ats meme: five quotes
HIMYM AU: Barney finds out that Robin works for S.H.I.E.L.D as Agent Hill (Part 1)
They’re mixing two different universes together and yet it still makes waaay more sense than the finale.
….you know what, it really does.
HIMYM finale headcanon accepted. And then they pretend to get divorced and Robin/Maria distances herself from her friends and a couple years later someone captures footage of Maria Hill during a big superhero battle and she has to come clean to everybody and THEY ALL RESUME BEING FRIENDS AND NONE OF THE REST OF THE FINALE HAPPENS and also, later, the group accidentally meets the Avengers, and Barney spends the entire time convinced Tony is hitting on Robin (which Tony plays into to screw with him) and Lily, Tracy and Natasha disappear somewhere to bond and Steve is both charmed and weirded out by Marshall and Ted is left to try and socialize with Clint, who just sits there quietly letting Ted dig himself a deeper and deeper hole as his questions and overtures get more and more awkward.
And Robin/Maria is all, “I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN. I KNEW IT. KNOCK THAT OFF RIGHT NOW. YES, YOU.”
So Tony lets Barney off the hook and Barney immediately starts awkwardly fanboying all over him, and Clint lets Ted off the hook and cracks up and Ted is all “wait what you have a facial expression?!"
And Robin/Maria goes to find Natasha and drink until the whole thing is over. Never again. This is never happening ever again. (It happens again.)
ASoIaF has always had to walk a tightrope in its subversion of the high-fantasy genre in that it portrays people and events closer to the way they really work in real life, but in doing so risks coming across as an endorsement of the way things really work in real life.
Martin has always been clear, for example, that good men (eg. Ned) don’t always make good rulers. But to me the second part of that statement has always been an implicit but clear “and that really sucks.”
I’m not sure everyone sees it that way, though. Time and time again, we see fan backlash against some of the main characters when their attempts to behave decently backfire or fail in some way — Ned giving Cersei the chance to flee rather than die; Dany using her dragons and burgeoning following to liberate slaves and attempt to create a just peace in Meereen rather than leveling everything between her and King’s Landing; Jon’s increasingly status-quo-threatening attempts to get the wildlings south of the Wall and on the side of the rest of the realm. You end up with arguments that life would be better under a despot like Tywin Lannister than under a liberator like Daenerys.
In other words, many readers seem to take Martin’s realpolitik approach to how the world works in his writing as a reprimand against those with a more idealistic outlook. I don’t think that’s the case at all, in large part because of the issues of war and peace that provoked this thread.
Martin has unfailingly portrayed war as a grotesque folly, a crime against our common humanity. He does this by setting up a supernatural antagonist of whom most of the warring parties are unaware but who we know (to the extent that we can know anything of GRRM’s longterm plans with this series) is the enemy of all humanity, such that every time people raise their swords against one another, or burn each other’s towns and crops, or sack each other’s strongholds and rape and torture and murder their families, they are doing the enemy’s work.
Obviously, war against the Others and their wights will be necessary — but it’s striking that the only necessary war Martin allows for is one that can’t possibly have a counterpart in real life. We have no white walkers to worry about. We only have each other.
The above quote is my contribution to a provocative thread on how Martin’s characters “wage peace,” started by Westeros.org’s Elio García in response to the Curt Purcell post I talked about earlier.
I would also add that part and parcel of how Martin has humanized epic fantasy by fleshing out heroes and villains into characters less easy to identify as either is similarly fleshing out the humanity of the people who die in the wars waged between the two. That’s why it’s so weird to me to see people endorsing Tywin Lannister or, god help me, Roose Bolton as a superior ruler to Daenerys Targaryen or Eddard Stark — or to see people arguing that Victarion Greyjoy — wifebeater, gaybasher, rapist, war criminal, mass murderer — is the Prince Who Was Promised or Azor Ahai reborn. These men dehumanize others, and humanizing others is the project of the entire series.
btvs appreciation week • day one: favourite character
Anonymous asked: I read your Winter Soldier analysis, and I have a question : you say that "There’s a reason his code name is drawn from an investigation into one of the ugliest chapters of American history." Please help a non-American understand what you meant? I mean I obviously see the Cold War reference in the movie, but from what you've written it seems like something more subtle *within* the Cold War... shit, I mean just "Cold War" seems too evident and I can't find the deeper meaning?
Oh gosh, don’t feel bad, there are plenty of Americans who have never even heard of this.
The Winter Soldier Investigation was a 1971 veteran-organized media event intended to draw attention to the war crimes that had taken place in Vietnam. Directly inspired by the exposure of the My Lai Massacre (the mass murder of over five hundred unarmed civilians by American troops) in 1969, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) brought together discharged servicemen from every branch of the military to discuss the atrocities they had seen and committed during their time in the war. They hoped bring these tragedies before the public eye, and to prove that American military policies led directly to the death and torment of civilians. Eventually a transcript from this conference made its way before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the Fullbright Hearings.
When Ed Brubaker, the author who wrote the original Winter Soldier arc, chose the name, he wanted something that would call up both cold Siberian winters and the atrocities of war. This fit the bill.
But the term itself, the idea of “winter soldiers”, was coined by VVAW as a response to the writings of Thomas Paine, who described the men who deserted at Valley Forge during the American Revolution:
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
A winter soldier is someone who will warm their hands over a meager fire and weather the cold. Someone who refuses to abandon their country and its potential, no matter what the personal cost.
So how’s that for a weird little twist? According to Thomas Paine—activist, political philosopher, and revolutionary—the real winter soldier is Captain America.
"Captain America - The Winter Soldier" Credits
Called the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the gigantic device will “look further back into the history of the universe than any other astronomical device in existence.” It will be built atop a 10,000-ft mountain called Cerro Armazones, which has the perfect conditions to provide a clear, unobstructed view of the stars.