Hard Tweets: The Masterpost

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This has been sitting in my drafts folder for at least a month, so I’ll just publish it and have done with it.

I had to read Dickens’s Hard Times for my Brit lit class this past semester, and on a whim, I decided to livetweet it (note:  this concept is blatantly ripped off the inimitably hysterical @MuggleHustle).  Here, then, are all the Hard Tweets.  (In bullet point form, because like heck I’m embedding all of those.)  If you want to read along, by any chance, you can find Hard Times on Project Gutenberg.

  • I’m reading Hard Times for my Brit lit class, and Chapter X confused the BEJEEZERS out of me.
  • That is, till I remembered Dickens was paid by the word.
  • I feel like Charles Dickens was the Victorian-era version of a NaNoWriMo participant.
  • “OH SHNIKES I HAVEN’T MADE MY WORD COUNT YET HERE LET’S HAVE A RANDOM SCENE WITH TWO CHARACTERS AND LOTSA UST” – Charles Dickens, probably
  • “all I wanna do is” *boom boom boom cha-ching* “and take your money” – Charles Dickens right after that, probably
  • oH. The random drunk lady was Stephen’s WIFE. THAT EXPLAINS SO MUCH.
  • (also, I guess I’m livetweeting Hard Times now so there’s that)
  • No but why is Stephen asking Bounderby for advice
  • I feel like Bounderby would be second only to Gradgrind on the list of Worst Fictional Advice-Givers Ever
  • Gradgrind would just completely shut you down and ask you the square root of pi, and Bounderby would launch into his life story yet again
  • Sudden Stephen/Rachael feels like

