The current trend in which Chinese Communist Party is taking China to the digital totalitarian dystopia, where every step of every citizen is monitored and evaluated, is making me feel very 心里不安 /xīnli bù ān/ (UNEASY/UNPEACEFUL IN HEART).
Unfortunately it seems to be the global trend.
Even the regimes in the countries that used to be the symbols of liberty are becoming less and less democratic and more and more openly serve the biggest corporations rather than its people.
We need to rediscover the value of discussion and of truly independent media. We also need to see the brutally damaging effect that corporations such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have on public opinion.
For instance facebook delivers content in order to keep you longer on their site, see more adds and click on more adds. How do they do that? Simply by delivering the content that you want to see or that will make you feel happy or outraged.
Informations that don’t support your point of view basically aren’t allowed to get on your timeline, because it is always uncomfortable to be confronted with something that is mentally challenging. Some people don’t handle it too well and that is risky for the corporation that wants to sell adds.
This (combined with the fear that people feel from the economic changes delivered by technology) is causing that the whole nations are getting more and more radical, because we are loosing our ability to be aware that there are always more angles to look at one problem.
And that is always the beginning of a big trouble.
Challenging times ahead of us, let the Force be with us!
___ __ _
Anyway, the sound similarity of the words 当然 /dāngrán/ OF COURSE and 党 /dǎng/ PARTY (in Chinese context Communist Party, because there is no other party) inspired me to this wordplay. :)
Franklin Foer’s brilliantly researched World Without Mind is a compelling polemic revealing how the big tech
companies are damaging our culture - and what we can all do to fight
The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he
argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially
intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total
automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual
life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually
engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide.
A difficult concept to realise, but the aim was to focus on the smartphone - our own personal link to cyberspace.
Our smartphones are now our diary and our dictionary. They contain our conversations, our movements, our reading tastes, music, fashion and more – and the big-tech companies are aiming to influence these decisions.
Early cover ideas focussed on a jumble of Ministry-of-Truth-like text messages, and cracked smartphones revealing darker influences. This is what influenced the idea behind the final cover - what lies beneath the surface – and how we are suckered into believing that owning such sophisticated devices will somehow improve us.
World Without Mind is published this month by Jonathan Cape.
(my fav finnrey moment / the reason why i think finnrey is endgame)
at the beginning of tlj, finn’s first word was “rey” and then he asked poe where she was and everything after that was about her. in the middle, she asked chewie to keep reaching out to find out how finn was. and at the end of tlj, he stands beside poe (another possible suitor), with rose behind him (comatose basically but we’ll disregard that) and the rocks clear and there’s light.
there’s a ray of light, rey, and all he sees is her.
- whenever agatha’s having a stressful day, she curls up into a ball like a cat and cuddles near tedros
- agatha loves to put her hands in tedros’ hair like she’s so attached to it and always messes or ruffles it up or puts it to the side so she can see his blue eyes
- since tedros is big on hygiene, he always takes hour long showers and sometimes, whenever it’s agatha’s bath time, he comes in without knocking and wordlessly pours conditioner into his hands and starts messaging her head (tedros’ fav part in doing this is watching agatha gently close her eyes and purr like a cat)
- since they had some pretty bad miscommunication in the past, now they’re pretty verbal on how they feel about things (on deep emotional matters, agatha mutters a lot and tedros stutters whenever she says something that warms his heart omf these dorks icanteven)
- there’s a small height difference between them since they’re both kinda tall but that makes it easier for them to give each other forehead kisses, whether one of them is about to walk out of the room or whether they just ate a huge dinner or when they’re just quietly reading together and tedros just suddenly leans over and gives her a forehead kiss or after they do the naughty or even when they’re in their royal carriage headed to the school for good and evil
- agatha doesn’t know why but she always plays with tedros’ soft ears when they’re both lying together in bed
