#they cannot write compelling and continuous characters
I was just reading about your perspective on Puritan!Carlisle thinking he’s a demon and is dammed,(and how when he was turned he wouldn’t have even known the term vampire). I was mulling that over and had to add: Carlisle probably thinks that he deserves to be dammed and that this is a just punishment. When Carlisle was bitten he fled and hid to avoid being burned by his father. In essence, he disobeys and dishonours his father. He violated the Ten Commandments to do so. Carlisle had a choice in the situation and he gave into temptation. Therefore, when he doesn’t die but wakes up a demon. That is his punishment. Now he gets what he deserved for his defiance of God’s will, for defying his father: He is a demon and he literally cannot die now that he actually wants to. It’s poetic justice.
(Also, your work is amazing. I love the depth to them. I hope someday I refine my craft enough to write like you do.)
I agree completely. I strongly believe that some part of Carlisle believes all of this is eternal punishment for who he was as a human and how he behaved, even as I strongly headcanon that he was a mildly rebellious to begin with. I think he wasn’t quite the “obedient son” that SM has Edward describe in Twilight; he’s too much of a quiet rebel in canon to have not been one as a human.
Vampirism is his punishment. It’s a state of original sin, and he is trying to pay penance for it over and over, and now, for the sins of the others he’s brought to this life. He can’t ever rest. It’s an exhausting eternity.
This is why I disagree with some of the headcanon that Carlisle would not want to be human. I agree completely that being human would present all sorts of problems, and yes, given his family, after 1918 he would probably stare at the offer to be human and go "No thanks, I'm not giving up my son and my wife." But if he could back up to 1917 and become human and therefore be able to just...die? I think he would do that. Even it meant hellfire. He would think hellfire is easier.
Esme and Edward are an eternal conflict--they are something he shouldn’t enjoy in his eternity of punishment. And yet he has them, which suggests that perhaps God is merciful, even to him. Over time, I strongly believe that he would’ve swung around to a more progressive version of Christianity, one which permits the idea that he might have been forgiven for his sins as a human, and that his family is evidence of that forgiveness. But the Puritan ethic keeps him seeking atonement, which keeps him doing all the things he does in canon--constantly working, constantly saving lives, constantly cleaning up after his family, constantly bringing together people from across vampiredom. I may have to kill this particular darling but I am desperately trying to work in a joke into One Day wherein Bella remarks offhandedly that he’s acting like such a Puritan and he just smirks until she realizes what she just said.
He is, however, such a Puritan. He'll never believe that God loves him. He will assume he is damned every day of his immortal life. And he will spend every second of that life trying to atone for that damnation with every fiber of his being. It's why he's still such a compelling character to me, despite his very huge flaws (h/t @stregoni-benefici), and even continually after so long.
And thank you for the compliment. 🥺 I am resigned to the fact that this writing is obviously never going to stop being fun, so I'm glad other people enjoy what happens when I'm having fun. It's hard to write a lot and not get better at writing, so let's just have fun writing this stuff!
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ZO! (can i call you Zo?) ¿Cómo te sientes con este desastre de los libretos? ¿Estas bien? It's been hard on lots of people so i thought I'd check in <3
Ay que bella que eres. 😩💕😍
Pues primero me reí mucho con que Justo a las horas de hablar salieran fue como mmm que putas, quien soy Adam Sandler en la película esa dominguera del control remoto (aaa) o en la de los cuentos de dormir. Soy Adam Sandler. Y luego pues vi lo que mostraban y me dio una patada de amargura al pecho full.
Estos mensajes se publican vdd? Should I speak in English? How many people here speak Spanish? Anyway. Long rant.
I felt like shit. Then I decided to stop looking at them cause it was making me sick. But it just gets me everytime yknow, I didn't even watch the show when the finale aired like I felt the disrespect even when I didn't know the characters and entered the fandom because of that rage, my original motifs weren't coming from any knowledge of spn and the characters but from anger about poorly handled representation in the media and wanting to discuss queerbating but I got in the rabbit hole I guess and fell in love with the good spn, the deep amazing version that the fandom explores so thoroughly and the coded messages people in the crew implied from the inside that makes it all so compelling. And so... now it's clearly the worst finale to think about, it's like a fresh wound all over again, isn't it.
Like the cruelty with Eileen gets me with those scripts, to have built a relationship but not committing to make it endgame and choosing to have blurry wife, that's so awful. It's just so awful. And you know. To kill off your suicidal protagonist IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC.... What the fuck man what's the message it's all just so fucked up I wanna cry again. Why do that... That is so irresponsable and it reads so much like better dead than queer idk... and obviously and most painfully
😑. The [OMMITED]
Waaaa like I laugh at the jokes n the memes but Cas was a lead, was the recently established queer character and they purposefully DID THAT TO HIM this is all so fucked up its just so mean and blatantly homophobic like there's no other way to read it. God how can anyone be like that in this day and age. I was fuming yesterday as I am today and everytime I remember, but yesterday I didn't even want to talk I wanted to break things I had thisanger induced permanent hot feverish feeling in my face I had to take several breaks during the day. It was awful honestly. I feel better today.
How are you? How do you feel? Como te fue con eso? Sabiendo además que lo llamamos ajajaja como ay de pronto sale algo en los guiones :3 JAJAJA NO SABÍAMOS NADA.
Now I'm thinking I don't want anything new to come up. Not if it's like this, I decided to just bury myself in fandom fix-its and fanfic and just... What I really would want is to have a report or something saying the CW is going bankrupt lol that they lost half their viewers because of this or that they somehow regret it or want to fix it but everytime something comes up about them is shit like this.
I'm patiently waiting for your fic to continue and plan on taking your words as the fuckery-eradicading truth.✨
Also did you see thee @northern-sparrow is writing a fix it too? 🙊 It's called a glimpse beyond and like yours it's a WIP. I'm so excited about them aaaa
They coexist in my mind as possibilities far better thought out and interesting and that seem more real than what some rich bastard decided to air and this works heal me up in such a deep way I CANNOT thank you enough. Truly. Like I cannot stress enough what a gift you are to us wounded ppl 🙈 specially on bad days like yesterday.
I gotta publish the ranting drafts I got about my playlist! I'll tag you when I finish the first one and you can tell me if you like them. ☺️ I wanna contribute too.
PS. Of course you can call me Zo. How do I call you? ❤️✨ De nuevo, eres la belleza en pasta preguntando como estoy mk* me da un nudo al pecho me sentí cuidada. Cuéntame como estás tú?
*por si acaso mk is indearing in Colombia lol, it's like bestie✨we use it with friends to mean closeness though it's originally "marica" 😬 so I wanna clarify 'cause I know it's different country to country.
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this is super random but like I was thinking about the movie Over the Moon (spoiler warning obviously, imma talk about the ending and major plot points)
Its on Netflix, and its a super well made movie. I don’t know much about it tbh. I usually don't research everything about the movies I watch, and rarely do I look more in depth into accuracy or things like that since Im just so tired these days.
but I watched the movie some months ago and found it super sad and cried like 5 times and spent like 3 hours watching it, pausing and stepping back, and processing it. It was a beautiful movie with pretty animation and nice songs, but like it just made me so sad that I couldn't finish it just in one go. Hence the breaks and the deep breaths and the bathroom breaks. It’s really not the kinda movie that forced you to stay on the edge of your seat/that forces you to not pause it/that makes you want more by the end.
it wasn't the best movie I'd ever seen, and like nothing really compelled me to rewatch it several times, the way other movies have. But I thought it was a good movie by the end. a solid movie. It finished, I had a pile of tissues next to me, And life moved forward/
My mom, brother, and I were taking turns picking movies to watch and I happened to see it on one of the Netflix lists and just casually was like “oh yeah I remember that movie, was pretty good. sad though/” and my mom and brother weren’t opposed so we watched it.
BRUH I AM STILL BROKEN
It’s such a sad movie! I cannot stress this enough. This movie would bring anyone to tears because like it just deals with character death in such a painful way that you cant help but feel for the characters. Fei fei (the protagonist) loses her mom in the beginning of the movie and is stuck in this realm of missing her. She cannot imagine how her father could ever move on from loving her mom. So when this other chick (nice lady, Mrs.Zhong) comes into the picture and seems to be a “replacement mom”, Fei Fei feels hurt and betrayed in a way. Like how could her dad not think that she and the memory of her mom are enough? (idk if I like saying “memory of mom” since like it feels kinda hand wavy but ughhh I’ll leave it like that for now)
And the whole movie is about how she goes to the moon to find Chang’e and prove that it’s true, and show her dad that their family, as is, is good enough. (Prove that the story of true love where Chang’e waits for her Houyi is real, and show how strong true love is. show how strong the love between her mother and father still is)
On the moon, there are some plot development points, she learns the truth about how Chang’e really is now, and in the end she learns about how her heart can be big enough to love new people and still love the ones that have gone. Bittersweet ending because you can never bring back the loved ones who have gone but you can always have room for new ones that love you too.
And like my heart was in so much pain because of how much you could see the pain Fei Fei felt in losing her mother. It was just such a terrible emptiness and I imagined my own life without my mother and like noooooo, ugh im about to cry again. (My brother was like “why do they always kill off the parent that the kid loves more?” and bruh, I felt that.) And just the pain she feels at the reminders throughout the movie as she missed her mom (the cutting off of her hair in the exquisite chamber of loneliness because the long hair was too much a reminder of her mom?? yeah a bitch cried buckets at that scene) continuously broke me.
