#it's just so stupid and ridiculous it's my go-to for ludicrous conflicts
birdmenmanga · 5 months
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some kind of moodboard
@birdmenanime @kitsoa
#just thinking thoughts...#sorry. the phrase 'bird mom loves you both' was so fucking evocative#and then once I started drawing it turned out I had a lot of feelings about this#if either of you want me to take this down let me know#yeah so I've been sitting on that edit of the conversation between takayama and karasuma for ages. like 4 months.#but at that time ghost was still on hiatus I think and also we weren't that close. so it didn't feel right to show it. but it existed.#my mental image of ghostpun is actually largely just that chibi takayama actually#but like that would cause confusion. so i used your discord pfp. your goat person is really nice to draw actually#as for kitsoa. it's supposed to be your fox from tumblr. but I also really associate you with sora(?)'s silhouette so.#it's that. and then hair that COULD be fox ears if you so desired. the ponytail is the tail... the shape is more or less the same.#fistfighting on top of a ferris wheel is a reference to detective conan movie 20: darkest nightmare#it's just so stupid and ridiculous it's my go-to for ludicrous conflicts#yeah anyways onto the actual subject.#to ghost: sorry about this. generally when it comes to fandoms I read most text posts and nod my head thoughtfully and sip my drink#but I guess because I have more cohesive and coherent thoughts about this series in particular I'm less good at just nodding my head#I don't think there's been a single time where we've said something that made the other person go 'YEAH'#like it's always '......well...............'#some nights I wonder whether we read the same series or not. and I feel like you probably feel this way sometimes too#sorry for being so pedantic. I am really not trying to pick a fight with you I promise.#yeah I have no clue what I want to say actually#we go to the same church for worship and like what are we gonna do??? stop going??? fuck no#I don't hate you. I respect you. still trying my damnest to like you. we're still working on that last one#like look I want to be besties so bad but I feel like we just have a boatload of ideological differences to work through#so I guess. what I'm trying to say is. here's to being insane together for the next few years. cheers!#(additional apology for the brutal honesty. I'm not good at white lies.)#to kitsoa: uh. sorry about. This. I don't even know if you were aware we had a rivalry (???) going on#Uh I wish I didn't stir up trouble in your house (bm fandom) but I'm stubborn. for better or for worse. sorry...#I am going to be careful to keep discussions respectful etc. etc. so as not to cultivate a toxic workplace or whatever. prommy.#(but you have to admit. this is kind of funny) <- guy addicted to doing things for the bit#yeah that's all. I can't do anything in a normal way but I hope you guys can understand somewhat.
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do you like the plot of the new tlsq? honestly I don't, to me torvus is too angry with mc for something we couldn't avoid imo, the acromantula attacked us, what were we supposed to do, die? maybe i missed something, i don't understand all these "it's your fault" accusations
....I've got a lot to say.
I'm watching the footage right now and honestly...it's really not a very good story at all. It feels like maybe they wanted to make a TLSQ about Torvus but more out of a sense of obligation or opportunity, as he was one of the character who didn't have one yet. Not because they had a story they wanted to tell about him. Like, we don't learn anything about Torvus or about his relationship to Jacob. I'm not saying that I'm opposed to TLSQs that act as follow-up to things that happened in the main story, but between this and the Knighthood TLSQ...it's just never executed very well. Not to mention that the whole motif of togetherness and community is soured by how mean-spirited the tone feels.
First of all, like you said, the premise is absolutely ridiculous. They repeat the idea that MC is to blame for everything, so many times that if it was a drinking game, you'd die of alcoholism. Usually having MC own up to this, regardless of player input. Which is kind of frustrating if you think about it for longer than half a second and realize that not only was none of this was MC's fault, but you'd seriously have to be confunded to think that this was a logical conclusion. The entire trajectory of how all of this happened is a bit woolly and not well defined, but to place the blame on MC's shoulders is nonsense, and as a result the entire story is systematically broken, especially concerning MC's motivation. Torvus blames them for everything, and they just...kind of go with it. Everyone does, for no apparent reason.
So opening the Forest Vault is cited as the reason for why all of this started. Considering how much they try to push a theme of interconnection and the bonds of nature, I could believe that the Vault would have unforeseen effects on the ecosystem. Hey, we still don't get how the Vaults work, so that would be fair enough...Except apparently what it all came down to was MC's duel with the Acromantula. That's what caused a chain reaction of events that...er, somehow, led to the Centaurs having a water shortage. But the Acromantula was responsible for the trouble with the fairies and the red cap. He had nothing to do with the Troll and the Forest Lake. Did I miss something? The Acromantula had no connection to the Centaurs' problems. No, you know what ultimately caused the problem with the Troll? The sleepwalking students. They trod upon the bubotubers while under the spell. So, in other words...MC opening the Forest Vault stopped the problem from getting any worse. Not only did their actions not cause this, they actively helped. Why doesn't Torvus, or anyone for that matter, point this out?
No one seems willing to take apart the logical fallacies of Torvus' vendetta. Why is MC blamed exclusively when it was a joint effort? Charlie was there. Hagrid was there. Torvus was there! They all helped open the Vault! And he has the nerve to act like this is all on MC? It's no better than when Dumbledore gave MC a year's worth of detention and ignored the other students who came along. That's not even getting into the ludicrous idea that MC is at fault for the duel with the Acromantula. Y'know, where it was trying to kill them and their friends? And they didn't do any lasting harm to the creature at all? And it was his choice to leave his colony? Why is that our problem? The story forces MC to "prove" to Torvus that they can be trusted to solve this problem even though he demanded their presence in the first place. Does he want their help or not? It just really tests my patience. We even have to prove to the Acromantulas that we can be trusted to solve the problem. Why? That seems like such a waste of time. Why do I care if they have faith in MC?
So MC's obligation to this problem, which the quest loves to have them restate, is flat. What about the consequences if they don't fix this? Yeah, no, that's nonsense too. Not to call Torvus' bluff, but literally no one in the quest does, so I suppose I'd better. Just what does he mean by saying that MC will be "banned" from the Forbidden Forest? Does he not realize that they already are? Has he forgotten that the humans call it the "Forbidden Forest" and that students aren't allowed to go in? Clearly, MC has been disregarding that for a while, and Torvus knows it. Tell me why MC should stop visiting the Forest just because Torvus says they have to. Y'know, Care of Magical Creatures classes are sometimes taken into the Forest. What is MC supposed to do if that happens? Get a zero for the day? Why should they? I know it's Kettleburn and he's a little bit odd, but the point is that this would cause a conflict and I don't imagine the school staff would care about the Centaurs' wants in this situation.
I know the Centaurs consider the Forest to be their land, and they have a strained relationship with the humans at best, but seriously, what exactly are they going to do if MC disregards their "ban?" Short of killing MC on sight, how are they gonna enforce this? And again, I'm gonna call that bluff because Centaurs do not harm children. Culturally, it is considered extremely taboo to harm a "foal." Never mind the trouble they would get into with Dumbledore and the Ministry, not to mention R, who want MC alive. Speaking of the teachers, why does MC so freely tell Flitwick and Sprout about their plans to try and temper a troll? They shouldn't, because any reasonable teacher would react with alarm and forbid MC from doing this. Confine them to their Common Room while the staff goes to sort this out. Come to think of it, why don't Flitwick and Sprout do this? They just shrug off MC announcing their intent to visit the Forbidden Forest and tame a dangerous creature! (Deep, deep sigh.) Look Torvus, The Creatures Reserve is (probably) within the Forest, so no, Luca's not gonna stop visiting. It's one of the areas in the hub world of the game, and this quest drops at a point when MC still has to visit later on for plot reasons....so I know The Forest isn't going anywhere. This threat isn't scary, it's irritating in how blatantly empty it is.
At the end of it all, MC has to review what they learned in their path of atonement, and show Torvus how much they've grown. Get the hell out of here with that. MC and Charlie could have died a few times over, and that's on Torvus. He didn't tell MC about the troll! He knew, and didn't tell them! Because "something thing, you needed to learn a lesson, etc." No! That's not okay! I'm supposed to consider him my friend after this? Seriously, I wouldn't mind all of this so much if Torvus didn't constantly treat MC like a hated criminal, and MC didn't so humbly accept that treatment. I'm gonna need to rewrite this one a fair bit in my headcanons because Luca may be soft and an occasional pushover, but they also develop a nose for bullshit as time goes on, and this entire TLSQ is demanding MC atone for saving the school, for something they already faced punishment for with the kitchen detentions. For something that Torvus participated in, and seemed quite happy about at the time. Y'know what, I'm starting to think he's got a pretty serious entitled streak. And for better or for worse (and by that I mean, for worse) I think MC may have nurtured that streak when they first met Torvus. He blamed them for Jacob's actions, and MC did everything they could to "make it right." I think Torvus has learned from that incident that he can hold MC accountable for anything so long as he finds some six degrees of separation method of claiming it involved them.
