The Weight of Guilt. My ‘not a recap’ look into Ep05 of #Outlander. Perpetual Adoration.

Outlander continues the story with another fast-paced and visually interesting episode and the whole thing is POPPIN’ for me.¬† The combination of Perpetual Adoration’s softness and grit was something I found all together satisfying.

This episode was alive with undertones I could have chosen for this blog.  Normally I gravitate to what sits beneath the surface and give it a tug. This time guilt pulled at me from every corner.

Every human (who is not 100% psychopath) is familiar with that feeling. No matter how righteous, how good or well-intentioned we may be, we’ve all felt guilty about something.¬† Guilt is shown in different ways, as we saw in our characters and we know by looking at ourselves, honestly.

The story of one man’s death encapsulated the episode for Claire. There was a heaviness she carried when Graham Menzie’s died, which spurned her actions to head to the UK and interestingly enough, into the past.

She, of course, couldn’t have predicted his death as all precautions had been taken.¬† We can’t count on logic to keep guilty feelings at bay, the gut/brain connection just doesn’t work that way.

Plenty of us sit with those feelings. What could we have done? If we had only…the should’ves, could’ves and would’ves that we think may have changed the trajectory of what might have happened.¬† We hold them over our heads with guilt because we didn’t take the actions that we have had all the time in the world to contemplate after the fact.

It’s really unfair, this game we play. No one ever wins. We can replay as many scenarios as we want, that particular moment has passed. We humans need to learn how to forgive ourselves as fast as we have taught ourselves to take on unnecessary guilt.

When Claire was speaking to Joe, it was apparent. She blames herself for getting attached to her patient and like a good friend, he smacks her with a reality check.¬† Our lives would be much less complicated if we cut ourselves a break, especially with those things that we can’t control. Particularly after the fact.

Pain is to the body as stress is to the mind, and guilt is to the spirit.

One of the characters I have come to truly love is Brianna. In her, I see the combination of the above quote so clearly, especially in this episode.

She literally feels her guilt, whether it is something we believe she should be feeling, she does. When something is said to her that strikes her deep, she folds in on herself. It’s as if something knocks her in the belly. Next time you watch, you will see Bree react physically to the words that connect to those feelings if you hadn’t picked up on it before. (Kudos again to Sophie Skelton for making those subtle yet strong notes for the character)

Ofttimes when we feel guilt it isn’t because we have done something against someone intentionally.¬† We end up in a space where we see our choices, as innocent as they may have been, caused pain to someone when we didn’t intend them to.

Bree’s guilt comes from not telling Roger the truth about the visit with Bonnet and all that came with it because it was a lot. Did she have good reason to not tell him?¬† Yes. Did the guilt gnaw at her? I think that was apparent.¬† Unburdening ourselves of the things we feel guilty about doesn’t always make us feel better though.¬† That, my friends, is life. Guilt causes internal pain because it’s messy and complicated. As with all other hurts, it takes time to heal.

Bree’s regret was evident. Telling Bonnet he was Jemmy’s father was something she now wished she could take back. She thought he was going to die and take her words with him.¬† Since he didn’t, she now must live with him knowing this information she doesn’t want to be true. More often than not, with regret comes guilt. It’s painful seeing her go through this as Brianna deserves to be free. SunnuvaBonnet has done nothing to deserve all the space he takes up in her world.¬†

How much guilt should we feel when we do something we know is wrong?¬† Is there a scale? Should others tell us the appropriate amount of guilt we should exhibit by the level of our misdeed?¬† Also, should we project that guilt for everyone to see?¬† If your neighbour knows you did a baaad baaad thing – do you make sure you look really guilty or do you walk around like you haven’t done a damn thing?¬†

We are now talking about Jamie.  He obviously did a pretty bad thing by killing Knox. Did he have a good reason? He thinks so (I agree). He was going to be handed over as a traitor to the Crown, likely hanged and his family/those on the ridge removed to frig knows where. It was kill or have everyone you love scattered three sheets to the wind AND be killed. 

Jamie is no stranger to the murder game. He started his career as a ‘bloody man’ pretty young in life. He killed his own uncle when Dougal caught him being a ‘traitor’.¬† Traitor might be Jamie’s trigger word. Call him that, he is going to turn off your lights for you.

He has killed his fair share of men in the service of protecting his family and his beliefs.¬† Does he feel guilt for it?¬† I don’t think he feels great about it however, I think Jamie compartmentalizes it. Guilt does exist for him but it’s the guilt he uses as penance. He knows what he needs to feel in order to pay for what he has done.¬† It is a logical pain that he carries with him. Will he show it the same way that Brianna/Claire/Roger does? No, because he married this particular kind of guilt early in his life. If he allowed it to affect him with great waves of emotion it would stop him from doing the things he needs to do. We don’t always need to see someone’s guilt to know they carry it. We only need to know they are a decent human being.¬†

There are plenty of us out here that have done things, admittedly on a smaller scale than, you know, murder, that we keep close to the vest. We know that our guilt may be the price we pay for the action, the secret or the lie.¬† That is ultimately our choice and it isn’t always a bad thing.¬†

People may like to believe the only way to be a good human is to be 100% honest with everyone and share exactly how we feel at all times.

That isn’t the most fitting method for everyone. Once and a while, the best people keep their mouths shut and what they are feeling to themselves. It’s almost a superpower.¬†¬†

Ultimately, we determine the weight of the guilt we carry. We can also bring in someone to help us lug it around just by talking about it.¬† It doesn’t have to be someone involved. It can be anyone to help us take a load off for a while.¬† ¬†

That is why Claire had Joe, Brianna had Roger and Jamie had Adso. I mean, that kitten was pretty conveniently placed, wasn’t he?

