I am not the monster of this story
owning-my-truth:

Taylor Swift’s Racism & “Shake It Off” Video
We clearly need to start a hashtag campaign at this point to #stopracistwhitegirls. Between Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lily Allen and more, the mainstream pop bench is absolutely stacked with racist white girls galore at the moment. But in our 2014 “post racial” America where black people are getting killed every 28 hours by vigilante justice, where Mike Brown’s killer, Darren Wilson, is on paid leave for brutally executing an unarmed black teenager as we speak, and where police brutality against black bodies in Ferguson and across the country is the norm, it’s still so fun and uber cool for white girls to make blackness a costume! You know, since it clearly doesn’t get us killed or anything.
Enter Taylor Swift stage left.

[image description: Taylor Swift in a leopard print jacket with large gold hoop earrings, and cut of jean shorts with a gold chain posturing in front of twerking dancers]
So I’ll admit that I do have a bit of a penchant for bland pop music, and so I have followed Taylor Swift in varying capacities for many years. I understand that her entire image is carefully cultivated to exude innocent, bright eyed and bushy tailed white girl who is always “shocked” when she wins an award. I understand that the reason her image sells is because of the white supremacist patriarchal notion of the “cult of true womanhood,” where moneyed white woman had their femininity defined by 4 traits: piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness. It is in this mold that Taylor Swift has built such a massive following and sold so many millions of albums. Ascribing herself to these narrow values by which white womanhood is exalted and elevated in a way that is only accessible to white female bodies and not to WOC has been Swift’s “in” in the music industry more than anything else over the years.
But in the pop industry there is a constant need for reinvention and to push the boundaries ever further with each succeeding musical effort. Even as Swift has cultivated and carefully molded her image to fit this fairly rigid white supremacist patriarchal construct of white femininity and has made millions doing so, the constant churn of capitalism has made the appeal of her wonder bread white girl image fade with time. She needs some way to “spice up” her act and draw attention to herself along with it. As bell hooks so brilliantly says in her cultural criticism & transformation:

There’s a way in which white culture is perceived as too “wonder bread” right now—not edgy enough, not dangerous enough—let’s get some of those endangered species people to be exotic for us. It’s really simply a more up-scale version of primitivism resurging. When blackness is the sign of transgression that is most desired, it allows whiteness to remain static, to remain conservative, and it’s conservative thrust to go unnoticed.

And so, with this in mind, Swift like so many white girls and boys before her, turns to blackness to find that “exotic” flavor to give her bland image the kick it needs. 
What strikes me about the “Shake It Off” video is just how true to form it is with all of the other racist music videos we’ve seen from white women in the past year alone. “Hard Out Here,” “We Can’t Stop,” “23” and more, white girls have been on a roll with their racism and racialized misogyny and Taylor Swift couldn’t wait to join the party.

[image description: Taylor Swift in a red hooded jacket, holding a boom box and wearing a fitted cap in front of black and Latino break dancers]
In one scene from the video we have Taylor Swift dressed as a b-boy with a fitted cap and all, in a brazen and blatant act of cultural appropriation. We all know that the b-boy tradition comes from black and Latin@ youth who get demonized and criminalized daily and who are not able to breakdance without facing harassment from the police. But Swift, drenched in her white privilege and concomitant myopia has no sense of how insulting it is to slip this on as a fun “costume” for a few seconds in her video, as she can always retreat back into her whiteness unassailed while the black and Latin@ breakdancers in her video cannot.
The most disgusting part of the video, though, came, as usual with the twerking scene. White girls just seem to love to throw in a twerking scene into their videos these days. 

[image description: Taylor Swift in a leopard print jacket and gold earrings and chains crawling in between the legs of several twerking dancers and staring up at the butt of a twerking black woman]
This is different from the “Anaconda” video, where black women have agency and control of their sexuality and bodies. Instead, just like her racist white counterparts (namely Miley Cyrus and Lilly Allen), Taylor Swift makes twerking and black female bodies a spectacle before the white gaze. Particularly as she walks between the legs of her twerking dancers and pauses at the black woman in the group and gapes astoundingly at her ass, the white gaze is centralized. In this scene black femininity is clearly exotified and demonized in an animalistic contrast to her conservative white femininity that can gape “shocked” at what she’s witnessing (which black women have literally been doing for centuries). This is white feminism at work, which perpetually ignores crucial intersections of race and gender, and to add insult to injury the scene ends with Swift giggling and looking bashfully at the ground, reifying her innocence and white privilege in the spirit of the cult of true womanhood. These are constructs which black women and other WOC do not have access to due to their race, and which Swift gleefully reinforces with this imagery.
This entire scene is a blatant example of primitivism and misogynoir (racialized antiblack misogyny) in the spirit of the spectacle that people made out of the body of  Saartjie Baartman. 

