vanitashaze: Ruby. (what at the heart of your engine's rage?)
[personal profile] vanitashaze
For [personal profile] everysecondtuesday, whom I understand has been recently feeling rather under the weather. It's not your Sweet Charity fic, but it is Ruby! Religious Ruby, at that, and actually the converse to an earlier Castiel fanmix.

Oh God this is so tl;dr.

CASEY: Some demons lie. But some are true believers.
DEAN: Believers in what?
CASEY: You think humans have an exclusive on a higher power?
DEAN: You have a god?
CASEY: Sure. His name's Lucifer.

RUBY: I know it's hard to see it now... but this is a miracle. So long coming.

We first see the concept of demon religion in the third-season episode Sin City, when Dean meets the demon Casey, who is, as she puts it, a "true believer". Not much is said of it, and then we get Ruby, a seemingly benevolent demon who goads Sam into drinking demon blood in order to develop his Antichrist powers - which, in all fairness, didn't take much convincing on Ruby's part. Until the fourth-season finale we don't get an explanation for why she is helping Hunters - her natural enemies - out, though it's implied that Ruby may or may not be in love with Sam.

However, in the events of Lucifer Rising, we learn that Ruby is also a "true believer", and has manipulated the brothers and the situation in order to set her god free. In order to do so, she clawed herself up from hell; killed her fellow demons; brought to light the only human-wielded weapon that could kill them (and herself); was beaten up; was thrown back into hell and tortured for an indeterminate amount of time - the equivalent of a few above-ground weeks, at least - until Lilith trusted her enough to send her back above-ground; killed her kin again; ceded to humans; ceded to angels; was tortured again; hid her intentions and faith so thoroughly that the other demons thought she was a traitor to everything she was; and risked her life over and over again, nearly dying at the hands of demons, angels, and both Winchesters.

That is some impressive devotion. There are saints that put themselves through less than that.

It also makes for a quite fascinating character and raises some very interesting questions - just what is demon religion? How does it make sense of the world? Does it have guidelines, things that pious demons are supposed to do? A priesthood? How do you worship something in a world ruled by practical magic? - that I would have loved if they explored further, but, predictably enough, were never answered by Kripke et al. The closest we get is Ruby's self-congratulatory speech after Lilith's death - which seems less like boasting and more like a spontaneous outburst of joy and secrets kept too long. In it, she calls Lucifer's rising a "miracle" - which could either be a) the closest English word to what a demon would call it in their own language (do they have a language?), the closest way to get Sam to understand her, or b) that again, there's more to this demon faith than entrails and sulfur - and implies that this was her goal all along.

Based on this, it's probably fair to say that almost every decision she made throughout the series was calculated to bring her god freedom and herself closer to him - and maybe there were unseen complications, like her affection (love?) for Sam, but the principal remains the same. Everything is driven by it. In many ways, the story of Ruby is the story of her faith - a perversely religious saga comparable to any of the stories of the opposition (i.e. the Christian God/YHWH).

In short, it's a side of Ruby that doesn't often get play. (Of course, I'd settle for play of any side that's not "evil bitch getting in-between the Winchesters!!!!1!") So I made a fanmix about it.

{ Also, a note probably worth putting down: I'm not advocating Satan worship, or trying for blasphemy, or insulting Christianity or people of faith. All of this is theoretical, within the context of a television show about two good-looking brothers driving around America and having homoerotic adventures with the Judeo-Christian pantheon. In short, fiction. So please don't flame. }

*And when I say "key", I mean "seal". Erk. One-in-the-morning memory.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded,
everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
Everybody knows that the war is over,
everybody knows the good guys lost.
Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich:
that's how it goes.

Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama: Well, Well, Well

Dig a hole in the ground, straight down to Hell
'till there ain't no more water in the well, well, well.
When you're down on your knees with nothing left to sell,
try diggin' a little deeper in the well, well, well.

Ruby sells her soul.

PJ Harvey and John Parish: Black-Hearted Love

Who would suspect me of this rapture?

The Dead Weather: I Can't Hear You

I'm gonna teach you,
you're never gonna leave.
I'm gonna take you by the hand,
gonna walk you to my house.

Crosby and Nash: Puppeteer

Means justify the end.
There's nothing below you
when the world falls away.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Beat the Devil's Tattoo

There is no peace here; war is never cheap here.
Love will never meet here. It just gets sold for parts.
You cannot fight it; all the world denies it.
Open up your eyelids. Let your demons run.

I thread the needle through.
You beat the devil's tattoo.

The Mountain Goats: Psalms 40:2

In the burning fuselage of my days,
let my mouth be ever fresh with praise.

The Black Keys: Black Mud


Emily Jane White: The Demon

I'll take a corset of your words.
Tie them up high, and bind them.
(If there was a demon, would you hold her,
and be a nurse by her side?)

Sufjan Stevens: In the Devil's Territory

I'm not afraid to die to see you.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Devil's Waitin'

Falling fast but we've no cares:
we know our lord's gonna meet us there.

Tori Amos: Way Down

Gonna meet a great big star!
Gonna drive his great big car!
Gonna have it all here on the way down.
The way down.
The way down.
(She knows; let's go -)
The way down.
The way down.
The way down,
she knows.


Date: 2010-06-24 05:47 am (UTC)
everysecondtuesday: glasses and milk tea in the morning (Default)
From: [personal profile] everysecondtuesday

(Of course, I'd settle for play of any side that's not "evil bitch getting in-between the Winchesters!!!!1!")
So much this.

