Square-Pegs

I really wish Dragon Age fans would understand that “Moral Greyness” can be JUST as contrived and convoluted as regular “Black and White” and “Happy Ending.”

Just look at the Mage/Templar Conflict. The devs have tried their darnedest across three and a half games to present the conflict as 100% balanced with both sides equally sympathetic, and they’ve failed each time. The devs have said they felt they made the mages look “too sympathetic” in the first game. For the second game they realized too late that making the player character come from a family of apostates and have two mage companions but no Templars made Templars look bad; and they fully admitted that Leandra getting killed by a crazy blood mage serial killer was an attempt to vindicate a pro-Templar playthrough. DAI? Well, we all know about THAT… (Retconning the Dalish to have a “three mages max” rule just to make Circles look better by comparison?) All to make a flimsy, “See? Both sides are equally flawed” argument that’s as sturdy as cardboard; blow on it, and it falls over.

Just look at The Masked Empire verses Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts. In the book, the human nobles are all completely despicable, racist, genocidal asses, while Briala (and Felassan to a lesser extent) is the most sympathetic and likable character. Briala is a straight-up hero who struggles to help her people despite knowing they won’t thank her for it, and being shit on by everyone she meets right and left.

In DAI, the devs flat-out hid the many crimes and character flaws of Celene and Gaspard, and hid many of the virtues and character strengths of Briala. Why? To create a flimsy and false “All three choices are equally morally gray!” so-called “choice.”

Just look at the Qunari. You can tell the devs have been trying their damnedest from game one to depict Qunari culture as rather alien and incomprehensible to outsiders and vice-versa, but still a good system with its balances of virtues and flaws like any other. And it never works.

And any time players complain about an aspect of their culture, they try to fix it next game. Sten said “women don’t fight”? In DA2 they’re like, “JK! Since the Priesthood allows both genders, we just made up this secret spy division of the Ben’Hassrath that allows female assassins. Please love our Qunari.“ When that didn’t work, in DAI they went overtime trying to make Iron Bull THE most likable character they could, then had him lend his charisma to explain away Qunari societal faults. Plus the whole “transgender acceptance” and “free love” and “Tamassran are still like family” thing, and the sudden, “Oh, the Qunari don’t REALLY keep women from fighting. If a woman is discovered to be good in combat, they just decide he’s a man who happens to look like a woman and let “him” fight. Please love our Qunari!”

And it’s NEVER WORKED. I mean, some small minority of weirdos like Qunari despite their flaws (myself included), but MOST players just find these flimsy attempts at “MORAL GREYNESS!!!” to be just that: flimsy.

So whenever I talk about a plot hole or character failing in the series, I’m so sick to death of seeing that go-to, knee-jerk, catch-all “moral grayness” excuse.

Yes. Sometimes, when written well, a morally grey conflict can be very engaging. But sometimes some characters or divisions naturally come across as more sympathetic than another. I’m not saying “one side is innocent and perfect and other other guilty and evil,” but sometimes one side comes across as a lighter shade of grey than another; it happens. If the devs would just embrace that and run with it and tell emotionally engaging stories, instead of spending so much time and energy trying to constantly backpedal or force a square peg in a round hole just for the sake of that original vision that just isn’t coming through.

- You can’t make a conflict where one heavily tyrannical and abusive faction holds complete power over another as a perfectly 50/50 “morally grey conflict” where “both sides are equally at fault.”

- You can’t take the freedom-fighting victim of horrific systematic abuse by two perpetrators of that horrific system and try to act like she’s “just as bad” or “on the same footing” as those abusers.

You can’t take a culture that thrives on robbing individuality, stripping free will, brainwashing resisters, and severely limiting the roles of its citizens based on their gender, magical ability, etc. and expect our modern freedom- and individuality-loving society to find them anything but restrictive and tyrannical.

“Moral Grey” can be just as CONTRIVED as any attempt at “black and white” or “happily-ever-after.” Because they’re still trying to force something that doesn’t fit.

