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July 24 2017

a rant.



So much of TV is way too concerned with being Clever™ right now. There’s this pervasive myth that audiences won’t enjoy a narrative climax unless it’s a total surprise. “Predictable” is always used as a pejorative term when it comes to storytelling, but I think that’s absolute crap, because here’s the thing: 

Unpredictability is not, inherently, a virtue. Unpredictability can mean: a) you don’t have a clear grasp on who your characters are or what direction they’re growing. b) you don’t have a clear vision for the story you’re trying to tell. c) you don’t know how to tell the story (for example, you have a Point A and a Point B but the middle is a bunch of disjointed time-wasting filler. 

“But,” the showrunners cry, “you never saw that twist coming! We kept you on your toes!” That does not make it good. Cleverness is often just smoke and mirrors designed to distract the audience from a lack of substance; it doesn’t guarantee a worthwhile story. I don’t want to be shocked for the sake of surprise - I want to feel like the experience was worth my time.

I want to be introduced to a character, and then I want to be taken on a journey with that character. I want every step of that journey to teach me who they are; what they believe, what they want, what they hate, what they fear, and what they love, so that when they are faced with a conflict or a critical moment of decision, I understand exactly why they do what they do. I’m hoping their choices in that moment will reveal something truthful and powerful and worth knowing about another person’s experience. 

That’s what I want in a story. I genuinely don’t care whether it’s clever or predictable or whatever; I just want a worthwhile journey in which every moment of every episode means something - to the character(s), and to me. That’s what makes serial television satisfying. It has nothing to do with shock or intellect or reinventing the wheel, it’s just about telling the damn story in a way that makes you feel it.

@robotmango#narrative#storytelling#FUCK THE TWIST!!!!!! IVE BEEN SCREAMING THIS FOR A DECADE!!!!! FUCK THE TRICK ENDING!!!!!!!!#giving your audience *nothing* shows a lack of trust and respect for them#you cannot play cards with someone who insists on holding the entire deck at all times!!!! what fucking fun is that??????#make your audience your partner! give them something to work with and hope for and puzzle at and love#trust me they’ll get the hints and layers and surprises: they’ll find things in your work that you forgot you did or you did unconsciously#and that should fucking DELIGHT you!!!! what an honor!!!! what a privilege to be paid attention to!!!!!#stop treating audiences like shit 2k17!!!!#stop writing empty cleverboy puzzle stories for television 2k17!!!!!!!!



“Most dangerous monster? Well, vampires are pretty easy–just carry pencils. Ghosts are mostly irritants, werewolves collapse at silver, and dragons keep to themselves… Naw, it’s one no one expects. It’s–”



“what are the chances of EVERYONE in a group of friends being queer” you do realize that we all tend to flock together like penguins huddling for warmth in a cold, heteronormative world, right

Probably off topic, but I kind of wish people talked about this specifically when they talk about representation. Like, people say “that is too many gays” or “that is too many women” and it’s of course BS, but I think it might be harder to try to get away with that BS if it was clear “this group formed because they have things in common”

Like, unpopular opinion here, but i DO think some of the push for representation, especially when people get very aggressive with new or not great writers, tends to yield “hi this is the gay one and this is the ambiguously brown one and this is the woman and this guy is trans”

rather than “these people are all different, but there’s no reason they wouldn’t interact in the world I’ve created” or “this is a gang of young queer punks in dystopia who protect one another from the heteronormative State”

Like, again, possibly unpopular opinion here, but I actually do think forced diversity is a thing. But it’s not about how many different types of characters you have, it’s about whether they come off as members of a community (whether cohesive or fractious) or as there for Woke points.

"I don't support it in real life"









Then stop normalizing it
Then stop romanticizing it
Then stop pretending it’s “hot”
Then stop pretending it’s “cute”

will you ever understand that fiction is NOT reality

the brain reacts to fictional situtations they same way it does with real situations

a collection of links to articles about how fiction affects reality

but yeah, fiction totally doesnt impact reailty

Yeah, except that 99% of the time when you accuse a writer of “romanticizing” or “normalizing” something, they literally just wrote about it without also ranting about how horrible it is? Like, for all you know, the writer finds their own writing incredibly disturbing, and finds the inspiration to write FROM that feeling of unease.
So yeah, please for the love of god, fiction is fiction.

Also, that article on how the brain reacts the same to fictional situations as to real ones, it’s bullshit. If you actually think that the average, non-psychopathic person reacts to a fictional character getting beat up the same way they would react to seeing a real person get beat up, you need to get the hell off that unfathomably high horse of yours right now. As someone who’s witnessed plenty of violence and read/watched plenty as well, I can tell you with certainty that no, it isn’t the same reaction.

Like just say you want to blame writers for society’s problems instead of holding individuals accountable and go.

That NY Times piece doesn’t even mention violent or sexual imagery, or anything to do with how fiction might impact behaviour, attitudes, or… well, anything other than activation of particular brain areas. It doesn’t even say that the brain responds with the same intensity to fictional stimuli as real stimuli. It’s about how areas of the brain that are active when perceiving certain sensations also become active when reading metaphors that invoke those sensations, and reading about relationships between characters activates similar networks to those involved in figuring out relationships between real people.

“Brain Area X processes data type Y, including fictional examples of data type Y” tells you nothing about the way a person experiences examples of Y, or how (if at all) their behaviour, attitudes or emotions change as a result. There’s zero basis for a moral argument here.

I’m not going to go through the list of other articles, but none of them are scientific papers, so…

The disturbing trend of posting links to “evidence” and then including no analysis. Can you imagine if debates worked like this in real life? People just shouting urls at each other.




