ethical grounds

Warding Masterpost

A Crash Course in Warding by @elvenwitch

“Let Only Good Energy In” Horseshoe Ward Charm by @anothersusurrus

House-Warding Spritz by @seleneblackwell

Simple Tips:

Sleep with your favorite protective crystal under your pillow or your favorite protective herb in your pillowcase

Flip your pillow over to avoid nightmares if they’ve been plaguing you

Do a quick saltwater cleansing of your room by spraying salt water in all of the corners

Burn (non endangered) sage in your home or room for a smoke cleansing

General Warding Herbs and Crystals

Amethyst - nightmares

Alder - the unseen

Ash - the dead

Bay - the lightning

Birch - the evil eye

Blackthorn - the forceful

Carnelian - misfortune

Fire - the wandering

Hawthorn - the cunning

Iron - the fay

Jasper - the trickster

Lobelia - the storm

Magnolia - the unfaithful

Mirror - the spell

Mistletoe - the flame

Rowan - the magician

Silver - the lurking

Salt - the spirit

Snail shell - the witch

A Basic Warding Ritual: Submitted to and full of wonderful info!

The following warding ritual is based on one my high priest teaches our coven. I have used it for several years with excellent results.

Keep reading

Many friends to be found for the lifesavers

((A study of the biologists on Elsewhere University, a continuation of the posts on statisticians and physicists by Canadianwheatpirates. Also on Ao3 )) 

Being a biology student on Elsewhere University is simply put absolute torture.

It’s in the nature of the Gentry to avoid the science students. Disapproving of everything and everyone that wishes to pin them down, put rules to them or uncover their secrets. It’s an uncomfortable truce, but in general the science students are bothered a lot less than the others. Especially the chemistry students are given a wide berth after the incident with their professor. Most science students are perfectly all right with this. No better guarantee for safety, after all.

The biologists? Not so much.

After all, what’s more of a novelty, a marvel, to a biologist then an entire hill filled with strange new species. Unclassified, unidentified, with unknown behaviour patterns and illogical body plans, not to mention sentience and powers beyond your wildest imagination? Irresistible!

The Fair Folk won’t touch you with a ten-foot pole, of course, but that only makes it more intriguing.

In a way, the other science majors have it easy. The things they study stay in place, mostly. The things they observe don’t tend to stare back. Of course, you could look away, but where’s the fun in that?

I’ll warn you beforehand, it’s not easy studying biology here. Unless, of course, you have a whole heap of self-control and patience stored up. Yes, the Art and English majors get taken most frequently. Yet when it comes to mysterious disappearances and weird unexplainable accidents, biologists take the lead. We’re magnets for trouble, sneaking around the boundaries and putting our noses where they do not belong. Prying and spying and generally being a hassle to the Fair Folk. Suddenly finding your life returning to crushingly normal as They retract their hands and even their eyes from you is said to be the most favourable outcome.

You’ll get to hear the stories anyway, though. After all, biologists are and odd breed of scientists. Jacks-of-all trades, we learn a bit of everything. Some chemistry, physics, math and statistics. They even put us in philosophy class every now and then to everyone’s great displeasure. As if we’re the ones who should be most concerned with morality and ethics on these grounds! Either way, you’ll get to know a lot of people from different studies as well, so even if the gentry decide to turn their back on you, the gossip will reach you nevertheless.

And after all, there’s plenty of cool things to study that aren’t magical at all! From ancient crab species with blue blood, saturated with copper, to jellyfish that keep turning back into their larval state, rendering them essentially immortal. Plants who’s body temperature rises with fifteen degrees when they flower or bacteria that eat plastic, form rock-hard spores or breathe sulfate. Not to mention fungi the size of a football field. No magic required!

Other students say we take after our subjects too much, and I guess they’re right. When it comes to creatures it’s universal among biologists that we like it bizarre! And yeah, we fit the bill. I know from experience many have the tendency to take their ‘work’ home with them. From odd exotic plants to weird, unfamiliar pets. Rooming with a biologist means there’s always chance of finding preserved carcasses in your fridge, or sometimes boxes with seeds that need to be kept cold until April, then they can be planted in the topsoil during the full moon. Be careful when watering the plants, some are from the desert and can easily be drowned. Mind the small tree with the massive, hand shaped leaves in the windowsill! Three seeds are enough to kill a human. The leaves aren’t that bad but you should still wash your skin thoroughly with soap after touching them.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an ecologists, cell biologists or geneticist. We all love nature, living things (and dead things, on occasion) and will try to keep them close. Your dorm will never be silent with the cries and scurrying of unfamiliar animals or rustling leaves as background noise.

