Male anatomy reference
Anatomy for the artist
2013.03.06 07:23 larrybuffaloboy Anatomy for the artist
A place where fellow alien artists can discuss, learn, or reference the human anatomy.
2020.11.24 19:31 swankykane tiaarnmmrio
Always use anagrams.
2013.01.17 21:20 NewYorkBarbershop305 r/Barber - Reddit’s #1 Barbering Community
Welcome to /Barber - The #1 community on Reddit dedicated to the art of barbering for barbers by barbers.
2023.05.30 05:56 Plenty_Yellow7311 What if going straight is slower that why we havent figured out FTL?
Here is my hypothesis - for reaching or exceeding FTL communication by way of analogy with bioology/chemistry - straight might not be faster, consider saltatory conduction which is not straight but jumps along Nodes of Ranvier yet it is a faster electrical tranmission than straight line along axons.
Are there Nodes of Ranvier in space where jumping across is faster than straight line?
I was reading about neurons and how it used to be they thought they were only chemical firing - not electrical. Turns out science found out it was both. Interesting this debate was 1906 (incidentally 1 year after Einsteins miraculous year).
I found it so strange, counterintuitive really that an electrical neuron traveling along an axon in the CNS would go FASTER by hopping along the axon rather than simply gling in a straight line along it. Its almost like by hopping its as it it is a WAVE that is permitted to move unencumbered - like a lightway or a sound wave. From wikipedia - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Node_of_Ranvier
- - "In neuroscience and anatomy, nodes of Ranvier (/ˈrɑːnvieɪ/ RAHN-vee-ay), also known as myelin-sheath gaps, occur along a myelinated axon where the axolemma is exposed to the extracellular space. Nodes of Ranvier are uninsulated and highly enriched in ion channels, allowing them to participate in the exchange of ions required to regenerate the action potential. Nerve conduction in myelinated axons is referred to as saltatory conduction (from Latin saltus 'leap, jump') due to the manner in which the action potential seems to "jump" from one node to the next along the axon. This results in faster conduction of the action potential."
see pic/video showing straight line vs jumping along nodes here - https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saltatory_Conduction.gif#mw-jump-to-license
So i was thinking - Is there an analogy for interstellar FTL - whereby there is some means or mechanism in the universe/in space where something can be sent along a Space-type Node of Ranvier?
I read that electrical signals travel at or very close to the speed of light? (depending on the quality of the transmission cables, good is about 80% speed of light, vs excellent cables you get close to 90% or more). See discussionnfor regular rlectrical cables: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/358894/speed-of-light-vs-speed-of-electricity
How does the speed of light compare in a equal distance from point A to B compared to electrical firing of neurons - where along axons with nodes of Ranvier? I dont know BC I cant find any discussion, comparison with this - only discussion of regular physical electrical cables - BUT those are quite long compared to tiny spaces within the body/brain - yet those speeds in external physical electrical cables are apparently very fast - almost as fast as light. What about nervous system eletrical speed? is there a comparison measurement?
I was also reading about these Solar Magnetic Tunnels which apparently open and close every 8 min between the Earth and the Sun. see - "It's called a flux transfer event or 'FTE,'" says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center..." https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/30oct_ftes/
Also the nasa link - discussed a theory that were 2 kinds- active and passive
THIS reminded me of the CNS system Nerve synapse also have different transmissions - sometimes chemical and other times electrical, and among the electrical - sometimes axons that are fully mylenated whereas other times there are these gaps in mylenation - the nodes of Ranvier - which allow electrical transmission to be faster bc they hop along and conserve and recharge energy
I also had a thought/theory. What if there was a way to time a transmission/communication using these - where you time the sending of - to bouce or jump along the intervals between these - would that conserve energy - and allow FTL travel - the way the jumping rather than straight line approach is faster using saltatory conduction along nodes of Ranvier?
or some other similar timing or jump using gaps the way the nodes of Ranvier have gaps along mylenated axons?
Just curious how the study of travel by neurons in our body can be correlated/analogized on a larger scale for travel in space. I know they are different. But its remarkable really how similar they are too. I wonder how or whether neuroscientist experts could help Nasa physicist-types/quantum physics - in finding analogies for space from study of electro-chemical synapses and such within the body, and even studying gravity WITHIN our bodies as a quantum-micromodel for space.
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2023.05.30 05:36 skeriphus On the Nature of Sorcery: Chapter 0.2 — Tea Time.
Motivation — A Close Reading of Tea Time "I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking: maybe six feet ain't so far down?"
Chapter V of Weathered
2002 BS Click Here for the Introduction to the essay series.
Prelude to the Close Reading
Why, hello there, again. It’s been a few weeks but I promise that this endeavor is still moving forward. For those that don’t know, this essay is a part of a collection I’ll be putting together which investigates the Eleint, their blood, and sorcery within the Malazan shared secondary universe. We’re still laying down our foundations, and today we’ll be covering a sequence of scenes in Chapter 8 of Toll the Hounds
My intentions were to cover all of the scenes in a single post, but that has proven itself to be difficult. As such, I’ll cover the first scene in this sequence in this post. There’ll be one or two follow-up posts.
There are ten scenes that are in this sequence:
- Nimander 1
- Desra 1
- Desra 2
- Skintick 1
- Desra 3
- Nimander 2
- Desra 4
- Kedeviss 1
- Nimander 3
- Kedeviss 2
I’ll be approaching these scenes (including the one discussed today) through a few lenses.
A ringing of bells.
In his musings on writing
, Erikson discusses the notion of a bell. I’ll let him speak for himself.
In the scenes we’ll be looking at, some of the bells that I believe are used are (and not all of these are represented in this first particular scene):
- Past versus present — ancestors/parents vs. living/children
- How others see us, and how we see others
- The word ‘beast’ and its many meanings
- The words ‘child/children’ and their many meanings
- The relationships between gods and mortals
Particularly the genealogy of continental philosophy that led to Sartre’s existentialism and the shared/adapted/bifurcated philosophies of his contemporaries (such as de Beauvoir, Camus, and Merleau-Ponty). This wasn’t my initial intention when I decided to use this sequence of scenes as a launch pad into my collection of essays. However, the beauty of close-reading is that you go into a text with a hypothesis seeking evidence and support, and then end up with new insights.
Some of the concepts that will be brought up are:
Genre conventions as grammar.
Particularly, we’ll look at Erikson’s use of genre conventions from the likes of Gothic literature and Weird Fiction — namely the Sublime, cosmic horror, and the Weird — as the subtle language used to convey tension that is congruent with some of the other subtexts. If these grammars are subverted, we’ll try to point that out too.
We will later delve more into Malazan’s literary genealogy in other essays, but I want this lens to be present during the reading to see how Erikson aligns or subverts these genre conventions.
We’ll be using Professor Michael Moir’s YouTube lectures
on Weird Fiction as reference.
What the fuck is happening?
This is a question about plot that I will answer at the end of all of the scenes, but keep it in mind as we go through. It has less to do with existentialism and Gothic literature and more on what Gothos was trying to do during these scenes.
We first meet Nimander and his siblings (unnamed) in House of Chains
on Drift Avalii. By Bonehunters
, they had left Drift Avalii and ended up at Malaz City, where they then joined Tavore Paran’s fleet while fleeing Malaz City. In Reaper’s Gale
, we find the siblings had been ‘adopted’ by Sandalath while they traveled to Lether with the Malazans. Phaed wanted to kill Sandalath. Nimander stopped Phaed from killing Sandalath. Withal (Sandalath’s husband) throws Phaed out a window. The murder is taken as a suicide. The siblings intern Phaed and then meet Clip, who offers to lead them to Anomander in Black Coral via Kurald Galain.
This gets us to Toll the Hounds
, where Nimander is being haunted by Phaed. They’ve left Kurald Galain and are now on Genabackis (but not yet to Black Coral). Nimander fears the future meeting his father and the rest of the Tiste Andii. The siblings and Clip ‘stumble’ on Morsko, where Clip is curious about its cult of the Dying God. A ritual takes place there. Nimander and Skintick are nearly enthralled, but are saved by Aranatha (and thus Mother Dark herself). The group then find Clip, who is in a coma. They collect him, and set off in a wagon to follow the Dying God’s priests to Bastion. Along that journey, the siblings stumble upon the High King, Kallor, who reluctantly chooses to not kill them and instead travels with them.
The sequence of scenes in Chapter 8 that we’ll be discussing follows some time after Kallor joins the siblings. Now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, let’s dive into the first scene.
We start this sequence thrust into Nimander’s introspection on ‘rage’ as a breaking of a vessel, impossible to fix. He recalls Deadsmell’s musings that ‘rage in battle’ was a gift while the two drank rum. Rum that awakened memories once ignored by Nimander.
(Note: in Scene 2, we’ll see Desra’s view of Nimander, and we’ll see that Nimander’s ruminations on rage here are what inform Desra’s view of him, and not in the way that Nimander’s doubt imagines.)
In the previous post, we discussed memories and their decay. So much of this series and the lore surrounding it is driven by the memories of ancient beings. Nimander is younger with respect to ancient beings (but ancient nonetheless), and even he struggles with his memories. Perhaps this is a result of the traumas he’s experienced with respect to his being in diaspora and perceived abandonment by his father (a symmetry itself with Rake’s — and the Tiste Andii as a whole — relationship with Mother Dark).
He recalls the rum lighting “a fire in [his] brain, casting red light on a host of memories gathered ghostly
round the unwelcoming heart.” He reminisces on the time after Kurald Galain (but before Drift Avalii) and his father’s emotional indifference. He recalls the pranks him and his kin would pull on Endest Silann; the arrival of Andarist and his arguments with Anomander. It is unclear what the arguments were — if you’ve read Forge of Darkness
, you might be able to infer what’s likely, but I’m curious if the argument is Andarist asking to take the siblings and Anomander refusing, or Anomander asking Andarist to take the children and Andarist was reluctant? Was the argument about Anomander thrusting the Hust blade, T’an Aros/K’orladis (i.e., Vengeance / Grief), onto Andarist or did Andarist already possess the blade? We don’t know exactly to my knowledge, but it’s fun to speculate.
Regardless, Nimander recalls, like a certain inscribed hearthstone, there was peace. Andarist was to take them all through a threshold, a portal elsewhere
(as mentioned, portals end up being a rung bell
, so pay attention). Nimander remembers Endest’s weeping as the children were pulled through a “portalway into an unknown, mysterious new world where anything was possible.”
Andarist raised the Tiste Andii children on that portal’s other side, on Drift Avalii. We know (or can infer) that this was a task to protect the Throne of Shadow, but Nimander and his kin didn’t understand this as children. But Andarist led them with his pragmatism, he ensured they learned how the world was. With our knowledge of Kharkanas, this is so powerful. We know Anomander’s hubris was abused as a motivating factor for Hunn Raal’s despicable acts. We know that Andarist likely lacks children of his own in response to this, and so his taking on guardianship over the children of his brother — that very same brother that rejected Andarist’s grief in favour of vengeance (and materialised in the T’an Aros/K’orladis dichotomy) — is a stark, challenging, and ultimately selfless decision.
But this pragmatism created child soldiers. The collision of reality’s necessity to survive and carry out the duty of protecting the Throne of Shadow came at the expense of what little remaining childhood innocence Rake’s brood still had (even as a people on the run, exiled from their home due to a sociopolitical schism). Andarist became a stern teacher, juxtaposed to the echoes of Endest’s gentleness. “The games ended. The world turned suddenly serious.” Nonetheless, the Tiste Andii siblings grew to love Andarist.
Nimander continues his introspection:
See a bored child with a stick — and see how every beast nearby flees, understanding well what is now possible and, indeed, probable.
This reminds me of a general rule of advice: ‘never fuck around when a child has gun.’ Tiste Andii or not, children can be cruel especially when mixed with unknown doses of trauma and violence. Regardless, I want to call attention here that this notion of children and beasts are each bells rung
. To Nimander, Andarist “unleash[ed] them, these children with avid eyes.” He “had made them good soldiers,” ones that know rage
As such, from his own experience, Nimander suspects that the Dying God is a child. He speaks to the dialectic between gods and their worshippers (another bell rung
The mad priests poured him full, knowing the vessel leaked, and then drank of that puerile seepage. Because he was a child, the Dying God’s thirst and need were without end, never satiated.
The group stumbles on desiccated bodies staked among fields: dried up, tapped of their libations. This speaks to a particular exploitation between mortal and god, symbolised literally as worshippers feeding a god to then become the harvested. This perpetuates the Dying God’s power to accumulate more worshippers via addictive kelyk. The language here shows that the Dying God has stumbled upon a sort of cheat code, an exploitation of the god-mortal dialectic that allows him and his priests to arbitrage power. Like a cancer that, via the law of large numbers, is equipped with the mechanisms to divert a body’s resources to it while it slowly destroys the body.
The scarecrows being in fields is such a perfect choice of this analogy: things to be harvested. A product, a commodity — a thing with both use-value and exchange-value, for our Marxians out there. I believe Erikson has said that he was thinking of oil here, and that is fine by itself, but I do like the mirroring to Eucharistic transubstantiation in Catholicism (due to my being a very-very-lapsed Catholic). Especially with wine, an extremely addictive substance, transcending into God’s blood to cleanse us as cannibalistic sacrament.
Dal Honese burial practices.
Nimander sees these fields as “bizarre cemeteries, where some local aberration of belief insisted that the dead be staked upright, that they ever stand ready for whatever may come." This makes him recall some shipwrecked Dal Honese on Drift Avalii. He thinks on the ancestor cult and burial practices of Dal Hon: literally constructing their homes with their dead in the walls as both material and essence, the building stretching out with additional rooms as time moved on and kin died.
This reminds me of the Neolithic proto-city, Çatalhöyük, found in Anatolia within modern-day Türkiye where ancestors have been found to be buried beneath platforms in living quarters. See: Chapter 6 of The Dawn of Everything
by Graeber and Wengrow.
With or without intention, I like to view this ritual via an existentialist lens, particularly Sartre’s notion of the Look. To Sartre — in contrast to other phenomenologies — being is in flux, some path of a given chaotic double-pendulum switching to and from poles of being-in-itself***\**1
* and being-for-itself***\**2
*. The Look, to Sartre, is a sort of symmetry breaking — a realisation by being-for-itselves that decentralises it, the sudden awareness of its being an object, an Other, to Other consciousnesses.
A heuristic often used to showcase Sartre’s notion of the Look (or Gaze) is that of a voyeur peeping through a keyhole into someone’s room that hears a noise down the hall. Regardless if that noise is from another person (another being-for-itself) or not (say, the house settling), the subjective voyeur suddenly objectifies themselves, collapsing the chaotic pendulum from being-for-itself (nothingness as "no thing-ness") to their facticity — their being-in-itself, their thing-ness — whose meaning to Other being-for-themselves is relative to a separate centre than the voyeur’s own.
To Sartre, the resulting anxiety experienced snapping from subject to object is a proof against any nihilistic approach to solipsism. The fact that we can Other our own being-for-itself means that we can also recognise being-for-itself external to us since those we Other too can Other us as we Other ourselves. The reflexivity as a result of the Look is evidence against solipsism to Sartre.
As a result, this Dal Honese practice is a cultural self-burdening via Sartre’s Look by literally having your ancestors clay-filled bodies decentralise your subjectivity and externalise you as an object that can be judged by its facticity. This results in a sort of collective Dal Honese being-for-others
, Sartre would argue. This isn’t inherently good or bad to existentialists, but it does necessitate a calculus that discerns if the living descendants are authentically
expressing their freedom
with each moment they accept this practice, or if they are living in bad faith
Regardless, though, this is a haunting
of the Past. This haunting isn’t something that is only important to existentialism or other philosophical traditions (such as post-structuralism — see: Derrida’s hauntology
), but to the genre conventions and tropes of Gothic horror and its descendants (such as cosmic horror, weird fiction, and their influences on sword and sorcery, etc.).
There are mappings (some more subtle than others) between the Sublime and the existential anxiety and dread experienced in phenomena similar to the Look. The experience of looking upon the vastness of the sea, of stumbling upon an ancient statue, of learning of the size of the universe — which are described as the Sublime
, the Weird
, or Eldritch
in some literary traditions (e.g., Romantic, Gothic, Horror, the Weird, etc.) — are the same experiences that are often analysed in continental philosophies using words such as angst/anxiety/despaiabsurdity/alienation
Nimander goes on to further expose the relationship between this Dal Honese ancestor cult and inter-tribal conflicts that lead to deaths and stolen bodies that leave physical voids in Dal Honese architecture. He muses how this physical representation of wounds begets a cycle of vengeance (a cultural tradition, a product of facticity and bad faith): “blood back and forth,” he says. He mentions that this cycle is what pushed the shipwrecked Dal Honese from their homes, an act of revolt and perhaps even authenticity to Sartre. Eventually the Dal Honese recovered and “paddled away — not back home, but to some unknown place, a place devoid of unblinking ghosts staring out from every wall.
I love that Erikson has this whole little short story in this scene, especially in the contrast of its being some rum-induced reflection by Nimander on his own past’s haunting of him and his siblings. Moreover, these Tiste Andii are travelling with Kallor, the Undying Unascendant: a being-for-itself that literally manifests the past’s haunting on the present — a man cursed, jaded, who carries the past with him wherever he travels. All of these together show that one’s freedom can have one flee (even be redeemed — which balances with other plotlines in TtH), but that doesn’t necessarily — nor sufficiently so — annihilate the past.
Finding a tower.
After this, Nimander’s reminiscing is interrupted by his hearing Kallor nearby (like a footstep in a hallway). Kallor comments on the use of the corpses and notes that the flora “[is] not even native
to this world, after all.” Nimander replies that the corpses are being used for saemankelyk. The mention of the plants not being native to this world should orient the reader back to the Weird, especially since it brings upon a sense of unease, an Othering — the house settling that again serves to reduce both Nimander and the readers to our thing-ness
‘The past’ versus ‘the present’ versus ‘the future’ (and their hauntings of one another) bubble up again with some banter between Skintick and Kallor about the state of things. Kallor states ‘nothing changes.’ Skintick counters ‘it keeps getting worse,’ to which Kallor claims is but an illusion.
I find this dialogue to be a comical little conflict between Kallor’s perceived-postmodern, nihilistic judgement of the state of things being inert versus Skintick’s pseudo-Rousseauian, inverted-Hegalian, modernist grand narrative of things getting worse.
Again, it alludes to a haunting of the past on the current generation. Interestingly, this is a trend within the Book of the Fallen in general: not as an espousing of the ‘old vs. young’, but Erikson’s decentering/challenging/deconstruction of that binary. Think of Raest in GotM; Menandore, Sukul and Sheltatha in RG; Karsa in HoC; the Witness trilogy. He does this via a sort of Ancient's Hubris colliding with its differences to the Present’s Ingenuity, and this being dual to the Present’s Naivety colliding with the Ancient Wisdom.
Kallor eventually hits a sore spot with the Tiste: he brings up Rake. Unlike the Dal Honese whose freedom had them flee the cultural practices of letting their ancestors haunt both literally and figuratively, Nimander and his siblings were pulled/pushed away from their father (and people) as children — by what very well could be their father’s request. The Tiste siblings are haunted by Anomander’s active
absence. Their continued distance from their father isn’t an act of expressing their freedom against an Ancestor’s Gaze — it isn’t an act of revolution — it is their facticity and a source for their Othering of themselves. We often see this from Nimander’s POVs up to and including this sequence.
Kallor sniffs out this weakness and presses upon the wound. Nimander gets flustered and retorts. To which Kallor responds:
'Anomander Rake is a genius at beginning things. It’s finishing them he has trouble with.'
Also, I didn’t need my ADHD called out so harshly, dude. What the fuck.
Without diving into what Erikson was dealing with while writing this book, this hits hard for Nimander, and is an interesting commentary nonetheless. His father, Anomander, is the leader of a diasporic people who’ve been without home, without a centre, for 400,000 years. I think Kallor’s words hurt Nimander so much because the Tiste siblings don’t know Anomander’s current plans nor have they experienced the "settling-down" from the unveiling of Kurald Galain in what is now Black Coral. They are unaware of Rake’s teleology for his people, for himself even. Regardless, we see again and again that Kallor isn’t just a strong skirmisher, his words cut nearly as well as his blades.
Kallor goes on to confirm that he knows Rake before the group notices a ruined tower among the alien plants and scarecrows. Kallor says its Jaghut. Kallor trudges forth indifferently, pushing corpses out of his way as he bee-lines it to the ruined tower. I don’t think such a sequence of action has ever described Kallor’s whole raison d’être and modus operandi so well: just a man seemingly indifferent to the corpses in his path as his will pulls him forward.
We get a small interaction between Skintick and Nimander that reveals Skintick’s acuity in reading Kallor’s take on Rake. Kallor sees their father as an equal (it isn’t just the readers that need to be keen to subtext, characters do too).
Skintick offers the idea of sicking Kallor on the Dying God, hoping he “decid[es] to do something for his own reasons, but something that ends up solving our problem.” I like the use of “deciding to do something for his own reasons
,” as this aligns so well with authenticity in existentialism (and the absence of some absolute morality for authenticity).
As Nimander approaches the tower behind Kallor, both Nimander and the readers get a great sense of horror, the weird, the uncanny, and the sublime with how Erikson describes the scenery:
Drawing closer to the ruin, they fell silent. Decrepit as it was, the tower was imposing. The air around it seemed grainy, somehow brittle, ominously cold despite the sun’s fierce heat.
The highest of the walls revealed a section of ceiling just below the uppermost set of stones, projecting without any other obvious support to cast a deep shadow upon the ground floor beneath it. The facing wall reached only high enough to encompass a narrow, steeply arched doorway. Just outside this entrance and to one side was a belly-shaped pot in which grew a few straggly plants with drooping flowers, so incongruous amid the air of abandonment that Nimander simply stared down at them, disbelieving.
Nimander notes an incongruity of this place — its aesthetic of abandonment juxtaposed with a curated garden. “The cold despite the sun’s fierce heat.
” This evokes a certain unsettledness to Nimander (and thus, the reader). These genre conventions are sources of tension and anxiety, similar to non-diegetic violins building up to a real or false jump-scare in a slasher flick.
Arrogantly, Kallor chooses to go out of his way and insult the presumed Jaghut within the tower. Classic Kallor. The Jaghut replies “nothing changes,” resulting in Kallor shooting Skintick and Nimander a “pleased smirk.”
Tea time, but before falling into a rabbit-hole and not after.
