....and it spoke english

Very Underrated Part of Fate/Grand Order: At the start of the France chapter, which takes place during the Hundred Years’ War (France vs England), You and Mashu come across some soldiers. Mashu greets them in English and asks for directions towards the nearest settlement. They were French soldiers. Mashu, an enigmatic woman, spoke in English to French soldiers during the Hundred Years’ War.

That’s why you gotta fight a bunch of French soldiers.

5

                                                  Processing…

5/29/17


Taylor and I have been planning out our wedding dates, what are we going to do for the coconut, Its alot to take in and to discuss, however, we are simply enjoying the moment and the process. 

Anways, Sophia has been attempting to convince me that she absoluetly needs to teach her brothers colors and that Taylor or myself is not needed. We’ve “let” her help us in some instances but usually we keep her distracted with games and luckily for me she is staring to actaually speak English. (If you didn’t know, she only spoke in portugese because of me…whoops). Other than that shes happy that Mai has finally been moved to sleep in her room so now she can play with her baby baby brother. 

I don't speak Spanish either.

So, this happened several years ago. My boyfriend and I had been in a long-distance relationship for a long time, and we would see each other maybe twice a year. This was during one of my month-long visits to him over the summer.

We’d decided we wanted to go to one of the nearby malls, and had to take two separate buses to get there. Him living in SoCal, it was fucking scorching; it was probably around 100F. For a “delicate” NorCal girl like me, that feels like death.

We’d gotten off the first bus and were walking to another stop a couple of blocks down to catch the next one. We’re stopped at a corner of a particularly long street, waiting for the light to change so we can cross, and there’s group of three girls behind us. We’re not paying them much mind at first, until I hear one of them go “No, I don’t want to ask them! I don’t even speak Spanish! How am I supposed to talk to them?”

This is where it’s important to note that my boyfriend and I are both of Salvadorian descent, and therefore pretty obviously brown. However, my Spanish is incredibly poor [that’s a whole different story], and I really hate it when people assume that I don’t speak English. It’s rude. But whatever. I guess it happens. It’s what happens next that ticks me off. An attempted whisper: “Look, just ask the girl. Fat girls are always nice.”

Okay. Fine. Not worth my fucking time. I’m not even gonna say anything because it’s hot and who wants to deal with this shit. But then from behind me I hear, awkwardly, “Perdón?” I turn, and it’s one of the girls–surprisingly, one that also looks latina. She sounded like the one who’d claimed not to speak Spanish.

“Yeah?”

She looked a bit surprised, and relieved that I spoke unaccented English. “We were wondering if you could tell us how to get to _____?” Some location. I was the wrong person to ask.

“Sorry, I’m not from around here. You’ll have to ask him.” I gestured to my boyfriend. Again, I’m from NorCal, so I had no idea where anything was down there.

The girl turned to him hesitantly, asked him, and my boyfriend, being friendly, gave them directions. Turns out it was straight down the long street we were on. The girls took off without even thanking us, and the light changed so we finally crossed the street and waited for us bus.

The bus shows up maybe ten or so minutes later, and we’re relieved to be out of that god-awful San Fernando Valley heat. The bus takes us down the long stretch of road, and I see the girls from before trudging down the sidewalk under the merciless SoCal sun.

“I told them that it was right down the street,” my boyfriend says. “I never told them the bus goes there.”

Hit Korean boy band BTS is ready to take over Anaheim

Rap Monster, one of the seven guys in the South Korean boy band BTS, says it was only at the end of 2016 that he and the others realized how huge their band had become around the world.

“Somebody in the company sent me a message: ‘You got No. 26 on Billboard OMG congratulations,’” says Mr. Monster, the 22-year-old rapper born Kim Nam-joon, by phone from Chicago where BTS was set to play on Thursday before hitting Honda Center for a pair of sold-out shows on Saturday and Sunday.

“At first I thought, 'Ha ha, your humor isn’t really very good,’” says Rap Monster, the leader of the group and its primary songwriter. “We didn’t believe it.”

But as more messages started to ping onto their phones he says the BTS boys realized it was no joke: Their sophomore album, “Wings,” entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 26 after its October release, making it the highest chart position for any K-pop act – not to mention one that sings primarily in Korean – and offering a bit of foreshadowing for Billboard naming the record the best K-pop album of the year.

Since then things have only gotten sunnier for Rap Monster, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. In February, “Wings” was re-released in a new edition as “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and the combined editions have since sold nearly 1.5 million copies worldwide. Music videos for “Spring Day” and “Not Today” were released a week apart last month as well and exploded on YouTube where they’ve currently racked up 59.2 million and 60.1 million views respectively.

“When we heard that and really got that, I was saying, 'OK, this is going to be a whole other world,’” Rap Monster says of the significance of the Billboard chart success and all that followed. “And I feel like we should do something more, and dream something more.”

This past week they’ve taken a step toward something more, playing their first headlining and sold-out arena dates in the United States, after previously having mostly played on multi-artist billings at KCON conventions held here.

“So many people just to see BTS was really an honor,” Rap Monster says of the opening pair of shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. “It feels dreamy these days.”

Not, mind you, that it’s been anything like an overnight success or an easy road for him and the other BTS members.

He grew up a top student in his school who loved American rappers such as Eminem and Nas, performing even as he attended high school and eventually catching the attention of BTS future manager Bang Si-hyuk at BigHit Entertainment in South Korea. And though he says he gave up on music when he was 16, lacking confidence in where he was headed, he says Bang encouraged him to stay strong, believe in himself, and sign on as the first to join BTS, even though at the time he wasn’t sure who or what it would end up incorporating.

“I was not aware of the other members,” Rap Monster says. “But I like the company and I respect them. And he promised to me, 'I will make you do your music and get big someday, so please believe me.’

"So I believed him.”

The other six members soon were selected, each of them bringing different talents on the mic or on stage. Songs were developed by Rap Monster and the other members, with a team of producers working to craft the best music from the raw material, the melodies and beats, that they created.

“Our chemistry is different from other groups,” Rap Monster says. “Everyone has their own points and characteristics. If I’m a bad dancer, a good dancer teaches me. If I’m a good songwriter, I help the others with a good melody.”

We ask the obvious question: Are you a bad dancer?

He laughs and answers: “Yes, I’m a bad dancer.”