I feel terrible for the fans of Torvus' character. Because this quest is even stupider than the Knighthood TLSQ and it makes me even angrier than the All Wizard Tournament. This one was, to put it nicely, a misfire.
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morwensteelsheen · 2 years
What are some snippets/headcanons you have (if any) of Faramir’s POV on Éowyn or events that happened in the Finger Back!AU?
god, too many in my head. I’ll drop one written one under the cut
“He’d wandered around in a daze after that night at the Green Dragon. Half-cut and keyed up beyond belief, he’d had to walk laps of his neighbourhood until he could even consider going up to his flat, and even then, he’d still stared at the ceiling for hours until his brain began to simmer down.
She was… there weren’t words for it. She was everything, too much and too overwhelming and somehow he couldn’t get enough of her, like she was water and he a dying man in a desert. If anyone, anyone heard him say anything like that he’d be (probably rightfully) crucified for it, but all he can think about is her. Brutally funny, clever with a biting wit, and beautiful, oh sweet Elbereth is she beautiful. The sharp lines of her features, so perfect as to almost be intimidating, as if she were an ancient sculpture, a symbol of the divine.
But there was this sadness to her too, sadness she was fighting tooth and nail but still crept in around the edges. He watched her act as if she was perfectly at home with everybody around her, and yet it still seemed to him that more than anything, what she really needed was a friend. Never in his life had he ever seen anyone so committed to behaving like everything was fine when it obviously wasn’t, and that broke his heart.
In his desperation to find some excuse to be near to her again, he’d done the most ludicrously stupid thing he could have ever done: he’d offer to supervise her research. So yes, he would be able to see her again, but now he had to be mindful of this ethical obstacle he’d introduced — an ethical obstacle that didn’t need to be there at all if he’d just pulled himself together and used his head.
Then she’d told him, in worryingly vague language for someone who had otherwise seemed so blunt, about an incident in her childhood, and suddenly that air of sadness that followed her everywhere made sense. His decision was made: he’d be her friend, someone distanced enough from all the sorrow in her life who she might, in time and with careful consideration on his part, come to trust. Just the thought of her made his heart swell in his chest, but more than anything, he realised, he wanted to see her happy. From everything he’d seen, she had so rarely been given the chance to decide what her happiness was, and instead spent all of her time performing what other people wanted her happiness to look like. So he’d back off, give her space to move, let her know that he had no expectations of her, and hope, hope like he’d never hoped for anything else before, that that would be enough.
He wasn’t blind, he knew she felt something more than friendship for him, could see it clear as day in the way she looked at him. But he also saw conflict and confusion in her eyes, so he tried to keep his distance. Even if it was hard, because her voice was like his own personal siren call.
Still, she felt closed off to him, like she was constantly running up to the line of speaking openly with him and then being caught up in her panic. So instead of distance he tried a new tack, he told her about his own disastrous personal life to set that precedent in their friendship. And something very strange happened as he told her about his fraught relationship with his father: he started to feel better. This emotionally-devastating thing he’d held inside him for so long, referenced only in carefully-crafted innuendo with his brother, started to feel less like a crushing weight, a dark and terrible thing that threatened to eat him alive.
She didn’t have any groundbreaking emotional insights for him, didn’t try to offer him any solutions, just sat beside him, held his hand, and listened, and somehow that was exactly what he needed. It was exactly what he needed and somehow it’d kickstarted all of his worst impulses. He wanted her so badly he couldn’t think straight, craved the emotional closeness she promised, even though he knew he had no chance in hell of ever being with her.
All he could think about was her. It was ridiculous, but it was true. The way she spoke, the fall of her voice, the thrill he felt when she entered a room. The soft curve of her hips, the slight power in her gait, the wait she could shut him down without so much as a single additional ounce of energy allocated to it. She scared him, terrified him even, because she threatened to do to him what no one else had ever done: she threatened to make him vulnerable. And something horrible, something self-destructive in him wanted that to happen. In the worst possible terms, he wanted her to ruin him, so that he might one day be rebuilt into something new, better. He wanted her so badly he didn’t know what to do with himself, except to feel ashamed for it all. She proved herself better than him day in, day out, and all he wanted to was bury himself inside her. Not just physically — though he did desperately want to make her scream his name until it was burned into his skin — but emotionally too. He wanted to know everything about her, wanted to know if her grief was the same as his.
She’d asked him to stay with her one night, and it’d almost eaten him alive. The overwhelming — regressive, even — desire to defend her, to do what he could to make sure her life was okay, up against his hard-won knowledge that she could handle herself. He wanted to be around her as much as he could, but how could he do that without taking away her autonomy?
She’d asked him to stay with her one night, and she’d buried herself into him, and he’d tried not to feel every inch of her. Tried not to notice how soft her skin was, how warm she was, how she trembled ever so slightly when their skin made contact. He’d tried not to notice, in the very depths of the night, that she’d whispered his name. None of that, he thought, was serious or worth thinking of. She needed a friend, she’d needed comfort, and to go beyond that was a cruelty.
But, sweet Elbereth, how he’d wanted to go beyond that.”
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magioftheseas · 3 years
Conversations with Companions
Day 4: Speech/Breathing
Summary: He talks too much but that’s better than him not talking at all because his brain’s too rotted to even process thoughts.
Rating: PG
Warnings: References to illness and needles.
Notes: Because of Komaeda’s iconic wheezing, he was the obvious pick for today’s prompt. For the fic, anyway. I do think about it a lot because it’s such a worrying sound. He sounds like he’s choking and in pain so I imagine that Matsuda worries a lot, too.
***Alternate Ao3 Link***
Commission? Donate?
It was pretty commonplace for Komaeda to go on verbal tirades about hope, symbols, potential, hope, talent, and hope. Matsuda had gotten pretty good at tuning him out because it was exhausting the first time, downright intolerable the seventy-seventh. He only started paying attention when Komaeda’s wheezing got to the point where he seemed to be literally choking on his words. It’s only then when Matsuda stops him and nearly smacks him with a water bottle, demanding he stop to take a drink.
“There, there,” he droned, flipping through his manga as Komaeda gasps afterwards. “In and out. Nice deep breaths. Fucking hell, you really are a mess sometimes.”
Komaeda giggles weakly, screwing the cap back onto the bottle.
“I just get overexcited, Matsuda-kun. I mean everything I say, I just...”
“Get overexcited. Yeah. I heard you the first time.” Matsuda does glare at him over his book. “You’re sickly. You need to take shit easy. Should I resort to sedation to keep you calm?”
“You don’t have to go that far!” Komaeda hurriedly exclaimed. “So severe, Matsuda-kun!”
“It’s just that I worry you’ll hack up a fucking lung at the rate you’re going.” With how irritated he is, he ends up fidgeting with one of the pages. He’s digs his thumbnail into the fleshy pad of his finger as a distraction. “You don’t have an upper respiratory condition yet. It’s best to not fucking test it.”
“I... Okay.” Komaeda nods along dolefully. “I understand, Matsuda-kun.”
Do you, though?
With how pitiful a picture Komaeda Nagito made, Matsuda decided against questioning him further. Just something about those down-turned eyes and hanging head riled a sense of protectiveness. Stupid. So stupid. He really is painfully easy, but it’s expectable at this point.
I need to be needed just as I need to breathe. It’s only a shame that Komaeda’s ideology is so fucking unfortunate.
“I wasn’t actually listening to a word you were saying,” he said. “That’s because I kind of think like everything you say about this school, about yourself, and about other people is...pretty contentious.”
“You’re so cynical,” Komaeda replies, tired but smiling all the same. Like a dog just waiting to be kicked.
He makes it so easy by being as passive as he is utterly fucking patronizing. Seriously, do you have any self-preservation at all?
He already knows the answer.
“Hey, Komaeda.”
He really is so easy.
“How are things going for you and your class anyway?”
“Oh!” Komaeda lights up on the spot. “They’re going wonderfully! Just last week, Koizumi-san gathered up all the other girls for a get-together! They’ve all gotten so close! Although Hanamura-kun and Souda-kun had rather unfortunate ideas that had to be dealt with. But, I think our class has only gotten stronger! They’re symbols of hope after all, and conflict strengthens bonds.”
“How are they treating you?” Matsuda asks, thoroughly uninterested in anything else.
“They’re so much kinder than I deserve! Mioda-san invited me to her concert! Koizumi-san helped me clean the other day! I was even allowed to make suggestions for the class trip, although I don’t think I’ll be able to go, ehe. I don’t want to ruin their fun with my rotten luck, after all, and they had a lot of fun last time when I got too sick to attend.”
Pitiful. Utterly pitiful.
But, with a quick inhale, Komaeda was excitedly going on. “They really are incredible. Even though they don’t like me at all, they still include me on the occasion. I’m sincerely grateful. They could just completely ignore me and they don’t! Isn’t that so kind? So wonderful? And I’ve only gotten poisoned once! Although I guess it’s not Saionji-san’s fault, she didn’t realize I was allergic, aha. And Tsumiki-san acted quite dutifully. And, and, and...”
