economy of beauty

anonymous asked:

In a world where deities are known to actually exist (some people doubt their existence, but most at least acknowledge them, even if they don't follow any), do you think that religion would change significantly? A lot of religions are about a relationship with a being based on conviction, but less so on actual interaction or evidence. Do you see this being significantly different, or would what people want from it be the same, and therefore religions wouldn't differ much?

DISCLAIMER: These replies are only writing advice and intended for entertainment purposes only.  Your personal experiences may vary.  The author accepts no liability stemming from improper use of any material presented here.  I am not here to be your pastor; I am here to help you write better pastors.  If you need real life spiritual advice or are experiencing a spiritual crisis, please search for local resources related to your specific crisis as these will be best equipped to assist you. If the first resource doesn’t work out, try the next one. You matter.

So I’ve given this some thought, and my answer is: No, I think religion probably wouldn’t differ all that much.

I’ll start by mentioning that humanity is incredibly predisposed to religion.  We can engage in all kinds of speculation why, but suffice to say that we do.  Long ago, we worshipped emperors and kings; more recently, we worship the economy and certain beauty ideals.  People argue about whether or Dumbledore’s sexual orientation is “canon,” given that JK Rowling revealed that detail in an interview and not in the text of the books (scripture) themselves.  It’s controversial when a professional athlete chooses whether or not to stand for the national anthem, which is a ritual designed to reinforce feelings of loyalty and pride in the fictive state.

I’m working with a very broad definition of “religion,” here.  For my purposes, religion is something that gives narrative structure to one’s life and environment.  Religion uses sacred story and ritual to represent this narrative.  Religion posits an “ideal state” that we are meant to strive toward or return to.

It sounds like in this world you’re building, deities are “known to exist” because there is evidence of them.  I don’t know what kind of evidence there is; maybe that means deities are walking around on the surface of the planet as we speak, waving their multiple arms and performing miracles, or maybe Real Miracles happened fifty years ago but no miracles have happened lately so people are starting to forget.  

In the latter case, I don’t see this as being particularly different from, say, people who absolutely believe in the existence of angels.  You might say, “well, that’s not evidence-based,” but that would depend on what you mean by evidence.  She prayed for her tumor to shrink, and it did, and she says it’s because her guardian angel was listening.  Her doctor says it’s because the medicine worked.  Who’s right?  Maybe her guardian angel made sure the medicine worked.

In the former case, where you have basically X-Men running around the place, controlling the weather and firing lasers out of their faces, I can only think that it might make the ordinary populace more demanding of their deities.  XD  People can always make up reasons for why something didn’t happen.  If the aforementioned woman’s tumor had not shrunk, she might shrug and say, well, it must be my time to go, the guardian angel knows best.  But if you performed the correct ritual for rain and it didn’t rain?  Hey, somebody’s not holding up their end of the bargain!  Or, hey, maybe not: maybe I didn’t perform the ritual correctly.  Must have missed something.  Maybe I’d better go back and do that again.

Which can make things pretty interesting for your deities!  Like, holy cow, people are hanging all kinds of responsibilities on me; I didn’t ask for any of this!  I was just born this way!  So on and so forth.

It’s also worth noting that this idea of religion being based on some kind of belief and/or conviction is a relatively new one, and a particularly Western notion at that.  Nearly 80% of the Japanese population engages in Shinto practices, but ask any one of them if they were “religious” and they would probably say no, even if you’d stopped them to ask this question in front of the shrine where they’d just made an offering for a good grade on their final exams.  What, that?  That’s not religion.  Same with many Hindus and Buddhists.  For thousands of years–and in much of the world today–religion was not something we believed; it was something we did.  They were and are a set of cultural practices that had nothing to do with whether or not you actually believed in a supernatural deity out there, somewhere.

The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.
—  Robert F. Kennedy

This Sexy Superyacht Is Also Environmentally Friendly

In honor of World Environment Day, here’s one of the most fuel efficient, yet distinctive and drop-dead gorgeous superyachts in the world. While many superyachts are designed to pamper their owners and impress their guests, one of the main objectives of the 140-foot-long yacht Adastra was fuel economy. It’s fast, seaworthy, comfortable, stunningly beautiful, self-sufficient, and most of all green.