Their music is different from a lot of K-pop acts that have made ripples on the American airwaves. They’re not popular because of the novelty aspect of their songs – think “Gangnam Style” by Psy from a few years back. And they’re not quite as bubblegum as a group such as Girls Generation or as eclectic as the synthpop of f(x), the first Korean band to play the South By Southwest festival.

Instead, BTS often aims for that sweet spot where R&B and rap get together, the kind of stuff Justin Bieber might be doing if he sang in Korean and there were six Bieber variations with fashionable hair and eclectic yet unified fashion choices.

“BTS music sounds like it’s from America,” Rap Monster says. “We decide to always watch the trends and watch what’s going on over the world. America’s the No. 1 market in the world so that’s why people in America prefer us.”

As for communicating through the language divide, Rap Monster says that’s partly handled by the group’s wildly enthusiastic social media following: “Fans translate our lyrics and interviews,” he says of a following that has landed them at the top of Billboard’s Social 50 list for a total of 17 weeks since “Wings” dropped in October. “They’re able to say, 'OK, BTS is talking about us and our lives.’”

And it’s partly addressed through lyrical subjects that express the common hopes and dreams and fears and worries of any teenager or young adult in any country.

“Our lyrics are mostly Korean but we always talk about the young people’s lives and their minds,” Rap Monster says. “There’s something similar between every young person in the world, in America or in Korea. We share something together even if we use different languages or live so far.”

American fans are also the savviest music lovers in the world, Rap Monster says, which made heading out on this brief headlining tour a little bit intimidating at first.

“We actually were scared of performing in America as a solo act,” he says. “Their playlists are the best in the world. I was really nervous for them.

"But after we were on stage our fear disappeared. They’re like everybody, they’re like friends. Singing along all of the lyrics even through the raps. They know how to play, the rhythms and the dances.”

An aside here to share our favorite piece of Rap Monster trivia. You might be wondering whether he spoke through a translator. He did not. His excellent English skills were polished in the classroom but also at home through what he refers to as “a Korean mothers syndrome.”

“'Friends’ was really famous for the mothers in Korea for English education,” Rap Monster says of the hit American sitcom from the '90s. “It was kind of like a syndrome. Korean mothers make their kids watch 'Friends’ even when they were eating food or playing.

"I think it really helped. It has like 10 seasons, I think, and I watched it like more than five times through the 10 seasons. They use the gestures and expressions, like, Americans use, right? I think that naturally teaches me how to speak or how to make a gesture when you try to express some emotions.

"Thank you, 'Friends,’” he says, laughing. “God bless 'Friends’!”

Rap Monster recently collaborated with the American rapper Wale on the song “Change,” which like some of BTS’ other songs – and unlike most K-pop – touches on politics and societal issues. He says he’d loved Wale’s music for a few years when the opportunity to do the song came along last year “like a miracle, like a dream come true.

"The song has already come out and we shot a music video together, but still sometimes I lie in my bed and think, 'Did I really do something with him?’” Rap Monster says.

He knows that boy groups from Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync to the Jonas Brothers and One Direction tend to have a finite lifespan before members get restless to move on solo projects, acting gigs and other opportunities. But he thinks the variety of interests and musical genres that individual BTS members have can be handled on the side or even within the group, and BTS itself can carry on.

So while Rap Monster says he’d love to collaborate with Drake or Miguel one day, Suga feels the same way about Kanye West and Flume. Jungkook seems more inclined toward pop R&B – his dream musical partners would include Bieber or Charlie Puth. V is a little bit old school, having mentioned Norah Jones and the Fugees as on his wish list. Rap Monster ticks off the rest of the band: Jimin digs Chris Brown, J-Hope is into the similarly initialed J. Cole, and Jin is a fan of old-school showman Bruno Mars.

“I always tell them that every time we have hits under the name of BTS we shine the best when we are a team,” Rap Monster says. “I know all the seven members, they love music, and I know their No. 1 wish is for us to perform and make music and sing and dance.

"Maybe someday someone will want to be on a television show or be an actor,” he says. “I just hope they know all of the popularity and fame and money is from the name of our team. That’s not one person, everybody contributes to the team.

"Nobody knows the future. I just hope it can last as long as possible.”

Peter Larson @ OCRegister

Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda (1994)

I haven’t seen a post that really depicts the history of Rwanda yet. So here’s my little contribution. By the way, thanks for the posts you reblogged.

Before the colonization, Rwanda was made of three social classes : Tutsi (10-15%), Hutu (over 80%) and Twa (less than 1%). Tutsi (upper social class) were cattle breeders, Hutu were farmers and Twa (lower social class) were hunters. One could become Tutsi or Hutu by marriage for example. They all had the same language, same religion and same culture.

German settlers arrived in Rwanda in the end of 19th century. They thought that Tutsi were more intelligent and more beautiful (according to European beauty standards of course : tall, skinny, light-skinned, thin nose, thin lips etc.). They thought that Hutu were boor, stupid and ugly (again, according to European beauty standards : shorter, huge lips, large nose etc). Twa were very short and seen as a species between humans and monkeys. 
After losing WWI, Germany gave Rwanda (and Burundi, which is like the twin of Rwanda with same language, same social classes etc) to Belgium. Belgians thought the same as Germans and started to gather all Rwandans and measure their height, their nose, etc to see if they were from the superior race (aka Tutsi) or inferior race (aka Hutu (or Twa but Twa were a very small minority)). Because of that, some Hutu became Tutsi just because they “looked” Tutsi and vice versa. Belgians privileged Tutsi over Hutu. They said only Tutsi could rule the country because they were the only intelligent ones. Tutsi were privileged in administration, education etc. Eventually in the 50s, Tutsi Rwandans asked for independence and Belgians didn’t want to lose their colony so they started to talk to Hutu who’d been discriminated against for a few decades. They said : “Look how Tutsi despise you! They think only they can rule the country but this country is yours! They don’t even come from here, they stole your land (there’s a myth saying that Twa were the first inhabitants in Rwanda, Hutu came from West Africa and Tutsi were the last ones to arrive in Rwanda and forced Hutu to subject to them). You have to rebel against Tutsi supremacy!” So that’s what Hutu did in 1959. The Tutsi King fled. Hutu killed thousands of Tutsi with the support of Belgian settlers and Catholic church, and hundreds thousands of Tutsi had to flee to Uganda and Tanzania. Rwanda became a Republic in 1961 and Rwandans elected a Hutu president named Kayibanda. Finally Rwanda became independent in 1962.

