destruction of morals

"Give Me Back My Rhodey"

Notice that Tony doesn’t say “Give me back my partner” or “give me back my friend.” He says “Give me back my Rhodey” Which implies the special (and frankly, irreplaceable) space Rhodey occupies within Tony’s life. Tony was specific in his wording (Give me back my “Rhodey” and affectionate nickname, as opposed to “James” or “Rhodes”, a nickname which Tony uses in place of his actual name “James”)

Looking at Tony throughout the MCU, he’s dealt with betrayal, guilt, PTSD, and an overall anger that consumed most of his actions in the final act of CACW. With the destruction of the Avengers morale, the fact that Tony and Pepper are “on a break”, the guilt he feels for causing Ultron, and the endangerment of millions of people, the only thing Tony has left after the events of CACW is his “Rhodey”.

And seeing Giant man take hold of Rhodey during the airport fight was far more than just dramatic action, it was Tony Stark, for the briefest of seconds, seeing the only good thing left in his world being snatched from him. Which makes Rhodey’s fall even more impactful. It’s more than apparent that James Rhodes is the center of Tony’s entire world right now.

At the end of the film, after Rhodes’ fall, during the trial run of Rhodey’s new mechanical legs, you could clearly see Tony doting on Rhodes, Offering to help him be as comfortable as possible, willing to add any modifications Rhodey asked for (including a cup holder if Rhodey had asked for one).It wouldn’t surprise me if Tony insisted Rhodey stay with him in the mansion so he could keep an eye on his “Rhodey”

Of course, this affection (whether platonic or otherwise) is also shared by Rhodey (from searching through the entire desert to find Tony to making sure he was sleeping enough in IM3). What I find interesting about this role reversal is that Tony tends to overcompensate (again, going back to the scene where Tony was willing to make any modification Rhodes asked for) but Rhodey never blames Tony (or anyone for that matter) about his current situation, he jokes with Tony (Tony Stank) in an attempt to lighten an otherwise negative situation. Rhodey is upset/disappointed/sad about his current situation (“This is a bad beat”)  but he never, ever, blames Tony. Which is something Tony would probably expect given his transgressions listed earlier. Think about that, Rhodey provided Tony with a brief reprieve from the guilt that had been building since Iron Man 1, and who else in the entirety of the MCU franchise has done that?

Not Steve Rogers, or Bruce Banner, or even Thor with his ideals of second chances (he did give Loki multiple chances to redeem himself, right?)

Throughout the MCU Rhodey is the one thing that hasn’t blown up in Tony’s face. He’s the one thing that Tony can still trust not to betray him, or keep secrets. Rhodey is the one person who doesn’t make Tony feel guilty about his past mistakes (and that’s quite a feat when your mistakes are easily the size of the entire planet.) Rhodey is so much more to Tony than just a “side kick.”

When Tony says “Give me back my Rhodey” what he means is “Give me back my world.”

My own personal take on the signs as the major arcana: (I assigned everyone 2 cards; and again, just my opinion - the major arcana cards all have zodiac signs associated with them but I didn’t necessarily go along with that)

ARIES: The Fool [beginnings, spontaneity, optimism, impulsiveness, quests, openness] + The Chariot [self-assertion, willpower, victory, perseverance]

TAURUS: The Empress [abundance, sensuality, the physical world, nature, fertility] + The Hierophant [belief, religion, structure, society, conformity, commitment, sacrifice, slow-moving]

GEMINI: The Tower [upheaval, change, liberation, downfall, revelation, release, disaster]  + The Magician [willpower, knowledge, confidence, communication, creation, work, activity]

CANCER: The Empress [motherhood, femininity, warmth, nurturing] + The Devil [instinct, the subconscious, deep emotions, self-indulgence, obsession]

LEO: Strength [compassion, endurance, patience, strength, control, materialism, pride/confidence] + The Star [hope, generosity, lightness, inspiration, creativity]

VIRGO: The Hanged Man [sacrifice, reversal, responsibility, perseverance, circumspection, discernment] + Temperance [health, moderation, patience, diligence, healing]

LIBRA: The Lovers [choices, relationships, values, love, beauty] + Justice [cause and effect, decisions, justice, morality]

SCORPIO: Death [transformation, extreme change, destruction, renewal, morality, the end, loss, revolution] + The High Priestess [intuition, mystery, the unconscious, feminine power, secrets, obscurity]

SAGITTARIUS: The Hermit [introspection, reflection, philosophy, guidance] + Wheel of Fortune [changes, destiny, luck, chance, movement, personal vision]

