When a piece of art or entertainment is sent out into the world, the world is going to consume it. And immediately, where that creation goes is largely out of the hands of the creator.
For an illustration, look no further than fan fiction and fan theories in chat rooms across the internet.
It seems that if you look hard enough, just about every story told has been probed and supplemented by a fanatical group of followers.
And although we usually can never know whether the creators approve or disapprove, sometimes it doesn't matter. Sometimes the theory is so compelling that we decide to believe it just for the heck of it.
AwkwardJeweler asked, "What fan theory do you 100% accept as true?"
Many theories hinge on one character in particular.
Often based on an overlooked side character or an overlooked aspect of a main character, these theories imbue a once-minor piece of the fictional world with a whole new significance.
"Kevin Malone, if not actually a genius, is certainly much smarter than he lets on in The Office. Clearly he's lazy, and gluttonous, and blah-blah-blah..."
"...but after the merger with Stamford, and its revealed that Martin had served time, Kevin realizes that he needs to give plausible deniability to any sort of financial maleficence that the accountants have been doing, and flanderizes himself in front of the camera."
"Occasionally he slips up and reveals himself to be something a math genius, and has to backtrack, and play it off as some kind of Food-based idiot savant."
"It's how he was able to afford ownership of the bar at the end of the series, I'm sure he made a bit just cashing in all those free drinks, but actually enough to buy a bar? I don't believe it."
A Very Suave Red Herring
"James Bond's primary purpose is to be a distraction to keep attention off the spies who actually spy. Villains and other spies know him, he rarely takes an alias, he makes his presence known early on and keeps messing up operations for the villains..."
"...but other spies have already infiltrated their ranks and work while Bond does as much visible damage as possible to keep the others safe."
More Office Lore
"My own theory that in The Office when Andy proposes to Angela the people playing his parents are different actors because they are literally actors."
"As in he hired them to pose as his 'perfect parents' because his own parents couldn't be bothered to come. The people in the season 9 episode Garden Party are his real parents, who clearly are di**s."
"Ed from Ed Edd n' Eddy is mentally stunted, which is why he's one of the "dumber" characters in the show despite appearing older than the other two Eds (he's about as tall as Kevin and Rolf, who are some of the oldest kids in the cul-de-sac)."
"Also that his parents are abusive to him because of his mental handicap (literally removing the stairs when he was grounded), and his sister's attitude towards him is learned behavior from their parents."
"This is further reinforced by him living in the basement, having non-existent hygiene habits, and 'retreating' into obsession with TV and sci-fi comics.
"In fact, the other two Eds come from troubled homes as well, which is why they're social outcasts in the cul-de-sac. It's been heavily implied that Eddy's parents knew his older brother was physically abusive to him and let it happen."
"Meanwhile, Double D's parents spend zero time with him, and won't even directly communicate with their son, choosing instead to leave him notes for chores instead."
Still a Witch
"Glinda dropped Dorothy's house on the Wicked a Witch of the East, not the tornado, and uses her to gain control of Oz."
"One of the first things Glinda tells Dorothy is that SHE killed the witch. They praise her so she'll accept it, and when the Witch of the West comes along, who killed her sister? Dorothy."
"Glinda then puts the ruby slippers on Dorothy's feet but DOES NOT TELL HER THAT SHE CAN USE THEM TO GO HOME. Instead, she sends Dorothy to Oz in possession of objects that a witch would MURDER her for."
"Dorothy, being forced into a situation where her only salvation is Oz and her worst enemy is the queen inadvertently exposes the Wizard of Oz as a fraud AND murders the Witch of the West."
"Now, who's left to rule Oz? Glinda fu**in' witch of the north. She used Dorothy as an expendable pawn to gain control of Oz without having to leave her bubble. And when Dorothy is done upheaving the two biggest powers in Oz, Glinda sends her home and makes her think it was all a dream"
"The Empire Strikes Back: Admiral Ozzel is a rebel spy."
"Everything Ozzel does in his brief bits of screen time is to the detriment of the Empire. When the probe Droid finds the rebel shield generator, Ozzel tries to dismiss it as smugglers before Piet speaks out of turn and gets Vader involved."