The president Kayibanda was an extremist and under his leadership, thousands of Tutsi were killed in 1963 and in 1972, just for being Tutsi. Their homes were burnt, they were stolen and beaten up. They were fired from their jobs, fired from schools. And hundreds thousands of them fled outside the country. In 1973, a Hutu man staged a coup d'état and became president. His name’s Habyiarimana He seemed a little bit more accepting of Tutsi but he still didn’t want the Tutsi exiles to come back. Because of that, the Tutsi exiles with the help of Hutu political opponents who had also fled created an army called PRF (Patriotic Rwandan Front) to come back to Rwanda by force, in 1987. The PRF declared war against the Rwandan government in 1990 and the war went on until 1994. During those 4 years, innocent Tutsi were killed or imprisonned by the government every time PRF tried to attack the government army. There was a huge propaganda against Tutsi (through the Radio for example) and that propaganda made Hutu think that Tutsi wanted to take back the power like under the Belgian colonization. Therefore, every Tutsi was an enemy.

On April 6, 1994, the president’s plane was shot down. Hutu extremists might be responisble for that. The day after, moderate Hutu were killed by extremist Hutu and the genocide of Tutsi started, which made about 1 million victims in 3 months. Rwanda’s population was about 7 millions at that time. The genocide was planned and organised by the Hutu extremist government (as I said, the moderate members were killed) and executed by militia who recruited Hutu civilians and gave them machetes, grenades, and guns.

France had been an ally of Rwanda since its independence. France helped Rwanda fight back against the PRF during the war until end of 1993. France also trained Rwandan soliders (the army was made of 5,000 men in 1990 and 35,000 men in 1994 because of France). France gave arms and ammunition to Rwanda even after the genocide started. France never asked President Habyirimana to stop discrimination and killings of Tutsi. Actually the French President and Habyirimana were good friends. In June 1994, France decided to take action in Rwanda, officially to save Tutsi but its intention is very contested today and we think their main goal was to not let the PRF win the war, because if they did, Rwanda would become English-speaking (PRF was made of people who grew up in Uganda and Tanzania so they spoke English) instead of French-speaking and France still wanted Rwanda to be French-speaking so that they could have an influence on it. The thing is the PRF was actually liberating Tutsi by chasing the Hutu extremist killers so fighting against them meant letting more Tutsi being killed. France or French politicians have never been sentenced for that.

Belgium also was an ally of Rwanda until 1991 when they stopped supporting Rwanda because of the murders of Tutsi.

While the genocide was happening, even though everyone knew it was a genocide, the UN didn’t want to admit it was, because otherwise they would have had to take action and almost no country wanted to send their soldiers to Rwanda.

I really, really, wanted to emphasize some things:
1. Colonization played a big role in Rwanda self-destruction
2. Tutsi were discriminated against and killed for years before the genocide of 1994 happened
3. The genocide didn’t happen because the president’s plane was shot down. Extermination plans were already known by France and UN for months/years. It is important to remember that, because in the West, people like to think that Hutu turned crazy just because their president was killed and it doesn’t really surprise anyone because “Africans are savage and violent and uncivilised anyways”. 
4. The genocide could have been avoided or at least there could have been way less victims if the UN and the rest of the world had cared about the 1 million innocent people who were being slaughtered (mostly Tutsi but also Hutu who tried to protect Tutsi)

If anyone wants to ask questions I’ll be glad to answer.

Btw, I am Belgian and Rwandan.

4

“[…] Like a fake latina? My parents had a really really hard time when they first came here, neither of them spoke English and they were really ostracized. They didn’t want me to have to deal with the fact that some people will always look at you like you don’t belong, and I didn’t really get it, get it, until I got in this show.- Karen Olivo about In the Heights and her latino roots. 

I want to talk about this whole “punching nazis” thing, which I have been thinking about for some days.

To start, let me clarify that I have no moral or ethical qualms with Richard Spencer getting punched in the face on tv. I’d be happy to see it happen again.

But I do have a couple issues with much of the dialogue that has emerged in the wake of this event.

A lot of the people suddenly talking about nazis right now are people who didn’t seem to even realize they existed in this country prior to this election.

A lot of people seem to have gotten some strange ideas about how and where nazis are typically encountered, or who they actually are.

So, I’d like to talk about some of the times in my life when I’ve encountered nazis.

Before I do that, let’s try to establish a definition. There are a lot of different stripes of fascists and white supremacists out there, with varying agendas and varying degrees of organization. In the US we’ve got many types, ranging from the KKK and Aryan Nation to various unorganized skinhead rabble to the newish group calling itself the Alt Right. It seems easiest, at least for the sake of this argument, to lump those all together under one general “nazi” category. But does that really make sense? I’ll come back to that. But for now, in most of the examples I will describe below, these were people who openly called themselves such.

Also, I want to establish a bit about who I am. I don’t like to discuss any of these things publicly, but I also feel like I kind of have to, to explain where I am coming from. So: I am Jewish, I am bi, I am neurodivergent. Due to this last thing, I have certain issues navigating the physical world. I am physically fit but not athletic. I have very little self defense training. By occupation I am a musician.

And lastly I want to point out that these examples are from 15-20 years ago and describe some of my earliest encounters with these forces to provide context. And I’m going to start with some clear cut cases:

I first became aware of the existence of modern nazis my first year in high school. This was in the suburbs of San Francisco. I had a few friends who were into punk music and culture. I heard about “white power punks” and nazi skinheads who would sometimes show up at shows. When I started going out I would see them every once in a while. When I started going up to the city, at that time there were places that were absolutely notorious for nazi skinheads. I never interacted with them, I always steered clear of them, and never really fell in with the punk scene anyway. But that’s when I first became aware that there were people in modern America who called themselves nazis and directly advocated for white supremacy.

