and this is why i have absolutely no empathy for the human race

mrcringe203  asked:

Hey, I love your blog very much. UnderSwap is my favorite AU and I love your interpretation of it. That being said, I know this has to do with UnderSwap but what is your opinion of Undertale Asgore? I mean the feeling I get from most fans is basically Toriels viewpoint on it. But personally he was just trying to do what was right for his kingdom. I feel like he needs more love.

Oh dear, you just hit my weakest weakness. I can’t let an oportunity for some good ol’ character analysis pass. My preemptive apologies for the size of what lies ahead, if anybody wants to skip it it would be completely understandable. Also if you’re here for the Underswap and want nothing but Underswap you can skip this too, since this is a canon-heavy post and probably something that has been said a million times already.

Ok, ready? Let’s go.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Asgore (we both do). He is a wonderfully complex and credible and, at least on my opinion, one of the most relatable characters in the whole game. You go the whole game hearing about him from other characters, both in a positive and negative light, and by the time you actually come face to face with him a lot of players have already made an image in their head of who Asgore is. That makes him so interesting for me, because just like in everyday’s life, our opinion about the people we don’t know is shaped by the opinion of those who we do know and care about. A lot of players care about Toriel and trust her, so they trust her opinion that Asgore is in the wrong, but a lot of players care about Undyne and Papyrus too, and they say Asgore is good so how can you not believe them? Unlike other characters who you can easily categorize into “good” and “meh” (because there are almost no “evil” characters in Undertale”), Asgore walks a pretty thin line between love and hate depending on the moral values you as a player have, and how much would you be willing to forgive.

But alright, who is Asgore then?

Asgore is a nice person, you can’t deny that. He’s kind and caring about the needs of others, he loves his family (or the memory of them), treats other with the outmost respect (even a baby Undyne attacking him for no good reason), and goes out of his way to do things for the benefit of his people (what kind of king would dress up as Santa and personally visit his subjects just to bring them joy? WHO DOES THAT? Certanly not our Toriel, she has people who do that job for her). He’s emotional and sensitive, prone to take bad desitions when under stress, and then quickly regrets and blames nobody but himself for the results. He’s a big, fluffy, sensible monsters with a kind and caring soul.

But, he also has very defined flaws. One, namely: he is a coward.

Now, you may believe that Asgore’s actions were solely for the good of his people, and you are entitled to your opinion too, but it looks to me that the force behind most of his actions was not a sense of selfless sacrifice, but fear. Asgore was willing to endure emotional pain and even lose the love of his life in order to keep the hope of their people alive, yes, but you have to consider that at the moment he took that desition, keeping up his promise of war was the easy way out. He was scared, once the words were out and monsters had a visible positive reaction about the whole thing, that if he were to go back on his word he wouldn’t be able to give his people anything that could replace it. Even when he regreted his choice, and even when Toriel loudly dissaproved, bearing the weight of that declaration and sticking to the plan was still infinitely easier than facing the consecuences of his explosion of anger and trying to find an alternative that felt right and could fail. His was not the sacrifice of a leader who did what needed to be done at the cost of his happiness, but of a broken father who lost control after being overwhelmed by his loss and was too afraid to change the way things seemed to patch themselves up.

When they finally see each other in the pacifist ending, Toriel pretty much spells it out:

And some may think this means Toriel is actually ok with the idea of killing humans, but not with killing them if it’s not absolutely necessary, and I respectfully disagree: She is still very much against killing people for any reason. What she was trying to say to Asgore is a lot more direct: “You lied to everybody, and to yourself, because you were too scared to face the full impact of your mistake”. And Asgore agrees with her. Were if not for his unplanned declaration of war, he never had the intention of leaving the Underground in the first place, and Gerson tells you just that in the genocide run:

Asgore didn’t want to lead his people to an unavoidable end in the surface, and he didn’t want to have to kill children for it, but he also didn’t want to take away the hope that his declaration unadvertedly provoqued and believed he wouldn’t be able to provide his people with a better alternative. His cowardice was what kept him indecisive and stopped him from commiting to any path, leaving him as Toriel said, “meekly hoping” that he would never be forced to choose.

And THAT is exactly why I love him so much: He is the embodiment of dichotomy, his inner conflict is majestic, and his flaws are real and relatable. Who has never gone through a situation in which they were trapped between a rock and a hard place, hating the situation but too afraid to try to do something and make things worse? Asgore goes through this and reacts in such a (ironically) human way to it. He bears his guilt and his fear but keeps going, not because he wants to, but because a whole race is expecting him to, because the will of his people pushes him in that direction and he is afraid of what may happen if he pushes back. “King Asgore will let us go” “King Asgore will give us hope” “KING ASGORE WILL SAVE US ALL”. How many times did those words go through his head again and again while he fought and killed those children? Did they give him strengh, or did he feel like a man drowning under them?

But… all the empathy in the world can’t change the fact that he still killed those kids. “Cool motive, still murder” applies to everybody no matter the circumstances, and even though I myself can forgive his actions, that doesn’t mean everybody can, or should. As I said, the way you as a player see Asgore depends on your morality, on what you place more importance to, and in how much you are willing to forgive. There are people who can relate to being overwhelmed by a situation that seems out of your control, and they will be more inclined to take Asgore’s side. But there are also people with a strong sense of morality, who they themselves would die rather than going down a path they know is wrong and they don’t believe in, and those people, like Toriel, would find it a lot harder to give Asgore a second chance, because that’s who they are… and that, my friend, is perfectly understandable too. Forgiveness is a gift, not an obligation.

… And that’s it, because this wall of text is HUGE just with Asgore alone. I wanted to say more about his relationship with Toriel, why I think she would never be able to fully forgive him, and talk a bit about HER flaws too (since she’s my favorite character and I have her flaws more present than anybody’s else). I also wanted to talk about how this traslates to our version of Underswap since this is still an Underswap blog but… seriously, these are a lot of words already.

Maybe later, if you guys are not bored of me talking by then.

- Poisond

Chapter 1: She’s a Myth {Avengers Imagine}

Turning the Tides

(Avengers x Fem!Reader)

  Note: This is a small piece for my lovely followers, whom of which I can’t thank enough for all of your patience. I’ve hit a major writer’s block for the Life of an Avenger series, so I’m just praying for a spark of inspiration in order to move forward. Until then, here’s a short little piece my dreams worked up that I’m simply putting into words for you all. I hope you enjoy my insanity.

