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Writer Aysha U. Farah and Kate discuss Karkat’s story, character, and relationships. Topics include Eridan, anger, breaking out of societal bounds, what the Blood aspect means, Eridan again (??), and leprechaun romance.

Transcript Edit

Kate: The Perfectly Generic Podcast contains spoilers, occasional adult language, and Vriska. You've been warned.

[intro]

Kate: As Kanye said: I'm a sick fuck/I like a Homestuck. This is the Perfectly Generic Podcast [laughs]

Aysha: [laughs] God I wasn't ready for that one!

Kate: [laughs] I'm — I'm Kate Mitchell, I'm here with Aysha, how you doin'?

Aysha: I'm doin' good, how are you?

Kate: Oh man. You know, busy! Things are — things are proceeding — I'm just perpetually busy at this point, I'm just like, an infinite — infinite motion machine. [laughs]

Aysha: Yeah I feel like when people are like, 'oh how are you doing?' and I'm like 'oh I'm really busy' — I feel, like, that they just like, don't believe me any more 'cause I say it all the time! [laughs] But —

Kate: Yeah. This is my first day off in a — in a very long time. And I'm gonna spend it thinking about Karkat.

Aysha: I mean that's the best way to spend it!

Kate: Yeah exactly! So 21 is my favorite number, Karkat was my first favorite character in Homestuck, he's my government assigned kin —

Aysha: Good.

Kate: As a Cancer. And he is definitely accurate Cancer representation!

Aysha: He is.

Kate: This — this episode is ending the Homestuck Appreciation Boys' Week, which is — y'know, which was super uncontroversial and had no issues whatsoever (!)

Aysha: Kind of like everything that happens to us! [laughs]

Kate: Yeah, right! Absolutely! Since you last came on in December —

Aysha: Like every other thing that ever goes down!

Kate: Since you last came on in December there's been absolutely no controversy in the Homestuck community at all!

Aysha: I'm so — I'm so glad that everything has been just great and normal and not a huge clusterfuck, but, y'know — 'cause other— you know I'm so bored! [laughs]

Kate: Yeah I know, right? It is actually — it's actually a little boring —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: How consistently, like, our shit is just sorta tightened down and like, completely not popping off at every moment.

Aysha: Absolutely. I just like, y'know, might as well — I might just fall asleep!

Kate: Yeah, exactly! Guys! If you're listening, I — you need to start some shit, 'cause we're —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: We're fuckin' bored! It's been — it's been like a week since anything's been on fire.

Aysha: Yeah please, *please* don't start any shit.

Kate: [laughs] You're always — you're welcome to start shit if it's like, fun shit. Like moon—

Aysha: Yeah. Oh of course.

Kate: Like moon wars!

Aysha: Yeah let's do more Mallek bottom discourse, that was fun.

Kate: Yeah! [laughs] It's — that's a — it's a real cipher, how you read Mallek.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: It just — it says more about you than it says about the character, and that's what gonna say to all of you.

Aysha: That's absolutely true [laughs]

Kate: Alright. So — so Boys' Week has been, I think, useful. Because — and I talk about this a little bit — I think Homestuck has like, a really unique approach to masculinity versus most media. And I think it's like a core crux of the work, is the way that it treats masculinity.

Aysha: Yes I agree.

Kate: And Karkat is like, very central to that reading and understanding of it. 'Cause Karkat is this like, very — very like, archetypal angry teen boy at the start of the story.

Aysha: Yeah. I agree with that to— yeah. He is, in some ways. In other ways I think that he is like, kind of defiant of the trope, like the whole obsessed-with-romance —

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Kind of vibe. But no he is your quintessential angry boy, at least on the surface.

Kate: Mhmm. He has layers, like an onion.

Aysha: He does! He does have layers [laughs]

Kate: Or an ogre!

Aysha: [laughing] Oh god.

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: Let's not bring — it's too early to bring Shrek into this!

Kate: It's never — Shrek is canon in Homestuck so we just have to deal with that!

Aysha: That's true! I heard he was Eridan's dad.

Kate: He is Eridan's dad. In a happier —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: In a happier alternate universe where Eridan is —

Aysha: That's true.

Kate: Where Eridan smiles.

Aysha: Yeah and he just lives in a swamp and everything's fine.

Kate: How do we — how do I always end up talking about Eridan on this fucking show?! [laughs] Even in —

Aysha: Well it is Ampora month!

Kate: It is Ampora month. I'm at my lowest power levels!

Aysha: Shit.

Kate: [laughs] So, like — I often think one of the angles that you can use to sorta deconstruct a character is: just how much do they live in a society?

Aysha: Oh boy does he live in a society! I think that the phrase 'he lives in a society' was made up for Karkat Vantas.

Kate: Yeah, he does. He lives extremely hard in a society. Like there's all these, like, handed-down rules of how to be a troll. And he leans *so* far into them as like a defense mechanism against what is like — he's fundamentally incompatible with that societal system.

Aysha: Right. Right.

Kate: But instead of being a rebel, like his ancestral predecessor, like, at the start of our story he's like — he is the empire's number one fan, dude! And he —

Aysha: Right. Can't wait to go to space and do a lot of murder with my sickle!

Kate: Yeah! I'm gonna be the Empress' right-hand man, dude!

Aysha: Ugh. God. I mean — I mean Meenah likes him, so y'know. Sort of.

Kate: [laughs] I actually hadn't thought about that, that definitely actually — that tracks!

Aysha: Yeah!

Kate: I didn't even think about the fact that that was a —

Aysha: In Openbound don't they have a conversation and she's like, 'I like you shouts! You can be my threshecutioner' or something like that —

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Or maybe I made that up, I don't know.

Kate: No, no! They — they super did, you're right! I just literally — I didn't think about that as like a culmination of a past lifelong dream, that like —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: By that time in the story he was like, 'okay cool, I don't really know who you are. I wanna go be alone now.'

Aysha: Yeah. I mean. What a mood.

Kate: Yeah, what a mood. Karkat's a deeply relatable motherfucker.

Aysha: Yeah! He — I don't know, like I rela— I also feel — like, as a teen, and then also to a certain extent into my twenties, I — like I really felt a kinship with that sort of just, unfocused anger. And you're like, 'who am I mad at? I'm not sure. It might be myself.' Like [laughs] just this sort of — just anger that just explodes over in places it doesn't belong.

Kate: Yeah. I was definitely like a, y'know — like a kick a chair kind of motherfucker back in the day.

Aysha: Yeah, yeah.