"Later, Ozzel orders the fleet out of hyperspace too quickly, giving the rebels plenty of time to activate the aformentioned shield generator that Ozzel knew about."
"'Clumsy as he is stupid' or Rebel sympathizer who gave is life to give the Alliance as much time to evacuate their base as possible? I side on the latter."
What Could She Possibly See in Bowser?
"Peach is totally into being kidnapped, no one who isn't doesn't have that little security" -- Time-Vault
"Even more than that, she's having an affair with Bowser but doesn't know how to leave Mario. Bowser isn't kidnapping her, she leaves with him."
"That's why every time she gets saved she's like 'oh yay, you saved me again.' " -- Good_Cop_Yes_Donut
Other fan theories are based on glimpsed connections between two fictional worlds that hail from different stories.
These ideas propose that two universes once assumed to be disparate are actually linked quite closely, and the linkage can suggest some pretty diabolical transitions.
"The Jetsons and the Flintstones are living at the same time in a dystopian future where the 'haves' live above the clouds and the 'have nots' are stuck on a wasted Earth."
"The signs include that Flintstones celebrate things like Christmas and other holidays which doesn't make sense and The Great Gazoo alien appears in both series."
Beware of Dancing
"The town from Footloose is the same town from Tremors. The ban on dancing wasn't a puritanical attempt to control the youth."
"The town elders were aware of the graboid threat, and banned dancing out of the fear that it would cause rythmic vibrations waking up the creatures sleeping below the town."
"Kevin Bacon's character in Footloose stayed in the town, growing up to be his character in Tremors, at which point he has to try and contain the danger he inadvertently released."
Lots of Talk About Warps
"Event Horizon is a prequel to the Warhammer 40k universe." -- FeasibleBeaver
"The writer, Phil Eisner, tweeted at one point that he plays 40K, so it was definitely an influence on the script. That's as good as canon for me." -- ch1burashka
"YES. It makes the movie so much more fun in my opinion, they probably show this movie to people to illustrate what happens when you go through the warp without a Gellar Shield." -- waywardhero
And last, some people are all about adding a new lens to experience the story through. They jump on a couple key details and fill in a few more.
The result is a brand new--and convincing--context through which we can experience the story we already know and love.
"The reason each It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode starts with a date and time is because they're all testifying against each other in court." -- BigDirtii
"If this isn't how the show ends I'll be disappointed" -- Jupigorg
"I really hope they see this" -- AndroidDoctorr
Letting Kids Run the Show
"Pokedex entries are written by young trainers. When a professor sends a bunch of ten year olds out into the world to document Pokemon, of course the "research" can't be expected to be professional in the least."
"This is how we end up with the creepy legends of ghost pokemon that might have been passed around as playground rumors, or impossible facts like macargo being hotter than the actual sun."
"There's no reason why out of all the Pokemon professors, one of them couldn't have revised their dex information and correct the tidbit about pidgeot breaking the speed of light or gardevoir creating black holes or blazikens jumping over 30 story buildings."
"It's likely they leave the kids to their own devices without bothering to fact check, and kids, being kids, are going to exaggerate."
Layers and Layers
"The 'real world' in the Matrix movies is just another layer of the Matrix, designed specifically to appeal to people unwilling to conform to the normal Martrix."
"Humans in this outer Matrix have confirmation of their belief that something was wrong, and get to indulge in the fantasy of being a heroic freedom fighter against the faceless evil machines, thus choosing to accept this false reality."
"The anomaly of the One is that he's capable of rejecting both realities, which is the reason why he had powers in the real world."
Not of Sound Mind
"That Loki was controlled by the tesseract more than he let on."
"His eyes glowed multiple times and he shed a tear when Thor tried to talk sense into him."
Where He Came From
"In Disney's Ratatouille, the old lady in the beginning of the movie living in the house next to the river is the food critic, Anton Ego's, mother."
"In the flashback scene where he eats the ratatouille you can see similarities of the house from the beginning, her face and I think the bridge."
Just as Scary
"I 100% believe the two men accompanying the woman in the original 'Blair Witch Project' planned and successfully executed a plan to murder her while they were deep in the woods."
"Too many factors point to good old fashion murder than a supernatural occurrence."