  • Louisa and Tom have the weirdest vibe. This is coming from someone who’s never read/watched GoT, but I’m getting Cersei/Jaime from them.
  • nO BOUNDERBY GET THE HECK AWAY FROM LOUISA
  • (sometimes I just get really protective of female characters)
  • I mean, I saw that proposal coming from chapter 2, but still. BOUNDERBY’S A POMPOUS FART, LOUISA. YOU’RE WAY TOO GOOD FOR HIM
  • “Mr. Bounderby has informed me that he has long watched your progress with particular interest and pleasure…” oh GOD. NO. GTFO BOUNDERBY
  • “Mr. Bounderby is, we will say in round numbers, fifty.” ALL THE MORE REASON FOR HIM TO NOT WITH LOUISA. Jiminy.
  • Oh, Louisa. You poor thing. Can I reach into the story and give you a ginormous hug?
  • also LOL forever at Louisa giving that epic smackdown and Gradgrind COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT
  • “Sissy had suddenly… looked, in wonder, in pity, in sorrow, in doubt, in a multitude of emotions, towards Louisa.”
  • As probably the only Louisa/Sissy shipper on this planet, that bit BROKE MY HEART
  • don’t mind me, I’ll just go sob into my pillow now over Louisa/Sissy
  • WE COULD HAVE HAD IT AAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
    SCREW YOU BOUNDERBYYYYYYYYYYYYY
    (it fits with the tune, oh my gosh)
  • What can I say, I have a weakness for Kirk/Spock dynamics.  #lissy5eva
  • Shoutout to Mrs. Sparsit for being literally the only person who can ever make Bounderby feel awkward
  • I just found a Sissy x Louisa fanfic on AO3. Excuse me while I FREAK OUT
  • Agh. Louisaaaaaaaaaaa.
  • For some reason, Coketown reminds me irresistibly of Howl’s Moving Castle.
  • If the rest of this novel was just about Mrs. Sparsit being an HBIC, I could totally live with it.
  • “Mrs. Sparsit considered herself, in some sort, the Bank Fairy.” I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING
  • “The townspeople who… saw her there, regarded her as the Bank Dragon keeping watch over the treasures of the mine.”
  • So basically Mrs. Sparsit is Smaug.
  • Headcanon accepted so fast I think I broke something.
  • “one of the working people; who appeared to have been taking a shower-bath of something fluffy” – wait. BUBBLE BATH?!
  • I’m so confused now.
  • Oho, methinks this tall, dark, and handsome stranger has a thing for Mrs. Sparsit. #getitgirl
  • How on earth is someone like Jem Harthouse going to survive in Coketown? I’m pretty sure you get murdered twice if you laugh in that place.
  • “I don’t know what she saw in me to marry me…” – Bounderby. For once, Bounderby, I completely agree with you.
  • And frankly, I doubt Louisa sees anything in him either.
  • Tom Jr. subtly making faces at Bounderby is everything I live for and more.
  • “Tom was soon in a highly free and easy state at his end of the sofa, and more than ever disposed to admire his new friend at the other end”
  • *narrows eyes* what do your slash-goggle eyes see, Whitney?
  • “There was something so very agreeable in being so intimate with such a waistcoat…” Yep, I ship Tom/Jem already. That was quick.
  • “…in being called Tom, in such an intimate way, by such a voice; in being on such off-hand terms so soon, with such a pair of whiskers…”
  • This ship sails itself, y’all.
  • “The tempter merely lifted his eyebrows…” DICKENS LITERALLY JUST REFERRED TO JEM AS THE TEMPTER. #shipofdreams
  • “If he had had any sense of what he had done that night… he might have… curtained his head for ever with its filthy waters.” OH NO OH NO
  • “‘Oh, my friends, the down-trodden operatives of Coketown!'” This guy’s seriously two inches from singing Red and Black.
  • Oh hey, Stephen. Nice to see you again. Hope you don’t get trampled by the mob.
  • I have to mutter Stephen’s words to myself in order to understand them. Awkward, since I’m in public.
  • Serious question: does anyone know what dialect Stephen Blackpool is supposed to be speaking? I need to know for science.
  • Slackbridge has got to be so deflated right now. Like “crud, I wasn’t expecting them to actually listen to him.”
  • Good god. Slackbridge kept his frinkin’ arm out the whole time. Why.
  • Crap, now I really want to hug Stephen.
  • You keep speaking that truth, Stephen. High five.
  • I had no idea it was possible to hate Bounderby any more than I did already. Jeez, what a wet noodle.
  • I’m convinced Mrs. Pegler is a Time Lady.
  • A wild Louisa appears!
  • I miss Sissy Jupe. Just saying. If she could come back, that would be super-cool.
  • Tom, I think that tobacco may have had weed in it, because I can’t understand a blessed thing you’re saying.
  • “When they came to the dark corner where their unfrequent meetings always ended, they stopped… as if both were afraid to speak.” NOW KISS
  • “‘I don’t forget that I am Josiah Bounderby of Coketown.'” Yeah, I think we all knew that already, Bounderby.
  • Tom, you’re a reckless worm. Louisa, why on earth are you humoring him? #baddecisions
  • LOUISA BBY
  • Alright, “a disorder of roses” is perhaps my new favorite phrase ever.
  • This chapter is titled simply “Explosion,” which definitely isn’t foreboding or anything.
  • Okay, Jem’s “rare tobacco that had had so wholesome an influence on his young friend” is DEFINITELY weed.
  • If the paltry bank robbery is the titular explosion, I will be sorely disappointed.
  • I wonder how many people have thought “of Coketown” was Bounderby’s actual last name, since he says it so dang much.
  • WHAT. NO. No frickin’ WAY Stephen robbed that bank. NO.
  • Also, I feel like there’s some sort of joke in James referring to Stephen as “Blackpot,” but I’m just not getting it right now.
  • Oh, peanuts. If Tom set this up by telling Stephen to wait outside the bank, I’ll reach into the book and wring his sorry neck.
  • Ugh. Bounderby’s crappy self-esteem is spreading to Mrs. Sparsit.
  • Don’t listen to that noodlehead, Mrs. Sparsit. You’re a fearsome dragon. #khaleesi
  • Aaaaaand Mrs. Sparsit seems to be completely in denial w/r/t Bounderby and Louisa being married. Kindred spirits, we are.
  • “Long after Louisa had undressed and lain down, she watched and waited for her brother’s coming home.” Um.
  • “As I am here beside you, barefoot, unclothed-” Oh dear god. Yeah, seems we’ve got a bona fide Cersei and Jaime on our hands here.
  • My face during all these Louisa/Tom shenanigans:
  • “…in the energy of her love she took him to her bosom as if he were a child…” OKAY YOU CAN STOP NOW LOUISA THIS IS GETTING WEIRD
  • “How [Mrs. Sparsit] got from story to story was a mystery beyond solution.” So now I’m thinking she’s Mrs. Frederic?
  • “‘I suppose no one ever had occasion to think you too diffident, or too delicate,’ Louisa answered him composedly.” OH BURN.
  • “Mr. Harthouse was soon idly gay on indifferent subjects.” *waggles eyebrows*
  • “‘Serve you right, you Noodle, and I am glad of it.’” – MRS. SPARSIT CALLED BOUNDERBY A NOODLE LIKE I’VE BEEN DOING. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
  • I must be the reincarnation of Mrs. Sparsit or something. This is so freaky.
  • “…Sissy she had never softened to again…” nooooooooooooooo
  • *muffled sobbing over Louisa/Sissy in the distance*
  • “…the gentleness of [Sissy’s] face… the sweet face with the trusting eyes… the rich dark hair.” *loudly hums Can’t Fight This Feeling*
  • “‘Crack,’ said Tom.” #contextwhatcontext
  • James, you sly dog.
  • “Chapter XII: Down.” With the sickness? Or what? #shawtygotlow
  • “‘I curse the hour in which I was born to such a destiny.’” YEAH LOUISA YOU TELL HIM
  • “‘I never knew you were unhappy, my child.’” Oh my god, Gradgrind, you stalk of celery. How on earth can you be so clueless?
  • No but a Star Trek AU where Louisa’s half-Vulcan and half-human
  • I feel so bad for Louisa, though. Poor girl’s been through the emotional wringer.
  • Sissy took Louisa up to her bed. Sissy was by Louisa’s bedside. Sissy was taking care of Louisa. I can’t deal with this, y’all.
  • Whoa. Sounds like Mr. Gradgrind actually *means* his apology. Can’t say I expected that.
  • I’m serious. If I could draw at all, I’d be drawing a Star Trek AU of Hard Times right now.
  • (I have to say, I never imagined I’d type that sentence…)
  • Sissy to Louisa: ‘I would be something to you, if I might.’ Excuse me while I squeal.
  • “…I have always loved you, and have always wished that you should know it.” SISSY. YOU’RE KILLING ME. (Commence inhuman wailing.)
  • Seriously, that reminds me of Mr. Darcy: “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” #unapologeticfemslashshipper
  • Louisa: ‘Forgive me, pity me, help me! Have compassion on my great need, and let me lay this head of mine upon a loving heart!’
  • And Sissy’s reply: “‘O lay it here!’ cried Sissy. ‘Lay it here, my dear.’”
  • I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP
  • “‘How the deuce,’ returned Tom, staring, ‘could I see my sister when she was fifteen miles off?’” *z-snap*
  • Sissy to James: “‘You may be sure, sir, you will never see her again as long as you live.’” HOLD THE PHONE
  • “He was touched in the cavity where his heart should have been.” Whoa. Now there’s a good burn.
  • LOLing forever at James trying to make excuses for himself and Sissy just standing there like

