against greed

A few weeks ago, Bernie Sanders’ Twitter account Tweeted one of its true-but-repetitive bumper sticker slogans: “If all of you stand up and fight back against corporate greed, there is nothing, nothing, nothing that we cannot accomplish.” A number of liberals responded saying that this was totally irrelevant to current affairs. One person smugly replied: “We’re dealing with Russians and traitors today, not corporate greed. Do try to keep up.”

That speaks volumes. The suggestion that we shouldn’t be talking about corporate greed right now because our real enemies at the moment are the Russian government and people in our government with personal connections to them, as though corporate power is an occasional blip on our radar we can afford to ignore sometimes, is absurd. Furthermore, if you think foreign governments are more of a problem than America’s own wealthy and powerful, your worldview may not be quite as far away from Trump’s as you think.

Colors & Meanings
  • Yellow: Concentration,Happiness, Learning, Persuasion, Progress, Intellect
  • Orange: Action, Attraction, Stimulation, Self-Worth, Self-Expression, Success, Joy, Happiness
  • Red: Danger, Lust, Love, Strength, Health, Vitality, Courage, Anger, Passion, Desire, Leadership, Conflict
  • Pink: Affection, Friendship, Love, Partnership, Healing, Harmony, Compassion
  • Purple: Wisdom, Psychic Powers, Spirituality, Intuition, Meditation, Royalty, Independence, Divination, Knowledge
  • Blue: Truth, Understanding, Sincerity, Peace, Wisdom, Loyalty, Protection, Tranquility, Patience, Healing, Calming, Communication
  • Turquoise: Clarity, Cleansing
  • Green: Luck, Earth, Plants, Wealth, Success, Healing, Prosperty, Fertility, against greed and jealousy
  • Brown: Animals, Earth, Studies, Home, Stability, Grounding, Concentration
  • Black: Banishing, Protection, Shapeshifting
  • Grey: Balance, Neutrality, Stillness, Restrained
  • White: Healing, Peace, Purity, Consecration, Divination, Protection, Cleansing, Truth
  • Silver: The Moon,(Feminity,) Astral Energy, Intuition, Dreams, Meditation
  • Gold: The Sun,(Masculinity,) Wealth, Attraction, Happiness, Prosperty, Attraction, Luxury, Success
In a world already moving in certain directions, where wealth and power are already distributed in certain ways, neutrality means accepting the way things are now. It is a world of clashing interests - war against peace, nationalism against internationalism, equality against greed, and democracy against elitism - and it seems to me both impossible and undesirable to be neutral in those conflicts.
—  Howard Zinn
To Die For : The Story Intro

Pairing: BTS x Reader

Genre: Everything

Rating: Mature

Written by xoxoTheQueenOfHearts

A/N: This is just the Introduction to the series that is about to come. 

They say every virtue has a sin. Humility against Pride. Kindness against Envy. Abstinence against Gluttony. Chasity against Lust. Patience against Wrath. Liberality against Greed. And Diligence against Sloth. They say that each seven sin was a male descendant fallen from the heavens. Seven Brothers. 

The first brother to be cast out of the heavens was a man named Jeon Jungkook. He was dangerously corrupted by selfishness, putting his own desires, urges, wants, and whims before the welfare of all people including the mortals. The second brother, Jung Hoseok, was a man so envious that he became resentful. His attacks against other were vicious. The third brother, Kim SeokJin loved food so much he had the desire to consume more than required. It wasn’t a bad thing at first until his victims were so sweet, he devoured them all. Then the next brother, Park Jimin, was a very lustful man. His philosophy was that women were beautiful creatures that should be worshiped until one day it was so intense that Zeus casted him out. The next brother was a very angry man. Kim Namjoon who often found himself wanting to seek vengeance on the living. Having uncontrolled feelings that lead to hatred. So when Zeus cast him, Namjoon was a slave to himself.

Kim Taehyung. The following brother to be cast down from the heavens was very greedy. He had the desire to gain wealth and power. His sin turned him into a thief through powerful manipulation and trickery to get what he wanted. He even tried to take things from Zeus himself. Zeus grew ashamed of this brother and cast him out as well to live in the mortal world. 