Through Dog Eyes
"The monsters in Courage the Cowardly Dog are regular people but seem monstrous from Courage's perspective (since he's cowardly)."
"Also they live in the middle of nowhere because his owners never take him out so that's how he views the world."
The question that remains is how we're supposed to take these theories.
Are they to be compartmentalized, interpreted as less meaningul than the original source material?
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History is full of infamous disasters one can't imagine experiencing in their lifetimes.
The same can probably be said of our ancestors if they became privy to some of the horrific events that have occurred in our modern era.
Which are the most frightening?
That is exactly what Redditor dat_b_o_i asked strangers on the internet in the subReddit titled:
"What is an terrifying historical fact that you know?"
Remnants from the past still pose risks.
"There is a missing hydrogen bomb somewhere off the beach where my family vacations..."
"Tybee Island AKA Savannah Beach"
'The Tybee Island mid-air collision was an incident on February 5, 1958, in which the United States Air Force lost a 7,600-pound (3,400 kg) Mark 15 nuclear bomb in the waters off Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia, United States. During a practice exercise, an F-86 fighter plane collided with the B-47 bomber carrying the bomb. To protect the aircrew from a possible detonation in the event of a crash, the bomb was jettisoned. Following several unsuccessful searches, the bomb was presumed lost somewhere in Wassaw Sound off the shores of Tybee Island.'
"when the USSR collapsed, multiple nuclear weapons and boxes full of vials of smallpox were lost."
– User Deleted
Nuclear Weapons Gaffe
"Since 1950, there have been 32 'Broken Arrow' incidents, out of which 6 of these warheads were not recovered or accounted for. It remains unknown how many such incidents the Soviet Union had."
"Sleep well tonight, my friends."
These fascinating historical facts might be unfamiliar to most people.
"The dancing plague of 1518, or dance epidemic of 1518, was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, Alsace (modern-day France), in the Holy Roman Empire from July 1518 to September 1518. Somewhere between 50 and 400 people took to dancing for weeks."
Kids In Battle
"during the paraguayan war, paraguay sent 3500 poorly armed children between 9 to 15 yo, wounded soldiers and old men to face brazilian army (20 thousand men), because most of paraguayan combatants were killed. the date of this battle is now children's day in Paraguay."
The Next Step Could Be Your Last
"Near Mt St Helens, in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and before the volcano erupted in 1980, there were areas where you were not allowed off the footpaths. This was because Douglas Firs, which can reach 200ft, were buried in ash in prior eruptions, then rotted away. So you could step on a relatively thin layer of old ash, break through, and fall any number of feet into what amounted to a crevasse or a well."
The following examples depicted some of the most disturbing ways people have perished.
"A lot of sailors survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but were trapped in their sunken ships. There was no way to rescue them. People had to listen helplessly to the men banging on the inside of the hulls for days until they gradually went quiet."
"Humanity's Greatest Horrors"
"I went to the Killing Fields and was depressed beyond belief but also became intensely aware of the significance of being at the site of one of humanity's greatest horrors."
Ominously Beautiful Locale
"This reminds me very much of the suicide cliffs in Saipan. Wild story. Basically during World War Two, Saipan was occupied by the Japanese. When word got out that the United States army was coming to the island the Japanese soldiers began telling everyone that Americans will come eat them."
"The people of Saipan and Japanese living there started to throw themselves off these cliffs with their children and families. I forget the exact number but it was a massive amount of people."
"Here is a link"
"While I was working in Saipan it was a crazy place to be. There is a wall with a ton of names on it as a memorial to those who died. Incredibly beautiful scenery with just a horrible past."
"in the warsaw ghettos they would pile up body’s of people that might have not even been dead. someone who collapsed could have been tossed to the side and be covered with other bodies, slowly crushing them and suffocating them. until they did actually die."
The thread was full of some of the most frightening events in history that still haunts many people today.
These appalling and horrific events reinforce the significance of why we should learn from our past so as to never experience what previous generations have suffered.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Fame is one of those things people tend to want until they have it - or that people shy away from entirely because they understand how sideways it tends to go.
But what about people who end up famous after their deaths? Or who managed to get more famous from the afterlife?
