Here's some production art of the Seal of Rassilon:
Here's Homura with her shield:
And here they are side-by-side. Either someone on the Madoka design team was a Who fan, or that's a heck of a coincidence. (The Coincidence of Rassilon, perhaps.)
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I got asked a thing about Daily Show/Colbert Report fandom history, and ended up typing a couple hundred words. Figured I'd repost it here, for anyone else who came in late and wants backstory.
In the beginning, before the Daily Show had any spinoffs, there was just tds_rps. Then the Colbert Report came along in 2005, and people started using "fake news" to refer to both shows together, in contrast to "real news" for the fans who wrote RPF about news anchors.
At that time Livejournal didn't let you have tags on posts at all. When the option was introduced, that was one of the motivations for creating the fakenews_fanfic community -- to create a place that had comprehensive tags from the beginning.
Anyone can start a new LJ comm, so they weren't centralized or organized in any logical way. If someone felt like there was a need that wasn't being filled by the existing comms, they would make one. Like, for a while tds_rps was joined by tcr_fps, which was open to Report-specific fics. It had such a narrow focus, there was argument about whether Jon/"Stephen" fics should be allowed -- because even though "Stephen" the character was in them, Jon wasn't a fictional character, he was just himself.
You can see why a community like that would get a limited amount of traffic. People who liked writing "Stephen" fic usually also liked writing about Jon. And a lot of them liked writing about Stephen-the-actor too, and there was heavy crossover with fans of news RPF, and fans of Strangers With Candy (the comedy Stephen co-created, where he played a character who was a lot like "Stephen," and the sense of humor was very similar), and so on and so forth....
So one of the reasons fakenews_fanfic rose to be the main fandom community was that it had a broad focus. People could post all their fake-news-related fic in the same place. Not every reader had exactly the same interests, but there was enough overlap that everyone would be interested in most of the fic posted. And the tags meant it was easy to go through and find exactly the things you liked.
For a long time there wasn't a single kink meme, just people making "put your kink prompts here" posts in their personal journals. Eventually someone decided to be more organized, and created a dedicated community for it. I don't actually know who! It was a personal project, not the official creation of any other community.
Fills from all the separate kink posts are bookmarked and tagged in one place. (I do know who handled that, because it was me.)
I did wince when they got to Ami's introduction, and were confused that the manga was "more modern" than the '92 anime, because she uses a CD instead of a floppy. Guys, your whole thing is comparing different versions, and you don't realize the manga had two different releases? (Well, three at this point, but the uber-high-quality edition hasn't been released stateside.) The version used for the Kodansha translations has a whole lot of updated art, most of which involves fixing wonky figures and adding more details, some of which involves the Dark Kingdom tech getting an upgrade.
Again, it's still early episodes, and fun enough that I'm sticking with it. Hopefully someone eventually clues them in.
I ended up writing a long thing to Sailor Business, because they've been really doing a disservice to Michiru's character. And apparently I have a lot more Feelings about her than I realized.
Context: They just passed the two-parter where Usagi is a daimon target. Before Uranus and Neptune arrive on-scene, Michiru asks Haruka if she's really okay with the possibility of that cute girl being sacrificed. Haruka, stoically, insists that she's fine. They gotta do what they gotta do.
...So our hosts keep saying Michiru is "passive" or "go along to get along." Because Haruka is the more overtly loud and confrontational one...and that means Michiru is just following her lead, taking cues from her.
But now they've seen Michiru's episode with Ami -- she didn't waver or wait for direction, she went straight for the jugular. And that's a microcosm of how she's approaching the whole quest: do something ruthless and cruel in the short term (pulling no punches with Ami/killing the Talisman holders) for the sake of a greater good in the long term (making Ami stronger/saving the world).
There's an old butch-femme trope/cliche, that femmes are "steel wrapped in velvet," and that's Michiru. On the surface she's all soft graceful feminine hobbies, but underneath she's perfectly capable of knifing you in your sleep.
The flip side of the trope is that butches are "velvet wrapped in steel," i.e. Haruka has a tough exterior but is a marshmallow underneath. Which lines right up with the podcast's favorite relationship trope -- "which of these people is the dog, and which is the cat?" Haruka is the dog! She barks really loud, but she's a sucker for belly rubs. She yells a lot about how they have to kill the Talisman holders, to cover the fact that she's the one who wrestles with it most in private.