Something I learned in an intro level cognitive psych class almost 10 years ago: the same brain regions activate when you picture/imagine a place as when you actually view it, BUT the activity is LESS INTENSE. Imagination and reality aren’t identical in the brain, as you might expect. Furthermore, none of these results imoly ANYTHING about behavior. I’m not sure behavior was even examined in those studies.

FMRI almost certainly doesn’t work the way you think it does, my dudes.

Neuroscience research would like people to stop abusing it now please.


someone: the babadook is gay

me: hahahah yeah!!!


me: you killed it & its dead now

I hated it from the start because I knew it would become this.

“Straight people are boring”




Being gay makes you gay, not interesting.

Being bisexual makes you bisexual, not interesting.

Being pansexual makes you pansexual, not interesting.

Being asexual makes you asexual, not interesting.

Your sexual orientation doesn’t determine how entertaining, interesting, or engaging you are. If you think only thing about you that makes you interesting is your sexual orientation then you need to pick up a hobby or something.

this was written by a boring straight person

That’s news to me

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мой дом хочет вторгнуться нечистая сила

“the evil spirit wants to invade my house”

Let him in, let them all in



Adult women who date boys who are minors are just as pedophilic as adult men who date girls who are minors


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art from the tomb of Ramses IV

“When I die, I want y'all to make a bigass wall carving of me with a hard on and have a tiny dude swingin off that shit. That’s how I wanna be remembered.”

-Ramses IV

Pah, that’s nothing! Have a giant penis with legs and a bell, with a guy rolling a wheelbarrow full of smaller penises atop it (it’s a medieval Christian pilgrim badge… somehow…)

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#When you’re in the middle of Westeros and stumble upon an Ed Sheeran concert

I still refuse to acknowledge I saw this with my own two eyeballs

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What even are Ao3 tags…

Tag yourself i’m accidental bardic performance

Accidental Plot is the worst though.

You sit down to write a 2k PWP just to scratch an itch and then suddenly the world is ending again or the gang has to solve a murder and this isn’t what you signed up for.

[Fandom] takes the place of some of the functions of a church in a small town: A place where people come together, ostensibly to worship something. But really what’s happening is you’re forming a community. It’s less about what you’re worshiping and more about, “We have these interests in common.” Someone has a sick aunt and suddenly it’s about that, raising money to help her or sharing resources to make her life easier. That’s what it was about with The X-Files on the Internet.

David Duchovny, Los Angeles Times

I’ve never really seen any celebrity “get” fandom the way Duchovny did. A lot of people read that quote and, at the time, mistakenly read it as David saying he was like a god. But what he meant was that (as I believe he clarified elsewhere) fans didn’t need him to make an appearance. Fandom wasn’t about him. It was about us–the fans.

I want us to not forget that. When the fandom’s centre stops being the community of fans and becomes, instead, focused on–even blinded by–the glittering idol, then fandom itself becomes nothing more than idolatry–with all of us, as individuals, jockeying for a touch or a piece of that idol and stomping over each other to get it.

I’ve seen fandoms fall apart when that happens. I’ve seen fandoms become places where fans know and care more about the celebrities than we do about each other.

I know there are good reasons for fans to create personas and screen names. But this might be a good time to re-introduce ourselves to each other. And to think about how much more important that is than is meeting a famous person at the stage door.

(via miriamheddy)






As far as I’m concerned, the single most radical change from journal fandom is the idea that fandom is primarily a space for kids.

*shakes cane* in MY day, teen fans pretended to be adults while we walked uphill both ways!

#tumblr: i GUESS we’ll tolerate these gross old women LIKE OVER 25 UGH as long as they understand that fandom isn’t /for/ them



This is entirely too accurate.

I mean, it’s also interesting and important to consider context. I think folks are less likely to lie about their age on the internet now because when us twentysomethings were kids the internet was a ~~SCARY DANGER MURDER PLACE~~ and now it isn’t, so kids are allowed to be kids without being worried about the sort of predators that were featured on TV and in movies back when.







I can’t believe that people on this phucking awful site are trying to get Auli'i Cravalho, the 16 year old actress who voiced Moana, blacklisted

Just because she didn’t let a grown man call her Moana instead of her actual name. This truly is tumblr.hell

Interviewer/fans: Doesn’t bother to learn how to pronounce Auli’i Cravalho’s name beforehand and calls her Moana; aka not her fucking name

Auli’i: Is rightfully pissed off that people straight up can’t even be bothered to use her name

Tumblr people: “Wtf Auli’i is such a dick what sort of movie star doesn’t let her fans be blatantly racist to her bc they’re unwilling to learn how to pronounce an ethnic name :////”

Also didn’t she try to correct them politely like five times first?? Y'all had a chance to learn to pronounce her name???

wait. Is this actually the reason Tumblr has put her as “problematic”. When I saw her on the list I actually searched google for about 2 hrs trying to find why and couldn’t find anything.

Yeah this is the actual and sole reason she’s been put on whatever nonsense list someone came up with.




is there anyone else who can totally not watch panels where fans asks questions because the possibility of someone asking a stupid question makes you extremely uncomfortable not only for yourself but for the person who’s answering

Can’t listen to phone ins on the radio either, they make me uncomfortable

oh god, and con photos too where fans have them pick them up, kiss them, etc just … *criiiiiinge*

Oh my god yes, it’s the worst. I can only watch clips of a panel if I’ve already seen it giffed. It’s the most uncomfortable thing when some jerk asks an actor if they support a same-sex pairing and puts them in the difficult position of having to decide whether to say they don’t interpret it that way and probably get called homophobic, or say they support it and then get accused of queerbaiting when it doesn’t become canon. 

Or if it’s an obscure ship and you can tell the poor actor doesn’t even know what they’re talking about.

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I want to die this is too much

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Beautiful. (via VBagate)

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