Glee is as terrible as I remember

As per request, here is my review of Glee Season1: Episode Nine “Wheels.” Full disclosure, I have seen this before; this isn’t my type of show but after it was on for a few seasons I caved in to peer pressure and binged watch it but I don’t remember much other than it didn’t really like it. No particular reason, I just don’t really like musicals and ended up fast forwarding through most of it.

First off, Kevin McHale, who is not disabled, plays a character who uses a wheelchair. He probably has paraplegia? Most every character in a wheelchair is a guy who is paralyzed for some reason. I would postulate that it’s about infantilisation but most romance novels with a disabled lead they have a hero that is paralyzed so there must be something romantic to normal people about it.

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So, apparently, Artie, the wheelchair dude, is supposed to go on a field trip to a singing competition but he can’t get a ride because the school doesn’t want to pay for the short bus. I’m sure this does happen in a lot of places but when I was in school the county didn’t want to be sued for discrimination so they would cancel field trips and blame it on me (like Artie, I was the only disabled kid mainstreamed) so of course I was pressured into saying “never mind me, you guys have fun.” Science camp was the only thing they didn’t condescend to me about, I was told year before it happened two not even ask because I wasn’t going even if I could get a parent to go with me. I was stoked about not having to go until I found out I still had to go to school that whole week and do bookwork to make up for what I was. “missing.”

Unlike on Glee, there was no way any of the normal kids were going to ride on the short bus with me.

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OMG, they had Artie sing “dancing with myself.” This is why I couldn’t watch the show.

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Okay, yeah, I definitely skipped this episode the first time around… Watching it now makes me daydream about eating glass.

So, Mr. Woke shames the whole class four alienating Artie which completely puts him on the spot. This is definitely realistic but what isn’t is Artie admitting his feelings got hurt and then going along with the club being forced to do a bake sale to raise money for the short bus and for being forced to use wheelchairs for a few hours every day the rest of the week. I can’t imagine even able-bodied writers could think this was plausible. Unless he is graduating or moving away next week why would he do this? Why would he alienate himself further? Why would he be okay with being the scapegoat for everyone being unprepared for competition? How could he be stupid enough to sit by while everyone is punished for discriminating against him in order to get them to learn why discrimination is bad? In high school. Is he trying to get the shit kicked out of him?

Obviously having these able-bodied students use wheelchairs to learn what it’s like to be disabled is incredibly offensive. Being disabled is a 24-hour job, needing a wheelchair is more than simply sitting in a chair with wheels, making marginalization and novelty is disgusting.

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It’s kind of interesting to see how differently they all sit in their wheelchairs (and how the hell did they get such nice wheelchairs? The retirement center or wherever they borrowed them from definitely wouldn’t have ones this nice.) It would be nice to see more wheelchair using characters sit normally like Kurt, the guy in the front.

Normalizing it like that would have definitely cut down on the amount of times people asked me if I was faking my disability because I had my legs crossed.

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Huge slur on a cute sign, nice.

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Hahaha… The girl coded as retarded is friends with a girl who actually has down syndrome and she cheats off of her which is funny because obviously the girl with down syndrome must be dumb even though she’s mainstreamed and in the exact same classes as everyone else.

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I feel like I’m pointing out the obvious… But she isn’t treating the girl with down syndrome equaling “despite” her disability, she’s doing it because she has a thing for people with down syndrome. She’s already said she would let someone in a wheelchair on the squad so it isn’t about equality.

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Jesus Christ. And I’m still in the middle of the episode. I think I’m getting a migraine.

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I definitely have a migraine.

This is beyond offensive.

This chick is forcing a restaurant to hire her friend because he’s disabled and of course he’s just faking it.

It’s not funny and it’s not even original. Disabled people go through so much because people don’t believe us, especially those of us with invisible disabilities. Perpetuating this idea that we fake it for the “benefits” leads directly to the assault and murder of people in our community. All joking aside, I honestly feel so disgusted it’s hard to continue watching.

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So maybe they knew that handicap was a slur but they just aren’t giving any fucks.

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His girlfriend pretended to have a stutter to distance herself from other people and now that he knows he’s upset because she gets to be normal and he still isn’t. Um… A stutter does not equal a disability. She was already normal. Do these writers actually think that being paralyzed and having a speech impairment is equally disabling? Really?

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Kill me.

What being a disabled millennial like

I guess it’s been exactly a year since I started blogging. I started writing with the intention of gaining some perspective in my life and it totally worked. I’m right and everyone is terrible.