  Words: 1,745

  Warnings: swearing, near-death experience

Originally posted by ironbarnes

  **(not my gifs)**

 Life wasn’t always this difficult. Life shouldn’t be this difficult. Yet, here you are. Trapped. The last of your aching breaths leaking unwillingly from your dying lungs that feel as though they are moments from turning to dust from the immense pressure of the ocean that surrounds you. And as the world went black, all you could wonder was, “Was he worth dying for?”

  Your day began in the bustling Manhattan coffee shop that everyone seemed to go to, but that wasn’t right. Everyone in the city went to every coffee shop that existed on every stinking block, yet the overcrowded nature of the shop gave the impression of a swarm of locusts, proving once again how enslaved the human race is to coffee. Like goddamn heroin addicts, the city dwellers emerge from their caves in frantic search of their daily (sometimes bi-daily, or even tri-daily) fix.

  Stepping out from the swarm, you laugh quietly at the thought, rolling your eyes at society’s ignorance as you ironically sip your latte, thinking of what a hypocritical shit you are. However, you quickly shrug the fleeting thought away. We can all try to be non-judgmental, but thoughts plague you. Whether you want them, or not. They just do. 

  Although Manhattan wasn’t where you expected your travels to take you as the sky lethargically melted cold, gray rain drops onto your nose. Surprisingly, you didn’t mind the change from your typical treks through Amazonian jungles, the coastlines of exotic islands, or the endlessly sunny days of the African plains. But this is where the dart landed, so…here you are. You couldn’t fathom how a day so dark could still be so-

  “Watch it, bitch!”

  Alright, reverie over.

  “Watch yourself, buddy,” you scoffed at the red-faced business man. “And, little tip: maybe if you could keep your head out of your tight-knit ass, you wouldn’t run into people so much. Just a suggestion.”

  The suited and tied up man just stared at you in the way most people stared at you when you finally said fuck it to being cordial. It wasn’t a rarity. He snorted dismissively, then shook his head as he spun on his heels.

  “Bitch,” he grumbled. What a comeback. That one really stung. 

  Coffee gripped in the vice of your fingertips, you continued on your merry way. To where? Well, even you didn’t know yet. You never really did. Most of the time you just go there, wherever “there” happened to be. You only had two more days in New York before you took flight to the Philippines for the second time as the Dart of Destiny demanded. Not a hard demand to acquiesce to as Cebu was the place of pure bliss and adventure for any off-the-beaten-path traveler. Diving with whale sharks being an experience straight out of a science fiction novel. 

  But that was for the future. You always strive to live in the present moment, and at that moment, you were finally making your way lithely to the edge of the violent, crashing wave of nameless faces. You quickly wondered if you could possibly know anyone in that crowd. It simultaneously felt entirely possible due to the sheer number of people, yet completely impossible for the same reason.

  Your steps became more relaxed as you approached the edge of the Hudson River, taking in the lazy ferries that passed beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. You could picture the tourists pulling out their crappy digital cameras, snapping photo after photo of a dirty bridge that’s only half-way decent looking from a distance. You know, the same distance that Google maps have taken. You remembered just a few days ago when you went on one of those tourist busses and kept telling people bullshit facts like Ozzy Osbourne performed a whole concert on top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Bank of America Tower was rumored to host meetings for the Illuminati on the fifth and a half floor. Idiots.

  Suddenly, you became very aware of the photo of you on Wall Street picking the Charging Bull’s nose, so your hypocritical ass took another cheeky sip of ironic coffee. And the judgement comes full circle. However, in the middle of your righteous sip, a thunder rolled through the heavens. You waited for the crack and flash of lightning, but the main event never appeared. Odd. The thunder also never seemed to stop rolling. Like a bowling ball down an endless alley, only you felt not on the side of the thrower, but strangely on the side of the pins as the deafening sound approached closer by the second, ripping apart the normal bustling sounds of the city, more raw and demanding than any plane or helicopter you had ever heard before. Half a second later, your eyes caught sight of the burning wreckage barreling its way through the gray ceiling of clouds in a spectacle of brilliant color and smoke, dropping two black shadows into the murky water below before it crashed heavily into the Hudson River not a few blocks down from you.

  You watched as people crowded the edges of the river closest to the crash sight, pointing at the grizzly scene before them, pulling out cell phones to (hopefully) call the police (but you were sure some were just there for the bloody photos). You stood motionless, waiting for the two black figures to resurface…waiting…waiting…where the hell were they? You felt the tug in your stomach towards the water, but you shoved the feeling down.

  Don’t be stupid. They’ll find you. Don’t be the hero. They’ll kill you.

  The voices in your head pleaded reason, demanded logic, fought against empathy, chained up your humanity. But, you knew. You knew you could save them, whoever those black shadows were. The ambulances wouldn’t arrive on time. You knew…yet, you slowly turned your back on the tragic scene. Tragic as it was, it wasn’t your tragedy to deal with. You had plenty of your own.

  Just as you were pulling up the hood on your sweatshirt, your mind reeled on itself, like a volt of electricity, your mind was shocked back to quick images of you and your sister. Smiles and laughter, colorful coral reefs, playful dolphins, mesmerizing sunsets…your soulmate ripped away by “true love” and too much trust being placed in humans. 

  However, could you just walk away? Risking your own possible death for the absolute sure deaths of two others? What is worth dying for?

  Finally, the sound of traumatized screams pierced your ears, and you turned mid-step, racing to the dock closest to you in an attempt to provide as much coverage of yourself as possible before diving straight into the gray water of the river. Ice immediately sliced down your spine with a vengeance, but you shook away the violent chill spreading through your chest as your body began to change in a flurry of sea foam. Your legs became numb as they naturally found a rhythm with the water, immediately propelling you forward like a missile destined to find it’s target. With your vision clear and your senses heightened to their max, you felt a surge of adrenaline rush through your veins as you reached the crash sight. All you could see was hundreds upon thousands of pounds of wreckage, but you quickly ripped through the debris, shoving aside heavy, black metal until a hand was spotted underneath one of the severed doors. 

