america's decline

anonymous asked:

Hi ^^ i have a usuk request where arthur and alfred are boyfriends but for some reason alfred never go to arthur home, and that reason is because arthur dont want for his 3 protective older brothers, but his mother find arthur has a boyfriend and tell everybody, and she wants that arthur invite to him for a dinner family for to meet him (the rest i leave to you :D ) sorry for my bad english

Sorry!! I found this very hard to write for some reason? I’m not sure why, so I opted for an easy way out bc ily and I wanted to write this for you, so I hope this was something like you imagined it to be! 

I’m also trying out a new style so sorry if it seems like a big chunk of MESS. 

Of course, the one he had broken happened to be Allistair Kirkland’s favorite mug.

He remembered it like it was yesterday, the phrase being limited to just that, a phrase, because it happened only half an hour ago. Being surrounded by the harpies that were Arthur’s brothers; three, that with their position seated in a specific order, had a comical coincidence of each of their heads having hair redder than the one that sat to the left of them.

Allistair, hair bright red; Patrick, hair almost orangey; William, strawberry blond.

That, of course, was as far as the comedy had gone that evening because Alfred Jones was positively shaking.

Shaking because damn him for assuming he wouldn’t be nervous to meet his boyfriend’s family! His boyfriend’s family! For the first time! It was something he had begged and pleaded Arthur to let him do, only to receive in response something along the lines of- “You wouldn’t want to, love!”

He should’ve listened- along with the fact that he was quite destructive when he felt out of place, as he was sure to feel in a room full of people with funny accents and funnier manners that mirrored the ones in his boyfriend he found so charmingly different.

They weren’t so charming then. Thick, menacingly dark brows. That boiling aura of passive-aggressiveness. Alfred had been nervous to approach Arthur the first time they had met, fingers twitching, dropping anything and everything in his hands- which had then included the books he needed for fourth period- letting the most atrocious things tumble out of his lips.

“Arthur Kirkland, was it? I buy a lot of Kirkland brand products!”

And now he’d done it again. He’d fucked up, he’d dropped things, said things, and now, as he stood on the porch of Arthur’s doorstep, gazing down at his boyfriend who seemed to be avoiding eye contact, he knew today was the day Arthur Kirkland would finally break up with him.

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pacific northwestern gothic:

  • you drive an eco-friendly car and you recycle, but you leave the lights on all night, just in case. 
  • you find yourself lost in an endless sea of coffee shops, unable to tell corners apart, trapped in a tightly woven web of independently owned shops next to smaller chains, kiosks in every open place they can be wedged. you lose time, lose sleep, and in your delirium, you fill another bunch card, redeem your free latte, and continue your fruitless search for a way out.
  • there’s a new starbucks down the street. there’s always a new starbucks down the street. 
  • no one’s ever heard of your favourite band, because they don’t exist. you could’ve sworn they did, you had all their records - real records, on vinyl, you’re a collector - just last week, but they’re gone now. you try telling a friend to look them up, but you find yourself unable to remember their name. 
  • on sunny days, you feel ill at ease. some things should not be seen in such clear light. your eyes are not adjusted to such brightness.
  • children on a field trip watch the salmon run, their flesh deteriorating from their living bodies as they beat themselves against rocks in a macabre last battle upstream to lay their eggs where they first hatched. the children watch for hours in the cold as the fish, some almost as big as they are, fight to reach their spawning grounds before their bodies fail and fall to pieces. on the bus ride home, they laugh as if they had seen nothing. 
  • your neighbours, your friends, even you, discuss proudly how progressive and open-minded you are, how different this place is from the rest of america - as they decline, we shake our heads, grateful to live in such a liberal utopia. here, things are greener. here, people are kinder. we don’t have dark secrets. you smile, because the state history curriculum doesn’t talk about the laws that stayed on book for far longer than we care to admit. you laugh, blissful in ignorance, or in avoidance, of the fact that we are no better, no brighter, than anywhere else. 
  • you’re tell yourself you’re a good person, who doesn’t judge on appearances. you applaud yourself for your open-mindedness. there must be another reason you feel so disquieted when someone who looks too different from you gets too close to you in public.
  • mount st. helens begins to smoke. something stirs at the bottom of crater lake. there’s a wailing sound coming from behind multnomah falls. 
  • a friend mentions that they’ve been hiking a lot lately, and you say you’d love to get out there more, it’s just hard to find the time. the truth is, you’ll never forget what you saw out there, in that deep part of the woods, at twilight, having long lost the trail. 
  • there’s a flavour you just can’t place in the newest limited edition holiday ale from your favourite microbrewery. you buy another six pack, and drink until you can’t taste it anymore.
  • you laugh at the religious, but some part of you wonders if it would be easier to sleep at night, believing something, anything, was looking out for you.

anonymous asked:

Do you know anything about Lafayette's trip to London in '77? :)

Lafayette’s time in England is basically one big sneaky joke.

