reading reading: flashback #3

i finished re-reading homestuck in august, and since then i've been more at peace with myself, how i spend my time, and my interests. i think about homestuck often, but having finished my read through i am relieved to be done with it. now i can focus on the stuff that actually interests me, in a more self-indulgent calm way.
i feel that re-reading homestuck this year has helped me a lot with accepting that homestuck is and will continue to be a big part of my life- my teen years, my identity, and my hobbies. before i re-read it i didn't allow myself completely to talk about it, even to myself, to write my thoughts (less so share them), to express any real emotion relating to it. even on 413...but then i started re-reading and it really took off. like, i would never allow myself or even consider making a homestuck-themed web page, digital art, comics, stories etc. even though i've wanted to re-connect with it for years. i feel that now, after the wave of excitement and fixation has settled a bit, i can proudly say that i love homestuck, and express my feelings about it, to my therapist too, wayyy more freely than it used to be. i got closure in a way; my first fixation on homestuck (2018-2019) was cut short due to many things happening in my life and also due to homestuck^2/epilogues. it made me so mad i just cut it off and then for years i could not talk about it becausei would feel such a strong shame. i'm really glad i read it again...

at the same time, during my re-read of homestuck, because i was so fixated, for a while it became all i could focus on, like a compulsion. below is a draft of a thought log i wrote on 19/06/23. i did not want to insert it chronologically because it seems too sad.

day #71: i hope it ends soon im only at A6I2 but i cant bear much longer like this ive become less healthy my wrists hurt constantly because i strain them being on the computer all day i have become more detatched from reality i walk outside and i think about homestuck i listen to any song and i try to imagine a homestuck character that fits the theme of it i got addicted to my computer and social media again and its become all i draw and most of what i do in my free time sometimes i go hours on end without checking if someone close to me sent me a message or tried reaching me because im too engrossed in thinking about homestuck and i got a box full of sweets and candy and snacks for my birthday and i was fucking convinced betty crocker was responsible for it and i was filled with antagonism and hatred and fear i walk around feel like im being hunted by an alien my mom bought a fan and it has a wi-fi symbol on it i got so furious i wanted to make a betty crocker sticker and stick it in the center of the fan so everyone knows this fan is trying to get you to consume by blowing air contaminated with hypnosis and mind control.

9 october 2023

intermission: which OS do the kids use?

john uses windows xp home on his pc that his dad bought him of course. its nice and simple and he doesnt think about changing it because he finds it convenient; doesnt think about changing it or messing with it, and the coding he does occasionally isnt enough for him to feel limited by the os.
dave also uses windows because its sort of the default and he doesnt care about it, but i also think he wouldnt want a mac because windows is more versatile, + his bro wouldnt buy a mac. only apple thing he owns is iphone

rose's mom bought her a macbook, as a sort of, "You deserve this luxurious device" gesture. she views it as passive aggressive but in practicality, she has no complaints whatsoever.
jade uses linux; i can see her having access to windows or maybe having a dual boot, maybe she learned about linux herself and installed it because of the customisability and versatility (i mean, have you SEEN her desktop...) - but maybe it had already been installed on various computers by her grandpa.

dirk, roxy and jake also use linux: dirk and roxy have to because at the state of the world they live in the only alternative is a BCCorp operating system and they would avoid using THAT awful garbage at all costs (obviously it is worse than windows and os X combined), buuut it actually fits their computing needs perfectly and even if windows/os X were still viable options they would opt for linux. of course.
jake doesn't know too much about different os but all of his computers are booted only with a linux-based distro his grandma developed, again to spite the batterwitch and BCCorp as part of her competing company. sometimes though because it IS linux he has to ask dirk and roxy for help with some things. overall he doesnt think about it too much.
and lastly, jane uses an operating system developed by BCCorp. unfortunate.

21 july 2023

reading reading: reading overload #2

i just got done with all of openbound and then finished act 6 intermission 3 and then of course act 6 act 4 is just one page right just great. and then fucking caliborn amirigh.t. Well ive had it. it honestly is rotting my brain to read about all this information and have to store itsomehow in my brain all organized and easily accesible im starting to think thats not actually possible unless i start keeping notes every reading session, which i am not about to do.
honestly i like feel now a similar way to how i did when i reached this part the first time around - because the story is starting to break into pieces and its alll over the place and you know im sure i could enjoy it one way or another, but that requires a lot of breaks. Like... this shit is heavy on your brain, if you are actually seeking to truly absorb all of this information. and sadly, i am. second time around reading is nothing like the first, and yet, strikingly similar. many parallels.

