Finished my Chenqing prop, Wei Wuxian’s dizi (bamboo transverseflute), a first-class spiritual tool, from the wuxia / xanxia Chinese Drama The Untamed / Chen Qing Ling (based on danmei novel Mo Dao Zu Shi, by Mo Xiao Tong Xiu.)
Made from PVC pipe, with Apoxy Sculpt for the nodes. Etched with a woodburning tool. Spray-painted black, then coated with metallic red model paint, to give it a reddish sheen (alas, the camera didn’t pick that up). Also dotted it with flecks of a brighter red metallic acrylic. I DID NOT MAKE THE TASSEL; I bought it. The flute isn’t 100% screen accurate, but it’s not too shabby.
It’s mostly playable (I used a flute calculator), except that the high C and the low C sound the same, despite the fingering being different, so I must have been a bit off somewhere with hole placement or size. *sigh*
I just saw someone criticize The Untamed by saying that “Wei Wuxian’s acting was bad”. My dude. At least come up with a believable reason that you disliked the show. Listen, all I’m saying is that Xiao Zhan’s acting raised the bar so high that it has quite literally ruined some other shows for me.
that’s what happens when people give up after the first episode. no one can tell me that that person watched wei wuxian’s entire descend into and return from madness and walked away with that opinion.
Is there any chance they literally mean Wei Wuxian pretending to be Mo Xuanyu was bad, and not XZ playing WWX? But even then, I’d have to argue that WWX’s intent was to scare people off so they didn’t get to close, so he achieved his goal.
But yeah, if they do mean XZ, I too can only figure the saw WWX play-acting crazy as MXY, then maybe saw young gremlin WWX in the flashbacks in Cloud Recesses, and thought he was like that for the entire series. Even that baffles me, though, because I thought XZ really did an excellent job of getting across the sense of him just being a kid. He might have gotten a bit annoying at times, but that’s not bad acting; that’s the **character*. And he’s a actually a hell of a lot more charming to me than Book!WWX.
And for someone to conclude that the first few eps were full of bad acting just because WWX was being a gremlin, would mean they skipped that gutting intro with the cliff, and all his clever thoughts – and then, of course, skipped the rest of the series. There’s a reason (or a thousand) why he skyrocketed to the position of being my favourite actor now, with The Untamed now being my favourite show.
As for Wang Yibo, to those who call his acting “wooden”, I have to wonder if they know what a tsundere is, and what microexpressions are. I don’t know how anyone could see LWJ’s soft looks /sweet cat-blinks at WWX (or his fury in, for example, the early library scenes), or watch the scene where he looked at WWX after watching XXC and SL leave, and seemed like he had a thousand things he wanted to say to WWX in that moment, and call any of that “wooden”.
I think the most consistently fun way to do mdzs modern AUs is to wildly diversify WHY everyone is in the present. Like, some people got reincarnated, some people cultivated to immortality, some people are actually modern, somebody fell on a time travel array, somebody’s just a god now. I cannot think of any wangxian fish out of water meet cute premise where one of them is from the modern day and the other has been suddenly transported from ancient wizard times that would not be improved by interrupting the plot to run into Jiang Cheng, who has simply been alive the entire time, at the grocery store.
the juniors all cultivated to immortality, because they’re obviously the only ones with, like, empathy and common sense (ish) and good mental health, and now their parents are being reincarnated and it’s a whole mess
#song lan is a noted cryptid #wen ning accidentally became a god at some point
Jin Ling is just a crotchety immortal who wants all these
kidsuncles off his lawn
Premise where a normal fic plot is happening but it’s only going smoothly because the junior squad are on its B side furiously putting out political fires and thwarting attempted assassinations. The romantic leads do not notice.
Sizhui smiling benignly as he forces down the wrist of a minor clan member with a spiritually charged machine gun: Sir that is my infant father and it would be rude of you to ruin his day.random malcontent: …Are you trying to say baby daddy?
Sizhui: I am ABSOLUTELY NOT Jingyi was right I should have let him take this one
Jin Ling, in the sprawling manor house/old dog sanctuary on the tallest mountain of the small island nation that he more or less owns, because Jins know how to invest: I’m not complaining. I’m just saying, you guys have all found at least one or two close relatives - Jingyi’s parents were around last century, Zizhen’s third little sister has reincarnated twice, Sizhui’s got Wei Wuxian and La Wangji at the same time, making stupid eyes at each other from across the high school classroom! - but I never even got to meet my parents the first time, and now they keep not being born!
Jingyi: It’ll happen, and you’ll see them. Remember, Baoshan said souls tend to reincarnate near living souls they already know.
Jin Ling: Baoshan is, like, four centuries older than we are; why do you still think she knows everything
Jingyi: Because she definitely does?
Zizhen: I believe it. It’s the universe’s way of being kind to immortals.
Sizhui: Wei Wuxian is your uncle, too - you’re welcome to drop by the school some day and see him. I’ll sign you in.
Jin Ling: Ugh, fly to San Francisco just to watch him and Lan Wangji stare at each other? Pass.
Jingyi: Well don’t just mope about it. You’re insufferable when you mope. Remember the 1500s?