To be honest I did not think of myself as their “target” because (in my mind, at that time) Jewish culture in the SF Bay Area was practically invisible and unlikely to be on their radar. In fact I didn’t think too deeply about who their target was. I mostly thought they were crazy people who loved violence and called themselves “nazis” because it was the meanest thing they could think of, that they were in favor of “white power” because it was so obviously wrong. At this time, there was fair amount of tension in the state around the issue of immigration from Mexico. But it did not occur to me then that there could have been any relationship between the xenophobia I saw expressed by mainstream circles in conversations about Proposition 187 and the blatant, violent white supremacy expressed by the skinheads on the periphery of local punk scenes. (also please note that I am aware that not all skinheads are nazis and that there is an anti-racist element within skinhead culture as well)

In college, in Pittsburgh, I lived on a store with a convenience store on one end. One of the people who worked in this store was a skinhead who wore a jacket covered in various white power/“rock against communism” band logos. He had a group of similar buddies that often hung around nearby, a couple of whom had aryan nation tattoos. On several occasions when I woke up in the morning I would find leaflets distributed up and down the block decrying the Holocaust as a “Jewish scam to make money”. These flyers were attributed to Church of the Creator, one of the more active neo-nazi groups in Pennsylvania at that time. Every once in a while I would cautiously engage in arguments with some people on the fringes of that crew of guys who hung out in the area. Things were sometimes tense but never got physical. Soon after 9/11 most of them disappeared. I don’t know why or where to.

While traveling alone in Slovenia, I nearly ran into a parade of about 40 skinheads chanting and marching in the street while I was on the way back to where I was staying. I do not know what specific group they were affiliated with but wore patches with the common “celtic cross” symbol used by far right/white nationalist groups all over the world. At that time, fascist graffiti covered Ljubljana.

Those are just a few of the more blatant examples from that time. These experiences were not rare. The KKK and various neo-nazi groups held public parades and rallies all throughout this period, and sometimes showed up as counter protestors or forces of violence at protests for progressive causes. They marched through downtown Pittsburgh - with the local government’s blessing - and many other cities in that region.

There were protestors at those marches, and there were people who fought the nazis directly, but the general consensus in mainstream liberal circles at that time seemed to be that nazis had the right to march just like anyone else, that any violence against them would be bad. It certainly wasn’t at all common to hear college educated, NY Times-reading liberals talking about the glories of “punching nazis”. This is a problematic but very complicated phenomenon: they were to be tolerated up until the point at which they’ve come into power.

But let me explain why _I_ didn’t go around punching the nazis I saw, during those times when I encountered them personally. To some extent, part of me did follow that logic mentioned above, but that’s not the real reason. The real reason is pretty simple: most nazis are a lot better at fighting than I am, they do it more frequently, they usually travel in numbers, they are often armed, and in almost every circumstance when I’ve encountered them the odds would not have been remotely in my favor had things gotten physical.

Richard Spencer was alone and unarmed standing in front of a video camera busily talking about an internet meme while he was sucker punched. This occurred in broad daylight in a very crowded, open area with a ton of media and police present. While I applaud the anonymous puncher for seizing upon that opportunity, that’s not really a typical situation in which one encounters nazis.

Recently, Richard Spencer posted a video in reaction to this incident. In this video he mentions that the Alt Right will not succeed if they are unable to be who they are in public. I’ve seen a lot of people pointing to this video as a sign of victory over the Alt Right, a sign that they are scared. I think the latter half is true but not the former. What Spencer is saying is that they are going to ramp up security. And I would anticipate that these people will begin to receive even more protection from the current administration.

So, this is one conclusion I’d like to leave here - in most cases “punching nazis” means getting involved in serious physical violence in which your life will be at risk. And that risk is only going to increase in the future. Fantasizing about punching some idiot talking about a frog on tv is fun, but I think it ignores the realities that many have faced and many more are about to face. And while many of us have disabilities that hinder us in this department, I think it would behoove anyone who is serious about getting physical with fascists to study and learn how to do so before getting involved in a situation you are unprepared for. I would also think long and hard before making that demand of anyone else. But that’s not the most important point.

I’d like to circle back to talking about definitions. The examples I gave above are obvious. These were people who, in almost all cases, were openly wearing the actual logos of white supremacist organizations. So let me bring up a different example:

About one year after 9/11 I was in Budapest, taking an overnight train to Amsterdam. I had a spot in a sleeper compartment on a train. I got on and a couple other passengers came in. One of them was a young guy, a little older than me (I was in my early 20’s at this time). He spoke English very well and we got to talking. It turned out he was an Austrian who worked in finance. Middle management at a major bank. He bought us a couple of beers and we were getting along. Inevitably, the topic of 9/11 came up. Seemingly out of nowhere, he explains to me how “there were no Jews in the building that day”. He then goes on to explain how 9/11 and the entire War on Terror that was then unfolding was all a Jewish plot to direct money to Israel’s armed forces. And hinted that the Holocaust was a similar plot. I tried to argue with him for a bit (without letting on that I was Jewish) but it was nearly impossible to get through to him, and he soon became surly and then passed out. I tried to do the same. But what caught my attention was that this man was well spoken, dressed conservatively, he looked every bit the upper middle class finance professional. It was difficult to imagine him in a street fight. No one would have described this person as being on the fringes of his society.

Up until a year ago, if I told this story to a European, or to an American person of color, they were unsurprised. But if I told it to a white American their reaction would usually be “yeah, well, that’s Europe for you”.

But that’s never been the case.

One common narrative is that many of the groups of fascists have figured out that they aren’t going to get very far if they are seen just thugs who march around on the street wearing in leather jackets getting in scraps. many of them have figured this out some time ago, and have been infiltrating mainstream education and corporate life. And yes, that is happening.

But there is a big problem with that narrative: it ignores the fact that many of America’s institutions and businesses are, themselves, organizations that promote white supremacy. Many of our banks, many of our police departments, our prison system, much of our media. Does these mean they are all “nazis”? Not really. But what it does mean is that white supremacy is not some outside force that just suddenly popped out of Steve Bannon’s suitcase. It’s been here for a long time. It is deeply engrained in our society. Fascism is not some new danger that we suddenly need to prevent from being “normalized” - for much of America, fascism has been the norm for a very long time.

Here’s my point with all of this: sooner or later, Trump will be defeated. This regime is monstrous, but I have seen the power and anger and sheer volume of opposition to it, and I do not think that this regime will last. My worry is, once this most obvious of enemies is defeated, the liberal establishment will go right back to completely forgetting that white supremacy and fascism are a major problem in this country. The sad fact is, even when Democrats in power, even when the POTUS is the most progressive sounding person electable, the nazis are still here, white supremacy is still here, fascism is still here. And not always on “the other side”. We need to remember that, we need to keep pointing to them and ostracizing them and speaking out against white supremacy and fascism even when it looks like things are more comfortable, because that comfort is a trap.