[image description: Caricature cartoon image of Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman, the “Hottentot Venus.” She is scantily clad with a spear, very large buttocks and her large breasts exposed as well with a white Cherubim alighting on her buttocks]
In case you are not aware, Baartman was a Khoikhoi South African woman, who was brought to Europe in 1810 where she was subsequently paraded around  as a freak show with the “exotic” features of her black female body—her butt, breasts and elongated labia— as the main event. Racist caricatures of her body were made, including the famous cartoon above. After her death, her skeleton, preserved genitals and brain were placed on display in Paris’ Musée de l’Homme until 1974. Her remains were not returned to South Africa until 2002 when she was finally reburied near her home town over 200 years after her birth.
In this video, Swift, like her racist white pop counterparts, taps into the racist traditions that we see in the dehumanization of Baartman. This is absolutely unacceptable. Black female bodies are not foreign, exotic, alien lands for your debasement in a cheap pop video for mass consumption. Black women have agency and deserve humanity and respect. Nobody cares if the dancer was “okay” with being in the scene or not, what we care about is the imagery being produced which enshrines white femininity as the standard and strips black women of agency rather than giving homage and due respect to them (as we see in Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” video, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video and more which centralize the black female gaze).
 But, if we didn’t know before, we’ve learned in the past year that Swift and all of these other white pop stars are simply shameless. They don’t care. We critique and point out their racism and racialized misogyny and they throw out obtuse comments about how they actually “really love black people” and “have black friends,” you name it, rather than accepting the problematic nature of their work and just apologizing. This is white supremacist thinking in action, as the only emotional universe which matters is that of the white individual in question and not that of the black people who object to the debasement of our bodies and commodification of aspects of our cultures in videos like this. And we see the impact of all of this in the thinking of their fans who myopically follow their stars and don’t realize that they can be fan while still being critical of the actions of their favorite pop stars. It is unacceptable that Swift can shamelessly appropriate from b-boy black and Latin@ culture, parade herself around as a faux-black woman and then exotify and degrade black female bodies for mass consumption in her videos. And it’s so important that we call videos like this out, and demand accountability from artists who put out degrading videos like Taylor Swift just did with “Shake It Off.”  #stopracistwhitegirls2k14
Related Posts:
+ Lily Allen’s Racist “Hard Out Here” video
+ Ke$ha’s Racist “Crazy Kids” video

owning-my-truth:

Taylor Swift’s Racism & “Shake It Off” Video

We clearly need to start a hashtag campaign at this point to #stopracistwhitegirls. Between Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lily Allen and more, the mainstream pop bench is absolutely stacked with racist white girls galore at the moment. But in our 2014 “post racial” America where black people are getting killed every 28 hours by vigilante justice, where Mike Brown’s killer, Darren Wilson, is on paid leave for brutally executing an unarmed black teenager as we speak, and where police brutality against black bodies in Ferguson and across the country is the norm, it’s still so fun and uber cool for white girls to make blackness a costume! You know, since it clearly doesn’t get us killed or anything.

Enter Taylor Swift stage left.

[image description: Taylor Swift in a leopard print jacket with large gold hoop earrings, and cut of jean shorts with a gold chain posturing in front of twerking dancers]

So I’ll admit that I do have a bit of a penchant for bland pop music, and so I have followed Taylor Swift in varying capacities for many years. I understand that her entire image is carefully cultivated to exude innocent, bright eyed and bushy tailed white girl who is always “shocked” when she wins an award. I understand that the reason her image sells is because of the white supremacist patriarchal notion of the “cult of true womanhood,” where moneyed white woman had their femininity defined by 4 traits: piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness. It is in this mold that Taylor Swift has built such a massive following and sold so many millions of albums. Ascribing herself to these narrow values by which white womanhood is exalted and elevated in a way that is only accessible to white female bodies and not to WOC has been Swift’s “in” in the music industry more than anything else over the years.

