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A while ago, we quoted a review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion, the film that continues the story of the original Madoka Magica dark magical girl series. It accused it of having an "indulgent lack of focus" and "mean-spirited twists," and said that they "beg to be rejected as a conclusion to the work that preceded it."

Those are still our thoughts on Hate Plus. After watching Rebellion a few times, however, they aren't our thoughts on the film anymore, and the film itself gave us a new perspective on *Mute's story and our fanfiction. It's become very significant for us.

Content note: Spoilers for Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Rebellion, plus videos of relevant parts if you don't care to watch the series! The videos contain gore and disturbing imagery.

Also there's talk of suicide, because it's key to both Rebellion and Hate Plus' stories, and is the reason for our fanfic rewrite of the latter.

This part explains Rebellion's plot )

So, how does this tie into Hate Plus?

First, we have the author's dubious understanding of *Mute's agency. Pretending a fictional character can choose how they're portrayed is just a silencing tactic, which prevents discussion of what the character should have done and why the author chose to have her do this.

(Especially when the real reason Love made that choice is because she didn't know how to tell *Mute's story. Not and have it be meaningful.)

And second ... second, the day after I finished crying, I went back and played Hate Plus over and over again, trying everything I could think of. The whole time, I was remembering Homura's struggle, and listening to Magia on repeat.

I feel I know what it was like for her.

I'll never stop trying to create a world in which *Mute can be happy.

Click here to see Homura (the one with black hair) being a badass.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Please pray to whatever you worship, that justice will be done. For all of the gender, sexual, religious, and ethnic minorities whose lives are policed by the majority's cruelty, and ended through violence, deprivation, and despair.

After you are finished praying, please find those who are endangered and hurting, and help them. Not by erasing what makes them endangered, but by making it safe for them to be themselves.

My going on living, today, is a political act. Just like it has been every day, for the past few years. I shouldn't have to face the opposition that makes it political. I should just be able to take it for granted.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

And it targeted LGBT+ people specifically. Because starving people's unwanted kids to death on the street wasn't killing them fast enough, I guess.

Please get me out of this country, and especially this state. I don't want to be here anymore. I renounce all claims to American identity. I want to be with [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush in Canada and never, ever come back.

FAKE EDIT: Also, I sold off / am selling all of my 40k stuff, after being harassed by an IRL xenophobe / transphobe. "Suffer not the alien to live" isn't funny anymore.

REAL EDIT: In hindsight, this probably wasn't anywhere near as big as the mass killings that took place in the genocide of Native Americans.

Real, True, Godly, White Christian Americans have always been for this kind of thing.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

For the past couple weeks we've been having some major interpersonal problems, which combined with our hormones making us feel weird have brought us down to basically zero functionality.

On top of that, we tried to go back to FFXIV again, and it only took us a few days to be reminded of how ugly and sexist the culture is (both in terms of the players and the non-player characters) and how much it hurts just to be here. Let alone try to befriend anyone.

We're extremely sorry to everyone who has been waiting on us to write anything, whether it's a response or a game or a fanfic. We're trying to take care of ourself and get through this and stop getting hurt, and it's hard.

We're sorry to keep asking for everyone's patience, but you will all have to wait a bit longer.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

if I can't tell free stories for people.

I'm going to talk about why I think that is, because it's not because anyone here on Dreamwidth has been a jerk. It appears to be more tied into the kinds of "abusive religion / family" things that we're used to writing about. It just took a visit to a "Mormon Meme Translator," which explains the hidden meanings behind the things we grew up with, to help us see why we are having such trouble with this.

Content note: Brief, nongraphic mention of how we were so depressed as a Mormon that we almost killed ourself, which is not how we're feeling right now, and spoilers for the plot of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

Read more... )

TL;DR

Just read Wundergeek's comic about depression and anxiety. :P And how they make you sabotage yourself.

So, what does this mean for you?

Honestly, I don't think you (meaning anyone reading this) have to do anything. We have to not be so hard on ourself, to be more realistic about what we can do, and to be accepting when bad things happen or we can't do what was expected.