Come to our labs if you have a free afternoon, they’re the prettiest this university has to offer! We have plenty of flowers in all colours, a small palm tree on the workbench and a huge aquaria full of colourful fish. Plus a cage with over forty species of beetles, shining like gemstones. Also a big collection of super-rad skeletons! Regular animals, fish, some beasts with too many limbs that look like the art students were in charge of the assembly. Most look unnerving (except the centaur, that one just looks dumb) and others can never quite tell if they’re perhaps Fae in origin or just weird-ass earth creatures (the biologists like it bizarre, after all). If you figure it out, don’t tell them!

And plants, so many plants. Don’t water anything though! Leave it to the professionals. Also if you see any empty pots, for the love of everything don’t throw them away! There’s no telling what’s beneath the dirt. There might be a living plant hibernating down there! Or maybe something else.

Please don’t touch the dead things either! Both for your own safety and for our sake, a few of those have yet to be dissected. Also, some of them might not be as dead as you think.

Oh and, oh what? The plant in the corner, you mean? Don’t worry about that, it’s not actually glowing. It’s just covered in a layer of thin, purple hairs! We suspect it’s to protect it from UV light. Nothing magical about it! We think. We’re still not entirely sure how it keeps making those sad humming noises though, but we’re bound to figure it out soon!

Also keep an eye out for the various pets the biologists are keeping, it’s a very interesting bunch. Much more varied than your typical cats and dogs. I’m still not entirely sure if keeping pets is allowed in the dorms but whatever, no stopping us. The lab rats used in the ‘animal behaviour’ practicum of the ‘development and growth’ course supposedly get disposed of after the experiments are finished, so they are free for the taking. Just bring a bulky jacket with a hidden pocket. Quite some biologists have one, although it’s a chore to smuggle them out.

Some of them are somewhat… odd, even though we didn’t do anything with them except observe their behaviour. Perhaps it’s the exposure to Fae magic? They make good pets, nevertheless.

(There’s another odd advantage to caring for plants and animals. Pets don’t normally do favours, and aren’t bound by promises, but this place has a way of altering things. It’s no certainty but perhaps one of the creatures you take care of may one day repay the favour. There are many friends to be found for the lifesavers. And as a biologist on Elsewhere’s grounds, you need all the friends you can get. Just make sure you treat them well.)

You may find injured creatures on campus occasionally. Just remember to check if any potential pets are sentient, deadly or collared before you take them. And remember, the crows and the lone fat skunk are absolutely off limits. Be wary of the swans, as well. Always be wary of the swans.


What happens when a character casts such a long shadow that pop culture can’t entirely leave him behind, but at the same time that character is firmly rooted in a time and place from which pop culture has itself moved on? The somewhat less than reassuring answer can be found in the film “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze” (1975), the TV series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (1979-81), and the TV series “Flash Gordon” (2007-08). In all cases, it’s probably fair to say the Pulp Era characters in question simply didn’t successfully transition to the modern era.

Even the cult film “Flash Gordon” (1980) produced by Dino De Laurentiis succeeded only insofar as it created an over-the-top campy and color-saturated reimagining. A lot of fun to watch? Absolutely. But it didn’t result in a new iteration of Flash Gordon being a serious and credible late 20th century pop culture character in the same way that, for example, Han Solo from Star Wars was. Put simply, it’s extremely difficult to reboot Pulp Era characters for contemporary pop cultural tastes.

It was with this in mind that I recently purchased “Avengers of the Moon,” the new Captain Future novel by Allen Steele.

Captain Future is my favorite pulp character. The Captain’s backstory is about as “pulp-y” as it gets. As a child, Curtis “Curt” Newton – Captain Future’s real name – was orphaned when his parents were murdered by the malevolent Victor Corvo. Curt’s father, Roger, was a brilliant scientist who had relocated to the Moon to work on his experiments. After his death, Curt was brought up by The Brain, the disembodied central nervous system of Roger’s colleague Simon Wright; Otho, an android who was a master of disguise as well as an effective combatant; and Grag, a powerful and self-aware robot.