CAPRICORN: The Emperor [structure, authority, severity, control] + The World [accomplishment, fulfillment, achievement, leadership, success, involvement]

AQUARIUS: Judgement [inner calling, absolution, beliefs/values, the greater good, revelation, plans and ambitions] + The Sun [enlightenment, vitality, creativity, brightness, opportunity, acceptance]

PISCES: The Moon [illusion, imagination, fear, divination, intuition, illness, obscurity] + The Lovers [kindness, belief, trust, the soul, divinity, harmony]

So, even if you TRULY believe that capitalism is the “best we have” in terms of economic systems. (Which……ha) 

And if you are able to recognize that capitalism, especially in its current form, literally kills people, and its far reaching environmental and geopolitical ramifications are intensely destructive. 

Then, like, aren’t we morally obligated to INVENT a better system?

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

UNOFFICIAL TYPING BY: anonymous

Introverted Feeling (Fi): Hamlet as a character constantly stuck in a moral dilemma of how feels at the present moment. Sentiment is everything for Hamlet, best displayed at how grieved he was at the death of his hero father, showing no hesitation to burst out at court at his disgust of his mother marrying his uncle. Hamlet’s depth of feeling is also shown in his early love to Ophelia, regardless of his actions to her later on. Throughout the play, Hamlet becomes increasingly self-involved as his fake madness chips away at his melancholic soul. Hamlet’s extensive moralizing stems not from it effects on others, but rather his individual reaction and judgment to the sequence of events that befall him. The “To-Be or Not to Be” speech, one of the most famous in the entire literary canon, is a perfect example of internal feeling, as he weighs the benefits and shortfalls of mortality and whether life is at all worth living. While not a trait of all Fi doms, self-destructive moralizing is a notorious side effect of unheathly internal feeling.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Essayist William Hazlitt words it best when regarding Hamlet, he titles him, “He (Hamlet) is the prince of philosophical speculators” and this could very well be his highly developed intuition, manifesting in an excessive use of his imaginary faculties. Aside from alluding to Greek Myth more than any other character, Hamlet expresses a constant interest in potential. When told of his father’s ghost, Hamlet barely hesitates, as he had be seeing him constantly in his mind’s eye, the act of making it actual was too intriguing to doubt. Elsewhere in his love of theatre and aimless mind, Hamlet’s intuition constantly is in the clouds, dreams, and mythology.

Introverted Sensing (Si): When not lost in philosophical speculation, Hamlet is often dwelling on past images, usually glossed with the rosy glasses of Fi nostalgia. Before even catching wind of his father’s ghost, Hamlet is stuck in a loop of sentiment and anger towards his memory and the present state of affairs. The strongest example comes in the famous graveyard scene, when looking at the skull of his childhood jester, Hamlet muses into the past with immense detail, serving as a vessel of contemplating his own mortality.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): The entire conflict of the play stems from Hamlet’s inability to act on his intense moral feelings. Hamlet is loath to act the entire play, choosing instead to brood and philosophize. At the same time, Hamlet acts to an unhealthy level when provoked, evident in his murder of Polonius and harsh dismissal of Ophelia. Hamlet also attempts to play the strategist and it does work out to his benefit, showing the capacity for action and critical thinking.

Those conservatives who believe that the confirmation of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch is sufficient justification for the Trump presidency are ignoring Trump’s psychic and moral destruction of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Clinton, with a small number of changed votes, would have defeated Republicans. But Trump is doing a kind of harm beyond anything Clinton could have done. He is changing the party’s most basic moral and political orientations. He is shaping conservatism in his image and ensuring an eventual defeat more complete, and an eventual exile more prolonged, than Democrats could have dreamed.
 


The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased. The movement has been seized by a kind of discrediting madness, in which conspiracy delusions figure prominently. Institutions and individuals that once served an important ideological role, providing a balance to media bias, are discrediting themselves in crucial ways. With the blessings of a president, they have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion. They have allowed political polarization to reach their hearts, and harden them. They have allowed polarization to dominate their minds, and empty them.

powerfulpomegranate  asked:

Sarge finds a dog or dog-esque alien thing and falls in love with it and Simmons is jealous about the attention it gets until he spends some time with it.

me: i love red team!!

also me: i love dogs!!!

powerfulpomegranate: what if you wrote about red team AND dogs

me: AUDIBLE GASP


Read on Ao3 [here] (with two bonus scenes I couldn’t fit anywhere else) or continued on tumblr under the cut

(no warning tags except for canon-typical language)


First, the dog blows up Blue Base. Then it pisses on the Blue flag. Then it chews through Tucker’s porn mags.