But in the pop industry there is a constant need for reinvention and to push the boundaries ever further with each succeeding musical effort. Even as Swift has cultivated and carefully molded her image to fit this fairly rigid white supremacist patriarchal construct of white femininity and has made millions doing so, the constant churn of capitalism has made the appeal of her wonder bread white girl image fade with time. She needs some way to “spice up” her act and draw attention to herself along with it. As bell hooks so brilliantly says in her cultural criticism & transformation:

There’s a way in which white culture is perceived as too “wonder bread” right now—not edgy enough, not dangerous enough—let’s get some of those endangered species people to be exotic for us. It’s really simply a more up-scale version of primitivism resurging. When blackness is the sign of transgression that is most desired, it allows whiteness to remain static, to remain conservative, and it’s conservative thrust to go unnoticed.

And so, with this in mind, Swift like so many white girls and boys before her, turns to blackness to find that “exotic” flavor to give her bland image the kick it needs. 

What strikes me about the “Shake It Off” video is just how true to form it is with all of the other racist music videos we’ve seen from white women in the past year alone. “Hard Out Here,” “We Can’t Stop,” “23” and more, white girls have been on a roll with their racism and racialized misogyny and Taylor Swift couldn’t wait to join the party.

[image description: Taylor Swift in a red hooded jacket, holding a boom box and wearing a fitted cap in front of black and Latino break dancers]

In one scene from the video we have Taylor Swift dressed as a b-boy with a fitted cap and all, in a brazen and blatant act of cultural appropriation. We all know that the b-boy tradition comes from black and Latin@ youth who get demonized and criminalized daily and who are not able to breakdance without facing harassment from the police. But Swift, drenched in her white privilege and concomitant myopia has no sense of how insulting it is to slip this on as a fun “costume” for a few seconds in her video, as she can always retreat back into her whiteness unassailed while the black and Latin@ breakdancers in her video cannot.

The most disgusting part of the video, though, came, as usual with the twerking scene. White girls just seem to love to throw in a twerking scene into their videos these days.

[image description: Taylor Swift in a leopard print jacket and gold earrings and chains crawling in between the legs of several twerking dancers and staring up at the butt of a twerking black woman]

This is different from the “Anaconda” video, where black women have agency and control of their sexuality and bodies. Instead, just like her racist white counterparts (namely Miley Cyrus and Lilly Allen), Taylor Swift makes twerking and black female bodies a spectacle before the white gaze. Particularly as she walks between the legs of her twerking dancers and pauses at the black woman in the group and gapes astoundingly at her ass, the white gaze is centralized. In this scene black femininity is clearly exotified and demonized in an animalistic contrast to her conservative white femininity that can gape “shocked” at what she’s witnessing (which black women have literally been doing for centuries). This is white feminism at work, which perpetually ignores crucial intersections of race and gender, and to add insult to injury the scene ends with Swift giggling and looking bashfully at the ground, reifying her innocence and white privilege in the spirit of the cult of true womanhood. These are constructs which black women and other WOC do not have access to due to their race, and which Swift gleefully reinforces with this imagery.

This entire scene is a blatant example of primitivism and misogynoir (racialized antiblack misogyny) in the spirit of the spectacle that people made out of the body of  Saartjie Baartman.

[image description: Caricature cartoon image of Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman, the “Hottentot Venus.” She is scantily clad with a spear, very large buttocks and her large breasts exposed as well with a white Cherubim alighting on her buttocks]

In case you are not aware, Baartman was a Khoikhoi South African woman, who was brought to Europe in 1810 where she was subsequently paraded around  as a freak show with the “exotic” features of her black female body—her butt, breasts and elongated labia— as the main event. Racist caricatures of her body were made, including the famous cartoon above. After her death, her skeleton, preserved genitals and brain were placed on display in Paris’ Musée de l’Homme until 1974. Her remains were not returned to South Africa until 2002 when she was finally reburied near her home town over 200 years after her birth.

