sevcanz asked:

I am currently mapping out a setting in which an empire inspired by the Benin kingdom takes over and colonizes a Not!European continent. What kinds of obvious pitfalls should I look out for to avoid making this look like a rightwing "invasion dystopia" (like the new Red Dawn movie)?

Avoiding an Agenda in Dystopian Stories

1. Write with a theme in mind, not an agenda.
If you start off writing a story with an agenda in mind, the agenda is going to overtake the story. I’m going to use the Hunger Games as an example since it’s pretty well known (not because it’s the best example out there). In the Hunger Games, it’s clear that Collins has a theme in mind for her story, but not an agenda. The theme is battling against a controlling government and rebellion. An agenda would be that all government is bad and that everyone should rebel and if you don’t you are a bad person. This agenda would play out in boring stories and one-dimensional characters because you don’t need all the “bells and whistles” of a high action story with three dimensional characters to push an agenda. All you need is an opinion, which is why agenda-pushing is best suited for essays and blogs. 

2. There is moral ambiguity between what is right and what is wrong and the characters are caught in the middle.
One of the best examples I can think of to explain this concept would be the Legend of Korra. The overall arc of your story can focus on what’s right and what’s wrong. In LoK Season 1, there is Amon who is clear set up to be the bad guy. There is a point to what he’s saying, even if the method he going about it is wrong (which would probably be most villians from that show).  Korra is the one caught in the middle. 

In the case of your story, I wouldn’t make inhabitants of the Benin inspired kingdom all bad nor would I make the other country entirely good. Without knowing too much of the plot, I can only say that perhaps there’s a group of people in the Benin-inspired kingdom who oppose the colonization of the other kingdom. And perhaps there’s a group of people in the other country who plan to fight back through dubious means. 

3. Don’t focus too much on the culture of the character and focus on the character themselves. 
One of the pitfalls I see of this setting is who this Benin inspired kingdom intends on colonizing. You stated that it’s not a European continent, but that can’t mean that there isn’t White people in that place or that just because it’s not inspired by Europe that there are no people who can be coded for White. Also, I would be careful about writing a story in which history sort of repeats itself. I would be off put by story that pins POC against other POC if the other two suggestions aren’t followed. I would focus on character and individual choices rather than focus on a government as a whole.  

~Mod Najela

Tory government using publicity agency to create, distribute news

The Conservative government has been using a publicity agency to create and distribute government-approved news items to community newspapers, television and radio stations.

The federal government has a standing offer — worth up to $1.25 million annually — with News Canada Ltd., which provides content free and without copyright to editors through its website.

The articles must be credited to News Canada, but there is usually nothing in the so-called news articles or television and radio scripts that would explicitly let readers or viewers know it is sponsored content.

The Star’s Alex Boutilier reported earlier this week the Conservative government has signed or amended nearly $500 million in advertising contracts over the past five years, but the federal public works department said in an emailed response to questions that this will not come from the advertising budget.

“These are editorial services, not paid advertising,” said the email from media relations at Public Works, where no one was available for an interview Friday.


The federal government says it is about educating Canadians.

New democrat MP Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay), ethics critic for his party, sees it differently.

“We have a news service offering cash-strapped newspapers free content and it doesn’t tell the reader that this is from the Conservative propaganda machine,” Angus said in a telephone interview Friday.

“At least if it’s a press release, we know where it comes from, but there is a subversion of public trust when they go this route.”

Continue Reading.


The Indian Removal Act Explained in 5 Minutes

An introductory lecture to the basics of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act.

By: Keith Hughes.


Population control?

The prescription of painkillers do in fact take more lives per year than two of the hardest i llegal drugs in the nation — surpassing both heroin and cocaine in their total related deaths. If these painkillers are so dangerous why they are so widely presccribed?As a matter of fact, pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars selling these dangerous and addictive opioids to the willing and eager American public. Former President George W Bush signed into law a multi-hundred-billion dollar “prescription drug benefit” during his second term, forcing taxpayer to subsidize the artificially higher prices of these drugs, just to make sure that everyone in America has access to debilitating addiction. And now let us face the truth. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, major media destroy information and religion destroy spirituality. It’s time to put the gears in reverse. We, the people, have to take responsibility… and USE THE BRAINS THAT GOD GAVE us. - he didn’t put them  there just to fill our  heads.