Thursday, May 15, 2014

Side Characters in the Spotlight: A Case for Black Widow (and Other Sidekicks etc.)

Some minor spoilers for Cap 2

So I had a frustrating "conversation" the other day on the comment thread under this share on FB:

In those comments, a dude first used the old "Elektra and Catwoman were bad, so Wonder Woman prolly doesn't deserve a movie" excuse, then said something about how Black Widow is a better character when helping other Avengers and shouldn't get HER own movie, too. The OPer pointed out that Harley Quinn has her own series that's made of awesome, but no matter how many times the OPer said that, and no matter how many times I made my point by rewording, dude just kept saying things like, "Catwoman  is her best when she has Batman to contend with," and, "Harley Quinn isn't interesting without the Joker." Never mind dude hasn't even read Harley Quinn's solo stuff, but whatever.

And so the point I kept trying to make was twofold. That 1) The assumption that a side character couldn't possibly hold their own and a blanket unwillingness to be even open to the IDEA of them getting a solo shot is stubborn and based off of past characterizations that revolved around other characters- and the result of poor writing and the limits of the scopes the writers are willing to give those characters, not the limits of the characters themselves. And it's also foolish, because some of the biggest "solo" characters (ones he said he liked) started out as side characters, such as Wolverine, Thor, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, basically ALL OF THE X-Men*. The line I liked that I repeated the most was, "Characters are only as limited as the people  writing them." And 2) That knowing full-well there are fans too stubborn to see a Black Widow movie because she's "a better side character," comic and film exec use that information for sexist ulterior motives- so even if the dudes saying they don't want spinoffs aren't intentionally being sexist, their attitude is touted for sexist reasons. And those very reasons come from sexist motivations, too- writers and execs aren't willing to write well-rounded female characters (or POC). Being that dickish about it as a "fan"** only perpetuates the cycle. 

So now, since this is my blog, I'm  going to rant about those two points in more detail.

1) Let's lead off with that line I repeated to the dude that was "talking" to me.

"Characters  are only as limited as the people writing them."

I want you to consider that characters like Superman and Batman always seem to be able to get out of scrapes because they suddenly have something they'd need. In Superman's case, it's that he uses a power he supposedly always had but never used; Batman, it's either his utility belt, or it's just assumed he had been able to anticipate the need for whatever gadget, prototype, etc. he had waiting that helped with whatever situation. These "powers" or gadgets are end- and limit-less; they show up and are accepted. Sure, people kind of rag on it in both characters, but the fact that Superman has a power for everything, and Batman has a gadget for everything, is just okay with fans.

So then what happens?

Writers come up with newer, more inventive ways to "trap" the characters, then come up with matching powers/gadgets to get the characters out of said traps. Meaning  what? Meaning the writers are bending over backwards to be creative, innovative, with these guys. That they're creating complex webs of conflict in order for these male characters to get themselves out through some newly-used, made of awesome trick or toy.

So why the fuck can't they do that for female characters?

The reason the guy I was talking to thinks side characters are better as side characters is because they're always written as, well, side characters. But in the sense that they aren't the main active characters in those stories. They may be there with Supes or Bats as things get really bad, but in the end, it's Supes or Bats that does the real day-saving. 

Take what I said in an earlier post about Black Widow vs. Iron Man in The Avengers. She's the one that closes the portal, but he tosses the nuke into space through it, and the way it was filmed and written, we're meant to care and invest more in what Tony is doing than Natasha. That very same scene could have been written with Tony having no trouble at all getting the nuke in the portal and coming  back out, and instead it could have been turned into the tense moment where Black Widow may not be able to withstand the intense energy in the staff long enough  for the portal to close, and then what? Then it would have been more about her, and the dramatic tension would have revolved around whether she could or couldn't finish her job, not whether Tony could. 

She plays a very similar role in The Winter Soldier. She runs around and does a lot of cool stuff, but she gets rescued by Cap more than once in the movie. Like when the secret base gets blown up, she goes unconscious, and this happens:


Great, heroic moment for Cap, sure, but c'mon. And of course it's his actions we're meant  to care the most about at the end. Understandably so, as it is a Captain America movie, after all, but that's kind of the point- she's written as a side character in The Winter Soldier, and my deeeeeep critique of Avengers is that she's just a conduit for the males' stories there, too- she's Fury's lap dog and gets the troops together for him, and is constantly under sexual threat in ways that more often than not showcase the males threatening  her- the exception is her opening scene, but how entirely sexualized the whole thing is, it has Male Gaze written all over it. 