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Adso, Jamie’s immediate emotional support animal.

And you…me…we have each other. Many of us are spending much more time at home these days so I encourage you to check out other points of view about Outlander. I find other’s views of the show fascinating, especially when put together in a way that is respectful to others and spoken from a place of sharing. These are some of my favourite people who do this in the land of the interwebs, check out their websites/blogs/vlogs/chats.

Outcandour gives a brilliant, deep dive into the episodes. There is always something about the way she dissects the episode that resonates with me. I don’t tap into the same spaces she does, I end up reading them twice. I ALWAYS end up watching the episode after reading her blog, I then read it again after watching. It’s like a loop! So if I seem dizzy, blame it on T. ūüėė

Beth’s recaps/reflections are very different from my ‘not recaps and I love them because of that. So well written and I adore how she explains her views, helpful for those who see things from other perspectives. To me, that is the point of sharing our thoughts, not to be an echo chamber for people who agree with us but to help one another stretch a little.¬† Not necessarily to change people’s opinions but to have them see things from another person’s lens. I get to do that a lot with Beth and I admire her.

Erin from Three if by Space¬†covers so many great shows so Three if by Space will keep you busy if you want busy. It’s her reviews of Outlander that I read most of course. I don’t read many reviews bc as you all know, I’m a happy finder. I want happy happy happy, even though Erin doesn’t pull any punches in her reviews, she writes with integrity. I don’t always see eye to eye with her (not just cuz she’s tiny…she IS tiny) but that isn’t the point. She expresses herself with honesty and isn’t a dick about it. I really enjoy smart people. So…I enjoy Erin, very much.¬†

Blacklanderz ~Vida puts together some wicked conversations, in print, between members of the Blacklanderz community. I find them fascinating. Not only do I see things from more than one perspective but I often learn things. I don’t claim to be anything other than who I am. I am a middle class, privileged, white woman. That is the lens I see through. Do I try my damned best to listen and be an ally to POC? Yes. Do I always get it right? Nope! Sitting with the community that Vida has created here, is pretty damned impressive.

Courtney and Company, from Outlander BTS. Oh, they make me smile.¬† They are another group of really friggen smart women that get together to talk about the episodes. I don’t always agree with them but holy shit, do I respect them. The beauty of their video discussion is they don’t always agree with each other and like the adults they are they keep the discussion going. I’m not relegating anyone here…Courtney has the most adorable dimples to go with her delightful brain, you just get the best of all the goodness.

I know there are many others, if you have a favourite, please add them to the comments. I think it would be nice to support one another in our Outlander adventures rather than get all wrapped up in things that might not bring us joy. The world is going all kinds of everything out there – we know it, we are doing what we can to stay healthy- maybe this will help us stay sane(ish).

Be well – virtual hugs…6 ft apart eh?

Sher xo

Don’t forget to live tweet with us Canadians while watching W Network at 7pm MST, using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN

 

 

 

 

Before and After. Episode 4 of #Outlander and the thoughts that kept me company.

There is so much happening in season 5 of Outlander, it seems each episode flies by so quickly.

Last week hit a whole lot of nerves, as you might have been able to tell.¬† I spent many years working with victims of violence. I was only a footnote in their worlds yet they all have impacted me beyond words.¬† My ‘life lens’ focused it’s energy there.

While watching ‘The Company We Keep’ I was able to take a large step back to see it from the stands.¬† There were so many moving parts in this episode, I found all of them interesting, entertaining and I believe we can appreciate them as story building.

My mental thread was weaving through the characters and their stories.

We are seeing clear lines of their before and after pictures. I suspect we can define our own.

For some, it is a before and after

  • college

  • marriage

  • children

  • the death of a loved one

  • a traumatic event

  • a joyful event

  • physical transformation

You get what I am saying. We have those moments in our lives that define ‘breaks’ in who we once were and who we now are.¬† We were reminded of those moments numerous times with our Outlander family, both on the ridge and on the road.

I have this feeling that we will be looking at season 5 through the B.B and A.B eye. Before Brownsville and After Brownsville.¬† There is a very heavy feeling around that town, owned and occupied by the Brown family.¬† Dank murkiness doesn’t only describe the landscape but the patriarchy taking place there.

Roger became a Captain of the militia at the ridge, however, it was this trip to Brownsville where he discovered what being a Captain truly was. Its Outlander, nothing goes as planned. Roger was put in a position to test his improvisation skills. He didn’t botch the job, he went with what he knew. Whisky and song. 2 thumbs up from me.

As Brownsville is a tipping point for viewers, it is for Roger as well. Apart from the fact he was sent to escort Claire and the twins back to the ridge, it was in Brownsville that Roger became Captain MacKenzie of the Fraser militia. He was shot at, negotiated terms and announced to everyone within earshot HE was Captain MacKenzie. This was it. Remember that time in your life? When you had ‘that moment’. When you stepped up and into a position, you weren’t entirely sure about but once you said it out loud, it was finally real?

Josiah and Kezzie, those boys have obvious before and after pictures.¬† The before was dark and filled with the pain of neglect and abuse while the after is yet to be seen. We know though, not because of the books, because any life after what they have been through will be better. Especially in the hands of those on Fraser’s Ridge.¬† Picture having a ‘Family lottery’ and the Fraser’s are the grand prize – yup – Josiah and Kezzie won, big time.¬† This is most assuredly a case of they deserve this win.

