Death of The Author (the author is Neil Gaiman)

Guess who’s got free time, a bunch of knowledge about literary theory she isn’t gonna need for a while and a lot of emotions about Good Omens.

Me. It’s me. What were you expecting?

Now before anyone thinks I am talking about the literal death of Neil Gaiman FEAR NOT I am talking about the literary concept of Death of The Author. Mr. Gaiman is perfectly fine, as far as I know. He is posting to Tumblr at least. Death of The Author is the idea that an author’s intentions should not be regarded in an analysis of their work. Only the text itself matters.

Different authors have different opinions on this. J. K. Rowling is obviously not on board with the concept, John Green is and I could talk at length about both of them but Lindsay Ellis did it better, so just check her out.

No, as I said I am having a lot of emotions about Good Omens right now. So I want to talk about Neil Gaiman.

The thing with Good Omens is that a lot of people have interpreted the relationship between the two lead characters (an angel called Aziraphale and a demon called Crowley) as romantic despite it not being explicitly stated in the text (both the book and the show). People are quite invested in the idea. “Ineffable Husbands” (great Shipname btw) is the number one trending ship on Tumblr right now. And honestly… I am people. I am invested.

Now you might be saying: “Wait Kade. This reminds me of another TV-Show, best described as bible fanfiction, where people are interpreting a romantic relationship that is not explicitly in the text and that you were really invested in it. Pray tell oh Goddess of Unhealthy Obsessions how is this not you falling for queerbaiting again?” Well dear hypothetical reader, the difference between Good Omens/Ineffable Husbands and Supernatural/Destiel is…Neil Gaiman.

The marketing team, actors and writers for Supernatural have always hinted at a romantic relationship between Dean (human/demon but only for like five episodes) and Castiel (angel) but also made it clear that there will never be on-screen confirmation. Neil Gaiman states (and I am quoting): “anything that happens on screen is canon, and anything that happens offscreen is valid headcanon”. All there is to Good Omens is the text and any interpretation of the text is valid. And quite honestly the interpretation of Good Omens as a love story is not far fetched. If you have not seen the show then go now and watch the first twenty minutes of episode three. Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship can easily be interpreted either way and there is nothing in the text that encourages or decourages a particular reading. Now I of course love me some explicit queer representation but what Good Omens is doing right now is just as fantastic. Because straight people, cis people, homophobic people ARE INTERPRETING GOOD OMENS AS QUEER. Because the writing and queer coding is so well done that this show is being interpreted as a positive queer story by people who aren’t trained to notice the signs. And Neil Gaiman is doing his part by not discouraging anyone’s queer headcanons and instead calling them all valid which is not a thing creators usually do and which I respect him for immensely. Now he does make a clarifying statement here or there but always points back at what is in the text.

the pitsnake said gay rights

I also really love how he always reminds everyone that angels and demons don’t have ganders, because yes, thank you.

In conclusion: Neil Gaiman is using Death of The Author to allow his work to be interpreted in a very queer way and that is a very good and subtle way to help out queer representation in general.

Also David Tennant is fantastic in Good Omens and I can not believe that I have written 600 words without mentioning him once.

Kade out. Happy Pride Month everyone.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

It has been some time since I read a book in one night. It has also been some time since I read something so uniquely beautiful.

This book is beautiful. It’s not “fantastic” or “spectacular” because those imply grand sweeps of emotion and epic battles and so forth. Ari and Dante is quiet, calm and lowkey. Beautiful.

The plot takes places from the summer of 1987 to the summer of 1988. Dante and Aristotle are both loners, both weird in their own way, who meet in 1987, become best friends and spent the rest of the year trying to discover who they are (aka. The Secrets of the Universe). And yes it’s also about them figuring out if they are gay, but at the same time it’s not. Ari is our P.O.V character and his inner monologues rather revolve around his anger issues and family drama than the tired trope of “am I gay? Am I not gay? Ahhhh internalized homophobia” (so basically fanfictions). There is a bit of pot smoking and beer drinking but no falling into a pool, emerging and cry-sobbing I’M GAAAAAAAAY (the day I stop making fun of Alex Srangelove is the day I die, or the one I turn into a nicer person).