But I think what hurt me so much more at times was the story of Chang’e. Like here she was just trying to spend time with her true love, just one more time. and she is doing so much to see him again only for it not to work out because he tells her that she has to move on??? I was sobbing like I haven't cried in months. oH my gosh the idea of how love was the only thing keeping her going and yet here she is not being told that although their love Is forever she has to learn to move on because she’s immortal and houyi wasn’t?? love stories with unhappy endings are such fucked up ones to me, like why cant everyone be happy??? just imagine finding the love of your life, being forcibly separated from them, waiting to see them for thousands of years, and then realizing that you'll never be with them again because of a stupid mistake that made you immortal while they can still die?? the loneliness? the heartbreak? the fucking terrible bitterness that I know would consume me? I cant go on bruh, its too much
Oh my gosh though I just had to write about why this movie hurts me to watch and why I cry so fucking hard when watching it.
Y'all should watch it though. The story is so fucking important to experience. Very much a movie that you have to watch at least once.
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I really like hearing your thoughts on ships, so I was just wondering what you thought about the episode 'Seeing Red' from Buffy as a Spuffy shipper. I love the ship too and remember being so uncomfortable watching that episode. It felt like it came out of no where while I was marathoning the show
Ok so, I’ve been sitting with this for a while (my inbox is telling me it’s been 10 days......time plz stop moving without me noticing), mostly because it’s... a really Touchy topic, for a lot of (very obvious, to anyone familiar with the episode or the arc) reasons.
CW for discussion of attempted sexual assault and rape ahead. (I’m gonna talk a bit about Willow too.)
First of all, I wanna state that I understand why Seeing Red was a ‘point of no return’ for many people. There are a lot of people for whom sexual assault/rape is The Thing they simply cannot get past and they could never see Spike or Spuffy the same again, and that’s valid and understandable. For me, personally, I don’t consider it any more or less reprehensible than murder or anything else vampires and demons get up to in the show because they’re monsters and very specifically Not Human, but at the same time it felt gratuitous and unnecessary (like the writers were trying to remind us Spike was really evil right before he went to get his soul back of his own accord, and I’ll talk a bit more about that later), and the episode itself is difficult to watch. (Also because it includes Tara’s death, which wrecks me to this day.)
It’s also been a very long time since I’ve seen the episode in question, mostly because I haven’t done a full rewatch in years, and when I do watch Buffy it’s either starting from the beginning and then losing track of where i was and starting over again, or else jumping to random episodes throughout the show which I enjoy and watching those by themselves (and Seeing Red is very much not on that list lol). So I rewatched it just to refresh my memory and....god there are a lot of other reasons I don’t care for this episode. (Xander was exceptionally horrific to Buffy re: finding out she was sleeping with Spike. Gods I dislike him more and more the older I get.)
In general, it’s just a really hard episode to watch. (And I’ll never forgive Joss for finally putting Amber Benson in the opening credits, only to kill her that same episode.) There’s a lot of ugliness, and the Trio are among the worst villains in the show--not in terms of how they’re written (they feel kind of terrifyingly realistic, although they also seem kind of exceptionally meta in light of how much has come out in the last decade about Joss Whedon’s own attitudes and behavior and treatment of women), but because every other big bad with very few exceptions has the excuse of being a soulless vampire or a demon or a hellgod or some other monster that can’t really help the fact that they were made that way. The Trio are just normal dudes who think they’re entitled to women and money and power and are willing to do absolutely anything to get all three, proving that maybe it isn’t really the presence or absence of a soul that actually makes humans, like, humane.
But that’s me side-tracking. As far as Spuffy goes, yeah, this episode is pretty brutal. There’s no mincing words here--Spike attempted to rape Buffy, and he only stopped and had his ‘oh my god, what have I done’ realization after she managed to kick him off. If she hadn’t, he probably wouldn’t have stopped. And I can almost understand it, from a writing perspective--how do you make a soulless vampire realize that he’s truly a monster and, further, how do you finally get him to want to change that? Make him cross a line he never had before. Except... that really wasn’t necessary. Not for his character arc, nor for his relationship with Buffy, and a part of me thinks that it was really intennded to just drive home the message that Spike was a monster, and that Buffy could never really love him, and the easiest way to communicate that was sexual violence, something that the show never really had its vampires engage in previously. So it would be a shock to the audience, it would throw Spike’s motives into question when he went to get his soul back, and it would make his presence in season 7 a constant question, plus provide a reason for Buffy not to trust him.
I think all of this could have been achieved without the sexual violence. I think the scene was largely done for shock value--again, to douse the audience with ice water and remind them that Spike, no matter how chummy he’d seemed with the Scoobies since getting chipped and eventually working with them, was still a monster. But we really didn’t need that reminder, and I think it would’ve made more sense for him to simply attempt to kill her--still a betrayal, still shocking, still something that could spur him into the actions he would take afterwards (going to get his soul restored), but without the exceedingly uncomfortable attempted rape scene in a season where there had already been serious issues with consent.
I’m talking, specifically, about Willow.
There’s something interesting I’ve noticed in fandom, and it’s that people really don’t seem to want to talk about or acknowledge the fact that Willow raped Tara. Maybe because it was via magic, rather than violence--or because it was never really called what it actually was in the narrative, or because they’re The Gay Ship of btvs, I don’t know. But she did--when she spelled Tara to forget about their serious fight which had been building for weeks, and then went to bed with her. And then explicitly had sex with her the next day. It’s part of why I’ve always had a complicated relationship with “Under Your Spell”--I love the song, but it’s also literally spelling out the fact that Tara’s mind had been violated by the woman she loved and she could not consent to sex while under the spell.
So that moment was already toeing the line in terms of consent and at least Tara was able to talk about how Willow violated her mind and how that made her feel (in song, at that), but Seeing Red was like a slap in the face. Where Willow’s magic addiction and willingness to cross those lines had been building for more than a year, Spike attempting to rape Buffy came out of nowhere. This isn’t a show that explored any really complicated relationship between vampires and consent (in The Vampire Diaries, for example, vampires have an ability called compulsion and compelling humans that they then have sex with is pretty normal and no one really blinks about it, human or vampire; it’s definitely still rape, but it’s not treated as anything particularly beyond the pale, because they’re vampires who can control the minds of their prey and don’t tend to consider the feelings of their food sources to be of any real importance), and while the vampires are hot and have sex, there’s never been any indication that they sexually assault humans in addition to feeding on them.
I think that specific scene in Seeing Red is the hardest to watch in the entire show. There’s really nothing like it in any other episode or with any other villain, and it has a tendency to sit in the back of the mind and sour feelings about Spike and Spuffy because it’s genuinely difficult to forget. I’m not sure if the intention was really to turn people off Spuffy (especially since he got his soul and came back in season 7 and Buffy forgave him and fell in love with him), but that was certainly the effect it had on a lot of people.
For me, personally, like I’ve said I don’t like the scene and I don’t think it was necessary, which is why I tend to ignore it as much as possible when I’m thinking about Spike and Buffy and their relationship. It’s a thing I know that happened, but I also know that I don’t think it was particularly fitting from a character perspective, and that makes it easy for me to file it away as sloppy writing and generally OOC, and move on. Again, I can definitely understand why some people can’t or don’t want to do that, but I also know that a lot of people continue to love Spike and Spuffy and I don’t think I’m alone in considering that moment to be OOC for him and generally try to ignore it in my meta and other analysis of the show.
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Why Do Readers Have Such Strong Feelings About Nabokov?
Robert Alter on Nabokov’s Literary Invention
By Robert Alter
March 17, 2021
Vladimir Nabokov remains one of the most polarizing of the major novelists who have written in English. His admirers are passionate about him. These include both critics and many novelists in England, America, and elsewhere. Some gestures of imitation have been made by other writers, though as is generally the case with writers of the first order of originality—Proust and Kafka come to mind—these efforts have not been very successful. On the opposing side, there are some readers who cannot abide Nabokov, finding little in his work but coy literary devices, mannered or overwrought prose, and a pervasive archness.
Such starkly antithetical responses are uncommon in the reception of eminent writers. Dickens, for example, may not be altogether to every reader’s taste (Nabokov, as we shall see, happened to be keenly enthusiastic about him), and some may be put off by the gargoyle-like characters, the contrivances of plot, the bouts of sentimentality, yet by and large such readers might say they would rather read Jane Austen but are unlikely to consign Dickens to the dustbin of literature. That, however, is often what those who are put off by Nabokov have done.
In my own response as a critic to this polarization, the discussions that follow may strike some as a bit defensive. I avowedly do not assume that Nabokov is invariably at his best, that he is never free of the self-indulgence of which he is sometimes accused. But such accusation is often the result of a failure to see what is really going on in his novels, and my aim here is to show in a variety of finely tuned ways what such goings on entail.
I should say that I have been writing about Nabokov for decades, and my basic view of him has not changed over the years, though it has been deepened by the exemplary work of his biographer and astute commentator, Brian Boyd, and by many critics, the first among them being his earliest prominent American critic, Alfred Appel Jr. Ever since I became an avid reader of Nabokov, I have been convinced that the self-reflexivity of his writing, its ingenious deployment of codes and games, its sheer literariness do not draw us away from the real world outside literature but, on the contrary, are a beautifully designed vehicle for engaging that world.
Even some of Nabokov’s admirers, enamored of the games, have been inclined to downplay their purposefulness in illuminating the realm of experience we more or less share when we are not reading fiction. An enthusiastic essay written in 1979 by the intellectual historian Mark Lillo vividly illustrates this predisposition. Between the two time-worn functions traditionally assigned to literature, to delight and to instruct, Lillo sees Nabokov coming down entirely on the side of delight: “His novels actually become games in which the readers are players, their task being to ‘solve’ the problems set by the games [of the] master-novelist. It is in this sense that we can properly refer to Nabokov as homo ludens, man the player.”