Kate: I'm not proud of it, but it's just like, there was a lot wrong, and there's this amorphous misdirected anger that is a result of that. It's like — Eromancery asked on Discord: considering his constant shouting, personal attacks and general surliness, do you think Karkat tries to get other people to hate him so he can justify his own self-loathing.

Aysha: YES. [laughs]

Kate: Yeah!

Aysha: Yes, I do!

Kate: [laughs] Yeah! Yeah, the only answer to that is: yeah, you're correct, Ero. That's — that's Karkat alright!

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: Like, the more —

Aysha: And I mean — yeah. I think that part of it is like that sort of feeling of 'I will tear myself down so you don't tear me down. Also I will give you no reasons to like me because I can't stand the idea of me putting my best self forward and you hating me anyway.'

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: 'So I'm just gonna like, be awful'.

Kate: Yeah. It's — right. He just assumes 'I'm going to be hated no matter what, so why not just sort of indulge in it', almost. It's like a crutch for him.

Aysha: Right. And I mean — also, like, the thing — like the thing is, I think that, y'know, a lot of — I'll see people talk about 'oh, y'know, Karkat's just the quintessential angry boy, like, why is he your favourite, that's like —'. I dunno. I feel like of all the angry boys that I — I mean, 'cause I, like — I like anime. And the angry boy who's a secret marshmallow is always my favorite character 'cause I'm, y'know, basic. But I feel like Karkat's anger is way more justified than most of these characters [laughs]

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: Like, he — like he grew up in a society where literally if anyone ever knows what he's really — who he really is he'll be killed. And that sucks! It would make me angry!

Kate: Yeah! Yeah, no, he's abs— that's the thing, is he has every right to be angry. It's not — it's not mis— it's not fake angst. It's not pointless angst. It's —

Aysha: No.

Kate: It's very — it's — he's marked for death by this society. And he takes that out on himself. He —

Aysha: Yes.

Kate: That's the thing, is that at the start of our story he's internalized that, and he feels like 'of course I am. Of course I'm — Of course this society doesn't want me. I'm worthless.'

Aysha: Well, yeah he's — he's internalized the caste bullshit the same way that Dave has internalized toxic masculinity. The same like, 'oh no this is totally normal and awesome. Puppets? Really cool.'

Kate: Uh-huh.

Aysha: 'My brother? Fucking great, I love him.'

Kate: Yeah, 'I'm supposed to feel this way.'

Aysha: Yeah. 'I'm supposed to be miserable, right?'

Kate: Yeah, 'I'm supposed to be afraid every day.'

Aysha: [laughs] 'It's normal.'

Kate: Yeah. And — and in many ways — and Becca on Twitter, a panellist, was — was asking about this, about his parallels to John. Because John also internalized a lot of society's bullshit.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: But unlike Dave and Karkat he never really — he never really actually deals with that.

Aysha: Yeah. I — I think that John — I think that what happens to many characters in Homestuck is they are sacrificed to the plot. Which is like, a plot point in itself in Homestuck, it's so meta!

Kate: Yeah, the plot is the antagonist.

Aysha: Yeah. John has to spend all of his like, character — character-building — everybody else gets to go and like, build their characters, and he kinda has to go zap around and like, put everything — put events into place, sort of.

Kate: Right.

Aysha: And his own growth kinda, I think, gets stunted because of that.

Kate: And he facilitates a great deal of growth in other characters. Mostly unknowingly.

Aysha: The gay butterfly effect, yeah.

Kate: [laughs] Exactly! Yeah! Paradox space is just John Egbert making decisions that make the world even gayer.

Aysha: Yeah, good.

Kate: [laughs] That's a fundamental rule.

Aysha: As it should be!

Kate: As it should be! Distinguished gentlemen should strive to be as gay as possible with each other at all times.

Aysha: Agreed. Agreed.

Kate: QuixoticAperture asks on Discord: do you feel there's a dissonance between Karkat as a person at his core and Alternian society that is at the crux of his self-hatred? He's a guy who genuinely cares about people, and that's considered a huge weakness for the most part.

Aysha: Yeah, I mean, and I think that that's true of all of the trolls. Like. even like Vriska kind of is like — both Vriska and Terezi kind of come — and say 'I feel like, that I'm not tough and mean enough to be a troll.' And I think it's like — it's the same as like, y'know, toxic masculinity is not, like, real. Like it's not like, the real way that we're supposed to act.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: But people still strive to do that, and it's very harmful. So I think that like, this — I don't — like, sometimes I'll have people like ask: do you think trolls really are naturally violent? And I'm like, no more than men are naturally violent, probably. It's just like, years of conditioning.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: And I think that's sort of one of the main points that Homestuck makes. It's a — it's a thesis on identity and how it's shaped by environment. You see all of these alternate selves and versions of characters that are changed by the circumstances they grew up in. Obviously with like, pre- and post-scratch being like, the most obvious example. But it's like there are some fundamental things about a person, but like, being violent. being quote 'evil' — that's not a fundamental thing.

Aysha: Right. Yeah.

Kate: That's a thing you have to learn.

Aysha: Yes, I — yeah the — the circumstances being so important in Homestuck, I think, yeah, are definitely a big theme.

Kate: And speaking of like, caring about people and social bonds, I guess that brings us to what I think is one of the, like, most amorphous Aspects: Blood. Which is his. And first off —

Aysha: What does Blood do!!!

Kate: What does Blood do?! Well, it — it carries oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout your body.

Aysha: It's important!

Kate: Yeah it's very important. [laughs] And the immune system and everything. Which I guess — are Blood players the immune system of — alright. I'm not even gonna [laughs]

Aysha: [laughs] Oh god!

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: That's galaxy-brain, that's too much for me.

Kate: Yeah! [laughs] Yeah, I'm just throwin' that out there. And — and so first — my first thought on Karkat being a Blood player is that like, it's the game almost like — I would assume that he would read it as the game taunting him —

Aysha: Oh yeah.

Kate: With his biggest fear. His biggest weakness is his own blood. And then he's a god damn Knight of Blood.

Aysha: Right, and his — he's got blood all over his world too.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: The Land of Pulse and Haze is covered in blood.

Kate: And I think about that too because, like, so many characters — a number of characters' like, lands, seem to almost specifically taunt them. Like —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: Dave's, the loud — the loud noises and oppressive heat of Dave's land are —

Aysha: Yeah, or Rose's bright land.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: It's like, I'm a goth princess [laughs]

Kate: Yeah!

Aysha: But my land is full of like —

Kate: It's like, designed to piss her off. And actually as Dave says, it was like designed to piss her off, 'cause it's —

Aysha: Right, I mean doesn't — isn't it Vriska who says that your — you're given a role to challenge you, not to suit your strengths?

