empire globes

anonymonster  asked:

For the headcanon/worldbuilding meme: tell us about your headcanons wrt language and culture and how much difference or how it's distributed across Alternia, and the fleet post-Ascension especially?

To explain my presuppositions, first (with the note that I’m not bothering with dialect differentiations in the language names, pff):

  • A not insignificant portion of the canon trolls have names that’re made up of multiple language! Key examples are:
    • Vriska Sekret (Sanskrit + Egyptian), Aradia Megido (Italian + Hebrew), Nepeta Leijon (Latin + Swedish), Kanaya Maryam (Sanskrit + Arabic), Terezi Pyrope (Albanian/Turkish + Greek), Equius Zahhak (Latin + Persian), Gamzee Makara (Turkish + Arabic/Sanskrit)
    • And interestingly enough, it’s canon that Tavros uses Spanish, with an implication that he speaks it - his handle is adiosToreador.
    • One solution to this would be to argue that the names are irrelevant! I am not a fan of this, given that it feels like it relies heavily on the assumption of WASPS as the default setting, even in light of canon evidence that this is maybe not the case. x)
  • Given the prevalence of names from multiple languages, I tend to assume that linguistic creoles are way more common than straight languages. So, Vriska / Kanaya / Equius / Gamzee might all be from an area that, at one point, had a heavy population of Middle Eastern and North African trolls - whi~ich gradually, by the point of canon, would’ve resulted in the mixed naming schemes, and would be represented in a creole language that might be a mash-up of Sanskrit + Turkish + Arabic + English + whatever.
    • Fun fact: you can see modern examples of this process in Singlish, Kriol, Patois, Hawaiian Pidgin English, and a bunch of other languages!
  • And the reasoning behind this, for me, is that: the Tyrian Empire is pretty fucking old, but presumably, there were empires and dynasties and other countries before everything was consolidated! One of the traditional, easiest ways of breaking down cultural boundaries and forcing them to assimilate - say, under a new regime led by a globe-spanning empire - was through removing children from their parents, placing them with others, and arranging marriages.
    • Trolls do not reproduce in a manner that would allow for that, and children pass on culture from adults to each other. BUT cultural blending would’ve still been needed, because there’s no point in having an empire if, functionally speaking, it’s still divided up by tribal associations and nationalism.
    • So: the initial waves of cultural blending and erasure of the old ways could’ve occurred through the Tyrian Empire deliberately selecting certain trolls, and just moving them wholesale. Have individuals from several different former countries lead a colonisation effort in a different region. Force quadrants between former national rivals. Cultures will be forced to blend, languages will merge, and the next generations to come out of the brooding cavern won’t be able to claim their former national identities - by the second or third cohort of eggs after the initial effort, the language that they were learning from schoolfeeds and the older children would’ve changed enough to ensure any adult population that was trying to stick to their initial roots would’ve seen them as other, and their culture would’ve been similarly changed.

In general, though:

  • I generally figure that English is the primary language of Alternia, courtesy of the Condesce’s speech pattern: their specific flavour of slang (however you want to codify it) is probably what passes as the ~*ideal speech pattern*~ of the world. Potentially reflected in the way that Gamzee, and presumably other Mirthful, would speak!
    • In this figuring: Eridan and Meenah’s speech patterns are more representative of how the average seadweller speaks, and Equius is the ideal blueblood. 
  • I’ve mentioned before, but following with the idea that English is the Condesce’s first language: I figure English is the lingua franca of the Empire! All the official documentation is in English, the schoolfeeds are in English, everyone except for feral trolls is going to know how to speak English, even if it’s heavily accented, or they only use it once in a blue moon.
    • The closer a language is to English, the more prestige is has socially! So Spanish is fairly common for people to learn to speak. I usually head-canon French as one of the de facto languages for seadwellers - all of my characters speak it, save for Sipara! (And not just because I can write French, shhhh.)
    • Planet-side, I tend to say that each region / capitol has different languages! Temasek’s official language is English and Singlish, but it drifts more and more towards Egyptian Arabic as you head down south (and more towards Hokkien, then Kyowa-go, then Japanese as you drift out towards the east).
  • Up in the Fleet, though, I figure there’s two priorities for setting up ships. The first is to ensure that trolls stay with their quadrants and clademates, when possible, for greater social cohesion. The second, keeping the first in mind, is to make sure you don’t end up with any too large a population of kids from the same area on the same ship! Part of the benefit of Ascension was separating trolls further from any identity save ‘Imperial citizen’.
    • Isolating parts of your population onto ships, where their day-to-day life largely consists of interacting with each other, and giving them a separate identity on top of that of an exclusive, shared language and cultural background, is not really keen for that goal.
    • Subsequently: ships are largely, purposefully kept as a mixed bag!
    • The only general exception to this are indigo and violet ships, where the populations tend to be small enough that it can’t entirely be avoided, and which has proven to sometimes be beneficial in a different way - if everyone on this specific ship is in the same small range of castes, they all speak the same language, and they share roughly the same cultural background, then that isolates them from others of their caste in the Fleet. When it’s one tyrian Empress versus the thousands of violets and indigoes who could very easily stage an up-rising, any sort of way to separate and divide them up so they won’t group together is pretty useful!