Reddit user GCanuck asked:
"Which historically famous person do you think would be most surprised to learn they are famous?"
If your mind immediately went to that Vincent Van Gogh scene from Dr. Who then 1. you're a nerd (me too!) and 2. you're not alone.
Here's what Reddit had to say.
The Little Painter FellowVan Gogh Reaction GIF by GIF IT UPGiphy
"Vincent van Gogh."
"His paintings made billions of dollars for rich people, but couldn't trade a painting for a meal during his lifetime. Had to be supported by his brother."
"It’s amazing how many pieces he created in such a short time considering how unsuccessful he was in selling them while alive. He kept banging them out despite his 'failure'.”
"He was encouraged to paint as part of his therapy/rehabilitation. He was a pretty disturbed guy, and not in a romantic way."
"Have you ever seen the Doctor Who episode about him?"
"This is what actually prompted this question for me."
"Most of the world has read your diary."
"Wait...All of my diary?"
"Her Father censored some of it because she talks about her body and other things, I can't really blame him for that. Modern prints are uncensored."
"She’d have been thrilled, but I don’t think surprised is the right word. She dreamed of being a published author. She knew that she was creating something valuable and important with her diary, and she wanted it to be published."
"I wonder what she'd think of her diary being turned into a stage play including a Broadway run and thousands of young girls doing their best to recreate all the different facets both good and bad of how she acted during her time in the Annex."
Herman The Whalebart simpson episode 3 GIFGiphy
"He had a few early successes with seafaring books, but Moby-Dick was a total flop that got bad reviews, and he spent the final decades of his life working in the customs department."
"He would be shocked to hear he wrote the Great American Novel."
"My boyfriend is from New Bedford, MA. Apparently the local high schools there had big murals depicting scenes from Moby Dick." "
*That* would have amazed Melville."
"Dude, that's the best part. You never know what's coming next. It's like:"
"45 pages of unintentionally hilarious interactions between Ishmael and Queequeg."
"30 pages of incredible, brooding drama written in stage play format for some reason."
"100 page essay about some minor technical details about whaling and how some village built their chieftain's hall out of a whale's ribcage."
"Another 20 pages of Ahab chewing the scenery and embodying mankind's self-destructive obsessions"
"Then Queequeg speaking his last words but then deciding he doesn't want to die yet and miraculously springing back to life."
"Like the ocean itself, you have to accept that Moby Dick moves at its own pace lol"
We, In Fact, Did Not Forget
"Hegelochus, an actor who mispronounced a word in a play in the year 408 BC and was mocked so thoroughly for it, his mistake has made it into the collective ledger of things historians know about and generally agree upon having happened… and we're still aware of it over 2,400 years later."
"Imagine making a meme today with a word misspelled, and others found that misspelling so egregiously mockable that you are still known for it in the year 4422."
" 'Oh come on get over it. No one will remember about that by tomorrow' -Hehelochus’ mom probably"
"He must have went to sleep running the moment in his head over and over again, but he probably tried to comfort himself by thinking, 'well, at least it's not like some space-age hyper-futuristic society is going to be discussing this thousands of years from now on their magic boxes powered by lightning in some language that doesn't even exist yet'."
"This is the worst nightmare of everyone that has been told to stop worrying because no one will pay as much attention to what you're doing as you."
"Counter point: Hegelochus."
"Kafka. Rarely published in his lifetime, and when he did it was in obscure magazines which nobody read."
"Explicitly asked that his works be destroyed after his death. It's only because his executor disregarded his wishes and published his unfinished works (which comprise the majority of his oeuvre) that he is famous today."
"Kafka is a good example of how much can anxiety ruin a person's life"
"Kafka wrote his stories to be shared with a group of friends like story-telling at a campfire"
"Blind Willie Johnson."
"He passed away blind, poor and sick, lying in the ruins of his house after it was burnt down."
"And his song 'Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground' left our solar system not too long ago aboard the Voyager to be listened to by life among the stars."
"I really like to think one day-thousands and thousands of years in the future, an alien race will find that golden disk and hear his voice."
"I think the fact he had such a poor life but could one day live eternally amongst the stars is so beautiful."
"Found out about him through a VSauce video."