“How come this dog is better than all my soldiers combined?!” Sarge demands. “And someone get this unauthorized mutt off the battlefield, it’s stealing my thunder!”

The dog pisses on Grif’s foot. Grif yells.

“Oh! A true soldier of the Red Army,” Sarge says, with tears in his voice.

Keep reading

no-command-but-mine  asked:

megaop bitCh

another ship meme  

OPEN &&. ACCEPTING.  

━━━     MEGATRON      ➤   @no-command-but-mine

The ship is my:   My life, holy shit.  OTP.

I consider this ship’s feelings: Mutual | Mixed | Strange | Awkward | Platonic | Sibling-like | One-sided | They don’t really like each other | They hate each other | They love each otherComplicated | Toxic | Conflicted | Unavoidable | Cherished | Destructive | Manipulative | Broken | Aggressive | Morally Questioning

I’d consider the relationship: Healthy | Awkward | Abusive | Doesn’t work properly | They’d never get together | Complicated | Desperate | Painful | Straining | Unhealthy | Broken | Oppressive | Complete | Equalizing |  Terrifying | Beautiful

Children:  No??? | Yes | They’d think about it | MHMMM. | A LOT OF CHILDREN TBH. | IDK | THE KIDS WOULD BE BEAUTIFUL OKAY. | THE KIDS NO ONE TRIES TO MESS WITH BECAUSE BOTH MEGATRON AND OPTIMUS WOULD BE LIKE BEARS AND RIP YOU TO SHREDS IF YOU EVEN TRIED TO HURT THEM. | DON’T TOUCH OUR KIDS. | SCREAMING.  |

General Opinion: This ship is my life on this blog. I enjoy it’s complexity, the reach and pull of emotions that are tangled between desperation, hate, pleading acceptance, love, revenge, betrayal, longing, guilt, and etc.There are just so many words to describe it. It’s painful as if both were meant to be together and yet fated to be destroyed, to become destroyers in their own terms and creators in another. It’s unhealthy, yes. I won’t deny it. This dominating obsession that both Optimus and Megatron have with each other, consuming the wake of thought and burdened by what the other is doing. But both are clawing to reach the surface, to breathe at last and find a way home. It’s a bit twisted in a way, the heartbreak and tragedy of the idea that once lovers are battling to destroy the other’s goal. Clashing and fighting to prove that their cause, that the betrayal was worth it. That someone had to be right. That there was a reason for why they couldn’t have been together. A reason to break the heart and their future.

I learned the term star-crossed lovers in 10th grade and I never thought I would need to use it, but here I am looking at these two characters so utterly different and yet strikingly alike. Polar opposites that can’t stay away from one another. It hurts a lot because they want to be together, they want nothing more than to know they are on the same side. But they can’t !! No matter what happens they keep getting pulled apart and if they do get close, it shatters right before them and they are reminded of their roles. Lonely gods. Forbidden lovers. Friend-Turned-Enemy. 

I’m so used to relationships that either are good or bad, but relationships that mingle in such a way it’s hard to describe, that there is no distinct line, it’s just so amazing. Your mind literally has to struggle to keep up at times because there is a flood of so many words and so much detail that is would overflow a single response. Sometimes their love is gentle, a memory of the past, the utterance of a single word within the army of a speech that is underlined just for you alone to hear and understand. A glance during battle that says I want to hurt you and I want to protect you. It drives me insane and puts me through bliss. 

This is a ship that can’t grow old because the feelings are always stirring in new and impossible ways. Every response leaves a bitter taste like more could have been said or a flurry of unfiltered excitement because Megatron and Optimus complete one another and yet they’re the same thing that would destroy the other completely. 

THE SIGNS AS TITANS
  • Aries: Krios, Titan of Stars and Constellations
  • Taurus: Rhea, wife of Cronus and Queen of Heaven
  • Gemini: Mnemosyne, Titan of Language and Memory
  • Cancer: Phoebe, Titan of the Moon and Prophetic Wisdom
  • Leo: Hyperion, Titan of the Sun and Light
  • Virgo: Tethys, Titan of Fresh Water
  • Libra: Themis, Titan of Rules, Law, and Justice
  • Scorpio: Cronus, Titan of Time, the Cosmos, and Destruction
  • Sagittarius: Iapetus, Titan of Morality
  • Capricorn: Coeus, Titan of Intelligence and Rationality
  • Aquarius: Euryphaessa, Titan of the Sky
  • Pisces: Okeanos, Titan of the Oceans

Dear user. It is true that Plato’s recount of Socrates –as Plato himself– often cites an absence of knowledge but as a dialectic exercise: I don’t know, therefore I must know. This after all is the basis of Western philosophy.

