At its worst it can physically hurt.
As a child I had no choice in the matter. My family watched what my family watched and the house was so far from sound proof that there was, at most, one spot you could go to where you wouldn't hear the sound of the TV. I know, I tried every spot in the house. Whether or not that spot worked depended mostly on whether or not I could convince whoever was watching to keep the volume down, but also on the ambient noise in the room.
I have a lot of experience being alone in a room while the noise of a TV invades your space and there is precisely zip you can do to escape it, is what I'm getting at.
I don't necessarily like being on my own hiding from a TV show or movie while other people enjoy a shared experience bonding to something they all like without me, but it's kind of unavoidable. Not everyone shares the same tastes.
Legend of Korra is not something that causes me any great discomfort, but I have to fall into the old routines for a different reason.
The Avatar series seems to be kyptonite for Lonespark and me.
From my point of view I approach it the same way I approach everything. Criticisms I make of it are no different than ones I make of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or any other random thing.
Her point of view is different. I worry that I'll summarize it badly and in doing so make it look like she's wrong and I'm right and the thing is ... I don't know that.
Maybe I am being different with respect to Avatar without noticing it. Maybe I do cross the line from poking something to tearing it down and tearing down those who enjoy it in the process. But I don't feel like I'm doing that.
The only solution that doesn't end in tears, literal fucking tears, is for me to keep my mouth shut. For me not to talk about it at all. Because if I do I never know what will make things go from watching a cartoon to hurting someone that I care about.
No one else has that problem though. Other people in the room can say what they feel. Lonespark herself called out something yesterday so memorably that a munchkin decided to randomly quote Lonespark's takedown, word for word, out of nowhere, more than 24 hours later.
Then again the same munchkin said, "They got my dick message," out of nowhere after about a month of not having seen Guardians of the Galaxy and not quoting that line.
Anyway, either I'm the only one in the room who can't speak (self censorship, you understand, it's not like anyone is telling me I'm not allowed to speak) or I risk causing a crying breakdown.
So I try to stay out of the room.
But, the thing is, I don't, fundamentally, dislike The Legend of Korra. I don't particularly like Korra, but the show isn't usually one that causes me to want to hide. So hearing it playing tends to draw me out of the room, and the thing about self censorship is that I suck at it. I once ended up with a short write up of me in the university paper for an article on valentine's day not because I particularly wanted to be involved in such a thing or even felt like I had much to say on the subject, but because I couldn't keep my damn mouth shut.
And this time it went as shitty as it ever has. Lonespark left and when she did everything seemed fine to me. (There are plenty of not-awful reasons to leave a room, after all.) When she came back she was in tears. Because of what I had said.
So here's a massive mind dump on Avatar: The Legend of Korra
First off, the cast of Avatar: The Last Air Bender would eventually have the titular air bender, the water bender who narrated the opening credits, the blind earth bender, and the fire-bender who spent much of the series as a bad guy who refused the redemption that was staring him in the face.
The Legend of Korra shows us what became of them. I haven't seen enough of the episodes with Zuko in them to judge our redeemed Firebender, but the others didn't turn out very well.
Aang turned out to be a horrible father.
Remember that moment in Frozen when your heart went out to Prince Hans?
ANNA: Okay wait, wait. So you have how many brothers?That's how Aang treated two of his children in favor of his air bending son Tenzin and Tenzin learned the lesson so well that he treated his own children the same way. The children all knew that Ikki was the one he cared about least leading to her being bullied by them until she finally ran the fuck away.
HANS: Twelve older brothers. Three of them pretended I was invisible... literally...for two years.
At which point Tenzin's own siblings pointed out that, you know, this was exactly what papa-Aang had done to with them.
Tenzin counters that Aang actually treated them all fairly and equally which is when the bullshit hammer drops.
Tenzin and Aang frequently took excursions around the world. Tenzin remembers them vividly. Tenzin thought that his siblings were there too. They weren't.
Tenzin took so little notice of his siblings that he seriously couldn't tell the difference between when they were standing beside him and when they were halfway around the world. (All the way around the world is, obviously, the same as right beside him.)
Aang cultivated in him a disinterest in his siblings so severe that Tenzin cannot tell the difference between memories they are in and memories they are not in because, apparently, they feature just as prominently in both.
