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Intro Post

  This was originally a fic index, but it was horribly out of date and I knew it was never, ever going to get updated. So now it's an intro post! I'd have just deleted it but there are comments and I can't bear to delete conversations, ever. So, use this space to introduce yourself. Let me know why you're here, how you found me, what in particular made you decide to friend/watch me. You know, that sort of thing. Or, if you have any questions or just want to chat, well, that works too.

Ni na la fa la la

So I was thinking about Ichabod's speech patterns and how likely it would be for her to use the phrase "oh sweet Jesus kid" and I ended up thinking about Merrow language.

I've already established that Merrow language is very non-verbal, but what if it's not verbal at all? Like they have the capacity for verbal language but because for the average Merrow ninety percent of their life is spent underwater and shark-shaped, their language would probably reflect that. So their language is almost entirely electric or possibly electromagnetic, and anything else sharks use for communication. What little verbal language they have is mostly adapted from humans.

When they do spend time on land, they just use the local human language(s). They also adapt their speech patterns from the locals, since translating a language that doesn't even have a concept of "words" that we would understand doesn't really work, and that includes oaths and swears- they have their own religions and deities that they swear by, but they can't easily put a human shape to them, so they just adopt human oaths (except for the very, very devout ones, who just swear in Merrow rather than swear by another's deity).

In short, since Ichabod doesn't have a way, in human parlance, of begging her deity of choice for patience, she'll just use the one the locals use.
So a few days ago I speculated about a Camp Camp/Dangan Ronpa au where Camp Campbell is a murder summer camp and Cameron Campbell will only allow the kids to leave if they can get away with murder (which is so in character for him that I'm a little worried), and it was scarily easy to adapt the Camp Cam cast to a Dangan Ronpa setting. The kids even have SHSL variants, with the different camps they thought they were signing up for!

On the flip side, Dangan Ronpa in a Camp Camp setting also works really well! The kids all sign up for various relevant-to-their-interests summer camps but then when they get to Camp Campbell they all turn out to be the same camp, run by a cheapskate teddy bear. It also works because it means a happy au where no one dies, except a gerbil, the squirrel king, and David's dignity. Just kidding, David never had any dignity to kill.

Anyway, my favorite part about Dangan Campa is that Gwen and David, as the Camp's counselors, are more than likely in on the murder game. These two are being paid to make small children murder each other.

Which I kinda like, actually. Gwen's only in it for the paycheck, but David is weirdly... enthusiastic. David, what's wrong with you don't do that

Oh Canada you are a land I must eschew

So I was thinking about how gatekeeping logic says that bi people experience homophobia for their attraction to their own gender, ignoring the amount of "het"phobia they experience in the queer community due to their attraction to another gender, and the whole "no, what they're experiencing is biphobia because they're bi" argument, and I thought of something.

One reason people attack trans women is because they perceive them as gay men, dressing as women to trick straight men into having sex with them. Their hostility is born from a fear of gay men. However, no one calls an attack on a trans woman homophobia, they call it what it is, which is transphobia and transmisogyny. Because that's what it is.

If the gatekeepers can understand the logic that "an attack on a trans woman based on her identity is transphobia", they should be able to grasp that "an attack on a bi person based on their identity is biphobia".

This is proof (as if we needed it) that gatekeeper logic is in fact bung.

Sep. 26th, 2016

Setting aside the issues of maintaining a reasonable population, I wonder if the people who say things like "let's have a world where there's no men at all, just women and nb people!" think that there won't be any oppressive power structures in this hypothetical world? Like even starting over and not having men ever, and again, setting aside questions of sustaining a population with it, do they think that without men that means all oppressive power structures would be gone?

Clever title or something idk

So like. I had a misunderstanding about wetsuits in the Shark Teens draft that Wolfy corrected me on, and I was thinking about how to deal with it, like whether to do a whole rewrite or see if there's anything I can do with it, and I realized that it's a really good way to introduce Terry-Marie's family to the story. I've been looking for an excuse and it's a great one!

