So in the past few years I’ve seen so many videos / posts that are like:
“Actually wolves don’t have hierarchies! They live in family groups where the ‘alphas’ are mom and dad and the other wolves are their CHILDREN and offer their respect willingly! :D”
and I just have to say
how dare you try to make normative nuclear families out of wolves
Yes, a lot of the old “nature red in tooth and claw” stuff about wolves is nonsense. (Like anything from Jack London.) And anything ‘alpha’ you see sleazy men trying to relate to dating (yikes!) is especially nonsense.
But wolves are complex social creatures and they create complex social structures. Just as you can’t say “THIS is the way human society is structured. Just THIS single way and no other”, so too there is no single form for a wolf pack.
Some packs are a mom wolf and a dad wolf and their wolf children. Others are two small ragged packs that combine to form a large pack. Others are packs where a lone wolf joins and eventually becomes a leader. Others are packs where a grown child-wolf has pushed their parent out of the leadership role.
Speaking of the latter, let’s look at the tale of Wolf 40 and Wolf 42.
Wolf 40, Wolf 41, and Wolf 42 were wild Yellowstone wolves, daughters of the alphas. Their father was illegally killed by hunters and shortly after ambitious Wolf 40 ousted her mother, driving her out of the pack. Wolf 21 became the new alpha male, and 40′s mate.
Wolves have personalities, and Wolf 40′s personality was “volatile”. Imagine Scar from The Lion King combined with the boss from Office Space, and you have Wolf 40. She habitually bullied the other female wolves, attacking them until they expressed abject submission. And the wolves that got the worst of it were her sisters, Wolves 41 and 42.
Wolf 41 got tired of the bullying and left. Wolf 42 remained, perhaps because she was close to Wolf 21, the alpha male. Despite that, Wolf 21 did not interfere when his mate harassed Wolf 42.
Unlike 40, Wolf 42 got along well with the other female wolves, spending time grooming them and relaxing with them. Wolf 40 could have followed her sister’s example and built up positive social bonds. But she didn’t.
One day, Wolf 40 went out on an important task. She was going to kill another litter of her sister’s pups--having done the same in two previous years. This isn’t uncommon wolf behavior (but is not universal, as we will see.) Typically only the alphas breed.
However, Wolf 40 never returned from her important task because Wolf 42--who previously had submitted to her alpha and sister, who had allowed the killing of two previous litters of pups--had had enough. She fought back.
And the other female wolves jumped to aid her.
Collectively, they killed Wolf 40. Because “alpha” isn’t a magic cloak of protection, it doesn’t even mean “strongest wolf”, it’s just a job title.
The next day Wolf 42 carried her pups, one by one, to her sister’s den. She set her children among the pups of her dead sister and raised both litters together. And when another wolf in the pack had pups, Wolf 42 carried them to the den to be communally raised as well. She was the alpha female now and she made the rules, and the first rule was “we don’t hurt pups here.”
As for Wolf 21, he became the mate of Wolf 42. Maybe he understood that Wolf 40 had been riding for a fall.
As alpha female, Wolf 42 continued to be supportive and kind towards the other pack members. Wolves who had been nervous wrecks under Wolf 40 began to relax and come into their own; one of the former omega wolves gained self-confidence and became one of the best hunters.
“Alpha”, for wolves, just means leader. They might be good leaders, whom you respect, or they might be bad leaders, who fill you with dread. They might be your parents, or they might not. Even if they are your mother or father, wolves don’t contextualize those relationships the same way humans do.
But one thing wolves have in common with humans is that they have individual personalities and experiences, and their actions derive from those. There is no “typical wolf pack.” And I think that’s beautiful.
If you want to learn more about wild wolf dynamics, I recommend reading the annual Yellowstone Wolf Project Reports. Which are FASCINATING. There are also some good wildlife specials out there.
Wolves are my favorite animal. <3 It pains me to see them misunderstood as crazed bloodthirsty brutes, but it also pains me to see them woobified. They deserve better than that.
goddd i just want spider-man's identity to be his own worst but new york city's best kept secret. like i want him unthinkingly taking off his mask and like 20 people see, but if you ask them if they did? no they didn't.
the rule is unwritten, but very enforced. like, there are online communities dedicated to erasing any trace of the spread of his identity. a tourist takes a photo of him and posts it online? it's gone in minutes, and people send DMs to the poster anywhere from "hey, i'm sure you were just excited, but...." to "ill kill u if i evr c you, fuckin bitch".
any information on spider-man is only spread via word of mouth, and only spoken in hushed, awed voices. after several years of spider-man, everyone knows someone who encountered him:
"he saved my cousin. caught a falling billboard from underneath with his bare hands..."