  You pulled away more debris when you finally saw the face of the man you were attempting to save and…damn…that wasn’t what you were expecting. Blond hair cut in the typical hero style, the water twisting his hair with the rolling current. He looked peaceful, contempt as his body continued to sink. Your fingers grasped the collar of his navy blue, patriotic uniform, pulling him close. Your lips met his as you breathed life into his almost dead lungs. His blue eyes fluttered open, shocked (as you had expected) to be where he was, but you put him back to sleep and let him float back to the surface, maneuvering pieces of debris out of his path in a heavenly scene. However, your dumb heroism wasn’t completed until you found the other shadow.

  This proved more complex than you first thought as his suit blended in with the rest of the charred debris. If not for the shock of red and gold, he would’ve been pronounced dead within the next hour. Luckily, you found him struggling between two pieces of what looked like the wings of the jet, his metallic leg trapped. You could sense his fear as he thrashed wildly trying to escape, seeming to have given up on a more mechanical approach. You squeezed your body between the rubble, wincing at the sharp fragments that clawed at your skin, but you swam on, finally reaching the metal man, prying apart the jet with incomprehensible strength. Knowing he was conscious, you tried to avoid his line of vision as you maneuvered the water to carry him to the surface, much like a geyser, before he could really get a look at you. You could feel him struggle against the geyser, but you were stronger. In the water, you were always stronger.

Originally posted by v8r

Tony’s POV

  Not knowing things was not a feeling Tony was accustomed to, a feeling he vowed to abolish from his feeling of feelings. 

  She was a mirage. She was a figment of my drowning imagination. Didn’t know I had that kind of an imagination, but sure, why not? She was hot…ter than most delusions people have, but not hotter than Pepper. Definitely not…whatever, she wasn’t real because that would be impossible.

  On the other hand, that hailing land of Game of Thrones douche bags up in Asgard should be impossible, yet that exists…but a…a, uh…a siren. That’s just a pirate’s wet dream. This is reality. A place of science and sanity…with Norse gods randomly walking the Earth. 

  What the hell has my life become?

  Tony slumped down on the lab table in front of himself, shoving aside a new arch reactor he had been tinkering with to rid his mind of his (what should have been) moment of death, vision of the afterlife, cross between realities, whatever you want to call it. But he couldn’t. He had seen something, someone, a girl he would never be able to forget. A girl he would, one day, seek out. A girl he would find.

**Please let me know if anyone wants more of this series. Like and comment xx

Zootopia: John Wilde, Shock Collars, & more

It’s always interesting to think of all the coulda’ beens when looking back all the ideas that didn’t make it into the final cut of the movie and Zootopia is no different. In fact so many are so dramatic I felt like addressing a few.

Shock Collars

Undoubtedly the most iconic feature cut was the aspect of every predator being forced to wear a collar that would shock them if they ever experienced heightened emotions, whether that be positive or negative. Concept art also seems to show police being able to activate a collar at will as well as being able to take them off. Test audiences couldn’t really get behind Zootopia being someplace worth saving with such blatant inequality so the idea reluctantly (very reluctantly) got the axe. I think we can all agree that no matter how intriguing the collars are, they made the right choice.

“Could it have been in the movie?”

I believe it could have, but not from the get go. Instead shock collars could have come in after the predator crises had scared the populace into supporting brash actions. Bellwether implementing the policy during the montage sequence and our story can continue from there. The issue is that in order to give the action some weight we need to add at least 30 minutes to the movie as a whole to make sure the shackles aren’t (from the audience’s perspective) comically broken two minutes after they’ve been put on. There is plenty to be said about what exactly I would have done with 30 more minutes but that’s for another time.

“Could we see it in another movie/show?”

The problem stands that trying to re-implement the concept is that it would essentially be recycling the first movie’s message and no one wants that. That being said I see a couple possibilities.

Well the past can be the key Mr.Anon but consider this alternative. Instead of a cover up they’ve simply gone unmentioned until this point.

My Headcanon: Zootopia’s version of World War 2 focused around the revitalization of a predator empire that would overthrow the herbivores who “ruined” their once great civilization and were now “the oppressor”. While war waged, herbivores at home felt unsafe around predators in their own nation. So they were rounded up into camps and shock collars were implemented. By the war’s end the atrocities of predators and  hypocrisy of prey were laid bare and stirred animals  to want a world where such would never happen again. Thus the model city of Zootopia was born, where everyone could live in harmony and (hopefully) not be judged by their species.

Second, Zootopia 2 can up the ante with an even more dangerous villain, which kind of goes without saying but I’m talking beyond what two cops would be expected to or could even solve. Consider, for instance, that the country in which Zootopia is located in is invaded and occupied by a foreign and malevolent power so shock collars are implemented as a way to control the populace. In this instance even non-predators could be subject to shock collars as perhaps the occupiers are of racially homogeneous in some way (Birds, Lizards,[ Primates ]) and see everyone as a threat.

In that case shock collars become an intriguing facet with where exactly Nick & Judy, as police officers, stand in their enforcement of the law. Sure they could (in fact inevitably would) join some sort of resistance force: but having to take on the roll, at least for a time, as enforcers of a puppet state intrigues me. After all, even in the midst of an invasion, in fact especially in the midst of an invasion, public order needs to be maintained. Especially intriguing is the whether or not police themselves would be subject to collars or be the “trusted” few. 

John Wilde

In order to build more empathy for our then protagonist Nick Wilde there was a rather decent chunk of movie dedicated to his backstory. A collection of scenes involving Nick’s father built him as an encouraging optimistic man wanting to create a better future for his family by opening a tailoring shop with his son at his side. Unfortunately none of the bankers were interested in giving a fox a loan and this endeavor failed. Where exactly his father disappeared to by the time we catch up to adult Nick, I cannot say.

“Could it have been in the original movie?”

Certainly I feel that having Nick see the way both himself and his father are treated wouldn’t have hurt the story: having Nick stand up only to be knocked down in another scenario would only have added to Nick’s strength of character and understanding his embrace of the stereo-type. Perhaps the question it raised about his parent’s whereabouts is why we got only a muzzled Nick instead. The scenes of his father as presented would have also been a lot longer than the backstory we received in the movie proper. Especially if we consider using both backstory threads, such a long detour might have felt awkward.

“Could we see it in another movie/show?”