Captain Future was universally revered by the citizens of the solar system, a solar system it should be noted teeming with sentient alien life on several planets and moons. The Captain and his Futuremen worked closely with two members of the Planet Police, the solar system’s interplanetary law enforcement agency: Marshal Ezra Gurney, a senior Planet Police official whose speech and personality seem better suited to the Old West than to outer space, and Joan Randall, an agent who had feelings for Curt although their relationship never developed into anything serious.

The stories were quite imaginative albeit formulaic. But there was just something about the chemistry of the characters that really worked, Curt Newton was the young, handsome space hero, as adept with his mind as with his fists or his proton pistol. Otho and Grag bickered and insulted each other constantly but cared deeply for each other. Simon “The Brain” Wright was the elder statesman. While not achieving the notoriety of Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers, Captain Future, created by Mort Weisinger and written primarily by Edmond Hamilton, still reigned from his secret base in Tycho Crater on the Moon over his pulp science fiction empire from 1940 to 1951.

Enter journalist and sci fi author Allen Steele. Steele previously dealt with Captain Future somewhat obliquely in his 1996 Hugo Award-winning novella “The Death of Captain Future” in which a fan of the pulp hero acts out a fantasy based on the exploits of the character. In “Avengers of the Moon,” Steele attempts the impossible task of rebooting the Captain Future universe for modern sci fi fans.

The novel is set in the 24th century rather than the early 21st of the original pulp series but earlier in Curtis Newton’s reimagined timeline: Newton is not yet Captain Future but a somewhat awkward youth, understandable given his limited contact with other humans and unique upbringing by his surrogate family. Early on in the novel, Newton learns of the murder of his parents by Senator Victor Corvo two decades earlier and plans revenge.

While Steele’s Curtis Newton is credible as the man who is not quite yet the hero he will become, the Futuremen diverge to a greater degree from their pulp incarnations. Otho is harsher than the lovable rogue of the 1940s. At one point he actually threatens Simon Wright with death. An interesting plot change is that Otho was originally supposed to be the body for the brain of Simon Wright but because Otho’s own brain developed sentience so rapidly, this plan was abandoned on ethical grounds. As a result, the Brain remains in a drone that flies using ducted fans rather than the force beams of the old sci fi magazines. Grag is more robotic in temperament. Ezra and Joan initially treat Curt with disdain and the very name “Captain Future” invites eye rolls and laughter rather than the awe and respect displayed from the very first pulp story, “Captain Future and the Space Emperor” (1940).

One of the saddest concessions to modernity is that Captain Future’s spaceship, the Comet, is reduced to a 20 year old yacht that has to hitch a ride on a lightsail ship to travel from the Moon to Mars. This much diminished Comet even lacks the power to lift off from Mars’ surface were it to land there. Thankfully, a worthier successor to the vessel is hinted at near the novel’s end.

The solar system civilization from the pulps survives surprisingly intact with the assorted aliens of the worlds of the system being rebooted as human beings who have been genetically modified to accommodate failed or incomplete terraforming procedures on the various moons and planets.

I won’t spoil the plot further except to say that not too surprisingly by the end of the novel, Curt Newton has accepted the mantle of Captain Future and the name now commands respect rather than prompts derision.

Anyone picking up “Avengers of the Moon” with the expectation that he or she will rediscover the magic of those old sci fi magazine stories will be disappointed, not because of any failing by the author but because that’s not the purpose of this book. Steele could have written a novel in direct continuity with the 1940s Captain Future universe but it would have been merely a pastiche. Instead, he chose the much more difficult task of trying to capture the soul of those wonderful old pulp characters and transplant them into a grittier and harder science fiction story to appeal to modern readers. In this all but unworkable endeavor, the author probably comes as close to success as is possible.

Reading “Avengers of the Moon” is like meeting some old friends for the first time in 20 years and discovering that they are now rather different people. And that’s okay. It means you can both reminisce and get acquainted. This iteration of the pulp icon is clearly the product of a culture that is older, less confident, less optimistic, and more cynical than the culture that produced the original. But that’s exactly the kind of culture that needs a hero like Captain Future.

Old School Science Fiction recommends adding Allen Steele’s “Avengers of the Moon” to your summer reading list.