But to frame this as a precursory discourse of nihilism is forced. If anything, Diogenes of Sinope is a more apt precedent among the classic masters.

Not every thinker who dealt with negation was a nihilist (e.g. Heidegger; although he had some beautifully nihilistic axioms about the morality of being).

P.S. Send morally destructive nudes

BOOK OF THE DAY:

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

  • Amazon: 4.8
  • Goodreads: 4.26

The civil war. A beautiful woman at the height of selfishness. The love and death of home and land. Society wound up so tight an improper wink could undo you. Destruction, tragedy, political corruption, truth, lies, life, death, love, loss, big changes, new beginnings, intermingled with never ending cycles. All of this helps make Gone with the wind what it is: an epic novel that will never be forgotten, that will forever be loved, cherished, and discovered with delight by new readers for ages.

Scarlett O’Hara is far from the typical heroine. She’s easier to hate than to enjoy, her thought processes are understandable but leave the reader cold. Her motivations are for the sake of survival, but her climb toward the top still leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Even before she does what she has to because she ‘has to’, she’s not likable.

Margaret Mitchell did a unique thing by taking an unlikeable woman and making it her story. It’s sort of a destructive, moral lesson tale that you can’t look away from, a literary train wreck impossible to ignore.

Gone with the Wind is over 1000 pages, and inside those pages the author manages to somehow cram an amazing amount of events while expertly shuffling intriguing inner dialogue and emotional moments that soared without growing boring, dull, or lagging the tale. Her writing style is easily absorbed, she had a natural knack with dialogue, and the scenes merged together flawlessly.

by guest reviewer Erin

Get the book here!

Read excerpts from the book here!

System: PC
Released: 2014
Blog Tags: creepy, fan theories, rpg, pixel art, turn based, map exploration, punishing, indie, dark humor

Summary: A game about survival, sacrifice, and perverts… Lisa is a quirky side-scrolling RPG set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Beneath the charming and funny exterior is a world full of disgust and moral destruction. Players will learn what kind of person they are by being FORCED to make choices. These choices permanently effect the game play. … You will learn that in this world being selfish and heartless is the only way to survive…

That kind of game where:  You are impossibly frustrated at first, and then you become so obsessed that you can’t stop playing. Using a walkthrough is basically a must if you don’t feel up to the challenge. (Note: The game’s developer would recommend you accept your punishment and not use a walkthrough.)

Gameplay: 2D unfair platformer. Huge map exploration with tons of secrets. Complicated turn-based fighting system. Some interesting interaction between story and gameplay elements.

Story: It is the journey of Brad Armstrong, whose adopted daughter, Buddy, has been kidnapped. She is the last female in the world, as far as anyone knows. Play the first 10 minutes of this game and you will see that it isn’t pulling any emotional punches. It is very powerful and  well written. You will sometimes laugh and then feel bad about it.

Graphics: Pixel art, very creatively used to evoke horror or amusement. The game looks great.

Recommended if you enjoyed: 

Nietzsche saw the slave mentality of Christianity as doomed to self-destruction because of its empty morality based upon an insistence of equality between people where there is none. Some will always be stronger, some will always be wiser, and some will always be more powerful, and this must be accepted… So Nietzsche looked at the state of Christianity in his time and saw that the God of this religion was, in reality, dead, and those who followed this God to an imaginary afterlife were surely on the path to death.
—  Abir Taha, Nietzsche’s Coming God or the Redemption of the Divine
On Fallen Ravenclaw Primaries

Note: in our sorting system, a “primary” house is why a person does things–their motivations, moralities, and priorities. Secondaries are tools and traits–how a person acts. 

This is part of the “burned” primary series. A burned primary happens when a person distances themselves from the core of their primary–a Hufflepuff’s community, a Slytherin’s people, a Ravenclaw’s truth or a Gryffindor’s morality. It can be a decision, a gut reaction to trauma, a safety mechanism, or a downward spiral.

In this post we are discussing the Fallen Ravenclaw. For unburned primaries see [here].