Jin Ling: *sits up straighter, eliciting a small mutter from the napping dog he’s definitely been petting this whole time* Oh I was the one “moping” in the 1500s - what about you, after that woman -
[from outside: the stopping-skid of a dirt bike; a teenage voice shouting, “I’m here, Mr. Jin! You need to fix the fucking path; that tree root nearly killed me again! I’m going to go feed the dogs!”
“The gardeners clipped everything last week, you brat!” Jin Ling hollers back in the direction of the window, without missing a beat. “Try watching where you’re going! And don’t miss Luffy, she’s been hiding by the pond again!”
“Duh!” the teenage girl shouts back, more distant with the sound of feet running around the house.]
Sizhui: who was that?
Jin Ling: *leaning back again* Oh, just the kid who comes up a couple times a week to yell at me for no reason and pet all the dogs while pretending to do work. I pay her or something.
Jin Ling: …no. No, absoLUTELY not!
Jingyi: It is! It so is!
Jin Ling: You think I wouldn’t recognize -
Zizhen, the only one of them who’s really dedicated time to honing the ability to examine and recognize living souls: *wanders over to the window and peers out at the girl now lifting an elderly malamute in her arms and nuzzling its belly* Yeah that is 100% your jiujiu.
#did sizhui get a job inconspicuously teaching math in his reincarnated dads’ high school so he can keep an eye on them? MAYBE #does he feel a little bad in a stalker way? SURE #but he’s doing it anyway!! [wei ying] is still very add and [lan zhan] is still very quietly autistic and they’re good kids brent and he #loves them! and also all his other students! he totally teaches band too! #ironically neither of them is in band! #he likes it anyway!
#meanwhile [wen qing] is in like her…mid 20s to late 30s and a leader in some notable protest movement #and wen ning maybe impulsively dropped out of heaven to save her life and then had to pretend to be a normal modern human #instead of some sort of undead god of abandoned and forgotten things #and now they’re playing out every single beat of a ‘the old love of an immortal gets reincarnated and now they’re gonna fall in love again’ #plot - but like. she’s his beloved older sister.
The webzine I work for, Sequential Tart, is going to be doing several months’ worth of articles on The Untamed, releasing one (tentatively) every two weeks. I’ll reblog this whenever we post a new article. (I’ll be doing several myself.)
- “The Untamed: Five Reasons to Watch”, by @suzettechan - a spoiler-free list of reasons why you should watch.
- “This Tart is an Untamed Fan, Part One: Let’s Get Cultivating!“, by @wolfenm (me) - my very mildly spoilery run-down of my experiences with the franchise so far, and why I love it.4. “This Tart Is an Untamed Fan — Part Two: Wangxian: Show Versus Novel, and In General”, by me, @wolfenm. (If you love the novel, you may want to skip down that page to the “in general” part, where I talk about the boys’ relationship as being one of yin and yang.)
5. “The Untamed: Four Ways Wei Wuxian Is a Rebel and One Way He Is Not”, by @suzettechan - title says it all, really. :)
6. “This Tart is an Untamed Fan, Part Three: Wangxian Under a Microscope, Part One”, by me, @wolfenm - first of a multi-part subseries exploring how LWG and WWX fell in love over the course of the show.
7. “This Tart is an Untamed Fan — Part Four: Wangxian Under a Microscope, Part Two (Plus a Word on Dubbing)”, by me, @wolfenm (This installment covers the library scenes.)
9. “This Tart is an Untamed Fan — Part 5: Wangxian Under the Microscope: Part 3”, by me, @wolfenm (This installment covers the Water Ghost night hunt at Biling Lake.)
10. “This Tart is an Untamed Fan — Part 6: Wangxian Under the Microscope: Part 4“, by me, @wolfenm (Covers the illegal drinking and subsequent punishment.)
11. “This Tart is an Untamed Fan — Part 7: Wangxian Under the Microscope: Part 5" by me, @wolfenm (Covers the Cold Spring and Cold Pond Cave scenes.)
12 “This Tart is an Untamed Fan – Part 8: Wangxian Under the Microscope: Part 6“, by me, @wolfenm (Covers WWX & LWJ telling LXC & LQR about the Cold Cave; the lantern scenes; the fight with JZX; and the punishment.)
I swear it’s just a happy accident that this latest installment has been released on Xiao Zhan’s birthday ….
13. “This Tart is an Untamed Fan — Part 9: Wangxian Under the Microscope: Part 7, and Another Interlude”, by me, @wolfenm (covers the Fengmian’s arrival in the Cloud Recesses, and Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji starting their quest for more Yin Iron.)
14. “This Tart is an Untamed Fan — Part 10: Wangxian Under the Microscope: Part 8“, by me, @wolfenm (covers when LWJ & WWX encounter NHS in Tanzhou, up tp when they get trapped in the temple at Dafan Mountain).
I am always on some level thinking about Lan Sizhui’s trauma, and this was only compounded for me on this rewatch, because I’d forgotten just how absolutely abysmal Wei Wuxian’s mental health is during the burial mounds farming commune stretch of the show. Just extraordinary emotionally volatile, prone to angry outbursts, and with the capacity to drop from soaring enthusiasm to plunging despair at the drop of a hat. And they’re all living in such close quarters that his erratic moods and unacknowledged trauma that he’s stewing in just kind of spills over into the overall environment.