After a failed attempt to steal away to America, Lafayette was quickly confronted by the Parisian police and several in French security circles about his intentions. Only nineteen and still very uncertain about how he was going to get to the American colonies without being seized, Lafayette confessed his plans and promised (lied to) the French ministers not to pursue such plans further. 

Not entirely convinced, his family arranged for him to be sent to Adrienne’s uncle, the Marquis de Noailles, an ambassador in London to cool whatever earnestness about fleeing to America still remained. On February 16, 1777, Lafayette left for London and arrived a few days later. 

The irony of Lafayette’s time in England always amuses me. While in London (due to his station and his uncle-in-law’s connections), Lafayette met noted politician and art historian Horace Walpole. He danced at the home of Lord George Germain, minister of the American colonies, and met Lord Rawdon that night, who had just come back from his New York campaign. He met General Henry Clinton at an opera one evening and was introduced. At one point, he was even offered the opportunity to review the navy unit being prepped to sail to America, but declined to protect his uncle’s reputation once he had spirited off to the colonies. But the most ironic encounter was the day he was presented to King George III. While there, he raised a few eyebrows by sharing his approval of Washington’s successful Trenton campaign…and while that didn’t win him any favors with His Majesty, it did earn him the approval of several pro-American members of Parliament (William Petty, Richard FitzPatrick, etc).

While in England, Lafayette got the news that his intrigues had succeeded and his ship was ready to sail to America. Not wanting to seem overtly suspicious, he made up an excuse for his uncle-in-law and headed back to France. The young Marquis had, however, been expected at King George’s court, leaving the poor Marquis de Noailles to feed the English the line that Lafayette had taken sick and could not attend.

So, in essence, Lafayette spent about a month meeting everyone he was about to fight against.

fireminer  asked:

You talked about how Robocop influenced Gavan, but is there even a toku show that approach the level of satire of Robocop? I mean, sure, Akibaranger is a parody, but it was made by people who loved the genre, not someone who is cynical about the genre like Paul Verhoeven.

Actually, it was the other way around.  Space Sheriff Gavan came out in 1982, Robocop came out in 1987. The only thing Verhoeven and crew were influenced by was the look of the main hero.  You can kind of see it, especially in the shape of her helmet and visor.

While Gavan has a much more complicated look with the colored patches, Robocop is simpler and has a recognizably human mouth. Still, the design influence in there and the main color schemes, Silver and Black are present (though Robocop does have that great bluish sheen to his metal parts).

As for the cynicism of Robocop, that was very much a product of Reagan-era America, the decline of the urban manufacturing centers and the collapse of industries like steel and automobiles.  Conversely, Japan was about to enter its most explosively positive economic period when Gavan was released creating a sense of optimism. 

I see tokusatsu, despite being a naked marketing machine for Bandai’s plastic toys, to be an overall optimistic genre.  The themes of overcoming adversity, defeating evil and protecting the world are all very hopeful ideas.  While in Robocop, even though the immediate evil of Clarence Boddicker and OCP executive Dick Jones are defeated, the corporate takeover of Detroit seems inevitable and real evil is seen as an implacable force that rules over the lives of everyone through company control.  That’s a cynical message and one that resonates perhaps even stronger in the modern world where Businessmen can become Presidents and corporations seem stronger than ever with recognized legal personhood that even some actual humans don’t share.

Though Robocop is one of my favorite 1980s movies, it’s inherent cynicism and downbeat worldview are something I can only take in small doses.  That’s why I prefer to watch Super Sentai, Kamen Rider and the like where no matter how large and seemingly unstoppable the evil force, there is always a solution.  It usually involves kicking.

France’s system prevents the mainstreaming of fascist propaganda and far-right populism, which is why a far-right fascist populist party made it to the second round (which they had been expected to do) and why it’s expected to make huge gains in next month’s legislative elections.

We don’t need left-wing populism to combat right-wing populism, we just need bland centrist candidates and to repair the Voting Rights Act*, which ignores the fact that voter turnout had been declining in America for decades before the gutting of the VRA.