In any instances Nick just coming out and saying “By the way my childhood was even more terrible” would feel like a re-hash of what we already know. John Wilde himself could always make an appearance, but his role in the story is now hamstrung. It all depends on how much focus you want to put on John, if he is just a doddering old parent like Mrs.Wilde than nothing really bad would come from his insertion. If he is still a tailor and living with Mrs.Wilde for instance, than the question the audience is going to ask is why didn’t this professional father do more to lead his son down a good path?

Sure, we could have a sub-plot about him always wanting to open his own tailoring business but being unable for the reasons stated above (thus we have a potential plot about our protagonists see that to fruition). Yet again that would almost certainly mean bringing up the dim past and we run into the same problem of it sounding like tack-on than a natural part of Nick’s story. It’s not impossible, but it could be clunky. Could.

If for whatever reason John Wilde disappeared from Nick’s life, however, well that’s a whole new can of worms. Is he a deadbeat? Did he go looking for work after his business didn’t take off? Was he falsely arrested for a crime because he was a fox? Things to consider.

Honey Badger

Way back when Nick Wilde was set to be a framed man, he had a eccentric female badger friend whom held tight to the conspiracy theorist archetype by being a bunker building, tin-foil hat wearing loon, something that came in handy when Nick & Judy were on the run.

“Could it have been in the original movie?”

Oh no, negative, absolutely not. You see Honey’s particular conspiracy was that “The Sheep” were behind everything wrong with Zootopia. While I’m pleasantly amused with the character concept, in actuality had they gone through with implementing her, this blog might have been about how terrible Zootopia is. Ooo drastic, but why?

Well if there is one detail that I’ll rake Zootopia across the coals for it’s the fact all Bellwether’s co-conspirators (who actually knew what was going on) were sheep. You might say that plays into her personal bias, still I’d like to remind you that her scheme was to put prey against predators in general.  Simply stated the last major script change, probably by accident, saved Zootopia from winning “Greatest Movie with a Hypocritical Message” award. Think about it, in that version of the script and even to an extent in canon, Honey was right. The Sheep were to blame.  So how can you have a message about not stereotyping people, then have group of people singled out as the “problem” race?

“No, no, it’s ridiculous to say predators are dangerous to society…when it’s the sheep manipulating everyone!”

I’m certain we’ve all seen some humanized artwork of Zootopia, so let’s stretch our creative muscles and think about who exactly Honey would be in a human world. Well she is a conspiracy theorist, which is fine enough, but it’s her particular brand that should get you sweating. I’m talking she’s a Zionist conspiracy nut. Yea, it’s that bad. This is no alien cover up or Bermuda triangle, this character explicitly preaches that there is one race that controls the world from the shadows and has been doing so for generations. That they sow discord and strife to maintain and increase their own power.

Funny but actually incredibly offensive.

I’ll be bold and say that there is a time and a place for this type of a comedic character but she is basically shouting “JEWS!!!” at the top of her lungs while snipping a Hasidic man’s locks and pouring tie-dye on his  plane clothing before riding off in a go-cart, throwing shekels on the ground as a distraction. Not exactly the type of person who should ever be shown in a positive manner, let alone a friend of the main character, let alone f-cking right!

“Could we see it in another movie/show?”

Simply changing her shtick to almost any other type of conspiracy or conspiracies would do the trick. Just be careful you’re not just switching out sheep for another scapegoat. *Ba-dum-tsh* Beyond that, having the Odd One be a burly female is rather unique and her paranoid personality is sure to get a good number of laughs. If Zootopia had the chance at syndication I would definitely make her a frequent side-character.  

Wild Times

That’s racist Nick.

In some incarnations Nick would have been the owner of an amusement park where the shock collared predators could let loose away from the dominant prey. Nick is then framed for a crime and our story begins.

“Could it have been in the original movie?*”

Nick was at least a semi-successful business owner in this incarnation (though at two hundred dollars a day, I’m sure I’m not the only looking to get into the paw-psicle business) and on that point it’s hard to keep our two leads together (which is why they were hand cuffed together in the other script).

The problem is that Nick’s character arc revolves around him having been beaten down and fallen into a cynical stupor, sure he can maintain his smarmy personality but as a business owner Nick already gave a big middle digit to the world that doubted what a fox could accomplish. Not to mention throwing that away to become a police officer doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. So with it being no more than an interesting backdrop for any given scene, it really didn’t need to be included. 


“Could we see it in another movie/show?”

*Now Wild Times is technically canon, and might have even made an appearance in the film itself. Yet I’m not giving up on the idea that it could be linked to our characters in some way. Admittedly the odds of it ever playing a prominent roll are unlikely. I can’t really see Nick Wilde (and by extension Judy Hopps) retiring to take up renovating a run down amusement park as his life’s dream. Not exactly what I call taking it easy in the golden years though I would be in error not to bring up the possibility. So movie wise, no. But for T.V we can play around it all day. Imagine instead if Finnick secretly wanted to run the amusement park. What if it was or became predator only and we have to deal with discrimination against prey animals? What if John Wilde works at Wild Times and dreams of opening that tailor shop? To think if Nick saw his father pursue his life’s goal only to end up as a carnie. A good backdrop.

Chez Cheese

At one point in time Nick & Finnick were to work at a fast food joint named Chez Cheese, assumedly named after the owner. The story obviously changed too much to keep it.

“Could it have been in the original movie?”

Not really. Nick as a sly paw-psicle hustler has a lot more meat to it than a depressed fast food worker. I suppose amongst the litany of bad life experiences, a literally five second narrated scene of them being fired for predator related reasons would have done but beyond background candy there isn’t much to it.

“Could we see it in another movie/show?”

The one interesting question Chez Cheese does raise is how exactly non-rodents worked there. The concept art just shows it as rodent sized, so how did Nick & Finnick accomplish their duties (as a cheese scrubber & drive-thru orderman respectively)? It might have been bigger in the screenplay…but it’s funnier to imagine scenarios where that is not so.

In any case it’s not too difficult for Nick & Finnick to have had a job at this place at some point in the past. Lore Alert: In the book “The Stinky Cheese Caper” Chez Chees is actually canonized and firmly stated to be inside Little Rodentia with a warehouse outside the micro-city. So while having them work at the restaurant may be impractical, the warehouse could be another venue, perhaps where Finnick phoned in to the drive-thru. Not really movie worthy (heck I don’t even remember the doughnut venue’s name) but I could a see a scenario where a crime has Nick engaging with his old grouchy boss, wherein Nick can be smug, bitter, or both.