This characterization surely has considerable validity, but I think it fails to tell the whole story about Nabokov. Lillo ends up justifying Nabokov’s achievement by saying that his pervasive playfulness is especially welcome in our age of “heavy seriousness.” It seems to me that this needs to be put differently: the playfulness is finally about serious things—about the wrenching turns of modern history, about love and the shattering disappointments to which the lover may be vulnerable, about the terrible toll exacted through manipulative relationships, about loyalty and betrayal. As dismissive as Nabokov chose to be of reality in his pronouncements about it, the games of his fiction repeatedly lead us to experience the various emotional, moral, and even political aspects of the real world.
As an initial take on this large question, I would like to consider “That in Aleppo Once . . . ,” a story written in English in 1943, three years after Nabokov’s arrival in the United States. The narrator is a Russian émigré poet struggling to obtain the visa that will enable him to flee France after the Nazi invasion and get to the United States. He addresses his story to a certain V., a fellow Russian who has succeeded in entering the United States. V. is a writer, evidently a successful one, who is being asked to turn the narrator’s story into a published text. He shares a first initial with Vladimir Nabokov, but as elsewhere in VN’s fiction—one thinks of the narrator in Pnin, who has certain biographical features in common with Nabokov but is otherwise his antithesis—the connection is a tease: later in the story we are told that V. is the father of twins, a marker of his difference as a fictional character from his author. The presence of V. is thus a kind of game that reminds us of the ambiguous border between reality and fiction. Writers long before Nabokov have played this kind of game. At the very inception of the novel as a dominant genre in the modern era, Cervantes undertakes an elaborate maneuver of representing his book as a translation of a work by an Arab “historian” that he has discovered.
There are no codes or games here and no signs of self-reflexive fiction, but terrible anguish is expressed.
The story’s title, “That in Aleppo Once,” is of course taken from Othello’s last speech, just before he commits suicide. At the very end, the narrator pleads with V. not to use these words as a title: “It may all end in Aleppo if I am not careful. Spare me, if you took that for your title.” This ending leaves it an open question whether the narrator, in fact, is about to commit suicide. As is almost always the case in fictions constructed on a central allusion to a previous literary text, there are both parallels to and marked differences from the work invoked. The narrator, like Othello, is considerably older than his beautiful young wife, whom he adores. Unlike Desdemona, she actually betrays him, or at least claims to have done so: she is an extravagant liar, even inventing a beloved dog left behind on the couple’s flight from Paris and later telling an older woman friend that her husband killed the dog, when they never had any pet.
The young wife, then, is her own Iago, perhaps inventing—simply in order to torment her husband—this “brute of a man,” a seller of hair lotions, with whom she spent several nights after she and her husband were temporarily separated, or perhaps actually indulging in some rough sex with the uncouth stranger. Although it is perfectly natural for a writer as steeped in literature as Nabokov to build his fiction on a literary allusion, the procedure has been adopted by many novelists and is hardly an indication that the focus on literature somehow carries the writer away from the world of experience outside literature. Fielding makes the Joseph story in Genesis central to Joseph Andrews; Joyce famously organizes the episodes of Ulysses as parallels to episodes in the Odyssey; Faulkner uses the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion as a prism through which to see the catastrophic history of the American South.
Yet the framework of allusion in no way detracts from the aim of each of these novels to provide a compelling representation of a particular time and place in all its ramified network of social relations and historical contexts. Some might regard the deployment of allusion as an instance of Nabokov’s fondness for “codes,” but as I am suggesting, it is a characteristic move not only among novelists but in literature as such. The key to the sexual betrayal plot via Othello is probably in the tragic hero’s words in his last speech that he is “one who has loved not wisely but too well,” which is a perfect characterization of the hapless émigré of the story but scarcely a piece of arcane cryptography.
In any case, I suspect that the ultimate breaking point for those who think that Nabokov in certain ways illuminates the real world and those who think he is confined to a literary playground is the response of each group of readers to style in his fiction. For the first group, his style is inventive, amusing, arresting, and at peak moments altogether sublime. For the second group, it is self-regarding, precious, annoying, and anything but a vehicle for engaging us in something like the real world. I shall have more to say about Nabokov’s style in the pages that follow, but it may be instructive to look briefly into the operation of style within the restrictive compass of “That in Aleppo Once . . .” A sentence in the second paragraph of the story is a characteristic gesture that is likely to invite a polarized response.
The narrator, having briefly recalled the time when he and V. started out as poets in Russia, both continuing to write in their mother tongue after emigration, goes on to say: “And the sonorous souls of Russian verbs lend a meaning to the wild gesticulation of the trees or to some discarded newspaper sliding and pausing and shuffling again, with abortive flaps and apterous jerks along an endless windswept embankment.” The interaction between language and things that is signaled at the beginning of the sentence is a small clue to Nabokov’s view of the world. “Reality”—here those scare quotes he insists on for this term seem appropriate—is not a free-standing entity but is constituted by the words with which we represent it, the words we inevitably live with and with which we build the world around us. A small riot of personification imbues the represented scene here with life: the trees do not formulaically shake or sway in the wind but wildly gesticulate, as the windswept newspaper slides and pauses and shuffles and flaps. The one word here that will give some readers pause and drive others to their dictionaries is “apterous.” The Random House Dictionary defines it in the following fashion: “wingless, as with some insects.” One detects a signature of Nabokov the lepidopterist.
It might be objected that it is unreasonable for a writer to introduce a term that few of his readers will know. I don’t think such language occurs as often as is thought in Nabokov, but its use here is precisely to the point of his general conception of style: he constantly reaches for the most precise word—for shapes, for colors, for smells, and for much else—and his use of a term of entomological taxonomy (rather than merely “wingless”) is the means for giving the metaphor of the wind-driven pieces of newspaper as insects a kind of scientific precision. This is not a moment of great significance in the story just now unfolding, but it is a token of how the defamiliarizing figurative language he uses concretely imparts a striking presence to all sorts of things in the world with which we are acquainted but scarcely notice. In the celebrated characterization of Viktor Shklovsky, one of the leading Russian Formalists, whose heyday coincided with the beginning of Nabokov’s career, it exhibits literature’s special gift for rescuing the stoniness of the stone from the dullness of automated response. This sort of exuberance of metaphoric inventiveness is often visible in Nabokov’s prose, and his delight in exercising it is surely a chief reason for his otherwise slightly surprising enthusiasm for Dickens.
Yet at least as frequently it is a strategic selectiveness, the deployment of a single telling detail, that makes his writing speak to the reality of experience. In this, he may be following Flaubert, the pioneer of the art-novel—one recalls Charles Bovary’s mental summary of his first marriage to a considerably older woman, whose “feet in bed were like blocks of ice.” The narrator of “That in Aleppo Once . . .” does not offer any detailed description of the young woman he has married, but the following efficient notation perfectly suffices to convey both his adoration of her and his troubled relationship with her: “When I want to imagine her, I have to cling mentally to the tiny brown birthmark on her downy forearm, as one concentrates upon a punctuation mark in an illegible sentence.” The focus on the small birthmark and the downy forearm beautifully expresses the desiring lover’s enduring attachment to this pretty young woman as well as the sensuality of her presence in his imagination, while the compact simile of the punctuation mark in an illegible sentence makes it painfully clear that she remains an enigma for him. The minute physical detail, moreover, poignantly suggests that he is desperately grasping a fragment of the woman who, like Albertine in Proust, is irretrievably disparue, vanished, from his life. This brief sentence is a powerful demonstration of how finely wrought prose can, with the greatest concision, convey the full emotional burden of a character’s experience.
Allow me to offer another brief sentence, one in which a mere parenthesis enclosing a small series of objects says all that needs to be said about the protagonist’s suffering. The couple have been fleeing by train to Nice in hope of obtaining the necessary visa there and boarding a ship for America. At an intermediate stop, the narrator gets off the train in order to purchase some food. Then disaster strikes: “When a couple of minutes later I came back, the train was gone, and the muddled old man responsible for the atrocious void that faced me (coal dust glittering in the heat between naked indifferent rails, and a lone piece of orange peel) brutally told me that, anyway, I had no right to get out.”
This is a moment when Nabokov can be seen as very much in the tradition of realist fiction, much as he might have objected to the affiliation. There are no elaborate figurative maneuvers here, no real verbal pyrotechnics, but the coal dust glittering in the sun, those empty rails, wonderfully characterized as “naked indifferent,” coupled with the discarded remnant of a piece of fruit (the antithesis of the edible stuff he was buying for his wife and himself) hauntingly concretize his terrible desolation. His sense of desperation is compounded by “the muddled old man,” presumably the food vendor, who appears to have fatally delayed the transaction, telling him that he has no right to leave the country. There are no codes or games here and no signs of self-reflexive fiction, but terrible anguish is expressed. It is a small demonstration of the depth of emotion that is often present in Nabokov’s writing, decried as it is by some as coy and cerebral. Two more extended passages from the story should suffice to show its poignant experiential burden.
The separated couple find each other again in Nice, where she tells him about that “brute of a man” to whom she offered herself, and then the two plunge into the bureaucratic labyrinth from which they may or may not extract visas for America. Here is the evocation of that labyrinth:
So nothing remained but to torture each other, to wait for hours on end in the Prefecture, filling forms, conferring with friends who had already probed the innermost viscera of all visas, pleading with secretaries, and filling forms again, with the result that her lusty and versatile traveling salesman became blended in a ghastly mix-up with rat-whiskered snarling officials, rotting bundles of obsolete records, the reek of violet ink, bribes slipped under gangrenous blotting paper, fat flies tickling moist necks with their rapid cold padded feet, new-laid concave photographs of your six subhuman doubles, the tragic eyes and patient politeness of petitioners born in Slutzk, Staridub, or Bobruisk, the funnels and pulleys of the Holy Inquisition, the awful smile of the bald man with the glasses, who had been told that his passport could not be found.
