So, about Jingrui

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:44 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
And here’s where I run into problems with anything that moves Jingrui’s relationships to somewhere they are not currently: Jingrui takes things at face value. He’s not dumb or unsophisticated; on the contrary, he observes quite accurately that, for example, Su Zhe does not particularly like (or suit) working for Prince Yu. But it’s Yujin, not Jingrui, who spots that maybe Su /isn’t/. Jingrui is trusting to an alarming extent, considering his family.

This suggests to me that both sides of his family, and in fact everyone else of his acquaintance, have deliberately kept him out of Serious Business concerns, and have probably done so from day one. It further suggests that, despite that, he’s gotten regular confirmation that he’s valued and loved. Watching the way he interacts with everyone except the Marquis, even while things are falling apart and blowing up, I think we can bet on this–there’s been a feedback loop there, his whole life, in which Jingrui is open hearted and is therefore cherished by his family, and therefore keeps being open hearted and trusting, and is therefore sheltered, and so on.

Which means that Jingrui probably also has a tendency to go with the flow and trust that everything will turn out, until or unless he’s whacked over the head with something that is clearly Wrong in some way. (Jingrui inspires me to use capitals, too.) So shifting his relationship with Yujin, especially if we assume Yujin has been taking some trouble to be a bit misdirecting thanks to his fear to screwing things up, is… going to take some work, let’s put it that way.

I do find it interesting that Jingrui apparently idolized Lin Shu (at least, Yujin says he was the one always running after Lin Shu, and dragging Yujin along), and keeps idolizing him, even in disguise. Jingrui might not /do/ the incisive insight thing, but he does seem to /respect/ it, very highly. (One possibility here: that he notices this characteristic as it comes out more strongly in Yujin.) I suspect part of Jingrui’s youthful cousin-crush was also that Lin Shu was already in the military. Jingrui gets the warrior thing from both sides of his family, both the in-system and out-system versions. I suspect the military is genuinely Jingrui’s career goal, insofar as he has one; the camaraderie of soldiers, as presented in the story, seems very like what Jingrui values in his relationships, and it’s what he’s been raised to. (Alternate possibility: Jingrui and Yujin’s squads can’t take the pining any longer and set them up.)

So, if Yujin is currently Prince Ji’s understudy, I kind of think Jingrui is Meng’s. The trick will be moving them both toward a little conjoint personal development when both characters have so much inertia built up in their current positions.

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Re: A Small Crisis of Faith

Jun. 19th, 2017 07:04 pm
pocketseizure: (Teh Bowz)
[personal profile] pocketseizure
About a month ago I mentioned that I submitted a pitch to an essay collection about gender and horror.

Of the three editors working on the collection, the male one just got back to me to say that he would be happy to accept my essay, but that he wants me to make it racist. "Can you tell me more about the cultural context of this piece?" he asks, which seems reasonable until he begins his series of follow-up questions. "For example," he says, "why do the Japanese find women so frightening?" Each question is worse than the last, but my favorite is, "Why is Japan so dysfunctional?" It's like, I don't know, Mr. White British Dude, why don't you tell me why the majority ethnicities of small island countries have weird anxieties relating to cultures other than what they perceive to be their own.

I don't want to be That Writer who is difficult to work with, but... I mean... I would feel weird if I didn't say something, even if it means this essay doesn't get published in this particular venue. I guess, as always, the keyword is "gently."

LET ME TELL YOUR FORTUNE

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:56 pm
seventhe: (Default)
[personal profile] seventhe
Today I learned that my phone autocorrect and predictive texting have pretty effectively picked up my mannerisms and habits and vocabulary, SOOOOO as a game whose bounds are "hilarity" or "creepily accurate", leave me a one-word prompt to start a phrase and my phone and I will read you your fortune.

About Yujin

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:44 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
The latest story is stalled in the way that usually means there’s something about these characters that I don’t know yet, so let’s think out loud for a bit about Yujin. (It may be Jingrui, but we’ll start with Yujin.)

The first thing that comes to mind is that Yujin is seriously Prince Ji’s understudy, which in turn suggests immediately that Yujin’s sunny smile is a bit of a front. This is not actually surprising, given that Yujin’s family life kind of shafted him. He’s the son of a woman his father didn’t love, and has been pretty roundly ignored by his father all his life. No matter how well-adjusted a kid is, that leaves a mark. I also note that Yujin is the one who says Lin Shu was impatient with the younger kids and not fun to be around, and that Jingrui was the one who dragged them both after Lin Shu all the time. Yujin preferred Prince Qi.