There are more topics to cover, but I think this is long enough and we call it a day for now.

On Doxxing and Neo-Nazis

I get that someone would logically be uncomfortable with the idea of “doxxing”; I get that. It feels dangerous. What if some internet person goes and stabs somebody? What if the person doing the doxxing is lying? What if you have the wrong person? Those are legitimate concerns for the most part!

But the goal of doxxing is not to result in death or physical violence; in point of fact, it’s usually intended to avoid the future risk of that by inhibiting violent behavior now, before a neo/nazi interprets lack of opposition as social permission. (Which is an entirely separate can of worms I won’t talk about now.)

While I absolutely wouldn’t claim it’s a faultless practice, consider these points:

  • A lot of these people use their own full, real names on this stuff– obviously, they don’t mind having this stuff attached to their image. It would be one thing if they were “hacked”, but almost always, these people have their information right out there in the open on their own social media accounts. At most, the average “doxxer” references the free portion of public whitepages.
  • Stooping to their level” would necessarily involve using slurs or claiming with seriousness that all whites or all Christians should die horrible torture-deaths regardless of age or background. (Complaining in a general way about not wanting to be around white supremacist beliefs or about the way most of white-dominated society turn their backs on violence against minorities is not the same.) It would involve organizing around that belief, petitioning the government to make it happen, and going out as a group to physically intimidate and threaten people purely on the basis of religion and race. If you notify someone’s employer that they’ve been running around on public media saying they think all <whoever> should die or that they hope the government is looking for extermination volunteers, and they lose their job, it’s not your fault they got fired. It’s their fault. You didn’t give them this person’s secret diary. You didn’t lie about anything they said. When you go on social media using your own name, you are effectively standing in a public space. I can’t go to the park and scream that I think someone should burn down the church on 8th street and expect to keep my job; I don’t see why it should be any different for these guys.
  • You really, truly, genuinely cannot change a neo/nazi’s mind. It’s not like people don’t try! People have been trying since the dawn of time. We don’t want these people to feel this way. We don’t want them to hate us. We would love to believe that these people are just a little misguided. But we don’t live in a society that forces them to behave this way for their own safety, or that forces people to choose between themselves and others. They are voluntarily going out of their way to not only have these beliefs, but to scream them from the rooftops, hound the government to pass laws in line with them, and seek out people to harass with them. Debate requires that both sides approach the subject in good faith, with intention to do what is correct, not with the intention to “win.” Nazis don’t want to be correct. Nazis want to win. I guarantee that even if I engaged someone like this in polite conversation, I would immediately be met with violent language, death threats and slurs, especially because I have a visibly Jewish name. I have tried to do it before, many times, in fact. It ends the same way every time, no matter how nice I am, and I do mean nice. Trying to offer a neo/nazi sympathy, to commiserate with their feelings, to offer alternatives, to share stories about why their ‘viewpoint’ is harmful– it does nothing but tell them they’re right and that their position is sympathetic and acceptable. At best, someone might indicate that I should die so violence like that doesn’t happen anymore (lol), or that it’s my own fault for not converting. At worst, well… you can imagine.
  • Their beliefs are frequently circular, based on highly selective and subjective interpretation of translated Hebrew, or both. Example: White supremacists won’t hire black people because blacks are lazy and worthless. How do they “know” that? Well, look how many black people are unemployed! (Do you see what’s wrong with that picture?)

In their eyes, POC and Jews are not “really” human, and all of them, from babies to elders, should be completely erased from existence as soon as possible, no matter who they are personally. A selection of religiously-based beliefs neo-nazi groups use to justify this include, but are not limited to:

  1. Jews are actually the half-demon offspring of Eve and a demon. This is also used to explain why women are stupid and untrustworthy.
  2. POC are actually included among the “beasts of the field” and are therefore soulless and were created to serve (white) man.
  3. POC are the descendants of Ham, who was “marked” and had his bloodline cursed to eternal servitude as punishment for not looking away from his naked, drunken dad, therefore shaming him in the eyes of God. This belief is touted as an ancient and therefore factual one, but the first recorded mention of it doesn’t show up until shortly before the Civil War era. It was hastily invented and used by American Southerners to morally justify slavery, based on a poor translation of the Hewbrew name Ham as being related to the word for “black.” (The scripture itself existed, of course, but not the interpretation that it referred to black people.)

Of course it’d be preferable if we didn’t feel we had to do this; of course it would be preferable not to. But at the same time, voluntary neo-nazis etc. have never said and will never say “Oh, so there’s no consequence for me advocating for genocide at all? Well, thanks for being nice to me. I guess I don’t want all blacks and Jews to die now. Your personal kindness and anecdotes about the trauma you/your loved one faced have made me change my mind.”

I don’t think they should go to jail for saying these things unless they call for direct action against people, which is a crime (and which they are often smart enough to avoid.) But I do think they should absolutely be shamed and admonished, and the only way to do that so that they don’t feel invincible and victorious is to make it personal.

Yelling at killthefuckingjews1844 on twitter or whatever isn’t going to mean jack shit to him; if anything, he’ll probably sit back in his chair, feeling smug and powerful, safe from real confrontation and feeling he’s gotten the better of his “enemies.”

But I bet he won’t feel that way if you call his mom.

I bet he won’t feel that way if you let his employer know that he told you he wanted your family to die.

I bet he won’t feel that way if you even just tell him you know his personal info.

You know why? Because it bitchslaps them straight out of their power fantasy. It makes them afraid.

And you know what? Empathy is based on shared experience. And maybe next time they want to terrorize somebody, they’ll remember how it felt to be a target and reconsider, even if they do it for the wrong reasons.

murmuredlullabye  asked:

Can we talk about how I think, based on the movies, that dwarves actually have a healthy understanding/idea of mental illness (especially compared to elves and humans). EX: goldsickness. Thranduil says "I warned your grandfather what his greed would summon" and Bard "the blind ambition of a mountain king, so riven with greed he could not see beyond his own desire!" which is blaming Thror for the goldsickness. But among the dwarves it's always called a sickness. Thror isn't really vilified for it


Absolutely. There is very little empathy or even really sympathy for Thror or Thorin among different races. I’m thinking a lot about that scene in the AUJ EE where Elrond and Gandalf have this really sort of rude conversation about the dragon sickness and Elrond says this:

Have you forgotten? A strain of madness runs deep in that family. His grandfather lost his mind, his father succumbed to the same sickness. Can you swear Thorin Oakenshield will not also fall? Gandalf, these decisions do not rest with us alone. It is not up to you or me to redraw the map of Middle-earth. 