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: And — and Karkat's role challenges him *extremely* hard. He is — he is like, an embodiment of that part of the hero's journey where you refuse the call.

Aysha: Yeah. I mean to a certain extent he's *too* excited about the call at first. He's like 'I'm gonna be a leader! Everyone's gonna listen to me!' And then after — like, he leads a little bit, but then he's like 'oh no this is terrible.' [laughs]

Kate: Yeah. He does it in — he does it in slightly backwards order. He accepts the call —

Aysha: Right.

Kate: And then refuses it.

Aysha: Right. But I guess like — and the Extended Zodiac describes Blood players as — I guess they're the compliment of Breath players, which is — Breath players are more like generals and Blood players are more like prophets, like they inspire people.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: And I think that Karkat does that. I think that even, like — all through those fucking memos [laughs] that I just reread recently. All through that, like, it's like him yelling at everybody and like, dressing everybody down, but also everybody is having a lot of fun. And it seems like everybody just pops in to like, say hi. And it is like — I dunno, it's just he keeps everybody's spirits up while shouting.

Kate: Yeah. He even specifically offers to like, 'hey if you need some one-on-one time to talk about your emotions —'

Aysha: Oh right! [laughs]

Kate: To Eridan!

Aysha: Oh god! [laughs] Take one for the team!

Kate: Yeah! [laughs] I can't — that's the — that's a thing about Karkat that I noticed in a reread, was that not only — like, he actually seems to have a great deal of tolerance for Eridan.

Aysha: Oh, yeah!

Kate: To the point where it seems like he's — he actually enjoys talking to him.

Aysha: Yeah, I mean like — I think that this is a question that we're gonna answer later, so I won't go onto too much here, but like —

Kate: I actually forgot to put it in the list, so — so let's just get into it now. 'Cause somebody, and I'm gonna find out who while you're answering it, asked [for] thoughts on pale Eridan/Karkat and how that would have solved a lot of problems.

Aysha: I mean, I don't know if it would have solved problems because pale Gamzee — I guess pale Gamzee/Karkat solved one problem, which was Gamzee didn't murder everybody right at that minute.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: But I think that like — I — when I see people go on about pure and good moirallegiance is, I'm always like oh nooooo. Ugh I don't agree! I think that it's —

Kate: It has the same capacity to be toxic and destructive as any other type of romantic relationship.

Aysha: Yeah! Yeah, same with like, this idea of like, there is one troll who is violent and one who has to calm them down. And that goes along with like, sort of like, oh, y'know, the man shouts and rails and the woman is there to, y'know, gentle him back down or whatever. And I dunno. I — I mean I think that Karkat is kind of a pale slut [laughs] a little bit? Like he's —

Kate: Karkat/MSPA Reader meeting when?

Aysha: Oh god. Yeah, oh god. It's just the two biggest friendship whores —

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: In the whole galaxy. But yeah. I don't know. I try— I'm like seriously wracking my brains trying to think of some pale EriKar that I have read. I don't know. But yeah, I don't know if I think that would've helped. But I mean, I do think that if somebody had like, bothered to sit Eridan down and be like, 'hey man, it's okay'. Like, y'know, 'and we're young and, y'know, it hurts, and nobody understands.'

Kate: 'You don't actually have to ally with the world— with the world-destroying evil.' Like, sometimes —

Aysha: Right. Right, and —

Kate: Sometimes you just don't get any and it's alright, buddy. Also it was — it was excellent artist banavalope that —

Aysha: Okay. Yes.

Kate: That asked that question. Thank you for the question.

Aysha: I mean to a certain extent, like, I get angry — I mean when you're within the world of a show or a comic or something — like, Eridan I'm always like, 'god *damn* it Eridan. UGH'. But like, thinking as like, Aysha — Aysha U. Farah, 29 year-old human, I'm like, 'ugh that poor child!' [laughs]

Kate: Yeah exactly.

Aysha: He was thirteen! He was thirteen and he got cut in half! That's not great [laughs]

Kate: See, the thing about a lot of characters that like, do fucked-up shit in Homestuck is that like, a lot of them get the chance to grow and reckon with what they did, right? Like —

Aysha: He does not.

Kate: Like, Karkat does, Dave does, Vriska does. Like a lot of them get the chance to like, have a second act. Gamzee gets a second act and he uses it to be worse.

Aysha: Oh yeah.

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: Well I mean that's always — that's always the, like — I think that Homestuck to a certain extent doesn't ever, like — one of its big strengths I think is that it just doesn't follow kind of generic, like, story arcs.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: So like in any other thing Tavros' arc would have had an arc that ended with him triumphant, but it didn't. He just died.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: And like, Gamzee's got a r— like, got sort of like — got a chance to be better. But he just wasn't.

Kate: He just declines.

Aysha: And that sometimes happens. That happens in real life! You have that friend who you give chances to again and again and again and they just get worse.

Kate: And I think about that too in relation to Caliborn, because Caliborn literally is shown in the story so many times, having so many people try to help him. First Calliope, and then — and then Andrew Hussie!

Aysha: Yeah Andrew tried to help him too! [laughs]

Kate: Yeah!

Aysha: C'mon man!

Kate: And has so many opportunities to change and grow and understand. And every time he knowingly looks at the chance to be a good person and says 'nah, man'. But —

Aysha: 'Nah. That's lame.'

Kate: Eridan never gets that shot, really. Like, he fucks up really really bad — and let me be clear, first off, since we did — since when I wasn't on the show we got into Eridan a lot —

Aysha: Or could have had it —

Kate: On the racism episode. Genocide is bad!! And being obsessed with it as a teenager is like a uniquely fucked-up thing, and that's like — I'm not like, okay with that. But in general —

Aysha: Oh! Oh, of course not!

Kate: Yeah! [laughs] Yeah! But like, everybody slow your goddamn roll please, I'm just sympathizing with a fish for a second.

Aysha: Right.

Kate: It's like — he never — we actually don't actually get to see Eridan in death, like, get a shot — get another shot, like we do with characters like Tavros.

Aysha: Yeah. God, how did this become sad Eridan hour, I'm so sorry! [laughs]

Kate: I guess — fucking — how do I keep talking — it keeps coming back to Eridan! You know what, I was actually thinking this this morning. I was like, 'Eridan and Karkat are really similar'. I mean they are both obsessed with romance.

Aysha: Yeah. I mean, like, it's like — same — same with like — so I feel like I can — I sympathize with Karkat because Karkat is at the bottom of this ladder, and I don't sympathize with Eridan because he's at the top.