Ravenclaw is often the most robust of the primaries. Because the center of a Ravenclaw is so purposefully constructed, the destruction of a beloved morality or belief doesn’t always shatter the Claw the way it might another House. Perhaps more than the other Houses, the point of Ravenclaw is not what truths they believe, but how they believe them. Systems of truth are built, found, or investigated. Dismantling obsolete parts, scrubbing down old ones, and planting new growth is often inherent in the constructed morality of Ravenclaws. 

A Ravenclaw faced with proof that their entire life philosophy is inaccurate, useless, and even harmful is perfectly likely to just shrug, reevaluate, and change their ways. This requires a certain degree of health and flexibility, but putting a weight on that type of flexibility is a common Claw attribute. They tend to value being actually right over seeming right or staying consistent to save face or because of old sentimental loyalties.

Ravenclaws are perhaps more prone to existential crises than most people– but they’re also more likely to come out the other side with something new and satisfied to work with (until the next crisis). 

So where does the Ravenclaw “fall” come into this? What is the Claw equivalent of a “burned” Hufflepuff closing themselves off from community? 

A Fallen Ravenclaw tends to come not from losing faith in a broken morality/truth system but losing faith in an ability to find or build a system.
It can be a professor who has put decades into one line of research, working to understand the world, and finds irrefutable proof that they’ve been on the wrong track all that time. They could just sigh, shuffle their feet, and move on to a different mode of analysis (thereby not Falling)–but that emotion of “no! I’ll never find it!” can easily spiral into a fall. They are only mortal; they only have so many years, because immortality is still yet to be invented. How can you accurately choose the most efficient and optimized way to invest your years You are always inherently imperfect, and you don’t have eternity to iron out your mistakes. Exhausted, they can just despair. 

In a less stereotypical Ravenclaw scenario– a certain type of religious Ravenclaw, who has poured all their analysis and structure into their religion, might Fall if pushed into a crisis of faith. Their ability to explore and shore up their truth system hinges on their ability to believe, and in losing their god they lose their feet. 

Another Ravenclaw, thinking too much about the vast and complex nature of the universe, might spiral themselves into a Fall over the inability to fully comprehend all there is. It’s impossible, they cry, and realize that the truth they feel obligated to find is inherently out of their reach. While this sort of a thinking can inspire a Fall in some Ravenclaws, for others it’s just part of how truth works. “Reality is inherently incomprehensible and skewed by bias” is in itself a truth a Ravenclaw can comfortably hang their hat on. Truth being inherently unknowable can be a truth– it depends on the Ravenclaw. That revelation might cause a different Ravenclaw to Fall. 

A crusading Ravenclaw could find their crusade harms more than it helps. Guilty and miserable, they might spiral about all the things that they cannot fix but that they feel obligated to fix. To Fall, that Ravenclaw doesn’t even have to lose faith that their morality is a true one. They can think their system is perfect and true, but think they cannot live up to it, and that can be enough to Fall.  

There can also be stagnant Ravenclaws–Ravenclaws who don’t compulsively revamp their internal systems. These often latch onto an external or taught system, and are more susceptible to falling. Inspector Javert from Les Miserables is an example of this. His chosen system of justice trips up against Jean Valjean’s acts of mercy. Javert knows these things to be true– it is unjust to let a criminal run free. As an inspector and man of the law, he cannot allow Valjean to successfully use Javert’s life as a barter for Valjean’s freedom. However, as a man who owes Valjean a debt, Javert also feels obligated to pay a life for a life. Stuck between his personal moral codes as a man of the law and just a man, Javert takes his own life. 

Ravenclaw systems don’t have to be internally built. They can be made piecemeal from other people or borrowed whole from trusted sources–culture, religion, empiricism, family. 

Daine Sarrasri, the young protagonist of Tamora Pierce’s Immortals books, is one example of the borrowed-system Ravenclaw– and specifically an example of one who Falls (repeatedly, and temporarily). 

Daine keeps investing in other people’s systems and then falling when they don’t accurately define the world. She is furious and betrayed to the point of Falling twice throughout the series. As a child, she subscribes to her mother’s give-as-you-get Hufflepuff Primary. When her mother dies with no one coming to her aid, Daine Falls so hard she literally loses her humanity and goes running with wolves. 

After healing from that, she comes to trust and rely on the diplomacy and fair play rules of her Tortallan friends–but a friend ends up dead when she thought (by the rules of reality–she’s a Ravenclaw, she believes her systems hard) that they would be safe. She had played nice, he had played nice, but he had still been executed. Daine Falls and she Falls specifically into tumultuous and violent lashing out. 