Nabokov himself did not undergo this sort of ordeal in extricating himself from France, and he actually departed by ship with his wife and child from Le Havre, not from Nice. His imagining, however, of the plight of the refugees in the Mediterranean city, including even an oblique indication of the heat in the South during this dire September, is utterly convincing. The wit of the writing is not self-serving but a vehicle for transmitting the anguish of these human figures. Thus, the desperate inspection of old, perhaps expired, visas is a probing of their innermost viscera, like pathologists conducting an autopsy in what may be a doomed effort to uncover the cause of death. The narrator’s consciousness of the sexual betrayal by his wife gets all mixed up, as he confesses, with this bureaucratic nightmare. The wife’s lover is not only “lusty” but “versatile,” a thoroughly Nabokovian turn of wit that suggests that he is, in the poor cuckold’s imagination, a man given to athletic sexual variety.
The catalog of fonctionnaires and their implements at the prefecture, “rat-whiskered snarling officials, rotting bundles of obsolete documents, bribes slipped under gangrenous blotting paper,” is devastating, some of it reminiscent of the account of decaying Chancery documents in Dickens’s Bleak House. The “gangrenous blotting paper” is still another piece of pointed Nabokovian wit, the repulsive green of the blotting paper represented through an image of disease that reflects the narrator’s pervasive sensation of disgust with this place. Another expression of disgust with these sordidly oppressive offices is the fat flies settling on necks sweating in the heat. The photos with “subhuman doubles” are of course passport photos of the protagonist: most of us turn out very badly in such photos, but the narrator in the midst of his ordeal sees himself hyperbolically as “subhuman.” The photographs are concave because they are wet from just having been developed and, in the photographic technology of the day, are curling upward. The torture instruments of the Inquisition appear here because the protagonist, in the grip of this hellish bureaucracy, feels that an apparatus of power is diabolically tormenting him.
The bald bespectacled man at the end of the passage is an apt concluding touch: his helplessness after the loss of the passport is palpable, and it is a strong indication of how the narrator’s desperation, in the fear of being caught in an occupied country that has become a death trap, is shared by a host of others. In sum, every detail is telling, strategically chosen, and strikingly formulated, communicating a memorable sense of the fear and despair of the émigré community—all the stated places of origin are Russian—in this dark time. Nabokov the realist is on full display.
He remains deeply concerned with representing humanity in the toils of emotional experience and moral dilemmas, struggling with relationships, constricted by the harsh vise of historical circumstance.
For my final example, I would like to offer a more modestly executed but nevertheless equally poignant moment. The narrator has at last obtained visas and has come with his wife to Marseille, where they are about to begin the voyage, so he imagines, to America. Armed with the tickets for the ship, he mounts the stairs (of course there is no elevator) to their hotel room. When he opens the door, this is what he finds:
I saw a rose in a glass on a table—the sugar pink of its obvious beauty, the parasitic air bubbles clinging to its stem. Her two spare dresses were gone, her comb was gone, her checkered coat was gone, and so was the mauve hairband with a mauve bow that had been her hat. There was no note pinned to the pillow, nothing at all in the room to enlighten me, for of course the rose was merely what French rhymesters call une cheville.
There are no elaborate stylistic maneuvers in the prose, and the closest the passage comes to figuration is the “parasitic” clinging of the air bubbles to the stem of the rose. Everything is enacted through the writer’s shrewd choice of concrete details. The empty wardrobe speaks for itself, while the fact that the young woman has only two spare dresses reflects the poverty she shares with her distraught husband. The choice of “mauve” for the bluish purple of the hairband and bow is in keeping with the keenly visual Nabokov’s general commitment to use precisely nuanced terms for colors—it is integral, he asserted more than once, to seeing the world in all its rich particularity. The wife’s adopting a hairband and bow in lieu of a hat in an era when proper women wore hats—sometimes extravagant ones—whenever they dressed up might be another reflection of her poverty, or perhaps a small sartorial indication of her unfettered ways. Finally, there is that French term at the end. Like “apterous” at the beginning of the story, it is likely to annoy some readers, who may conceive it as a token of Nabokov’s cultural elitism, for, after all, few will know what it means.
Let me propose that the unfamiliar term serves both a mimetic and a thematic purpose. What it means in French is a hackneyed word or phrase plugged into a poem simply in order to make a rhyme (like “eyes” and “skies” in English). The narrator, we should remember, is a poet, and he surely has been immersed in French poetry and its terminology, probably since his early years in Russia and obviously after living in France after emigration. It is thus quite plausible that a person with this sort of background would invoke such a term, and not necessarily as an affectation.
But the term also suggests the tricky ground that his story is treading between literary cliché and believable experience, which tends to be true of much fiction, as Nabokov is keenly aware, here and throughout his writing. The rose in water, soon to fade, is the only detail in the scene that is not an absence—that brief catalog of the wife’s scant belongings which have now vanished. It shows the reader a rather paltry, sad image of beauty in the bleak hotel room and of beauty’s transience, and as the single present detail in a roomful of absences it makes the scene sadly real. Yet it also looks suspiciously like a cliché, and the poet-narrator is quite aware of this, putting it down as une cheville, even if it was actually there at the site of his abandonment.
It may be objected that this brief story is by no means typical of Nabokov. It contains no extended passages of bravura writing; there is no flaunting of the literary artifice of the fiction, no signature butterflies, no teasing hints of the author’s presence within the fiction (apart from the minimal indication that the addressee of the story shares an initial with him); and, except for the single allusion to Othello, there is no elaborate allusive network of the sort we will be following in several of the major novels. Yet I think “That in Aleppo Once . . .” is instructive in regard to an underlying impulse in Nabokov’s writing.
Although he repeatedly shows himself conscious of the multiple ways in which fiction constitutes worlds through sheer invention, deploying the technical procedures, the images, the narrative situations of antecedent literature, and though he very often delights in playing with the necessary artifice of fiction, he remains, as this story should indicate, deeply concerned with representing humanity in the toils of emotional experience and moral dilemmas, struggling with relationships, constricted by the harsh vise of historical circumstance. He is in this way more deeply anchored in the great tradition of the novel than is often thought. The flaunted artifice of his novels, the codes and complicated games he deploys in them, are not an impediment to this representational enterprise but among the principal means through which he realizes it, in concert with the fine attention to place and concrete detail that we have seen in this story.
Thought I would share my first ever attempt at smut (done just this month). Truly blushed my way through writing this.
Fandom: Batman - All Media Types
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Dick Grayson/Jason Todd/Slade Wilson, Dick Grayson/Jason Todd, Jason Todd/Slade Wilson
Characters: Jason Todd, Dick Grayson, Slade Wilson
Additional Tags: Soulmate-Identifying Marks, no cape au, Alternate Universe - Historical, Aristocracy, Wedding Night, Lingerie, Threesome - M/M/M, Polyamory, Romance, Established Relationship, Alternate Universe - Soulmates
Summary: The night of their wedding makes Jason truly feel alive.
Oil lamps cast their amber hue over Jason.
He wonders whether the colour contrasts the one painting his face – the rouge which dyes his cheeks and stains his ears. Jason imagines how it must travel downwards past the curves of his hips to the hardened heel of his feet. Still, he cannot compel his body to stand before the full-length mirror to confirm. He continues to sit on the edge of the bathtub, the feeling of today’s pleasure overwhelming the uncomfortableness caused by his chosen seat. Meanwhile, his eyes continue their attempt to latch themselves on the wrapped blue box on his lap. A futile effort as his gaze flickers to the band of black and gold on his left hand. He can sense the appearance of dimples as his lips bloom into a smile. Even now, Jason has not grasped the events of this morning. It must be a dream, he thinks. An accident at the factory has left me trapped within my head. But this is real. Too real with the engulfing oath attached to the jewellery.
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This whole thing is me trying to convince myself that Dazai is going to live,
shall we get started? (contains some manga spoilers)
Warnings: Mentions of suicide
Because after the latest episode of Bungou stray dogs Wan! I’ve seen people talking about how Dazai is going to die. So today I am going to be examining the themes of the anime in connection to why I believe hope Dazai is going to live. I’m going to mainly discuss the anime because I hadn’t really read the manga yet but I will touch on Chapter 87. I might’ve read it just for this to make a good and compelling argument
I will be talking about 2 of the main themes of Existentialism; finding a reason to live, Recovery
Existentialism and Recovery
Before we begin talking about Dazai, let’s first examine these two themes. Throughout the whole anime, through examining the background of the characters. We slowly learn about the dark pasts that most characters have experienced in their lives. Most of them have been through so much trauma and some even having suffered from abuse to be able to become who they are today. I mean that’s why we always say that all the Bungou Stray Dogs characters need therapy after all.
Yet despite all that they’ve been through, despite being invalidated, emotionally hurt and seeing the horrifying things life can throw at them. All of them are still trying to find a reason for them to live in this world, a reason for why they should be able to continue to live. In spite of what others have told them, in spite of the things they have done, in spite of how utterly agonizing life could be at times. But to do so, I have this belief that they first have to recover from their pasts, face their shadows and their darkest fears to do so.
So where can we see these themes? One of the most straight-forward evidence to this is the Season 2 op Reason Living:
Why can’t I find the shining light?
