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Perverse Instantiation - Part 2

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Naoki Urasawa, MONSTER, and the whole Dark ≠ Interesting thing

Ugh I was feeling all gross learning about what’s going up with Hydra Cap and all as well as the general attitude in media that inherently “good” characters are “Boring” and the fact that so many people feel the need to add darkness or violence or cruelty to make things “interesting” and that got me thinking about the work of manga artist Naoki Urasawa, specifically his most famous series, Monster.

For those who don’t know about Monster, it’s an extremely suspenseful and well-written crime/drama/thriller manga series (as well as an anime which is a pretty faithful adaption, but I haven’t watched it) , and the whole plot centers around not just one, but several serial killers, as well as addressing child abuse, racism/neo-nazism, as well as corruption in the government, medical industry, and other various institutions. Knowing all of that, it’s easy to see how Monster could easily become an extremely grimdark, cynical, violent narrative regurgitating the popular “edgy” theme of how “life sucks and then you die,” as so many modern narratives seem to have bought into.

But it’s not like that, not at all. The thing about Monster, as well as the rest of Naoki Urasawa’s work, is that while it does not shy away from the reality of cruelty in the world, it also addresses the opposite. Throughout Monster, we see people act with incredible kindness and gentleness, even in the midst of extreme situations. There’s an appreciation for the beauty in the world, for the little, often overlooked details of life that make it worth carrying on. There’s the strange, makeshift familial relationships that people form to help each other through loss and grief. And people are not static; people can change, for the worse, of course, but also for the better, people work to redeem themselves and others, and the inherent worth of every person, despite the overwhelming sense of guilt and past wrongs, is emphasized over and over and over again. The narrative does not justify wrongdoings, not in the least, but does a very good job of showing that while humans are capable of horrific things, they are also capable of extreme love, encouragement, and transformation.

And get this: It has ALL of the above, and is STILL an INCREDIBLY gripping, suspenseful, eXTREMELY fascinating story with high stakes and great twists and tons of character development without resorting to cheap, sensationalized voyeuristic deaths or glorifying violence in the “good guys” name. And of course when I say the characters are good, I don’t mean they’re perfect–they make mistakes, they’re flawed as heck, they’re limited by their personalities and experiences, but they are HUMAN, and they are also GOOD.

And the way the world is, I think we need more characters and stories like that out there.

(Haha all these panel ‘caps are all pretty boring but thats because literally everything else is spoileriffic so if anyone WANTS to read it, I’d rather you go in fresh!! If anyone needs like, trigger warnings or anything for it just hmu and I’ll try to letyou know)

BASIC SNAFFLE BREAKDOWN

ok so first things first - a snaffle bit does not use leverage. There is no shank. I see a ton of western people especially calling something like a tom thumb bit a snaffle, because it has the single broken mouthpiece. But what makes the snaffle is the lack of leverage.

There are two components that really determine how harsh a snaffle is and what cues it’s giving to the horse: mouthpiece, and cheek piece.

Let’s talk cheek pieces first. General you’ve got your D/Dee ring, O ring/Loose ring, full cheek, and eggbutt. There’s some crossover here between english and western. I rarely see western riders using an eggbutt, but otherwise there’s a lot of overlap, and often the difference is in aesthetic (western bits tend to be a little more decorative) and not in function.

So here are your basic cheekpieces. Generally (and I’ve heard a lot of different opinions on this) the larger cheekpieces are used for a horse that needs more lateral pressure (on the cheeks/side of the face). This could be a horse that is brand new to bits and is used to lateral pressure from a bitless bridle (common in many western traditions), or a horse that isn’t responding to action on the inside of the mouth who needs some lateral pressure for clarification.

Full cheek is the ultimate in lateral pressure. When you pull on one side, the long cheekpiece presses on a lot more surface area on the side of the face. On a scale of more to less lateral pressure, it goes full cheek, D ring, eggbutt (which is more about being fixed and stable than it is about lateral pressure), then loose ring. The loose ring as I understand it is used the most in dressage training because the loose rings require the horse to stabilize the bit in their own mouth by seeking contact - these other bits have a lot more of a fixed position. (If anybody more involved in dressage wants to clarify this point go ahead, there is a ton of mixed info out there). (another note - there is also the hanging cheek/baucher bit but I’m not gonna include it right now because I wanna keep things simple.)

These cheekpieces generally aren’t more or less harsh. Some horses will have a preference (just like some horses prefer the bit held higher or lower in the mouth or need a fatter or slimmer bit just based on the shape of their mouth) but the cheekpieces themselves are fairly neutral.

Then we get to the mouthpieces, and here is where things get complicated and can be crazy harsh.

Usually with snaffles, you have two types of mouthpiece. Single joint, and double joint.

This is a nice illustration. On the left you have your single joint, on the right, a double joint. It’s generally agreed that the double joint is softer because it lies flatter over the tongue, whereas the single joint can have a ‘nutcracker’ effect when that joint is poking into soft tissues.

Note that both of those bits above are, aside from the joints, smooth. They aren’t abrasive and they have limited pressure points. Other mouthpieces, not so much.

Here’s a waterford mouthpiece (on a loose/O ring). The waterford is sometimes said to be kind because of the way it’s flexible and drapes over the mouth. The chain mouthpiece often gets the same excuse. Unfortunately, all the balls in this mouthpiece become individual pressure points, grab the tongue, and scrape the bars. Chain or waterford mouthpieces wrapped up in sealtex can maintain some of that flexibility without being as abrasive (or so I’ve heard).