And certainly Wei Wuxian is great with a-Yuan, and is a positive influence for him in many ways! But none of them are living in an optimal environment - they’re struggling to get by, and frequently short on food - and Wei Wuxian in particular has an entire festering host of Issues that the current situation is only exacerbating. He’s living in a place that traumatized him, and to some extent he feels trapped there - he chose to help the Wens, but now that he’s made that decision, there’s no going back, and he explicitly knows he has no other options at this point. He misses his family and Lan Zhan. He’s practicing a brand of magic that is wreaking havoc on his temperament and eating him from the inside, and he’s gone through a voluntary but nonetheless pretty traumatizing kind of body modification. He can’t be expected to function at his best, or do as right by the people in his life as he could if he were in a healthier place.
So of course a-Yuan is affected by this! He can tell that one of his favourite people is frequently stressed, that his moods are easily ruined by little interferences, and that he’s sad for reasons that are hard for a little kid to comprehend. a-Yuan gets yelled at for uprooting a lotus plant by accident - and sees Wei Wuxian, rather than try to replant it, declare the venture hopeless (you have to be careful what you do, all the time, because he’s always hovering over a pit of despair and any little thing could flip the switch!). a-Yuan witnesses Wei Wuxian become physically violent towards Wen Ning after the JZX stabbing fiasco. For most of that outburst, a-Yuan is crying in the background after getting a truly terrifying glare from Wei Wuxian.
Sharing an environment with someone who does not have access to the kind of coping mechanisms they need - and compounded with the fact that a-Yuan has already gone through a considerable amount of trauma due to being a war crime survivor at an incredibly young age - is it really any wonder that teen Sizhui has so many people pleasing impulses? Is so accommodating and acquiescent and pacifying, so inclined to mediate and de-escalate? I see people saying that it’s a wonder that Sizhui turned out so well compared to everyone else, but imo the way he turned out makes complete sense, and I don’t think that his interpersonal behaviour is entirely healthy either.
For me, what exemplifies it the most is this little exchange when they’re at the restaurant with Lan Wangji:
Wei Wuxian gets upset when the topic of Jin Zixuan comes up and slams his jug on the table in a sudden burst of anger; a-Yuan reaches out and gently puts his hand on his arm. It’s a very sweet gesture, but in in the context of everything else, there’s also something unnerving about it to me, in the sense that this toddler really seems to have internalized that it’s his responsibility to manage the emotions of his caregiver.
Aaaand what do we seem him do, in episode 2, as a teenager? Once again feeling responsible for managing the emotions of people older than he is; jumping in to bail Lan Wangji out of his extremely petty vow of silence by engaging in diplomacy for him and defusing a conflict based on a grudge that he doesn’t have the context for.
And I think that his relationship with Lan Wangji also compounded these same issues for him. When Lan Wangji comes out of seclusion and starts being a major figure in Sizhui’s life, he’s still pretty freshly grieving. Sizhui is likely one of the few bright spots in his life, and I’m betting Sizhui picked up on that, if perhaps only subconsciously, and developed a deeply protective impulse towards Hanguang-jun. Once again, feeling responsible for managing an adult caregiver’s mood. And again, of course Lan Wangji had plenty of positive impacts on Sizhui, and was overall a force for good in his life. But both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji have their own baggage that they’re not super great at coping with, and that has an unavoidable impact on Sizhui’s development as well.
Hi, thanks for the question! (Image via)
For all my own posts, please see my China tag (that’s the tag I use for my original posts). For navigation via tags, my Tags page has links to common & useful tags on my blog. I’ll be updating the Tags page and this Masterpost as needed ^^.
Masterpost of Ziseviolet’s Replies, Part 1 (Part 2 here):
- What is Hanfu?