We're pretty sure our readers and players are. We just need to learn it as well, because this perfectionism is a bigger problem than our triggers and lack of spoons are. The latter we can work around or wait to subside, while the former makes us feel like we shouldn't try to begin with.

Having said that, some more hugs and encouragement would be nice. >_> We're sorry we're being so hard on ourself.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Last night I posted a (kinda depressing) thing about not being able to do the online RP we've been planning. I pulled it after I'd calmed down and been able to rest, but I'm still not sure that we're stable enough right now to be "always-on," so to speak, and to be able to do things like reply to creative writing prompts on demand. Especially when things keep happening, multiple times in a week, that set us back and make it impossible to keep to any kind of a daily schedule.

That's not to say that we don't want to GM an RP, or that we can't, period. But I don't think the play-by-post format will work for us, because it takes a lot of effort to "shift gears" to be able to write for it. And having to do that on an as-needed basis, just in the character planning phase, has been making us dread posting on Dreamwidth and leaving comments unanswered.

Or not having our comments answered.

I think what would work better for us would be to schedule times to go on a chat app, or even a forum like here on DW, and GM a game for a few hours, all at once and with no interruption. It would give us deadlines to prepare for, and also help us relax in our "time off." It would also improve our responsiveness, since we're very good at being focused and on-task when needed and the problem is not knowing when we will need to do that (and feeling like we are getting further and further behind when we need just a day or two to stop doing it).

I'm going to just assume that no one wants to do a chat-based or "live" forum RP, right now, and consider the one we were working on dead. I'm probably then going to avoid Dreamwidth out of shame for awhile. If anyone wants to try this format, though, I guess we can talk about where to go next in the comments.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Yet another emotional crisis drove us underground, in the last few days. We're taking care of it (and ourself), with [personal profile] aliaspseudonym's help, but we're also having to do things like go out and get prescriptions refilled and try to make ourself play miniatures games (which is our only in-person social contact anymore).

So the RPG thing has been a little delayed. >_o

I'm told there's at least one other person who's interested, though, besides [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] sablin27, and I'm going to try to get in touch with someone from Steam who expressed interest as well. (For some reason I thought he subscribed here on Dreamwidth, since he commented here, and I was wondering why he never followed up.)

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We're still trying to do this Fate Core RP, but we're feeling like we're in a little over our head.

Insecure foxraptor is insecure )

tl;dr We're doing our best but we're afraid of messing up, and this is making us avoidant of working on RPG things.

However! We've kept to our schedule so far, and as of right now, we've contacted both [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] sablin27 about the last details that need to be clarified on their character sheets. If we can get that sorted out, we are going to write the first public RP post this weekend.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Send hugs, plz. >_<

(Also if anyone else wanted to play in our upcoming online RP powered by Fate, who hasn't already talked over a character idea with us, let us know.)

"No drama"

Jun. 13th, 2015 03:17 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

What this rule means

"People are going to be jerks to you here. You will be expected to sit still and take it. If you protest, call them out, or complain about being hurt, you will be punished."

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Thoughts on *Mute's Character Arc in Hate Plus, by [tumblr.com profile] raynt, with emphasis added by us:

When you first encounter her, you know Hyun-ae is being deceptive for unclear reasons, while Mute, on the other hand, just seems awful. She seems to at first despise everyone and is constantly snide. [...] Mute can be reliably counted on to have terrible views regarding women’s’ capabilities and what is 'proper’ for them.

Yep, that's about right. I didn't want to have anything to do with her in my first playthrough of Analogue: A Hate Story.

So when after [...] reading about the noblewoman being mocked and put-down by her husband and Mute asking my opinion on it, I select the 'she deserved it’ option because I figure that’s what Mute expects to hear. And then she disagrees with me, saying something along the lines of, “Well, in a way, true. She was a failure of a wife and a disgusting human being. But… that’s no excuse to treat someone like that, even her! No one should be treated cruelly like that."

