Fools Like Us: Part 20On another part of the island, Russell sat quietly in the darkness within the shed he'd been taken to for repairs. Everything hurt, everything felt broken, and if it wasn't, it certainly felt damaged. The workmen who had been looking him over had ascertained that it was not beyond repair, and would return the following day to begin patching him up.Fools Like Us: Part 20 by ViviBlackmyst
But for now, he was alone. And that was the worst thing he could have been at that time. A deep sorrow was pooling in his boiler, a feeling he knew well, though he could typically keep it at bay. The terrible weight of all his loss and the suffering of those around him, the burden of having friends, only to know they would soon be taken to the smelter or swapped out for someone altogether different and unfriendly, without a chance to even say goodbye.
And the loneliness. The crushing loneliness, being constantly surrounded by others but never speaking a word to them. Seeing people every day, sitting next to them for extended periods of time,
Fully coloured and detailed pictures of an OC engine. With no background.
Remember to be descriptive on exactly what you want and exactly what model you want or I'll just take a flying guess
$25 through Paypal please ^^
Like those ^ Just lineart with no colour C': I might be convinced to do minimal shading, if you ask nicely~
$20 through Paypal please.
Your engine with all its parts and metal.. Just in a human shape~!
$10 through Paypal please.
Just a coloured sketch of your Homestuck troll (or kid )
(Yes I do ancestors too!)
Now keep in mind that I /prefer/ characters who dress modestly. Just because something is GA by DA's terms doesn't mean it's GA by mine. If you're not sure, just feel free to ask ^^ I'm flexible.
$10 through PayPal please.
A quick little sketch of aaaanything you want babe
.. Well, almost anything X'D
$5 through PayPal please.
Before I post this, I just want to make it very clear that I am in no way attempting to malign or maliciously jab at anyone, or tell anyone what they can or cannot do. I am simply pointing out established trends in many fanfictions that I find inconsistent with canon or otherwise offensive/inaccurate. I apologize if anyone takes offense to this, these are only my opinions.
Here we go..
1. Usage of the word "insane", particularly when it pertains to Dib.
When does Dib ever give any indication that he's mentally unstable? In the show, he's probably one of the most sane characters to exist. He's supposed to be- that's the irony in it; that he /is/ the most grounded character in the entire show's universe, yet he's labeled as a freak because everyone else is too stupid to see the truth. Dib is not insane. Get over it.
2. Canon/OC pairings. We have enough scorned female Irken invaders trying to take over Earth, okay?
Now don't get me wrong, OC/Canon pairings can be really good if done properly, and when done properly, others may even start shipping it. I've seen this happen so I know it's possible. However the same old formula over and over again is extremely tiring, and I'm at the point where I can guess exactly what an OC is actually going to be like before I even read the story. And most of the time I'm right.
3. Making Dib unlike-able just to prove a point.
To my knowledge, Dib has also never proved himself to be unlike-able in any respect. He's not overtly rude, and even if he is on an occassion, I think he's got every right to be. He's consistently putting himself through all hell on a near-daily basis just to save a planet full of people who think he's a freak. That's pretty damn admirable. He's dedicated, trustworthy, and determined to see that Zim's plans fail at every turn, even if that means rocketing himself into outer space or chasing Zim out of the house with a lamp that looks like his father. You do not need to make Dib look like a total asshole just to make us sympathize with Zim in your moody fanfiction. Most of us sympathize with him already.
4. Zim being stuck on Earth permenantly.
This may have had an impact the first time I saw it but can we move on? I can think of many worse punishments for Zim than simply being stuck on Earth. You'd also think the Empire would want to be more tidy than that- additionally, who's to say Zim would even care or acknowledge this banishment? He certainly didn't when he was banished to Foodcourtia. Even if he was stranded on Earth with no Irken technology, it's entirely possible than he could build himself a ship simply with his superior knowledge of technology and the tools in his Pak. To assume that Zim would be affected by this is to assume that Zim isn't who he is.
5. Hate-romance that's more hate than romance. Actually, just leave out the romance altogether.
I'm really done seeing "non-con" tags while I'm browsing through works involving Zim and Dib on the Archive. Also there's no such thing as "non-con" turning into "consensual". If someone says no, and their assailant keeps going, that is rape. Which I don't like to see in fiction anyhow. You don't need a rape scene to make a story dramatic or give a character drive to get shit done; in fact, if you need gimmicky things like that to make your story dramatic, you probably need to brush up on your writing/storybuilding skills.