lightdragon837  asked:

What is the history of England ?

In the beginning, there were the British Isles. These were the home of the Celtic people, who liked to draw fancy knots and build large stone circles. They were immediately killed off by the Romans for these dangerous and blasphemous acts. The Romans then built a giant wall to keep the most brutal survivors from invading their settlements. These dangerous and bizarre northerners would in time become known as the Scottish.

In 1066, a man named Norman invaded and killed off all the remaining Romans and Celts because they did not speak French. The survivors were taught French, and began to fight each other over who was more French. These wars included the Hundred Years War, which lasted 116 years; the War of the Roses, in which no actual roses fought; and the English Civil War, in which the people literally fought about whether their government should be run by people calling themselves “The Rump.”

England during this time also had well over 30 different Kings and Queens, who all together had well under 5 different names. There was also Oliver Cromwell, who banned Christmas because it wasn’t Christian enough for him. These centuries also saw the creation of the Magna Carta, which was by far the biggest Carta.

Shakespeare happened.

England then began to colonize the world. For 300 years, the English invaded literally every single other country they could find. They only missed like five. They invaded so many that their empire sprawled across the globe and they could claim that “The Sun Never Set On The British Empire,” which was inaccurate because the sun set every night on each portion, meaning the sun was in fact always setting on the British Empire.

In time, the empire grew obsolete and England joined together with its feisty brother Ireland (or at least his shoulder), its peaceful sister Wales, and its crazy uncle Scotland that nobody liked to visit or talk about. Together they became known as the UK, which in turn joined the EU, ushering in a new era of two letter abbreviations that reigned over Europe, past England’s brutal defeat of Germany, England’s other brutal defeat of Germany, and the withdrawal of England from the EU, which was for some reason lamented by Germany.

Also Harry Potter happened.

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Taraji P. Henson Gives Zero F*cks As She Continues Her Speech Despite Wrap Up

On the night of January 10, 2016, Taraji P. Henson walked onstage to receive her Golden Globe award for winning ‘Best Actress in a Television Series Drama’. And as the teleprompter straight ahead of her screened the words, “Wrap up,” indicating it was time for the show to keep on moving despite what else she had left to say, Taraji rejected that statement and rebutted over the microphone that sent her next words flying through the humongous room, “Please wrap? Wait a minute, I waited 20 years for this. You g’on wait.”

And so, they did.

Within that moment, there was something that spewed colorful fireworks from within, that prompted for me to church stomp around my kitchen as I let this vine replay over and over again like a broken record, getting the life I know to always receive in the presence of Taraji P. “THE GAWD” Henson. What she did was one of the sheerest acts of Carefree Black Girl, which has developed a monolith and definition that many Black girls can begin to argue with, and to which I can define as this: A Black girl/woman learning, taking care of, and/or being herself without worrying if it’ll make people who don’t and never WILL matter, uncomfortable. And boy, did it.

Right after the steamroll of congratulations and yaaaaaas’s poured through, like clockwork came the backlash; the eye rolls and whispers towards the carefreeness were making camp. The confirmation of how Black girls “really are,” from Non-Black people, and the respectability politics FROM Black people. On Twitter, there were tweets that read like, “Oh, come on. Taraji could’ve been less rude.” “Can Taraji have some CLASS, please?!” “Girl, this is an award show. There’s a time and place to be hood.” And to that, I say bullshit. What Taraji said was warranted, for she is a Black actress who’s been in the game for 20 years and is now finally receiving the praise she’s gotten. Starring in a hit television series on FOX that broke records its first season just last year, indicating that Black people can make and star in television series that can garner viewers that rival some of the best shows in the game. Having your work on that show grant her titles from prestigious publications, like “Most Influential Fictional Character of 2015,” from TIME Magazine and “Entertainer of the Year,” from USA Today. Getting magazine covers that flaunt and accentuate her beauty in ways Black women don’t usually get the privilege of dabbing in, such as W Magazine, Uptown, Upscale, and Allure.