The reason for me to live my life
With my tainted hands
Desire ignites the will to fight
And find the reason that I’m alive
It cannot be found within the past
I’ll write today, a brand new page
I don’t think I have to explain where existentialism can be seen in the lyrics. But recovery can also be seen here as well, the “tainted hands” in the lyrics here represents their dark pasts and their pain, as it can not only be interpreted as the fact that they have done morally questionable actions, which tainted and corrupted them; we can also see it tainted because of the wounds they have endured and received in the past. This together with the fact that it says, it “cannot be found within the past”, and the need for “a brand new page” clearly showcases that they can’t keep looking at their past, and they have to look forward to find a reason to live. Therefore from this we can see, the theme of recovery and existentialism cannot be separated in this anime.
I mean even Dazai once said:
"But your anguish isn't yours alone. What should we do when what they want to be isn't what they're best at? Everyone fights, searching for the correct way to live their lives. What do they seek by fighting? How ought they live? No one can say. All we have is the right to waver. Like Stray Dogs that have hit rock bottom.”
I feel like what he is trying to say here, is that we have to fight our anguish, the anguish that stems from the hurt you’ve received in the past. You have to find a way to defeat it, even if it means to battle yourself. And through fighting it, and defeating it, perhaps you can find your own reason to live. Once again showcasing the connection between recovery and existentialism.
So as we can see, the characters in the anime are just trying to find their own way, their own reason to continue to exist in this world. But to do so, they first have to battle their inner darkness, their shadow. And Dazai is of course no exception to this.
Although Dazai often talks about suicide and his desire for death. I believe it all stems from his question “do you see any value in the act of living?”. After analyzing Dazai’s character for the fic which I wrote yesterday, I believe that the reason why he think that is because of suffering and pain. The reason why he likes suicide is because he wants to escape these things that he believes is the essence of life. I mean during the dark era he said "There's nothing in life worth pursuing at the cost of prolonging a life of suffering.” I mean if you were to see life only as a endless cycle of suffering and pain, wouldn’t you like to escape reality and this thing we call life as well?
But despite this, I feel like all he wants to know is that there is something beyond this in life, something more than suffering. Perhaps something beautiful in this violent current of life, something that could make all of that worth it. Maybe that is why Odasaku’s words are so impactful to him, because perhaps being on the good side could be a bit more beautiful, and perhaps that’s why even the words to us at face value seem bleak, seem to gives Dazai a bit of hope.
As we can see clearly, there is just this certain emptiness Dazai feels, there is just this hole that Dazai could never seem to fill, which manifests into his depression and suicidal attempts, but also is the root of his existentialism, which is heavily ingrained in his character. And remember what I mentioned earlier about existentialism and how it and recovery are tied together in this anime? Well, it should be consistent for Dazai’s character development as well.
In another analysis I’ve done, I’ve mentioned that Dazai is still on in his hero’s journey, his character arc is not completed yet. There’s still more to develop for him, he still has to ‘recover’. I put this in quotations and use it loosely for Dazai because, we know Dazai’s emptiness can never truly go away or healed, despite what we hope. Even Odasaku mentioned that. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t learn to accept it and live on with it. I feel like Dazai’s ‘recovery’ will not be the same as other characters due to how essentially different his source of pain is from others. But perhaps he may be able to see that although life isn’t able to fill the void he has, that emptiness, he may find something of meaning in life, something beautiful, worth fighting for and perhaps even worth living for. In my eyes, I view Dazai’s final arc as finally being able to be at peace with himself, being able to see a reason for why he exists in this world; perhaps it is to protect the beauty in this world that he is slowly starting to see as in Dead Apple? Or perhaps to be finally be able to reach a state of fulfillment/ content for himself to be able to continue to exist in this world.
Therefore, if we are looking at it like this, Dazai’s death would not only defeat the purpose of Odasaku’s death, which is to try and help Dazai to see that perhaps life is more beautiful than he originally thought; it would also ruin a potentially beautiful and moving character arc and go against the whole theme of the anime.
Manga readers, perhaps you may be thinking, but that still doesn’t remove the possibility of his death, as a major character in the universe had died(?) in the manga. Don’t worry, I’ll be talking about that too and why I think it was necessary for that character, and how it also relates to this theme. [Manga Spoilers ahead, you can skip it if you don’t want to read spoilers :)]
Yes, despite haven’t really started reading the Manga, I am aware of Akutagawa’s death and that he became a vampire(?) and a few other things that happened in the manga. I should start reading the manga. And this perhaps showcases that major characters like perhaps Dazai can indeed die. But right now, I’m going to tell you no because I feel like this death was actually important for Akutagawa’s own character arc to fulfill this theme.
In Chapter 87, we see Atsushi and Akutagawa talking about the meaning of life. And till this moment, as we can see, Akutagawa still holds onto the belief that his meaning to live revolves around the need for validation. He fears dying without Dazai’s approval; he wants people to tell him that it is okay to live, that he’s good enough to continue on in this world. Perhaps it is because of his background, the fact that he used to live in the slums, as a nobody, that if he dies nobody would even know and nobody would even care. And perhaps that is why he is so desperate for approval, he believes that he has to earn the right to live, through continually proving his worth, and sees this as his reason to live.
But we all know that you cannot have others to tell you how to live, we know that Atsushi knows that as well. Because even if others tell you it’s okay, but you yourself do not believe it, then how can you expect to be okay with it? But if you know Akutagawa, then you know he is stubborn. I don’t think anyone can convince him into believing in anything unless he himself decides to think so.
I’ve read this chapter quite a few times before I was able to grasp it’s meaning in a sense. But every time I read it, what struck me the most was that a few moments before his death he said that “words do nothing, actions do”.
Do you know why? Well remember what he said when he was fighting the guild back in Season 2?
“All I expect is a sentence from someone who wouldn’t say it to me”
Do you see any connections? Because till that moment, he is convinced that the reason to live is for validation, that sentence, words from Dazai that perhaps he is worthy, strong enough to keep on living. But at the moment near his death he says the opposite, that words do nothing. Perhaps it is at this moment of death that Akutagawa finally sees the reason for living, that it was beyond what he had believed. Perhaps death is necessary for him to find his reason for living, which in a way is quite ironic.
But if we once again look at the hero’s journey, we can actually say that this is perhaps Akutagawa’s death and rebirth phase (quite literally). Maybe after all this is over (I’m convinced he’s going to live, but who am I to say, I hadn’t read the Manga), he can actually step on the ‘recovery’ stage to continue to break free from the past that holds him back and continue to search for a reason to live.
Now let’s go back to Dazai. So as we can see, Akutagawa’s death, if we look at it this way can essentially be seen as a character arc in the quest to find the reason to live. But does Dazai’s death benefit or add to his arc in any way? I honestly don’t really think so...
As Odasaku said “people live to save themselves”. And how does one save themselves without finding the desire and the reason to live? We save ourselves by finding the answer to this question, in this long life that we have, searching for an answer. Despite what life throws at us, we have to endure, and that’s what this anime is about. Therefore, I feel like Dazai will not die.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
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Devotional Hours Within the Bible
by J.R. Miller
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin."
- Psalm 51:1-2
The fifty-first Psalm tells the story of David's great sin. It tells of his penitence after his sin had been shown to him by Nathan. We see in it the path by which he returned to God. Since David wrote the words of this Psalm, thousands have used them, and they have become the liturgy of penitence for all who seek divine mercy.
Notice David's thoughts of God, as we find them in his confession. He saw Him as a God of unfailing love. In all the poignant sense of guilt that pressed upon his soul, there was not a shadow of despair. The moment he saw his sin - there poured upon him also a glorious disclosure of God's love. He confessed, "I have sinned," and at once Nathan said, "The Lord also has put away your sin." From this revealing of the divine mercy - hope came at once.
Had David not seen God in this light when the sense of his sin overwhelmed him, utter, hopeless darkness would have come upon him, and he would have been lost in the gloom. Thus it was with Judas, after he had betrayed his Lord, when the terrible tide of conviction swept over his soul. He saw no ray of hope, and in his dark despair - he went out and hanged himself. On the other hand, when Peter had denied his Master, and when, beneath the grieved look of that holy Eye, a sense of sin overwhelmed him - he went out and wept bitterly. But through his tears - he saw God as a God of mercy and love, and instead of despair - hope sprang up in his soul, and he was restored, living to be a glorious apostle. It is most important that the convicted sinner shall see God - as a God of mercy and love - as David saw Him, as Peter saw Him.
Notice also David's thoughts of his sin. First, he thought about his sin as his own. "My transgressions," "my iniquity," "my sin," "I have sinned," are the words he uses. He does not try to lay the blame of his wrongdoing, on some other one, as our first parents did. He does not plead the peculiar strength of his temptation and try to excuse himself for sinning so grievously. He does not talk of his peculiar environment or circumstances. He does not try in any way to explain his fall, or to mitigate in any measure the degree of his guilt. He frankly takes the whole responsibility on himself. This shows the sincerity of his repentance.
An old writer said, that nothing else in the world is so much our own - as our sins. We cannot push the responsibility off on any tempter or on any circumstances. Others may tempt us - but no one can compel us to sin. There is no sin in being tempted - sin begins when we yield to the temptation. Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are - but He was without sin. We are commanded to resist the Devil, and we are told that he will flee from us. Others may tempt us - and the guilt of the tempter is great. But no one can compel us to sin. Until we lift the latch - sin cannot enter our heart's door. We are responsible, therefore, for our sins, and must bear the burden of them ourselves.