In this video, Swift, like her racist white pop counterparts, taps into the racist traditions that we see in the dehumanization of Baartman. This is absolutely unacceptable. Black female bodies are not foreign, exotic, alien lands for your debasement in a cheap pop video for mass consumption. Black women have agency and deserve humanity and respect. Nobody cares if the dancer was “okay” with being in the scene or not, what we care about is the imagery being produced which enshrines white femininity as the standard and strips black women of agency rather than giving homage and due respect to them (as we see in Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” video, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video and more which centralize the black female gaze).

 But, if we didn’t know before, we’ve learned in the past year that Swift and all of these other white pop stars are simply shameless. They don’t care. We critique and point out their racism and racialized misogyny and they throw out obtuse comments about how they actually “really love black people” and “have black friends,” you name it, rather than accepting the problematic nature of their work and just apologizing. This is white supremacist thinking in action, as the only emotional universe which matters is that of the white individual in question and not that of the black people who object to the debasement of our bodies and commodification of aspects of our cultures in videos like this. And we see the impact of all of this in the thinking of their fans who myopically follow their stars and don’t realize that they can be fan while still being critical of the actions of their favorite pop stars. It is unacceptable that Swift can shamelessly appropriate from b-boy black and Latin@ culture, parade herself around as a faux-black woman and then exotify and degrade black female bodies for mass consumption in her videos. And it’s so important that we call videos like this out, and demand accountability from artists who put out degrading videos like Taylor Swift just did with “Shake It Off.”  #stopracistwhitegirls2k14

Related Posts:

+ Lily Allen’s Racist “Hard Out Here” video

+ Ke$ha’s Racist “Crazy Kids” video

wyattsalazar:

the “you live with your parents” insult is really flaccid because a metric shitton of cultures don’t see “leave the house forever” as some grandiose moment of liberation that’s so important to the development of a person that it has to happen as fast as possible. until i came to the USA i didn’t know a single person who was pressured by their parents to leave the house because they’re “too old to stay there” or whatever. in puerto rico it is really common to stay with your parents until they and you are both stable enough that you can leave. whaddaya know, there are cultures that don’t place a stigma on being poor or wanting to care for your family or needing your family to care for you for some other reason.


And my eyes more red than the devil isAnd I’m about to take it to another level, bitchEverybody knows I’m a motherfucking monster
And my eyes more red than the devil is
And I’m about to take it to another level, bitch
Everybody knows I’m a motherfucking monster

shethicc:

i never see pictures of katy perry on my dash and i just wanna thank yall

extra thank you to people who send “goddamnit katy perry” posts my way

pizzopaps:

i’m like an npc i won’t do anything unless you interact with me

booksandwildthings:

swagbat:

how game of thrones should end

#khal drogo just #descends from the heavens #on a flaming stallion #punches everyone in the face #and sits his fine dothraki ass down on the iron throne #until daenerys shows up #then he stands #dusts the seat off a bit #and steps aside for his khalessi
strae: hey ray how do you think grima works with two robins
Raymundo: It doesn't
Raymundo: They spend more time bickering on which grima is more supreme and dont do anything

xelyna:

angelacarterofmars:

Girl meets world addresses Cultural appropriation

this is actually embarassingly wrong, though. sure, she looks tacky but this is a purely white liberal construct we’re looking at here. generally speaking, people in contemporary japan aren’t going to see something like that as misappropriation, and it hardly makes sense to even try to look at it that way because harajuku is, you know, a shopping district that sells mass produced clothing. maybe this girl is doing something else noxious in the episode, but what’s presented here just isn’t that.

there is of course a line in the sand, and in this case in specific it’s basically between nicki minaj and gwen stefani. nicki was, and maybe still does, calling herself harajuku barbie because she’s drawn a lot of inspiration for her looks from the bright, colourful styles of the district. a district in a wealthy industrialized nation. there’s no real difference between that and calling herself rodeo drive barbie or camden square barbie. gwen stefani, you know, was paying asian women to follow her around like ornaments. that’s a problem.

i get kind of suspicious when people, especially in mainstream tv, overwhelmingly go after “weaboos” as soft targets because it seems like a smokescreen to avoid going after the actually deeply troublesome and normalized acts of commodifying and trivializing marginalized groups.

also, a teacher dragging a teenage girl that hard in front of her entire class is fucked up.