Chapter 125

Everyone’s bashing the storyline and Ciel’s decisions at this point but I’d like to point out two things:

1) the manga explores the fallacies of human thought and behavior; Ciel, being who he is, ironically suffers from the same dissonant cognitive schemas as the very people he pursues throughout the arcs of the story

b) the story is actually following an interesting (though frustrating) path – it is meant to be disconcerting, it is meant to be dark and it still manages to show the descent of an individual into morally and ethically dark grounds due to the human ego, while questioning the notion of acknowledged social constructs – like serving the Queen as her Watchdog – in creating order in society.

anonymous asked:

How do you deal with people who say, "Morality is subjective. There is no such thing as right and wrong. As long as I get something out of it or it makes me feel good, that's all that really matters. Your belief that it's wrong to inflicting unnecessary violence onto animals is just your opinion. I don't feel a shred of remorse about it so it's okay."? These people Drive. Me. Up. The. Wall.

This is definitely one of the most frustrating arguments to deal with. Generally, the first thing to do in any ethical disagreement is to establish some common ethical ground, because no matter what they say, practically speaking no one thinks there is no such thing as right and wrong. Ask them how they feel about convicted paedophiles and child murderers, ask them how they feel about terrorists or the holocaust, and they’ll end up admitting they do think some things are wrong. People only ever seem to say morality is subjective in the context of trying to defend things they know to be wrong but like to continue taking part in, such as eating animals. 

If they absolutely refuse to acknowledge that there is any such thing as right or wrong, then there is no point in talking to them, and you should tell them that. Most of these “edgy” amoralists are looking for you to be shocked and get upset in an argument with them, so simply dismissing will them right away will deny them that. Besides, it’s the pragmatic thing to do; if someone doesn’t acknowledge basic morality then you can’t have a moral debate with them. 

anonymous asked:

So today my dad was talking about how stupid non-binary people are and I'm non-binary and I died inside. I mean they're also very homophobic and I'm very not straight... Pls help

You have many friends here, but in many ways, I do not think turning inward is healthy. I am not suggesting you come out to them, if it has the possibility to make your life right now painful or dangerous, but often times, these people do not learn because these people have no experience. They don’t understand how widespread it is, and they speak in complete stupidity. Sometimes when they learn that someone near them, whom they protest to love, is gay, or nonbinary, they amend their opinion. That is the ideal, of course.

I don’t know how old you are, but if you are older than say, 16, I would say it is now time to begin establishing your personal boundaries. If you can do so safely, begin having, not angry or hateful reactions, but definite and dismissive responses to bigoted comments. It may even be prudent to simply say that you do not want to engage in conversations that are disrespectful to other people, and then walk away. This may earn you negative replies and consequences, BUT it is good for several reasons.

Firstly, you declare the ethical high ground, and their only possible reply is “But I want you to see how bigoted I am!” Which makes them look terrible (even to their subconscious). Next, it allows you to set a precedent of your boundaries and feelings WITHOUT revealing what you are to them. Thirdly, it requires NO EXPLANATION. You simply do not engage in cruelty or dismissive behaviors. Those are your personal boundaries. And they will either respect them or earn your disapproval. I know you may be scoffing, thinking that they are the authorities and could care less about your disapproval, but I assure you, they ABSOLUTELY care. They may not interpret it as you want them to, but ALL parents can tell when their children are disappointed in them. Recall that they are human. They had parents, and even if they agreed with their parents upon every point, at one time or another they absolutely found themselves at odds with their parents, and had to find a way.

Eventually, the hope or idea is, that they will learn to stop doing those things in front of you, but only if you handle it properly.

You must not display any sort of rage, frenetic behavior, or emotional state. Your affect should be cold, dismissive, and definite.

You should not engage in answering “Why” questions. If you interrupt their remarks with “I do not engage in disrespectful discriminatory behavior, and I am leaving this conversation” and they attempt to defend their bigotry, it stands to reason they will eventually ask what is wrong with you- a why. At this point, you have simply to distance yourself further by either repeating yourself, or saying that speaking ill of others in a way that is ignorant of their circumstances is not something you condone. The most important thing is not to use any phrasing that is “name-calling”. You cannot call a bigot a bigot. They stop hearing you. So always talk about the behavior and the aspects about THE BEHAVIOR that bother you. Give them a chance to be a better person. Give them the opportunity to qualify what they have said in a more pleasant way. If they do, this means they are aware of their fault. It makes them easier to engage. If they do not “back pedal”, then you have met a brick wall, and you walk away.

If they pursue you or belabor the point, resist the urge to engage. Repeat yourself. No matter what they say. Repeat that you do not engage in such behaviors. Find a way to leave safely, whether it be to repair to your room, or to step outside.