Before Kallor can announce himself, the Jaghut lists off Kallor’s titles, his facticity. Kallor’s reputation precedes him and there’s an asymmetry here in which the Jaghut knows who Kallor is but Kallor doesn’t yet know who the Jaghut is. This is our first hint that this meeting isn’t serendipitous, and is instead an intentional interaction with regards to the plot. And if this Jaghut knows of Kallor, does he know those who Kallor travels with? Who is this Jaghut’s intended audience among those options?
I also like the play here with facticity: the Jaghut lists out things about Kallor, but is Kallor some sum of those thing-nesses? How many are true, how many are manufactured myths? It’s an act by this Jaghut to Gaze upon Kallor, to show to Kallor that he’s being seen. It’s a deliberate tactic to destabilise and decenter Kallor: an offensive.
We as readers are informed of Kallor’s limitations from the Azathanai curses via Draconus, K’rul and Nightchill, but these limitations on Kallor don’t necessarily restrict his freedom until Kallor allows them.
We get a flash of Jaghut humour and guest rites — this ancient dismisses Kallor while inviting everyone in for tea. Interestingly, Erikson has this Jaghut use the proper noun of ‘Others’ which lends me to think that an existentialist lens hasn’t been the worst pick (not that ‘Othering’ is strictly existentialist by any means).
So, we’ve had corpses drained dry for kelyk, alien plant-life, a ruined tower of an unknown age stumbled upon beyond the urban, a preternatural creature to Nimander and his kin (something they’ve maybe only witnessed a handful of times) and then we get this description:
The air of the two-walled chamber was frigid, the stones sheathed in amber-streaked hoarfrost. Where the other two walls should have been rose black, glimmering barriers of some unknown substance, and to look upon them too long was to feel vertiginous — Nimander almost pitched forward, drawn up only by Skintick’s sudden grip, and his friend whispered, ‘Never mind the ice, cousin.’
Ice, yes, it was just that. Astonishingly transparent ice–
I love this. First: “it was just that” screams “no it isn’t” to anyone paying attention to the words Erikson is using to make the reader uncomfortable. We know: Jaghut + Ice = Omtose Phellack. The atmospheric setting here is directly being called out in not just a sublime way, but his description has an added layer of horror to Omtose Phellack.
Erikson uses “vertiginous
,” giving both Nimander and us a sense of vertigo, being decentred and unoriented. This isn’t too different from descriptions found in works like Vandermeer’s Annihilation
or other New Weird authors. This ice wall calls to Nimander, draws from him feelings of unknown when he’s caught himself staring for too long — emphasis on staring.
For all intents and purposes, this ice wall is a thing, a being-in-itself, neither active nor passive. But its effect on Nimander is similar to the Dal Honese ancestors’ Gaze — this ice wall objectifies him, calls to him, evokes his being-for-others, and emotionally alienates him. The pull Nimander feels is his submitting his being-for-itself with the freedom of those that Gaze upon him. A justification of his facticity, his bad faith. This will be important later.
Eventually we get this awesome line from the Jaghut host:
’Once, long ago, a wolf god came before me. Tell me, Kallor, do you understand the nature of beast gods? Of course not. You are only a beast in the unfairly pejorative sense — unfair to beasts, that is. How is it, then, that the most ancient gods of this world were, one and all, beasts?’
There’s so much going on to unpack in this paragraph.
- He’s called Kallor a beast, but says his doing so is unfair to beasts (damn, this ice orc just roasted Kallor).
- It calls back to Nimander’s thoughts on children wielding sticks and beasts fleeing as a result. With or without knowing it, this Jaghut is calling Kallor a child, too, in the pejorative sense, unfair to children.
- He says the first gods were beasts, but does he mean these early gods were explicitly Beasts (in essence, not the pejorative sense) or that they were beast-like akin to the pejorative sense used on Kallor (or some combination of both)?
- Interestingly, we know that this wolf god is possibly an Azathanai d’ivers from FoL — with this knowledge, would Fanderay and Togg count as a Beast-as-literal-beast beast-god?
Later, again, we get this Jaghut saying Others as a proper noun, and then the Others are called Tiste Andii.
‘Ah, and what of the Others with you? Might not they be interested?’
Clearing his throat, Skintick said, ‘Venerable one, we possess nothing of worth to one such as you.’
‘You are too modest, Tiste Andii.’
'Each creature is born from one not its kind. This is a wonder, a miracle forged in the fires of chaos, for chaos indeed whispers in our blood, no matter its particular hue. If I but scrape your skin, so lightly as to leave but a momentary streak, that which I take from you beneath my nail contains every truth of you, your life, even your death, assuming violence does not claim you. A code, if you will, seemingly precise and so very ordered. Yet chaos churns. For all your similarities to your father, neither you nor the one named Nimander — nor any of your brothers and sisters — is identical to Anomander Dragnipurake. Do you refute this?’
Above, the Jaghut goes on to describe genetics, but also calls out the fact that they are children of Anomander — dude definitely knows more than he’s leading on, that’s for sure, and is winking directly to us readers, seemingly going over the heads of both Kallor and the Tiste. Also, the bit about chaos in blood will come up again and again in later scenes and later essays.
Moreover, we see that the Jaghut says that which he scrapes "contains every truth of you, your life, even your death" — our genetics are facticities, among our thing-nesses. "Yet chaos churns," the Jaghut rebuts. That chaos in our blood is a source of our "no thing-ness," from which we may express our freedom against the determinism of genetics — of facticities — and transcend.
For each kind of beast there is a first such beast, more different from its parents than the rest of its kin, from which a new breed in due course emerges. Is this firstborn then a god?’
I love this for two reasons. One, it speaks to a criticism of the assumption that a prime-mover is necessarily divine. But, through the existentialist lens, it’s a challenge and criticism of the presumed Authority of Genealogy. Jumping back to the early musings on ancestry: if ancestors haunt us and dictate our facticity as a result of suppressing our being-for-itself, then where does that chain of dictating/suppressing end? And is that terminus also an Authority above all generations below it just due to its being something new
, something sufficiently different from its own genealogy, its ancestors ‘behind’ it?
I also like the subtext of trauma as hereditary here with the double entendre behind ‘beast’, we can think of this Jaghut as asking if the primordial source of generational trauma has authority over its descendants? What does this dialogue mean for Nimander and his siblings and their place with respect to their father and the rest of the Tiste Andii people? Does this inform an analysis of Nimander’s chaotic double-pendulum between being-in-itself, being-for-itself, and his being-for-others?
thing I would like to point out here, too, is that neither Skintick, Nimander, nor Kallor have used the Tiste Andii’s names, yet this Jaghut knows them by name. Kallor could deduce they were Rake’s children, but he didn’t know their names. Even though Skintick showcased an acuity to subtext when considering Kallor’s opinions of Rake, he doesn’t catch onto this subtlety. This Jaghut not only knows of Kallor, he knows of Nimander and his siblings. The evidence that this meeting isn’t serendipity continues to build.
‘You spoke of a wolf god,’ Skintick said. ‘You began to tell us a story.’
‘So I did. But you must be made to understand. It is a question of essences. To see a wolf and know it as pure, one must possess an image in oneself of a pure wolf, a perfect wolf.’
‘Ridiculous,’ Kallor grunted. ‘See a strange beast and someone tells you it is a wolf — and from this one memory, and perhaps a few more to follow, you have fashioned your image of a wolf. In my empires, philosophers spewed such rubbish for centuries, until, of course, I grew tired of them and had them tortured and executed.’
This sequence of dialogue is fantastic and reminds me of arguments foagainst the strong/weak Sapir-Whorf hypothesis/es. We see the Jaghut musing on a seemingly prescriptive Platonic idealism that Kallor interrupts with a more descriptive, pragmatic, empirical framework in which he follows with a jest of torturing and executing philosophers (remind me to never live in the Kallorian Empire).
Kallor speaks as if his words contradict the Jaghut and show the assumed idealism to be wrong. But, by Kallor’s own argument, the Jaghut’s words of ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ are just as empirically contingent to one’s memories as ‘wolf’ is. The combinations of signs and symbols language users use give flesh to those signs’ and symbols’ own meaning — but bury that meaning beneath the flesh by doing so. The concept of a ‘perfect wolf’ (i.e., ‘perfect’ + ‘wolf’) emerging from one’s own contingency with the notion of ‘perfect’ and ‘wolf’ is entirely possible without that imagined ‘perfect wolf’ being actually some idealisation, i.e., some Platonic Perfect Wolf.
The Jaghut responds with laughter to Kallor’s absurdity: both in his misinterpretation of the Jaghut’s musings as well as the nature of Kallor’s brutal reaction to those that question things he finds to be rubbish. This pairs well with Skintick’s future POV in this sequence, but the contrast between Kallor and this Jaghut is entertaining nonetheless. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish when Kallor is telling the truth about his brutality or if his mutterings are just words congruent to his reputation.
The two then have a pissing contest. We find out the Jaghut was in disguise — I don’t have the evidence or time here to say, but there are ideas that this particular Jaghut is a d'ivers and it is fucking awesome even if untrue. The discussion here points to some T’lan Imass’ Jaghut War. It being the Kron, I’m inclined to wonder if there is a relationship with the bones Karsa stumbles upon in HoC (where he and his war party find Calm).
Skintick squatted to pick up two of the cups, straightening to hand one to Nimander. The steam rising from the tea was heady, hinting of mint and cloves and something else. The taste numbed his tongue.
take candy from strangers
tea from Jaghut, people.
We find out that Raest is this Jaghut’s child. We find out that this Jaghut took on 43 T’lan Imass and a Bonecaster, killing them all. This is a threat rallied back against Kallor’s assertion that he’s killed Jaghut.
Teeth bared, Kallor bent down to retrieve his cup.
The Jaghut’s left hand shot out, closing about Kallor’s wrist. ‘You wounded that wolf god,’ he said.
Oh shit. What follows is one of the first times I can recall that Kallor is scared
. Contrast with his earlier treatment of Rake as equal.
'Oh, be quiet, Kallor. This tower was an Azath once. Shall I awaken it for you?’
Wondering, Nimander watched as Kallor backed towards the entrance, eyes wide in that weathered, pallid face, the look of raw recognition dawning. ‘Gothos, what are you doing here?’
‘Where else should I be? Now remain outside — these two Tiste Andii must go away for a while.’
The revelation: the Jaghut is none other than the Lord of Hate himself, Gothos
. You can understand why Kallor, always so arrogant, submits to Gothos and listens to his instruction.
Immediately after the reveal, Skintick and Nimander succumb to the effects of whatever extra ingredient Gothos had slipped into their tea. We get this final sequence:
Nimander’s eyes were drawn once more to the walls of ice. Black depths, shapes moving within.
He staggered, reached out his hands–
‘Oh, don’t step in there–’
And then he was falling forward, his hands passing into the wall before him, no resistance at all.
‘Nimander, do not–’
Again, the readers eyes are drawn along with Nimander's to the icy, abyss-like, objectifying, Gazing threshold. Here's where the sublime and the weird really flavour the setting in this scene.
There's a bell’s echo here from the start of this scene: this sequence starts with Nimander discussing the uncertainty related to moving through a portal with Andarist away from the rest of his kin, a breaching. During these final lines of this first scene, we get a tension between us and the unknown, between what has happened and that-which-is-to-come, between what we’ve imagined about Malazan’s cosmos and some contorting of those assumptions. What’s beyond the veil decentres not only Nimander in its draw and pushing him to being-for-others, but it decentres the readers too. Hic sunt dracones
, terra incognita, the sublime, the enigmatic, the terror. We’re made to feel small and inconsequential by this icy threshold.
It isn’t mysterious because it evades our Gaze like other fantastical things (e.g., many renditions of some archetypal tricksters found within various folklores), instead it invites our Gaze eventually since It Gazes back (almost Nietzschean).
Calling back to the genre conventions, this extended scene is one that definitely plays with the established conventions of Gothic literature and its descendants. Constantly, Erikson hits us with tension sewn into his choice of words in Nimander’s ruminations, his angst associated to diaspora, the notion of Dal Honese ancestors gazing upon their descendants from clay walls, absent ancestors that too haunt the same, the fields of scarecrows as desiccated (and harvested) bodies of worshippers, the alien plant-life, the ancient Jaghut tower, the ice threshold. Each of these (and those unmentioned) add onto to the dissociation (de-centering) of both Nimander and us, the readers. Each of us seem small and inconsequential to the dynamism of the cosmos: everything we know, including that of what we already know about the Malazan universe (and our own) can be challenged. We’re each just travellers who have stumbled upon a shattered visage in the desert that reads: “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
This stands in contrast to — almost a revolution against — the modalities one can garnish from the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment that favour an almost religious rationalism and positivism. This is why I believe (and hope I have shown) that the existentialist (and those schools of thought peripheral to it) lens is apt. The genealogy of Gothic literature serves as a grammatical sandbox that gives way to exploring the things that existentialism tries to frame in its study, such as the dread and anxieties — the nothingness (no thing-ness) — of being.
Not only are the Dal Honese clay-filled ancestors present to alienate the reader by entertaining a certain ‘exoticism’ (by the readers’ juxtaposing such practices against what we consider ‘normal’ — here's where Sartre is applied to White or Male Gazes), but they are there as conduits for understanding how Nimander is affected by Others, by their Looks — his siblings, his absent father, his dead uncle, Kallor, Gothos, and the icy threshold — even if this ‘othering’ is one done only by Nimander onto himself (the house settling perceived as a footfall). This becomes more important in the scenes that follow.
So, how does this relate to the Eleint, dragonblood or sorcery? If you want to know now, please read ahead in the text — i.e., he future scenes in this sequence in Chapter 8 of TtH — you’ll find out. Otherwise, I’ll attempt to provide more clarity in the follow-up post(s). Until then, I just want put forth some questions:
- Are the Eleint actually dragons in the usual fantastical/conventional sense, or are they something different, something alien, something terrifying, something that evokes horror?
- If meaning-making (and, as such, essentializing) — according to my reading of existentialism — is a choice of ascribing/burying the Real with its facticity, what does this mean for K’rul’s warrenification and the birth of sorcery? What does this mean for aspecting, particularly for the Eleint and the Azathanai?
Beyond those questions (which align with my grander narrative shared in this collection of essays) — in regards to the plot, I think it is smart to continue asking, ‘why has Gothos ensured that Anomander’s children and Kallor would stumble upon his tower?’ 1
the facticity of what can be understood as objective states ascribed to things, including social constructions — thing-ness — e.g., how things are thrown into the world, a mode of existence that simply is, the contingent being of ordinary things, such the language(s) one speaks, one’s occupation, etc. 2
the mode of existence of consciousness that stands in contrast to being-in-itself, “no thing-ness”, that which negates being-in-itself
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2023.05.30 05:27 referenzum D&D helped me become more comfortable with my fluidity
This was a rather messy journey but I just can’t bring myself to stop thinking about the progress that came with it
A few months ago, I (afab) only started to come into terms with my genderfluidity. I didn’t really have a grasp of my gender, I use both she/her and he/him on most days but the occasional gender shifts where my pronouns do change are usually so short or small that I don’t bother telling people about them out of fear that they might get annoyed and call it a phase
I joined a D&D club at my school with the urge to try it out. Since the very first session, the dungeon master made it clear that this was a queer-friendly space and asked us all for our preferred pronouns. I had a bit of an internal crisis since this was around the time where I still wasn’t comfortable with telling people that my pronouns might change, so everyone thought I was cis
I thought that this was a perfect opportunity for me to try playing a male character to see how I feel about being referred to with masculine terms, so I took that chance. I loved it!
Not only did it get me interested in D&D, but it helped give me a more profound understanding to how my gender shifts work. I realised that it actually changes more than I initially thought, like when I play as my character. Even though it’s only for short periods of time, it’s become something noticeable and significant to me
When I finally came to terms with these, I thought of making a rather subtle come out to the entire group. I changed my profile picture to the genderfluid flag with one of my favourite characters in front. It felt really freeing and nobody made a big deal out of it
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2023.05.30 04:27 Acceptable-Friend-92 The most comprehensive Bollywood gossips and controversies post ever: The Scandals, Love Triangles, Casting Couch, Rumours and Gossips over the Years.