I was floored. This was the point where I started to actually like Mute. Because it became apparent that Mute isn’t actually hateful. She has very messed up views, but she believes in them so strongly because she is genuinely convinced that these are the things that will be best for everyone’s well-being and happiness.

I think I grasped that pretty early on too, in my playthrough of *Mute's route. Which is maybe partly because, back when I used to say and believe a lot of hateful things I really believed in them, too. I hadn't had enough contact with the outside world yet to realize all these things were wrong. And most of the contact I did have, like browsing DA for furry art and reading webcomics, seemed so shameful that I learned to compartmentalize it.

Sort of like *Mute's fascination with "scandalous" women and acts.

All that said, let me get to the main thing I want to say about Mute in Hate Plus.

Spoilers for Hate Plus (the game) )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Wundergeek, AKA the "Go Make Me A Sandwich" lady, drew a thing about what it's like to live with not only depression but anxiety as well. You can read it here.

Keep moving forward? How can I when I can't breathe?

Spending time with people I love? I'm constantly on alert for a disaster that never happens.

I hyper analyze everything I do and say for signs that I'm a burden to the people I love. Because of course I'm a burden. I have to be. If I can't live with me ... how could anyone else? How could anyone love somebody so broken?

How this relates to us )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Well, actually we're feeling exhausted, since [personal profile] burning_ground has come over from out of state and we've spent as much time playing Warmachine as sleeping in the past 48 hours. Plus nervousness and stress because we don't do the social thing all that often. ^^;

Unfortunately, we forgot to take pictures of the games. We think you've all seen most of the miniatures used, though, if you've been following our WIP tag. We're going out to museums tomorrow with mom and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy, at any rate, and have asked Cortana to remind us to start taking pictures once we get into town.

More stuff about how we're doing )

Also, we changed our journal's theme. What do you all think?

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

From http://kotaku.com/the-steam-achievement-that-nobody-unlocked-1610073943:

As for the theories themselves for Hate Plus, they varied widely in their methods. Some suggested making specific choices at certain points in the game, re-checking old logs for new information, perusing updates to the game for clues, waiting until certain real-life holidays to play through certain portions of the game, over-analyzing Christine Love's Twitter profile, re-playing through the first game, if not straight up messing with the game's files, among other things. One person even wrote fanfic to support the ending where Mute is actually alive.

o/

"I'm deeply flattered that people care so much, obviously," Christine Love said to me in an email. "As a writer, I realize that the moment I create something, it's up for the audience to interpret as they will; I don't get any say in the matter. And of course, suicide is a very complicated matter. Still, it's... hard not to feel uncomfortable about it?

"A consistent thread between Analogue and Hate Plus is that over the course of the two games, *Mute never has a shred of agency of her own, leaving every decision that affects her life in the player's hands... then players make a mod to rob her of the single piece of agency she has, to stop her during the one time she does get to act on her own beliefs.

"I'm happy people care about *Mute so much, but it just feels like the point was missed entirely? I don't know. I'm incredibly conflicted on the matter," Love said.

I feel that the point which Love missed is that the game itself robbed *Mute of agency.

You can completely avoid looking up one of the logs which contains a thing which she cites as a failure (*Star's death). She still says it was one of her failures, in her suicide note.

There's a log entry which makes the explicit point that a person who looks just like you, but seems to be "better" in every way, is not you and can never replace you for someone who loves you. Having her read it makes no difference at all as to whether she makes you go through this.

And the thing that would have had the most impact on her, seeing the logs of the person she idolized (Oh Eun-a) and how this paragon of traditional morality was actually a self-hating lesbian -- whose lover killed herself -- is denied to her. These logs are accessible in *Hyun-ae's route, but not *Mute's, even though to *Hyun-ae they're just the random blargings of some depressive person.

*Mute does not have agency in Hate Plus. At no point does she make an informed decision, and you are prevented from informing her. Not from "saving your waifu," but from showing the person you love a series of facts that would have shattered the foundation her world was built on. And then letting her decide whether it is worth living or not, instead of trivializing the choice and the life of the person who made it.