This is the way you teach others how to engage you. This is how you stand up for yourself and gain ground WITHOUT imposing upon them. If they continue their bigotry as a pageant to upset you, well then…

They have taught you PRECISELY what sort of enemy they are, and have made themselves more obvious. You will have learned a simple truth about your family, and that is something to confront in different ways with a separate strategy.

I am sorry you have to deal with this. But this is a plague on the human mind, one that is hundreds of years strong, but you represent a generation largely immune. Uphold that. Defend it. I know that it can be frightening (and please do not do anything that is dangerous. I cannot know your circumstances, and you know your parents.) but all of you must step back and let them define themselves. Once they have, they are easier to beat.

The Cusps Pros and Cons

Aries-Taurus, (April 16-22):
“I’m in love with being queen.”

Pros: A natural born leader; ambitious and always have their shit together; simultaneously dependable and fearless; the zodiac’s resident night-in-shining-armor. usually use their fiery emotional energy for good.
Cons: lack creativity and versatility; One- track mind; rigid in their ideals; often use their ambition as a crutch; hide vulnerable side from even closest of friends

Taurus-Gemini, (May 17-23): 
“If you can afford me”

Pros: Have the eye for beauty; super charming; intellectual and appreciate art; good planners; hilarious and fun to be around; value versatility; mature and direct; excellent critical thinking skills
Cons: Greedy and superficial; judgmental; sometimes insensitive; sometimes come across as mean; sometimes lack consistency in behavior

Gemini-Cancer, (June 17-23)
“I’m born to dance in the moonlight”

Pros: An old soul with a well-meaning heart; complex; tend to be super artistic; clever, emotionally intelligent, deep thinkers; flirtatious and romantic; can be some of the best friends you’ll ever have; some of the deepest, most emotionally satisfying connections 
Cons: Tendency to overthink; self-descructive; may be insecure, gossip-y, and untrusting; can be spiteful and manipulative; make it purposely hard to get close to them

Cancer-Leo, (July 19-25): 
“I see things that nobody else sees”

Pros: Artistic; Spontaneous and fun; usually clairvoyant; very good at reading people well-meaning and excellent listeners; self-disciplined; romantic; generous; extremely loyal and holds onto those they love fiercely; in private, are very gentle and nurturing; great at giving advice
Cons: Extremely moody; easily bruised egos; sensitive to criticism; irrational at times; obsessive and controlling when insecure; can easily fall into self-absorption

Leo-Vigro, (August 19-25):
“Hit me with your sweet love, steal me with a kiss”

Pros:  Detail-oriented and logical, extremely loyal; decisive and direct; always trustworthy and thoughtful with those they care about; hard-working; oftentimes, artistically talented
Cons: Oftentimes confused but refuse to seek counsel; takes criticism personally; sometimes secretive; not very flirtatious; sometimes too clinical

Virgo-Libra, (September 19-25):
“Control freak, catch the light; Hyper self-awareness”

Pro: Sex kittens for sure; as a rule, aesthetically pleasing; party animals; can have a large circle of acquaintances; good at networking; real crowd-pleasers; excellent at getting things done; romantic; perfectionists
Con: Prioritize social formalities over well-being of themselves and others; obsessed with appearances; anxious; workaholics; can be passive-aggressive; sometimes lack emotional depth or personal ambition

Libra-Scorpio, (October 19-25):
“I’m really lovely, underneath it all”

Pros: Deep intense feelings; dark sense of humor; charming; intense; mysterious dedicated to their partner; complex thinkers with excellent judgment skills; sexy af
Cons: Selfish and lazy; drama queens; stressed out all the time; manipulative and lie a lot; temperamental;  can be super-critical; can never chill

Scorpio-Sagittarius, (November 18-24): 
“I can be your bad girl, but only half the time”

Pros: super intelligent and super outspoken; fearless; passionate; excellent lovers; great sense of adventure and a yearning to explore; knows a little bit about everything; usually excellent cooks; love to share life experience with others; down for anything
Cons: tendency to lash out against others; manipulative; say intentionally hurtful things; must have the last word about anything; get bored with people easily

Sagittarius-Capricorn, (December 18-24): 
“I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart”

Pros: charismatic and outgoing; adventurous but practical; impossible to be awkward around them; great small-talkers; fair; impulsive; self-reliant; make great parents; responsible
Cons: commitment-phobes; sometimes tactless in their words; oftentimes reserve emotion in an unhealthy way, unnecessary need to dominate everything; tendency to push people away; get annoyed easily

