A blog, apparently.

Anonymous asked:

Hello. I know that you're a fan of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (as am I) and also generally savvy about sussing out problematic stuff in the works you love so I was wondering if you had any thoughts on some of the criticism I've seen; of there being only one POC and the women being saved by men & the fact that not all POC of that that place & time were nameless slaves like Stephen? I did love the characterization in the bk & thought everyone had agency. I dunno. Is this a valid criticism?



i don’t think JS&MN is a racist or sexist book in itself, although there’s no simple answer to the question of whether it “should” include more women or POC characters.

obviously both Norrell and Strange are immensely privileged, but that privilege doesn’t go unexamined. norrell’s intellectual snobbery and classism are constantly mocked within the narrative, and Strange lives the kind of life that is only possible if you’re born into wealth and social freedom. meanwhile people like stephen black and lady pole are repeatedly screwed over by their place in society, regardless of their own skill, intelligence or ambition. 

the book acknowledges the stratified nature of class in 19th century england. in fact, that’s one of the main themes throughout, with Strange and Norrell only reaching their positions of power because they’re rich, white, upper-class men. and then, of course, they abuse those privileges (or at least, misuse them). the book is all about divides: north/south, rich/poor, race, gender, etc. i can’t really get behind the criticism that it’s being racist or sexist purely by focusing on JS & MN’s stories, although I WOULD use that exact same criticism for a book or movie that blithely heroizes a bunch of white male characters for no reason. (needless to say, neither Norrell nor Strange are “heroes,” with Norrell being actively unlikable throughout.)

for me, the main issue would be the fact that while it’s a very smart and well-informed novel, it does join the already-enormous canon of historical and fantasy literature that focuses on white men. but once again… this doesn’t go unexamined. you could actually argue that it’s a takedown of this trend, since strange and norrell both unfairly benefit from being part of the expected ruling class of “english magic.”

re: stephen and lady pole, it doesn’t really make sense to use a criticism like “oh, a male character has to save a woman,” as if we were talking about the latest transformers movie or whatever. stephen and lady pole’s circumstances are an essential part of their story arcs, and it’s made clear that they’ve been held back by 19th century english society their entire lives. i’d compare it to how it’s super easy to find out about the political/historical/scientific impact of upper-class white englishman IRL, whereas learning about the equivalent of Stephen Black or Lady Pole is wayyy harder. And since JS&MN is written partly as a kind of history book, i think that subtext was intentional. WE get to hear about stephen black and lady pole, but the people who “History” will remember are Strange and Norrell themselves, because they have such a foothold in britain’s ruling classes and cultural zeitgeist.

the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair literally silences Lady Pole and Stephen Black: a direct commentary on the way women & POC were silenced in real life. Strange & Norrell get to be at the centre of attention in british society, while the (equally important) storylines for lady pole and stephen are hidden away in the background — known only to us, the readers.

the entire story is structured to highlight the way strange and norrell can basically do whatever they want (which is eventually their downfall, and fucks shit up for a lot of other people), while everyone who isn’t a rich white man has to put in way more effort — often to no avail. for example, it’s implied that childermass could be more powerful/knowledgeable as a magician than norrell is, but his social status prevents that from happening. and norrell actively combats anyone “below” him from learning about magic, because he has this gross patriarchal belief that He Knows Best. 

there’s also the way the gentleman with the thistledown hair treats stephen throughout their relationship. i think it’s implied that the reason why stephen is so good at dealing with the Gentleman is because he’s used to putting up with people in positions of power trying to control him, or treating him like he’s some kind of curiosity. 

IMO, what we have here is a book where:

  • most of the lead characters are white men
  • BUT it’s set during a historical period where white men held the overwhelming majority of power and privilege
  • AND the book criticizes this constantly, in almost every aspect of the story. 
  • there is only one POC character, and he is a former slave
  • BUT his character arc deals intelligently with issues of race and class in the context of his life and surroundings, AND he’s not portrayed as a stereotype. plus, [SPOILER] stephen black’s storyline ends with an explicit critique of people’s concept of “englishness,” because he turns into the successor of the Raven King — another “nameless slave” (which, btw, is not how Stephen is actually characterized within the narrative) who was kidnapped as a child and learned to speak english later on. 

this all brings us back to the more general question of whether it’s racist/sexist to continue to write books about rich white men when there are so many stories about them already. Stephen Black is the only major character who isn’t white, and his backstory (former slave; now a butler) is probably what most people think of as an “expected” scenario for a black man in 19th century england. (although you could say the same of pretty much every other character, all of whom exist within the specific parameters of their social class.) 

i don’t think JS&MN was a case of susanna clarke thoughtlessly ignoring the existence and life stories of women and POC in 19th century england. it was a case of her purposefully setting out to write a book about two immensely privileged people and how this kind of undeserved, unexamined power generally leads to disaster. if the book had been JUST about norrell and strange then it would have come across as a blinkered view, but because they’re both portrayed as being products of their social status, and because the book gives us a nuanced view of the way this differs from the lives of characters like stephen, childermass and lady pole, i didn’t have a problem with it.

(p.s. i read this book in 2012, so this answer probably isn’t as well-informed as it could’ve been. apologies if i got something glaringly wrong.)

I agree with all of this, and it plays into wanting more in the same universe that naturally contrasts with the Norell and Strange narrative.

I want Harriet Tubman to be the “Raven King” of America, awakening its old magic to facilitate the underground railroad, and break a system of oppression.

I want in-fighting between Marxists who see magic as inherently the ability to wield power over others, and thus anathema to the revolution, vs. those who see it as the means of production and thus the birthright of the proletariat.