But the final brother to be cast out of the heavens was the laziest of them all. Min Yoongi. He appeared cold and arrogant but he didn’t care. He is a very complex when it came to him mental, physical, and spiritual needs. Mentally it was as if he had a lack of feeling to himself. A mind state that rises boredom into a sluggish mentation. Physically he was just lazy. His spiritual desires to eternal life was neglected. Omitting his responsibilities as he failed to do things that one should do. 

After the seven brothers were all cast out one by one, Zeus made it clear to them that they were not allowed to return until they met their virtue and become pure once again. 

senileskeleton  asked:

Loved your 7 sins combat squad, I think it would really cool if you did the squad based on the 7 contrary virtues, Humility against pride, Kindness against envy, Abstinence against gluttony, Chastity against lust, Patience against anger, Liberality against greed, and Diligence against sloth. Love the art keep up the good work.

Already in the works :) Thanks! 

The idea that wealth is morally perilous has an impressive philosophical and religious pedigree. Ancient Stoic philosophers railed against greed and luxury, and Roman historians such as Tacitus lay many of the empire’s struggles at the feet of imperial avarice. Confucius lived an austere life. The Buddha famously left his opulent palace behind. And Jesus didn’t exactly go easy on the rich, either — think camels and needles, for starters.
—  Charles Mathewes and Evan Sandsmark
Michi Muses: Solas, Wisdom, and Pride

I come back to Solas a lot because he bothers me, he’s bothered by for like 3 years now as this itch I can’t stop scratching. I find the flaws and foibles of his character fascinating, especially as his journey (and by extension the Inquisitor’s) is left unfinished.

Whenever I rewatch Babylon 5, I always get reminded of two very important facts. (Babylon 5 is important to understanding Weekes’ writing, though if you’ve never seen the series I can understand how one might miss the obvious road signs.)

1) Solas is not wise.

2) Solas mistakes having knowledge for wisdom.

Solas is supposed to be the ancient, elder wizard trope. The Merlin, I suppose, the Gandalf, the Elrond, the Galadriel, or the Kosh. The wise old guy who occasionally passes off bits of cryptic info designed to make the protagonist think and question the world around them. They give advice, usually based off the secret knowledge they’ve attained or due to the breadth of their experience which lends them greater insight into the human condition. It is not so much that they know the world’s secrets, it is that they understand the knowledge they’ve obtained.

Wisdom, after all, is to ken, to understand. The road to wisdom begins with understanding. No matter how much you think you know, there is always more you don’t. We begin at the beginning.

The character Solas reminds me of most is Galen from the short lived series, Crusade. Galen is a technomage, he’s from an order of traditional wizards for the setting. They’re secretive and hoard their knowledge. Galen is a character who is trying to be wise. He’s young, much younger than the others and acting in ways he shouldn’t be. He’s proud, and sarcastic, and enigmatic. He knows a great deal, but he doesn’t truly understand it. He is reckless, hasty, an emotional powder keg waiting to go off. He is caught up in what should be, rather than what is. This is obvious when you compare him to any other technomage in the setting or the series protagonist Gideon. An idealist, rather than a pragmatist. Someone trying to be what he thinks he should be, rather than existing as he is. Who knows more than anyone else, and because he does believes he knows better. Battered, bruised, and, if the series had continued, destined to be broken. There goeth the pride before the fall.

Yet, that fall is a necessary part of character development. The antithesis of Pride is not Wisdom, it’s Humility. Humility is the first step on the road to wisdom, in humility we are given opportunity to see outside ourselves. In order to be wise, one first needs to be humble or humbled. This is a necessary step on the road of nearly every legend of every religious leader ever, regardless of affiliation. After all, in order to understand we must first understand that we need to understand and recognize that we don’t. In order to be wise, our minds must be open to new ideas and alternate viewpoints. That there are others who know their subjects of study better than we do. Allow ourselves to be taught as well as instruct, even by those whose attitudes we find disagreeable.

