Okay, yes, the title sounds pretty dramatic. But I think it helps make the point.
While I've worked hard to be as inclusive as possible in my life (I figure I should do that much since I'm a disabled young woman with no money to donate and no license to volunteer) I do know I have trouble with ableist language. Not just because it is so common, but BECAUSE I used it to identify myself for so long.
And we explaining these is not like I want a pat on the back; I don't deserve one. Everyone should be getting better about this shit. But I was thinking maybe if someone heard it from a messy person who's trying, because I get sometimes going from using them to shifting your own language patterns can seem daunting.
So this is me changing things, fucking up, and still trying to be better.
If we start basics, my disordered ass was using psycho, crazy, spazzy, etc. for YEARS to describe myself. So it's been weird and difficult to phase out, but at the very least I've been using it towards me, not anyone else. I am very careful about that. I slip up every so often with my dog (he is VERY energetic at times) and feels like an extension of me, so that's my bad.
I feel very happy that I never was team use the r-word, but I have been a meek, weak little goblin about telling people to not use it. But I am excited to say that I've started telling friends not to use it, making it a banned word on my stream, and disengaging from any use of it. If people want to reclaim it, awesome. But I am not one of those people and I don't think it's my place to try.
But my biggest weakness, by far, is using the phrase: "am I blind?" and I'm not proud of it. It's laced to my absolutely terrible sense of direction, and the fact I get lost in real life and video games ALL THE TIME. And considering I play open world video games all the time, it facilitates a lot of "boy am I lost" moments. I've been trying to switch it out with classics like: "Am I even trying to be a living human?" which I guess corpses might not like, but we can have that conversation later.
I'm improving with time, though, and anyone else can, too.
Happy Monday, friends. Let's all be better.
As none of you know, because I haven't been blogging much, I've been trying to live my most authentic, shameless life. Well, I finally took the biggest step necessary towards that and it has relieved me of so many stress and expectations.
And yet, at the same time, it's caused a lot of chaos and pain in me.
I told my parents that they weren't good ones to me. Even neater, I exposed all the things about me that I'd been keeping secret from them because they filled me with such shame and trepidation that I didn't feel like it was worth it: bisexual, autistic me.
Considering a lot of people on the internet knew that but they didn't is... well, kinda proves part of the problem.
I don't want to re-hash all the reasons I feel like they did it all wrong. I'm tired of that. There's only so many times you can describe the ways they made your struggles about them before it feels like some tired script to a repetitive Hollywood movie that's going to get green-lit just because Oscars are coming up and boy do we need some depressing Oscar-bait.
This is the first time, though, that I've "broken up" with someone and it be a "temporary" thing. Most times, i lay out my cards and say "fuck it, bye". I'm not good with the in-between. Maybe it comes with the autism thing or just comes with me. Not quite sure on that yet.
But supposedly we're on a break. I opened up about all the things that hurt and asked for space. I don't know if space was me being an intelligent, mature human or me just putting off the inevitable. I think that's the true reason I'm struggling with this situation: I no longer feel fear that they'll "find out" and the jig will be up and I have to deal with them. I literally told them I won't be their therapist anymore.
However, at the same time, I didn't use my old "I can't deal with this situation so it's over now" bravado. It's harder to do that when on some level, I like my parents. Just not as... well, y'know, parents.
So I'm in this limbo where I don't expect better of them, I know we've reached a tipping point, and I just have to pray they learned something by the time I talk to them because otherwise...
Well, it'll really be over, won't it?
At least, until they decide to do something about things. Because I can't keep trying. It's taking so much out of me. Just in the past week I was able to get so much more done without any weight of their existence on me. Trust me, I get how messed up that sounds, but it was like I came out about everything. It's like I was three times in the closet for like a decade and I finally got to shrug that shit off because it was killing me.
If I'm lucky, maybe we can be something again down the road. That's what I'd like and hope, but it would require a lot of soul searching and from what I've seen... it's just not their thing. I hope it could become their thing. But all I can do is see and accept that maybe, at the end of this "break" things might just stay really, really broken.
I can't be quiet about it anymore, though. I'd prefer a broken teacup shattered on the floor for everyone to stare at than be some shameful thing I hide in my shelves.
Shameless, authentic me is the happiest me. And I can't keep tossing myself in and out of the closet just because my parents may not be the good kind for me. It hurts too much and it's helped make a mess out of an already understandably messy human.
I'm 24; it's about time to just focus on me and what I want for the first time in my goddamn life.
If I wasn't a cheap bitch, this would be a Last of Us 2 review. Alas, I have some other things to pay off and am in post-quarantine application hell, so no, not quite on the table.
Before we go any further, warning for spoilers for The Last of Us 2. Turn back if you'd like to remain unspoiled (though goodness knows the internet has probably spoiled you already).
But that is hardly going to stop me from talking about the insane Metascore climate and how this reminds me of a very similar situation that happened to a very different community: the book-lover community reaction to Go Set a Watchman (the sequel to the beloved To Kill a Mockingbird).
At the end of the day, both stories started with a beloved adventure that changed people, that made them fall in love with the characters, world, and push the boundaries of their perspective. Unsurprisingly, people latched onto these open-and-shut experiences, revering them. At least, they seemed open and shut, the story and characters encased in their "perfect" endings like petrified mummies, preserved in our memories forever.
Until they weren't.
So let's start with telling the story of Go Set a Watchman.
For decades, To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM) has been one of the most evangelized and renowned novels in American history. Scout's coming-of-age story changed so many people while reading it, making them question justice, inequality, and the nature of humanity. Just like young Scout, readers admired her father, Atticus Finch, and saw him as this pinnacle of righteousness, goodness, and progress. After all, that's how his daughter saw him. Harper Lee perfected this infectious peek into the eyes of a young girl having to come face to face with the harsh truths of the world, and her father seemed to be a rare good person leading it.
