Musings

The trope of the wise and emotionless character, ughh

The more knowledge and wisdom you gain, the more emotionless you get….right? At least, that’s what stories seem to be selling.

In my recent watch of Game of Thrones (affiliate link, I may receive a portion of sales through this link), it has this one trope that makes me wanna shake my fist or pull out my hair or do all the emotional things the trope claims I shouldn’t be doing. Spoilers ahead, stop now or forever hold your peace.

Gosh, Bran. The “super wise, nearly-all-knowing figure who then loses all feelings” trope. I adored how Game of Thrones speaks to our various perceptions of power and challenges our assumptions, and this is one place where I in particular pondered deeper than where the TV show at least ends (and maybe it goes further in the books, or maybe it’s supposed to leave it hanging for these exact sort of ponderings outside the story; either way, I’m on board). So while I don’t like this trope, it’s just one way the show approaches the concept of power and how the world sees it.

"I'm not angry at anyone." - Bran Stark, Game of Thrones
Yes, this is a horrible resolution photo, it’s the only one I could find, bear with me here 😛

I think it’s such an unassuming trope, one that kind of sneaks under the radar and makes ya think “Yeah, if I just had more discernment and understanding of the grand scheme of things, I’d freak out a whole lot less.” And that could possibly partially be true, but then it kind of makes it seem like those in-real-life people who deny having emotions and think about everything “calmly and rationally” and analyze everything are just better than those trying to lead with their emotions along for the ride as well. This is how we get leaders who don’t demonstrate compassion when someone is pouring out their heart and struggling. It perpetuates this idea that “If victims of oppression would just let go of their anger and see the big picture, that’s the real problem here.”

Good, wise people, and good, wise leaders who do see the big picture, I’d like to think they are willing to enter into lament alongside those they serve who are suffering. That righteous anger leads to enact justice and demonstrate mercy. And I think someone who sees the grand scheme of the universe, maybe could possibly have learned something about being in touch with their feelings and others’, would react strongly to injustice or pain because they’ve seen the results of that, they’ve seen where it leads.

That sounds like I’m just hopping on some social justice bandwagon, and sure how this trope contributes to privilege is an important component at play here, but more selfishly it’s personal too; I’d like to think my tears can be a strength, not just a weakness. And I’d like society to think that sometimes emotions come from a place of wisdom, that they’re not opposite ends of a spectrum but inseparable pieces of being human.

As far as I remember, that trope tends to show up as a “good guy” thing across most stories that use it, it doesn’t tend to lead anywhere bad. (If you know an example I’m missing though, let me know!) And I’d love to explore that more in a story, to see it viewed positively at first and then turn sour, similar to how Daenerys’ bent towards justice goes too far.

So kudos to George R. R. Martin and all the team that put this story together, especially in exploring themes of power. I don’t yet know if this is further explored in the books or will be as more is written there, but these are my musings I ponder of a possible other story, a possible other theme to explore in a separate character and realm even.

Relationships

More Than Sticks & Stones

“In real discipleship, we memorize Scripture.”

The words swallowed the conversation. Biting words, fighting words.

Wanna know a secret? I was not the victim of this attack. I was the perpetrator. My best friend was the victim. I didn’t mean to hurt. I was still learning about process and about grace, but mostly I was still learning that I was so so wrong about goodness.

I hate who I was then. And am still learning to look at that girl with compassion. I think I hated her then too. Somehow subconsciously I thought true character was brought through shame. True character was shaming others into shaming others into shaming others until we all knew who was right and who was wrong. Finding some measurable outward standard where I “beat” others made it all okay.

Until it didn’t. Because life wasn’t okay like that, and only lots of mercy and grace could draw me back.

There isn’t some grand ending for this post, this is just to say that my last post wasn’t coming from a place of being better than the words others say. You can google cheesy inspirational quotes and stories of how encouragement changed someone’s life around. Those stories are everywhere. But I’m choosing to admit today that sometimes it’s not that beautiful, it’s not that pristine – sometimes words cut so deep as to change a person’s being. I’ve been dealt such words, and I’m sure I’ve given plenty too. That’s what sparked the idea for last week’s post. Because it’s not all just roses and hallmark cards – sometimes it’s sticks and stones.

 

Blog Signature - Crisper

 

Mental Health, My Creative Projects, Showcasing other Creatives

What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You

The past few weeks, my friend Maggie and I have collected responses through social media of what hurtful words made you who you are today. We loved the feedback, and hope to get even more on our next collaborative project. See all of the responses here, and check out Maggie’s blog for some DNA word art she created from this project. Like my Facebook page or Follow me on Twitter to get in on submissions next time around 🙂

ohf1p

 

 

“You’ll never amount to anything.”

“I’ll never be against you.”

“There’s no cure.”

“Live on your own to make sure you can do it. Just in case.”

“You won’t regret it, I promise.”

“I doubt anything will change my mind at this point. Only someone better before you.”

“We have nothing.”

Someone told me once to stop just thinking of myself and think about others and how they feel for a change. It hurt but made me realize that I need to spend more time doing things that will help and serve other people.

“I’m done trying to convince you that I care.”

“You gotta try more from the salad bar. Get more experience. How do you know what you like until you try it?”

PUSH Pray Until Something Happens

“You are worth waiting forever for. I’m saying I won’t wait forever.”

“Get your foot in the door.”

“Your intent wasn’t to build up, it was to cut down.”

“I don’t do what you’re doing, because it’s of the devil.”

“You need to not be so sensitive.”

“There’s no thing that can be taken as a reason why we’d be together.”

“Be an active listener. It matters when you make eye contact and pay attention.”

“You’re always crying – do you need to see a doctor?”

 

 

 

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for the Creatives, for the Writers

The Author’s Role for Change

I only just finished a series of articles on fiction and had planned on not posting an article-style blogpost for awhile. Switch things up a bit, right?

Then this happened, and I thought, may as well while it’s fresh in my mind.

I have a day-job. In fact, in case you hadn’t noticed, so far I am unpublished and my only income is my day-job. For this job, I will be attending a wonderful seminar on The Hidden Rules of Class, dealing with the stigmas of poverty and the different values of the lower, middle, and upper class.  I was so fascinated by the little teaser I’d received, that I will be presenting the information to my writers group after the seminar.

Writers will be writing about people very different from them, including differing in income. My current Work-In-Progress has an upper-class girl who runs away and joins the circus – very suddenly with hardly any income to speak of. To portray this drastic change well, I have to understand both upper class and lower class values. The other writers in my group have people of differing income levels as well that should be portrayed accurately.

The facilitator of this seminar was talking with me about how attendees need to be both those working hands-on with people in poverty, as well as higher-ups who have the power to make changes. And I thought of an additional need. Sure, it doesn’t make a direct impact, and it doesn’t make sense in the short-term. But what about creatives? Creatives need to know the hidden rules of class, too.

If writers portray class, or any situation, with a stigma, that affects the perspective of others, countless others who read. The more every writer, artist, musician, and creative understands the world around them accurately, the more affected the world is in subconsciously or consciously believing the same way.

This one seminar can reach 100 people with the Hidden Rules of Class. If someone in leadership of an organization or city attends, the whole reach has the opportunity to be impacted. And if one author attends and writes a book that does even somewhat well, the reach can be far more significant. Creatives need to learn this too.

Don’t underestimate the power of one creative.