- Guide to the different types of Hanfu
- Hanfu names
- My favorite Hanfu style - Part 2
- Top 10 most popular Hanfu styles of 2018
- Unisex Hanfu
- Formal Hanfu
- Difference between Ru & Shan
- Banbi (half-sleeve jacket)
- Bijia (sleeveless jacket)
- Zhaojia (men’s Bijia)
- Difference between Bijia & Banbi
- Daxiushan (large-sleeve robe) - Pt 2, Pt 3
- Yuanlingpao (round-collar robe) - Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3
- Difference b/w Tang & Ming Yuanlingpao
- Hezi (chest undergarment accessory)
- Weichang (short outer skirt)
- Doupeng (cloak/cape)
- Parallel/straight collars
- U-collars (Tanling)
- Aoqun & Pipa Xiu (pipa sleeves)
- Jian Xiu (arrow sleeves)
- Winter Hanfu - Part 1, Part 2
- Casual/adventurer type Hanfu (Shuhe)
- Hanfu sleepwear
- Mourning Hanfu (Sangfu)
- Burial Hanfu (Shouyi)
- Waist-high Ruqun from Wei/Jin dynasties
- Identifying Hanfu in a photoset
- Chinese armor
- Did Hanfu exist after the Han dynasty
- Comparison/charts of Hanfu from different dynasties
- “Left-over-right” rule of crossed-collar Hanfu - Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4
- Children’s Hanfu - Part 1, Part 2
- Commoner’s Hanfu - Part 2
- Poor people’s Hanfu
- Hanfu and cleavage - Part 2
- Han dynasty Ruqun & footwear
- Three Kingdoms period Hanfu
- Northern & Southern dynasties Hanfu
- What Mulan would’ve worn
- Tang dynasty emperor’s Hanfu
- Was Daxiushan restricted to royal ladies
- Song dynasty Hanfu styles
- Ming dynasty skirts
- Ming dynasty summer Hanfu
- Yuan/Qing dynasty Hanfu - Part 1, Part 2
- Symbolism of Orange-Red and Turquoise color combination
- Hanfu for empress/noblewoman
- Differences b/w contemporary & historical Hanfu
- Books & magazines on Hanfu - Pt 2, Pt 3
- Wedding Hanfu recs
- Pictures of wedding Hanfu
- Wedding Hanfu accessories
- Manchurian vs Han wedding attire
- Incorporating Hanfu styles in a modern way
- Combining Hanfu & modern styles
- Modified Hanfu shops recs - Pt 2
- Men’s modified Hanfu shops recs
- Websites that sell modernized Hanfu
- Where to buy modernized Hanfu
- Modified Hanfu shops in the West
- Identifying Chi Xia’s modernized Hanfu
- Pibo (long scarf) - Part 2
- Tuanshan (rigid fan) - Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4
- Jinbu (waist ornament) - Part 2
- Hebao (purse) - Part 2
- My tag for Chinese hats/headgear
- Weimao (veiled hat) - Part 1, Part 2
- Tiger hats
- Douli (conical hat)
- Yingluo & Xiangquan (necklaces) - Pt 2
- Traditional Chinese earrings
- Meaning & History of Jade
- Bangshoudai (hand wraps) & Huwan (wrist guards) - Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4
- Panbo (strings to tie up sleeves)
- Miansha & Mianlian (Veils) - Part 2
- Nail guards - Part 2
- Hanfu Shoes
- Hu Ban (ritual tablet)
Hanfu Hair Accessories:
- Names of Chinese hair ornaments
- Shop recs for hair accessories
- Hanfu hair accessories
- Fabric flower hairpins for Hanfu
- Ronghua (velvet flowers) - buy & make
- Hair accessories for fine hair
- Phoenix crowns (Fengguan)
- Lotus crowns
- Miao silver hair accessories - Pt 1, Pt 2
- Huasheng (forehead ornament)
- Hairpin styling question
- My tag for Chinese hats/headgear
- Hanfu hairstyle tutorials
- Traditional hairstyles
- My favorite hairstyle
- Pre coming-of-age ceremony hairstyles for Han girls
- Looped hairstyles in “The Empress of China”
- Tang dynasty pinned peony hairstyle
- Ming dynasty hairstyles
- Dynasty with long loose hairstyle
- Short hair and Hanfu
- Simple hairstyles for shoulder-length hair
- Huadian (forehead decoration) - Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4, Pt 5
- Did men wear Huadian
- Traditional Chinese makeup ingredients
- Tang dynasty lip makeup
- What makeup is used to replicate traditional makeup styles
- Hanfu styles for men
- Men’s formal Hanfu
- Types of men’s Hanfu
- Pictures of men’s Hanfu
- Dachang (open-fronted robe)
- Zhiduo vs Daopao
- Yichang vs Yesa/Yisan
- Men’s Hanfu blog recs
- Historical hairstyles for men
- Men’s hair accessories
- Where to buy Xiao Guan
- Men’s hairstyles & Guan
- Guan (headdress) - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- Guan & Mianguan
- How bald men put up hair with a Guan
- Fangjin (four-cornered flat cap)
- Hanfu undergarments guide - Pt 2, Pt 3
- Children’s Hanfu undergarments
- Hanfu petticoats - Part 1, Part 2
- Emperor’s undergarment for Mianfu
- Dudou (chest undergarment)
- Lower body Neiyi (underwear)
- Zhongyi & Neiyi
- Tutorials on wearing Hanfu
- How to put together a Hanfu outfit
- Mixing hanfu from different dynasties
- Plus-sized Hanfu - Part 1, Part 2
- Girl wearing men’s Hanfu
- Wearing Hanfu made for a gender you are not part of
- Chest-high Ruqun for big-chested figures
- Chest-high Ruqun skirt slippage
- Is Hanfu hard to wear/sew
- Is Hanfu comfortable to wear
- Are chest-high styles restrictive for the chest - Part 1, Part 2
- Hanfu renting/dressing up
- Photo studios for renting Hanfu and taking pictures in Shanghai
- Do people in China still wear Hanfu - Pt 2
- Events in present-day China where people wear Hanfu
- Resources for sewing Hanfu - Pt 1, Pt 2