At the start of the year I had my trusty neuromuscular disease which makes it impossible for me to physically care for myself, my mother’s Alzheimer’s had gotten to the point where she could no longer physically or mentally care for herself, auntie had been in my life for a few years helping me try to get her medical help and deal with the endless paperwork x2 that comes with disability. She was the only family member that even pretended to make an effort in my life, but the stress of it was obviously getting to her.

And I was losing my god damn mind so I started this blog.

The major thing I realized is something I already thought I knew; being disabled is like being in a completely different reality that normal people only have some vague sense of, like gravity but really can’t comprehend. What I specifically learned throughout this year, though, is that they willfully remain ignorant because of their narcissism.

That sounds incredibly rude but in some cases I mean it in the nicest way. Some able-bodied people simply never learned that TV isn’t real. When they hear anything about the reality of living a disabled life and how it has nothing to do with your health but everything to do with violent bigotry they try to convince you that any bad situation is an outlier. ABs refuse to acknowledge disability to avoid feeling guilty; those people legitimately don’t know how common and easy it is to step over a dying body while complaining about the smell.

There are some people who genuinely don’t know better and so they are eager to help, impatient for the praise. It’ll get them praise, but they can’t handle it for long.
For my Mormon uncle it was the very minute that I called him to let him know that his sister was sick that he became overwhelmed and he insisted we both be sent to homes. He had no idea why I was so opposed to the suggestion because it wasn’t as if anyone would want to rape me or anything.

I know I heard that clearly because he was screaming it through the telephone.

Auntie pressured me into putting mom into a home and then to make sure I can make no decisions she told them I was mentally ill and all around general liar so I wasn’t allowed to have contact with my mother. After mom got kicked out after week for unruly behavior I found out from the carefully worded discharge papers that she had been raped in the shower. Whether Auntie knew that are not I don’t know but it was the last time I ever saw her.

Up until then, though, Auntie worked incredibly hard to help us but the weight of sainthood became too much. There were multiple times where she would throw my medical cards at me from the end of my bed while yelling at me for not knowing how to love correctly. To her credit, she wasn’t completely wrong.

She said I was being condescending when I constantly apologized for being a burden and then I halted every conversation with the incessant need to thank everyone for just being there. True. It took me being forced into a role-play game before I really understood that.

I like helping people out. I like seeing people relieved and happy when I can unexpectedly provide a solution. I like feeling that I can have at least a slight impact on other people that isn’t horrible.

What I don’t like is people making it weird by being awkward, thanking and apologizing to me every few seconds. When they insist on thanking me it hurts my feelings because it seems like they’re surprised I would do something nice. When people won’t stop thanking me it’s alienating. When someone puts you on a pedestal is not only objectifying but lonely because you’re no longer equal.

What I still don’t understand is what the hell I’m supposed to do.

When I go somewhere I have to get their permission to go. When I do something I have to get their permission to do it. When I eat I have to have proven that I’m worth the waste and produce.

How can I not thank them?

How can I take the risk of not thanking them?

It used to infuriate me and people told me I had no idea what the “real world” was like when the only world they know is Pollyanna’s but now I can’t help but agree. In the real world you don’t have to pretend not to know your friends in public.  In the real world you go to the police for help instead of avoiding them. In the real world you don’t apologize to other people when they hit you. In the real world strangers don’t tell you that your God’s punishment on humanity. In the real world you check the mailbox for bills, paperwork to fill out for permission to live for another month.

In the real world a real person wouldn’t have their healthcare taken away for having an extra $100 in the bank, a real person would be allowed to have more than $2,000. Especially if everything was as expensive in the real world as it is here.

Even after a year finally coming to terms with never getting the promotion to human I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

Although I have to fight for it every day I’m still living in my home, unlike my ancestors. Even if I’m not allowed to own it.

Also unlike my ancestors I’m trapped inside my bedroom but I have the technology to talk to people all over the world. Not people from the real world but people like myself who are going through the same things that I am. I never know how long I have them but thanks to the sheer number of us I’m never alone. More and more of them grow exhausted and are forced to commit suicide but it’s a less lonely than it would’ve been even just over a decade ago.

We have the ability to communicate and create things as long as it’s not in exchange for currency and because of that and realizing that there are people in the real world who do care about what’s going on in the outskirts of The Real World™; AB and NT people my age, millennial’s who have helped me survive with much more dignity than any other American generation has before them.

I’ve proofread homework in exchange for dinner. I’ve written essays on Deadpool in exchange for toilet paper. I’ve reviewed movies for hair dye.