Michiru handles the idea much better. Michiru is the cat who will knock all your stuff onto the floor, and look you in the eye while she's doing it, with zero remorse. Michiru is the senshi who would win Most Likely To Become A Supervillain -- not from brainwashing/hypnosis, we already know who's most likely to go through that, but based on her own personality and for her own reasons.
So when Michiru asks Haruka if she's okay with killing that cute innocent Usagi to save the world, there are two things going on here.
First is basically a supervillainy spot-check. Michiru knows it makes sense to her to kill a few people for the Greater Good, but is that really the moral strategy, or just the most coldly efficient one? Well, Haruka wouldn't be capable of doing this for the sake of cold efficiency alone. So Michiru can reliably calibrate her moral compass by Haruka.
The second angle is Michiru being a concerned girlfriend. What if they get the Talismans and save the world, but afterward Haruka can't handle the guilt? What if she has lifelong nightmares about Usagi's death?
We don't see what would have happened if Haruka had broken down and said "no, I'm sorry, this is too much, I can't go through with it." So different viewers can have different interpretations. My guess is that Michiru would say "it's okay, sweetie, you don't have to, we'll find another way"...and then send Haruka home and go to Tokyo Tower on her own, making herself solely responsible for whatever happens to any Talisman-holders who show up.
Because sacrificing three lives for the sake of the world is one thing, but making Haruka feel bad about herself? That's a bridge too far.
So, yeah, ruthless...but also, to be fair, a teenage girl in a traumatic situation. Part of the way she's handling it is by telling herself, "look, I know I'm not a Good Person. A good person wouldn't be this resigned to murdering three innocent people. But at least I can protect Haruka's soul from being crushed along the way. I still get to draw the line somewhere, and I choose here."
It takes another level in heart-rending when (and wow, I am looking forward to these episodes) you find out that Haruka got into the senshi game for Michiru. She told Haruka not to do it -- trying to protect her, although at that point it was in an impersonal, "nobody should have to deal with this stress" way -- and maybe Haruka would've listened, except then Sailor Neptune got in a monster fight she was going to lose without Sailor Uranus as backup.
So on some level Michiru is trying to atone for not being strong enough to keep this cute girl out of the fight.
...and you know, this makes it all the more satisfying when we get to that one SuperS special. A minor antagonist claims he has world-destroying powers, but Uranus and Neptune aren't intimidated by that threat anymore. And Neptune cheerfully leans into her ruthlessness -- she's 100% bluffing, but she's very good. Terrifies the pants off the guy. She has the power to simultaneously be a Big Damn Hero and out-villain the villains.
(Would you believe it, when I was a teenager, Michiru was the senshi I was least interested in? No, really. Even accounting for the context of her relationship with Haruka, who is probably my team-wide fave, I was not expecting to have this many Michiru feelings. But someone was Wrong On The Internet, and bam, here we are.)
If, instead of normalizing the existence of fics that portray noncon and underage, we make these themes taboo, if we pathologize them, if we require noncon works to be kept in a separate archive, if we insist that it be labeled with derogatory terms like “rapefic,” then what will happen is that writers who think that their work has “a bit of dubcon” in it will not tag it as such, in the hopes that it will fly under the radar and they won’t be banished to the leper colony with the filthy rapefic fans. This will have results that neither the responsible creators and consumers of noncon, nor the people who dislike it and categorically oppose it, want: that someone who doesn't want to see noncon will see it.
I wrote the above paragraph close to a year ago, and my predictions are already coming true. I have seen noncon and underage fanworks being posted without appropriate tags and warnings. Some of these inadequately tagged fics are being posted by the same people who accused me and my fellow gender politics panelists of being rape apologists and pedophiles. The creators of these works defend them as being somehow different than the works the so-called rape apologists create, because they themselves were underage when they drew the fanart or wrote the fic, or because the work features the right” pairing, or the “right” kind of non-consensual situation, or because they don’t “eroticize” the noncon aspect, or because there’s a sufficient amount of comfort to offset the hurt, or for any number of other reasons.
I would not have guessed there had been 147 lesbian/bi female characters on TV total, let alone 147 lesbian/bi female characters who got killed.
And that's just TV! First thing I thought of was Cloudburst (2011), a film I was loving right up until ten minutes from the end, when one of the sweet old lesbians randomly drops dead. Why, movie? Why did you have to do that?
Couldn't remember the title off the top of my head...so I found it by googling "old lesbian couple movie." Not "old lesbian couple movie where one of them dies," wasn't necessary to get that specific, it was the top result anyway.