I also am reading homestuck a third time with my friend, simultaneously while reading it a second time. we are on page 1200 (midnight crew intermission) and i can hear in their voice that they are struggling to piece every thing together , because man this is DIFFICULT, like serious information overload. but i know that in time they will understand that this story can never be truly and universally understoot. and to continue the infamous quote, universally understoot to mean too bad hes gay you deliberately obtuse dunderfuck.

but anyway///... These parts of homestuck are gradually more and more exhausting, like i really remembered them this way but reading it a second time, i dont even have much suspense and motivation to read on to find out what happens next, i already KNOW It keeps descending into madness and more drama and more stupid and ridiculously long lime-green or cerulean-blue paragraphs about things i dont care about right now.

The only thing keeping me going is the mental fuel the ROSEMARY KISS gave to me. I feel completely enlightened and refreshed by it. I am basking inthe infinite light it provides, Just like kanaya's light, oh i love kanaya so much. she is so dear to me.Her, shape, SYMBOL? the symbolism she carries, of motherhood, and the Beautiful BUTTERFLY that she represents in every aspect...? She is incredible. i am really quite in love with her as a character.
i find her genuinely beautiful--Like that is an integrated part of her symbolism,the BEAUTY of her sign too - virgo. a beautiful virgin/maiden... Carries within the concepts of Purity, Light(internal), Cleanness, and Beauty..
Also of Fertility and therefore of a sort of Blossoming. --> Flowers, Blooming flowers, spring and sunlight. and the Star of all of that is the butterfly. Other insects are vital in the process of blooming too, but the butterfly... it is a special actor in it. Just, The way it is so spectacular in its flight, so decorated-- ORNATE, YES, Ornate is a really strong concept tied strongly to kanaya's character, and sign of the virgo? i suppose so. Femininity. It is tied in this world with blooming and with Beauty, and I dont think one should completely renounce the title or the concepts tied to it purely because they do not feel comfortable in the box they tend to be put in, Like their Gender role.

That's why i think the conversation Porrim had with Kanaya was incredibly powerful to them both. Porrim wants a better fate for her species than what she managed to provide, having completely renounced her role tied to her Gender, and also being a ghost currently. Kanaya on the other hand wants to fulfill the role she was "born" to bear, but feels hopeless. I think porrim telling her that it is not her entire PURPOSE as an individual, but it IS something she can freely choose to do, and that can actually be empowering other than limiting, as long as she realizes she is so much more than just a Jade-blood meant to preserve the troll species. she is not an empty vessel, But her ability to care for her species' next generations are a POWER that she has in her. motherhood is not a burden but a power and a right if treated as a choice - I think Kanaya NEEDED to hear that from another jade-blood like her, especially her ancestor (someone she looks up to), In order to understand it. She is so powerful, she is able to CREATE, but she needs to do it her own way, and not be put in boxes by others, pertaining to what her purpose really is or how she should go about fulfilling it..

Reading more about the VIRGO sign now, it is an earth sign. connection to nature, the sun, flowers and plants. The sign is apparently associated with astraea from greek mythology, "the virgin goddess of justice, innocence, purity and precision." - Whilst remaining innocent and pure, not muddied, she is able to be precise and just. imagine the power it requires. to be able to tell right from wrong, without involving yourself. I can see a correlation to how Kanaya was drawn to being an auspistice, being able to mediate rightfully without immersing herself in an emotionally-charged red or black relationship. Staying untouched. staying a "virgin" in that sense.

to wrap it up, i want to add the things rose says to kanaya before they kiss as something to think about; what with kanaya's fear of being "touched" emotionally, not wanting to actually be emotionally involved and prefering to be a mediator instead, because that way she can stay as a third party, not truly connected.

8 july 2023

reading reading: bootstrap paradox #1

i thought bootstrap paradox is a nice title because yesterday i read about a bootstrap paradox on wikipedia after seeing a mention of the term on the homestuck wiki page for JUJUs and how they are believed to "appear out of thin air" and not have a tracable source but they sort of just were always there somehow. the bootstrap paradox term was used as an example to how a JUJU might come to be, or come to have already been there in the first place.
i am not going to explain the term in my words because i dont feel i have a good grasp on it myself, but it has been on my mind since last night and i tried making an analogy for my re-read of homestuck being a bootstrap paradox because i feel like it is taking me back in time to the age when i started reading homestuck, and making myself read it in the first place, so i never reading started reading homestuck but i sort of already read it, and by re-reading it i am asserting the reality of the first time i read homestuck 5 years ago.. almost 6!!!? anyway, that is what i thought of doing but i found it doesnt really make much sense at all. despite that i still like the term, and not understanding it completely doesnt stop me from being interested in it.