“Stop.” Matsuda held up a hand. “Take deep breaths. And take another sip of water while you’re at it.”
Swallowing, Komaeda nodded quickly. He opened the bottle once more and took a swing.
“Oi,” Matsuda snapped. “Don’t fucking choke. It’s water, not alcohol.”
Komaeda does nod again, and he spills some of it. Bristling, Matsuda tore off some paper towels for him to use. Giggling, Komaeda at least had the decency to look pretty apologetic.
“I guess I do overdo it sometimes,” he admitted meekly. “It’s difficult. I’ve never been so happy.”
“Yeah?” Matsuda asked, unimpressed with an eyebrow raised. “So, who would you say you’re at least friends with?”
“Oh, no! No, no, no!” Komaeda shook his head furiously. “Someone like me friends with people like them—that’s ludicrous! I’m nowhere near that—!”
“Do you think any of them would consider you a friend if I asked?” Matsuda cut him off before he could finish. “Like the punk rocker? Or the cam girl?”
“Don’t call Koizumi-san that,” Komaeda snapped in return before getting all flustered. “And don’t be ridiculous, Matsuda-kun. Your jokes are too much. Both of them are just kind, they don’t like me. And they shouldn’t! I’m beneath them, lesser than them, I’m—!”
“Stop.” Komaeda did. Matsuda’s glare was unwavering. “Inhale. Exhale. You’re getting too worked up again.”
Komaeda breathed in sharply, his face twisting up in a way that was pretty distressed.
“I’m sorry, Matsuda-kun. But. Um. Obviously I’m not...”
“Considered a friend?” Matsuda guessed. Komaeda feebly nods along, and there’s not much to do but sigh. “That’s pretty pathetic, you know? Like, even the reserves have friends.”
Komaeda’s expression soured considerably. His lips pressed tightly together, showcasing a restraint that Matsuda hadn’t even thought possible.
“It’s better this way,” Komaeda finally said, and his tone was firm. Firm yet resigned. “It’s dangerous for people to be around me in the first place. And I’m already so disgustingly indulgent. I—mustn’t push my boundaries.”
“Do you not want friends?”
“What I want isn’t important.” The answer was immediate. “What is important is...”
“Don’t care, didn’t ask about that.” Matsuda waved his hand. “Do you want friends or not, Komaeda. Because I might know a guy.”
Komaeda blinks at him. His lip curls, and then he laughs.
“Your jokes are too much, Matsuda-kun!” he exclaims, not sounding remotely mirthful. “Really, I’m fine! I’m completely fine!”
His hands were squeezing into fists. Matsuda can already imagine his nails biting into the pale meat of his palms. Komaeda’s so tense it looks painful. He’s even shaking, but...at least he’s breathing, albeit erratically.
Matsuda ends up shrugging.
“If you say so.” What can I even say to a face like that? I feel like if I pushed it, his expression would twist so much that it’d cause literal cracks. “You could still use more hydration though. You talk too much.”
“Ahaha.” Komaeda’s smile is still straining, but he seems grateful regardless. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine.” He spoke without thinking. “I imagine it’s nice to just be allowed to talk sometimes.”
Komaeda flushes, and he makes a complicated sound of agreement.
He’s not a bad person. He’s naïve, stubborn, and stupid—but not bad. He talks too much but that’s better than him not talking at all because his brain’s too rotted to even process thoughts. I’ll make sure he never gets to that point, even if I can’t fix all his other issues.
It was the least he could do for this person, Matsuda Yasuke supposed.
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berserkmutual · 3 years
thoughts on kimetsu no yaiba
now this is going to be long because all my posts are long because i don’t know how or when to shut up so bear with me if you decide to read this. i want to get all of my feelings out especially now that i’m all caught up with the manga.
if you really don’t want to read through me complaining about shit then here’s a tldr: while i overall have enjoyed the concept of kny, gotoge is not a capable writer. this reflects in their very haphazardly connected character dynamics, one dimensional characters and some of the worst pacing i have seen in manga in my entire god damn fucking life.
also this should be obvious but this isn’t spoiler free.
now just to start things off, i want to say that yes. i like the manga. i already own nezuko and tanjiro full figures and a small sleepy time chibi set with tanjiro, nezuko, zenitsu, inosuke and giyuu. i have giyuu and inosuke figures on the way along with an inosuke plush. so, yes. i am invested in the story - but this doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect series without glaring issues i have been wanting to yell about for forever. besides, it should be well-known by now that if i complain about it is it’s because it resounded with me but i can see where it could have done better. i just feel that as a content creator, i like to be critical of other content creators to keep myself from stepping into the same pitfalls.
anyway, let’s start.
the pacing
i think that the beginning of the series was handled pretty well in terms of pacing. i know a lot of people complained that tanjiro and nezuko were just kind of like side-stepping confronting the trauma of losing their whole family but i didn’t necessarily see a problem with that. trauma works differently for everyone and i have been on the receiving end of stuffing my feelings away about certain incidents until i slip and break down seemingly out of nowhere.
tanjiro and nezuko should have a moment to grieve. a long while to grieve, in fact, after muzan is defeated. it’s seen after tanjiro finds out that genya and muichiro have died. he wont let himself cry because there’s no time to mourn. after tanjiro loses his family, it’s the same. there’s no time to mourn because that will leave both him and his sister vulnerable to more demon attacks. so i don’t have a problem with the story moving so quickly at the start.
the pacing later is where i take great issue, especially when it comes to the pillars. pacing in stories are so instrumental because it can impact absolutely everything. the story, the characters and their relationships. pacing is what keeps you wanting to read more and during almost every battle with a demon, i found myself reading because i just wanted to get it fucking over with. they were so long which was fucking fine and all but could they at least be interesting? there wasn’t anything clever about them, it was just gotoge writing deus ex machina after deus ex machina.
“oh, the characters are in danger?” “well, nezuko’s blood can catch fire now! and even though absolutely nothing lead up to this grand achievement and it’s completely out of fucking nowhere, it happened! oh, and the fire blood is super harmful to demons!” what? there isn’t even an explanation to it other than, “this happens now! seems like the tables have turned!”. it’s some of the saddest and pathetic writing i’ve seen and i read a lot of fucking shounen.
going back to my point, the fight are typically too fucking long. they drag on forever and it’s just a constant evolution of “now i can do THIS” “well now i can do THIS OTHER THING” “well GUESS WHAT” and it’s just so fucking annoying! but god forbid we get any sort of emotional character growth! both zenitsu and inosuke’s character backstory conflicts are resolved a couple of chapters! it’s just fucking ludicrous.
and do NOT even get me started on rengoku’s story. the impact that rengoku had on tanjiro was absolutely unwarranted. they dead ass knew each other for maximum thirty minutes and had one conversation. i love rengoku but he was done so fucking dirty by this, i cringed. i wasn’t even sad that he died. i was angry because it didn’t make any fucking sense. what did he contribute to tanjiro’s story? nothing that anyone else couldn’t have. it was horrible.
i strongly believe that each pillar should have had their own arc. tanjiro’s story should have been to train with each and everyone and master all of their breaths to increase his strength. zenitsu and inosuke obviously could have either come along and maybe stayed behind with a preferred mentor like how inosuke was deeply impacted by shinobu or himejima for example. he should have maybe stayed a year with each of them, learning everything he has to learn from them while muzan created more demons to fight for his cause figuring that he could beat the demon hunters with power and numbers. an entire arc to develop each pillar’s story and relationship with tanjiro, give it a nice close when tanjiro moves on to the next - whether it’s kill them off then or leave it at that until the finale.
it almost frustrates me and at this point? if the manga isn’t coming to a close with the next volume or two and muzan doesn’t die during this battle, i don’t know if i’ll continue to read it. not only will it be a huge slap in the face to every character that has lost their lives in this battle but to the audience that has stuck by the story after it’s constant mishandling and fumbling.
the characters
the characters are so simplistic that you can’t help but like them but when you start tugging at the thread, you’ll realize that there isn’t much to unravel. i too can come up with a name, a fighting style and a tragic backstory. hidoikou shimizu, she uses the breath of rain, her father was killed by a demon and she left her sister and sick mother behind to join the demon slayers to protect them and others from meeting the same fate. wow, that’s crazy how i did that. and that’s about the same character depth that most of the characters that aren’t tanjiro get.
inosuke and zenitsu, of course, get developed a little more than any of the other side characters but their backstories and character conflicts are resolved so quickly but this is where that thing i mentioned before about how pacing affects character development comes in.