Mind this conversation is happening in a public area, and it so happens that Bilbo and Thorin himself hear it. Like, don’t get me wrong, I love Elrond, but in this case he doesn’t care about this “madness” in terms of Thorin’s health but for the repercussions of it. I know the repercussions are important and Elrond plays a long game, being such a wise Elf, but damn if that isn’t shitty. People matter.

Gandalf is no better. I mean, he asks them to wait to go into the mountain because he knows what could happen. Idk, I’m sure Thorin would have been angry if Gandalf had said not to enter the mountain because of the chance of the sickness, but him not telling him rubs me as treating Thorin a bit like a child. Telling him not to do something but giving no explanation why, just that it’s for his own good— totally something a lot of parents do to their children. Thorin is a grown ass adult and this just comes off as really condescending to me.

There’s Thranduil shooting off “[Dain’s] mad, just like his cousin,” like this is anything to take lightly (I know, Thranduil has beef with the Dwarves, but still). Also Gandalf saying Bilbo should be afraid of Thorin. I think Bilbo is the only one outside of the Dwarves that handles the situation well. In the scene with the mithril shirt, he doesn’t blame Thorin or get angry at him about his paranoia but instead tries to talk to him and get through to him. It’s very much in the same way that Dwalin tries to get through to Thorin in the throne room.

But yes, I very much agree. We see Balin crying about what’s happened, and he takes the time to explain to Bilbo the sickness and what it does to a person with it. There is no blame, only compassion and worry. And yeah, you never get the sense that any of the Dwarves blame Thror for his sickness because they know it is a SICKNESS. It’s not simple greed or want for power that’s their own. I’ve written meta about the dragon sickness, as well as others, and how it seems more of a corruption of good intentions/desires. For example, Thorin’s regard for Bilbo (romantic or otherwise) is twisted by the dragon sickness into an obsession (Richard Armitage’s own words, around 1:45).

Uhh, I think I’ve rambled a bit. But yeah, thank you for bringing this up. This is important and if anyone has anything to add or anything, please do! Inbox is open and anon is on.

anonymous asked:

Howdy, read your ask about the marches/activism, I'd agree with everything you put. How do you think we can change activism, so that it once again addresses cultrual issues men and women face and make it not so western/1st world centric or fall into identitiy politics? is there anything a single person can do?

I think that there’s only one way to change it, and that’s from the ground up, where every individual is involved.

  • Do your homework. Don’t just rely on social media to tell you what’s happening, especially if it’s something that seems to ally with your already-held beliefs. The last thing that you want to do is spread misinformation.
  • Focus on individual issues. It might sound attractive to say that you want to fight huge conspiracies, but that does absolutely nothing but scaremonger. If you rally around a concrete, foolproof example of something that’s completely wrong, you can raise awareness and help to change it. That opens conversations and makes people think about issues that they’ll have missed. Plus, that change will help to physically better the world and actually improve someone’s life. That makes a difference. Enforcing the idea of some kind of “boogeyman” doesn’t.
  • Abandon the “educate yourself” mindset. Part of being an activist or raising awareness is being someone that helps to educate others about the issues at hand. It might be frustrating, but changing perceptions is literally about one person at a time. One person’s mind is changed, or they’re open to issues? That makes the world a better place. You have to help others understand your point of view.
  • Explain why something is wrong. It isn’t enough to say “That’s bigoted” and then move on. If you don’t explain why something is a problem fully, then you and your points are easily dismissed. 
  • Be open-minded. If you’ve explained something and someone still disagrees, giving their reasons, don’t just dismiss them off-hand. You could be completely wrong and they might be right. It’s better to have some wounded pride than to keep being wrong.
  • Remember that labels mean nothing. By focusing on labels, you’re reducing someone to nothing but their labels, and that’s the definition of bigotry. If you excuse someone’s horrific behaviour or actions because they have a specific label, then you’re saying that they’re lesser and their actions are lesser than someone else’s, just because of that label. That makes you a bigot. If you excuse bullying or violence because someone has the “wrong” labels, then you don’t care about fairness, goodness or improving society, you’re just using social justice and activism as an excuse to be a disgusting human being. 
  • Forget the “privilege” hierarchy. It doesn’t matter whether someone has cancer, a broken leg or tonsillitis. Someone always has it better than you, and someone always has it worse than you. One person’s pain or upset doesn’t erase another person’s situation. Just because there are plenty of different issues, that doesn’t mean that one is more or less important than another. They’re just different
  • Don’t forget empathy. A “privileged” cis, white, Christian, rich, able-bodied man still has personal issues that he needs to deal with. Dismissing his problems just because you have different problems – or more problems – makes you nothing but a cold, selfish and cruel person. Accepting that he has his own problems doesn’t make your own problems less valid, it makes you a decent human being.
  • Stop guilt-tripping the tired or uninformed. Nobody is born knowing about the millions of different issues out there. Social justice and activism can be tiring and mentally exhausting. Remember that you don’t have a right to other people’s time. You have no idea what’s going on in their lives. People need to take a break sometimes, and that doesn’t mean they’re “bad,” that just means that they’re human.
  • Virtue-signalling and self-flagellation does nothing. If you come out with things like, “I’m sorry for my race/sex/able-bodiedness/etc,” all you’re doing is saying, “Look at how good I am!” whilst throwing others under the bus. It’s immature and pointless. The same goes for deciding to be the first to be offended on someone else’s behalf. Any kind of “white knighting” is offensive, and sometimes can be even more offensive than the thing that you’ve decided is offensive. Minorities of any kind don’t deserve to be coddled. It’s bigoted, because all you’re saying is that you need to protect the poor, weak, useless minorities yourself, as you don’t think they can speak up or protect themselves.
  • Remember that you’re allowed to have fun. Not everything is a battleground. Jokes are jokes, teasing is teasing, and if you police everything to death then you become hyper-vigilant and unable to actually enjoy anything without thinking that it’s “offensive.” Not only does it make you look silly, but that kind of thinking actively damages your mental health by keeping you on edge and encouraging a permanent, low-grade state of anger and upset. You can relax. It’s good for you.
  • Just because you don’t like something, that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. We all have different likes and dislikes, but when it comes to things that are pretend or controlled or fictional or others have given consent to what’s going on? That isn’t your business. You’re more than free to dislike something personally, but if you bring your personal dislikes into your activism, you lose all credibility. If you start obsessing or worrying about things that are fictional, that’s a clear sign that you need to take a break and step back so you can regain your perspective to focus on things that actually matter.
  • Remember your goals. You want to fight against anti-black racism? Showcase actual, proven anti-black racists, explain how they’re anti-black racists and stand in solidarity against anti-black racism. How would attacking white people as a whole, or excusing racism against white people ever help you in your goal? They don’t. At all. The same goes for literally any other form of activism. You want to fight against misogyny? Talk about misogynistic actions. How does hating men fight misogyny? It doesn’t. 