  • Alternate titles for this book: Sissy Jupe Saves the Day
  • Sooooo Mrs. Sparsit basically has the worst cold known to humankind?
  • Mr. Gradgrind just said Sissy understands Louisa. MY HEART
  • Jeez, when did I get so emotionally invested in this story?
  • I should count the times Bounderby refers to himself as “Josiah Bounderby of Coketown.”
  • Update: seventeen times.
  • Oh cool, we’re back to the bank robbery plot. Watch, I bet the culprit will be Tom.
  • Or Slackbridge. Or even James. (Wouldn’t that be a hoot?)
  • Slackbridge is painfully long-winded. Seriously, he could’ve just said “screw Stephen Blackpool” and been done with it.
  • A wild Mrs. Pegler appears!
  • WHAT.
  • Mrs. Pegler is Bounderby’s MOM?!
  • Oh my god. Bounderby made up his entire life story. PLOT TWIST
  • I mean, I always knew he was full of ish.
  • Louisa and Sissy both think Tom’s the thief too. Great minds, eh?
  • STEPHEN OH MY GOD NO NO NO.
  • Phew. Stephen’s alive after all. (I literally just shouted OH THANK GOD.)
  • nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
  • Stephen, you absolute saint.
  • Oh, ew. Tom’s basically in blackface. Can we not?
  • Rather cruel of Dickens, wasn’t it, to give the guy with a lisp a last name beginning with S?
  • Finished the book. Awesome, now I can eat something.
  • Here ends Hard Tweets. Thanks for putting up with my Dickensian fangirling, folks.