6. Portraying Zim as a complete idiot.
Okay, hear me out before you go thinking that Zim is supposed to be incompetent. In a very base sense, he's really not. He's incredibly smart with technology, absolutely bent on dominating Earth, destructive, and full of zeal. He's actually had victory in his grasp more than once, only to be thwarted by Dib. Were Dib out of the picture, it's entirely possible that Zim could have easily overthrown the planet. Hence why so many episodes are dedicated to Zim attempting to shove Dib out of the picture- Dib's downfall and Earth's downfall are synonymous. Zim knows this, and therefor, his priorities aren't quite as skewed as they might seem. As that stands, it's pretty vexing to see Zim end up as the butt of too many jokes, just to make Dib seem smarter.. Pretty much the reversed version of "Making Dib unlike-able just to prove a point".
7. Downright depressing stories.
Like, wow. I have never seen a fandom that produces sob stories with such fervent ardour. Yeah, sad things happen, it's part of life. But they don't happen all the time, and to be honest, wading through a bunch of sad stories (punctuated only by smut or the occasional "Making Dib unlike-able just to prove a point") is super exhausting. Invader Zim is supposed to be a humorous show.. Why not try to extend upon those grounds a little bit instead of going in the opposite direction? Or heck, even find a middle ground with a bit of humour and a bit of sadness. Or neither. There are other kinds of stories beside funny and sad (action, discovery, adventure, mystery), and they've been almost wholly neglected.
8. Alien societies being portrayed as too human.
I've seen a disturbing trend in 'humanizing' alien cultures. Particularly in gender-related issues considering equality of the sexes as well as subjugation of females... What in the world, or in the many many other worlds in this vast universe for that matter, makes us think that aliens would have the same social stigmas that we do? Aside from some vague commonalities such as sharing some emotions and the odd individual-based behaviour, Irkens share very little in common with humans. Even their biological stucture is different, and that DOES make a difference. Irkens are not shown to have much sexual dimorphism- all of the differences are either too slight to matter, or purely cosmetic, and are likely just leftover traits from when they needed to be distinguishable from one another for mating purposes. And that would have been a long time ago. There is no plausible reason for this unsettling trend of female Irken "damsels in distress". Irkens are hardasses- Tak was a hardass. Zim is a hardass. They're duty driven, don't give a fuck about whether you're a male or a female, and determined to get shit done. In a species like that (yes, the entire species), what makes anyone think they have any time, or even care to futz around with weaklings? If there were any Irken damsels in distress, they would have been offed in the trials. If you're an Irken, you have to be a hardass. If you're not, you don't survive.
For Irkens, there is no such thing as "girly" or "manly", especially not in a human's sense of the word; you certainly don't see Zim bitching about wearing pink all the time.
9. Irkens with boobs.
While we're on the subject, I apologize but I am simply not strong enough to imagine an androgynous, insectoid race of alien creatures that have mammalian breasts. Irkens are overwhelmingly insect, in both biological structure and the general makeup of their society. Additionally, I have never seen a female Irken with breasts in the show- and there have been quite a few who have made on screen appearances, even if they weren't named. The only visibly defining trait of a female Irken would be her eyelashes and a slightly more pronounced curl on her antennae, and sometimes even that is debatable. There is just no evidence or even an open end to base this off of. Perhaps if no females were visible in the show, and it was left up to conjecture I may find it more acceptable, even if it's not biologically plausible. But giving your female Irken breasts just to make her meet up with a human standard to be sexually attractive is just stupid. We have enough sexualized women in science fiction already, let's not shove this onto other races as well, especially ones that have been established as androgynous..
10. Irkens with hair.
I really shouldn't have to explain this one, but, assuming that there are people out there who legitimately wouldn't know why this is annoying, I'll do it anyhow. I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again just for a bit of clarity; Irkens are overwhelmingly insect. Humanoid, to be sure, but even the briefest look at their overall biology and society will determine that they are insect-based. Now that that has been established, let's get a little more scientific. Insects do not possess hair. Insects have hair-like projections that have the potential to look superficially like mammalian hair but they are only convergently similar. Mammalian hair is made of the protein alpha keratin. Insect "hair" or setae are made of chitin, a carbohydrate, and are, in effect, more like bristles than hair. Now, if this were an open ended discussion without any predisposed template to be based off of, I may, again, find this idea plausible even if it doesn't adhere to biology. I'm all about creative freedom when it comes to making aliens. However again, even the quickest look at the general Irken populace leads us to one inevitable conclusion- Irkens do not have hair. It's established canon, and rather indisputable given the incredible amount of evidence, so there's really no defending this. I'm not going to tell anyone what they can or cannot do, but at the end of the day, there are some things that just don't line up.