Raised in Paris, Wrote in China, Died in the USA: the life of a lady-in-waiting

Princess Der Ling had an interesting life. She received a western education and studied dance in Paris with Isadora Duncan before serving as the first lady-in-waiting to the Empress Dowager Cixi. Besides the usual lady-in-waiting duties, Der Ling also translated for Cixi when she had foreign visitors because she spoke English as well as French.

Der Ling published a memoir about her time in the Forbidden City, after the 1911 Revolution overthrew the Qing. She continued writing through the tumult of the 1920s and 1930s. In total, Der Ling published seven books before she moved to Berkley, California in 1942 to teach Chinese at the University of California there. Der Ling died after being hit by a grocery delivery truck at the intersection of Bancroft and Telegraph.

Common mistakes English speakers make while speaking Spanish

Here are some of the common mistakes I hear from English native speakers who are learning Spanish.

  • Translating English expressions in Spanish literally. This is something quite common with all language learners, really. An example is “I’m hot” wich English speakers translate as “Estoy caliente”, which actually means “I’m horny”. (We say “Tengo calor” = I have heat). This happens because English speakers translate the sentence from their mother tongue (if you spoke a romance language this method could help, but with English it doesn’t)
  • Using the subject in every sentence. You might have heard about this. You could write an essay with perfect Spanish, but if the reader sees the subject in every sentence they will know that you aren’t a native speaker. This is because in English you always have to use the subject, but in Spanish it doesn’t sound natural.
  • Word order. While English has a word order that you can’t really change, in Spanish you can basically do whatever you want. Of course you can use the English sentence structure, but sometimes those structures sound weird in Spanish.
  • Mixig up the indicative and subjunctive. Ok, if you say the verb in indicative people won’t laugh at you, we know that you don’t have the subjunctive in English and it’s a pain in the ass to learn it, and it’s an advanced level. But if you want to reach proficiency, then you must learn those verbal tenses (sorry).
  • There is/there are. In Spanish we do not say “there is/there are”, “there was/there were”, “there has been/there have been”, etc. We ONLY use the singular form.
  • Possessive pronouns. The use of possessive pronouns in Spanish is a bit different. For example, we do not say “Me duele mi cabeza” (literally, My head hurts), but, rather, “Me duele la cabeza” (The head hurts). Same thing with other parts of your body.
  • IN/ON-EN/SOBRE. The equivalents would be “en” and “sobre”. However, we tend to use “en” for “sobre” too. For example, in English you say “It’s on the table”, which in Spanish is “Está sobre la mesa”, but “Está en la mesa” is more natural. Also, we say that somethig is “en Internet”, “en el periódico”, “en la televisión”… 

And there are more, of course, but these are the ones I find the most interesting, basically because I had the same problems but the other way round when I was learning English. Good luck with your studies!

So I'm hopping on the Texan Keith bandwagon, but not they way you may think...

I’ve seen hundreds of memes and fanart of Texan Keith with the y'alls and the y'all'dves, but what if Keith didn’t live in the middle of Texas for all his life? I mean yes his father has the accent but Keith got expelled for behavior problems from an ELITE school, So I would have to guess he didn’t stay in regular schools very long either. He was also in the system, being an orphan. And most people don’t want to deal with kids with behavior problems, so they send them away. What if he lived somewhere like El Paso, El Canizo, Brownsville, etc. You know, places on the border of Mexico for part of his life? Why is this important? Well I’ve seen tons of Cuban Lance speaking Spanish with an unknowing Keith, but maybe Lance speaks Spanish and unbeknownst to him, Keith understands what he’s saying. I wonder if Keith spent so much time with Hispanic friends that he decided to learn it, or he lived with a family that spoke rough English but fluent Spanish, and picked it up quickly at an early age. I want Lance to mess something up on a mission and start cussing himself out in Cuban-Spanish, and Keith to yell at him in Mexican-Spanish about how he did his best. Keith and Lance having a secret language amongst the other paladins and growing a closer bond because of it.

yall i managed to watch nct 127’s performance and im still emotional over it. like ive never been so whipped for a group before but like as i was watching them, i could actually feel myself tearing up and i was like “bitch wth get it together”, but really they did that and put everything into their peformance tonight. im just so proud of them and they really tried to communicate with fans, and their Spanish was really cute and pretty good. i don’t think y'all understand how much i love them. yeah, im a little sad that i didn’t get to see it in person (like i live in Texas..wtf am i doing with my life) but like damn…they did that.

Russian Bucky

Request: Can I request? Bucky pretending not to know English n only speaking Romanian/Russian and he overhears you talking about him so he’s like wtf but then he hears you saying some kinky shit and so he kind of plays along and when it’s all goin down he’s still talking in R/R and suddenly he whispers something in your ear in English and you’re like oh shit - @oh-my-gerd

-SMUT WARNING-


You’ve gotten used to hearing Bucky’s language now. It surprised you at first when he greeted you in a Russian language, one which you couldn’t speak or understand. You thought he spoke English, but you were definitely wrong. You tried to understand what he would say, sometimes you’d even call Natasha and ask her what Bucky was saying, to which she would translate happily.

The fact that Bucky couldn’t speak English had you thinking that he definitely couldn’t understand it. So, you talked about Bucky, with Natasha mostly, about how nice and kind he was. Other times, for example: after a hard training session when Bucky’s all sweaty and shirtless, you’d blabber on and on to Nat about how badly you wanted him to just take control and have his way with you.

You were currently having one of those many moments.


You breathed out as you entered the kitchen for some water. Nat was leaning against the kitchen island, munching on some apple slices. You had just worked out for the morning and Bucky had walked in during your last ten minutes. He was shirtless, like always, and this time he wore sweats instead of his usual basketball shorts. When you say you could see everything, you meant everything. There was no hiding what he had.

Nat greeted you with a smile, but it turned into a smirk when she saw your lust blown eyes and red tinted cheeks. “What is it now, Y/N?” Nat asked in her usual sultry tone. You sighed again and shook your head as you remembered Bucky’s jumping jacks and what the movement caused. “Oh my god. Bucky’s body will be the death of me.” You said with a small giggle. Nat blushed and coughed into her hand.