Kate: Right.

Aysha: So if like, Karkat — like, ugh — like, y'know, a hemostuck scenario. You do, you would sympathize with somebody like Eridan. But it's like you have everything and you're still intolerable. [laughs]

Kate: I can hear — I can hear Xtine's voice in my head yelling at me to read 'Be The Seadweller, Lowblood'.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: [laughs] It's like —

Aysha: Let's all do that for homework!

Kate: Uh-huh [laughs] I haven't. I have no idea if it's good or not. Maybe it's good! I don't know, Xtine sure thinks so.

Aysha: It could be good!

Kate: [laughs] But yeah. It is — it is definitely true. Of course — of course there's a difference in reaction based on the power dynamic, right?

Aysha: Yes.

Kate: 'Cause when you are more powerful you have more of a choice!

Aysha: Yep.

Kate: And Karkat doesn't have a choice. He doesn't have a control over this system that he's in.

Aysha: God. Oh god, Karkat. Yeah. I mean the — the thing that — the question that made — I wrote — I think that you read, probably I linked you to that fic I wrote were like, my main question with Karkat is like, man, how does he feel about this thing that he did? Like he basically destroyed his whole race, but because of that he now gets to have a life. Like, how does that make you feel? Are you sorry? Like, would you do it again differently? And it's like — and even if he, like — if he could press a magical button and bring back Alternia and — but have it be the same, I don't think he would, and I don't think I would blame him for that.

Kate: And that's, I think, one of the most remarkable aspects of his character growth.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: Because he was defined by that love of Alternia, and like —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: He's the first troll we meet! He's the troll that embodies the trollish archetype.

Aysha: Yep.

Kate: And by the end of the story he's done with that shit, man. He wants to r— and the story implies that he has a crucial role in redefining a new society.

Aysha: Yes.

Kate: He has to be protected from the final battle to have some sort of domestic role, which —

Aysha: Yes.

Kate: Y'know, is further an exploration of like, what is — what is soft power, what is social power in Homestuck.

Aysha: Right.

Kate: It seems to be just as important as like, getting to do cool flashy, like, lightning attacks or whatever [laughs]

Aysha: Right, right, right. He fought one leprechaun, right?

Kate: He did! Well Clover — he fought — I think Clover wasn't really trying to fight him.

Aysha: I think he — yeah, he just kinda got dunked on and then tied up, but leprechaun.

Kate: Yeah, I think — man, Clover is — Clover definitely had a — he had some sort of — there was some sort of leprechaun romance symbols going over Clover's head at that point.

Aysha: [laughs] God.

Kate: [laughs] So Clover is the leprechaun Karkat, he's obsessed with the —

Aysha: [sighs]

Kate: [laughing] Extremely complicated romantic sy— [struggling to speak through laughter] I can't even —

Aysha: Perfect.

Kate: I can't even finish that sentence!

Aysha: I can't believe we cracked the code! [laughs]

Kate: [laughs] We cracked the code! Well Clo— well that's the thing, is like, Clover is — Clover is small and less powerful compared to the other cherubs — I mean, not —

Aysha: Oh god.

Kate: The other leprechauns.

Aysha: Ugh jeez, alright, so somebody's gotta write *that* fic.

Kate: Yeah. Where's my Clover x Karkat 100k slow burn?

Aysha: [laughs] Oh god!!!

Kate: Dude, Clover *fucks*! That's —

Aysha: Oh, I mean I'm sure Clover fucks big.

Kate: Yeah. Clover fucks more than anybody else in paradox space.

Aysha: [laughs] You heard it here, folks.

Kate: You heard it here — [struggling through laughter] this episode sucks. [laughs]

Aysha: [laughs] I'm so sorry!

Kate: [laughs] And it's all my fault.

Aysha: I just spent five hours driving a car!

Kate: No it's not your fault at all, I just keep bring it back to just like, the most random minor characters. [laughs] I just called Eridan a random minor character, thank you listeners!

Aysha: Oh my god!

Kate: Please feel free to '@' me [laughs]

Aysha: They're gonna '@' you.

Kate: Yeah! [laughs]

Aysha: Our — okay, so what's next for our boy?

Kate: Alright, so — so now that we've talked about his Aspect, let's talk about his relationships. Like, this is — he's obsess— so we talked about in the abstract that he's obsessed with romance, and he sure does have a lot of romantic entanglements and like interpersonal entanglements.

Aysha: Oh boy.

Kate: So I think the first one I wanna knock out is like — Nepeta has this big crush on him.

Aysha: Yeah, he — like, I feel like Karkat at his worst is how he treats Nepeta.

Kate: Yeeeeah.

Aysha: And it's like, on a certain — to a certain extent I think it's like that feeling of 'oh, I'm a loser. Here's someone who's even a bigger loser than me!' [laughs]

Kate: And I — well I think the fact that she has a crush on him is evidence to Karkat that she's a loser.

Aysha: Right. Also I think that like, Karkat has all these, like, unattainable fantasies, and — like, this idea of somebody who like, actually likes him is like, kind of alienating to him. Like he doesn't know how to respond to that —

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Because like, he like, really beefs it with Terezi when she kind of reciprocates a little bit and he's like, 'oh god! This isn't right!'

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: 'I have like, a breakdown of how this is supposed to go.' And it's — yeah, very self-sabotaging, classic self-sabotaging behavior.

Kate: Yeah. And so that brings us to Terezi, which is like —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: It's just a — it's — oh man. It's — Karkat's relationship with Terezi is so *real*, in that it's this like — it's born out of deep concern and it's born out of, y'know, like real actual affection. And it is *smothering*.

Aysha: Yeah. Yeah, al— I mean also they're — both of them are kind of ships passing in the night, they like, never really get their moment.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: And like, by the time they do they're both like, entangled with other people or they're like — the world's about to end or whatever. But yeah, I mean I think that — that like, how she cares ab— like, how she cares for him is really sweet. And I think that, like, she understands him kind of on level that a lot of the other trolls don't.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: 'Cause I think that she also feels similarly at-sea, and — y'know, in Alternian stuff like that.

Kate: Yeah, and I mean she talks about the emptiness that she feels inside, and I think that there's a real element of like, recognizing a fellow person who's fighting with that. Even if he doesn't quite realize it!

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: And that's — that's the thing, is like, Karkat can't have a healthy romantic relationship until he like, figures his own shit out. But instead —

Aysha: Right, and he — and he's convinced that Terezi is flirting with Dave to piss him off.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: Like, it's all about him [laughs]

Kate: He's very selfish sometimes.

Aysha: Yes.

