#my fandom commentary
There’s something about Eddie and Buck in the kitchen scene and then the balcony scene, where both times Eddie is dressed far more formally (BOTH times in a black shirt and green trousers) and Buck is in a hoodie.
Something about “I’m not really a guest” but Eddie maybe not feeling quite the same way about himself in Buck’s house, despite having a key, despite finding such comfort (3x09) and the ability to be emotionally vulnerable (3x12), and despite it being a safe place for Christopher (4x08).
Something about Eddie still holding back, being a little buttoned up, keeping a little figurative and literal distance (could you stand any further away in 5x04???)
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the end of benrevangelion
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What she says: I’m fine.
What she means: The original 90′s anime of Sailor Moon did Mamoru Chiba’s character dirty. On top of aging him up to college years (in the manga, he meets Usagi when he is only a second-year in HIGH SCHOOL), Anime!Mamoru is, frankly, a jerk. Sure, the anime is longer and they have to drag out the drama, but it shouldn’t be to the detriment of the characters! Several other main characters get the shaft in the anime, but none so egregiously as poor Mamoru Chiba.
The only times anime!Mamoru is halfway decent is during beautiful season finales and/or major battles where his love for Usagi shines through (such as the creation of the Mood Rod, or saving her life, etc), though those moments exist in the manga as well (obviously). Sometimes, in the anime, we even get a small intimate moments when they’re alone that are quite sweet. But in many day-to-day filler/normal episodes? The man is more often than not embarrassed to be out in public with Usagi (and yes, the anime does her dirty as well, by umping up her “crybaby” personality to comically absurd levels, but I digress), frequently belittling Usagi (especially before getting together, the entire first season was full of this shit, but even AFTERWARDS, he still says awful shit, like callously commenting about her weight when rescuing her from a villain), and only indulging her wants and needs in that clichéd “flustered man who Sucks At Being a Good Boyfriend tries to appease his upset girlfriend” manner, AND dances around the bush about his relationship status towards others (which is both degrading and creepy, considering the added age-gap).
Not to mention, as Tuxedo Mask, the anime made him PATHETIC. He just shows up, tosses a rose, gives a cheesy one-liner and that’s. literally. IT. Sure, it can make for good comedy, but it’s annoying when nothing changes in 200 episodes. The only “bad thing” anime!Mamoru and manga!Mamoru share is his tendency to be kidnapped and possessed, but that is a subversion of a classic “damsel in distress” trope, and one I actually appreciate a lot, especially in a series geared towards young girls.
But as himself, by comparison, manga!Mamoru is tender, patient, and kind to Usagi. He gently teases her for being spoiled, and he even is slightly exasperated with her antics in the third arc, but it’s always said with all the love in the world. He loves being lovey-dovey with her, never hesitates to kiss her (unless interrupted), and wishes to be stronger so he can help Usagi fight forces of evil. From almost the very beginning, Mamoru’s role as the reincarnated Prince of Earth is proven, by his ability to sense the Earth’s “pain” and sensing premonitions.
By the second arc, he LEVELS UP as Tuxedo Mask with “Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber,” an energy blast that is on par with the other Sailor Guardians’ attacks. He holds his own in battle, and is quite literally Usagi’s pillar of support when the final boss of each arc is confronted. His undying love and faith in Usagi gives her strength unlike any other, and even when her heart falters (jealousy towards Chibiusa, conflicted sexual “awakenings” over Haruka and Seiya), ultimately, truly, Mamoru is the only one for her and she is the only one for him.
Usagi is not “weakened” by Mamoru’s love in the manga compared to the anime, as some have argued, but rather given the courage by Mamoru’s faith in her abilities and power. Mamoru is her literal soulmate, who also earns her love time and time again. Even though they fall in love faster in the manga than the anime, their love is tested but not to soap-opera levels (looking at you, Sailor Moon R breakup!). Manga!Mamoru is the serenity to Usagi’s passionate heart’s needs, and, unlike his anime counterpart, there is never EVER any doubt, both in-universe and the reader’s perspective, that he truly loves her with all his heart and soul.