¬†I will wonder out loud for you. Where do you believe Jamie and Claire’s collective ‘before and after’ is? They do have important ones in their lives, individually and together that have shaped the humans they are now.¬† I am curious about what YOU think.

In my view, one of Claire and Jamie’s largest before/after pictures is ‘before Bree showed up in the 1700s and after Bree showed up in the 1700’s’.¬† Their relationship shifted to a new level.¬† They started seeing one another differently and the dynamics in their relationship varied more than we had seen previously.

I’m interested in your take. I hope you share it in the comments.

We have seen Brianna through some darkness and each week, the looming knowledge of that SunnuvaBonnet is out there. Inching closer. This version of before and after of Bree will not last forever, however, the foreseeable future we have Bree before Bonnet and after. Bree was always determined and filled with a fire that wasn’t easily put out. Those things haven’t changed.¬† Her ‘after Bonnet’ self is turned up for lack of a better term.¬† She is hyper-aware of her surroundings, it seems as if she wears part of her inside on the outside. Feel things sharper, sees things in higher contrast and hears in higher pitches.¬† To those living on the outside of Bree, they seldom seem noticeable, as she is undoubtedly doing her best to keep on the inside. This task of hers is particularly painful. Essentially, the nerves are on the outside while being covered by a sheet of thin muslin that is only protected by her ability to keep it from slipping off.

Those who have suffered a trauma, such as rape, know that the assault itself is different than the post-trauma.¬† That it goes beyond the physical and the initial emotional damage that was done. Brianna may have worked through some of hers in the time between believing SunnuvaBonnet was dead and finding out he was not.¬† The latter would be what we call a triggering moment. Triggers are very real and can bring us immediately back to our traumatic event, sometimes causing the process to start all over again. Brianna overhearing Bonnet was still alive builds the real fear is that he will attempt to find her in order to get to Jemmy. We can only hope that Bree shares her anxiety with those who care about her.¬† I have said it before, just because we can do it alone, doesn’t mean we should.¬†

I can see many Outlander viewers relating to our ‘after Bree’. Living with the agony of sexual assault in any form can be overwhelming.¬† We may be comforted while watching, being reminded we aren’t alone. There is also the possibility of being triggered, seeing our own traumas reflected back at us. The only true advice I have is, take care of that piece of who you are. Nurture them. Remind them they deserve kindness, compassion and love.¬† And then…give it to them.

We all have our ‘before and after’ stories. For some, there are many, lives being in a state of constant change.¬† Others have that moment that created such a shock it sent them spinning and there is no denying it changed everything. Either way, we become who we are not only as a result of what happens to us but how we process/see/react to it.

It is my hope that we all take the time to cherish who we have become. We are worth it.

Sher x

I still do try to LiveTweet with the W Network 7 pm MST airing of Outlander using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN (missed The Company We Keep) but have high hopes for next weeks, Perpetual Adoration!

 

Are we the villain in someone’s story? A self-examination after ‘Between Two Fires’ S05E02

Between Two Fires, has brought us a very different look than the first of the season. Basically, shit is getting real.¬† Once the final scene cut to black I said out loud “What? That was an hour?”¬† You know by now, I don’t do recaps but I do take something I noticed in the episode and dissect it.

Speaking of dissection – yes, I will be talking about Claire and her being elbows deep in Mr. F but I really think we need to start with Murtagh.

There were a lot of people talking about how they hated seeing Murtagh involved in the tar and feathering of political figures in Hillsborough. I was one, then I thought about it. Murtagh is the same man he always was. He decapitated Sandringham, ffs (we cheered), he cracked the skulls of MANY (also, cue us, cheering) and he has killed all manner of men.¬† We as viewers always saw the other people as the ‘bad guy’.¬† The villains.¬† We justified Murtagh’s actions and that was the difference.

This time, we didn’t know these men being tortured. The townspeople and the Regulators did. They know them as the political figureheads that took away their homes and overtaxed them. They are the elitists that live in luxury while they struggle to feed their families.¬† We sat back horrified that these men were maimed. The reason being, we had empathy for them. Whereas the Regulators, with Murtagh at the lead, were exacting revenge for themselves and those families. To them, completely justifiable.

This can open our eyes to our own worlds. How many times have we gotten into situations where people have thought of us as the ‘bad guy’ when we were only doing what we thought was right and/or the best for our family? We weren’t doing it against anyone but we were doing it for ourselves.¬† Some have a very hard time separating themselves from other people’s lives and understanding other’s decisions aren’t about them.

Jamie, for instance. The Regulator’s that were imprisoned, he freed them, they still questioned his motives.¬† They did so because they couldn’t wrap their brains around the fact he let them go because of his own conscience. His need to do something for what in his heart he knew was right.¬† Ultimately, he doesn’t care what these men think of him. What he thinks of himself is his paramount concern. He is mindful that he is a villain to these men. His willingness to be seen as less than, in their eyes, is what he is ready to do. For Jamie, the end justifies the means. I believe that particular phrase will play very heavily in Jamie’s story this season.

It has been my experience, “There are two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle, lays the truth.”¬† This isn’t because everyone is a liar, it is because people naturally put their lens on and tell their story through it. It is what makes us…us. The story is our¬†truth.