Kate: [laughs] It's funny because — a lot of things in Homestuck are — especially I think Karkat's character, a lot of it is like — self-hatred is like, another form of being extremely self-centred.

Aysha: Oh absolutely! Like — like this sort of — his self-hatred is this very kind of, like, loud performative self-hatred which is like, even more annoying than if you just shut the fuck up about it.

Kate: Yeah. He does not suffer in silence!

Aysha: Oh never!

Kate: [laughs] He suffers extremely, extremely loudly.

Aysha: Got a lab full of humans, a mouth full of screaming, and a bunch of angry things to say to everybody, or whatever.

Kate: Yeah. God his creative swearing is really somethin' else.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: True.

Kate: And that also — since we were talking about pale romance earlier, like — he has this moirallegiance with Gamzee that —

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: Oh man, now I'm —

Aysha: We could've had it all.

Kate: I am actually gonna get sad about Gamzee? Is this the hour where I just completely lose my mind?! [laughs]

Aysha: I think Gamzee *is* very sad.

Kate: Gamzee is a very sad character, but I'm like violating my praxis left and right.

Aysha: I know, I'm sorry.

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: I just bring that out in you I guess! [laughs]

Kate: [laughs] I guess!! I —

Aysha: I think Gamzee is really sad, and I thought that was a really — I mean, like — I, y'know, Gamzee — towards the end? Fuck him.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Like —

Kate: Well, cause he — well, Gamzee is like this example of a friend or someone you love who like — slips away from being that person that you knew.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: And it's —

Aysha: So, I thought it was really — I did love that, that moment where it's like, oh are they gonna fight? No he just starts smacking him in the face, kind of.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Affectionately.

Kate: It's — it's one of the most, like, iconic moments of Act 5, for sure.

Aysha: Yes.

Kate: [laughs] And it is, like — it's an example of like — Karkat really will, like, go the distance for — for a motherfucker. And like, he really will — he will — oh man. You know what? This is about what we were talking about earlier! I'm just gonna go back to it because fuck linear time.

Aysha: Oh yeah.

Kate: Karkat yells at his past and future selves all the time so I'm gonna yell at my past self.

Aysha: Okay go.

Kate: So Karkat is depicted as like, a Christ-like figure often —

Aysha: Yeeeeah.

Kate: Or like, he's like — he like — the world is trying to get him to be a Christ-like figure and he like, declines. But like, he literally instead of sacrificing himself to 'save humanity', quote-unquote, he sacrifices humanity to save himself!

Aysha: Oh god!! He does!!

Kate: He's a reverse Jesus!!

Aysha: God. Oh god he would love that, too.

Kate: [laughs] He's the reverse of the Sufferer, and he's the rev— who is, y'know, like a very Jesus figure.

Aysha: Yeah. I mean, but of course Karkat succeeded where the Sufferer failed.

Kate: Yeah. I mean, did the Sufferer fail? It just took him a long time to win.

Aysha: I guess that's true, it was a slow process [laughs]

Kate: [laughs] You know, it —

Aysha: Part of my grand plan: just die horribly and then, y'know, a while later —

Kate: And then a while later somebody else will make the world that actually fits my principles —

Aysha: Exactly.

Kate: Despite the fact that like, that guy doesn't even like me. Alright, so I just wanted to get that in, I wanted to get that little reverse-Jesus —

Aysha: You did.

Kate: That little reverse-Jesus bit in.

Aysha: You need a good reverse-Jesus in there!

Kate: Yeah, that's the — it's the sign of reverse-Jesus is the 69.

Aysha: [laughs] Oh god! [small grunt of annoyance]

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: I just say things!

Aysha: This is a disaster episode [laughs]

Kate: Yes it is! This episode — I can't believe it! Ugh, alright. So he's got a big crush on John.

Aysha: Yes! Oh god, JohnKat! That is — it's the — it's classic!

Kate: I'm depositing everybody firmly back in 2012: JohnKat.

Aysha: God. I mean I didn't get into Homestuck until 2015, so JohnKat was like, pretty dead in the water by the time I got there, but I thought that like, you know, the whole like 'd'you ever think that our hate is written in the stars, y'know, the ones I fucking made for you?' is just —

Kate: It's *so* —

Aysha: That's very romantic!!

Kate: It is!! [laughs] And John just doesn't even — he just doesn't. He just doesn't get it man, it just bounces right off of him. Plink!

Aysha: He's not a homosexual.

Kate: He's not a [laughs] he's not a homo sexual.

Aysha: Yeah exactly.

Kate: [laughs] John fucking Egbert. He — John Egbert is like a figure designed, like — etched in the heavens to piss off Karkat.

Aysha: Yeah, such an i— I mean it's such an iconic moment, though, for like — such iconic moments in queer culture where John Egbert was like 'I'm not a homosexual' and Karkat was like 'WHAT'S THAT?'

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: [laughs] 'When a boy likes another boy.' 'YOU GUYS HAVE A WORD FOR THAT?' And it's like, woah — Oh.

Kate: Homestuck is gay rights actually.

Aysha: It is! I know, I told you, it's the gay agenda.

Kate: Yeah. As we've already established on this show, Kanaya Maryam threw the first brick at Stonewall.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: [laughs] That's —

Aysha: [laughs] God.

Kate: Thanks Chelsea. [laughs]

Aysha: Oh god.

Kate: It's — and I guess that's sort of like, the contrast between Blood and Breath, is that like, total fucking obliviousness that John has in the face of like, a deliberate attempt to like, reach out and connect with them.

Aysha: Yeah. I mean — John is pretty oblivious to pretty much everybody's interest in him.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Like, when Karkat is like 'STOP FLIRTING WITH VRISKA' he's like, 'oh, is that what I'm doing?'

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: 'Is that — is that how that — do I have to marry Rose??' Like he's just so — 'cause he's like, he's thir— like, y'know, you start being interested in romance different times if you ever do at all, and John is — y'know, it's just like 'I've never really thought about that.'

Kate: Yeah. 'I just like — I have all this stuff to do.'

Aysha: Yeah!

Kate: 'There's like this salamander that like, needs my help.'

Aysha: 'I can't find my fucking dad!'

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Like, 'I'm busy!'

Kate: Yeah! He's got — y'know, he's too busy acting out movie scenes to really —

Aysha: Exactly.

Kate: Which is, you know, that's — I think that's worth your time more, John. Don't worry about it.

Aysha: Very relatable.

Kate: So all of this is sort of coming back around to, like, the fact that he — he does end up getting the chance to talk about those feelings with John later, and it's with — it's with some assistance, and it is — and one of my favorite scenes, but to talk about it we first have to talk about the like — the secret gem of Homestuck that like, unfolds over the course of it. Originally seen as a crackship.