Peeling back the curtain to take an exhaustive look at the scandals, love triangles, and controversies that have rocked our favorite industry over the years. Let me know in comments which ones were you most moved by and which ones you hadn't heard before. Please feel free to add more context or new gossips that you know of, in the comments. I. Epic Love Triangles 1. Salman Khan - Aishwarya Rai - Vivek Oberoi:
This tale begins with Salman and Aishwarya's sparkling chemistry on the sets of "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" in 1999. Their real-life romance soon hit rocky grounds with allegations of Salman's abusive behavior. Enter Vivek Oberoi, who offered Aishwarya emotional support during this difficult time. This resulted in Salman allegedly making threatening calls to Vivek, leading to a heated press conference by Vivek, and a chilly relationship between the two actors ever since. 2. Hrithik Roshan - Sussanne Khan - Barbara Mori:
The industry was left reeling when rumors of Hrithik Roshan's alleged affair with his "Kites" co-star Barbara Mori started making the rounds in 2010. This reportedly led to a temporary separation between Hrithik and his wife Sussanne Khan. The couple later reconciled, only to eventually divorce in 2014. 3. Raveena Tandon - Akshay Kumar - Shilpa Shetty:
In the late 90s, Akshay Kumar was romantically involved with Raveena Tandon, only to reportedly two-time her with her friend Shilpa Shetty. This led to a feud between the two actresses, though they later buried the hatchet. II. Feuds and Fallouts 1. Shah Rukh Khan - Salman Khan:
Their brotherly love soured at Katrina Kaif's birthday party in 2008, where a heated argument turned their friendship into a rivalry. Their relations have since been turbulent, though they seem to be on better terms now. 2. Karan Johar - Kajol:
This iconic friendship hit a roadblock over a film release clash between Kajol's husband Ajay Devgn's "Shivaay" and Karan's "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil." It took them years to mend their strained relationship. 3. Kangana Ranaut's Feuds:
Her spats with industry veterans from Hrithik Roshan to Karan Johar have been public and often bitter, leading to an ongoing dialogue about insider-outsider dynamics in Bollywood. III. Controversies That Shaped the Conversation 1. The Nepotism Debate:
The conversation around nepotism in Bollywood took center stage after Kangana Ranaut called Karan Johar the "flagbearer of nepotism" on his talk show. This stirred a heated debate about privilege and opportunities in the industry. 2. The Sushant Singh Rajput Case:
Sushant's untimely demise in 2020 led to conversations about mental health, the cutthroat nature of the industry, and sparked an ongoing investigation into his death. 3. Deepika Padukone’s "Cleavage Controversy":
When TOI published an inappropriate article objectifying Deepika, it ignited a much-needed dialogue about the dignity and respect of women in the entertainment industry. IV. The Casting Couch Phenomenon 1. Shakti Kapoor Sting Operation:
In 2005, India TV carried out a sting operation on Shakti Kapoor, where he was caught on camera offering work to an undercover reporter in exchange for sexual favors. The incident exposed the seedy underbelly of the casting couch in Bollywood. 2. Tanushree Dutta - Nana Patekar Incident:
In 2018, Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment during a 2008 film shoot, marking the advent of the #MeToo movement in Bollywood. V. Turbulent Relationships and Breakups 1. Abhishek Bachchan - Karisma Kapoor Breakup:
This engagement had the makings of a Bollywood fairy tale until it abruptly ended in 2003, amid various speculations, including family disagreements. 2. Amitabh Bachchan - Rekha Affair:
This controversial affair in the 70s between Amitabh, who was married to Jaya Bhaduri, and Rekha, the sultry siren of Bollywood, is still discussed today. Their alleged love story ended after the shooting of 'Silsila', which ironically depicted a similar love triangle. VI. Sensational Controversies 1. The Underworld Connection:
From extortion threats to film financing, the connection between Bollywood and the underworld has been an open secret. The incident of producer Gulshan Kumar's assassination in 1997 sent shockwaves through the industry. 2. Sanjay Dutt's Arms Act Case:
Sanjay Dutt's arrest in 1993, under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act for possessing illegal weapons, was a major controversy. His involvement strained his career and personal life significantly. 3. The Blackbuck Poaching Case:
Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam, and Sonali Bendre were accused of hunting blackbucks during the shooting of 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' in 1998. Salman Khan was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 2018 but is currently out on bail. VII. Scandals that Made Headlines 1. Shahrukh Khan vs. Shirish Kunder:
SRK allegedly slapped Farah Khan's husband Shirish Kunder at Sanjay Dutt's party in 2012 for his derogatory tweets. 2. The AIB Roast Case:
The 2015 AIB Knockout featuring Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh, and Arjun Kapoor drew significant criticism and legal trouble for its explicit content, questioning the limits of freedom of expression. 3. Priyanka Chopra-Nirav Modi Controversy:
Priyanka Chopra landed in controversy when she endorsed Nirav Modi's jewelry brand, which came under the scanner during the Punjab National Bank fraud case. VIII. Unfortunate Tragedies and Mysteries 1. Parveen Babi's Mental Health:
This yesteryear actress struggled with mental health issues, including schizophrenia. The glamour queen's tragic life ended in isolation, her body discovered in her apartment days after her death. 2. Jiah Khan Suicide Case:
This case from 2013 shocked Bollywood when the young actress took her own life. Her then-boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi was charged with abetting her suicide, and the case is still ongoing. 3. Sushant Singh Rajput's Death:
Sushant's death in June 2020 caused a national uproar and brought attention to mental health, nepotism, and drug use in Bollywood. The case is under investigation by various national agencies. IX. Controversial Remarks and Public Outbursts 1. Salman Khan's "Raped Woman" Comment:
Salman Khan faced public wrath for comparing his physical exhaustion during the filming of 'Sultan' to a "raped woman". His remark was widely criticized for being insensitive. 2. Kangana Ranaut's Confrontations:
Kangana Ranaut has been at the center of several controversies, from her public feud with Hrithik Roshan to her claims of rampant nepotism in Bollywood, causing a storm in the industry. 3. Swara Bhaskar's "Vagina Monologue":
Swara faced backlash for criticizing the portrayal of women in 'Padmaavat', especially her comment that she felt reduced to a "vagina" after watching the movie. X. The Drug Controversy
The 2020 NCB investigation into drug use in Bollywood, which began following the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, has been a significant recent controversy. Several top actors, including Deepika Padukone and Shraddha Kapoor, were summoned by the agency. XI. The Casting Couch Controversy
Casting couch allegations have been rampant in Bollywood, echoing the broader global issue faced by Hollywood in the form of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Many actors and actresses have reported facing such situations, adding a layer of disgrace to the industry's glamour. 1. Ranveer Singh:
Even male actors like Ranveer Singh weren't immune to this ugly side of Bollywood. Singh has admitted that during his struggling days, he was approached with casting couch offers. 2. Ayushmann Khurrana:
The versatile actor has also spoken out about casting couch experiences in his early career, highlighting that this isn't just an issue faced by actresses. XII. The Age-Gap Issue
Bollywood has often faced criticism for casting significantly younger actresses opposite older actors, furthering the stereotype and raising questions about the representation of women. 1. Shahrukh Khan and Alia Bhatt in 'Dear Zindagi':
Despite the film's critical acclaim, it was criticised for the glaring age difference between Shahrukh, who was 51 at the time, and Alia, who was 23. 2. Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani in 'Laxmii':
This film also faced similar backlash due to the age gap between Akshay (53) and Kiara (28). XIII. Wage Gap Controversy
Pay disparity between male and female actors has been a significant concern in Bollywood. This inequality reflects the systemic sexism within the industry. 1. Kareena Kapoor Khan:
Kareena highlighted this issue, revealing that she was paid less than her male co-stars in several movies. 2. Priyanka Chopra:
Priyanka also addressed this issue, stating that she was paid significantly less than her male counterparts for the same amount of work. XIV. The MeToo Movement in Bollywood
The MeToo wave hit Bollywood in 2018, shaking the foundations of the industry. Several prominent names were called out for sexual misconduct. 1. Nana Patekar and Tanushree Dutta:
Tanushree Dutta revived a decade-old case of alleged sexual harassment by Nana Patekar on a movie set. This case marked the beginning of the MeToo movement in Bollywood. 2. Vikas Bahl:
The 'Queen' director was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee at Phantom Films, leading to his temporary removal from the 'Super 30' project. 3. Alok Nath:
The veteran actor, known for his 'sanskaari' image on-screen, was accused of rape by writer-producer Vinta Nanda, sending shockwaves through the industry. XV. The Trouble with Award Shows
Award shows in Bollywood have often been under scrutiny for their lack of transparency and allegations of bias. Several stars have boycotted these events, expressing their discontent. 1. Aamir Khan:
Notoriously known for boycotting award shows, Aamir has stated that he doesn't believe in them as he finds them to be biased. 2. Akshay Kumar:
Akshay too has expressed his mistrust in award shows, mentioning that he was once told he would win an award if he performed at the ceremony. XVI. The Nepotism Debate
Nepotism in Bollywood came under severe criticism after the tragic death of Sushant Singh Rajput. Accusations were rife that the industry's preferential treatment of star kids was a contributing factor. 1. Kangana Ranaut:
Kangana sparked the nepotism debate on Karan Johar's talk show when she accused him of being the "flag-bearer of nepotism". 2. Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan:
These star kids have repeatedly faced flak for getting easy entries into Bollywood because of their family connections. XVII. Tax Evasion and Money Laundering Allegations
Several Bollywood celebrities have been involved in tax evasion and money laundering cases, tarnishing the industry's image. 1. Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas:
The couple reportedly faced allegations of illegal construction at their Mumbai residence. 2. Shah Rukh Khan:
King Khan had faced a case of alleged irregularities regarding the foreign exchange rule violation for his IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders. XVIII. The Drug Controversy
Drug use in Bollywood came into the spotlight after the tragic demise of Sushant Singh Rajput. Many industry insiders were interrogated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). 1. Rhea Chakraborty:
Rhea was arrested by the NCB for allegedly procuring drugs for Sushant. She spent nearly a month in prison before being granted bail. 2. Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, and Shraddha Kapoor:
These A-list actresses were summoned by the NCB for questioning regarding the drug nexus in Bollywood. XIX. Accusations of Plagiarism
Bollywood has frequently been accused of plagiarising content from Hollywood and other industries without proper credits or rights. 1. 'Barfi':
Anurag Basu's acclaimed film faced criticism for allegedly lifting scenes from various international films. 2. 'Ra.One':
Shah Rukh Khan's ambitious project was accused of being a rip-off of the video game character, G.One. XX. Casting Couch Allegations
One of the darker aspects of Bollywood, and indeed many film industries worldwide, is the infamous casting couch phenomenon. 1. Tanushree Dutta:
She accused Nana Patekar of behaving inappropriately during a film shoot, which led to the #MeToo movement in India. 2. Kangana Ranaut:
Kangana too has spoken out about her experiences with the casting couch early in her career. XXI. Censorship Issues and Political Controversies
Bollywood movies have often been at the center of political controversies, resulting in bans, protests, and even violent threats. 1. 'Padmaavat':
This film faced extreme backlash from certain groups who alleged that it distorted historical facts. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actress Deepika Padukone received death threats. 2. 'Udta Punjab':
This film highlighting the drug menace in Punjab faced numerous cuts from the Central Board of Film Certification, leading to a public outcry about censorship. XXII. Actor Feuds and Professional Rivalries
There have been numerous instances of feuds and fall-outs between Bollywood actors, sometimes even resulting in professional rivalries. 1. Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan:
Although they have patched up now, these two superstars had a notorious feud that lasted for several years. 2. Kareena Kapoor Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas:
Rumours of a rivalry between these two leading ladies have often made headlines. XXIII. Social Media Controversies
Social media has often been a platform where controversies erupt, from insensitive tweets to online feuds. 1. Sonam Kapoor:
Sonam was trolled for her comment on a meat ban in Mumbai, where she called the ban "misogynistic." 2. Abhijeet Bhattacharya:
The singer has been involved in numerous Twitter controversies, from making derogatory comments about women to getting suspended from the platform multiple times. XXIV. Controversial Statements and Interviews
Controversial statements made by actors during interviews have often sparked debates and backlash. 1. Salman Khan:
Salman faced criticism for his comment where he compared his physical exertion in 'Sultan' to that of a "raped woman". 2. Ranveer Singh:
Ranveer's statement about fantasizing about Kareena Kapoor Khan received backlash for being inappropriate. XXV. Alleged Affairs and Love Triangles
Bollywood's rumor mills are always buzzing with whispers of secret affairs and complicated love triangles. 1. Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha:
This alleged affair remains one of Bollywood's biggest unsolved mysteries. While neither has confirmed the rumors, their off-screen chemistry has always sparked speculation. 2. Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra:
There were rumors of a close relationship between the two during the shooting of 'Don 2,' although both actors have consistently denied any affair. XXVI. Plastic Surgery Rumors
It's common for celebrities to face rumors of cosmetic procedures, and Bollywood is no exception. 1. Anushka Sharma:
The actress faced immense criticism and trolling when she appeared on 'Koffee With Karan' with what looked like a fuller lip. Anushka later clarified that she used a temporary lip enhancing tool and not surgery. 2. Priyanka Chopra Jonas:
She faced similar rumors early in her career. While she has admitted to a botched surgery, she denies undergoing procedures for cosmetic purposes. XXVII. Scandalous Photoshoots and Wardrobe Malfunctions
These can lead to a storm of criticism, comments, and rumors for the stars involved. 1. Deepika Padukone:
Her 'Cleavage Show' controversy sparked a debate on sexism in media when a leading newspaper tweeted a derogatory comment about her outfit. 2. Alia Bhatt:
She faced a wardrobe malfunction during the promotion of 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania,' leading to unwarranted media attention. XXVIII. Controversial Remarks and Public Spats
When celebrities voice their opinions, it sometimes leads to public spats and controversies. 1. Sonakshi Sinha and Mallika Dua:
Sonakshi's comment on an episode of 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge' didn't sit well with Mallika Dua, leading to a Twitter spat between the two. 2. Kangana Ranaut and Diljit Dosanjh:
Their spat over farmer protests in India became a hot topic on social media. XXIX. Rumoured Relationships
There have been numerous relationships in Bollywood that have been kept under wraps, with only whispers and hints to keep the gossip mills churning. 1. Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif:
This duo never officially confirmed their relationship, but their vacation pictures somehow found their way to the public, fueling rumors. 2. Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt:
Their chemistry in 'Student of the Year' sparked rumors of a budding relationship. However, they both have remained tight-lipped about their relationship status. XXX. Controversial Interviews and Statements
Sometimes, the words of these celebrities can stir a controversy. 1. Alia Bhatt's GK Gaffe:
Her infamous blunder on 'Koffee With Karan' made headlines and led to her being trolled on social media. 2. Sara Ali Khan on 'Colorism':
Sara's comment on preferring a 'fair and handsome' man led to a backlash, with critics accusing her of endorsing colorism. XXXII. Pay Disparity Controversies
Pay disparity in Bollywood has been a point of controversy and a source of debate. 1. Kareena Kapoor Khan:
She openly talked about the pay disparity in Bollywood, stating that she doesn't see her contemporaries being paid as much as their male co-stars. 2. Deepika Padukone:
She called out the pay disparity in Bollywood in several interviews, stating that she was paid less than her male co-stars despite having a substantial role. XXXIII. Allegations of Cheating
Even stars aren't immune to the pain and scandal of cheating allegations. 1. Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut:
This controversy took the industry by storm when Kangana alleged that Hrithik had cheated on his wife with her. The ensuing legal battle and mudslinging was all over the news. 2. Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha:
This is one of the oldest controversies in Bollywood. Though never confirmed, it's widely speculated that Amitabh had an extramarital affair with Rekha during the peak of his career. XXXIV. Nepotism Debates
Nepotism has been a long-standing issue in Bollywood, causing major debates and controversies. 1. Karan Johar:
Known to launch star kids, Karan has been at the center of the nepotism debate. The controversy escalated after Kangana Ranaut called him out on his own chat show. 2. Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan:
Their debut in 'Student of the Year', produced by Karan Johar, led to allegations of nepotism, creating quite a stir in the industry. XXXV. Alleged Link-ups
Sometimes rumors of link-ups between stars become a hot topic of discussion. 1. Priyanka Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan:
Rumors swirled about a possible affair between Priyanka and Shah Rukh during the filming of 'Don 2'. However, nothing was ever confirmed. 2. Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur:
Their sizzling on-screen chemistry in 'Aashiqui 2' sparked rumors of a real-life romance, although they have denied these claims. XXXVI. Film Set Controversies
Bollywood isn't all glitz and glamour; sometimes things can get heated behind the scenes. 1. Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu:
The two actresses reportedly had a major fallout during the filming of 'Ajnabee' (2001), which escalated during 'Aitraaz' (2004). They only patched things up years later. 2. Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh:
During the making of 'Padmaavat', rumours suggested that there was tension between Shahid and Ranveer due to the allocation of screen time. Both, however, have denied these claims. XXXVII. Money Matters
When big bucks are involved, controversies aren't far behind. 1. Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi:
Salman reportedly threatened Vivek for getting close to Aishwarya Rai. Vivek called a press conference to disclose this, but the controversy adversely affected his career. 2. Kangana Ranaut and the producers of 'Manikarnika':
There were rumours of budget overruns and Kangana taking over the director's chair, creating quite a stir in the industry. XXXVIII. Career Controversies
Certain career decisions can also lead to controversy. 1. Deepika Padukone and 'Padmaavat':
Deepika's portrayal of Rani Padmavati sparked controversy over the film's historical accuracy. Despite protests and threats, the film was a box office success. 2. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and 'Heroine':
Aishwarya was originally cast in 'Heroine', but after falling pregnant, she was replaced by Kareena Kapoor, causing a buzz in the industry. XIX. The Tinseltown Tales of Southern Cinema
While Bollywood takes the centre stage in Indian film gossip, let's not forget the South Indian film industry, brimming with its own share of drama. 1. Prabhas and Anushka Shetty:
Post 'Baahubali', rumours started swirling about the lead actors' off-screen chemistry. Despite the consistent denial, fans continue to speculate. 2. Nayanthara and Prabhudheva:
Their love story caught everyone's attention, but their relationship ended amidst rumours of a secret wedding. XL. Tollywood's Sensational Stories
The Bengali film industry, known as Tollywood, is no stranger to controversies either. 1. Rituparna Sengupta and Prosenjit Chatterjee:
Once a popular on-screen pair, their professional relationship allegedly soured due to undisclosed reasons. The duo avoided working together for over a decade. 2. Subhashree Ganguly and Dev:
Their reported break-up became the talk of Tollywood, as the duo decided to keep mum about the details. XLI. The Mysterious Marathi Movie World
The Marathi film industry has seen its fair share of controversies. 1. Swapnil Joshi and Mukta Barve:
Rumours of an affair started during their hit series 'Eka Lagnachi Dusri Goshta', but both vehemently denied any romantic involvement. 2. Sai Tamhankar and Amey Wagh:
The rumour mill churned when the duo shared the screen in 'Girlfriend'. Both denied any off-screen romance. XLII. Punjabi Cinema's Spicy Stories
The Punjabi film industry has had its fair share of controversies too. 1. Neeru Bajwa and Amit Sadh:
They reportedly grew close during the shooting of 'Bikkar Bai Sentimental'. Though they never confirmed a relationship, the gossip remained rife for quite some time. 2. Diljit Dosanjh and Neeru Bajwa:
Fans have long speculated about the duo's chemistry beyond the screen. However, both have always maintained their stance as 'just friends'. XLIII. The Turbulent Tunes of Bollywood Singers
Even the crooning voices of Bollywood have been caught in webs of controversy and gossip. 1. Sonu Nigam's Tweet Storm:
His tweets on the use of loudspeakers for Azaan (Islamic call to prayer) sparked outrage, leading to public debates and backlash. 2. Mika Singh's Public Disputes:
His infamous slapping incident at a concert and the Rakhi Sawant kissing controversy kept him in the public eye for all the wrong reasons. 3. Ankit Tiwari's Legal Battle:
The 'Aashiqui 2' singer was embroiled in a serious legal battle when he was accused of rape by a woman. XLIV. The Dark Drama of Bollywood Directors and Producers 1. Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Controversy:
The film's release coincided with heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, leading to controversy due to the casting of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. 2. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat Debacle:
The historical drama stirred massive protests due to its alleged distortion of Rajput history. Bhansali faced physical attacks and massive public outcry.
3*. Mahesh Bhatt and Parveen Babi's Controversial Relationship:* Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's relationship with late actress Parveen Babi was the subject of controversy and gossip. Their tumultuous affair, coupled with Parveen's battle with mental health issues, made headlines and created a buzz in the industry.
4*. Anurag Kashyap's Marital Woes:* Director Anurag Kashyap's marriage to actress Kalki Koechlin attracted media attention. The couple separated in 2013, and their relationship struggles and subsequent divorce were discussed in the public domain. XLV. Priyanka Chopra's Reddit AMA Fall-Out
Priyanka Chopra's Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session became controversial when she failed to address certain sensitive questions, leading to disappointment and backlash from the Reddit community. XLVI. Bollywood’s Less Than Starry Behaviour 1. Salman Khan's Media Misadventures:
His scuffles with the media have been well-documented, including an infamous incident where he allegedly snatched a reporter's phone. 2. Kareena Kapoor Khan's Fan Fiasco:
A video of her allegedly snapping at fans asking for selfies caused a stir online. 3. Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone's Fallout:
Post their break-up, they reportedly gave each other the cold shoulder at public events, fuelling the gossip mill. XLVII. The Other Side of the Playback Singers 1. Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi's Feud:
One of the oldest controversies that rocked Bollywood was the fallout between these two legendary singers over royalty rights. 2. Abhijeet Bhattacharya's Controversial Remarks:
Known for his controversial comments on various issues, Abhijeet often found himself at the receiving end of public backlash.
3*. Sonu Nigam's Azaan Controversy:* In 2017, singer Sonu Nigam sparked controversy when he expressed his displeasure on Twitter over being woken up by the sound of Azaan (Islamic call to prayer). His comments led to a heated debate on religious tolerance and freedom of expression.
4*. Anu Malik's #MeToo Allegations:* Renowned music composer and singer Anu Malik faced allegations of sexual harassment during the #MeToo movement in 2018. Several women accused him of inappropriate behavior, leading to his removal as a judge from a popular singing reality show. XLVIII. The Many Shades of the Indian Film Industry 1. Dravidian Drama - Tamil & Telugu Cinema:
The south Indian film industry isn't free from controversies either. The rift between the late Tamil Nadu CMs, MGR and Karunanidhi, both of whom were from the film fraternity, impacted the politics of the state for decades. Similarly, the Telugu industry saw the tragic fallout between renowned actors Chiranjeevi and Rajasekhar. 2. Bengali Cinema's Intellectual Ire:
The Bengali film industry, known for its intellectual and artistic cinema, was hit by controversy when the veteran director Rituparno Ghosh's sexual orientation came under public scrutiny.
3*. Tamil Film Industry's Caste-based Controversies:* The Tamil film industry has witnessed controversies related to caste-based issues. Actors and filmmakers have faced criticism for allegedly promoting caste discrimination through their films or making controversial statements.
4*. Malayalam Film Industry's #MeToo Movement:* The Malayalam film industry witnessed its own version of the #MeToo movement, with several actresses coming forward to share their experiences of harassment and misconduct. The movement brought to light the dark side of the industry and led to discussions about the need for safer work environments. XLIX. Unraveling Layers of Love Triangles
Apart from the ones mentioned earlier, love triangles have been a common theme in Bollywood. Some of the real-life instances that became fodder for gossip include: 1. The Madhubala-Dilip Kumar-Raj Kapoor Saga:
In the Golden Era of Bollywood, the Madhubala-Dilip Kumar-Raj Kapoor triangle kept gossip columns busy, especially after the infamous court case during the filming of 'Naya Daur.' 2. The Shilpa Shetty-Akshay Kumar-Twinkle Khanna Triangle:
Akshay Kumar was linked with Shilpa Shetty while he was reportedly in a relationship with Twinkle Khanna. This resulted in much speculation until he eventually married Twinkle. L. Bollywood's Cheating Scandals 1. Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut:
The alleged affair between Hrithik and Kangana, while he was married to Suzanne Khan, created one of the most publicized controversies in Bollywood. 2. Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha:
The much-speculated affair between Amitabh and Rekha during his marriage with Jaya Bachchan remains one of Bollywood's most enduring rumors. 3. Govinda's Extramarital Affair:
Actor Govinda faced public scrutiny when news of his extramarital affair with actress Rani Mukerji surfaced. The affair reportedly caused strain in his marriage and led to widespread gossip.
Indeed, the Indian film industry isn't just about glitz and glamour, but also about human flaws and frailties that often come to light, adding another dimension to our understanding of it. Here are a few more controversies and rumors that I might have not covered yet (Apologies for any repetitions):
- The mysterious disappearance of Divya Bharti: In 1993, actress Divya Bharti tragically fell from the balcony of her apartment at the age of 19. Her sudden death sparked numerous conspiracy theories and rumors surrounding the circumstances of her demise, including speculation about foul play and possible suicide.
- The alleged black magic practices of Tantrik Chandraswami: Tantrik Chandraswami, a self-proclaimed spiritual guru with connections to several Bollywood celebrities, was accused of practicing black magic and having undue influence over prominent personalities. His alleged involvement in the political and entertainment spheres sparked controversy and speculation.
- The secret wedding of Juhi Chawla: Rumors circulated in the late '90s suggesting that actress Juhi Chawla had secretly married a British businessman. Although Juhi Chawla never publicly confirmed or denied the rumors, they persisted for a considerable period, adding an air of mystery to her personal life.
- The supposed curse of the film "Raaz" (2002): It was rumored that the horror film "Raaz" brought a curse upon its cast and crew. Alleged incidents of supernatural occurrences and mishaps during the film's production led to speculation about a supernatural influence affecting those involved.
- The controversy surrounding the film "Water" (2005): Deepa Mehta's film "Water" faced significant opposition during its production due to its sensitive subject matter and depiction of the treatment of widows in India. Protests, threats, and acts of vandalism occurred on the film's sets, leading to the relocation of the shooting to another country.
- The alleged rivalry between Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi: There were rumors of a rivalry between two Bollywood icons, Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi, during the '90s. Reports suggested that their competition for top actress status led to tensions and strained relations.
- The controversial casting of Sanjay Dutt in the film "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" (2006): Sanjay Dutt's inclusion in the film "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" created controversy due to his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. The decision to cast him sparked debates about ethics and the rehabilitation of individuals with criminal backgrounds.
- The alleged love triangle between Aamir Khan, Reena Dutta, and Kiran Rao: Speculation emerged about a love triangle involving actor Aamir Khan, his ex-wife Reena Dutta, and his second wife Kiran Rao. Reports suggested that the dynamics of their relationships overlapped, leading to rumors and discussions in the media.
- The controversy surrounding the film "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" (1996): Director Mira Nair's film "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" faced controversy and censorship challenges due to its explicit content and portrayal of sexuality. The film's release was met with mixed reactions and debates about artistic freedom.
- The alleged involvement of Bollywood celebrities in the IPL spot-fixing scandal: During the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal in 2013, rumors swirled about the involvement of certain Bollywood celebrities in illegal betting and match-fixing activities. Although no substantial evidence was found to support these rumors, they generated significant speculation and discussion.
- Govinda and David Dhawan's fallout: Govinda, known for his comedic roles, had a fallout with director David Dhawan, with whom he had collaborated on several successful films. Reports suggested that their relationship deteriorated due to creative differences and personal issues, leading to a strained professional relationship.
- Aditya Pancholi and Kangana Ranaut's legal battle: Kangana Ranaut accused actor Aditya Pancholi of physical and emotional abuse during their alleged relationship. The legal battle between them attracted significant media coverage, with both parties presenting their sides and filing counter-allegations.
- The alleged love affair between Rani Mukerji and Abhishek Bachchan: Rumors circulated about a romantic relationship between actors Rani Mukerji and Abhishek Bachchan during the shooting of their film "Yuva" (2004). Speculation about their relationship and its impact on Abhishek's engagement to Aishwarya Rai was a subject of gossip in the industry.
- The alleged feud between Aishwarya Rai and Sonam Kapoor: Reports suggested that Aishwarya Rai and Sonam Kapoor had a strained relationship stemming from a comment Sonam made about Aishwarya's fashion choices at the Cannes Film Festival. The alleged tension between the two actresses garnered attention in the media.
- The controversy surrounding the film "Fiza" (2000): Actress Karisma Kapoor faced backlash for her portrayal of a Muslim character in the film "Fiza." The film's depiction of communal violence led to accusations of misrepresentation and insensitivity, resulting in protests and debates.
- The controversy surrounding the film "Rahul" (2001): Director Prakash Jha's film "Rahul" faced objections from the National Commission for Women (NCW) for its portrayal of a teacher-student relationship. The NCW raised concerns about the film's potential to promote inappropriate relationships and demanded cuts or a ban.