No Guilt
The Waitresses
No Guilt

The Waitresses - “No Guilt”

The Waitresses were Chris Butler’s project after Tin Huey, eschewing that band’s prog and jazz approach to quirky new wave pop in favor of a funk and ska approach, and adding, among others, Billy Ficca (um.. Television) on drums and the late great Patty Donahue on captivatingly disinterested vocals.

Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful? debuted in January 1982 to substantial deserved acclaim, sporting the Chic-inflected hit “I Know What Boys Like” and several supporting slices of smart and sardonic sass (seriously, excellent lyrics throughout).

Subsequent releases pick up the pieces from the wreckage of an unfortunate followup tension implosion, with the November 1982 EP I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Get The Parts’ inclusion of both the all-timer (and, again, Chic-inflected) “Christmas Wrapping” and the theme song to the short-lived but long-remembered TV sitcom Square Pegs making it the obvious best-of-the-rest.

The Waitresses - “I Know What Boys Like” via YouTube

Square Pegs (scene featuring The Waitresses) via YouTube

2

Michael Woodmansee - Teenage Cannibal

Sixteen-year-old Michael Woodmansee of South Kingstown, Rhode Island didn’t look like a budding psychopath - with his thick glasses, obese frame, and shy demeanour, Michael could easily pass for a square peg amongst his more popular classmates. Unbeknownst to anyone around him, Michael nurtured graphic fantasies involving death and rape, and considered murder easy to get away with. On May 18, 1975, he made his deadly fantasies a reality.

Five-year-old Jason Foreman was playing with a group of boys at the top of the street Michael Woodmansee lived on when he heard his mother calling him home. Jason lived on a corner, and Woodmansee’s house was opposite the path Jason would have taken home. His mother last recalled seeing Jason walking through the front gate to the house, until she turned to answer the phone. Jason never walked through the door. His disappearance would baffle police for over eight years.

It was 1982 until a break in Jason Foreman’s case, and came about as a result of Woodmansee attempting to kill another young boy. The now twenty-three-year old had lured a teenage paperboy into an empty house and drugged him with alcohol. After an unsuccessful attempt at strangling the boy, Woodmansee gave up and left him for dead in the house. Instead, the injured boy went home and told his father about the incident, and who did it. The victims father then went to Woodmansee’s home and beat him up, after which Woodmansee did something incredibly stupid - he called the police and reported the assault.

At the police station Woodmansee tried to excuse the attack on the paperboy as ‘losing his temper’, but officer conducting the interview had a hunch that Woodmansee was responsible for the disappearance of Jason Foreman seven years before. After continuous prodding Woodmansee broke down and confessed to killing the child, and admitted he still had much of his body in his bedroom. Before a police unit searched the house, Woodmansee remarked that they would find a journal written by him in his room, but its contents were pure fiction.

In Woodmansee’s bedroom police discovered a number of gruesome relics; Jason Foreman’s skull, coated in high-gloss shellac. The little boy’s hip and rib bones, picked clean of flesh. Crude drawings of children being stabbed and decapitated. And the aforementioned journal, the contents of which were deemed too disgusting to be discussed in court. Though its never been reproduced in its entirety anywhere, the journal was said to contain graphic descriptions of Jason’s murder, his dismemberment, and how Woodmansee disposed of his body by boiling it over a stove and eating the cooked flesh.

In 1983 Michael Woodmansee was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to forty years in prison. His relatively low sentence was the result of a plea bargain with the prosecution to ensure none of the horrific details of the murder were discussed in court, as the police were fearful about copycat crimes.

In a shocking move by corrections, Woodmansee was released from prison after serving 28 years of his 40 year sentence. Jason Foreman’s father has publicly declared his intention to murder Woodmansee for his crime against Jason.

Happy birthday Eric.

[Fair warning: This is going to be a bit long.] 