i talk to my therapist about homestuck a lot. it helps to bring many topics out of me that i wouldnt have otherwise started talking about, but am thinking about and occupied with constantly. both because of reading homestuck in and of itself, but also because of being occupied with those feelings in the first place that i use homestuck to describe better. see, i can make a bootstrap paradox out of anything - even when it has nothing to do whatsoever with a bootstrap paradox by definition.

moving on... in my re-read ive just finished act 6 act 3, meaning the alpha kids (and caliborn) have entered their session(s). a couple days ago on my way to work it occured to me that there has not even been one pesterlog between jake and dirk so far in the story. at first i didnt believe it, i thought i must be forgetting something, because i hadnt noticed it the first time reading homestuck, nor did i ever see anyone mentioning it anywhere while analyzing their characters. but the more i thought about it, the more it made sense to me, and the more i realized how much that says about them and their relationship. when i got the chance i checked all pesterlogs between the alpha kids before they enter, and i was right; there really isnt a single word exchanged between jake and dirk in the comic, up until they meet each other in person. dirk doesnt initiate a conversation with jake and is only seen talking to jane, roxy, calliope, caliborn and of course AR, while jake desparately tries to somehow reach dirk but is either met with AR (who pretty much keeps telling him dirk doesnt have time for him) or with a brain ghost dirk created from his own perception of the guy, inside his own mind. the only time we see a conversation "take place" between jake and dirk is in a dream, which starts as jake's memory of a conversation from almost 3 years in the past, and is then continued with the same brain ghost dirk i mentioned.

what fascinates me is how dirk's splinters seem to always try to convince jake that he is "basically talking to the real thing" and that there isnt an actual difference between talking to them and talking to his human buddy dirk. first we have AR pretending to be dirk (which is normal for him. and what he was programmed to do, partially), and later telling jake this when he gets frustrated about not being able to reach dirk:

and then we have brain ghost dirk, a version of dirk inside of jake's mind, telling him:

now i have many different points to make about this. the first one being how ignorant statements like that are of the fact that dirk is a human being separable from his surroundings. dirk's splinters talk like dirk is some kind of being that exists everywhere simultaneously, while jake just keeps on saying he wants to talk to the REAL GUY over and over again. brain ghost dirk insists on telling jake two things. one is that he is 100% a figment of his own mind. he is not seperate from him, but is inside of his brain. he is not a different person than jake, just a visualization of some of jake's thoughts. the second thing is how close he is to the real dirk, going as far as saying jake did a PERFECT job creating a splinter of dirk inside of his mind, implying jake knows dirk perfectly. those two things are kind of contradictory, thats how i see it at least. on one hand, he is inside of jake's mind, so jake has nothing to fear because the "real" dirk is not a participant in this conversation.. . on the other hand, he is a practically perfect clone of dirk? its like he isnt here and isnt there. he is everything all at once, which is false. theyre all sort of acting like dirk isnt a human being, and can just be duplicated endlessly.

jake as i was saying is really frustrated by not being able to reach dirk - even when he thought he was talking to him finally, it turns out he was reliving a memory with some kind of reflection of his inner perception of dirk, so not really talking to someone separate from himself. but the moment he's asked why he even wants to talk to the REAL dirk so bad, he doesnt even know. or if he has a vague idea, he cant bring himself to verbalize it. like it would somehow come out of him the moment he gets in touch with the "real" dirk.

dirk's splinters repeat the notion that dirk is not at all different from them in any way that matters, while jake repeats the opposite notion that dirk is genuinely different and cant be replaced by his splinters, and that he is sick of talking to fake dirks all day and feels haunted by them, all the while he is just trying to talk to his real human friend.

but to be honest, jake isnt really looking at the situation at face value either. dirk is the one who created the auto-responder. dirk isnt really bothered (at that point) by the fact that jake has been trying to reach him all day and all hes getting is a computer program of his 13 year old brain. jake has this fantasy that talking to the REAL DIRK who has human feelings, and isnt a pretend person trapped inside sunglasses, will somehow make him feel closer to him. but the truth is, the stronger dirk's feelings toward jake grow, the further he actually is from him. dirk places himself as far away from jake as possible, all the while different versions and parts of his personality literally haunt jake everywhere he goes (AR when he tries messaging him, brobot when he goes out to the forest, and brain ghost dirk in his dreams). when dirk's feelings grow, he becomes out of reach for the other person, in order not to confront his own feelings. the funny thing is, dirk does this without even understanding that he is avoiding feeling his feelings. instead he plots elaborate plans to win jake over, "stopping at nothing" to get what he wants. that allows him to not treat his honest romantic feelings like feelings anymore, but more like goals and achievements. that is so much easier to deal with for a guy who's role is of destruction of souls and feelings.

god, i hope i managed to clearly convey at least some thoughts.

28 june 2023