I have no hope for society itself but I have hope for humanity now that I know that there are people unlike my family but things haven’t changed enough for me to even have a conclusion to this post. Still, I have the ability to make this post and as pathetic as it is I’m thankful for that.

Uninspirational Inspiration

All disabled people have their abilities belittled and marginalized, which is why depression and suicide is so prevalent in our community. Everyone feels worthless to some degree; whether in their school life, working life, family life, love life, etc.

ABs interpret our frustration and anger as narcissism and demean us for being bitter. They intentionally keep our issues invisible by claiming that none of them would ever be so cruel as to force us out of society as they do. They use us as worst-case scenarios to encourage themselves to reach goals and to encourage society to be more tolerant of them simply for not being us.

Any civil rights movement, whether it be about gender or sex or ethnicity or race, actively distance themselves from those of us who would also be included in those civil rights movements if they considered us human. They pretend to sympathize out of one side of their mouths and literally say “we don’t deserve this, we aren’t disabled” out of the other side.

They gain “rights” by upholding the status quo and volunteering to be gatekeepers; framing themselves as benevolent gatekeepers. They say they feel terrible about segregation but then build their own communities inaccessible from the ground up.

We are told to overcome who and what we are as if we’re something to be ashamed of. To overcome a society fundamentally built on eugenics. To overcome the very people telling us to overcome.

If you have low self-esteem, it’s no wonder.

Nothing you do can be enough. No crippled athlete is ever athletic enough to stop being crippled. No inspirational cripple is inspirational enough to be offered equality.

If you have dreams or goals that you hope they will recognize you should give up immediately.

You can’t win. At least not anything that doesn’t have “special” in front of it.

You live in a world where abortion is justified based on your existence, where an equal education is impossible and a “special” one has to be fought for. In your world, only half of us that make it to high school are able to graduate. Of the sparse a few who get into college, only half reach that graduation.

You live in a world where it’s statistically impossible for you to escape abuse and yet all the abuse in the world is blamed on you. A world in which people call “time’s up” on unconsensual sex while every day those that rape us go unreported or are simply charged with bestiality.

You live in a world where your family and caretakers can murder you and not be held accountable because you are an undue burden.

They are in charge of your health, finances, living arrangements, and every other facet of your life because they made it illegal for you to do it yourself. And then they call you lazy.

They celebrate the end of segregation while you are still being segregated.

They celebrate their prosperity and wealth while you have to report everything you own that’s worth more than $500 with a full understanding that those items will be seen as too lavish for you to deserve healthcare.

They celebrate marriage equality while getting married for you also means losing healthcare.

You live with all of this and yet you are still living.

A lot of us give up and there aren’t a lot of good reasons not to; whatever amount of time we can last, we are doing far more than paying our dues. Committing suicide does not mean our peers gave up and being suicidal ourselves does not mean we have failed in some way. Sometimes the only thing we can control is our death.

But for now, you are alive, and why does that not amaze you?

Every loved one or complete stranger that told you that they would’ve killed themselves if they were you are absolutely correct.

They would kill themselves right now if f they understood the reality of disability and how suddenly they might have to face it, as 1 in 5 people in America are disabled.

And honestly, if they really did understand what they were doing they would stop. Even Nazis enjoy art and philosophy and technology; if they were to recognize our “lazy” accomplishments they wouldn’t throw us under the bus and into gas chambers because it would mean they would have to lose all of that.  They are too entitled to be able to make that sacrifice.

They would never be able to exchange basic human rights for their very lives and yet you do it every day. Whether it’s to spite them are not, you take on centuries of discrimination completely incomprehensible to them. You are facing their best attempts to euthanize us with “cures.”

If all you did today was wake up, you did far more than any of them have ever done in their lives.

You don’t need their approval.

You don’t need their respect.

You may need it in all material aspects of your life but you don’t need it for your self worth.

They are weak, as they have always been weak. They will die, as they always have died. They remain the same while you change the world with your slave labor, your pain and suffering while testing medicine and technology, and your performance in the freak shows they try to imitate so badly.

Me Before You does not represent you. The Shape Of Water does not represent you. A miraculously cured Batgirl does not represent you.

They can’t represent you because they’ve never actually looked at you.

Don’t confuse their failures as your own.

How to murder a disabled kid and get away with it

There seems to be confusion over what are laws or not concerning disability. I’ll first begin my explanation with an example Americans are likely familiar with, racial segregation.

