Why do audiences feel entitled to seeing romance as a mechanism to resolve pain?

Ganymede and The Eagle by Thorwaldsen (just because it’s interesting doesn’t mean it’s endgame.)

Protest shipping, where people take their demands for fictional romance as a moral stance, doesn’t happen with equal fervor for every attractive pair of characters. I have noticed a pattern, which characters receive this intense fan entitlement and criticism. The heat and venom of these takes is strangely proportional to how strongly people like the characters, to be sure, yet the people who created those lovable characters are then subject to criticism of their moral fiber. I am not exaggerating on this point, Zuko Katara adherents…


Relationship ethics writers argue against “friendzone” as an entitled concept and need to come for “ghosting” for the same reasons

by Hadley Weatherly

Recent neuroscience literature suggests that rejection is experienced in the brain similarly to physical pain, and it seems reasonable to ask that people avoid inflicting physical pain on each other, but just because there’s a poetic truth to a comparison, doesn’t mean that we can treat rejection just the same as a deliberate fork to the eye.

Neuroscience also tells us that the perception of pain differs wildly among people. Chronic pain sufferers sometimes have learned to perceive pain so well that normal or very light touch is received as pain. Feeling like someone is holding a fire to your…


Fiction

Write first, ask questions later.

“Original Character” by Hadley Weatherly

(The following opinions mention disturbing tropes, including consent issues)

When fandom drama gets lawyers involved, there’s potential consequences for everyone in the arts, and there has recently been great legal analysis by Lindsay Ellis and, earlier this year, The New York Times, of the strange case of Addison Cain’s frivolous plagiarism claims against other creators in her genre. But once you get past the kinks, the story is also an interesting example of creators trying to litigate the basics of genre storytelling. …


No, nuance isn’t a sign of privilege and moral certainty isn’t a hallmark of the artwork of the oppressed

Press x to have a moral conundrum. Art by Hadley Weatherly

Empathy is the difference between games and other formats we use to tell stories.

In most stories, you extend your empathy in order to give yourself the perspective of a character; but a game does not just give you relatable details to encourage you to empathize with a character’s frustrations. A game gives you their goals and frustrations directly and immediately. If a character falls down in a movie, you think “she fell down.” But if your player character in a video game falls in a hole, even if it has nothing to do with anything you did, you think…


The Army and Department of Defense have a long history of releasing statements suggesting or outright reporting that UFOs are from beyond our planet. Why do they do that?

The thing in question

Recently, the Pentagon has been releasing a lot more UFO related pictures and statements, all culminating with this claim that they have pieces of the technology behind these advanced aircraft, and that it isn’t human in origin. Why would they say such a thing?

First, I invite you to take a journey through this spooky forest of tweets from real elected officials, opaque Department of Defense press releases, and a retraction…


Doug Mahnke illustrates the then unnamed President who is also Superman in Final Crisis #7 by Grant Morrison

Michael B. Jordan has expressed interest in playing Calvin Ellis, Earth-23’s Superman, but who is he, and what would his story be, in a movie?

Some news outlets have jumped on this as stating that Michael B. Jordan wants to be a ‘Black Superman’ and photoshopped him into the much cooler costume of Val-Zod from Earth-2, a different Superman who is also Black. The multiverse character Calvin Ellis isn’t DC’s first Black Superman, but his character is an opportunity for a new take on superheroes on the screen.

You know Superman’s story. Thankfully, alternate dimensions in the multiverse are created…


William Messner Loebs writes Hadji as a kid sassing his tutor.

Jonny Quest has always been a growing edge for Hanna-Barbera cartoons. In terms of animation and storytelling, it pushed the limits of what was possible, and, as a result, sometimes it failed. Sometimes the result was an unparalleled accomplishment, and sometimes the result was rushed and broken and objectively worse than Yogi Bear. Every iteration of Jonny Quest was likewise overly ambitious, laudably so and damnably so. Its depiction of other cultures might be included in this pattern. …


Review

(BUT IT MENTIONS IT CONSTANTLY)

(Spoilers)

Us is not a movie about Stranger Danger or child abuse, but it strongly and repeatedly functions very well as a metaphor about stranger danger and the fractured recovery from childhood trauma.

Before we know what’s really going on, before we have a clue of the true fantastical plot of the movie, it appears to be about a trauma experienced by a girl separated from her parents, Adelaide (Lupita N’yongo) who wanders into a hall of mirrors alone. Her memory of the event cuts off before we really learn what happened to her. …

Reese Weatherly

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