Someone ran stats for this year, going off of GLAAD's stats for primetime broadcast programming. "In 2015 there were only 35 fictional wlw characters on television and 80 days into 2016 they’ve killed 8 of them. That is a fourth of them. In less than 3 full months of the year."
Why, industry? Why did you have to do that?
It's Week of Sardonyx here in the rewatching queue!
Spoilers may include everything, up to and including the latest Stevenbomb.
s02e11 Cry for Help
s02e12 Keystone Motel
s02e13 Onion Friend
s02e14 Historical Friction
s02e15 Friend Ship
(iii) Leave comments that bring up the issues, but gently. Err on the side of positive reinforcement of the parts you liked. Keep the criticisms in-universe when you can. "Tony, no, don't do it!" is more palatable than "Tonyfan89, no, don't write it!"
Especially if the author turns out to be more self-aware than you think. I remember reading a fic where a main character was getting hostile and angry to OOC levels, and it was really uncomfortable to read...five or six chapters of this, and it turned out she'd been possessed. She was going grimdark that whole time - in a believable, canon-compliant way, even.
(iv) Vanish from the comments box for now. When the final chapter is posted, leave a general comment recalling the things you liked. That'll give the author (and you) closure. Don't spell out that it stopped working for you. They can probably figure that out for themselves. (Does not apply if the fic got irretrievably offensive at some point.)
I mean, the fallout from this is gonna be chaotic as all get out, but hoooooopefully to good results? The popular candidates were the ones with reformist agendas anyway, so when the existing Board burns itself to the ground, that leaves a whole lot of clear territory to build up fresh new everything. Even though that's a much bigger job than the 2 newly-elected candidates (plus whoever gets finagled into the 5 newly-freed seats...I assume the 3 electoral runners-up, and who else?) signed up for.Fingers crossed that they can turn the OTW into an organization I'd be comfortable giving money to.
Slacktivist has a ton of posts about this phenomenon as it affects the religious right in the US. Under the tag "satanic baby-killers", because that's the horrifying imaginary monster that's always getting invoked.
For the Wannabe-Progressive Kids On Tumblr version, the tag would be "problematic pedophiles."
This latest is inspired by a Tumblr dogpile of an SU fanartist that got so bad she's in the hospital. FFA has details. Accusations range from "she drew teenage characters in bikinis, WHAT A MONSTER" to "she didn't draw this Jewish guy stereotypically enough, which makes it erasure" to "in the scenery of this picture, there's an object that was copied and pasted!! Think of the artistic integrity!"
There may be one actual child predator involved in this -- a guy the artist met when she was 13, who got friendly enough with her that she did at least one art request for him. I have no idea if this is legit or just another case of frothing-accusations-out-of-thin-air, but the Tumblr mob believes it...
...and they're using it as more ammunition to harass the artist.
Because when adult male pedophiles cultivate the friendship and emotional attachment of 13-year-old girls, that's somehow the fault of the 13-year-old girls.Everyone involved in this needs to go sit in a quiet room and reread their own words until the reasons why this is wrong soak in. And they can't go back on the Internet until they're done.
I've been scouring the Internet for a nice margay plushie, and have come up empty. (Even something like an ocelot that looked close enough would work, but no.) How is it that, for a cat with an adorable elegant face like this, the only stuffed version on the market is this little terror?
Rubella is gone from the Americas! Go vaccines!
Jon Stewart is literally buying a farm to be a shelter for rescue animals. The man is a Disney prince, I swear.
"$5 million in property damages. 140 injuries. Nine police officers injured. 17 police cars set on fire. Countless local businesses looted and vandalized. Over 1200 criminal charges."
Wisconsin wants to micromanage the kinds of cheese poor people can buy. Allowed: un-fresh mozzarella. Not allowed: fresh mozzarella! Muenster and provolone are in. Swiss is out! Cheddar is okay if you like it mild or medium. Sharp or extra-sharp, though? How dare you waste your benefits on exactly the same product with a slightly different flavor for exactly the same price!
(We all remember that food assistance benefits the economy, right? The USDA found that $1 in food assistance translates to $1.84 in GDP, and an independent study from Moody's calculated the number as $1.73. Help out businesses by helping their customers, and you can watch the wealth grow upward and outward.)
Has the Sherlock fandom implosion stopped yet? I don't even want to look.
A fan in their late 50s points out that it hasn't been that long since the mildest and most G-rated of m/m was a shunning offense. Another fan compiles a whole bunch of research on how sexual fantasies do not translate into IRL behavior, and, specifically, sexual fantasies about dangerous things do not inherently make a person dangerous.