For so long, Taraji has played supporting, and now that she has the forefront, people can SEE her. When you’re a 45 year old Black woman who’s been in the game as long as she has, who has had to wait for her moment to shine high and bright, who has had to play the same roles over and over that don’t challenge her in the least because there is no room for Black women to play multidimensional characters such a Cookie Lyon on television… When you’re finally the one receiving the award in front of a sea of White faces and blotches of Black… When it is FINALLY your turn… who has time to be anyone BUT themselves?

We also have to ask, why is the way Taraji presents herself deemed unacceptable in establishments that aren’t hood and are painted with White people? As you watch the audience watch Taraji, and as the cameras cut to a few of them during her speech, I could see the slight discomfort. The, “What is a woman like THAT doing here?” And even though I’m not surprised, because reactions like this is just another day that ends in y, it still irks me that reactions like these are given to Black girls and women like Taraji who work their asses off to receive the accolades they’ve been given in an institution that is more receiving towards White people than Black, especially Black people who aren’t “classy.” And then there’s that word, classy, and what it means along with how it’s used. When I hear the word “classy,” I think of polished, smooth talking, and sophisticated. When I hear the word “classy,” along with someone telling me or any other Black girl to be it instead of who we are, I think of someone telling us to stop making them uncomfortable because we’re not acting as the standards should; the standard created by no one other than White people. So what happens when we’re told to be classy is that we’re told to behave like our white counterparts do, thus going out of our way to make them feel comfortable and adhere to the standards they’ve set, especially when you’ve made it to an environment that doesn’t allow anything but the standard to breathe there. We must act like we didn’t come from where we did, wherever that may be, and grow up and around the people we did, because we’re no longer that girl. We’re taught that we’re better than that girl, and if we want to be respected, we have to conform. We have to strip away parts of our Blackness to get a chance at the cool table.

It doesn’t have to be about the way you speak. It can be about your hair texture or the way you dress, all the way down to the neighborhood you go home to after leaving such fine institutions. It’s so unimaginable for a Black girl from the hood to make it out, especially in an industry blanketed in White able bodied cishetero male supremacy, that when she does, she can no longer be herself. She begins the training of morphing into the Black girl/woman White people can tolerate to be around, because she won’t instantly remind them of what they can’t stand, which is Black people and the stereotypes that they’ve created for us and in which we perpetuate that come along with it.

And there is something radical in being amongst people of this “caliber,” and still being able to respond to someone trying to cut you off as you make your speech, that they’re going to have to hold up and let you finish. When I saw Taraji run through the aisles of people handing out cookies, I saw myself, witty and shameless, bringing everyone else into my joyous moment by delivering laughs and entertainment. When I saw Taraji tell the man who accidentally stepped on it to get off her train, I saw the Black girls in high school that were unafraid in telling a White girl to think twice about touching her hair. The Black girls who I shared the cafeteria tables with, for we were in a predominately White all girls Catholic school and for most of us, it was a culture shock that we only knew how to survive by sticking by each other as we gradually stepped out of the comfort zone. When I saw Taraji let out a holler after mentioning that she had no idea playing an ex convict who sold crack would be the role that changed the game for her, I saw my mom, who laughs loudly and proudly as she goes with the flow with whatever the universe throws at her, and makes sure to never let it bring her down because she loves herself and life too much to take fleeting and life progressing moments so seriously. And finally, when I saw Taraji tell everyone the phrase that prompted this essay, I saw all of the Black girls and women I’ve met, whether online or off, who hold not a single tongue for anyone, Black man to White woman and back, who tries to lessen the importance of Black girl excellence by silencing us, or shaming us for celebrating the parts of being a Black girl that the world has been taught to hate.

When Taraji won and said her speech the way she did, we saw ourselves, or saw the Black woman we aim to be: carefree of standards, and filled with self awareness.

Thank you for being you, Taraji.