"I listened to a couple songs and really liked them, he had a great voice and had a great talent for playing guitar despite being blind. Such a humbling and inspiring story he had"
"I remember learning about this in a Vsauce video and crying profusely afterwards, but not only from sadness, also from hope, and some other emotions I can’t possibly describe."
"The fact that he died at the lowest of lows, blind, sick, poor, and alone, yet he very well could be the man that teaches the stars about the very essence of humanity… there’s just something so intrinsically beautiful about that."
"Humanity, flawed as it is, is as intrinsically kind and beautiful as it is evil. The world forgets that sometimes."
Other Madonnamona lisa oh no you didnt GIFGiphy
"Lisa Gherardini, the Mona Lisa model."
"She was just some unremarkable random wife. Fast forward a few hundred years and she ended up as one of the most recognizable faces in history."
"HER NAMES NOT EVEN MONA LISA?!"
" 'Monna' was a shortening of the Italian word 'madonna', which was the equivalent of the English 'Madam'."
Honor Well Pass Death
"This is the dead body they used in Operation Mincemeat."
"The man basically consumed rat poison to commit suicide."
"His corpse was then used for a British secret operation to carry fake documents for the Nazis to find in order to make them think they were invading Greece and not Sicily."
"This man died in a alleyway and went on the become a dedicated Major in the British military buried with full military rites - under his fake name, but still him in physical form."
"He was originally buried under his covert identity (in Spain where his body washed ashore after being deposited in the sea nearby by a Royal Navy submarine), Major William Martin of the Royal Marines."
"In 2009 or thereabouts his real name (Glyndwr Michael) was added to his gravestone."
"I thought he died of tuberculosis so it’d be more convincing he was a British serviceman who drowned? Or maybe that was the guy used to make the Nazis think the Allies were invading Calais instead of Normandy."
"It was rat poison but it's not clear if it was a suicide."
"The poison was in the form of a paste that would be smeared on pieces of bread; rodents eat the bread, rodents die. Or in this case; poor Welshman eats the bread, poor Welshman dies."
"It's not clear whether he knew the paste was poison, or whether he was just hungry and thought he genuinely found some bread lying around."
"Where the confusion comes in is that the guy in charge of Mincemeat claimed the body was that of a young man who died of pneumonia, and that the parents had given permission for his body to be used as it was."
A Real Hero
"A literal hero of humanity who in some ways is still alive."
"Her family deserved so much better though."
"Can I get a short version? I don't think I've heard of her before"
"Her contribution to science is and continues to be gigantic"
Laws Of Inheritance
"Gregor Mendel, the monk and scientist who experimented with pea plant traits to describe what we today literally call Mendelian inheritance."
"The significance of Mendel's findings, which he published in 1866, went almost completely unrecognized during his life and after his death. His work was only rediscovered in the early 1900s when modern ideas about inheritance and selection started taking hold."
"I can differ there. When he first stated his theory, he was sure it was correct (as it was) but was rejected. I can imagine him not being surprised at the fact that his work was re recognised as right later down the line"
"It's entirely possible you're correct and Mendel suspected that someday he'd be proved right. At the same time, however, he spent decades after his discovery trying and failing to elicit interest from the academic public or individual biologists, and retired from science to become a monastery administrator, which looks a lot like 'giving up'."
Okay, so we learned some interesting history today. How about you?
Don't you love a good myth?
Let's put some of NSFW ones to the test.
RedditorWizzlyG33wanted to hear about what lies need to be exposed when it comes to sex, death and all things over the top in life. They asked:
"If MythBusters had a NSFW episode, what would you want to see on it?"
Oh JamieSeason 1 Love GIF by OutlanderGiphy
"A five second segment where Jamie points at a diagram and says, in complete deadpan, 'This is where the clitoris is.'"
"If they did such an episode, I could see this being in it for sure."
"I want them to purchase every pill they see on the internet that would make their penis bigger and see what happens."
"I think we can call that one BUSTED already. In what version of any world can you imagine there is a simple pill to make your junk more impressive and every dude you know doesn't already have a case of 10000 pills stashed under the bed?"
"Can you actually get an STD from a toilet seat?"