- whenever agatha and tedros take a bath together, tedros always makes a bubble beard on agatha and agatha always helps clean his back because he has a hard time reaching it (more times than agatha can count, he always giggles when she scrubs a spot and once he explains that it’s ticklish and that just puts a wicked smile on agatha’s face and continues to tickle him even more, splashing water and bubbles everywhere, and their giggles and laughter are so loud that the whole castle can hear it and merlin just rolls his eyes and continues eating his cucumber sandwich [courtesy of sophie])
- if you get agatha tired enough, she’ll confess what names she’d like to name her and tedros’ children (YOU DONT EVEN NEED TO ASK TEDROS HE’D PROBABLY TELL YOU IF YOU EVEN BRING THE TOPIC OF CHILDREN UP)
- when tedros’ hair gets long, he always pulls agatha towards him like a little child and asks her to trim his hair (this may or may not have to do with the fact that tedros likes agatha’s fingers rest on his neck or how his skin tingles whenever she breathes near his face)
- this one time, tedros and agatha decided to be funny and try to do sophie’s beauty routines on each other and it turned out so freaking bad and horrible that it took 3 straight days to get it all off
- during the first week of when agatha moved into camelot’s humongous castle she felt incredibly homesick and so to make her feel better and to get her mind off of gavaldon, tedros showed her the secret passageways he discovered as a kid whenever he had free time (because tedros had no friends look @ this dork) and agatha was so amazed and curious about these secret passageways that she found some more whenever she explored the castle
- the secret passageways in the castle were convenient shortcuts whenever one of them or both of them were late for a royal meeting (they were late for multiple reasons) (like sleeping too late or getting distracted taking turns licking the royal cook’s brownie batter or just straight up making out)
- when it’s the holidays, tedros always wants to do that cute couple thing where they both wear matching ugly christmas sweaters and agatha always snorts and refuses but eventually always gives in when tedros gives her his puppy eyes and holds her hands and guinevere knits the sweaters for them
- when the first parade/ celebration to go through camelot came around, agatha was so nervous to wave and smile at her subjects (because wHO WOULD WANT THIS BUG-EYED GIRL AS THEIR QUEEN??) that she almost fainted when she climbed on the carriage (but luckily she made it to the end with almost 102919 flowers, some high-quality chocolates, warm greetings and lots of baby kissing, and it didn’t hurt that tedros’ hand was holding hers the whole way through)
Honestly still in shock that I watched a show today that had two girlfriends talking about their fears and expectations from sex. I keep thinking about that scene from the party where Adena brought up that Kat wouldn’t go down on her and I can’t believe it’s real. Talking so openly about eating a girl out? On television? And then a very delicate and comfortable sex scene between two women! The Bold Type is a gift we must appreciate every day
Summary: Four months after your confrontation in the club, you and Jack have a flair up in a similar circumstance.
Word Count: 878
Author’s Note: 600 readers!!!! that is insane! I am so grateful for each and every one of you that I decided to give you all a little treat :) This is basically just a little thing that I wrote about a moment in a relationship.
“Are you insane?!”
You stormed into your apartment with Jack hot on your heels, one hand unbuttoning your coat while the other ripped it off your shoulders. You were livid. You were not a damsel in distress, and yet, you now had a boyfriend with a black eye all because he had taken it upon himself to ‘defend your honour’ against a guy who had made some lewd comment about your ass tonight. Never mind the fact that he was twice the size of Jack.
“You are such a fucking idiot!” you screeched as you whirled around, throwing your hands in the air at the sight of Jack leaning against the kitchen counter with a bag of frozen peas held against his face. “Why on earth would you even think that was a good idea?!” you exclaimed in exasperation, your hands falling to rest on your hips as you glaring at your scowling boyfriend.
“You were the one who just let him say all those things! You’re the one who went into a state of shock and couldn’t move! I couldn’t just fucking sit there and do nothing!” he shot back at you as he dropped the bag of peas on the bench. “I know that you think you can just ignore things but you can’t! he wasn’t going to get the picture unless it came at the end of someone’s fist,” he grumbled to you as he rounded the kitchen island, yanking off his flannel shirt and tossing it over the back of the couch as he left you in the kitchen.