Aysha: [sighs]

Kate: DaveKat.

[a loud 'Ta da!' fanfare plays, ending in a bass drum hit]

Aysha: [containing an Emotion] DaveKat.

Kate: I just put a little music sting there —

Aysha: Yeah I know.

Kate: Just like a little triumphant like, little like, trumpet whatever. [laughs]

Aysha: I saw there was — there was a Twitter question that was like 'how do you feel about DaveKat', and I was like 'oh you sweet summer child'.

Kate: Yeah. So — so Aysha. How do you feel about DaveKat?

Aysha: Ooooh, DaveKat. It is my — it's my Homestuck OTP [One True Pairing]. I love them. I love those boys. I — I've definitely devoted more fanfic words to DaveKat than to any other ship, I think. [laughs]

Kate: Uh-huh.

Aysha: In my fanfiction career.

Kate: As has the entire Homestuck fic-writing community.

Aysha: Yes! [laughs]

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: No, I — I don't know. I — I love them. They're good boys.

Kate: They're good boys. The thing is, they're good boys but they're also — they're also — they're rowdy, dirty boys.

Aysha: Yeah, though they're bad boys.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Like, yeah, they're nasty boys definitely. But yeah. I think that like, it's — it's great how it goes from a crackship to then, y'know — you're looking at it, you're like 'oh. OH.'

Kate: 'Oh, duh!'

Aysha: And I mean I know that's — that's what — I have asked Andrew — I asked, 'did you mean for Dave to be gay from the start and did you plan DaveKat from the start?' and he was like, 'no not really, I didn't really think about it but then I kinda looked back at what I'd written and I was like, oh. Well. This is obvious. [laughs]'

Kate: Well then that seems like how it went for those characters too, it's just like 'oh.'

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: 'We actually — we actually don't have to like — we're not actually fighting over a girl.'

Aysha: Right. Yes! I think that that — yeah. I know that a lot — there's a lot of people — I know when it happened people were saying that it came out of nowhere and it doesn't make any sense, and I know that there's a lot of people who are mad about the retcon. And like, I don't — like the retcon for me, I don't think it erased any character development because — I think that like, one of the best things about Homestuck — or maybe not one of the best things, just *a* thing about Homestuck, is like Shakespeare: lots of the action happens off-camera, or off-screen. And so you hear — you don't really see these big events. You hear people talking about it afterwards. So —

Kate: Yeah. I — yeah, personally I really thought that Andrew erased a lot of Hamlet's character development when he just told us that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern died.

Aysha: Yeah. I mean — god, Andrew. God dammit Hussie, as we say. God, I lost my train of thought, now you've made me —

Kate: Yeah, sorry, I really just — I just definitely just did that, sorry about that.

Aysha: [laughs] No, I think that like at that point you know these characters so well and you know, like, the dynamics that they would have together so well, and then you think 'oh, what if Terezi was not in the middle of this, what if she fucked off with Vriska?' And then it's just like — and you don't — he doesn't need to show us what happens. It's like, we know what happened. They yelled at each other for two-and-a-half years, probably, and then — it's like that — DaveKat is the un— like, what is it — the unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: It's like these two loud jerks who will not shut up or ever back down with their toxic views of themselves and of society in different ways. Like Karkat has his caste stuff and Dave has his gay stuff and masculinity stuff, and then those two things would just be total nonsense to each-other, and they could just like — but in such a similar way — I'm just — I'm getting emotional because I love it so much!

Kate: Yeah! By recognizing that like, that fundamental abs— like, farcical absurdity of the other person's experience, the recognize 'oh shit' —

Aysha: Right, yeah, like Karkat being like — yeah, 'gay? What is your — like, I don't understand what your deal is. Like, this — to me, what is the problem?' And Dave being like 'oh this blood thing is complete nonsense to me, like it just — how could you hate yourself because of the color of your blood? It doesn't make any sense.'

Kate: Yeah. And it's —

Aysha: Yeah I just —

Kate: It's so good.

Aysha: Yeah you can imagine the arguments! [laughs]

Kate: Yeah. [laughs] And actually — so gatefoldCanard asked on Discord: what do you think about Karkat's inability to form relationships strictly within quadrants as a metaphor for being queer, and his subsequent obsession with traditional troll romance (in novels and real life)? Did this part of Karkat's arc mean anything special to either of you?

Aysha: I didn't ever really notice that. I know that people were saying it towards the end and I kind of went 'oh, that's interesting'. I guess I just never thought of it because like, the idea of like, monogamy being queerness to me was just kind of like, 'huh?'

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: Kind of like, have to like spin around several times and try to get that one. But I mean like, I totally see it. Like, I think that's a totally legit reading of it.

Kate: Mhmm. Well especially since there's that one thing: 'You want her in every quadrant like a desperate fool. Do you realize what you've become? You're the sad joke character in the romcom. You know the guy I'm talking about.'

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: Which I feel like, is like an explicitly, like — this is the kind of character that's mocked like a gay character is in media on Earth.

Aysha: Yeah. Yeah, no it's definitely — yeah I didn't pick up on it but that's — it's definitely there.

Kate: Mhmm. And so there's this like — there's this aspect of like — I'm sure that that fundamental, like — well, 'cause Dave mocks the quadrant system all the fucking time in talking to Karkat. Like, just like — incessantly. And like it's super, just like, immaturely refuses to understand anything about it.

Aysha: Right.

Kate: Or like, listen to any of Karkat's lectures.

Aysha: Right, so it's just like somebody's like 'heterosexuality, what the fuck is that?'

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: Like [laughs]

Kate: They literally treat each-other's bullshit the exact same way.

Aysha: Right.

Kate: And so, like, whatever kind of relationship they end up settling into — like, again, that's like, not clear. We see other characters talking about it as being — Vriska calls it cute because Vriska's fucking fantastic [laughs] By the way: I think anybody who thinks that Vriska and Dave were not friends on the meteor post-retcon — I think they're just wrong.

Aysha: Yeah. I think that Vriska and Dave would probably see, like, a sort of similar glint of chaos in each other [laughs]

Kate: Yeah! Like Dave's just like immune to like, the Vriska thing.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: And I think that she would be immune to Strider, too.

Kate: Oh abso-fucking-completely. [laughs]

Aysha: Yeah. Just like, the things that would just like drive Karkat off the wall she would not — she would just be like — would not even notice.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: [laughs] Vriska — Vriska just like, directly just straight up misses a lot of dude bullshit. It just like — it just like doesn't happen to her.

