mention that the Cullen-Quileute Treaty protects no one at all. Could you elaborate? It’s kind of hilarious in a sad way that one of Carlisle’s greatest accomplishments means nothing but it’s also painfully on brand.
Anon's referring to Leech in the Rain, a fic by myself and @therealvinelle. Caius, specifically, notes to himself that the treaty was worthless and protected no one.
The treaty ensured that the shapeshifters and the Cullens could never effectively work together and as a result never fully defend the territory.
In everyone's defense, when it was designed it was made in such a way that the Cullens themselves were the biggest threats on everyone's mind. Other vampires, of course they're going to kill them if they start eating on their land. It was a compromise of where the shapeshifters would leave them alone and where the Cullens could never step foot as well as consequences for any "accidents" that might occur (if the Cullens bite someone the treaty is null).
Now, this alone does have issues. The Cullens may have abided by the treaty given they make in the 1930's (Rosalie and Emmett are turned already so Carlisle doesn't bite anyone else, Alice and Jasper obviously weren't around yet to abide by the treaty, and Edward's back from his criminal eating voyage). However, we know the Cullens have slipped and... we don't know exactly when that was. Regardless, there's the clear issue that the deaths the shapeshifters don't know about are the deaths the shapeshifters don't know about. It's a... clause in that treaty, is what I'm saying, and one they had little means of enforcing (Jacob even admitting as much, to a point, when it's looking more and more like Bella will be turned).
But back to what Caius was getting at.
What nobody was thinking about, because it doesn't really happen, is "what if a vampire preyed upon our community over a long period of time?"
By having this treaty, where neither can cross certain points of land, and communication between the two parties is almost nonexistent, Victoria can easily escape pursuit, all the damn time, by just crossing over the other side.
The treaty, in other words, all but ensures the vampire in question will be able to escape and they can eat whomever they damn well please. It makes the land they're supposed to protect positively riddled with blind spots that can be taken advantage of.
This is something most of the characters quickly come to recognize in Eclipse as a major problem but... don't want to do anything about for most of the novel.
The treaty became not a means of protecting anyone, but a matter of pride and mutual animosity.
I'll put it like this, it was so bad, that within a few weeks you had the very young and relatively inexperienced shapeshifters realizing that they had to actually cooperate with and talk to the Cullens if they were going to protect anything.
Personally, I think if anyone adopts Hunter, it should be Lilith.
— Is a Clawthorne.
— Already has passing familiarity with Hunter due to their time in the Emperor's Coven overlapping.
— Knows how it feels to be devoted to Belos wholesale only to be callously backstabbed by him in the end.
— Has an inferiority complex like he does (due to Eda being more naturally talented / him having no magic of his own).
— Is extremely nerdy and likes to study, just as he does.
— But also likes playing sports (grudgeby / flier derby) like he does as well.
— Is very serious much of the time and has a deadpan sense of humor similar to his.
— Is desperate to prove herself, as he is.
Basically, Lilith and Hunter come from a similar space and have a lot in common. Darius cares about Hunter, but he's not the best with kids and doesn't know what it is to be blindsided by Belos like him. Eda is good with kids, but again she can't really relate to Hunter in terms of his specific trauma or interests. But Lilith can, on all fronts. She shares a lot of the same trauma, has a lot of the same interests, and overall I think that taking Hunter under her wing (so to speak) would be just as beneficial to her as it would be to him, just as Eda's relationship with Luz has been mutually beneficial.
So TL;DR if anyone should mentor-adopt Hunter, it should be Lilith. Full stop.
If you could rewrite one minor aspect of the Dream SMP, (While making it stick to canon at least somewhat) what would you do? For me I'd probably shuffle the timeline a bit, make Niki's villain arc only happen after the Wilbur revival, because she blames Tommy for bringing back Wilbur. She can then join a already vengeful jack in trying to kill him.
ooooh ! I think that might be able to work.
part of the reason why the transition into the team rocket arc was taken poorly in the beginning was because of How Tense the atmosphere was post-doomsday. nobody had any reason to believe dream when he framed tommy for the community house. and that goes triple when he, you know, Openly Admitted To Manipulating Tubbo While Planning On Destroying L’manberg From The Very Beginning And Spent Minutes On End Publicly Tearing Him Apart.
moreover, niki and tommy had never actually been on Bad terms, tommy was just positioned as the center of the conflict between dream and l’manberg because of dream’s manipulation. which falls apart when you actually think about it. tommy was just, a convenient target at the time because she couldn’t lash out against the people she was actually angry with.