It does give me a chuckle when it is said, “They only told you their side of things”¬† Well, of course, they did, whose side are they going tell?¬† There will be instances in everyone’s life where relationships were ended because of horrible circumstances where someone was CLEARLY at fault. The interesting bit, I assure you, is both sides will claim the other to be the bad guy and the clincher will be convincing arguments from both sides. Will one be very skewed?¬† Unquestionably.

When we think of these instances, we would like to think we would be unbiased when it comes to seeing who is culpable.  Being completely truthful, we often side with the person we care about the most. This will be the one we feel the most empathy for. No matter what the argument is, the story they tell, how convincing the tale told, we will choose to trust the person we want to, not always the person that is right. That is one of those horse-pills to swallow.

A very small moment in ‘Between Two Fires’ gave us a situation in which we can see this clearly.

A man, with his family, taking a break from travelling and stretching their legs. On the road comes a huge group of mostly red-coated soldiers. Not a word is exchanged but the soldier near the head of the pack throws coins at a child’s feet. Insulted by this action, the man spat in the direction of the soldier.

From the man’s perspective. This soldier does not know him or his family’s circumstances,¬† the assumption he needs or wants the soldier’s coin is insulting. To throw it at his child’s feet takes it a step further to be degrading. This is why the man spits in his direction. It tells the soldier what he thinks of his ‘charity’.

  • Others in this man’s shoes (even Jamie) would feel this insult and understand why this man would be upset by Lt. Knox’s actions. Some may even say they would have done worse than spit at him.¬† We know the bravado society puts after the fact.

From Lt. Knox’s perspective, a poor helpless family is needing assistance so he tossed them some coin he had on hand. It obviously wasn’t enough for them and the father spat at him. It was ungracious and disrespectful.¬† His obvious generosity was a caring act to be commended, the man and his family should have thanked him for this good deed.

  • The soldier’s and elitists in Lt. Knox’s company would see the situation exactly as he does. The reason? a) the soldiers because going against what their commanding officer says can pose a problem, so follow and agree. b) seeing themselves doing the same thing Knox has done, would feel exactly the same privilege.

The truth…

Lt. Knox is as thick as a brick so he is offended that this man couldn’t see his generosity. He was literally so high on his horse, he missed the fact this family was asking for nothing. He saw himself as superior to them and he chose to give them money.¬† Not just ‘give’ it to them but throw it at their feet. This was not an act of kindness but more an act of power.¬† Expecting thanks and accolades for such a deed is pure arrogance.

There are small instances such as theses in our everyday. Telling someone to smile, not saying excuse me when we bump into somebody, moralizing and proclaiming to others “I don’t see colour”. Sure, using the word “villain” does seem extreme, however, things like those mentioned can really mess up ours, or someone else’s day. The examples were more along the lines of being the type of person that makes others feel better when we aren’t around. Micro-villains, I prefer that.

My mother used to say “If it quacks…it’s a DUCK!” She didn’t waste her didn’t time with “if it walks like a …” stuff.¬† We know on Outlander, the whole “People show you who they are,” adage can be tricky.

Take Claire, she is working very hard to bring her knowledge of modern medicine into the past. Whipping up concoctions of this weird sounding ‘peniwhosiwhatsit’ that is supposed to cure all sorts of sickness. (I know what it is, I’m pretending to be from the 1700s and hearing the word…work with me)¬† You can imagine what prying ears might hear. Or, lawd-have-mercy, what they might see. Like the body of a man that apparently was buried, now with his chest cracked open and his giblets laying all over the place.

Claire’s acutely aware that what she is doing would be seen as sacrilegious, macabre and downright inconceivable. Which means, Claire, our heroine, the matriarch of Outlander if standing in the middle of her community being 100% herself would be 100% a villain in the eyes of those around her.¬† Given the people, the times, their education and knowledge of things that are – their perception would be altogether accurate.

Mrs. Bug thinks the woman is mad, hoarding all this bread to make some magic medicine! Imagine if she saw this poor chopped up man in Claire’s surgery.¬† What we have to admit, unless you truly love Claire, understand what she does, how legitimately intelligent and medically knowledgable she is, the things she does in the world she lives in would never be perceived as anything BUT evil.

Hard to wrap your mind around it isn’t it? Thinking of Claire as a villain.¬† While you are giving a go at those mental gymnastics, I want you to think of this – Stephen Bonnet as the hero.

WHAT THE ACTUAL F??? Yeah, me…I said that. I know…I know.¬† We all know how deplorable the man is and of course, he is a villain. The worst kind. THE villain.

The truth of the matter is, Bonnet doesn’t think so.¬† Get what I am saying?¬† Most people who we see as villains have no problem at all seeing themselves as heroes. They have zero qualms with excusing their behaviour as justified and often blame others for forcing their hand.

This describes Bonnet. Seeing him in Between Two Fires sent shivers down my spine. Yup, he has still got IT. That thing that makes your skin want to crawl off of your bones and run away from home. Every nasty thing that SunnuvaBonnet does, he justifies.

Rationalizing behaviour like this gives us permission to a) repeat it b) excuse it.  My point is, frequently those who so many of us see as the villain Рwill never see it themselves.  That is why they exist in the first place.  Those that have a measure of empathy and compassion Рhave the capacity to change.

As I sat with my own thoughts on this whole villain concept, I’m conscious of being the villain in other people’s stories. For some, I have made peace with that. It isn’t possible to alter their perceptions of me and for another, I don’t want that responsibility. I would rather be the perceived villain in our story than open the door to the chaos that created the situation.¬† For others, it makes me sad and embarrassed that I know I could have behaved in a different way. As a consequence, the story may have had a happier ending.