Oh my gosh, you've got Leonard Cohen and Sufjan Stevens and Tori Amos and The Mountain Goats. This mix is awesome!

TBH, I am pretty much almost always under the weather (there is a reason I have a "Tuesdays are delicate creatures" tag *grin*), but eeee, I will still clutch this close to my chest with glee. Because yes, I am all over any play Ruby gets that's not "evil bitch who needs to die." I'm always playing around with what of Ruby's canon I accept and reject in my own personal head canon (which, well, I do with all of the characters, but she's probably at the top of the pile for variety in what makes it in on any given day), but this is definitely a really cool look at her.

Seriously: you are awesome.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:45 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Batman returns: Catwoman seen through a glass window. (SPN Ruby dark)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
I love this, both the cover art and the song choices ♥

Date: 2010-06-25 07:32 pm (UTC)
baggyeyes: Princess Leia (Supernatural: John Winchester)
From: [personal profile] baggyeyes
This looks like such a great mix. I can't download it...but it looks great. I love the artwork as well.

The character was such an interesting one! I like to think she genuinely wanted to help Sam, just not the way he thought she should've helped.

Date: 2010-06-28 08:06 pm (UTC)
baggyeyes: Princess Leia (Supernatural: John Winchester)
From: [personal profile] baggyeyes
Sorry about the delay - my problem is, I'm on dialup, and it's pokey dialup sometimes. I have to turn off images and plugins just to be able to read the updates. That's just to give you an idea how sl0ow it can be.

Thanks anyway! I have an idea of what to look for when I'm at the library, or at a used CD shop.

Date: 2010-09-08 01:59 pm (UTC)
lacerta: ([spn] Impala 3)
From: [personal profile] lacerta
Oh, thanks for this! The song compilation is gorgeous (Tori Amos! Leonard Cohen! PJ Harvey!).

Your take on Ruby, with this fierce spirituality and dedication, is a new one for me, but a very convincing one and I like it a lot. Looking back, with the quotes you picked out in mind, I'm actually surprised it never crossed my mind before.

And after having read your post three times, I think I'll have to go and write a remix from Ruby's POV to the short Sam/Ruby/Dean fic I've been working on (because so far it is, admittely, a bit of a "evil bitch is getting in-between the Winchesters" and that does not do her justice).

Date: 2010-09-08 07:17 pm (UTC)
lacerta: ([spn] Impala 3)
From: [personal profile] lacerta
Honestly, your post is the first one I've come across that makes me understand more about Ruby as a person instead of just a piece in a puzzle, and how things might look from her perspective. Fair enough, I also haven't gone looking for meta on her and I joined the fandom pretty late, so I don't know what I've missed. But I get the impression that there's a lot of mysogyny involved whenever Ruby's discussed, and that's something I'd really rather stay away from.

(It will also be the very first remix I've ever done! Yay!)

Date: 2010-09-24 01:27 am (UTC)
lacerta: ([spn] Ruby)
From: [personal profile] lacerta
I'm so sorry about the late reply - I mixed up my bookmarks a little here. I just wanted to say thanks for the tipp and the cheering on. The remix was HARD indeed! I had no idea. And since your post had a lot to do with me writing it in the first place, would it be okay if I linked back to your entry?

I do like Castiel, but I'll never understand this gigantic difference in how fandom at large reacts to him versus the reactions I see to Ruby. You'd think they're the most clear-cut good vs. evil characters, while I think both show a lot of ambiguity throughout their respective seasons. But well, like you said, there's a corner for everyone.

Date: 2010-09-28 01:53 am (UTC)
lacerta: ([spn] Ellen Mama Bear)
From: [personal profile] lacerta
Sweet, thank you! I've added a link here. And thanks for all the thinky thoughts and for getting me in the mood for trying something a little more outside my comfort zone.

You put it better than I could. It's sad, really. I love a lot of what the show does with regards to masculinity, but then when it gets to female characters it just digs into the same old stereotypes. Though, to be fair, that really isn't an issue unique to Supernatural.

And yes, Misha Collins is made of awesome and rainbows and unicorns. No doubt.

Date: 2010-09-08 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gwenbasil
I love this one very much. I've gone and downloaded all I can find of Ben Harper and BRMC thanks to you. :) I loved the Ruby-has-faith-in-Lucifer thing when it was introduced... I wish they'd have stuck with it/her.

The cover art is also fabulous. :D

Date: 2010-09-09 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gwenbasil
I really feel like the writers took the easy way out when they killed her off.

This is really true. I'm kind of resigned to what happens to female characters on Supernatural, so thank god for the fandom fixing things and filling in the holes.

I was really really REALLY REALLY happy when they'd managed to create a universe with literal angels and demons in it, where that didn't automatically prove ALL RELIGION IS TRUE or X RELIGION IS TRUE, and suddenly it was three times the crisis of faith potential, cos even the supernatural beings didn't have true knowledge. Any character's interaction with faith/belief is pretty much my favorite ever.

I like the comparison with Zuko, actually. Apt! Show needs to step back a little from its laser focus on Winchester Manpain.

Date: 2013-09-28 02:44 pm (UTC)
gigglingkat: Gimme that old time Rock'n'Roll (addict: Music: Keep Calm Rock On)
From: [personal profile] gigglingkat
I just stumbled on this mix and snagged it. I miss Ruby. The thing I regret the most about Ruby is that they never had her meet Meg. Because they would be rockstars to the other. Not to mention a damn fine chance to have the show pass the Bechdal Test once.


vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)

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