So the first 107 pages of this book are slow. Benjamin Alire Sánez gives you time to get to know his characters and teaches you all the symbols (rain) and themes (dreams) he will use for the rest of the story. However when I say “slow” I don’t mean “boring”. I mean “I would forever read descriptions of hot summer days and people getting the flu if they were written by this guy”. And then comes the both metaphorical and literal car crash and the story seems to pick up some pace only to slow down and dive deep into Ari’s inner monologues again. Again, not “boring”, beautiful. There is no grand epic to be found here, just a small low stakes story about two boys (I’ve been watching Daredevil lately, I’m not used to low stakes anymore. I love it.)

But let me just talk about Ari for a bit. I love how I can relate to him. Note that he is a mexican-american boy in 1988 and I am a German girl in 2018. Relating to Ari went from “haha he hates himself moooooood” to “he is describing exactly how I felt at that unique point in discovering myself, he is putting words to things I couldn’t (and wouldn’t)”. I love Ari and I hope everyone who is (or was) Ari finds their Dante. Also I am adding Dante to the long list of characters I want to protect from the world. Sánez writes amazing characters, that feel incredibly real. Not just Ari and Dante, everyone.

So what’s next….ah spoilers. If you want to read this book and haven’t yet, skip this paragraph. I am not gonna go that deep, I’m just gonna pick apart one line from the first half. “I love swimming…and you”. Dante’s childish declaration of love comes quick and out of nowhere and is not only perfectly in line with his character but also wonderful. I put it up there with “Won’t you share this story with me” and Katniss’ monologue on Peeta and flowers. It seems so funny out of context, but believe me, it works so well.

Also realistic dreams. No long narratives or copious amounts of forshadowing. Ari’s dreams are short, confusing and simply underscore the internal debates he is already (beautifully) having.

And finally, this book ends perfectly. There is no “20 years later” epilogue and no will-they-wont-they cliffhanger. The novel ends carrying the exact emotional note it has from the beginning.

He whispered, “Someday, I’m going to discover all the secrets of the universe.” That made me smile. “What are you going to do with all those secrets, Dante?”

Representation

One of the bigger regrets of my life is that I didn’t get into Doctor Who as early as I could have.

I started watching the first season at age eleven but stopped after a few episodes because I was traumatized by “the Empty Child” and I didn’t touch the show again until I was fifteen. And even then I skipped the first season. So you see, I still saw Doctor Who and I absolutely love that show but I missed something.

Eleven year old me thought she was straight. Fifteen year old me knew she was queer. Season one has a lot of Jack Harkness episodes.

I did not see any queer representation in child or youth media until I was about thirteen and read the Mortal Instruments. And while I love Magnus and Alec with all my heart and they will always be my first gay characters and my first ship, they were gay men (I know Magnus is pan, but take a wild guess what they could out of the audibook version of “Bones”, if you guessed their whole relatonship, you’re right). I can’t tell you for the life of me who my first bi/pan character was.  I had to label myself without having a point of reference. It took me until this year to find Viktor from “The Antagonists”, the first and only character I ever found to label himself as pan.

So I dove into Torchwood. I binge read the Antagonists. I cried out of sheer happiness when Brendon Urie came out and I realized that we are being heard, that the term “Pansexual” is spreading.

Just imagine all the confusion and pain (not knowing who you are sucks) I could have saved myself if I had only seen something that represented me earlier. There was no queer representation in the media of my childhood (don’t come at me with Sesame Street or Harry Potter).

Shows like the first season of Doctor Who are important.

Kids need to see themselves. Give me gay and bi and pan TV kids show characters. Genderqueer characters. If kids are supposed to learn about the world through those shows, that includes learning who THEY are.

I crave the day where I can see this and it doesn’t make me cry, because it’s normal.Where this isn’t big news. Where I don’t have to search for my representation anymore.

Derek Landy has my undying respect for realizing that there was no queer representation in the first nine Skulduggery books and then making Demon Road, Ressurection and Midnight really queer. The thought that there will be kids reading these books and loving them as much as I did AND getting their representation astounds me.

Retroactively saying “ahh yes but you see character x was gay all this time” or “well i tought of them as a gay couple” isn’t representation. Representation is writing queer characters and acknowledging they are gay within the medium.