*I do think we need to repair the Voting Rights Act

The Trump phenomenon is a logical and unavoidable continuation of America's racial politics

In order to better understand the Trump phenomenon, it’s helpful to look back at our history in the past 150 years, much further than is normally done.

To take but one example (others will work too, but this one is handy), Mississippi was one of two states that had more black residents at the time of the Civil War than white, the other being South Carolina. It’s an instructive case because this had a statewide effect, whereas the results were more varied in other places.

For decades after that war, because the ruling white class literally became an immediate minority, Reconstruction was desperately opposed there. Mississippi had a racially diverse government for decades, and even elected the first black US Congressman at that time, but that change created tremendous fear, anxiety and dread among much of the white population.

Don’t be mistaken, this was not a government overrun by uneducated slaves bent on revenge. It was a progressive new majority. Abolitionists and liberals of the time (and “carpetbaggers” from the North–which is why that’s now a pejorative term) were a part of it as well. No doubt quite a few supporters of the old guard also held office, but they had to work with the new majority.

But the former ruling class clawed its way back into power literally through terror and intimidation, until national support for a federal presence ended, Reconstruction was abandoned, and they were able to pass a series of laws that would keep them in a bare majority. This is precisely why the state flag was changed to incorporate the confederate flag at around the turn of the century. The new flag announced the new era–that the confederate powers were back in control, that Federal troops had finally given up, and that no one else, especially black Republicans, would be welcome or even tolerated in the statehouse.

This happened all over the South of course, where many local governments were violently overthrown by local whites, who could not accept the idea that society would not be fully white-controlled. We have documentation and even photos of burned-out courthouses and black neighborhoods after electoral victories, where the ensuing anarchy and deaths were used as an excuse to nullify results. Violence was instigated to justify extreme measures, measures that were needed to rein in the same violence.

That power structure is still in place all around the nation, even after the parties have changed places, and even though Federal troops have been brought back in on rare occasions. Gerrymandering and voter suppression continue today to make sure of it, and in Mississippi the remaining state flag is a visual proof. In other states, (like Georgia, where the flag was changed in opposition to integration) such obvious symbols are finally coming down, but not without a fight.

Over a century later, however, control is shifting inevitably nationwide. We’ve seen this start to happen many times, and every time there has been violence and backtracking, and more recently even an attempt at nullifying Clinton’s second election through impeachment, and desperate searching for an impeachable offense for President Obama for seven straight years. The reason southerners called Hillary a carpetbagger in the 1990’s was due to her politics, not her birthplace, and Bill was called the “first black president” because of how he was treated, NOT because of any actual blackness or even a rapport with African-Americans. These are critical points, because they are an enduring part of our basic political dialogue.

Obama is no radical. We’ve known that since he first ran for office. Yet to a solid third of this country, he represents a radical and terrifying change and a loss of power that has been in the making since before 1860. Hence the absolute freakout on the far right that was nonsensical to everyone else.

With the election of Obama in 2008, the visual impact of the changing country was ultimately too much for a lot of whites to stomach. As a result, we were immediately inundated with racist photoshop work, essays on Americas decline, and a “hates America” theme that made no sense to those of us who see Barack Obama as a quintessentially American figure, which he is. But then, we don’t see America as a battle against change, the way Confederates in 1890’s Mississippi did, and many people–tea partiers, for example–still do.

This is not an exclusively Southern thing, and it never has been. Even before the Civil War there were strong and violent disagreements over white power on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Don’t forget that at the dedication of the racist confederate monument and symbolic home of the reinvented Ku Klux Klan at Stone Mountain, Georgia, the keynote speaker was the mayor of New York City. That’s only one example, but it’s a part of how the North effectively embraced Southern white supremacy as a method of nation-building in the early 20th century.

This constant and unceasing nature of American race-based politics has been almost invisible to “moderate” Americans in the past half-century, resulting in odd debates such as last year, when millions of whites were introduced to the fact that the confederate flag was displayed as an intimidation tactic. This racist aspect of the conservative/progressive divide has been subtly implied and reinforced since the 1960s, when the violent backlash against the Civil Rights movement turned reasonable people away from the idea of a segregated society. But it has never left our political discourse because it forms the backbone of it.

In fact, almost every single conversation about entitlements, taxes, spending, crime, schools, minimum wage, job creation, food assistance, housing, healthcare, and especially disaster relief, all boil down to attitudes on race. For decades, conservatives have put race behind their policy on every single one of these issues, but have carefully pretended it wasn’t there. The hard right conservative base (as well as the activist left), saw it and took it for granted, so much so that many even assume that it’s part of the public dialogue. Pointing it out as problematic is honestly seen by the far right as anti-white because it they honestly see political progress as anti-white, because it is anti-white supremacy.