You smirked as you got a bottle of water and started chugging it. “Y/N, that’s so weird.” Nat said, her voice clearly giving her away. You stopped drinking and looked at Nat, scoffing. “Oh come on, you know you’d say yes if he asked you to bend over the weight bench and let him fuck you until your abdomen bruised from how hard he was pounding you into it!” You said rather loudly. Nat gasped and threw an apple slice at you, her cheeks flaming. “Y/N, you do NOT think about that do you!?” Nat asked, her face full of entertainment.

It was your turn to be red in the face now. “I mean.” You said, drawing out the words, your eyebrows raised. Nat gasped again. “God, Y/N! You’re so lucky he can’t speak English.” Nat said with a giggle. You sighed. “Yeah, I doubt he’d know what I meant if I asked him to bang me.” You said, not noticing the shadowed figure near the door now.

Nat nodded and finished her snack. She crossed her arms and bit her lip. “I could always ask.” Nat said, a smirk on her face. You threw your empty water bottle at her and she quickly blocked it. “Hell no! He would not do that. It’s just a fantasy anyways.” You said a little quieter now.

Nat suddenly cleared her throat and your eyes followed hers. You saw Bucky walking in, his body coated with sweat and his sweatpants pulled up to his knees. Your face burned red and even though you knew he couldn’t speak or understand English, you felt embarrassed thinking he might’ve heard what you just said.

Bucky gave you and Nat a small smile and a nod, moving past you to get a water bottle. You looked at Nat and she had her hand over her mouth, holding in her laughs. The silence in the room was awkward and your heart was pounding in your chest.

You shot Nat a glare and stopped when Bucky turned to you. “Могу ли я поговорить с вами?” Bucky asked, capping his water bottle. Your eyebrows raised and you tried not to look down at his shirtless body. You looked at Nat for translation help. She smirked. “He wants to talk to you.” You gulped and turned back to Bucky.

A small “Uh huh” fell from your lips and a simple nod was all it took and Bucky had gripped your hand and he was pulling you out of the room. Your eyebrows creased together and your nervousness grew as you looked back at Nat’s shocked face. You had no idea where Bucky was taking you or what he wanted.

“Bucky?” You asked softly. He turned to you and stopped at the open doors to the gym. “Хотите тренироваться со мной?” Bucky asked, leading you into the gym. You didn’t understand what he said and Nat wasn’t here to help you out. You looked around the gym and sighed. “Friday, can you translate what Bucky asked?” You quietly questioned.

You watched Bucky shut the wooden gym doors and turn the lock. Your heart started racing again. “English translation: Do you want to train with me?” Friday said, answering your question. You sighed out and looked at Bucky. He walked over to you and gently grabbed your wrist, pulling you over to the weight bench.

Your stomach dropped and he pointed for you to lie down under the weight bar with 20lb weights on the ends of it. You looked up at Bucky from where you were lying down. You knew something was up because Bucky worked out just before and you were there doing the same. So you weren’t sure why he wanted to continue training with you. He could’ve chosen Steve or even Sam.

Going along with it, you gently wrapped your hands around the bar. Bucky was standing above you and you had a clear view of his crotch if you tilted your head back just a tad. You could feel yourself getting wet already. Bucky’s hands guiding yours brought you out of your dirty thoughts. He helped you lift the bar and you breathed in and out steadily, lifting the bar up and down.

You and Bucky trained for about ten minutes more and the whole time, he had his hands on your body in some way or another. He helped you do your squats and lunges, he held your feet down when you did your crunches, and now he was helping you with push ups. You didn’t need the help, but his hands were a blessing to you, so you allowed it.

Bucky’s flesh hand was resting on your lower back as you did your push ups and you felt it move down slowly, giving your ass a light squeeze. You gasped and dropped your body down onto the mat, turning your head to look at Bucky. He had a smirk on his face and you sat up on your hands and knees. Bucky’s eyes trailed down your body and he tugged his bottom lip in between his teeth.

You stood to your feet and sighed out, wiping the sweat from your brow. “Is that why you wanted to train with me? To stare at my ass and try to feel me up?” You asked, knowing he couldn’t understand you. You were unsure of what Bucky’s intentions were. It’s not like he could just tell you, he can’t speak English. Bucky smirked again, though his features showed confusion. Bucky then looked into your eyes. “Я хотел бы ебать.” Bucky said, his voice low.

A frustrating sigh left your lips. You couldn’t understand him once again, so you asked Friday. “Friday, translate that, please.” You said, watching Bucky step closer to you. Your heart started to beat even faster as your cheeks burned red. “English translation: I’d like to fuck.” Friday said, causing a gasp to fall from your lips.

Bucky closed the distance between you two and he captured your lips in a kiss. Bucky’s lips were moving roughly against yours, his hands pulling you closer to his shirtless body. You moaned into the kiss and felt Bucky bend down to pick you up. Bucky pulled away, gasping for air as his blue eyes stared into yours.

He looked like he was asking for approval so you nodded. Bucky smirked and carried you over to the weight bench where you both undressed. Thinking he thought it was better than the mat and not that he understood what you said about him earlier, you smirked as Bucky set you down on the weight bench. He was about to hover above you, but you smirked and got down on your knees, bending over the bench like you’ve fantasized about many times.

Bucky chuckled and came up behind you, rubbing your soaked pussy with his flesh hand. You gasped and moaned softly, moving your hips back against his hand. Bucky moved behind you and you could feel the tip of his cock rubbing against the opening of your pussy now.

You whimpered as you moved your hips back and forth, getting impatient. “Bucky, please.” You moaned out. Bucky’s hands now rested on your hips as he slid into you, immediately starting to pound into your pussy. Your body jolted against the bench and you squealed, feeling just how big Bucky’s cock was. You never imagined it’d feel this good.

Bucky was grunting and his hips were slapping against yours hard and fast. You gasped as he hit your g-spot and Bucky chuckled deeply. “That feel good, Princess?” Bucky asked, making your face turn red and your moans come to an embarrassing halt. “Wh-what?” You asked, your heart racing in your chest.

Did Bucky just speak English or were you hearing things? Bucky bent over your back, his sweaty chest molding onto the skin of your back. You could feel Bucky’s cock twitch inside of you and you gasped slightly. Bucky’s mouth was beside your ear now and his breath was warm against your skin. “I asked if that felt good.” Bucky said in clear English, not a fault in his phrasing.