I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some things, but that’s the basic rundown.

Pushing ideas of nebulous evils won’t help anybody. Finding concrete examples of things that are wrong, then working to change those examples or get justice for those examples, that actually changes something. That actually improves the world. 

Getting bogged down in bigotry towards other groups, pretending that issues only matter if they fit into the right layer up the “pyramid of oppression” or fearmongering does absolutely nothing but make minorities feel alienated or worse.

Awareness campaigns and activism is supposed to help, not make people feel lesser or scared. And if you want to help, you have to find something to change. And if you can’t find anything to change that wouldn’t make some other group worse-off, then you’re better off than you thought.

It isn’t bad to realise that some things are better than you thought they were. You should be happy about it.

Shonen and the Value of Life of Tertiary Characters

I’m watching more shonen anime than I normally do recently, and I feel like writing a bit about Value of Life in these shows. Primarily I am making observations from Dragon Ball, Gurren Lagaan, One Piece, and Hunter X Hunter. Those, while major hits in the genre, aren’t a complete sampling. My comments are really just to indulge my own stream of conscious babbling. Spoilers abound.

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lilanightingale  asked:

Ok so this isn't a question but rather a story. I had to write this short story for this class and both is my characters were Mexican. I used their food and literally even said, their brown skin, in this scene. So anyway, I get the story back from the people who were critiquing it and while most of the feedback was good. One thing that came up was that the girl wasn't described as "light" and that some people(the white people) read her as white. When asked about it, I said that none of my (pt1)

Characters were white and then some people (the white people) made a big fuss about not being able to relate to any of the characters. So then I changed it so that instead of the antagonist being Mexican as well, he was white now. Of course the same people threw another fuss but I was pissed and stuck by it. My grade was the best in the class though! But I was super shocked because one person literally crossed out my description about her skin being brown to being “fair”.

Representation Matters: Empathy and Whitewashing

And this is why we need representation. Because there still are some white people who cannot relate to poc. Reading about other people’s lives and experiences leads to being able to relate to them, understand them and more empathy towards people like them. Having read different experiences also helps negate belief in stereotypes. And I’m not even talking about the large amounts of poc who’d like to read stories like themselves or other poc.

But no, they’re so spoiled in their white representation that they live with the white default. Because they have absolutely no idea how to put themselves in our shoes and because of this context believe in stereotypes (no exposure to poc except through white lenses). Seriously, it is not that hard to relate to people who have a different race or skin color than you. It is not that hard, you just have to imagine them as human. You know, like… poc are human. Stop treating us like we’re aliens or something.

It’s ridiculous that fantasy races and monsters are more readily accepted and related to by people than poc. Meanwhile poc can’t blink or there’s another new tv-series, movie or book with an all-white cast. Oh wait, there’s a poc in the background for a split second. Oh wait, there, the villains are black… 

There was absolutely nothing wrong with your story having no white people at all. There’s plenty of those already. And they clearly didn’t have any problem with this light person until they realized they were still a poc. Don’t let them make you feel less or like you did something strange. You got a great grade for it. Congratz! Those racists can stick their own stories where the sun don’t shine…

~ Mod Alice

anonymous asked:

Where do you stand on the legalization of marijuana?

I don’t care, even a little bit, whether or not marijuana is legal to use, buy, sell, or possess. It does not matter to me. Here is why. 

The illegal status of marijuana is part of one of the longest-running American traditions: making laws that criminalize commonplace behavior, then creating draconian penalties for breaking them, then enforcing them near-exclusively against black and brown people (see: the “literacy tests” for voting were literally designed to be impossible to pass but white people were exempt from taking them). To explain this, I’m going to give a small history lesson here. 

Back in the day, America was pretty unabashed about our love for slavery. Slaveholders got as much labor as they wanted and raked in all the profits for themselves without needing to worry themselves about things like “paying their laborers” or “basic human compassion” or “the morality of keeping hundreds of human beings imprisoned in the forced labor camp you run out of you house and selling the fruits of the work you’re forcing them to at gunpoint.”

Then, slavery became illegal, but do you know who that didn’t stop from doing slavery? America is who. See, in reconstruction, we made the boneheaded idiotic choice to allow former Confederate officials to once again hold office in the United States government, and boy were those guys keen on sneaky bringing back slavery while no one was looking. Leave them alone for like ten minutes and you’ll come back to “so what if we did slavery, but called it something else?”

Anyway, that’s what they did. Some sneaky folks figured out the the amendment banning forcible indentured labor had a loophole in it: you could still force people to work for you, against their will and for no money, if it was a sentence for a crime.

So what they did first was, they introduced a bunch of laws that only applied to black people that were just about impossible for anyone to follow. Then, they didn’t actually go out of their way to tell people about these laws. Then, they went around arresting every black person they saw breaking these laws (which was pretty much every black person, because there was no way to be a person and not break these laws). To top it off, they would sentence that person to a term of “hard labor.”

At this point, local businessmen would be allowed to lease or rent “convict” labor (read: the labor of innocent black people kidnapped for the express purpose of forcing into free labor) from the state, essentially paying the government a fee to look the other way on the whole “no slavery” thing. Thus was born the “Convict Leasing System.” I promise I’ll get back to the weed thing eventually.