There you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m feeling inspired to write more of that Star Trek AU.

No, I’m not crying. I just have Elementary in my eye.

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(Wow, less than an hour after the season finale finished and I’ve already churned out meta.  I’m surprised I could stop weeping long enough to write this.  HOLMES BROTHERS, WHY MUST YOU TORTURE ME SO.)

(Also, spoilers abound.  Consider yourself warned.)

There are many things that make Elementary remarkable, but I think this is one of the most important things: in both season finales, the victory that we would expect Sherlock to have is taken from him.

Granted, the first season had a far more optimistic ending, once it was established that Sherlock didn’t actually OD (that part, if memory serves, had me screaming hysterically at the TV). Joan “Not Your F***ing Mascot” Watson got the last laugh over Moriarty, and the season closed on the note of a new species of hybrid bees named after Joan, the symbolism of which was blatantly obvious to us faithful viewers. But this season had a much darker ending. Joan’s going to move out, which maybe doesn’t kill the hybrid bee analogy but certainly weakens it. Sherlock (and Joan, too!) insisted he could fix Mycroft’s mole problem – and maybe he could have, who knows. But this time it was Mycroft who got the final decision, who basically chose to die. Yeah, he’s not actually dead, but he might as well be. Mycroft took matters out of Sherlock’s hands and fixed the problem himself.

Sherlock, as we’ve seen in the past few episodes, is unbelievably clingy. He has his people and his stuff and his ideas as to how all that should be sorted. His idea of loving someone (because now there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that he loves Joan immensely, in his own way) is keeping them close, very close. When his world has what he perceives as order, he’s happy as a clam. But Joan and Mycroft are people, of course, not objects, so naturally they’ll screw with his order whether they mean to or not.

What I’m getting at is this: Sherlock can’t seem to recognize other people for what they really are, namely suns in their own right. Joan really nailed it with the astronomy metaphor. As far as Sherlock’s orderly brain is concerned, she orbits him. I think that’s what Sherlock was expecting from Mycroft too – orbiting. (Though why he still held out for that, even after Mycroft proved himself to be a force against Sherlock’s order multiple times, is beyond me.) Sherlock wanted Mycroft to wait for him to make everything right.

He didn’t hug Mycroft back, because how can you exert a gravitational pull on something that’s so wildly out of orbit?

That’s the brilliant thing about both these victories being stolen from Sherlock – they ultimately show how flawed his worldview is. I don’t know if Sherlock will ever get past this mental thing he has going, but I definitely think that would be a good direction for his character development to take. He said to Joan, after all, that he could change for her. Let’s see him change the way he views her. It’s too late for him to save his relationship with Mycroft, but if he means what he says, he can still make things work with Joan. He can still recognize her for the blazing sun she is, instead of simply seeing her as a constant satellite.*

In the meantime, though, I’m going to sob for ages about thAT HUG.  I DIDN’T NEED MY HEART ANYWAY.  IT’S FINE.  AUGH.

*The references are to Vienna Teng’s wonderful song “Gravity.”