- The controversy surrounding the film "Mohalla Assi": Starring Sunny Deol, the film "Mohalla Assi" faced censorship issues and remained unreleased for several years. The CBFC objected to its content, which included explicit language and the portrayal of religious figures, leading to legal battles and delays.
- The alleged rivalry between Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan: Rumors of a rivalry between two of Bollywood's biggest superstars, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, have circulated for years. Reports suggest that there is an underlying competitiveness between them, with occasional subtle digs and comparisons made in the media.
- The alleged tiff between Kangana Ranaut and Deepika Padukone: Reports of a rivalry between actresses Kangana Ranaut and Deepika Padukone have made headlines. While both have denied any animosity, occasional comments and indirect references in interviews have fueled speculation about a cold war between them.
- The mysterious disappearance of actor Nadia: Nadia, the first female stunt actress and action heroine of Indian cinema in the 1930s and 1940s, vanished under mysterious circumstances in the 1940s. Her sudden disappearance left the industry and her fans bewildered, and her fate remains unknown to this day.
- The controversial love triangle involving Guru Dutt, Geeta Dutt, and Waheeda Rehman: There were rumors of a complex love triangle between legendary filmmaker Guru Dutt, his wife, playback singer Geeta Dutt, and actress Waheeda Rehman during the making of the film "Pyaasa" (1957). While the exact nature of their relationships remains speculative, it added an intriguing layer of mystery to their personal lives.
- The unsolved murder of director Bimal Roy's cinematographer Subrata Mitra: Subrata Mitra, the acclaimed cinematographer known for his work with director Bimal Roy, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in 1997. The case remains unsolved, leaving behind unanswered questions and speculations.
- The alleged paranormal occurrences during the filming of the horror film "Mahal" (1949): During the shooting of the iconic film "Mahal," there were numerous reports of eerie happenings on set. Actors and crew members claimed to have witnessed strange phenomena and experienced unexplained incidents, adding a supernatural element to the film's legacy.
- The enigmatic persona of actor Guru Dutt: Guru Dutt, the iconic actor-director of the 1950s and 1960s, was known for his introspective and melancholic on-screen persona. His tragic death in 1964, attributed to an overdose of sleeping pills, continues to be shrouded in mystery, with debates about whether it was an accident or suicide.
- The controversy surrounding the film "Bandit Queen" (1994): Director Shekhar Kapur's film "Bandit Queen," based on the life of Phoolan Devi, faced legal challenges and controversies for its explicit content and portrayal of violence. The film's release was delayed, and it sparked debates on artistic freedom and the depiction of real-life incidents.
- The alleged black magic practices in the film industry: Over the years, there have been rumors and claims of certain individuals in the film industry practicing black magic or being involved in occult practices. These rumors have fueled speculation and added an element of mystery to the industry.
- The alleged rivalry between Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar: Two legendary actors of the Indian film industry, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar, were rumored to have a rivalry during their heyday. Reports suggested that their professional competition and different acting styles fueled tensions and strained relations between them.
- The controversial relationship between Kamal Haasan and Sarika: Actors Kamal Haasan and Sarika were in a live-in relationship for many years and had two children together. However, their relationship was marked by rumors of infidelity and personal differences, leading to a tumultuous and publicized separation.
- The controversy surrounding the film "Sins" (2005): Director Vinod Pande's film "Sins" faced severe criticism and opposition due to its explicit content and portrayal of taboo subjects like sex and religion. The film's release was marred by protests, bans, and legal battles, igniting debates on artistic freedom and censorship.
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2023.05.30 03:35 Master_Antelope What if I Rewrote Miraculous? (Season 4, Eps 1-13) (minor spoilers for S5)
Sorry I've been gone for a bit, I had a storyline to finish up and a few bad bouts of writer's block, but I managed to get to this finished up! Here's Season 4, eps 1-13! Be sure to leave some feedback!
Season 4 (March-April):
- Truth: First change (shared with Lies): Lukanette/Adrigami are clearly established to have been a thing over multiple weeks/a month, with the NY special being the second(?) time they’re truly established. I doubt it’s truly satisfactory, but stuff still has to work within this specific season/the larger narrative, so… eh. Second change: Andrew Hendrol is present for the concert on the Liberty (“I might have to challenge you guys to a battle of the bands one day.”) and slips off to transform into Dragonus just before Luka arrives akumatized. He absorbs Truth/Eyebeam’s (renamed Light Eye) powers then buggers off to appear later in Lies. Third change: Shadow Moth’s design. While I personally like it, it wasn’t terribly popular. So here's a slight redesign: the main body can stay the same with its purple overcoat and black lapels but make the purple a bit darker and the lapel is the same as it was on Hawk Moth. His cowl is now a chromed blue with a peacock feather “eye” right on the forehead instead of his Zuko monocle. His skin turns indigo like Mayura’s and his eyes are like Duusu’s, but more malevolent. The biggest change to his costume is the function of the tailcoat itself: its tail is like a male peacock’s train, long and vibrant blue with pinkish feather eyes in the back, and it opens and spreads in reaction to his emotions. For example, if he’s pleased or angry, it opens up and spreads out behind him, and if he’s exasperated/neutral, it folds back down. Fourth change: Marinette’s transformation into Ladybug is fixed this time around.
- Lies: First change: Marinette isn’t as fan-girly over the Adrien life showing, instead wondering if he’s doing alright with his schedule. Tikki and the others assure her that he’s probably used to it, and she doesn’t have to be so worried about it. Of course, this doesn’t dissuade her nerves, especially not when the modeling session the show films has Lila in it. Second change: The art room scene gets a couple added lines of dialogue (“Adrien. Our parents raised us for perfection, but we don’t need that. We’re already perfect. We’re perfect. Just show me your truth.” “But… I’m not sure what that truth is.” “Let me show you.”) before their class starts. Third change: the Hendrols are present for Prince Ali’s birthday party – it’s why Dragonus skedaddled from the fight – and Andrew manages to hide and transform without anyone noticing, avoiding Lies’ sphere. Even Dragonus can’t risk touching the sphere, even if his cravings for power – much like a vampire – don’t go away.
- Gang of Secrets: First change: Tikki attempts to console Marinette after she talks about worrying about Shadow Moth and Dragonus (“Well, Duusu had always been a bit chaotic. I could imagine that he might be causing Shadow Moth a problem or two. As for Dragonus… he can’t have it much better than you right now, right?”), which cuts to Andrew Hendrol and the Dark kwamis all having a dance party to unknown song that sounds suspiciously similar to “Hips Don’t Lie”. Second change: Instead of the girls just barging up, Tom and Sabine give them permission to go up and check on Marinette. “She hasn’t been answering for us, maybe she will for you.” And the dollhouse doesn’t break from Rose taking off the roof. Rather, Rose trips on something – maybe a roll of thread or a screwdriver or loose paper – and knocks into it. Same result, though, but Alya rightfully calls Mari out: “Okay, Marinette, something is really wrong with you. I’m sorry we can in uninvited, but your parents said we needed to check up on you, and I’m sorry Rose broke the house, but it was a complete accident and you’re blowing up over it. There’s more going on here than just boy trouble, isn’t there? We’re your friends, girl, we want to help.” To which Mari replies: “Maybe I don’t want your help, or your friendship anymore. Get out!” Third change: Dragonus swoops in during the fight and knocks around the Gang of Secrets himself after LB catches Lady Wifi, which inadvertently gives LB time to talk LW into rejecting her powers. Fourth change: Rena Rouge doesn’t look as off in this episode, where her skin was a few tones too light. Dunno if it was intentional, but that still could be fixed. The episode ends as normal.
- Mr. Pigeon 72: First change: a biggie. Alya acknowledges Lila’s number of akumatizations and says, “You know, even if you couldn’t tell me about Lila’s lying about being BFFs with Ladybug, you still could’ve told me – or anyone, for that matter – about how she threatened you in the bathroom. No one threatens my BFF with impunity.” I know a lot of people were upset with Alya’s passiveness over the whole Lila situation, but this line will have impact throughout the rest of the rework. Second change: I found this out on a whim, but it turns out city pigeons are a kind of dove, so Bob Roth wasn’t entirely wrong. Fun. Third change: Andrew Hendrol is watching the evil pigeons transform people outside and figures out he can’t go out, transformed or not, without getting touched. Vorrath: “When has that stopped you before?” Andrew: “I’ve got it.” Cut to later, he invades the fight between the illusions and Mr. Pigeon in a giant mech made out of a sentimonster that he teleported into so he could fight. Overkill doesn’t begin to cover this guy. Fourth change: I’m tempted to change Ladybug’s Lucky Charm suit to her permanent one, but if I did, certain episodes wouldn’t have as much oomph later… hmmm. For now, her suit can stay the same.
- Psycomedian: Honestly don’t know what to do with this one, it’s a fairly solid little episode; funny, love square-y, gives Gabriel some background and Cat Noir some spotlight. I guess I can really just add Dragonus to the mix: Psycomedian tries his emotion-gimmick on him and he no-sells it (there is a lot, and I mean a lot of lore behind Dragonus/Andrew Hendrol, so I think it would be easier to link my original fics with him up to the point I’m at for posting and you can explore his background there, as well as his powers) then proceeds to quickly skirmish with Angrybug: “There’s the fire I sensed when I absorbed your powers! Why don’t you let loose like this a little more? Finish the job!” (Again, lore makes sense if you read my main fics, I’m sorry, but he’s such a big character in my works that I don’t know how to condense it down. I’ll try but expect that later.)
- Furious Fu: First change: I’m really, really confused as to why Fu and Marianne are not referred to as husband/wife or at least married. They would’ve gotten married, right? It’s not a thing that I or the fandom seem to be upset about, I’m just super confused, and if anyone is willing to enlighten me, I’d be thankful. For now, Fu and Marianne are a couple, husband and wife, like they should’ve been since Backwarder or before. Second change: During the fight between LB/CN and Su-Han, guess who shows up but Dragonus. Su-Han freezes for a moment, which gives LB/CN time to snatch the Miracle Box, but Su-Han tries to pull it back. SH: “Ladybug! You did not tell me the Dark Dragon Miraculous was in Paris!” CN: “Sounds like you never asked!” Dragonus: sarcastically “Aw, now you’ve hurt my feelings.” Draws sword and points it at SH. “So you’re the Celestial Guardian I heard about. Head honcho, I’m guessing.” SH turns his aggression towards Dragonus. SH: “You and your kind are a blighted spot amongst the history of the Miraculous, demon!” Lunges. “Heavenly Retribution! The Righteous Will of the Justiciar Breaks the World’s Evil!” Dragonus dodges most of the attacks and matches a few of them, but Su-Han lands one good punch to the stomach. Dragonus: “growls Alright, then. You aren’t as much of a pushover as they are… or the Guardians at the Temple were. If we’re going to talk in metaphors, here's mine.” Flies away from SH and presses center of sword, opening a compartment and pulls out a purple pendant on a chain, emblazoned with a stylized T-rex face. “The grand unity of dinosaurs and dragons humbles the arrogant monk. Rexx, Vorrath, Unify!” (See here for appearance: https://archiveofourown.org/works/42733506/chapters/114090748 use ctrl-F and search "Thero"). “Thero Dragon flies as the Dark Guardian!” This reveals to everyone present that Dragonus has more of the Dark Miraculouses at his disposal and subsequent “oh crap” from Su-Han reveals how serious it is. By this point, LB/CN ran off, Thero Dragon taunts Su-Han and flies off, then doesn’t return until the battle with Furious Fu in the stadium, where he absorbs FF’s powers and briefly fights LB/CN before flying off again, proclaiming that “You haven’t seen the last of Thero Dragon!”. Episode ends as normal, but Su-Han will appear again this rewrite before Ephemeral.
- Sole Crusher: Okay, major change time again. I know a lot – almost utterly ridiculously so – of people do/did not like Zoe in the slightest. But, since I’m trying to stay fairly… fair to the source material (while adding new and interesting concepts), we are including Zoe, only her introduction is going to be quite different. Zoe has come to Paris because her time at her boarding school was cut short due to complete and total bullying, and her own father, a man we know as Robert Lee from Audrey, is too distant to think of another arrangement within NY and sends her to Paris to be with her mother. So, Zoe is going to be quite sullen/angry with her situation, and this becomes apparent when Marinette runs into her. Marinette apologizes profusely, but Zoe gives her a glare and basically tells her to bugger off. Marinette, though, recognizes something is wrong and pries just a little more (and it’s framed as Marinette trying to keep Zoe from attracting Shadow Moth’s attention while simultaneously trying to help), and Zoe reveals a bit of what’s happened – including the one friend – but not the full story nor which family she’s living with. Marinette, being the all-but-Lila-loving hero she is, preps a bag for the new girl. “Even if life has been bitter, it helps to have something sweet!” Marinette says. Zoe gives her a strange look. “What’s your angle? Everyone has one. Why’re you helping me?” Zoe asks, confused and suspicious. Marinette blinks in surprise and shrugs. “It’s the right thing to do, especially when you’re in a new place. I gave you my number if you’d like to chat.” Zoe blinks twice, clearly surprised by the generosity and seeming genuine nature of the girl in front of her. “Okay, then. I guess I should give you mine so… you know.” Marinette holds out her hand. “So I don’t lose it.” The first step to breaking Zoe’s rough exterior has been taken, but said rough exterior still persists when Zoe arrives at the hotel. Another major change: Audrey, while trying to be more supportive of Chloe, still has her preferred child, and that preferred child is Zoe, because, and this will cause drama later, “Zoe is one of only four people in my life who don’t grovel at my feet.” Chloe walks into the lounge/dining hall and hears this and immediately goes nuclear, but her rant is cut short by Zoe snapping at her to “Shut your mouth, you little brat.” Chloe is, of course, horrifically offended, but Audrey breaks it up before it escalates and sends them to get to know each other better… which, given this Zoe, goes about as well as expected. She snaps at all of Chloe’s rules, throws the diamond heels, and when Chloe calls her a “horrible half-of-a-sister”, Zoe throws it right back at her. This back-and-forth continues to school, where Zoe doesn’t bend to Chloe’s whims, but instead blows up at her again – which inadvertently does two things: it proves that Zoe isn’t like Chloe, but she’s quote-unquote “bad” in other ways. Of course, someone – Andrew Hendrol – sees this whole debacle and comments, “Such a powerful response to Chloe’s bratty self, such a temper. Oh, yesss, I like her.” There’s still “scaring Damocles” and “Marinette/girls talk about Zoe and Chloe”, but it’s less of Chloe’s influence and more “wow she’s scary but I bet Chloe had something to do with it.” Marinette and Zoe’s text still goes through, and Chloe still snaps at her for texting Marinette, but Zoe just snaps at her. “It’s none of your business, Chloe.” Chloe, on the other hand, makes it her business and goes back to her notebook, eventually landing on cockroaches in the locker (reused material, really?) to punish Marinette, and Zoe actually stumbles, a haunted look in her eyes. She staggers out of the room (taking the heels with her) and out to the roof, prepping to throw the shoes away in anger (perhaps a metaphor for something more disturbing) before losing the will to and she just breaks, resting her head against the bar and starts to cry. Andre comes up to her, they talk, and Zoe reveals her original dream of acting. “I’m good at it, but then everyone expected a different Zoe and they pressured me and I broke and now I can’t think of acting or anything without getting angry… I don’t like being angry. Not with the people who don’t deserve it, not with Chloe, not with anyone… I just want to be me, but I’m scared that the angry one is me…” Andre sighs. “You know, it might be good for you to… put a little bit of time between your past and now. Choose what you want to put in the Dream Cellar, and once you’ve… adjusted, you can come get it. Or you can leave it. The choice is yours.” Zoe’s akumatization stays the same, the general akuma battle remains the same, except for Thero Dragon Siphoning off Sole Crusher’s powers and stomping a few civilians for big kaiju battle time while taunting Chloe (“You can run, but I know I’m in your nightmares!”), which provides LB/CN enough time to find the akumatized sneakers and break them. The barge scene is a little different: Zoe explains what happened, and while her backstory with the crowds and roaches hasn’t changed too much, she adds, “I had one friend, but even she wasn’t around very much… not enough to help me when I needed it. I don’t blame her, she had a rough childhood, too, but I still pent that up. I’m sorry you had to see my outbursts. I get it if you don’t want to be my friend.” Of course, huggy happiness still ensues, the Bourgeois confrontation still happens, though Chloe’s basis for her demands is “If she stays here, she’ll make me stress out and ruin my perfect me!” and her threat is to crush you like your NY classmates did, while Audrey just rolls her eyes. “Chloe, quit being melodramatic. I understand Zoe’s not been the best sister – which is a discussion we will have later – but she’s not going back to New York now. I’m certainly not going to be responsible for her return fares.” The episode ends with Andre asking Zoe to “Call me Dad. I know your father is… distant, and I don’t know if I can replace him, but-” Zoe hugs him. “Thanks, Dad. Promise me you’ll make the choice to take your past out of the cellar, too.” The episode ends the same, with a much happier Zoe thanking Marinette for everything as a photo album (with dates so we can at least see it was a week or two between this and Queen Banana!) plays across the screen.
- Queen Banana: First change: Chloe’s “half-of-a-sister” bit when she bursts into the art room is now “Giving the lead role to my half-of-a-sister who just came out of nowhere a week ago?!”, and all of the talk of going back to New York is replaced with snappy but ultimately toothless posturing about ruining her life. Zoe, of course, is having none of that and snaps back at her with “The only way you’re ruining this movie is if you pry it from our hands!” The art room scene ends the same way as in the original, but the scene in Bob Roth’s office is changed a little bit: Not as much mention of going back to New York and more mention of Chloe’s pride as she says “You said our hands, which apparently includes the producer’s hands, too. Oh, I love a good loophole!” Zoe is oddly okay with this and confidently whispers to the others “We just need to outlast her, trust me.” Second change: Andrew Hendrol is part of the filming crew – “Live soundtrack design” he calls it, while Chloe calls it useless – and escapes the ‘enchanted sleep’ part of the filming, and is shown to get increasingly more annoyed with Chloe, to the point of risking his secret identity as Thero Dragon by offering to play the fire-breathing dragon suggested by Alya (“Lemme do it, I’ll knock that role out of the park, just let me actually blast her with fire.”). Third change: After Marinette’s rousing soapbox speech, Zoe pats her on the shoulder. “See what I meant about outlasting her?” Fourth change: Not to be outdone, Everett Hendrol, Andrew’s father (who is also present in the theater unlike Gabriel, showcasing the closer relationship Everett has with his son than Gabriel does with his), has also chipped in some pocket change (an amount of several thousand euros in Europe money I guess), so the film is entirely cut off from the city’s funding and Chloe’s interference, and when Chloe runs off, Everett darkly chuckles once as Andrew calls out “Cry me a river, Queen Banana!” (Everett is aware of Chloe’s antics and the Hendrols as a family have no sympathy for those, especially the rich, who act like fools). Fifth change: Again, Chloe’s revenge plan isn’t to get Zoe sent back to NY, she’s going to crush Zoe in a way only she can come up with… which is banana. Sixth change: There’s less of a “my fault” moment from Zoe and that weird “promise” bit is gone, now it’s just Zoe deciding to face down her sister and give her a reality check. “You want to know why we waited until you were gone to shoot the movie? Why we talked Gabriel Agreste into funding it? It’s because no one could stand your bratty behavior! Not because we hate you, not because anyone turned against you, but because you couldn’t swallow your pride and work as part of the team. If this is how you acted as part of Ladybug’s team when you were Queen Bee, it’s no wonder you were kicked off!” Queen Banana gets infuriated, Ladybug saves Zoe, they scooter off into the subway, where Ladybug commends Zoe’s bravery, but definitely winces a little bit regarding Queen Bee. “Chloe, for all her faults, wasn’t terrible as Queen Bee, but she really had attachment issues to the Miraculous, even after I tried… and failed to explain to her that her secret identity was compromised. But I doubt I’ll have that issue with you. Zoe Lee, (insert Miraculous speech here).” Seventh change: Once Queen Banana’s banana gun is glued up and she realizes she’s about to lose and runs, guess what, Thero Dragon drops in front of her, triggering Chloe’s trauma from the Miracle Queen incident. Thero Dragon Siphons off Queen Banana’s banana powers for the fun of it, then activates the power of the Dark T-rex Miraculous, Silver Tongue, which manifests as a purple blast of energy that, if it hits a human target, allows the T-rex holder to manipulate the minds of their target… which Thero Dragon uses to break down all of Chloe’s confidence and restraints, all the while tormenting her with things like “Your mother hates you,” “Your so-called friends despise you,” and “You’re utterly ridiculous.” Ladybug and Cat Noir start driving him back, but he managed to do enough damage as he needed. “I don’t know why you bother defending a traitor,” he says. “She wouldn’t do the same for you.” Queen Banana by now has fallen back, crying, and freeing her from Shadow Moth is an act of mercy, but Chloe still refuses the Magical Charm based on her own (self-nurtured) hatred for Ladybug and Vesperia, both for replacing her and failing to save her from Thero Dragon. Eighth change: Chloe, in her anger, swings at Zoe when she declares her hate, only for Zoe to catch it way too fast and lower Chloe’s fist while she gives her speech, and once Chloe takes the Charm and the akuma is repelled, Andre steps in and reprimands her for trying to hit Zoe, even going so far as to… “Chloe Bourgeois, your behavior is becoming completely unacceptable. You are embarrassing yourself and your family. Give me your phone. You are hereby grounded for a week.” Chloe looks shocked. “WHAT?!?” Andre is stern. “I’ve failed as a father. I should’ve tried to keep your behavior in check when you acted out, and I see I’ve failed terribly. There are so many people we will have to apologize to, especially your classmates for everything you’ve done to them.” The episode ends with Marinette and Tikki wondering if this new approach to Chloe’s behavior will do anything good.