In the 1869 case of Plessy v. Ferguson the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of racial segregation as long as it was “separate but equal.” This set a legal precedent that wasn’t overturned until the Jim Crow era case Brown versus Board of Education in 1954. Matters of segregation continued to be based on legal precedent until the Civil Rights Act was created in 1964.

What is legal precedent? In short, this means legal cases are ruled according to rulings of previous cases addressing similar matters. This is used when laws are not in place or when the ruling judge considers a particular case to be outside of the norm.

Disability was not included in the 1964 Civil Rights Act; it was not until 1990 when the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was created that disabled people obtained their civil rights. Despite now having the ADA many cases on matters of disability are based on legal precedent and those that aren’t must first be approved by government agencies.

ADA Title I: Employment cases must be approved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

ADA Title II: State and Local Government Activities cases must be approved by the United States Department of Justice

ADA Title III: Public Accommodations cases must be approved by the United States Department of Justice

ADA Title IV: Telecommunications cases must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

A case must be filed within 180 days of the perceived offense and if approved by the corresponding the agency, the agency itself can either arrange mediations between the two opposing parties to solve the issue out of court or they can file a lawsuit themselves.

It goes without saying (and yet I still have to say it) that the government doesn’t often approve lawsuits against itself, even if the lawsuit is directed at different departments.

This is the reason reason that forced sterilization was legal until 2010, California being the last date to de-legalize the procedure.

This is also why it is considered legal for parents and caretakers to murder disabled children if they are considered an undue burden.

Unrest, a visual handbook for the loved ones of disabled people

The award-winning documentary Unrest by Jennifer Brea was released on Netflix this week, introducing chronic illness to the larger public. Brea is described as a modern-day Odysseus as the movie documents very real and metaphorical journey to discover who and what she is as a disabled woman in her 20s with an invisible disability.

The condition documented in this movie is known as ED or simply chronic fatigue syndrome. Conveniently, I also have chronic fatigue so I won’t second-guess my own feedback. I was born disabled with a neuromuscular disease but in my early 20s I developed IBS and my chronic fatigue became serious. My neuromuscular disease is a terminal illness and I’ve used a wheelchair my entire life but if I had to choose either my terminal illness or my invisible disabilities I would choose my terminal illness which ABs  (able-bodied people) can’t understand. Living with this can be so horrible that you don’t mind dying in the hardest parts aren’t physical symptoms, it’s the isolation, rejection, and discrimination.

The movie impressed me with not only its accuracy but it’s inclusion of a variety of disabled people telling their own stories for once. That being said, I don’t believe that ABs will understand this movie from an intellectual point of view; at least not until they watch it enough times to put away their emotional point of view. Visually, though, the emotional impact is impossible not to empathize with. I believe that healthy people will see and comprehend how quickly someone with a chronic illness can be sick (have a flareup) one minute but then suddenly suddenly appear normal in the next; I believe they can comprehend that other times you haven’t been normal in a long long time and may well never again.

As simple as this concept sounds it’s one of the biggest and most reoccurring issues in the chronic illness community. Not even doctors get this simple concept.

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“One has to be careful. If you say too little, they can help you. If you say too much they think you’re a mental patient.” – Edgar, Brea’s husband

The movie begins with a routine trip to the ER.

When you go to a hospital you know that no one there will understand what is happening to your body or how you feel. The type of pain that comes with chronic illness, that comes from literal exhaustion from loss of spoons, is not something they’ve ever experienced. Trying to explain it is ironically like that old saying “you can’t teach a fish what it’s like to live on land.” #Mermaidanalogy

This disconnect means that our tests won’t be accurate. 1 on the pain scale of chronic illness is a 10 for ABs. Symptoms you have are often symptoms general medical staff has never heard of in a proper context. You have to be careful about everything you say and do, constantly assessing every pro and con. If you can’t bridge the language barrier going to the ER will only make it far worse. It wouldn’t be so hard if medical professionals knew about it or were even interested in learning.

When people can’t see that you’re sick so you have to be the healthiest sick person you possibly can because at times it feels like no one even knows what species you are which is why a lot of times YD (young disabled people) will opt not to go to the hospital at all; one meme in the community is comparing what has to happen before we will go versus ABs. ABs go to the ER because of gas pains.

This isn’t to say that people in the medical field don’t know that we are outliers to some extent. When my CT (caretaker) got high and turned on the stove resulting in my getting carbon monoxide poisoning although I insisted that no one call an ambulance an AB friend was too afraid to respect my wishes. It may have resulted in a good learning experience because when the paramedics came and I explained that I’m so disabled that it might be better just not to do anything and they agreed. She was shocked at their apathy.