I'm rambling...


Black Widow will be viewed as a side character until she's written as a main character, as saving herself every time- the gets-self-out-of-scrape-as-means-of-introduction cliche is so, well, cliche and tired. And closed-minded fans won't view her as anything but a side character until she's written as a main one, and written by a writer that's talented enough that whatever issue, story, movie, etc. in which she flies solo becomes popular and gets enough positive buzz to convince stubborn people to "give it a try, even if they're skeptical about it having any shot at being good."*** 

And for God's sake, have some open-mindedness and imagination! Are you that un-creative, that you can't even think outside the boundaries yourself? Even speculate on potential story arcs over someone that's never had their own? Do you really need the writers to do all the work for  you? 

And so this leads into how 2) Execs use that very stubbornness on the part of fans to perpetuate the mediocrity of side characters like Black Widow- side characters that are women. Men and women often get their own spinoffs, sure, but if you compare the way some of the women's spinoffs play out versus the men, you'd notice the women are still very much more beholden to the male characters from the originals. So they're still written as side characters, just with, like, their own episodes. Like the "Ghostfacers" in Supernatural- we all know it's really the Brothers Winchester doing the work in their episodes, but the Ghostfacers think they're hot shit.  

Batgirl, for example, keeps taking orders from Batman. Whereas Nightwing does his own thing, goes on his own missions and even, gasp, clashes with Bats sometimes! 

Look, I'm not going to repeat what I've said before about executives being resistant to female leads. But what I haven't emphasized enough is that while some of the excuses they make are pretty thin, at best, this idea that fans wouldn't want to see a spinoff because side characters are just that, side characters- that it's extremely harmful because it means a lot of dudes are unwittingly contributing to the lack of well-written female side characters, let alone females as leads. 

I'd like to think unwittingly, but here's the thing- I also think some of them use it just knowingly as the same executives.

And let me demonstrate this by commenting on this guy I was "taking to"'s behavior as allegory. See, he kept focusing on side characters and how Wonder Woman is better in the Justice League and more interesting when she's supporting Batman and Superman.

But, wait a tic... Why bring up side characters?
The fact that he views fucking Wonder Woman as a side character? I think that says a lot about what he thinks "real" lead characters are like. Meaning he thinks they have penii. Not ovaries. Wonder Woman as a side character?

Wonder Woman did not, in fact, start as a side-character in the Justice League. Her first comic was in  1941 and didn't join up with anyone else, as far as I know,  until she was part of the Magnificent 7 in Justice League of America's first issues in 1961. Which means she was a solo character for twenty fucking years before being part of a team. Yet this guy is saying she's a better side character? My guess is that, much like with Harley Quinn, he hadn't read any solo WW stuff, and was just paying lip service because he knows Wonder Woman is basically in the Holy Trinity of DC characters (the other two being, of course, Bats and Supes). Everybody, even if they've never even read the comic page in the gorram newspaper, knows who Wonder Woman is, and that if any female comic hero deserves a movie,  it's her.

Also, she had more independent beginnings than a lot of her fellow Justice League-ers that are now considered independent. JLers that are men.

So I can't help but think  this guy is/was more sexist than he was willing to admit- to me, to the OPer, and most importantly, to himself. I mean, I agreed with him when he said he didn't want want a WW move simply because she's a she, and that he'd want it to be good, but he was so against it in the first place, coming up with any excuse as to why she shouldn't have a movie, I can't help but think his motivations are at least subconsciously gendered. Because even if a body doesn't like a character as popular as her, they should be able to acknowledge that she's long overdue  for a movie, especially amidst stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy and the two Thor movies from That Other Comic Studio, and the now eighth movie with Batman/ seventh movie with Superman from her own. 

