not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix

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A shoutout and Slytherin musings

First. 4Christina. Christina Hall (sapphsmum) is dying of cancer. The government and charitable organisations that one would think of in such cases have failed her and her familly. Last I heard, she's got worse and is now in the hospital. They're broke, in debt, and still running out of money. She has a very rare cancer of the salivary glands that does not have any support organisations for it.

I've spent some time at the site and read pretty much all of it. I've looked through the documents that they've provided to prove that this is indeed a legitimate cause. It doesn't sound professional at all, it all seems very emotional and desperate. There are addresses, real names, things that can be cross-referenced and checked, and my bullshit radar hasn't gone off once. For what it's worth, I don't think it's a scam.

Those of you who are fandom_wankers will have heard of the site and the Wank That Would Not Die. It all started back with the Laptopgate incident of December. Now. I don't give two shits about which fandom big-baller got offended by Christina's plea for help. I don't give two shits about a single one of the wankers who turn up their nose at the supposedly "shameless" begging.

The most shameless thing about all this is that a human being is reduced to begging strangers for her life. I'm deeply ashamed to be in the same species as the people who point fingers at her and call her distasteful. I'm absolutely sickened by those who accuse Christina of being a scam artist without even bothering to go check out her site.

The site has links to buy dolls and donate to her medical fund. cleolinda (the one who does the hugely popular m15m parodies) is doing more on her LJ -- she will parody any movie in theatrical release if a fundraising goal ($5000) is reached.

I can't ask you to do anything other than read this and consider helping Christina out. If you can't, or won't, that's cool. I wanted to do as much as I could in getting the word out. Kristal has made userinfo banners. Christina's daughter, invidereliana calls herself the Ravenclaw Alumna, Honourary Slytherin. What do we always say about the Slytherins? We (try to) protect our own. ;)

And with that, I segue into the Slytherin musings of the day. This is, of course, based on my understanding of Slytherin in canon without the Gryffindor-coloured glasses. All of it is extrapolation and therefore speculative; do with that what you will. I self-identify as Slytherin and I've been Sorted into Slytherin by every automatic test I took and every Sorting community I entered, so obviously there will be some "we" and "I"s in there. :P

Got Slytherin?

A Slytherin sets goals and lives by them; we do not necessarily aim for worldwide acclaim but we always aim high, and we're likely to have detailed plans for achieving our goals. We are driven by a desire to achieve, and if your deepest desire is finding love or happiness, you are not a Slytherin. Love and happiness are not things that can be obtained wilfully; they are ephemeral and idealistic.

Slytherins are pragmatists and our desires reflect that. It's not that we don't want to love or be happy, but these things are incidental, not ends in themselves. In addition to ambition, there needs to be a certain ruthlessness in the Slytherin; the Sorting Hat did not say "those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends" by accident.

Cunning, the second most-quoted Slytherin trait, is defined as "marked by or given to artful subtlety and deceptiveness" and "executed with or exhibiting ingenuity" -- these are very important. It's difficult to discern personality through the Internet, so I'll focus on writing style as an indicator. [Because I'm not in a particular hurry to tell the world about my and my Slytherin friends' machinations ;)]

Short, standard sentences are neither ingenious nor artful; a Slytherin's writing is layered with subtext and creative turns of phrase, even if the Slytherin is inept (like me) and the creative phrasing falls flat. It is not necessarily good writing, but it is sneaky writing. There needs to be the ability to say things without actually stating them explicitly.

One thing that often seems to escape public notice is the following line by the Sorting Hat: "shrewd Slytherin, from fen." This is the most important canon clue to the Slytherin brand of intelligence; unlike the Ravenclaws' wit, Slytherin shrewdness is not about seeking knowledge for its own sake. Shrewdness implies sharp intelligence, a keen awareness of the world around you, sound judgement, and resourcefulness along with an intuitive knack for practical considerations.

Slytherins want to have enough knowledge to help us achieve whatever we're striving for, we are good problem-solvers and we're good at adapting to changing circumstances -- all of this is owing to our shrewdness. It, too, is not without a downside -- shrewdness also implies hard-headedness and so Slytherins are often quite stubborn, sometimes downright petty, and we do not like taking advice.

Slytherins are not the types to be falsely modest. A true Slytherin does not necessarily strut about the place and shout about how wonderful they are at every opportunity. We're proud of our achievements and we like to talk about them; sometimes other people will find it annoying how much we natter on about our own achievements or the influence or power of our families or friends. That doesn't hold for all Slytherins, but some of us are like that. Members of other houses are prone to brag, too, especially Gryffindors. The crucial difference is that the Slytherin will never tell you everything. Prone as we are to braggadoccio, we keep our cards close to our chests even when bragging.

I'd also like to make a mention of the symbol of Slytherin house: the serpent. A little-known fact about snakes is that various species of snakes are social beings; for example, ringneck snakes may live in groups of over 100 individuals. Slytherins are not by default loners -- we all like our personal space (and perhaps value it far more than members of other houses) but we are not antisocial. Slytherins value communities and networking, because we know full well that often it's not what you know or how well you do it, but whom you know.

The Sorting Hat says "...perhaps in Slytherin you'll make your real friends," and I don't take that lightly. Real friends are hard to come by, and Slytherins' insular nature in canon in addition to the way they rally together behind their own, suggests a deep sense of loyalty that focuses only those nearest to them. Traditionally, Slytherins will tend to gravitate towards other Slytherins because they're easiest to understand. Thus our clique-ishness, I suppose.

The stereotypical Slytherin would be a psychopath -- if the canon traits of Slytherins, demonstrated as they are through Harry's perspective, were to be true to reality, that is. The description of the psychopath as a deranged killer, perpetuated by books and films such as "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Psycho" is at odds with the classic clinical description of the psychopath. Psychopaths are free of psychotic delusions and hallucinations; they are better described as cold, callous, and calculating.

Any canon Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw who fits that profile? Not likely. Any Slytherins? Why, several: Voldemort, Snape, and even Draco to a certain extent. Admittedly, Draco's still young and unable to control his emotions well, but the telling fact is that Draco is far, far better at controlling his emotions than Harry.

I'm not suggesting a clinical diagnosis here; the etiology, dynamics, and conceptual boundaries of psychopathy are the subject of much speculation. It's just an analogy I've drawn; it's one reason why I don't think we've seen the last of Phineas Nigellus or someone like him, who while still being not-very-likeable can make a commentary on Slytherin house that is not biased like Harry's.

I could go on and on about the Slytherin stereotypes, but I'd like to address just one in detail. Slytherins are not rude or crude. If we insult, we tend to do so obliquely, unless we want attention. We can be rude and condescending when the occasion calls for it (e.g. if we or our housemates/friends/family have been slighted) but a true Slytherin will not burn bridges. A light dusting of snark is acceptable and even desirable, full-blown derision is not (again, unless we want the attention, e.g. Scarhead).

So, got Slytherin? Ambition, the ability to use language creatively and convey meanings through subtext, pragmatism, a focus on achieving, intuitive reasoning, pride, loyalty to nearest and dearest, and a sarcastic sense of humour. Sound familiar? >:D
Tags: fandom, fandom:hp, meta:slytherin
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