Your mouth fell open and Bucky chuckled again, his thrusts starting up again. Your face was red as can be and you could feel the heat rising around your neck. Bucky was able to speak English this whole time, meaning he understood every word you’ve ever said to him up to this very moment.

A moan fell from your lips and you decided to scold Bucky after he fucked you senseless. “It does.” You said softly, answering his question. Bucky groaned and continued to fuck you. Your abdomen was rubbing against the weight bench but it felt amazing. Bucky slammed into you and you moaned loudly, feeling your pussy clench as your orgasm got closer.

Bucky’s hands reached up to your ponytail and he tugged on it, causing your head to jerk back. “Oh, fuck yes!” You moaned and felt Bucky slap your ass with his metal hand. A growl escaped Bucky’s lips as your pussy clenched around his thick cock for the second time. “I’m gonna cum, Bucky.” You moaned out, feeling Bucky’s hand reach under you to rub your clit fast.

You started to cum around Bucky, broken sobs and moans falling from your lips as you felt Bucky’s cum shooting out inside of you in hot spurts. “You’re so good, yes. Oh my god. Fuck!” Bucky yelled, pounding into you as he rode out his orgasm. You moaned at the foul language coming from the man behind you.

A few minutes passed and you and Bucky lazily lied down on the mat, looking up at the ceiling. “How long?” You quietly asked, afraid to look over at Bucky. He chuckled. “Since forever.” You turned your head to look at Bucky, your face full of shock. “You idiot!”, you slapped Bucky’s arm, “Why didn’t you say something?” You asked shockingly.

You put your clothes back on and Bucky hurriedly did the same. You crossed your arms and stared at Bucky. His face turned red and he sighed. “I didn’t really feel like talking to everyone at first. Then I started hearing you talk about me and-I don’t know.” Bucky said, looking at you apologetically.

Bucky stepped closer to you and grabbed your hand in his. “That was fun, though.” He said softly with a smirk. Your face started heating up again and you rolled your eyes, though your lips formed a smile. “Ugh, you’re mental, Barnes.” You said with a giggle. Bucky smirked and leaned down to kiss your cheek.

“Am I still mental if I ask for a round 2 later tonight?”

Note: this was so much fun to write. I hope you like it and of course, you can request anytime you’d like, sweetie! feedback is welcome! .c

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Contacting Spirit Guides and other entities

If you have questions, message me. Spirit work is no joke!

Before we go over the steps of real contact with spirit, let’s go over some warnings and some advice on technique. This guide will work for calling any spirit, whether it be a fluffy unicorn bunny or something extremely uncomfortable and dangerous. It’s like picking up the phone: anyone can be on the other end.

When you do spirit work, you are interacting with a real world filled with infinitely many, and infinitely varied, beings.

  • There are some spirits that prey on humans like wolves prey on rabbits.
  • There are some spirits that are extremely kind and helpful.

In my experience, whatever you call will come.

If you leave your request open-ended, anything may come to you.

The more specific you are, the better.

But you must understand what you are doing when you call spirits to you.

For example:

  • “Spirits of light, come to me!” Many demons are considered to be “of light”, as well as gods you may be uncomfortable dealing with (Lucifer comes to mind).
  • “All spirits of darkness, leave me!” Well, spirits of all nocturnal animals could be interpreted as being spirits of darkness. The essence of storms and night-time, or even a spirit of sleepiness, could be considered spirits of darkness. Are you sure these are forces you want to send away?

Do not use poetic language. Speak plainly.

Instead of using flowery language, simply say what you mean.

Begin by writing down your intent.

  • What kind of spirit do you want to interact with? (Good, evil, nice, kind, mean? Nature, elemental, bunny, unicorn, demon?)
  • What is your purpose for calling this spirit? (Searching for a guide/guardian/teacher/friend? Have questions to ask? Need help with magic?)
  • How powerful do you believe this spirit will be? Is it going to be more powerful than your abilities to banish it? Never call up what you cannot put down.
  • What do you have to give back to this spirit? (Offerings? Time? Energy?)

In my experience, all spirits get something out of an interaction with a human. It could simply be that their curiosity is sated. A spirit could just be curious as to what kind of human is sending out a call in to their world! It could be that helping or aiding you assists their calling in life or a job they currently have. It could also be that they would like some kind of payment in return, such as offerings of incense, food, or drink. If you have the ability and inclination, have some small offerings on hand. Coffee, tobacco, any foods (I find they seems to like processed foods less), and any alcohols are good. Even a glass of fresh water and/or a little incense will be good.

Once you have your intent written down, formulate your call. Here are three example calls that I would use myself.

  • “I am [magical name]. I am calling out to the spirit world. I am seeking any good and helpful spirits that are willing to help a human such as myself. I wish for assistance with [guardianship/teaching/guidance/etc]. Please come to me so we may interact.”
  • “I am [magical name]. I am calling out to the spirit world. I am seeking any noble and strong warrior spirits that are willing to help a human such as myself. I wish for assistance with guarding my home. In return I can offer brandy and cigars. Please come to me so we may make a deal.”
  • “I am [magical name]. I am calling out to the spirit world. I am seeking a spirit of storms and rain that are willing to help a human such as myself. I wish for rain to be brought to my region. In return I will tell others about my experience so you gain fame in the human world. Please come to me so that we may help each other.”

Quick notes:

  • For spirit work, try adopting a magical name. It does not sit well with me that someone uses their true name immediately with spirits. It’s like giving your telephone number to every stranger you meet. I use my online name, typically Briar although now it is Thicket. Magical names do not have to be permanent. Choose any name or word you like.
  • “I am calling out to the spirit world” can be replaced by any phrase or action that connects you with “the other side”. Find an action or method of connection that feels comfortable to you.
  • It is important to mention that you would like a spirit who wants to help you! It may seem self-evident, but trust me, it is not. Plenty of spirits come to my call who just want to see what’s going on, or who want a chance at the offerings at my side.

Actually calling the spirits, interacting with them, and formulating a relationship

Suppose you would like to meet any guardian or guide spirits that you may have already. Try using a call like this:

“I am [magical name]. I am calling out to the spirit world. I am seeing any guardians, guides, or helpful spirits that are attached to me. Please visit me so I may get to know you.”