- Gabriel Agreste: First change: Shadow Moth’s monologue is merged with Gabriel’s scene in the mausoleum under the mansion, first with Gabriel with his back to Emilie’s coffin before he turns to face it. Second change: When Nathalie offers Gabriel half of her sandwich, he initially refuses (“You need your strength.”) and she insists, then he crumbles (“You’ll need your strength, too.” “…Alright. Thank you.”). Third change: Andrew Hendrol is not present at the art-room fairy-tale-comparison blah thing, but Zoe’s response to Marinette’s question changes to “My mother has been attempting to treat her kids equally. Unfortunately, that means when Chloe got grounded for a week, I had to miss out on the dinner party. Had I known this was gonna happen, I would’ve put up more of a fight.” Also because of this, Zoe is NOT in Marinette’s room, but she is patched into the whole conversation thanks to Max and Markov. Fourth change: Audrey Bourgeois is throwing glares at Andre (apparently over punishing Chloe) and takes note of the solitary gold-trimmed black mask shaped like a lion’s head. “Don’t tell me he’s coming. You invited Hendrol?” “I had to. Otherwise he’d invite himself and ruin everything unexpectedly. At least now we can expect it.” Continuing the trend, after the Tsurugis arrive at the party, a shiny silver sedan rolls into the front gate, and Everett and Andrew Hendrol step out. Everett is in a pure white suit, in complete contrast to the rest of the party, and the hostility in the air is palpable as the car mogul and his son enter the foyer. “Gabriel.” “Everett. I would… like to welcome you to the party. Though the dress code specified darker clothes for all attendees.” “Really? I didn’t notice that, but even if I had, my black suits are all being cleaned. This is all I had.” “Indeed. Your mask, as requested.” Everett weighs the black lion mask in his hand. “Well, it’s not quite the cut obsidian I had hoped, but given your work, I shouldn’t be surprised.” Gabriel is imperceptibly seething. “I must ask you to stow your device-” “Neither of us will do that, and your little scrambler isn’t going to work on it, either. Your tricks, Gabriel, have been done by men greater than you a thousand times. And I’m the only one still standing.” Of course, when Chloe and Marinette sneak into the ballroom, everyone is giving Everett Hendrol a wide berth as he’s drinking something. Sixth change: The transformation into Shadow Moth from civilian form is still “Nooroo, Duusu, Unify!” I always hated that Dual Metamorphosis nonsense. Seventh change: Andrew Hendrol is fiddling on his phone – the only one that works, but Chloe can’t take it bc he already slapped her hand – when people start to leave Adrien’s room. Eighth change: Gabriel’s threat to Felix is more explicitly “I just need to snap my fingers, and you will be thrown out of here and I will tell everyone the truth about what you did and what you are. Think of your mother, Felix. She’d be devastated to see her only son hauled off for stealing from me… or the Hendrols. Everett is easy enough to provoke, and all I’d have to do is blame whatever I do on you. He’d personally see your life become pure torment.” Ninth change: Thero Dragon pounces on the Collector and Siphons from him, chuckling darkly as he does. “Clever plan, Shadow Moth, clever plan, indeed. But you aren’t fooling anyone.” Tenth change: We get a second epilogue: after Gabriel’s scene, we cut to a scene in the Hendrol mansion. Everett Hendrol is sitting at his desk, watching a chess board on the surface. The white pieces are miniature statues of him and other people, including Andrew, the black pieces are mini statues of Paris’s elite and relations: Gabriel as the king, Emilie queen, Tomoe and Amelie as bishops, Audrey and Andre as knights, Bob Roth and one unknown person as castles, and the pawns are their kids (Adrien/Chloe/Kagami/Felix/XY and three blank ones). The pieces are all at rest like the beginning of a game, but the queen (Emilie) and one castle (as yet unknown) are lying down. Everett just smirks, moves one of the white pieces a space forward, then a black piece. Everett Hendrol declared war.
- Mega Leech: First change: Polymouse or Manimouse for Mylene’s super-name? I want public opinion on this. Second change: Andrew Hendrol is present at the “Stop Project Oxygen” rally and reveals a bit more depth to his character (and potentially a motivation for Thero Dragon): he is very conscientious about the environment, and he becomes increasingly annoyed with the ad and brutally picks it apart. “Two of my best friends’ parents work for the Hendrol Motors Advertising Division and this is exactly what they said a bad ad looks like. Also, Paris’s investors are brainless idiots who barely know how to stand up for themselves, let alone save the planet.” And he snaps at Chloe. “Wasting water? You mean like you do by existing? And don’t get your dad in this, my dad would destroy him.” All in all, he sides with Mylene first. “I’m getting my dad to counter-fund this scheme, he’s already gone to war.” Andrew then leaves right before the Minidiktators show up to transform into Thero Dragon. “After all, they can’t get me if my ears are covered.” Thero Dragon is just brutally attacking Mega Leech by himself… revealing a scary level of contempt for sentimonsters. Third change: The Minidiktator possessing Cat Noir is expelled through his real ear, not the cat one. Fourth change: Ladybug’s suit doesn’t weirdly swap between Lucky Charm suit and normal near the end, it just stays normal. The rest of the episode… ends as normal. Even that scene at the end.
- Guiltrip: I don’t really have too many problems with this episode, nor do I really remember any complaints about (though I’m sure I’ll be corrected in the comments), the most I can really think of is adjusting it to fit my current ideas. So… First change: Juleka speaks clearly and no one’s parroting her words. Second change: While the first half of the episode plays out the same, Andrew Hendrol is noticeably absent, but once the second half starts, he shows up and he’s very unhappy/unpleasant to be around. It’s explained that he had to take a day off for stomach flu (and, little lore bit, he’s always very temperamental after a bout of sickness). As such, he doesn’t have much in the way of patience for the second half’s antics, but unlike Chloe, he’s quietly stewing and not drawing too much attention to himself. This extends to the later fight within Guiltrip (after he leaves the science lab when he realizes the only ones left are him, Chloe, Sabrina and Lila), as his negative emotions as Thero Dragon end up being so bad that Guiltrip gets hurt by them… and he flies off the handle once a bubble pops against him. He cools off eventually, but yeah. Third change: No animation errors. God, this episode was a doozy.
- Crocoduel: First change: Luka acknowledges that Marinette hasn’t been around since Zoe first joined the group instead of not seeing her since their breakup. Gotta love the writers forgetting characters being in places at times ugh. Second change: Fix the animation errors. Third change: About half the partygoers (Mylene/Ivan/Rose/Nino/Alya) know that Jagged Stone is the twins’ father. Fourth change: The sky doesn’t immediately become overcast the moment Jagged and Anarka are akumatized. That was just weird. Fifth change: When Cat Noir complains that he and Ladybug don’t have wings, Thero Dragon flies over them and taunts “But I do!”, he flies up, Siphons from Guitar Villain and Captain Hardrock, then pits them further against each other for giggles. Then he reappears to Siphon off Purple Tigress’s power. Sixth change: The Tiger Miraculous transformation phrase is “Paint my Stripes!” not “Stripes On!”. The episode ends otherwise normally.
- Optigami: First change: As an extra precaution to keep potential suspicion from Ladybug away, Gabriel makes sure Audrey invites Adrien’s entire class plus two extra invitations that go to Luka and Kagami. Second change: The first elevator bit with the entire class is stupid, so it’s getting changed to “Andrew Hendrol (who is in the elevator) rolls his eyes and punches the close button while Marinette tries to avoid Alya”. Third change: Andrew Hendrol slips out just before Audrey gets akumatized and discreetly transforms into Thero Dragon, and he immediately picks up on the smell of Shadow Moth in the building. He starts prowling around the building, waiting for the right moment to strike. This moment comes when Style Queen is about to hit the elevator Marinette/Adrien are trapped in, just before Shadow Moth calls her off. He blindsides her with his clamp weapon, then disarms her (literally) with his sword before Voyaging to the floor below, cackling the whole time. Fifth change: When Ladybug realizes that “Nino” is actually a sentimonster and calls out Shadow Moth, “Nino” starts laughing as his eyes glow gold and his body starts to deform into a monstrous shape. Thero Dragon’s voice starts echoing out of it. “And to think you almost got revealed because of an ally’s actions, Ladybug,” he said. “First the Turtle brought out without your explicit orders, then what? Someone betrays you for the Miracle Box? The only way to protect what you hold dear is this: ally yourself with me, and I can grant you access to powers you could only dream of. Consider my offer, because if the trend continues, you might lose more than just your privacy because of a fake butterfly.” Ladybug runs off to get the Turtle Miraculous Cataclysmed. Sixth change: Marinette is a little shaken by the end of the episode and some of her words are a little more barbed than intended, to which she apologizes and offers a solution to the problem faced that day, giving Alya the Fox Miraculous full-time, but gives her a few rules to follow. “If I find out you broke one, I’m taking the Miraculous back. Understand?” The episode ends pretty much the same. Oh, and that phone in the Miracle Box container? It’s (a little clunkily) mentioned that Marinette created the one during a “random creation attempt” session with Alya.
So, yeah. Now that I've finished working on my main Dragonus storyline and summer's on the way, I might be able to get the second half (plus the halves of Season 5!) out relatively quickly. As I promised, here is the link to the main Dragonus storyline, I'm almost finished posting it all. It's a divergence from Season 3 with some concepts pulled from the NY special and Season 4/5, but all in all it's a pretty good read (I don't exactly redeem
Chloe as much as punch her until she understands that she's been horrible
but she definitely becomes better): https://archiveofourown.org/series/2798386
Give me feedback, please! Your feedback helps me make this better!
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2023.05.30 03:28 GoCommitDeathpacito- guys hear me out
Regarding Richard, I think I figured out why Richard wears a chicken mask.
A male chicken is a rooster. Another name for a male chicken, as you may have known, is a cock. As you may also know, a cock can also refer to the male genitalia. Another nickname for the male genitalia is a dick. However, "dick" is also used as a shortened version of the name... Richard.
I have solved hotline miami
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2023.05.30 03:15 lazyburger When was your first midwife appointment? (Public)
I’m currently 23 weeks and have been seeing my GP until 20 weeks when I got my results back for my anatomy scan. My doctor also only sent off my details to the hospital that same day. I called the hospital the next day to provide some details of mine they were missing and they told me to expect an email by the end of that week… didn’t get anything and again I called back the next week and they said hopefully by the end of the week I would get something again but still nothing.
Do I bother to continue calling back if I haven’t received something or just wait?
I have been told by other previously/currently pregnant people around me that my doctor sent my details off late.
For reference I am located in WA
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2023.05.30 03:04 Bubzoluck [22 min read] Differences that Divide Us - The role of Racial and Sex based Medicine
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Hello and welcome back to SAR! First off, I apologize for the hiatus in blog posts but had some things pop up and now I am clear! Alright off to the good stuff: For most things in life there are few reasons why one person of a particular sex or race would be more well suited to a particular job than another person of a different sex or race. Afterall, the quality of a cup of coffee would be just the same from a Black female barista with 10 years of experience as an Asian male barista with 10 years of experience. But medicine is a bit different; we do see differences because of sex or race that are important to understand, acknowledge, and factor into the diagnosis. Obviously a male isn’t going to have pregnancy on the differential diagnosis and prostate cancer isn’t a factor for female patients. The differences in Pharmacokinetics
of a drug, a disease, or treatment can vary wildly between the sexes or between races. So today I want to look at the differences that we are only now starting to realize and the emerging role of Pharmacogenomics
as the next horizon for medicine. So the big question is: you got something big in your genes or are you just happy to see me? :P Disclaimer
: this post is not designed to be medical advice
. It is merely a look at the chemistry of medications and their general
effect on the body. Each person responds differently to therapy. Please talk to your doctor about starting, stopping, or changing medical treatment.
Because I am a pharmacist I want to center our discussion on the drug choices and attributes influenced by sex and race but in order to do that we have to lay a foundation. The processes that move drugs from a pill into your body are broadly referred to as ADME
but there is a hidden L step that is just as important to talk about as well. The lifecycle of a drug, LADME, are the five major processes that affect a drug inside the body. Let’s look:
- Liberation - When you swallow a tablet, the pill as a whole isn’t magically absorbed through the intestinal wall, it has to break down and liberate the drug from the dosage form. Liberation is the process of how the vehicle (what the drug is administered as) is broken down so the drug is free floating inside the body. This is also where we can see differences in timing such as extended release or immediate release products. It also governs other forms too like tablets you can chew or patches you apply onto the skin.
- Absorption - Now that the drug has left the tablet, it needs to move from the GI tract space into the body proper. The mucous membranes inside the intestine have a HUGE surface area allowing for many substances to be absorbed quickly and efficiently. How well a drug is absorbed plays a major factor in how well the drug’s action is. What if you're administering an oral (PO) antibiotic but the patient has diarrhea and they move the drug too quickly through the intestines? Can we be sure it was all absorbed? This is why we have alternative administration pathways like intramuscularly (IM), subcutaneous (SubQ), intravenous (IV), rectally (PR), vaginally (PV), optically (OU), and more. Each gets the drug inside the bloodstream where it can then get to the place it needs to go.
- Distribution - Speaking of getting where it needs to go, we have distribution. Once the drug is absorbed and dumped into the bloodstream, it needs to go to the place where the receptor, channel, or structure is for it to have action. Some places are easier to get to like highly vascularized (lots of blood vessels) areas like skin, the liver, and kidney while others are a bit harder such as the heart tissue, lungs, and brain.
- “How does the drug know where to go?” It doesn’t! It will go everywhere in the body but that doesn’t mean that it will have action there. One good example is with Carbidopa, a dopamine receptor agonist used for Parkinson’s (oh look a post!). When a person take’s Carbidopa orally, it's absorbed into the blood and starts to distribute throughout the body generally. We want it to go to the brain to alleviate Parkinson's symptoms but it can also activate dopamine receptors in the periphery where it causes dizziness and constipation (I highly recommend reading the post if you want to learn how).
- Metabolism - Eventually the drug has to leave the body and metabolism is the first step in that process. Metabolism has two phases: phase 1 is responsible for deactivating the drug by modifying the structure of the drug in a way where it cannot fit inside the receptor anymore. Phase 2 takes the deactivated drug and makes it very water soluble so that it can leave the body extremely easily. The rate of metabolism is dependent on many different factors and is highly specific to each person which is why we do large pharmacokinetic studies in drugs before they are ready to be on the market. Failure to understand how a drug is metabolized can lead to toxicities from drug accumulation OR give too little a dose because the drug is metabolized so quickly.
https://preview.redd.it/5f8b8yxq9v2b1.png?width=490&format=png&auto=webp&s=64cd2ed43f824a34992bd51a7ed6ff322f4c1f70 5. Elimination
- The last step in the drug lifecycle is elimination or how it physically gets out of the body. The majority of drugs leave via urine of which the kidney is responsible for that process. Having a working kidney is key for correctly dosing a drug because an underworking kidney may not eliminate the metabolized drug fast enough causing it to accumulate. There are other pathways too; fecal excretion (through biliary elimination) is another major route but some drugs can be eliminated via the lungs (such as alcohol, which is why it can be detected in a breathalyzer), through breast milk (which is why understanding drugs in pregnancy is SUPER important), sweat, saliva, and sebum.
Obviously there are major differences in LADME between males and females—after all it's hard to insert a drug vaginally in a male. But now that we have a general idea of what the drug is going to be doing, let’s dive into each section and talk about the sexual and racial differences we see at each step.
Liberation—”Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; - the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!”
When we think of liberation I want you to think of two things: getting the drug out of the formulation (such as the tablet or capsule breaking down in the stomach) and where that breakdown happens. These two factors are hugely important when we think about how the drug will eventually get absorbed—after all if you can’t liberate the drug correctly then there is no chance that it will be absorbed and then be utilized by the body. First let's talk about formulations:
- In your daily life you’ve probably come across different formulations of drugs. Here we are going to look at the most basic of them: Immediate Release (IR), Delayed Release (SR), and Controlled Release (CR) also known as Extended Release (ER). The main differences between these different forms is how quickly the tablet moves from a solid lump sitting in your stomach to dissolved particles. The slower it releases then the slower the drug dissolves into your stomach and the slower it will eventually get absorbed. Initially all drugs were formulated as Immediate Release because we had little understanding of the utility of longer dosing formulations as well as we didn’t have the technology to do it. There are a whole bunch of different types of Extended Release types each with different uses and drawbacks and choosing which is best for your drug is extremely important for deciding what works best. At the end of this section is a diagram that shows all the different kinds of formulations.
- But for now I want us to focus on the graph of drug liberation curves. The graph is divided into three zones with two very important barrier points: the Minimum Effective Level (MEL, aka MEC) and the Minimum Toxic Level (MTL aka MTC). Essentially if the curve of the line, representing the concentration of the drug in the body, is below the Minimum Effective Level then there isn’t enough drug to exert its action and we have Subtherapeutic levels in the body. Over time, the tablet dissolves more and more and the concentration continues to rise more and more and we pass the MEL into the Therapeutic Window where we see the action of the drug. In general we can say the higher you are in the Therapeutic Window, the greater the therapeutic effect there is or in other terms, the higher the dose the bigger the effect. Finally if you go above the Therapeutic Window you pass through the Minimum Toxic Level and enter into drug toxicity levels. Now, toxicity is a bit of a harsh word because this doesn’t mean we are going to see death but rather side effects due to too great of an effect of the drug. For example, say you are taking a drug that lowers blood pressure but due to changes in the tablet liberation the concentration rises above the MTL and your blood pressure drops a little too much and you get dizzy.
- In the first graph we can see how drug design impacts the speed of liberation. Let’s say that we have 100mg of a drug that we are trying to put in the body. Using an Immediate Release formulation would result in a much quicker liberation and thus absorption into the body but we can see that it peaks very quickly and then drops off very quickly. So you may only get a few hours of usefulness out of the drug. Compare this to the Controlled Release system which peaks much slower but also declines much slower too, remaining much more Therapeutic for a longer period of time. We can see this in Adderall used for ADHD—most people will take an Extended Release (ER) formulation in the morning so that they get many hours of sustained therapeutic benefit while they are at school or at work. You can see one method of how the beads inside the Adderall capsule are made—called Pelletization. Essentially an inert core is layered with different chemicals/drugs to build an “Onion” of layers [insert Shrek reference].
- So wouldn’t extended release always be better because we avoid the toxic levels of a drug? Not necessarily. To give an example of one of my patients, this person was a 911 operator who would take their Adderall XR every morning at 8:30am and work from 9am to 6pm every day. For them, their Adderall would start to wear off at 4pm, so they would get 7 hours of benefit. But what abouts the last two hours of the work day? They can’t be distracted in their job else it costs lives and taking another Adderall XR would mean they are wired until 11pm. No good. This is where the utility of IR formulations come in—this person can take an IR dose at 4pm when the Extended Release starts to wear off and boost their levels back into the therapeutic range and get 3 or 4 hours of benefit but have it be gone by the time they go to bed.
- So hopefully you can see the utility of choosing different release systems now, but what about the second point: liberating in the right place in the body. Well some drugs are more effective if they are absorbed later in the digestive tract where it is less acidic versus the stomach. So some drugs may have better absorption if we can release them further towards the intestines than immediately dumping them into the stomach for absorption. This is where the utility of Delayed Release (DR) systems comes in. Drugs that are considered Acid Labile or sensitive to acid else they degrade are preserved better if they can liberate from the tablet in a less acidic environment. A great example of this is Omeprazole (Prilosec) which is used for decreasing the production of stomach acid to treat acid reflux or GERD—problem is that Omeprazole itself is very Acid Labile and if it enters the stomach unprotected then it degrades fairly quickly. This leads to the use of Omeprazole DR formulations where it is coated in substances that resist acid breakdown like Shellac or Sodium Alginate, thus allowing for the Omeprazole to be liberated in the small intestine where it is more likely to be absorbed.
- This is all well and good but how does this relate to sex and race? Well one of the major differences between males and females is that females have a more acidic stomach than males making their stomach environment much more acidic. In addition the Gastric Emptying Time, or how long it takes for substances to move from the stomach into the small intestine for absorption, is significantly longer in females. These two factors mean that females taking a drug that is Acid Labile are more susceptible to degradation in a female than in a male. This means the utility of an Enteric Coated drug which would resist stomach acid would be much more beneficial in a female than in a male. Let’s look at a specific example: the drug Carbidopa is used in Parkison’s to treat the tremors associated with the disease. In younger females, the peak blood concentration for Carbidopa is 22 minutes later than males of the same age. As a female ages and goes through menopause that time to peak becomes more and more similar to males meaning not only are we seeing variability in sex but also in age.
- Another example is looking at the effect of a drug's natural acidity with the relative acidity of that person. Ketorolac (Ketorol) is a non-opioid pain medication used for moderate-severe pain in people where an opiate may not be preferred. The problem with Ketorolac is that it is extremely acidic naturally and it can cause ulceration of the stomach lining if someone has a very acidic stomach environment like a diet filled with acidic food. What we find is that males can have a Ketorolac dose 36% times higher than females because their stomachs are naturally less acidic meaning that they can handle a more acidic drug without the negative side effects like acid reflux or ulceration.
- On a racial standpoint we see similar outcomes. It is reported that individuals of Asian descent have a lower acid output compared to Occidental patients. Part of this can be related to the relative smaller body habitus (weight and height) in the Asian population but there is also a decreased expression of acid-producing tissues in the Asian population than other races. When quantified it appears that Asians have about 60% the acid secretion of Caucasians which is a clinically significant difference when considering drugs that need a more basic environment. For example, Levothyroxine (Synthroid) is taken one hour before breakfast because we want the least acidic environment possible, which happens when the body has no food in it. What we find is that Asian populations need up to 55% smaller doses of Levothyroxine compared to non-Asians. Kinda interesting eh?
Is that a polymorphism in your pocket?
Originally I was going to look at each part of LADME individually but kept running into a problem when trying to separate the drug processes into silos. While Liberation is distinct from the rest of the process, ADME cannot really be separated into its components in a way where I can tell the story efficiently. As such we will focus on the poster drugs that are significantly affected by race and sex and then talk about the larger implications in therapeutic development. Now clearly there are drugs that are used in one sex over another, for instance you aren’t going to find Atosiban
used to delay labor in a male or Sildenafil
(Viagra) for erectile dysfunction in a female. Now that being said they do have other uses but you get the point—so if I talk about a drug please know that I may be talking about a specific indication as well. So with that in mind, let’s jump in!
https://preview.redd.it/t743qrdnav2b1.png?width=415&format=png&auto=webp&s=ab664f0523de9b7ade071ad07840698074dc1715 https://preview.redd.it/hdrinkpxav2b1.png?width=743&format=png&auto=webp&s=cc11930d2c0922801d093b2976afdb2d15df2d78 BiDil finds a home among Black patients
—Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common conditions across all races and sexes and is usually referred to as the “Silent Killer” because, well, it doesn’t hurt. Unlike liver failure or an infection, you won’t really see any symptoms of high blood pressure but after a decade of not treating it people do develop critical end organ damage: heart failure, kidney damage, liver damage, etc. Imagine that your veins are like a garden hose; if you put your thumb over the end of the hose the velocity of the water coming out of the hose increases meaning that there is more force. So if you have higher blood pressure, you have higher force hitting your organs. So the medical community has developed countless ways of lowering blood pressure to help save our organs and we can group those medications into a couple categories.