Pearls are so pretty. Not just round the neck. Easy diy ideas. Sour economy: pinterest.


Damon and Yukimi always have such wonderful, heartfelt performances. They have such a beautiful romantic and musical chemistry. This performance in particular though is so perfect, I love it when Damon holds her hand, and then gets down on his knee. Gives me butterflies, simply amazing. P.S. The band does an excellent job performing To Binge live. (

My Goals

@tempus-fugit-so-study made a tag that inspired me to do this, so im gonna just include myself right here, and outline my goals for the following 10 years. ->>

  1. Finish grade 12 with all As in the sciences
  2. Get accepted into our community college and get my associates degree in Natural Science
  3. Get involved in many little projects, and intern in places associated with my career and become fluent in Spanish and French
  4. Get accepted in a medical school (I honestly dont know where i will live at this point so i can’t be specific)
  5. Finish medical school and begin working in my home country to help out their medical crisis(#1 reason why I choose this field)
  6. TRAVEL! TRAVEL! TRAVEL, find a nice economy with a beautiful and comforting environment and settle down
  7. Go back to school and specialize in Clinical Psychology (i will probably change this but whatev)
  8. Make a family :) and focus on my happpiness and well being
  9. Take up a sorts of hobbies, and basically try everything life has to offer, also more travelling and exploring
  10. Before retiring, Try to make an impact. Whether its donating to my home town,writing a book or even planting a tree.

Sitting down and thinking about this has really put things into perspective so i reccommend everyone to do this!

The Princess and the Smuggler

Originally posted by girlshbo

Request:  “ Could you write a princess x Ben au?”

 Summary: An AU where Ben Solo is in love with a princess of a wealthy planet, and sees her in secret. Although the feelings are mutual, her family isn’t ready to let her be with a smuggler and has other plans. 

It was like a vision of heaven, leaning over the ledge of your regal balcony, wearing one of your silky robes you took in a deep breath of the crisp night air. The view in front of you a gorgeous backdrop, with the clear blue water of the lake shimmering under the faint light of the moon. 

The smallest sound of leaves rustling below caught your attention, as you looked down your heart swelled. The one and only Ben Solo, smiling back at you, climbed up to where he was hanging onto the ledge of your balcony. 

With him now just mere inches from your face, he gently grasped your chin and brought you closer. Your lips lightly caressed the full and lucious ones of the tall, handsome raven haired man, your stomach suddenly gushing full of fluttering butterflies everytime they met. His deep voice broke the silence between your sweet exchanges, 

“I love you.” Another soft kiss, “I love you.” You giggled between the kiss, “I love you.” he said again pulling himself further up the ledge, anything to be closer to you. 

Looking up through your lashes at the beauty marks that littered his pale face you smiled chastely. He lightly grasped your forearm and started shaking you suddenly, “(Y/N), (Y/N)”…

“(Y/N), your highness, it’s time to wake up.” 

Slowly, and reluctantly drifting out of your dream state your eyes fluttered open to the sudden burst of sunshine as your personal maiden Didi threw the curtains open. Your eyes naturally shut again as you let out a low groan to protest. 

“Rise and shine your highness!” 

Keeping your eyes shut you managed to mumble out, “Morning Didi.” Curling yourself further into your fluffy luxury sheets and pillows you recalled the dream you had just been awoken from. Oh how you loved the nights you dreamt of Ben. Considering you seldom saw him, you often dreamed of him. With it being your birthday weekend you were sure this dream came as a sweet reminder that he had promised you to come and pay you a visit. It had been at least 2 months since you had seen him last at a senate meeting. You wanted nothing more than to be back in his arms, even if it was for a few moments before you had to send him on his way before you got caught. Your thoughts started to drift to the memories of his strong arms that could lift you like a mere feather, his broad chest that you loved to press yourself against, his lush black hair-  

“Big day today!” 

The sound of Didis high pitched voice shook you out of your dreamy haze as she thrashed open another curtain. With a groan you finally decided to sit up. Slowly gaining your energy you rubbed your eyes, looking at Didi with furrowed brows. 


She turned back to you with a look of concern and slight confusion as she un latched the lock on your window. “Umm…weren’t you made aware of today’s events your highness?” 