 “Yesterday I was dirty 

Wanted to be pretty 

I know now that I’m forever dirt 

We are the nobodies 

Wanna be somebodies 

When we’re dead 

They’ll know just who we are…” 

 How exactly do you celebrate the birthday of someone who caused so much harm and devastation? How do you find a way in your heart to recognize that this boy was a human being before his destructive behavior? This is why we are here. No one else is going to admit to us that these boys were HUMAN before April 20, 1999. We have to read through journals, witness reports, watch the same bits of home videos, and see that deep down, this person just wanted to fit in. He was a square peg in a box full of circle ones. Eric was a boy full of dreams, goals, aspirations, desires, and yes, full of the hatred and viciousness that everyone else loves to point out to us. But he was still a person.

 I like to reflect on the boys before April 20th. The ones who made stupid, home videos. Who played video games. Who sent deep, thought inducing messages late at night to others about the stars, trying to not feel so alone. Hate is the easiest emotion to convey. It is so much easier to yell and scream and curse then to actually internalize anything that may be bothering us and actually try to figure it out. Eric was not much different. In a world that already saw him as a piece of garbage, as a nobody, it was extremely easy to just fit into that mold. Eric’s anger was his security blanket. In a world that tries to tell us that these boys were pure evil, we know better. Eric David Harris was a son to two parents. He was a brother. He was a friend. He was easy target practice. He was a reminder to some, of the weird things that exist in life that could potentially make us stand apart from what is considered the norm and that reminder was scary. Scary enough to some that they unleashed these fears in very negative and hurtful ways onto Eric. 

 Eric was not always a monster. He became one. Before that, he could have been anyone we would have wanted in our lives. Hell, that’s what some of us on here already picture, right? Eric is a more complicated person in this case in that his mother or his father will never come out the same way that Sue Klebold has, and so Eric will remain a monster in many, many people’s eyes. Not mine. I want to understand him. For some reason, I do not find this so easy to do with every other mass shooter or serial killer out there. I didn’t even want to understand Eric at first, because I saw what everyone else sees at first glance: an angry, hate filled, violent boy. But I do know what is like to try and nurse mental scars all alone. I do know what it is like to never fit in just right. I do know what it is like to look up at the stars at night and be filled with longing. I do know what it is like to feel as if your mind is betraying you. 

 If other people that knew Eric can still take the time to remember him, as a person, as their friend, on his birthday, then as much as others may scorn me for it, I can too. 

 Happy birthday, Eric David Harris. 

 “Hate the sin. Not the sinner.”

Originally posted by dylannroofe

anonymous asked:

Kubo said he left out a few thing due to his illness or maybe editors rushing but they are still a hintes in bleach to untold mysteries one is inoue orihime and connection to royal family so it's no surprise her husband ichigo is also a nobel conect to royal realm. if only kubo had time to tell all story like he wanted but at least the ending is exactly like he envisioned starcrossed lovers unite in matrimony with beutiful kid.i recommed you read tanabata folklore to clear misinterpretation

[…] a few thing (sic)

“A few things.”

A few.  

Things.

A FEW.  

if only kubo had time to tell all story like he wanted but at least the ending is exactly like he envisioned starcrossed lovers unite in matrimony

i recommed you read tanabata folklore to clear misinterpretation 

You mean the legend of the Weaver Princess and the Cowherd?  Oh, I’m well-acquainted with it.  Are you?  Because the story has literally zero resemblance to that of Orihime and Ichigo.  I understand that you based this whole ‘star-crossed’ thing on that very legend, but Orihime and Ichigo are not in any way star-crossed.  

If they were, they never would’ve stayed together, because that’s what star-crossed implies.

You know, like Tanabata!Orihime and Hikoboshi, who actually are star-crossed and are only ever allowed to meet once a year.

Also, fun fact: Kubo did not name Orihime after the Tanabata princess.  You don’t have to take my word for it, here’s a link to all of his interviews. Look for the MASKED one from 2010 (emphasis mine):

Q: The characters in the World of the Living have rather ordinary names like Kurosaki and Ishida.
Kubo: I thought I`d give them normal names, but I wanted one part of their names to have an impact. It`s all about how it sounds or how it looks. I wanted a hook somewhere in their names. Ichigo is an unusual name for a boy. Orihime also has the word hime [princess] in her name so that might make you go “hmm?” Yasutora has tora [tiger] in his name. I also wanted one kanji in their names with a lot of stroke counts. (LOL) It just looks better from a design perspective when the characters` names are all lined up.