WTF, saying white people can’t wear “Harajuku” fashion is the same as saying only people from London can wear punk or only people from Hawaii can wear board shorts.

If she was wearing a bad kimono and shitty “geisha” face paint THAT would be cultural appropriation. Modern street style is not some kind of cultural tradition!

on one hand harajuku fashion is pretty distinctively over the top and if the girl didn’t even know the name of what she was taking it from that’s a bad sign

on the other hand… street fashion is street fashion.

lavenderpatil:

last-snowfall:

deducecanoe:

ppyajunebug:

thelethifoldwitch:

Imagine Hogwarts after the Battle, after the War, sure –
But imagine Hogwarts’ students, after their year with the Carrows and Snape.
Imagine a tiny little first-year whose porcupine pincushions still have quills, but to whom Fiendfyre comes easily. The second-year who tried to go back, to fight; whose bravado got Professor Sinistra killed, as she pushed him out of the way of a Killing Curse. The third-year who perfectly brewed poisons, hands shaking, wishing for the courage to spike the Carrows’ cups. The fourth-year who throws away all of their teacups, their palmistry guidebooks, because what use is Divination if it didn’t see this coming? The fifth-year who can barely remember what O.W.L.S. are, let alone that she was supposed to take them. The sixth-year who can’t manage Lumos to save their life, but whose proficiency with the Cruciatus Curse rivals Bellatrix’s.
Imagine the seventh-year who laughs until he cries, thinking about the first-years who will fall asleep in History of Magic while their story is told.
Imagine the Muggleborn first-years left alive, if there are any: imagine what they think of the magical world, when their introduction to it was Death Eaters and being tortured – by their classmates –for having been born.
Imagine the students who went home to their parents (or guardians, or wards, or orphanages) and showed them what they’d learned: Dark curses, hexes, Unforgiveables; that Muggles are filth, animals, lesser. Who, yes, still can’t transfigure a match into a needle – but Mum, there’s a hex that can make you feel as though you’re being stabbed with thousands. (Don’t ask them how they know.)
Imagine the students who will never be able to see Hogwarts as home.
Imagine the students Hogwarts has left, when it starts up again – the lack of Muggleborns, blood-traitors, half-bloods, dead and gone – the lack of purebloods; the Ministry would have chucked everyone of age (and possibly just below) in Azkaban for Unforgiveables, wouldn’t they?
Imagine how few students there are left to teach; imagine how few teachers are left to teach them.
Imagine the students who can’t walk past a particular classroom, who can’t walk through a hallway, who can’t walk into the Great Hall without having a panic attack or breaking down. Imagine the school-wide discovery that the carriages aren’t horseless after all; that everyone, from the firsties to the teachers, can see Thestrals.
Imagine the memorials, the heaps of flowers and mementoes – in every other corner, hallway, classroom; every other step you take on the grounds.
Imagine the ghosts.
Imagine the students destroying Snape’s portrait, using the curses, hexes, even Fiendfyre they’ve been taught how to wield – it has to be restored nearly every week; Snape stays with Phineas Nigellus semi-permanently. (None of the other portraits will welcome him. His reasons do not excuse his conduct.)
Imagine the students unable to trust each other – everyone informed on everyone, your best friend might turn you in.
Imagine the guilt that everyone carries (it should have been me, it’s my fault s/he’s dead, I told on them, it’s all my fault), the students incapable of meeting each other’s eyes because it’s my fault your best friend, your sibling, your Housemate, your boy/girlfriend is dead.
Imagine the memorials piled high with the wands of the dead. Imagine the memorials piled high with the self-snapped wands of the living.
Imagine the students who are never able to produce a Patronus.
Imagine Boggarts being removed from the curriculum because Riddikulus is near impossible to grasp, even for the sixth- and seventh-years. Because their friends and families dead will never, ever be funny.
Imagine the students for whom magic feels tainted.
Imagine the students who leave the wixen world – hell, the students who leave Britain entirely, because there’s nothing left for them there.
Imagine the students who never use magic again.
(Image source.)
(From the mind of the wonderful lavenderpatil, a keen look at how students might be after war.)