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my hatred of the critique of stereotypes basically being “portraying POC in poverty is a stereotype!!!” grows every day because holy shit. poverty is not a choice. it’s a weapon used against minorities as punishment. it only becomes a stereotype when you don’t do the necessary sociological work to examine WHY that person is in poverty. same thing goes for homelessness. “wahhhh you can’t have people of color being homeless it’s a stereotype!” okay are we supposed to fucking ignore the fact that most homeless people are not fucking white??? like imagine having the option to speak to a very real truth faced by racial minorities and examine the sociological context and humanize these people and then instead choosing to make it seem like only white people in poverty matter 🤔🤔🤔 weird
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I think people are kind of hard on Quentin's sense of style and indeed personal grooming habits.....he's like fine. he wears little boots. no he doesn't dress like a cw theater gay->courtly dandy (thank u Eliot). I think in his way he is very particular, he has a color palette which, while it's obviously a production choice, fits his personality and fiddliness.
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shameless 2x07: a bottle of jean nate
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some of y’all seriously need to learn/relearn the fandom etiquette of keeping your character hate out of the main tags lmao. I don’t care if you’re tired of seeing people bitch about Jiang Cheng hate. *I’m* tired of seeing y’all bitch about people who don’t hate Jiang Cheng. “Y’all are making excuses to defend an abusive murderous homophobe” No I’m defending myself and the fandom from becoming a hatefest because your behavior is shitty and creates a hostile/toxic environment for the rest of us. That negative effect on humanpeople and the community is quite literally worse than your imagined crime of not hating a fictional character you hate.
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jonny learning about clowncore through alex because of that nikola audio on tiktok gives me life
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(1/5) I really don't get the "Alya's a bad friend to Marinette because she pushes her to do things she's uncomfortable with or asks anything of her or has any sort of disagreement with her" thing. Partly because of Alya's narrative role which you talked about earlier, but also because well... those qualities and actions? Marinette has them too. They can lead to inconvenient outcomes at times, but they're not treated as being something that makes the character bad, nor should they be.
(2/5) Generally in those circumstances, like Marinette (quite literally) pushing Kagami to get back together with Adrien, or ending up reading Marc's journal and coming up with a way to get them to talk (even though Marc's uncomfortable with the idea, she pushes him to go out of his comfort zone in order to make things better. Sound familiar?), or when she tracks down her grandfather to push him to reunite with her father, those aren't treated as her being a horrible person or friend.
(3/5) With Kagami it could be argued that the narrative showed that she shouldn't have gone so overboard, but it didn't try to say she was a bad friend. And with the other two examples (especially Reverser) which are more akin to the roles that Alya sometimes plays, even most of the Alya salters, from what I remember seeing, don't think that Marinette's horrible for pushing people to try and make things better for them. Nor should they.
(4/5) But when I do see complaints from Alya salters about Marinette going overboard pushing people to do certain things in order to get an outcome she likes, generally the anger and salt is all directed at the writers for having Marinette do something they don't like. She's not generally called a horrible friend or bashed as a character for it, at least by the same group demonizing Alya for similar events. I wish that, if they really do think that driving other characters to go outside of
(5/5) their comfort zones in order to achieve better outcomes in the end is really that bad a thing for a person to do, or even that the execution is bad, that the Alya salter group would at least extend Alya the same sort of courtesy they typically give to Marinette.
The common argument that salters use when you point out the show has everyone uses the same basic problem solving tactics is: "Marinette is punished by the show and asked to do better." So they don't want to criticize any more thoroughly than the show has. They want other characters (mostly Alya but also Adrien) held to the same standards.
My primary issue with this response is they've identified a symptom, not the actual problem. That being other character's are rarely allowed to truly lead storylines and thus receive the lesson of the episode, so instead that attention falls on the protagonist. (Thank you for fixing this season 4)
But they don't want the answer to be "reduce focus on Marinette and care about other characters" cause many of them still want her to save the day, lead the story but contradictorily still want "Less stress for Marinette."
They don't want a fleshed out Kim. Not an active Adrien. Not an investigative Alya. Not a Max growing to wield the peacock miraculous. They want each character taken to the side of the room and scolded for daring to force the protagonist into uncomfortable positions and for somehow, that should solve her self-doubt.
And I get that desire on some level, heavens know I've read some salt, but it got very ignorant very quickly.
Because like you said, they're extremely aware of the writer's room for Marinette but they don't extend that same courtesy to Alya. For some reason...