He was being  deliberate. Using any excuse to be anti-Wonder Woman movie. Every  excuse in the book. Which is exactly what the executives do.
And so this, of course, relates to male nerdery in general. I think a lot of these guys are more sexist than they are willing to admit. Because they're okay with gimmicks involving male characters and ridiculous "plot" ideas involving men- like a talking raccoon and tree are fine because that's unique! But a woman? Oh, HELL NO. It just doesn't make any sense why there's always this huge battery of reasons as to why a Wonder Woman movie isn't a good idea or would be difficult to write or what the fuck ever, when you don't hear that about other movies being made/in the works. Why did everyone get all excited over the first Thor movie, when his backstory is even hokier than Wonder Woman's, as the comic strip at the beginning of this post points out? "I can't wait to see what they do with it!" all the time over Fabio, Jr., but the mere prospect of Wonder Woman gets the fanboys' panties all in a twist. Why does the "I'm wary because I'm afraid they'd do a bad job" thing get used for her but nobody else? 

Because the plumbing of the main character looks like this:

And again, I don't think all of these guys even realize they're doing it- which makes it  worse, I think, because like the "not all men do it" thing, like the pervasive "nice guy" thing, they don't think they're contributing to the problem with their attitudes toward female characters. But they harp on the female characters and let all kinds of bullshit slide for the males. They hold female characters to entirely different standards than male ones- standards that are nigh impossible to meet. And they just inherently view female characters differently- talking about them in ways that have nothing to do with their actual characterizations, ways that leave no room for the women to actually shine. 

And in the end? They're the ones missing out. Because holy shit, if you're a straight dude that doesn't think two hours of this would be entertaining, not even taking into consideration that a Black Widow movie would be a kickass military-espionage-martial-arts-fest (come on, she's Jason Bourne with tits), then you really don't have a pulse:

I'm a cis female, and I totally
recognize the hot-and-bothered
potential of this woman
There's speculation that because she's wearing an arrow necklace in The Winter Soldier, she and  Hawkeye  may be a "thing."  Or at least that this may end up being important in The Avengers 2. Okay, fine. That doesn't mean she can't star in her own movie. I've said before, I'm not against romance- not in the slightest. I was totally shipping a Cap-Black Widow pairing by the end of The Winter Soldier. But a Black Widow movie has the potential to be  both gritty and  witty, if in the right hands, even with a subplot of romance at her fingertips. Because she can kill a dude with her own hands, and yet she's sharp as a tack and doesn't take bullshit. She can hack computers, use all sorts of weaponry, knows myriad hand-to-hand fighting styles, and can improvise a weapon out of you-name-it. Again, she's Jason Bourne with tits- she could totally do any of the improvised, MacGyver-esque things he does. 

A Black Widow movie, in the right  hands, could be a fucking amazing movie. Fast-paced, entertaining, easy on the eyes, and what with the backstory being built for her in the Marvel movies, that "red on her ledger" could make for some very in-depth characterization and dramatic moments. But she won't get a movie until stubborn assholes in the fandom get off their asses and at least become open to the idea of it.

And that would mean them acknowledging that they're biased, that they've been duped by the straight, white men in charge of the comic  and movie industries into believing that Black Widow can't carry her own weight. And they need to start voting with their wallets by buying more comics starring female characters, and going to see movies starring women on opening weekend, even if they aren't entirely "sold" on the idea of either.

The main fear I have for Black Widow, just as I've said before about Wonder Woman, is that she'll get a bad script that'll be used against her and any other female character in the same way Elektra and  Catwoman are still used. I don't want the sexist dochebaggery to have any more fuel in its fire. Another bad female-starring superhero movie will only  put  things that much further behind. So no, I don't want a Black Widow movie for the sake of diversity per se. I want  them to invest in it the way  they invest in the movies starring male protagonists. I want them to come up with a script that  makes for a good movie, not just a good comic movie. Something people could enjoy even if they aren't into comics, the way (most of) Batman's movies have been, the way the first Iron Man movie is, the way Cap 2 is. You don't really need to know much about those characters, let alone comics in general, to enjoy those. Get a script that good, and you'll get butts in the seats.

Now, of course, it'll also show the true colors  of fanboys. Nitpicking it and saying it doesn't deserve a sequel when it prolly does, objectively, would be a good cue. Let's be honest, if  it's better than fucking THOR, it deserves a sequel.  
I mean I know the fanboys pick any comic movie  apart, but I imagine the nature of the critiques  given would be a good indicator of how that person really feels about having women star in comic movies. Refusal to see it would be a big indicator, too- since the usual behavior is, "It's a movie starring a superhero, I'll see it," if their 'tude there suddenly changes and they, out of the blue, develop some high moral standard and say, "Oh, I refuse to see it on principle because I know they'll ruin Black Widow." Yeah, bullshit. 