We must also personally seek and find forgiveness for our own sins. No intercessor can obtain pardon for us; we must be penitent ourselves. Christ's expiation is for sinners - but even Christ's intercession will not bring forgiveness, if we do not personally repent and seek mercy. No one can obtain forgiveness for us - for any unconfessed sin of ours.
Another of David's thoughts about his sin, was that it was against God alone. "Against you, you only, have I sinned." The smallest wrong thing we do - is done primarily against God. If we speak a rude or impatient word to a beggar - it strikes God's heart, and the sin is against Him. If we are unkind to a dumb beast - we sin against God. Our unholy thoughts, which we think harm no one - grieve God. Every sin is a personal offence to Him. We may injure others and do wrong and injustice to them - but the sin is really and always against God. It is the law of God that we break, no matter what evil thing we do; and in breaking His law - we have struck God in the face. We stand in such relations to God all the while - that every act, word, or thought of ours affects Him personally: either pleasing Him and meeting His approval, or grieving Him and receiving His condemnation.
Another thought of his sin which David had, was that it was inborn. "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." He was not born holy. Sin is not altogether a habit which one acquires through years of living. It is not a result of bad education. It is not a little soiling of one's nature from the outside, by contact with an evil world. Sin is in the heart - and was born with us.
Notice also David's thought of the mercy he needed. First, there is a simple cry for mercy. "Have mercy upon me, O God." This was his greatest need. He did not begin his prayer by asking for favors, for prosperous circumstances, for many friends. Before any blessings could count in his life - he must get clear of his sin, and must have God's mercy. The words represent his transgressions as all written down against him in the book of accounts - and he pleads to have them blotted out, erased, rubbed from the page. There is something very startling in this thought that our sins are charged against us, and that unless we get the record expunged, we shall have to meet the penalty. But the blessed truth here, is that sins may be blotted out - no matter how many or how great they are.
"Wash away all my iniquity." Sin is represented as leaving a stain, and the prayer is that it may be washed off. That is, sin not only writes its record against us on God's book - but it also denies and pollutes our lives. We need not only to have the guilt removed - to be justified ; but we need also to have our lives cleansed - to be sanctified. We need a cleansing which reaches the very center of the being. The stains are deep, and the purifying process must go on until they are all removed. The ancient method of washing clothes was by beating or treading, and David asks God even to tread him down if necessary to remove the foul spots. We should pray God to wash us until every stain is taken away, however painful the process must be.
"Cleanse me from my sin." It is the language used of cleansing lepers. The word "wash" refers to garments and surface stains, and the word "cleanse" refers to sin as a disease, a leprosy in the soul. This prayer, therefore, is for the cleansing of the very nature.
There is still another expression in the prayer: "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." In certain ancient ceremonies, the blood was sprinkled with a hyssop branch. We may not be able to read into this prayer all the New Testament teaching about Christ's sacrifice, and yet the idea is certainly present, and for us means cleansing of Christ's blood.
Notice, then, David's thought about the renewal which comes with God's forgiveness. It is inward renewal. When the love of God streamed into his soul - he saw how much he needed to have done in him to make him what God would have him to be.
First, he had a new conception of the divine requirement. "You desire truth in the inward parts." Truth is genuineness, sincerity, righteousness. God despises hypocrisy. No mere external reformation will avail - while the heart remains wrong. With this lofty conception of the divine ideal of character, there is a beautiful evangelical teaching in David's prayer for renewal. He pleads for the application of the blood of atonement, to his life, then for the assurance of forgiveness, that the lost joy might be brought back.
Next he prays for renewal of heart: "Create in me a pure heart, O God." He has discovered the black fountain of sin in his life, pouring up its defiling waters and polluting all his soul. He cannot himself purify this black well, and he brings it to God that He may purify it.
The word "create" shows that David understood the necessity of a divine work in him, a work nothing less than a new creation. In this prayer for renewal, he pleads also that the Holy Spirit may abide with him, be with him. He remembered Saul's terrible fate, when God took His Holy Spirit from him, and pleaded that the same calamity might not fall upon him. "Do not cast me from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me." While he prayed for the continuance of God's Spirit upon him, he prayed also that his own spirit might be constant, steadfast, and free - that is, willing. In other words, he desires the spirit of entire consecration to God's will and service. Then he asks for the restoration of the joy of salvation.
Notice once more in this Psalm, David's thought about serving God. When he had been forgiven and the joy of salvation had been restored to his heart, he would begin to be a blessing to his neighbors and friends. We cannot bring others to Christ - when we have no joy of forgiveness in our own hearts. But the moment we are forgiven and the joy begins in us - we begin to desire to help others, to teach transgressors God's ways, and to lead sinners back home.
Other suggestions are found in the words which follow. The tongue of a forgiven man will sing aloud of God's righteousness. His opened lips will speak forth God's praise. The character of the service which God desires from us, is sketched in the closing words - not sacrifice of animals or any possessions. The sacrifice that pleases God - is a penitent spirit and contrite heart. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
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Percy Jackson The Sea Of Monsters Download Torrent
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In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Director: Thor Freudenthal
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Honestly I thought this film was going to suck. I am a HUGE fan of the books….I have read them about 5 times and truthfully after watching the first film and how far it fled from the book I thought this film would be a lot worse than what it was. So, OK I went to watch this film in 3D with my mother and I am pretty sure I bored her by saying “that was in the book.” OVER and OVER. The opening to this film begins with a camera following the sea and slowly sinking under and then revealing the title “Percy Jackson and the sea of monsters” in what looked like iron writing during which Logan Lerman is giving a speech about how the Greek gods are real and how 7 years ago 4 demigods tried to get into Camp Half Blood then the camera zooms from aerial shot of a forest to 4 young children. 2 girls and 2 guys. A creature is chasing them but we don’t see this creature until later as this explains another part of the character “Annabeth” One of the guys gets knocked over by this creature and is picked up and dragged into the camp by young Annabeth and young Luke while a black haired girl named Thalia yells that she’ll hold it off and for them to go. She is then thrown to the ground and dies in a position where she’s flailed in several directions…Percy then continues to narrate saying that Zeus let her live in another way and as he says this Thalia’s body begins to turn into a tree and this tree then forms a blue barrier which eventually becomes transparent as Annabeth, Luke and Grover enter the camp. I actually found this to be a strong opening as it showed us 2 of the main characters’ journey as well as the main villain’s plus the effects were amazing as well as the acting.
Anyways in the books from sea of monsters onwards Tyson was always my favourite character….and he did not disappoint in this film. I loved the clutzy lovable guy he was in this film. He was so cute actually. Douglas Smith portrays a character full of hope and love and optimism and this character actually makes the film. In a weird way he reminded me of Doug from the Pixar film up…..not in a mean way. He was just lovable and cute and charming and loved Percy from the minute he laid “eye” on him (haha….cheesy Cyclops joke) which reminded me of “I just met you and I love you.” The line which Doug says to Mr Frederickson when they first meet. I found both his portrayal of my favourite character and the brotherly chemistry between Percy and himself to be stunning actually. How he sacrifices himself to save Percy and says “You’d do the same for me.” and then falls of a cliff into water actually made me cry especially when Percy’s grieving and says “I never even called him brother.” I don’t know how the world saw Douglas Smith as a clumsy Cyclops but truthfully I couldn’t be more in love with what I saw from him today.
OK….first of me and mum are both HUGE fans of the Logan Lerman film “the perks of being a wallflower” and since watching it about 10 times in a week it is slightly tough to see him as anymore than the emotional character of “Charlie” but both characters of Charlie and Percy were perfectly portrayed by Logan Lerman and I am actually really proud of his performance in this. He portrays the wounded hero extremely well. The hero without a quest who cannot contact his father. I love Logan Lerman. I really do and I love Percy Jackson…so to me this was a perfect combination.
Truthfully the reviews on this film maybe mixed and some may choose to focus on the bad like how the voice over was sometimes too obvious and how the story ran to quick from disaster to disaster but there are so many things that are admirable about this film which cannot be ignored like the flawless casting and the brilliant lines and how it seemed to flow from scene to scene without stopping as well as how it seemed to stick to the book’s storyline. I don’t know whether this series will continue but I REALLY hope it does as I’m not ready to say goodbye to Percy and Annabeth and Grover and Tyson yet.
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In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
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Spoiler Alert. Enjoy the movie first if you don’t want to be sullied by another’s opinion.
“Percy Jackson And The Ocean of Monstrous Ripoffs.” or “Percy Jackson and the Sea of No Ideas.” Egad, what were the producers thinking? I have to admit that this movie pandered to the thoughtless amongst us to the point of ridicule.
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The Harry Potter allusion early in the movie where a story was told through animation was atrocious. Oh, a story is told and animated. What a cool concept. It worked in HP so let’s steal it and all the kids will go WOW? The animation in HP was really good and the animator did a fantastic job of blending a personal style with a story. Here, it’s just hogwash meant to wow audiences will coolness. How cute.
The same old nemeses are back with some new ones. Here the kids are away at camp “We’re so special” and a mechanical bull comes crashing through. Remember the bull in the first movie? So let’s make this one mechanical like the robots in “Hellboy: The Golden Army” or whatever and kids will go WOW!. Let’s defy our elders and run off to find our missing parents or fix our parent’s goofs. Let’s have an authority figure steal some demigod’s idea and present it as his own. OUCH! There’s more but why belabor the point.
It’s all so trite, poorly written and formulaic. People don’t die unless they are totally obscure. They have to come back at the last minute to save the day. Not only are they restored to perfect health but they know where to go to find the other protagonists even though they were searching for the place in the beginning. If they know where it is and can get there, why the search?