And, look, it's true that (unlike general gay stuff) there are a lot of kinks you need to handle carefully. Especially when it's something as radioactive as shotacon and lolicon -- it's not about being ashamed, it's about having a certain amount of emotional intelligence. Be conscious of where and how you're posting. Tags and warnings are good. The locked-post function on Dreamwidth, the content warnings and age limits available on Deviantart, and the warnings and viewer-limiting options on the AO3 are all great tools to limit your audience. Not perfect, but great.So it's notable that this wank literally started with a in-person conversation on an 18+ panel at a convention. That's probably the highest level of "minors not enabled to view this content" that fandom offers. Surreptitiously filming one of these panels, posting select parts of the video online, and spreading them around the Internet is a great way to demonstrate how little you truly respect and support people's efforts to keep certain things away from uninterested and/or underage eyes.
whose own fanbase is trying to drum her off the Internet for drawing pictures of a fictional sexy 19-year-old eating fruit.
Seriously, fandom, what is going on with you these days? We keep getting these “any dealings with sexuality beyond what I am personally comfortable with are gross and disgusting and should be shunned” outbursts, not from conservative Family Values(TM) adults, but from social-justice-savvy teenagers.
Look, eight years ago, Livejournal tried to go after the accounts of people in Harry Potter fandom who drew sexy teenagers. The pan-fandom backlash was immense. Dreamwidth and the AO3 were both kickstarted by the widespread desire for fandom-friendly websites that would not freeze anyone’s accounts based on their treatment of fictional teenagers.
And teenage me, who had been drawing [atrocious attempts at] sexy pinups of Sailor Moon characters for several years by that point, felt empowered and supported by the idea that fandom-at-large didn’t think I was weird or sick.
Tween me, btw, did encounter things in fandom that I would shrug off (or enjoy!) now, but that were, at the time, shockingly sexual. So I used the back button! I closed the window! (This was before tabbed browsing was a thing. You know, the dark days.) Never would’ve considered approaching the creator and going “this is offensive, take it off the Internet.”
But for the past couple of years we’re getting that. From within fandom. Paired with this stony refusal to consider the fact that people age, people change, people grow. A character is 15 at the current point of the story in Ava’s Demon, therefore you can’t possibly think forward and draw her as a sexy 19-year-old. A character is 11 when she’s introduced in Madoka Magica, therefore you're disgusting if you ship her with any of the 15-year-olds -- what do you mean, you imagine them getting together when she’s older than 11? Don’t you understand that anyone who was 11 at any point in time must remain pure and nonsexual forever and ever?
To say nothing of the depiction-must-equal-endorsement crowd. If you write a story involving child abuse, whoo boy, that can’t be a serious treatment of a real-life issue that some survivors find therapeutic and validating to read -- it must mean you’re a Danger To Real Children, and if you get near Welcome to Night Vale fandom they will doxx you for great justice. (Welcome to Night Vale, like PMMM and Ava’s Demon, is of course a series in which only sweet and uplifting things happen to minors, and they certainly don’t die horribly on a regular basis.)
Look, if you’re uncomfortable with a sexual thing, that’s okay! You have a right to determine your own comfort level. You have a right to boundaries.
But consider that, perhaps, the thing is not Wrong or Bad or Disgusting. This is not an invalidation of your feelings or your boundaries. It could mean that maybe, just maybe, the thing is simply Not Your Thing.
Especially if other people with your issues are saying the thing was helpful. The person next to you in class may be using the same work that’s making you uncomfortable as a valid way of coming to terms with their queerness, and/or their past abuse, and/or their sexuality in general. This indicates that it’s a Thing For Them, and not a Thing For You, and that is okay.
(It doesn’t mean you’re obligated to be one of the people shouting on the battlements to defend it, either. Solidarity is great from those who are willing and able to provide, but if it isn’t Your Thing, it may not be Your Fight.)
Maybe, over the next ten years, it will become a Thing For You. This happens! Some of the adults who are telling teenagers to chill out over this issue are probably adults who have experienced it firsthand.
Or maybe it will never be a Thing For You. That’s okay too. Not everything has to be for everyone. Enforce your boundaries without judgment. Close the tab, delete the bookmark, unfollow the artists, set up your blacklist...without judgment. Step back, and recognize that humanity is a great big beautiful spectrum of contradictory feelings and reactions which do not invalidate each other by existing in different people, and go revel in the things that are within your own personal comfort zone for a while.