Now that’s interesting. Because Yujin is clearly reasonably smart, and very observant; he follows along with all the complicated plans easily. But he preferred the significantly older Prince Qi to the brilliant and older but still part of his own generation Lin Shu. So, yeah, I’m checking the box for “dad issues” here, and running on the supposition that Yujin has basically been hungry for any kind of father figure (which probably also ties into his friendship with Prince Ji).

And I have to wonder whether Yujin’s social-butterfly mode isn’t a way of reassuring himself that, whatever’s wrong with him (because of course he thinks there’s something wrong with him) it can’t be /too/ bad, right? You can see hints of this anxiety in what he says when he comes to thank MCS for fixing his family–thanking him for /allowing Yujin to be properly filial, which he’s been failing to do/. Of course Yujin frames this as all his fault, and I don’t think that’s purely down to cultural convention.

Yujin is a very accomplished fighter (in the top ten of the tournament, survives the attack on the spring hunt) and quite willing to follow Jingrui around the pugilist world, but he has no contacts of his own there. He also isn’t the understudy of any of the military types, so I’m guessing that the military was never an ambition of his. Instead, he’s following as closely as possible in his family’s diplomatic footsteps (put another check in “dad issues” I’m thinking) which may, therefore, be both his hope and his interest. He’s definitely the one who reads people best, identifying right away when someone is having a one on one and dragging Jingrui away, setting up Prince Ji to witness Wei’s escape, etc.

Interpersonally… well, here’s where he gets slippery. Because Yujin seems to have no personal friends or connections besides Jingrui. He’s cut off from his family, for most of the series, and his social activities center, not to put too fine a point on it, among paid companions. He’s socially adept, but I’m guessing that he’s going to have some problems with any kind of mid-range relationships (not father or Jingrui but not courtesans either). And if there’s the slightest hint that something he does might injure his relationship with his father or Jingrui, he’s almost certainly going to strike that off the menu of options rather than risk it.

…which suggests that it’s /Jingrui/ who’s going to have to make the first move, oh god. Because Yujin will /never risk it/. That’s it, right there. *headdesk* Oh, this’ll be such a pain. Okay, need to think about Jingrui next.

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pocketseizure: (Mog Toast)
[personal profile] pocketseizure
- This week I did my job. It was not unpleasant, but not easy either.

- I wrote a 5,000 word report regarding my business in Tokyo.

- I was really surprised to find that some of the questions I was asked to answer in my report reflected weird American stereotypes concerning Asians ("Did you find that [people] were able to voice their opinions instead of acting according to group consensus?") and the Japanese ("Were [people] unnecessarily cruel in any situation?"), so I had a long (to the tune of about four thousand words) email conversation with my liaison in which I requested that this racist nonsense be rectified.

- I wrote a slightly different version of the report in Japanese that weighed in at about 4,000 characters.

- I got invited to visit the North American headquarters of Nintendo in November. I accepted this invitation, OBVIOUSLY.

[Fic] Red Heart and White Sword

Jun. 18th, 2017 04:22 pm
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)
[personal profile] branchandroot

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Nirvana in Fire, In Every Time and Season
Characters/Pairings: Cai Quan, Eunuch Gao, Gong Yu, Jingyan/Shu, Li Len, Lin Shu | Mei Changsu, Liu An, Mu Nihuang, Nihuang/Shu, Shen Zhui, Xia Dong, Xiao Jingyan, Xiao Xuan, Zhao Wei
Summary: Lin Shu and Nihuang settle into life at court, in the field, and in Jingyan's home while Lin Manor is repaired. The rest of the court may need a few stiff drinks to recover from the process, especially once a complex political scandal breaks in the middle of it.
Meta: Drama with Politics and Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 22852

Now Jingyan returned his gaze, steady and serious. "Even though you hoped to be done with being the strategist, after Prince Qi, my brother's, and Lin's and Chiyan's names were restored?"

For a long moment, he was silent, because that had been true. "I did finish with it, though," he said at last, slowly. "And I returned to my old self, my own world, long enough to die there. I thought that would be the end of it, and I still believe I was right about that. This," he swept a hand around, at the palace, at the ministers and officials and ladies moving through the halls and gardens, each intent on their own ends and ambitions, and the three of them in the middle of it all, "this is what comes after that end, another new life." He gave Jingyan a tiny smile. "Now, what I can do, all that I can do, is for you and with you, nothing held back. That's as it should be, and I have no wish to be done with it."

Red Heart and White Sword )
prillalar: christophe giacometti posing sexy at the pool (christophe)
[personal profile] prillalar
Still (3349 words) by Halrloprillalar
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Celestino Cialdini/Christophe Giacometti
Characters: Celestino Cialdini, Christophe Giacometti
Additional Tags: Porn with Feelings, Hotel Sex, Anal Sex, Hook-Up, Age Difference
Summary:
At competitions, Christophe has an arrangement where he doesn't know who will show up in his room at night. After the GPF Free Skate, he waits to find out who it will be this time.