I do think it’d be better if she had a moral decay of some kind between doomsday and wilbur’s revival. but having her Only lash out at tommy after wilbur’s revival makes sense.
in this case I don’t think it’d just be because tommy was a factor in wilbur’s revival, but because they’re a match pair, and I mean that in a couple senses.
1: she sees tommy as an extension of wilbur, the same way that tubbo did during the cookie outpost. (which I think would make More sense for niki than for tubbo) it’s less that she’s specifically angry at Tommy in this sense, but rather that she doesn’t trust him in regards to his closeness to wilbur. if wilbur has a scheme then tommy’s going to be there (at least, that’s how it’s always been. surely it has to be the same now right? Right?)
2: from the outside, tommy has what niki wants. niki feels abandoned by wilbur and tommy’s Always been there with him. it’d make her angry to see tommy with wilbur when he hasn’t said a word to her yet.
it’d be less focused solely on tommy and more niki trying to get to wilbur Through tommy (in more ways than one here).
as for my own changes ! I’ve come up with a couple ideas already ^^
1: I would’ve had techno choose tommy during the green festival the same way tommy chose tubbo. which is to say: choosing his connections to the people he cares about over revenge. [Link]
2: I would’ve had dream frame tommy for griefs around the server After tommy burned george’s roof with ranboo, that way the griefs that dream did would’ve had an impact on the plot and the other cabinet members’ reactions to tommy surrounding the trial would’ve made more sense. [Link]
but if I could make one more minor change?
techno doesn’t shoot tubbo during the red festival, schlatt does. techno outright Freezes, not moving and not making a decision. schlatt gets impatient and takes tubbo out himself.
ever since the red festival techno’s pushed the notion that he didn’t have agency in tubbo’s death, that he was peer pressured. and since then fingers have been pointed at everyone But techno and schlatt. (it was wilbur’s fault for not killing schlatt with the gravel in his hands, it was tommy’s fault for not jumping in when he was told not to, it was tubbo’s fault for giving the code phrase he was ordered, etc)
having techno stall out, Genuinely expressing anxiety and panic in the situation, and Most importantly Not Being The One To Pull The Trigger would mean that canon is able to meet techno where he is without mucking up the rest of the characters’ intentions or roles in the scene.
- tommy and wilbur had been sure that techno was going to save tubbo, wilbur’s shock and tommy’s anger would still be an understandable reaction to the situation.
- tubbo’s trauma would virtually being unchanged, especially with how he’s misremembered it further down the line.
- quackity begging Schlatt not to do this would have more emotional drama.
- schlatt remains That Bitch.
- techno’s voices being canonized would be a Touch less problematic in terms of this scene. a lot of people like to attribute the “peer pressure” techno mentioned to the voices, with some people considering it outright canon. I think that’d be a much less problematic way to read into the scene if it was choice paralysis. techno freezing up because there’s just So Much Noise.
techno’s falling out with pogtopia after the fact could be that slightest bit more somber. with tommy not being able to understand why someone as strong as Technoblade would ever be afraid of somebody like schlatt and techno not being able to (or not Wanting to) explain it. having techno feel like he Failed tubbo would be spicy big time.
this also leaves room down the line for techno’s reconciliations to just be, Better.
tubbo and tommy’s are self explanatory. it’s just much easier for them to forgive techno in hindsight when techno hadn’t Actually been the one to kill tubbo.
but call this me double dipping, because wilbur apologizing for “lying” to techno doesn’t make a lick of sense. but wilbur reaching out to techno after hitting on 16 because he Understands now, Understands what it feels like to watch a teenager die right in front of you and knowing it’s your fault, that you should have been able to stop it, and you Didn’t would be sick as hell.
if we’re softening techno after the fact then I’m doing it my way baby