- Hanfu sewing patterns - Pt 1, Pt 2
- Buying Hanfu sewing patterns
- Making Hanfu by hand - Part 2
- Making Chest-high Ruqun
- Making Hanfu with patterned cloth
- Using shiny brocade fabric
- Young people learning to sew Hanfu
- My recs for places to buy Hanfu - Part 2
- Where to buy Hanfu & Chinese hair accessories - Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3
- How to buy Hanfu on Taobao
- International shipping on Taobao
- Using a Taobao agent
- Posts with links to where to buy Hanfu
- Recs for non-Taobao Hanfu shops
- Buying Hanfu in US/Washington DC
- Hanfu shops in Shanghai
- Where to buy Hanfu in Hong Kong
- Hanfu shops in Singapore
- Recs for colorful & flowy Hanfu
- How to search for large-sleeved crossed-collar Ruqun on Taobao
- Taobao shops that regularly carry larger sizes for men’s Hanfu
- Shops that sell Hanfu w/natural fabrics
- Where to find Hanfu for pageants
- Hanfu from Aliexpress with right side over left
- Hanfu brand Qinghuige’s Taobao page
- Where to buy crane-print skirts
- Where to commission high-quality screen-accurate Hanfu
- How to find Hanfu for BJDs
Hanfu in films/dramas/animations:
- Hanfu in television dramas
- Hanfu in “The Empress of China"
- Hanfu in “Eternal Love"
- Hanfu in “The Rise of Phoenixes” - Pt 2
- Hanfu in “Consort Meng Arrives” - Part 1, Part 2
- Identifying actresses in Huadian compilation
- Recs for historically/stylistically accurate Chinese drama
- Accuracy of Hanfu in “Mulan”
- Is Mulan wearing Waist-high Ruqun
- Inspiraton for designing Mulan costumes
- Hanfu in “Mo Dao Zu Shi” - Part 2
- Where to buy clothing similar to that from “The Untamed”
- Have I watched “The King’s Woman”
Hanfu Revival Movement:
- What direction I think the Hanfu Movement will take
- The motivations for the Hanfu Movement
- How I feel about the inconsistency of the Hanfu Movement
Comparison with Kimono and Hanbok:
What did commoners wear in ancient China?
Hi, thanks for the question! Keep in mind that fashion in ancient China changed over time, so every time period/dynasty’s clothing style differed a little.
The following info is from an online fashion encyclopedia (unfortunately, the original link no longer works):
In general, for all time periods of ancient China:
- The basic garment for all classes and sexes was a loosely cut robe with sleeves that varied from wide to narrow, worn with the left front panel lapped over the right panel, the whole garment fastened closed with a sash. Sometimes worn with a coat/jacket.
- Commoners wore a shorter version of the robe—thigh-length or knee-length—with trousers or leggings, or a skirt. The upper class wore their clothes long (ankle-length), often with wide, dangling sleeves. Both men and women wore skirts and trousers.
- Men’s clothing was often made in solid, dark colors, except for clothing worn at court, which was often brightly ornamented with woven, dyed, or embroidered patterns. Women’s clothing was generally more colorful than men’s.
- All adults had long hair put up in a bun or topknot, and for men, some kind of hat or other headgear.
If you want to learn more, I highly recommend reading the book Chinese Clothing by Hua Mei, which goes into great detail, dynasty by dynasty, on Chinese fashion over time.
All the illustrations above are from 100 Portraits of Chinese Historical Customs. Please check it out for more amazing depictions of ordinary life in ancient China!
You can also check out my commoners hanfu tag for more resources. Hope this was helpful! :)
Jingyi, having grown up with this, thinks this is how friendship works and thus acts the same to Jin Ling. However, Jin Ling thinks he’s being babied and they fight.
Things Sizhui has Absolutely Done over the course of growing up with Jingyi:
Sizhui just picking up Jingyi’s chicken with his own chopsticks and putting it in Jingyi’s mouth after Jingyi drops it in shock which Sizhui is also experiencing is such a hilarious characterization moment… Sizhui confirmed for ultimate mother hen… not even Hanguang Jun carrying booze up to his room can stop Sizhui from fussing over his best friend like a single parent with a messy toddler.
- Licked his thumb to wipe dirt off of Jingyi’s face.
- Told Jingyi to chew with his mouth closed.
- Picked up a napkin to wipe off Jingyi’s face after a meal.
- Started brushing off and readjusting the folds in Jingyi’s clothes before a meeting with one of the Clan Masters (while gently but firmly lecturing him about not making a scene).
- Had to restrain himself so hard from readjusting Jingyi’s headband despite having grown up with the taboo himself, because it’s crooked and Jingyi is only making it worse.
- Pulled out his sword for Jingyi to use as a mirror in the above situation because it’s honestly making him twitchy.
- Caved one (1) time and actually just fixed the goddamn headband himself. Jingyi hasn’t let him live it down.
- Played Jingyi a lullaby to help him fall asleep.
- Almost single-handedly nursed a sick Jingyi back to health after panic-reading everything the library pavilion has on healing and teaching himself how to make soup.