i know this is a typical trope among shounen which is why i’ll typically go with seinen but it’s just so draining because i love shounen story concepts because they’re creative and cool and i love the way seinen handles stories because they carry more depth with them and are more nuanced. but shounen has the life-or-death need to hyper-focused on the main character without a moment to spare for anyone else and seinen tends to be chock full of stupid and pointless shock value content i’d rather gouge my own eyes out before reading through.
how the fuck did shinobu become a demon hunter without being able to cut a demon’s head off? aka the one thing that will kill them outside of sun exposure? that is fucking bullshit. 100%. i don’t even like shinobu as a character and i don’t even mind that she died but the fucking idea of a demon hunter being unable to cut a demon’s head off, which is like ... the one thing you have to do to kill it was so absolutely ridiculous to me. how long was she a demon hunter? she couldn’t hit the bicep curls at planet fitness a couple of times a week? i’ve been going twice a week for two months and went from barely finishing one set of 10 using 20 lbs weights to doing 4 reps of 60 sets using 45 lbs weights. this is 100% the stupidest thing and i literally laughed out loud when this was confirmed in the manga.
aint no rest for the wicked
can someone explain to me what the whole deal was with every demon getting a tragic backstory after they were killed? of course i felt sad but because i was being told a sad story but i didn’t empathize with them? it was no excuse for what they did. life is fucking unfair sometimes and shit happens, you don’t turn yourself into a demon and then ruin the lives of other people (people who were just as innocent as you once were)? the only demon that betrayed the cause was tamayo. why didn’t tamayo befriend other demons? and show them how they could survive without killing? she could have contributed so much to the cause just by using her demon abilities to sway other fellow demons.
her character literally doesn’t do anything. i almost want to cry but i can’t because i’m too busy laughing because her character was so badly written i can’t be fucked to care.
“these people were pushed to the edge! this is what happens when people suffer at the hands of others, when they get pushed past their limits!” oh, let me get out the violin for them all. it’s not as if the pillars haven’t also suffered extremely, right? no one else in the world aside from the demons have ever gone through anything traumatic. yes, i agree with the concept that sometimes hurt people hurt people or whatever but don’t try to make me feel bad for them. it ain’t gonna work.
it only makes it all the more annoying when the stories have the emotional depth of one of those “try not to cry challenge” videos on youtube.
oh my god one last thing i need to add post-publishing cause i just remembered
stop acting like gotoge doesn’t sexualize underage girls. i am looking directly at nezuko, especially when she enters her like full demon or whatever form. like she’s giving into her demonic nature or whatever now so she has to have more of her skin exposed?? like why couldn’t she look exactly the same as she usually does. she is fourteen fucking years old. i have no fucking idea what in their brain would tell them that was in any way appropriate but what the fuck ever.
in conclusion
i think that’s more or less everything i had to say. if i think of more later, i’ll add to this but this is pretty much everything i wanted to like get off my chest cause my Thoughts(tm) on this series has been weighing me down like a fucking ball and chain. the thing that always really bugs me is there was so much potential. oh, well.
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paulisweeabootrash · 3 years
Pokémon 2.B.A. Master
I stumbled across a piece of weeb trash media I had heard of, but neither attempted nor expected to find.  And it’s a bit different.  Today, my friends, we are not doing an anime or manga, or even another novel.  We’re doing a tie-in music album, a American blatant cash-grab based on a Japanese franchise.  Oh no.  Oh yes.
Pokémon 2.B.A. Master (1999)
As a young weeblet, I was a regular watcher of the first two arcs of Pokémon (Kanto and Johto).  It was in both weekday and weekend timeslots, and never seemed to be broadcast in any sensible order, but I nonetheless watched it frequently and enjoyed it no matter how many times WB decided to rerun episodes I’d already seen.  At some point, this CD came out, and I remember seeing ads for it when it was new.  There were even televised music videos for a few of the songs, broadcast as a segment called “Pikachu’s Jukebox”. I never saw a copy of the album in person, and never expected to. Maybe it was one of those that you had to order by calling some number?  I don't remember (or, frankly, care enough to look it up).  Anyway, I recently encountered this in the small music section of a used book store, and I figured "why not?"  And the obvious answer is "most of the contents".
The cover, in addition to using proud and unironic Comic Sans for the subtitle "2.B.A. Master", boasts that the album contains both "Music From The Hit TV Series" and "10 Brand New Songs!"  The former refers obviously to the main theme of the show and every child's favorite mnemonic device, the PokéRap (or “PokéRAP” as it’s spelled for some reason?), but I'm not sure what the third song from the show is.  And again, I don’t care enough to look it up.  The important thing is, John Loeffler wrote all of them, and apparently an absurd number of other Pokémon-related songs.  The "Brand New Songs!" here are mostly new to me, and they’re... a doozy.  Except for the songs from the show, plus “Double Trouble” and maybe “Misty’s Song” if I want to be very generous, I am tempted to suggest you could get a similar musical experience in a shorter time by putting on an episode of Pokémon, playing a mix of Milli Vanilli and Boyz II Men songs over it, and banging your head against a wall.
1. Pokémon Theme
We begin with the extended version of the classic theme, this is a sure dose of nostalgia for anyone who watched the show.  It sounds, considering the release date, a little outdated — I get kind of a "Beat It" vibe, not from the melody, but from the instrumentation, combining 80s-gated drums and searing electric guitar.  But the theme, already one of the few TV themes out there I find enjoyable and not instantly forgettable, extends to a full length surprisingly well, avoiding getting boring or devolving into complete idiocy with lyrics.  I actually like this song as a song, and you can’t convince me otherwise.
2. 2B A Master
The instrumentation in this track is absurdly 90s, and again kind of Michael Jackson-y, but is interesting and varied, especially in the sudden attention-grabbing rhythmic change accompanying the line "the greatest master of Pokémon".  It shows better restraint in its use of things like record scratch noises and basslines running parallel to vocal lines that I find get really old really quickly.  I actually, on the whole, enjoy this song and think the music could have been the basis for something great.  “Could have” being the keyword.  Lest you think I'm going to give a rosy, loving review of this album, no, it quickly gets bad.  Some of the lyrics feel like such forced attempts to get Pokémon references in that I am embarrassed on behalf of the people stuck singing and rapping them, 20 years later.  It’s a waste of what could’ve been a fun funky song.  (Incidentally, why is the title of the song punctuated differently from the title of the album?)
3. Viridian City
The slide downhill continues.  What the hell is this song?  The lyrics are only marginally less stupid than the previous track, the music sounds like a keyboard "dance" preset, and it has a weird rapped/spoken "echoing" of sung lines it’s incredibly hard to imagine anyone ever liked.  Ugh.
4. What Kind of Pokémon Are You?
Third time's the charm, I guess?  After the previous two tracks tried and failed to force Pokémon-related lyrics that just don't work, this one at least manages to fire off a series of type-related puns.  The music, however, turns back towards gratingly boring (and for some reason, the bridge comes thisclose to ripping off "Eye of the Tiger"?).  Actually, no, hahaha, the lyrics remain very stupid, I think I'm just getting "ground down by a Marowak" by how bad the preceding tracks were.
5. My Best Friends
The parts move in unison too closely for my tastes, the lyrics are bland, the vocal arrangement makes it sound downright inappropriately dramatic, and what’s up with the bridge that veers off into doo-wop?  The main thing this song has going for it is the vaguely pleasant piano part in the verses, which really appeals to me (it sounds familiar, although I can’t place what specifically it reminds me of).  The melody of the chorus sounds even more familiar — so familiar in fact I'm starting to wonder if it's a copyright-violation-skirting ripoff of something famous. But otherwise, this is a solid “meh”, sounding like a boy band song that would only briefly have made the charts.
6. Everything Changes
And now we're back to impressions of Michael Jackson.  This one's instrumentation and mood and even bits of the melody are so him that I could almost believe you if you told me this was an outtake that didn't make it onto Bad. (Although the singer sounds less like Jackson the longer the song goes on.) The lyrics, although vaguely applicable to everything, are a welcome change from the previous few tracks by not feeling like Pokémon has been painfully shoehorned in... up until the part where a clip from the show plays during a break between choruses.  Ugh.  Could you really not come up with a better way to make this into a distinctly Pokémon song?
7. The Time Has Come (Pikachu's Goodbye)
Yuck.  The sentimental ballad (I want to call it a “power ballad”, but I’m unsure what exactly counts as one), as a general rule, is a fire hose full of melodrama best used for comedy.  I don't understand how songs like this have ever been taken seriously.  I would expect to hear this as the ending theme to a movie that tries to be a tragedy but can’t quite pull it off.
8. Pokémon (Dance Mix)
I assumed from the title that this was a remix of the theme song, but instead, it's just sort of a filler track...  It makes almost no impression on me at all, although I do enjoy the intro’s use of "backward-sounding" and morphing synths.  Otherwise, this is another track that sounds like it uses keyboard preset backgrounds.