"wow... i've never seen him myself, but he talked to my coworker's daughter for an hour after he stopped a guy from getting a little too handsy. apparently, his smile is 'dreamy'."
these secrets are freely given if you're kind, trustworthy, and show respect for the little guy. but the moment you demand information on him... "i don't know what you're talking about, buddy. he's just an urban legend the news likes to blame the city's problems on so we don't unionize or worse"
so as many times as spider-man ends up with out a mask, or accidentally introduces himself with a name that starts with 'p' and rhymes with 'meter'... on the record, they don't know a thing. because he does his best to help as many people as he can, so it's only fair if they help him a little in return.
ROTTMNT Character Fighting Style Analysis - Part 4: Donatello
Hey! I’m back with my fight-style analysis! Sorry it took so long but we’re back in business!
This is a continuation of my first post about analyzing each of the Turtles' (+April's) fighting style, their strengths and weaknesses in a fight, and how Rise uses that to highlight different aspects of their character. I highly encourage you read that first before hopping into this one for full context. There is a bit of a TL;DR at the end.
[Part 1: Leo] [Part 2: Raph] [Part 3: Mikey] [...] [Part 5: April]
Next up on the stand is our dear Othello von Ryan aka Bootyyyshaker9000, aka...
Categorizing Donnie's fighting style in Rise was surprisingly difficult as Donnie doesn't appear to have an easily identifiable pattern the way his brothers do. However, after I watched all the fights he's in several times over I've come to quite an interesting conclusion:
Unlike his brothers, Donnie doesn't have a specific fighting style - he has two.
Parry and Counterattack
Donnie's primary fight style in the show utilizes a more traditional combat approach (or as traditional as Donnie can get), utilizing his bo in combination with his tech to battle the enemy at close range. This fighting style is an interesting fusion of offensive and defensive techniques to create a style that caters to Donnie's strengths. It involves Donnie goading the enemy into attacking him with a series of swipes and jabs, then using a number of blocks and parry techniques to defend himself until he can find or create an opportune moment to create an opening and hit his foe with a devastating counterattack. While Donnie might not be the strongest turtle physically, his tech and proficiency with his bo make him a force to be reckoned with in his own right.
Donnie's secondary method of fighting is one I would best describe as a "glass cannon" fight style. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the term 'glass cannon' comes from video games and TTRPGs and is used to describe a character that can deal a lot of damage, but has very little health and defense in return (think of wizard or ranged classes).
"But wait, ‘Glass Cannon’ describes the attributes of a character, not their fighting style,” and yes, it does. However, in Donnie’s case, his fighting style changes in such a way that he becomes a glass cannon
With this fighting style, Donnie tends to forgo the close-range, technical combat, instead more ranged attacks that rely solely on his tech. This is Donnie when he is fighting at his most offensive as these attacks can be VERY powerful and can deal a significant amount of damage, but they also leave him rather vulnerable. Donnie puts all his focus on dealing strong singular attacks, but if those fail, he ends up being more exposed to the enemy as his tech has very few defensive capabilities.
Strengths and Roles in a Fight:
Donnie is the team's striker. His role in a fight is to deal powerful, precise hits against the enemy that are intended to quickly and efficiently defeat a foe. Both of his fight styles play into this role and both his Parry-and-Counterattack and Glass Cannon method are built to deliver strong, finalizing attacks. He is often seen entering a battle after his allies instead of charging right in (although he does sometimes do that - especially early on), choosing to be a bit more precise in who he fights, or joining an ally in order to provide that finishing blow if need be. His battleshell gives Donnie an aerial advantage, allowing him to swoop in unexpectedly and strike an enemy, or boost his speed and increase the strength of his attacks. While he is seen, on occasion, fighting outside of this role, he is at his strongest when filling the Striker position.