I was lucky to grow up on some great children and young adult media. I had Kim Possible, Phineas and Ferb, Avatar (three cheers for Toph!) and Harry Potter and I love all of those. I just wouldn’t have hurt (and made my later life a lot easier) if I had seen people like me.

Christopher Street Day 2018 Cologne

I love Pride.

There is no Situation in which I feel more comfortable and at Peace with myself then when I run trough Cologne, my best Friends by my side und my pride flag in my Hand. Or on my shoulders. Or wrapped around me like a Toga.

And while my Outfit last year just consisted of a nice Dress and my flag this year i went all out. “Keep calm and have some pride” tank top, flag cape and over the Course of the day wrist bands, Tiny paper flags and a flag on my cheek. Normally I only wear black because that is what I feel safe in but on a Christopher Street Day the rules are reversed, the more Colour, the more rainbow I wear the safer I feel. I think I can’t explain the happines and Peace a simple pair of rainbow suspenders can bring. I just feel fucking great in my Outfit Right now (Black Pants, Black Dan and Phil T-Shirt, afromentioned rainbow suspenders) but when I wore the exact same Thing minus the suspenders last week and someone took a Picture of me; I proceeded to shove that Picture in everyones face and tell them I looked terrible.

I don’t know if a straight Person can relate to this, hell I don’t know if every gay Person can relate to this, but Pride and the Cologne CSD specifically is that one time I am completetly ok with me. And Maybe that is more of a Statement on my self esteem than on the power of pride, but i just know that it has been 24 Hours since I came home and I am still happy with myself and how I look.

I love pride, I love my Friends who spent Hours cheering with me yesterday and for once I actually love myself.

Happy Pride.

ALSO BRENDON URIE CAME OUT AS PAN A FEW DAYS AGO AND I AM STILL SO HAPPY. THAT MAN IS AN ICON, ALEXA PLAY GIRLS/GIRLS/BOYS, I JUST DATED THIS POST, DOESN’T MATTER IT HAS A DATE IN THE TITLE ANYWAY

 

LET ME TELL Y’ALL ABOUT THIS BOOK SERIES

I was gonna go on an analytical rant on how some Shows I love because i admire the craft and some Shows I love because I am emotionally attached to them but NO NO NOPE THERE HAS BEEN SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN NEGLECTING TO TALK ABOUT SO LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE ANATAGONISTS BY BURGANDI RAKOSKA.

This book series is giving me life Right now, let me abandon my forced eloquent language  cause DAMMIT I AM IN LOVE.

It starts as a superhero Story told from the villains (Minnie and Victor) perspective and develops really interestingly from there, with a lot of great backtory and lore.

These books are designed to be inclusive and that is a Thing to love in itself. Victor is the first character I have ever seen/read that labels himself as pansexual. Minnie is the first Protagonist in a wheelchair that I have ever experienced. Felix has an incredibly meaningful character arc. Then all the characters are also 100% flawed yet still lovable. Victor is my fave here but daaaamn Nicolas is the ultimate example of a character just being everyones Dad and It’s adorable. Also Perry is a Darling and deserves the world. Then there is the ships, which actually happen. Decent development, no Long drawing out, no queerbaiting. Nicolas and Perry are an amazing example for an established relationship, Minnie and Victor develop beautifully and Rachel and Morgan are some great Background lesbians. And oh my god my dudes the Humor. I will not type out the 2 straight pages of puns on the word “head” (although they are Incredible) but just have this Scene:

Nicolas gave his wife a peck on the cheek. “Sweetheart, can you grab me a pan?”, Perry asked. He walked over to Victor and picked him right up out of the Chair. Victor retained his crossed arms and frown. Nicolas didn’t even struggle as he carried his brother across the kitchen and placed him on the stovetop.

It proceeds with Perry proclaiming that Victor is “too salty” and then it gets a callback TWO BOOKS LATER. In fact I could pick up any book in the series, open it on a random page and find a great line. In fact i will do that now.

Book One:

She passed the familiar faces of nurses and doctors who cheerfully waved and declared that it was good to see her. Minnie thought that it was a rather Twisted thing to say in a Hospital.