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This was like watching an out of body experience. It’s a place I’ve been before, thank God not often, but I know it well. Having never seen it from the outside watching this horrified me, but it struck me as odd that I wasn’t horrified at her safety like I do when I see ABs in severe pain and unrest. It felt horrifying because I was remembering my own horror from flareups.

I really want to know what it looks like from an AB’s perspective. I really want to understand where my mom was coming from when she told me to just shut the fuck up or when the nurses refused to stop even for a second when they are causing this.

In this respect there is a lot in this movie that I can learn from.

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“but I just feel like, I’m like robbing you and I’m hurting you and I…” – Brea to her husband

Brea’s relationship with her husband is not familiar and it certainly isn’t common. The situation was obviously incredibly hard for him and after certain amount of time people reach their limit. For friends it’s a month to a year, for family it’s at day one or a few years. When your family runs out of patients you get sent to a home, they murder you, which is ruled as a mercy killing, or they stop doing anything at all, and you become a ghost in your own home. In the rare occasion that your family doesn’t demonize you or objectify you as a fallen angel there is still abuse, albeit good intentioned.

I don’t think Omar is more empathetic or has more love than the average man but he’s not an average man. Besides being intelligent and his accounting for his own ignorance he is a minority and, anecdotally, the more marginalized person, the more likely they are to understand the extremes of bigotry.

Still, what the hell? Even my AB friends thought he was Prince Charming.

But he was a part of Brea’s life back before she got sick. This makes a huge difference because loyalty is real. People that have the ability to stay in a disabled love one’s life may not know it’s possible and most don’t have the loyalty to try. You still have an expiration date, but in the worst times you may only have to deal with good intentioned ableism.

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“You know, and honestly, there are a lot of days when I just feel like I’m doing a good job just by just holding it together and not killing myself.” – Brea

This is also something just comes with a disability. It’s what has helped to alienate disabled people even within their own activist communities. You’re not supposed want to die. People get upset or angry with you when you don’t respond to their alarm by anything other than gratefulness. You can’t tell people your suicidal thoughts are not a cry for help and you most certainly cannot support someone else when they make the decision to commit suicide.

Almost a decade ago, when Cripple Punk was forming, I had a tumblr about disability. When I abruptly closed it people thought it was from the constant hate mail and death threats but those never bothered me; I just couldn’t find a way to explain to my followers why my peers were suddenly disappearing or why I would have ever told any of them that I supported their decision.

It’s hard to explain to someone what it’s like to be told by a friend that they want to kill themselves, or at least not what it’s like to know that they are being rational about it. It’s not a teen drama type of suicidal tendencies, they don’t have an eb and flow after certain point. Whether you’re happy or you’re sad suicide is always in the back of your mind and most of the time you pull it out as your last coping mechanism: you can stop this at any time. It’s empowering to know that in a world where your body is literally made to be inaccessible from buildings to healthcare you have the kill switch, you are still in control.

If you are alive, it’s not because of anyone but you. Only you can take the credit. Everyone else doesn’t know that this is currency to you so they won’t try to take it from you.

It’s hard to hear your friend tell you they’ve decided to kill themselves and you’re thousands of miles away from them, but even if you were sitting right next to each other there is nothing you can do to help. You want to give your friends the honor you treasure yourself so you tell them that it’s their decision and you will support them no matter what they decide. And you do.

It’s hard to admit how proud you are of them for making a decision even after they’ve killed themselves. How relieved you are that they’ve gotten away from the abuse. How envious you are that they found their breaking point and you still have no idea where yours is.

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“Sickness doesn’t terrify me and death doesn’t terrify me. What terrifies me is that you can disappear because someone’s telling the wrong story about you. I feel like that’s what’s happened to all of us for living this. And I remember thinking, there’s no one coming to look for me because no one even knows I went missing.” – Brea

This lack of visibility and lack of ability to protest in ways people acknowledge is the worst part of any disability. That, in and of itself, is disability. Disabled from society; literally.

This is what draws most people to suicide, not physical or mental symptoms. Again, it is the isolation, rejection, and discrimination.

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“Doctors want to know what to do, but it’s not in textbooks of medicine… So they have to go the same places you will go in Google it.” – Dr. Nancy Kilmas

If there’s any part of this movie I especially hope ABs watching will listen to and not just watch as sympathy porn it’s this quote. If they can understand how literal this is and how unconcerned doctors are with their own behavior we could move toward gaining civil rights instead of arguing our right to have them at all. Maybe ABs can empathize with the normalcy of this. It’s not even web MD, it’s a broad search to find anything anywhere. The nature of people’s existence is as common knowledge as any pop culture trivia they’ve googled out of boredom.