You sighed, “Didi I told you, you can call me (Y/N), and no I was not. I figured after that big birthday celebration we’d be done for a while.” With a good stretch you let out a soft yawn. The large room fell silent with a growing feeling of tension as Didi avoided your eyes and kept opening windows. 

“…Didi, what exactly is happening today?“ 

Keep reading


Olivia Gatwood (in white) is from Albuquerque. I beat her in a slam one time. She beat me in every other slam we were both in. She’s great and lovely and stretches wherever she is before performing and sometimes I try to imagine myself a little like her before I perform cause that’s just how great she is.

All the recent discussion on art&books in Hannibal got me thinking about Hugh’s favourite books, since we know he’s a voracious reader. In interviews he’s name-dropped,

Small Mediums at Large by Terry Iacuzzo

John Osborne (apparently goes to Strand Bookstore to buy second-hand plays)

William stories by Richmal Crompton

Brideshead Revisited (said it’s his favourite tv adaptation)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (he bought the Alec Guinness version box set!! good taste bb)

“I wish David Mitchell had Philip Roth’s output.”

Wants to meet Christopher Marlowe, D. H. Lawrence, Byron and the young Coleridge. 

Game of Thrones 

World War Z

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Sabbaths Theater by Philip Roth (aw lol Hugh) and Women in Love by DH Lawrence, which are apparently his favourites

Speaking of which we know Mads LOVES thriller/crime, and he’s mentioned,

Lee Child (been photographed reading Without Fail), Michael Connelly, The Lord of the Rings, The Brothers Lionheart, Die Geschichte von einer Mutter

…and then this list got me thinking about the Mads/Hugh Dynamic

..because they’re so different (as evidenced by their book list) yet soo00 complementary?!! Here you have Adidas-clad, football kicking, beer slugging, not one bit self conscious/pretentious, “proud to be working class” Mads Mikkelsen, who turns out to be the most thoughtful guy ever (gosh the perspicacity and economy&beauty of expression when he speaks about his roles)

And then you get Hugh Dancy with the staid middle class upbringing under philosopher daddy and respectable public school/Oxford education, who despite his ethereal face, is not only unassuming and chill, but has this cheeky, sarcastic, almost nasty bite to his lovely personality (re: sex toy joke to Nina Arianda or this little interview over here [x])

…and it weirdly makes perfect sense how these two with 10yrs age difference and disparate backgrounds have such perfect camaraderie and overwhelming affection for each other.

So whenever I get a lil’ bit sad, I like to imagine the two–in their early years, Mad flipping and hopping his way into a dance troupe (which he joined to get with girls but by what 22, he’s already cozy with Hanne? d’awww), and Hugh chugging through English lit. and doing god knows what as the prettiest boy&girl at Oxford ;) ;)–then at the King Arthur set where they meet and become fast friends over beer and (two) horses (”you should do a movie in Denmark!”)–Hugh doing an internal whoop! as Bryan mentions Mads’ name for the role–fast settling into the most perfect chemistry as they film Hannibal (”turns out Mads rehearses for the exact same period and purpose as I do”)–and together creating the greatest tragic-romance of our times over beer and jokes and friendship

and my cold cold heart just melts and blooms with love for these amazing two people <3 god I adore them so

Originally posted by epiclivwell

Book Review: Her Name in the Sky by Kelly Quindlen

I have recommended this book many times, and I have given it good reviews elsewhere; however, I realized that I have never given the book a full review here on Tumblr, so here it is:

Her Name in the Sky, by Kelly Quindlen, tells the story of Baker Hadley and Hannah Eaden, high school seniors and best friends who find themselves falling in love and struggling with the conflicts that grow out of their same-sex attraction in the context of their Catholic community and close-knit group of friends.

Now, given that I am well beyond young adulthood and my initial coming out process is long past, I no longer find adolescent coming out stories to be as compelling as they once were; some of the tropes have become a bit worn. It was therefore on a whim that I decided to give this book a try. Since it appeared to be yet another YA coming out story, and a self-published one at that, written by a new author I had never heard of, my expectations were not high. Once I started reading, though, I realized that I was in the presence of some genuine writing talent.