Capricorn-Aquarius, (January 16-22): 
“I’m now becoming my own self-fulfilled prophecy” 

Pros: the definition of a go-getter; another natural-born leader; strong, grounded work ethic; progressive and idealistic; a yearning to weed out corruption; creative; disciplined; philanthropists at heart; usually eloquent and communicate well; natural-born achievers
Cons: Refuse to see the other side of the story; entitled; inflated sense of heroism; A god-complex; competitive

Aquarius-Pisces, (February 16-22):  
“Day-dreaming into the night, but I’m alright”

Pros: Crave experience; want justice for all; great conversationalists; progressive; oftentimes creative and eccentric; clairvoyant; genuinely care for others; very thoughtful; tolerant of others; sensitive
Cons: hard to understand; sensitive to criticism; feel the need to tell everyone how to live; moody; stubborn; shut down easily; dwell on failure

Pisces-Aries (March: 17-23):

Pros: Energetic; direct and assertive; very honest and very trustworthy emotionally in-tune to themselves; nurturing; good at giving advice; imaginative and oftentimes creative
Cons: Oftentimes, misunderstood; can be too clinical with words; impatient; sometimes ruthless; pessimistic

I find it odd that even though every meat eater I know claims to eat only local, “humane”, free ranged meat, I have never once seen a meat eater refuse meat on ethical grounds. Never in my life have I seen a meat eater pass up on any animal product because they disagree with how it’s sourced. Come to think of it, I’ve never even heard a meat eater ask any of those questions in a restaurant before. Curious indeed.

Yes, you and many others may enjoy porn, and there may be a small minority of privileged porn stars who freely chose to do porn and find it empowering. However, that is not justification for the existence of an industry that suppresses the voices of the vast majority of women who suffer under it, the deep psychological, emotional, and relational damage it causes, and the roots and contributions it has made in sex and human trafficking. At the end of the day the damage outweighs the ‘pros’ and the porn industry has no ethical grounds to exist. Argue that you don’t care but don’t try and tell me that it’s ethically justifiable.

anonymous asked:

Hello! This has been bothering me for a long time already and would like to hear your view on this: do you think it is ethical to listen to Kpop knowing the dark side of the industry? (Slave contracts, many idols being "objects" or "products" of their companies, questionable topics in Kpop industry, such as racism, etc.) I enjoy listening to Kpop and watching variety shows but at the same time I have a very bad conscience about supporting an industry like this. Any thoughts? Love your blog! :)

Hi, thanks for your question! This is something I have thought about often, not only with K-pop but with my continued consumption of K-hip-hop. Sometimes I feel guilty that a blog that I started to analyze and interrogate K-pop and the industry has turned into a blog that appears to celebrate these things, especially as large parts of international fandom have gone in the opposite direction.

That said, I don’t think listening to K-pop with knowledge of the industry is unethical, though I eat factory farmed meat and I buy clothes with tags that say “Made in Bangladesh”, so obviously I am a big hypocrite when it comes to having ethics vs. practicing them. I think there are ways to continue listening to K-pop with awareness, which I think is what you are looking for. To me, it sounds like you made the decision to continue with awareness a while ago, but the discomfort of having awareness is weighing on you. The thing about awareness is that it is uncomfortable, and it will never stop being uncomfortable. It is an ongoing process, not a finished state. It is constantly interrogating yourself, and reminding yourself, and learning new things that make you uncomfortable to know. And it can exist alongside enjoyment without always getting in the way of it.

When I was planning for my One Week One Band week on BTS, I had included a post titled “DISCLAIMER”. In this post, I basically said that BTS week might make you mad because they are a group of young Korean guys who are in some way benefiting from the appropriation of black American culture, and if it made you mad then I didn’t blame you and invited you to mute the tag, and I included some links to resources on blackness and/in Korean culture. I debated whether or not to post this right up until the Sunday before the week began, and in the end I decided not to post it.

I’m glad that I didn’t. Not only was it condescending, it was cowardly and more performative than true to any actual conflict I felt about listening to and liking BTS. It was me saying, “Look, everybody, I’m a smart and moral person, so I can continue to praise these guys without you judging me.” This is not the same thing as having ongoing awareness, which informs the way you view and talk about things. And the fact is, no matter how responsibly you go about consuming it, some people will judge you for liking K-pop on their own ethical grounds, including other K-pop fans. I think this is where a lot of the urge to be visibly ashamed of what you like comes from, including for me.