How many times have we justified our actions? Whether they were out of anger, self-preservation or ego?¬† I don’t know about you but my honest self says more times than I like to admit. Justifying something doesn’t mean we were right to do it, it only means we excused our actions at the time and painted ourselves on the “right” side.

The most interesting things cause us to sit back and look at the world, others and our own actions. This week it was this nugget of how we are seen through other’s eyes.¬† We can say we don’t care, some don’t. Some, care too much. Maybe if we were all just a little more aware, it would make us a little kinder to one another.

Boy, I hope I find something FUN to talk about in next week’s episode.¬† I am sure you do too.

Sher XO

PS – Don’t forget to join us as we livetweet to the W Network airing in Canada at 7 pm MST, using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN

We are OBSASSENACHS because they want us to be…

and to be perfectly honest, we’d have gone willingly. Many of us were sitting here, waiting for someone to come along and make this happen.

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I recently watched a marketing clip of how to sell in today’s ‘go go go’ society and it was how all entertainment works these days. I wanted to sit down and put an Outlander spin on it.

Look, we have a little over a month left of #Droughtlander. I would like to spend it in a bubble because the real shit out there is making me tired. I need to turn it off every now and then if I want to stay relatively sane-ish.

Here were the marketing rules:

TURN CUSTOMERS INTO FANATICS –¬†¬†The viewers are the customers and CHECK! We are fans aka…fan addicts…fanatics.

PRODUCTS INTO OBSESSIONS –¬† The product is the show and all the goodies that come with it. CHECK! We never miss an episode, in fact, we watch them over and over. We buy all the copies, we buy all the merch, we donate to all the charities, we attend all the events. Yep. Obsessed is a good word.¬†

EMPLOYEES INTO AMBASSADORS –¬†Conventions, Interviews, Social Media presence… the cast and crew that take part in these things. Those who engage. TADA! We have our ambassadors. We are tiny lil ambassadors ourselves when we RT/Share/Engage/Like.¬†

AND BRANDS INTO RELIGIONS.¬†¬†Don’t scoff. Don’t laugh. People take their Outlander seriously.¬† (If you are deeply religious – may I suggest you read the rest of this blog with your funny pants on because it is all just shits n giggles from this point on)

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up n down n side t’side toss toss¬†

 

 

I have come up with 10 Outlandish commandments because I thought it would be fun and tie in, kinda…weirdly.¬†

  1. I am Outlander, thy epic show, thou shalt not favour any strange shows before me.
  2. Thou shalt not take the name of  Outlander in anger or derision.
  3. Keep thy home quiet during the Outlander hour.
  4. Honour thy Fraser’s and thy McKenzie’s.
  5. Thou shall not be a twitter asshole.
  6. Thou shalt not commit snackicide during the Outlander hour. It means what you think it means. Sicko. 
  7. Thou shalt not verbally assault others during Outlander. Like not even a little. 
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. That means don’t be a gossipy Gertie, ok? Two ears, one mouth.¬†
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours Outlander stuff. Be happy for them. That shade of green doesn’t look good on anyone.¬†
  10. Outlander is really just a TV show, here for thou entertainment. Enjoy the shit out of it. 
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No, Brianna. I’m just goofing around.¬†

ANYWAY, on the whole, the Outlander fandom does exactly what it is supposed to do according to the world of promotion and marketing.

Sony, Starz, W Network here in Canada, the cast and many of the crew all play their parts. Some don’t like how they do it, that’s a matter of taste, personalities or whatever. They will continue to do what they do for their own reasons. We don’t need to know those reasons, they do it for the success of Outlander.

The same can be said for us, the fans. We play our part. Some might not like the way we do it BUT…thats what happens in this thing called life.¬† We feed the Outlander machine in our own way.¬† It doesn’t matter in the big picture as long as we have fun with it.¬† No matter if you are a twitter maven with thousands of followers, a controversial blogger that likes to debate or a fan that sits back and lurks wondering how the hell everyone keeps all of this stuff straight (I have no idea btw, I rarely remember who runs what account), we all maintain a piece of this crazy Outlander fandom.

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YES. This fandom is crazy. Good crazy for the most part. Like any massive collective of people, there will be drama, infighting, cliques and subgroups.  Those, however, are generally on the outlying rings.

The words ‘silent majority’ are a thing because – the majority of people who watch Outlander are silent.¬† Outlander has a global audience that is growing every day because of streaming services, most will never bother with social media beyond a few likes or searches. It only makes sense that those who are out here with our voices try our best to use them for good. Whatever that looks like to you, go for it! Have fun with it. There are groups out there that support the actors. All the main cast members have fan groups on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Not just one but multiples. The reason being, different personalities gravitate to one another. That’s cool because you will then find people like you that love the same cast members you love.giphy-8

Richard Rankin is a great example. I am sure he has a twitter handle for nearly every body part and one in every region on the planet. Example: Rankins Dimple , PLEASE do not see this as a personal challenge to create ALL of Rankin’s parts. ūü§£ It could go too far.

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There are great content creators that share their love of the show. Videos that blend songs with scenes, that help us relive beautiful moments. Check out Julia on YouTube if you haven’t already. She has the instinct of bringing the music and the heart of scenes together to recreate the story in another setting.

There are also edits by King Fireman on YouTube, his videos are masterful creations of scenes brought together to weave you through a retelling of the story. You need to see them in order to truly know the appeal of them.