The first thing that struck me about this book was its very realistic depiction of adolescence: The two protagonists, as well as their peers, are portrayed as basically good kids who do well in school and have loving relationships with their parents and families, and yet at the same time they are also involved in an entirely separate world of after-hours parties where sex, drinking, swearing, and typically ugly teenage behavior are commonplace, occurring – usually – without serious consequence or adult involvement.

I also found the book to offer an enlightening view into the parochial school environment: having no such background myself, I was surprised to learn that the Catholic school curriculum includes theology classes and compulsory masses. These, laced as they are with unapologetically anti-gay rhetoric, understandably cause pain and conflict for the two main characters. Still, the book maintains a balanced view of Catholicism, portraying both positive and negative aspects of the Church and its teachings.

Although Her Name in the Sky can be enjoyed as a straightforward adolescent romance/coming out story that is not so very different from many others, it can also be appreciated on another level: in keeping with the protagonists’ struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith, woven throughout the book is an ingenious and quite beautiful pairing of sex and the forbidden fruit, sin and salvation, and holy communion and human love. With only minor exceptions, the symbolism is handled with subtlety and grace. Although I am a nonbeliever, the religious theme did nothing to detract from my enjoyment of the book; indeed, I found that this added dimension greatly enhanced the power and beauty of the story.

The author is able to successfully balance the lighter and darker sides of adolescent life; leavened as it is with humor, the book never becomes too weighed down by angst. Still, the pain, confusion, and isolation experienced by the protagonists are depicted in a way that I felt was achingly honest and realistic. Both girls are likeable as well as flawed. Likewise, numerous secondary characters – friends, family members, and teachers – are portrayed in a multidimensional way, with sympathy as well as humor.

The writing is extraordinarily good: Quindlen’s prose is remarkable throughout for its precision, economy, and beauty. Notably, there is a moving, lyrically described love scene which somehow manages to be both explicit and oblique at the same time – a seemingly impossible feat that the author accomplishes through her skilled use of language and metaphor. She is also adept with the rhythms of speech: Not only is she able to create multiple characters with distinct voices, but the dialogue, much of it rendered in an almost uncannily accurate adolescent vernacular, is snappy, realistic, and often humorous.

Yes, I love this book; no, it is not perfect. At the beginning, its seemingly heavy focus on teenage repartee and partying made me wonder where the book was going, and I found the large cast of characters a bit hard to sort out at first. There were also a few passages that I felt could have been handled with greater subtlety. These are minor complaints, though. I also think it’s worth noting that the book’s excellent Amazon reviews indicate that it has struck a responsive chord with many other readers besides myself.

In addition to being a very sensitive and honest LGBT coming-of-age story, Her Name in the Sky is a truly lovely book about redemption, forgiveness, and love. Highly recommended. 


The plane’s rumble slowly shook the sleeping girl awake. 

“We’ve arrived at Mistralton City, please enjoy your stay!”

A click followed the distorted voice and left Mars and the other passengers in silence to bask in the wondrous sunrise that glimmered through the tall grass of the Unova region. Still feeing groggy, the redhead stretched herself as much as she could in the cramped economy style space. Despite the beautiful gaze the sun brought, Mars was hardly happy to be up. A massive police search was issued across Sinnoh after Team Galactic split up. Warrants were signed to capture the remnant leaders of the syndicate, forcing Mars to make an immediate getaway after she left the group. The redhead sat up and knew her facade will have to begin as soon as she steps foot in the foreign land.

The pilot expertly made a smooth landing and eventually came to a complete stop. Once the seatbelt signal activated, Mars unbuckled, grabbed her carry-ons, and left the plane. She would now need to live a new life, under a new name, in a new residence. The girl’s mind was running a mile per minute while still attempting to blend herself in with the tourists. She slowed down and looked at all the brightly colored signs that welcomed her to Unova and Mistralton City, but in reality, she was trying to come up with her new alias. Mars sighed a breath of frustration as acknowledged her new life of running away from police. Keeping her head down, Mars made her way to the center of the tourist herd, she did not have a specific destination in mind, but it could not be here.

The insurgent’s heart suddenly began to race as she noticed Unovians greeting the new coming tourists. Some of them were even engaged in full conversations with each other. Mars began to speed walk hoping to appear in a hurry and distant.