Book Two:

“Good morrow”, Victor eloquently said “Your most Beautiful and Generous Majesty Queen Gwenevere. Tell me, how goeth Sir Lancelot?”

Yes he is Talking to the actual Gwenevere, this series is also completetly crazy. Book Three:

Minnie apologized for apologizing.

Book Four:

He handed her the bottle and said: “Keep it. You and Victor can enjoy. Or you can Smash it on top of his head when he’s annoying you.”

Book Five:

Minnie also noticed that Alexo was there; she cared About him so Little that his mere existence often took her by surprise.

Book Six (my favourite this far):

“I’ll be a fantastic retail worker. I’ll go there right now and I’ll come home with a smile on my face and an Apron on my Beautifully sculpted Body. You’ll see. I’ll be the best retail worker in the history of capitalism.” 

The writing still may not be your Cup of tea (that’s a refernce) and the pacing goes REALLY fast. But at least check them out if only to support an Independent author.

This has been me yelling About the Antagonists. It was a lot less actual yelling then I thougt so…

I FUCKING LOVES THESE BOOKS. VICTOR IS MY DARLING. NICOLAS IS AMAZING. PERRY DESERVES THE WORLD. I SHIP FELIX WITH FREDDY MERCURY. MINNIE IS AN AMAZING PROTAGONIST AND ANTAGONIST. I AM DOWN FOR PAN PUNS AND HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS GO AND READ THESE BOOKS.

 

 

Christopher Street Day 2017 Cologne

This morning I ran home from church, put some temmporary dye in my hair and then took the train to Cologne to witness the first Christopher Street Day Celebreation of my young queer life.

And oh was it glorious. After meeting with my friend and some People she had met on the Train and taken a liking too (and they are amazing People, she has some good taste) I threw myself into the Party. Seeing the Cologne Cathedral surrounded by pride flags is quite the view. At that Point the only gay Thing on me was a really worn down rainbow wrist band so the first Things I bought were a pride fan and a big panexual pride flag to wrap myself in. Both proved to be good ideas since having a pride flag cape is awesome and the fan came in handy because it got really hot.

Over the next few ours I gradually got gayer and gayer, adding paint on both cheeks, three new wristbands and a ton of Stickers to the Collection. I met a lot of really nice People, got a lot of hugs (the writing on one of my cheecks said “free hugs”), had a Starbucks iced tea which cost more than most of the other Things I bought and had the most fun ever. And although my feet hurt like hell now I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Thank you to every one who made this experience possible and to my amazing friends, old and new.

#NieWieder

Yuri On Ice warms my heart

At some point after starting to watch a lot of TV-Shows I lost my interest in Anime. That was a big thing at the time because I had been a giant Anime Lover and I continued to not watch Anime for a year.

That led to me missing all the new Anime that were released in 2016 and early 2017 and while I still can’t bring myself to finally watch the  second Season of Attack on Titan I regret it a bit for completely ignoring Yuri On Ice.

I never considered myself to be a Sports Anime Person, I never watched Free and I just didn’t get why I should watch animated People do Sports when I already don’t like watching Sports in real life. I did not understand that it isn’t about the Sports but the Emotion.

Yuri On Ice is about a japanese Ice skater called Yuri and how he tries to win a prize guided by his Coach and Idol Viktor. That’s pretty much it but that simple Story deals with Yuri’s fear of failing, everyones admiration for Viktor (like seriously everyone in that Show only really wants to surpass him) and Yuri and Viktor’s love for each other. Because while at no point they ever decide to date now, they cuddle, kiss and SPOILERS get engaged by the end. Really. They buy matching rings as a luck charm and then Viktor decides they will get married if Yuri wins a Gold medal. Just like that. So somehow this Sports Anime is a gay romance Anime at the same time which warms my queer Little heart.

And then there is the killer Soundtrack (which I am listening to right now). Every of the Ice skater characters has one or two Songs that are theirs. On Love: Agape and On Love: Eros as well as the Titular Yuri On Ice are some beautiful pieces of Music and the opening History Maker is not only a great song but also has some really great visuals going with it.

So all in all that Anime is a thing of Beauty and reminded me why I love Anime in the first place.

(Yuri On Ice also received a lot of praise for the whole gay thing by the way)