- For the majority of the population we follow a pretty tried and tested protocol of drugs: first up we would use Diuretics which physically decrease the amount of fluid that is in the blood vessel. In the hose analogy this is like if you had a leak halfway up the hose lowering the amount of water exiting the hose at the end. Now there are dozens of diuretics but most people are familiar with Furosemide (Lasix) and how it makes people urinate more (y’know, to get rid of the fluid). If someone needs another agent we turn to drugs like the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs). The ACEs (like Lisinopril, Enalapril, or Benazepril) and ARBs (Valsartan, Olmesartan, etc.) work by inhibiting the ability for a protein, Angiotensin, from connecting with the blood vessel wall. Angiotensin’s main job is to make the blood vessel smaller which would increase blood pressure—these drugs inhibit the action of Angiotensin thus preventing it from raising blood pressure. And our final category are drugs acting on the heart: Calcium Channel Blockers or Beta Blockers. While generally more helpful in situations like heart failure than hypertension, these drugs slow down the heart’s ability to pump blood which then lowers the force that the blood is acting on the blood vessels and organs. In a way it's like turning the faucet on the garden hose letting out less water into the hose.
- So to summarize, the majority of people will benefit most from a Diuretic (which lowers the amount of fluid in the blood vessel), an ACEi or ARB (which prevents the blood vessels from getting smaller), and/or a CCB or BB (which lower the output of the heart).
https://preview.redd.it/iqua3w32bv2b1.png?width=343&format=png&auto=webp&s=8aeed509a15f83057db180b80eaf8b70b983a16d Hydralazine vs Isosorbide Mononitrate
- Enter the Venous Dilators which work by directly expanding the blood vessel size. These drugs are normally used in situations where the blood vessel is obstructed, such as during a heart attack or stroke, due to a clot. Administering a Venous Dilator would expand the blood vessel allowing the blood to wiggle around the clot and relieve the symptoms of the heart attack or stroke. Two of these drugs are Hydralazine and Isosorbide Dinitrate which are used by all sexes and races to prevent the progression of a heart attack and stroke which have very good success. Both of these drugs are fairly old: Isosorbide Dinitrate was discovered in 1949 while Hydralazine was discovered in 1949 and showed fairly good efficacy for decades.
- Enter two doctors, Jay Cohn and Peter Carson, who wanted to market a new combination drug Hydralazine/Isosorbide Dinitrate (BiDil) in 1989 for congestive heart failure. The FDA said sure, go do a trial and so the duo set out to prove that BiDil was a good option for the general population. They tested their combination in a trial called Vasodilator-Heart Failure Trial (V-HeFT) against the gold standard Enalapril (ACEi) and found that BiDil was…bad. Like really bad, in fact they had to stop the trial early because it would have been unethical to keep people on the BiDil rather than on the known treatment. So V-HeFT didn’t show that BiDil was a good option for the general population except among one subpopulation: Black patients. When you look at the use of Enalapril (and other ACEi) in Black patients we find that the efficacy is quite low. As it turns out, people of African descent have a lower response to drugs like ACEi and ARBs compared to non-Africans meaning that they are worse options for a Black person. So a patient that wasn’t responding well to a Diuretic and needed a second agent would get little help from an ACE/ARB drug. And at this point in time there were no CCB or BB!
- So Cohn and Carson’s drug application for BiDil was rejected in 1997 because the statistical analysis in their multi-racial study was quite bad. On the recommendation of one of the FDA’s advisory committees they stratified the data on racial lines and discovered a significant difference in response among Africans vs non-Africans. They started a new trial and enrolled 1050 African men and women showing a 43% decrease in mortality and a 39% reduction in hospitalization against placebo. They reapplied for BiDil and in 2005 the FDA approved the first ever race-based drug. To this day if you go to BiDil’s prescribing page in a drug database it will include a specific race designation because it’s only approved for a specific race. Importantly too national organizations like the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association endorse this race based recommendation for Black patients.
- Now this is great that we have a recommendation for a group of people that is superior to the normal regiment but there are a few complicating factors to consider. Firstly the term ‘Black patient’ isn’t really scientific—how Black does a patient need to be in order to qualify for BiDil? What kind of Black as well: African, Latin American, Caribbean, etc? Likewise this means it has to be self-reportable but what about a light-skinned Black person that was adopted and didn’t know they had Black genes? It's all very…unscientific. Recently there has been push back against this explicit race-based recommendation since other effective drugs do exist (like the CCB and BB which were discovered in 2006, one year after BiDil). There was a new study in 2022 from UCSF that talked about the role of prescribing based on race but personally I think there are too many confounders (influencing factors) like socioeconomic status to accurately say BiDil should be done away with. BiDil was shown to be effective in the Black population but how it gets applied is another story.
https://preview.redd.it/qs817v27bv2b1.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=bfb725e4bac64a0b564ac3ac9de7151b68ce3c1b https://preview.redd.it/w71a739dbv2b1.png?width=500&format=png&auto=webp&s=5fb3dd3701992dc410e32638283928e29df14859 Liver Enzyme Distribution affects Metabolism
—Once a drug is in the body it needs to be deactivated and removed eventually. This process of deactivating a drug happens during Metabolism which primarily happens in the liver via the Cytochrome P450 Enzymes
. These CYP enzymes are like little factories that take up a drug and make slight modifications that remove its ability to affect the body. Each CYP enzyme is best suited for certain drugs while some enzymes, like CYP3A4 and CYP2D6, are able to handle a higher percentage of drugs. You can see in the pie chart above that some enzymes are more important in metabolism than others.
- That being said, the distribution of the CYP enzymes is not constant from one person to another. For example, in females they have a higher distribution of CYP3A4 than males which can be thought of them having more deactivation factories than males. This means if we were to give the same dose to a female and a male the female would metabolize the drug much faster and thus have a decreased effect. This is incredibly important because CYP3A4 accounts for 30% of all drugs including birth control, many psychiatric drugs, and chemotherapeutics meaning that females would need higher doses than males, in theory. The opposite is true for CYP2E1 which is higher in males than females and is a metabolizer of ethanol (minor) and caffeine (major) which means that higher doses of both would be needed to have the same effect male vs female. Neat eh? Like there are sex differences for CYP enzymes we are starting to discover racial differences in CYP enzymes: we have identified Polymorphisms or small genetic variability among the genes that encode the CYP enzymes. Truthfully this isn’t surprising, we know there is genetic variability in genes that affect hair or eye color, so it's not too surprising that the CYP enzymes are equally affected. What is interesting is that the racial differences in CYP enzymes can lead to wildly different enzyme activity levels that lead to clinically significant differences in drug response. Or in simpler terms, some races respond better to some drugs because they have different liver enzymes!
- Let’s take a look at one drug, Amitriptyline (Elavil) used for depression and anxiety, and how Polymorphisms result in changes in response. Quickly let's take a look at the metabolism: we can see that Amitriptyline is metabolized by two enzymes, CYP2D6 and CYP2C19. If it is metabolized by 2D6 first then it converts into an inactive metabolite that is eventually removed from the body. However if it first goes through 2C19 then it is converted to an active metabolite, Nortriptyline which would extend the action of the drug than if it went through 2D6. But if it does go through 2C19 then it will be handled by 2D6 into an inactive metabolite (bottom right), so either way we need 2D6 to get rid of the drug.
- So let’s look at what happens when we mess with the metabolism of Amitriptyline through 2D6. Well if someone is a 2D6 poor metabolizer then they would be unable to clear the drug quickly and so it would hang around in the body longer—so more anti-depression activity (and side effects). We find that up to 10% of Caucasians are poor 2D6 metabolizers meaning that they would have a better response to Amitriptyline than those who are normal metabolizers. Likewise we find that up to 51% of Asians are intermediate metabolizers which has led to an overall increased response of 74%! The flip side to this are the Ultrarapid metabolizers who would clear the drug extremely quickly through 2D6 thus leading to a decreased response to Amitriptyline. Up to 29% of Subsaharan Africans are found to be Ultrarapid metabolizers meaning that Amitriptyline (and other drugs going through 2D6) is the wrong option for them.
- Looking at 2C19 we see a much different distribution among the races. Remember that 2C19 converts the drug into an active metabolite which would extend the activity of the drug—if you don’t go through 2C19 then you’d have a decreased response. So patients who are Oceanian have a whopping 89% chance to be an intermediate or worse metabolizer and so a much MUCH higher chance of decreased response to Amitriptyline. Compare this to Caucasian patients who have a 32% chance to have increased activity on 2C19 meaning a potential increased response to Amitriptyline.
- Now is it really as simple as this? No, I am glossing over some of the finer details but I wanted to show how racial differences are a major factor in how drugs affect the body. Imagine if you had a population that had an 89% chance to have a decreased effect on birth control? Or what if you were a carrier of the HLA-B*5701 gene which means you are horribly allergic to the anti-HIV medication Abacavir (like up to 20% of Indians)? This is where the next generation of medicine comes from and the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium is aiming to have their CPIC genomic guidelines become standard practice. In fact I am seeing more and more patients getting their liver enzymes done so we can see what kind of response they would have, especially if they have failed multiple drugs for a condition. Take a look at the guidelines page and see how many drugs are incorporated into the recommendations.
Regardless, pharmacogenetics has major impacts on how we treat patients every day but also may be a factor in some of the clinical disasters that we see. Afterall, 53% of Africans have decreased metabolism through CYP3A4 which is the major metabolizer of Fentanyl
which may be a contributing factor why Blacks face higher overdose rates. If you haven’t, consider getting a pharmacogenomic test (many insurances will pay for it now) and unlock some secrets of your own body! Cheers!
2023.05.30 02:43 vpetitjean1016 How to navigate toxic in-laws?
TLDR: how do you deal with in-laws who may be toxic for the sake of their grandchildren and not want to deny them their grandparents?
My wife is 25 female Me 26 male Mother-in-law (MIL)49 female Father-in-law (FIL) 54 male Older sister-in-law (OSIL) 27 female Younger sister-in-law Child, baby, grandchild 1.5-year-old ball of energy and joy So there's a lot of background and back story for this situation. Mother-in-law(MIL) is a Facebook mom through and through, who cares a lot about her image and being well-liked and trying to present the perfect family image. My Father-in-law (FIL) is from a small town in a Southern state. He is super traditional and conservative. He is a leader in his church but doesn't always live it out (loving thy neighbor seemingly only applies to certain people). The embodiment of a "happy wife, happy life." My older sister-in-law (OSIL) also went to the same college as us and lived with my wife at school. But she was always considered her parents favorite and who my wife was always compared to. The younger sister in law just a teen and isn't involved in the story My wife and I met during our first year of university but started dating in our senior year. Once we started dating, my wife shared stories about a not-great childhood and a strained relationship with her parents. They were overbearing/controlling with her but not her sister and it was always her fault anytime something went wrong. They even made her apologize for saying she thought she was struggling with depression (they thought my wife was saying they were terrible parents bc she was sad), etc. I didn't know what to think then, but I could see how traumatized my wife was by her childhood and how her mood and demeanor changed any time they called, came up in conversation, or the like. Seeing how she felt towards them and the stories she would tell me about how badly she was treated made it clear that she was affected by it all. After college, my wife and I moved across the country for work, so we saw them a lot less, which seemed to help her shed some of the trauma. A year after our wedding, we had our first child. Our baby came a few weeks early, so my parents were away traveling, so they couldn't come right away. However, my wife's parents came out to stay with us after we came home from the hospital. They were so helpful during that time as we were overwhelmed with becoming parents. The no sleep, not much eating, unsure what to do at times, my wife recovering from labor, etc., so we were a little on edge. But we're still very glad they were there to help. Her father would get up early in the morning to care for the baby so we could sleep in. They would go shopping for groceries and cook, her mother would clean up around the house, and of course, they would spend time with the baby. There was a weird moment where on this visit when my mother-in-law insisted that our baby needed socks and mittens on because his hands and feet were cold. My wife and I were very aware that babies need to be kept warm, but in our prep for the little one, we did a lot of homework. And found that we should check the torso or neck as indicators for the babies temp, not hands/feet. This, coupled with the fact that even at a week or two old, the little one would always get their socks and mittens off within minutes of being put on, sometimes didn't bother. We tried to share all this with my in-laws, but they insisted and put them on themselves. After the fact, my wife and I didn't mind this incident, but my in-laws seemed to hold on to it. About a month later, my in-laws decided to visit us for a few days. They were bringing their large, untrained dog that we had asked them not to bring, and coming in 4 hours later than they initially told us. Coming late wasn't a huge issue other than messing up dinner plans and our dogs meeting to see if they got along (they didn't, but that's a story for a different time). They only spoke to us during their visit if it had to do with the baby. And things just felt extremely tense. Also, instead of staying a few days, they left abruptly after one day. And on the drive home, they sent a large text saying they were disappointed with us and felt that we were unwelcoming to them. And that was why they left. Once they got home, we called them and expressed how we wished they had had this conversation with us before leaving. We hoped we could fix things so they stayed put for just one day. In this conversation, we found they were still upset about how we spoke to them about the socks and mittens on the last visit (which we had no idea they were upset about). But once this was brought up, my wife and I also shared that we had been bothered by some things they said on both visits. Well, more so how they said it rather than what they said. My MIL and FIL had been very commanding/bossy in telling us what we should be doing with our child. So during this conversation, we shared that we would like it if they could use softer language as both my wife and I already had a lot of doubts about being good parents, and the way they spoke made us feel like we were doing something wrong. (It's been almost 2 years, so I can't remember exactly what was said, but an example of what I'm referring to is: "Wife, you're doing that wrong stop that," and we were asking them to say instead "Wife maybe try this instead.")
But this "back talk" only made things worse as the conversation blew up into a massive argument with my FIL about how we need to show them more respect and my MIL sobbing, saying that she doesn't know her daughter anymore. After spending hours on the phone going back and forth, we finally ended the call feeling like nothing would change, but at least the fight was over, and we could try to start to get past it. Shortly after this, FIL called my wife to ask if she was safe. In so many words asking if I was hurting, controlling, or making her say these things to her family. A couple of weeks later, we were away for a wedding and forgot to call my mother-in-law for her birthday. We realized the next day that we had missed it and called as soon as possible. My wife called, and FIL answered, stating that she was not allowed to speak to her mother because of how badly she had hurt her for not calling. He then proceeded to say some awful and terrible things about how ungrateful, rude, disrespectful, and what a terrible daughter she was for hurting MIL like this, and demanded an apology. After this, my wife wrote a letter apologizing to MIL for hurting her and forgetting to call. (She was so afraid of her parents after the things her father said to her that she couldn't call or text them out of fear that they would say more verbally abusive things) FIL then texted her, saying he didn't even let MIL read that sorry excuse for an apology, as it would probably hurt her more. While this is going on, we are also trying to plan our baby's baptism, and FIL was supposed to be the person to perform the baptism but now refused to do so because of the mistreatment of MIL. He then was angry that we were denying him the chance to baptize his grandchild when we went ahead with the baptism anyways and had a different person perform it when he told us he wouldn't do it. After everything he said, we still asked him if he would perform the baptism. But we couldn't cancel as the date was set and others were coming into town to celebrate with us. Then the older sister-in-law (OSIL) sent us a text tearing into us also for how this whole thing is our fault and several other hurtful and unnecessary things about the arguments with MIL and FIL. After this, we went no contact for about a year. During this time, my wife would share how terrified she was of them randomly reaching out. She became afraid of any phone call, worried that she would have to speak with them after all of this. No contact was hard. My parents and my wife's grandparents wanted us to contact MIL and FIL. They thought we could try to move past everything because they are family. My wife is very close with her grandparents (they helped raise her), who we tried to keep in touch with, but we tried to tiptoe around the fact that we weren't speaking with MIL and FIL as we didn't want to bring everyone into our fight/ situation. After 6 months, we visited my wife's grandparents in the same city as MIL & FIL. And we felt so guilty about coming all that way not to visit them, so we went ahead and saw them. We didn't talk. They just spent some time with our baby until we had to leave. After that visit, we still didn't have contact with them. For another 6 months until we reached out, neither we nor they ever apologized for what was said, but we agreed to try to put it past us and start over. We initiated contact really out of guilt. The guilt wasn't so much for ourselves but for them being able to have a relationship with their grandchild. And for our child to have a relationship with them. Since then, we have had minimal contact with them.
I'm posting all of this because we are trying to figure out how to navigate this relationship with them and would love any suggestions/ advice. We aren't sure what to do when they refuse to change, ever admit when they are wrong and seem to have no desire to have any real relationship with us. We want our kids to have a relationship with them if they choose, but we don't want the hurt the way my wife was by MIL and FIL. But we don't want to make that choice for our child either. We also aren't sure how to cut them out but maintain a connection with my wife's grandparents, so if we go no contact, we lose all of my wife's family, not just her parents. For some extra context, when MIL and FIL came to visit right after the baby was born. MIL would post photos of the baby, calling him her baby and referring to herself and FIL as grandmommy and granddaddy, respectively. Which my wife and I were weirded out by. This, plus how they have ignored us since our child was born, has made it feel like they wanted to pretend our child was theirs or something strange like that. It's also complicated to give all the context to a very complex and emotional situation, but hopefully, this provides enough information so you can form an opinion on our situation. As I wrote this, I felt myself second-guessing our choices and feeling like we made a big deal out of nothing, and maybe we were the bad guys in this, not MIL and FIL. But at the same time, we know we probably made mistakes, but at the same time, we also apologized after.
For those who got this far, I wanted to add that my wife is doing better but still struggles whenever they call, try to visit or ask for us to see them. She's on medication for anxiety and depression now, which is helping. And our child is healthy and happy but still prefers no socks most days.
submitted by vpetitjean1016
to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 02:40 ryu289 No research done
The designer’s Instagram explains that this product line is proselytization of satanism to vulnerable American kids. Would Target ever sell Christian propaganda items that tried to recruit more Christians? Would they sell things that said, “Jesus loves you?”
None of the items in Target had what she was complaining about
. And he doesn't say he sells them to kids.
The examples of the heinous recruitment tools go on and on. One pin shows a medieval weapon with the words “we bash back” on it. Other items include a mug that says “gender fluid” and tuck-friendly bathing suits for both male adults and male children. “Tuck-friendly” refers to the dangerous practice of penis tucking, which can cause major injury. (Ever heard of testicular torsion?)
And it's pointed out to be rare
, her own link even saying:
A self-induced, non-traumatic testicular torsion is a rare entity that to our knowledge has not been reported in the literature.
And the guy wasn't even trans to begin with.
Also that talk about tucking is also a lie
Several TikTok videos showing moms fed up with Target’s antagonistic position toward families with children are going viral, and Target executives are getting nervous. Many stores in the American South have moved their Pride displays from the front of the store to the back of the store and have reduced the number of items sold, removing the most controversial satanic items. Target corporate has blamed “volatile” and “confrontational behavior” with customers for the move rather than admit they made a huge mistake.
To date, there are no videos showing any violent confrontations. There are only videos of people asking management why they have done this or videos of people walking through the stores showing the items. Reporters who spoke to Target didn’t bother to ask for proof of the violent confrontations
I can find several: https://twitter.com/LanceUSA70/status/1661874519588446208?t=3_69Kos10ECGhjW8vOP8Aw&s=19 https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1661365621567950853?t=FoA4x4HhUOCCF3ZSqh1kKQ&s=19
Here are some more satanic items glorifying body-destroying cross-sex hormone use that says, “do shots with me.”
Oh will you stop that
submitted by ryu289
to Persecutionfetish [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 02:32 throaitawaynn Delusional Disorder/Schizophrenia?
I’m a 17 year old male.
I was diagnosed with OCD last year which really shed some light on things regarding my mental health. Lately I’ve been questioning my sanity for a pretty embarrassing reason.
I have a crush on a celebrity and I’m concerned I’m delusional. For context I frequently refer to this person as my wife with friends jokingly but I know realistically she doesn’t know I exist and I’ll never meet her, however I can’t shake the feelings I’ve created in my mind for her no matter how hard I try. I was in a pretty dark place after a break up when all this started (I know relationships as a teenager aren’t real whatever blah blah) and I’m wondering if me being vulnerable and lonely is the reasoning for this or if I’m really just losing it. Another thing that’s got me concerned is that I have this weird feeling as if bugs were crawling on my legs even though there’s nothing there, it started in December and hasn’t happened since then until this week. I don’t know if it’s just stress related because I’m a mess lately.
Anyways I’m always pretty stressed and on edge, I don’t take medication for my OCD either. Circling back to before, It’s like I know this behavior is weird and that I should shake it but I just don’t want to.
Any advice would be solid, thanks.
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to mentalhealth [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 02:32 TechHead700 I have man boobs, and I need help.
Hello! I am a 13 year old male, and I am overweight. I am 143-Ish pounds, and I don’t feel right about my man boobs. (I’ll refer to them as Moobs from now on). It causes me stress at school when I see kids, especially girls look at me and laugh because of my appearance. I am okay with the belly, but the moobs bother me. I always crave something sweet, and says I don’t take my anxiety meds, I tend to stress eat because of all the shame out onto me by kids laughing at me. It’s a cycle that doesn’t stop. I can’t tell my parents about this because they’ll probably laugh and share it with my family. My mom especially is a HUGE gossiper. I need help, and I don’t have the time, nor money, for surgery. As a kid in my school, where appearance is a everything, having to constantly wear hoodies to hide my moobs is infuriating, especially during the summer. Please help me, I cannot deal with my moobs anymore.
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to WeightLossAdvice [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 02:23 mitsuki87 Pics of a male for those not sure!
So today I culled a male but I see so many posts on here asking “Is this a female?” that I thought I would grab some pics of what a male and its flowers look like for anyone who doesn’t know and you can reference this anytime or save the pics.
On the very top apical flowers you can see how they grow differently from a female in flower and all the little sacks will grow and spit pollen but you can also remove them at this stage and even a week or two later and it should still be good since the pollen sacks (balls) have to grow a good bit before they start to open up.
One I thought was a male also turned out to be a female so always get them in a 12/12 and wait til you see true flowers and sex organs forming, but after that it’s easy to tell!!
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2023.05.30 01:58 redpenfallacy God magically created the Y chromosome for his son!
2023.05.30 01:51 depressedloseromg Should I continue to identify as gay even though I’m attracted to transmen and some women?
I’ve come to conclude that my attractions are both feminine and masculine men (cis and trans), masculine women and basically anyone else with male anatomy who presents masculine. The only thing that doesn’t really attract me sexually is a feminine woman, even though I could see myself dating one. How would you define my sexuality?
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to BlackLGBT [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 01:49 Odd-Walk-3359 29M - Optic Nerve Swelling, New or Pre-Existing?