To be honest, I take issue with the ways in which the worst parts of Internet “awareness culture” intersect with K-pop fandom, like stanning certain groups being turned into an ethical and moral stance, or the oversimplified dichotomy between “flawless” and “problematic”. This to me is also turning idols into objects, collectibles that you abandon once they say something shadeist or sexist or get styled with cornrows or whatever, at which point you deride anyone who still has them on their shelf. (This is the reverse of “oppa didn’t mean it”, where you excuse anything terrible someone has ever done because they’re your favourite collectible, and it’s just as immature.) But for some people that is the only way they can justify their continued engagement with K-pop; and to some extent, being vocal about what’s bad can help raise awareness of that badness to others. For me, I just hope that my own awareness is evident in the way I view and discuss K-pop. Sometimes I do worry that I’m not loud enough about it, but I recognize when that’s a worry that I’m not doing enough to raise others’ awareness, and when it’s a worry about how I look to others.

I have also been thinking about this post (warning for discussion of sexual abuse and suicide) from Jessica Doyle’s recent One Week One Band on 4Minute (which you should read if you haven’t yet!), which gets into this “ethical consumption of K-pop” issue, and the conclusion of which is: knowing what we know, why do we see idols as victims first and people second? I know there are idols who hate what they do and aren’t allowed to show it, but certainly there are idols who love what they do, so why not believe them? I guess the problem is in never having confirmation on who is who. But that’s the discomfort of awareness again.

Maybe this is all just one long “K-pop doesn’t mean it” defense. I’m obviously a firm believer in critical enjoyment of things — liking something while still being aware of what goes into it. And I think discomfort can get in the way of enjoyment; for instance, I stopped watching Gag Concert sometime last year because my awareness of the show’s sexism, racism, etc. trumped any humour I found in the skits. I guess my overall advice, if you are looking for it, is: think! If there’s something you don’t like in the thing you otherwise enjoy, by all means name it and point it out. Keep educating yourself, and be ready to educate other fans who are receptive to it, not put them on blast. (And if you do not have the time or energy to educate someone, at least do the second part.) It is possible to enjoy flawed things while being aware of their flaws. If it’s not possible for you, then you’ll have to find something else, at least until you learn how it’s made.

The Newsroom S1 Sentence Starters
  • “I’m a marine! I will beat the shit out of you! I don’t care how many protein bars you eat!”
  • “This is more than unprofessional, it’s uncivilized. But more than that, it’s unprofessional.”
  • “I never knew what the word ‘smug’ meant until I met you.”
  • “I’m too old to be governed by fear of dumb people.”
  • “That didn’t sound like something that should come with a warning, that sounded like something that should come with balloons.” 
  • “And a lot of people might argue there are witches out there.”
  • “I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not gay marriage.”
  • “I could’ve been a doctor!”
  • “And the first guy wouldn’t see a doctor until the second guy saw a doctor.”
  • “Okay, I know we were on sketchy ground ethically and linguistically, but…”
  •  “What in the name of holy fuck were you thinking about?”
  • “Sometimes your wisdom leads to … [*exploding sound and gesture*] “
  • “Don’t call me girl sir!”
  • “Do you have any human knowledge?”
  • “I’m on a mission to civilize!”
  • “Yeah, maybe if you stare at that piece of paper long enough the time will reverse itself and the last 10 seconds will be erased from the universe.”
  • “They’ve done a pretty good job making themselves look like morons.”
  • “What is this compulsion you have to look on the bright side? I can never count on you to be Jewish.”
  • “Do not take a tone with me, American Gigolo.”
  • “Waiting, patience – words like that, always my last option.”
  • “You say that like I’ve got polio” 
  • “Since I’m never going to see you again after Friday, I feel I can tell you something…”
  • “I don’t know who told you you’re a bad guy, but somebody did. Somebody along the way. Somebody or something convinced you of it, because you think you’re a bad guy… and you’re just not.”
  • “I could be wrong. I almost always am.”
  • “I’ve enlisted the help of a master of the dark arts.”
  •  “In your FACE, Nancy Grace!”
  • “You’re going to see an emotional response on my face and a physical response directed at yours.”
  • “Re-edit my wikipedia page!”
  • “You’re coming back if I have to chop you up put you in a duffle bag and reassemble you.”
  • “I’ve been waiting two days to hit you!”
Desire is tormented by the idea that a ‘lost Thing’ 'would render us complete’ and that such a person would 'shore’ our lack. But desire overlooks how this lack is only 'experienced as lack in the light of the impression’ that something would fill our momentary feeling of emptiness. A fantasy about the Other which elevates the him or her, 'gives rise to the sense of incompleteness,’ as if gaining access to secret enjoyment attainable through the Other or hidden in the Other would appease our desire.
—  ANDRE VANTINO citing from p.152-4 of Calum Neill’s book Without Ground. Lacanian Ethics and the Assumption of Subjectivity