Since Terry-Marie lives much closer to the cove than the boys do, then on noticing his obvious discomfort she offers to bring them round to the store and let him borrow something from the donations bin (her family runs a book store, and they also have a donations bin for clothing and food and other stuff that they take to the shelter on the mainland). That'll let me establish a little more about her family, and a little more about the kids too. (Such as that while Terry-Marie and Stasney aren't particularly close before the story, he has a very good relationship with both her father and her grandmother, due to frequenting the bookstore.)

But it was /my/ au

I want Cheery Littlebottom to have a son and name him Avery

Theme from Titanic

What he says: It’s just a show I should really just relax

What he means: Professor Bobo clearly held contempt for his culture; while his initial interactions with Mike were largely him looking down on humans (and the bots) as “unevolved”, it becomes apparent almost immediately that he believes ape culture to be less civilized than he says. He angrily chides Peanut for not using his title “Dr.” Peanut, and gets angry when Peanut begins indulging in “uncivilized” behavior, later even going so far as to set up a put-upon “cultured” display to reassure Mike and the bots that the apes are more civilized than them. Throughout the entirety of the Ape Planet arc Bobo consistently undermines the things that are important to his own culture, stressing their advancements, except in cases where Dr. Peanut talks him into joining- situations that usually end with a very angry Professor Bobo reminding them that they’re apes and therefore civilized.

After the destruction of his planet and entire civilization, Bobo’s personality begins to change, drifting slowly to a more animal/petlike state which culminates in the last season, where he is referred to by Brain Guy as a pet, is the reason for Pearl moving the castle when she wants to pay less for a monkey license (which is clearly meant to mimic a dog license), starts a “chain bark” in the new neighborhood, is hit with a newspaper and told “no bark!” by the babysitter, and even himself enforces the idea that he’s a pet (proudly showing off his new license and collar), and finally even signing on to live at a zoo as part of the display. Apart from frustratedly telling the babysitter that he’s not barking, and he’s a professor!!, he never seems to object to this treatment, beyond disgruntlement over his companions being “mean” to him.

It should be noted that his frustrations with Stephanie see a brief return to Professor Bobo as we first met him, as he tries to explain to her that he is not a mere animal but is a highly accredited professor, is very educated, and is trying to have a literary discussion with her. He is clearly frustrated by someone outside of his own circle treating him as an animal, regardless of his behavior.

I can’t help wondering if this shift in his characterization was a direct result of losing his entire civilization: with the rest of his people gone, he began to see behaviors he’d previously looked at with contempt as parts of himself, something that he didn’t want to fight anymore. Now that they weren’t there he was more willing to indulge in the more animalesque instincts that he previously stamped down, and as he suffered more trauma in his adventures with Pearl and Observer and the SOL- being beaten in combat by Pearl, being nearly dissected by the Observers, falling to a planet from space, being attacked by pod-creatures, getting sucked into a wormhole, falling to another planet from space, losing his memory, multiple concussions during his stint as the Mad Goth, surviving the destruction of two more planets, being wounded in the war with the killer robots, and of course relentless browbeating by Pearl, and this only in a single season- these more animal like behaviors became more comfortable to him than maintaining any semblance of Professor Bobo. By the time he got to Earth- his own planet, but five thousand years in the past, and ruled now by humans- the Professor Bobo behavior had been entirely discarded and it was now far easier for him to simply carry on behaving as a very intelligent animal rather than the accredited professor that we met at the beginning of season eight.

Theme from Route 1

I was thinking earlier about how the Rangan Donpa fandom has always had Discourse about whether or not Chihiro is trans, and I just realized that while the fandom is very insistent that he's a trans girl, in fact his narrative works a thousand times more coherently if he's a trans boy.

  • He was referred to as "a boy in a dress"

  • He said he was a boy who had to live as a girl

  • He wanted to become "more manly"

  • He was killed when he told someone who previously thought of him as a girl that he was a boy

Like ever since the very first wave of the DR fandom there's been discourse but I've never seen anyone go "oh wow, if you use the lens that he's a trans boy it works a lot better than trans girl!"