"This is an interesting thing actually. It was a myth deliberately perpetuated to make people less ashamed of asking for STD tests."
"Fun fact: There are multiple STDs that can be dormant (like inactive) for years. Like several years."
"You’d never know you had gotten it. Then something triggers it, maybe an infection or something, and then you start showing symptoms/Can now test positive. So technically a partner from years before could have given it to you and you either think your SO is cheating or haven’t been with anybody in a long time. Either way it’s scary when you think about it."
"Does a person really stay conscious for a few moments after beheading?"
"There was a French physician who tested this in the early 1900s. After a criminal was beheaded he picked up the head and shouted the criminal's name. The guy opened his eyes and made eye contact with the physician over a period of 30 seconds whenever his name was called. Edit: I provided the source in other comments but here it is on the original comment."
Theorieslooking down homer simpson GIFGiphy
"Size correlates to what? Feet? Nose? So many theories."
"I have size 12 feet and a massive nose and huge hands and the little guy is small."
Oh the lies and the rumors and the shade.
More is MoreSeth Meyers Dancing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"They did prove that women with larger breasts will get more tips. Which isn’t really not safe for work, because Kari literally was working at a coffee shop."
"If breast enlargements will help your job would you be able to write them off on your taxes?"
"How deep underwater are you still able to orgasm?"
"Pretty sure there's no lower limit. When you're underwater, your body is under pressure, but for the most part doesn't actually get compressed. Only your air spaces (lungs, sinuses, inner ears) are really subject to compression from ambient water pressure. There can be painful exceptions like air pockets inside a tooth filling, which I do not recommend experiencing."
"Most of your body is water or various solids, which push back on the ambient water pressure. You prostate shouldn't be blocked by water pressure any more than your bladder is. Source: am old scuba diver, I've done all kinds of things a hundred feet underwater. At that depth the ambient pressure is 4 bar, which in olden-tymes units is nearly 60 pounds per square inch. Also: fish do it underwater, doesn't seem to stop them."
"Does pineapple make your semen taste better?"
"Post orgasm clarity: How much better can you solve puzzles or remember something?"
"Well, recently I did a lot of reaction time tests on humanbenchmark.com and while normally I get average of around 140-145, after a good O I consistently got around 130-135, very often getting single clicks close to 120 which almost never happens in other cases. And it's weird because I feel more tired but apparently my reaction time improves for some reason."
Safety FirstSafety Helmet GIF by Just SecondsGiphy
"A take on the top ten OSHA violations list to see if they are as dangerous as they say."
"Safety regulations are written in blood."
Well that is a ton of great suggestions. Let's work on it.
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Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Many people value solitude, and having time to themselves.
For others though, loneliness can be a crippling feeling.
Having no one to talk to or spend time with can get wearying after an extended amount of time.
Something many people know more than ever after the global pandemic hit in spring of 2020.
But while some people simply succumb to being lonely, others will find ways to help them cope with, if not completely forget, being all alone.
Redditor No_Blackberry_6286 was curious to hear the different ways people have of coping with their loneliness, leading them to ask:
"Reddit, how do you cope with loneliness?"
Make the most with what makes you happy
"I've learned to enjoy my own company and focus on my hobbies."
"Funny enough, this gives me stuff to talk about when I am around people."
Voices in the background
"Listening to people talk on YouTube so I feel less alone in my house."
Millions of friends, just one click away.
"Chat with random people on Reddit."internet computer GIFGiphy
Still figuring it out
"I don't I'm f*cking miserable."- Savathunh
"I don't :("- __MashedPotatoes__·
Get my body movin'
"It makes me feel better about myself and I have something to do alone."- DerpBread69Gym Working Out GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy
Who says I need to?
"I love solitude."- Befuddled_GenXer
"I become one with loneliness."- thenewyorkofficesolitude GIFGiphy
Hit the snooze button
"Sleep 12+ hours a day."- RockandRoll682
Instant tension and relief
"Lots of arguing online about sh*t I don't care about at all, just to have some form of social interaction, and get off at least 3 times a day."-
There are very few worse feelings than that of being alone.
But it's also quite remarkable how much doing something that makes you happy, be it ever so simple, can elevate your feelings.