Reblogging this kickass post by the equally kickass
lavenderpatil
because everyone should read it

I think… I could be wrong… but everyone Prof Trwylany (sp) said would die at the beginning of every term DID die in the battle of hogwarts? BUt yeah. The year after that was probably filled with grand speeches about those who sacrificed their lives, and how they would rebuild hogwarts, etc. meanwhile… the kids knew. They were there. They knew what it was really like. And the incoming first years probably had a very different relationship with the older kids, who’d seen shit, than in years past. I think there’d be a long year of seriousness and severity… or everyone would try to put on a happy face and pretend that Colin Kreevy wasn’t working on the school paper any more because he was dead. Stiff upper lip. But with a very subdued attitude.

Imagine the seventh years who came back. Because nobody finished their seventh year. That year was a loss. But the ones it really mattered for were them. Imagine the older kids who are up in the night because they can’t sleep for bad dreams hearing the crying from the lower dorms and finding that little girl who can’t make pincushions but can make Fiendfyre hugging her knees, and saying, “You know what, bring your pillow up, you can sleep on my bed while I read.” Imagine the new first years, the ones who hear the story on the train, who’re eleven and still young, seeing an older student sitting alone staring blankly and going over to them and saying, “D’you want some of my chocolate frogs?” because they can’t think of anything else to do. Imagine one finding someone who’s sitting staring at nothing one day and asking in a quiet voice, “Do you need a hug?” and then staying for an hour while the older student cries and cries and hugs them, because some eleven year olds are really smart (and some eleven year olds already came to the school from Bad Shit) and know that sometimes it helps to hold someone you could look after. Imagine the older students who look at these younger ones coming in, all new and safe and bright, and swearing on Merlin’s grave that nothing will ever, *ever* hurt these kids. Imagine the alumni of Dumbledore’s Army, who refused to let the fucking Death Eaters win when they were here and kicking and sure as she won’t let them now, finding things to do on weekends, organizing things, refusing to have it so that people just stay there alone being sad. Fuck the third-year rule: *everyone* can go to Hogsmeade, you just buddy up the young kids with the older kids and I mean, fuck, *who’s going to be a threat to the older kids now*?Imagine them making up insulting nicknames for their old enemies, taking Voldemort and the Carrows and Lestrange and metaphorically spitting on them every time they use them. Imagine Ron volunteering to take on the Boggart that takes up residence in the one class cupboard because no, look, the stupid thing *still looks like a bloody spider* and look it’s fucking hilarious when you take its legs off and tie it up with a bow. And the class laughs. Imagine Harry staying at the school for a couple years, even when he’s done, because once people understand how the charm worked - how because he let Voldemort kill him it meant that nothing Voldemort could do could hurt any of them anymore - everyone just feels *better* when he’s there. Imagine the nights where everyone leaves the common rooms and camps out in the Great Hall and drinks Butterbeer and tells stories and cries and sometimes there are shouting matches because people get so raw, but in the end everyone falls asleep in a pile together. Imagine all the really, truly inappropriate jokes the survivors make, the ones that make their parents’ eyes fill with tears and terrify the first years, because actually when you’ve been dragged face-first through Hell the *worst shit* becomes fucking funny. Imagine how the owls don’t have to be kept in the owlry anymore, because every kid needs the animal they brought with them; imagine that for the kids that lost theirs, or never had one, their friends finding them some, buying them some. Imagine the girl who knows the Cruciatus Curse breaking down crying because she can’t believe she did that, she can’t ever believe she would and she knows she’s wrong and evil and tainted, and Ginny holding her while she cries and when she calms down, Hermione tells her the story of Regulus Black, and about how just because you made shit choices once that doesn’t mean you can’t make better ones now. Imagine that people have been dealing with this kind of horrible shit all through human history, and people are out there dealing with it today, and yes it absolutely sucks and it’s horrible and the scars it leaves are real and heartbreaking and sometimes people are too badly hurt to go on, but also former child-soldiers play team games and laugh at funny stories and refugee kids with horrible stories love colouring books with bright colours and play games with the friends they’ve made in the camps. And these are kids who fought. Who fought like little demons. Who *chose* to fight. So yeah, it could be awful. It could be nothing but bleak from beginning to end, a year (a decade) of sternness and unhappiness. But it doesn’t have to be; it isn’t guaranteed. (and as @tygermama notes, we Muggles have been figuring out this shit: we give it names and throw our best guesses at it, and some of them are good. So there’s help there, too.)