Ouyang Zizhen is happily letting Lan Sizhui readjust his robes and pat his head, while Jin Ling and Lan Jingyi argue in the background
*Pinches the bridge of her nose.* People, “everyday” is an adjective alone, telling what kind of a thing something ELSE is. “It’s an everyday outfit – there’s nothing special about it.” If you want the adjective-noun combo that tells WHEN something happens, you want to use “every day”, WITH A SPACE. “Every day, I wake up with existential dread.” I have seen the wrong version being used SO OFTEN lately, and it’s driving me nuts! LOL
Posting this on this blog because of all the people I’ve seen in the TU/CQL/MDZS fandom lately using the damn “Everyday is everyday” quote from Mo Dao Zu Shi. Yes, I understand that English is not everyone’s first language – honestly, not every person who speaks English as a first language gets it, either. But that’s why this post exists: to teach people that “everyday” and “every day” DO NOT MEAN THE SAME THING!! LOL
LAN WANGJI IS NOT SAYING “ORDINARY is ORDINARY”!!!
FOR THE LOVE OF WANGXIAN, USE A FRELLING SPACE!!! *SCREAMS INTO A PILLOW*
“Every day is every day.” < THIS WAY!!! PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU ALL!!! LOL
NOW HOLD ON A SECOND
what does it mean, what does it all mean
Okay the three sentences in Chinese are not similar at all. The three “delicate”s used are all different. They are, respectively from JFM to WWX to JC: 脆弱，娇气，金贵. They’re synonyms to a degree but are not necessarily interchangeable.
More explanation to come in 6-8 hours after I sleep a lil.
JFM: the context of this scene is Jiang Yanli stuffing a bunch of packed food and things for her brothers to take on their trip to Qishan. JFM eventually told her to stop and said the disciples of Yunmengs are not so “cuiruo” 脆弱 that they can’t withstand a little “fenglang” 风浪 from the outside. First, “feng’lang” literally means wind and wave, and it is used to describe hardship, trouble, danger etc. “Cui’ruo” 脆弱 means fragile, as “cui” means brittle and “ruo” means weak. Of the three “delicates” it carries the least negative connotation. A personal can be emotionally “cuiruo” fragile and/or physically “cuiruo” fragile. Of the three, “cuiruo” is probably the most matter-of-fact term. It’s a quality of a person, kind of like… well I’m good at music and he’s good at sports.
What JFM is trying to say, if I were to translate that scene, is: “The disciples of Yunmeng Jiang are not so weak that we cannot withstand pressure from external forces.”
WWX: now, the term wwx uses is “jiaoqi” 娇气. The closest thing in English that I can think of that would both fit the definition and the context of his use of this word is “prissy”. So in the scene, LWJ is saying to WWX because of WWX’s wounds, he shouldn’t get into the water (probably for infection control purposes). And WWX makes a face and replies “I’m not so ‘jiaoqi’. Rather, it’s you - the medication Wen Ning gave you, how is it?” The term ‘jiaoqi’ is most of the time used for girls who are kind of…princess-y, the kind that is very proper, won’t ever get messy, and who doesn’t like to do anything physical. It can however, also be used for boys. Nie Huaisang’s behaviour during their night hunt in the early episodes could be described as a little “jiaoqi”. He’s certainly “jiaoqi”-er than his brother NMJ. A classic display of “jiaoqi” is like… some kid trips and scrapes their knee a little bit and makes a huuuge fuss over nothing.
JC: So the last “delicate”, “jingui” 金贵 is the word that can be used positively or negatively. It’s literal meaning is “precious” or “expensive”. jin = gold, gui = expensive. When used to describe items, it typically takes on it’s normal surface level meaning, that being precious, expensive, rare etc. When used to describe people, that’s when the meaning can get murky. Sometimes, “jingui” is used positively/unironically to talk about someone of prestige and importance. For example, a servant, upon hearing their beloved young master had to spend a week out roughing it in the woods could probably say something like, “ ‘Jingui’ as our young master, how horrible to think he had to spend a week alone in the woods! That’s ghastly!” In this case, the servants do mean well: their young master is someone who is important and also probably someone who’s never had to endure much discomfort because of his noble birth. People who are unironically called “jingui” are probably nobility, royalty etc, and are typically given more respect in society. Sometimes, ‘jingui’ can used as an insult. For example, one maid might complain that the rice was cooked too hard or that her chores are too difficult, and another maid might say to her, “Wow, you’re so ‘jingui’.” (Like: wow, fucking get over yourself.)
For Jiang Cheng, it’s probably the most heartbreaking of the three “delicates”. Because he had said, “You promised me when I become head of the family, you’d be my subordinate.” And WWX replied, “I’m sorry, I broke my word.” And Jiang Cheng chuckles a little bitterly and says, “Things being as they are, how ‘jingui’ a person must I be, to still need you to apologize to me?” Meaning: I’m not so “jingui” that I still need you apologize. He’s almost saying that he’s not so important that he has to actually hear WWX’s apology, especially since WWX already gave him his core.
So that’s the difference between the three scenes. I honestly don’t think it’s connected, but to each their own.