These two are both twisted bits. The first is twisted wire, which is pretty universally accepted as harsh, especially when it is thin. Every bump becomes a painful pressure point. The second is a slow twist. Many people will use a slow twist as a way to add a bit of ‘bite’ to an otherwise gentle snaffle. This will be especially harsh if the twists are pointed (like above).

And here’s the nasty cousin of the twisted wire bit, the corkscrew. It’s pointy, abrasive, and just plain nasty.

This is a mullen mouth. You can see that it’s got a smooth surface (nothing pointy or abrasive) and it has a curve to it meant to fit the shape of a horse’s mouth (similar to a double joint, but in a single piece). I’m not overly familiar with these, don’t seem them used a ton, but some horses apparently like them.

The mouthpiece is often the most important part of choosing a snaffle bit for your horse. Because horses vary so much in both temperament and mouth conformation, you may have to experiment to see if your horse likes something straight, something with a lot of drape, etc. 

There are many more variations on the snaffle but, these are some of the most common types. Hope some of you who are a little fuzzy on the snaffle get something out of this.

caliope-the-aesthetic-lady asked:

Sorry if it is trigger and this will be probably a weird question, but I see that you are catholic and believe in LGBT rights, I'm struggle with my faith because this and for being very sexually awake. I don't know how to believe in God, in Jesus when the church teach that LGBT things are sin and also preach a more traditional role for women, with a lot of misogyny. but, I was teach that the church has all the authority in interpretation, or anyone could invent things. how you keep believing?

Hi friend!

This is a difficult thing and it’s very personal for everybody so I can only tell you about myself. But for me, here’s what I can say.

First, the church is not God. The church is not infallible. Even the most cursory look at church history will show us that.

There are, of course, factions within the church that would like people to think the church is infallible - there are factions like that in any organization. It’s very important that we not listen to them.

In fact, it would actually be heretical to do so. Because that would mean we are putting the church on a level with God.

Second, and equally important, we have to remember that the church can, does, and should change. Again, it would actually be heretical to say that the church doesn’t change, or can’t change because that would mean we’re once more equating the church with God, who is the only eternal and unchanging truth.

It would also mean that we’re failing to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. One of the most important things that our belief in God as Trinity means is that God is still speaking. The Spirit still communicates with us, with the body of Christ that is the church - not the church as building, or the church as hierarchy, but the whole church, every single member of it, individually and as a body.

The church can and has changed its teaching on many issues over the centuries. Most recently, Vatican Council II changed all sorts of things - theology, liturgy, practice, lay involvement, and on and on. And we believe that these changes were the result of the Spirit speaking, and the church - the whole church - listening.

The Spirit is still speaking, calling us to greater authenticity, to a more fully Christ-like life. And I firmly believe that one of the ways the Spirit speaks is through the voices of LGBTQIA Catholics, calling the church to more truly live Christ’s life of radical love and acceptance.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that there are all sorts of issues in the Catholic church. But we also have room to question, and that’s something profoundly important to me.

The fundamentalist church I grew up in didn’t allow for questions. For that church, I was fundamentally (no pun intended) wrong and a sin against God, and there was no way to argue that.

But in the Catholic church we have something I like to call the best kept secret of Catholicism: primacy of conscience.

The theology of the primacy of conscience teaches us that it’s our duty as Christians to fully form our consciences: to educate ourselves as thoroughly as possible about an issue, to pray about it and discuss it with others, to consult scripture and church tradition and teaching, and finally, having done all that, to follow our consciences.

Even if our conscience leads us to go against official teaching. Even then. Because if you have fully formed your conscience, your highest moral duty and calling is to follow it. This is a foundational belief of Catholicism. (It’s just one we don’t talk about nearly as often as we should.)

That’s how change is possible. That’s how change happens. When we follow the guidance of our consciences, led by the Holy Spirit.

The church hierarchy, like all institutions, will never be the one to initiate change. That’s not how institutions work. They’re inherently conservative, holding to the status quo, until the fabric of the world in which they exist shifts enough around them for the status quo to change.

That’s why we have - and why we need - prophets. The prophets are the people who challenge us to live most fully and authentically - even when it doesn’t fit into the set idea of what we’re supposed to do. Eventually, if we as the body of Christ follow the guidance of the Spirit, the institution will catch up.

do you ever think about how some people see this tiny precious petal of a man, this one inch tall dewdrop of a detective, who cries because his omelette became scrambled eggs, who wears silk pajamas and dressing gowns because he likes to feel the soft texture against his skin, who drinks juice out of tiny kid sized cartons, who loves all dogs and bats and bees – and then they pair him off with women. or with scary abusive stalkers. or with syringes full of cocaine and heroin.

and you just want to grab him and hug him and protect him from all this because he does not deserve this. he deserves soft warm smiles and strong small hands holding him and a high pitched giggle when he says something funny and itchy jumpers that make his hair stand out with static electricty and a gentle voice lined with curiosity at his experiments and a gun in a steady fist aimed at whoever decides to cause him harm.

sherlock holmes deserves john watson, nothing less than that will ever be right

So, we’re having the bathroom in our 100 year old house renovated and the contractor found these in the ceiling. They are letters to an American GI who was serving in France in 1955 and he has at least three women (at current count, we haven’t finished reading them) writing him love letters from London. Even once he’s back in the States. Monotasker and I are taking sides. I’m #TeamWendy while he’s #TeamHelen. I’m hoping I can get them scanned and put up in the cloud and then maybe track down some surviving relatives. 

TL;DR, this is so cool.

(Oh, and I will reblog this with updates as we learn more. This is going to be such a fun project, I can feel it.)