But, what about the other parent? What about Katara? I don't know.
I do know that Kya turned out to be a bigot and the only thing that could bridge the gap between her and Tenzin was not a relative in mortal peril but instead the two of them teaming up to shit on Bumi for being mundane. When they're going full on fantastic racism on his ass (fantasy: where you can be racist against your own sibling) they are positively in sync with each other.
But we can't really use that to extrapolate about Katara. Tenzin seems to have turned out to be a much better father than Aang (not that he's a good father, mind you), maybe Kya turned out to be a worse person than Katara.
But that brings us to the earth bender.
Toph became a corrupt police chief. She had two daughters. One a criminal, the other a cop. She got angry at the cop for arresting the criminal. Why? One wants to think that it was because she didn't want either of her daughters in jail.
No such luck. Toph was angry because of appearances. She practically quoted Mitt Romney. Except instead of, "I'm running for office," it was, "I am chief of police." She couldn't have a daughter in jail. No love. No emotion. No redeeming hint of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
She destroyed the police report, gave the criminal safe passage out of city, and set the criminal up with a place to stay. Not because the criminal was her daughter and she wanted her daughter to be free and safe, but instead because the criminal was publicly her daughter and she didn't think a chief of police ought to have a daughter in jail.
It was cold, it was calculating, it was callous, it was other things that start with the letter "c". On the up side, she did feel guilty about it afterward.
Oh, and who was the criminal in question running with? A triad. Not some friends who were on the wrong side of the law because they were involved in petty theft or something, organized crime. If the world of Avatar were based on Italian motifs it would have been the mafia, but if you want to evoke that kind of fraud, death, theft, and more murder in a fictional China-equivalent you go with a triad.
If Toph had helped her daughter escape justice (and she did escape, never being held accountable for so much as one of her many crimes) out of love or even some belief that the daughter of the police chief didn't know what the fuck a triad was and therefore the punishment would be too severe on the naive criminal we could get with that, play it right and we could cheer Toph on for disgracing the office of police chief and using the law as toilet paper.
But with a few carefully chosen words we're told in no uncertain terms that she did it for herself. "I'm the Chief of Police. I can't have a daughter in jail."
And I bash my head into a wall. Avatar: There are no heroes, only people who have yet to go bad.
Most of my problems with it are far smaller.
For example, I don't like that they think that by putting, "Our heroes learned [X]," into the opening narration means that the heroes suddenly know X when in point of fact the heroes have not learned that and thought something completely different.
I especially don't like it when it serves no fucking purpose.
Like how an episode ended with the heroes thinking that someone had been abducted to be experimented on when in fact he'd been abducted to be conscripted into the army and then in the next episode in spite of precisely zero time passing the heroes suddenly had detailed knowledge of the operation to conscript such people into the army even though, if they'd still been under the mistaken impression he'd been abducted to be experimented on, NOTHING IN THE EPISODE WOULD HAVE CHANGED.
What the fuck?
Or the fact that character growth seems to happen when you blink.
Same episode as above. Team Avatar has been
Was there a deleted scene that took place on the road to Damascus?
Did they realize that their plan was exactly the same as that of the villain and thus reevaluate its morality? What the fuck happened?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the nominal heroes not traveling the world with intent to kidnap, so I like that switch, but it happened so fast it gives whiplash.
Honestly, I think I have a lot of Korra to get out of my system, but I should be asleep in bed.
Two important things.
First, I suck at reading people. I thought that things had been dealt with and we were just both bummed out because that's pretty lousy way to end a day. It turned out that Lonespark didn't know how I felt and was left in emotional limbo for hours. Which is terrible. I definitely need to be clearer at expressing my feelings, but it's hard because when talking can exacerbate the problem, I kind of want to ... you know: not do that.
Second, it's never really about the cartoon.
Being poor, amoung other things, there are constant stressors on both of us. I think Lonespark does a much better job of dealing with them in general than I do. Especially commendable since she has more of them than I do.
Somehow it seems to be my criticisms of the cartoon that bring about a breaking point where the other stresses break through.
And Lonespark reminded me that while I feel like I act the same way as with other things, the Marvel Cinematic Universe being the example I used, we have once had a similar problem regarding Deep Space Nine. That just doesn't come up as often because there is not currently DS9 watching going on.
I guess that was three things.