I am a 29 year old Caucasian male living in the UK. I weigh 180 lbs and I am 6′1″ tall. I have a history of high blood pressure, having being diagnosed with essential hypertension at the age of 14, and take 20 mg of Lisinopril daily as treatment.
Last week I saw an optometrist who identified possible optic nerve issues from an OCT scan of my eyes. Though I don't remember his exact wording, I believe the optometrist said that my optic nerve heads were raised. I believe the left was slightly more raised than the right.
I am a new arrival to the UK, and so my medical records from past exams are not readily available to local doctors. The optometrist stressed that, without access to previous medical records, it was hard for him to ascertain whether this was a congenital anomaly or something more serious (like a brain tumor). Therefore, I have been referred for an MRI which I should receive within 2 to 4 weeks.
Today I was able to contact my previous optometrist from back home, and obtained a copy of old retinal images from August 2022. I will be bringing a copy with me to my next UK appointment, but in the meantime I was wondering if someone could comment on whether optic nerve swelling is apparent in these old retinal images: https://imgur.com/a/tE5kWSo
If so or if not, how worried should I be about this situation? Needless to say, I'm quite afraid that I may have a brain tumor.
Thank you for your time.
For additional context, here are some of the symptoms that I have been experiencing:
I have been suffering from easily-fatigued legs, persistent feelings of dizziness/unsteadiness (as if I'm on a boat), heart palpitations, perceived weakness in my right arm, and pressure on the roof of my mouth (especially when stressed). I have also had a singular spell of mild vertigo at bedtime, and have experienced mild nausea on multiple occasions (especially after eating). All of these symptoms began just weeks after a bad bout of food poisoning that I got from an Indian restaurant.
I have also been experiencing gradually worsening myopia in my left eye, which is what led me to seek the advice of an optometrist.
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2023.05.30 01:42 MudExisting1643 Here, you’re going to need this after tonight.
2023.05.30 01:31 throwaway90371560 How do I (29M) trust her (34F)? Am I being insecure, or am I noticing legitimate red flags? TL;DR warning
I've been dating this woman who I found on Tinder for 3 months. Beginning was great, we had a lot of fun and crazy chemistry. She was in an abusive marriage for 9 years with a guy who cheated on her several times towards the end before she filed for divorce. They have two children together and split custody.
She slipped into a depressive episode about 4 weeks ago and seems to be coming out of it now. I was as supporting and understanding as I could possibly be during those 4 weeks, but a few weeks in I started to feel very insecure and paranoid about what was actually happening to the relationship. I started examining what she has said to me in the past more closely without rose tinted glasses, how some things didn't add up, and started looking at her social media a bit closer.
First off, our primary form of communication is Snapchat. My SC had been inactive with a score of like 8k or something before we started talking. Hers is close to 40k and she uses it a fair amount.
In the early days, she didn't have any problem getting right down to sending me bathtub selfies, nudes of her boobs/her fingering herself, etc. She did all this before we even had our first in person date. At the time, I liked it. Now, looking back, I am starting to view that as a red flag. Luckily, I never reciprocated. Just not the type of guy I am.
She also had what she calls a "sIut phase" back in 2020 after she divorced her husband. She said it lasted a few months and she had a lot of hook ups but is over it now and wants something serious. Her official number of past sexual partners is 34 not including me. Which seems very high to me, but I have tried my best to look past it.
Lately I have started to notice that, when she tells me she is going to take her nightly bath, she will usually send me her typical bath selfie with some boobs showing. The kicker here is that her score will go up by 5, sometimes 6 points after sending me a single snap.
Now, could she be sending that snap to me and then immediately opening other people's snaps? Yeah, maybe. But doesn't seem likely to me at 9:00 PM on a work night. The way snapscore works is 1 point for sending a snap (more points if you send to additional recipients), and 1 point for opening 1 snap.
I confronted her about it and she got very defensive. Swore up and down that I am the only one that ever sees "sexy selfies". She ended up crying and saying that I hurt her by accusing her of essentially cheating. She also told me that I can google it that snapscore will sometimes "glitch out" and go up by dozens of points for no reason. I googled this, and found nothing.
This continues to happen any time I receive a sexy selfie from her. She will send it, the points will go up by 5 or 6 instead of 1. I pointed it out again, and she said that I am going to drive myself crazy paying attention to the score. She said I'm being extremely insecure and pushing her away. She said she was going to remove me on snapchat. I told her to go ahead, but to realize that it makes her look even more untrustworthy by doing so.
So, in addition to all this, she also has several male friends. One of them she refers to as her best friend, who she actually just went on a week long vacation out of the country with at the beginning of the year. She swears that this is a platonic friendship, but some things really irk me about it.
For one thing, apparently he has shown her a testicle after it was injured. She, being someone who completed medical school, asked to see it out of morbid curiosity/being a medical professional. She said it was grotesquely swollen and just curious to see what it looked like.
Another thing, from her own mouth about this dude, he has apparently fucked a chick so she could post it on her OnlyFans page. He also apparently "will fuck anything with a pulse". I don't know why she told me these things, but wouldn't you guys agree that these don't sound like appropriate topics to discuss with a "completely platonic, like a brother, best friend of the opposite sex who is straight"?
Another friend. A dude she went on one date with but decided to remain friends. Apparently this dude was lonely one night after a break up and said he was going to call a phone sex line. She told him not to waste his money on something dumb like that and sent him a picture of her tits, saying she hope that helps. AGAIN, doesn't really seem like appropriate behavior with a "platonic friend" of the opposite sex who is straight?
I have also confronted her about these things. She agreed that thing with the tits picture was weird, and even admitted that a dude in the past said he couldn't move past that and broke things off before they got serious. But her defense is also that she was single at the time and wasn't really doing anything wrong. Yeah, fair enough, but the fact of the matter is that at that point it is no longer a true "innocent friendship". The dude has now seen you nude. In regards to the other friend, you have now seen that dude's gentals and discussed his sex habits with him.
She has stressed to me that she isn't doing anything wrong and is begging me to believe her. She said that she can't keep having this conversation. She said that she knows she has been cold and distant to me out of nowhere as of 4 weeks ago and has apologized profusely for hurting me and putting me into this mind state that I am in now.
And I'll agree with her. Because I am NOT an insecure dude by nature. I just hate lying, have been cheated on, and absolutely refuse to go down that path of heartache again.
I could keep going. But there isn't a point. I am ready to confront her a last time tomorrow when I see her. I am going to tell her to let me look through her Snapchat. If she refuses, I am planning to dump her and go no contact.
Have I gone crazy with insecurity due to our relationship having issues? Am I making a mistake? Or have I simply woken up and seen her for what she really is? A good woman who unfortunately craves male validation and is addicting to snapchatting lewd pictures of herself?
I feel like I have really run her down with this post and that wasn't my intention, so let me at least say the good things about her:
- She is funny as hell. A real joy to hang out with.
- She is an excellent mother to her children. I have no doubt these kids will grow up to be great people with her as a mom.
- She is well educated, has a well paying respectable career
- The sex is great. We have intense sexual chemistry and she knows what she is doing.
- She loves all my hobbies, genuinely seems interested in what I am doing on a day to day basis. Takes genuine interest in everything about my life. Makes me feel good about myself.
- We share a lot of the same interests. We have talked for hours about things that we both like. Conversation flows easily.
- She wants me to meet her kids in a few more months. She thinks I seem like I'd be a really fun and goofy "stepdad" figure.
- She wants to meet my parents, thinks they are really cool and asks about them a lot.
- She wants me to move closer to her so we can hang out more (we live about an hour away).
- She apparently made a concerted effort to scale her male friendships back out of respect for the way it makes me feel. Says she barely speaks to "onlyfans/testicle" guy anymore. Says the last time she spoke to "sent a tits pic" guy was 4 weeks ago when asking him if he could pick up a weed pen for her next time he goes to the dispensary.
TL;DR: Girlfriend of 3 months has several male friends. One that she went on a date with but later sent a picture of her boobs after he said he was lonely and was going to call a phone sex line. The other one is a guy she went on a week long vacation with out of the country, he has shown his balls to her, he has told her about starring in an OnlyFans video, he has shared his sexual history with her. Granted, all of these things were done while single and before me, but she still talks to these guys. She sends me sexy snapchats and the snapscore will go up by 5-6 points every time instead of 1. She sent me nudes very early on before we even met once in person. Red flags or I'm crazy?
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2023.05.30 01:15 VannillaBear [no spoilers] Dragon Age 2 pronoun change?
So basically I played for awhile with a pronoun swap mod so I could play with the female build but have male pronouns, however it broke the sibling quest (they cannot spawn in the house) and thus I restarted as I didn't want to continue without doing it. I'm playing as an actual male character now but I was wondering, is there anyway for me to play the female builds while having the other characters refer to me as the male? Any help would be appreciated!
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2023.05.29 23:58 Naru_the_Narcissist My review of Your Lie in April
Inspiration can be a fickle thing. The muses may guide our hearts towards a particular passion, but they don’t always stick around to see us through it. As a child, Kousei Arima felt a natural attraction to the piano. He could play music by ear, was a gifted mimic, and had boat loads of potential to one day dominate the instrument. With the help and encouragement of a family friend, Kousei’s mom set him on his desired path, but life as a pianist was harder than he thought. Rather than playing for fun and expressing himself through music, she wanted him to be able to make a living through his music, so she went as hard on her little pianist as possible, going as far as to beat and abuse him if he underperformed or tried to play a piece in his own way. By the time the terminal illness she’d hid from him took it’s toll on her, his passion was gone, replaced with the cold, robotic delivery of one who could deliver a piece perfectly, but found no more joy in doing so. He lost his mother, along with his ability to hear the notes he was playing.
Two years later and about three feet taller(I’ll GET to that), Kousei still tinkers around with the piano, but hasn’t played it seriously, to the chagrin of all who enjoyed his work, or just hate to see him so incomplete. It’s at this point, like all down-trodden men who’ve lost their luster for life, that along comes that one girl to bring color back into his world. Her name is Kaori Miyazono, and she’s a violinist who cares nothing for rules or convention, finding childish but somehow wise joy in every aspect of life, and with this one chance meeting, Kousei finds a new muse… A capricious, cheerful beauty whose revisionist musical performances instantly connect with the crowds she plays for, and whom seems singularly obsessed with performing alongside Kousei, and helping him to relaunch the career that he’d so recently abandoned. But her dedication to helping him to overcome his tragedy hides a secret tragedy of her own, and one simple lie she told back in April will live on to define their relationship as they change each others lives through mutual inspiration.
I haven’t seen everything that’s been produced by A-1 pictures, but I honestly can’t remember seeing anything they’ve done that looked outright bad. Sure, Sword Art Online and From the New world looked a little sloppy at times, resorting to broken character models to show fluid motion at reduced costs, but if that’s the worst they can do, then they could do a lot worse. They seem to take a lot of care with their work, putting an admirable amount of effort into quality control, like letting a low budget get the better of them would be an insult to their pride or something, and if that observation is correct, then I like the way they think. I’ve noticed that they generally have a penchant for putting a lot of energy into special effects, and then using just enough budget saving tricks to compensate without going overboard or letting it become noticeable. Key frames are well drawn and pleasing to the eye, and they feature a little more than just flapping mouths, with occasional shifts in posture to keep the characters expressive.
Of course, there don’t need to be special effects in a show about musicians, right? Wrong. Not only are special textures like water given special treatment, but we often get visual representations of the emotions brought out by a piece of music, which use environmental and 3D effects to keep our attention during the sequence, especially towards the end when Kousei and Kaori are playing together in a fantasy sequence, and the camera liberally revolves around a beautifully 3D animated piano. The characters also have a lot of inner monologuing that’s shown to us in artistic fashion, reminiscent of His and Hers Circumstances, but what I found the most impressive was the actual animation of the characters playing their instruments on stage. I can’t confirm this, but I have heard from a few people that A-1 pictures used a technique similar to rotoscoping, and I feel no justification for doubting this rumor, as every movement of the performing musicians, from fingers on the keys to the way the bow’s movements perfectly matches the music of the violin.
It would be so easy to get away with having a still image on screen while only the performers arms moved, and more intense note being played offscreen while only the audience’s frozen faces of adoration are showcased, but as I said, that would be an insult to A-1. Kousei, Kaori and several others put their entire bodies into their performances, losing themselves in it, and you feel every drop of their adrenaline. Character designs are beautifully polished and easy on the eyes, with it’s only major departure from reality being that the musician characters look a little more distinctive and exuberant than non-musicians, like Kousei’s friends. Well, okay, there is one other unrealistic detail that bothered me a bit… The difference in height between 14 year old characters and themselves at 12 is fucking insane. My jaw dropped when they said that Kousei quit the piano at 12, because he was so short that when he sat on the bench his feet didn’t even touch the ground. I could have sworn he was, like, 6 or something. It’s my only real issue with the visuals, but it’s still a pretty jarring one.
The music of the series… Do I even have to say it? It’s a series about musicians, and you can’t do something like that if you don’t have the knowledge or resources to pull it off, and they seriously pulled it off. Not only is it full of classical music, you can tell the difference in the way these pieces are being played, and the music that is meant to inspire and astound people does exactly that to the audience as well as the characters. From what I gather, Yuna Shinohara, a decorated Japanese violinist who was only 21 at the time, played the music for Kaori, and her wealth of training and experience did not go to waste. I can’t find as much information on Eriko Kawachi, who played all of the piano pieces, which is unfortunate. The show’s actual soundtrack was composed by Masaru Yokoyama, and while it isn’t as memorable or powerful as the character-based performances, it’s still solid and well-orchestrated, so it’s a shame it gets overlooked in favor of the insert tunes.
The English dub was produced by Aniplex, and features a lot of newer actors from this decade, alongside a few industry veterans. I’d like to say these newcomers step up and use this show as a platform to make a name for themselves, but I’d be stretching the truth a bit, mostly on account of the many loops that Your Lie’s text throws them for. Their performances were not consistent, which is a direct result of their material not being consistent, and I don’t really think it was fair for them to be thrown into something this eclectic. For the most part, they do a fine job voicing the characters while nothing’s really happening. It’s just characters talking to each other, sounding like natural teenagers going about their lives. Where they really shine is during dramatic scenes, and ho boy are there a lot of dramatic scenes in this anime. There’s a lot of pain, insecurities, confusion, all of that fun adolescent stuff, but with a much harsher but still believable edge to it once you realize the kind of real life circumstances that they’re dealing with.
While some of these issues may be worthy of an eyeroll from the viewer… Most of the characters who are in love with Kousei fall into this category… They’re going through issues that you probably had to deal with as well, and you can scoff at it from your seat as a grown up, or laugh at how silly it is for this obvious harem to try and be something more, they’re feeling something you’ve felt at some point, whether you remember it or not, and they damn well make you feel it. The exception, where several otherwise amazing actors begin to falter… Is with the gag humor, when the characters go SD Chibi for exaggerated reactions, and I don’t think they were ready to transition the specific roles they were playing into it. Max Mittelman, for example, is one of the best voice actors to come out of the 2010’s, and even though he hasn’t been acting long, his voice control and dramatic chops have landed him plenty of leading roles. He can do comedy under the right circumstances… You’d know what these circumstances are if you’ve seen One Punch Man… But he sounds horrible during the gag jokes.
It’s even worse for Erica Lindbeck, who had a tough job playing such a nuanced character as Kaori, whose happy-go-lucky persona hides a darker interior, and she does a great job of it, but the gag scenes just make her sound like a despicable asshole. Smaller characters face the same issue, albeit on a smaller scale, but the few veterans are able to navigate the minefield a lot more skillfully, like Wendee Lee(Who, in all fairness, never has to do a gag scene), Stephanie Sheh and Carrie Keranen. They have the experience to stretch their roles beyond the appropriate tones, which comes in handy here. The adaptive script is loose, but still accurate enough, and changes the vernacular so everyone sounds more like contemporary English, without ever sacrificing the intent of the text. They make a handful of charming and character-appropriate references, like occasional nods to Charlie Brown and The Phantom of the Opera, although they also use the phrase ‘as you know’ a few too many times. They probably should have changes some of the text, as a lot of it, when translated, sounds weird coming from 14 year olds.
Okay, so, here we are again. It wasn’t too long ago that I was calling out modern anime fans for letting their emotions cloud their judgement, saying that they often give perfect scores to any anime that makes them cry. Seriously, you could give a critic a massage, a home cooked meal and the best sex of their life and you’d still be working harder for a 10/10 than most anime do. Back in 2016, I’d just uploaded my reviews of Clannad and Clannad Afterstory, and I asked social media to recommend an anime that had genuine feels… nothing manipulative, nothing manufactured, nothing too formulaic, just an anime that would touch me emotionally and make me cry with sincerity. The overwhelming answer was Your Lie in April, a show I’d been avoiding due to all of the hype. I finally gave it a watch, and did it stand up as a heartfelt masterpiece, or did it offer the same old same old? Well, to be honest,it’s a little of both. My feelings on this show were mixed the first time around, and the second viewing hasn’t changed that.
Unfortunately, Your Lie doesn’t get off to a great start. The first thing we see is a foul ball hitting our man character in the head, lying on the floor and bleeding with what has to be a serious concussion, but not only does he heal immediately, but he shares the blame for the broken window the ball flew through. That’s not just bad, that’s disturbingly bad. It sets an early precedent for him being a sad sack with no will of his own, which I guess is kind of accurate, but it also makes his closest friend look like a monster for taking advantage of it(Trust me, this feeling is only gonna get worse.) I try to move past this, but almost immediately, it becomes apparent that all three of Kousei’s friends are some of my least favorite cliches in anime history. His two primary friends are Tsubaki and Watari, and they are… Respectively… A childhood friend who’s hopelessly in love with the main character, and a girl crazy guy who exists to make the main character feel desirable in comparison. I am so sick and tired of these two archetypes being stuck in orbit around at least half of the main characters in the medium.
And Kaori’s worse, because she’s a trope that I usually don’t see in anime, and I’m not complaining about that. She’s happy-go-lucky, she’s childish, she’s an enlightened soul who’s able to see all of the simple joy in life, and she comes out of nowhere to dedicate her life to dragging the main male character out of the slumps. She is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, which is to sexism what the Magical Negro trope is to racism. Granted, she deconstructs the trope a little bit, as she actually has a backstory and a reason to help Kousei, but she makes up for that small silver lining by taking the “Life begins at man” trope to a new extreme, as “Life begins AND ENDS at man.” I’ll give her this, she IS the reason I kept watching the series, as I was entranced by her violin performance in episode 2, and she made me want to keep watching so I could hear more of her work, which sounded even better when she played with Kousei. On top of that, she plays an important… Dare I say instrumental… Role in Your Lie’s deeper themes.
Your Lie in April is a story about inspiration, and it attacks this concept from every possible angle. As annoying and cliched as his friends may be, Kousei is a good character who has a great arc that deals with this theme. He begins as a child, having fun doing something that he’s gifted at, until he stops doing it for fun and starts doing it as a future career, being forced to perfect it and take it seriously by his mother, who pushes him to the point of abuse. She controls his life, making everything he does revolve around the piano, even taking away his cat and abandoning it somewhere so it can’t scratch his hands. He loses the ability to hear the notes he’s playing, and quits altogether to avoid his mother’s tyranny along with the intense pressure she put on him for not being good enough. On the surface, this is a very mature look at child abuse and the way it can have long term psychological effects on the developing mind, such as Kousei’s performance anxiety, and especially the fact that cats pose a trigger for him(And I mean the actual definition of trigger, not the bullshit internet definition), and the abuse in question is realistic, rather than cartoony or melodramatic.
Below the surface, this is a story for anyone who’s ever lost their passion for something they once loved. The idea that expressive and interpretive music is frowned upon, and only literal performances are acceptable in competition, which is enforced by both the competition committee and Kousei’s mother, gives an understandable reason for his loss of inspiration. His music was becoming routine, and pointless. I don’t think his inability to hear the notes he’s playing is realistic at all, but it’s symbolic for that loss of passion. When your work becomes routine, it becomes repetitive, and it finally becomes robotic. When your hobby becomes work, you fall out of love with it, which is why Kaori coming into his life was such a major turning point for him. She showed him that there was another way to play. She inspires him, breathing new life into his abilities, and helps him to separate his passion from the pain and sadness that he’d come to associate it with, and it changes his life in so many ways… He starts playing again, he comes out of his shell, and he even begins teaching a younger pianist… That he winds up inspiring her in return.
They also make an argument that you play even better when you’re playing for other people, and while I’ve never personally agreed with that, they make a compelling case. Your own music, your own performances, are not your only legacy. The music you inspire others with is just as important, as your work also lives on through their work. They make a great point when they say that it’s hard to play the piano when you compare yourself to Beethoven, but it’s not nearly as hard when you remember that Beethoven was once just like you, a rookie trying his best to measure up to the greats who inspired HIM. It’s a shame they had to resort to a manic pixie dream girl in order to pull this off, but it’s largely forgivable, especially considering certain reveals that happen in the final episode. So yeah, this is not a shallow series. There is meat to the story, and something meaningful that you can get out of watching it. I’d be happy to say that the series was also executed well, but sadly, this is where things start to break down.
The text of the series, for example, is severely lacking. The idea of inspiration and Kousei’s character arc are well written and exactly as subtle as it needs to be, but the other subplots… The romantic ones in particular… Are annoyingly obvious, and frankly, kind of arbitrary. I mentioned Tsubaki as a ‘childhood friend’ earlier, and while this should instantly telegraph that she’ll never get her guy… They never fucking do… She does absolutely nothing else to justify her presence. Everything about her revolves around her love for Kousei and why he won’t respond to it. Every aspect of her life ties in somehow to her love for him, and since it amounts to nothing, she could have been written out in the first half of the series. I won’t go into too much detail about the other romantic subplot, or how it offers Watari his only relevance to the plot(although he does have a few moments relating to the theme), but they commit one other huge mistake… They use constant, and I mean constant, voice over narration from the characters as they explain their feelings to the audience. It’s lame, it’s tedious, and it seems to be trying it’s best to keep YOU from thinking too hard about what you’re watching, because it doesn’t want the pointless teenage melodrama to lose it’s effect.