Remember when the show kept trying to draw similarities between Marinette and Chloe and salters rejected every episode that built on the concept? Then blamed Alya for commenting on that inbuilt similarity? Their expectations for Alya is inflated yet minuscule and altogether confusing on purpose, I swear.
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On Fanfiction and Original Fiction
I have a lot of feelings about the Tumblr debates surrounding fanfiction vs. “real writing” and am going to try to engage with them in the most productive/positive way possible, hopefully in a way that holds space for writers of all backgrounds and ability levels.
A note on my background, for context: I’m a professional published writer and writing educator. I hold an MFA from one of the top ranked MFA programs in the country. In the six years since completing my degree, I’ve been published in journals, anthologies, won literary awards and fellowships, been solicited by agents and presses for upcoming manuscripts, and have my first book coming out next year. My career has unfolded within the literary establishment, and I’m familiar with both its merits and its bullshit. I’m also a successful writer (of poetry, literary fiction, and speculative fiction) who gained many of my first, lifelong writing tools through fanfiction.
I’ve spent a lot of time processing the elitism, classism, and racism that writers (including Latinx writers like myself) face in the MFA world and in the publishing world. I’m working in a literary tradition that uplifts white male American minimalism as a style all writers should value and work towards. A literary tradition that discounts story structures that come from oral tradition, and discounts popular and genre fiction without considering why people connect with those stories. There are so many ways in which writers use their privilege and education to put each other down, and I think that this discussion engages some of these inequities even if it doesn’t come from that place.
As an educator, I’ve taught in a range of literary spaces. I’ve taught at my top-ranked university, where most of my students were financially privileged and had years of access to elite education. I’ve taught in inclusive nonprofit spaces with writers of all ages and backgrounds. I’ve taught in community spaces, writing poems and stories with homeless youth who dropped out of school, whose imaginations and ability to tell their own stories was no less than the young people who had more linguistic tools. A recent class I taught for my nonprofit was called “From Fanfiction to Fan-worthy Fiction”. In this class, I worked with teen fanfic writers to examine craft differences between fanfiction and original fiction. We talked about the tools they gained from fanfiction: writing genuine character moments, understanding character archetypes and tropes, asking “what if” questions and filling gaps in representation, writing toward an audience, developing a consistent writing practice, and learning to write toward the units of scenes and chapters. We also discussed the pitfalls they might discover as they transitioned to original fiction: original world-building, developing complex and nuanced character backstories, finding the right starting place, understanding story structure and pacing, breaking away from fandom inspiration, and editing and polishing.
Within the class, we talked about how, if we only read fanfic, our understanding of storytelling will be limited to what works in fanfic. There’s a world of story out there, and if we want to write original stuff, novels and short stories and poetry will help us gain the tools we need. This is what I think post “read real books” was getting at, but in a world where young people have their attention so divided by media and technology, I try to celebrate any reading my students are doing. If students tell me what kind of fanfics they love, what kinds of tv shows and videos games and stories they love, I recommend books they might also love. I had the privilege of growing up in a household where my love of books was fostered. This isn’t true for all writers. Some of my most successful writer friends and most talented students didn’t grow up in spaces where reading was valued or encouraged. I react against “read real books” because the phrase contains a certain privilege, as if people aren’t reading “real books” out of laziness or lack of ambition, or because they’re in a fanfiction bubble. It implies that consuming story outside of books isn’t “real”. Some of my students have felt intimidated by novels but welcomed by fanfiction. It isn’t a matter of yelling at them and telling them they’re doing something wrong—it’s a matter of helping them see that they can locate their love of story and character in books, then providing access points.
I wouldn’t be a professional writer if not for fanfiction. There are successful writers who have written fanfic and see it as separate from the development of their original work, which is great. But for me, who grew up with no writing community, with little access to creative writing education, and no place to geek out over the books I loved, fanfiction was an incredibly valuable training ground.