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Like, Abracadabra it’s so awesome, magical

We also have a number of fantastic bloggers.¬† So many I couldn’t possibly name them all. I assure you there is something for everyone out there. You can easily go to your favourite blogs, check out their suggested blogs since like attracts like.

Get lost for hours on end by hitting up Pinterest. Search for Outlander fan art, quotes, memes and whatever else your wee Outlander heart desires. You will find the most amazing things along with a few that make you snort whisky out of your nose. Either way, a great way to waste an afternoon.

Ultimately, it isn’t our drama, negative nellies and infighting that get the attention of others.¬† That kind of shit just eats and thrives on itself.¬† It’s possible to not be a part of it if you don’t want to.

What ends up being a lightning rod is the laughter, the good time fans that run around with their t-shirts over their heads screaming about LJG and Jamie and Roger and Murtagh and and and… that get the attention.¬† The discussions about Claire together with her fortitude.¬† The conversations about Brianna, her rape, as a consequence the way women in the fandom connected, healed and supported one another that was truly heartwarming. Those are the things that people outside the fandom see and gravitate to.

I admit the way fans jump all over someone that merely mentions on twitter that they have watched Outlander and love it, it’s friggen adorable. It might be surprising to the person initially but think about how welcoming it is. Walking into what you think is an empty room and saying “Wow, that Outlander show was so good” then BOOM 200 people are welcoming you and telling you how wonderful it is to meet you and how you are their people.

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I for one…am happy to be a cog in this Outlander wheel. As long as it is on the air, I will be out here, promoting it. You never know what will happen after.

COME ON Feb 16th, us Canadians, watching on W Network have some #OutlanderCAN tweeting to do!

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Sher XO

It’s Not About You. My take away from the #OutlanderFinale #ManofWorth.

Funny, the way things happen.  All season I have been happily live-tweeting our #OutlanderCAN hashtag each episode as they air on W Network, here in Canada. I then ponder over each episode to try and pull something not so obvious from it.  I have gotten decent feedback most of the time and am pretty proud of what I have done in both departments.

It so happens that during the airing of season 4’s finale, I ended up in the emergency department of my local health center and then whisked to the hospital for testing. What was I thinking about? Well…my imminent death or loss of a limb was first in my mind but I was also thinking about not being there to live tweet.¬† I’m not even shitting you. I was thinking about that. So I tweeted to apologize and explain why I wouldn’t be there. Like people cared like I did. I mean, come on.

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Really, not. (source)

There is where the “not so obvious” for the season finale popped up for me.¬† It’s not about you.¬†The season finale wasn’t about me being there to live tweet or not, how important do I think I am anyway? ūüôĄ There were many instances¬† I could easily say that to a character during the episode.¬† I also find it amazing how often this happens in our every day.¬† We tend to personalize other peoples behaviour, internalize it and make it about ourselves.¬† We will get it in our heads that other people get up in the morning just to make ‘our‘ day more difficult.¬† A little FYI, that usually isn’t a thing. Most peoples objective is to do things “for” themselves, not “against” someone else.¬† This is not to say there is not collateral damage, there always is. That¬†usually isn’t their intent.

The opening title card scene we see two young boys running around playing what they are taught to believe is an innocent child’s game of “Cowboys and Indians.” Watching is a proud Native American man that we later realize is Otter-Tooth because of the gemstone around his neck.¬† This is not about the children, this is not about the ignorance of the systematic racism that caused us to believe this game wasn’t hurting anyone. This is about the man on the bench, the history of his people being changed and being replaced by society.

Claire, Ian and Jamie make their way into the Mohawk village looking for Roger. They know he is there. All three are trying to wheel and deal to get him back.¬† Claire ends up with her scarf off and Otter-tooths gemstone exposed.¬† This causes many in the tribe to gasp in fright and move away. Claire and Jamie’s first reaction is to calm them down, say they mean no harm, they want to help, to trade.¬† Their immediate first thoughts are about what they can do for them. This isn’t about you Claire. This isn’t even about the tribe. This is about the gemstone. It is about the fear the tribe has for what that gemstone represents.

Murtagh has more than a few “this ain’t about you” buddy moments.¬† What I found very interesting was it was Ulysses that silently gave him a lesson. Murtagh and Jocasta are discussing Brianna’s impending marriage to LJG. Which, Murtagh is taking very personally.¬†¬†There was one point when the discussion between Jocasta and Murtagh went from curt to argumentative. We could only see Ulysses’s hands- he went from gently holding them in front of him to loose fists at his side. Signalling protection. When Jocasta decides to leave Murtagh to his food, Ulysses takes her arm and offers Murtagh his assistance but with a very curt manner, the extra eyebrow added all we needed to know in this scene.¬† Jocasta and Ulysses were letting Murtagh know Brianna’s future…not about you dude.¬† Little did they know…it wasn’t about them either.

Going back to Otter-tooth for a little bit.¬† I know people get upset about the story here, about his message of killing all the white people, of the war he wanted to lead in order to save his people. It upsets me too but maybe for different reasons. It upsets me because it would seem like the logical thing to do if I were in his place.¬† If I were to be 100% honest with myself, which is not an easy task in any event, what he was saying would be the most effective way to save his people.¬† It’s brutal and it is ugly, so is what the Native Americans and First Nations people of North America went through because of colonization. So, for this one. It’s not about you. Or me. Or any of the people Otter-tooth wanted to save his people and his history from. It was about the Mohawk and what they ultimately went through.