Luhan is the odd one, the boy with the bow tie collection, and Sehun is the too tall class clown who likes to wear his hats backwards. 

But they find common ground in Ethics class at 12pm when Sehun slips Luhan a note that reads “meet me outside later p.s. nice bow tie” in his barely legible handwriting, and in paper coffee cups at 4am, when no one is there to judge them and it’s just the two of them crammed into a dirty booth as they argue over dessert.

“We had that last time, Sehun.”

The younger male licks his lips and offers a cheeky grin as he props his chin in his palm. “I know, but it tasted wonderful on your mouth so I want it again.”

Luhan rolls his eyes and kicks at Sehun beneath the table, but he orders it anyways and notices that the kisses afterwards taste much sweeter (but he’ll never admit that).

  • Caleb: We know this whole picture thing puts us on sketchy ground ethically, but we -
  • Wes: Whatever you're gonna say, save it for another ten seconds.
  • Catherine: What happens in ten seconds?
  • Laurel: Just hang on for another five seconds and know that we've all been there at one point or another.
  • Caleb: What happens in five seconds?
Textual hints 2: Mycroft and the bedroom

So there has been a lot of discussion about whether John is jealous of Janine and Sherlock in HLV or just very surprised. I think this is quite  a key point, as the intent of the writers says a lot about how the series is going to proceed. If they are meaning to write an epic bromance, they would want it to be read as comic surprise, while if it’s epic romance they’re looking for, shock and jealousy would definitely play a part.

And the answer is in that scene, you just have to go back a bit further.

The whole scene starts with a drugged out Sherlock and John entering 221b where Mycroft has already arrived. All three of them go up to find Anderson and this other girl already searching the apartment.

It ends with the discussion about CAM intercut with John repeatedly going back to Janine and Sherlock’s relationship. Now the point I want to make is that it was always Sherlock intention for John to find out about this ‘relationship’, and moreover for John to be jealous.

The clue lies with Sherlock reaction to Mycroft. Remember, they started with looking for drugs. Mycroft deduces something about Sherlock’s bedroom door, at which point Sherlock, uncharacteristically says Mycroft has made his point, implying that Mycroft is right about there being drugs in the bedroom, so Mycroft won’t go inside.

Well: what would have happened if Mycroft had entered that room? We find out a bit later it is not drugs, but rather a girl. Which in Sherlock’s case we all find a bit more shocking. Mycroft, being well, Mycroft, would, upon seeing Janine, immediately deduced that Sherlock was faking it. In front of an audience, including John. Of course, perhaps this was for Janine’s sake. But Sherlock is smart enough to have been able to work out a way to convince Janine it is all his brother’s imagination. After all, she already know that Sherl and Mike fight all the time.

So it is for John’s benefit. He would’ve known right then and there that Mycroft was right. That Janine was just a ruse.

But would this have mattered. John might’ve disagreed on ethical grounds about letting Janine believe they are in a loving relationship, but past experiences show that he would probably have gone along with Sherlock plan under protest. So it wasn’t so much the operation that was in danger. Rather, it was John’s response.

And Sherlock is playing for that.

It isn’t just the sex, or the bare relationship, its the intimacies that Sherlock is flaunting. Sherl, Mike, this:

Sherlock knows Janine will act like this. Of course, he is Sherlock, he is counting on it. Janine is doing all the work for him. And it works, I mean, this:

is not the smile of a man who is just surprised. This is a guy who is laughing on the wrong side of his mouth (or in Dutch: like a farmer with molar pain, which is pretty literally looking good here).

This reads as classic romantic comedy jealousy. This doesn’t read as bromance.

And Sherlock wants it to be that way. The clue (as often is the case) is with Mycroft.

All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether
—   Dalai Lama