This is my favourite response to this ficlet so far, oh my goodness, thank you.

lavenderpatil:

last-snowfall:

deducecanoe:

ppyajunebug:

thelethifoldwitch:

Imagine Hogwarts after the Battle, after the War, sure

But imagine Hogwarts’ students, after their year with the Carrows and Snape.

Imagine a tiny little first-year whose porcupine pincushions still have quills, but to whom Fiendfyre comes easily. The second-year who tried to go back, to fight; whose bravado got Professor Sinistra killed, as she pushed him out of the way of a Killing Curse. The third-year who perfectly brewed poisons, hands shaking, wishing for the courage to spike the Carrows’ cups. The fourth-year who throws away all of their teacups, their palmistry guidebooks, because what use is Divination if it didn’t see this coming? The fifth-year who can barely remember what O.W.L.S. are, let alone that she was supposed to take them. The sixth-year who can’t manage Lumos to save their life, but whose proficiency with the Cruciatus Curse rivals Bellatrix’s.

Imagine the seventh-year who laughs until he cries, thinking about the first-years who will fall asleep in History of Magic while their story is told.

Imagine the Muggleborn first-years left alive, if there are any: imagine what they think of the magical world, when their introduction to it was Death Eaters and being tortured by their classmates for having been born.

Imagine the students who went home to their parents (or guardians, or wards, or orphanages) and showed them what they’d learned: Dark curses, hexes, Unforgiveables; that Muggles are filth, animals, lesser. Who, yes, still can’t transfigure a match into a needle but Mum, there’s a hex that can make you feel as though you’re being stabbed with thousands. (Don’t ask them how they know.)

Imagine the students who will never be able to see Hogwarts as home.

Imagine the students Hogwarts has left, when it starts up again the lack of Muggleborns, blood-traitors, half-bloods, dead and gone the lack of purebloods; the Ministry would have chucked everyone of age (and possibly just below) in Azkaban for Unforgiveables, wouldn’t they?

Imagine how few students there are left to teach; imagine how few teachers are left to teach them.

Imagine the students who can’t walk past a particular classroom, who can’t walk through a hallway, who can’t walk into the Great Hall without having a panic attack or breaking down. Imagine the school-wide discovery that the carriages aren’t horseless after all; that everyone, from the firsties to the teachers, can see Thestrals.

Imagine the memorials, the heaps of flowers and mementoes in every other corner, hallway, classroom; every other step you take on the grounds.

Imagine the ghosts.

Imagine the students destroying Snape’s portrait, using the curses, hexes, even Fiendfyre they’ve been taught how to wield it has to be restored nearly every week; Snape stays with Phineas Nigellus semi-permanently. (None of the other portraits will welcome him. His reasons do not excuse his conduct.)

Imagine the students unable to trust each other everyone informed on everyone, your best friend might turn you in.

Imagine the guilt that everyone carries (it should have been me, it’s my fault s/he’s dead, I told on them, it’s all my fault), the students incapable of meeting each other’s eyes because it’s my fault your best friend, your sibling, your Housemate, your boy/girlfriend is dead.

Imagine the memorials piled high with the wands of the dead. Imagine the memorials piled high with the self-snapped wands of the living.

Imagine the students who are never able to produce a Patronus.

Imagine Boggarts being removed from the curriculum because Riddikulus is near impossible to grasp, even for the sixth- and seventh-years. Because their friends and families dead will never, ever be funny.

Imagine the students for whom magic feels tainted.

Imagine the students who leave the wixen world hell, the students who leave Britain entirely, because there’s nothing left for them there.

Imagine the students who never use magic again.

(Image source.)

(From the mind of the wonderful lavenderpatil, a keen look at how students might be after war.)

Reblogging this kickass post by the equally kickass
lavenderpatil
because everyone should read it

I think… I could be wrong… but everyone Prof Trwylany (sp) said would die at the beginning of every term DID die in the battle of hogwarts? BUt yeah. The year after that was probably filled with grand speeches about those who sacrificed their lives, and how they would rebuild hogwarts, etc. meanwhile… the kids knew. They were there. They knew what it was really like. And the incoming first years probably had a very different relationship with the older kids, who’d seen shit, than in years past. I think there’d be a long year of seriousness and severity… or everyone would try to put on a happy face and pretend that Colin Kreevy wasn’t working on the school paper any more because he was dead. Stiff upper lip. But with a very subdued attitude.