If you listen to Solas’ companion banter, you’ll often find him focusing on the way things should be and asking why they’re not that way. With Sera, he tells her he knows who she is better than she does. Looking more for a kindred spirit than trying to discover who she is. It’s the same with the other characters, he decides he knows who they are before he begins discussion. (He’s wrong about… all of them.) If anything, his conversations are more about finding confirmation bias for his path than they are about discovering new truths in a world he’s been part of for a single year.

That is Pride. He knows better than anyone else, and he’s not really willing to reconsider. You can’t be wise or advise others when actively searching for confirmation bias. “They’re wrong because they don’t want to listen, not me.” Solas dictates to others what he believes to be right, and ascribes moral judgements to the cultures and people he disagrees with. He dislikes the choices they’ve made, so they either must be evil, ignorant, or both. (See also: Iron Bull, Vivienne, Sera.)

Solas has secret knowledge, yes, but he is not wise.

On the subject of my eternal irritation with Bioware and their world building. If we’re going to go with spirits as concepts or ideas, then their opposite is in their antonyms.

The opposition to Wisdom is the Fool. It’s Folly.

The opposition to Empathy is Apathy or Cruelty.

The opposition to Knowledge is Ignorance.

The opposition to Justice is not Vengeance, it’s Injustice.

The Seven Deadly Sins versus The Seven Contrary Virtues: Humility against Pride, Kindness against Envy, Abstinence against Gluttony, Chastity against Lust, Patience against Anger,  Liberality against Greed, and Diligence against Sloth.

I know, the Catholics get it done.

I don’t know if Bioware knew they played straight into the standard thematic juxtaposition between Kindness and Envy (given the way the quest runs and how Cole behaves, unlikely) with the Templar quest in Inquisition, but if you live in Western civilization you can’t escape Catholic symbolism, themes, and storytelling. They’re baked into our culture, whether you’re religious or not.

I get that the setting is working off the Warhammer 40k base, where Chaos is the primordial psychic center of the universe so everyone gets to have a say and the desires of mortals inherently corrupt, but if that was the case then there’d be more available versions of Bioware’s demons when the spirits are corrupted. Transformed into X by a specific individual who corrupts them, and not because that is the opposing force.

On a case by case basis, I can see the Anders/Vengeance connection because what Anders actually wanted wasn’t justice for the mages. He wanted vengeance. He didn’t corrupt Justice in set opposition to its nature, but changed it. Vengeance isn’t evil, it’s a natural expression of anger over perceived injustice. (You could, however, just as easily find Justice perverted by legalism and the law into defending the Status Quo. The problem here is that potential corruptive influences are endless. Humans have many different desires and thousands of ways to pervert singular concepts into negative aspects. One, however, does not mirror the other.) Justice itself can become evil, when it goes too far, when it grows cold and unfeeling, when it will not bend, and is not moderated by kindness, mercy, or compassion. (I might argue that the Spirit of Justice we see in the DAO expansion is actually Valor, not Justice. Just like Cole is Kindness, not Compassion.)

I’ll point out that Solas was probably never wise to begin with. He’s a classic ivory tower wizard of traditional fantasy. Knowledgeable? Yes. Intelligent? Yes. Wise? No.

That is the problem with DnD wizards, you know. Wisdom is a dump stat.

The whole world is telling young people they don’t matter. This world tells teenagers that their feelings and their voice, their anger, their kindness, their wit and opposition to the atrocities in this world are inappropriate, misplaced and even wrong. I say fuck that! The voice of these amazing young people is my voice. Forty three years old and I still rebel against tyranny, oppression, greed and hate. I have not forgotten how I felt when I was 15,I have not stopped getting upset at other peoples misery or animal cruelty. I still yearn for a world where everyone can simply be themselves and not have the burden of the pressure to conform to what others think we should be. I cannot abide cruelty, suffering or injustice and surprise surprise the young people of today (although adults may call them spoiled and disinterested) are in agreement with this sentiment. They are jaded and filled with rage at what adults have done and continue to do to the world, can we blame them? We ask them to fit in, to go to school and get a job and contribute to society…a society that is so messed up we all despair but we pretend we know what’s best for these bright minds. We judge their music, their clothes, and their friends. It needs to stop. We need to encourage and support their choices, not just that but we need to stand with them in their rage and cry out…”you are fucking amazing”…the strength it takes to be in this horrible world should kill us all but our young people have found ways to survive it. I applaud them, they inspire me every day. Do not give up, your kindness, your desire NOT to hurt others, your passion and anger is what gives Hope to others. Please remember you are worth so much to a world that has lost almost everything. You do not have to fit in or be pretty or popular, you just have to be you to be important to someone like me. Your softness is your greatest strength and your empathy for others is what makes you great in a world full of mediocre.
—  Wise words from my mother.