The heart of this argument is: who gets to call themselves a “writer”? Who gets to call themselves a “real writer”? What assumptions do we make in the process of assigning those labels? In my opinion, anyone who writes is a writer. My adult student who won literary awards and has her first book of poetry coming out with a major press. My friend who writes for Marvel. My friend who won the Yale Younger Poets Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. My retired adult student who always had a yearning to write but never actually tried it, who took her first class in her sixties. My thirteen-year-old teen student trying to find her way back into the education system, who had no grammatical tools, no education around writing, but wrote songs and raps just for herself. The sixteen-year-old fanfic writer who wrote to me seeking private coaching, who saved up all her money from her first job for those coachings, who didn’t even know what the past tense was and wrote and read only what you’d consider “smutty” anime pairings. All of these people were writing. All were doing the work of writing with the tools they had. All of them had an interest in learning more.
I like to believe that all fanfiction writers are writers, whether they pursue publication or not, whether they write original work or not, whether they develop their tools further or not, whether their writing has value for others or just for their own expression. If those writers want to improve—and we should always be improving, no matter how much we’ve published—then they can learn by reading, they can watch Youtube tutorials, and, if it’s accessible to them, they can pursue education in literary spaces. There are books that earn praise within the literary establishment that leave me cold. There are fanfics that ignite my emotion. There are lauded books that have forever changed me as a person and obscure books that have changed me equally. If you feel that writing is part of who you are, and it’s something you practice often, then you’re a writer, no matter what skill stage you’re at. I hope that claiming that title for yourself empowers you to develop your writing, using whatever tools you have available.
And if you want to take classes with me or other awesome writers from anywhere in the world, with lots of free sessions and scholarship opportunities, check out GrubStreet!
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Today, I’m losing my mind over how it is such a strong trait of Eddie’s to know what other people want and need in a given moment, and then reassure them in a way that works for that specific person.
We’ve seen it so many times on the job, sometimes paired with that very intense eye contact he does, but we’ve also seen him do it with Chim and Buck.
For someone who knows what other people need, my hope for season 5 is that he thinks on what he needs.
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I just... want to let you know. Your commentary on aang and your explicit reasoning behind WHY people seem to “not like” and “not relate” as much to him made me so god damn happy. Aang is truly like. For his age and just as a person one of the most remarkable tv characters to exist. His ideological perspective on life/philosophies/mannerisms/heritage is pretty concretely southeastern asian, whereas other members of the gaang appear more accessible to western viewers. Art does not exist in a vacuum, and a brilliant show like ATLA having a Netflix renaissance rn brings in a whole SLEW of additional sociopolitical commentary. I just rly appreciate that your blog seems like a great place to have these conversations
i’m really glad you appreciate my commentary, because i couldn’t agree more with everything you just said! I really wish atla fandom had never been revived by netflix, because I enjoyed analyzing fan behavior and response to the show (as well as the show itself, obviously) through the perspective afforded by hindsight, but now that it feels like I gotta “keep up with new discourse” instead of assuming a more academic position of detachment, it’s frankly really exhausting lmao. atla was also just much easier to digest thru the lens of “it aired during the bush era” but the netflix “revival” complicates that bc a lot of new ppl have been introduced to the show only in the past (less than a) year, and so naturally their takes are formed by a different cultural context. that said, regarding aang, a lot of negative opinions on his character have remained roughly the same, which is to say that when he is interpreted thru that distinctly white/american/colonialist lens ppl tend to miss what is so revolutionary about his character/role as the protagonist. so at least that hasn’t changed, despite the fact that it fucking sucks. cuz u know, i wouldn’t expect anything different from white ppl. (but no of course i’m not bitter why would u say that...?)
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I don’t know who needs to read this but...
If your fic is unfinished, you’re okay. If your fic is on long-term hiatus, you’re okay. If your fic is straight up abandoned, you’re okay. If you punch out a thousand WIPs and rarely finish any of them because you work best with juggling stories, you’re okay. If you only ever publish oneshots because you like short and simple stories, you’re okay. If you only post longer, multi-chaptered fics after they’re complete, you’re okay. If you don’t post anything at all no matter what you write in private, you’re okay.
There is far too high a standard for fanfic authors (and other creators) in fandom lately. This idea that if you start a WIP, no matter how long or short you’re planning it -- or how long or short it ends up being -- you HAVE to finish it, you HAVE to update on a schedule basis, you HAVE to have a plan. And that’s just wrong.