Aysha: Yeah, I mean well Vriska's very like — Vriska knows what she wants. She knows how she's gonna get it. And like, you're not gonna knock off her trajectory. Like, y'know, an omniscient cue-ball couldn't knock her off her trajectory, she was just kinda like 'heeeeeeeey go fuck yourself dude'. Like —

Kate: Yeah. [laughs]

Aysha: 'You blew my face up? Whatever.'

Kate: Uh-huh. And — let's see, lemme continue on this 'cause we're talking about — about Karkat and romance. Pip asked on Discord: as a character who bases a lot of his knowledge on an avid consumption of Alternian media, how accurate do you consider Karkat's understanding of romance to be (e.g the pity/hate conversation with Vriska)? And how does this understanding over the course of his story?

Aysha: I don't know. I mean if — if like, someone on Earth who has never been in a relationship but watches a lot of romcoms is like 'I know everything about romance', I'd be like 'okay guy.'

Kate: Yeah!

Aysha: Or just like, y'know, it's like, y'know, when you read a fanfic and you can be like 'oh this person has probably been in a relationship' —

Kate: Yeeeah.

Aysha: Which is like, fine! But like, also you need to get — y'know, he needs some practical experience before he can call himself an expert, I think. And like, the hate and pity conversation — maybe that's like, y'know, held up as like 'this is the ideal of troll romance', but if you like went to some rando on the street and asked what the ideal of human romance is, that would be really really hard to describe.

Kate: Mhmm. Basically — like, shit's not simple.

Aysha: Nope!

Kate: And — but Karkat like, literally tries to put everything into little boxes to understand it. Or little diagrams.

Aysha: Grids perhaps?

Kate: He's — he just — he makes *so many* diagrams.

Aysha: He does, and he's ex— like, the — god, I forgot about the shipping grid that he draws for Dave and John —

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: And I [laughs] that little — the little Dave he draws with the — I love it.

Kate: He's so bad at art.

Aysha: He's very bad at it.

Kate: It's delightful, there's some characters — I have this thing about characters who create art over the course of the story that eventually I'll — I'll get into, but like — there's this — he's like — he's just as bad at art as Caliborn is.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: And there's something there.

Aysha: Yeah, the only person worse at art than Karkat is me.

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: Well Terezi's not great.

Aysha: That's also true.

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: But Terezi's blind!!!

Kate: [laughs] Okay that's fair!!

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: I'm gonna go ahead and give you that one!!

Aysha: I don't have that excuse!

Kate: Terezi absolutely has an excuse.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: [laughs] Oh man.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: Who's best at art, of like everybody?

Aysha: Of — I mean, besides Calliope?

Kate: Oh right, duh. Calliope.

Aysha: Yeah, 'cause Calliope's art is just Shelby, so —

Kate: Yeah, right!

Aysha: Calliope's best at art.

Kate: I guess Vriska's actually got a pretty solid understanding of — of y'know, sketchy style. She draws her own character portraits and shit.

Aysha: Oh that's true, she does. Oh yeah, she draws like her — her kin. Pirate kin.

Kate: Yeah! She's acting out her kin memories.

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: This episode basically didn't have a topic. [laughs]

Aysha: I'm sorry!

Kate: No! That's all on me! I did — I literally — I did zero minutes of prep for this. I just sat down —

Aysha: That's fine, I can talk to — I can just free-form talk about Karkat [laughs] that's fine!

Kate: Yeah, just go! Just go! We got like — we got some time!

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: Just talk to me — talk to me about Karkat. What didn't we cover?

Aysha: God. I don't know. Are there any more questions, or no?

Kate: Let's see, I got SpaceArbys asked on Twitter: okay but like, why was he the one that was shipped with literally all other characters in Homestuck including himself? Why is he so shippable?

Aysha: Because he's — so he's in love with every single one of his friends.

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: I mean, and Dave — Dave is the human equivalent of this. [laughs] I think that Dave — it's just like — yeah. No, Karkat's just inherently shippable, he's just — everybody he meets he becomes friends with. He — like, even like, Jack Noir —

Kate: Yeah.

Aysha: After Jack Noir stabs him and is like 'oh he's my friend' and they're like 'he stabbed you' he's like 'oh that's just his way.'

Kate: [laughs]

Aysha: Like Karkat is just like, so down —

Kate: Uh-huh.

Aysha: For whatever. He's just down to hang out.

Kate: He is [laughs] I mean — y'know, if you wanna make friends with Jack Noir you have to be alright with a little bit of stabby-stabby.

Aysha: A little stabbing, right! I mean Karkat is the friend who if you, y'know, rolled up at 1am and you were like 'okay we have to go bury a body, also let's go get, y'know, pizza or something', he'd be down as hell.

Kate: Yeah. He'd berate you the entire time that —

Aysha: Oh, right.

Kate: That you were digging the grave.

Aysha: Yes, exactly, yes.

Kate: 'Cause he's a good friend! Because he's a good friend, because he's not — he's not gonna let you get away with this bullshit, dude.

Aysha: That's true, yeah.

Kate: Except he's gonna enable you to get away with this bullshit. You know what?! That's actually why pale Eridan/Karkat would be bad, because they would just enable each-other's bullshit, like really really badly.

Aysha: Yeah. Yeah. I mean I feel like that it would've made sense for Karkat to, like, defensively become like, involved with Eridan, 'cause then Eridan would be like 'oh boy, I don't want my — my moirail to become — to be culled', or whatever, but I guess Karkat was scared that Eridan would just kill him himself if he found out he was a mutant. Which, y'know, fair! He might have.

Kate: Yeah. Yeah, that's a — that's definitely like, 50/50 in pick 'em.

Aysha: Yeah. Dark. Just got dark.

Kate: Yeah it just got dark. Let's rank characters from most likely to least likely to kill Karkat [laughs]

Aysha: [very distressed] OH GOD!!

Kate: [laughs] Oh boy. Alright.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: So what are you — what are you doing? You got a bunch of stuff comin' out, right? D'you wanna like —

Aysha: Oh gosh.

Kate: You wanna like, promo any of that?

Aysha: Well I just had my — I had a — I did like a cyberpunk Sherlock, nonbinary Sherlock Holmes short story for —

Kate: It's so *good*!

Aysha: Anathema Magazine. Thank you! I love that story and I'm so glad that it finally found a home. I have another short story coming out, I think on January 31st, in Bosie Magazine, which is — I think their tagline is 'queers behaving badly'.

Kate: Mhmm.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: Nice.