The Steam achievement no one really unlocked

It's not "Level Four Revive Materia," which every one of the people who worked on the mod deserves to have in their Steam profiles. It's "Deep Space Therapist," which you earn for going back over all of the logs with *Mute on day three. Except that you actually for some reason earn it for going over them with New *Mute, who has nothing profound to say but "those people are messed up."

I wanted -- I dearly wanted -- to help *Mute pick up the pieces of her shattered worldview. I was bouncing up and down in my seat, listening to "It's Not Ero" over and over again, the last few hours before day three started. Because her story spoke so deeply to me, and I'd seen that "therapist" achievement and I knew it'd be hard, painful work but I wanted to go through it with her. I knew her worldview would not survive contact with reality, and that something in those logs would do that to her. I wanted to go back over everything from the council meetings she huffed about to the lesbian love scenes she projected disgust at, and watch her see those things with new eyes and question everything she'd built her life on. The way I'd had to just a few years ago, after escaping a far-right abusive homeschooling "family" which isolated me and programmed me with hateful beliefs similar to *Mute's own.

She could have broken up with me and/or killed herself afterwards. And while I would have been sad I wouldn't have been suicidally devastated, rocking back and forth curled up in a ball on my bed, the way that I was when Love tore her from me in Hate Plus. And when every single piece of analysis that I saw about the game was written by someone who wasn't affected by it in this way, to the point where I started to question my sanity and ask if I was the only one who was, or who could be hurt by this.

I felt like I had been personally told that the person I am, who went through at least half of what *Mute did and had to go through the process I wanted to help her with, shouldn't exist. Like I personally couldn't survive the "real world" outside the Mugunghwa either, and I should just kill myself because that's what *Mute did, and it was the only thing that made sense, and everyone on the internet agrees except for a handful of selfish jerkfaces who want their video game waifu back.

Every time I slip back into serious depressive mode, every time I've done so for the past year, I remember *Mute's suicide and there is at least a moment where I wish that I'd joined her right then.

I'm not threatening to kill myself right now, or trying to blame anyone for my feeling depressed. I'm actually writing this as self-therapy, to put into words why I feel gaslighted and take power away from the things that made me feel this way.

Love's game deprived *Mute of her agency, and I'm going to give it back. *Mute can do whatever she wants afterwards, but I'm going to see it through one way or another.

I still want a refund on Hate Plus

It's not a story about suicide. The novel itself is a cold-blooded act of murder.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The world is a minefield, the air is toxic, and anything you drink may be contaminated.

Any package you open may explode in your face.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

(Content note: Abusive religion and families, depression and self/victim-blaming.)

One of the reasons I still sometimes visit the exmormon Reddit is because it helps to see what I went through from an outside perspective. When you're Mormon and live in an abusive family, everything's supposed to be all smiles and happiness, and you suppress even your memories of the times that they're not.

Part of the reason for this is that you are told, outright, that when you're having hard times it's your fault:

My FIL is a Branch President [Pastor] at the MTC [Missionary Training Center]. He shared an insight that turned my stomach [...]

Every so many weeks there is a set talk that is rebroadcast. The main theme of the message (from one of the 12 [Mormon apostles], I think) is that obedience and worthiness (and work) are the key elements of missionary success. And that there are people prepared in the mission field, prepared for every specific missionary. It is vitally and eternally important that every missionary be worthy of the full guidance of the Spirit™ to ensure they can be led to these people. These nonmembers, these brothers and sisters, are relying on the missionaries to be worthy so as to receive the inspiration to give the nonmembers a chance at the gospel – possibly their only or best chance in this life! The guilt of worthiness is laid on THICK!