But I mean it when I say it. I felt this way before I saw The Winter Soldier, and seeing that (twice) only solidified my belief that a Black Widow movie is a potential gold-mine with enough going on in it that it could draw in a huge crowd. And Black Widow would be really easy to transition into her own movie- she's been in now three Marvel movies, and we've had lots of hints  about her backstory before, so my God, just have an opening sequence from her past that acts out something she's talked  about before, then jump to now, and bam, you have your exciting first ten minutes and we're totally absorbed. You get all this talk about how Wonder Woman's backstory is "tricky," right? How fucking  tricky is a backstory we've already heard huge chunks of? Seriously, she's a shoe-in, and the fact that there aren't even any really substantial rumors of a Black Widow movie  (the most you get is that Marvel is considering it, that they're speculating or think it is a possibility) is  highly indicative, and disappointing.
And on a final note- I think ANY side character could be a lead, as long as they  were written as one. It would just take the same kind  of creativity and effort already given to the main characters from whom they'd be jumping off in order to get there. 

*I mean yeah, I'm exaggerating, but for real, dude was talking like Green Lantern started out as individually as Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman, when HE DIDN'T. 
**Yeah, I'd call him a "fake nerd boy" if he hasn't even read 'Batman: Year One'- I asked if he had, as an example of a great book about a side character, or at least as equally, and he had a comeback about how what really made it compelling was the Batman stuff... I mean come ON, really? Any comic fan with an iota of creativity and appreciation for storytelling recognizes the most compelling stuff in that book is about Gordon. So he either has NO TASTE or hasn't read it. And if he's bitching about how "Catwoman's most interesting when she has Batman to play off of" then I'm guessing he's only seen the animated series and Nolan movies, at best, maaaaybe the Burton movies. Has he read any? Doubtful.
***What that guy said about the HQ comics after condescendingly saying we had a "good back and forth" right after saying one of my points was "BS." Right. "Your argument is bullshit. Good talk!"  Uh-huh, yeah, sure. I went  back to the convo later, and he made fun of me for not being able to handle swearing after I called him out on saying something I had said is "BS," so yeah, he proved my point, that he was never open to discussing anything. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

People, Fate, and What You Do About It- Imagine Dragons, "Demons"

This song; this song. Every time it's on the radio while I'm driving, I belt it so loud my head and/or throat starts hurting when I'm done. And I cry more often than I don't. I was with some friends when I saw these guys live, and it was all I could do not to start weeping in the bleachers in Indy. I went out for karaoke with some friends for my birthday (it was kinda crappy), and we left before I got to sing this song, which is prolly just as well- I likely would have made a fool of myself, crying in front of a bunch of drunk assholes (not my friends, the other patrons that night, and the douchebag DJ). 

So what is this song about? I think it's about a person with a lot of shit in their past that's trying to be there for someone, knows they're capable of it, but is afraid of what will happen if things continue, and doesn't really want the relationship to be entirely reciprocal because they're afraid that opening up will scare the other person.

The lyrical structure is important: The verses are the singer telling the person they're singing to that they're loyal and wouldn't abandon them; that there isn't anything the person the song is directed at could do that would freak the singer out, and that, if anything, the singer can relate to the target of the song's own demons and struggles because they've been there before. The first part of the pre-chorus either time is about the conflicting desires to open up versus "hide the truth" from the object (the singer's internal struggle is demonstrated pretty clearly in how the first time they say they do want to "hide the truth," while the second time, they say they don't), while the second part is about people in general and how we're all messed  up,  no matter what we try to do. This leads into the chorus, which is the singer expressing their fear that they'll hurt the person to which they're singing because of their baggage and what that baggage has done to them. The bridge is the singer pointing out how they've had very little control over their life and what they've been through has made them the person they are, and an admission that they treasure the person to whom they're singing and need that person in order to feel whole or find that spark they're missing. 

Kids, that's me in a nutshell. With my friends, with my family, and how I would be if I had any sort of serious and meaningful romantic attachment. Hell, even a light, non-serious one.