Aysha: So I'm excited — I'm excited about that one. And then I — Starship Iris, I'm not sure when we're gonna start recording but that's — working on that right now, so.

Kate: I cannot wait, I'm gonna — once there's some new episodes in the new season I wanna do an — actually, we should do like a Starship Iris episode in the future. I think that would be awesome.

Aysha: Yeah we could probably get Jessica on too, the creator.

Kate: I would — I would love to talk to her. Love the show! It's a really good show, if you haven't listened to it, The Strange Case of Starship Iris which you've come on to write for the future content —

Aysha: Yes.

Kate: Is a — I guess, man how am I gonna describe it in a way that isn't just like, 'it's like Firefly but it doesn't suck 'cause it's not by Joss Whedon' [laughs]

Aysha: Yeah. I think that — yeah, Jess gets so hear— sick of hearing it's like Firefly —

Kate: I am so sorry.

Aysha: But I — I mean like, how I pitch it is it's like Firefly but not heteronormative.

Kate: Right! Right. It's like Firefly but it's not like, Fire— it's like what you th— it's like the feeling that you leave from Firefly of better stories in your head.

Aysha: Yes. Yeah, I mean it's like — it's —

Kate: [laughs] And like, most dude sci-fi.

Aysha: It's space smugglers —

Kate: Yeah —

Aysha: Fighting a space empire.

Kate: Yeah. But there's also — there's like linguistics and cool shit. I'm a big fan.

Aysha: Gender-less aliens.

Kate: Yeah. So let's see, I'm gonna drop a link to both of those things — the — what? What publication was it in again? I've bought it and I don't even remember.

Aysha: Anathema? Anathema Magazine, which is just —

Kate: Thank you, Anathema Magazine.

Aysha: Yeah, Anathema Magazine I also recommend to read but also to submit to. It's like, all — it's just, I think, by queer artists of color.

Kate: Mhmm. That's awesome. Yeah, so I'll drop a link to Anathema Magazine Issue 6 and The Strange Case of Starship Iris. And that's our show! The Perfectly Generic Podcast is gonna be live from Burbank, California on March 24th at the Guildhall Bar —

Aysha: Yes. I'm going!

Kate: Oh! I was gonna like, lead up to the big reveal! Yes, you're going!

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: So actually I've decided — so we're gonna have like, a *lot* of panellists there. So it's gonna be me, Paige, Austin, Heather, James Roach, optimisticDuelist, Pip, and Aysha.

Aysha: Holy shit!

Kate: Yeah that's like a lot of people! So what I've decided — I've decided on a topic for the episode. So we're going — I'm going to ask every one of the panellists in attendance for like, five minutes on 'what is the most meaningful part of Homestuck to you? And how has it — like, how did reading Homestuck impact you?'

Aysha: Wow, god, that's so hard!!

Kate: I know, right?

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: And so we're — we're all gonna — we're all just gonna get into it in front of everybody, and that'll be part one of the show. There'll be a short break and then me, Austin and Heather will do the first ever Vast Error fan meetup thing. We'll talk about —

Aysha: Hell yeah!

Kate: We'll talk about our webcomic that we do. And the intro music this week — oh right, sorry, actually wait. Before I get into that. You can RSVP at perfectlygenericpodcast.com/live. I do appreciate RSVPs, we've got a bunch already — it helps me sorta prepare these fine folks at Guildhall for like, exactly how many motherfuckers are gonna be dropping in here.

Aysha: How many horned motherfuckers.

Kate: Yeah. If you cosplay at my show, you will — like, I wanna — I just want you to know that like, I will respect you a lot for that. [laughs]

Aysha: Yeah.

Kate: And — and it's all ages, we are gonna have somebody at the door banding you if you're under 21. If you are over 21, y'know, they have fucking fantastic drinks. They have a full food menu and everything, so there's — there's a lot for everybody there. It's a gamer bar! It's a bar for gamers.

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: And Homestuck is gamer-adjacent.

Aysha: God, I can't — yeah, I don't — I don't think we could have a podcast of Homes— a Homestuck podcast in anywhere but a gamer bar, honestly.

Kate: Yeah. Yeah. It's specifically an esports bar, which is just like —

Aysha: [laughs]

Kate: It's like the most — that's why we're having it, 'cause they all know me there! [laughs]

Aysha: Great.

Kate: The intro music this week was 'Perfectly Generic' by goomy, President-for-Life of the Perfectly Generic music team, that's the theme of the show. The outro music playing right now is The Forest ▽ Harbored Thoughts, also by goomy. You can find goomy's music at smoothiefruitee [spells it out] dot bandcamp dot com, there's a link in the description. You can find goomy on Twitter at @itsgoomy_. You can find this show at perfectlygenericpodcast.com. Please go ahead and review us on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or your favorite podcast client, it really helps us out. You can find the show on Twitter at @pgenpod, and allegedly on Tumblr at pgenpod. I don't even use Tumblr any more, but Hexa's still holding down the fort over there so thank you Hexa. [laughs] Let's see. You can find myself at twitter.com/gamblignant8, and my main at twitter.com/KateMitchellOW. And we're starting the Overwatch League season so there's gonna be like, a lotta stuff goin' on there about my job if you're interested in that. Aysha where can folks find you on the Online?

Aysha: You can find me at @aufarah12 on Twitter and also skaianheretic on Tumblr though I'm very rarely there.

Kate: Mhmm. Alright, next week's episode cosmic_dia will be joining us and we're gonna talk about xenobiology and troll headcanons and that'll be a fun one.

Aysha: Oh hell yeah!

Kate: Yeah! [laughs]

Aysha: I hope that — I hope that they bring Slapras!

Kate: I hope that they bring Slapras too! I'm gonna need Slapras on the show.

Aysha: The Slapras Episode.

Kate: The Slapras Episode! [laughs] Alright. Thank you so much for coming on, Aysha.

Aysha: Thank you so much for having me.

Kate: Alright, have a good week everybody, keep rising!

Aysha: Bye~!

[outro....?]

Kate: Ah, we have a late breaking addition to this podcast, which is that optimisticDuelist asked: JohnDaveKat rights?

Aysha: Absolutely.

Kate: Yes! [laughs] Absolutely. Yes! JohnDaveKat rights. JohnDaveKat is a good ship.

Aysha: Yes, agreed. Agreed.

Kate: In general, basically every polyship in Homestuck is severely underrated and y'all are sleepin' on it.

Aysha: Yeah, it's really strange that that's the case. Also, like, y'know, I don't understand why there isn't more like, Dave/Future Dave/Karkat.

Kate: [laughs] That's true! That's true. That might need to go on the side show.

[outro for real this time]

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