9. Double Trouble (Team Rocket)
Okay, look, I can’t rate this one fairly.  The longest-running fandom-related internal conflict of my life has been whether I'd rather be James or have James as mai hasubando, and I love Team Rocket in general as comedy relief villains.  I used to enthusiastically perform their ridiculous introductory speech with a friend from band camp (I am even more of a geek than you thought).  This song actually bothers to be more specific in terms of its Pokémon subject matter, meaning this is finally a song about Pokémon rather than just a generic pop song with Pokémon flavor, and it uniquely is performed by voice actors from the show, namely those who played Jesse, James, Meowth, and Giovanni.  It really grates on me when the VAs talk over the singers, but unlike some of the other songs, it feels like it builds up and goes somewhere.  We have at least broken free from the boringness of the last few tracks, with almost industrial percussion and chromatic and sometimes dissonant bass and synth lines that really make it a solid villain song, even though it has a hokey “rap written by people who haven’t actually listened to any rap” feel.  And James’s absolutely ludicrous laugh will absolutely alienate who isn’t already a fan of the character, and most people who are, too.
10. Together Forever
The “disappointing imitation of Michael Jackson” theme returns, this time mostly in the voice.  It especially pops out at me with the pronunciation of "friend" as "fraynnnndah!".  Unfortunately, rather than trying to imitate Jackson’s songwriting again, this song seems to want to rip off Stock Aitken Waterman.  And it succeeds at that, too well, as it somehow manages to outcompete a song those writers wrote for Rick Astley to be the worst song with this title.  Also returning here: the use of clips from the show to clumsily force an otherwise generic song to be Pokémon-related.  Hooray.
11. Misty's Song
Huh.  Now this one is interesting.  Buried deep in the album, we get something from a character POV that doesn’t just set trivia or quotes from the show to music.  Yvette Laboy does a believable job filling in as the singing counterpart for Rachel Lillis's speaking voice for Misty, and I just don't find it nearly as ridiculous as the other ballads on the album, for some reason. It even portrays a tsundere as insecure rather than just an obnoxious walking trope!  Sure, it's not great, but it's not bad either, especially after the other attempted ballads on here.  Until you remember that it's a 14-year-old singing a love song to a 10-year-old, which... ick.  It could've been sweet if put in the mouth of another character with a more age-appropriate relationship. Anyone want to rerecord this as “Kaname's Song” or something?
12. PokéRAP
Oh, educational rap.  Why?  It’s just unbearably cheesy and doesn’t seem to have had much thought put into it, as a general rule.  And this song is no exception.  Sure, I guess it has value as a mnemonic exercise (and it does a decent job of that, as anyone who still has large chunks of it memorized can tell you), but no value as music.  It often doesn’t even come close to rhyming where you’d expect it to, and it's obvious that Loeffler et al weren't sure what to do with a few of the names at all — Grimer and Chansey have egregious pauses after them, for example, and Omastar is stretched across space enough for two or three names for no good reason.  It is broken into convenient-sized stanzas that are only somewhat awkwardly forced into the established meter, but that meter has a too-regular feel, bouncing like a musical Superball, that even I, someone with no particular knowledge of nor interest in rap, recognize as being cheesier than Vanilla Ice.  It also hasn’t aged well.  The sung parts have absolutely no dynamic range and stay at MAXIMUM DRAMA LEVEL at all times.  Over the past 20 years, the lyrics have also become obsolete due to the many additional generations of Pokémon media and consequently much longer list of Pokémon to memorize.  Those topics have been covered in excruciating detail by Brian David Gilbert, who is much cleverer than I am, and yes, I do highly recommend sitting through that entire half-hour video.  All I can really add to that is, it's considerably less annoying than certain other mnemonic songs I was exposed to growing up. A bad song, unless you’re viewing it through sheer unfiltered silliness?  Yes.  A surprisingly catchy song that was a good marketing move?  Also yes.  And 20+ years later, I still can't avoid laughing at the way he says "Wartortle".
13. You Can Do It (If You Really Try)
The album could've gone out on that upbeat note, but no, they had to go for another overblown ballad, this time trying far too hard to be inspirational.  The plus side is, it's not yet another generic 80s/90s pop song.  The minus side is, it sounds like something that would be playing on the PA in a church thrift store.  Or a fake ad on an episode of SNL.  I do not feel empowered by this level of unironic encouragement.  I just feel like my eyes are rolling so hard they'll fall out.  Its only saving grace is that it’s somehow not the most irritating inspirational ballad from the late 90s that was used in connection with a geek-magnet TV show.
Overall... Although I want to describe the music as being "generic" — and it is full of the tiredest parts of 80s and 90s music, wandering from orchestra hits to record scratch noises to cutesy synthesizer "dings" to what seem to be several different singers' bad Michael Jackson impressions — some of it is actually interesting!  See, no matter what impression you got from what I said above, I don’t categorically hate this style of music.  I made multiple comparisons to songs from Thriller and Bad because I think most of the songs on those albums are examples of how to do this genre very well.  But 2.B.A. Master doesn’t just lag because I’m comparing it to widely-beloved albums.  Writing this review actually sent me introspecting for quite a while about what music I enjoy and why.  And I realized, many of the cheesiest and most flawed aspects of this album are also present on less-acclaimed albums I enjoy very much, like the niche The Golden Age of Wireless by Thomas Dolby and the virtually-unknown Playgrounds ‘n’ Glass by Urban Blight.  But, while Dolby’s music often has the same cheesy synthesizer voices and lack of dynamics or has weirdly melodramatic moments, it’s also often clearly experimenting with particular effects and techniques, and his lyrics have evocative images or stories that make the songs really engaging.  And, while Urban Blight’s lyrics are often cliche-ridden or downright idiotic, the 80s/90s pop music instrumentation and style elements are varied and used with... for lack of a better term, more discretion, I guess?, which makes me feel like their songs are building to something musically.  Well, except the song “Favorite Flavor”, which is just garbage.
The point is, while neither of those examples is a great album (at least not to my taste, which I freely admit colors this), they are both still good.  Unfortunately, while some songs on 2.B.A. Master approach goodness, they are the exception, not the rule.  Most of the music is simple and predictable and seem to use the more grating tropes of the time like orchestra hits and record-scratch noises just because they can, and most of the lyrics are less "song about Pokémon" and more "attempts at being vaguely inspirational with Pokémon references forced in uncomfortably".  Some of the songs are enjoyable in a "this was an earnest attempt” and/or guilty pleasure sort of way (and I unironically like the B-52s, so believe me, I know "this was an earnest attempt” and/or guilty pleasure music), but there’s very little on here I’d actually call good.  The best track here musically, “2B A Master”, is wasted on blah lyrics, and the one that most accomplishes the goal of being a song about Pokémon, “Double Trouble”, suffers greatly from its speaking-over-the-singers vocal performance.  All I can say is, I’m glad I got this album used.
W/A/S Scores: 3/0/7
Weeb: The lyrics require some prior specific knowledge of the Pokémon anime to not be completely baffling, but Pokémon is probably the most well-known and well-entrenched Japanese franchise on this side of the Pacific, and other than that, it’s decidedly American, or at least decidedly within the musical cultures of Western Europe and the Anglosphere.
Ass: No.
Shit: AAAAAAAAH.  Okay, okay, no, seriously, there are a few good points, but it’s at best average-quality 90s pop with a veneer of Pokémon over the top.
Oh Weird: While writing this and hunting down appropriate links, I was surprised to see how many uploads of, and even covers of, songs from this album there are on Youtube.  I assumed this album was a more or less forgotten piece of bad 90s media, but apparently it’s one with a significant fanbase.
Oh Cool: Maddie Blaustein, the original English-language voice actress for Meowth was also a comic editor and writer for both Marvel and DC and the Creative Director for the Weekly World News. Oh, and she was intersex and, according to one of the sources cited by the Wikipedia article, bi.
Oh No: Educational rap is still a thing, and there are resources to make your own.
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crazyscotsmanthe1st · 2 years
Popping the Cherry
This isn’t my usual territory for rants, so I’ll hold my hands up straight away. Many who are better versed in these matters will probably find my opinions simplistic, naive and/or unrefined. But I feel compelled to comment on recent events which have ramifications for a movement I care deeply about.
Joanna Cherry is, by all accounts, a very intelligent and hard working politician. Her contribution to the legal cases regarding the proroguing of parliament and the reversibility of Brexit were extremely helpful and meaningful. She is impressive, there is no doubt.
She has an ego, as most folk in public life probably need to. By its very nature, politics requires and attracts people who are opinionated and very sure of themselves, both in their ability and in the justness of their chosen cause(s). This can often be a double-edged sword, as the very ego that propels them into their position becomes a factor in their downfall. I believe Cherry very much falls into this category - look no further than her “I’ve been sacked” tweet, which was dripping with bitterness and wounded pride.