Those racers probably hate both being beaten by an idol but also having to deal with an audience of young girls that you’d normally find on a boyband concert or a dancing competition or a mushy romance show - basically stuff that oh-so-macho athletes think they’re way above. I know I’m projecting here, but if some of these guys are anything like tons of male athletes I’ve met they were probably fuming with rage. Just me venting my thoughts
some cmtjjs were saying they were being mocked for crying when yibo hit the ground so i dont doubt theres some level of resentment for these huge crowds of girls who normally wouldnt be at a race track if it wasn’t for yibo
I never watched The Untamed (aka 魔道祖师/陈情令 as some of you may know) nor read the novel, but it really hurts whenever I see a relevant post on Tumblr, Twitter or any other platform, written in English or another language I cannot comprehend, how you can tell the ops are always so enthusiastic and passionate, and how you can just feel even on the other side of the screen that there is something amazing and ineffable in this kind of communication, how it feels, as a fellow Chinese (a still largely conservative and misogynistic country under a hyper-conservative regime), not only having a Chinese work that is well-known and loved by people around the world but more importantly a work that depicts homosexual relationships and is written by a young woman.
Had it not been for the fact that we still hear nothing from the author and it’s been nearly a year and a half since she just disappeared.
For those of you who don’t know the context: Publishing materials depicting homosexual (mostly m/m) relationships (better known as ‘yaoi’) with sexual depiction is almost never legal in China. There was a time when the government was relatively relaxed with this kind of things, and LGBTQ+ themes even made their way to the cinemas (Peony Pavillion, Lan Yu, Farewell My Mistress, to list but a few). And then there came another decade or so, when they had to be published ‘discreetly’, when authors publish zines and books through individual ‘unofficial’ studios (because the censorship process for official publishing makes it an impossibility).
By the time of 2012 they were common practices, meaning everyone publishing and purchasing knew that it was technically illegal, but given the increasing popularity of this practice (and the seeming acquiescence from the government), the hope of us eventually emerging into daylight was high.
Even as the political atmosphere became increasingly draconic, none of us really paid attention, just continued on writing, reading, and publishing, because we were just a small sub-group that belonged to a generation of pop-culture fans, and we did no one harm.
Until the end of the year 2017.
When the news of the police breaking into a comic-con and arresting an author right from her stall surfaced on the Internet, when it was reported by the government’s official newspapers as (roughly) ‘a serious criminal case that the police had finally resolved in joint effort, arresting all involved’ (it is hard to deliver the nuance in translation, but basically you only see the same phrasing for drug cartels), the Internet went raving. It happened that the author, 深海先生, was reported by another individual with whom she once had an online argument with. The publishers and several who worked in the publishing studios were also arrested.
I remember the nights I spent sleepless looking at her social network account. I never knew nor read her works, but seeing a young woman at your age, with a normal and law-abiding family, a kind and upright personality, a promising future, and so, so much love and passion and talent for creating beautiful stories, just got her life ruined over personal feud, all for doing something that harms no one, it was enough to break anyone’s heart.
Many people back then had said that this whistleblower just ‘opened the Pandora’s Box’, and they were not wrong. Can you imagine how all those individual publishing studios disappeared almost overnight? Can you imagine how many books just like The Untamed were waiting to be published and read and loved but never had the chance anymore?
It turned out that the Pandora Box analogy was more than accurate. For those of you who live in a democratic country and can’t imagine how this whole whistleblowing works: imagine you’re back in nursery or elementary school, with an extremely draconic and paranoid teacher who just needs to be in control of everything, they told everyone in the class from day 1, that anyone who brought sweets to class should be reported and their sweets confiscated, partly rewarded to the one who reported the incident to the teacher. Even if they know that everyone brings some sweets. How will it turn out? It doesn’t take long for the whistle-blowing to be in full bloom. You may be afraid, you may not trust anyone else. But most importantly, anyone can inflict harm upon anyone for the pettiest reasons precisely because everyone is guilty.
Now imagine in this case, you’re not facing a nursery teacher but a government that can and will ruin your life (and the stigma of a criminal record, following esp. a woman, in an ultra-conservative society) just because you wrote about same-sex love and had no legal way to get through the censorship so had to resort to underground publishing which everyone thought would have get better just a few years ago.
You start to see groups dedicated to teaching homophobic groups how to report m/m romance authors to ‘give them a few years behind bars and ruin their entire life’. You start to see readers threatening to ‘throw the author into jail’ and actually proceeding to do so because ‘I don’t like her work and she is breaking the law anyway’. You even start to see authors reporting on each other out of jealousy.
Another even worse effect of this kind of intimidation is that it absolutely destroyed whatever trust that should have been between individuals. We can leave discussion of Chinese civil society to another day, but let it suffice to say, from my personal experience, that it prevented us from standing up for each other. Many of us harbour the selfish thought that as long as we didn’t speak up for the arrested and didn’t ‘get involved’, the legal enforcement was going to take their sacrificial victim and be satisfied and leave us alone. Even worse, even if we did want to speak up, there still was the possibility that the arrested author would get punished even more severely. It was a kind of mindset the government wants to put into your mind - if you make a fuss, you will harm her even more.
