Random Headcanon: The Klingon Empire’s “honourable warrior” culture isn’t such a weird, dysfunctional caricature just because of bad writing – it’s actually like that from an in-character perspective, too.
Most of the Klingons who appear on-screen are nobility of some description, and what we’re looking as is a warrior caste that’s made an imperfect transition to being a class of bureaucrats and administrators at some point between the Original Series and The Next Generation – sort of like what happened with the samurai in post-Shogunate Japan.
They’ve got a lot of cultural anxiety tied up in that role shift, and they’ve overcompensated by constructing this nostalgic mythos of a Golden Age of Glorious Battle that never actually existed. The vaunted warrior’s code is a recent invention – largely post-dating that transition, in fact – and those who take it most seriously typically hail from clans whose “warriors” haven’t seen real combat in generations.
Basically, imagine a society ruled by self-hating historical cosplay nerds who have the authority to have you killed if you point out how ridiculous they are.
DS9 pretty solidly backs this up.
I just realized that finding makeup would be a pain in the ass in the star wars universe
“fuck, I found this foundation in my shade of pink, but it’s for a different skin type, WAY too oily for me”
“why does everyone insist that mascara is the best thing since sliced bread? MY SPECIES DOESN’T HAVE EYELASHES”
“why is makeup humanocentric, not everyone is a different shade of beige dammit”
*angry feminist twi’lek ranting about how they don’t need eyebrows to look beautiful*
*angry togruta yelling as they try to keep their foundation off of their skin markings*
“This foundation is gray but it’s warm gray, fuck”
Coruscant makeup shops would either have to specialize or be huge
if you’re on a planet where your species is the minority, good luck finding items that need to work with your skin tone/type/your body hair or lack of
I’m just. Imagining water-based species leaving their home planet and going “What the hell is Make Up?”
Water-based species shopping abroad: “This is not water-proof. I tried.”
Mixed species people living “abroad” and finally visiting their species home planet as an adult just to discover they had NO IDEA what their peoples beauty standards are and they’ve been doing their makeup to human standards this whole time. “Wait, you mean I’m not supposed to highlight the markings on my arms and chest? That’s hella vulgar?? I’ve been essentially walking around naked with arrows pointed to my cooch this whole time???”
I’ve decided to do up a more detailed (speculative) analysis of what troll languages might look like phonologically, since isozyme made another great xenobiology post and now I have more to work with.
(Also, she had to go and dare me to do more xenolinguistics with it, and then suggested a giant chart full of coarticulated epiglottals, and there isn’t even a giant chart here, but it got really long anyway, so this is actually just the consonants. I will do another massive post about the vowels later, maybe tomorrow. Also, this is in the queue since my sleep schedule is really fucked now and I might not actually be awake when it posts, but hopefully other people will be.)
There are two points of speculation, here – what actual speech sounds you can (probably) make when you are a troll with nasal-ingressive language and two larynges (short answer: actually, a lot), and then which of these sounds are likely to be recognized as being “different” from each other for the purposes of language. There will be links to places where you can hear pronunciations of the human-analog versions of these things actually sound like, too.
Paradoxcase: this shit is spectacular, I want it all in my brain yesterday.
Everyone else: I expect more hot language barrier fic, starting now.
(also I tend to think up basic conlang-y, semantics-related things whenever I look at a fictional culture, although I’ve never done a from-the-biology-up thing before.)
(I think the Alternian trolls prolly speak one language with minor dialectal differences, given how monolithic their culture seems to be. I also like to imagine that this language has grammaticalized politeness all up everywhere.)
Oh, yeah, I am not usually this biological when it comes to the conlanging either, but isozyme’s biology posts have made it more interesting for me, especially with the dual-larynx thing.
I don’t know how monolithic troll society really would be in practice, though – most of it happens off of Alternia, remember. We don’t even know whether e.g. castes are more segregated off-planet, and canonically there are higher-class and lower-class sets of vocabulary even just among our trolls. If adults spent more time living on conquered planets (as opposed to free-floating starships) you could get more serious dialect differences between planets, probably with influences or borrowings from native alien languages (or approximations of them). Knowing the language of the conquered population (even just a very loose phonetic approximation and the writing system) would probably be a useful skill to have, too, depending on how autonomous that population is and how much of their own culture they manage to preserve.
Beforus, now – they would probably be pretty monolingual.
The grammaticalized politeness would be a nightmare for sure. I’m not sure I actually want to go there…
Other purring head canons:
In our culture, we think a lot about visual obscenity like nude scenes in movies, but not necessarily about sound
What if certain frequencies/rhythms in music can approximate conciliatory purring so well that lonely trolls use it as a pale substitute
Does it help them zone out and calm down?
Imagine Dirk and Dave having a turntable throw down only their audience winds up passed out cuddled up to the speakers
Laylah: man i bet really pale stuff, especially being on the receiving end of it, is this out-of-reach kinky dream for a lot of lowbloods
Laylah: you’re below the green threshold? yeah, your life is probably nasty, brutish, and short
Laylah: and if you hook up with some highblood it’s so YOU can pacify THEM
roach: ha! a good point
Laylah: it’s romance as a political statement in addition to being a total luxury, lowbloods ~taking care~ of each other
roach: you don’t have the requisite passions to be tamed
roach: you’re subtrollish
roach: not fierce enough
Laylah: you’re not a danger to yourself and others
Laylah: get out there and pap somebody who is
I think blood color – vanishingly rare. They may ACCEPT a not-a-perfect-match grub, for whatever reason, but they wouldn’t CHOOSE it.
Gender is much, much more flexible. Most lusii aren’t that good at identifying troll sex, and most trolls aren’t that good at identifying lusus sex, so they just assume it’s a match.
(Cirrus avoided mentioning her lusus’s gender because she always called it ‘he’, because he was previously the lusus of her male… ‘foster brother’, for lack of a better term.)
I don’t really know from superheroes, but I’d imagine most of them would be highbloods in order to cater to highblood audiences (sort of like most of our superheroes are men). Then again, troll superheroes would probably be more focused on the villains rather than saving the innocents; maybe they are all just epic black romance stories with some saving of innocents on the side, and taboos against killing kismeses probably go both ways. Perhaps the few superheroes who are lowbloods concentrate more on innocents – heroism for lowbloods and highbloods is undoubtedly very different.