Officially, her removal from the front bench of the SNP’s Westminster group was nothing more than a simple reshuffle. These are fairly common in politics, to keep teams fresh and give some talents a chance while others “take a break”. But if one of those “taking a break” has recently been underperforming and/or are strongly affiliated with a certain faction or policy direction, it can have much wider implications. Since even Cherry’s harshest critics can’t really accuse her of underperforming, the consensus is definitely the latter.
There seems to be two strands to the speculation - one is that she is an ally of Alex Salmond, and is planning a leadership bid. Personally I’m a little sceptical about this. She may well make a bid for the leadership now, but I don’t see her getting very far. The SNP is riding high in the polls and Nicola Sturgeon has towering approval ratings. Changing leader now, when the incumbent is so strong and so soon before a crucial election, would be suicidally unwise and frankly bonkers.
And while the Sturgeon v Salmond saga might get political hacks drooling and present a tiny chink of hope to beleaguered unionists, the reality is that most ordinary folk are far more concerned with Covid and Brexit. Who said what to who, who lied and who conspired in a dirty little court case that ended in an acquittal has no bearing at all on people’s day-to-day lives. It’s a distraction and an irrelevance.
The second strand, which I take far more seriously, is the issue of trans rights. This is where I’m a little out of my depth, so bear with me. My understanding is that there is a conflict between those who advocate better recognition and accomodation of the trans community on the one hand, and on the other those who oppose such measures on the grounds that they represent an erosion of women’s rights. Cherry very much falls into the latter category, and is seen as a standard bearer of that faction.
Here’s where I attempt to describe things as I see them. Trans people are an extremely vulnerable group that experience a great deal of violence and abuse. Recognising and accommodating them is a simple, necessary step if we are to call ourselves an inclusive and compassionate society. I think the argument has been misrepresented, which has led to an angry and fearful reaction from some feminists, some of whom have themselves suffered abuse and worry that their safe spaces are under attack. It isn't helped by the fact that many of the young, idealistic trans rights activists, while their motives are admirable, are using angry confrontational language (TERF etc) which isn't helpful. It saddens me that these two groups of people, who should be allies, are at each others' throats.
There's no easy answer to the conundrum of how to protect one community without endangering the other, but I think we have to err on the side of inclusion. This might be hopelessly optimistic, but I think if we move forward as a society and show kindness to the trans community, we'll all live in a safer world as a result.
That’s the way I see it anyway. Although I’ve recently left the SNP for unrelated reasons, it pains me to see the party I was a member of for many years so badly divided by this issue. I hope there can be a coming together, if both sides can calm the rhetoric and listen to the others’ concerns. We must move forward, and therefore the direction of travel has to be towards better trans rights, but I hope the other side can be brought on board and see it not as a threatening thing, but something to celebrate.
In that context, I see Cherry’s “sacking” as something that will cause short-term division, but hopefully signals a desire to embrace positive change.
The other thing I want to address is the sentiment I’ve seen among some people that “independence isn’t worth it if it isn’t inclusive enough”, or words to that effect. Having called for cosy consensus in the last paragraph, I have to confess that seeing these sentiments has made me quite angry.
The notion that trans rights, or anyone’s rights, will be better protected or promoted in Brexit Britain than they would be in an independent Scotland is frankly ludicrous. Independence will be a blank page, it will be what we make it. There will be no magic wand, independence won’t automatically fix everything and the real hard work will begin on day one. The destination is up to us, but we know exactly what we’re leaving behind. Rejecting the chance to build a better society because of flaws and imperfections in one political party is about as nonsensical and ridiculous as you can get. It’s utterly, utterly stupid. You might as well refuse to be rescued from a fire because you don’t like the colour of the Fire Engine. If you stick to that notion, we’ll all burn together - and maybe we deserve to.
Sorry - I did say it had made me angry. Breathe Mark, breathe.
So there we are. To sum up, Cherry should go and sit in a darkened room for a while (and maybe I should too) and we should find a way to move forward together towards an independent Scotland where everyone’s rights are respected. Forward and together.
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funface2 · 3 years
Chris Morris Finds the FBI, Sadly, Very Funny – Vulture
The Brass Eye creator reinvented himself as a movie director with Four Lions. It only took him nine years to give us a second film. Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films
Chris Morris, the 57-year-old English writer, comedian, and director, is both revered and reviled. He came up angering the masses with his breakneck parodies of news media, The Day Today (co-created by Armando Iannucci) and Brass Eye, programs that predated Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Arguably more radical and surreal than their various spawn, the satirical shows allowed for Morris to, for example, trick members of Parliament into somberly weighing in on a nonexistent Czechoslovakian drug called Cake. On an infamous one-off edition of Brass Eye, 2001’s “Paedogeddon!” special, he tackled moral panic around pedophilia by duping Phil Collins, among other celebrities, into supporting a fake charity, Nonce Sense. (If you’re familiar with British slang, you get it.) Channel 4 reportedly received 2,000 complaints after it aired.
In 2010, Morris reinvented himself as a movie director with Four Lions, a tightrope act of a comedy about a pack of bungling would-be jihadists, starring a young Riz Ahmed. The film prompted critic Andrew Pulven to declare in the Guardian, “Chris Morris is still the most incendiary figure working in the British entertainment industry.” Nearly a decade later, Morris is back with his follow-up, The Day Shall Come, a movie he once again co-wrote with Succession creator Jesse Armstrong. Like Four Lions, it’s a tricky attempt at getting laughs out of impossibly dark subject matter. The topic is ginned-up FBI stings in which hapless nobodies get reinvented as terror masterminds. The stories are manifold and depressingly familiar: an FBI informant finds a susceptible target with extreme leanings and offers money, encouragement, and weapons — and, eventually, the FBI has an alleged massive terror-plot bust to crow about. In The Day Shall Come, newcomer Marchánt Davis plays Moses Al Shabaz, a lovable dummy and would-be revolutionary who gets manipulated by Anna Kendrick’s ambitious, conflicted FBI agent. (Her read on Moses: “He’s got the threat signature of a hot dog.”) As Morris explained in our conversation ahead of the film’s release, “You have the Department of Justice behaving like gods — like rather paranoid gods. They’re playing with people that they don’t understand but that they can manipulate.”
The Day Shall Come is billed as being based on “a hundred true stories.” Was there one, in particular, that inspired you?  Very much so, yes. I was just watching the news on British TV, and the story came up that the FBI had arrested an army launching a full-scale ground war from a warehouse in Miami. I didn’t realize then it was the origin of a film, but three years later I ran into [former CIA operations officer and terror expert] Marc Sageman, who was a witness at the trial. He said, “Remember that full-scale ground war in Miami? It was actually going to be seven guys on horses. But they didn’t even have horses.” It turned out an FBI informant was offering $50,000 for them to come up with a plan against the government. Their first plan was to lead a protest to the governor’s house in Miami against conditions in the projects. And the informant said, “Well, you’re not gonna get much money for that, so you need to think bigger.” And they basically riffed their way into a ludicrous plot to knock over the Sears Tower, which they claimed they could do even though they had no idea how, and which they claimed would cause a tidal wave which would swamp Chicago. Then they said that the waters would subside and they would ride into town on horses because they said people respect a man on a horse.
So this was what was presented through a news bulletin as a bigger threat to the United States than 9/11. By the [former] attorney general, by the way! [Alberto] Gonzales. That’s how he described it. I just thought, “Right, that’s some great lie. And I now want to get to the bottom of this.” I was further drawn in by the fact that this was a pattern by which the FBI comes up with a terrorist plot and then tries to get someone to try and carry it out.
Before making Four Lions, you spent years researching jihadism. Was it a similar research process this time? Only in that you’re following something to find out more. But in all other respects, there were very few similarities. This is a story about law enforcement setting up a fake world and leading someone into it, creating a sort of Truman Show–type environment. The research then took me to a lot of places that were strange to me. I’ve never been in an FBI building before, I’ve never spoken to people in the Department of Justice or been around any American city police stations. I hadn’t been to Detroit, Dearborn, Chicago, where some of these cases had been perpetrated on people. It was a series of very interesting, exciting acquaintances with the unknown.
If you’re trying to write a character like Moses, you’re trying to create a fringe preacher, someone who has come up with their own ideology which represents a transcendent narrative to people who are living in an area which is pretty downtrodden. And in order to do that you have to understand the still-ongoing segregation that happens. We came across a bridge across a canal in Miami which separated two neighborhoods. The kids in the poorer neighborhood went to school in the better-off neighborhood across this bridge on the canal, but there was a dirty, great big steel door in the middle of the bridge and these kids were only allowed to walk to school with a police escort. Then at the end of the school day they were sort of ushered through back to the poorer neighborhood, and the steel door was slammed shut. You see that, and then you can start to write within the confines that the real world has set out for you.