Daine’s growth through to the end of the series allows her to build herself a system of service, loyalty, and bravery that relies on her choices and the choices of her close allies, not the responses of enemies or the world at large. It’s a more self-sufficient and self-contained system and so much more stable for that.

Fallen Ravenclaws are Ravenclaws who have broken with their system in some way. The way burned Hufflepuffs turn from their communities, Gryffindors lose touch with their internal compass, and Slytherins push personal loyalty away, Ravenclaws break from the heart of their primary. Fallen Ravenclaws can decide all systems are useless; that systems are impossible to find or to find accurately; that they can never live up to the system they believe to be true. 

Ravenclaws are both less likely than the other Houses to Fall and less likely to find an equilibrium in that Fall–more likely to either cease functioning entirely or to have lots of little Falls but generally end up rebuild themselves some kind of steady ground to stand on. 

Falling is not just losing faith in your morality or in the people around you–this can be as severe losing confidence in your very ability to observe and define the world around you. That, you might imagine, could be a little unsettling. 

Ons Light Novel 3 Chapter 4 (Part 3)

Title: Demonic Love

Disclaimer: This is a fan-made translation from Chinese translations! Please go easy and enlighten us on any mistakes or deviations from the original light novel. All credit goes to the original author and illustrators. - Hyaka and Kuro Shion

*Chapter 4 is a very long chapter, expect a few parts!

——————————————————————————————

According to circumstances, the war between the Hyakuya Sect and <Mikado no Oni> would occur very quickly.

At the same time, the surveillance on Guren and Shinya would probably be more relaxed too. Mahiru’s actions today would cause things to progress down this road. Both Shinya and Guren had secrets hidden from the Hiragi House. But these secrets didn’t matter anymore; Mahiru’ actions resulted in ramifications so widespread that these secrets could be ignored.

Keep reading

liberty and leadership

In every species of social animals, there are leaders. There are those leaders who are too loose and unloyal to their pack, giving little in the way of direction and necessities. There are the fair but stern leaders which achieve optimal balance between order and group moral. And there are the authoritarian leaders who hate disorder and disloyalty. This third kind, the authoritarian and often brutal leaders, are actually rather destructive to their tribe’s moral, and do more to create civil war and tribal feuds than to create means of survival. Human beings often have authoritarian personalities, and often, they have helped groups organize, survive, and compete. But the they are always a serious threat to free society, particularly in the age of technology and globalization.

The authoritarian personality is one which uses morals as a weapon, justice as a method of subjugation, facts as either weapons or garbage, and compassion as a means of control and compliance. They may see fabrications as being justified by the power they accumulate. They seek to have people in sync with their ideals for order, and seek to destroy other authoritarian personalities which are not in line with their order. They seek to have freer personalities submit and fall in line with their methods of order - essentially requiring their conversion, faith, and conditioning rather than earning their loyalty. It is up to freer minded people to not submit to hive minded authoritarians or their hive minded masses, not on their own side nor the other side of politics. It is up to the liberal to instead stand for a balance of power and the conditions for harmony. They must stand for the principles of individual liberty, the fact of the individual’s innate value, agency, self ownership, privacy, and right to self determine. A liberal person must learn successful, fair, and structured order, and the be the one to implement it through society and give authoritarian personalities a niche within that free society so authoritarians are emotionally satisfied in not becoming despotic abominations. So long as they have a niche, they will not turn toward ideologies that aim to destroy liberal society, but instead embrace their role in free society where we and they both belong. If balanced people, knowing the necessity of both order and mercy, do not structure society, then those capable of the most extreme forms of despotism absolutely will.

It is also important to look out for cult dynamics, and to ward against groupthink and collectivism, as well as snowballing systems which take societal organization away from systems of liberty. When society puts the means of organization increasingly into planned despotic systems, liberal systems will simply collapse without economy, and they will become despotic and exploitable themselves due to poverty and power vacuum. Though, that wont necessarily happen through groupthink, it can happen by special interest groups, and certainly has been for at least 40 years. We are actually experiencing the collapse created by the transfer of production from free societies to exploited societies, as well as from the transfer of more and more power to fewer and fewer people further and further away. We are certainly headed toward a formula for despotism, though I suspect it will be driven by an organization (or series of organizations) this time instead of an easily demonized dictator.

Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars, Day 25: Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang, or, Logan’s Jerkass Woobieness in Full Bloom

[Previous Installment: Favorite Scene From Each Episode of Veronica Mars, Day 24: Driver Ed, or, How Wallace Pized Away Perfection]

Between a couple of long trips and that darn FanFic Author Appreciation Week, it has been a while since I did one of these Favorite Scenes posts. I have not been missed, as a quick perusal shows that people like bibliophileiz, dieselpunkd, and others are producing far better written and more interesting stuff for susanmichelin’s game. But inferiority has never stopped me before, and since this tumblr (and I am sure this really sets it apart) is all about self-indulgence, away we go (once more).

If I were actually going to pick my favorite scene from “Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang” at the moment, it might actually be the hilariously lame and awkward double date movie night  with Veronica, Duncan, Wallace, and Jackie. This episode has it all: Donut being a dork, Wallace andbeing way too concerned with what Veronica thinks about Jackie, and, maybe best of all, Veronica (in a hilarious shirt/sweater vest combo thing) getting annoyed at Jackie, and doing her possessive thing about Wallace, foreshadowing her going through the roof when she finds out about Logan and Kendall later in the episode. Honestly, how was Jackie so gracious through all this? Have we ever solved the mystery of why Jackie suddenly decided to go out with Wallace (see the previous post in this series)?

(Side note: as much as we talk about all over Veronica’s behavior being guided by her experience of exclusion and stuff, I think we have to give a fair bit of the “credit” for her jealously to being an only child. She is clearly not used to other people playing with her toys.)

If I was going to be more fun and stuff, that is the scene I would discuss. However, for some reason I feel compelled to do beat this Woobie Logan horse once more.

Logan is a jerk. “Jerk” may seem mild, but hopefully it gets the job done via understatement. Yet we also feel sorry for Logan, even at or close to his expressions of jerkassery. As is widely acknowledged, Logan Echolls is pretty much the paradigmatic (and arguably premiere) jerkass woobie in recent television.

Two scenes of his woobieness are quite jerkass-adjacent. These scenes are quite well-known and frequently discussed. I think they are linked, though, by just how badly Logan gets hurt in each scene, who does the hurting, and what it says about where he is at this point in the season.

First, we have the scene where Duncan and Logan are getting patched up by the school nurse (that is some school nurses office!) in the wake of their fight, spurred on by Logan’s asinine, but guilty-pleasure inducing comment: “Didn’t plug her right the first time, huh?”

For once, it’s hard to blame the Dick-meister.

Back to the nurse’s office: the first time I watched this scene, when Logan said “Oh, hell with Veronica. She’s in the rear-view mirror,” I was taken aback. What? Logan doesn’t care about Duncan basically waiting around for Logan to screw it up with Veronica then slip back in via cheesy fortune cookie? Logan is lying, right? Surely all the stuff about Duncan not having his back is a smokescreen!

On further reflection, although the Veronica issue probably added to Logan’s bitterness, on Logan’s end, I really do think it is almost completely about Duncan abandoning him. It is Duncan who viciously shoves Logan’s failings with Veronica into his face: “You lost her; I didn’t steal her.”

It now seems to me that Logan is being honest here: he wants to know why Duncan abandoned him during the worst summer of Logan’s already-less-than-awesome life. It is important to remember how Logan treats Duncan in the first season. Logan does his best to look out for Duncan and take care of him, even if Logan does not always do so in the best way (and sometimes makes things worse). The way Logan looks as Duncan walks away from him in both “Meet John Smith” and “A Trip to the Dentist” says it all.

I enjoy excessive mocking of and piling onto Duncan as much as all good-hearted people, but there is no need for that here. The situation speaks for itself. Logan is not asking why Duncan did not help him burn down the pool or anything like that. He is simply wanting to know why Duncan never contacted him in the aftermath of the horrific revelations about Aaron and Lilly, Logan being nearly beaten to death, and then arrested for the death of one of his assailants and becoming the “eye of the storm.” (Let’s leave aside Duncan’s indication to Veronica in “Leave It to Beaver” that he knew Logan was being abused.) Even at this moment, all Logan is looking for is some acknowledgment by Duncan that he actually cares about Logan. I really do think (and his behavior toward Veronica and Duncan after this episode, though hardly pristine, backs this up) he was willing to give Veronica up if that is what she and Duncan wanted. He really was willing to try and put Veronica “in the rear view mirror.”