it just really brings into light the exact way that like, readers of fiction are selfish. they’re inherently greedy! we as readers want to know everything – we may not want to be explicitly told, but we at least want the tools to be able to figure things between the lines out on our own. and not necessarily just in traditional literature; in video games, in comics, etc. and when you know this, as a storyteller, it can create a very interesting and new affect to use a reader’s greed against them by manipulating and erasing certain pieces of knowledge entirely.

So You Want To Write... An Antagonist

antagonist anˈtaɡ(ə)nɪst/noun
1.a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.

Victor von Doom. Raymond Tusk. Charles Vane. Grendel’s Mother.

Your players are usually our protagonists. They’re the viewpoint characters, they’re following the plot. They are, frequently, more reactive than proactive. Things happen, your players react - and even if you’ve managed to get a party that is pursuing their own goals, you need to direct and draw them together as things go on, or drive home the consequences of their actions. You need a catalyst for the ongoing plot, a foil, a reflection.

You need your antagonist.

It’s All About Motive
Your antagonist shouldn’t be inchoate evil, and if they are, they’re not really the antagonist - they’re the stakes, the backdrop behind your real antagonist. Your antagonist needs to be, to some degree, relatable. Someone you can learn to hate or even respect. It’s important to emphasize their motive, the reason they oppose your protagonists. Motive is built on something you should already have in place - setting.
A character, any character, can have their motives broken into three categories; Need, Want, and Greed.
Need is something you require to live - food, water, shelter, medicine, security. Is your race of ghostly revenant knights dependent on magical Dust to survive? That’s still food, as defined by elements of your setting. This is most common in monstrous antagonists, like the Alien, but if your RP is set in a post-apocalyptic desert, who knows what some people will do for a glass of water?Needs are some of the most simple, relatable motives, really. Helpfully, this is a conflict you can potentially resolve without violence.
Greed is about going to unreasonable lengths to get something you want for yourself. Power, wealth, revenge. These lead to more nuanced antagonists, of varying degrees of sympathy. Wealth is nice and easy, and never overlook it as a motive just because it’s so straightforward. It needn’t be wealth, necessarily, just the things that wealth affords. It’s vital, however, that the antagonist is a well-developed character if this is their motive. Revenge is likewise straight to the point, and importantly a point you can direct right at the players - your super-powered brawl killed my son! Power is the trickiest one, because there are so many kinds of power to wield. On a small scale, does your antagonist want power over their spouse? The company they work for? Do they want power in society, or to take the throne? What they want to do with the power isn’t necessarily the focus, here - it helps clarify your themes, add some more personality, but it’s not what this antagonist is about.
Want is nebulous. It feels like a need, but it isn’t, really. Ideology, love, justice, entertainment.One of the main things that separates a Greed and a Want is altruism - your antagonist might want justice for their friends. They might want to perform a great deed for their love. They may be acting in accordance with their faith. They can be pursuing wealth, but they’re doing it to pay off their brother’s gambling debts. They might be seeking to execute a murderer, but only because that killer escaped after sentencing. They could be trying to seize the throne, but only to honour the memory of their lost love by reforming the law. The post-apocalyptic warlord is raiding your settlement, but only because his minions will turn on him when they get bored. An Inquisitor might ruthlessly slaughter all Magi, but only because he feels his faith demands it.

A Note on Mental Illness

Being ‘crazy’ is not a motive. Your antagonist’s mental illness is not motive - it’s an exacerbating factor, a catalyst, a cause for sympathy. The vigilante killing petty criminals and some bystanders isn’t doing it because he’s delusional; he’s doing it because he truly believes those people were possessed by demons and he’s doing the right thing. People can only suspend their disbelief so far, before something becomes unrealistic - and you don’t want to look like a lazy writer who can’t do basic research, do you?