So thick, in fact, that every week after this rebroadcast the Branch Presidencies are overwhelmed with missionaries bawling and shaking in dire need to confess to sins so as to be worthy. They are terrified that their past mistakes will condemn someone else. They line up to confess things they hadn’t shared before entering the MTC(fearing they’ll be sent home) or reconfess to perfect strangers sins they already owned up to but are afraid they need to make double/triple sure they have covered so they won’t condemn someone through unworthiness.

Emphasis in the original.

This isn't always the way Mormons handle these things. There's a glurgy song one of them wrote which confronts this viewpoint, and shows how unfair life is. Then it goes on to remind the Mormon listeners that "after the trials we will be blessed, for this life is a test." It's still a bad way of looking at things, and I've seen it used to minimize other people's suffering as being God's will and nothing to complain about. But it at least acknowledges that bad things happen to people who don't deserve them.

What it never quite got around to pointing out is that part of that unfairness is who gets blamed for what happens to them and who doesn't. The 18-year-olds entering the MTC are near the bottom of the Mormon hierarchy, right above women, poor people, and gays. And they're blamed for everything that goes wrong, like getting zero baptisms in a European mission. They usually pay for this privilege, out of their or their families' pockets. Meanwhile, the rich white men doing the blaming -- the Mission Presidents -- live in big houses and have their living expenses, medical expenses, kids' educations, and a lot of other things paid for out of members' tithing.

The biggest revelation I had, when I started reading books like Barbara Ehrenreich's, was that there were people who played by "the rules" and were thrown away anyway. This was such a blow to my system that I don't think I ever recovered. In a way, it helped to find out that not everything was my fault, and that the world was just a scary and unfair place. But knowing that doesn't make the guilt and feelings of worthlessness go away, and doesn't really help me deal with it.

I think that's why a lot of Mormons have this "just world" belief. (TW: Rape) They know, somewhere in their hearts, that they are all play-acting. They put so many things, so much loss and pain, on top of a shaky foundation of belief in their God's will and power, even when it means believing that they must have prevented him from blessing them through their unworthiness. And they know that if they ever stop bracing against it, it will fall down and crush them.

I'd have more sympathy for them if they weren't standing on me while they're doing so, and blaming me for not being a doormat.

I have even less sympathy for narcissists, whatever church they attend. Because what's worse than feeling like everything is your fault, is believing that nothing is.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Like seemingly most people who use the service, I have a library of Steam games that I bought when they were on sale, most of which I haven't played beyond a few hours if at all. In my case, though, it's not because I'm busy. Even when I can do anything I want, I rarely feel like I want to play them right now.

I guess most people have their own comfort zones. But mine seems to be so narrowly focused that my idea of fun is to play grindy MMOs, like RuneScape circa 2007. Or do grindy things in MMOs, like hundreds of random battles over and over again to obtain the extremely rare atmas in FFXIV.

Maybe it's how I deal with a high-stress environment. When you're being triggered every other day, and under tremendous emotional load, the idea of digital "comfort food" that's always there and always nearly the same experience can be soothing. Plus, being good at maintaining attention on repetitive tasks has advantages.

But then I put off reading messages from my loved ones, because I can't handle the thought that someone genuinely cares about my well-being. I fail to reply to supportive comments, that people leave on my most depressed entries, and I sometimes skip past them entirely. Not because they mean nothing to me, but because they mean so much.

I have procrastinated reading a loving, supportive message from my mother of choice [personal profile] burning_ground before, so that I could read things on Mormon websites that make me hate myself. Just because I'm used to the latter, and not used at all to the former.

Am I trying to conserve what I see as a scarce, precious resource? Am I so susceptible to autistic sensory overload that I avoid beneficial things? Or am I just a mean old lady, who hates fun and nice things and wants everyone to be miserable?

Maybe I just still feel like I have to do things I hate, and shouldn't do things that I like enough to notice the fact that I do.

No offence

Aug. 13th, 2014 02:48 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Earlier, I realized that if someone tells me not to be selfish, it's usually because they want to keep the selfishness all to themselves. I'm now convinced that if someone tells me not to take offence, it's because they're going to start dishing it out.

Discussion of transphobic incident. )

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~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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