“You cannot possibly know that, Jackson!” you countered back at him, following after him as he made his way to the ensuite bathroom in your shared bedroom. “If I didn’t give him any attention, he probably would have gotten bored and fucked off!” you exclaimed as you sat down on the edge of the bed, reaching down to unclip your heels from around your ankles.
“Maybe,” your boyfriend’s voice piped up from the doorway, you looked up and saw him leaning against the door frame with his arms crossed over his chest tightly. You felt your mouth go dry at the sight of him standing shirtless before you, his folded arms making his biceps bulge and you had to remind yourself to focus again.
“Maybe what? Maybe i’m right or maybe you shouldn’t have punched him?” you asked him, feeling the fight drain out of you with each passing second. “You could have gotten seriously hurt, Jack, do you understand that? This isn’t a joke. Guys get fatally injured from bar fights all the time, what if you had been hit in the temple or something?” You questioned him softly, looking down at your hands as the idea of a world without Jack entered your mind.
“Maybe you’re right and he would have backed off, but maybe he wouldn’t have,” he started, his tense body relaxing somewhat when your raised your head to look at him. “He wasn’t taking any of the hints that you were giving, Y/N, and the chances are that he wouldn’t have taken you ignoring him as a hint either. Do you know what I saw when I looked over there tonight?” he asked, walking towards you. You shook your head in response.
“I saw my girlfriend being harassed by a bloke who was three times the size of her, I saw someone putting their hands on you and making you uncomfortable,” he told you, dropping down to crouch in front of you and holding your hands in his, brushing his thumb over the back of your hand comfortingly.
“Now I can apologise for being impulsive and brash and taking matters into my own hands, and I can apologise for scaring you like that, but if you want me to apologise for taking action tonight then I can’t. Because someone who stands by while the rest of the world hurts you is a guy who i’ll never be and I won’t pretend that I can, I will always step in and I will always protect you,” he whispered to you, lifting your hands up and pressing a kiss to them both.
Letting out a soft sigh, you shake your head slightly, the hint of an amused smile on your lips, “You’re too smooth for your own good, you know that, right?” you laughed softly. Lifting your head completely, you gave him a small smile to reassure him that the fight was over.
“We were having this deep romantic moment, and that’s all you can say?” he laughed heartily, his blue eyes glittering up at you.
“Oh shut up,” you giggled, wrapping your pointer finger around the gold chain on his neck and using it to pull him towards you, sealing your lips together in a kiss. Jack hummed against your lips, using his hands on the bed to balance himself as you deepened the kiss, his lips moving against yours smoothly.
Pulling back momentarily, you blinked up at him, “Thank you for looking out for me, always,” you mumble shyly, your eyes flickering between his eyes and his mouth again.
He smiled at you gently, extending his body up and pressing his lips against your forehead in a whisper of a kiss.
I wish/ hope Star Wars would explore the Buddhist inflections of Jedi ideology wrt to attachment/non attachment more deeply because I’m tired of my eye twitching in irritation everytime I see those posts that go “but the Jedi are so stoooopid and CRUEL how could they not have attachments?????” sigh
“Really?” Jane’s rejoinder is too breathless to be sharp. “Don’t trust the multiverse mirror dimensions and the fact that I can see a world without the color red? Not any other color, mind you…just red. And a world without shrimp? Never mind the fact that a world without red and yet every other color is a scientific impossibility! That’s what I shouldn’t trust?”
“Perhaps we shouldn’t have come. I should have suspected this would be too much for your mortal mind to bear.”
Jane shoots him one of her patented looks. “Listen buddy, my mortal mind is as strong as yours. I can handle this…I’m just struggling with the details.”
They stand in silence for a moment, their still point in the center of six dozen or more inter-connected universe a bubble of calm in a storm of multiplicity. Maintaining that bubble costs him some effort, but Loki has surfed these dimensional waves before. He brought Jane there to marvel at the vastness of creation…but he would have been lying if he did not also wish for her to admire him for his power, his skill.