Fanfiction is for many authors a testing ground, a place to practice writing. Sometimes that means starting a WIP that never finishes because the author realizes they didn't plan ahead enough or the story’s plot went way in over their heads or simply don’t have enough motivation to finish, and THAT'S FINE. Others punch out ficlets and oneshots that rarely get attention or reviews and THAT’S FINE. Fanfiction is not the publishing world, nor is it a resume. It's a place to express yourself, whether in short bursts, longer epics, or a bazillion unfinished projects, or anything in-between.
If you’re writing fanfiction, or drawing fan art, or creating other fandom works, no matter what your method is, no matter whether you finish or not, you’re doing okay. I promise.
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The ATLA fandom's trend of forcing labels onto characters to delegitmize a ship is wearing on us all. Yes, sometimes these labels are not necessarily incorrect, but oftentimes they misread the canon content or they warp a fan's intent in shipping a pairing. But even more than that, there's something sinister about using such labels in a way that reinforces harmful generalizations and fixed mindsets.
As most of us already know, Zutara is under attack for being a "toxic" ship with Zuko and Katara being compared to the colonizer and the colonized. Not only does this blatantly misuse powerful words such as "colonization" as well as misinterpret Zuko and Katara's profound (platonic, in canon) bond, but it reduces them into shallow caricatures of their rich and nuanced characters. I've seen takes where Zuko is called a colonizer and a war criminal - both of which are untrue, I may add - but "colonizer," while it is a term laden with implications of oppression and suffering, cannot define someone fully. Throwing the "colonizer" factor into a ship is not enough to prove that it's unhealthy and problematic, because "colonizer" is unable to capture Zuko's entire character. This is a boy who underwent one of the most praised redemption arcs in all of media, a boy who realized on his own that the Fire Nation's legacy is one of ruin, a boy who set put to make amends and bring about an era of peace. Similarly, calling Katara "the colonized" strips her autonomy away and has the connotation of reducing her to a powerless victim when she is anything but. Yes, Katara and anyone else who was or is facing colonization are victims, but they're much more than that. For Katara, this girl is a girl who mastered waterbending in a matter of weeks through discipline and diligence, a girl who can see past a person's background to sympathize with their true self, a girl who will never, ever turn their back on the people who need her, including those from a Fire Nation village.
Even if Zutara was a colonizer ship, I believe there are ways to write a colonizer ship in a way that respects history while creating the foundation for a loving and supportive dynamic. Actually, my personal belief is almost any idea can be thoughtful, sensitive, and positive as long as it's execute well. The truth is that there's always going to be a power imbalance in any relationship, real or fiction, because that's simply how our world is and always has been. But the beautiful part about two individuals coming together is just that - they are individuals before they are anything the world defines them to be; they are more than just labels.
In the end, labels can only define one aspect of a relationship, but the individuals within it have the power to define their dynamic in its entirety. As such, I'd like to see labels be used to begin a conversation - to be the entering point in an exploration of identity and relationships - rather than as the "last word" to end it. There are discussions to be held about real world issues which seep into our media, but we can't make any progress unless we allow ourselves to properly reflect on media for the purpose of gaining a new mindset rather than stalwartly clinging onto one position. Let Zutara be a ship that guides how we view oppression in our world - not a ship we attack by shoving Zuko and Katara's characters into real-world "equivalents" in which they do not belong.
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damn it, there are TONS of them........
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As a short person, I am pleased to inform you that character is in fact canonically short! No, no your headcanon doesn’t matter, see in these few specific cases they were called “little” or “small” by other characters. Yes, I know those characters were talking down to them in those moments, but don’t you see that only proves my point—
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me (calmly exhaling): i’ve finally reached a place of forgiveness and mutual tolerance with sam 😌
tumblr: awesome! (starts recommending me sam-centric blogs)
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absolutely no one:
A Certain Group Of Fans whenever they see BBRae content anywhere:
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💜🌈🌈💜Send this to the twelve nicest people you know or who seem to have a good heart and if you get five back you must be pretty awesome (I know you’re awesome already) 💙💙🌸
Heeey bugaboo ;) (please read that in Chat's voice haha)
thank youuuuu my beloveddddd <3 I love all the content you create and just literally every time I see your posts and your commentary it either brings me a smile to my face or makes me snort rather embarrassingly in public. ilyy 💞💞
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