Naming her Orihime was a stylistic choice.

Also also, y’all think you’re being so clever and subtle when you try to justify Kubo dropping the ball on Ichigo’s Shiba heritage, as if it didn’t matter from a ~*narrative*~ standpoint, when you couldn’t be more transparent.  You may not understand why I wanted this to be explained in the manga, but I, on the other hand, understand perfectly why you didn’t.

The reason you breathed a sigh of relief when Kubo didn’t elaborate on Ichigo’s Shiba family, is that it just might reinforce the idea that Ichigo belongs in Soul Society by blood.  Because the theme of a fallen clan/family being redeemed by a ‘long lost heir’ is a little too classic and celebrated in fiction.

But hey, if you persist enough, you can even shove a square peg into a round hole, like, say, link Ichigo’s heritage to a debunked theory about Orihime.

Because the so-called connection to the Royal Realm? Nice enough theory with plenty of promise, but then it was revealed that the Soul King wasn’t what people expected (ie a parallel to Tentei, the sky king in the Tanabata lore you recced).  Instead, he turned out ot be simply a tool created to serve a purpose and not an actual king, so the theory fell apart.

The shape of Orihime’s Shun Shun Rikka was seen as a pretty massive clue in favor of a connection to Yhwach and the Royal Family, but here’s the thing: not only does Yhwach have zero resemblance to the fictional Tentei, the six-pointed star symbol of the Schutzstaffel is a nazi symbol.  Because if there’s one parallel Kubo did intentionally create, it’s the one between the Nazis and the Wandenreich.  The shape of Orihime’s pin is an unintentional similarity.

I recommend you read some world history to clear up misinterpretations :)  


“I’m bad at math.”

I hear this a lot. You probably do, too. H*ck, you might even say it, some of you ( though, I really hope not). I’ve heard it from countless people, and I have never once observed it to be true. That keeps me asking the same question: “What is the education system doing to people that makes them keep saying this, and (for god’s sake) WHY?”

I think a big part of it is that math is taught bassackwards. I’ve been righteously indignant from the moment I learned that all groups are the same thing. Vector spaces and addition of integers and multiplication of reals and putting square pegs in square holes are all EXACTLY THE SAME. Matrices and polynomials? Might as well be the same sentence in different fonts. I could put shapes in matching holes before I could speak, so why did I have to wade through seemingly disjoint topics in mathematics for 10 years before we brought up D_n? I had the prerequisite knowledge for the dihedral group when I was 4 years old, but I didn’t get to learn about it until I was in my 20′s. And that’s not okay. 

I want to figure out why the educational system obfuscates mathematical topics to such an unreasonable extent as to teach them as separate topics. I want to figure out why and then I want to stop it forever. No wonder grade school kids struggle with a subject where they’re taught, say, four methods per topic to approach four topics - that’s 16 things to learn about ONE STATEMENT. No wonder that great abstract thinkers like Newton and Einstein and Franklin disliked the earlier years of school and reportedly received poor-to-average grades. Of course students are puzzled when they inherit snippets of mathematical knowledge like parts proffered at auction with no hint as to what the whole machine could do when assembled. And no wonder why they ask statements like, “what will we ever use this for?” I don’t know, kid. I’m not allowed to tell you because the school board believes abstraction will cause a lawsuit. It makes me want to cry.

So, in summation, here’s what I say when someone tells me they’re bad at math: “You’re not bad at math. Your school board is. Your legislators are. And you don’t have to agree with their goddamn opinion because they’re no sort of authority on that topic.”

anonymous asked:

"For me, it doesn’t matter as long as we have the right personnel and the right positions. You can’t fit square pegs in round holes. And obviously Tom has a great plan for that. So we’re going to have the right personnel, and I think, personally, you have to look at your team and say, “Okay, this is a formation that we can play,” not fit the players to a formation that you wanna play. You’d rather wanna look at the players and say, “Okay, we’re able to play this formation""-AK saved my soul 2day

she really say that?? girlllll

@jill you hearing this