(Which should be a really cool revelation for me, EXCEPT I'm still bitter about the whole trans girl Pidge thing from the Voltron fandom- a girl had to live as a boy for a Reason and had a coming-out where she told everyone she was a girl, so of course it was TRANS GIRL PDIGE!!!!1! and anything else, even cis girl Pidge, was Bad and Transmisogyny. So basically if a girl has to live as a boy for awhile, she's a trans girl when she comes out, and if a boy has to live as a girl for awhile, he's a trans girl when he comes out. Because fandom doesn't actually care about trans boys.)

(Sorry, I didn't mean for this to be a bitter complaining about fandom post but I have a lot of bitterness and sometimes it falls out.)


Theme from Jaws

Setting aside individual complaints about oversexualization, oversimplification, 2Edgy4You, and patronization, I think the major defining difference between cartoons for kids and cartoons for teens and adults is the sliding scale of idealism vs cynicism.

Take kids' cartoons. Take Steven Universe. When I watch a kids' cartoon, I always get the idea that I'm meant to feel hopeful. If it's a good cartoon, that's exactly what happens. Watching Steven Universe makes me feel like talking to people, confronting my problems with compassion and understanding, and overall being a kind person will solve everything. But then in an adult cartoon there's a huge amount of cynicism- an episode of Futurama will generally plant the idea that people are assholes, that trying to talk about your problems just gets you mocked, and kindness will be punished unless it's exploitable.

Don't get me wrong, mind you. I love both of those shows, and I don't think one of them is objectively "better" than the other except in specific categories that they aren't even both trying to be in (except for maybe a fondness for memes, looking at you Sugar woman). And both definitely have moments where they lean into the other- there are plenty of hopeful endings to Futurama, plenty of moments where talking just isn't good enough in SU. This is talking more about the overall presentation of the story, not exceptions.

Both of those attitudes have their place in our fiction. Giving people hope for bad situations, encouraging them to listen to people and talk through conflict, telling them that kindness and joy are the keys to creating a better world, all of those are important. Giving people an escape and offering them, at least for ten minute increments, the chance to exist in a place where kindness is rewarded, those are all wonderful things that the world could always use more of.

But so, too, is it important to give people the catharsis of seeing their cynicism justified. When you're in a bad situation and you just need to turn off for a little while, watching a bunch of trite, overly-colorful characters tell you to be nicer is just going to make you feel worse. Watching people who are also in shitty situations stop being nice and just be assholes (like you want to, but won't) has a release in itself, as does watching someone (fictional) suffer in general, and there's vindication and validation to your cynicism when you see other people go "well shit, good people never win".

One of the reasons there's the divide is that we like to encourage young people to be good, but older people we know it's too late, but I kind of wish there wasn't such a divide. I'm not saying children should be bombarded with cynicism or adults should just watch a lot of colorful hopefulness, but sometimes when kids are going through shit having a cartoon character say "you know, everything is awful and sometimes that's just how it is" instead of "things are bad now, but they'll get better! be joyful and giving and kind! work together and talk about your feelings and everything will be okay!", even if those messages are presented in a very understanding and non-patronizing way. And adults who want a bit of an escape should have that without having to settle for simplified stories that remove a lot of nuance from the world (as much as I love Steven Universe, I do tend to get frustrated by a level of simplification that is understandable given the show is directed at kids).

Invader Zim is a good example of a children's cartoon that presented a hugely cynical view on the world- in some places ridiculously so- and it was very popular with the edgy crowd of teens and preteens who were struggling with a very confusing time in their life that was confusing in part because they were coming to realize that people and the world at large were shit, and they'd been lied to. On the flip-side, Bob's Burgers is a really good adult cartoon that shows a family being loving and supportive of one another, situations that are solved by talking, characters who routinely shut down offensive humor, and a steady undercurrent of hopefulness that even if today wasn't so good, there's always tomorrow and it might be better. This is a hit with adults who are in similar situations as the Belchers in one way or another, and love how real the Belchers feel to them.

(It was while I was typing this post that I remember a long list of cartoons from the nineties that also seemed to have the cynicism > idealism attitude to it, so I'm going to give this some more thought and will probably make another post later that considers the view in the nineties, since apart from IZ, all of the cartoons on this post are fairly recent. Or I won't, because I don't always bother to do things I say I want/am going to do.)


Pony Bubbles
Captain LeBubbles, Space Pirate
Theo on Tumblr

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