See, like I've said before, all of the messed up stuff I've been through in my life, very little of it has been the result of something I did, like a mistake I made (I think maybe coming here for grad school was a mistake, but meh). The vast majority  has been things outside my control, things I didn't remotely ask for at all. And it's heavy stuff. It could scare people  away- and, in all honesty, it has. I had a few people I could say I loved decide to push me away because it's "intimidating" to be around me... because I "have so much going on, they don't want to get in the way."

Note these people, they had insisted on me opening up to them, pushed and poked and prodded, and then? When they got what they demanded, they didn't like it. And they pushed me out.* And I never asked them to fix things or actually help me- at most, all I expected was they'd listen, maybe stroke my hair for a while, and then we'd go play more video games. But no.

And so I've learned a lot of negative behaviors over time. I'm honest, sure, but I keep the stuff that's boiling within me inside, tucked away. So I guess you could say I'm lying through omission. Because I'm afraid if people know my truths, that I've been through this and that, that they'll assume I expect them to fix it, or that I'll be this huge-ass emotional burden on them. That I'd I don't know... suffocate them and do nothing but complain about my problems all the time. Of course that's never my intention- I try so hard to be anything BUT a burden or inconvenience. But I think too many people assume confiding in someone carries with it a veiled request for assistance. I know I'm un-help-able in most of the things I struggle with (nobody can fix my Daddy issues, nobody can un-rape me), I just don't know if anyone will be able to discern that I understand this and wouldn't ask them to fix me. I'm too used to being treated like crap.

Because I'm a doormat. I keep getting sucked in and stepped on.  I get abandoned in big and small ways all the time. People change plans without telling me, or send the text while I'm at work or something, then act all surprised when I'm finally able to answer. They tell the secrets I'm dumb enough to confide about to other people. They say on Wednesday we'll get together Friday, then Friday, I haven't heard what we're doing and they don't answer their phone. They spend more time making  fun of me than  being kind. They suck me dry. They never take initiative in any aspect of being a friend, then bitch about how we "never see each other" when we finally do get together (because I pestered and pushed and finally found a time that worked). 

And don't get me started on my sad excuse of a "love life." God, if I had a dollar for every guy that said he'd "get back to [me]" and disappeared, I'd be rich. For every guy that led me on until he got what he wanted (even forced it out of me violently), I'd also be doing pretty well. Combine the two, I'd just retire now at the ripe old age of twenty-eight. The "you're great, but..." speeches, I could start a trust fund for my future kids (assuming I meet someone not douchey someday).


And so... I'm not used to being treated well by people. Anyone close enough to me knows this- they've seen me or heard me break down over something as small as them giving me something unsolicited for my birthday. When it comes to friends,  I'm so used to doing all the work that when someone else actually puts forth some effort, I react like they've just offered me their kidney. And I often underestimate how good to me people will be. For example, someone I knew I should have been okay with telling that I'm leaving grad school, I waited until yesterday to tell her because I thought she'd be mean about it- but she was more supportive than someone else I thought I could trust more.

So yeah, part of the problem is I'm a terrible judge of character. I'm empathetic, but that's not the same thing. I can tell how someone is feeling inside, but I'm bad at discerning people's motivations and goals with respect to me. And I think know that's at the root of a lot of the times I've been hurt by people- I didn't see them for what they really were, but rather what I hoped they'd be. Because I'm optimistic to a fault and my de-facto assumption is that a person I meet is kind and has the best of intentions and desires. Which may sound contradictory to the above, but really, they go together. I guess the idea they're good is what happens at first, then when it's time to get serious, I panic?

This doesn't mean I can't have close, deep relationships. I have a good group of people I can genuinely say I love, that I've made into my own "family." Here in Indiana, I met my roommate, a couple whose wedding I was in (actually, two, but the second is in August), another I'm helping plan theirs, a friend from undergrad that also ended up out here, another friend I met my first year here and that I, hands down, consider my brother. And I have a whole set that's about the same size out in Washington. And when I thought I was in a mutual relationship in the past, I grew to trust those guys and love them "like that," too (which, ultimately, was what led to me being hurt so badly, but that's not the point).

I feel too much. I think that's my big "demon." When I feel, I feel intensely. If you're a friend and you breach a certain threshold, I'd literally do anything for  you. If it's romantic between us, once I feel you care enough, I'd become hopelessly devoted to you.** 

So this is going to sound weird, but I've thought of my heart as two things at once. First, it's on my sleeve. As I've said before, I don't get mad, I get hurt. I'm easily hurt.