OMG. the lines were just so cool man. Those demigods really know how to sling the lingo even though they live in a place with no outside electronic broadcasts and music. They are supposed to be isolated, misunderstood and ever so cool like the broken children in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” which was actually quite a good movie, but here they are just wooden dorks. Even the females were shadows of women.
Language and thought sequence is so juvenile that one weeps for movie making with absolutely seamless special effects where language and thought is so dumbed down that the most intellectually impotent must be the target audience. Have we really sunk so low in our expectation of youth?
Adventure/Action movies have always been heavy on the action while being intellectually dishonest. Take “Armageddon” for example or “Transformers” But in both those movies there was an undercurrent of something happening beyond the foolishness. Here there is just foolishness with no undercurrent.
In the Obama age in America, it’s hip to be stupid and dependent while telling one’s self how clever and smart one really is. And that’s what this movie represents in a weird way. It’s intellectual onanism at it’s finest.
The Percy Jackson story could be a compelling tale. The acting is reality TV level except for the characters who play anything but the principals. In other words, the monstrous. The cab driving fates are really entertaining. Some good acting there. There will be a sequel. Smoke a joint and revel in the sheer idiocy of the thing.
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Common Misconceptions: Raising the Dead (CPR)
Let's start with the bad news: basically all the CPR you've seen in movies and TV shows is performed terribly.
Here's the good news: most CPR is performed on dead patients, which means even bad CPR is better than nothing.
What is CPR?
CPR stands for (googles hurriedly) Cardio-Pumonary Resuscitation. It has two parts: 1) chest compressions and 2) rescue breaths. Here's a video in case you're still confused, but most people have seen CPR performed a ton of times during the climaxes of medical shows. It comes right before either a) the nurse yells "Clear!" and the patient comes back to life or b) the EMT says "I'm not losing you" and injects the patient with adrenaline right to the heart, and then they come back to life.
Raising the Dead
CPR is generally performed on dead patients. That is, patients without a pulse. In the first responder business, the situation doesn't really get worse than dead, so it provides a unique opportunity for authors because you can't really get it wrong.
Here are some questions I've heard people ask while learning CPR:
Should I perform CPR on pulse-less patients who have chest wounds?
Can I continue performing CPR if I break a rib?
Should I perform CPR on pregnant people?
What if I can't give rescue breaths? Should I still give CPR?
My patient has a lot of broken limbs. Should I fix those before performing CPR?
My patient was electrocuted. Should I give CPR?
Here's the trick to answering all your CPR questions. Is my character dead (no pulse)? Does performing CPR put a) the first responder, b) another patient, or c) a bystander in danger?
If you can answer (yes) (no, no, no), congratulations! Your first responder can perform CPR, even really crappy CPR, even CPR that is ineffective, for as long as the plot requires (ModN's WFR instructor tells the story of a 6-hour CPR session on a dead patient during a journey to care that included a toboggan ride).
(NOTE: there's actually one solid contraindication: if the patient is severely hypothermic, their heart rate may be so slow and weak as to be undetectable. In this case (and pretty much only this case) chest compressions may actually do more harm than good. Other than that, obvious signs of death like decapitation or rigor mortis indicate you don't need to start resuscitation, but there are still plenty of compelling interpersonal reasons to do it – at that point you're doing CPR for the responder and survivors rather than the patient.)
Otherwise, your character should go for it!
The bad news about CPR
Time for the bad news (other than you having a dead character on your hands). In general,* CPR is not enough to bring someone back. Its role is to continue circulating oxygenated blood while you wait for a defibrillator like an AED to arrive. The AED or manual defibrillator is what actually convinces the heart to stop fluttering/beating erratically, and allows it to resume something like a normal rhythm. That means that in the wilderness, CPR is almost never going to work. That said, ModN's WFR instructors had a couple tales of AEDs falling from the sky (via helicopter, not under their own power), so it's worth trying regardless.
* The exception: lightning-struck patients can at times restart regular rhythms with just chest compressions. This leads to interesting triage considerations when dealing with the aftermath of lightning, but that's a subject for another post.
How to perform non-crappy CPR
There are a million videos on YouTube that can talk you through every sort of CPR. Keeping in mind, of course, that some CPR is better than nothing on a pulseless patient, here are some quick tips that could indicate your character has some training:
Your character distinguishes between adult and pediatric CPR. Because children don't tend to get heart attacks, pulse-less children almost always have a trauma or respiratory cause. This means responders give children more rescue breaths.
Your character keeps their elbows locked. Here's a playlist of some examples of bad CPR (and some are really quite bad). Actors generally can't lock their elbows because they'd risk injuring or even killing their scene partner (so, okay, fine, that's a decent excuse), but people with real training will know better.
They do not always give rescue breaths. Any CPR is better than no CPR. Rescue breaths can put the first responder at risk because they can involve lip-to-lip contact, assuming no PPE is available. I once had a paramedic say bluntly that he really only gives breaths to children—it's just not worth the risk to him for anyone else. If this sounds callous, remember, CPR is (almost) only performed on dead patients, and the number one priority in any disaster is yourself.
(ModN edit: in a professional setting your character will always have some sort of PPE for rescue breaths: a face shield at the minimum, or in the front country a full-blown bag valve mask (BVM) that allows them to use their hands to get air into the patient.)
Your character does a blood sweep before staring CPR in a trauma injury. You may have heard the rule no pulse = chest compressions immediately. This is almost always true, especially in the frontcountry, when most pulse-less patients you encounter will have had a heart attack. However, in the wilderness, we can run into a bad situation: chest compressions that pump all my patient's blood out the gushing wound in their side.
Maybe you're thinking, hey! I thought you said my character could always do CPR on a dead patient and they'd be fine! And yes, I did say that—thank you for listening. If your character performs CPR on a patient with no pulse and arterial wound, they have not killed their patient. This is because the patient was already dead. They have not "sped up" the bleeding out process because this patient has basically already bled out. So, I'm not blaming your character for anything.
That said, the pro-est of pros will do a blood sweep after finding no pulse and stuff/apply direct pressure/tourniquet as necessary. As an added note, your character with no pulse and the arterial bleed? Probably not going to survive.
This leads me to...
Writing more realistic necromancy
If your character's CPR is successful, your character has just raised the dead. Thinking about it this way can help you write more realistic resuscitation scenes. Here's the number one thing that will make all your CPR more realistic:
Your dead patient does not go from dead to walking and talking in a few seconds.
When the body has no pulse for a while, it gets unhappy. This is because all its internal organs are dying and also because it is dead. CPR replicates the pumping of a heart, but not particularly well. Most people whose organs are all dying don't get that shot of adrenaline to the heart (this is not part of any WFR or EMT protocol but whatever) and then go back to swashbuckling adventure after a quick sip of water.
In fact, in real life, checking the pulse of your patient is an important part of performing CPR because sometimes they come back to life and you don't notice.
So how might you accurately describe someone who's just come back from the dead via CPR (possibly plus defibrillation)? May I recommend some of the following words (no need to cite me—just plop 'em in your writing):
Non-responsive to pain
An added point: absolutely no one whose heart stopped is now "okay" because their heart restarted. They are "not dead" because their heart restarted. Admitedly, not dead is pretty good in the first response business, but they need to see a doctor. As soon as possible. This is because something caused the heart to stop and CPR did not treat that underlying cause. Many people who come back from the dead die again soon after, and could come back and die multiple times before picking a state more permanantly.
In the wilderness, we have get one (1) special CPR-related ability and that is the ability to stop.
In the US, there's a thing called patient abandonment that can get folks in trouble. Basically, if you start treating a patient, you need to keep treating them until 1) they are dead, 2) they are conscious enough to refuse further treatment and do so, or 3) someone else with an equivalent or higher level of training is treating them (ModN: as a W-EMT this is tricky – it's hard to find people more qualified in the wilderness to hand a patient off to!).
Because WFRs and EMTs cannot declare patients dead, and a dead or unconscious patient cannot refuse treatment, that means you are treating them until someone else is treating them. (As a side note, my first first-aid instructor told the story of performing CPR for 30 minutes in an ambulance on a patient missing part of his brain [this is bad] because the police officer at the scene didn't want to declare him dead on the highway, which would mean shutting down the road for a few hours).
CPR is unique, however, because it's performed on dead patients. The law doesn't want a poor WFR to be stuck in an endless CPR loop because they can't abandon their patient, so in the wilderness only, your character can stop CPR:
After 30 minutes of sustained pulselessness.
If another patient needs more help.
If continuing is dangerous to self or others.
Otherwise, backcountry and frontcountry CPR are pretty similar.
CPR is generally performed on dead people.
It is difficult to get worse than dead.
Garbage CPR is better than no CPR.
Recovering from being dead takes time and always warrants more care.
WFRs have a superpower and it is called stopping CPR.
Good luck raising your characters from the dead!