Take your notebook and write down the exact call you plan on using. If you like, have some offerings on hand (this is just good form in general). Have with you any divination tools you plan on using. Also have with you the basic tools for banishment.

Sit in a quiet place. Make your environment as witchy as possible to get you in the right mindset. Candles and incense work great if you have them, otherwise try atmospheric music. Do whatever it takes to make you feel like you are connected to the “other” world. Try praying for protection or wearing protection amulets that you may have.

When you are ready, read your call. Read it out loud or mentally, it doesn’t matter; nothing on this plane of existence will hear it anyway.

At this point one of two things will happen: a spirit will visit you, or it will not.

If a spirit does not appear within a few moments, read your call again. Repeat this for three calls total, then try again the next day or the next week. If necessary, do divination to discover why spirits did not want to appear for you. Is it possible the spirit you called for does not exist? Try a different call (more will be listed below) for practice. Is it possible you just do not know how to detect a spirit if it does appear? If nothing seems to be working after a week or so of trying, send me a message. Please send me the exact calls you used.

Remember that spirits are not physical. It is extremely uncommon that a person will see a spirit with their two eyes. A being isn’t just going to appear three dimensionally in your bedroom. Most likely, that being will appear within your imagination. The imagination is an extremely powerful magical tool and should not be ignored because it is “make believe”. If you call an air elemental you may imagine a whirlwind, a bird, a cloud, or anything else that is ‘airy’ in nature, for example.

When your imagination suddenly changes with an image of something, mentally or verbally greet it. Try, “Hello, you may call me [magical name]. Are you replying to my call?”

Understanding what a spirit is communicating to you is tricky. If only they spoke plain English! Look for any sign that the spirit has responded. The image of the spirit may seem to move closer to you, or further away. It may appear to be happy, sad, or upset. You may suddenly get empathetic feelings of agreement or disagreement. You may actually hear, feel, or think words. It is your job to interpret what the spirit is trying to communicate with you. If you like, ask the spirit to influence your divinatory tools so you can communicate through those.

Avoid repeating questions. They do not seem to like it. Ask once, and if you can’t interpret, apologize and ask another question instead.

If absolutely nothing seems to happen, take it as a sign that the spirit did not respond to you. In this situation, if the spirit does not respond, say, “if you are not here to answer my call and assist me, please leave. Thank you for your time.” There is no need to be hostile or rude, just send them away. If they refuse to leave, it is time to banish.

If something does happen, for example if you sense a feeling of agreement or the image seems to nod at you, take this as an affirmative that the spirit is here to answer your call. Continue with your line of questioning. Try these questions:

  • “What may I call you?” (Do not ask for their name directly, I have never had good results when I do).
  • “Are you [the spirit I asked for]?”
  • “Would you like to continue communicating this way?”
  • “What is your role in my life?”

If you are here to make a deal and get it over with, don’t drag out the small talk. “Are you the spirit I called for? Will you protect my house for some brandy? Awesome, I’ll pay you once a week and we’ll revisit the contract in a month.”

If you are there to make a lasting connection, speak for as long as you like or until the spirit appears to become restless or bored.

When the spirit departs, or when you ask it to depart, the mental image of them should leave their mind. Carefully distinguish between having that spirit actively within your imagination, and memories of the spirit within your imagination.

After this first meeting, you can call the same spirit by the name they gave you. Try, “the spirit that gave me the name [spirit’s name] on the date [the date you first met the spirit], please come to me so we may speak.”

Banishment

I don’t have the time or inclination to include full banishing rituals in this small guide. Simply google “how to banish a spirit” or ask a friendly Tumblurian to help :)

Detecting fakes

Alright, so here’s what you gotta do. Just pay attention. If something feels disturbing, wrong, or scary, DO NOT IGNORE THOSE FEELINGS. Fear is an instinct that exists to keep us safe. It is not you being a scaredy cat. It is not you being silly, nervous, or having stage fright. Ask the spirit to leave immediately and do a quick cleansing on your space.

Think about what you asked for and judge a spirit by those standards. An air spirit is not going to take the form of a boulder. A rain spirit is not going to take the form of a candle flame.

If something sounds too good to be true, it is. If a spirit is telling you that you are the chosen one, that you need it to be powerful, etc., you are going to be dinner. Send it away.

Practice calls

I would consider these calls to be relatively safe and good just to get a little experience in. Ask these spirits to come visit you for a short time, then bid them farewell. There is no need to get a name from them unless you really want to call them back. The offerings are just suggestions, to give you some ideas.

  • “I am seeking rabbit or hare spirits that wish to visit me in exchange for some fresh lettuce.”
  • “I desire to contact any spirits of flowers who are nearby, so I may appreciate your beauty.” (Remember to give the flowers many compliments in exchange for their time)
  • “I would like to visit with a good and benevolent water spirit who will teach me about healing.”
  • “I am seeking a dog spirit who would like a nice treat in exchange for his time.”
  • “I wish to speak with a bird spirit, who can show me what the world looks like from the sky. In exchange I can offer bird seed.”
  • “I wish to contact a spirit of beauty who can help teach me magics for clearer skin. In exchange I can give you three dried roses.”
  • “I would like to call upon the spirit of clutter that lives in my home, so that we may make a deal for you to leave my property.”
  • “I would like to call upon the ghost of [my deceased pet*****] so we may visit and share good times.”
  • “I desire to contact any good and benevolent spirits who are directly involved in my life, so we may speak and get to know each other.”
  • “I desire to contact any spirits who wish harm against me, so I may make amends and heal our relationship.”
  • “I am seeking a spirit of hard work to bless me in my future endeavors, in exchange for a small shrine built in your honor.”

*****DO NOT call human relatives to you at this point. It is way too easy for a demon or spook to pretend to be a human relative. It is okay if human spirits come to you in general, but it is a suckerpunch to the gut to realize that your beloved departed is really an evil spirit in disguise. Stick with animal friends for now.

Calling gods and other such beings

This method will work to call gods as well. Be very careful of petty spirits that pretend to be gods. Judge each being by its folklore and what you know about them.

What to do with offerings?

For any offering, set it aside and watch the spirit enjoy it. When the spirit is done, dispose of the offerings just as you would clear a plate from the guest table.

Pour any liquids on to the ground or down the drain. Bury or compost foods, or dispose of them in the trash. Simply allow incense to burn and throw away the ashes.