Trump’s supporters have spent their entire lives understanding this, and surrounded by people who clearly hear every racist dogwhistle the rest of the country misses. They are so accustomed to it that they have no need to be subtle about it and expect that the rest of us hear these things the same way. It’s a fact of their politics. It’s why wealthy Republicans will say, in complete seriousness, that John McCain’s defeat was “worse than 9/11,” or that whites are liberal only because they “like to be around low-class people.” The class being referenced is literally a fixed class of outsiders with whom lifelong conservatives cannot fathom social contact.

Trump knows this, and he’s embracing it. More likely, he’s a part of it and feels the same way. Either way, it’s shocking but it’s not surprising.

Mostly, it’s terrifying. People are going to be hurt and some are likely to get killed. To Trump’s supporters, this election is life and death, because is not about policy, just as EVERY election for them has not been about policy. It is about the invasion of a foreign culture, the same “foreign” culture that most of us simply see as American. They may call it elitist, urban, politically correct and other things, but it’s simply an integrated American culture. Policy is always a constant extension of that culture war. This is why, despite his obvious lifelong lack of interest in religion and his pro-choice comments, fundamentalists support Trump so strongly.

For them, this election is literally about our civilization, and keeping their tenuous control of the nation, even though they lost it years ago. The Republican Party has used this subtle and consistent racism so effectively over the past fifty years that Republican white tribalism is now the only thing that holds the Party together. Their base will fight over it, and violently so, even if lazily “moderate” republicans are horrified by it.

There is no other issue of any importance in this election for Trump’s fans, and no other candidate directly addressing it. This isn’t about how to pay for college, who will raise minimum wage the most, or any other minuscule differences the Democratic candidates have between them. That’s extremely minor stuff by comparison. Much like with George W Bush in 2000, they think Trump is their savior, and they’re going to treat him like one.

Only this time they are feeling way more desperate.

The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality by Thomas M. Shapiro

Over the past three decades, racial prejudice in America has declined significantly and many African American families have seen a steady rise in employment and annual income. But alongside these encouraging signs, Thomas Shapiro argues in The Hidden Cost of Being African American, fundamental levels of racial inequality persist, particularly in the area of asset accumulation–inheritance, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, home equity, and other investments.

Shapiro reveals how the lack of these family assets along with continuing racial discrimination in crucial areas like homeownership dramatically impact the everyday lives of many black families, reversing gains earned in schools and on jobs, and perpetuating the cycle of poverty in which far too many find themselves trapped.

[book link]
Amazon Is Developing Black America, a Series That’s Basically the Anti-Confederate
By Yohana Desta

HBO’s Confederate is taking another blow in the publicity department. Just weeks after the network endured intense social-media backlash against its upcoming alt-history series, which will imagine an America in which slavery is still legal, Amazon has revealed the plot of a new alt-history series that’s essentially the opposite of HBO’s hotly contested show.

On Tuesday, Amazon revealed its new series Black America, created by blockbuster producer Will Packer and Boondocks TV show creator Aaron McGruder. The show imagines what would have happened if Southern states had seceded from the union—and newly freed slaves were given the territories of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as reparations, per Deadline. Here’s how the rest of the plot goes:

“The sovereign nation they formed, New Colonia, has had a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship with its looming “Big Neighbor,” both ally and foe, the United States. The past 150 years have been witness to military incursions, assassinations, regime change, coups, etc. Today, after two decades of peace with the U.S. and unprecedented growth, an ascendant New Colonia joins the ranks of major industrialized nations on the world stage as America slides into rapid decline. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance.”

Black America has been in the works for well over a year—but HBO’s announcement about Confederate, coupled with the immediate public backlash, urged its creators to accelerate its announcement.

I want someone to jokingly tell Steve that he should watch ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’ without realizing that he will

I want Steve to watch it and fall in love with the idea of it and what it stood for and what it meant

I want Steve to research Fred Rogers and discover what a good person he was, and for Steve, through this research, to find a new way to be inspired

I want Steve petitioning PBS for a shot to make this work

I want 'Captain Rogers’ Neighborhood’ to come to TVs everwhere, and for Steve to give a message that Fred Rogers kept alive even while Steve was frozen in ice, and I want Steve to be truly motivated to keep it going