Another huge problem is the gag humor, which feels viscerally inappropriate and out of place. It makes the heavier themes of the show harder to swallow, and not just on an aesthetic level. For example: We see Kousei sustain head injuries during two of these gags, that result in him lying on the floor and bleeding out. We also see Kaori hit him right in the crown of the head with an axe kick, driving her heel down into his skull. Now, if these instances didn’t cause any lasting damage, and the people doing it are supposed to be seen as likable, how am I supposed to feel when his mother beats him in the head with her cane? I’ve seen him shrug off shit like that before, so I don’t care. Am I supposed to feel different because of the tone of the scenes? This isn’t the fucking Looney Toons. Hell, even the Looney Toons had consistency. I can’t be expected to believe that a portion of the material shown to me doesn’t count just because the writer was making a joke. That’s disgusting. I’ve complained about Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood making this mistake, but Your Lie is just as bad.
And then you have the plot, which did not work for me at all. Like, I said the themes were strong in this series, but they suffered one major setback. Kousei’s mother physically abused him and forced him to play music the way she wanted him to, all because she thought it was in his best interest. His friends, however, do exactly the same thing. Sure, they might not take away his beloved pet, but they still harass him, assault him, chase him, break into his room and generally act like complete assholes in order to get their way. He warns that his performance might not be good, he falters due to a psychological breakdown, Kaori has Tsubaki and Watari start roundhouse kicking him, and HE apologizes. How are they any different than his mother? Because it’s supposed to be comedic? I’m not exaggerating when I say that most of the interactions he has with his friends make me cringe, with their only justifications being ‘comedy,’ and the fact that they just happened to wind up being right. So the ends justify the means.
And then you have Kaori’s entire plot, which… Okay, I’m going to try not to go into spoilers, but if you’ve seen the show, you know damn well what I’m talking about. And this is the big one, the one that makes everybody praise the show out the wazoo, so I’ll try to be gentle. At the end of episode 4, Kaori faints on stage. At that moment, even though I was trying to enjoy the series despite it’s flaws, I couldn’t help it. I knew where this was going. I said, “Oh fuck, she’s gonna (censored), isn’t she?” I am dead serious about that. The beginning of the fifth episode featured her in the hospital, and folks, I predicted everything. I knew what was going to happen to her, i knew she was keeping it secret, I knew that it was going to be kept deliberately vague all the way to the end, I knew I’d never hear her play again(outside of maybe a dream or fantasy sequence), I knew what her backstory and connection to Kousei was going to be.
Knowing this stuff in advance took a huge damper off of the emotional impact of literally any point of the show. Granted, I did make one prediction that wasn’t true. I predicted we’d never meet her parents, which I wish had turned out true, because her parents are… Brace yourself for this… They’re Nagisa’s parents from Clannad. They are literally that. They own a pastry shop, they’re wacky and over-the-top, they live in said shop, and… Well, there’s one other spoiler connection, but that, along with a painful firefly sequence, made your Lie feel TERRIBLE at foreshadowing. I found myself, in both moments, shouting at my TV screen, “Okay, I get it, she’s gonna (censored), shut the fuck up about it!” So did the big bad tragedy work on me? No, of course it didn’t. The only part I got choked up at was a late scene when a cat died at a vet’s office, because it brought up painful memories for me. Don’t get me wrong, there’s something here, and it does make the experience a rewarding one, but it just couldn’t stick the landing.
Your Lie in April is available as a Rightstuf Exclusive, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the price is offensively high. Even on sale as part of the site’s holiday deals, it’ll still costed 130 dollars for each HALF of the series, down from 160 dollars regular price. Used copies on ebay go for as low as 60 dollars for each HALF, and I can not recommend you pay that much for an overrated series. You can watch it for free on Netflix, but if you absolutely need a physical copy, I’d actually go against my better judgement and recommend the Malaysian bootlegs on Ebay, which do come with a dub for a fraction of the official price. The manga is available from Kodansha comics, and volume 1 even comes with a sweet exclusive cover if you get it from Loot Crate. The live action movie is probably available stateside, but from what I’ve heard about it, I don’t care enough to check.
Your Lie in April isn’t a great anime, but it’s also not a terrible one. So, overall, is it good or bad? Well, to be honest, I didn’t enjoy the vast majority of it. I found the gag humor annoying and in bad taste, I found the comedic violence way too similar to some of the tragic material, there are too many cliches, and I caught on to some of the more important plot points way too early to fall for them. Having said that, I can’t say the experience was a bad one. The themes of Kousei’s character arc resonated very strongly with me, as someone who’s currently falling out of love with a long time hobby, and while I found his friends to be wholly unlikeable, his piano rivals were much more interesting, and I actually want to see more of him interacting with them. The final tragedy would have been a lot stronger if it hadn’t been so obvious, or if it at least had a proper explanation, and you can’t possibly deny that the audio and visual production went beyond top notch. It had a lot of problems, but honestly, it’s an okay show. It doesn’t live up to the hype, but it’s worth checking out. I’m being generous here, but I’ll give Your Lie in April a 6/10.
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2023.05.29 23:37 CatsInTrenchcoats Peacekeeping Pt.2
An additional thanks to u/An_Insufferable_NEWT
for letting me borrow one of his characters.
...And now for the conclusion.
= = =
Evelra swore. They had come here to uplift humanity from barbarism, not let the powers that be enable humanity’s worst elements while the selfsame Noble cunts indulged in their own pubescent masturbatory power fantasies. Fuck this.
She thought to herself with a growl and flicked her comms channel to all units.
“All forces, this is Captain Evelra. The goddess-damned governess’s private militia have opened fire on the civies. Arrest those brother-fucking [bastards]
on sight before they can fuck this mess up any further!” She barked over the comms, a bit of local English slipping into her words. She couldn’t call them stiffs; the latter had more class than this.
“Capt, we’ve got three APCs in militia markings barreling down the road in front of the Governess’s mansion from the west. ETA 30 seconds. This is about to get messy.” Prex’s voice cut in with a false calm lent by years of experience.
Evelra could feel the material of her suit creak as her hands briefly tightened into hardened fists. “All west side Pods converge on Pod 7, support Lieutenant Eleynor. Eastern Pods, evac the civies. And Prex? Keep the late arrivals occupied. Don’t let these fuckers get another shot off.” She growled, her Second giving a brief click of acknowledgement over the comms before switching channels to give orders of her own.
Turning back to face Isaiah, Evelra reached a hand down to grab the elder by his medical exoskeleton and hoisted him to his feet. “Looks like the Governess ran out of patience. Get your people out of here, we’ll deal with this.” She explained brusquely, jabbing one finger towards the eastern side of the boulevard. She could apologize for womanhandling him later, right now every second counted.
The moment she was sure he had his feet under him, the marine captain let go and tried to move on Eleynor’s position with all due haste. “Out of the way! MOVE!” Evelra shouted as she strode forward, the sea of humans doing their best to get out of her path. Already, people were starting to scramble as panic spread like wildfire. She could hear the cries of terror and confusion all around her; shouted orders from the protest organizers and her own marines were almost inaudible against the din as they tried to control the chaos.
As she neared pod 7’s position, a horrifying scene unfolded before her. In the shadow of the buildings, at least a dozen of the protesters were currently on fire. Harsh yellow and orange flames rose from the flailing figures to form hazy gray clouds of smoke that hung heavy in the air. Even more humans were covered in burn marks and charred clothes. One woman just sat there, trembling and numb from shock as she stared her bloody arm; the melted remains of her synthetic shirt peeling away with boiled skin. Amidst the chaos, the other protesters were doing everything from trying to help the wounded and burning to running in panic and terror; the latter creating a solid wave of bodies in front of Evelra as they stumbled over one another to flee the danger.
From out of sight, she saw one of the Governess’ militia-kitted thugs go flying; only to watch them get back up and charge in to fight whom Evelra assumed to be Pod 7. Shil’vati might be stronger, but when equally equipped, outnumbered and against human reflexes she knew that fight wasn’t going to end well for her girls if the rest of the western Pods didn’t reach them soon. Then, one of the militiamen stepped forward towards the crowd.
As he strode boldly through the mayhem, Evelra could only watch while one of the protesters tried to confront him; the tide of humans preventing the marine captain from intervening. Inaudible words were exchanged, the protester shouting something as they gesticulated wildly. The Governess’ thug merely responded with two swift strikes of his rifle butt, first to the gut, then to the back of the head, the other man dropping like an anchor. In the distance, out of the corner of her eye, she numbly noted that the rest of the governess’ thugs had arrived and were using their APCs as cover between them and the Pods under Prexith’s command.
Evelra felt her gut sink as the militiamen shouldered his rifle once more, stepping out of the building’s shadow to take aim at the crowd. “EVERYBODY DOWN!” The marine captain roared as she planted her feet and pulled her sidearm in one smooth, practiced motion. Drawing a bead on the Governess’ thug, the panicked crowd tried to clear out of her way; but there were just too many people. She wasn’t going to make it in time. No, no more. Not-
The militiaman’s head disappeared.
A split second later, the now infamously familiar thunderous crack and echoing roar of a large bore human chemical ballistic rifle rolled over them as the corpse spasmed on its feet; a shockwave visibly rippling through the suit it was wearing. “SNIPER!”
Somebody bellowed. It might have been her, but in that moment she honestly couldn’t tell. As the headless body crumpled to the ground in a fountain of red, the same gun roared out again… and again. In the distance she could see two sudden sprays of red splatter up the sides of the Militia APCs, one right after the other.
The echoes of gunfire galvanized the crowd into a further panic, a stampede of human protesters slamming into Evelra in their attempt to get away from the violence. For a moment, the marine captain thought she was going to get dragged under by the wave, but then they rolled past her, leaving her staggering into the clear. With the screaming of the crowd now behind her and her ears still ringing from gunshots it was oddly quiet once more, save for the groans of the wounded.
Not letting herself fall into the lull, Evelra kept moving forward only to nearly gag at the smell as she approached the corner of the building. Like a Blue Grail left in the summer sun for a week, the air was heavy with a putrid smoke, reminiscent of the scent of death itself. Quickly sealing her helmet, she took a shuddering breath of fresh air before looking up just in time to see a pair of the Governess’s thugs get bodily tackled into the pavement by Eleynor. The rest of treasonous Militia were either surrendering or trying to run like the Deep-Minder itself was behind them as more Marine Pods came charging around nearby street corners.
Watching the last treasonous bastards eat pavement, the marine captain strode up to the Militaman’s corpse and picked up his blood-stained rifle. Quickly turning the weapon over in her hands, Evelra took one look at its settings and nearly threw the gun away in disgust. Medium power, maximum dispersal. Against even the most basic of modern armor, such settings would be practically useless; but would make for a decent, if imprecise, fire starter. Which is exactly what they’d done. Of course, leave it to the humans to figure out how to turn the most basic of weapons into a tool of terror.
She thought bitterly, adjusting the beam spread back to something more logical before strapping it’s sling to her harness.
Now properly armed for anything else the Deep-Minder might decide to throw at her, Evelra flicked open her wrist-mounted omnipad, the integrated AR display in her helmet seamlessly linking to it. A couple quick taps later and the captain had an outgoing call. As the phone line rang in her ear, she tried not to tap her foot, every second feeling like ten.
“911, what’s your emer-”
Before the woman on the other end could even finish her sentence, Evelra interrupted her. “This is Captain Evelra of the Imperial Marines, 4032nd company. We have at least a dozen, I repeat, at least
a dozen critically injured burn victims at the corner of 3rd and Main. I need emergency Medivac for the critically wounded.” She barked into the mic.
There was a momentary pause on the other end accompanied by the sounds of a physical keyboard before shortly being followed by a muffled “Fuck.”
Evelra shifted impatiently as one second dragged into the next. “Is something the matter?” The marine growled.
“Ahh… No ma’am.” The other woman’s voice was uncertain for a moment before steadying back out. “Just bypassing some red tape. Consider it done. ETA, ten minutes.” She said with a thermocast firmness. Evelra briefly considered hounding the woman for what exactly she meant by ‘red tape’ but decided against it. She sounded confident in her statement and ultimately there was nothing else Evelra could do about it at the moment.
“I’m going to hold you to that.” The marine captain growled before hanging up. One down.
Looking up, she glanced over the growing crowd of Marines. Already, some of her girls were pulling out medkits and burn patches as they moved to help injured protesters; her AR display highlighting their ranks and names.
“Sergeant Quixana!” Evelra barked over the din.
“Ma’am!” The medic shouted back over one shoulder, barely looking up from the burn victim she was currently treating.
“We have civilian medivac for the burn victims inbound, ETA ten minutes. You have command over Triage. Anyone in critical condition they can’t airlift out is your responsibility. Clear?” She commanded, watching the Governess’s thugs like a shark as her girls disarmed and secured them. At this point, Evelra honestly didn’t expect them to try anything else; but as always with humans, one never quite
knew what they’d do.
“Affirmative!” Quixana replied. Taking a moment to ensure the woman she was treating wasn’t in immediate danger, the medic ushered another marine over to help and began shouting orders of her own. Two down.
Satisfied that the situation was under control, Evelra keyed into her comms again.
A couple moments later, the other woman’s voice came to life in her earpiece. “After the gunshots went off, the little fuckers started stumbling over each other to try and surrender. What in the Deep just happened?” Despite the horror around her, Evelra gave a short, mirthless chuckle. “Seems a certain… somebody
decided to more than just ‘play’ at being security. And seeing as I still have my head, they’re not a complete bloodthirsty idiot.”
“You certain it’s… them?”
Prex asked, a hint of dubiousness in her voice.
“Given that there’s one of the Governess’s thugs sans their head while I still have mine? Yeah. About as certain as I can be. Fits what little we know about their M.O.” Evelra shot back.
There were several long moments of silence before her subordinate let out a low whistle. “Make that three. I’ve got two more over here. Definitely explains why the little Turoxes were so fucking panicky. What now Cap?”
“How many of your Pods do you need to secure your prisoners?” Evelra asked.
“Less than half. They’re more terrified of stepping back into the sights of that sniper than anything else, I think.” Prexith snorted, a dry hint of amusement in her voice.
“Take as many as you think you can spare from guard duty and go arrest the Governess. Alive. Though preventing her from causing any more damage takes priority. Clear?” Evelra’s voice was firm, the unspoken message clear. Try not to kill the bitch if at all possible, but ice her tits if she’s going to make this a problem.
“As a laser lens. Prex out.”
When the line clicked dead, the marine captain took a deep breath and tried to center herself. Now came the hard part.
= = =
Evelra stopped outside the governess’ office and took a deep breath to steady herself. Within two hours of getting the fiasco under control, one Agent Lohun had arrived… along with three Pods of Death’s Head Commandos. Upon giving him her report, the petite male had thanked her and politely requested that she remain in her quarters until further notice. The marine captain had known better than to try and test those
particular boundaries. It was only now, three days later, that she’d been summoned once more.
In spite of the not quite lockdown state that was currently in effect, word still traveled. Her orders to arrest the governess had been upheld and the bitch had been transferred out to some Interior facility goddess knows where. A minimal local press release had happened; condemning the governess’ actions and requesting cooperation with the authorities as they investigated the incident. Things were still tense, but the daily gathering of thousands of protesters had dwindled to a hundred or so of the most stubborn.
With a little shake to clear her head, Evelra opened the office door and stepped through. Behind the governess’ massive polished wooden desk sat Lohun. The petite male was almost comically out of place; his simple take on the Interior uniform clashing with the room’s ostentatious opulence. Rumor had it that since he was investigating the room’s previous owner, he’d simply co-opted the office rather than bother to set up another workspace elsewhere. Looking up from his omnipad and what she assumed was a proverbial mountain of reports, the Agent gave her a tired nod of acknowledgement.
“Good. You’re here. Please, take a seat Captain D’saari.” He said, gesturing to a much simpler chair in front of the desk. Wincing internally at his usage of her long-abandoned family name, Evelra complied and settled into the offered seat in silence as she tried not to look at the silent woman in the corner with the three-eyed skull mask. Lohun gave his omnipad one last glance before setting it down and letting his carefully focused gaze settle onto her.
“Six deaths.” He stated simply, letting the fact hang there in the air for a moment. “Only half of which were not the aggressors in this situation. That could have gone much, much
worse. A job well done Captain.”
Evelra gave an awkward shrug. “Without the… unsolicited fire support it would have been. My girls just did the mop up.”
Lohun hummed, double-checking something on his omni-pad. “About that. The audio logs between you and your second indicated a certain familiarity with this assumed insurgent sniper, yet I can’t find any combat reports that you two share featuring any opposition with this kind of firepower. Care to explain what I’m missing here?” He asked calmly, a polite smile on his face; the Commando in the corner shifting her weight slightly.
A bundle of nerves did somersaults in her gut as she felt her throat go dry. “Ah, yeah. About… one local year ago we had a human male turn up dead. Clear signs of abuse. Autopsy report indicated he had both Nightfel and Viagra in him at the time of death. I had my suspicions, but the ensuing investigation never turned up any evidence.” The marine captain grimaced, scratching at one tusk with her thumbnail. “A few months later, A pod on a routine patrol got ambushed. All three of their heads were blown clean off. Big gun. I think you can guess what we found when we cleared out their belongings.”
“Nightfel and Viagra.” Lohun said cooly, his face grim.
Evelra nodded. “Yeah. The Governess covered the whole thing up in the name of keeping the peace. Released a statement that the young man’s murderers had been found and executed while redacting my report.”
Briefly adding a few notes on his omnipad, the Interior agent gave her a careful look. “Why didn’t you report this breach of protocol to the Interior?”
“Because it worked.” Evelra sighed. “Approval ratings ticked up, minor incidents went down. Didn’t hurt that I also publicly doubled down on mandatory etiquette training for my girls. I’ve seen enough of the Empire’s bureaucracy over the years to know better than to stir up the seabed over something like this. Justice was served, even if it was in a less than ideal manner.”
“And what about the young man’s family?” Lohun pressed, his gaze tightening.
Coughing slightly to clear her throat, Evelra looked away as she felt her cheeks heat up. “Officially, they were given the same story as everyone else. However, I… I may have taken one Shel to visit their home and correct that mistake. They deserved to know.” She finished quietly, leaning forward in her chair to look down at the ground. Anywhere but at the male in front of her.
After several agonizingly long moments of silence, the marine captain glanced up to catch sight of Lohun slowly starting to nod. “Good. That’s good. We can work with that.”
At his words, Evelra let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. In response, a ghost of a smile pulled at the edges of Lohun’s face. “Yes, you can relax now. You’re here to help me fix this mess, not to have your tits burned off.”
Evelra bobbed her head, eager for the change of topic. “Gladly. What can I do?”
The ghost of a smile on Lohun’s face broadened slightly, hovering on the edge of a smirk. “Simple. You will be taking over as the Local Governess.” The marine captain felt her jaw go slack as the Interior Agent calmly continued along as if he was discussing something as simple as dinner reservations.
“Of course, there’s a plethora of steps to take along the way. In recognition of your service to the citizens of the empire, you will be promoted two ranks to Lieutenant Colonel and discharged with full honors. We’ll then need somebody to fill your current position. One Sergeant… Prexith Van’sar, your current second, should do nicely. With her service record she's certainly earned herself a commission, I think.” He scoffed in amusement, shaking his head at some distant thought. “Deep, her accolades are almost as impressive as her penchant for avoiding promotions. It’s my hope though that continuing to work with you should be enough to dissuade her of that particular tendency.”
Lohun finally took a proper pause, as if he was only now taking in her shock. “Is something the matter Captain D’saari?”
As Evelra heard him refer to her by her family name again something inside her broke. The sheer absurdity of it all was just too much, and a noise of amusement escaped her mouth. It started as a snort, before growing into a full-on barks of laughter as Evelra shook her head in disbelief. “I- I’m sorry, but you want me
, the legally disowned, stiff-sprung cunt to be a local governess?
Goddess, you all must be getting desperate if you’re willing to dredge up the cast-off chaff of the noble houses.”
Lohun merely quirked an eyebrow at her before briefly consulting his omnipad again. “So that explains the three separate attempts to change your last name… aannd
probably why all three of them never went anywhere.” He let out a small humph as a flicker of distaste crossed his face. “An easy enough fix.”
“Goddess. You’re serious.” Evelra muttered as she slumped back in her chair, trying to process the implications. “Ok. Why me?” She asked, throwing a hand wide.
The Interior agent’s gaze focused in on her as he leaned forward onto the table, steepling his fingers. “Because Captain, over the past three days I have spent an exhaustive amount of time interviewing and interrogating people to get a better handle on what happened and why.
Your name came up just as, if not, more frequently than the governess’s; and rarely in a negative light. From both Shil’vati and
humans. Deep, even some of the ones that looked like they wanted to spit in my face refused to speak ill of you. Do you understand how goddess-damned rare that is?” Lohun finished, his voice raised and projected, not quite reaching an actual shout.
Evelra was sorely tempted to argue. She’d spent most of her adult life trying to get as far away from the nobility and politics as she could, as nothing good in her life had ever come from them. Then her conversation with Isaiah flashed through her mind. Fuck.
The marine captain let out a disgusted groan of frustration as she rubbed her face with one hand. “Alright… but how?” She asked, her brain fervently grasping at straws. “I mean no offense, but… isn’t that a little outside your authority as an Interior Agent?..”
Once more, a slight grin pulled at the agent’s face. “Ah yes. Perhaps some reintroductions are in order. Independent Investigator Lohun Vey’elquiese of the Empress’s own and an Agent of her Interior. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lady Evelra?..” He said smoothly, letting the end of his sentence hang as he leaned across the massive table to offer a petite fist.
For one long moment, Evelra’s brain short-circuited. The petite little male sitting across from her answered to only perhaps a dozen people in the entire Empire, and had the authority to make individuals such as system governesses simply disappear. Of course, abuse of said power carried the death penalty, not that one of the Empress’s own handpicked agents were likely to make that kind of mistake. Suddenly, the three pods of Death’s Head Commandos accompanying him made much, much
After a couple seconds of slight panic, her brain caught back up and she processed the question he’d carefully interwoven into his reintroduction. Taking a moment to think, she settled on her answer. With a slight smile of her own, she reached out her hand to tap her knuckles to his.
“Van’sar. Evelra Van’sar. And the pleasure is all mine Investigator.”
submitted by CatsInTrenchcoats
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2023.05.29 23:31 Oneironaut_89 Need help with Kunyas for cats
أهلا و سهلا
I’m a new learner to Arabic and am making my way through the Medina Arabic books. I’m trying to slowly incorporate Arabic into my daily life, and I wanted to start referring to my cats by kunyas.
One is a male tuxedo cat, the other is a female and she is kinda smelly. So I chose أب سهرة و أم روائح My intention here is father of tuxedos or suits and mother of smells. If someone more knowledgeable than myself could critique these and let me know if they’re fine or if I’m accidentally saying something inappropriate I’d appreciate it!
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to learnarabic [link] [comments]