You know you’re fucked when your doctor is excited to find your condition on Wikipedia.

I’m incredibly grateful for this movie because now that it’s available to the greater public we can stop needing to go through disability 101 before every conversation. This doesn’t hardly cover all of the issues involved in disability but it will save a lot of time, which is nice when you’re dying.

What I say and what I do are very different things

I have this incredible shame of not being who people want me to be.

Not just the ones who want me dead or want me cured, I’m ashamed of not living up to even my own words. I talk a lot about disability on social media and people get the impression of me that. I very brave and very strong. People share this with me by either praising me for being this impression or they send me messages of encouragement for when I get bombarded by hate. The latter are fantastic people with concern that the barrage of hate is going to hurt me but it can’t. I’m in too much pain to experience hurt.

In my real life I’m not at risk at sacrificing my dignity because I have none to sacrifice.

I apologize and thank people who hurt me physically and emotionally. I smile when I’m expected to and I cry when I’m expected to. I’m as shamed of existing as whoever I’m talking to is most comfortable with.

I don’t say the things I say online to people in public IRL. My primary concern when I leave the house is to be safe and to be safe in society needs to do all of these things. What I say and what I do are very different things.

And no one should have to feel ashamed for feeling similarly. Those of you who can’t relate because you wish to remain in the closet or simply don’t feel safe being publicly controversial may see other disabled people on social media as take no shit bad asses but they don’t feel that way about themselves. Not even the ones being murdered by police for protesting.

We’re all terrified. We’re all self-conscious. We’re all wrong.

We are all wrong as often as anyone else.

It is hard to do what a lot of the really cool stars in our community do. All of it takes giving more than you already had to give. You don’t have to make the same sacrifices but you do have to see everyone as a human being. Don’t be afraid for being wrong, take everything you’re favs say with a grain of salt. Think critically. That’s what makes us strong, not social media. You don’t have to put yourself at risk to be brave.

The lack of choices a disabled person has in an abusive relationship

I was asked about people shipping these two as a follow-up to Killing Stalking is disabled culture so be warned, you might see something scary.

The characters have a romantic and sexual chemistry, if you don’t feel that I don’t know that you really feel what makes it horror. Sang Woo is intentionally handsome, in the most conventional ways just like Bum is even intentionally physically weak from the start.

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If there isn’t something between them that you can actually feel the story doesn’t work IMO.

Sang Woo is given a lot of redeemable qualities and what some might justify as “good reasons” for at least some things he’s done in the past. Not only does this make him a three-dimensional character it also makes you empathize with him which is why when Bum thinks that he loves him you believe him. Not that it’s what love should be but that what he feels is real.

You can’t victim blame.

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When he reaches a door and hesitates a good writer and artist will keep his perspective squarely in view even without dialogue. Just the shot of him at the door makes your chest tighten and your heart speed up because you feel the emotional context whereas someone who isn’t reading can see the panel and not find it disturbing.

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That’s a beauty of horror. It’s subversive in a specific way that makes violence, blood, gore, etc. the least off putting things in the story which is why horror movies are so over the top with all of it or don’t show it at all as in the early Hollywood films. Horror makes you afraid of mundane things, that’s why it works.

This shot from Scream is pretty innocent but it’s an iconic image from the movie. It’s a meme people use to represent the movie in its entirety. No one is being murdered or harmed or even scared. Yet. You can see this in a G rated movie.

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That’s horror. That’s why some people are fans of the genre.

So, am I okay with shipping them by putting them in fanfiction that derives from canon, whether it’s an AU or not?

Yes.

Sang Woo is scary because the audience can’t help but love him on some level, even if just in empathy for Bum’s feelings.

If you are a writer, even a fanfict writer, it’s agonizing to not stop the script and end it the best way possible.

If you are a good writer, you wouldn’t be adverse to writing something hard enough to make a happy ending believable.

And if your readers finish your story and feel safe, or calm or happy then you were successful because you were able to subvert the subversive canon  by manipulating their emotions so drastically.

It helps that fans love him, even as just as a brilliantly written character, but therein lies the challenge of fanfiction. Can your fix–it actually fix–it better than someone else’s?

It’s a game that people have been playing for centuries and is the reason for most Western canon.

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