Go Set a Watchman (GSAW) changed that narrative. While TKAM maintained this reverant view of Atticus, GSAW sees it crumbling down. It makes it clear that, though Atticus defended a black man, he defended him because he was a "good one" and it was his job. He didn't do it because he was some race revolutionary. In actuality, he held some racist views that were just as insidious as some of his neighbors who had booed Tom Robinson in the stands. Scout (and in turn, the fans) had to come to grips with the fact that their hero wasn't who they thought he was; that maybe he never was.
Well, considering many book readers grew up seeing Atticus as their "one good white man", they didn't love hearing Atticus Finch was racist. They felt it a character assassination, even though no where in TKAM does it say, "Atticus is not racist" or Atticus say "I think black people deserve rights". He just made it clear he preferred to defend a man who did nothing wrong over a man who was "low". Skin color didn't matter, but not in a positive way. It was just Scout's young eyes that helped people jump to those easy conclusions.
As a biased, not-quite-a-fan of TKAM, I found the ideas of GSAW compelling. There could always be a dichotomy of a man having progressive ideals, for wanting to make better people out of his children, but still holding onto the racist ideals of his forefathers. But it's not very easy to cast heroes aside, is it? In real life, and especially in stories, people would prefer they remain these pinnacles of goodness or love or justice. Having someone they see as an ideal turn human doesn't leave a good taste in their mouth, even if it's realistic.
And that's what leads us to The Last of Us 2 and what happened to Joel. While Joel didn't turn out to be a racist, the game did make the inciting incident of the game his brutal and tragic death. Fans were totally rocked by the choice, having their hero and resident in-game badass wrecked by some local raiders. They could never see their Joel going down like that, a hostage murdered in cold blood. If anything, they'd have their boy go down swinging.
However, they seem to discount the fact Joel is older. More worn. Maybe settled into his life. The terrible things he did in the first game would take a toll on anyone. And even if it was seconds after the first game ended, when Joel was at his "height", any fighter in a world has their day. Being good at it doesn't make him immune to the horror or danger or bloodshed.
It's fair to say that someone can feel like Joel is invincible, after spending so much time with him breaking faces and shooting monsters and mowing down a hospital. That doesn't remove his fragile humanity, though.
I'm not saying people weren't allowed to be upset to watch him die, but to have such a visceral reaction to it happening in a story? It's letting idealization win over reality. It should and will break your heart. But it does not make the ripples of his life, the world he left, any less interesting. And biting at the game with venom in your mouth just because he came to a helplessly human end isn't fair.
Just like it isn't fair to assume GSAW is some false cruelty because it exposed the fact that your favorite "not all white people" southern gentleman was, in fact, just like everyone else.
Stories aren't made to just tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes, they tell you things like your worst nightmares and then guide you through that. But if you spit in its face and call it trash for daring to hand you a harsh reality, no one learns anything.
While I can't say the game is some masterpiece or GSAW is a revelation, there are pieces of wisdom in both that everyone deserves to taste and swallow that have nothing to do with dead heroes. But killing a beloved character doesn't make a story trash and the people saying it does are setting themselves up for a lot of disappointment and stunting if they can't grow past the heroes in their lives that fall.
Maybe its pessimistic for me to like that kind of view, but more than anything I just find it a little too reactionary to reject something completely and give it incredibly bad reviews just because it debunked the heroes you revered perhaps a little too much.
If the game really is trash, go off. But too many people just write them off for daring to remind that humans are fragile and imperfect and, sometimes, disappointing.
Oh, and also gay and trans people existing won't kill you, so kindly see the door about that shit. Maybe there's a reason you need to reevaluate yourself.
Okay, unedited blog me out.
And no, not just the JK Rowling kind.
Watching her bullshit unfold since... forever has always been hard. Being the friendly autist I am, I never understood the logic of her saying a character was gay post-posthumously without making his journey matter after his death OR just stating his as an explicit part of his expression. Seriously. If Harry and none of the other characters know Dumbledore is gay, does it matter?
I see everything in a really black and white way, though, I get that the logic of a text isn't the end all, be all for everyone.
But I get in a more nuerodiverse lens, that even "knowing" he's gay meant something to people, even if JK was clearly just using it as a ploy and bait to make people love and listen to her more; to lengthen her fame.
Because maybe she knew all along that past Harry Potter, she didn't have much to keep people interested. That could be the spiteful, bitter bitch in me, but hey. She lost my respect awhile ago so I have no qualms about sniping her for her poor opinions and mistreatment of people.
But this isn't about JK Rowling. Pardon my brain. This is about the Chosen One, and he's dead.
I've always run into that concept as a sci-fi fantasy fan, that someone was some prophetic "chosen" person, and hated it. It pushes people into these roles and ideals that they can't run from, and they have to cope or die. And since it's a book and dying normally isn't an option (not unless it's the end) they just figure it out.
And while figuring it out, at least they normally learn some shit, but the reluctant hero is more compelling to me. Normally they have the skills to do the job, they just aren't sold on doing it. But a chosen one? These poor children are trapped and told they are going to save the world, good luck. Luckily they do "figure it out" but after all that pressure, who would blame them if they didn't?
That's what I want to write about. The chosen one that doesn't win, the one that crumbles under pressure, and what happens after. Because assuming everyone has to rise up to the challenge, even when they don't want to or may not be ready, is a mess of a message in a world where pressures and expectations literally gets people killed.
And even better, I wanted someone who WANTED to be a hero, who was told they couldn't because X, Y, Z reasons.
So was born the idea of a younger sister taking up the quest after her older brother, the chosen one, failed.
Let's see where it goes.
Oh and hey, hi. Nice to be back to blogging.