11. Sexist ZAGR.
STOP. MAKING. GAZ. HELPLESS. AND. PATHETIC. TO. FUEL. YOUR. SEXIST. ASS. PAIRING. Everybody heard that? Okay good. That being said, there's nothing inherently wrong with ZAGR. People can ship whatever the heck they want and that's a-okay with me. However it's highly unsettling to see one of the most hands down badass female cartoon characters there every was, being turned into a damsel in distress to fuel the vapid plot of some cliche love story. Gaz is a hardass. Hell, all of the female Invader Zim characters are hardasses in some way or another. She takes zero shit from anyone, and will destroy anyone who attempts to give her shit. I hate to disillusion people, but she's not romantic, she doesn't buy into drama and she would /never/ be anyone's 'queen'. If anything she'd be the damn Empress and rule with an iron fist. Stop writing ZAGR as a poor self-insert fanfiction and start writing it with a touch of realism, and I may actually start reading it instead of scoffing at the mere mention. You can have a heterosexual pairing that /doesn't/ conform to the stereotypical expectation of what a straight pairing should be. You can have a woman taking charge in a relationship. You can have a straight relationship in which the partners are equals. You can, you can, you can! It's really uncool to sacrifice the nature of the character in order to fulfill an inherently sexist plot- sure, Gaz being the way she is will definitely make it more difficult to have the pairing work, but getting it to work is what makes the story good or interesting to read. To just have Gaz suddenly start changing because she realizes she's falling in love is a cheap bail out of what could have been an interesting story.
And it's not just sexist to women and highly out of character for Gaz. It's sexist to men and out of character for Zim as well. More on that in 3, 2, 1.
12. Sexist ZADR.
STOP. MAKING. ZIM. HELPLESS. AND. PATHETIC. TO. FUEL. YOUR. SEXIST. ASS. PAIRING. Redundancy at its worst, but it's appalling how this simple line of thinking seems to evade so many fiction writers. I'm so. So tired of Zim being reduced to a state in which he is completely dependent on Dib against his will. Stripped of his agency. It's a really really overdone and worn out trope, with Zim being the "bottom". I mean, I get that it can be "sexy" and whatever, but there has to a be a line between romance and plain straight up smut. Right now, there's really no distinguishing area because no one cares to define it. I get that since they do hate eachother so much in their native state, that getting them to a point in which they could hold a relationship is difficult.. But making a plausible track from A to B is how it becomes realistic and even an enjoyable read. I'm really done seeing Zim getting the short end of the stick here. In any potential relationship in fanfiction, what makes anyone think Zim would stop wanting to be the one who calls the shots; it only makes sense, given that he's got such a strong personality and demands nothing less than almost complete submission to his every whim. For example, I can see this: Dib and Zim have some weird sort of established hate-romance, and they could be at recess, across the playground from each other. Then Zim decides he wants a hug from his disgusting love pig. So he opens his arms with this serious glare on his face, and Dib is REQUIRED to drop what he's doing, run over and hug Zim. And if he makes him wait too long, that's just too damn bad and the hug is off the table. Something like that. Scenarios that just scream Zim's pride. I just cannot see Zim being happy, or even accepting to be in a relationship with someone who didn't treat him like the best thing since sliced bread. In the end, people can write whatever they want; but my point is that there's just no selection, it's all the same thing, and that really bugs me. There are so many options for these romantic pairings, and so many options without romance, but people just keep falling into the same rut. Every. Time.
13. Irkens in human clothing.
This one doesn't really need much of an explanation. Ties in with "Alien societies being portrayed as too human". Unless you have a plausible reason as to why your Irken would have come to Earth, or would otherwise have made contact with/gotten familiar with human culture, then you should probably refrain from doing this (a scorned Invader seeking to 'prove their worth' to the Empire is not a plausible reason). In addition, what makes human culture so special? Out of the likely hundreds of planets that have been assimilated into the Irken Empire, what would the relatively inconsequential planet Earth have to offer that other alien cultures didn't? Where are the Irkens dressed in native Vortian clothing? Where are the Irkens dressed in native Screwhead clothing? Or even Planet Jacker clothing? The fact remains that Irkens, as a species, are extremely xenophobic, frequently scoffing at the very cultures they are attempting to make part of their Empire. In fact, their main goal is to choke them all out. So why would any Irken voluntarily wear clothing of alien origin, aside from an instance wherein an Invader is attempting to blend in? That would be like a football fanatic wearing the jersey of a team they vehemently hate. It doesn't make sense, and is highly out of context.
This is all I've got for now, but I'll probably update this list every now and then as I continue delving into the frightening jungle that is the Invader Zim fanfiction world.
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