We finally get to Roger. Finally. Naturally, there is this crazy “no take-backsies” going on but since trading seems to be the currency in all things, even peopley things, Jamie offers himself up.¬† Young Ian goes to work something out, in this, he thinks he is a better deal than the old gingersnap.¬† Jamie is caught off guard, assumes he will rescue Ian away or Young Ian will escape when Ian shuts him down.¬† This isn’t about you Uncle Jamie.¬† Young Ian swore to the Mohawk, he gave them his word.¬† He would stay with them, in return, Roger could go with Jamie and Claire, back to Brianna. Sweet Young Ian was taking responsibility for his actions as well as making a choice for his future. One that didn’t have anything to do with anyone else.¬† Sometimes the choices others make can hurt us but they aren’t making them ‘to‘ hurt us.¬† We have to be aware of that.

So, off goes Roger with Claire and Jamie.¬† The first opportunity he gets to put a beating on Jamie, he takes it.¬† I don’t blame him in the least. Apparently, neither does Jamie.¬† Claire tries to stop him but Jamie knows, this is what Roger needs right now.¬† I believe Jamie also wants Roger to let loose on him.¬† His form of penance so to speak.¬† In a way, Jamie is making Roger’s rage about him in order to rid himself of some of the guilt he feels over what he has done. Error in judgement or not, he owns it, as he should.

When Roger doesn’t go back with them to River Run right away, I don’t think it about the news that Brianna’s baby is possibly Bonnet’s.¬† I think it is more about staying in the past. This has never been the plan.¬† This is a new thing.¬† It not just about Roger and Bree and their future anymore. It is about being a family in a completely different time. It is about living in a family with a man that damn near beat you to death and sold you to the Mohawk.¬† It’s about living in a time when your wife was raped.¬† This is a dangerous world and making the choice to live there.¬† Making a choice like that without taking a moment to think would be doing a disservice to yourself and to the one you love. Not to mention all the people that will end up in your life as you move forward. This is a case of it’s not just about you.

Brianna was the one that was the victim of so much “It’s not about you” that it was painful to watch.¬† Only because she did personalize so much of it.¬† I was thankful that the birthing scene was Bree focused. It showed her strength, tenacity, ability and her dedication to doing this thing on her own when everything came down to it.¬† Yes, she had her aunt there, her friends but ultimately, giving birth is about a mother and her child. There is no need a secondary narrative to focus on there. When Bree held her son for the first time, this story became about him now. That was her choice. Her love for him shone through.

When Claire and Jamie arrived back at River Run without Roger, the look that came over Bree’s face when she realized he wasn’t with them was pure heartache. It wasn’t about her but we all do what Bree did. She was personalizing Roger not coming back. Very likely creating a story in her head to match the pain she was feeling. It is such a common mechanism for us humans and so often our imaginations don’t match the reality. We replay other peoples choices like we have control over them. It is this weird dance we do. If I had done a, b or c.¬† Only, it doesn’t work like that because they will always make the choices they want to no matter what we do. Roger does return to her though, as I knew he would. He returns to claim her as his wife and the baby as his son.¬† It isn’t about any one person, it becomes about them as a family.

As Red Coats come riding up to River Run everyone assumes they are after Murtagh because he is, after all, the local fugitive in hiding. Jocasta and Murtagh share a little t√™te-√†-t√™te that both Claire and Jamie witness and share their WTF faces. It’s ok guys, THIS little love affair…isn’t about you, so step off.¬† Aunty Jo is getting herself some Silver Foxtail on the side and won’t be listening to any of your nonsense about it.

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Daactualfuq?

Last and certainly not least is the not so love letter from Governor Tryon. Jamie is expected to follow his beck and call.¬† In this case, that means whippin’ up a militia and hunting down and killing Murtagh.

Well, Tryon, I know he likes to think everyone is just clamouring to serve him and his brilliant red coat wearing English army but here is the thing, they aren’t. No matter what Jamie’s obligation¬†is to him we know that Jamie’s first obligation is to his family. It always has been and will be. Gov. Tryon happens to think this whole Regulator thing is me¬†against them. That is where he is wrong. The Regulators have said from the start, they are more than willing to pay taxes, they are not willing to pay for the elites shitty castles and corruption. Plain as day, Gov. Tryon. Not. About. You. It’s about the people he is supposed to be helping.¬† If he were to take the same amount of time he takes to fight them and listen to them instead, he might learn from them.¬† Even this shows us we often make up our minds because we feel attacked when someone disagrees with us.¬† Instead of listening we react. So much can be lost when all of that noise is happening.

Imagine. 13 weeks of Outlander is already gone. POOF!¬† I absolutely loved this season.¬† Every episode I enjoyed for different reasons and I was able to learn a little something in the hidden corners that helped me realize the writers, directors, cast and crew give so much to it.¬† Still, Outlander isn’t about me.

It’s about so many people.¬† Too many people to ever keep track of or make happy and that’s o.k. too. Want to know why? That is what makes life interesting. We can have animated conversations. We can discuss what we love, what we don’t and the things we missed and maybe why we think things were done the way they were.¬† What I think the secret might be is respecting one another’s views and opinions as just that. Personal opinions based on personal experiences. They don’t have to assume someone else’s intent or be presented as facts. We can have fun with it because when it comes down to it, this thing called Outlander is a TV show that is created for our entertainment. It is supposed to bring up emotions. All of them. That is what makes great TV.

I’m not going to stop blogging over #Droughtlander, granted, I probably won’t do one once a week. I hope that we can keep each other company, stay engaged and not lose focus of what brought us together in the first place. A great story.

Sher (Founder of the #ABOotlanders)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us Canada for an #OutlanderCAN Aftershow!

