Tags: entry: long thoughts

Anya final stand, S7

Gallaghercest: A Primer

Close up of Noel and Liam Gallagher, Noel is talking, Liam is looking at Noel's mouth

If you are into:
- Fucked-up codependent sibling relationships with optional incest
- Larger-than-life, endlessly quotable trainwreck people
- 90s Britpop nostalgia
- Fandoms with years and years of canon material to get lost in
- Old-school fandom chock-full of messy ship dynamics, underage, and unnegotiated kink

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Anya final stand, S7

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish

I get really self-conscious talking about music, because for whatever reason, musical taste is one of the rare things that even we in fandom seem to have no trouble judging other people for. I don't even know what Nickleback sounds like and I am automatically defensive of Nickleback fans at this point. (You can't tell me they don't have fans, because somebody's funding their ongoing career. Wikipedia tells me they're coming out with their tenth studio album this year.) My tastes are in no way sophisticated or informed; they are literally just a descriptor of "stuff I like." Usually I can't even describe what I like, however useful that would be; I operate on a strict "I know it when I hear it" basis.

That aside, it's not that often that I really fall in love with a body of musical work, so that I actually have something to say about it. A single song, yes, but an entire album, or multiple songs by one artist, that I am absolutely head over heels for as opposed to just listening to for a week or two? Very, very rarely.

However! I think people talking about stuff they like, even if they don't know very much about it, is generally a good thing in the world, and also I have so many feelings about Billie Eilish's first full-length (? is that even what we call it?) studio album right now that they have to go somewhere, so here we are.

So: if you don't pay much attention to popular music, Billie Eilish is a 17-year-old (!) girl from LA who built up some buzz over the past couple of years and then, about five months ago, released the album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (link to YouTube playlist). The songs were co-written with her older brother Finneas O'Connell, who also produced them. Among other things, Eilish has become known for a breathy/whispery singing style, edgy/emo lyrics, dark and disturbing imagery in her music videos, and an almost aggressively non-sexualized personal image. She also recently revealed that she suffers from Tourette's syndrome, after someone released a video compilation of a bunch of her physical tics, because that is the world we live in.

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

we're in the endgame now: thoughts on Stephen Strange

Disclaimer: I thought Doctor Strange the movie was kind of boring, and all these feelings came from his appearances in other movies (and especially Infinity War and Ragnarok) and then get applied retroactively to his solo movie.

Stuff that fascinates me about Stephen Strange and his corner of the MCU:

1. He's got that Weight of the World trope more than probably any other single character in the MCU, IMO. Tony Stark likes to make the entire world's problems his responsibility, but for Strange, against certain threats, the entire world (and occasionally the whole universe) is his responsibility. How do you even begin to handle that, psychologically? On one hand Strange has his experience as a surgeon with individual people’s lives in his hands, but I would like to think he's grown a lot as a person since his surgeon days, and also this is on a whole other scale of responsibility.

2. He's really isolated from his former life. It's not clear he had friends even when back then, but now even his old acquaintances won't be able to relate to the life he leads or the experiences he has. By the end of Dr Strange, he's back in New York, but even though he's in his old world, kind of, he's not of it anymore.

Despite the superficial similarities, I think being master of the NY sanctum is a really different kind of isolation from being a star surgeon. And one of the--weaknesses? neutral aspects?? of the solo movie is we don't really see him have or develop any intimate relationships. There's Wong, but that relationship is still pretty superficial by the end; there's Mordo, but that relationship is definitely over now; and there's Christine, which is a friendship I would like to see more of. (Fic about Stephen Strange Makes a Friend would be extremely rtmi.)

What makes it more interesting to me is that yearning for connection is probably going to feel pretty foreign to Strange, I'd think? He's always had pretensions of being too good for everyone, but now that he really is mostly alone, maybe he finds he doesn't like it but also doesn't even recognize that what he wants is people, occasionally.