But when it comes to, I guess, uh, giving my heart away (?), I keep it locked in a secure room in the middle of a huge, multi-layered medieval keep with walls upon walls and a moat with  some crocodiles and maybe a dragon or two... Like I'm at the top of one of those typical "tower heist" type games where you go from level-to-level and  finally reach the end and get the prize (usually a woman) (which hey, makes sense, since I'm indisputably 100% female). Except instead of killing monsters and slicing skeletons, you're more proving that you're worthy through some test of valor or worth.

Dude. It's totally the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Like this:

And  this:

Okay, okay, so I know it's kind of awful to compare my complete trust with the friggin' Holy Grail. But what I mean is, it takes a lot for me to really trust someone.

And on top of that, there's the fact that I don't want to be a burden. I like to relieve other people's burdens and troubles, not cause more for them. So often, even with the people about which I care the most, I don't open up for sheer lack of wanting to trouble them. Which makes me a really easy friend to have, because I'll help you all the time and like hardly ever ask, let alone expect, you to do the same for me. 

So what about fate? Well, I see the way I get treated BY PEOPLE as things that have happened to me. Add to that all of the icky circumstances that have less to do with people directly and more with just life in general- circumstances entirely out of my control that caused me grief or anxiety, pain or suffering. As the song states, then, "I say it's up to fate/ It's woven in my soul."

It is. My past influences who I am now. I can't separate myself from it, just as I can't pull any aspects of my identity away at a given time. All of my experiences build on each other and some compound and make  things hurt more- like when you're having a day where just every single little thing seems to go wrong, and by the end of it, spilling your soda makes you want to cry, when normally you'd just laugh or roll your eyes.

But the choices I make, to be a good person, to be happy whenever I can, to make the most  of a bad situation. Those are qualities that make me worth it, for friends or potential...something elses... Those are what matter, and what should matter to someone that I care about and want to care about me. I don't want them to take care of me, I'd rather they recognize that despite all of the reasons I have to be an asshole, I'm the opposite. That I'm warm, giving, kind, open, honest, sincere. That if you're part of my inner circle, I'd give you my kidney if you needed it. 

That, um, #humblebrag, I'm strong as fuck, and will be strong for you if you need me. Because I've persevered through all that bullshit in my past. Even when it hurts, I'm still kicking ass and chewing bubble gum. Except I'm all out of bubble gum. And anyway, I don't even like bubble gum all that much. I'm a gorram Joan of Ark, bitchez, and in the end, I'll come out swinging.***

Bring it. Seriously.

So I guess the one difference I have with the singer is that he presents "fate" in contrast with "what you make." As if they're mutually exclusive. And I think they go together. It's what you make of the fate you're given. How you deal with what fate puts in your path. It should read more like the Terminator slogan, "No fate but what we make."

I'm not in control of what happens to me, not often, but I'm in control/responsible for how I deal with that. Some things, I deal better than others.

So when it comes to my interpersonal relationships, this really just ends up meaning I'll be one of the most earnest, caring friends you'll ever have, or I'd be a damn good S.O., if that was the nature of the relationship. The hangup is, of course, I have trouble letting people in and returning the favor. I want to get better at this, I do. And I've done  it, because I've somehow been able to meet the "right" people for it. So it's possible, absolutely. It just takes time and patience. 

And, ultimately, I do need people. I'm a people person. Or, more bluntly, a codependent person. So I do keep seeking new relationships, even though I keep getting hurt, because sometimes, I don't. And I'd rather take the risk in seeking happiness with people than not and be unhappy as a result. I'll keep building my "family," and maybe someday be able to make a family, too. 

*A related song and potential entry would be "Never is a Promise" by Fiona Apple- that describes perfectly how my best college friend broke  my heart by telling me he'd rather not be friends with me because it was too hard being around someone with such a hard life. Also,  because his new gf didn't like me... uuuugh...

**This is actually pretty accurate for the times I fell in love and realized that, despite any and all interaction pointing to the contrary, it wasn't reciprocated. If it was mutual, this wouldn't really apply. I just couldn't help myself, because music.

***And not burned at the stake, by the way, just feel like I need to clarify that, do-do-dooooooo...