Chris Morris in Brass Eye. Photo: Channel 4 Television Corporation
What was it like seeing things from the FBI’s perspective? There are on-the-record conversations where a glimmer of conscience appears. There’s an agent who [accidentally] left their recording on after when they’d been to visit a target, and once that recording is left on it has to be available to the court in a trial. So there was a brief moment, before the judge overruled [it as evidence], when this recording was around, and you can hear the agent coming back to the office saying, “Great, this guy is such an idiot, and is so poor, we’re not even going to need to offer him $50 to do something! We’re definitely on to something here!” And somebody else, another voice, says, “Yeah, but should we really be targeting this kind of person?” And there’s a bit of a pause and then somebody else says, “Yeah, we should.”
The FBI has been historically known to open files on musicians, writers, and all sorts of private citizens. Do you think they might have a file open on you now? If I say no, it’ll give someone who has got a file open on me a laugh. Who knows.
What kind of sway does being a U.K. comedy legend get you in the U.S. moviemaking system? [Dry British chuckle] Well, it varies. It’s certainly not the first part of the conversation.
I’m curious about your development over the years. Your movies — while impressively lacking any glint of a happy ending — very much are trying to tell empathetic human stories. Brass Eye, though, was almost nihilistic. It was, like, punk.  Oh, you prefer the happy ending of a punk attack?! Well, you know, those things are reactions. They’re glorified spasms, aren’t they? If you’re doing satirical commentary on the fabric of news presentations, or on how politics is mediated through the news, or on how celebrities stand for things they don’t understand, you’re just trying to detonate the same membrane that’s giving you this crap. You’re just trying to ruin the fabric. It’s like a grenade attack. It is a series of spasms which you make as jokes.
When you’re doing it, you’re basically setting yourself impossible tasks. You go, “Right, there’s no way we can get away with this, it’s impossible … so let’s try it.” And then you discover, “Oh my God, we got away with that.” There’s an internal logic. It’s not just the end that’s driving you forward. It’s your personal investment. Your testing of your own presumptions and basic discoveries of human psychology. Once you’ve discovered that, you’d be mad to carry on doing it. God, it would be so dispiriting. You’d be going [clicks into quiet, jaded voice], “Yeah, yeah, I go into this situation, I write this, I get that person to say this, and we’d end up with [long harrumph] another funny thing.” It would be awful!
Moses Al Shabaz in The Day Shall Come. Photo: IFC Films
A common observation about the pretty insane Brass Eye is that it wouldn’t look all that insane held up next to something like current-day Fox News. That, in a way, your fake news predicted the tenor of today’s real news. I’m … I’m pretty skeptical. I think it’s a quite superficial. In the time when I was satirizing the fabric of the media, the media took itself seriously, in that sort of universal voice. And since that time, that universal voice, and indeed the degree that people feel the news has a right to take itself seriously, has diminished. So there’s not an authority to undermine. People, you could say, they go around undermining their own authority now.
And politicians, if you are going to get them to campaign for something that doesn’t exist, you have to get them to talk unbelievable rubbish. I mean, really. I don’t mean just something you can’t believe but mind-blowingly stupid rubbish in order for it to be funny enough to put in a program.
It does feel like politicians lean into the shameless these days. You have to go so much farther for something to feel ridiculous.  The shamelessness is a strongman political tactic now. But I don’t think it’s a very good long-term game, do you? It’s disorientating because someone is offending the social codes. And in those circumstances, whether it’s amongst your own social group or amongst what is perceived to be the right way for politicians to behave, you can steal a certain amount of territory by doing that. You disarm the room, or the country, or the opposition by doing that, by simply not owning it as a problem. And [Trump] does just sort of drop a turd and move on and drop a turd and move on. It’s a disruptive tactic until people realize quite how basic the tactic is.
You and Charlie Brooker together came up with the idea for the the Black Mirror episode “The Waldo Moment,” in which a comedian playing a CGI bear becomes a rising political star. Waldo’s success comes from just being funny and awful, all the time. That’s another bit of content that could be said to foreshadow our current moment.  I’m not suuure. It’s the idea of being in character. As long as you’re in character, you can get away with anything. So as an evasion tactic, it’s pretty good. But I don’t think we thought, “Errhmm, the way things are going, there’s gonna be a populist uprising and an appeal to the lowest common denominator, and an appeal to people’s gut feelings without bothering about arguments or rigor or any of those processes which you expect from politicians” — I don’t think we saw all that. We probably just saw that childishness worked.
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Bài viết Chris Morris Finds the FBI, Sadly, Very Funny – Vulture đã xuất hiện đầu tiên vào ngày Funface.
from Funface https://funface.net/funny-news/chris-morris-finds-the-fbi-sadly-very-funny-vulture/
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smokeybrand · 4 years
Smokey brand Movie Reviews: Riddikulus
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a paradox. It’s a complex hodge-podge of beauty, brilliance, potential, and butt. Like, it’s so much better than the first but, at the same time, SO much worse. This is the first time i can definitive point to one thing derailing an entire film but that definitely shouldn’t be the case because it’s the goddamn script. This thing is written BY J.K. Rowling! These are HER characters! This is HER world! How is she f*cking this sh*t up so bad? It’s wild to see but, before this becomes a rant instead of a review, let me get into the detail proper.
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The Good
Goddamn, this movie is beautiful. The sets, the cinematography, the pageantry and costumes, the fantastic beasts; Everything in this movie is leveled up from the first and it shows. I was very impressed by the level of comfort exhibited by this crew and cast. They’ve kind of found their look and they’re effortlessly transcribing that from the first.
The costumes, in particular, are exquisite this time around. The Wizarding World always has the best costumes but i knew this would be something special because of the period in which these events take place. I was not wrong. also, it’s Paris. There’s a scene where cats have to get to a circus by entering under the skirt of this beautiful statue and the way that scene i framed? The juxtaposition of the statue in front of the modern, bustling, Paris? Simply breathtaking.
I really liked the casting in this flick. I think the addition of Depp and Law was a stroke of genius. These two cats were easily one the best things about this movie. It’s just a f*cking shame they weren’t given enough to do. That’s actually a continuing theme throughout this mess of a movie; No one ever has enough to do.
Dan Fogler is probably the best thing about this movie, really. But, like literally everyone and everything else in this thing, his Jacob Kowalski felt underused and underdeveloped. Dude did great with what he was given, everyone did, but what he was given, wasn’t much. That’s what this movie is, though, in a nutshell; Not much.
Eddy Redmayne did his thing. I’m pretty sure Newt is on the Spectrum and i think Rowling is trying to subtly hint at that, but she’s just a bit off. Newt comes across as dick most of the time, not some guy with difficulty reading and maneuvering social situations. I really like his take on Scamander but i can totally see how people find him unsympathetic and rude.
I liked the casting of Zoe Kravitz as Lita Lestrange. I think she was a bright spot in this film. I thick she could have shone brilliantly,though, if she has something to f*cking do! Like, the chemistry between her and Redmayne was palpable. I believed that they loved each other. It’s a goddamn shame we didn’t get to see that properly displayed.
This, young world Rowling is showing us, is absolutely stunning. Witnessing her magic set in a such a bygone time, is really something. I am thoroughly enjoying our current trip through the Wizarding World!
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The Bad
The timeline is mad f*cked up in here. There are certain scenes and certain characters that, for all intents and purposes, shouldn’t even f*cking exist just yet. There is one in particular that, by the time Potter proper is a thing, should be LONG dead but nope! Because it’s cool i guess? I dunno, man, it’s all just frustrating from a writer’s standpoint. Sh*t should be tighter. It’s not.
There are plot holes here that are infuriating. Common sense sh*t like, you know, not doing a thing or maybe opening your mouth. Aside from the contradiction of certain events occurring that have not occurred or the appearance of certain characters that are established to not have been until an entire decade after these events, characters make heel turns that are outright ridiculous and objectively adverse to everything they are. Or at least, have been built up to be in the one movie we have before this one. I watched my favorite character, take a path that would be abhorrent to everything they are, because they were talked to kind of nice? I get that. The most dangerous villain is the one that talks sense to you. Lucifer. Hitler. Trump. I get that. I can see Grindlewald having that charisma, too. It’s why you cats Johnny Depp. He oozes that sh*t! But it only works if you establish that Grindlewald has that gift of gab, that essential charisma to turn even the staunchest of non-believers but...
You never get the necessary time with him to even believably establish that Grindlewald has that ability! When said turn comes from my favorite, it just comes across as forced conflict instead of misplaced belief. They weren’t convinced, they were throwing a tantrum. For a film with his name in it, Grindlewald is wildly underdeveloped and he’s not the only one. There are, at least, four characters intricate to the plot, that have NO development. None. They are there as plot devices and that’s it. There’s one, in particular, that find themselves standing against Grindlewald but will end up standing WITH Voldemort! These motherf*ckers preach the same goddamn thing! The f*ck?? It’s Nagini. Nagini chooses not to follow Grindlewald but becomes a f*cking Horcrux for Voldemort. The f*ck, dude? Why? You don’t f*cking know, because none of her motivations or anything were ever f*cking explored! And those are just the underdeveloped.