3. So by the end of Doctor Strange, he's saved his own planet and maybe his entire plane of existence, but he still doesn't know that much about the day-to-day life of being master of the sanctum (and neither do I!). I really enjoy quiet, low-key fic that just has him finding his way around this new existence. I like the idea that being master of the sanctum is partly/largely about maintenance. Checking the borders of reality, patching up existential holes, smoothing out metaphysical tangles. [personal profile] seinmit suggested the idea of the sanctum master being a rancher who spends most of his time mending magical fences, which I LOVE.

stephen strange the lone western rancher of magic -- on his own with his thoughts and his friendly wordless companion (the cloak) and constant pacing the length of a fence to keep creatures who barely care about his existence safe

4. TIMEY WIMEY SHENANIGANS. There are so many possibilities for weird metafictional stuff with Strange, and stuff playing around multiverses and canon divergence, and so much potential for really fucking weird cosmic horror. And I LOVE all of those things.

(How excited am I that supposedly Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness is going to be the “first scary MCU movie”? REALLY FUCKING EXCITED. Even though the title is lol.)

Also, one of the great things about the MCU (and spec fic generally) is how it puts characters into situations that have no real-life analogue. For Strange, he's got this grasp of time and events that no one else except other maybe some other sorcerers have (although of course they don't have the time stone). How does that affect him psychologically? Metaphysically? And I love fic that plays more with all those tropes and possibilities.

5. Look, Stephen Strange is easily the most attractive Benedict Cumberbatch has ever been. (This is not a high bar.) Is cheesy-hot a thing? Because the goatee and graying temples and high-collared cloak are all really working for him.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

some Thor thoughts

One of the things I am super into in Thor: Ragnarok is how in the process of becoming King of Asgard (by way of burning his entire realm to ash), Thor actively leads people. It’s one thing for him to come up with a plan for treason in Thor: The Dark World involving a bunch of his closest friends, and it’s another to assemble the Revengers, a team composed entirely of people who initially have zero interest in doing what he wants.

Valkyrie: Wants to hide away on Sakaar and drink her sorrows. Thor pleads with her to help Asgard one more time, and when she eventually agrees, he brings her a suit of Valkyrie armor from Asgard’s armory. And then he hops down off the Commodore, and she says: “Your majesty, don’t die.” That exchange is everything. ;___; He’s helped her find herself again!!

Loki: Wants to rise through Sakaar’s ranks and also tweak his brother’s nose, as usual. Thor, who has clearly found some much-needed perspective in the past couple of years re: their relationship, plays Loki like a fiddle and finally gives him the “You could be so much more” speech. And lo and behold, it works, and for the first time we’ve ever seen in canon, Loki makes a series of actual good choices (and one bad one, but we’re not talking about that). And then he gets a hug out of it. :’)

(I’m really interested in both Val and Loki having pretty conflicted feelings about their newfound loyalty. In my head they’re all in now, they’ll fight by Thor’s side to the end for Asgard, they’re 100% committed, but that doesn’t mean they’re always happy about it. These are not the lives they had planned for themselves. And I’m especially interested in them bonding over this, but that’s probs the subject for a different post.)

Bruce: Is terrified of alien planets, flying a spaceship, Loki, and being stuck as the Hulk forever; very sensibly wants nothing to do with getting involved in Asgardian royal family drama. But he does come through for Thor and the Asgardians when they need him most, even though he’s pretty sure he’ll never come back from it. Bruce. ;_;


So when Thor becomes king at last, he does it not just by getting a big power-up, but by inspiring the people around him to make the bravest choices and be their best selves. He earns the crown by leading, which is pretty damned awesome, in my opinion.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

I now have a Loki problem

Friends, I am having a Loki Situation. I rewatched Thor: Ragnarok and had several "Oh no he's hot" moments, and now everything is terrible. Mostly it's terrible because I am so excruciatingly picky about his characterization, and like half of canon and most of fic gets it wrong. 🙈🙈🙈 (Please append big "YMMV" disclaimers to every paragraph of this post.)

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On a related note, if anyone has recs for LJ-sized Loki icons, especially circa TDW or Ragnarok, I would be ever so grateful.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

posting ship feelings like it's 2010

I am slowly coming to the conclusion that even though I'm pretty invested in both Thor and Loki at this point, I still don't ship them? Which is bewildering to me, because I have other incest ships! Even very similar ones! I ship Gamora/Nebula like burning.