Duncan has known Logan long enough to know what Logan is really asking. And while Duncan has clearly been through a lot as well, his response makes one wonder if Duncan is simply being narcissistic (by assuming that only he, and not Logan, suffered in the wake of Lilly’s death), or if he is being deliberately cruel, too (by throwing Aaron in Logan’s face, as if it were somehow Logan’s fault). “Your dad murdered my sister” (followed by walking out)  isn’t as brutal as Duncan’s eye rolling “you were there, too” response to Veronica confronting him about Shelly Pomeroy’s party, but it is a heck of a runner-up. Well done, Duncan.

The icing on the cake is Duncan’s nonchalant attitude after the whole confrontation. “Veronica, it’s no big deal, just what guys do sometimes.” Duncan really just does not get it, or worse, he does get it, and Logan’s situation is just a blip on Duncan’s radar.

The second scene I want to discuss is the memorable “poor little rich boy” scene (as I call it) or, as others call it, the “towel scene.” This scene has multiple dimensions. The one towards which I would normally be drawn – psycho-stalker jealous ex-girlfriend Veronica who gets angry with Logan for having sex with someone else even though she is sleeping with his former best friend (GOTZMINE) – is tremendous, but this time around I want to focus on something a bit more specific.

(Dig that the blue outfit of repression, cheshirecatstrut!)

First of all, keep in mind that this scene, coming about midway through the third episode of the season, is the first time Veronica has spoken to Logan in real time (that is, outside of flashbacks) the whole season. If this post was not already too long, I would go into that in more depth. For now, I will just note (and again, this issue itself could be a whole post, so this is not all there is to it) that this method of protecting herself also serves (unintentionally on her part, at least at first) to hurt Logan – it is as if she is wishing he (and the memories of their time together) would just go away from her “perfectly normal” world with Duncan and their fantastic double dates with Wallace and Jackie. Suffice it to say that there is plenty of pent-up emotion in this scene.

Despite her anger and denial, Veronica is right about one thing: Logan is being deliberately self-destructive. Leaving aside the moral aspects of adultery (and statutory rape on Kendall’s side): as Logan himself noted in the previous episode, the gun-toting Mr. Casablancas has a very similar life philosophy to Logan’s own murdering father.

L(The symbolic aspects of Logan’s affair with Kendall are manifold and too much to get into here. Off the top of my head: the symbolic revenge of cuckolding someone like his father just as Aaron did to him; the “revenge” on Lilly by showing he could do it, too; and most of all, his desire for self-destruction after his perceived abandonment by Veronica in order to follow Lilly, “the love of his life,” down the same path in order to join her in oblivion).

Logan does seem to finally be getting some sense of satisfaction by Veronica simply being there and acknowledging his existence. But it is not enough. Her jealousy, at least in the manner she cannot help but express it, seems to be purely sexual. From his perspective, Veronica did not come to find him until she knew he was having sex with someone else. Without getting into the details, the series makes it pretty clear that Logan can have great sex with pretty much anyone. He is used to being the object of lust. Whatever joy that brings to his life is hardly unique, though. He wants something else from Veronica. He wants her to trust him, care for him, and love him.

While Logan may put a smarmy, self-satisfied look on his face, Logan is clearly feeling something else on the inside as Veronica rants. Yes, Logan is being ridiculously reckless and obnoxious. He has not been trustworthy. But Veronica still manages to find a way to go above and beyond in her cruelty. Logan can accept being a  cliché, a “poor little rich boy with a death-wish.” Veronica goes one step further: “I used to think that it was bad luck that landed you in danger… The knife fight on the bridge and the drive-by in your car. But no, now I see you actually enjoy it, don’t you, Logan?”

Contrast this with Veronica’s (at least in her memories) reaction the night Logan came to her door. Logan said he woke up and Felix was dead, and that he did not kill Felix. Veronica believed him. Veronica’s rant in this scene implies that it was a “knife fight,” that she no longer believes him about that. Perhaps even worse, the drive-by in which not just Logan, but Veronica was also killed (which is implied to have spurred Logan on to the despicable act of burning down the public pool) is glossed by Veronica as something else Logan “enjoyed.” What Logan is hearing is that he is scum who does not even really care about her (when, in fact, she was one of the only things he still cared about; not the only thing, though, as we saw from the scene with Duncan, even if Logan was willing to give up Duncan for her; just as he now seems to be willing to give up Veronica for Duncan), and basically got what he had coming the night of the knife fight.

What Logan hears in all this, then, despite his cocky countenance, is that Veronica, like Duncan (and like everyone else Logan  has ever loved, at least as he perceives it), simply does not care about him.