Donnie also fills the role of the team's Support and assists his brothers, April, and other members in a fight with the use of his tech (ha, get it - he's tech support). This is different than how Mikey supports the team as Mikey directly affects the enemy by disabling them, while Donnie supports the team by directly affecting those he's fighting alongside. Donnie provides numerous helpful gadgets with his tech that has a seemingly infinite number of configurations and uses in battle. His tech-bo had almost every tool under the sun and his goggles can give tactical information in a fight by pointing out weaknesses or additional information about an opponent. He also helps in moving allies around the battlefield using his hammer/tech-bo and battleshell, giving them a stronger advantage in the air and providing aerial assistance if needed. There are times when Donnie supports his allies by inhibiting the enemy, but more often than not his support is provided directly to his team.
Donnie's Parry and Counterattack style is, arguably, his best fighting style as he can utilize his tech while fighting without being overly reliant on it. When used properly he can go up against many types of enemies and it allows him to be a bit more adaptable in a fight than he is when he is using just his tech or just traditional fighting techniques.
His Glass Cannon fighting style should not be discredited, however, as it is incredibly strong, but it is more situational than the Parry-and-Counterattack method. There are times when it is useful to have that one powerful attack that can be used to finish off an enemy to deliver an immense amount of damage, but it needs to be done in tandem with his team. When Donnie fights as a Glass Cannon by himself, he becomes incredibly vulnerable and, without anyone to back him up, puts himself at huge risk when his attack fails. Having the others nearby help weaken the enemy, making his attack more effective, or can help defend Donnie should he need it.
Donnie's fighting styles are best suited for short battles against a small number of enemies while he tends to have a hard time in long, drawn-out fights or against a large number of opponents. Donnie's strengths lie in his ability to deliver strong individual attacks, which work best when he is fighting against just a couple of enemies where he can properly focus his energy. However, the longer the fight goes on, the more Donnie begins to struggle - the longer the battle drags on, the more likely Donnie is to get hit. Despite the fact that he does very well on the defensive when using his Parry and Counterattack style, once Donnie gets hit it becomes very hard for him to recover.
Donnie's role as the Striker can conflict with his role as the Support, resulting in him often having to prioritize one over the other. If Donnie plays a more aggressive role in the fight, both his fighting styles don't give much opportunity for him to use his tech for anything but his own attacks. When Donnie needs to fall into his Support role, this means he has to significantly "back off," so to speak, so he can fully deploy and utilize his tech to help his team.
How it plays into his character:
Donnie’s fight style and roles reveal a surprising amount of information about his character, including the complexities of his personality and how his strengths and flaws are demonstrated in the way he fights.
Donnie's Glass Cannon style is the direct result of his arrogance and overconfidence in his tech. Donnie takes pride in his tech and inventions, which isn't inherently a bad thing, however, this tends to feed into Donnie's arrogance, causing him to assume that his inventions could never fail. When he does this in battle, he puts so much emphasis on his tech and his confidence in its success that he doesn't consider the possibility that the attack may not work. However, there are times when the Glass Cannon fighting style is needed, which is when Donnie has to find a balance between relying on his tech for a powerful attack and having the humility to recognize when it may not be the best option.
Donnie's Parry-and-Counterattack fighting style exemplifies how skilled Donnie can be when the best parts of his character come together. This fighting method requires Donnie to be skilled, patient, and tactical; while also demonstrating how Donnie can use his intelligence and engineering in battle without being overly reliant on it. Donnie can be rash and overeager in a fight, especially when it comes to using his tech, but when he uses his Parry-and-Counterattack style he is forced to address that in order to succeed. When Donnie uses his greatest strength, his intelligence, all of these pieces fall into place, making him a very strong fighter.
Donnie's role as a Support may not be very obvious since he tends to fight more offensively, but the way he supports his team in a fight aligns very well with how Donnie expresses his care and affection for his family. Throughout the show, Donnie repeatedly tells us that emotion and affectionate gestures are difficult for him, which could make it seem that he has little care for his family. However, this is far from the case, Rise demonstrates time and time again that Donnie deeply cares about his family, but instead of expressing it outwardly, Donnie's affection comes through in his inventions. We see several instances in the show where Donnie makes upgrades to his tech to cater to his family's needs and interests - and he does the same thing in battle. He has several gadgets specifically designed to keep his family safe, and we see how he modifies his tech to accommodate the needs of others in a fight. The love Donnie has for his family translates into every part of their lives, including battle, even when it isn't immediately obvious to anyone else.