I think I've finally figured out what's going on, which is that in my head, Thor and Loki's tenuous relationship as brothers gets in the way of me shipping them. Like, blood siblings who've grown up together? I can ship that. (Wincest.) Blood siblings who grew up mostly apart? I ship that, too. (My hockey rpf shame otp. >.>) Unrelated people who grow up knowing they're unrelated, consider each other siblings anyway? Again, see Gamora/Nebula! But given their canon circumstances, I feel like Thor and Loki getting together would have a lot of conflicted feelings about how maybe their sexual romantic feelings for each other invalidate their sibling relationship. If they feel this way about each other, maybe they really aren't and have never been brothers?? And I don't want that for them.

Their whole relationship arc over the course of three movies is about how they are still brothers DESPITE EVERYTHING, despite Odin's lies and Loki's repeated betrayal and attempted murder and so on. Loki is clearly standing there having a lot of feelings when Odin calls him one of his sons in Thor: Ragnarok, and it's really significant that Loki calls himself Loki Odinson in Infinity War. And I feel like putting them in a sexual/romantic relationship jeopardizes all that for them, from their perspective.

Their canon relationship is already fraught in other ways, already a relationship that takes a lot of balance and work, with plenty of conflict to keep things narratively interesting. I'm not saying there's no way a fic could sell me on a romantic/sexual relationship for them, but I haven't read one yet that does. Honestly I kind of want to try and write one myself, just to see what it would take.

All that, and yet I recently read a Thor/Loki/Valkyrie fic that I liked just fine? And I've been enjoying some extremely attractive Thor/Loki fanart, because I'm a sucker for a well-drawn kiss? And I also have zero problems shipping them if they've grown up apart - I'm following a, can you believe, a BLUE CASTLE AU starring Jotun!Loki, Thor the local adventurous rogue, and the Revengers, and it's amazing. So IDK. Maybe I'm just making up reasons that don't exist, and all it's going to take is the right fic.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

GotG2 rewatch thoughts

I just got back from watching it the second time. You guys, I liked it the first time, but I LOVED it the second time. It’s so dense with character moments but also silly moments but also this goshwow cosmic stuff that is MY JAM. GotG1 and Winter Soldier used to be tied for my favorite MCU movie, but I think GotG2 just moved into first place.

Some things I particularly loved this time:

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

Evgeni Malkin: The Russian Penguin

I assume by now most of you have seen this awesome hour-long Geno documentary from last year, but since Imzy is shutting down, I'm copying over a handful of things I posted there that seemed worth copy, and this list of highlights is one.

Anyway, this documentary is SO FULL OF GOODIES.
  • He talks to his sticks! If things aren't going well, he says you have to tell the stick to score.
  • He goes on for quite a while about how he doesn't like people manhandling his stick. /cough
  • His house in Pittsburgh is cool. He has a POND. I am definitely working that into a fic somewhere.
  • There was a lot of neat stuff about his pre-game routine, cutting and taping his sticks, that kind of thing. I hadn't seen some of that stuff in that much detail before.
  • His wife Anna calls him 'Tiger,' possibly because of his sign in the Chinese astrological calendar. She told him her sign was a mouse, so he started calling her Jerry.
  • A lot of stuff about how private he is, and how he doesn't go out much and spends most of his off time at home.
  • Shots of the players' parking and the door they use to get in, via keycard
  • Geno talking about how shy and lonely and awkward he felt the first couple of years in Pittsburgh, because of the language barrier
  • Geno talking about how serious concussions are, and how he thinks the real issue is people coming back from them too soon. I am not at all used to seeing the average hockey player talking frankly about this stuff.
  • He used to cry after every game he lost, whether it was an important one or not.
  • He had some stuff to say about how important he feels sports are for unifying a country. Not sure I agree with him, but it's certainly the most philosophical I've ever heard a hockey player get about it.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Buffy close

On Clinton in Honduras

First, an assertion of ignorance: I do not follow politics a lot generally (although I’m working on it), and in particular I have no large-scale context for US foreign policy in Latin America. What follows is based on my personal experiences in Honduras in 2009-2010 and conversations I had with people there, hazily recollected, plus some hasty wikipedia research. I just wanted to share what observations I had, for what they're worth.

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)