The Three Heads
There are three kinds of antagonist - incidental, organizational, and vital. Incidental antagonists are monsters-of-the-week. They’re the pirate captain you’re competing for a prize with. They’re the boxer between you and the title match. They’re the emperor’s finest generals. They aren’t the real antagonist, but pop up to cover arcs of the story and raise the stakes. They tend to be emergent; they rise up according to what the players are doing. This is a really, really good way to make the consequences of their actions clear to the players. They can also be used as breadcrumbs to lead players onto plot threads.
Vital antagonists are your Sephiroth, your Sauron, your Emperor Palpatine (or, technically, Darth Vader). They kick-start the plot as a result of their motivations. They do something in an effort to fulfill their goals, and as a consequences draw the players into the plot. They need to endure for the duration of the story; they’re the counterpart to your protagonists that reinforces the themes of the narrative. Their defeat is a statement.
Organizational antagonists can be both incidental and vital. They tend to churn out minions and lieutenants, smaller antagonists leading up the defeat of the head honcho or just dissolution of the whole organization. The party can come into conflict with the organization by accident and innocence, or ambition, but rarely malice. If you’re a pirate crew, you didn’t plan to make the Imperial navy your enemy. If you’re an ordinary mortal, you had no idea what terrible designs The God-Machine had for you before you unwittingly disrupted them. If you’re a modest trade cartel, your battle of wits with the East Empire Company is just business.

How To Use Your Antagonist
This ties into the three heads, above. Your Vital Antagonist has kicked off the plot. The players will need to learn about them, track them down, and generally engage with your plot. This gives you room for foreshadowing and world-building. Now the party will come into conflict with some Incidental Antagonists - a monster on the road, the guards at a seedy flophouse, the dark prophet’s chosen warrior, the obstinate magistrate, the greedy corporation in need of their services. You need to show the characters the consequences of the antagonist’s actions, drip-feed clues about motive, and very importantly have the antagonist pursue their agenda. The antagonist should always been trying to achieve their goals, whether the party knows it or not, whether they can stop them or not. The results will ripple out to the players, one way or another.

How To Balance Your Antagonist
The players have to win in the end, right?Well, not necessarily.
There are a number of ways to deal with antagonists. You can negotiate, you can stall, you can imprison, you can kill… sometimes violence isn’t the answer. Sometimes defeat means friendship. It’s easiest to resolve motives of Need without bloodshed. That can win you allies, too, which can be useful to fight against bigger antagonists. Greed can likewise be resolved without violence, sometimes - maybe you can pay the antagonist off, or convince them it’s not worth their while. Even disrupting their plans can be enough; a setback so huge they lose the will to carry on, or are too distracted to be a problem.
Wants, especially ideological wants, are much harder. Justice, love, entertainment - you can resolve those with things like proof, or empathy, or diplomacy. If an antagonist believes that all Elves must die, or that the sky will fall if the sacrifices end, or that vaccines cause autism, you can’t really argue with them.
Organizational antagonists present an interesting option whereby you can knock out the source of their power; no one has to die, necessarily, but they can be reduced, made impotent. Alternatively, the organizational antagonist is The God-Machine, it’s Cthulhu, it’s the dread entity behind the cult - in which case, victory might be survival.

Remember what I said, about making a statement?
If you defeat the antagonist with violence, you’re saying this problem can only be resolved by force.
If you defeat the antagonist with diplomacy, you’re saying this problem can be resolved peacefully.
If you lose, you’re saying this problem is too big, too hard, or the people who think opposing it to be good are wrong.
When it comes to Needs, you’re making statements about good and evil.
When it comes to Greed, you’re making statements about right and wrong.
When it comes to Want, you’re making statements about people.

You decide what that means.

Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.

Luke 12:15 NLT

God thank you for showing me life is not about owning or having things, it’s about living for you and your purposes. Help me to be a good steward and use my possessions to do your will. In Jesus name. Amen.