So after some time had passed, we were getting used to the new norm, which, hopefully, wasn’t too different from before - no more mainland publishing studios, yes; arrest not common but now a substantial possibility, yes; the author arrested was later reported to have suffered severe mental breakdowns over the period of detention (and imagine which of us won’t, being in her position, for several years now?), yes; but the writing went on.
It went on for just long enough that some of us were starting to forget about the previous one, when another author, 天一, was arrested in 2018.
She was sentenced to 10 years in prison (her appeal recently defeated and this became the final ruling), in a country where homicide and murder (especially that of women, inflicted by men) typically gets only 5 or even less.
I am expecting possible refutations in the comment section such as that ‘she writes pedophilic stories (one of her protagonist being 17) it’s COMPLICATED!’ ‘It’s not about ALL yaoi writers!’
But she was not charged for that. The judge was ‘shocked by the obscenity and abomination’ in her writings, hence the sentence, but whether it was more because of the homosexual nature, or the fact that the protagonist is 17, I’ll leave it to you to contemplate. She was charged for writing and publishing because it was illegal. The homosexuality (and her being a woman) only made it worse, of course.
Unsurprisingly, there was also a whistle-blower.
By the year 2019, in just less than 2 year’s time, most of us were used to the new-norm. To some of us, the new-norm meant that writing and publishing yaoi could really risk arrest, that writing and publishing smut material involves much hassle because we need to find a place (oftentimes AO3 or other overseas sites that required vpn) to put them and not get noticed by the algorithm.
To some others, it meant the knowledge that you could now threaten anyone you don’t like with a similar fate as 深海先生 and 天一, and there is actually a promising chance of you succeeding, especially if you get the noises up.
Now back to the author of 魔道祖师, 墨香铜臭Mo Xiang Tong Xiu was once acclaimed as a rising-star of Chinese yaoi writing back when 人渣反派自救系统 came out. What many of non-Chinese readers do not know or do not see on a regular basis, perhaps, is how much hate her fame entails. There were, of course, dubious issues regarding her handling of certain materials in her stories, but we can leave that, too, to another day. What goes without saying is that the immense group of haters also consisted of, as I mentioned above, hard-line homophobes and their large following, haters who simply ‘don’t like her work and her noisy fans’, or, at times, fellow authors, out of jealousy. (She was a common target in a forum dedicated to web-novel authors discussing writing techniques and stuff, and the words they use are the ones I won’t use on my worst enemy.)
Well, we think, with the huge success that is The Untamed 魔道祖师, which already had anime, live action drama, and Blessing of Heaven’s Officials 天官赐福’s animal adaptation in the line, Mo Xiang Tong Xiu must be the safest author within the circle. And she may well be, despite the fact that her publisher (a Chinese web-novel site called JinJiang, which has become notorious for exploiting authors to the very extreme), actually claimed full ownership of the author’s writing, the author’s pen-name, so that authors who signed contract essentially have NO say over their OWN works and adaptations and one can only speculate on the division of incomes.
Oh, did I mention that she just left a post asking people ‘not to worry’ and just disappear since May, 2019, with many of her haters celebrating her alleged arrest at the time, claiming with pride that ‘months after months of collective reporting to the police has finally yielded fruit’?
Of course we don’t know if she is indeed under arrest. Best case scenario, she is safe and sound and may be back any time, and you can all dismiss this post as paranoid rambling, which I anticipate will be torn to shreds by some of my fellow Chinese once they stumble upon this for ‘bad-mouthing our beloved country and giving Chinese pop-culture a bad name’.
Worst case scenario, I might have just harmed her unintentionally and irretrievably by writing this very post, and I’d be a bitch just like those haters who seem fixed on ruining her life, because the legal system here don’t like fingerpointing, especially don’t like letting ‘foreigners’ know about what they’ve got behind closed doors.
But it is really painful, thinking of what have been happening these past few years and not being able to speak up, or speaking up and having to face severe backlashes because most people take a utilitarianist approach and decide it’s best to be silent. It is painful seeing that what used to be a solidarity of (dominantly female) writers and readers now turn on each other, some are full of distrust, some write with fear, some blinded by petty hatred and the addictive, empowering feeling that they can ruin a person’s life for good if they try. Some are afraid, some are cynical, some are hopeful, some are still fighting. But what’s the same is that we are all vulnerable now, to a kind of mistrust and hatred, to fear, and, perhaps less conspicuously, to a kind of cynicism that is simply contradictory to what we claim to celebrate - the right to love and love freely.
It is painful because it makes all the celebration of love and sexual liberation almost meaningless, if we so easily make peace with the fact that several innocent young women are suffering at this moment simply for doing what we love doing, for creating the things we love reading.
It is painful because, no matter how beautiful a story The Untamed and the like is, and how many people’s heart it has indeed reached, how widely an audience, French-speaking, English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, German, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese-speaking, it has, there are actual suffering that lies so close to it and cannot be dismissed from the picture as irrelevant.
Stories are human creations, and their beauty lies in their ability to connect our hearts, across cultures, borders, languages, ethnicities, even just for a moment. But now, if we have to turn our eyes away from the sufferings that contextualizes the creation of such stories, if we allow our hearts to be touched by the story itself but not by what happens around it, then what will such stories become?