He's half-asleep again when he hears the click of the door. Soft footfalls crossing the room. Christophe leaves his eyes closed and moves against the bed.


Montréal -40°C (4593 words) by Halrloprillalar
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Underage
Relationships: Jean-Jacques Leroy/Original Male Hockey Player, Otabek Altin/Jean-Jacques Leroy
Characters: Otabek Altin, Jean-Jacques Leroy
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, Dubious Consent, Blow Jobs, Facials, Voyeurism, Masturbation, Hockey, Sadness, JJ Is Our King
Summary:
Pre-canon. While Otabek is training in Montreal over the summer, he and JJ take part in a charity celebrity hockey game with the Canadian national juniors team. One hockey player in particular seems to be targeting JJ.

"It's for charity," JJ says, leaning over the boards and waving his phone. There's something about his face, puppy-eager, that pinches Otabek, two sharp fingers on the edge of his heart.

SASO 2017 BR2 Fills

Jun. 17th, 2017 08:28 pm
blueminuet: (Default)
[personal profile] blueminuet
  1. Inui Sadaharu/Tezuka Kunimitsu (Prince of Tennis): he gave me an orgasm. multiple times. the weird stuff he did in middle school is now irrelevant. (E)

  2. Fuji Shuusuke/Kawamura Takashi (Prince of Tennis): Terraforming (featuring war-weary Taka and weird alien Fuji) (T)

  3. Inui Sadaharu/Tezuka Kunimitsu (Prince of Tennis): Going to give your dick a friendship bracelet. (E)


branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
The little mildly-kinky Jingyan/Lin Shu porn story demands to be titled “The Yellow Season”. I would like it to be understood that I do not /normally/ make dreadful puns or linguistic jokes in my story titles, so perhaps this can just be considered, I don’t know, truth in advertising or something?

Is it too late to not use Taoist color symbolism for the titles in this arc? It is, isn’t it? *sighs*

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My Fandom Experience with Loneliness

Jun. 13th, 2017 04:38 pm
pocketseizure: (Default)
[personal profile] pocketseizure
This is from Page 127 of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness...



...wherein a depressed young woman finds the validation and acceptance she's been craving from an online community that supports her. I'm immensely happy for the artist, but this also breaks my heart. This is exactly how I thought it would be for me, and this is what I wanted from fandom, but it never happened.

There's another page in the manga where the artist describes feeling "like being at ninety-five percent rejection" just about all of the time, so that when she experiences even a small rejection it's like the end of the world for her. I think, more than anything, this explains why I tend to get so butthurt about Tumblr. I always feel like I'm already at 95% rejection, so then when I turn to fandom, expecting to find validation and acceptance, the extra 5% of rejection destroys me.

Just as the artist describes it, I have a feeling that I'm not working hard enough, and that I will never be able to work hard enough for my work to be accepted. I'm not depressed like the artist, but this sort of ongoing existential crisis creates the exact same sense of emotional precarity. I wish that fandom could function as a way to escape this emotional precarity for me as it did for her, but I'm already expending so much energy just treading water that I really can't see where I need to go to make that happen.

For the time being, I'm laying low while I take a small break to recover a bit of stamina.
seventhe: (Quistis/Rydia: Yeah I Ship It)
[personal profile] seventhe

so i've talked here a lot about fibromyalgia, and stress, and energy and chronic fatigue, and the concept of overcharging on a credit card and then having to pay the balance and interest later; it's an analogy that feels pretty close to the experience, just another way to phrase the spoon theory. I've been managing this on a microscale for the last couple years: spend all my energy at work, push off the crash until i get home, have no energy to do anything; repeat. well, it turns out this happens on the macroscale as well, as i found out last week when i finally had the first part of the breakdown i've been holding off for four years running.

i took two days off of work to manage it - yeah, i haven't even been here a month and i'm taking vacation, but they know about my health problems and are v understanding - and it was ... just ... weird

it's very overwhelming when all the bullshit you've been suppressing for four years straight decides to come due and crash down on you all at once. and it isn't over -- you can't recover from four years in ten days, you just can't.

but that's where i am, and that's what is happening, and my partner and i had an incredibly pleasant lazy weekend and he also cleaned my entire kitchen (as in, exiled me to the couch to relax while he cleaned it, which did lead to a massive meltdown on my part, but worked eventually when i fell asleep on the couch) and we went to the farmer's market and bought delicious fresh local food and veggies and fruits, so i have good motivation to eat well and take care of myself this week.

i'm very wary of what else might be behind the (cracking, breaking) dam, waiting to flood me out, but ... if i could handle those four years, i can handle whatever backlash they're gonna dish out

princesssid: manga screencap of hinata shouyou looking possessed (crawl up the wall hinata)
[personal profile] princesssid
1. tsukishima/yamaguchi, words
2. akashi/&midorima, shogi pieces
3. murasakibara/himuro, cookie clicker
4. murasakibara/&akashi, words

fills i've done:
1. taka/fuji, A1, passing the torch
2. taka/fuji, B2, plants take over
3. taka/fuji, C3, through leaves of green
pocketseizure: (Needs More Zelda)
[personal profile] pocketseizure
- I put up a new book review on my professional blog.