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Hi! I would like a genshin matchup. I go by she/her, that lady on tumblr, and am a demisexual INFJ-T About my personality... well, I'm known for being way too kind caring, helpful and patient for my own good. I'm usually very calm and quiet until I get to know the person or someone messes with my friends. I would fight whoever upset them, but I know that I'd only end up in trouble. I can sorta tell whether or not I want to associate myself with someone by looking at them, but at least talk to them, because my perception could be totally wrong. I can also tell if someone is not ok. I offer to let them vent if they want to, or just let them know that I'm here if they don't want to talk about it now, but might want to talk about it later. I'm the cheerleader of my friend group since I will cheer everyone on or try to cheer everyone up.I'm starting to realize that not everything is my problem, and I don't have to fix it, if it's not my fault, I don't have to apologize for it, I can't make everyone happy, and not everything has to be perfect. I'm also learning that I need to speak up and request stuff while it's open (hopefully this doesn't reach you once matchups are closed) my full self can be incredibly silly, but I only let her out if I trust the person. I'm incredibly animated regardless of the situation or who I'm with. I cannot stand yelling and try to meditate arguments. I can often see both sides of the argument, making it hard to pick a side. I believe in soulmates and wish upon the shooting stars that sometimes cross people's dashboards. I probably worry too much about others and just need to take time for myself. If I'm not reading fanfiction, I'm listening to music, practicing cosplay tiktok poses, sometimes dancing and rarely singing. I also cosplay when I can. Right now, I'm working on making magical girl type skirts for characters that I normally wouldn't cosplay. Even though I might wear the designs, I hate it when people randomly look through my sketchbooks. I can be forgetful sometimes, often go off on entire rants on things that make me happy and need patience. I also plan things too far in advance and overthink everything (such as the length of this matchup and if I forgot anything) I'm also the childish cinnamon roll friend with a crazy other side that nobody gets to see. I can be totally overdramatic, seeing as I was a theater kid, and given the chance to go to a formal event like a ball or a prom, I totally would. You would never be able to tell based on how I write, but in real life, I need to learn to watch my language. I try to never complain outwardly because when I do, sometimes things go wrong, and I try not to be upset because it just spreads bad vibes. I have an associate's in social work, I'm currently working on a health and human services degree with plans on becoming a child life specialist, and might continue to grad school to become a social worker with an MSW. I read your other post and totally wish that I could be a streamer and get paid to play video games. Hopefully that's it. Thanks for doing matchups!
Here's the stuff that I forgot! I'm an enneagram 2w3 and my zodiac is cancer, I can be sarcastic, can come off as cold, but would only lie if telling the truth would hurt someone's feelings. I'm 5'6, identify as black and have brown eyes and black hair. I really despise lies and backstabbing. I can be incredibly affectionate with my hypothetical s/o when I'm happy, and just have this thing about people coming up from behind me where I can't see them without announcing themselves. Unless the entire matchup compels you, I would rather not be matched with scaramouche.
Hello, friend! I was a bit torn on who to match you with for this one, but I’m going to match you with Childe!
Right away Childe falls for your caring and protective personality. You’re a person that he never wishes to cross blades with (unless it comes to a sparring match). Your lively presence never ceases to put a huge grin on his face, and he can’t help but hope that he can get you to meet his family soon. He know they’d all agree that you two are a perfect match.
In many ways, you’re Childe’s impulse control and his voice of reason. He needs someone that can look at things with an unbiased view. He can be quick to jump into battle or threaten his enemies with his skills as a harbinger, but he can be a bit headstrong and act on impulsion, so you’re always there to tell him when he needs to let the matter go. He tries not to drag you into his harbinger work, though. He knows how much you despise conflict, and he doesn’t want to get you trapped in arguments between the other harbingers. He is grateful, however, to see that you understand when and why he might lie to you. He’s just trying to protect you. If harm ever came to you, he would forever blame himself. He would never lie in order to be deceiving, so know that he only has the best of intentions.
Your childish side compliments Childe’s own, and the two of you are often found goofing around in Liyue whenever he’s not busy. Zhongli finds you both amusing, often saying how he feels he’s watching two Childes. On top of everything, Childe is so incredibly proud of your hard work and seeing you do something good for other people. Sometimes he worries that he’s almost “tainting” you and your innocence, so you’ll have to be there to set him straight and remind him just how much you care for him. A bonus: he loves to hear about your social work and deeply adores just how much you care for children. It only makes him even more certain that his siblings would love you, especially Teucer, and that you’d love them even more so.
You and Childe are quite the eccentric couple, often found having friendly duels or walking hand-in-hand through the city, his eyes alight with affection as he watches you animatedly recount the events of your day. If you believe that soulmates exist, you’ve found your destined match in Childe. He’ll be sure to protect your innocence and support your ambitions. So long as he’s there by your side, you will have nothing to fear.
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Day 45: Dead
You are now Caliborn.
The narrative introduces our young villain formally without any humanizing elements. No hobbies, no interests. Caliborn cares about nothing, and wants nothing, except for power.
More after the break.
Jujus serve, I think, as a symbol representing cultural norms - sets of rules and expectations which have no discernible origin, which are seemingly arbitrary, and which can easily ruin our lives if we fail to adhere to them. Being a Cherub is like perpetually being Alice in Wonderland, unable to make heads or tales of the strange grown-ups and their strange ways.
This is the lens that Caliborn grows up viewing the world through, and it is the one he will carry with him into adulthood - or whatever parody of adulthood he ultimately achieves by becoming Lord English.
The primary parallel being drawn between Caliborn and another character here is Karkat of all people! Which I don’t think is wrong. Caliborn is something like a bizarro world Karkat, an angry temperamental piece of shit who really is a complete piece of shit, rather than having solid gold beneath his irascible facade.
He is also aware of the narrative. The narrative denies (unreliably, I might add) that Caliborn is actually cognizant of it, and it does it in such a way that makes me suspect that, like Carapacians, Cherubs’ consciousness exists, to some extent, on the narrative layer.
Or it might be that Caliborn is a Lord and uniquely predisposed to take notice of it.
Or it could be the big goddamn signal tower on his planet with a narrative prompt, making it unmistakable that his thoughts are being authored by a third party.
Mere seconds into this adventure, and friendships are already strained.
Jane is literally at Dirk’s throat.
I’ve never thought to read what is obviously metanarrative shenanigans as Caliborn experiencing Calliope Thoughts as though they were from inside his own noggin before, but I kind of like that reading, and I wonder to what extent it’s true? It’s never hinted at in the text, but the idea is intriguing. Even if he has not properly absorbed his sister’s consciousness in order to become whole, some parts of her nature no doubt linger in the shared body, like a vestigial organ, or the phantom pain from a severed appendage.
Sadly, we don’t have a lot of evidence to work with.
What’s the function of Caliborn having a learning disability? Does he actually have a learning disability? It seems like he does. Is it a case of inspirationally disadvantaged? Are we to find the story of Caliborn’s journey to strength in spite of his inherent disadvantage compelling? That is troubling, especially because of the kind of weirdly ableist judgement that the story passes on Tavros and Jake respectively for more or less failing to be strong in spite of their respective disadvantages (Tavros being a paraplegic is pretty obvious, and I don’t think it’s remotely a stretch to say that Jake has some pretty obvious PTSD). Are we supposed to laugh at him because his disability is another form of misery inflicted on him? That’s even worse. Is it just an extraneous detail? I have a hard time believing that.
Maybe Caliborn’s learning disability is imagined, self-diagnosed, and he’s actually just a stubborn asshole who won’t learn how to do new things.
All troubling possible answers to that question.
I wanna be clear here that I like Homestuck; clearly, or I wouldn’t be writing this. But I think it is at times a troublingly ableist work of fiction.
Andrew seems to confirm the “Inspirationally Disadvantaged” take here.
I’ve gotta tell you, to whatever extent Caliborn is actually a surrogate for the audience, I feel considerably more sympathy for him this time around. My own increasing suspicion of Andrew, and antipathy toward the antagonistic writing of Homestuck.
Andrew’s choice of words here in describing the people who get Yaldabaoth as their Denizen is telling - the Demiurge is reserved as a challenge for Warriors. All kinds of characters in Homestuck fight and some of them who are not warriors are extremely deadly - Kanaya for example - extremely deadly, not a warrior.
A warrior is someone for whom war is their career. It is what they do with their life, and historically, their form of retirement is to grow old and slow and be taken down by younger and more spry adversaries.
While, to invoke my recurring refrain, if you have gotten this far, you probably already know, the Demiurge Yaldabaoth is a figure from Gnostic Religions, early counterparts to Orthodox Christianity, for which a central theme was the idea that the God of the Old Testament was not the same entity as Jesus Christ, but a hostile and extremely powerful spiritual being named Yaldabaoth, a being born into a material world alone as a result of divine reproductive incontinence, believing he was the only thing that existed, and proclaiming himself as God.
An Evil God who attempts to keep all of his subjects in the dark so that they will not achieve Gnosis, and transcend the material confines of the cruel universe he has constructed to torture them. Sound familiar?
So here are a few more things to sum up about Caliborn that aren’t exactly revolutionary, because a lot like Equius, much of the point of Caliborn is to explicitly state a lot of the comic’s antitheses.
Caliborn is extraordinarily morally myopic and hypocritical, and while he sometimes entertains the idea that anything he has done might have been in error, he usually chalks up success to his own skill and “virtue” if it can be said Caliborn is in any way virtuous, while blaming other people, or bad luck, for his misfortune (rather like Vriska does).
Caliborn’s experience of the present is pretty much always miserable; he constantly bitches and complains, and his only real source of entertainment seems to be nostalgia concerning his own exploits - he greatly enjoys engaging in reverie on the subject of his own evil deeds. I believe we’ll find that Caliborn feels equally good about his future, but the present is always miserable for him. He only ever gets to enjoy himself vicariously - looking forward to what he’s going to do, or looking back on what he’s already done. (Kind of the opposite of Karkat’s continuously hostile relatioinship with his past and future selves!)
He regards other people almost entirely in terms of either the utility that they bring to the table, or their ability to gratify him personally. Violence is his absolute first instinct though, when encountering another living being, and he basically only entertains other possibilities if he cannot realistically kill them. At least at this stage.
In any case, we’ll check in on the Alpha Kids tomorrow. For now, Cam signing off, Alive, and Deeply entertained by Caliborn pretty much as always.
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