She raises shaking hands and browses through dimensions as one would rifle the pages of a book. Images fly across the sky; a flock of birds, a bright green eye, a child’s weeping face. Jane slows. It is overwhelming, even for him. Tears well in her eyes, dancing with colors from the light of many, many stars.
“Loki, this…this is…”
He strokes a tear from her cheek. It is hot and alive under his thumb, like her skin, like her wide, wide eyes. She turns from the sight of infinity and touches his hand with trembling fingers.
“Thank you. I can’t…I don’t…” it is so hard for her, his Jane, to be in one place and let herself stay. He can taste her need to quantify what is happening, her experiences, her emotions. Her eyes cannot connect with his; they are darting from sight to sight, spilling more tears down pale cheeks.
I’m sick of movies and tv portraying kind, non-violent characters as weak, stupid and/or naive. As if sticking to your principles, taking a beating, and getting back up isn’t possible. Ghandi, Martin Luther King jr, Nelson Mandela, etc would disagree. I’m tired of seeing pacifists being treated like idiots and killed off or broken and “realism” being used as an excuse. Bullshit.
It takes an incredible amount of strength to be kind in a cruel world.
As I sleep my body is alert to the world without and my mind to the thoughts within.
The gentle music plays and the air is cool as I lay on my back and feel the soft cotton sheets caress my weary body. The back of my head is resting on the memory foam pillow as it molds to my contours. The ambient sounds and lights are mentally registered.
My mind stirs as I sleep in alertness.
I run through a self-diagnostic, checking for anything new to my body, as I breath in steadily. My heart rate is rhythmic in its pace as my diaphragm easily pulls the air in and out of my lungs. The cooling air enters my nasal passages just venting my overworked brain. I feel the gastric acids bubble and shift as dinner is being broken down into its molecular material.
My mind moves as I sleep in alertness.
I feel a twitch of my jaw as I become more alert in my sleep. A slight tightening on the bottom of my right foot, a small cramp in my left knee. I can sense the pulse of my left arm lag a fraction behind my heartbeat as the muscles and tendons in that shoulder swell. The impinging is putting pressure on my nerves causing tingling in that forearm and hand.
My mind is erattic as I continue to sleep in alertness.
As I move deeper into my sleep the music is louder now and the air is stale as my lower back protests being in one position. The sheets and blanket feel coarse, heavy and oppressive. The heat on the back of my head is conflicting with that of the air. The sounds have become noise and my eyes move under their lids because of the lights.
Still my mind is racing as I continue to sleep in alertness.
My breaths become deeper as I slip more into my subconscious. My heart is thudding within my chest and is reverberating throughout my body. My diaphragm gives a shuddering tug on my lungs as the stale air pools in their lobes. My nose registers the offensive particulates of dust and cleaning chemicals in the stale air. The gastric acids are producing gases and bile that can be tasted on the back of my tongue.
My mind is now roiling as I continue to sleep in alertness.
My jaw clinches tightly and slowly grinds. The bottom of my right foot is stiffing as my left knee throbs in pain. The pulse in my left arm is weak as compared to the pounding heart in my chest. My left shoulder starts to hurt and my forearms and fingers are no longer tingling, they have gone numb and I can no longer feel them.
Yet, my mind is drowning in itself as I continue to sleep in alertness.
I take a deeper breath to find an anchor, a purchase to grab onto. Someone or something to love, to live for. I take another breath to find understanding, stillness. Another breath slows the heart rate and expels the stale air. My body relaxes, the sheets and pillow are now bearable, almost comfortable. Another breath and the foot loosens and the knee cramp slackens, the impinging remains until morning.
My mind is calm and I am no longer alert but I continue to sleep.
I breath and the air is cool again, free of offending oders. The music is soothing once more with the ambient lights and sounds becoming reassuring again. I roll over to continue my sleep.
I woke up dreaming that I was alive because of you, my bringer of peace.