I want magicians in the Ottoman Empire who are better at dealing with “Djinn” than the English Magicians are with “Faeries” because they while no Faerie is bound by Christian morality, many Djinn follow the Prophet and on that basis they share old alliances.

I want Mary Shelley to be embraced as a Norellite icon because Dr Frankenstein is interpreted as a criticism of Strange meddling in powers far beyond the will of God.

etc etc etc….


a short comic i did for my english sci-fi final, about a girl and her android

talk about things taking forever @__@




I posted about writing dom Cecil and I’m losing a ton of followers omg

It really is a lonely road

More for the people who love it. *chinhands* Do continue?


Yes please tell us more






This guy is getting into Welcome to Nightvale and it’s best to stay the fuck away. He’s a bad guy. What kind of bad guy?

The kind that has been lying since for-fucking-ever and has a pattern he follows in every fandom he can get in. The kind that blames all of the abusive, terrible things he’s done on mental illnesses though his diagnoses never remain the same. The kind that has done really terrible things to people (one survivor of his abuse/cult shit describes his shamming of her body and jesus, massive trigger warning for awful body shamming). 

Andy is also transphobic: he states he was assigned female at birth, but identifies as a cis straight man since he’s totally not trans, as us trans men are somehow not as man of a man as he is.

Not that it matters to him that he doesn’t ID as anything related to the LGBT community, because he’ll be happy to appropriate our pain and suffering for his cause shamelessly.

There’s much more crap you can find out. This guy is thirty now and is still targeting younger people (you may have seen him posting his number in places telling you to call him if you feel unhappy, which is probably one of the more dangerous things you can do.

You can read more about him here:

"And I’m prouder of that than if I’d simply been ‘good’ from the beginning": Why I Think Andy Blake is (still) Dangerous

ATF links This one is super useful as it has a whole bunch of links to the warning blogs.

Primer on Andy Blake

The warning that went out to the Teen Wolf fandom that he also tried to weasle in on.

You can also find more info on him in the andythanfiction and thanfiction tags on tumblr. Don’t try “Andy Bake” or “Andrew Blake”, however, as that’s the name of a famous porn director. Fun fact, he picked that name to make it harder to trace him, so that’s not sketch at all.

So stay safe. He’s a bad guy with a terrible record. Don’t let his shitty art copy pasting/painting over fool you.

trigger warning: sexual assualt tw: sexual assault tw: abuse trigger warning: abuse tw: cult trigger warning: cult tw: fat shamming trigger warning: fat shaming

This guy is serious bad news. Reading his background triggers the fuck out of me. Be as wary of him as you would be of Strex.

Hahahaha oh my god Andy Thanfiction is getting into Night Vale? 

For those who aren’t familiar with him, the deeper you get into this dude’s background, the weirder it gets. He’s manipulative and abusive, hugely creepy, and somehow doesn’t get that the internet makes it very easy to make sure his shady-ass past follows him everywhere.

He tries to parley BNF-dom off of having written a long-ass Harry Potter fic, Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness. (It sucks.) So you might recognize that.

Like, he tried this “hello internet it me!” shit with the SPN fandom a while ago, apparently clueless that a good chunk of the internet knows him as “Oh my god it’s that guy from Tentmoot”.

Yes. That guy.

There’s some good writeups on that drama floating around fandom_wank, and someone whose name I can’t recall has written about her horrifying experiences with this creep. (The tl;dr to them is that Andy Thanfiction is probably the most emotionally abusive human I have heard of, and his behavior does not stop at the body-shaming mentioned in the OP. Oh God does it ever not.)

Don’t be friends with this dude. He has not changed in the last ten years. He is an enormous creep. Stay far the fuck away. He has tried (half-assedly) to conceal his shady, shady past, but I’m pleased to see that other people who remember his other antics refuse to let that happen.

Oh, and he’s not thirty. He’s more like thirty-six now.

And still creepin on vulnerable teenagers.

Let me show you some links about this motherfucker…

Archived fandomwank wiki article

2004 Fandom Wank article (please note, this was written before Andy’s trans status was known / before he came out / fucked if I know, so all the pronouns are wrong, but it’s a good writeup).

Tag for this person on Fandom Wank. (Tagged under prior nick of “Victoria Bitter”, but yeah, it’s him.)

Dude is fucked up.

Reblogging for more links. Stay away from this guy.

Very important, and stay the fuck away.

NOPE NOPE NOPE stay the fuck out of my fandom, there is enough bad shit in Night Vale fandom without HIM in it.

(Source: Washington Post)





pumpkin spice candles soon

pumpkin lattes soon

pumpkin everything


Actually just found some pumpkin spice milanos.

It is beginning. 

the season of the white girls is upon us. 



The “first man-made biological leaf” could enable humans to colonise space»

if you aren’t hyped about synthetic life and colonizing space then get out of my face



The “first man-made biological leaf” could enable humans to colonise space»

if you aren’t hyped about synthetic life and colonizing space then get out of my face

okay but instead of coffee shop AUs


  • Modern royalty AUs
  • Accidentally read his/her diary AUs
  • Egyptologists AUs
  • Rockstar and groupie AUs
  • Book club AUs
  • Met at comic con AUs
  • Lifeguard AUs
  • 1920s con artists AUs
  • Running from the police AUs
  • Librarian AUs
  • Rebels against the government AUs
  • Internet friends AUs
  • Time traveling AUs
  • Struggling artists AUs


Hold up Tumblr,because this right here is Jasika-Nicole,


She is the amazing voice actress of intern Dana in the podcast “Welcome to NightVale” (she also plays Astrid in Fringe).


and she










And literally everything


I could ever want


in Dana.


This has been your daily Jasika-Nicole PSA, thank you.