So I was wondering how Credence will turn out after what happened in Fantastic Beasts, and my personal conclusion : Soft!Credence Barebone.
Credence who wears lots of knitted jumpers and socks cause he’s been cold for so long he needs the heavy clothes
Credence who lets nifflers and kneazles and even occamies sleep in his bed even though they shouldn’t be allowed there and excuses them by saying he was cold and they brought warmth
Credence who gets all smiles and soft voice around children and Newt’s creatures and gets lots of respect for that
Credence who learns about Obscurus and helps fellow Obscurials to control their powers
Credence who can’t bake or brew potions cause it requires too much precision and the risks of messing it up give him anxiety, but who excels in charms and at decorating cakes cause you can re-try taht as many times as you need
Credence who learns all sorts of spells, but is best at the most practical ones
Credence who falls alseep in front of the fireplace and who gets levitated to his bed
Credence who talks through his sleepless nights with Queenie or Newt, or who just goes out and help Jacob at the bakery since he starts working at 4 am
Credence who likes to hold hands with his friends and steal their clothes
Just, soft!Credence who is given all the space and freedom and love he needs and who heals at his own pace and who definitely never becomes a villain overcome with anger and betrayal
So I majored in religious studies and have spent a fair bit of time in church, which may color my thinking, but am I alone in thinking that Black Friday is clearly a religious observance?
(I mean, obviously it’s a totally secular event and has nothing to do with God or gods or anything*. I mean religious in the sense that a religion at its core is just a worldview/orientation/value set and the traditions/rituals/practices that help codify and express that worldview.)
I would argue that all these people standing in line aren’t really there to save money. (Like, standing in line at Best Buy for four hours to save $20 on a TV is almost never an economically rational decision.)
They’re standing in line to be part of something. And the something is consumer spending, the foundational idea of (and driving force behind) America’s relative economic health. And because we associate economic health so closely with community health, Black Friday is a way of both giving thanks and making an offering.
In the end, I would argue the rituals surrounding Black Friday–combing through emails and advertisements for coupons, waking up before dawn, communing with strangers in large indoor public spaces (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.)–aren’t just similar to religious rituals. I would argue that they are religious rituals, just ones played out in a secular world.
As David Foster Wallace noted in his famous commencement address at my alma mater Kenyon College, “There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
(For the record, I don’t find this particularly sad or tragic or anything. I just find it really interesting.)
* But then again, many religious traditions have little or nothing to do with God or gods.
Bad news on the economy. It added only 88,000 jobs in March – the slowest pace of job growth in nine months.
While the jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent, much of the drop was due to the labor force shrinking by almost a half million people. If you’re not looking for work, you’re not counted as unemployed.
That means the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one dropped to 63.3 percent – its lowest level since 1979.
The direction isn’t encouraging. The pace of job growth this year is slower than its pace last year.
What’s going on? The simple fact is companies won’t hire if consumers aren’t buying enough to justify the new hires. And consumers don’t have enough money, or credit, or confidence to buy enough.
It’s likely Americans are beginning to feel the pinches of January’s hike in the payroll tax combined with the government budget cuts known as the sequester. Increases in gas prices haven’t helped. All are taking money out of the pockets of most people – whose job situation remains precarious. So they can’t and won’t buy much.
One indicator: Retailers cut their staffs in March – by 24,100.
Yes, the stock market has rebounded. But only a small portion of Americans are affected by the rebound. The richest 1 percent own 35 percent of all shares of stock; the richest 10 percent own 90 percent.
And, yes, housing prices have stopped falling, and construction of new homes has picked up. The construction sector added 18,000 jobs in March.
But the turnaround in housing isn’t because prospective homeowners have been able to get new mortgages. It’s because investors are buying or building homes to rent. And a buoyant rental market doesn’t make most people feel wealthier.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all this is that we’re in the fifth year of a supposed economic recovery from the second-worst economic downturn of the past century, and we’re still not nearly back on track. Instead, we’ve had the most anemic recovery in history.
A Gallup survey released Thursday showed that the percentage of Americans holding full-time jobs has remained essentially unchanged over the past year. With 12 million people out of work and another 8 million holding part-time jobs who’d rather have full-time ones, this just isn’t nearly good enough.
We’re experiencing the burden of austerity economics and the continued scourge of widening inequality. Both are squeezing average Americans. Yet it’s impossible to have a buoyant and sustained recovery without a large and growing middle class.
Ebook sales continue to fall as younger generations drive appetite for print
Nielsen survey finds UK ebook sales declined by 4% in 2016, the second consecutive year digital has shrunk
Readers committed to physical books can give a sigh of relief, as new figures reveal that ebook sales are falling while sales of paper books are growing – and the shift is being driven by younger generations.
More than 360m books were sold in 2016 – a 2% jump in a year that saw UK consumers spend an extra 6%, or £100m, on books in print and ebook formats, according to findings by the industry research group Nielsen in its annual books and consumer survey. The data also revealed good news for bricks-and-mortar bookshops, with a 4% rise in purchases across the UK.
While sales through shops increased 7% in 2016, ebook sales declined by 4%. It is the second year in a row that ebook sales have fallen, and only the second time that annual ebook sales have done so since industry bodies began monitoring sales a decade ago.
European growth defies uncertainty to hit six-year high
Fears over a populist political tide sweeping across Europe have done little to set back the Continent’s economic performance after figures today showed growth at a six-year high.
The latest snapshot the eurozone’s private-sector manufacturers and services firms from IHS Markit — revealing the fastest expansion since April 2011 — comes against the backdrop of deep political uncertainty following the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s White House win.
Although Mark Rutte fended off Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in last week’s Dutch elections, Marine Le Pen is likely to be in the final run-off for the French presidency in May, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces elections.
But powerhouses France and Germany grew strongly despite rising price pressure.
The European Central Bank is pumping €80 billion (£69.2 billion) into the economy every month although the strength of the survey is usually at a level where the ECB would be hiking rates, according to IHS Markit’s chief economist Chris Williamson.
“Worries about consumer spending and business confidence haven’t emerged yet and the ECB could be behind the curve,” he said.
Maternity wear firm Seraphine to bump up expansion with baby clothes
Seraphine, the London founded upmarket maternity-wear brand popular with celebrities, is planning to debut in the newborn clothing market, it said on Thursday as it revealed sales growth.
The firm, whose products have been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge and singers Gwen Stefani and Shakira, will unveil a collection of organic cotton products for babies at its four London shops this summer.
It is also planning to invest as much as £3 million in marketing and opening 10 more US shops over the next three years, adding to its three already there.
Managing director Cecile Reinaud told the Standard: “At a time when we are mindful that Brexit could dampen consumer spending and we are having to deal with a hike in our business rates, this is a way to make sure we can get more people in our shops and keep sales growing.”
Meanwhile Reinaud added that she hoped Britain’s vote to leave the EU could result in better trade agreements that would help Seraphine export more goods to countries including Australia and New Zealand.
The latest expansion plans came as the brand said turnover for the year to March 31 is poised to reach £15.5 million, up from £14 million a year earlier. Pre-tax profits are up 33% to £2 million.
“We are very confident in our brand. It appeals to mums worldwide because it combines high fashion, practicality and the heritage that comes from its association with Royalty and rock stars,” said Reinaud.
According to research firm Mintel ,sales in the UK retail infantswear sector (0-3-year-olds) reached £2.3 million in 2016.