- I put up a new post on my gaming blog.

- I flew to Japan.

- I'm so goddamn jetlagged, holy fuck.

- I'm doing my best on Instagram, I am trying really hard.

On Your Line Culturing Your Wars

Jun. 10th, 2017 04:34 pm
pocketseizure: (Teh Bowz)
[personal profile] pocketseizure
In a chapter of her new book Kill All Normies titled "From Tumblr to the Campus Wars: Creating Scarcity in an Online Economy of Virtue," Angela Nagle summarizes her theory on how the right was able to take political power even while the left has become more stridently vocal. She writes:

In the early days of Twitter, a platform in which users are supposed to compete for followers and through which lagging careers can be instantly boosted through the correct virtue signaling, minor celebrities realized that one could attract a following greater than through traditional media. At first, self-righteously or snarkily denouncing others for racism, sexism or homophobia was the most instantaneous and certain way to achieve social media fame. Something about social media platforms, it turned out, was conducive to the vanity of morally righteous politics and the irresistible draw of the culture wars. But soon the secret was out and everyone was doing it. The value of the currency of virtue that those who had made their social media cultural capital on was in danger of being suddenly devalued. As a result, I believe, a culture of purging had to take place, largely targeting those in competition for this precious currency. Thus, the attacks increasingly focused on other liberals and leftists often with seemingly pristine progressive credentials, instead of those who engaged in any actual racism, sexism or homophobia.
 
Although I tend to think that Tumblr functions differently than Twitter in a number of meaningful ways, this hypothesis makes sense. In fact, I've posted multiple times here on Dreamwidth about how confusing and frustrating it's been for me to be attacked for seemingly minor infractions (such as finding nonwhite fictional characters attractive in the "wrong" way) on Tumblr while actual literal white supremacists drove the U.S. presidential election and were then treated seriously in the discursive forums of mainstream media.

That being said, Nagle's ostensible emphasis on rationality and resulting lack of empathy for other human beings calls her conclusions on leftist culture into question in its creation of major critical gaps. To give an example of what I mean, Nagle is deeply steeped in academic ideology (she wrote a dissertation about this, after all), but for some reason she refuses to reference any political theorists who aren't white, male, and European. As a result, the only women who appear in her discussion are either (a) real or hypothetical victims of online harassment, (b) "special snowflakes" on Twitter and/or Tumblr, and (c) herself, whom she repeatedly positions as being above the "fetishization of vulnerability" that she claims characterizes identity politics.

Essentially, Nagle is uncomfortable looking at the current political situation from the intellectual perspective of anyone who is not white, male, and European. This leads her to make numerous statements such as the following, which precedes a brief discussion of Gamergate:

First, let me be clear on my own position on gaming. If you're an adult, I think you should probably be investing your emotional energies elsewhere. And that includes feminist gaming, which has always struck me as being about as appealing as feminist porn; in other words, not at all.

Statements like this demonstrate that, for someone who goes through great pains in order to connect the contemporary alt-right to twentieth-century academic political philosophy, Nagle really... hasn't done all of the required reading, I guess.

Even though what Nagle is saying about the self-cannibalization of identity politics on Tumblr makes sense, I find it difficult to have any faith in her overall argument, which is basically that the trolls on Reddit and 4chan hate Tumblr-based leftist culture because of course they do, any sane person would. I mean, that's a reasonable thing to say, but it's not really a thesis statement that I would expect someone with a PhD to make, you know? What I'd like to see is a more sensitive and nuanced critique of Tumblr-based political culture from the perspective of someone who is more sympathetic to the concerns of the people who have created communities there; but, to be fair, Kill All Normies is very clear regarding the fact that its focus is on white men.

That writing thing...

Jun. 10th, 2017 04:38 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
…where you get to the end/climax and realize that you have to go and write another, interstitial, story in order to make it make sense.

*bangs head against the desk a few times*

And now I have to come up with names for all the builders/renovators! *goes to pull up Wiktionary again, and also the history of courtyard houses*

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