In a Team Fight:
In a combined team effort, Donnie is the best option to go last in a team attack. Given Donnie's role as the Striker and his fighting style that is heavily geared towards singular heavy strikes, it makes sense for him to be the one to deliver that finishing blow. This is where his Glass Cannon style works best as his allies have already worn the enemy down enough to make his final, tech-heavy particularly devastating.
With the mobility and the assistance he can provide with his tech, Donnie can help set up a follow-up attack, but this means he has to take a more passive role in the fight and he doesn't get much of a chance to attack. This can be beneficial when going against weaker opponents, but less so when fighting stronger enemies.
Donnie doesn't work as well as an attacker in the early positions in a team attack as his skills as a fighter are not suited to properly set up a coordinated effort. Even though his Parry-and-Counterattack style can create an opening in the opponent's defense, it also needs a very quick attack to follow up on that, which is difficult to execute without another person nearby. Attacking first or second may also require Donnie to fight his foe for a longer period of time, which increases the chance that Donnie will get hit and won't give him the time needed to recover from it.
Donnie's analysis was definitely the most difficult one of the bunch. Whereas Leo, Raph, and Mikey all have instantly recognizable roles and fighting styles, Donnie's was much more complex. You know he's the tech guy in and out of a fight, but trying to find where he fits into battle beyond that was challenging. Interestingly enough, it mirrors how his own character is presented, where you know Donnie's general shtick early on, but it can be difficult to understand his character beyond the surface level if you don't pay attention.
[TL;DR: Donnie has two distinct fighting styles in the show - one that prioritizes close-range Parrying and Counterattack techniques and one where he prioritizes his tech and becomes a Glass Cannon. These both feed into his role as the team's Striker, where he functions best as the final attack in a team battle - while also acting as the team's Support by assisting his allies with less combative tech. His roles and fighting style are all very indicative of Donnie's overall personality and the complexities of his character.]
Oh it’s good to be back doing these again. Sorry again for taking so long, but college be college and college be a bi- well, you know. Next up is our girl April O’Neil. I really will try to get it out tomorrow but I won’t make any guarantees.
Neil as a team captain is positively delightful, because making him captain is both absolutely insane and absolutely brilliant. It capitalizes on the passive effect of having one (1) Neil Josten (god knows the world couldn’t handle if there were more of him) on the team in the most efficient way. Like. I’m 90% sure that after spending some time around him on the same team, most people will look up to him completely awestruck for how much he has impacted their lives, but that’s just not what is actually happening here. I feel like what’s going on is this:
Neil is a terribly amazing choice for team captain entirely because Neil is a meddlesome little asshole who will forcibly fix all of his teammates’ personal problems and improve their entire lives for literally no other reason than that he needs them to be able to focus on fucking stickball so he can win at sports. It’s not even that he genuinely cares about people and their well-being (apart from his original foxes). He just gets pissed when things aren’t working properly because it makes Exy annoying when the lineup can’t communicate. Exy isn’t supposed to be annoying. Exy is life. He’d meddle whether he is captain or not, but by making him captain, he has so much more official executive power at his hands. It’s like people are explicitly asking for him to do his worst. So, fueled by his own competitiveness and love for the sport, off he goes.
Neil is just as bad as Kevin when it comes to his Exy obsession. The major difference between them is that Kevin is endlessly tactical and he runs Exy with a focus on a technical and physical level entirely, whereas Neil’s approach is to look beyond a lack of practice and basically psychoanalyzing people on why they are not doing 110% for Exy. Kevin says “let’s run this drill 500 times, then we will inevitably be better”. Meanwhile Neil is scheming how to coerce and bribe people into life-changing decisions and long-needed healing, entirely because he wants to optimize playing a sport. Exy is a team sport, which is why this is the most logical approach his little stickball brain comes up with rather than minding his own fucking business. He looks at the team and is like “is anyone gonna whip this into shape? No?? I’ll fucking do it then cowards” and goes and does exactly that. It’s like he’s fixing the equipment so he can play.
I don’t think anyone except for Andrew is really aware that Neil really isn’t doing this out of the innate goodness of his heart, but because his personal brand of practicality involves the most convoluted and creative kind of scheming. I feel like Neil is a lot more selfish than people give him credit for. Sure, there’s people he cares deeply and unconditionally for, but that’s really not everyone. It’s fascinating to watch, especially because it’s not like he ever hides that he doesn’t particularly care, but people kinda assume he does, because why else would he put in this much effort?
Stickball. The answer is stickball.