Us ABOotlanders always get excited when we get news regarding our obsession. ¬†The W Network in Canada has scooped Outlander from Showcase. ¬†We won’t pretend we aren’t excited about that. ¬†W is already doing a better job of promoting Outlander¬†. ¬†We are keeping our fingerscrossed they entertain our #OutlanderCAN hashtag – as we all know, we had trending a time or ten. ¬†Especially when Caitriona¬†tweeted to us on season 2 premiere night. ¬†Not that… you know…I keep track or anything. *whistling*

The last 2 seasons of Outlander¬†#ABOotlanders have been tweeting furiously during the show with our followers. ¬†It’s great but if we do it every week, we start cramping up a lil.

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Its a thing

We have decided instead of a Live Tweet with the show we will guide a Recap of each episode after they air in Canada. ¬†Sunday nights…starting on Sept 10th… 9 pm E/P – check your local listtings for times.

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Warning: There will be commercials. ¬†It was discussed for a time, since the US and Canada would be airing the same time, to live tweet together. Well….that won’t work out since we will be waiting to see the latest commercial advertisments. ¬†P.S. W Network…can you just play this one over and over¬†

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Shhhh…my boyfriend is sleeping.

Unless of course you can get Barbour commercials. ¬†Cuz their spokesman is my future husband. (Don’t tell the one I have had for 25 yrs)

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I don’t complain about commercials anyway. They are important while watching a show like this for the following reasons:

  1. Drying your tears and catching your breath before the next round of tears starts
  2. Process all the goodness that just happened and beat the crap out of who ever is watching with you squeeling “OH MY GAWD! Did you see that? EEEEEEEEEEEE” (my friend said she does that. *eyeroll*)
  3. Get a drink because shedding tears causes dehyration
  4. Take a bathroom break. Best to watch Outlander with an empty bladder.  It can get crazy and the ole pee bag might not be up to the task.
  5. Tweet for the 3 minutes to let everyone know how awesome you are…ummm… it is.

After the final credits roll there will be #ABOotlanders from all over Alberta taking part in an episode breakdown. ¬†Probably just being insane and random but *shrug* what the hell…we are gonna give it a go!

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We will be having premiere parties in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge. ¬†We are gonna dress up in 60’s awesomeness and posting pictures under the #OutlanderCAN tag. ¬†We hope our fellow Nutlanders will join us. ¬†nuts

Following up each episode with a blog post has been a thing for us. ¬†I know I know…another one! ¬†We have done recaps, we have done randomness. ¬†This year we will be having some real fun with our blog…while supporting the artists, bloggers and fans of the Outlander community. ¬† The world is a better place when we are kind to one another.

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So….THANK you W Network for taking Outlander on! Voyager has been my favourite book of the series for many many years. ¬†We are excited about playin with you!

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We are so friggin prest!

 

Sher

ABOotlander Founder

 

 

 

The Effects of DroughtLander

Did I even know what that simple wee phrase “Droughtlander” would grow into the first time I used it in this meme all those years ago? That’s a hard no…droughtlander

I didn’t have a clue that everyone and their dog would be using it to describe the time between seasons of our favourite show Outlander. ¬†I can thank Diana Gabaldon for posting that particular blog on her facebook page and sending it into Outlander history. ¬†That link has since died because our group, previously known as the Heughliots, found our own identity as the ABOotlanders so you can read it HERE¬†at its relocated addy.

The interesting thing about a drought is the impact it has on the environment around it. In the case of #Droughtlander…the impact largely falls on the fandom.

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Us ABOotlanders are a hearty bunch. ¬†During Droughtlander we get by on help from our neighbours. We share our resources. ¬†This includes talking about the days of all the Outlander, reading about the Outlander and how plentiful and fantastic the Outlander days were. Yes…and how we know that one day the Outlander will return. ¬†We find it immensely therapeutic.

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Alas, there are the people who are crawling across the droughtlander fields gasping for breath, ridden with anxiety & depression because the Outlander hasn’t touched their lips for too long. ¬†They can’t see the Outlander in the forecast & will do anything to make the oasis a reality in their every day…except instead of embracing the good they are allowing the drought to blur their vision of the good it started as. Instead of remembering the things they love they are focusing on things like the bad taste the lack of Outlander has left in their mouth.

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Droughts cause migration…migration of people to other things. ¬†This is normal…when the Outlander comes back – so will the people and so will more. ¬†Some people might not come back and that’s o.k. ¬†Making their life with another fascination or love. ¬†That has nothing to do with the drought itself but the way they chose to deal with it, their choice isn’t wrong. It is what is best for them.

You know droughts also cause wildfires? All you have to do is take a peek behind the curtain of this fandom to see that. ¬†The small flames of discontent are there but unless individuals fan¬†those flames they will never catch & become a disaster. When a spark comes your way, put it out. ¬†How do you do that? Don’t respond. ¬†Don’t blow on it, don’t give it the air it needs to grow. Yes, it is that simple.

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Most droughts don’t have that surety¬†of ending, ours does. Droughtlander never lasts forever but the things we say & do during the drought does. ¬†If we seek out the cracks, we will fall through them. ¬†If we seek out the light, we will feel the warmth.

Let’s do our very best to keep our faces to the sun. That means our heads are tipped back enjoying a bevy.¬† As spoken before…the true remedy for #Droughtlander. (this could be the reason my liver is now broken – sad story, eh?)

amen

Sher

ABOotlander Founder & Lover of all things happy!