Imagine the seventh years who came back. Because nobody finished their seventh year. That year was a loss. But the ones it really mattered for were them.

Imagine the older kids who are up in the night because they can’t sleep for bad dreams hearing the crying from the lower dorms and finding that little girl who can’t make pincushions but can make Fiendfyre hugging her knees, and saying, “You know what, bring your pillow up, you can sleep on my bed while I read.”

Imagine the new first years, the ones who hear the story on the train, who’re eleven and still young, seeing an older student sitting alone staring blankly and going over to them and saying, “D’you want some of my chocolate frogs?” because they can’t think of anything else to do.

Imagine one finding someone who’s sitting staring at nothing one day and asking in a quiet voice, “Do you need a hug?” and then staying for an hour while the older student cries and cries and hugs them, because some eleven year olds are really smart (and some eleven year olds already came to the school from Bad Shit) and know that sometimes it helps to hold someone you could look after.

Imagine the older students who look at these younger ones coming in, all new and safe and bright, and swearing on Merlin’s grave that nothing will ever, *ever* hurt these kids.

Imagine the alumni of Dumbledore’s Army, who refused to let the fucking Death Eaters win when they were here and kicking and sure as she won’t let them now, finding things to do on weekends, organizing things, refusing to have it so that people just stay there alone being sad. Fuck the third-year rule: *everyone* can go to Hogsmeade, you just buddy up the young kids with the older kids and I mean, fuck, *who’s going to be a threat to the older kids now*?

Imagine them making up insulting nicknames for their old enemies, taking Voldemort and the Carrows and Lestrange and metaphorically spitting on them every time they use them.

Imagine Ron volunteering to take on the Boggart that takes up residence in the one class cupboard because no, look, the stupid thing *still looks like a bloody spider* and look it’s fucking hilarious when you take its legs off and tie it up with a bow. And the class laughs.

Imagine Harry staying at the school for a couple years, even when he’s done, because once people understand how the charm worked - how because he let Voldemort kill him it meant that nothing Voldemort could do could hurt any of them anymore - everyone just feels *better* when he’s there.

Imagine the nights where everyone leaves the common rooms and camps out in the Great Hall and drinks Butterbeer and tells stories and cries and sometimes there are shouting matches because people get so raw, but in the end everyone falls asleep in a pile together.

Imagine all the really, truly inappropriate jokes the survivors make, the ones that make their parents’ eyes fill with tears and terrify the first years, because actually when you’ve been dragged face-first through Hell the *worst shit* becomes fucking funny.

Imagine how the owls don’t have to be kept in the owlry anymore, because every kid needs the animal they brought with them; imagine that for the kids that lost theirs, or never had one, their friends finding them some, buying them some.

Imagine the girl who knows the Cruciatus Curse breaking down crying because she can’t believe she did that, she can’t ever believe she would and she knows she’s wrong and evil and tainted, and Ginny holding her while she cries and when she calms down, Hermione tells her the story of Regulus Black, and about how just because you made shit choices once that doesn’t mean you can’t make better ones now.

Imagine that people have been dealing with this kind of horrible shit all through human history, and people are out there dealing with it today, and yes it absolutely sucks and it’s horrible and the scars it leaves are real and heartbreaking and sometimes people are too badly hurt to go on, but also former child-soldiers play team games and laugh at funny stories and refugee kids with horrible stories love colouring books with bright colours and play games with the friends they’ve made in the camps.

And these are kids who fought. Who fought like little demons. Who *chose* to fight. So yeah, it could be awful. It could be nothing but bleak from beginning to end, a year (a decade) of sternness and unhappiness. But it doesn’t have to be; it isn’t guaranteed.


(and as @tygermama notes, we Muggles have been figuring out this shit: we give it names and throw our best guesses at it, and some of them are good. So there’s help there, too.)

This is my favourite response to this ficlet so far, oh my goodness, thank you.

sanctalilium:

龍洞 (by agbuggy~小蟲子)