There are some characters, one of the four main characters of the entire f*cking franchise so far, that have NO development! You can literally remove them from this film, and there would be no consequence. Seriously, why was Tina even in this f*cking thing? Why was she here? Why even try with her character? She’s exactly the same person,now, that she was, then! It’s Ludicrous! But she’s not the only one! and that’s the paradox; Core characters, essential to the plot, are wholly interchangeable. They be outright removed and this narrative would chug along fine, probably better, with just the slightest of tweaks. it’s f*cking insane to see.
The climax was underwhelming.
There are certain revelations that’s suppose to make the audience gasp but, if you’re into the lore of Potter, they’re an impossibility. It’s just terrible. Like, mid-career Shyamalanian levels of sh*tty twists. Just, knowing what i know about Potter, the disbelief necessary to suspend in order to accept this sudden turn is impossible. It’s insulting, really. It’s as messed up as that whole Aliens-hate-Water thing from Signs. It’s really that bad.
All of the controversy with this movie is kind of stupid. The Depp and Heard stuff is kind of ridiculous to me because,at the time of his casting, that sh*t had been resolved for several months. The whole Dumbledore and Grindlewald being gay for each other in a family film was also stupid. I mean, did you expect them to just make out in the middle of the movie Really? you think middle America is going to come to this thing with their f*cking kids to see that? But this sh*t with Nagini, though? That sh*t is a reach and a half! At best, she’s an ill conceived addition to an ill conceived narrative. At worst, she’s a poorly executed narrative trope. What she ain’t is a racist caricature of an Asian person. What it isn’t is some long standing accusation of feminism, peered through the lend of toxic masculinity, or whatever other buzzwords we’re using today. All of this sh*t is forced and stupid, and legitimately distract from everything else wrong with what’s going on in this move.
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The Worst
The writing in this movie is just terrible. Like, it’s written well. For a book. I can see the connections and understand where Rowling wants to take this but the detail she needs to build this story, she’s not getting within the confines of a script for film. She has all of these fantastic ideas, and they are fantastic, but the execution is just the worst! It CRIPPLES everything involved with what this movie is trying to do. I can see it, though, and that’s what really, really, hurts. I can see the forest through the trees and it’s a goddamn marvel! but the person in charge of caring for the forest, can’t. Not within the confines of cinematic narrative.
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The Verdict
Fantastic Beasts 2 is kind of a quandary. Everything in it that makes up a movie, is mildly excellent. Everything. Except the goddamn script. Rowling is a brilliant book writer but has no idea how to right a film. At all. The entire time I'm watching this thing, all I can think is how dope this would be if it were book three in an anthology. Beasts 2 is just too much, too soon. There is so much going on; So many factions, so many distractions, so many happenings, so many actions, that you lose yourself in the whirlwind of circumstance. Half of which are unnecessary! Don’t misunderstand, i liked this movie but i liked it because i love the world Rowling created. I like seeing Grindelwald. I like experiencing the different Magic Ministries and the youthful versions of characters i love. But not everyone is going into this thing wanting any of that. A lot of cats are going into this flick to see, you know, a movie, and that’s where this thing fails. There is a great amount of potential that goes unfulfilled in here because this needed room to breathe; room a 2 hour run time does not allot.
Overall, it's fun but mad disappointing. There is a great deal of awesome here and the world, itself, is rich with stories. It’s like Star Wars. And, like Star Wars, these new films are kind of f*cking up the legacy a little bit. Again, i really want to stress this fact, i liked this movie but not for the reasons i should. I like the idea of an expanded Wizarding world. I like Harry Potter. I like the cast and core heroes. I like the idea of these prequels. I do not like how Rowling is telling their story.
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celticnoise · 4 years
Tomorrow, the old routine.
And I want our fans to follow it, unfailingly.
I want them to do it for many reasons, but chief amongst them is that it will give nobody a chance to moan.
And if you think that’s a complete distortion of what the silence is about then I agree wholeheartedly. But all I’m doing here is taking something that’s already completely warped and driving it towards its natural conclusion.
I won’t even pretend otherwise any longer.
Besides, to me, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I is something to commemorate.
I would keep my mouth shut and close my eyes for sixty seconds if I was at Livingston tomorrow.
I would do that in contemplation of the utter waste of life that war was, on all sides.
And the soldiers involved in the conflict knew it too. German officers wrote poems about the courageous men their own were fighting against, although they had a less complimentary view of their fellow commanders. The whole war was just a tragedy; the aftermath was even worse.
Because the victors were so greedy with power and triumph that they imposed crippling sanctions and humiliation on the defeated foe, and thus created the perfect conditions for the rise of fascism. Within 20 years, a frustrated and still bitter Germany, led by an oddball Austrian who had fought in the trenches for his adopted homeland in that conflict, was launching another war, and he would drag much of the whole world into the abyss with him.
Commemorating the First World War as some kind of example of British exceptionalism would be pointless.
Nothing positive came from that conflict.
It had no legacy beyond the role in played in starting the next one.
Those who perished didn’t fight or die for our freedoms or anything like that; they died because national governments ruled by small-minded men had entered into stupid treaties which they felt they had to adhere to even if it meant war.
They feared losing face and losing weak more than the dreadful consequences of sending a generation of kids off to fight and die.
You can surmise how ludicrous it all was by what Crown Prince Wilhelm, of Germany, told an American reporter in 1914, after they had failed to conquer France quickly enough to avoid a two-front war. “We have lost the war,” he said. “It will go on for a long time but lost it is already.” And he was right. Hitler actually managed to conquer France and win the War in the West decisively, but he was unable to tame Russia and eventually faced the same strategic situation.
There was nothing glorious about any of it.
Remembrance Day is a monument to folly.
Yet other follies were to follow, including the modern day disgrace of Iraq.
Britain chooses to venerate war rather than turn away from it, as demonstrated in the way the poppy has drifted away from being one that commemorates the sacrifices of the two World Wars into something that glorifies militarism and encourages “patriotic” fervour.
Look, we all know this is something people do out of habit, not out of choice.
Most people who stood in silence around the country today were fiddling with their phones, or they had their minds on Sunday dinner on why certain players weren’t playing or why others were. Few minds anywhere were on the dreadful reality of The Somme.
Remembrance is supposed to be personal, respectful, something done voluntarily if it is to have any meaning. Instead it is enforced, and that strips everything positive from it and distorts the ideals those who fought and died were allegedly over there for in the first place.
So let’s accept that first and foremost. Let’s accept that most people who keep their mouths shut for those 60 seconds do so for a number of reasons, and that only a small minority actually consider the bigger picture and the sweep of history in that minute.
What I’m saying is that if you’re one of the people going to the game tomorrow, find your own reason and observe sixty seconds of silence.
This is not poppies on the famous club shirt, right? This is not about enforced conformity or the spectacle of militarism. This is about respect, and that goes beyond asking anyone to keep schtum for those who died in a war that’s been over for 100 years.
Observe the silence.
I don’t care why you do it and nor will anybody else.
Take a minute to go over your shopping list, or pull out your receipts and do a quick count up of whether or not the smirking clown behind the bar really did do you out of two quid with the last round. Think about the girlfriend you forgot to phone this morning and make a mental note to buy her some flowers. Consider how your living room will look with new wallpaper up. Take the minute and say a prayer for the planet as we slowly suffocate it. Take it and pray that we’re sitting at the top of the league when the game ends, or that Edouard doesn’t get injured. Let your mind wander to the holiday you’ve planned for next week, or let it linger on the one you’ve come back from. On the car you want to buy or the one you’re trying to sell.
Or look around at the fans around you, and you’ll see that some of them are remembering for the right reasons, thinking over the great grandparents they never got to meet but who served and came back home, or who’s lives where left over there on the killing fields … or perhaps those who played for our club and who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Do it for them.
Do it out of respect for your fellow fans.
It doesn’t matter what you think of it personally; put that aside for one minute and show solidarity.
And if you’re not capable of that, do it for the club.
They’ve asked everyone to observe this, so really, to refuse is to stick two fingers up to them.
Do it so that we don’t have to read about your moronic behaviour in the papers for a week, so that we don’t have to be tainted by your appalling ignorance and intolerance and self-indulgence.
Because if the act of silence has come to mean less and less, those who want to mount some pitiful protest are even more ridiculous.
That achieves nothing except to draw attention to how staggeringly without morals some people are, whatever they might kid themselves, whatever colours they might wear.
If you’re one of those people, already determined that you won’t be “forced” to shut up, one of that small number of selfish arseholes who thinks the stupid ideas in their own head over-ride one minute of respect for the dead, for their fellow supporters, for the club and for decency itself … stay away from the ground, alright?
Have your protest in the pub toilet, or in the street.
But don’t pretend, in doing so, that you represent anybody but yourselves.
There’s an expression I’m sure you’ve heard before; not in my name.
And not in Celtic’s name either.
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