Except here’s the kicker on that: The former slaveholders actually became even more brutal and callous under this system. As it turns out, the way they were treating black people under slavery was them holding back. Under slavery, a living slave that’s healthy enough to work is generating profit for their captor. A slave that’s too sick or injured to work is not generating any profit. A dead slave means an expense for their captor: they have to buy a replacement. This was like, Econ 101 back in the 19th century. Also, important to note: the people using slave labor were absolutely demonic to the inmates at their forced labor camps, and the only reason they weren’t worse wasn’t “empathy,” but “literally murdering them would be an inconvenient expense.”

Under the convict leasing system, though, there was no such incentive. The slave drivers were paying a flat fee for a certain number of laborers. They didn’t need to keep them fed or healthy, that was the government’s job. If one of the laborers was killed while working, it was no financial loss to the person who leased their labor, because the prison would just send a new “convict” the next day, and they’d never run out of “convicts,” because they’d just go convict more black people of crimes that don’t make sense. 

Note: this system is literally the foundation on which the present-day prison system is built. This is where you get phrases like “prison-industrial complex.” It’s also where you get the fact that America’s incarcerated population is almost comically high compared to the rest of the world. This is also where you get the school-to-prison pipeline, which I won’t get into now because I don’t feel like I’m capable of doing it justice. 

Now, as attitudes on race have changed, they had to get sneakier about this. They’ve used a lot of different names for their excuse for incarcerating black people for free labor. “Slavery” became “Convict Leasing System” became “Black Codes” became “Jim Crow” became like nine other things and finally became “the War on Drugs.”

Issue is, they’ve slowly pared out the racist language from the laws, but have not pared out the racist practice. Even though the laws no longer explicitly say they only apply to black people, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the majority of drug users and dealers are white but the majority of drug arrests are black and latino men. The only way this is statistically possible is if the majority of white people committing drug crimes are being let off the hook and the majority of black and latino people being arrested for drug crimes are wrongly convicted. 

So essentially, there’s these pesky drug laws that seem to be near-exclusively enforced against black people and brown people who are literally just minding their own business, who are given sentences lasting years or decades on trumped-up charges and sent to for-profit prisons and forced to work for either “cents on the dollar” or “free,” while white people who are actually guilty of these crimes are effectively exempt from the “war on drugs.”

Which leads me back to the central point: This all sounds like a reason why we should legalize pot, so why can’t I be bothered to care whether or not weed is legal? The answer is “marijuana was never the point.” The criminal justice system was pulling this exact same nonsense before pot was even illegal, so I really don’t think legalizing it will do literally anything to help anyone.

If they announced that marijuana was 100% legal and that everyone could have it, use it, buy it, and sell it in the open with no consequences, does that mean they’re going to release all those people who got 20 years for a bag of weed and pay them back for all the work they were forced to do for cheap-as-free?

I’d be willing to bet that if pot was legalized today, they’d start drafting new laws tomorrow that criminalized some other non-violent thing tons of people do, then go back to business-as-usual, arresting black people and ignoring the vast majority of the guilty people who are white, and sending them to for-profit prisons so greedy people don’t have to pay people for the work they’re doing. 

Legalizing weed wouldn’t even slow down the oppression its criminalization is used to enable. It wouldn’t even be a speedbump. The only people it would benefit are white stoners, who don’t really have to worry about getting busted for pot anyway and won’t really have to worry about getting busted for whatever the next excuse ends up being. Hell, my fellow white people have already made bank selling pot as a legit business in the states where marijuana has been legalized, but I’d be willing to bet there’s still a bunch of prisoners in those states arrested 10 years ago for a dimebag who won’t be released, paid, or have the charges against them expunged. 

I realized a few years back that the only reason I care about weed being legal is because the drug laws are used to perpetuate a system of exploitation built on “Slavery 2: We Found a Loophole.” If it gets legalized and that exploitative system is still standing, what’s been accomplished, really? It occurred to me that if we dismantled that system of exploitation and somehow managed to purge the criminal justice system of the racism it was built on and continues to grow from, but weed stayed illegal, I literally could not be upset about weed being illegal if you paid me.

In this magical racism-free vacuum bubble I just fantasized, “recreational weed is illegal” would rank slightly below “movie theaters can only sell sodas up to a certain size” on my priority list and just above “you can’t sell candies that come with a choking hazard in every piece.” My problem with pot being illegal has never been that people aren’t free to get high, it’s that the law is being used as an excuse for racism, exploitation, and abuse. If legalizing weed and taking away the excuse they’re currently using won’t even make a dent this downright evil system, then I honestly don’t care about whether or not pot is legal. If we can bring this system down and the law against marijuana comes with it, fine. If the same system comes down and the marijuana stays illegal, literally the entire injustice is gone so I have no more reason to care about weed. 

Review: The Legend of Korra - Book 4, Episodes 12-13 (Series Finale)

“I’m afraid there are no more things to do.”

A Note on Spoilers: I’ve been calling these “reviews” even though they’re more like commentary, but this one is even less “review-like” than usual. Really, it’s an essay, full of plot points and analysis on the series as a whole. If you came here for a spoiler-free review, then, uh… Grade: A. The first two Books have their rough patches, but the last two are fantastic pretty much start to finish. In short, it’s an excellent series. Go watch it.

The rest of you should hit the jump and read on. Oh, and get comfy. I wasn’t kidding about that “essay” thing.

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anonymous asked:

I read a Tumblr post on the 'Guide To The Crystal Gems' book. It mentions how: "Rose Quartz could have birthed a child that was entirely human and still exist, but wanted Steven to be able to bridge the gap between their races." This reminded of a theory interpreting Rose's decision to have Steven as a calculated ploy. It goes that Rose foresaw Steven resisting Homeworld's technology as a hybrid (see Jailbreak); thus Rose gave birth as part of a long-term strategy to protect Earth. Any thoughts?

I take genuine issue with the idea that Rose somehow knew Homeworld was going to come back and attack everybody.

See, Rose wanted to bridge the gap between humans and Gems. Steven has her powers, because he’s a Gem, but he’s also a human. He takes time to grow into and discover those powers.

I’m almost positive Rose’s “ploy” with Steven is to literally bridge that gap. Because she saw Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and even herself- that the Crystal Gems were becoming distant observers who isolated themselves from and weren’t trying to connect with the people that lived on the planet Rose loved. That maybe they had lost sight of the whole reason for the rebellion in the first place- because if Rose hadn’t rebelled, Earth would’ve remained a Gem colony. If her love was only for the planet itself, she had no need to make Earth her defensive line.

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